Hello again. CMDR Maya Ulniian here. Its been almost a year since I graduated from pilot school and took up a mysterious offer of a sidewinder starship and a career as an independent pilot. I had meant to detail each of my exploits along the way but that has clearly fallen by the wayside.
So, what have I been doing? Well, a lot of the time, I've been living vicariously through watching CMDR Cryptography. He's been working as a pilot for a lot longer and has amassed a significant fortune as well as a large fleet of different ships so has a lot more fun options than I do. This makes the motivation to advance my own position somewhat low, especially as I am also now essentially financially independent. For quite a while now I have been flying an Asp Explorer, configured for general mission running and trade. I still have my Diamondback Scout and Vulture but truth be told I've moved on from combat as the primary money making method.
For a time I was running anti-skimmer missions in a couple of systems. The missions were relatively common for a while and the particular systems I was working from tended to target the same planetary factions so I was able to stack up many missions for which the same targets counted for all different employers. Someone on Galnet pointed out that simple dumbfire missiles made killing skimmers even easier than doing it the "right" way in my SRV, so I blew through quite a lot of missions pretty quickly this way. All the factions that I was working for soon had me at allied status and the payouts were often in the several million per mission. I did lose a couple of ships due to poor piloting near the ground but that barely made a dent in the progress I was making. Somewhere along the line, the bases I was attacking hired some muscle and I often had to evade a defending fighting ship. Fighting them close to the ground was generally not wise, but a quick flyby was often enough to get them to follow me away from the base and I then lost them in some nearby canyons. There would then be enough time to come back to the base and nuke any remaining skimmers in relative peace.
Eventually, the economic conditions in the systems changed and skimmer kill missions dried up. I looked for similar opportunities elsewhere for a while but gave up after a few false starts. There are other places offering stacked skimmer destruction missions but I was fairly bored of them by now. By chance, I ended up in the Eleu system, which is the home system of the Social Eleu Progressive Party, a minor faction of pilots who support initiatives for exploration. They took part in the Dangerous Games back when I was a young pilot but unfortunately lost out to EG pilots, who became the 11th major powerplay faction. Perhaps worse, EG pilots were installed in systems very close to Eleu and that caused a certain amount of disruption to SEPP's control of local systems. I started running missions for SEPP and reached out to their public comms channel for guidance on how best to work for their interests in the region - or at least not muck it up!
I have basically made the Eleu region my home for several months now. I am allied with SEPP and most of the other local factions so mission running in this small bubble of systems is pretty lucrative. Probably two-thirds of my net wealth has now come from running missions in this area.
My money generating capacity now is such that I feel no pressure to really work on it in any concerted fashion. I can get more money in an hour or two than the cost of a ship capable of generating money at a decent rate, so its pretty much self sustaining. This means I have no fear of losing ships and can do fun things like race an Eagle through planetary canyons or inside stations.
As mentioned before, I now spend a lot of my time watching CMDR Cryptography instead. He's got a selection of big ships and swarms of smaller ones. We have both been grinding out Federation rank as part of mission running activities and have only got a couple more ranks to go before being able to get access to the Corvette. The grind is real, and harsh, so this is only happening as a side activity to whatever else we are doing. I still intend to go on a longish exploration voyage, probably to Sag A* via Colonia sometime soonish but that is a time commitment I've not yet been able to do.
Until next time,
CMDR Maya Ulniian, 30th March 3303.