Twelve years into a career where the average lifespan is measured in months rather than years, Alex Pieterson, Captain of the salvage vessel Thaddeus has been involved in deep-space recovery missions all of her adult life. In this exclusive and sometimes frank interview with the New Earth Herald, Pieterson opens up on what life is like in some of the most inhospitable parts of the universe:
“When a starship goes walkabout in the Outerzone, because of tech meltdown, or because of pirates, or because some fucking genetically modified alien shit goes down, then the high-ups at the corporations have to get answers. And that’s what we provide. I run a Remote Interstellar Salvage Crew, a bunch of men and women who don’t mind that every day might be their last.
We enter the wrecks, armed to the teeth, to look for the blackbox recorder that will satisfy the shareholders’ need for closure and give the lawyers someone to sue. They pay us like shit, but as long as they get that blackbox back, we can keep anything else we find; use it, trade it, sell it... provided we get to it first.
This business attracts a certain type of person - the hopeless, the lost, the wash-ups and the wash-outs. Put it this way – they all have something to gain, and not a lot left to lose, but give them a uniform and a sense of purpose and you never know what they might achieve. It’s a good living… provided you stay alive.”