That's right, I used to be...
I shipped thousands of (mainly) arrogant, rich tourists in my Orca & Dolphin, heck - I'd even bought another Beluga and learned not to get stuck in the toast rack - but shuffling all those rich butts backward and forward to places I'd seen so many times, it was soulless and started to get to me, I'd made a pile of credits, expanded the fleet and was looking for something more to do, something more engaging.
I had about 600Mill credits so was no longer on the breadline, my fleet worth over a billion as assets, so I could take some time to think over the next move. I guess I did what a lot of pilots do in the same situation, kitted out a ship for exploration (I chose a Krait MkII, with SLF) and pointed out into the black.
Dropped 1500Ly below the bubble and headed off toward Colonia, and the core. I spent a couple of months in the black, went to Colonia, Sag A* then wandered up to the Abyssal Plain, just to see what was there, then back to Colonia to sell off my exploration findings and Ally myself with the Colonia Council. I'd stopped over in the region for a couple of weeks and had marked off a few places I intended to return to, some day, to explore in more detail.
I'd returned to my base station in the bubble and had over a billion banked, so even less inclined to do an honest day's work I set off toward the Formadine Rift and sought some of the Lore from the Old times. and further out to the rim to look out over the empty blackness beyond out galaxy. It was odd to see so few, or no, stars from my cockpit - memories of the crowded core, brilliant in its splendour would come to mind, so vibrant and 'full of life' - I was happy to return to the bubble from that trip, even if a little claustrophobic!
I don't know what had changed, was it just me or had the bubble turned less friendly and inviting, so many interdictions evaded from those who appeared to shun the law, incursions into human space by Thargoids seemed to be growing exponentially - and they used to be 'tales of the bogeymen' when I was a kid, now they are in my backyard trampling the flowerbeds!
I kitted out a ship to rescue those caught in burning stations, then another to take the fight to the Thargoids. I'll admit they were too great a threat to my non-combat trained skills, I killed many scouts but the bigger 'goids just ignored my attention and would take my ship to near destruction on those occasions I managed to make it out intact. or send me back home in an escape pod on the days I was just a little too slow.
Mining had become much more lucrative since my return from my exploration trip so I gave it a go, the new tools I could buy from outfitting were impressive, but not quite enough for me to want to make it my trade for any time. Piracy had always been rife in mining areas previously, it hadn't changed for the better since...
It was returning from a mining trip and nearly losing both ship and cargo to pirates in a wing that gave me the impetus to improve my combat skills, running used to work but it seems these days it is 'shoot first, make demands later' so something needed to be done, and fast. I outfitted a ship for Bounty Hunting and sent a few 'bad guys' off to meet their maker, initially by piggy-backing the system security ships, later going solo, I improved, but knew I'd never be 'good'.
Colonia, its vista of densely-packed stars, called to me. There I could be away from the masses in the bubble, could relax a little and decide my path for the future.
One of the minor powers in Colonia had advertised for 'willing volunteers' to assist in bettering the skills of their engineering team, I had a 'good' excuse to go that way, this time with purpose.
The neutron highway made the trip quick and fairly painless, only slowed by by the occasional self-inflicted diversion when local space seemed worthy of some tourism. By the time I had arrived and sold my Cartographic data I'd amassed 1.7 billion credits banked even after repairs and refit.
The colonies, after the bubble, feel empty, lacking the trappings of 'civilisation' - by that I mean there are no major powers in almost constant war, many less pirates and massively fewer people. It's not Utopia, there is crime, and risk, but there is also opportunity to be part of a community who, in the main, have made the 22,000 Ly trip to start afresh.
It didn't take long, I recall it followed a conversation with a 2nd-hand ship salesman - a chance encounter, for me to consider moving my fleet out to 'The Colonies' and setting up home here.
Buying a slightly more hardy ship than my Krait Phantom, and shipping most of my fleet and 'A' grade modules from the Bubble to Robardin Rock has eaten its way though a little over a billion credits...
I used to be a Billionaire, then I got a life