Editor’s Note: We’ve not had one of these in a while, so very thankful for Orlando Bruxt, a new member of our corp, for stepping up and submitting his!
Once again Katia found herself at the Armateur, an upscale restaurant at the Theology Council station in Zoohen. If it wasn’t for the view, she would have been more comfortable elsewhere. The secluded tables that were nearly completely bubbled in glass offered one of the best views in Zoohen which enabled a guest to feel as if they were floating in space. It was a fair approximation, only lacking the no gravity feeling, of what it was like to be connected to your ship as a capusleer.
She was pleased to hear a newer member of Signal Cartel, Orlando Bruxt, was interested in taking part in the Signaleer interview series, which was optional of course, but it was encouraging when her corp mates opted in. On a more personal note, Katia preferred the one on one talks rather than the large social gatherings which always made her uncomfortable. Hearing the maître d’ approach with her guest, Katia stood, smiled, and nodded. She offered her hand in greeting. “Orlando? Pleasure to meet you.”
After what was an enjoyable meal, Katia relaxed with a glass of Achurian wine, her favorite from home, before starting the interview. “So tell me, why did you become a capsuleer?”
“Well, I grew up in the Aulbres System in Placid, which is not exactly a popular vacation destination, for obvious reasons.” Orlando chuckled.
“My mother did her best with what little we had, but unfortunately she succumbed to illness when I was 14. My uncle took me in and put me to work on his mining rig.” He shifted somewhat uncomfortably in his chair.
“Needless to say, port towns and refinery rigs have their own special forms of hospitality, so dangerous and unforgiving environments are kind of in my blood at this point.”
Katia wasn’t one to press, after all the interviews were meant to be casual, so she didn’t press on what seemed to be an uncomfortable topic. Rather, she wanted her corp mates to be relaxed and share only what they were willing to. So, she moved on to the next question, “What is your piloting background? Or I guess what I mean to ask is, how’d you go from miner to explorer?”
“Eventually I caught wind of a distance study program through the University of Caille and enrolled in their Anthropology program while continuing to harvest rocks. It was through that program that one of my professors, Dr. Patrice Smolden, made a recommendation to the Federal Naval Academy on my behalf. I honestly hadn’t ever considered being a capsuleer prior to working for Dr. Smolden. Where I’m from, something like that is a pipe dream, not realistic at all. And I didn’t think acceptance to the Academy would be an option through the distance study program.”
“Nevertheless, Dr. Smolden was convinced that I would not only be accepted, but would thrive at the Academy.” Orlando raised his eyebrows and looked down at the floor with fond recollection. “I eventually caved to her persuasions,” a grin crossed his face, “applied to the Academy, and got accepted.”
“I… see.” Katia replied, not sure if there was more to the grin or not, but she smiled in return and moved on to the next question. “Right… so what attracted you to exploration? Do you have goal you’ve set your sights on?”
“Phew, where to start!” Orlando chuckled. “Well, I found out pretty quickly in my tenure as a miner that mining was perhaps not a good long-term career path for me. It wasn’t that I was necessarily bad at it, I just found it mind-numbingly boring. To address my boredom, I would often navigate off-grid to see what else I could find. This resulted in… well… let’s just say I would be shocked if my uncle was breaking even on my production versus expenditures.”
He continued to chuckle. “I was pretty much relegated to manning the lasers, while taking advantage of getting into the cockpit any chance I got.”
“As for goals? For right now I’m just focused on mastering the basics of exploration and keeping up on my studies. Eventually I’ll get involved in some more intensive projects with the corp, but for right now I’m content with just learning the ropes.”
“Speaking of the corp, what attracted you to Signal Cartel?”
“After I finished at the Academy, I applied for and accepted a grant through their Expeditionary and Discovery division to start my own exploration corp. It was pretty short lived and didn’t end well.” Laughing, Orlando continued, “That was when I realized why my uncle took away my piloting rights early on!”
“Anyways, one of the stipulations of the grant was that the corp had to remain active for at least 4 years and host internships for the school. I fell a little less than 4 years shy of that obligation.” His smile widened as he shook his head, “So, I was on the hook for several million isk. With no way to pay my debt, I took the first job I could land, which turned out to be a marketing position with Aliastra.”
Orlando sighed as he continued, “One day on my morning commute I saw a leaflet for Signal Cartel and reached out to one of the recruitment officers, Tamayo. I explained my situation and she assured me that I wouldn’t need to worry about my existing debts, and that they would be thrilled to have me on board. It seemed too good to be true, but I applied to the corp and was accepted into their ranks. It’s been nothing short of a dream job ever since.”
Katia smiled on hearing Tamayo’s name, “She knows how to pick’em and you can trust her and her instincts. She literally held my life in her hands for a time, but that’s another story. Instead, let’s talk ships, do you have a favorite that you use for exploration?”
“My experience has been limited to just a few hulls, all exploration-focused as one might expect. That said, I am in love with the Astero. It’s just a solid, versatile platform that allows everything I could hope for in an exploration ship. The covops cloaking is a godsend! My current fit is called ‘Fast Warp/No Tank’ and should be pretty self-explanatory.” Orlando chuckled. “It essentially relies on being able to run before the enemy can lock on and is the brainchild of the Cartel’s very own Null Flare.”
“Null! Another fine corpmate. I might be biased, but I really do think we have some of the best talent New Eden has to offer, but we could go off in billions and billions of directions, so let’s get back to exploration and your travels. What has been the most interesting fact, amazing sight, or other aspect of New Eden that has surprised you?”
“Being a newer capsuleer, my experiences are pretty limited. I would say stumbling into a Drifter system was a pretty wild experience. I had only read about them so warping in I didn’t even know what I was looking at.” His eyes widened as if he were actually seeing the results of his initial scan, “Wormholes… everywhere! I counted 64 on my console. Eventually I figured out where I was and hightailed it out pretty quickly!” He laughed.
Katia laughed with him, “Oh I know, it can be overwhelming the first time, but with experience, you’ll be fine. So let’s wrap this interview up with what have you learned or what advice would you give to someone interested in exploring New Eden?”
“Join Signal Cartel!” He laughs again. “But no, seriously, the wealth of knowledge, experience, and support from this corp has been absolutely invaluable to me. I can’t say enough good things about them. Even if you don’t join SC, finding a good corp is paramount to your success as an explorer, or really in any line of work you might be doing as a capsuleer.”
“Again, I might be biased,” Katia laughed as well, “but I couldn’t agree more. Thanks so much for the interview and welcome to the corp!”