Have a Blast, He Said

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

21 February YC 121

Two days after the Hostage Rescue mission I got a call from Tarumo; he had a new assignment for me.

“The lad that you’ve saved is fine; his family still can’t believe their luck and send you their gratitude,” told me Tarumo, “but there is a bit of a complication. The guy transported some secret documents when he was captured. The pirates seized those docs and now demand an astronomical sum for their return. The station owners asked me to resolve this matter for a reasonable fee. Do you think you can handle it?”

“So far, I can’t say Guristas caused me any trouble, so yeah, I can deal with it… for a reasonable fee,” I raised my brow.

“I think you will find the mission reward adequate, Mr Korff. Besides, I grant you two Light Electron Blasters and highly recommend equipping them for this deployment.”

“Thank you for the advice, Mr Tarumo,” said I and left his office. Continue reading “Have a Blast, He Said”

Hostage Rescue

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

19 February YC 121

Next day after the mission I again called Tarumo to check the progress of the search and rescue operation but he told me not to bug him and that he would contact me himself if there were news. I heard somewhere that investigators had only 96 hours to discover a missing person after which the chances of successfully recovering a kidnappee were virtually zero. As days went by, I started to lose hope but on the fourth day came a message from Tarumo requesting my immediate presence in his office. Ten minutes later, agitated and out of breath, I appeared at his doorstep.

“Have you found him?” I blurted out, skipping the niceties.

“Good morning, Mr Korff,” said Tarumo, unperturbed by my faux pas. “No, we haven’t.” Then, seeing my face grow long, he quickly added, “As embarrassing as it is for our intelligence service, it is other way round. Today we were contacted by a Guristas agent who offered a deal – they will return the miner in exchange for, I quote, ‘the bastard responsible for their comrades’ deaths’.” A thin smile appeared on his lips, “What do you think, Mr Korff?” Continue reading “Hostage Rescue”

Capsuleer Fiction

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

15 February YC 121

When I returned from Jita I called Tarumo to check if there was any progress on the kidnapped miner case. “Working on it,” was his curt reply. There was nothing I could do, so by way of distraction, I spent the rest of the day reading books, and very peculiar books they were. I didn’t know there was a huge body of fictional works written by capsuleers until I came across a reference to Pod and Planet contest on one of the Net forums. At that time I glossed over it because I was looking for factual information but today was just the right time to have a bit of entertainment. At least, I hoped for entertainment, but in fact, it wasn’t something one would call light reading. Continue reading “Capsuleer Fiction”

Glamour for Sale

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

15 February YC 121

As much as I wanted to help Kalle Ryota to find his son, there was nothing I could do there and then. The Guristas ship which kidnapped the guy disappeared in the endless void and could be anywhere in New Eden. I promised Ryota to report this case to the officials but both of us knew there wasn’t much hope. Every day pirates killed and kidnapped hundreds of people, and if you weren’t part of a mega-corporation which had police, you were on your own. Ryota’s colony was proudly independent and they were paying the blood price for that.

I returned to the War Academy with a heavy heart. Surprisingly, Tarumo signed off my mission.

“Your task was to clear the area and you’ve done it,” he said firmly. “As far as I am concerned, the mission is accomplished. As to the poor boy, don’t blame yourself; you can’t save the whole world. Such things happen and you better get used to them if you want to pursue a military career.”

I understood the logic of this approach but still it didn’t help.

“Is there anything that can be done to find and free that guy?” asked I.

Tarumo gave me a long, hard look. I didn’t avert my eyes.

“I’ll see what I can do,” finally said he. “As for now, dismissed. Get some R&R.” Continue reading “Glamour for Sale”

Cash Flow for Capsuleers

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

13 February YC 121

I thought a lot about what Hakkaras told me during the farewell, and next day I made up my mind and called Aura.

“What do you think about becoming a combat ship AI?” I asked her.

“Hmm… Frequent loss of memory, a lot of swearing, uncouth characters… Nah, that’s not a proper occupation for a lady,” said Aura haughtily.

My jaw dropped, “I thought you would support me whatever career path I chose.” Continue reading “Cash Flow for Capsuleers”

How to Make Metal Scraps

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

11 February YC 121

I walked into Hakkaras’s office full of excitement – whatever mission he’d give me, it would be the last mission in Business course. The training was not especially hard (although, I admit, some of my business decisions could be better) but nevertheless its completion was a certain achievement which I was looking forward to celebrate.

The agent greeted me as an old friend, “Vlad, come in! How are you doing? I have something to show you.”

He turned his monitor toward me and I saw… a pile of metal scraps.

“Let me guess,” said I. “Metal scraps?” Continue reading “How to Make Metal Scraps”

Business Savvy

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?” Continue reading “Business Savvy”

A Truckful of Data

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

7 February YC 121

“What was on the datacore?” I asked Hakkaras next day after the archaeology mission.

“Oh, it was a very ancient and very rare technology,” said the agent and, seeing interest in my eyes, finished, “Yes, very rare, because it is so primitive that we don’t use it anymore.”

My disappointment was so obvious that Hakkaras couldn’t help laughing.

I was not impressed, “Now that you’ve had your fun at my expense, I’d like to know what I can do at yours.” Continue reading “A Truckful of Data”

Professor Aura

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

6 February YC 121

Looking back, I’d say that the last mission taught me more about business than all others in this course. Hoping to dig deeper into the intricacies of business planning, next day I came to Hakkaras for another mission.

“Ah, Vlad,” smiled the agent when I entered his office, “glad to see you. You did an awesome job on that tracking computer yesterday. I didn’t expect you to turn it around so quickly. Tell me honestly, you bought it?”

“Well, I did,” admitted I, “but you said there were no restrictions.”

“None whatsoever. You know, I didn’t give you a blueprint for reason, and you saw straight through it. You made an absolutely right choice buying the module instead of building it.”

I made a mental note to pass Hakkaras’s compliments to Aura; after all, it was her light-bulb moment. Aloud I asked, “What about a new mission? I’d like to get more exposure to the planning side of the business.” Continue reading “Professor Aura”

Tracking Profits

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

5 February YC 121

“How is the cracking going?” I asked Hakkaras next day after delivering the encrypted data chip to his friend in Saisio.

“Well, you know how it is with decryption,” winced the agent, “you may be lucky and decode the chip in the first 5 minutes, then there is a period with 90% confidence level, and finally there is the worst-case scenario.”

“And what’s the worst case?” Continue reading “Tracking Profits”