Stubborn Dwarf Test Results

Region B-R00007 – Constellation B-C00057
System J104515

22 September YC 123

I have finished scanning the last signature in the system – it turned out to be another wormhole – and cheered.

“What are you so happy about?” asked Aura. “This is the second system that we have tried to explore today and it is as empty as the first one – no relic sites, no data sites, no nothing!”

“You are wrong – it’s not a second system, it’s fiftieth. And this is exactly why I am so happy.”

Aura frowned, “Fiftieth from what?” Continue reading “Stubborn Dwarf Test Results”

Entitled

Region C-R00011 – Constellation C-C00097
System J172751

1 September YC 123

I had finished hacking a Ruined Serpentis Science Outpost and was heading back to base in Thera. The pickings were pretty slim – about 15 million ISK. I sighed, closed Evepraisal window and started browsing a corp chat. Aura immediately turned her attention to the screen. Unlike Allison, she was not allowed to participate in the chat, but was always eager to read.

“Hey, what’s that?” exclaimed Aura, pointing at the list of active users.

“What’s what?”

Name with antenna“That… thingy… attached to your name. Looks like a dunce cap.” Continue reading “Entitled”

Twice Rescued

Region A-R00001 – Constellation A-C00312
System J105711

17 May YC 123

There was a lot of mirth and banter when I announced in the Discord channel that I got stuck in a wormhole. There were memes, there were jokes and much merriment. There were also serious questions from 911 Operators who ran me through the checklist, asking if there was a freeport (no), if I had a probe launcher (no!), or if I had a mobile depot (NO!). Then through the general hubbub came a voice of Xalyar.

“Why don’t you use the Noise filament?” Continue reading “Twice Rescued”

Choosing My Poison

Region Region G-R00031 – Constellation G-C00324
Thera System

17 May YC 123

It started like another day on the tools.  I woke up in the comfortable bed in my Buzzard, took a shower, had a breakfast, and then went to the capsule and submerged myself in the pod goo. The corp mates, as always, did a great job keeping Thera map up to date and there were only a couple of unexplored signatures. I quickly added them to TripWire – one was a high-sec connection and another was a relic site; not very interesting for exploration as I don’t hack sites in Thera. I then checked the existing connections and found one leading to a C1 system. It still had 3 hours of life in it, so why not, thought I and dived through. Continue reading “Choosing My Poison”

Stubborn Dwarf

Region G-R00031 – Constellation G-C00324
Thera System

6 April YC 123

It took me three months to return to Thera and resume my scanning activities. The start was a bit slow as all the steps were not in my muscle memory yet, but at least I didn’t have to go through the whole video again. Now, the previous sentence might have implied that by the end of the day I was knocking off the signatures at a champion speed, but the reality is my work finished almost as soon as it started. The members of Signal Cartel do not leave new signatures in Thera unattended for too long so they are always in short supply. That day I managed to scan down just three new wormholes. The last one led to a Class 2 system, so instead of returning to Thera I decided to check for abandoned pirate sites.

“What’s the point?” snorted Aura. “You don’t have any Analyzers fitted.”

“Well,” said I zeroing in on a Central Guristas Data Mining Site, “not on this ship.”

“You don’t have another ship. Not in Thera, at least.”

I just winked and smiled mysteriously in response. Continue reading “Stubborn Dwarf”

How to Become a Better AI Using Non-programmatic Methods

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

1 January YC 123

“Happy New Year, Aura!”

“Happy New Year, Vlad!”

Aura and I raised and clinked virtual glasses – virtual because in Aura’s world everything was virtual, and I was floating in a pod which was not the best place to drink wine from real glassware.

“Have you got any New Year resolutions?” asked I.

Aura looked at me sarcastically, “You mean, apart from plans to infiltrate a certain corp which pays for copy-pasting and earn enough money for a Nestor?” Continue reading “How to Become a Better AI Using Non-programmatic Methods”

Thera Scanning Fit

The Forge Region – Anttanen Constellation
Nomaa System – Planet I
Expert Housing Production Plant Station

14 December YC 122

“Good morning, Captain! Always a pleasure to see you,” said Aura, with a hint of sarcasm in her voice, responding to my call.

“Um, hello,” replied I.

We looked at each other silently for a while.

“Well?” said Aura.

“Well…” said I.

Aura made an impatient grimace, “Are you going to say anything?”

I stepped back from the commlink, puffed my chest and slightly turned my head to the right, all the while maintaining eye contact with Aura. Trying to do it all at once, I nearly lost my balance but quickly restored the pose.

I guess, my awkward manoeuvres looked pretty funny from Aura’s point of view, as she snorted and said, “Why are you shuffling like a shy kid?” Then her eyes grew wide and she exclaimed, “Hold on! What’s that?” pointing at my chest.

I blushed, “It’s… a medal. I mean medals?”

“I see they are medals. I mean what are they for? Or did you buy them at a second-hand, or,” she giggled, “rather a second-chest auction?” Continue reading “Thera Scanning Fit”

Cowardly Buzzard Test Results

The Question

Some time ago I asked myself, “What is the best doctrine for exploration?”

Now that I have written this question in a forum post, I realised that it sounds ambiguous and requires definition of the terms. Let’s start with the last one – exploration. People explore for various reasons: to see sights, to tend caches, to get lost… What I meant by exploration was a commercial activity – finding relic and data sites, and hacking them with an intention of turning a profit.

Next is “doctrine”. The term is normally used for combat fleets and encompasses ship fittings and fleet tactics. Although in my case the object of a doctrine is a solo explorer, I thought it would be a more appropriate concept than “fit”, since a fit determines a modus operandi and vice versa.

And finally, how do you define “the best”? In a commercial context, this always means money – the more the better. It may also mean the speed of earning it, known as ISK per hour. Being an immortal capsuleer I didn’t really care about counting hours. Instead, I counted the systems, so the scale on which I measured success of exploration doctrines was ISK per system.

But how can one prove that one doctrine is better than another? One way is to have a rowdy argument with yourself and, using the full gamut of personal biases and forum opinions, cow yourself into accepting a totally unsubstantiated point of view. Another one is the scientific method: experiment, observe, rinse and repeat. After a rowdy argument with myself I cowed myself into accepting that the scientific method was better for my soul. Continue reading “Cowardly Buzzard Test Results”

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. Continue reading “The Pen Is Mightier Than The Relic Analyser”