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Whoa wait, what's this over here?

So I was all fired up to go on a fleet op last night except that it was 49 jumps away and there was no huge force leaving the home turf for there, thus I wound up saying "fuck goons" and looking around for something else to do.

I wound up taking my frigate and going "north" on the map toward JLO-Z3 and it turns out that if you hang a left at LQ- and another at U2 you wind up jumping across Bat Country, and seven jumps later you're in Minmatar space where you can buy all kinds of stuff at Empire prices. It's about nine jumps, which is a lot shorter than the 30-40 jumps it takes to get to Caldari space where my character originally came from. So I picked up some blueprints and some skills, sold some stuff to pay for it, melted the rest down (OMG markets and factories AND refineries in one station! I love civilization!) and headed back home.

On the way home I got cocky, tried to kill a bunch of rats with the frigate and got blown up. So I went home in my pod, got out the missile cruiser, and went back to return the favor. Which I did. I looted all the wrecks, but the minerals were gone, so I had to stop at JLO on the way home and melt some of the loot. It all worked out. On the way home I trained FOF missiles, which is a useful skill for me since I seem to pick them up by the boatload when I go ratting with my buddy.