Of course it hadn't turned out as planned.
The night before, when Eta had commed me, it had sounded so straightforward: Redrum and their local friends 57th Combat were at war with Marmite Collective (again), a 57th' POS had been knocked into reinforce and would come out this morning, a joint fleet ops had been called for repairs, and additional enemies of Marmite were willing to hang around to fly CAP.
While Eta hadn't directly come out and asked for my help - not surprising after our little shouting match - it had been the hesitant extension of a wilted olive leaf, and I jumped to the opportunity. Especially since my current hunting grounds had come up drier than expected, and I was ready to move on anyway. I sent word ahead to the local hangar crews to prep my old Scimitar, air out the stench of the mothballs, and after far too little sleep I hopped into my Purifier this morning and made my way over here. Of course not without playing 'Come and Catch Me!' with the Amarr Navy in the higher-sec systems along the way.
By the time I finally arrived, the situation had changed.
Oh, the POS had been knocked around by 57th' war targets alright, but it had been by PIRAT, not Marmite. A small detail that Redrum's exalted leader had apparently considered not to be important enough to pass on. But as it was, PIRAT had come back in force, 57th was camped into their stations, Redrum had stood down, and I was left asking myself why exactly I had left my comfy bed at this ungodly hour.
Well, might as well enjoy the fireworks. After a quick message to my hangar crew to shovel the mothballs back into the Scimitar, I set course towards where the POS was in its dying throes. Maybe I got lucky and somebody had played too close to the limits of Empire law, leaving a wreck behind for me to loot.
Like that frigate wreck over there, showing in a nice blue color on my scanner. I turned my Purifier towards it, dropped cloak, and let the microwarpdrive cycle once, twice, to quickly cover the distance to the wreck.
And hell broke loose.
Messages flashed in through comms, but before I could consciously process them, my senses were assaulted by the low-shield warning. What the... somebody was shooting at me?! But this was hi-sec!
A second volley landed, breaching my shield and stripping away most of my armor. Precious seconds passed before I managed to pull myself together enough to bring my engines to full speed, even though I knew that with the web on me I'd never outrun their point and weapons range. But it also broke my mental block, and finally one of the messages registered with my consciousness: a notification from CONCORD that a public killright on me had been activated.
Damn! I had completely forgotten about that! My systems weren't in combat-mode, heck, my mind still wasn't in combat-mode - they had caught me with my panties down, and no messing.
Ok. My Purifier was puttering towards its doom, but maybe I still had time to scratch the paint on one of their ships. Let's see: Tengu, Tengu, Proteus, Brutix, Dominix - oh, Brutix? That might work! Torpedoes belched from my launchers, guided to their target by the luring emanations of my Target Painter - it could have been perfect! Except that the Brutix hadn’t actually shot at me yet.
I should have just stayed in bed.