ISK Balance: 159,294,018.32
Time Remaining For Jump Clone Preparation: 1 Hour, 31 Minutes, 15 Seconds
With dedication and a bit of an edge, I got Salvaging from nothing to Level Three by this morning, and my hopes were realized when former corpmate Kallion logged on just an hour or so after me. It wouldn't be wise for me to go salvaging in IAC space unaccompanied. Not only do I know from first hand experience how much my former alliance loves popping NPC corporation characters, but Kallion loves informing me of all the buzz concerning me in the intelligence channels. I enjoy this - it's more attention than I got while I was actually part of the alliance. Maybe I'll give them a run for their money and try to leave their space without jump cloning.
In any case, I was relatively safe in Kallion's care; his Dominix casting a sheltering shadow over Astagyes - my Catalyst - we romped about Sansha space, terrorizing the locals.
It brought back lots of memories, mostly of doing the same thing over and over again ad nauseum, but there were lots of good times to be had in the belts. Among them were amusing pseudointellectual conversations in local, sprinkled with the occasional super informal "omglolwtfbbq" or "that's what she said" in response to a tirade on the impact of post-modernist art on the failure of the U.S.S.R.'s Five Year Plan. More amusing were the less frequent super ganksquads of a PvP-less defense gang taking out their frustration on the nearest overly spiky frigate, annihilating its pitiful armor tank in a veritable holocaust of Tech 2 cruise missiles and Quake L. Ratting is comparable to mining in excitement level, granted with more explosions, but like mining it becomes infinitely more tolerable when other people are around to share in your experience. This goes without saying, but it isn't noted enough, and it doesn't hurt to take a moment to thank the blessing of sociability.
Kallion and I wasted several belts of red crosses, some of whom had some suspiciously awesome locking abilities. I was both pleased and displeased as my wallet neared 160 million ISK, for while I could buy and fit an excellent replacement for my dearly departed Apocrypha, my balance was supposed to be going down, not up. I pledged to myself that Apocrypha's successor would be a specimen of such fine Stabberhood that my wallet would plummet towards greater poverty.
Moreso than practicing my skill at popping NPCs - sheer skillpoints can take care of that for me at this point - I practiced my newest occupation, that of a junkman. It seemed a fitting occupation for a wanderer, and my newly found proficiency at salvaging assisted greatly in my accumulation of junk. Having always been one to scorn the tedium of looting wrecks, I changed my approach and took everything I could lay my hands on. I left no wreck unsalvaged or unlooted and then - in true junk master style - did nothing with it. I did not sell or refine it, only left it as a looming pile of unpackaged and damaged goods, to be used for "something or another" at some undefined point in time.
Pleased with my burgeoning empire of junk, I smiled as I watched the jump clone timer inch towards zero.