I have a rule.
If I join a fleet, I've signed a contract to follow the FC's instructions until I leave that fleet. Its a two way contract: he can rest assured I will do what he instructs to the best of my ability, and I know he is trying his best to keep us alive and get us some kills. Mistakes will happen since nobody is perfect, and I'm not saying I'll be a mindless automaton, but if the FC gives a command I'll not counter it without a really good reason.
* * * * *
Last night I logged and and started getting familiar with the local area around Amamake in Heimatar region. I took trusty (and rusty!) Hurricane #3 out and looked for trouble.
In Egghelende I warped into a belt and saw a juicy Enyo sitting ~120 kilometers away. I quickly warped to a celestial behind him and back to the belt at 100 km but he was gone. However, a quick scan showed an Enyo and Vengeance near a faction warfare beacon so I warped in...
... just in time to see the Vengeance finish off the Enyo about 50 km from me and then warp off. Well, shit. I looked around for the Vengeance some more but he left and I fumed.
At this time corp mate Acute Dragonis ( "A cute dragon is what?" I was tempted to ask) logged in and he offered to show me some sites and get more safe spots. So we went for a cruise, he in his Wolf assault ship and me still in the Hurricane (note to self: need more ship types).
We started heading up to Evati area and along the way ran into a neutral Firetail frigate at a gate. He started reporting my presence in local chat instead of his intel channel (insert snickering noise here) and I jumped through. On the other side, a second Firetail showed up.
"I'm going to approach and see if he'll engage," I said cockily.
"I wouldn't do that, he's got friends in local," my fleet commander warned.
By then it was too late and as I tried to warp off I was locked and scrammed by the Firetail. I engaged back as the second Firetail and a Thorax and Enyo arrived. A militia friendly Nemesis decloaked and threw some torps at the firetail I had engaged and we got him down to half armour...
"De-aggress and try and jump through the gate," my FC said.
My instincts told me to go all in on the Firetail and try and take him down with me. I wasn't going to survive long enough to jump, I thought. But years of ingrained instruction took over and I shut off my gear and sat on the gate spanning jump.
I didn't make it.
I managed to get the pod out and Acute Dragonis did not lose his Wolf. Not sure what became of the Nemesis pilot that tried to help us, but hat's off to you sir for engaging.
We exchanged good fights in local and I went back to Dal for Hurricane #4. By the time I got back we moved on towards Evati some more but ran into another powerful gang and had to hold up. It was getting late so I docked and parted ways.
Its not the stellar start to life in Minmatar space I was hoping for, but anything is better than losing a ship to NPCs.