Editor’s Note: Continuing our Signaleer Series and this is another one done in character which as a roleplayer I really enjoy. Well, I enjoy all of them!
Orbiting above Zoohen III, I look out the view wall of one of the bars on Theology Counsel Tribunal station, wondering at the sight. It’s still all so very new. If someone were to look at me, I mean really look, they would see the boot just graduated from the Naval Academy and still not used to wearing a clone body. I self-consciously smooth out my jacket as I wait for Katia Sae. Why I volunteered for this interview I still don’t know. I guess it had more to do with meeting an explorer’s explorer than anything I might have to say about myself.
I see Katia enter from across the bar. At first I could hardly recognize her, dressed much more casual than she appears on the holovids and with her hair free from the ponytail she’s normally seen wearing. It wasn’t until she smiled and waved on seeing me that gave her away. After ordering some drinks and some polite conversation, Katia began the interview. “Why did you become a capsuleer?”
Why did I become a capsuleer? Simple answer: That was the only way to get into a position where I could explore. I don’t think I want to go too deep into all the reasons so let it suffice that I grew up in a family with two brothers and two sisters. Very early on the passions of my parents had been sown in my twin sisters and I. Oh, that’s right, you probably haven’t met my sisters. Autumn is my older sister by a few minutes and Kristine is my younger sister by a few minutes. All three of us became capsuleers about the same time. Fortunately for Signal Cartel, the corp only has to put up with me.
Katia smiled at my last remark then asked, “Tell me about your background as a pilot? Did you jump right into exploration?”
If you hand me a square of paper about two by two centimeters then I can give you my entire portfolio! Once I became a capsuleer and went through the intensive clone training, I went right into academy training and graduated. I worked with the Federal Naval Academy for seven days then found my first corporation. I lasted just four days with BSC before finding, and being accepted by, Signal Cartel. I’m proud to say that I’ve been with Signal Cartel for 181 days now and have no desire to go anywhere else. The opportunities here are boundless. The learning curve to survive deep space is immense and the crew here are ever helpful. I’ve been slowly making friends and gaining responsibilities beyond my wildest dreams.
“Do you have a goal, have you achieved it?”
Space has always been my goal. Having the freedom to explore space and its many wonders. My long term goal is to eventually find our birth place. It’s something my sisters and I share very deeply. I mean, who doesn’t want to know where they came from?! And no, we didn’t expect to find it in our first few months in space. We’re already of the mindset that this will be a lifelong endeavor.
As I’m forever reminded of by my sisters, I’m ankle deep, having dived in head first with Signal Cartel. I’m somewhat active with Search and Rescue as well as Rescue Cache Tending along with helping to get our internal Signal Cartel Academy up and running, and have joined the staff of our internal Fleet School. Some would accuse me of being spread too thin – I’m looking at you my older sis – but I say you rise up to the challenges set before you. But always first and foremost is my goal, our goal, of finally completing the family quest and that might be another story someday.
“I’ve got an older brother, I know just how you feel.” Katia chuckled. “You mentioned only being in your first corp for four days? That’s a little surprising, if I’m being honest. So tell me, what made you… jump ship, no pun intended, to Signal Cartel?”
Exploration and their Credo! Unequivocally. To quote from part of our Credo: “We embrace the attitude of a true explorer: we are friendly to others in our travels, neutral and never initiating aggression, and endeavoring at all times be perceived by the New Eden community as a non-threat. Although we never intentionally seek to harm, we may defend our friends and our ships. In suffering losses, we respond with good cheer and shed no tears. In this way, we aim to be recognized and respected by all across the cluster and left in peace to do our work.”
Having been on a few SARs to rescue lost pilots in J-Space I find the task supremely satisfying to the soul. Having stepped in to help mentor brand new capsuleers who join our ranks, I feel a sense of serving. Again, very satisfying. Stepping up to lead fleets leaves me feeling like I’m inspiring others to also step up. I have long embraced the philosophy of “All it takes for evil to conquer is enough good people to do nothing.”
“I couldn’t agree with you more, I immediately jumped ship when I read the Credo for the first time.” Katia winked at me then went on to explain her own experience, “It just resonated with my soul and it was how I always tried to fly throughout the cluster, but I had never put it into words. Seeing it in writing was liberating and I knew I had to join right away. So, speaking of flying and jumping ships, what ship do you enjoy flying the most while exploring?”
I love the Sisters of Eve ships! I can’t say that enough. I was flying a Stratios, ‘Sky Dreamer’, until it got shot out from under me. So, back to one of my Asteros, ‘Sky Seeker’, for more flying. I almost forgot how personal the Astero is, and how agile. Don’t get me wrong. I started in an Imicus and loved that little beauty. But nothing compares to the clean lines of a SoE ship.
I still fly several other ships. It takes quite a while to get to a point where you can sit in any particular ship larger than a Cruiser. In my collection I have a Badger, Omen, Harbinger, several Catalysts, a Heron, an Imicus, and a few others. I’m budgeting towards another Stratios and soon, a nice T3 Strategic Destroyer.
“Tengu best goo, I always say, but I do love my Astero. So, during your travels, what has been the most interesting fact, amazing sight, or other aspect of New Eden that has surprised you?”
Wormholes and J-Space. The corp I joined right out of the Academy cautioned strongly about going into wormholes. Until I joined Signal Cartel I had never been in one. In fact, I remember the first time I scanned down a wormhole. I warped to 100 kilometers to see it and stayed there hoping it would not suck me in. That’s when I found out from other corp members that they never go into them and they would not say anything further.
Now, I can’t wait to find a wormhole and dive into the splendor of J-Space. Yes, most of them have planetary systems. Some have nebula. Some are shattered by some long forgotten force. And all of them are worth parking for an hour or more, sitting back and just taking in the vistas.
“I love hearing that!”, Katia smiled. “I hope others find encouragement from your words. What other advice would you give to someone interested in exploring New Eden?”
It’s not about the ships. It’s not about the ISK. It certainly isn’t about the skills. It’s about the thirst to see what’s around the next bend. The drive to reset your budget with every setback. The will to keep going even when you don’t feel like you know what you’re doing. Enjoy the successes and learn from your mistakes.
“So true and thanks so much for doing this interview. One last thing, do you have a favorite image that you wouldn’t mind sharing?” Katia asked.
As far as a favorite picture? I guess I need to work on putting an album together. I did find this planet wonderful and mesmerizing, quite soothing actually to watch. Seeing storms like this from above just reminds me of the grandeur of some of the simpler things in life.
I also managed to snap this image in one of my last fleet actions in the DPS wing. We were on a mission to clean a J-Space system of those nasty Sleepers. How we ended up so close to a star was just one of the many serendipities I’ve experienced.