Behind the Great Hunt Part 2

With A Little Help From My Friends – The Beatles

Thrice Hapus

Seeing where this was going, Mynxee got me in touch with Thrice Hapus, our COO, and he asked if I was interested in turning my event into a story/roleplay event. As someone who used to love to RP, I immediately said yes, Thrice reached out to our OPSEC division (Operation and Planning of Special Events for the Corporation), and they agreed to make that happen. Our OPSEC division is a group of Signaleers that only leadership knows who they are behind the scenes. They’re our story crafters, a group of talented writers and corp event coordinators, who were also the ones that worked with Sky Diamond on her event. Sky’s event became the kickoff of our in corp storyline that’s been running for over a year now titled “Vacant Spectrum”. Let me just say this now, I shot high, but was astounded when OPSEC lifted me up, and together we shot higher. OPSEC, you rock! Not only did they meet my original goals, they added a couple of more, and they were huge additions: Allison, storyline, and remaining anonymous.

“He takes his drinking very seriously. Not to worry; he’ll be his usual charming self by morning.” – Aramis, The Three Musketeers (1993)

AD Parrot

Each addition in its own right was huge. AD Parrot, as Allison’s creator, was included in the event team as he incorporated some added functionality to help us track the Great Hunt. I can’t say enough about Parrot, he’s awesome and a pleasure to work with and what an amazing talent. Allison is amazing bit of code that really comes to life as a pilot assist AI. She has a lot of functionality to help our Signaleers as they travel around New Eden as well as providing guidance with our EvE Scout Rescue Cache program (ESRC), and our Search and Rescue operations (SAR) by alerting the SAR team when a system has been located. It was the SAR aspect of Allison that was tweaked for the Great Hunt by adding capabilities to alert my team (my mates and I which I’ll talk about soon) when systems I needed were found.

“Only the wrong words are a complete waste of time. The right words can leave a more lasting impression than a thousand of Porthos’ kisses.” – Aramis, The Three Musketeers (1993)

Holiday Greetings from OPSEC

Next, the OPSEC team wrote the event as a chapter in the “Vacant Spectrum”, Chapter 5: The Great Hunt. The story provided the cover I needed for the last part which I didn’t think was possible, keeping me anonymous and behind the scenes during the event. Up to that point I had not suffered a ship loss and the OPSEC team wanted to keep it that way. Just as I had when I set out 9 years ago, I accepted the fact I would lose ships along the way, so I figured here at the end game, when everyone would know this event was to help me finish my journey, I would suffer my first loss for sure. We know there are corp spies, that as soon as someone figured out what was really going on, it would get out, an ambush would be setup, and I’d get popped. During the planning process, working with the OPSEC team, I was simply amazed at the talent at hand, as we figured out how to pull this off, keeping me in the shadows, writing the chapter that explained why, and fit perfectly in the overall story arch.

“A lively tune… I’m inspired to dance!” – Porthos, The Three Musketeers (1993)

The Three Musketeers (1993)

There was one last piece that I needed to nail down and that was expanding the event team to include several Explorer Mates. I wanted three Signaleers to help me during the end game with locating and securing systems as our fellow scouts found them. My Mates would be the ones to take the risk for me, by scouting me into systems as needed, sitting in systems to hold them until I could get there, and help keep the corp motivated during the hunt as well. They would, of course, know the event was to help me complete my journey. Risky, I know, the team was already more than a few and it only increased the odds that word would get out as to what was really going on. Since OPSEC worked out keeping me in the shadows with the event storyline, I had to find these mates behind the scenes, so I went through a process of selecting them based on many factors including things like, tenure in corp, activity in corp, exemplified the credo, forum participation, etc. Starting with the entire corp roster, I cut the list down to my top ten and presented them to leadership and the OPSEC team. Based on their recommendations I choose, Captain Crinkle, Igaze, and Tamayo.

Tamayo
Igaze
Captain Crinkle

Let me tell you, my mates were my lifeblood. Some of my fears were, the real story of the event would get out, my mates would become bored, etc, but my fears were unfounded. We had a blast, they kept me motivated, and we made a great team. I couldn’t have asked for better mates, they often went above and beyond my expectations. We had a great time and it’s an experience that I’ll always remember. Can’t say enough about them. Each one brought their own unique approach to the end game. Igaze and I were joking around one day in our Discord channel, calling ourselves the Muskteteers. Igaze quickly pointed out he was Porthos, I gathered because he was most like that character, so I figured that made me Athos as the unofficial leader of the group. So, Crinkle and Tamayo, you’ll have to figure out who’s Aramis and D’Artagnan. 😉

The plans made, it was now – show time.

The Journey of Katia Sae by Mynxee

BONUS: If you’re still reading, here is an excerpt from document I sent to my Explorer Mates filling them in on their role.

5.10.yc120 Zoohen III – Theology Council Tribunal Station, Signal Cartel Executive Briefing Room

Running late, she entered the briefing room to find Igaze, Tamayo, and Crinkle seated around the small, but rather ornate conference room table. There was room to seat six with two on each side and one at each end. The ends were open, obviously for whomever was leading the meeting, so she took the only remaining side seat. She glanced around at her fellow scouts, her posture one of pride to be among them, her face revealed a hint of a smile, her eyes bright and warm, revealing her explorer’s heart.

It had been years since she had spent any amount of significant time in known space, let alone docked in a station. The air seemed fresher, which was silly, but having spent the majority of her time aboard ship, in a capsule, submersed in what was affectionately known as goo, the change was a welcomed one.

“Wonder what this is all about?” Katia finally said, breaking the silence, looking at each scout in turn, but she couldn’t hold her serious face on any longer and finally broke out in a huge smile. “I guess I should fill you all in.”

Welcome to the Great Hunt.

By Katia Sae Posted in OOC

Behind the Great Hunt Part 1

Help! – The Beatles

This post is part 1 of a behind the scenes look at how my corporation, Signal Cartel, helped me achieve the last 600 systems without even knowing that they were and why that came about. It was during the holidays of 2017, while reviewing my wormhole progress to date, I saw I was averaging a little over 500 systems per year. With 2,600+ wormholes in Anoikis and averaging 1.5 previously unfound systems each day, it would be another 3 to 4+ years before I would finish and it was only going to get harder as the pool of needed systems shrunk. Compared to my known space average of 6 systems per day, I was discouraged and close to burnout. I knew I had to increase my daily average, come up with a better way of finding previously unfound systems, and figure out how to keep my momentum and spirits up. Oh, and I wanted to finish by the end of 2018 which meant I needed to triple my daily average.


“I do not suppose you could speed things up?” – Inigo Montoya, Princess Bride


First things first, increasing my daily average. January 1st of 2018, in my blog post “Exploration is all about the jump, not the stargate” I announced setting a goal of finding 3 new wormhole systems daily, doubling my pace. It was doable, just meant more dedicated time to Eve Online and play catch up on weekends if I fell behind. The challenge was, I typically would have to scan down and enter around 3 wormhole systems daily to find the 1 or 2 that I hadn’t visited before. To double my pace meant I would have to scan down at least 6 wormholes to find the 3 I needed. Easy I hear you say and yes, it’s true, but keep in mind I do have a life (contrary to popular belief), a wife and son with things going on all the time, work, travel, other characters in EvE Online, other games, and other hobbies. I dedicated about an hour and half daily on average to Katia and her journey. Not to mention that as the pool of systems shrunk, I had to visit more systems than the initial 6 to find the few I needed to keep the daily average going.

Mynxee

By the end of that first month, I was well on my way of maintaining my new goal, “Years have flown by my open window” and continued through the end of March, “Know your Wormhole Space”. I wasn’t lying in my post “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step” on December 30th of 2018 when I said “Well, let’s just say that wasn’t my average per day this year”. 3 systems on average wasn’t as it ended up being 4 per day for the year, but a helluva uptick that last quarter of 2018 when my average was around 12 systems per day when I engaged my corps help. For those that were paying attention to my blog, I did post some hints of things going on behind the scenes along the way such as “It does not matter how slowly you go” on March 3rd and “Climbing up, letting go” on August 31st.


“Inconceivable!” – Vizzini, Princess Bride

Sky Diamond

Next, figuring out the end game. While I was increasing my daily pace, I also turned my attention on better ways to find new systems and keeping the momentum going. I reached out to Mynxee, our CEO, to start some brain storming – if I could get down to the last 500 or 600 systems, could I somehow engage the corp and turn it into a big fun event with prizes and swag for participation? Mynxee was all onboard, thought it was a great idea, and between the two of us we got things rolling along. My goals were lofty, probably not achievable, likely inconceivable, but it was early in the planning process, and I wanted to shoot high and settle for less. My goals were:

  • Encourage my fellow corpmates to help me find the last 500/600 systems needed to complete my journey
  • Corpwide voluntary event where both newbies and veterans, Alpha or Omega accounts could participate
  • Promote the use of our corporate Tripwire mask and our very own AI application assistant Allison
  • Encourage ESRC (Eve Scout Rescue Cache program) participation while searching for wormholes
  • Point out that by participating Signaleers were helping our SAR (Search and Rescue) program


“Oh good, my way. Thank you Vizzini… what’s my way?” – Fezzik, Princess Bride

It was during this time a fellow corpmate, Sky Diamond, was running a corpwide event, “The Search for Sky Diamond” which ended up being the beginning of our internal “Vacant Spectrum” corp storyline. It was a great event, fun, engaged our Signaleers of all levels of experience, and there was some great swag in the form of Signal Cartel drink coasters. The event set the bar high and it was a great model of just exactly what I wanted to do. It also got me to thinking, what could I offer in the form of a tangible real life item, a real motivator that would get folks engaged, fired up, and exploring wormholes? We have a saying in our corp “Be the content you wish to see” and there was only one thing that made sense to me, something that in real life had to be earned (or at least it should be in my opinion), something that I had seen in photos from EvE Fanfest for other corps that I really wanted to see Signal Cartel have as well, and concluded that it had to be a challenge coin.

With my increased pace set, goals determined, and rewards defined, I was ready to start planning the endgame. In part 2 I’ll talk about how this event turned from telling my fellow corpmates this effort was for me to help finish my journey to an OPSEC endeavor where only a handful of folks actually knew what was going on. Sneaky, sneaky, I know, but reasons, you know? It is New Eden after all, where very few can be trusted.

Stay tuned for part 2, thanks for visiting and reading! Fly clever!

“In the palm of her hand” – Saisio, Abagawa Gate
By Katia Sae Posted in OOC
Image

Polaris the Magical Mystery Tour

“The Magical Mystery Tour is waiting to take you away.”Magical Mystery Tour, The Beatles

09.03.yc121 Saisio < Okomon < The Forge

Polaris IV, Caroline’s Star

OOC (Out of Character): At the moment, I’m unable to explain how Katia came to be in the Polaris system lorewise from an in character perspective. If that changes in the future, then I may come back and write about the experience through her eyes. For now, I wanted to go ahead and share what a great time I had touring the system with CCP Falcon and some pictures I took along the way.

DISCLAIMER: I’m no Mark726 of Eve Travel. His journal is far more elegant than mine and be sure to check out his latest entry about the Memorial! Fantastic write-up and much appreciated, never thought I’d be the subject of one of his journal entries. I’ve always said he’s the National Geographic of New Eden and I’m more along the lines of the Griswold family vacation. 😉 Which also means I’m no Razorien when it comes to astrophotography. My Gallery has always been more about quantity rather than quality. Be sure to check out his awesome images from the Great Fleet, which is when Signal Cartel and I visited my last system, Redoubt, and celebrated. In both cases journaling and picture taking were more about documenting my journey rather than producing quality work. So, if you’re looking for quality, I’ll always point to Mark726 and Razorien. 😉

Polaris I

NOTE: If you wish to review the images in this post then click on the first one and you’ll be taken to a viewer which will allow you to see them as intended. Or if you wish to see all of the images, you can check out these links to my Gallery.

CCP Falcon

It was Wednesday, March 20th, and it was time for the Magical Mystery Tour to begin from my home station and our new Signal Cartel office of Perkone Factory, Moon 4, Saisio VIII. CCP Falcon was busy getting things in order as I patiently waited in hangar, looking over Voyager, my trusted Astero that was the ship that helped me to complete the Empire portion of my journey. Voyager was sporting my “One Eden” skin for that’s how I see New Eden, as one. To me, the stars are open for all to see. There are no boundaries, empires, or megacorps, there’s only the cluster and the journey to see it all.

Polaris Welcome & Hugs

Jumping on voice comms with Falcon, it wasn’t long before my trip began. One moment, I was in station, the next I was warping in space in the middle of Polaris. The surrounding star fields and nebula background were familiar, yet different, like Caroline’s Star which was much bigger in the sky. I had to pause and take it all in, almost forgetting to take some pictures, before finally accepting the invite to fleet up and warp to Falcon. Now truth be told, I suspected there would be a welcoming fleet of a few devs and GM’s, maybe a half dozen or so, and I wasn’t disappointed. What did surprise me was how many there were, which was around 30 or so. Lots of welcomes, salutes, congratulations were had and even a few who quoted Carl Sagan (GM IceCream) as well as some saying they were fans of mine who had been following me for some time. Of course, I’m just fanning out see all the names in local and flabbergasted a few of them were fanning out over me. Just seemed so backwards. 😊

This lasted for a few moments then I believe it was CCP Explorer that said “Astero on dscan, then GM Stardust spoke up and said “Astero is primary”, and lastly CCP Sledgehammer that said “Overheat your love!” and the fireworks began. LOL, I dare say their fireworks outdid our signature Signal Cartel Hugs fleet. It was close, as they also blotted out my ship in the glow, so I’ll just say it’s a toss-up. 😉 This carried on for a little while, but it was time for them to get back to more important things like getting ready for the upcoming Evesterdam, so we said our goodbyes, at least I think I did, I was still somewhat in shock, I don’t think I said nearly enough to thank all of them for their hard work and dedication to create the immersive SciFi universe of New Eden that we all know and love.

Polaris VI, Game Master Health Spa

Next up was the tour as Falcon lead me around the system, planet by planet, station by station, structures, and finally the sun. It was funny, he was telling me that before I came to visit, he had to go around the system and clean house and update some “names” of “things” as they were rather “creative”. LOL. I always hate having to clean house before company comes over, but I get it and as an IT professional myself, former developer, I know in test systems I’ve worked on in the past I’ve also had some “creative” names for some “things”. So, I can only imagine.

Polaris VII, Team Security Clubhouse

For those not familiar, Polaris is one of the 230 player unreachable systems out near Jove space and it is considered the home and headquarters for CCP in game. Those systems are not connected to New Eden or to each other in anyway, no gates, no wormholes. There once were gates that connected them to each other (but not New Eden), but they went “offline” or were destroyed when Caroline’s Star exploded. I believe that knowledge is OOC. The systems are used by CCP Dev’s and GM’s for testing. During patch deployments to the server when you see it coming back online after down time, you may have noticed the player count say VIP and a number showing there are folks in game. That’s the Dev’s in the test systems (Jove Space and Polaris) checking things out first before opening up the server to the rest of us. Lorewise, Falcon didn’t know if the stations and structures were actually in the system or not or what state anything would be in, so again, this is all out of character.

Polaris VIII, Game Masters Biomass Processing Facility

So, what is there? According to the in game map’s description Polaris is “This is not the system you are looking for”. It’s in Region UUA-F4, constellation 9RW5-Z. There are 9 planets, 6 asteroid belts, stations located at the first 4 planets, and structures around planets 6, 7, and 8 as follows: Planet VI “Game Master Health Spa”, Planet VII “Team Security Clubhouse”, and Planet VIII “Game Masters Biomass Processing Facility”. I can only imagine what they were named before. 😊

Polaris V, ESRC deployed!
Polaris III

Falcon took me to each of the planets, stations, and structures and I’ve included my favorite images here. I also managed to drop one of our, Signal Cartel’s, EvE Scout Rescue Caches at planet V. 😉 It contained an assortment of probes, launcher, fireworks, and a Fedo. (I think, lol, this getting old and forgetful is annoying.) Then before docking up, we journeyed to gaze upon the sun of Polaris. With some magical mystery dust, Falcon managed to get me even closer than what would be normal for a typical warp in. Just an amazing view and amazing time.

Polaris

But all good things must come to an end and so it was for me as I was instructed to dock up, sternly warned to not set a clone 😉 and I was teleported back to my home station with all modules intact and in functioning order. All in all, it was good to be back home, but I’ll never forget my visit to Polaris with CCP Falcon, the Dev’s, and the GM’s. Seeing that distant star up close and personal will forever be the highlight of my 9 year long journey.

Polaris VII

I’m curious to see if CCP does somehow explain the visit in lore. They opened the door to that possibility in the Scope ticker when the Sisters of Eve confirmed my journey to every known system and “beyond”. I’m not concerned either way, it would be great from a roleplayer’s perspective, but at the same time I understand as well. How would it even be possible? How’d I get there? What was really there? How’d I get back? I guess that’s the mystery part of the tour. 😉

Coming up, I plan to start posting about the behind the scenes effort that took place to help me secure the last 600 wormhole systems with the help of my corp, Signal Cartel, without them even knowing what it all was really about. Then I’ll follow that with my thank you post(s) and what’s next.

In the words of Caroline Grace from Twitter, the discover of Caroline’s Star, “Big things have small beginnings!” and this was certainly one of those.

Docked in Polaris

Fly Clever!

Hands to the Sky, I am a Dreamer

OOC (Out of Character): So huge wall of text incoming, you’ve been warned. If you’re a follower of mine, then you know I’m a Roleplayer and from time to time write some very short and sometimes short stories about Katia and her journey. If you’re not into that, don’t care to read, not interested in character insights, feel free to skip this post. 😉

I wanted to share a page from our internal Signal Cartel storyline that’s been running for over a year now, titled “Vacant Spectrum” by our very own OPSEC division (Operation and Planning of Special Events for the Corporation). We’ve started Chapter 6 now. This particular page is a collaborative piece with the OPSEC team that gives some insight into why Katia set forth on her journey and I know many of you that have been following me for a while would be interested. A lot of this won’t make sense to you as it’s part of a much larger story, but I felt like I really needed to share this here.

The root of Katia’s story has been in my head for over nine years now. After sharing this with some of my corp mates, they asked if I’ve ever seen the Disney movie Moana, which I haven’t. My son and niece are older now, so we don’t go to the kiddy movies anymore, but I think I’ll have to make an exception for this one. It seems Moana’s journey is the same as Katia’s. The movie only came out a couple of years ago, yet mine has been in my head for much longer. I have no answer for that, maybe it’s written into my DNA and someone else’s too. We both ended up sharing the same story in different mediums.

I’ve always viewed the Caldari Achura bloodline to be similar to the Polynesian culture of today, particularly the Maori of New Zealand. There’s a couple of amazing synchronicities I thought I’d share. I wear a hand carved Maori jade necklace that symbolizes new beginnings I had gotten many years ago. We ended up calling the celebration fleet for getting my last system, the Great Fleet, which is a reference I had completely forgotten about that a corp mate reminded me of that’s about how the Maori came to be in New Zealand. These only reinforced my belief that I was doing the right thing for Katia, that this was becoming something bigger than myself.

If you’ve been following my story and my journey, you know I like to drop links to songs that give a peek into Katia’s soul. If you’re into insights like that, then I urge you to go listen to this video first before reading on. It’s at the core of her soul.

Now for the story…

I’ve been undocked for a long time.

Stepping into the Grand Ballroom last week made me realize just how long. I saw the huge swarm of people assembled and immediately felt like I might suffocate. But I forced myself to chat amiably beforehand, sit through it all, and even stick around afterwards to process with everyone what we had just seen and heard. This might be my life now: talking in public and bright lights and stations and crowds. I guess the sooner I get adjusted to it, the better.

Still, hearing SSAC Segu tell their tale took me right back to the Great Hunt. Especially that stuff right at the end about Talon Commander Fedi. After all, it wasn’t so long ago that he contacted me for the first time.

*** Flashback ***

**20.10.yc120 – Drifter wormhole Barbican**

‘Katia?’, Aura’s voice entered my thoughts as she asked rather than stated my name. Which was a bit unusual for her. ‘I have an incoming communication request.’

‘Aura, you know I don’t wish to be disturbed while actively engaged in scanning operations deep in a Drifter system,’ my unspoken thoughts replied.

‘Yes, but this is a bit odd, and I am not sure what to make of it.’

Taking a deep breath while immersed in pod goo isn’t as easy as it would seem, but since sighing never seemed to come off as a sigh, it was the next best thing to express my aggravation.

‘What’s odd about it?’ I relayed my thoughts to her.

‘The subject header reads as follows: “Hands to the sky, we are the dreamers.” It’s using the priority code from Kata Sae, your paternal grandfather, despite him being deceased.’

My heart froze as the words struck deep within my soul, uncontrolled tears welled up behind my closed eyelids, and a lump formed in my throat.

‘What?’ I thought and mouthed.

‘Do you wish to accept the connection?’ Aura’s programmed response asked, completely ignoring my question.

My frozen heart beat another tick and I quickly regained my composure. I wouldn’t have made it this far without losing a ship if my recovery and reaction times weren’t sharp. ‘Assume operations, make for the safe, cloak, and silent mode,’ I commanded. This was a communication I wanted to take live.

‘Of course, Katia.’

******

I was six when my Grandfather presented me with my first telescope for my birthday. I often stayed with him while my parents were consumed with their work. They were the perfect converted Caldari, having completely shed their Achura culture — all for the company and the bottom line. It was over 300 years ago that the Caldari had subjugated Saisio III, otherwise known as Achura, my homeworld. The reentry fires of the Caldari ships pierced holes in the sky as they made first contact with my ancestors. Today, most of our culture was relegated to Achura cultural centers in some of our major metropolitan cities, so the tourists could ‘experience’ us. In my youth, I had volunteered and worked at one for a few years. For me, the experience only fanned the flames that my Grandfather had ignited within me, to become a Stargazer and follow the call of my ancestors to the stars.

It was a good thing my Grandfather kept the telescope at his home, because that’s where I spent most of my free time. My parents often referred to him as a dreamer, a title which he wore with pride, a title which I loved and aspired toward myself. We spent many a night stargazing, counting the stars, laughing, raising our hands to the sky. He taught me all about our home system, its planets and moons and constellations. But most importantly, he taught me what it meant to be an Achura, a Stargazer, like our ancestors before us. He inspired me to chase my dreams and travel the stars.

I never resented my parents, nor the Caldari for that matter. I simply didn’t understand that way of life. As a child, I was difficult. Often I felt the disappointment of my parents’ eyes upon me, but like my Grandfather before me, I was a dreamer, and it was his approval that I sought. I guess, looking back on it now, it was then — when I got that telescope for my birthday — that I knew I would return our family line to the ways of old. However, unlike some of my fellow Achura who shunned the modern Caldari ways, I wanted to combine the old with the new. Rather than plant my feet firmly on the ground like my Stargazer ancestors before me, I aspired to become a Stargazer and a starship pilot. I wanted to carry the voice of my ancestors with me, traveling among the stars themselves, visiting every star system that New Eden had to offer.

******

As soon as the ship was secured, my thoughts turned to the pod evacuation code that my Chief had rigged for me so I could exit and stretch my legs onboard ship during my long journey exploring Anoikis. My Malediction, Sojourner, was small enough to not need a crew and large enough to have some space for a cabin, living area, and Chester, my slaver hound companion. He was Mynxee’s gift to me when I began my last phase of exploring the stars. “Chester” was my Grandfather’s nickname when he served in the Caldari Navy. It seemed fitting that the bearer of his name would be with me as I finished my trek through wormhole space

I didn’t waste any time after exiting the pod. Showered clean of the goo and towel wrapped around me, I sat at the vidconf portal, took a deep breath of real air, and opened communications. My voice cracked despite myself,  “Gr-Grandfather?” Which was impossible, I knew. He had passed away long ago, but he was the only one who had ever spoken those words to me. “Hands to the sky, we are the dreamers.”

“Afraid not. Name’s Talon Commander Fedi,” the unfamiliar voice replied. “Those are some pretty big shoes to fill, and I couldn’t do it, even if I wanted to. I knew him well, though. That’s a subject for another time. For now, I’ll cut to the chase. What if I told you I could help you finish your journey, not in the next few years, but in the next few months?”

*** Present day ***

Those few months have now passed. My journey is complete and Fedi is gone. I didn’t get to know him well, but his sacrifice for a cause I don’t fully understand has hit me hard. Which has been a surprise. I’m just now realizing that he was my last connection to Papaw Chester. Everything seems like it’s coming to an end, and I’m not sure really what comes next for me.

So, I was interested to see what “Segu” was talking about when they (he?) said that Fedi’s final words would be communicated to me soon. Turns out I didn’t have long to wonder.

******

09 February, YC 121

Katia,

Now that we’re at the end of it, I have less to say than I thought I would. There’s a few things, though, I want to make sure you know.

Your grandfather had his priorities straight, and you were at the top of that list. He’d be proud as Hek to see all you’ve accomplished. Kata knew you were going to be something special. He was right.

It was Esi and him who bankrolled your capsuleer promotion They were both into ancient spirituality. Not really my sack of Khuumaks, but they each had some kind of vision that confirmed you were the one who would visit every system in the cluster. We guessed it would be easier for you to do as a capsuleer.

I worked with your chief from the beginning. You can tell him that “Carlo” says hi. We’ve been supplying him with slightly modified SureShot cam drones all along. That’s how you’ve been deploying Esi’s SOFA network. It only takes a small cube of the stuff to detect the presence of more of itself anywhere in the system. Chief ever complain to you about mass readings on your ships never adding up? Now he’ll know why. You were slowly bleeding mass every time you deployed your cam drones for pictures.

Did you know we had others helping at the beginning? You’ve always been Primary, but we did use a few different secondary ships over the years, especially during your two-year hiatus. We quit that before too long, though. None of them had the drive you did. Esi said an extra year or two wouldn’t make any difference, anyway. And, unlike you, they kept losing ships. Not that the price tag was a big concern, but it was just more economical to have you be the one deploying the network.

I guess Esi will make sure you get this when you’re finished, and after I’m…not available. I’m not sure what your plans are after your grand tour is complete. Maybe you can make sure Esi is OK? He’s carrying the weight of the cluster on his shoulders, and he isn’t doing too good. I’ve read a bit about Signal Cartel’s work with SOFA tissue….

I don’t know what I’m asking, but maybe there’s something you can do? *He really can bring peace to New Eden, Katia.* You’ve got to believe that. I’ve seen him do things with his clones that just aren’t possible. If there’s anyone who can end the bloodshed between the empires, can free the rest of my people once and for all, it’s him. But he needs to stay alive long enough to make it happen.

You don’t owe me anything, Katia. You barely know me. Esi always thought it was best to let you complete your quest in peace and not weigh you down with the news about what else you were doing. So I didn’t have much chance to work with you directly. I’ve been watching you for so long, though, I feel almost as if you were my own flesh and blood. I never had a family of my own. Esi and you are about as close as I ever got. So I’m going to ask. I don’t have anyone else.

If there’s anything you can do to give Esi a shot at pulling off his plan, I’m begging you to do it. Talk to him yourself. You’ll see what I mean.

I’m grateful we met in these last few months, Stargazer. Know that I’m watching over you, now and forever.

Amikarr Fedi

******

The few times that I spoke with Fedi, he never really struck me as a dreamer, but I guess he really was one, too. He had something he believed in that was bigger than himself, and it gave him purpose and courage. That is something I understand, even if I don’t know all the details of what he and “Esi” have been up to.

My epic journey is over. There will be a brief period of well wishers and excitement, especially with the installation of the statue next month. (I can’t believe the favors Mynxee must have called in with CONCORD to get that approved. I’m still amazed that it’s really going to happen, to be honest.) But I’ve already started to look ahead to the end of the honeymoon. What then?

Do I simply settle down as Quartermaster at our new Saisio office? Start conducting tourist fleets? Train new explorers? Sign autographs? Even as I start to list the options, I know there has to be something more. I’m a Stargazer! As much as part of me wants to rest and retire and stick close to home, I can’t deny that I’m already itching to get back into space. I’ve been everywhere and seen everything, but there are still so many mysteries to be discovered. Whatever is going on here is big — bigger than I ever realized. Maybe meeting with “Esi” is just what I need to launch myself into the next stage of my life.

I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?

Consummatum Est – It is Finished

“I’ve wandered the stars and now, at last, count my soul among them.” – Katia Sae, Stargazer

Katia Sae

09.03.yc121 Saisio < Okomon < The Forge

The voices of my Achura ancestors have quieted. I feel the warmth of my Grandfathers smile upon me. ‘Consummatum est Stargazer’, I hear him say, ‘it is finished.’

A little over nine years ago, 1st of December YC111, my journey began to explore all of New Eden and today, this day, 9th of March YC121, I have done just that. With the exception of the 230 unreachable Jove systems, I have visited every High Sec, Low Sec, Null Sec, and yes, every wormhole system – Every system in New Eden — without losing a single ship.

Signal Cartel will be publishing an official press release and I will be posting more about how my corp and I managed to pull this off.

OOC:

OMG! Katia is much more professional than I am. Unbelievable! I have visited every single player reachable system, 7,805 systems total, in all of New Eden, including the most difficult realm of Anoikis, WITHOUT LOSING A SINGLE SHIP!!! You can check out my final stats in the upper right corner of this page.

How? I’m sure you’re asking… stay tuned. I’ll be posting a behind the scenes look into this incredible journey, that would not have been possible without the help of my fellow corp mates and guess what? They didn’t even realize they were. 😉 (I imagine some had figured out the true story, but I’m hoping it was a big surprise at the end.)

Above banner photo of my ship, Consummatum Est, by Razorien

Quick Recap

Stay tuned, more to come about this journey.


THE LAST system
Party with my Explorer Mates! J174618 Redoubt

Signal Cartel Celebrating Four years

January 31st marks Signal Cartel’s official birthday at four years old now. We had a great time today celebrating with a hugs fleet lead by our resident FC Theana Gaterau. Who’s always done our PVE fleets, but this was a first time doing a hugs fleet, and she did a great job. We wandered like explorers do and found ourselves first in Low Sec then off to Null. I couldn’t tell you where, not OpSec or anything, it’s all I can do to keep up as my fleet experience leaves a lot to be desired. 😊 We landed on some fun targets, I mean, hug recipients, and many hugs were had by all, until we were encouraged to move on… can’t wait to read the AAR on it.

So, most of us took the express route back to Thera, both voluntarily and involuntarily, and tried our hand at a Kick the Shuttle to the base event with two opposing teams and a SC “Football” shuttle we dropped between two of the stations in Thera. The goal, no pun intended, was to bump the shuttle as close as you could to the teams goal station. But, the fans were a rowdy bunch, jumping on the field of play, and ended up popping our football. What can we say, our fans love a good game.

We docked up for another go round but decided we should just give our fans what they wanted, so we had a Last Signaleer Standing event, we all undocked and orbited Paleo station in Thera, passing out hugs as best we could, until the last of us was hugged to death, literally. 😉 Great fleet, great fans, and a great time for all involved.

At the start of our festivities today, I was asked to say some things as the longest remaining original member, having joined on January 31st during the corps initial public opening. Had no clue as to what to say, I’m sure I rambled, likely didn’t make some sense from time to time, but I was honored to have been asked by Spacemom Mynxee, how could I say no? I went back over my old post when I first joined and some birthdays since and wanted to share more of our corps experiences, but felt I had bored folks enough and I could just link some here and they can read if they like. After that, how about some screenshots from today?

It’s truly been an honor and privilege to fly with such a group of fine folks in Signal Cartel. Never once did I foresee what we’ve become. If Mynxee had said one day we’ll be 500 strong with a peaceful, fun loving, neutral to all of New Eden reputation, I would have laughed out loud. But wow, here we are. There’s too many folks to name, thank, and work hard behind the scenes that keep us where we are today, so I’ll not attempt to do that, because it does take each and everyone of us to do our part to keep it great. So to my fellow Signaleers, thank you.

Can’t Stop the Signal (First joining the corp)

Mynxee’s post, Another Exciting Sandcastle

Reenergized (Hit 100 members in just a couple of weeks)

Celebrations (First year Anniversary)

Years Have Flown by My Open Window (Third year Anniversary)

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step

” Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu, Philosopher/Writer

30.12.yc120 J225555 < A-C00317 < A-R00001

J165847 VIII

It’s been some time since my last update and here it is, already, the end of the year. Good time for a look back and see how I’ve progressed against the goal I set for myself at the start of this year. But first I wanted to highlight Project 3xplo, Into the Oblivion. Capsuleer Fonsini Santy, is about to undertake a similar journey of exploration as I have done of New Eden, putting his own spin on it, blogging and documenting about his travels along the way. If you’ve enjoyed following and reading about my journey over these last many years, why else are you here, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy following Fonsini’s progress as well.

Fonsini Santy

Perhaps the new activity tracker was a motivator and if not, I’ve no doubt it is for others to try and visit every system in New Eden. Such was the case of Konii Von Marchelius of Pandemic Horde but as it turns out, he ended up missing some systems and got 99.8% of known space and had a couple of ship losses along the way as well. (Psst, I’ve still not lost one.) Fantastic attempt and huge congrats as to do most of known space in 14 days with only 2 losses is simply amazing!

For others who are interested in ticking off that activity tracker, I may have some post that are helpful if you wish to undertake this journey to explore all of New Eden for yourself, from ships I’ve flown, to going about it, and taking pictures along the way.

Konii Von Marchelius

As for my progress, you can see my stats to the right, 100% known space, over 73% wormhole space, for a total of 88% of aaaalllllll New Eden. Unfortunately, the activity tracker isn’t retroactive… yeah, I’m not doing it all again. Which brings me to my goal of upping my game to an average of 3 systems per day for this year. How’d I do? Well, let’s just say that wasn’t my average per day this year… It is what it is, wormhole space presents its own unique challenges and one that is solely determined by the will of Bob. Bob giveth and Bob taketh away. Of course Allison and Aura auguring with each other over my ship’s status is entertaining enough to keep me at it.

Goal for next year is to just keep going, why stop now?

On to next year, fly clever!

J165803

Chief! What the hell is wrong with my ship?

“Okay, Houston, we’ve had a problem here.” – John Swigert, Astronaut, Apollo 13 Pilot

9.10.yc120 Saisio < Okomon < The Forge

“Chief!” I yelled as soon as I exited my pod, dripping goo along the deck plates, not an ounce of clothing on.

The sound of running footsteps grew louder as he approached, then he appeared from the corridor, skidded to a stop, eyes darted too and fro not sure where he should and shouldn’t look. “Ah… you want to get some clothes on kiddo?”

“No! No I don’t.” In this instance, I guess you could say my capsuleer god complex kicked in, “I want to know what the hell is wrong with my ship.”

Now he locked eyes with me. “Well, what the hell is wrong with your ship?”

“Seriously?” Exasperation clearly escaped me, I’m usually much more laid back. “Aura is reporting the interdiction nullification system has failed and she’s not able to give me a clear cut reason as to why.”

I raised my eyebrows at him with a ‘well?’ question on my face.

“Don’t look at me like that, kiddo, I’ll have to check it out.” He tried to look stern, but I could clearly see the amusement in his eyes. “And for gods sake, put some clothes on, you’re gonna give this old chief a heart attack.”

I took in a deep breathe, then sighed heavily. He was right, of course, and I wasn’t exactly mad at him. It wasn’t his fault after all. I nodded in agreement, then took a towel off of the nearby refresher station and wrapped myself up.

OOC: Just how does an RPer reconcile in game changes like ship balancing in their storylines? Lol

This post I thought I’d take a look back at my ships I’ve flown on my journey so far. Some I left behind because skills allowed me to move into something better suited for the job. Others were left behind for balancing changes. Some served their purpose. Sadly, I don’t have fits for all of them, I didn’t keep some of them and wished I had, but the main ones that helped me achieve a significant goal, I do have in my hangar.

Cosmos

‘Cosmos’, Condor class, the ship I set out from my home world of Saisio, visiting High and Low Sec systems, taking pictures of every planet along the way, which you can see in my Gallery here.

[Condor, Cosmos]

Damage Control I

Medium Shield Extender I
EM Ward Amplifier I

Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Small Anti-Explosive Screen Reinforcer I
Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I

‘Discovery’, Buzzard class, came next after having expanded my skillset to fly covert ops ships. This one served me well for most of my journey through Empire space. Unfortunately, I don’t have the fitting setup I had used, nor the ship.

Discovery

Towards the end of my Empire space travels, the Sisters of Eve ships came out and I knew when I first laid my eyes upon them, I had to have one. These are a thing of beauty and functionality. ‘Voyager’, Astero class, joined my fleet and I finished Empire space with this ship.

Voyager

[Astero, Voyager]
IFFA Compact Damage Control
‘Halcyon’ Core Equalizer I
‘Halcyon’ Core Equalizer I
‘Halcyon’ Core Equalizer I

1MN Afterburner I
Limited Adaptive Invulnerability Field I
Thermal Dissipation Amplifier I
EM Ward Amplifier I

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Sisters Core Probe Launcher

Small Low Friction Nozzle Joints I
Small Low Friction Nozzle Joints I
Small Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer I

Hornet EC-300 x10

Sisters Core Scanner Probe x16

‘Jester’s Trek’, Tengu class, the ship that made the Kessel run… sorry, wrong galaxy. This is the ship that saved my life on many occasion as I made my trek through Null Sec and then went on to finish all of Known space without a single ship loss. What a ride, love this ship. Of course, due to ship balancing changes, this configuration is no longer valid, but it was fun while it lasted.

Jester’s Trek by Rixx Javix

[Tengu, Jester’s Trek]
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Warp Core Stabilizer II

50MN Cold-Gas Enduring Microwarpdrive
Federation Navy 100MN Afterburner
Cetus Scoped Burst Jammer
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
EM Ward Field II

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Sisters Core Probe Launcher
Rocket Launcher II
Rocket Launcher II
Rocket Launcher II

Medium Core Defense Field Extender II
Medium Low Friction Nozzle Joints II
Medium Low Friction Nozzle Joints II

Tengu Core – Electronic Efficiency Gate
Tengu Defensive – Covert Reconfiguration
Tengu Offensive – Accelerated Ejection Bay
Tengu Propulsion – Interdiction Nullifier

Sisters Core Scanner Probe x16
Caldari Navy Inferno Rocket x300
Nanite Repair Paste x25
Tengu Defensive – Supplemental Screening x1

‘Jester’s Trek’ was retired to my hangar, but my next ship ‘Wanderer’ was based on the same design with a few special modifications, like Festival Launchers!. I started the last phase of my journey to explore all of New Eden with ‘Wanderer’ when I entered Thera for the very first time and begun my wormhole space explorations.

[Tengu, Wanderer]
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Warp Core Stabilizer II

50MN Cold-Gas Enduring Microwarpdrive
Federation Navy 100MN Afterburner
Cetus Scoped Burst Jammer
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
EM Ward Field II

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Sisters Core Probe Launcher
Festival Launcher
Festival Launcher
Festival Launcher

Medium Low Friction Nozzle Joints II
Medium Low Friction Nozzle Joints II
Medium Core Defense Field Extender II

Tengu Core – Electronic Efficiency Gate
Tengu Defensive – Covert Reconfiguration
Tengu Offensive – Accelerated Ejection Bay
Tengu Propulsion – Interdiction Nullifier

Sisters Core Scanner Probe x16
Barium Firework x150
Tengu Defensive – Supplemental Screening x1

After about 3 months based in Thera, I began to see I would have to venture deeper in wormhole diving as there simply wasn’t enough system rotation going on daily basis to expect everything would eventually connect to me. Also, I realized I was going to have to change up ships, because the Tengu wasn’t able to transverse the small wormhole connections. So, ‘Pioneer’ was added to the fleet.

J161119 VI, Moon 1, Pioneer

[Raptor, Pioneer]
Inertial Stabilizers II
Inertial Stabilizers II
Inertial Stabilizers II

EM Ward Amplifier II
Thermal Dissipation Amplifier II
Medium Azeotropic Restrained Shield Extender
Medium Azeotropic Restrained Shield Extender

Improved Cloaking Device II
Sisters Core Probe Launcher
Festival Launcher

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I

Sisters Core Scanner Probe x16
Barium Firework x50

Now, a few years later, since I had left Saisio to begin my wormhole space explorations, I find myself returned to dock again, with another issue, with interdictors. Seems my trusty Raptor is losing some functionality. I would have gone with the Crow, but it’s difficult and/or costly to get it under a 2 second align time, so, we now have ‘Sojourner’, a Malediction class interceptor. Really happy with it so far and almost wish I had done this one to begin with… almost. 😉 Either way, it’s turning out to be a nice ship to fly.

Sojourner

[Malediction, Sojourner]
Inertial Stabilizers II
Inertial Stabilizers II
Inertial Stabilizers II
Damage Control II

1MN Afterburner II
Scan Pinpointing Array II
Scan Acquisition Array II

Improved Cloaking Device II
Festival Launcher
Sisters Core Probe Launcher

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I

Sisters Core Scanner Probe x16
Barium Firework x50

That’s my fleet of ships so far. Each one has been a joy to fly in its own right, but each upgrade has been nice as well. Can’t really say I’m disappointed in any of them, they’ve served me well.

Fly clever!

Climbing up, letting go

31.8.yc120 J000186 < H-C00332 < H-R00032

I sighed.

Ran my fingers through my hair.

Planted my face upon my palms.

Forced my breath out. Raspberry loudly sounded.

Chuckling, I dropped my hands away then sighed again. Tedium quickly turned to boredom as I lost myself in wormhole space. How long has it been now since I’ve seen the inside of a station? How many more systems to go? No, don’t look, just keep going. My friends must think I’m a nut.

I needed to chill.

“Aura”, I spoke, “Play something from my Grandfathers playlist.”

Without replying, Aura began to play.

Climbing up on Solsbury Hill
I could see the city light
Wind was blowing, time stood still
Eagle flew out of the night
He was something to observe
Came in close, I heard a voice
Standing, stretching every nerve
Had to listen, had no choice
I did not believe the information
Just had to trust imagination
My heart going boom, boom, boom
“Son”, he said, “grab your things, I’ve come to take you home”

To keep in silence I resigned
My friends would think I was a nut
Turning water into wine
Open doors would soon be shut
So I went from day to day
Though my life was in a rut
‘Til I thought of what I’ll say
Which connection I should cut
I was feeling part of the scenery
I walked right out of the machinery
My heart going boom, boom, boom
“Hey”, he said, “grab your things, I’ve come to take you home”
(Hey, back home)

When illusion spin her net
I’m never where I want to be
And liberty she pirouette
When I think that I am free
Watched by empty silhouettes
Who close their eyes but still can see
No one taught them etiquette
I will show another me
Today I don’t need a replacement
I’ll tell them what the smile on my face meant
My heart going boom, boom, boom
“Hey”, I said, “you can keep my things, they’ve come to take me home”

Solsbury Hill – Peter Gabriel

“Negative…” Aura stated.

“Negative?” I replied. “Negative what?”

“Negative what?” Aura asked.

“You said negative. Why?” I asked in return.

“I am afraid I do not know what you are referring to, Katia.”

Great, now my computer was going stir crazy as well. “Run a full diagnostic on yourself, Aura.”

“Of course, Katia.”

So, You want to explore all of New Eden?

“The most effective way to do it, is to do it” – Amelia Earhart, American Pioneer

13.4.yc120 J225111 < D-C00196 < D-R00021

I received some mail recently from a like minded explorer asking about touring all of New Eden. There’s a hand full of us capsuleers who’ve tried this. Some have succeeded and some have failed. It’s a monumental task to be sure, one that is wrought with danger not only from those who would wish you harm, but the internal demons that will haunt you as well.

Here’s their letter. I’ve withheld their name for security reasons.

I was considering doing a tour of every system in Eve…starting with Kspace of course, and was told you might be of some help. I’m not even really sure where to start. Is there an easier way to track systems other than ticking them off on a spreadsheet? Is there an optimal route? What should I stop and see on the way?

I really have no idea how to get started and any advise you could give would be much appreciated!

My response:

I’ve been where you are, so I hope I can provide some useful insights to help you get started. Some of it will depend on your approach. Most of those, if not all, that have done it before, have taken the get it done quickly approach and were prepared for the ship losses that would come with that. It usually takes about 3 months to do all of K-Space with that approach, including Null Sec. There have been a handful of folks who’ve completed it, but most give up. There’s nothing wrong with that approach either, just depends on what your goal is. To see if you can, want to see the cluster, etc.

I took a very different approach. When I started, the new graphic updates of the nebula backgrounds and planets were being upgraded to what they are today. So, I took a much slower, calculated approach, taking a picture of every planet in every K-Space system. You can see my gallery of that effort here. It took me 3 game years to complete it and I used every tool I could find, like DotLan to help look for game camps, Pirates Little Helper (which I don’t think is around anymore), Eve Who to learn about the folks in the area I was in, etc. Because of that approach, I completed all of K-Space without losing a ship. But it is very slow, tedious, boring, and you have to have a lot of patience and luck.

Completed! 26.11.yc117 (Nov. 26th, 2015)

You can check out my blog here where I documented some of my story going along (unfortunately, I lost the early forum post when I started so it’s not the complete journey). You can also check out my flight log here, where you can see the path I took. As to where to start, I’m somewhat of a roleplayer, so I had written up a history of my character and a home world, Saisio in the Forge Region, and just went from there. I just took it region by region, keeping track via a spreadsheet. The one thing I wished I had done, that I didn’t start doing until I started W-Space, was to drop a personal bookmark in every system. That would have been another way to keep track.

Please feel free to reach out to me again with any questions. I just say go for it, accept the ship loss before you undock, have 2 or 3 duplicate ships sitting in your hangar ready to go. Be bold, plan ahead, lots of luck, and fly clever!

I failed to answer one of their questions which is what to see along the way. Well, that’s an easy one to answer, there’s no better source than Mark726’s Eve Travel.

I do wish the best to anyone that takes on this endeavour. It’s quite the acomplishment when you finally finish all of K-Space. I had no idea, well, I had some idea, that W-Space would be the greatest challenge yet. Over 52% of W-Space explored so far on my own journey to explore all of New Eden, making that over 82% overall.

One day I’ll finish…

42 Jumps Home

Fly clever!