I imagine every high sec care bear eventually gets the urge to leave behind the security of Empire and savour the raw experience of 0.0. I am no exception and on Saturday, finding myself in Torrinos, just one jump away from the lawless Pure Blind region, I decided to throw caution to the wind and become a 0.0 tourist.
There was no bravery involved in my expedition. I was using a clean alt flying a free noob frigate. Being shot and podded would cost me nothing. In any case the humble noobship wasn't an entirely bad choice. At this stage I am a dab hand at running low sec pirate gate camps and I have found that a noobship can be very hard to pin down if flown by someone who is awake. Of course 0.0 has terrors unknown to low sec. Any encounter with a warp stopping interdiction bubble would herald an abrupt end to my jaunt.
First stop EC-P8R. Note how friendly sounding names like "Olo" and "Pator" have been dispensed with for bleak serial numbers in 0.0 space. There was no camp and my noob ship got safely through the gate. Although I couldn't see anybody there were quite a few pilots in local so I set about making some safe spots off the main warp lanes. That done it was time to do a bit of exploring.
First stop an asteroid belt to see what riches awaited miners who dared to brave 0.0.
Veldspar. Lots and lots of Veldspar. Not exactly the rare minerals I had thought to find. I found no miners working the few belts I viewed (from a safe 100km distance), no rats even. The whole system seemed deserted. Where was everybody? At one moon I encountered a frightening array of automated missile batteries no doubt guarding a player owned station of some kind. I chose not to hang around long enough to find out.
For some reason it was quite a while before I thought to check for a station. Right click, scroll down and there ... sure enough was a station. May as well dock and see what the locals are like. Something at the back of my mind held my hand just before I clicked the option to warp and dock. Who exactly owned this station anyway? I checked info. The group that owned it didn't sound like any of the NPC factions I was familiar with.
Yup .. it was a player owned station belonging to a member of the Band of Brothers (BOB) alliance. I don't really keep up with the power struggles between EVE alliances but I know that BOB are one of the largest blocs. I also know that they are not renowned for warm welcomes so I cancelled plans to visit.
I decided to check the local market for any lucrative trading possibilities. This is a trader alt after all and I expect her to earn her keep. The regional market was dead - the only place that seemed to have anything for sale was a system called X-70MU a few jumps away. Happily this system seemed to be in the care of the Sisters of Eve a group I had encounter before. Although the Sisters are a little too zealous in their religious beliefs for my liking they are known for offering a safe haven to passing travellers. I set my destination for X70-MU.
The systems I passed through on the way were deserted. The only sign of life I encountered was the floating wreckage from a recent battle.
The Sisters offered a warm welcome and a hot meal and I was delighted to see that their outpost was surprisingly well serviced complete with factory, lab, medical and repair facilities. Life seemed very normal for such a lawless region of space. A number of the citizens were offering jobs just as you might find in any busy Empire port. I considered undertaking a commission or two in order to repay the Sisters for their hospitality but since all the requests on offer involved courier missions across multiple 0.0 jumps I eventually thought better of it.
Sadly the market offered no particular treasures and volumes were too low to justify any kind of trade run.
At that point I more or less ran out of ideas as to what to do next. I undocked and set course back to safety of Lonetrek. Along the way I stopped to investigate the wreckage I had earlier stumbled across at a gate. While flying slowly out to the wrecks I was extremely vulnerable but the two pilots who came through the gate while I was there left again in quite a hurry. Perhaps in their haste they assumed that my lone noob ship was some kind of gate camp! The wreckage was clearly abandoned but I managed to fill my holds with a few of the less damaged modules. These would later sell for a few million isk on my return to Empire. Not the riches normally expected from 0.0 space but a sweet bonus to my excursion none the less.
It seems I wasn't the only Empire dweller to venture into 0.0 last weekend. Syncaine from Harcore Casual got the same urge but with more eventful results. You can read about his trip here.
Postscript: Before I left the Sisters in X70-MU I moved my jump clone there so I could easily get back if eve I needed to. I am still tempted to try a few missions in 0.0