I forgot how much work trying to do anything in Null-Sec is when you only have yourself to rely on.
I picked up a number of hulls off contract, including a couple recons. (After a conversation request from the seller, it turned out he was redeploying and not wanting to move all his assets.) They were not perfectly fit, but gave me options in how I might respond to hostility. They were located only 3 jumps away.
In High-Sec I would just undock in my Pod and fly over and collect them, or I might take an Orca to move them all in one go. I would then refit them from my spares or run over to the nearest trade hub and pick up what supplies I needed. The whole process would be quickly over and done with.
Flying around Null Sec in a Pod is not ideal so I figured I would use shuttles to reach the other station. There were no shuttles however for sale nearby. I managed to remotely buy some blueprints and a stock of Tritanium, and kick off manufacturing some in a neighbouring system.
While those jobs were running I went off in a cloaky ship to bookmark the route between my system and the purchased hull’s location. This involved at minimum a perch bookmark 200+km away from each inbound and outbound gate, and a safe or two carefully placed to cover as many of the gates in D-Scan as possible. This process took a while but allowed me to get a feel for what pilots were moving around the pipe, what they were flying, what their Killboard looked like, and so on. I don’t have an Intel channel to monitor and I can’t rely on pre-existing standings to tell friend from foe, so this sort of reconnaissance is important.
Finally, when all that was done and I was comfortable with how quiet the area was, I collected a shuttle then went and picked up one of the hulls. I rinsed and repeated the process to collect the second hull, but still have a few more to grab when I have time. (I actually needed to wait for more shuttles to come off the assembly line.)
Now I need to carefully consider their fittings, see if I can scrounge anything on the local markets, and then make a shopping list for what I need to bring down from Hi-Sec. Bringing those spares down will likely be an even bigger job.
Of course I could have just flown my pod over to pick up the ships, and I could just settle with how they are fitted. But that will mean I will be playing EVE relying on luck instead of skill, which frankly doesn’t sound appealing.
Something else I have noticed – aside the need to concentrate more, is that I now generally have both my accounts logged in at the same time again, and my Alts are getting a work out. I guess I don’t just have myself to rely on – I have some imaginary friends too.