Check grid… Stratios at 0km


The proximity alarm was demanding attention (“blaring in my ears” might have been the expression but seriously, Cluster Standard is inadequate to describe pod-mediated and implant-enhanced “senses”) and I was frantically scanning the overview for a celestial to warp to. Planet… IV, 15au GO GO GO GO

It was only as I started to enter warp that I realized that the GhostSight had never been targeted… the adrenaline started to wane as I figured the big SoE cruiser must have been entering the hole from the other direction as I landed in his system. Wish I’d caught his identity, I could ping him and say hi. Perhaps we’d meet again.

I safed up, cloaked, and let my thoughts drift with the stellar winds.

GhostSight isn’t equipped with weapons. Partly because it’s a Covert Operations frigate and we are all about NOT being noticed. But much more because the corp - Signal Cartel - maintains a stubborn neutrality amidst the swirling conflicts in New Eden. It’s written into our Credo and enforced by leadership fanatically. Why? Because in addition to being explorers, we are many of us also an ad-hoc “rescue” crew for lost and/or crippled capsuleer vessels.

There’s something about be a near-immortal capsuleer… like someone opened a candy or toy store for a kid and said “anything you want”. Self-control and consideration are cast aside quickly. Compared to life pre-Pod, we have comparatively unlimited wealth and a god-like ability to walk away from any violent conflict. For the majority of us, it means we can indulge our basest instincts and appetites with almost no consequence. Most of us do.

I had gone through that phase myself - for several years I lost myself in low security space, fighting any pilot I came across, eventually finding an identity in membership in one of the more notorious pirate “corporations”. Hevrice, Ishomilken, Ouelletta… I left many wrecks across these systems, often my own. I didn’t care that I was “space-poor” (meaning I couldn’t afford a few terrestrial nations worth of resources), I just wanted to feel the rush. It’s hard for someone who can buy most anything they want, and live for some definition of forever, to find something that still gives a thrill. But combat still triggers ancient fight-or-flight genes, and “the shakes” always delivered.

Until they didn’t. In spite of the years since being “reborn” a capsuleer, I was still a product of my Intaki parents upbringing in the culture. That heritage, the blueprint of my life, flowed cool and deep beneath the chaos of my early years as a capsule pilot.