For this reason I created Uziphel and Urizel to be miners primarily. They ran a dedicated skill queue to fly Hulks, later picking up the additional skills needed to be competent ice miners as well. They sat in empire, while their training progressed. Meanwhile, BSCL had joined Split Infinity Alliance and I sent Urziel and Uziel to their station system in Teneriffis.
It was in S1. that I was first able to really get involved in operations at an Alliance level. The culture we found was more open and accommodating. The Alliance leader, Quivering Palm was an amiable sort and we felt like we were having more of an impact than we had as a "guest" of the NC. We were welcomed, and valued as a corp and as individuals. Which for me atleast, was a welcome change of pace.
I learned then that the station was under the ownership of the mercenary alliance, Noir Mercenary Group. While I didn't know at the time why such a group would allow a comparatively small alliance such as ourselves to control the station. It made sense that they would not be able to safeguard it while on contracts and thus needed someone else to hold sovereignty and repel attackers. With the majority of the DRF up north dismantling the NC piecemeal and being blue with most, if not all our neighbors, including the powerful southern alliance Against ALL Authorities, it seemed that aside from the occasional roam that the home front was largely secure.
Then things changed.