There are a few systems known for their PvP. One of which is Amamake. I hopped into my Tech-2 fit Rifter and charted a route.
The last time I was in lowsec, I found myself dying in a Gate Camp. This time I was extra cautious--I inspected the systems for kills on the Star Map and even warped to nearby celestials so that I could scan the gate before approaching it. This is how things are learned in EVE: you die in a horrible ball of fire and then try to minimize that occurrence.
I got to Amamake without incident, warped to a bookmark I had in the middle of nowhere, and started to chat up local. I like playing the Mildly Naive Optimist: it's a nice foil for all the Internet Tough-Guys.
After a few minutes of banter, I warped to an asteroid belt to see who would bite. Eventually a Vexor shows up on scanner. I know it's a Cruiser, but I do a quick Google search to make sure; yep, a Cruiser. "Ok," I think, "I know I can beat Cruisers with this Rifter." The Vexor lands, and I begin approaching using a manual orbiting technique like a pro. My heart is pounding throughout all 150 KMs.
We get in range of each other and start the dance. Lock, scram, Confirm this Dangerous Act (take a standing hit), web, orbit, guns. My 150mm Light Autocannon IIs are eating through her shields like butter.
I bet a lot of EVE vets can guess what happens next.
Five Hobgoblin II drones appear. They begin attacking me. I turn on damage control, but it is just too much. I don't even have drones on my overview; I'm trying to manually target them, but no luck. I pretty much smile and concede defeat at that point. I last a few more seconds; pop.
I warp off to a station (and immediately pray that the station won't fire at me since I was the aggressor. Thankful it did not). We talk a little in local; I'm her first kill :) Apparently I'm not the only newbie in EVE.
I consult the notes I took from the Rifter Guide, and lo and behold the #1 ship listed under "RUN AWAY" is Vexor. Primarily because of their drone capabilities. Horrible ball of fire. Minimize occurrences. Thus I won't trying to fight Vexors next time ;D
What a rush! It was unbelievably exhilarating, and I cannot wait to load up a few more Rifters and head back. These ships cost about 5 million ISK, and I can easily steal that in 15 mins. Every time I think I'm drifting away from EVE, I do something incredibly risky and end up loving it again.