Ave, pilots. So-- if you’d asked me a year ago what starting a topic with this kind of heading would mean, I would have thought it meant that I’d died and gone to the Amarrian non-afterlife for nonbelievers and it was therefore very surprising that I could be writing anything at all.
The world does surprising stuff. Apparently pretty often-- I mean, my own memories go back only a little over three years, which seems like kind of a long time but really it’s pretty short, and in those three years we’ve had the Drifters, Hives manifesting in K-space, and now the discovery of …
… of what? What is the Abyss? I mean, these are solar systems, somewhere, that we’re visiting, though with extremely hostile local conditions and sometimes it feels more like we’re plunging into some deep and profound nothingness.
What is this place we’re diving into?
(I admit if it turns out the Triglavians are just hiding out in the middle of the Trace Cosmos black hole belt I’m going to be a little disappointed.)
This topic’s going to be necessarily a little personal, a kind of a travel journal. It’s not really meant as a rival to some of the other, more formal discussions, but I’ll be trying to keep it going as long as there’s more new stuff I’m learning and seeing. It seems important to record it, even if I’m not as qualified to understand all of what I’m seeing as a lot of people.
In a way I worry that there’s not actually going to be enough for me to say. I mean, it’s not like I’m going to be going and living with the Triglavians (probably) (I mean, I hope-- CONCORD seems to think there’s a risk of mental contamination or something in the deeper depths; it’s why they’re setting divers “suspect” on return from such places). But there’s definitely a lot to see, and a lot to learn, and the bits of it that are actively shooting at me are probably the least-interesting.
But-- Triglavians! An actual surviving precursor civilization! Ohgodsohgodsohgods!
(That’s been declared a threat by CONCORD, fights Drifters on an equal footing, apparently makes its home in the most viciously hostile environment imaginable, plays around with naked singularities, and can apparently maybe hack our brains. Oh.)
I have a bunch of their ship schematics and might maybe be able to build one pretty soon; I’m hoping to be able to give a kind of walking tour of the interior once I do. For now I mostly have a slowly growing supply of crystaline Isogen-10, a lot of weird artifacts, a case of nerves about actually constructing a naked singularity inside a station (is there any way this is okay??) …
… and a ridiculously expensive snazzy paint job (okay, SKIN) for my Cerberus acquired for the express purpose of keeping myself psyched.
Oh-- one thing to maybe mention: there are some genuine and reasonable ethical concerns people have about what we’re doing out there, which can be characterized as delving into someone else’s home, stealing their stuff, and killing anyone who tries to stop us. This is something that’s probably going to come up here a few times, so I want to make clear that ARC’s and SFRIM’s views on this are, I think, coherent and sensible from their own points of view … and not quite things I share.
For my own part: CONCORD has declared the Triglavians a threat, and opened the way for us to engage them and other Abyssal denizens. We’re not privy to all the details yet, but, I choose to accept that what I’m being permitted and encouraged to do, is something that I should do. There’ll be deaths to come out of this, and destruction. Even if I don’t count the other side(s) at all, I’ve already lost one cruiser with all hands, including my clone.
But, to me, as a fighter, a combat pilot? Warfare against deadly and unpredictable enemies in dangerous environments? This is exactly what we’re for. It’s why our class even exists.
Also, getting to explore an unknown and mysterious corner of the Totality is a privilege without equal. Maybe this is Curiosity overwhelming my belief in other virtues, but, given the opportunity and go-ahead, I couldn’t call myself an Achur if I didn’t delve into this place to see and learn all I can.
Both my accepted place in this world and my belief that the world is a wonder to be explored call on me to do this. So, I am.
I’ll try to leave a record of it here.