Despite finding many wormholes over weekend, I was particularly lucky when doing Unknown combat sites - I had about 4 escalations. This is the tale of 2..
The first escalation was mostly high-sec and thus 100% safe - but final part it put me in a 0.3 low-sec system "Oulley" only one hop from the PF346 gate in Orvolle. My experience with Oulley told me I knew it was typically a pirate area and I knew I'd been chased and seen gatecamps in the area before. As such I was fretting about going in, and decided to just "do it" with only the Ishkur Assault Frigate (with no backup or salvage operations in forces. I didn't want to risk the salvager, as I didn't have a cloak handy nearby to fit to keep the salvager safe when not salvaging, nor was there one on market. Basically I hadn't expected the escalation to take me into low-sec. The Ishkur is setup for PVP and is reasonably fast - so if I did get jumped I did stand a chance of getting out alive.
Scanner up to monitor the local acceleration gate for hostiles, I warped to the escalation and completed it with little hassle - and I didn't appear to be probed out (or no-one wanted to PewPew my Ishkur as they were afriad). Then safely got back to Oursaulert to sell the loot. My mistakes: Taking a full implanted clone into low-sec. Next time I'll be taking a clean jump-clone. Overall though it did make me think more about a proper full 0.2/0.1 low-sec FOB (because with lower system security status it does mean more nicer exploration sites and escalations in theory.
Escalatation 2 is still ongoing - its called "Booster R&D" and is my first attempt at this:
1st phase was in Placid, 2nd was in Genesis, 3rd is in Verge Vendor!
1st Phase in low-sec, somewhere in Placid (forgot to note system name): Warped in, and actually had to warp the frigate out as the 6 frigates that greated my little Ishkur were doing me serious damage - so much so I only managed to pop one prior to warp out. On 2nd warp in, I managed to take the rest of the pack reasonably quickly due to sending my T1 disposable drones to take aggro initially so I could take a few of the ships out (while they shot at the drones) prior to them switching target to my own Ishkur, and sending the T2 drone fleet out. There was a few BC's and Cruisers here also - but they can't really trouble the Ishkur at all providing I'm not webbed. They quickly died.
2nd Phase - in high-sec in Tar: Warped in, amazing amount of ships in here, including two full 1.2 mln ISK bounty battleships and one overseer Cruiser(500K) + around 12 other 230K bounty cruisers + a few webifying and warp-scrambling frigates (thankfully only a few of the latter variety). Again concentrated on the large fleet of frigates 1st, which took a longer amount of time than I expected, and almost got me into structure. Thankfully I prevailed, and the repairer then recovered the armor safely. Once the 2 BS's were dispatched, another 2 appeared, along with another defense fleet. Again concentrated on these.
Loot so far is disappointing in this escalation -both in savage terms & raw loot - although the bounties have been nice. Since stopping doing missioning last year, I've missed the big bounties, so it's been nice to see the wallet blink more often.
Tonight I'll be completing the 3rd phase of the "Booster R&D". I wonder what ships I will encounter and whether the Ishkur will be up to the job. Overall this last escalation showed me just how good the Ishkur is - it easily handled a job that would have been potentially a problem for my Myrmidon.
My next job: 100% Training up for HAC's - as if the Ishkur is this good, will the Ishtar be awesome?