Exploring Poinen

R943 Wormhole
The Forge Region – Onirvura Constellation
Poinen System

14 July YC 121

Although there was still a whole lot of stuff and ships remaining in Uitra, I decided against investing my time into moving it all to Poinen. If I needed something, I reasoned, I could always go there and bring another load to the new base. Besides, I was keen to start exploration in earnest and I had everything I needed, or so I thought.

“Where do we go today?” asked Aura when I boarded Haikarat.

“We don’t really need to go anywhere,” said I. “Let’s just kick this frigate out of the dock and start with exploring Poinen. Then we can visit the rest of Onirvura Constellation.”

“Sounds like a plan,” agreed Aura.

After we undocked I bookmarked a safe spot, warped there and launched the probes. The scanner showed four signatures which was more than I had seen in any other system so far. I rubbed my hands and started signature analysis. The first one that I managed to scan down was Sunspark Nebula Gas Site.

“What a beautiful name,” said Aura. “Let’s warp to it.” Continue reading “Exploring Poinen”

The Centre of The Forge Region

Nugoeihuvi Corporation Development Studio, Poinen IV - Moon 13
The Forge Region – Anttanen Constellation
Uitra System – Planet VI, Moon 4
State War Academy Station

9 July YC 121

I was keen to continue exploration of The Forge region but I needed a new base. State War Academy Station in Uitra was okay but I was getting tired of student crowds. I had an idea what an ideal location would be but I needed Aura’s assistance.

“Aura, darling, what do you think about moving house?” said I calling her on my commlink.

“To be honest, I don’t think about moving house at all. Why do you?” replied Aura unhelpfully.

“Well, if I am to explore this region it would be advantageous to have a base in its centre. Can you please calculate its location?”

“I surely can, but I don’t understand how it is going to help. In all likelihood, it will be a very empty place.” Continue reading “The Centre of The Forge Region”

It Started with a Splash

The Forge Region – Anttanen Constellation
Uitra System – Planet VI, Moon 4
State War Academy Station – The Abyss Bar

20 June YC 121

It was a busy time at The Abyss – the throng of thirsty students who waited for their drinks was four men deep, and bartenders were jumping crazily from tap to tap like monkeys during mating season. I was standing in a queue after another capsuleer; I recognised him by an interface slot on his exposed neck. When he finally made his way to the bar, with me in his tow, the bartender greeted him like an old friend and made small talk. I couldn’t hear them well because of the noise, but I caught a few words, like ‘decryptors’ and ‘bargain’. As you can imagine, having just looted a data site I was very much interested in any bargains that involved decryptors and moved closer to the bloke in front of me. Unfortunately, it coincided with the moment when the guy received his order and turned around with a drink in his hand. As I was literally breathing down his neck, he didn’t have enough space for manoeuvre and rammed his glass into my chest, splashing the drink all over my shirt. Continue reading “It Started with a Splash”

The Mystery of the Datacore

The Forge Region – Anttanen Constellation
Uitra System – Planet VI, Moon 4
State War Academy Station

20 June YC 121

I was standing in Haikarat’s cargo hold and inspecting the loot I got from two data sites.

“So which ones are those famous Villard Wheels?” asked I.

Aura who looked through CCTV cameras replied, “It’s those cylindrical things on the top of the pile.”

Indeed, there were four wheel-like objects, about a metre in diameter, which were badly damaged.

I scowled and said sceptically, “Hmm, they look pretty battered. Why would anyone want them?” Continue reading “The Mystery of the Datacore”

Lesser Guristas Covert Research Facility

The Forge Region – Anttanen Constellation

20 June YC 121

“So, can we go back to that Covert Research Facility now?” asked Aura.

“Er… I’d rather have a bit more practice before risking this blingy frigate,” said I apologetically.

“Come on! What can possibly go wrong? You’ll hack one can and we’ll warp out before the pirates can say ‘Mama’,” nagged me Aura.

“Okay, we’ll do it but let me first finish exploring the remaining systems in the constellation.”

Unfortunately for me, Sirseshin, Geras and Nomaa contained only signatures of wormholes and hidden Guristas bases. Still feeling jittery, I flew back to Shihuken.

“Hey, where are you going?” cried Aura as I approached Spacelane Patrol Logistics Support Station. “The Research Facility is the other way!” Continue reading “Lesser Guristas Covert Research Facility”

Stealing the Stolen

Communication Tower
The Forge Region – Anttanen Constellation
Jita System – Planet IV, Moon 4
Caldari Navy Assembly Plant

20 June YC 121

“Why don’t we simply undock and explore Jita?” suggested Aura.

“No, with this kind of traffic there is nothing left to explore. Bare skies,” objected I.

“Then let’s go back to Uitra.”

“Nah, Uitra is no good either. All those eager Academy students keep scouring the space 24 by 7.”

Aura knitted her brow and then said, “Maybe not Uitra itself but Anttanen Constellation. Remember, when we were hunting asteroids, Uitra was swept clean but the belts in the neighbouring Unpas were barely touched. What if the same is true about cosmic signatures?”

“That may work,” agreed I. “Let’s go.” Continue reading “Stealing the Stolen”

Fitting Heron for Hi-Sec Exploration

Haikarat, Heron-class Exploration Frigate
The Forge Region – Anttanen Constellation
Uitra System – Planet VI, Moon 4
State War Academy Station

20 June YC 121

Aura made a serious face and started, “Firstly, the low slots. Republic Fleet Nanofiber Structures provide best velocity and agility improvement…”

“Best?” interrupted I. “Domination Nanofiber Structures have the same characteristics but cost 3.5 million less.”

“Oh, we can buy Angels’ modules of course,” backed down Aura. “I just thought that you wouldn’t like to deal with pirates.”

I snorted, “Ha, so you thought I would rather buy equipment from an ally of Caldari’s arch-rival. Anyway, the price is beside the point. Why would I want agility and velocity to do exploration?”

“Well, imagine you get assaulted by a hostile ship while hacking a container. Higher agility will allow you to warp out before you get warp-scrambled.”

“Aura, it’s hi-sec! No one is going to risk their combat ship just to pop a rookie explorer. Leave your agility pitch until I am ready to go to low-sec.”

“But what do you want to put in the low slots then?” asked Aura. Continue reading “Fitting Heron for Hi-Sec Exploration”

Aura the Explorer

Haikarat, Heron-class Exploration Frigate
The Forge Region – Anttanen Constellation
Uitra System – Planet VI, Moon 4
State War Academy Station

20 June YC 121

After graduating from the Academy I took a couple of weeks of shore leave. Initially I thought I would spend a whole month relaxing on a beach but quite soon I felt that something was missing in my life. Azure of the sea, a light breeze, gorgeous girls frolicking in the surf – I thought I would never get tired of that. But here I am, reclining in a deckchair on a beautiful tropical beach and thinking about pitch-black deep space, a thrill of MWD acceleration and, most of all, Aura. I knew she was switched off so that time didn’t matter for her and she wasn’t missing me. To my surprise, I discovered that I was missing her. Her acerbic comments, her artless excitement, her petty grievances – my life didn’t feel complete without them. As soon as I realised it, I put aside the unfinished cocktail glass and took the fastest route back to Uitra.

When I boarded my capsule and heard a familiar voice say, “Hello, Cap! Or should I call you Doctor now?” I knew that finally I was home. And it felt good. Continue reading “Aura the Explorer”

The Exam, Part 2

Pleasure Hub
The Forge Region – Anttanen Constellation
Uitra System – Planet VI, Moon 4
State War Academy Station

2 June YC 121

Having returned to Uitra, I warped to the mission location. About 75 km before the warp bubble collapse I received a message from Ijumachi.

Scanners are picking up 3 hostiles moving into their ships now, looks like they’ve noticed you. Good luck.

“Thank you, mate,” muttered I even though he couldn’t hear me. Then, turning to Aura, I said, “Let’s see how good your glamorous modules are.”

Aura leaned to me and whispered confidentially, “They are absolutely fabulous.” Continue reading “The Exam, Part 2”

The Exam, Part 1

Merimetso, Cormorant-c;ass Destroyer
The Forge Region – Anttanen Constellation
Uitra System – Planet VI, Moon 4
State War Academy Station

2 June YC 121

I am glad that I am finishing my military training, and it’s for more reasons than one. Sure, there is a sense of accomplishment, but I am also happy to leave behind that artificial environment where make-work activities are valued higher than real-life problem solving. Take my last mission, for example – it was an abject failure. I was expected to scare the shit out of a pirate and persuade him to move his gang elsewhere, but when I left the mission area the bastard was dead and his gang is still in Uitra “under new management”. Nevertheless, the mission was considered accomplished because for the whole three seconds I managed to brush the hostile ship with a civilian stasis webifier. What a great achievement!

Having completed nine missions I was ready for a final exam. As it turned out, the exam was not ready for me – Ijumachi told me that he needed some time to organise a proper engagement that would test my fighting skills. Besides, the delay gave me an opportunity to study Caldari Destroyer skill. Why? Because for my final mission I was granted a Cormorant-class destroyer! As you can imagine, I was excited beyond words and spent the last ten days researching Cormorant fittings and tactics. On the eleventh day, still engrossed in forums, battle reports and dashcam videos, I was jerked into reality by Ijumachi’s call.

“Mr Korff, I request your immediate presence in my office,” he said brusquely and hung up. Continue reading “The Exam, Part 1”