Curiousity sated about the proximity of two wormholes in the Heimatar region, I turn my attention to see what's caused the wormhole to crackle. It's the Helios, the covert operations boat that I saw only briefly on my directional scanner in the class 3 w-space system, now poking through C3a's static exit. That's serendipitous, particularly as my Proteus strategic cruiser, usually not standing a chance of catching a cov-ops, is still under the session-change cloak from jumping, and the Helios seems far from the wormhole.
I should take a shot at the Helios. I go for a target lock, go for a target lock, go for a loc—why is this not working? Ah, damn, in my haste to shed my cloak and start targeting the Helios I have managed not to move at all, holding my cloak and making targeting impossible. I correct my mistake, actually managing to shift my Proteus from its sedentary state and encourage my targeting systems to lock on to the Helios.
During these fabulous moments of inaction, thankfully cloaked from the view of my target, the Helios has been moving slowly back towards the wormhole. Slowly back, so slowly that I can't believe I wasted these valuable seconds. Even so, my Proteus manages to get a positive lock, at which point my blasters start blasting. Just one shot, and it's a biggie, but sadly not quite enough to smash the Helios in to smithereens. With a smidgen of its armour left, the cov-ops jumps back through the wormhole, leaving low-sec for w-space.
I follow the Helios, of course, and it evades me, of course. The cov-ops aligns and warps before I can get a positive lock, the ship not even needing to cloak to avoid my continued attentions. I'd better cloak, though, now being polarised on the wormhole for no good reason. I also have taken a hit to my security status, having engaged the Helios in low-sec, with nothing to show for it.
I should do something about my security status. I don't exactly get out of w-space much, but continued losses will affect my status if they are not balanced by gains, and since swapping my Loki strategic cruiser for the passively tanked Proteus I am not really inclined to go ratting in low- or null-sec. I'm sure the Proteus can take some damage, but it would remain until I got back to our tower to repair the damage, and until then I'd be flying with a gimped ship. That would be bad, particularly if I bumped in to a target, so there's been no ratting for me for a while.
Maybe today I should correct my lack of ratting. The constellation is pretty quiet, I was just going to head home, and there is a null-sec connection I could make use of. Let's do it. I take the Proteus home, swap to my almost-mothballed Loki, and tweak its fitting somewhat. The tank is active but fit with ancillary shield boosters, which need charges to be most effective. I don't care to waste too much ISK in ratting, so swap to a standard shield booster, and an ampilifier, and otherwise keep the fitting the same. This should be fine for basic ratting.
I head out through our static wormhole to C3a, and across to the null-sec K162. I fly cloaked, because my Loki is covertly configured—and interdiction nullified—and I see no point in changing that, particularly as doing so would require docking somewhere in empire space. I'm safer and still capable of popping crappy rats. Let's see what I can find in null-sec.
Exiting w-space puts me in a system in Tenal. A dead-end system, in fact. I don't know if that's good or not, but there's no one here with me, so I find a rat in a rock field and start shooting it. Good, my first battleship of the day. I pop that easily enough and hop a stargate to the adjacent system. Someone else is in that system, so I move on again, where I find myself alone once more. I find a rat, start shooting it, and have a new contact enter the system. D-scan shows me an Ashimmu cruiser as a second contact enters the system. I turn my Loki around and run so that I can cloak.
The ships don't find me before I can hide like a true capsuleer, coincidentally warping to the stargate I just arrived through. A Deimos heavy assault cruiser is on the gate as I land, thankfully warping away as my cloak drops and I panic-jump back the way I came. I appear to be a little rusty at null-sec ratting. I'll keep trying, though. Rather than move on again I try to find the pilot in this system, using combat scanning probes. No ships are visible in the system, so he's clearly cloaked. Either asleep or waiting to pounce. I'll risk ratting and see what happens.
I find two battleships flanked by two cruisers and think I've bitten off more than I chew, until I remember that I made the Loki a better ratter. The shields hold admirably, and my autocannons are chewing through the rats, right up until the Ashimmu and Deimos pair of pilots enter the system. Abort, abort! I warp out of the rock field, the two pilots leave the system, and I warp right back to a bookmark I made before leaving. But the rats have gone. Cowards.
Never mind, system hopping isn't as necessary in gaining security status these days, I believe, so I bypass this system again and head straight back for the dead end I started in. It's still empty, which suits me fine. I find another rat in another rock field, and although this one is using damned annoying ECM at least I can survive the onslaught of him and his friends for long enough to persevere through a few jamming cycles to blow him up.
I have a few minutes, I can keep going. I have decided that this dead end is a good dead-end system to be ratting in, and that the update to my Loki has made it good for ratting. That gives me another option for passing time when a suitable connection presents itself. Earning pocket iskies and gaining security status is occasionally worthwhile.