The reason low sec is so underpopulated is because of one central truth: natural selection. You are one of two things in low sec, the quick or the dead. Last night was a perfect example of the process in action.
I logged on to catch the tail end of an incursion op which had failed to scare up any kills from hard core incursion runners and the fleet stood down. With no other fleets in the offing, I decided to roam a bit solo. I looked over my hanger of ships and considered some assault ships and cruisers before settling on a favourite, a dual prop Dramiel.While not as popular since the nerf, it still goes fast (4800 m/s with MWD and 1600 m/s afternburner) and hits decently hard. With a long point it is nice for catching ratters or Faction Warfare people more likely to run than put up a fight and I figured I would delve into some minor FW complexes.
I started my roam with a visit to Hevrice to see if any Tuskers were out to play, but there were a lot of them in system so I figured I'd move on rather than giving them thoughts about catching a faction frigate. I set course for a loop that would go through Old Man Star but before I got there I ran into a confusing situation in Melmaniel. There was a Hulk on scan.
"Surely its sitting at a POS or something," I thought, "not worth my time to scan around for it." And I almost left system. But.... oh hell, doesn't hurt to look. Scan, scan, scan...
"What? Its not at a control tower? Surely its in a safe then waiting for me to leave."
"It looks like its a belt 5. No way." Warp.
"Its here! I bet it is aligned and will warp off as soon as it sees me on grid." Tackle.
"No shit, I got a point! And launching drones at me! Awesome! But wait, the pilot is probably laughing at getting my hopes up and is warp stabbed. Or worse, its bait and local is about to spike." Drones dead, just me and him in local. No cyno. I work through shields and then armour.
"Warping out any second now, you just wait..." Armour gone, then structure, then bright flash of happiness.
"I actually killed a hulk in low sec."
While waiting for the GCC to cool down the hulk pilot posts in local "You should have ransomed me." I replied:
"Sorry, I'm an anarchist, not a pirate."
Then comms heats up. Back in Lisbaetanne a small gang of neutral battleships has been spotted. That alone would be enough to rouse a fleet up in a minute or two, but when word comes that it includes a Rattlesnake and Navy Megathron as well as a Domi? Fleet was formed and probes out by our scout in seconds.
Cursing the gate guns, I ran the GCC gauntlet the six jumps just in time to warp to the fleet as the Rattlesnake was tackled. The Domi and Navy Mega got out but warped back to help their friend. I missed out on the Rattlesnake as I made sure to backup-point the Navy Mega and was able to get on two killmails, the Dominix and the Navy Mega.
At this point we noticed a neutral Basilisk floating around the system. I used my directional scan and tried to see if it was hanging at a Customs office but he was bouncing safes so I sat at the POCO, speed zero, and started talking in twitter and Ninveah channel while I waited for my GCC to run down, or for our erstwhile prober to tackle the Basilisk.
And then I nearly shit my pants as I saw underneath my browser the overview update with the Basilisk warping right in on top of me. Somehow I managed to hit Orbit, overheat the point, and lock without pulling my mouse out of the USB socket. "Break break!" I called on comms, "I got a point on the Basi!"
The fleet assembled as we joked about our shields going up instead of down from the Tech II Logistics ship, and we even had a Scimitar come in to repair its shields to let a few more pilots come in and get on the killmail. Then we killed it. Funny part was the Basilisk had a cloak and could have safed up and cloaked at any time before he ran into me.
Sigh. The quick and the dead. Welcome to low sec.