Today is a mark day. Not only this is my first interview to be added to this travel blog but, also, I have the honor to meet with the man everyone speaks about in these days. The one who realized a beautiful and perfect map of Yela and it’s asteroid belt, delivering a perfect pitch about the meaning of being an explorer and a sound person. I’m very thrilled to meet with this guy, as he sits in front of me. Why? Because he’s a very interesting man and a loquacious one: please welcome Elijah Rockseeker everyone.
Elijah Rockseeker, thanks for being here today. In these days people showed quite an interest for your incredible map of Yela’s asteroid belt which is, indubitably, a work of excellence. Let’s start from the beginning, shall we? Tell me about yourself in few words. Who are you?
My name is Elijah Rockseeker, but my friends from the United Earth Mining Corporation call me Rock. I was born in 2901 in New York, Earth. I’m from a very long lineage of miners; the 29th generation in fact. The first Rockseeker to ever mine was my great-grandfather Nehemiah Rockseeker, born in 2079, just a few years after the quantum drive engine was invented by Scott Childress. He was a drill operator on board the 2126 Jovian mining expedition. Since then, mining has been running in our family. I started mining myself at a very young age. I joined the Atticus Mining Corporation on the first year they went into business. Over the years, I occupied various roles within the company. When the AMC fell, I joined Noiser and helped him rebuild it as the UEMC. I’m now one of the board members, as well as the captain of the UEMC Behemoth and the UEMC Leviathan.
The map you realized is amazing but the aspect I’d like to focus on is quite different from numbers and labels. I’d like to speak about the sense of exploration it delivers. This is, indeed, a work of an explorer. Am I right?
Yes, indeed. As much as I may be busy running our organization, and making sure that our various mining operations continuously move rocks, I do like to take a break once in a while and simply go explore. There are so many things that remain to be discovered out there.
Have you always felt the need to stare at the stars or to be among them? If so, why according to you?
Oh yes! Definitively. From as far as I can remember, I’ve always been looking up at the night sky and picturing myself up there. And here I am, forty-odd years later, a space miner and explorer, leading one of the fastest growing UEE mining organizations. As for why? I don’t know. I guess there’s something majestic and mysterious about the vastness of space.
But basically, you’re an explorer. Is that right? I mean, you proved us this way, haven’t you?
In a way yes, but at the same time no. I’d say that I’m as much a space miner as an explorer. As much as I enjoy exploring out there, there’s always that interior part of me seeking that special rock that I will be able to drill for amazing ore.
Just a side question. How many ships do you own and which are their purposes, according to your needs and vision of the ‘Verse?
My personal fleet isn’t that big. I currently own six ships. My two main ships are the UEMC Behemoth and UEMC Leviathan, respectively an RSI Orion and Aegis Reclaimer. When I’m not working I really enjoy flying my Esperia Glaive. That Vanduul design ship is magnificent and so much fun to fly. I love it! My remaining ships are a MISC Prospector, Mustang Delta, and Mustang Omega. My next ship will be a Greycat Industries Cydnus, better known as a mining spider, if it ever gets released.
When I first looked at your map I immediately felt the sensation I was dealing with a work of an explorer. I sensed your love for spending hours outside your ship and taking pictures. How long did it take to realize the map? How difficult has it been?
It actually took me longer than I was initially planning for. I thought I could simply fly over the north pole of Yela and grab a single picture of the whole belt in one go, but unfortunately, my instruments could not resolve the belt from that distance. So I decided to do it the old fashion way, by grabbing about two dozen close up pictures and stitching them together. Unfortunately, I screwed up the first time I did it, so I had to redo it. The whole process probably took me about 10 to 12 hours each time. Not that it was difficult, but it was very tedious.
Could you tell me which are the key elements about creating this map and which are the best things about it?
The key element was definitively to make sure to keep relatively the same distance from the belt between each picture, which wasn’t that obvious considering the limited HUD information at my disposal. As for the best thing, I’d say that it was adding the grid overlay. It allowed several other explorers and me to finally identify where the various points of interest of the belt are located.
And which are the worst ones?
The worst thing about my current map is that the upper half is slightly stretched and the lower half slightly compressed, which screws up my grid overlay. I will have to go back with a fellow UEMC cartographer of mine, Aronn Cornwell, to take distance measurements between the various clusters, and rebalance the map.
I suspect the job you did for Yela’s belt is just the beginning. Am I wrong?
No, you’re not wrong. This is indeed just the beginning. Though, I hope that in the future other UEMC members will carry on with what I began. In order to be successful, the UEMC will be in constant need of new regions of space to mine, and those regions will need to be thoroughly explored, mapped, and prospected.
Let’s speak about mining for just a few minutes. Actually, you are a member of the United Earth Mining Corporation, a well-established organization which represents a solid reality for at least 250 people and brings together a well-trained group of miners and which diversifies its tasks, correct?
Yes, that’s correct. Aside from Shubin Interstellar, the United Earth Mining Corporation is to my knowledge UEE’s largest mining organization, with over 250 employees and contractors. If not the largest, it is definitely the fastest growing mining organization! In addition to core mining, we do everything from exploration and prospecting to hauling and trade, not to mention our own security. Basically, anyone interested in mining-related activities is welcome to join us, as long as they obey by our first and last rule, which is to have fun!
But you’re not just a mere member. You’re a Board member, right?
Yes, I am. I’m one of five UEMC board members. The other board members are our CEO, Noiser, as well as Maegon Bleidd, Mister Greedy, and Pendus.
Which are your daily tasks and what do you oversee?
Well. The UEMC currently has six divisions, each divided in multiple business units. The six divisions are Administration, Exploration & Prospecting, Mining & Refining, Hauling & Trade, Salvaging & Repair, and Security & Info Running. Currently, I am in charge of the Embassy & Affiliate Affairs, and Marketing & Communications business units, as well as our future Space Station Operations business unit.
UEMC has a very blustery past and a very strong leader, Noiser. As a Board Member of UEMC and, I suspect, as a friend of his, can you tell me which are the key features that make him and your organization a different reality for miners and, by extension, haulers and explorers?
As opposed to the former AMC, the UEMC never shy away from defending its miners and tradelanes, and making sure that we’re all having fun doing our work. As you knowfrom our history, the UEMC hasn’t always been the safest place to be. In the AMC days, it was all about rapid growth and profit. The more we made, the more the Atticus siblings demanded. No wonder why the AMC made so many enemies, and eventually fell when plotted against by the Halcyon Conglomerate and Taiiga Corporation. Fortunately, under Noiser’s leadership, the AMC was revived as the UEMC, and since then it’s been quite a pleasant ride!
Speaking about the Halcyon Conglomerate and Taiiga Corporation; the UEMC has almost always been at “war” with those two Orgs. And all came to an end with Maegon Bleidd. Can you tell us something more about that troubled period?
Yes. Under the leadership of the Atticus siblings, the AMC was very despicable in its way of doing business, never hesitating to step on the toes of its neighbours. Unhappy about it, the leaders of the Halcyon Conglomerate and Taiiga Corporation plotted against the AMC, with the intention of breakingit and seizing its assets. Unfortunately for them, fortunately for us, they had not foreseen that Noiser would beat them to the finish line, buying back most of the AMC assets, and striking a deal with Bleidd from the Halcyon Conglomerate hauling and trading logistical forces.
Since then, UEMC became one of the most interesting mining organizations in the UEE. And, according to your “Gazetteer”, in December 2946 it showed its strength by becoming, I quote, “UEE’s Largest Mining Organization”. A great accomplishment, do you agree?
Yes, definitely, and it’s just the beginning. By the time the Stanton system authorities authorize mining, we aim to be over 500 strong.
Tell me more about your “Gazetteer”. I see very similar interest with my travel blog in delivering information and thought. This is interesting. What’s the idea behind it?
The United Earth Miner’s Gazetteer is a monthly newspaper dedicated to the mining industry. It was founded in 2946 by reporter Lillian Zhu Wang with the goal of keeping mining crews, along with their colleagues, friends and family, informed of current events from the far reaches of space where they operate.
As a Publisher of the “Gazetter”, do you and the Editor-In-Chief, Liliann Zhu Wang, have plans for it?
Plans? No, not really. At least nothing more than what it currently is. Liliann and I want to keep it a fun and relax monthly newspaper about what goes on in the mining industry, and more specifically the UEMC.
Let’s get back to your map for a second. While some information is known to almost everyone, for example, the Grim Hex exact position as well as the Big Benny’s Henge location, some other info is… how can I say? Less known. I’m talking about the Naptunium-239 Anomaly, for instance. Did it involve some UEMC ships or members? Can you tell us something about it? It surely sounds interesting.
The Neptunium-239 anomaly refers to some abnormal radioactive measurements by WaferCommand from the Canadian Shield Institute of Mining Research. He discovered an unexplained Neptunium-239 source in sector YL-276-4 of the belt. At first we thought it was a simple anomaly, and the UEMC submitted to the Stanton system authorities a request for exclusive prospecting rights over that sector. But this whole thing took an unexpected turn of events recently when the Stanton Natural Energy and Resources Council stopped by the CSIMR headquarters to investigate. Now, no one knows what’s really going on. For sure, we’re not expecting to be mining over there any time soon.
Back to UEMC and your career. Can you try to look at them in the next future, let’s say four or five years? What do you see?
I’ll still be mining, that’s for sure. But hopefully, by then, it will be with our own UEMC mining space station. I’ve had my eyes on the Shubin Interstellar mining space station for a while, and I want one for us, just like that.
Here are some last few questions. Have you ever dreamt about managing your own Organization?
I thought of it, but no. I’m quite happy with the UEMC. I’m privileged enough to be on the board, so in a way, it’s just like managing my own organization. No to mention that I’m also quite involved with The United Earth Miner’s Gazetteer.
Have you ever considered buying other ships or doing something different in your life?
As I mentioned earlier, I’m hoping to eventually get my hands on a Greycat Industries Cydnus, but that’s about it in terms of ships. As for doing something different, not really; at least nothing more than some occasional exploration, prospecting, and salvaging. But who knows what the future holds for me.
As you know, this Travel Blog aims to tell stories. Do you have an interesting one to share?
I guess I do. If you read the Gazetteer, you probably heard about that one already. There’s this one time where I crushed my coworker Derpy between a RSI Orion and a space station. Everything looked good during my approach, but the Orion is so heavy that I underestimated the distance it would take to come to a full stop, and I crushed him. It was so funny. He looked like a greasy spot on the side of the docking bay. It’s a good thing we were just in one of Robert Space Industries’ flight simulators!