Joining Signal Cartel – Part I

May 3, YC121

Void Raven

Void Raven woke up with a start. She had gone to bed the night before, eagerly awaiting the arrival of today. Sunlight streamed in through the window as the station exited the shadow cast by the planet around which it was orbiting. She leapt out of bed and hurried over to the kitchenette to pour herself a cup of coffee which is what she always did first thing in the morning. In her haste, she almost tripped – for the umpteenth time – on the upturned corners of the old rug on the floor, stepping aside at the last second. ‘Wow! Smooth move.’, she thought proudly as she regained her balance. ‘I wish I was that quick and agile in a hostile gatecamp. But I really should replace that rug. I’m going to break my neck on that thing one day.’

After returning from an exploration outing, however, she enjoyed unwinding with a Quafe or two. Especially if the activities of said outing had included losing a ship. Void had not yet been in an encounter in which her pod had been breached, as she had only recently completed the long and arduous process of becoming a capsuleer, but she had already experienced the loss of a ship. She was fearful of the inevitable pod breaches and subsequent clone retransplantation events in her future, because her experience during the final step of becoming a capsuleer – when one had to voluntarily accept death to gain the form of immortality that was one of the hallmarks of being a capsuleer – had been so psychologically intense and daunting. It had taken all of her willpower to go through with it and, furthermore, successful retransplantations were not a guarantee as there was always the possibility for something catastrophic to occur in the complex process.

In nullsec she had rarely had a drink as she hadn’t had much success finding stations with public docking rights and, in any event, merely undocking from just any station in null brought with it, its own set of risks, more so with a drink under one’s belt. In lowsec, she strictly limited herself to one drink, because prices for neutrals were so much higher than for the local residents, a state of affairs which irritated her a little… well, more than a little really. Furthermore, the locals were frequently unsavory types, pirates mostly, and she didn’t really care that much for the way they scowled and glowered at her in the bars. ‘Probably scheming how best to gank or grief me and mine some salt’, she would think when noticing them, a slight shiver running down her spine at the thought. But of one thing she was certain…’I’m no salt mine.’ One drink; keep a low profile. That’s what she did in lowsec. In wormhole systems…well she couldn’t rightly say what the prospects were of finding a Quafe to drink, since she had only visited one wormhole system so far, and a sample size of one is no sample at all. In abyssal deadspace, she had even less of an idea about the possibilities of enjoying a drink. But, possibilities aside, she had heard that these areas were exceedingly dangerous and, once entered, you only had a short time to safely extricate yourself again, before all – all – was lost. Since she didn’t like rushing her drinks, she would likely never linger there to have one.

Coffee, of course, was an ancient beverage which arrived in New Eden thousands of years ago with the original ancestors when they came through the EVE Gate from Earth. Having survived the collapse of the EVE Gate and the subsequent turmoil that had arisen in the wake of that event, proved, beyond any doubt in her mind, that coffee held a certain allure for humankind. “Billions of people and thousands of years can’t all be wrong”, she mused. So, with coffee in hand she walked over to the couch, sat down and via her neural interface logged into her personal account simply by thinking.

‘Come on, come on…’, she thought with exasperation. “Hurry up. Computers! They can be so frustratingly slow at the most inopportune times. Sometimes I wonder if they do it on purpose just for their own enjoyment.”

“No, we don’t.” came the curt response. Void just smiled. Did she detect some mild annoyance in that reply?

Then, suddenly, her translucent grey-white eyes, contrasting starkly with her jet-black hair, lit up. She set her coffee down on the side table. Yes! There it was. The invitation to join Signal Cartel. Her application had been successful! She immediately accepted; you know… before they might change their minds. Ping! A new mail arrived… the Welcome email. She opened it and promptly set about following the unexpectedly detailed and informative instructions outlined for new recruits. The coffee on the table next to her slowly went cold. Today, coffee could wait. But she would definitely have a Quafe later to celebrate.

The apartment suddenly went dark. She looked out the window. The station had again passed into the planet’s shadow. “What? Where did the time go? Did I really spend all this time just reading in the Signal Cartel Forums?”.

She had. Without realizing it, she had been spinning in station, totally engrossed for hours, absorbing the writings by signaleers on the myriad interesting and thought-provoking topics on the forums. She was immensely impressed by the breadth and quality of content on offer. But… something had changed since this morning. She had become slightly downbeat and a light melancholy had settled over her. Not that she had any second thoughts about joining Signal Cartel, mind you. Not at all. It was because she was young and low-skilled, primarily in exploration – which was and always would be her first love and true calling – but she had learned that certain groups engaged in other appealing, but more skill intensive activities. ‘I had no idea that Signal Cartel even did these kinds of things.’, she thought vainly to herself.

Getting to those skill levels seemed so far away in the future. This was the source of her despondency. She knew that there were activities of value to Signal Cartel and New Eden that she could do right way at her current skill level – she had after all already scanned down a wormhole signature, boldly entered it (some might say naively) only to lose her Imicus shortly thereafter in a most ignominious way. ‘No… I won’t think about it. Too embarrassing to recall.’, she thought again… although the faintest hint of a smile briefly flitted across her face. But then she also remembered that capsuleer losses were a matter of public record, causing her to blush profusely, even though she was alone. However, it had been on that occasion that she had started her tradition of having a Quafe upon losing ships, so something worthwhile had come of it, she supposed with a shrug of her shoulders.

By now it was late, and a wave of tiredness suddenly washed over her. She lay down on the couch and looked out of the window at the planet below, occasional streaks of light from sizable veldspar meteors betraying where they dove into its atmosphere. Her last thought before drifting off to sleep, was how grateful she was for the deployment of station guns which, in addition to meting out CONCORD sanctioned punishment in response to unlawful acts in the vicinity of the station, were also programmed to defend against any stray meteoroids that might pose a danger to it. Void’s eyes finally closed, the light from a glowing nebula off to one side of the planet casting a soft magenta hue over her serene face. Stars intermittently filled in the other black areas of the void… but they were no more than static pinpricks since they didn’t flicker when viewed from the orbiting station above the atmosphere. The cup with cold, and now stale, coffee was still on the table next to her. A half-empty bottle of Quafe was keeping it company.

Void awoke with a start, sunlight flooding the room. Waking up suddenly two days in row? That had never happened before. And she felt a strange, vexing premonition inside her. This day was not going to be normal… not by a long shot.

To be continued…

Simple musings on SC credo… (a poem)

Void Raven

The credo at once is deeply thoughtful, yet in some ways straightforward too.

Scare none with a first strike while screaming “Boo!”

From weapons, launch only fireworks of wondrous beauty,

for in so doing there’s never breach of duty.

Treat all with kindness and genuine respect.

Humbly serve New Eden without neglect.

Of prime importance is pure intent of deed

for then no awkward dialog with leadership shall we need.

Be resolutely neutral; act even-handed.

Boldly rescue the lost and the stranded.

In defeat, wear a smile; shed no tears in local chat.

Instead offer “gf” and don’t engage in tit-for-tat.

Always live in peaceful coexistence

and, when in dispute, tread the path of least resistance.

Embrace the solitary and nomadic explorer lifestyle,

to diligently seek that which will surely beguile.

Lastly, not living the credo by improper behavior

Will swiftly draw formidable and stern disfavor.

And thus we arrive at this brief missive’s end.

The arc of my life now happily will bend

toward SC and its credo; both worthy to defend.

  • Void Raven

The Respawn of Ancestral

A short novel about birth, death and… respawn

1.1 Birth. The fate that dwells in the sidereal paths

«Every man and every woman is a star»

The uncountable list of contracts was running in the local communication channel as fast as the stars and planets outside the warp tunnel: all of them cold and hungry as the light blue nebula all around the view. Scammers, billions of isk moving in seconds, danger behind every single smile. It was like… returning home. Maybe something more: a feeling she experienced only once in her lifetime, long ago, when the starred sky was something more from the one she is seeing today. Nevertheless: it was it. Home.

The cold comfort of the blue sky; the science behind the business; the veneration of the Highest Court for the contracts regulations. When business is done with the rituals of religion and the precision of science. Pure Caldari philosophy. Maybe this was the reason of her deja-vu, maybe not. Maybe the reason was just the academic background, mandatory for the members of some families: the huge amount of hours of study were paying their toll. Or better: they were paying HER toll. And her first ships, and life in general as well. A well elaborate business plan was incrementing her wallet quite fast actually. More fast than she would ever expected. Well, truth be told the studies were not the only reason: there was also that little secret. The secret that only she knew… All of a sudden: the space station appeared in the center of the warp tunnel and began to scream as the warp faded and reality took its place, ending the warp, stopping the warp drive. A cathedral of steel, huge and as big as the greed: Jita IV. She was arrived.

Docking permission requested – docking request accepted.

Less than a second, again: that little secret of her. Not a single academy teaches you the concept of safe-docking, you have to go somewhere else to learn that kind of stuff.

…in the silence of the personal room she turned off all the channels notification and she started the usual routine: checking prices, moving the cargo, reading contracts, managing buy/sell offers she was controlling in near markets and other solar systems. The idea of improve the business using a faster and little frigate for more travels instead of increasing the volume of the cargo – or the size of the ship – was the defining characteristic of her new job in the first days after the graduation and training program. To fit the needs of the small cargo she took as her core-business the implants trading: they were small but quite worthy. Damn, she was doing fine! Actually she was doing more than fine: of the few friends of the training days she was the one who was making isks. Much more than the people who were mining asteroid belts in some high-sec systems far from here. And even something more than her friend Alia who was risking her life in combat missions against pirates with her combat drones in low-sec.

Yet: something was bugging her. Something difficult to explain, even to understand maybe… She did not know the reason: maybe it was because she was thinking it was not her merit, but her secret’s merit. More likely it was just the realization of becoming lost in some empty rinses and repeats that were not the idea she had about her future (the “future”, when did it became a sentence in place of a promise?). Maybe this was the reason of the good feeling she had warping in the free-cold-caldari color systems: it was a reverie of the days when she still had choices to make and her talents and skills were the conditions of the contract she had with life, and with New-Eden in a larger scale of thought. A contract – a bargain – she was going to claim with the same passion she found tricks and unconventional way to use the lessons she received in the academy during those close-but-far days…

80% of implants sold

time to change the contract and offers to make more money.


…it was during one of those academy days that the Secret occured. She had just moved some important documents for the Academy to Jita – a little task the Academy gave to the older students to put them in touch with some “names and corps” – and after the undocking she had one of her glimpse. It was a little intuition about an unconventional use of the MicroWarpDrive: she started with some overheating experiments and she ended with her getting lost in the blackness of the space with the lovely sensation of calm and the light blue lights of the system star. She was enjoying the feeling of fast movement for so long that Jita’s Space Station was no more in the eye-sight. It’s unbelievable the amount of space that people lose to the warp. She was incredibly close to the space station for a warp-drive reality, but still: she was as far as a human could be in those days. No-one spend that amount of time just pursuing a direction in the void without warping. Obviously she could have align herself to the next jump and then warp for the next star system and so on, until the Academy. But for the first time she felt something new: she was in a place that was hers. Or better: a place that was holding something for her. Something that was hers to be. How long was this non-place waiting for her? What was waiting to her in the void of the disregarded space? Then the chills began. At the beginning they were just a tremble in her hands but in minutes it become a sort of electrical numbness under her very skin. Cold and frighteningly natural, as it was her body to call for the void and the oblivion. A call for oblivion that the poor mind could not fight. How long was this waiting for her? How long her body was attracting herself to what lurks in the familiar places we don’t want to look into?

Why she was losing all that time for nothing? It was non-sense! If only she could reach the directional scanner and prove to herself there was something physical in there – in the middle of uncountable AU – then this will become a proof of the destiny and the future she had felt since that day and not a death premonition… No, she was having difficulties to move the hands and the pin and needles of the tingling was getting deeper and deeper, and “darker”. It was not a death premonition! It was far worse than that! Now she knew: it was the feeling of finding yourself LIVING. But living a life that it’s not yours and realizing that too much years have passed by and the old you was no more…

scanning – Heart beats -scanning – silence all around – results.


At the distance of 2650m from the ship a little cube of debris was floating in its own fate. It was waiting for her. A black box, lost in time but not in the purpose. The little frigate she was on had a Data Analyzer module since she was learning in the academy the basics of hacking for unconventional information gathering so having access to the data and the information was pretty easy at that point. In that precise moment, Ancestral met her Secret.

Accessing files – downloading logs – reading file

That strange debris was floating in the space since long time: the security level was quite obsolete and the basic lessons of data analysis she did in the Academy were enough to hack the info inside the black box. Ancestral approached the strange debris while downloading the information hacked in the logs. Orbiting around she managed to look closely the remains: it was something new for her. A strange ivory light gleamed from the debris, pure as light and with some mystical blue shades given by the Jita starlight.

beeeeep – output logs on screen

Entries, tons of. Those were the logs of a merchant, she grew up in that kind of business since her family was obsessed with the status in the Caldari empire, even the Academy formation seemed to be planned for a more smart approach in the trade business. But there was something strange: the amount of items of each docking and undocking was really small, as the size of the cargo was just a small frigate ship but the amount of isk declared was huge.

Also: there was a lot of information and consideration in the log, as the previous owner was using it as a personal diary. Some of them were poetry. Literally poetry and prayers. Other were tons of personal location and consideration: safe docking location and how to use it, pieces of last messages – or believed so – recorded in dangerous moments, information about markets, systems without a name (referred as J-something) then a last one entry: docking permission requested to the Jita Space station, target alarm, Concord communications, blank…

«What kind of ship was this one?» Ancestral asked herself looking at the pure white glow in the space. She felt so attracted to this “relic” that she decide to open the cargo and took it inside her ship. Then she turned on the auto-pilot (time was indeed running short for the returning at the Academy: hours have been passed by, floating in the space) let the frigate warp to the stargate so she could focus her attention to the relic, now in her cargo.

The relic was pure white, even with the burned edges. It was quite small, yet its importance was stirring the air all around. In the middle of the surface, like a sacred eye, a little symbol: SoE. It seemed that it was looking at her, someone was looking at Ancestral through the black eye in the middle of that pure white, someone from a long distance, beyond the named systems in New Eden. And then she felt something like a hug, inside her, around her soul. It was something from the empty space all around, like a maternal embrace of the starred dome. Above her and in her, and she felt Ecstasy and Joy. A state that is only to be understood in experience, when the divine and the human ecstasy interact. In that precise moment she was not alone.


Time has passed since that day. Ancestral never said anything about it to her friends of the Academy. The white relic nowadays is in her personal room in Jita. After the graduation she spent a lot of her time trying to figure out the meaning of it and that day. At a certain point in time she also had an intuition looking at it about the way to make some isk: real fast and little frigate, more trades per day with little and expansive objects. So long, she ended making enough isk trading implants and blueprints. Time passed, again, but the strange feel she was feeling in the space around her has never left. Moreover: the more the dust increased on the relic, the more the sensation grew around her. Until today at least: in the moment she jumped in Jita the feeling became – once again – the feeling she had on that strange day, a feeling of returning… to something she can not explain to anyone, nor to herself. Was she missing something?

With those questions in mind she end the contract routine of buying offers in Jita and started the undocking procedure.

The last thing she looked at in her room was that shiny pure white SoE relic, covered with dust.

The last thought she had looking at the relic was something about finding a missing puzzle piece.

The last feeling she felt was something about that black eye in the middle of the white, like the first time. As the universe itself was staring at her fate.

Just outside the station. Gently like rain, lights and ships were dancing with the scenography of the limitless and remote Elsewhere. No sound. Not a sound that someone can listen to, at least.

In the middle of the silent eternal night, ships were raining without a sound from the cathedral of steel. Touched by the blue light of the ancient star. Falling down, without a hungry ground down-there that called them, without a cloud to escape from.

And in the middle.

A ship.

Falling upside down against the silent and peaceful storm.

Pure White.

The unveiling of the company of heaven.

Inside Ancestral, the Remote Elsewhere bloomed. And she understood, peacefully: not the data inside the debris, but the relic itself; not the trading strategy, but the getting lost towards something forgotten.

In that precise moment, on the com-screen, few lines appeared. They were from Alia and the other old friends: «Ancestral, how are you? Look, I know this might be a long shot but I guess I’m gonna try it. Me and some people of the old ground are trying something new. Something dangerous actually. Well… we decided to create a POS in a wormhole trying to build something ours outhere… There will be tons of things to do and discover… I don’t know, maybe you are interested… Worst case scenario we can talk to you for the reselling in Jita… Let me know…»

Ancestral was dancing with the Elsewhere. A silent yet beautiful dance. She did not knew the steps, but that wasn’t important, so she continued to dance with her fingers:
«I know exactly what I can do for us overthere…»

On another monitor all the isks she had saved and earned to that day were spent, in favor of a big seller, under the name she just managed to obtain few seconds ago:


Consummatum Est (a poem)

Void Raven

by Void Raven
(In tribute to the achievement of Katia Sae)

Consummatum Est

Nine years ago she heard a relentless call
to embark on a journey to see it all,
It touched the wanderer in her soul
and foreshadowed countless jumps through both stargate and wormhole.

And so, in answer, did she set sail
on a venture so grand it makes others seem pale,
On March the 9th, YC121
was the great endeavor finally done.

And on that truly singular day
“Consummatum est” she heard her grandfather say.
“I’ve wandered the stars and now, at last, count my soul among them.” said she,
shaking stardust from her hair and brimming with glee.

So now, fulfilled is this glorious dream
with the aid of her fellow explorers in the Signal Cartel team.
In Saisio now stands a beautiful bronze statue for all to see,
the place where New Eden will remember Katia Sae in eternity.

  • Void Raven

The Tender (a poem)

Felippe en Distel

Our Signaleers are pilots of many talents and some, while wiling away the hours deep in Anoikis, turn to verse. Felippe en Distel is one such Signaleer who has captured the life of the rescue cache tender:

The Tender

She drops a bookmark, warping off
the entrance hole; though she would scoff
at evermore returning there:
to retend caches lent her care?
No, onward she will surely go
To scan and map, to tend and sow,
And drive on into systems deep,
Forgetting food and drink and sleep.

To seek this cache, she bounces thrice,
Through planet’s sash of rock and ice,
And there and back again she’ll go,
’til canister on grid shall show.
That beacon (casting pilots’ fears
of losing probes and, stranded here,
be forced to self-destruct their pod,
their evening’s ratting gone to sod,
away) be now in sight, so near
To our intrepid Signaleer!

A warp, a check of d-scan quick,
A copy/paste of password, click,
Reveal a set of probes (expected),
Launcher mod; the goods inspected,
something’s missing… yes, a hug!
She taps her hold and drops a jug
of spirits into wanting can,
‘fore dropping her own probes to scan.

Red to green, her sigs progress,
with sharper signal, probe size less.
And noting wormhole type and class
of system, in this final pass,
She settles on an exit hole,
And splashes, reigniting soul
When Allison’s kind words implore
To tend again, to sow once more.

  • Fellipe en Distel