The Big Scary Outdoors

Anoikis – Region B-R00005
Constellation B-C00037 – System J150859
Cosmic Signature SEZ-118 – Central Angel Sparking Transmitter

16 March YC 122

After uncloaking I kind of froze, scared to look away from the overview where I expected to see an Astero any second now. I stared at the overview, then ran D-scan, checked overview again, and another D-scan, rotated the camera drones to visually check the surroundings, back to overview… Seconds dropped one by one and morphed into minutes, and I was still waiting, waiting for…

“Boo!” suddenly said Aura.

If I wasn’t suspended in pod goo I would probably jump and injure myself. In reality, I thrashed my arms and legs wildly as if I was drowning, which apparently was entertaining to behold, as Aura laughed heartily.

I’ve stopped my attempts to break out of the capsule and asked indignantly, “Why would you do that? You nearly gave me a heart attack!”

Still snickering, Aura replied, “You should have seen yourself. You looked like a cat who spent all his life in a safety of an apartment and then was suddenly kicked out to the big scary outdoors.”

“I don’t see anything funny here. This place is dangerous. I have to ensure there is no hazard around.”

“The longer you are ‘ensuring’, the more likely someone will notice you. How many times do you need to see an empty overview to persuade yourself there is no guarantee that it will stay that way?”

I opened my mouth, then realised it was a rhetorical question.

“Just one last time,” muttered I through clenched teeth, went through another cycle of paranoia and willed Nosuri to approach the nearest can.

“Good boy,” said Aura approvingly, “but why that can?”

“What’s wrong with it?”

“It may be empty, or full of cheap stuff. You don’t want to risk your 60-million-kredit Buzzard for hundred grand, do you?”

“But how do I know… Oh shit, cargo scanner!” I slapped my forehead.

I was glad Aura warned me – two out of five containers were worthless, including the one I intended to scan first. I approached the most valuable can, targeted it with the data analyser and started hacking. As I was guiding my virus, I kept running D-scan and glancing at the overview. That was horribly distracting but I couldn’t help it.

“You will never finish that can,” said Aura. “Let me keep an eye on the overview, and I’ll tell you if something pops up.”

I looked at her suspiciously, “Okay, but don’t say ‘boo’ again.”

Aura chuckled, “Any particular phrase that you prefer?”

“Anything, but ‘boo’.”

“Okay,” agreed Aura, all too easily.

The hacking got faster but still, from time to time, I ran a D-scan to ensure no one was probing or approaching my location. When the first container was successfully hacked I looted it and started moving to another one.

“I don’t like it,” said Aura, “we are moving too slowly and we are predictable.”

“I can’t move faster unless I overheat the MWD, but is it really necessary?”

“I didn’t mean slowboating. We should be warping from can to can.”

I shook my head, “Can’t do. They are too close to each other.”

“Of course, you can’t. That is why you need a perch.”

“A perch?”

“Yes, a perch. It’s a bookmark 150 klicks away from the site,” explained Aura, “Warping to that bookmark and back will take less time than slowboating 50 kilometres on MWD, you can do it cloaked and any observer will not know which can you are going to hack next until you actually start.”

“But this means that first I have to slowboat for 150km to that spot to place a bookmark which kinda defeats the purpose of this whole idea.”

“Hmm… Yeah, you are right… But you know what we should have done? When we first warped to this site we should have warped to 100-km mark. From there we could go 50 klicks to the bookmark spot either uncloaked on MWD or cloaked on the regular drive.”

“Ha. A wonderful benefit of hindsight,” said I sarcastically. “We’ll try that at the next site if we don’t get blown up before.”

Luckily, the ‘blown up’ bit didn’t happen; I successfully finished hacking all three cans after which I immediately warped to the safe spot without looking back.

“Congratulations on your first J-space raid!” cried Aura and blasted a party popper.

The capsule interior was suddenly filled with sparkling confetti which I ineffectually tried to wave away.

“Thank you,” grumbled I. “Can you please remove all this… stuff from my pod?”

Aura made a grimace, “Pfft, okay, no party poppers for party poopers,” and removed the hologram.

I ignored that sledge, opened the cargo hold window and rubbed my hands, “Let’s see what we’ve got.”

According to Neocom I was the new owner of the following valuable items:

1 x High-Tech Data Chip
22 x Energy Cells
1 x Symmetry Decryptor
16 x Datacore – Nuclear Physics
8 x Datacore – Rocket Science
44 x Data Processor
1 x Calm Electrical Filament
1 x Noise-5 ‘Needlejack’ Filament
1 x Optimized Attainment Decryptor
1 x Process Decryptor
1 x Parity Decryptor
1 x Calm Gamma Filament
2 x Accelerant Decryptor
1 x Astronautics Rigging

“How much is that in Jita?” asked I.

Aura ran a quick market check and said, “Eight million buy price, ten million sell.”

“Ooh, ten million! Not bad, compared to hi-sec.”

“I wouldn’t count on that, unless you want to compete with professional traders at Jita. My advice: just bring your stuff there, sell it quickly, get your eight million and get out.”

“Hmm… Whatever. We still need to get out of Anoikis in one piece. But before that let’s go to that relic site and try your perch idea.”

Ruined Serpentis Science Outpost
Ruined Serpentis Science Outpost

It turned out to be pretty good. Warping between cans through the bookmarked spot not only reduced the time I was exposed but also reduced the time I was anxious about being exposed which, if you ask me, was the main benefit. From Ruined Serpentis Science Outpost I extracted these treasures:

39 x Charred Micro Circuit
15 x Damaged Artificial Neural Network
15 x Conductive Polymer
42 x Tripped Power Circuit
2 x Carbon
6 x Fried Interface Circuit
19 x Burned Logic Circuit
24 x Malfunctioning Shield Emitter
11 x Artificial Neural Network
12 x Micro Circuit
10 x Drone Transceiver
13 x Conductive Thermoplastic

Aura estimated the price spread as 12-21 million kredits.

“Not too shabby,” remarked I, “but it’s still less than the price of the ship. We need to keep exploring. Which wormhole should we jump through?”

“I like RGO-690,” said Aura.


“I think it stands for Really Good Opportunity.”

I laughed, “And why not? I just hope that 690 stands for the number of millions that we will earn there. Please proceed, co-pilot.”

“Warp drive is already active, Captain,” was the reply.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: