Entering the unknown

6th December 2010 – 7.58 pm

Oh wow, a shuttle! I get Penny's message that at Jita she has left me a ship and directions in to w-space. I was quite excited to finally board the ship I've spent the past month of intensive training learning to pilot. But I get here to find a lowly shuttle. And a Gallente shuttle at that. Instead of an engine, it probably needs drones to push it from behind.

'You're not quite ready yet', the note reads, 'to operate a covert operations cloaking device, and there's no point risking the Buzzard and all its fittings. I've taken it ahead with me, and you can follow in the shuttle. It should be safe enough'. It seems that she doesn't want a hunk of metal to be turned in to a molten hunk of metal, in preference to my survival. Then again, I supposedly am now immortal.

I understand that I have a clone in a vat somewhere, ready to take on my existence when I... well, die. It's the discontinuity that worries me. How do I know that I'll wake up, and not just someone like me? But if I am to live the capsuleer life I'd better get used it it. That is, if anyone really does get used to horrible deaths in the cold vacuum of space. Brr.

I board the shuttle, with fewer weapons than even the mining laser of my Ibis frigate, and copy the directions in to its nav-comp. I suppose I should be worried about those low-sec systems I'll be passing through, but I'm rather more concerned about the last few hops. Not only is it null-sec, lacking entirely in any security, but the systems aren't on any celestial map yet. They aren't linked by stargates, there are no stations... are there even any populated planets?

It's best not to think about these niggling doubts right now. I know Penny wouldn't go anywhere particularly threatening, she never was one for too much danger. I undock and start following the route suggested by the autopilot, set as suggested to ignore security status.

There are a couple of moments where I don't feel particularly safe, as some red skulls flash on my display on a low-sec stargate. There's a fresh wreck too, but it looks much larger than my shuttle and I don't think the pirates are interested in me. At least, I hope not. Luckily, this ship can align and enter warp quickly, and I think I see what Penny had in mind now.

Reaching the destination system ends the autopilot's suggestions, now I rely on the bookmarks. There is only one highlighted in my display and I warp to that, soon finding myself sitting outside a wormhole, grey colours bleeding from what must be the system on the other side. Here goes nothing.

I jump in and reorientate myself. This isn't the home system, there is one more jump to make. There are no ships around me, but the directional scanner shows a couple of Maelstrom battleships somewhere in the system. Maybe I should mention that to Penny, if they don't catch me first. I warp my shuttle away from the wormhole and to the next, jumping through to the astounding sight of a pulsar.

'Don't warp to the tower directly', Penny's voice crackles over the comm channel, 'I've not yet got you accepted in to the corporation. If you try, the tower defences may blow you to pieces'. I couldn't ask for a better reception. 'Get your ship away from the wormhole and in to the safe spot I made. I'll sort out the paperwork and get you here as soon as I can.

'Oh, and welcome to your new home.'

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