The Forge Region – Anttanen Constellation
Uitra System – Planet VI, Moon 4
State War Academy Station
25 January YC 121
“How were the cap boosters? Any good?” I asked Kokseri next day after completing the “complex manufacturing” mission.
“Remember, Vladimir, we are not fighters, we are industrialists. The main purpose of our work is to supply Caldari Navy with quality ships, modules and ammunition. I didn’t plan to use the cap boosters, I planned to sell them. Today I found a buyer, so your next mission will be to deliver the boosters to the customer.”
I let my involuntary induction into the ranks of industrialists slide for now, but still raised an objection, “I’ve already done transportation. Is there anything new I can learn?”
“This isn’t just transportation. Now you have a buyer and you need to deliver the goods post-haste. Because of that, your bonus timeframe is reduced to only three hours.”
“Hmm…” I thought it could be a challenge if the customer was somewhere in null-sec at the other end of New Eden, in some bubbled system, or in a wormhole. “And what’s the destination?” asked I.
“It’s Prompt Delivery Storage station in Unpas,” replied Kokseri.
I made an effort to control my facial expression.
“That’s the system next door, right?” said I, pretty much stating the obvious.
“It is,” admitted Kokseri, “but the clock is ticking and you have not undocked yet. By the way, your main reward for this mission will be an Overdrive Injector System, a module which increases the sub-warp speed of your ship. It will help you meet your delivery deadlines in future.”
I wondered how Overdrive Injector System could help if 99.9% of travel time between stations was spent warping and jumping through star gates, on which that module had no effect. It didn’t really matter for that mission, as there was no way I could miss the bonus deadline even if I was flying a Phoenix dreadnought.
I accepted the assignment and loaded the cap boosters into Mole.
“Aura, be a lamb, get this excavator to Prompt Delivery Storage station in Unpas,” said I after the capsule was loaded into the frigate.
“Are we picking up some belated Yoiul Festival gifts?” asked Aura.
“No, this time it’s us who deliver the presents.”
“And who is the lucky recipient?”
“No idea,” shrugged I.
“Ooh, that’s novel. I’ve heard of secret benefactors, but it’s the first time I hear of secret beneficiaries. By the way, we have arrived.”
After unloading the boosters I called Kokseri, “Mister Velen, the parcel is delivered.”
“Very good,” rubbed his hands Kokseri, “the OIS and the bonus are now being transferred to you.”
After Kokseri signed off Aura looked at me incredulously, “Excuse me, was it a mission?”
I silently nodded.
“To transport 20 cap boosters to the next hi-sec system?”
I nodded again.
Aura’s hologram zoomed out and I saw her sit at a table. She put her arms on the table top and dropped her head on them. After a few painful seconds she raised her eyes, looked at me and asked, “Vlad, what are we doing here?”
I sighed, “I don’t know. I just don’t want to drop out of the course halfway through. In fact, we are almost done – there are only three missions remaining. Just have a bit of patience.”
Aura shook her head, sat up and said, “I feel like pausing my brain until the end of this course. Let’s finish those three missions ASAP, and start doing something that befits a species that thinks itself intelligent.”
I agreed wholeheartedly.