Can’t stop the Signal

“Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit.” – Frank Borman, Apollo 8 Astronaut

31.01.yc117 04-EHC < V2S-RH Constellation < Insmother

Perhaps this has happened to you, that moment when you first meet someone and feel like you’ve known them a lifetime or more. Or maybe you’ve read something that resonates with your very being, to your core, and you know it to be true. Or that moment upon hearing or seeing something and you know it’s meant to be.

03 KS-1TS III, Cat in Station

KS-1TS III, Cat in Station

When I began my exploration journey over five years ago now, there wasn’t any exploration corporations to be found. They didn’t exist, nor did I think they ever would. Likewise, I knew due to my own personal mission, I could never devote the necessary time and effort to grow a corporation and see to the memberships needs to make it successful. Yet, there have been a few exploration corps since then. Some successful and some not, but none that resonated with me. So, I had started Sagan Explorations as a personal corporation to accommodate my needs with the intention that I would never grow it.

11 Q-3HS5 XI

Q-3HS5 XI

But, the loneliness of deep Null Sec exploration has been eroding my determination to see this to the end. At first, it seemed that in every Null Sec region, I would always find someone that would strike up a conversation, ask about my journey, and wish me well. Lately, however, the journey has gone eerily quiet. These last few regions have been completely silent, with hunters now and then trying to seek me out without a word in local. It’s one thing to be hunted quietly, yet still continuing to receive words of encouragement from others. It’s another to be hunted, when you’re feeling completely alone in the silent depths of space. I’ve come to realize I needed that social interaction, that camaraderie of likeminded souls, to feel a part of something bigger than myself, to encourage me, to keep me going.

As fortune would have it or perhaps fate, Mynxee whom I had interviewed previously as part of the New Eden Explorer series, tweeted about forming a new corporation for explorers, Signal Cartel. Upon reading, I felt that tickling of the soul one gets when something is meant to be. I immediately replied with words of my support and encouragement for her new endeavor. Then I read the Corporate Credo and the envisioned Corporate Life and my soul began to sing. Home… has found me.

Portions of the Credo and Life that resonated. Click here to see them in their entirety and how to join if interested.

Signal Cartel

Signal Cartel

“Signal Cartel is a service corporation to all of New Eden… our goal is to look for a graceful resolution and set an example of dignity and friendship through our actions.”

“We embrace the attitude of a true explorer: we are friendly to others in our travels, neutral and never initiating aggression… 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.”

“Among our own ranks and with others, we are patient and generous with knowledge, ideas, and experiences…”

“Signal Cartel members tend to be solo wanderers, opportunistically exploring New Eden far and wide to discover its secrets, wonders, and buried (or abandoned) treasure. Yet we are all connected by the ideals behind our corp credo which encourage open communication, cooperation, helpfulness, and a generous spirit.”

“To aid newer players who aspire to that lifestyle (Exploration)…”

07 4M-QXK VII

4M-QXK VII

As excited as I was, I didn’t want to immediately jump on the opportunity. I have a great deal of respect for Mynxee, her past experience of growing a unique corporation certainly gives credence that this one too will likely be successful, but would it be the right move for me? Sagan Explorations was more than just a haven, it was a tribute to Carl Sagan and Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, the one who first had awakened the explorer within me. I’ve always known I was an explorer, but watching Cosmos as a young teen, my eyes were opened to the wonders around me. It would be hard to give up that corporation name and tribute.

I slept on it overnight and by morning when I awoke, I couldn’t deny my explorers heart. How could I not join this new and growing exploration corp? So, that was that, my mind made up, I spent a great deal of time scanning down a connection to Empire space and after twenty systems finally found one. Landing in Orgron, Metropolis, I docked up for the first time in seven months, then respectfully dissolved Sagan Explorations and accepted the offered invite to join this new exploration corp. It’s not just about wanting what Signal Cartel has to offer, I had decided, it was about need. I only hope that I can offer as much as I’m sure it will give.

You can’t stop the Signal.

04 G-EURJ IV

G-EURJ IV

* Images from Insmother Region

The Mission: Past, Present, Future

“As for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas…” – Herman Melville, Moby Dick: or, the Whale

11.01.yc117 B-WQDP < GU-JZ1 Constellation < Wicked Creek Region

The Mission

Systems 20150111

Systems explored map

For those followers who are new, or may not be aware of my mission, it is my desire to explore all of New Eden one system at a time and record my journey with images and writings via this blog. I began my journey in yc111 (2009) and as you can see by the graph, it wasn’t until this last year did I truly tackle the mission. The two years I went missing, yc114 & yc115, I spent grieving for my father whom had passed away from this life. From his passing I truly began to understand what one aspect of being immortal meant… seeing mortal loved ones and friends around you slowly disappear from your life. I spent those years grounded planet side on Saisio, my home system, wondering if my wanderings should continue.

2014 Systems by YearThe support, love, and encouragement of my family and friends during that dark time finally lifted my heart and I was able to let go of my grief allowing me to return to my explorations. It is, after all, what my father would have wanted. So with a vengeance, I outdid all my previous system explorations, completing Phase I: Empire space and starting Phase II: Nullsec space this last year ending with 2,959 total systems explored since the start of my mission.

The Past – What didn’t work

Backups

NI-J0B II

NI-J0B II

One of the first things I had done during my break was to backup my writings and images I had chronicled to that point, thinking if I should return, I would then be able to restore this blog and carry on. As it turned out, the writings portion of my backup was corrupted and I didn’t realize it until I went to restore. This is why you’ll not find any post prior to my return in yc116. Fortunately, the images I had taken up to that point where good and I was able to restore them to my gallery. I’ve corrected this issue should it ever come up again, having more than one verified backup on hand in different locations. I can’t stress enough that if there’s something in digital form that you wish to keep, be sure to not only back it up, but verify it’s good.

Image Processing

QXE-1N I

QXE-1N I

One of the reasons my exploration was going at such a slow pace before was due to the labor intensive work with the images I had taken. To get them ready for the gallery, due to space limitations and other factors, I would adjust their format and size before uploading them. Upon my return, the first thing I did was to streamline and automate the process of capturing the image and reformatting before upload. This one simple change has saved me countless hours and I’m able to explore more systems with the time saved.

Regions of New Eden

I had started a new series called “Regions of New Eden”, but after doing the first one, I realized it was going to be more time intensive than I had anticipated. That, plus the fact I received no feedback, I’ve decided to not continue it as I’d rather spend that time on the other series I had started that is working well, which leads to…

The Present – What works well

New Eden Explorers

Y19P-1 VI, Circadian Seeker

Y19P-1 VI, Circadian Seeker

The series “New Eden Explorers” that I had begun last year has been well received and I will continue with it this year. I currently have at least two more interviews lined up and will more than likely conclude the series something during the first half of yc117. I’ve really enjoyed learning about my fellow explorers and as you’ve learned as well, there are many different ways to go about exploring New Eden. I hope as a reader and follower of my blog, you’ve enjoyed the series, learned something from it, and that it’s encouraged you to explore even more than you have before. I’d love to hear from you if it has and if you know of an explorer I’ve missed that either blogs, videos, or chronicles their journey in some manner publicly, then please let me know. I’d be happy to include them in the series if they’d like.

The Future – Exploration

At my current pace, if I’m able to keep it going, I should complete Phase II: Nullsec by the end of this year, yc117 (2015). At that time, we’ll see if I continue on with W-Space. That would be another 2,498 systems not including the newly discovered Thera system plus an additional 100 shattered wormholes. If I do continue, I’ll be looking for a different way to document and record my visit to each system. I believe my time to scan down wormholes will take away time I would usually visit each planet in system, so at this time, I’m not sure just how I’ll go about my journey, but I still have some time to think about it. If you’re a wormhole explorer and have some ideas, please let me know.

F76-8Q III, RHE7-W Gate

F76-8Q III, RHE7-W Gate

 

Where I’ve Been. Where I’m Going.

“We have crossed the oceans. We have followed the stars” – “The Hands of Man”, Chris de Burgh

07.12.yc116 C-WPWH < O5QG-M Constellation < Omist

Y-MSJN II, Caroline's Star

Y-MSJN II, Caroline’s Star from Omist Region

Even though I’ve not docked in 152 days as I explore Null Sec, instead living alone in and out of my pod on ship, I continue to receive news via Aura. The news of late has been far more interesting than usual. It seems there’s a new star in the sky that was discovered on 26.11.yc116 by a fellow capsuleer explorer, Caroline Grace. Intrigued by the news and not having noticed it myself, I eagerly cut my break short, stripped down, and jumped back into my pod to have a look. Sure enough, once I knew there was something new in the sky, it didn’t take me long to find it. Not too much is known other than, it’s getting brighter, seems to be in Jove space, and there appears to be some form of an accretion disc expanding outward from it.

S-XZHU II, Jester's Trek

S-XZHU II, Jester’s Trek

My exploration travels lately have me nearly to the edge of the New Eden cluster in the South West region of Null Sec, but even from here, I can see the new light in the heavens. It’s not as prominent as seen from closer to Jove space from the images that Caroline and others have taken, but it’s distinct and clearly unusual once you know to look for it. As to what it is, only speculation can guess at answers until more is learned. So for now, I’ll leave that to others, but I can’t help feeling that this is only a prelude to something bigger…

In other news, it seems the growing ranks of new capsuleers is on the rise. Almost seems to me as if in answer to the new star. Are we unknowingly preparing from something? Maybe it’s just my ancient ancestors whispering dark omens from times past when such events were the herald of evil times, but even knowing how foolish I am to think such thoughts, I can’t help the goose bumps along my arms nor the raised hair on the back of my neck. I’m sure it’s nothing, at least that’s what I keep telling myself, and in some ways I’m glad I’m flying alone far from Jove space, but its times like this I wish my Grand-Father were here.

7L9-ZC XI

7L9-ZC XI

For those new capsuleers who may have stumbled upon this journal of my exploration travels, welcome. My mission is to explore all of New Eden, one system at a time, stopping and taking an image of each planet which can be seen in my Gallery. Phase I was Empire space, which has been completed. Phase II is Null Sec, which I’m currently working on. I’ve been at this for five years now and I’m now at 50% of K-Space (known space) completed. It’s been a long journey so far and I’ve still a ways to go. If there’s a Phase III, it will be WH-Space (wormhole space), but that’s still a ways off for now.

Be sure to check out my gallery and feel free to leave comments and ask questions either here or via Eve-mail.

Fly smart, fly safe,
Katia

Oh… by the way, Caroline Grace has agreed to be interviewed as part of my New Eden Explorer Series, so be sure to check back!

MJ-X5V VIII, M9-FIB Gate

MJ-X5V VIII, M9-FIB Gate

Not Dead Yet

“I’m dancin’ on a land mine baby one leg left and I can still crawl and I’m not dead yet” – “Not Dead Yet”, Styx

18.10.yc116 Y-MPWL < I9B-8X Constellation < Providence

Having finished seven Null Sec regions and working on my eight, Providence, I guess I should do a monthly stats post and some favorite images. Before the stats, however, some shout outs to folks I’ve met along the way. In JBY6-F of Catch, I had a friendly conversation in local with Ageudum, Cocoon Makes, & Red Thunder. In U-HYMT of Providence Thetis Aident of The Violition Cult struck up a private convo with me that was pleasant. Last, there was ReheL’t also in Providence that was curious about my explorations. All in all, Providence so far has been a busy and fun experience. There’s been only one bubble camp and that was next to a High Sec entry point which was to be expected. Otherwise, the journey has been full of conversations and peaceful exploration.

I did run into an unexpected surprise when I jumped into system F-YH5B where I found corebloodbrothers, a CSM9 representative, dropping a link in local of a new video explaining the happenings in Catch and Providence of late. So that’s what’s been going on! Perhaps I can claim I was there? Close enough? Alright, alright, maybe on the periphery… hmmm, ok, I’ll settle for that. Either way, it was great timing on my part to see how proud corebloodbrothers was of his fellow capsuleers.

Time for some stats.

30 Regions explored out of 67
2,533 systems out of 5,431 of K-Space making that 46% explored with no ship losses. I’m not dead yet.
104 days in space undocked

Thanks for saying hello in local, fly safe, fly smart!
Katia

H6-CX8 II

H6-CX8 II

G-5EN2 V, 9-F0B2 Gate

G-5EN2 V, 9-F0B2 Gate

5IO8-U VIII

5IO8-U VIII

4B-NQN IX, Jester's Trek

4B-NQN IX, Jester’s Trek

Catching Fire

“And if the night is burning, I will cover my eyes.” – “I See Fire”, Ed Sheeran performed by Peter Hollens

05.10.yc116 R-K4QY < XR9-LP Constellation < Catch

GE-8JV IX, AX-DOT Gate

GE-8JV IX, AX-DOT Gate

The Catch Region, by far, is the most contested, busiest region I’ve traveled yet. Very few systems are empty. There’s usually at least one other in system or passing through as I’ve gone about my exploration. The Brave Collective owns most of the systems in the region and there are several pockets that have been hotly contested the last several weeks. Just take a look at Dotlan Evemaps at the most violet systems and you’ll see Catch has had at least two in the top five. It’s slowed my progress considerably as I’ve had to be more cautious than usual. Hundreds, even thousands of ships and pods have been lost in border and surrounding systems near Providence, Stain, and Khanid. In particular, BR-N97, GE-8JV, and HED-GP.

Globscho Thorson

Globscho Thorson

Having entered the Catch Region from Querious, the first one I hit was GE-8JV. This system alone has had on average 800+ ships losses per 24 hour period daily. I quietly and quickly explored the system and managed to squeak through as the combatants were more interested in each other, than me. I made my way through the constellation T-1WDH that lead to Impass, ran an outbound gate camp of 6 or so ships into the border system E3-SDZ, and they decided to follow me through. I had an interesting conversation with Globscho Thorson of Herrscher der Zeit, Test Alliance Please Ignore. It was a fun conversation. We chatted in local as I’m sure they were hunting me, covering the gates, and I went about my exploration. I hope I had earned some respect as an experienced explorer, even more so now with six Null Sec regions under my belt, I’m fairly certain I can add Null Sec experienced explorer to that. They certainly earned my respect, between the friendly banter, each of us knowing I would do my best to evade them, and they would do their best to catch me. I continued my exploration.

HED-GP IV

HED-GP IV

I had to turn around and venture back through the hotly contested system of GE-8JV in order to continue with Catch. Next up was the border system HED-GP into Empire space, a heavily camped system containing opportunistic capsuleers trying to catch ships making their way through the pipe from Empire to Null and vice versa. It’s also not too far away from the conflict taking place at the Providence border systems, which I continue to make my way towards.

As I’ve said, Catch has been hot, busy, slow, and tedious. I’m hoping to finish up the region over the next week and move on.

Q-S7ZD VIII, GJ0-OJ Gate

Q-S7ZD VIII, GJ0-OJ Gate

Nefarious Querious

Niven Nalliery

Niven Nalliery

“Games people play, You take take it or you leave it, Things that they say, Just don’t make it right.” – “Games People Play”, The Alan Parsons Project

14.09.yc116 QETZ-W < U-JTBT Constellation < Catch

Of course there’s no guarantee that members of the same alliance will act in a similar fashion. Most often they are from different corporations which have their own ways of doing things. This fact was most clear in Querious. A fair amount of the region belonged to The Initiative which is comprised of 25 different corporations. I found travelling the region to be rather quiet until there were only 3 constellations left to explore.

3BK-O7 VIII

3BK-O7 VIII

Constellation 8ET-D1 offered my first contact with a member corp of the Initiative. Niven Nalliery of SPANI welcomed me as I entered system 3BK-O7. As I explored the constellation, I had found clusters of capsuleers going about their daily task, and I had wondered why the gates were not actively camped as I had grown accustomed to when exploring a dead end constellation such as theirs. My conversation with Niven seemed to answer that question as we had a friendly talk and it seemed they didn’t mind my flying about. I left the area freely with a smile on my face, knowing I had left a good group of folks behind. Thanks for the break from the monotony and the friendly conversation.

Chrisdoc79

Chrisdoc79

The next constellation, MPJW-6, had a few pockets of folks which left me alone and I wasn’t challenged on the gates until the last few systems, where I played cat and mouse for a couple of locals before I finally managed to make my way into the last constellation of XLL-Z7. The corp of this dead end constellation, Dawn of a new Empire, played a good game. I entered the area quietly enough, then on my second system in, ES-Q0W, I was welcomed in local by Chrisdoc79. We had a friendly conversation and I started to feel a little more comfortable. My thinking at the time was perhaps the Initiative as a whole, contained member corps that followed a similar code. Maybe even a NRDS policy. (Not Red Don’t Shoot). In my research, I wasn’t able to confirm or deny that, but with my precious friendly encounter, the precedence seemed to be set.

C-9RRR I, L-6W1J Gate, Bubbles

C-9RRR I, L-6W1J Gate

So, I carried on with my exploration, but then they made a couple of minor mistakes. Perhaps mistake is the wrong word, but they had to do what they had to do and likewise, so did I, but it was those minor mishaps that quickly raised my red flags and I was back on my cautious, slow, and steady approach to exploration. First up, upon entering system H74-B0, there were two ships on the gate. No bubbles, but drones were deployed, so I quickly aligned and made for a point in system. No more trouble there, so I went on around until I reached the dead end system of NU4-2G. When I finished my exploration of that system, I fully expected a bubbled gate camp in F-NXLQ, but I made for it anyway. Landing on the grid in system, I didn’t find the camp, but I wasn’t completely wrong, as there was a scout ship on the gate that quickly warped off. That was their second mistake.

LS-V29 I

LS-V29 I

It was their second mistake, because now I knew for a fact, my exit was being monitored and I was confident a camp was coming up. Here’s where they made for a good game of cat and mouse, because my expectation was the camp would be in ZXJ-71, but if I had truly thought about it, it made more sense where they eventually did have the camp, which was in system N-M1A3. Fortunately for me, and I’m sure, sadly for them, since I was on high alert and expecting something on my way out, I did manage to evade the bubble camp and safely found a spot in the system to hide and chill. One by one, they slowly exited out of the system with no words spoken between us, each side knowing we did our best, but luckily for me, I won the day.

Well played Dawn of a new Empire, well played. If the initial two ships that missed me on the one gate had not been there and if that scout had not been on the dead end system gate, I probably would have been much more relaxed with my guard down and the post I’m writing today may have been far different. You’re earned my respect. Fly smart, fly safe.

W-IIYI IX, 3-JCJT Gate, Bubble

W-IIYI IX, 3-JCJT Gate

Far, Far from Home

“Just remember that you’ll never be that far from home” – “Far From Home”, The Doobie Brothers

03.08.yc116 ZDYA-G < D9DM-O Constellation < Paragon Soul

3PPT-9 VIII, TMA 03 PPT-9 Station

3PPT-9 VIII, TMA 03 PPT-9 Station

This week has been an interesting one. Having finished the Esoteria Region, I moved into Paragon Soul. It started off to be very, very quiet, then when I started down the I-CCEI Constellation pipe, things began to pick up. At one point I was asked in local to investigate a Relic site which normally I would have been interested in, but time was short and it felt very much like a trap. Jumping to the next system, which contained about 10 capsuleers, I was followed by the Relic/Trap seeker and he proudly announced he was going to have a Katia Sae sandwich. Now I’m not sure if he meant he was going to make me a sandwich or if he was expecting me to make him a sandwich, but obviously it couldn’t have been some sexual innuendo as we were the only two in conversation, unless there was some third party I was not aware of, which was entirely possible. Either way, I didn’t take the obvious bait and went

Parthannun Solette

Parthannun Solette

about my exploration of the system. I was pleasantly surprised as I finished up that another local spoke up, Parthannun Solette, saying for me to be sure and not miss taking a picture of their station in system, as it was their home. How could I pass up a request? Setting up a warp for station, I made my way and tried to get the best shot I could of TMA 03 PPT-9 Station. The lighting was difficult, so the image is not one of my best, but I think it came out well enough, I hope.

Continuing down the pipe, I knew I was approaching another dead end and one that was more than likely going to have some traffic since there were 3 systems that had stations. Sure enough, the local population was heavy enough and I was not surprised as I jumped into O-N589 to find a bubble camp waiting for me. Safely escaping that one I continued on with the knowledge that I was being tracked and hunted. Stopping in the last explored system of ZDYA-G, I pulled up the map and saw just how far away from home I was. I learned this was the furthest I’ve been out, at 72 jumps away, from Saisio. With a scout parked on one gate and the other gate clear of a 3 system triangle dead end, I decided it was a good place to find a safe spot and take some time for some much needed rest. Let the locals go back to their usual business instead of being focused on me. I’ll attempt an escape later.

MP5-KR VIII

MP5-KR VIII

((Looking at the featured image of the map above, I’m not sure why my systems visited indication hasn’t updated for the Paragon Soul Region. Hopefully, it’s just a temporary thing and it’ll update, but it’s a little frustrating as those stats help me to visually show my progress as I go. I’m certainly not going back to increase the stat counts!))

O-MCZR III

O-MCZR III

Vultures Spin

“Skulls can grin, Vultures spin, Engines whirl, Life begins” – “Evil Eye”, Billy Idol

27.07.yc116 450I-W < R2-BT6 Constellation < Esoteria

CR-0E5 I

CR-0E5 I

Eerily quiet then moments of terror. The feeling has certainly been different traveling through Null sec rather than Empire space. Very little is said in local out here. I can go long stretches down pipes and maybe see one capsuleer in local, then come upon a crossroad system to find fifteen to twenty. I’ve completed my exploration of the Stain region then moved to Esoteria completing over half of it so far. I should complete it in a day or so.

Slowly I’m gaining confidence in my ship and piloting ability having escaped three inbound gate bubble camps and one outbound so far. I expected two of the inbound as I jumped in since I was actively being hunted. I went in anyway, heart pounding, because I needed the experience. When I landed on grid, the ships were there, the bubble went up, I waited out the butterflies in my stomach then located a navigational point close to my alignment. Taking a deep breath, I punched jump, cloaked, and flew out safely without being targeted. The vultures where out and they were after me. That’s something I’ve never experienced in Empire space. It certainly gets the blood pumping.

BY-MSY IV, Renovatio Group

BY-MSY IV, Renovatio Group

All in all, the journey has been a good one. As I gain experience, my fears of Null sec are lessening, granted I don’t think they’ll fully subside. I’m using dotlan heavily and have also added zkillboard to my toolset to check out local system activity and pilot records. Both have been invaluable. The most difficult stretch so far was the 3WN-1T constellation in Esoteria. A dead end pipe with a heathy population of capsuleers from Northern Associates. The entry gate in G-YZUX was heavily bubbled and they meant business not liking unwelcomed guest. They’ve earned my respect.

R-FM0G I

R-FM0G I

I did encounter an unexpected memorial. As part of my journey, I had decided I wouldn’t seek out beforehand any information about what’s out there. I wanted to be surprised and find things on my own. If I missed something, that was fine, but I knew I would be more delighted to find hidden sights on my own. Jumping into C9N-CC in Esoteria, I stumbled upon the “Remains of Steve”. A massive ship, a Titan, and not just any Titan, but the first built and the first destroyed in New Eden. I checked EVE Travel and found Mark726’s write up on the sight and also checked Aura for additional details. The sight of the destroyed Titan has to be the most humbling I’ve encountered so far. I floated quietly in the depths and reflected on those that had served and given their lives. May they rest in peace.

C9N-CC, The Remains of Steve

C9N-CC, The Remains of Steve

So it begins, Exploration Phase II: Nullsec

“Kyrie eleison, down the road that I must travel, through the darkness of the night, where I’m going, will you follow, on a highway in the light” – “Kyrie”, Mr. Mister

09.07.yc116 X5O1-L < JG-ZLG Constellation < Stain

Systems 20140713

Stain Region

Flight log

I set out from Saisio after a few days break with a sense of that new capsuleer wonder. It was like that first few moments when you undock for the very first time, hooked into your ship, and seeing the universe. You realize quickly just how small and insignificant you are in the depths of space. I’d been flying in Empire space for so long I had forgotten what it was like to get that adrenaline rush when approaching a gate and not knowing what was on the other side. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, you’re knocked back down, starting over from the bottom, climbing your way back to the top again. But therein lies the reward. The greatest treasures to be found are along the most dangerous paths. So it was for me once again.

X5O1-L I

X5O1-L I

I left my home system and headed to Lowsec space, knowing from my research that wormholes to Nullsec were more likely to be found there. My cameras focused for as long as they could on my home station until it was a mere spec before completely disappearing. In Empire space, I was always able to dock within a system or two of my exploration path in order to recoup and refresh. Now, however, it would be difficult to find such sanctuary in Nullsec. Even though there are stations there, it would be far too dangerous to undock without some assurance that Concord would intervene on your behalf against any hostile entities that deemed you as a target. This phase of my exploration would be a true test of endurance as it was going to require that I stay ship bound the entire journey.

8O-OSG II

8O-OSG II

Starting with Saisio, I found a quiet spot and launched my probes in order to scan down wormholes. It was possible, after all, an entrance to Nullsec could be found in system, but the prospect was unlikely. The procedure, however, was good practice for it had been some time since I had to actually do any scanning. There had been some upgrades to my subsystems since my last time of using the scanning interface, so it provided a good opportunity to reintroduce myself to the process. In no time, I had the new interface figured out and had scanned down a wormhole in system, but it turned out to not be the entrance I was looking for.

G-ME2K VIII, Moon 3, True Power Mining Outpost

G-ME2K VIII, Moon 3, True Power Mining Outpost

Not wanting to waste any more time, I recalled my probes and headed for Lowsec and found my way to Ihakana. As fate would have it, I found several wormholes in system and one of them lead to Nullsec space. My nerves clinched my stomach tight as I approached the wormhole then slowly transitioned to…. where…. ? Not recognizing the star patterns or the gas cloud formations in the background, I had Aura determine where I had exited the wormhole and she quickly replied with — System X5O1-L, JG-ZLG Constellation in the Stain region. I’m not sure how long before I snapped out of my trance, but the combination of nerves and excitement caused my heart heavy thumps to pulse adrenaline filled blood throughout my body. I set a location marker for the wormhole exit and laid in a course to the first planet in system.

The second phase of my journey had begun…

9U6-SV V

9U6-SV V

Diplomats and Shout Outs

Mcopiate

Mcopiate

“You know you make me want to shout!” – “Shout”, Otis Day & the Knights

29.06.yc116 Jark < San Matar Constellation < Derelik

Most systems that I’ve explored are quiet. There are usually at least a few folks in system more often than not. From one or two capsuleers to dozens and of course, there are those empty systems too, but I would say in Empire space, there’s usually someone about or quickly passing through each system. They’re also quiet in the sense that rarely does anyone speak in local.

Kira Gene Evotori

Kira Gene Evotori

This last week, however, what I thought was static or some happenstance signal, surprised me when I was welcomed into a new system I had yet to explore. At first, I wondered if the message was intended for me, but after checking my instruments, I found only a few others in system that appeared to be locals. So, as far as a greeting going out to a stranger, that stranger had to be me. I smiled, and replied, and offered my own greeting.

Argos Galert

Argos Galert

I had a wonderful conversation with Mcopiate and Kira Gene Evotori as I flew to each of the planets and went about my exploration. Lacking contact with others for long periods of time really causes you to appreciate and cherish those moments when you find you’re not alone. I was encouraged and reminded that my journey was not only about the imaging that I’ve been engaged in, but it was also about my self-discovery. Those long periods of loneliness and self reflection do reach deep within your soul, but so much more is learned about yourself when you connect with others. So, a heart felt thanks and safe skies to Mcopiate and Kira for the conversation and contributions.

Airi Cho

Airi Cho

With one week left to finish my exploration of Empire space, I put out a call to Diplomats of Nullsec in the hopes of getting my standings set to blue. I’ve also had offers of assistance made on making contacts, but so far, the avenues of communication are quiet or non-receptive. I have no expectations that anything will result from that broadcast or that I’ll gain any favorable standings, but one can hope. It would be nice to fly through some friendly space on this leg of my journey, but if not, I’m not worried. It’ll not prevent me from trying. I did, however, receive a reply from Airi Cho, who’s turned out to be a great resource for tips on flying through 0.0 space. I’ll certainly be applying the tips to great use and will share them once I’ve got some first hand experience to go with them. Another heart felt thanks to fellow capsuleers, Argos Galert and Airi Cho.

Well, here’s to my last week of Empire exploration. Fly smart, fly safe.
Katia

Below are some of my favorite images this week from the Derelik Region.

Onsooh I

Onsooh I

Yuzier III, Nefantar Miner Associatino Mining Outpost

Yuzier III, Nefantar Miner Associatino Mining Outpost

Tanoo IV, Trust Partners Trading Post

Tanoo IV, Trust Partners Trading Post

Gomati VIII, Hasateem Gate

Gomati VIII, Hasateem Gate

Chidah V, CONCORD Assembly Plant

Chidah V, CONCORD Assembly Plant