I had been toying with the idea of throwing my lot in with one alliance or another for a month or so, after coming to the conclusion that it was difficult to exploit the wealth of 0.0 space solo. Dodging hostiles and exploring in a fast cloaky ship is fun, but it's hard to get anything else done.
I was also intrigued by the idea of seeing what these organisations that owned sovereignty looked like from the inside. How did they work? What was their modus operandi?
I finally stumbled across a recruiter for Synergy, a former wormhole corporation that had joined OWN Alliance, which in turn was a member of the NC. After a quick chat and review of my limited API, I was accepted with a speed that surprised me, and directed towards a intimidating amount of orientation material.
Jump bridge maps, intel channels, logistics, voice comms... ...it was a bit overwhelming, but I was impressed by the sheer organisation of it all. The North appeared to be a coherent entity.
I spent an afternoon organising assets I wanted to take with me to Jita, and set off to my new home. It was a strange journey. I had gotten used to entering null-sec in a state of heightened paranoia, with the expectation that every other capsuleer I encountered was out to get me. But before I knew it I was at my destination. It had been over 20 jumps, but since I hadn't needed to scout every gate or put down bookmarks or dodge hostiles, the journey had flown by. System after system was populated by pilots denoted as friendly allies, or otherwise empty.
It almost felt like high-sec.
The Synergy crowd turned out to be a decent bunch with a lively banter going on over the voice comms. And with so many corps and alliances integrated together there always seemed to be something to join in with. As the first weekend passed I began to find my feet and participated in a number of fleet ops including an small engagement with a roaming gang of hostiles and an large assault on an enemy POS – sadly marred by lag.
So far it's been a lot of fun, and if I never look at a level 4 mission ever again, it won't be too soon.