SPACE RICHES TO SPACE RAGS: THE STORY OF A GSF LINE MEMBERS DOWNWARD SPIRAL INTO DRUG ADDICTION
A young pilot sets out into New Eden with his eyes wide open and endless possibilities in front of him. He surveys the horizons, listens to communications, reads through annals, and researches through records. He tries to learn everything he can to become a successful capsuleer. He sets his eyes on his best chances of success, “Goonswarm Federation”.
This is a tale of a pilot who grew fast and fell hard. From having more ISK than he knew what to do with, giving it away to friends and family, to being at the bottom of the gutter. He’s now space poor with a violent drug addiction, and due to the war, no prospects of seeking recovery. That pilot is me, Zeikxx Oxone.
I grew up as a young capsuleer in The Citadel, Black Rise, and Lonetrek. I took some time learning the fundamentals of basic survival. I ventured into null sec to start making my way in New Eden. I wanted to be a great pilot, a known combat pilot. I found myself learning the ins and outs of 0.0 in the mean streets of Syndicate like so many others before me. I flew small gang fleets throughout null and the nearby low sec region of Placid. We preyed on Faction Warfare pilots serving the empires. Life was good and I had gained my space legs, but there was still something missing: ISK.
I had to fly only cheap, T1-fitted Merlins. When battling against my enemies alone, I was often outgunned. The hulls of my ships were often chewed up and turned to debris by powerful weapons beyond my ability to use. I knew I had to seek richer lands if I wanted to compete on a higher level. I sat in my station reading “The Scope” and I saw it, “KarmaFleet is Recruiting”.
I submitted my application, and waited until it was approved. Then I flew out into the great North where the first thing I noticed was how quiet it was. There were often zero hostiles in systems. I felt like I was bouncing celestials before gates and warping in at 100km to gates for nothing. It was so… safe.
Upon arrival there were riches everywhere. Thousands of pilots all worked toward common goals, sharing their knowledge. There seemed to be an overwhelming sense of unity. I wasn’t used to it, but it was inspirational. I felt like I could learn more about flying the skies of New Eden here. With these experienced pilots and powerful fleets, I could truly grow.
The next year was fantastic. ISK flowed into my wallet, my skills grew and I learned fast. The ships I flew became more powerful. Even a lost wreck was easy to forget due to the infrastructure and safety provided by the Imperium. My bravery grew and I shortly found myself moving on from KarmaFleet into “Hole Violence”. I had never lived in wormhole space. I heard horror stories of disasters from other pilots. However, due to my wallet being fat and my fears being lower than ever, I applied and made my way into the unknown.
Life continued to be great, but then new technology was discovered. Some hailed it as a gift from God, but behind its glory was a dark side. They had discovered the technology to inject skills directly into pilots. It sounded like a dream come true for younger pilots who wanted to fly more advanced ships. A possible way of closing the gap. Never again would I feel like in a one on one encounter that I would be severely disadvantaged by my age. But I soon found out about the curse behind the serum.
I tried one of these injectors. My knowledge grew, learning in a single moment what would otherwise take weeks. I was hooked. I kept injecting, over and over again. My thoughts were, “yeah it’s expensive but my income is huge and my losses are few, it’s no big deal”. Then it happened. War began.
Now my new homeland was under siege. The safety we once enjoyed was stripped from us. All resources were put into the war effort. I saw friends evacuating everything they had to safer regions. I waited longer until I too found myself doing the same. All the while the itch was still in the back of my mind. I had to get that goo. I couldn’t stop injecting.
My income was gone. I still had assets. But my thirst of that drug, that needle. I couldn’t shake it. I soon found myself selling everything I owned in Jita. Sometimes even at sub-market prices. I needed to move and liquidate everything faster. I need more of the drug. I was insatiable.
Soon everything was gone. I now found myself doing things in New Eden I never thought I would do. I donned a mask and started doing hi-sec missions. The pay wasn’t enough. The bounties from the rats were almost worthless. I begin looking into the markets to try to find larger income to feed my habit. Then it dawned on me. I had learned to fly a Deep Space Transport to ship materials into wormhole space.
After looking at hauling contracts, the ISK yield would be higher. I started with a few high sec contracts but the ISK reward wasn’t enough. I was cocky and ambitious. My addiction called to me. I found myself starting to take bigger risks and voyages into low sec. When undocking from the station to pick up a package I saw a suspicious Tengu turn towards me. It opened fire. I immediately turned on my shield and armor hardeners and escaped back into the station. I waited there until I thought the coast was clear. I should have waited longer. The Tengu appeared again with a barrage of blaster fire. He didn’t scramble my warp core, though. I remembered how much damage my ship took before and I shrugged off his fire. My next package was waiting for pick up only one system away. I warped and jumped the stargate only to discover another Tengu waiting.
I begin to align immediately to the next station when my cloak dropped. This ship also didn’t stop my warp engines from engaging. I made it to the station and docked. I was safe again and could pick up the next package. I knew now that I was being watched, that they were waiting for me to come out. The correct move to make would have been to wait in the station and stay safe. Despite knowing this, I couldn’t. My body quaked with withdrawal. I needed the drug. I had to get out and earn the ISK to feed the addiction. I knew it was a mistake, but I undocked anyway.
One Tengu was waiting immediately, it was another repeat of me warping away. It followed. The second one was waiting at the next gate and I made it through again. I was jumping into the last low sec system. One more gate and I could depend on Concord to remove my problem for me, but I never made it. There was a small gang waiting for me with warp disruptors on the far side of the gate. I knew my mistake before I even made it, but I let my drug addiction beat me.
Now I find myself sitting in my corporation’s home system in wormhole space. Resorting to the lowest of the low. I’ve begun gathering resources off planets and mining materials. I can’t even ship my own materials out. Instead, I sell them to my fellow pilots. They watch over and protect me while I scrounge a meager existence, like selling Quafe cans for reprocessing. They keep a watchful eye over me and make sure I’m okay, but I’ve fallen from grace.
I’ve gone from PLEXing friends to pinching pennies. These brain goo needle injectors and the war have left me destitute. I can only hope that with the new found skills, I can pick myself up. Maybe I can even help reclaim the lands that once made me think I could follow a dream. But for now I will lie in wait, from a deep pocket of unknown space as I watch my former home burn from across the stars. But will she burn forever?