Thursday, 24 March 2016

Ancestral Ni-Kunni Connections

This was a bit of a shock. I jacked-in this one time recently and spent the ship's warm-up cycle going through the usual raft of mails, messages, clearances, manifests etc., and I saw this:

This 'blue' came totally out of the blue. This isn't the first time I've been 'blued' by total strangers as this is a public journal after all, but I looked this guy up and it turns out he's from the old country:

A Ni-Kunni traditionalist with a bounty on his head. Hmmm...

A few days later I sent him a message because I couldn't stand the suspense:

 He got straight back to me:

I can't argue with that, and it looks like some serious chai is in order next time I'm in the vicinity of Mishi IV.

It has to be said: restarting the terraforming programme on the homeworld is a politically bold ambition, because terraforming is about replacing one biosphere with another, so of it's even possible on Mishi IV then it will potentially damage and even eradicate much of the planet's natural cultural heritage that people like me are working to preserve.

On the other hand, progress is inevitable and always preferable to the stagnation that has historically been a problem on the homeworld and is why so many of us emigrated, so Hamid's project deserves to be taken seriously.

The reason why all of this is noteworthy is because Hamid Alttajir is evidently another one of the apparent minority of empyreans who does not try to pass themselves off as a badass for whom violence is indistinguishable from orgasm.

Not everybody can be a badass, because there isn't enough room for a universe of badasses. There are actually some of us who became capsuleers to contribute to humanity's progress, not impede it. If you think you are a badass, you're probably not.

Don't talk-the-talk unless you can walk-the-walk. Better still, speak softly but carry a big stick.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Darwinism Goes Fountaineering (feat. LowSechnaya)

When I got the message below I was chilling in my pod, this time mounted in the crew gondola beneath the hourglass-shaped fuselage of my extremely-heavily-armoured and therefore opportunist-denying Impel. I've assumed the back office support role of transporting the precious metals that we refine in the systems of [classified], [classified], and [classified], to trade hubs, after we've gathered them all up in a staging area in [classified]. Unexpectedly, I find that I enjoy hauling freight. This apparently makes me a bit weird according to traditional empyrean standards.

I enjoy the task because flying slow freighters gives me time to do other things like construct cutting-edge ambient mixes on the ship's audio channels as a soundtrack to the eternal verbal noise of the cluster in text form (noteworthy: EVE Radio, where people speak something other than the language of death; and the important Haulers Channel for gank intel). I was busy doing this yesterday when the NEOCOM chimed and a message came in from [PHP1] boss Crystalline Entity, who must have been on the kanar again as this time I'm being nominated as corporation press officer, which is something I do in fact approve of. 

It transpires that Darwinism has been exploring a change of scenery by daytripping in the Fountain region, a place where the suns all burn white-hot and from where you can see the edge of the galaxy - a void even bigger than the one in a Brutor's head. Some Amarrians say that if you get close enough to one of those suns in Fountain, you can see the face of God. From the images below, it looks like somebody tried it.

A change is as good as a rest. On the other hand, [PHP1] never rests.

* * *
[Gehi IX/Royal Khanid Navy/In-Station Associate Corporation Channel:[PHP1] mode:secure/yes/no/none/recipients:0022866cassandrahabalu/visuals:attached]

[msg:18/3/118 - 2023]

[Subj: Fountain!]

To the Chief Press Officer Cassandra Habalu [FOR IMMEDIATE BROADCAST]:

Twice in the last three days, our allies LowSechnaya Sholupen (LSH) with Darwinism (Darwin) support have attacked the station in the system of 4-EP12 in Fountain. LSH holds territory in Fountain already and Darwin is always available to support its allies.

Both times LSH have used an interesting doctrine of armour-tanked Ishtars with Oneiros logistic support. During the first battle the station in the system was reinforced before LSH and Darwin were driven off by a Proteus/Oneiros gang, and the second battle saw the Territorial Control Unit almost reinforced before the enemy turned up with Rattlesnakes,  Scimitars and triage Chimera support .

The current owners of the territory is the Black Legion remnant shard called The Culture. I expect we will be calling them the former owners soon!

Both battles saw the LSH/Darwin fleet driven off but both sides killed many ships. A killboard search will easily locate the battle reports.

I attach some cam drone stills of the engagement:

* * *

[PHP1] is recruiting. Join us!

Friday, 11 March 2016

SOV, Yeah

 "I was drinking when I wrote this, so sue me if I make no sense..."
After an ancient and possibly apochryphal cultural hymn, believed pre-Dark Ages in origin

OK so like all capsuleer alliances we have a league table of 'kills'. The only person that registers in that 'killmail' is the immortal empyrean pilot at the heart of the ship that gets destroyed; the hundreds, nay, thousands of regular meatheads on it never get a mention.

Don't get me started...

So anyway, Outdated Host Productions is currently, at the time of writing, number one:

Not only that, but we orchestrated a spontaneous sovereignty grab in the Querious region where we took control of A3-LOG. It was done with style, panache and authority and was done while previous holders Pandemic Horde were off chasing the latest carrot dangled before them as if they were a donkey. Horde's 'strength in numbers' also makes them less responsive to sudden change. Think inertia, like battleship vs frigate. A frigate can take down a battleship if it's done right.

[image via the DOTLAN service. I have no idea what '2016' means. It should say YC118]

So we have our own pocket of nullsec. I say that this and our #1 status gives [PHP1] the right to dictate [DRWIN] policy for once.

I call for the following:

  • a new bar in our office in Gehi to replace the one in Nandeza
  • for the sector of Khanid Lowsec that we operate in to be designated the Independent Empyrean Republic of Khanidistan and for the adoption of a 'transit permit' policy (income). You can find Mobile Depots stationed at all the entry gates to the sector announcing the new name. Me and Crystalline deployed them earlier this week. Check them out if you're in the area. Go ahead and reinforce them. You won't get away with it.
  • to change the regulations on the deployment of Jump Bridges in low security space because I am so done with trekking to Amarr the long way and I can't operate a Jump Freighter yet. Yes I know it's all relative and without stargates it would take centuries to get there, but technology is there to be used. CONCORD once again tells us what we can't do, not what we can do.
  • more use of Dreads in action.
  • more use of dreads as a hairstyle, like Endiir.
  • more interceptor roams.
  • mandatory use of my combat boosters on ops.
  • recruit hackers to jack into the corrupt and biased Amarr Certified News and spread rumours that Jamyl is not dead and that she is alive and well right here in Khanidistan. Fact: Her Imperial Majesty is still in my contact list. Why is her capsuleer database profile still extant..? 

Mandatory recruitment pitch: [PHP1] is recruiting. Come to Khanid and shape the future of a region!

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

The North Pole of Danera VIII and Other Ice Worlds

Most of my empyrean infrastructure is based in the Royal Khanid Navy place orbiting the inner moon of Danera IV. This is where I live. It's my home system. I have an excellent relationship with the RKN and they leave me to it (the thing with the mercenaries and strippers was so last year).

The Danera system has two 'ice planets' at its outer frontier - Danera VII and VIII. Residents of the townships on Danera V know them by other, much older and more traditional names associated with their extremely high albedo which renders both planets visible to the naked eye from V when their distance combined with their small size as rocky terrestrials should render them invisible. It's all that ice. The brightest light is the coldest.

Light without heat.

A few months back, I experimented with a token level of resource-extracting in the Danera system by setting up an ice-mining facility on Danera VIII, just to see how it worked. I bought the equipment and had it shipped down to the surface. I have no idea who installed the facility, which can't have been an easy job, or what ran it beyond caretaker servitor robots. In that environment though, with an ambient temperature that makes ice indistinguishable from solid rock, machinery wears out quickly. Which is worse, the frozen surface of an ice world, the crushing depths of a gas giant's atmosphere, or hard vacuum itself?

The returns from mining on worlds in high security space are acknowledged to be inferior. This is evident in Danera because even though it has two of what are supposed to be only 5% of all planets in New Eden, my facility on VIII is the only one on the entire planet.

I shut down my facility after a couple of production runs late in YC117 and had it mothballed. I didn't dismantle it because I knew karma would require me to restart it at some point, maybe years from now; and if I didn't restart it, then the environment would ensure its preservation for the lifetime of the Danera primary itself. My ice mine would bear witness to the G5 star's evolution and eventual transition to the white dwarf state, billions of years from now. Danera VIII's distance from the primary - 31 AU - would ensure its immunity from being engulfed by the star's red giant phase. At that distance, would the ice melt? I doubt it. Danera VIII is probably going to remain locked in icy stasis for all eternity.

However, last month I reactivated my ice mine because I've started producing combat boosters on an experimental basis. I have a tower orbiting the fifth moon of [classified] where I've become a producer, a supplier, and a dealer of performance-enhancing drugs.

I am a drug dealer. A producer of contraband. I have taken one more step down the slippery slope...

The boosters I'm producing all require large quantities of water as a key component in the chemical reaction. This is what I meant by karma earlier: I needed water and I happen to have an ice mine ready to produce it.

Fast-forward a month: the mine has come out of mothballs intact, it is producing water for my drugs and it launches that water into low orbit around VIII in those standardized disposable rocket-powered cargo pods that everybody uses. The timing of these launches is at my discretion and the inclination of the cargo pod's orbit depends on the position of the facility on the surface, so the pod could basically be anywhere when I intercept and retrieve it.

This one time I found the cargo pod above the planet's polar regions. It was an unusual and arresting perspective - most of the time our ships are programmed to arrive in near-equatorial orbits around any given world as a result of the intersection between orbital mechanics and starship design. Cargo pod interceptions are the rare exception.

This was another one of those cosmic alignments I'm into. Perfect geometry and karma. The light of Danera, close to the planet's horizon at this latitude, caused specular reflections off mirror-smooth ice plains; light that diffuses through VIII's tenuous atmosphere that is nothing more than sublimated surface material.

It would be worth exchanging the capsuleer's conditional immortality for a short time, for the ability to look upon these worlds with my own eyes instead of through the filtering firmware of the cam drone that gives everything in space a uniform luminosity. I want to go down there in a lander and an environment suit and stand at Danera VIII's pole, where I would see ice crystals in the thin atmosphere forming sundogs that would follow the star as it tracked around the horizon with the planet's rotation, slowly marking the passage of an elongated time (VIII's 'year' is 22 of ours). The Vapor Sea Nebula would also be a permanent presence, albeit barely visible.

I didn't realise I have a thing for ice planets and their unchanging states, until now. Desert worlds are also my thing because the Ni-Kunni homeworld is in my ancestral DNA. What is it with the desire to seek remoteness?


From what?

The noise of the cluster - the oppressive instantaneousness of the fluid router which makes Anoikis no further away than next-door; capsuleer conflict and the constant threat thereof; Sansha, the Drifter enigma, monosyllabic Minmatar terrorists, the Covenant; the ridiculous bias of Amarr Certified News etc. etc...

If everybody looked the same, we'd get tired of looking at each other, but sometimes you have to get away from it all and recharge. Looking at the view - the awesome visual wealth of New Eden - from time-to-time, is also good for one's perspective.

Shut off your overview occasionally and just look out of the 'window'. Remind yourself of why you do this.