Jan 5 2015

Day 3005: Nullsec trek

The stealth run

The itch to put ‘ Interdiction Nullifier to the test prompted Aeon to dig up his old nullsec traveling plans again. He had not used the ship in quite a while, so the first step was to entirely review its fitting and adjust it to the task at hand. When Aeon was satisfied with the results, the next few days were spent doing trial runs to reawaken all the old reflexes that would be needed again after a longer stay in high security space. This included remembering how not panic, how to warp safely between gates and avoid bubbles (best to keep good practices even with the nullifier), how to gather intel on the activity in the systems on the route, how to evade pursuit and how not to panic (best to remember that twice).

The route itself was straightforward: a well used access pipeline into nullsec, and then a route through nullsec that would lead by a few notable locations in the same area (the wreck of Titan Steve being the main event), then exit through another pipeline at the end. To make the journey slightly safer, I waited for a day with a low pilot count on the server, combined with a usually quiet hour. Loreena scouted the access pipeline, which was comfortably quiet, then Aeon was on his way. He knew his choice of ship would make it more likely that he would be chased, but he’s stubborn like that. As I hoped, the systems on Aeon’s route were largely unpopulated, and the few people that were there did not pursue. When he reached the Steve system, there was a small fleet of about 8 people there. A quick investigation showed they were nowhere near the memorial itself, and surprisingly they kept to themselves while Aeon took some screenshots. Still, not one to play with fire longer than absolutely necessary, he did not linger. The only real encounter was a duo of interceptors that came to investigate while Aeon was visiting an abandoned caldari station. Luckily Aeon had already taken his screenshots and had cloaked up again. Loreena later argued that it was foolish to even uncloak to take a screenshot, but I can relate. No point in taking all these risks if you can’t even show off a little bit.

The next few sytems were empty, so Aeon could take in the impressive sight of a cluster of shattered planets without being disturbed at all. He stayed there for a cup of tea and two cookies, then made his way to the exit pipeline. Two systems there had bubbles and some apparently quite well organized gate camps, but luckily they were made to catch people coming in, not going out. Aeon did not bring anything back from this trip except the screenshots, but it was a first step in completing a plan that he made many years ago. It felt good to see him dust off old dreams like that, and I do not think he slacked his thirst for nullsec adventuring just yet. There are quite a number of locations still on his list, so Alea’s Nemesis is now safely parked in a high security space station until preparations for the next trek are done.

Of course all this would not have been possible at home with the satellite internet connection and its high latency: I had to do it in the office so I would be able to react in time to any situations that may arise. Being able to compare the latency to the regular DSL line in the office, I realized how much of a difference it can make: speed tests on sat vs office showed latencies of 719ms vs 31ms. Almost a full second delay when sending a command can very easily get you killed, even in a covert ops frigate. This made me wonder how high latency has to be to become a problem, since PvP fights are usually very short-lived, and small command delays can have big consequences.

On a sidenote™:

I mentioned a while ago that I started a third (still undisclosed) character, which I wanted to use for experimenting with playstyles I had not tried so far. Plans were mainly to try out nullsec life in a big alliance and factional warfare. As all good plans, they failed utterly πŸ™‚ Nullsec life turned out to be as evasive as I expected it to be, not because of nullsec itself (which is pretty cool) but because of the way I play EVE. I cannot use voice comms because I either play semi-afk in the office where that is just not done, or at home where I have to be attentive to things outside of the game. Despite quite some efforts I ended up being pretty useless to the corp I joined, and that is just too frustrating. After that fiasco, I did not even try factional warfare anymore. I know for a fact by now that I do not have the time to learn how to PvP properly, and I did not want to join up just to be useless yet again.

Still, after all this I did not regret starting a third character. Aeon and Loreena are both so tied up in their own roles that there are many things I will not do with them anymore. I realize that sounds a bit sad, but it really isn’t. I like where they both are after slowly growing into their respective roles, and I definitely want them to stay there. This third character is more of a sandbox to try out things (except unlawful stuff, that is still where I draw the line) without having to worry about anything, and once I am done exploring I should not have any trouble to let go of it (I hope). Any new things I learn I can then translate back to Aeon and Loreena. Right now the highlight is that I can fly a with it, which actually managed to make Aeon envious. I must say, that is one hell of a ship. Aeon never trained projectiles far enough to use the tech II variants, and seeing what the ship delivers I think Aeon will want to train up a bit after all.

Mastery levels and skills

Speaking of the : While training up for it, I found the ship mastery levels actually quite helpful – up to level IV. Level V is just silly. After three years more or less beelining for the Vargur, my third character has reached mastery level IV of the ship. According to the ingame previsions, it would take another 360+ days for mastery level V – I believe that to be a tad excessive. Aeon himself has reached mastery level V of the Armageddon a few months back for some weird reason, and has just recently unlocked quite a few more battleships by training the Armor Layering skill to V. In his case it is utterly useless, since he does not use any armor plates. Then again, why bother unlocking mastery levels at all? As an EVE veteran, I know I do not need some of those skills… Except that I have to admit seeing those golden badges in ISIS feels good. I could hit myself for falling into the trap, but I cannot help it πŸ˜›


An unexpected side effect of starting the third character was testdriving some roleplaying corps and channels. Eventually I settled on the Intergalactic Summit channel, wich has some very good content at times. If you feel inspired and want to discuss current game events or even simply EVE-related things, it is often enough to post something to spark a conversation. With the current sleeper activity, there were some really good conversations going on. I had a lot of fun participating there, which gave me some insights into a community I wanted to have a look at for a long time. I think what I enjoyed even more than some good conversation though was that everyone was polite. No smacktalk, no trolling… very uncharacteristic for EVE.

Eye Candy!

This time in double screen format, since I had spread the EVE window over two screens. It’s a thoroughly weird format, since it was one 16:9 ratio screen and one 16:10, so I had to resize accordingly. Still, it was fun to have such a large view for once. It gives the game a whole new depth. New item for the 2015 wishlist: a second screen with a matching aspect ratio.

The Wreck Of Titan Steve
Shattered Planets
Abandoned Caldari Outpost
Inspecting The Abadoned Station
Ringed Planet Flyby
Classic EVE Space Scenery
Legion Exploration
Starting The Nullsec Trek

Jan 4 2012

Bio: Anthea Syrkos

She loved the feeling of walking in a haze after a sleepless night. It was not something that she could do too often, but over the years it had become a sort of monthly ritual. Where many relied on drugs, she found that a little sleep deprivation provided a much more healthy kick. When the sister she lost six years ago suddenly looked back at her from the wall screen in her living room, she stared at the screen in pure disbelief. She tried blinking and looking away and back, but she was definitely no hallucination.

Her own survival had been a great fuel for her shame, since her reasons to be out of the Aramea system when the wormhole appeared were of a frivolous nature. To be exact, she had slipped through her parent’s net to be with a boy. To her dismay, she did not even recall his name anymore. She had spent the last few years trying to erase everything that had happened from memory, and to some success. By some weird happenstance, Loreena had survived against all odds – and now threatened to bring down all her carefully erected protection barriers. And yet, seeing her sister alive filled her with such a profound relief that it did not matter that much. Still, the main question was if she should make contact at all. Would her own life be better if she did? She knew she was a selfish bitch, but she liked herself just the way she was. Loreena had always been the more sensible one, and she was certain they would quickly resume their usual fights about how ill-behaved she was. No, this changed nothing. She would just ignore her as she did her past.

Three months later, she had to face the fact that she had to call Loreena. The knowledge that her family had not in fact been wiped out entirely had changed her in a number of subtle ways, to the point where she was not able to enjoy her frivolous activities anymore. Loreena’s face haunted her like a tattoo she could not remove. It enraged and frustrated her. She damned her sister to hell for doing this to her, but there was no way around it. So it was that laden with anger, frustration and grief she jumped into her ship and made her way to Gamis. She had made an appointment with Loreena under a false name – she wanted to shock her as much as she had been shocked. When she entered the Anthean museum, she was strangely humbled by all the work they had done so far. She averted her eyes from all these things trying to yank her back into her past and made her way to Loreena’s office.

When they saw each other, no words were spoken. Loreena looked haggard, but when saw her long-lost sister she lit up in a way that made her lose all her carfully erected composure, anger, frustration and grief included. “How could you?” she murmured softly when they embraced, but Loreena just held her tighter. She never understood exactly what had felt so good in that moment, but for once she did not try to investigate any further.

From there she joined the Aramean Excavations project as lead planetologist, her talents now serving a purpose beyond funding her lascivious lifestyle. Loreena had been changed more deeply than she could have imagined, now a lot closer to the elder sister she had wished to have many years ago. Maybe she could have the best of both worlds after all, she thought and jumped back into bed for some afternoon fun.

Where she goes from here remains to be written.

Jan 3 2012

Bio: Sayathea Zoya

Sayathea learned very early that good looks are both a blessing and a curse. Being born into a wealthy family of the Jin-Mei caste was similar: she got almost everything she wished for as a child, but as soon as she was of age to marry she learned that she was not free to make her own choices. To escape forced marriage and a number of other potential abuses, she fled. She knew exactly that she would never be able to go back, so she stole whatever ISK and valuables she could put her hands on and paid an amarrian merchant to take her into Amarr space. She knew her family had many enemies there, so pursuit was less likely – even if she was certain they would try to get to her anyway.

She quickly realized that she was not quite ready to be on her own in this harsh universe, especially not as a young gallentean woman in Amarr space. Nevertheless, she managed to survive long enough to pay for a pod pilot’s license – though along with her ship it cost her everything she had left from her heist. She was now as independent as she had dreamed of countless nights, but she would have to earn her keep from now on. It was the beginning of a long trek that took her to the edges of secure space, always mindful to keep a low profile. She evaded a few attempts from her family to either kill her outright or bring her back into federation space, until they seemed to finally give up a few years later. She had tried to keep in contact with her older sister and one of her cousins, but as their destinies grew more distant from each other so did their friendships.

It was on a station in Derelik that the last few years finally caught up with her. Stranded until her ship was serviced, she suddenly had time to reflect on her life, and she realized that she had no such thing. While she had been able to safeguard her body and freedom, there was nothing else to her. Now that the reason for her flight and years of traveling around the universe was gone, the prospect of beginning a life truly of her own was daunting. She was an empty shell without a purpose, lacking even the knowledge on how to find a purpose. It was in this state of mind that she met Loreena Syrkos for the first time. She instantly recognized her as a lone wolf like herself, with very little interest in the thriving social games pilots like to indulge in. She watched as she navigated through the crowd, expertly avoiding to initiate contact with anyone. She followed her from a distance, not exactly sure why she had this effect on her. A few corridors later, she disappeared into her hangar booth and later undocked in a Prowler – a fitting choice of ship in Sayathea’s book.

The ship’s name allowed her to find out that it belonged to a Loreena Syrkos, CEO of the corporation Aramean Excavations. Reading about the ARMEX project proved to be a revelation. Picking up the pieces of a civilization from among the debris of its home planet destroyed by a cataclysmic event sounded like what she was trying to do with her own life. The next few days while waiting for her ship to be ready, she read up on the project and Loreena herself. When she was finally back in space, she contacted Loreena and managed to convince her to meet. Instead of the eccentric personage she had expected her to be, she quickly found a true friend in Loreena, one who shared her broken soul. It turned out she was not the only one trying to piece herself back together through the project.

Her position as lead archivist was exactly what she needed. Cataloging all the artifacts and managing the dedicated museum’s expositions kept her on a tight schedule and filled her mind. Every little piece she added to their ever growing collection made her feel a little more at home here. Maybe her life could be mended after all?

Aug 8 2011

New character portraits

While the new portrait editor is all kinds of awesome, I think some of the characters lack the depth they had before. This is especially true in Aeon’s case: the old portrait was more expressive than what can be achieved with the new editor. One thing that really bugged me was the fact that I can’t have him open his eyes more – his race template does not offer enough leeway here. Difficult not to make him seem sleepy!

Nevertheless I am quite happy how they both turned out (even if Aeon looks like a monkey with the Captain’s Quarters renderer and Loreena is way too angular). As usual I did not use much makeup or additional decorations like piercings or the like, because both characters are very simple and it would not fit their style. I think they will not get anything from the NEX store either – the default choice of attire is more than enough for their needs πŸ™‚

Aeon lost his front tattoo, the same one was available after the tattoo update of the editor, but it does not render the same – so I chose to go on without it. Maybe in the future they will add some more options, but for now they look good enough to me.

Dec 16 2010

Closing the gap

When it comes to fighting off pirate factions in missions or in complexes and occasionally wormholes, Aeon has always been the one doing the heavy lifting. Loreena contributed from the shadows, keeping him alive with logistics or providing drone support. That is about to change, however.

For some months now, Loreena has been training to do some punching herself, upgrading first from her Myrmidon to a Dominix and now to the renowned Kronos. It can be argued that the Kronos is one of the weaker Marauder-class ships, but that has never been a deterrent in my case. I always liked the hull of the Megathron, so the Kronos was a good target to go for to improve her fighting skills.

She still needs to improve on some key skills, but she can already use the T2 railguns now. A few level 4 missions as testing ground have proven the ship to be everything I expected. The Paladin still trumps it, but the combination of Aeon’s Pulse Lasers setup for close range combat with Loreena’s sniping setup is very effective. Sure, two marauders for running a level 4 mission is overkill, but I appreciate being able to kill rats that are far away without slow-boating into range with 120 m/s.

This is Loreena’s current fit (tank optimized for Sansha):

[Kronos, Missions]
Imperial Navy Large Armor Repairer
Armor Thermic Hardener II
Armor Thermic Hardener II
Armor EM Hardener II
Armor EM Hardener II
Federation Navy Magnetic Field Stabilizer
Federation Navy Magnetic Field Stabilizer

Sensor Booster II
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II

Salvager II
Small Tractor Beam I
Small Tractor Beam I
425mm Railgun II, Spike L
425mm Railgun II, Spike L
425mm Railgun II, Spike L
425mm Railgun II, Spike L

Large Capacitor Control Circuit I
Large Capacitor Control Circuit I

Heavy Armor Maintenance Bot II x3
Vespa II x5

With the drone space the ship offers, you can carry a good selection of drones – in my case I went for the armor maintenance drones to get Aeon out of a tight spot as he usually takes aggro. The sensor booster increases the targeting range so you can target as far as your turret’s maximal optimal range. It is intentionally without script, as the base bonus is enough to target out to 140km, that way I get the second bonus of the module as well.

Some stats:

Cap stable
830 DPS Tank (vs. Sansha)
410 DPS, 1745 Volley
Targeting range: 141 Km
Optimal range: 130 Km

Those are with Loreena’s current skillset:

Marauders III
Controlled Bursts IV
Motion Prediction V
Rapid Firing IV
Sharpshooter V
Trajectory Analysis V
Surgical Strike -untrained-

On a sidenote, now that learning skills have been removed I was able to top off some leftover skills, as well as get started on the next plan: a Proteus. Loreena had trained all learning skills to level 5, so she had 5.3 million skillpoints to distribute. A real treat just in time for christmas πŸ™‚

Aug 18 2010

Skills distribution 8/2010

I am still importing my old blog posts that had gotten lost in the server crash, and I came upon a post from 2007 about Aeon and Loreena’s skill distribution. It was interesting to see how they both evolved during those three years. Here’s how it looks today:

Aeon’s top areas, not counting Learning skills, compared to 2007:

» Spaceship Command (18.4 Mil) – unchanged
» Gunnery (9.7 Mil) – unchanged
» Science (5.3 Mil) – up from #4
» Engineering (4 Mil) – new
» Mechanic (4 Mil) – new

Loreena’s top areas:

» Spaceship Command (14.5 Mil) – unchanged
» Science (9.2 Mil) – up from #3
» Gunnery (6.5 Mil) – new
» Drones (6.5 Mil) – new
» Mechanic (4.4 Mil) – new

Loreena is the one with the most changes, she evolved into a science / combat hybrid with some really good drone skills. Aeon pretty much continued on the path he had started on, namely flying ships and killing stuff with them. The fact that science is so far up the list is because of the scanning and hacking/archaeology skills.

Both characters also have some mid-term skillings plans at the moment: Aeon is working on making a foray into capital ships with an Archon, and Loreena is skilling up on Hybrid guns to eventually fly a Kronos. Well, she already has the ship and can undock in it, but she can’t shoot anything with it yet πŸ™‚

I am still not quite sure whether the time and ISK investment into Aeon’s carrier venture is really worth it – but I guess you never know until you’ve tried. Loreena and her Kronos are a long-standing dream, I just hope I will not forget too often to take ammo along πŸ˜€

Apr 23 2009

Day 922: Back to the roots voice off style

Aeon realized lately that he had not been faithful to his bloodline, the Vherokior tribe. After all these years, his highest standing is with the Brutor tribe, and even Caldari Navy has better standing than his own family. I do not exactly know why it suddenly became an issue, but I knew he had to do something about it. Of course the Minmatar faction standing was sufficient to access virtually any Vherokior agent including level 4 ones, but Aeon eventually settled for a couple of good quality level 3 agents in Teonusude.

The logistics of running level 4 missions were just too much of a hassle then, so these missions were a welcome worry-free change. Loreena even left her manufacturing ventures and moved out there with him, providing support with Tatonka (Orca). Having mobile corporate hangars and a ship maintenance bay makes a lot of things much easier. Aeon just brought Skullplitter (Absolution) along, as I have really grown fond of this missioning powerhouse. It shrugs everything off that these level 3 missions can throw at it – with the right amount of caution that is. Triggering all waves in The Blockade at once for example stretches its tanking capabilities pretty thin.

Once everything was set up and a number of missions later, the Vherokior tribe standings were already climbing noticeably. For some reason that felt very right, and I think Aeon wants to make them even better than his Brutor tribe standings. One should not let his family down like that to begin with, but then Aeon did not exactly lead a simple life. Since he rescued Loreena from the wormhole collapse in the now defunct Aramea system, he has wandered around pretty much aimlessly. It is time to go back to the roots now, however. With all the recent events in New Eden, I think he just needed some stability. He just cannot fully grasp how Loreena fits into the whole picture yet, even 922 days after he brought her back to Ammold and she eventually joined his operations.

Strange how in this world, any place you stay for a while starts to feel like home – the crowded Lustrevik already seems pretty far away. Teonusude is a nice enough spot, even if the luxurious Vherokior Tribe Treasury station does not really fit Aeon’s idea of a permanent home. Ammold will always stay Aeon’s spiritual home however, the one where it all started. It is even doubly significant, as it is also where it all started anew after his trip to Aramea. He had gone there with death on his mind, but out of the billions that died that day, he rose to live a new life. Loreena made that possible, and in a very real sense, she is all that keeps him alive. Of course he is not directly conscious of the strength of the link between them. Aeon has never bothered with feelings, he usually just shrugs them all off, concentrating on the tasks at hand. Incidentally, that accounts for his occasional puzzlement when he tries to understand how she fits into his life.

I think he is still quite a tortured soul, trying to believe without much success in some kind of divine intervention that made him and Loreena be the only survivors of the cataclysm – but all the while fiercely refusing to accept he could be worth the trouble. His instincts had saved him, but why? All he had wanted back then was to get a sweet kiss from death, yet his very own instincs had betrayed him. Thus is the nature of man, questioning himself and everything, even established certitudes. A rock solid atheist like Aeon suddenly contemplates the existence of “divine intervention”. Mind you, all this confusion is relegated to mere footnotes in his life when he has a task to fulfill. Then his mind becomes a beautiful display of the finer arts a human brain can bring forth. All the training and experience he has gathered so far have made him fearfully efficient in everything he touches.

One could argue that his choices have not always been inspired, and I would tend to agree. However, who can say for himself never to have blundered? The people of New Eden live in a wretched world, eons from the once innocent life on their lost homeworld. What have they all become, and where are they going? It is a question that Aeon contemplates occasionally when he is in a melancholy mood. Is it a pointless question? What can a single pilot achieve to change things? There are those that command millions in battles of interests, harbingers of death for the conquest of one or more pieces of space here and there, bound to be lost and retaken again endlessly. All races confounded, their achievements are great. The universe itself sometimes seems to tremble in their wake. But from a distance, it all sounds hollow and soulless. In Aeon’s eyes, they all lacked a goal – a vision. In the end, no matter how much destruction you sow, something will rise from the ashes and bite you back. So why bother? For money? Fame? Personal gratification? Those are the modern career choices.

Aeon sometimes likes feeling sorry for himself. In those moments, he sometimes gets the impression that his goal in life must be hiding somewhere around the next corner. It would be something beautiful in its simplicity, something that everyone could strive to reach. He had felt that way when he had entered his first wormhole. That proved to be a vain hope however, wormholes now being the same cesspools than so-called civilized space in his eyes. I think Aeon knows he is growing bitter constantly brooding on these matters, so he keeps his mind occupied with other things. Loreena will always be his biggest occupation of course, in part because she can erase all his fears with a single smile.

And there we have the heart of the matter. Aeon is a consummate judge of character, but Loreena remains a mystery to him. From the death of her homeworld and family to all the lows they have lived through together since then, she has taken it all in stride. She picked herself up every time as if she could see something in her future he could not see in his. She seemed to have what he lacked – a goal. Of course they talk a lot with each other, but even though they both seem curious about the other’s deeper thoughts, neither dares break the chemistry. He also often wonders why she stays with him and follows him in all his ventures without ever questioning him about it. He knows it is not merely because she feels she owes him that much for saving her, that is a feeling that usually does not stay for so long. No, there must be something else. With her skills and experience, she could easily reach for the stars. She loved him of course, just as he loved her – but that was not the reason either, he could sense that. Their relationship could be described as unconventional to say the least, hovering between platonic love and carnal passion, but all within the confines of their own minds. There is a mutual unspoken agreement that simply living out their passion would break everything apart – so they were both effectively doomed to live partnerless lives. One might sneer at a setup like that or even laugh at them, but I can guarantee that a look into their eyes and history would make you drop to your knees in sudden understanding and grief.

I like to think nothing is ever set in stone, and things may still take a turn for the better. In the meantime, Aeon and Loreena continue to make their way in New Eden, surviving against all odds – better than many, worse than none other.

Author’s voice-off: “I fear this may sound terribly clichΓ© and cheesy, but it is nice to see these two characters evolve in their own world. Granted, they are merely pawns in a game I play – they cannot exist without me. I hate puppet analogies so I will not go that way, but somehow they are extensions of myself and they live the life I would have liked to live if New Eden was a reality. Even if you do not roleplay as such (or even hate it), as soon as you build a character you start roleplaying simply through the projection you make of yourself in the game. Imagining yourself in your ship, flying through space and even picturing your opponents are all aspects of roleplay. Even though I do not really roleplay in the game, I like to immerse myself in it and give my characters a semblance of life. In a very real sense, that binds my virtual life’s ethics to my real life ones, and sometimes I miss out on some of the shadier aspects of the game. I do not mind though, I have always been true to myself and enjoy the experience a lot more that if I had to jump into a custom built role everytime.

Somehow the term chivalry comes to mind if I had to characterize my way of handling ingame relations. I think this comes from the fact that I love fantasy just as much as science fiction and can relate to chivalry-like ethics pretty naturally. Everything is possible in EVE anyway, so it is good to be able to live this out without any real drawbacks. A healthy dose of paranoia is essential of course however, this is the Internet after all πŸ™‚

I would love to hear about how you see the game!

Comment your thoughts here directly, or give me a link to your blog posts / websites and I will read them and link them here.”

Update 11/05: Added screenshot and Wikipedia links.

Jun 18 2007

Skills distribution 6/2007

EVEMon has a very nice new feature – you can generate pie charts of your skills distribution, a good way to find out what your character is really good at (or not).

These are Aeon and Loreena’s skill distributions respectively:

Aeon’s top 5 areas are (not counting Learning)

» Spaceship Command (2.2 Mil)
» Gunnery (1.5 Mil)
» Navigation (830K)
» Science (820K)
» Industry (550K)

And Loreena’s are

» Spaceship Command (1.8 Mil)
» Industry (1.7 Mil)
» Science (1.2 Mil)
» Gunnery (330K)

…which shows that Loreena is a lot more specialized than Aeon. No wonder either – I play primarily with Aeon, so he’s the one that I try everything with. Loreena is the manufacturer and hauler, so I don’t care if a skill takes a week – I just let it train. She has only 43 skills vs Aeon’s 81, and 19! skills at level 5 vs Aeon’s 14. I really have to specialize Aeon more.

Anyway, giant kudos to the EVEMon team who did and still do a tremendous job!

May 22 2007

Bio: AeonOfTime

He was getting tired of living in this wretched universe. He had seen too much, done too much that could never be forgotten. When he landed on Aramea, he was looking for a job to pay for servicing Crimson Skies, his hurricane. Then he was going to venture out into the lawless outer reaches of this constellation and hopefully be destroyed taking as many of those bastard pirates with him as he could.

But life has its twists and turns that can change futures in only a few seconds. Such was his encounter with Saeroth Syrkos, a local nobleman who was looking for a guarded escort for his daughter, Loreena Syrkos. Her studies required her to survey the asteroid belt around Aramea, and her dear father would not let her go there unguarded.

Aeon really was the best man for the job, having not only the fighting experience to keep her safe, but also the astrosurveying equipment required for the job – his real passion being deep core mining. It was to be a nice mission for once – dangerless, good pay, no jumping and with a rather beautiful young lady. It all went completely wrong, of course.

The survey was going along just fine, and Aeon rather enjoyed Loreena’s company. She was smart, and passionate about everything she did. It was a strange reading from the gravitational sensor banks that told him that something was amiss: Aramea’s gravitational pull suddenly spiked, enough to crush anyone living there to pulp right where they stood. Aeon is not the kind of man to just stand idly by and wait what happens – he immediately activated his emergency warp routine that safely warped them out to a pre-selected stargate.

From there, they were able to witness one of the most improbable events in the known universe: a wormhole appearing at the core of a planet, ripping it apart and projecting the remaining pieces into the unknown. Such a cataclysm it was that they had to jump out of system before the aftermath of that encounter destroyed everything else in-system. The ensuing collapse of the wormhole, overloaded by the mass of the planet, was visible even from their location two systems out.

His instincts had saved him, unwillingly robbing him of this golden opportunity to rid himself of this life in a classier way than going down all guns blazing against a bunch of pirate thugs. He knew why however – his passenger did have a say in this, even though she might have wished she died along with all the others. At least she looked like it when he explained the situation. Then the strangest of things happened, he realized this could give him a new purpose, to take care of this lost child – or at least, make sure he kept his promise to her dead father,

He thought about it for a while, and offered to take her to Ammold with him, and help her in any way he could. To his surprise, she agreed without any discussion and he turned back to Ammold, with the faintest of smiles on his lips for what seemed like the first time in a very long time.

In the next few years, Loreena grew very fast and learned even faster. She amazed him every day, and she had filled his life with such new hope that he was transformed. She even became a pod pilot and now works together with him for their joint venture, the Syrkos Technologies corporation. His demons were still there, but they did not scare him anymore. He was at peace.

What the future holds, is yet to be written.

May 21 2007

Bio: Loreena Syrkos

Loreena Syrkos’ life was good in the protection of her family, her studies were progressing well and she showed a lot of promise to enter the ranks of the renowned Caldari scientists conglomerate. She had friends she cared for, and she knew what she wanted her life to look like. Life in our troubled universe being as unpredictable as it is, this was not to happen.

A massive wormhole appeared directly within her home planet’s core, which was obliterated in less than a heartbeat, rendered to pieces and sucked in by the wormhole to an unreachable destination. She escaped the blast by pure luck and the cool mind of the eccentric AeonOfTime. She was conducting surveys of the asteroid belt surrounding Aramea, her home planet and birthplace – as life would have it, only the reckless Aeon agreed to venture out there, and when the wormhole appeared he somehow managed to warp out before the attraction of the wormhole got its whole grip on them.

Everything was gone in mere seconds – there was no one and nothing left that had mattered to her. The aftermath of the encounter between Aramea and the wormhole forced Aeon to jump out of system before even the outer star gates would be destroyed by the blast. He seemed to understand her loss in a peculiar way, and offered to take her with him to Ammold V. Minmatar space? She was in no condition to decide whether that was a good idea, but there was no point in staying either. Nothing was left that she could go back to, so she silently mourned her family and friends while a new, unknown future waited for her on Ammold.

In the years that followed, Aeon became like a new father for her, in his own weird way. He took good care of her, even helping her financially to finish her studies. She still could not fathom him, his obsession with mining and pastime mission contracting, allied with a keen interest in all things scientific. She would spend hours explaining her science projects to him even though he probably understood only a third of what she told him. They both enjoyed it, though.

The time on Ammold was both haunted by memories that grew ever more distant and yet more frightening, but also enjoyable because she was fulfilled in her work – and in her training lessons with Aeon which made her a full-blown pod pilot as she reached 23. Her first launch with Thalea, her hoarder, would be for ever engraved in her memory. It was an old tub salvaged by Aeon on one of his mission runs, but to her it was perfect. From then on, she never stopped studying to perfect herself in scientific research, funding her projects by helping out Aeon on his mining runs, finally creating the Syrkos Technologies corporation and becoming CEO.

More recently, the discovery of the Aramean debris field in Ammatar space led her to bring a new project to life, the Aramean Excavations corporation. Dedicated to salvaging the remnants of her home from among the debris, she was able to enlist the help of her long-lost sister, Anthea Syrkos as well as Sayathea Zoya, their lead archivist. Together they run a permanent exposition of the salvaged Aramean artifacts in their office in the Gamis solar system.

Where she goes from here is yet to be written.