Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Null-sec Nomad

It occurred to me as I looted the clone pirate wreck a week ago, that you don't need to own space to profit from it.

None of the high-sec capsuleers can claim ownership of a single system. Low-sec corporations can, by right-of-might, claim a system as their own. But they don't get to fly their banner from the stations ramparts. The closest they get to that is the cheery little corp logo adorning their station office door.

And yet, these pilots flourish. They exploit their space, quite without the keys to the system. When the mood takes them, they may camp outside the star gates, snarling at interlopers, but when it's time for bed, their ownership amounts to nothing but words lost in the void.

My little jaunt out to Thukker controlled space cemented this idea. I was exploiting space quite beyond the clutches of the Empires, the gentle iron fist of CONCORD, and with only minor pirates for company.

It's dangerous, no doubt about that. There are only a handful of stations in the whole region. But because of that, it's largely untraveled. Warp disruption bubbles aren't a problem if there's no one to deploy them.

So, I made a few little preparations and headed out to see if I could live there for a week.

Preparations were simple. The biggest problem of extended operations in the Great Wildlands was cargo space. This is semi-fixed by deploying mobile depots. I have a number of them dotted around the Region now, all in safe spots, and hopefully beyond the care of other people.

Setting up was easy enough. Cargo expanders in the lows meant I could carry more, and the depot ensured I could refit once I got into my hunting grounds.

I pretty much have this space to myself. I warp out to belts, collect the bounties on a few pirates, and loot them. I then return the loot to the nearest Depot. Rinse and repeat.

I see much more of the alliances I read about in the press. Pandemic Legion, Read Alliance, and some others. I never really met them in Hi- or Low-sec. They flitter around the Wildlands, probably looking for someone to kill. I wonder who? They can't be after me... unless they've brought a dedicated probe ship, and have their hearts set on a mobile depot kill mail. And the pirates in the belts go fairly un-molested, save for one lonely Khanid taking their bounties.

I also met a budding exploration pilot, wandering around the Wildlands in  Magnate, lows full of warp core stabilizers. Rookie capsuleer. He'd only been in space for 3 weeks. We had a brief chat about where to find things, and he left my hunting grounds. I wish him well. He said he learned a lot from his past 3 ship losses. Good man. Hope he can maintain that optimism.

But as I rove between my interstellar camps, wondering how I can convince Benh to pilot an industrial out to pick up all of what I've collected, I struggle with this question: Why am I out here?

And I think it all comes down to one writer.

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