The first thing they always see is the eye. Then they see the patch on my jacket.
“Oh,” they say. As if those two traits told the entire story of who I am.
I get it. He lives in lowsec; he’s in a “pirate” corporation. He has one eye.
It doesn’t matter that I gave that eye in honorable service to the State. Or that before joining the capsuleer program I spent almost a decade in the Navy, keeping the worlds that they came from, the worlds where their families lived, safe.
It doesn’t matter that my alliance has successfully built – and defended – a viable non-partisan lowsec microeconomy. An economy that keeps their precious eternal war chugging along as efficiently as such a thing can.
It doesn’t even matter that before my time in the Navy I held a doctorate in Literary Theory from one of the finest learning institutions in the Caldari State. Or that after obtaining my degree in Military Theory I wrote texts that for many of them were required reading during their training.
All they see is a pirate. Lowsec scum. And you know what? They’re not entirely wrong there.
Life is short out here. It’s brutal but it fosters an honesty that disappears within bureaucracy. Yes, there is ostensibly a chain of command. But it’s short, clearly defined and rarely needs to be implemented. The pilots above me – as well as those who fly alongside me – are pilots whom I respect a great deal, each for their own reasons. I have learned more in a few roams with Rixx or Joffy or Beirut Papa than I learned in a year of forum lurking, wiki devouring, and holovid watching before I ever applied for the capsuleer program.
I feel a sense of purpose in my life that I know comes into direct conflict with my career, and I don’t know how it’s all going to pan out. I’m a teacher, a writer, and a tactician. Yes, I am also a combat pilot, but that leaves no legacy.
I know I’m not leaving Stay Frosty anytime soon, but I might go move into Anoikis for a while and figure some things out. The MATH guys have said it’s cool for Deuce and myself to move in with them any time; Deuce says he wants to wait six months.
I was thinking three, but it’s fine. There are a few advanced courses that I would like to take before our little adventure. Also in that time frame we may be able to convince Kieran to abandon the ghost of NOTES and come fly the unfriendly skies.