At first, the FC didn't want frigates. Then someone suggested to the FC that we'd need tacklers. So he said ok, but he didn't want Rifters. So I said "the Rifter is a frigate...", so then he agreed to having Rifters.
I wasn't completely inspired, but so be it... off we flew!
Earthwynd, a corpmate who came across to Phaze-9 with me, was also in a Rifter. We were the only 2 frigates in a 25-man fleet.
Then the FC made someone a scout. But they didn't have any tackling mods. That didn't matter, apparently... until the scout engaged someone and the fleet made their way to the scene of combat. Except that the target warped away before we got there. So someone else was made scout.
What the hell, I thought. Being part of a fleet is good experience. That's what I was telling myself, anyway.
And I was right. At the end of a roam through CVA territory, including their base system where they were all huddled in a station, hiding (watching us all waving as we went through the system, unhindered), we ended up with a few kills. I managed to get in on the death of a Rupture and then I was one of 2 who podkilled the pilot (although I didn't do any damage... I think I was involved 'cause I was web/scramming him).
But after a couple of hours, it was lunchtime. I had to go out to lunch with some friends, so I left the fleet while in the very centre of CVA space. I logged off, looking forward to the lone flight back home when I logged back on later in the day.
So when I logged back in with 8 reds in the system, I immediately set off back home, confident that I would be able to get home without any issues.
Based on my experiences so far of being in CVA space as a neutral member of Providence and watching the Ushra'Khan roaming around relatively unhindered and having to hide from them, and then being in the Ushra'Khan and wandering around unhindered, laughing at all the locals in Providence hiding from me, I've learnt something quite interesting.
When CVA form a fleet to go attack U'K space, entire defence fleets of U'K warriors form and repel them before they get very far. But when the U'K go roaming around CVA space, everyone there hides. The defence fleet is... well, I don't know where it is, 'cause it's rarely where the U'K are.
Of course, this is just my experience. I'm sure others might have different experiences, and you're welcome to tell me about them in the Comments below. :)
So, back to my solo trek back home...
It didn't happen.
Instead, I joined up with an in-game friend (Nukelear Storm) of a real life friend, both of whom are also in U'K. He was nearby and planning a solo venture into Providence. I joined him.
So together we went back into Providence, the 2 of us. We roamed and rambled our way around. Him in a Stabber, me in my Rifter. Wherever we went, the reds hid in their stations or safe spots, or cloaked up, waiting for us to leave.
Another U'K member, sw33t lips, joined us in his Rapier. So then there were 3. And still the locals hid.
I was scout, and at one point, as I was scouting around a particular system, I flew to a planet at 100km. I was surprised to find the system's station right near me, at 102km. There were 2 reds just leaving the station - a Drake and a Kestrel.
I sat there, watching them, reporting this to the small fleet I was a part of. I told them that the Kestrel was starting to make his way to me, while the Drake had warped away. I suspected that the Drake would warp to his Kestrel buddy once an engagement occurred, but I decided to stick around.
My fleet started to make their way to me, but they were 2 jumps away. The Kestrel got to about 30k away when she started firing her rockets, and I jumped into action. Initiating an orbit of 750m, I approached her at about 800m/s. Her rockets impacted against my shields, and they quickly dropped to about 30%. I activated the armour repairer, followed by my weapons at about 8km.
I was constantly aware that the Drake pilot could warp in on us at any second, and I was hoping to kill the Kestrel before I died myself. I saw 2 MORE Drake pilots exit the station 100km away, with 1 of them warping away while the other stayed there and watched the combat from 100km.
My shields were repairing themselves, and I was taking no more damage from the Kestrel's rockets, being so close and all. I switched off the armor repairer. Suddenly there was an explosion, and there was the Kestrel's pilot sitting there in a pod. I chuckled to myself when my web and scrambler engaged, preventing them from warping away. However, I was very surprised when it was taking so long for my weapons to do any real damage to the pod...
Range? Check. All weapons firing? Check. Weird. So I started to align for warp, expecting someone to arrive any second. As range was increasing on the pod, I decided I didn't want to wait any further and I activated warp - just as the pod exploded behind me.
And none of her CVA buddies turned up to help. There was no coordinated defence, no assistance...
Lex Lacey, if you're reading this, I applaud you for seeking a fight with the Ushra'Khan. I applaud you for trying to do what you can for the territory you're residing in. However, you might want to consider abandoning those who abandoned you.
Back to me... my fleet was disappointed I got a kill without them, but hey, it was a Kestrel.
We continued our roam, but wherever we went, the locals hid. Eventually we got bored, and went back home. I returned to doing some ratting.
It was a good day indeed.