I had a slasher in Heild so I clone jumped there from the Solitude low sec backwater that I had been roaming unsuccessfully for a couple days. Actually I was going to jump my clone to another one in null sec - but I hit the wrong button...
Like I was saying, I had a slasher in Heild and jumped in it to head back to Auner - something like 18 jumps through low sec. It was pretty uneventful - nothing really around and when I got to the Metropolis faction warfare there were either empty plexes or plexes full of nasty ships that would shrug off my slasher without a second thought.
I continued on.
Eventually I was just a couple jumps from home in Auner and spotted a tristan owned by Shiva Makoto in a FW plex. Tristans can be tough nuts to crack with all of those drones. But it was time to have a fight, so I turned everything up to 11 and headed in. One of the things turned up to 11 was my tracking disruptor (the slasher has 4 medium slots and I stick a tracking disruptor with an optimal range script). It can be magic against ships with guns (and is worthless against ships with rockets or missiles) - so I'm always looking for a gunship when flying these slashers. The tristan sorta filled that bill, but it also had 5 drones that would not be affected by the tracking disruptor.
But again, I degress.
I hit the jump gate and landed in the plex right on top of the tristan that had hobgoblin IIs hovering around him already and he appeared not the least bit surprised by my arrival. I asked my tristan to orbit at a comfortable distance to hopefully mitigate some of the damage the tristan's 2 autocannons would be doing.
At this point comes the question about whether to shoot the drones or the ship. I have a rule that I follow in answering this question - if it's a frigate shoot the ship, if it's bigger then shoot the drones. It may not be a good rule, but it's the one I use to simplify things.
I targeted the ship.
It didn't go especially well, or especially badly. I was doing damage and had him repairing his armor. He was doing the same to me. But to a greater effect. It was pretty clear from early on that the drones were tearing into me enough that I wouldn't survive.
And I didn't.
GFs were exchanged in local and I headed in my pod the two jumps back to Auner.
I looked over the ships in the hangar and noticed an old rifter that I hadn't flown in a long time. I hopped in and looked around the system. There were two or three ships in a couple of the FW plexes and nothing that looked like a good fight.
I went back to trying to figure out why my iPod was suddenly giving me a "Connection Lost" error whenever I tried to use Facetime(tm). I also flew my explorer around looking for profitable Gurista DED sites.
45 minutes later, after having not solved the Facetime(tm) problem and having conquered one Gurista Scout Outpost (4/10) that yielded a few million in the drop (I've been on a dry spell lately with the drop gods...), I headed out of the station in the rifter. And look who was there - Shiva Makoto. The same Shiva Makoto that killed my slasher two systems away.
I, of course, turned everything up to 11 and headed to the plex where he (and his tristan) were no doubt waiting for me again.
This time there would be no silly tracking disrupting or speed tanking. This rifter was built for damage and survival (3x 200mm autocannon IIs, a rocket launcher, 200mm of reinforced rolled tungsten, and an armor repairer II - all pretty standard for a rifter).
I set a close orbit, ignored the hobgoblins whizzing around my ship, and started pounding the tristan with top of the line Republic Fleet Phased Plasma ammo and Caldari Navy Inferno Rockets. It was hurting the tristan plenty.
This time I was ahead right from the start in the damage race. He went into armor first and then into structure. I was ahead! But not actually by that much... My armor repairer to doing its best to keep up but I was soon into structure. He was even further into structure. I'd pull back a little armor to give me some breathing room - but his next blast would immediately destroy that armor and also some of my hull.
I kept pounding him and was never behind. But never far ahead.
Eventually, the tristan exploded! I was smoking from all parts of the ship. Of my once beautiful ship, only 44 hitpoints (out of an original 3000+?) were still intact. Shields were destroyed. Armor was 100% destroyed. Structure was at 9% intact. And my guns were at 92% heat damage. It was a very, very close fight...
***Addendum - I ran across Shiva Makoto an hour after that second fight. He was finishing an FW plex in Auner and when he was done we had the rubber match - the 2 out of 3 determiner. It didn't go well and my rifter was destroyed. Shiva Makoto noted that he had forgotten to overheat his afterburner in the previous fight and had lost range control. I had not overheated my afterburner in this fight because of the damage the heat does to it and to adjacent modules - but maybe I should in the future. I see that the rifter is a faster ship than the tristan, so overheating would have let me get close instead of being held at 4000+ km...