In the second installment of our “Behind the Scenes” series we take to the stars with one of the NULL founders. Not content to rest on his laurels yet still wishing to remain nameless we join this commander for an interview aboard his Asp Explorer.
“Tell me about the beginnings of NULL, how did it all start?”
“Well, we started a long time ago, many of us were working together without even knowing it. We were all united by the same third party, we all brought different skills, and contacts to the table, and crucially, we all remember those early days the same, all of us remember others who didn’t make it out of their first ship, half of our friends ran out of money and went home, a few became explorers, some traders and others died under someone’s guns. We all saw that, we don’t like seeing honest folk murdered.”
The Asp hugs the landscape as it scans for illegal outposts at one of the dusty airless worlds of HR 5113. The commander briefly looks up to the stars, a dream like glint in his eye.
“What NULL do in those early days? We’ve only heard the name this last year.”
“Back then we didn’t really have a name, we were united by the same hatred of injustice. So we did the only thing that this told us to do. We stood up and got ourselves in the way of those wanting to rob and murder, especially those nutters who just killed for the kicks. I like to think we saved a few ships in Leesti and Lave, but there were countless others who we didn’t get to..”
He shakes his head and throttles back the ship.
“Yes, it might just be a surface mine, but it could be a drop point for illegal cargo. Sometimes you don’t just find canisters of narcotics, sometimes they dump slaves or animals the same way, sitting for days in the dark.”
The Asp slows, a purple circle denoting the scanner contact. I hook my feet into the footholds behind the pilots’ seat.
“How did it feel? fighting against such odds?”
“Futile if I’m honest. Futile.. But we all knew that if we gave up too we would probably be next on some psycho’s menu. So, we fought back, the best way we could, and we’ve started doing it again.”
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“We have been operating a number of missions, secretly and some publicly to keep free trade flowing, to keep the pressure off trade ships and protect the less combat inclined.
We take small ships kitted out with interdiction equipment, we look for commanders attempting to target innocent [trade] ships.. we use our drone ships to take up their time .. more than anything else it is about preventing them taking out innocent trade ships”
The commander sets the Asp down, just ahead of us are a number of canisters and a small box like structure. The containers aren’t registering on our scanner so we take to the small SRV ground car to inspect the site close up.
As the buggy is lowered to the surface I pose my next question, perhaps one that has been on everyone’s lips since NULL came along.
“Where is NULL going? what impact has NULL actually had on the galaxy?”
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“We’re strong.. there are worlds all around us that are suffering under the heel of the feds or the empire.. In the past few months we’ve really show what a difference an independent group of pilots can make.
We showed the federation what the cost of trying to invade and take over is.. now there are other systems doing the same..
They’ve seen what happened at DR Crucis and Gacrux.. they see.. they say – ‘If they [NULL] can fight them off, can stay independent.. Then we can too..
It’s been like a snowball effect.. people have really got together, really put their differences aside and drawn a line in the sand.. One that they [the federation] are not going to forget in a hurry”
Eloise Parther-Jacvz, Conway Herald