Storm Prep: Withdrawing from Empire Space

Today marks the final stage in what has been the long process of rounding-up the assets I’ve scattered about the Empire.  With any luck, by server downtime, I will have everything safely stored at Signal Cartel HQ in the The Sanctuary Institute of Paleocybernetics orbiting Thera XII.  This, of course, runs counter to the esteemed strategy of “diversifying your portfolio”; distributing your resources in a way that buffers you against whatever life may throw your way.  However, under extraordinary circumstances, that approach isn’t always best and I believe we citizens of Eve are about to experience such extraordinary circumstances.  To borrow an exhausted adage, there is a storm on the horizon and this is part of my storm prep.

With the recent Drifter Incursions into Amarr space and the revelation that these incursions will be able to spread to adjacent systems, I felt that it was time to move my assets out of Amarr space at the very least.  The space-ways of Eve are like a great sea with choke points at the star gates and as any student of Mahan will tell you, there’s nothing like an enemy blockade of such choke points to completely ruin your day.  That’s what I’m afraid may happen to regions within Eve’s K-Space when the Drifter’s roll into Amarr en-masse…and certainly if they spread to other parts of Empire space.

But the Drifters are just part of the problem.  Major groups like Brave have recently endured (or are enduring) tremendous internal power-shifts.  The Aegis update and ‘FozzieSov has dramatically effected the way PvP players engage one another and the shifts in strategy and tactics required to keep pace with those shifting dynamics has destabilized the precarious balance of null-sec power and politics.  On top of that, the emergence of The Imperium centered-on Max Singularity and a so-called ‘6th Empire’ has raised the very real prospect of an all-out war within Provibloc.  In isolation, that war might be written-off as just another struggle for power between PvP heavy-weights, but this struggle does not exist in isolation.  It exists in the midst of sweeping changes to gameplay (Aegis) and right on the cusp of mass invasions by a formidable and largely cryptic foe (The Drifters).  Comprised of corporations loyal to the Amarr Empire like Curatores Veritatis Alliance, Provibloc may very well be on the verge of a large and sustained two-front war and I question how long it would be able to handle that kind of pressure.

Of course, nothing is certain but as an avid explorer, I feel like I have a fairly good impression of the state of The Cluster.  I travel far and wide every time I log-in and I can’t help but feel like what I am seeing is telling me that it’s time to pack-up, batten-down, and brace for what may be in store.  To continue my work, I need to be able to move quickly and quietly through all manner of space.  While my Stratios makes that fairly easy, the last thing I need is to have critical equipment and docked ships tied-up in some station which finds itself the midst of a war or incursion event.  I need that gear someplace reliable, well-fortified, and accessible…I need it at home.

Hence the move to The Sanctuary Institute of Paleocybernetics in Thera.  Aside from it being Signal Cartel headquarters, the Sanctuary boasts the protection of the Servant Sisters of Eve.  Their mastery of wormholes, familiarity with all the factions of Eve (including the Drifters), and technological prowess make them a force to be reckoned with.  They also command near-universal respect among all the major factions of New Eden and that provides them with an unrivaled degree of neutrality.  An attack on the Sisters of Eve or their stations would be unprecedented, though not impossible.  (I know some of my friends will argue that the Sisters of Eve are best kept at an arm’s length, but I’m confident that my solid standing with the SOE will work in my favor here).  The location also provides me with numerous entries/exits via the network of wormholes diligently mapped by the Eve-Scout Alliance, of which Signal Cartel is the largest and most familiar arm.  This translates to a considerable defense against blockades since trying to guard every point of entry would present a logistical nightmare for any invader.  Not to mention the sheer size of Thera.  At hundreds of AU across, the system provides plenty of opportunity for safe haven bookmarks and other places to seek refuges should things get hot.

Lastly, there is the neutrality of Signal Cartel supporting a move a Thera.  The corporation has gone to great lengths to establish itself as a neutral public service corporation and we, as members, have been fortunate to reap the benefits of that reputation.  Our members are generally allowed to go about their work unimpeded and harassment of Signal Cartel stations has become a rare occurrence.

Given these advantages, I anticipate my centralization in Thera will work-out quite well during what I perceive to be a coming storm. Of course, removing my assets from K-space (namely, Empire Space), doesn’t mean I am going to make myself scarce among the familiar stars.  I’ll just be traveling a bit lighter.

Fly safe. Fly clever.

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