Editor’s Note: Taking a break from the winners of our Eve Fiction Writing Contest for another in our series of Signaleers. Enjoy!
What attracted you to EVE Online and how long have you played?
I started playing EVE many years ago (2008.07.18) when my brother had been playing already for some time. I used to go to his house where our kids would play together and he would be heavily injected into the game and I would sit by and watch. He was part of a corp called NI4NI and they were a pirate corp out of Fade or Delve (upon further review, it looks like our HQ was in Curse)… I was fresh out of the box with no clue how to do anything and played a few days till I went out to meet him and basically just shadowed him and salvaged his wrecks for content. After a while, EVE became to expensive to sub so I let it go…this was right around when Goons were rising up against BoB….we were also against BoB, but not with goons exactly….anyhow, after many years off I decided to try the free version….and here we are now….
What is your background as a pilot? Did you jump right into exploration, start in the military, hired by a corporation, or something else?
This toon started as my Jita alt for when I was involved in Pandemic Horde (after our move to Geminate), I was an explorer there and found that also after the move. While we were still in Fade (on my main) I was a salvager, made tons of isk on Serpentice salvage, but upon arrival in Geminate it became a desolate wasteland of Guristas wrecks and I needed to make isk bad… lol… so I dared venture out into the great unknown as an alpha, in an astero…lol…it went exactly as it sounds like it would… I spent a great deal of isk learning this trade….haha
I have an alt (my main) in a PVP WH corp but that doesnt suit me or my play style…so for the time being this is it for me…i enjoy exploration and am happy just going thru wormholes tending/sowing and hopefully doing some SAR work.
During your travels, what has been the most interesting fact, amazing sight, or other aspect of New Eden that has surprised you?
I think the most surprising thing about New Eden and Anoikis is that you can never tell how someone is going to treat you being there… I have had people chase me for what felt like ever and I have had people save my hide when I bit off too much in a sleeper site (dood even lost a Gnosis). I do tend to take a look at the sights but for the most part I like to scan and hack and scan and hack… that keeps me occupied most of the time.
Most interesting fact: There is Never enough time in my life to play this game the way I want to… lol
What have you learned or what advice would you give to someone interested in exploring New Eden?
Don’t go out in an Astero till you can cloak. Don’t sit still scanning if you can’t cloak. Don’t hack in Null-Sec if there are unaccounted-for pilots in system with you (unless you’re prepared for a fight)… they are most definitely waiting to pod you and take your stuff. And lastly… learn from your mistakes and be happy about it… its only a game, dont let it affect you. It took me a long time in gaming to let go of the results and just enjoy it as much as I do now… I learned that here. 🙂
Do you have a favorite image from your explorations?
My favorite image has to be the one I shot of my (new at the time) Stratios (still flying it now) in the hand of your statue (Journey of Katia Sae Memorial).
Editor’s Note: Continuing with our Eve Fiction Writing contest winners, here is our second installment.
The Atonement of Ravanna Zahelle, Solo Pirate
A short story by Signaleer Void Raven
The frozen corpse of a woman, a baseliner, rotated slowly. The face displayed no physical trauma, in stark contrast to the obvious signs of extreme violence exhibited by the rest of her body, which was a mess of twisted and contorted limbs attached to a severely battered torso. Her face, however, did convey just how terrifying the moments immediately preceding her demise had been, when she saw her imminent death with inescapable certainty, as that terror was imprinted on it in frozen perpetuity by the near absolute zero temperature of space. A closer scrutiny of her face would have revealed that she had also experienced some form of sadness leading up to her death, for there were frozen teardrops attached to her eyelashes and stuck to her skin at the ends of tear streaks that ran down her cheeks. As she rotated, they glittered and sparkled like tiny diamonds in the light of the central star.
Pulling back from her shimmering face one would have seen that she was but one of many other corpses floating among the wreckage of a ship, destroyed earlier by a powerful explosion. These corpses had not too long ago been the ill-fated crew of that ship. Embroidered on their clothing was the name “Valhalla II”. The woman was not part of the crew; the shredded remains of her clothing was different from the others. They were baseliners, and as such they were not afforded the luxury of access to fresh clones with which to simply start a new chapter of their lives as capsuleers were. No, they were permanently dead; no more than the collateral damage of conflict wrought by capsuleers. Human detritus forever lost in the vast ocean of New Eden. Mothers and fathers, wives and husbands, children and siblings that would never come home again.
Several hours earlier
Deep in low security space, Ravanna Zahelle, a solo pirate, watched impassively as her prey floundered helplessly in the unrelenting grip of her ship. Ravanna had applied a warp scrambler and webifier to it, in addition to a neutralizer on its capacitor. Her ship’s weapons were trained on it, and a flight of her combat drones were swarming around, both groups of deadly weaponry ready for her command. The freighter was not going anywhere. It was hers to do with as she pleased. What a gloriously heady rush it was to have such absolute control over others. It was like a drug and she was addicted to it. But like all drugs it came with side effects, the most prevalent of which was that Ravanna hated herself for not being able to feel the slightest remorse for the ruin that followed in the wake of her attacks; the psychological trauma and scars and financial destitution that her victims had to cope with if they paid the ransom and were subsequently released; or the death and destruction, coldly delivered, when no ransom payment was forthcoming.
She lived by what to her was a simple rule of the universe.“The strong prey on the weak. Big galaxies eat the little ones. I take from those weaker than myself. It’s a simple rule to live by…no, the only rule to survive by, in New Eden.” she mused. By the Sisters of Eve, she despised New Eden and her place in it.
“I’m so fucking messed up.” thought Ravanna. “Just another wretched, flawed soul adding to the abundant misery in this grim, harsh universe. How the hell did I get to this point?” she asked herself, rhetorically.
The internal conflict always kept her company, sometimes buried deeper down and easier to ignore, while at other times, like now, it was closer to the surface and more demanding of reflection and resolution. Morality…could morality exist in an ostensibly uncaring, indifferent universe? If the whole; if the sum of the parts, was uncaring could any of the constituent parts, like herself, be caring? By the Sisters, her head hurt. She was a damn pirate, not a philosopher. She would never find an answer to her inner turmoil; after years and years of trying, she was no closer to a resolution. Her addiction, the thrill from doing what she did best had, up to now at least, always won out over the self-loathing that came from seeking it.
“What would happen if one day the reverse was ever true?” she wondered absent-mindedly.
Ravanna’s thoughts returned to the task at hand. She waited for the trapped pilot’s response to her demand for ransom; somewhat patiently at first, but quickly less so. Every additional minute she delayed, increased her own personal risk in the endeavor. The victim could be requesting backup assistance. Stronger pirates could attack her. A bounty hunter could surprise her. Her main concern was not dying, since she was a capsuleer, but rather losing her ship, since every ship lost was an increase in the direct cost of her “business”. Plus, there was the cost in lost time to obtain a replacement ship. Clear, cold calculation…she liked that.
Ravanna opened the communications channel to her victim again. “Valhalla II, what is your decision? My demand is not negotiable. If you do not transfer the requested funds immediately, I will destroy your ship and take whatever remains of value.”
“Please! Please! Don’t do this!” came the response from the freighter captain. “I don’t have that amount of money; all my funds are tied up in the collateral for this courier contract. If you were to release me, once I get paid, I’ll transfer the ransom you asked for. You have my word.”
“Yup.” thought Ravanna. “That’s exactly what you’ll do. In a few hours when you reach your destination, you’ll just happily pay me. No, you’ll file a piracy report, my security standing will decrease further and I’ll be even more ‘Wanted’.”
The captain continued, “I truly cannot pay you right now. I also have a family onboard that will pay me for passage at the destination, so I will pay you more than you ask. They have a baby daughter. You don’t have to do this. It is a choice you make. Please release me so I can continue and you can get your money.”
Ravanna felt her ire increase. Always the same stupid excuse: “I don’t have the money.” Or attempts to play on her feelings of guilt: “You can choose to let me go instead of destroying me. Please won’t you make the right choice this time?” The one about the family onboard, with a baby no less; that was new. She had never heard that one used before. Of course, it was a blatant lie, just like the lack of money. Families with new-born children never travelled across lowsec in a freighter. Never.
Appeals for her to make the “right” choice were dead on arrival. Yes, it was her choice to decide what to do. But what her victims never realized, until it was too late, was that she always chose to follow through with her threat to destroy their ship and loot whatever she could if she didn’t receive the ransom. For the love of the Sisters, she was a hardened pirate and she accepted ransom or dealt destruction without prejudice. Her life was very binary in that regard. She always honored a ransom payment and released the victim; but in return for that concession to the universe, she also honored the consequence of no payment.
“No negotiations. The only thing, the only thing that will help you in your current situation is payment of the money. Oh…and don’t give me some ridiculous crap about having a family onboard. Just give me the money and you can leave, or prepare to lose your damn ship, OK?.” Ravanna replied, her voice even in tone and volume, yet nonetheless threatening. “There will be no further communication from me. You have one minute.” she warned ominously.
“No! Wait, please. I’m not ly…” The victim was cut-off mid-sentence as Ravanna closed the comms channel. A minute or so later, she viewed her account one more time to verify whether the ransom had been transferred to her. It had not.
“So. It has come down to this again.” she thought blankly.
It had been a while since she had been required to destroy a ship; it almost felt like she had been on vacation. The real world was suddenly back. She became aware of a growing headache. They always came before she dispensed her wrath. Why did some people think they could outplay her? Why did they force her hand? No matter…the time had come.
“I’ve been here before; I’ll be here again.” she thought without emotion and followed with “This is on you.” as she looked at the Valhalla II and thought of the captain, and also as justification to herself. Without a qualm, she gave her drones the command to attack and her guns opened fire.
A short time later, after the final explosion died down, all that remained was a field of wreckage. With the clinical efficiency gained from years of cold-hearted experience, Ravanna quickly recalled her combat drones, launched salvage drones and began looting operations. While sifting through the remains of the freighter, the ship’s sensors picked up an SOS signal from a small emergency crew escape pod floating away from the scene. In all her time, she had never before found an intact escape pod among the wreckage.
“Well now.” thought Ravanna. “An emergency escape pod. Let’s see who might be inside; could be it’s the captain.”
She would welcome him aboard her ship and then let him know that she was holding him ransom. Again. But this time she would be delivering the message in person; a new experience for her. Exhilaration suddenly came on strong.
She activated a tractor beam that pulled the crew escape pod into one of the loading bays on her ship. Once it was inside, and the looting operations had been completed, she set a course for a safe location in the system to have a little conversation with her victim. At the safe, Ravanna exited her capsuleer pod and made her way to the loading bay. Upon arriving there, she cautiously approached the escape pod with her handgun drawn. She needed to be cautious. She was a capsuleer, yes, but she was only “immortal” when she was in a capsuleer pod or otherwise connected to the technology that enabled clone retransplantation. While on her ship, but outside her capsuleer pod, she felt naked because she was then as vulnerable to permanent death as any common baseliner. If a person inside the escape pod was to fire a killing shot at her she would die once and for all. She often hated herself, but that didn’t necessarily translate into a deathwish. She pressed the button to open the hatch, standing well-off to one side, gun pointing steadily at the opening.
The sound of a crying baby came from inside the pod. Peering in through the opening, she saw a baby girl about six months old cradled in the arms of a dead man, whom Ravanna presumed was the father. He had succumbed to his injuries from the attack after making it into the escape pod with his daughter. The captain of the Vahalla II had told the truth.
The foundation of Ravanna’s existence swayed and rocked. There was no one else in the pod, which most likely meant the child’s mother had perished aboard the freighter. Despite her rigid callousness, Ravanna couldn’t suppress the thoughts that suddenly flooded her mind about the terrifying chaos that must have erupted around this family when her drones and weapons started firing upon it. Thoughts that generated visions that evolved in painstaking slow-motion. She imagined the husband yelling at his wife to grab their baby, while he searched for and led the way to an escape pod. She thought about the mother frantically racing through flaming sections of the ship behind her husband, clutching her baby, lungs choking and eyes burning in the acrid smoke-filled corridors and ears ringing from the weapon and drone blasts raining down onto the ship, desperately hoping against all hope to get to the escape pod before it was too late. She saw the two parents acquire injuries along the way as the unrelenting impact of the drone and weapon strikes caused pieces of the disintegrating ship to batter and tear into them, yet somehow avoiding the baby. She envisaged the mother finally collapsing somewhere, her injuries too severe for her to continue any further, screaming out to her husband to turn around and take the child. There would have been little time for “Goodbye” or “I love you” between them, if any at all. She saw the mother crying in anguish as she watched her husband and daughter continue on towards the pod as she was left behind, never to know if they made it and never to see them again. She saw the father dying in the escape pod with his little baby in his arms. She shuddered involuntarily; nausea rising from the pit of her stomach, as her last vision, that of the mother’s corpse, her tears frozen on her face and sparkling like gems in the light of the distant star, slowly rotating and drifting off into space, faded to nothingness. She had murdered the parents of this baby. Ravanna’s self-loathing spiked to a new high. Normally, the human devastation she caused was kilometers away; beyond her sight; at a dispassionate distance where she could simply and easily ignore it. But this; this was right in front of her. For the first time ever, Ravanna had come face-to-face with the direct consequences of her chosen way of life.
“Who the fuck travels through lowsec in a freighter with a fucking baby onboard?” she screamed at the dead man, still not fully capable of accepting that this was actually all her doing, and searching for a way out of the hell that she suddenly found herself in.
Her headache flared in intensity and pounded inside her head like a large kinetic round impacting thick armor plate. For a few seconds all she saw was a searing white light. The outburst frightened the baby and intensified its crying. What to do now? Her first thought was to quickly eject the pod with father and baby back into space and move on as if nothing had happened. Yes, she could do that. Ravanna started to close the pod, but, for some reason, looked more closely at the baby. Instinctively, and against her heartless nature, Ravanna smiled at the baby, which was apparently enough of an interaction to cause her to abruptly stop crying and smile back. Taken by surprise and unsure how to react to that, Ravanna took a step back, and sat down on the floor of the loading bay in front of the pod, heart racing and breathing quickly. She massaged her temples. The baby was now gurgling and babbling, soothing sounds that Ravanna yielded to and that allowed her to think deeply. Some time later, she stood back up. She had finally arrived at a resolution to her internal conflict. She knew what she was going to do now. She wasn’t going to abandon the baby in space. Ravanna approached the pod, reached in and quickly searched through the father’s clothing, finding identity cards that she pocketed and then picked up the baby.
“We’re going back to the station. Take this child and find a suitable spot to stow her safely for the trip back. Disable the SOS signal on the pod and then jettison it back into space before we leave.” she barked to her crew. Ravanna closed the pod with a swift, firm kick to the hatch, turned around and left the loading bay, heading back to her capsuleer pod. She bookmarked the location where the escape pod had been jettisoned and then set a course for the station.
The following day
Early the next morning, well before the station became busy, Ravanna took the child to the local Sisters of Eve office. She placed the baby, together with an envelope addressed to the Sisters of Eve containing the identity cards and a brief handwritten letter, on the top step in front of the main door.
She looked at the girl and, calmly and softly, said “These are the Sisters of Eve. They will know what to do. They will make sure that you will be well cared for. It’s the best I can do now. It’s all I can do now.” Ravanna cupped her right hand around the left side of the girl’s face, stroked her chest lightly with the fingers of her other hand, looked her in the eyes and mouthed “I’m so sorry.” She had never before said those words to anyone. A single teardrop splashed off the girl’s cheek.
With that Ravanna left the baby on the steps and headed back to the docking bay, but not before making a detour to the clone bay to check on her medical clone. She was there a little longer than one might have expected of someone who was just confirming that everything was functioning correctly, but soon enough she was at the docking bay. Ravanna undocked alone in her pod, and headed to the location she had bookmarked the day before. She felt at ease as she calmly activated the pod’s self-destruct sequence and then waited. Back in the station, after the pod’s destruction, her medical clone remained quite still, displaying no signs of life. It had been disconnected from the life support and consciousness transfer systems.
Editor’s Note: In true Signaleer fashion of being the content you wish to see, Quinn Valerii hosted an Eve Fiction Writing contest for the corp and I was honored to be asked to be one of the judges for it which also included Thrice Hapus and of course Quinn as well. This week and next week I’ll be posting up our top five winners. Personally I really enjoyed the contest, we’ve certainly got some talent in the corp and hope to see more in the future. Please enjoy our first installment.
A short story by Signaleer Shiro Karagi
The following is based on a true story.
The frigate Persimmon had seen better days. Its hull pockmarked with shrapnel and covered in scorch marks from countless glancing laser shots, the Imicus-class craft slowly banked around the asteroid, the Pilot keenly aware that his pursuer was still out there. Trying to fight his way out of the system was a fool’s errand – the reavers who hunted him were patient and cunning, harrying him through the cluster for the better part of a week before cornering him in a dead-end system. With no other way out, he could be certain they’d be waiting for him at the system’s sole warp gate while the rest of their gang carried out a methodical search of the various asteroid belts and derelict military staging posts he’d flown through in a desperate attempt to lose them.
Persimmon drifted between the rocks in silence, the light from the nearby star glinting slightly off her dull green paint. The Pilot drew his ship to an abrupt halt – from the other end of the asteroid belt, his pursuer emerged. The Sabre-class destroyer lurched into view, unfettered by a need to hide from it’s prey. Scarring from Persimmon’s few lucky reciprocal shots was evident along the pirate vessel’s left flank, with smoke billowing from one of the more serious injuries towards the rear of the craft. The destroyer bore the callsign Barbarous Bitch – it had been painted with stripes of metallic gold and the darkest black, and was festooned with imagery depicting every manner of gruesome atrocity known to man. The Bitch moved apace between the asteroids like an Amarrian slaver hound honing in on the scent of some poor, helpless wretch.
The Pilot’s saving grace was the electromagnetic anomaly both he and his pursuers had warped through to get here. With their onboard directional scanners disrupted by the sudden surge of power, and CONCORD’s failure to maintain local communication networks in the region, both predator and prey were forced to rely on their sight alone to locate each other. With great care, the Pilot guided Persimmon around the rear of a large asteroid mere moments before the Bitch came into view. The reaver suddenly opened fire on a nearby asteroid, obliterating it in an instant.
Shards of debris bounced off Persimmon’s hull, yet she remained still. The Pilot knew he couldn’t fight his way out of this one, and the only chance he had was to remain invisible and hope his pursuers grew tired of the chase. The Bitch stalked menacingly past the Pilot’s shelter, occasionally unloading its gatling cannons on any asteroid large enough to potentially shelter its target. The Pilot breathed a sigh of relief as the smoke billowing from the reaver ship faded into the distant recesses of the asteroid belt. Suddenly, the Pilot’s directional scan flickered. He glanced at it apprehensively – it was only a matter of time before the Persimmon’s systems recovered from the electromagnetic disruption, and the reavers’ ships’ systems wouldn’t be far behind. Staying put had kept him alive this long, but it wouldn’t last. He had to find a way out. The Pilot cautiously guided Persimmon out from behind their shelter at a glacial pace. His pursuers were experienced cutthroats, accustomed to operating in all manner of conditions. A temporary loss of directional scanning equipment wouldn’t deter them, nor would it render him invisible from keen eyes.
The scanner suddenly flickered to life, and the Pilot’s stomach sank as he glanced at it. Almost two score hostile craft had spread throughout the system, twice as many as had chased him in, with a small band blockading the warp gate and preventing any escape. The Pilot had to think quickly. Launching scanner probes was risky, but he had no other option. He activated the launcher, dispatching his remaining eight probes. Working quickly, the Pilot maneuvered the probes’ scan across the system, desperately trying to find a wormhole, while behind him a thick pillar of black smoke crested the asteroid belt and began moving towards the Persimmon. The Pilot pored over the scan data. If he could find a wormhole – and if his pursuers hadn’t found it already – he’d have a slim chance of escaping with his life. After a few stressful minutes, the Pilot grinned wearily as his probes finally honed in on one, located at the farthest edge of the system. If he weren’t encased in a capsule filled with goo, he might’ve jumped for joy.
It took 8.34 standard seconds for the Persimmon to align to the wormhole in preparation to warp, but it only took 7.69 standard seconds for the Barbarous Bitch’s autocannons to roar to life, ripping a hole in the side of the frail craft. Slammed hard against the side of his capsule by the force of the impact, the Pilot frantically attempted to return fire, but to no avail. The Bitch was too far out, and a futile salvo from the Persimmon’s aft railguns sailed listlessly over the reaver’s ship. The Pilot panicked as the Bitch’s cannons tore into his ship again like a ravenous beast. As the Persimmon entered its final moments, he hastily executed the emergency protocol programmed into the ship’s communications, and the information his pursuers sought was erased from existence.
His capsule bursting forth from the wreckage, the Pilot quickly aligned with the wormhole’s location and engaged the warp drive. The Bitch locked onto him in seconds, but to no avail – he was already gone.
The Pilot cursed himself as he hurtled through space towards his only chance of survival. The encrypted communications data he erased were worth billions to the right people, a fact the reavers chasing him knew all too well. His capsule slowed as it neared the wormhole, before leaving warp drive and slowing to a halt. He was mercifully alone here, with only the cold expanse of space to keep him company, his pursuers nowhere in sight. Before him lay the wormhole – a horrific, gaping maw into the unknown, an uncharted, unexplored anomaly that scoffed at the laws of time and space. The Pilot took a deep breath as he moved towards it. It was now or never, a slim chance of escape or certain death in the cold reaches of a forgotten, dead-end system. This wormhole was uncharted, and he had no idea where it led, but it surely couldn’t be any worse than here.
The Pilot entered the wormhole from which he would never return.
In the backwater system, the Barbarous Bitch warped into range of the wormhole, her bearings creaking and shuddering as she left the warp. In her wake flew a fleet of two dozen fellow miscreants, outcasts and other assorted vermin. Her pilot stared unblinking at the yawning maw in front of her viewscreen. A few seconds passed in silence as the reprobate armada waited eagerly on their leader to make the call.
The Bitch and her hangers-on fired up their afterburners and marched onwards through the gaping tear in space that lay in front of them. They’d lost their prize, but they’d have the Pilot. They’d make sure of that, even if it cost them everything.
They too, entered the wormhole, oblivious to what they’d find there. They too, would never return.
Editor’s Note:Following is our Corp State of the Signal, usually an internal status report written up by our CEO. This time around Thrice Hapus thought posting it publicly could provide some insight to those interested in Signal Cartel and what we do. So, please enjoy Thrice’s inaugural edition as our new CEO of the State of the Signal.
Since assuming the CEO role in late April, I have spent some time getting familiar with my new duties and becoming more acclimated to the role. It turns out that the CEO chair is the perfect spot from which to look into all the things going on in our very busy corporation. In my inaugural State of the Signal newsletter, what better way to do this than by highlighting our corporate divisions and a few key services in the words of those divisional leaders themselves?
At 500 members strong and with a very high level of engagement, it is nearly impossible to keep up with everything going on in Signal Cartel, and no one person would be able to effectively manage all of it. While I am involved in Credo issues and the management of the corp as a whole, it is the individuals reporting below who do the actual heavy lifting day after day, keeping our corp programs and services running for all of us to enjoy and by which we are able to fulfill our core mandate as a service corp to New Eden.
After more than three years in Signal Cartel, I can honestly say that there is still no other group in New Eden I would rather belong to. It is men and women like our division heads who demonstrate what it means to be a Signaleer: They are dedicated, consistent, passionate about their areas of expertise, always willing to share info and help our newer members — and they do it all with kindness, friendliness, and little expectation of acclaim. It is my hope that this, our 13th State of the Signal, will shine a light on all of their hard work over the last six months or so, and encourage each of our members to step out boldly and, in Mynxee’s well-known phrase, “be the content they wish to see in New Eden and in Signal Cartel!”
Manager: John Young
For those who missed our re-launch in May: Anoikis Division is back! Now operating independently out of a C3 wormhole, Anoikis Division is the perfect place to get your feet wet in the basics of wormhole living. But more than the wormhole itself, AD takes immense pride in the amazing group of pilots counted among our ranks. With boundless initiative, AD pilots such as Nemo Amarodan and Xxasha have expertly developed a standardized bookmarking procedure to keep track of sigs, and enormous material generosity by HeavyDealer has even allowed us to begin industry in the wormhole! I’d also be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the stellar behind-the-scenes work done by Tamayo and Angel Lafisques, who, among others, have kept the gears turning smoothly on this fledgling division when I was unable to do so myself. Things are only looking up! So come join the team, and partake in this exciting adventure in wormhole space alongside your fellow corpmates!
Engineering and BuyBack
Managers: A Dead Parrot & Sky Diamond
In early February, Engineering started to work on a new Member Management Application (MMA), which aimed for a streamlined process for recruiters and leadership to handle the daily work of processing pending applications to join the corp and managing current member statuses. Right from the beginning, Auds Lennelluc joined the endeavor and took the responsibility for the UI, while Sky Diamond wrote the code.
While the new application process was being reimplemented, the idea popped up to replace the old and outdated map showing the locations where our Signal Cartel members are currently living. However, the team lacked the skills to map the locations to a world map. After asking around in #developers, HIromoto San quickly stepped up and started working on the world map, which after a few iterations led to the final new map.
On April 28th, MMA went live. Since then, our recruitment team has a pretty streamlined tool at hand to get the daily applications processed quickly.
The corp buyback program, which is operated by the service corporation [redacted], started business on January 1st this year and is operated by Auds Lennelluc, Chaim Achasse, and Sky Diamond.
In case you have not heard of it yet, the service is provided at [redacted] and buys any of your loot or other stuff you want to get rid of in all the official Signal Cartel offices.
So far, the service has handled roughly 700 contracts from 150 different pilots. We have pushed more than 150 public courier contracts to our hauler mailing list, which amounted to around 150b ISK passing through our books so far this year.
Around the beginning of this year Thrice handed the keys to the EvE-Scout Rescue Division over to me. When I was offered the position a big reason I decided to accept was the strength the ESR team of Coordinators and 911 Operators. A strong team means light work for the director, and the ESR team has amply proved this. Mostly I get the fun of doing the paperwork and handing out ISK, while the operators and coordinators handle the rescuing.
One of the first things I needlessly worried about was topping up the ESR Fund that is used to payout our cachers, dispatchers, and rescuers every week. Early in the year we ran a fund drive with the aim to collect 50b ISK in donations. I expected this could take a few weeks but we blew past the goal in two days with the bulk of the funding coming from our own members. It was very humbling for me to realize how much support the program has.
There have been a few changes in the coordinator group in the last six months, with the current team now consisting of Triffton Ambraelle, Angel Lafisques, Captain Crinkle, Chaim Achasse, Xalyar, and our newest Coordinators: Sydney Selket and Dagmar Maulerant. They handle our rescues expertly. When Allison lets you know you’ve found a SAR system, you can expect one of them to be helping you out within minutes. This year we’ve had 105 successful SAR rescues, including everything from pods to carriers! There are a number of great AARs in the forums and on our blog to check out.
Our 911 Operators are our front line, responding to rescue requests and guiding pilots to safety. We currently have 28 active 911 Operators working hard for New Eden. They and the coordinators have helped 108 pilots access rescue caches since January 1st this year. In that time Xalyar and I have run seven 911 training sessions with over 40 attendees.
Since we started tracking we have completed 733 rescues. 43% of those are within 24 hours, and our average wait time is four days.
Many thanks to the 281 pilots who sowed and tended caches this year! In total you have sowed/tended 25,598 times! Your hard work has kept our cache count around or over 2000 for much of the year so far. That is amazing considering this time last year we had dropped down to 1500 caches. This is in no small part to the participants of CrinkleQuest, our June caching event. Expect a similar event in the Fall. Keeping the caches tended is a huge part of our rescue success: caches are more than half our rescues, and the caches that are accessed have often been kept alive by many tends.
I’d also like to mention a few of our cachers who have gone above and beyond. Auds Lennelluc, Aldar Roanaok, Bliss Dwellerya, Pod Person, Tekufah, and Palis Airuta became UltraCachers, sowing and tending over 1000 caches each. Tamayo and Mako Koskanaiken both achieved HeroicCacher status, breaking 3000 caches! Captain Crinkle became our first InsaneCacher, surpassing 5000 caches sowed or tended!!
On the Search and Rescue side, Sydney Selket completed more than 10 rescues to earn her Silver Lifesaver medal, while Chaim Achasse and Captain Crinkle became Gold Lifesavers with over 50 rescues apiece!
Lastly, I’d like to thank A Dead Parrot and Allison. They are the linchpin to this division. Allison’s continued growth is incredibly important to the success of ESR!
It’s been a busy and rewarding first seven months on the job for me. Thanks to everyone who contributes to this program and its continued success.
Recruiters and 1420.Expeditionary
Our Recruiters continue to do an excellent and important job. Bob N Weave recently joined the Recruitment team, which adds Recruiter coverage to a time zone that needed it. A well-deserved shout-out to Sky Diamond and Auds Lennelluc for their wizardly work on MMA (more detail in Engineering section above). MMA automates formerly tedious tasks and has made life for leadership and the recruitment team a whole lot easier!
We appreciate all of you who respond to questions posted by prospective members in our public channel or elsewhere. To be sure that interested folks are getting accurate, up-to-date info, please always link them to our Joining FAQ. Current members who have questions about bringing their alts into Signal Cartel should review our Corp Policies document. Both the Joining FAQ and Corp Policies docs are linked in the DII.
The 1420.Expeditionary Division (as linked in the DII) is a relatively inactive division under which TripTik development is managed and I conduct my own in-space field research into exploration matters (such as how long before a relic/data site despawns when cherry-picked).
I would like to see our TripTik library grow and enjoy more regular use by individual pilots and sightseeing fleets. There is a lot of interesting and esoteric stuff to see in New Eden, especially when you start digging into the lore. TripTiks are a great way to learn more about the lore and make lore information accessible in small bites, both for our own members and every other pilot as well. For more info on how to contribute to or use the TripTik library, please review the post linked above. Even the newest of pilots can research and develop a TripTik, and you can earn medals for contributing quality work!
Signal Cartel Fleet School
Manager: Andrew Chikatilo
Thanks to Théana Gaterau for a great first year of the Fleet School. She has started something great here in Signal Cartel. To date, 185 unique pilots have participated in SCFS Fleets. It is her sincere hope that number continues to grow as the Division moves into its next phase under Andrew’s leadership.
Manager: Scarsan Stripes
Splunkworks is a division that strives to teach fitting skills, rather than simply hand out fittings. The team currently consists of four players: Scarsan Stripes, Snyypa Voltron, Fonsui, and Aliza Kootz. We tend to spend most of our efforts developing and honing Fleet concepts for SCFS. We also monitor the Splunkworks category of the forums and try to help anyone who posts there. On top of that, we are charged with maintaining the Corporate fittings and staying on top of the ever changing minds of CCP with regards to ship layouts. The main tool we use for this is called Pyfa. If you are not familiar with Pyfa, you should be!
Manager: Katia Sae
You may or may not be aware that our Observatory is a bit on the blink. There a couple of reasons for that. Last year, Flickr placed a limitation of 1,000 Free Photo Storage, followed by a move away from the Yahoo login to a new login system. The storage limitation was a nuisance, but the login change caused us some issues and we lost access. Since that time, we’ve been looking into hosting our own Observatory, but of course that takes funds, so we’re still looking at those options. For now, you can still enjoy the photos that had been submitted to Flickr as well as submit and enjoy photos in our Discord channel EvE-Scout Enclave #eve-observatory.
Signal Cartel Group Blog
I’m thrilled with the response to our Signal Cartel Group Blog relaunch. Since May of this year, we’ve had a total of 3 poems, 5 short stories, 2 rescue reports, and launched a new series highlighting 3 of our fellow Signaleers with more to come! Be sure to check them out.
Also, if you’ve ever thought you’d like to try blogging or enjoy writing and wanted to post your work publicly, then be sure to check on our forums on how to get started and submit your work. If you’d like to participate in our Signaleers series then check out our forums as well.
It’s my hope to be able to continue to post a new entry weekly or at least twice a month, so please, I’d love to hear from you!
Who are our Quartermasters (QMs)? Well, they’re the ones working quietly behind the scenes making sure supplies you may need are on hand in our offices. They are posted by location:
Gelhan: Auds Lennelluc & Orsel Solette
Saisio: Asa Kansene & Katia Sae
Zoohen: Zooey Lebowski
Since we are The Exploration corp, we try to keep stocked those ships and items that support that endeavor, such as free T1 starter exploration frigates, skill books, ESRC supplies, fireworks, and more. We do our best to keep the stocks up but if you see something that’s not on-hand, please let your local QMs know.
Also, we’re hopeful that our Engineering Division will be looking into the development of some tools that will help us manage our stations, so I only see things improving in the future to keep your exploration needs stocked.
Editor’s Note: This week in our continuing series, Theana Gaterau joins us with a freeform response to our curious questions. For those that don’t know Theana Gaterau, please let me just take a moment and introduce her. One of Signal Cartel’s foundational stones is be the content you wish to see. Theana took that to heart when founding and building our Signal Cartel Fleet School. (Yes, Signal Cartel runs fleets that partake in the PVE content that EVE has to offer 😊 ) Because of her hard work and dedication leading and FCing weekly fleets, mentoring up and coming FC’s, building a great Admin team, Signal Cartel can proudly say we have a full-fledged PVE fleet division that our members can participate in. To date that’s been 185 unique pilots participating in SCFS Fleets. Thanks Theana!
Refresher of the questions that inspired her response.
What attracted you to EVE Online and how long have you played? What is your background as a pilot? What attracted you to explore New Eden? What is your goal and have you achieved it? What is the name of your favorite ship that you enjoy flying the most while exploring? What have you learned or what advice would you give to someone interested in exploring New Eden?
Theana Gaterau, “The Hyena”, SCFS Founder
I started playing Eve on January 1, 2018. I joined Signal Cartel almost immediately and became a Signaleer on January 9, 2018. As a brand new pilot in a very big universe, I wanted to learn about the cluster and exploration seemed like a good way to do that. Participating in the ESR program by tending rescue caches was something I could do right away and I set out into Anoikis to tend and sow rescue caches. In recent months my interests have turned to PvE. I’m still out in wormholes a good bit of the time, but I spend more time now eradicating The Sleeper Menace than I do tending rescue caches.
My first “goal” in Eve was to move up from my starter Imicus into Captain Crinkle’s Helios fit. It was a major accomplishment for me when I could fly that fit comfortably!
I wanted to get involved in some group activities and trained into a Coercer for VulfPup fleets. I flew my first fleet on February 9, 2018 and even though I ended up losing my ship, I knew that fleet PvE was what I wanted to do.
There weren’t very many fleet opportunities in Signal Cartel at the time, so I decided I would create the content I wanted to see. I remapped for Charisma and started training the fleet support skills I would need to effectively FC. After a lot of training I am now able to use the Armored Command Mindlink. My bursts are strong!
One of the best moments I’ve had in-game was the day I undocked the Vex’ahlia, gifted to me by Quinn Valerii. I lost that hull in The Killings at Kurnianen but I rebuilt. To this day I fly a modified version of that fit, now named SCFS No Touchie, every time I lead an Armor Fleet in combat.
Learning to FC wasn’t an easy path initially, and still isn’t. I learn something new every time I take out a fleet. Sometimes it’s something I should have done but didn’t, and sometimes it’s something I did that I shouldn’t have done. Mistakes are going to happen – the goal is to learn from those mistakes and get better.
The best advice I can give, based on my limited experience, is EVERYTHING is ammo. Ammo is ammo, hulls are ammo, and pods are ammo. Give a good fight and Die With Glory!