I read a great article on PC Gamer about an EVE player who completed a personal mission of exploration. EVE is a massive online game where players fly spaceships, trade goods, mine planets, form corporations and ruthlessly murder one another. Most stories that come out of EVE deal with hundreds of players doing their best to take away the stuff of other hundreds of players, so I am always interested when something non-violent bubbles to the surface.
In this case, a character by the name of Katia Sae has explored and mapped every one of the 7,805 solar systems in the game. It took her nine years to do it. Even more amazing to me is that she never lost a ship. This amazing character survived in a game famous for psychopaths preying on others.
Her player, Ethan Richards(!), talks about the work involved in this achievement and holy crap, it sounds nerve-wracking and daunting. Other players put bounties on Katia’s head just to see her die. EVE added random wormholes leading to random places which forced Katia to seek the aid of a corporation just to help find new places. Even then, they had to keep their goal of helping Katia a secret because spies might sell her out to her enemies. Cripes.
After nine years, Ethan and Katia visited every system. The developers of EVE threw her a party and put up a statue of the character on her home planet. Ethan retired Katia so she will never die, but he regrets not writing the character anymore. I feel for him.
On the other hand, Vaquel Di, my explorer of space and alien sex, is about to embark on the TENTH year of her twenty year mission. I find the similarities between Katia and Vaquel to be fascinating. They both travel dangerous space. One does it for curiosity, and one does it because she expects to be showered with gifts when she gets home. It is a shame that they have never met.
To be fair, I think I have it easier as Vaquel will only die and fail if I choose for her to, but I understand the enormity of the commitment that Ethan put into Katia. I applaud his work and wonder what the fuck is he going to do next?
That is a question I don’t have to think about for another eleven years.