The Forge Region – Anttanen Constellation
Uitra System – Planet VI, Moon 4
State War Academy Station
9 February YC 121
“You wanted to get more experience in business planning? I have just the right mission for that,” said Hakkaras when I came for another assignment.
“What? Destroy a pirate nest and figure out how to sell metal scraps for a million?” I asked sarcastically.
“You won’t be destroying anything but you’ll enable our escorts to kill the pirates. You see, lately Guristas started equipping their frigates with afterburners which increased their speed dramatically. Our ships simply can’t get close enough to shoot them. So your task is to procure two 1MN Afterburners by whatever means.”
“And will I get a share of salvage and bonus rewards for the destroyed pirate ships?”
“Wow!” exclaimed the agent. “You are getting good at it. It’s an absolutely right question to ask for a businessman. If I could, I would sign off this mission just on the basis of this question. The answer, though, is ‘No’. All you’ll get is your mission reward. But nice try, anyway.”
“Not that I really expected that,” smirked I. “And, I guess, I am not getting a blueprint again.”
Hakkaras pointed a finger gun at me, “You know the game!”
“Wake up, sleeping beauty,” said I boarding the capsule. “We are going shopping!”
“Yay!” exclaimed Aura and sent me a kiss. “Are we buying a Titan?”
“Not yet. But with my business savvy, we will earn enough money to buy one in no time.”
“So what are we buying?”
“Just a couple of afterburners, for starters. Same deal as with the tracking computer: build, buy or steal, but get them delivered today.”
Aura looked at me sceptically, “And you decided to buy. May I ask why?”
“Because I haven’t got a blueprint. It costs 66 thousand kredits, while a couple of ABs will be just 16,000. I learned my lesson from the mission where we had to procure a tracking computer. It’s cheaper to buy so that’s what I did.”
“Um, I see. The difference between that mission and this one, though, is that you didn’t have a tracking computer to start with.”
“Well, I don’t see the difference – I don’t have the afterburners either,” objected I.
“Don’t you?” raised her brow Aura. “What did you get as a reward for the relic analysis mission from Hakkaras?”
I looked at her in astonishment, “Oh shit! You are right – I’ve got 1MN Afterburner! I completely forgot about it! But I have only one; we still need to buy one more so we have to make the trip to Jita.”
“Hmm… Really? In this beautiful frigate equipped with another afterburner?”
My jaw dropped, and then I stuttered, “But… But I might need it!”
“Not for this mission,” said Aura coolly. “In the worst case, you would have to go and buy it later. In the best case you would loot it from the cooling wreck of some Guristas ship.”
I was lost for words. After a few seconds of bitter self-reflection I said, “Okay, you are right. You know what, next time I will wake you up before I make any purchases. But today we still have to go to Jita. I have already bought those afterburners so we’ll just pick them up.”
“Are you sure it’s a good idea?”
“Oh, come on! It will cost us some time, but that’s it.”
“It may cost you your frigate,” said Aura darkly.
“What? How? The whole route is in hi-sec.”
“Have you ever heard of Burn Jita weekends?”
“No way! Is it today?” cried I.
“No,” chuckled Aura, “otherwise it would be on all news channels.”
I sighed with relief, “You gave me a scare, minx! As a punishment, you will have to navigate Ampuhaukka all the way to Jita and back.”
“I listen and obey, my Captain,” said Aura solemnly, and then giggled.