The Pen Is Mightier Than The Relic Analyser

C-R00012 Region – C-C00108 Constellation
J144725 System

22 October YC 122

“What are we still doing in this system?” frowned Aura as I woke her up. “We entered it 9 days ago!”

“Yeah, I had other work to do,” replied I. “But now this cache needs to be tended again.”

“Okay, and what’s next? Another system, another cache?”

“Another relic site…”

Aura snorted, “But aren’t you bored with this endless container inspection? I know I am! And I am not even supposed to have this emotion as an AI. Wait a moment, how come I can feel boredom?”

I hastily tried to turn the conversation away from this sensitive topic, “Erm… Let’s talk about it later. So what were you saying about container inspection?”

Aura looked at me suspiciously but returned to her original question, “I mean we’ve been doing this cache tending for months now. Aren’t there other activities in your corp? I remember you mentioned Thera scanning and that you can get a CovOps Frigate for doing it. It wouldn’t hurt to have a spare Buzzard, huh?”

“To be honest, this isn’t the most exciting job. It is important but I’d like to do something else for a change,” admitted I.

“So what’s the problem? Let’s go to Thera!”

“You see, I am still testing my Cowardly Buzzard doctrine and it requires visiting different Anoikis systems, which is perfectly aligned with cache tending.”

“But if you jump through wormholes going out of Thera, you will visit different systems,” pointed out Aura.

“True, but then the experiment will be biased. Connections to those systems are published and known to everyone, so you can expect higher-than-usual traffic there.”

Aura made a grimace, “And how long are you going to test that doctrine of yours?”

“I need to visit 50 C1, C2 or C3 systems to have a representative sample.”

“And how many have you visited already?”

I opened my tracking spreadsheet and checked the count, “Forty one, so far.”

Aura made round eyes and snapped, “Then what are you doing sitting here and chit-chatting with me? There are nine more systems to go – let’s get cracking!”

And so we did. J144725, a C3 system, turned out to be quiet but not very lucrative. There were two ruined temple sites, abandoned by Sansha and Serpentis, which yielded a meagre 15 million ISK.

“I could earn more by spending this time on copy-pasting text,” grumbled I.

Aura was suddenly very attentive, “How?”

“Oh sorry, I didn’t tell you. The wiki site that I worked on is ready to be opened to the corp. There is a lot of info that management wants to migrate from forums to the wiki, and they are ready to pay money for that.”

“Interesting… And… can I possibly participate in this wonderful initiative?”

I shook my head, “Unfortunately not. It’s for corp members only.”

“Fine, fine. But you know, if it pays good money, wouldn’t you like to take part in that migration yourself?”

“Maybe, eventually. But I still hope that the project will attract other Signaleers and they can try their hand at wiki editing. For me it’s more important to get the wiki going than to earn ISK.”

Aura pursed her lips, “As you wish. Let’s go the next system then.”

At this moment my commlink buzzed.

I looked at the message and said, “Yep, in a moment,” and opened a chat window.

Genesis Region – Mih Constellation
Zoohen System – Planet III
Theology Council Tribunal Station – Signal Cartel Base

23 November YC 122

The message I received a month ago was from a travel agent. He had an offer for me which I couldn’t decline – it was a trip to a planet which produced some of the best wines. As a baseliner I couldn’t even dream about going there, but even a capsuleer had to wait in a queue for a hotel reservation in one of the planet’s wine regions. But it was well worth it – I had the time of my life: dozens of wineries, hundreds of tastings, and lots of purchased wine cases. Initially, I wanted to transport them in a shuttle but they just didn’t fit into the cargo hold and I had to pick them up with an exploration frigate. Now a significant volume of my item hangar was occupied by wine crates. I thought that I’d need help with all those bottles and knew exactly who could provide it… but the vacation was over. There was work to be done so I went to the ship hangar and boarded the capsule.

“Hello,” said Aura, yawning. “Enjoyed yourself, I hope?”

“You have no idea!” replied I, opening Neocom and checking my balance.

As I thought, all those wine cases cost me a little fortune but my wealth had actually increased, because…

“What’s that?” exclaimed Aura pointing her finger at a transaction on my screen. “Is it from Katia Sae? That Katia Sae?”

“Yep. There is only one Katia Sae.”

“But why would she transfer money to you? What dealings do you have with her?” asked Aura suspiciously.

“She is a director in Signal Cartel and paid me for my services to the corporation,” explained I.

“What services?”

“Remember I told you about migration of forum posts to the wiki? When I had a bit of free time during the vacation, I decided to have a go at it and moved a few posts. Katia has reviewed them and paid me for my work.”

“And how much time did you spend on it?”

I tried to remember, “Maybe an hour or two… I had a busy holiday.”

Aura made round eyes, “Vlad, we are in the wrong business. If you can make this kind of money simply by copy-pasting, you should just forget about exploration and become a full-time wiki editor. In fact, I am going to apply to your corporation myself!”

“Erm… I don’t think it’s a good idea. CONCORD has pretty strict rules which do not allow bots in capsuleer corporations.”

“Hey, who do you call a bot?” cried Aura indignantly.

I made an innocent face, “It’s not me, it’s CONCORD.”

Aura narrowed her eyes but didn’t say anything, knowing that her expression was eloquent enough. I thought it prudent to change the subject.

“Now that I am back, let’s go exploring. I am sure you are looking forward to it.”

Aura raised her brow, “Don’t you have any forum posts to migrate?”

“There are some,” admitted I, “but it’s not something that I planned to do today. I’d really like to go to space.”

“But… but can we work on just a couple of posts? The small ones?” said Aura pleadingly.

I sighed, “Oh well. But only a couple,” and opened a forum window on my HUD.

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