I haven't taken any losses since the unfortunate Vigil incident that I reported earlier this week, but I haven't had any kills yet either. I got into two fights with mission runners. The first was a Russian fellow in a Drake, I forget his name. Having no logi backup close at hand I went into his mission in a Merlin (I am fairly confident of being able to take on a Drake in a Merlin solo). The mission bear quickly started shooting as I looted his wrecks, so I pulled into a close orbit, got point, and began blapping drones. I took down his Hammerhead 2s, but by then I was taking a fair amount of NPC aggro as well, and my MASB fit wasn't quite able to keep up. As I started to drop down into armor I decided to bail and ran away, then repped my shields in warp and came back, but he had fled.
Ninja lesson #7: Don't forget about the possibility of NPC damage.
If there is one significant way that Crimewatch made a ninja's job harder, I think it must have been that limited engagement timer at the top of the screen. Even the most obtuse carebear, after being lucky enough to survive an encounter with a ninja, can see exactly how long he needs to stay docked in order to be safe from further attacks. If you have to warp off, it seems they always run away.
Ninja lesson #8: Mission bears are dumb enough to shoot at cruisers, too.
Blundering my way to success
At last, I got a taste of blood. Ninja Bio Natas, a true master of provocation, scanned down a likely Golem in Inaya and got the pilot to attack him in his Crucifier. I had actually been working to line up a little side project with my alt at the time, but was listening on comms and heard when Bio said that he could use a little help with remote repairs, so I undocked in my logi boat and warped to him. Another Ninja had arrived just ahead of me and started in with the reps, incurring a suspect flag for himself.
I landed on top of the Golem in question and was just taking a half second to get my bearings when he suddenly went flashy red to me. WTF? I got on comms, "He just engaged me. I'm not a suspect. He's getting CONCORDed." It happened so fast that it took us a few minutes to figure out what had happened. As it turned out, I had landed from warp just as he was setting off a smartbomb. I got hit, he got a criminal flag, and CONCORD got the kill.
Also, I got a killright on the mission bear. And I made it publicly available for a reasonable price. I had to log off myself to pay some attention to my lovely wife, but when I got back, I noticed that my able colleagues had managed to administer justice to this criminal to the tune of another 635 million isk.
Ninja lesson #9: Carebears are dumb enough to use smartbombs in highsec.
Thirsting for blood and tears
Prepare for some kills. I've got all the ingredients for success finally in the same place and ready to go - killships, logi, and even occasional boosts. The only things that I lack are experience, humility, e-honour, common sense... well, let's not focus on all of the things that I lack. The point is, I expect that by this time next week I will have a few mission runner killmails to brag about, maybe even a stolen mission boat or two in the hangar. Stay tuned for the next episode.