Sightseeing in the Cluster

Journey of Katia Sae Memorial

Katia Sae 1

A full view of the monument. The star she holds looks like it could be a background star.

On February 20, YC 112, shortly after posting my survey of the Traumark Installation, I received a comment from another pilot. My explorations and reviews have never generated much in the way of comments, and while other writers may be disappointed by the lack of engagement, I was always content that what few comments I did seemed to be genuinely kind and positive comments. This particular one was no different, even if it was from a pilot I hadn’t encountered before. After finishing her remarks, she ended by noting, “We’re on similar missions. My goal is to explore all of the new planets. Good luck in your journey, fly safe.”. I’ve encountered pilots with that goal before, and those pilots generally tend to get daunted once they realize the sheer immensity of the task of visiting over 7,800 systems within and connecting to New Eden, so at the time I didn’t give it much thought.

Katia Sae 2

A closer look a the star system in Katia’s hand.

Though that was the first time I met Katia Sae, it wouldn’t be the last. She would pop up every now and then, always with generous praise of my various musings here, before moving on, while I quickly began watching her own progress once I found her site. Since then, we’ve interacted not just on our respective journals, but on the GalNet and elsewhere, and I’ve become much more comfortable with calling her not only a fellow pilot, not only a fellow explorer with a deep sense of wanderlust, but a friend. And now, some 7,806 systems later, with that friendship comes a deep sense of pride as well as Katia has now visited every system accessible in and to New Eden, including a much-coveted (by me, at least) visit to Polaris, a system within the generally inaccessible depths of what used to be Jove space. And she did it all without losing a single ship (a claim I certainly would not be able to get away with).

Katia Sae 3

A closer view of the ghostly Astero that can be found hiding in the system.

I get the sense that Katia remains a little overawed by the response to her achievements. The end of her journey gained her attention not just within the fairly tight-knit exploration crowd, but well beyond. While it is perhaps not surprising that her own corporation, the ever-friendly Signal Cartel, took not a small amount of pride in her accomplishment, it is perhaps more surprising that Katia has captured the imagination of not just the capsuleer press and other writers, but broader news sites as well. All to celebrate what truly is a remarkable achievement. And that wasn’t the end of the celebrations for Katia, as the Achura Stargazers Society quickly announced that they would be erecting a permanent monument to her achievement next to the very first stargate she used in starting her journey, the gate to Abagawa in the system of Saisio.

Not one month later, the Society unveiled the likeness of Katia about 35 kilometers from that gate, saying the following:

Katia Sae 4In the unending dark of space, there are a few bright lights to which we can reliably turn for guidance and inspiration. Katia Sae is one such beacon, a shining example of what we can all aspire towards. She exemplifies the attitude of a true explorer: friendly to all in her travels, neutral and never initiating aggression, and very, very hard to catch.

She began her quest to explore all of New Eden from Saisio III on December 1, YC111 and came full circle back to Saisio on March 9 of YC121 after having explored every known-space and wormhole system that can be reached – all without a single ship loss.

Katia Sae 5May Katia Sae’s epic journey be remembered forevermore by all who travel into the furthest reaches of New Eden and the fathomless depths of Anoikis. Every star is one of her footprints, and every heavenly body tells the tale: “Katia Sae was here.”

The Journey of Katia Sae Memorial,

raised by the Achura Stargazers Society,

in association with Signal Cartel.

Katia Sae 6

Going in for a look.

As expected, the statue is magnificent. A gargantuan Katia, who dwarfs my lowly Professor Science, is seen standing on a shimmering plinth reaching up to the stars, quite literally holding a star system in the palm of her hand. The details included on the statue are impressive. Individual strands of hair can be seen gathered behind her head in a utilitarian ponytail, along with creases in her pant legs and jacket. Her expression is one of a certain calm confidence, seemingly quite comfortable in knowing the limits of herself. The metal plating riveted together to form the statue might in other circumstances detract from the monument, but here adds a striking juxtaposition to the otherwise quite-real appearance.

Katia Sae 7

Gazing in wonder.

But, of course, what truly catches my eye is the system she holds in the palm of her hand. I can’t help but zoom in for a closer look at that orrery, and as my camera drones approach, my view becomes awash in holographic static. The central star is but a pinprick of sapphire light; even close up, I can’t see any features, though it throws Professor Science in sharp relief when I approach. Surrounding it are 3 planets in inclined orbits around the central orb. Although  supposedly metal in nature (metal that reflects the light of both their own sun and Saisio), their true nature is belied both by their ghostly orbital paths and the holographic grids that can be seen superimposed on the edges of the spheres, regardless of your viewpoint.

Katia Sae 8

Passing through.

If that were all there was to the monument, I’d be satisfied but perhaps ready to move on. But in examining that star system, after just a few moments I caught a hint of movement. I at first thought it was just the movement of another ship at the site (I was by no means the only person there to inspect the monument, and CONCORD had made its presence known as well), but after casting around for a few moments for whatever movement caught my eye, I came across the spectral apparition of a half-cloaked Astero – Katia’s signature ship – also in orbit around the central star. The ship, ironically slightly large than an actual Astero, is a clever addition to the monument.

Katia Sae 9

Off to the next adventure.

I’m, of course, incredibly happy for Katia and proud to have played some small role in her journeys. She’s certainly earned the adulations that she’s so far received. Exploration takes a certain type of personality, a certain amount of patience, and a whole lot of perseverance, all of which Katia has in spades. I can’t imagine having the dedication to see a project 10 years in the making all the way through to completion, so I must content myself to celebrate those who can. And now this monument stands as a testament not just to Katia’s achievement, but to that ineffable spirit of wanderlust that drove her.

Congrats, Katia!

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Journey of Katia Sae Memorial
  • System: Saisio
  • Security Rating: 0.7
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -3.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Note: Unlike most of the sites I profile, this one is not marked with a beacon and thus cannot be seen on the overview if offgrid. It’s classified as a Large Collidable Object for overview purposes. It can be seen in the sensor overlay, however, and, as mentioned above, is located about 35-40 km off the Abagawa gate.

18 responses

  1. Speechless… I’ve said it once before, if I were any more humbled, I’d be a puddle on the floor. Truly, I’m a huge fan of your work for years, you’ve inspired myself and I know countless others to get out there and see all of New Eden. You, my friend, like Signal Cartel, are one of the pillars of my foundation that kept me going. Thank you so much for this wonderful site, for your support all these years, but most of all, for your friendship. Fly clever.

    April 12, 2019 at 4:49 am

    • We all mean every word here, Katia, and you deserve the praise. Congrats again, and thank you as always for your kind words and support!

      April 12, 2019 at 9:05 am

  2. A Dead Parrot

    A very nice write up and sentiment. I don’t believe I have ever read the phrase “shimmering plinth” before.

    April 12, 2019 at 5:31 am

    • And here I was more proud of my use of the word ‘orrery’ :-p

      Thank you for reading, and I’m glad you liked it!

      April 12, 2019 at 9:03 am

  3. As if Katia hadn’t done enough to earn her plaudits, very well earned, drawing Professor Science back out into the black just adds to it. Time for a new mission?

    April 12, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    • I keep telling myself that and then never quite getting motivated enough until I find a new sight to see…

      April 14, 2019 at 5:32 pm

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  5. What a lovely post, Mark! I’m going to create a new TripTik for Katia’s monument and hope you don’t mind if I link to this post from it. Your blog is a treasure, we are always recommending it to our new player members who want to get a sense of what there is to visit and see beyond loot-based exploration. Thanks for all the hard work you’ve done to benefit the rest of us explorers!

    April 14, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    • Of course I don’t mind! I’m eager to help Signal Cartel any way I can, you know that. Thank you for reading, space mom, and I’m glad you liked it 😀

      April 14, 2019 at 5:33 pm

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  11. This is indeed a great accomplishment. After seeing it on the Steam screenshots page I had to read this. I even went as far as to jumping through 56 gates just so I could see it for myself. Well done.

    October 17, 2020 at 11:32 pm

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  14. Pingback: Katia Sae Completes Tour of All Systems With No Ship Losses – Signal Cartel

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