All’s Horrorshow That Ends Horrorshow

Uncloaking Buzzard in Magnetar System
Anoikis

6 June YC 122

From 3 May YC 122 my Anoikis roams were driven not only by corporate duty and pecuniary interest but also by scientific research into profitability of various exploration doctrines which, one may say, was also driven by pecuniary interest. In practice, it meant that after exploring Class 1, 2 or 3 system Aura had to note the number of scanned and hacked data and relic sites and record the appraisal of the obtained loot or, if I was unlucky, loss of the said loot and the encompassing ship. The idea was that after 50 systems we would calculate P&L and use the resulting figure as a measure of the doctrine’s success.

Flying through J-Space I tried to find out who lived in all those loosely connected systems. It was a bit like driving through countryside and reading the names of small towns and villages. For example, I found systems occupied by Phakt INC, Pleasure Holes Cartel and Overheat but Hole Inc. I thought they would make a fine alliance. Continue reading “All’s Horrorshow That Ends Horrorshow”

Cowardly Buzzard

Region E-R00027 – Constellation E-C00271
System J212203

3 May YC 122

The wormhole from Thera expelled us into a Class 5 J-Space system which started a rather disappointing chain of C4’s and C5’s. In one system I found an abandoned flight of Hornet EC-300 drones, checked if my Buzzard grew a drone bay, sighed and flew away. Another one had a mobile depot with 37 million ISK in loot which I could neither take, nor return to its owner. The only satisfaction I got from that journey was tending caches – they gave me a feeling of purpose in this otherwise unremarkable journey through higher-class Anoikis systems. Finally, after five or six jumps I discovered a wormhole which led to a C3.


Region C-R00011 – Constellation C-C00096
System J225949

“There is a cache that needs to be tended,” informed me Allison on arrival.

“Aha,” rubbed her hands Aura, “this means that your corp mates haven’t visited this system for a while so we can hope for some undisturbed relic sites. What are you waiting for? Let’s scan down all those juicy signatures!” Continue reading “Cowardly Buzzard”

Thera Sightseeing

Testing Facilities
Genesis Region – Mih Constellation
Serren System – Planet III

3 May YC 122

Having returned to scanning I quite soon pinned down a wormhole and warped to its location to check where it led. As Neocom showed its description, both Aura and I gasped – it was a wormhole to Thera! You probably know that my corp maintains a publicly available list of Thera connections but I never used it because I wanted to find that system myself. And finally I did!

Aura and I looked at each other and nodded, “Let’s go!” Continue reading “Thera Sightseeing”

Honest Work

Anoikis

17 April YC 122

“Are we done with your Tinder Games now?” asked Aura.

“What are you talking about? They’ve just started! And they are called Tender Games,” said I.

“Whatever. So what now, more photos?”

“Hmm… If there was a contest for a photo or a video of the cheekiest AI we would definitely be the winners,” I teased Aura who stuck her tongue at me in response. “But alas, we have to do it the hard way. The only other category in which I can possibly win a prize is The All-Star Grand Prix, which is awarded to a capsuleer who has tended the largest number of caches during this weekend.”

“And how do you propose to win that prize?”

“I have a pretty straightforward approach – by scanning and tending.”

“That sounds boring,” yawned Aura. “By the way, how will the judges know how many caches you’ve tended?”

“They’ll just check Allison’s logs.”

Aura suddenly looked alert, “Allison’s logs, you said?” Continue reading “Honest Work”

Tender Games: Motionless Picture Award

Region D-R00022 – Constellation D-C00213
System J110915

17 April YC 122

You might wonder why I went to all that trouble with obtaining a corpse and then carrying it to Anoikis. As I said before, I wanted to participate in another Tender Games competition, Motionless Picture Award. The prize in that category would be given to

The most beautiful, funny, surprising or simply relaxing picture…

Now, that was a real challenge. Beautiful sites in New Eden are a dime a dozen, and even cheaper in Anoikis. Put an elegant Astero on the front and you are a winner. My problem started with the fact that I didn’t have an Astero. And I didn’t want to buy an Astero just for a photo op. Even if I had an Astero, it wouldn’t guarantee that I would be noticed among the swarm of other Asteros buzzing around J-space and making selfies. There are probably more Astero owners in our corp than Astero-less folks; it’s Signal Cartel after all.

Feeling that getting a prize for the most beautiful shot was pretty chancy, I moved on to ‘funny’ and ‘surprising’. Don’t ask me how I came up with that plan, I don’t know myself, but I thought that placing a corpse next to one of our rescue caches was a brilliant idea. At the same time, I realised that a simple shot of a lifeless body floating in space near a big metal box would not be enough. It could raise some eyebrows but more in a sense ‘what the hell is this?’ rather than ‘Wow!’ That’s when my involuntary art education paid off. Erm… Having written this, I realised that it would take some explanation. Continue reading “Tender Games: Motionless Picture Award”

Tender Games: I Did It My Way

Tending a Cache in a Capsule

17 April YC 122

It took me several hi-sec jumps before I found a wormhole which led to J-space.

“Thanks, Bob! I thought that I’d spend all weekend roaming hi-sec,” grumbled I and dived in.

Region A–R00001 – Constellation A-C00318
System J140121

“Captain, there is a rescue cache in this system which needs to be tended,” informed me Allison as soon as we arrived.

“Excellent!” said I and bookmarked a safe spot.

Parking my Buzzard in the middle of the middle of nowhere I yawned and said, “I’ll take a nap. If anyone calls, I am not here.”

“Aren’t you going to tend that cache?” asked Allison and Aura in unison.

“If I tend it now it will not count toward my Tender Games tally. I’ll wait until 21:00 and then do my duty. Till then, nighty-night,” replied I and switched everything, except the cloaking device, off.

8 hours later… Continue reading “Tender Games: I Did It My Way”

Great Cosmic Balance

Ruined Sansha Monument
C-R00015 Region – C-C00147 Constellation
J132907 System

31 March YC 122

After my unfortunate attempt to appropriate an unanchored starbase I continued my travels through Anoikis. The intent was the same – maintain caches and make money from exploration sites. Jumping through a near-dead wormhole I found myself in Class 3 system J132907. Having tended the cache and parked Nosuri at a safe spot, I opened the probe window and gasped.

“Look at that, Aura!” exclaimed I. Continue reading “Great Cosmic Balance”

How to Steal a Starbase

Small Caldari Control Tower

29 March YC 122

Having assembled a new Buzzard, I called it Nosuri II and continued my exploration trip. Ejahi, a hi-sec system next to Jarizza had a wormhole which took me back to Anoikis. I jumped through three systems, tended a couple of caches and finally arrived to Class 4 J123458 system. As usual, I ran the first scan with combat probes and found a lonely starbase. Warping to the location I inspected the structure; it belonged to Wormhole Surfers of Eve. Having noted it in the ship’s logbook, I was going to warp back to the safe spot when Aura stopped me.

“Vlad, wait a moment,” said she.

“What’s the matter?”

“It’s unanchored!”

“What is?”

“The control tower,” explained Aura and pointed at the structure’s bracket on the HUD.

“So?”

“So we can take it!”

“How do you take a starbase?” wondered I. “I thought they could only be blown up once they were assembled.” Continue reading “How to Steal a Starbase”

Day Job

Anoikis

25 March YC 122

The last few days I spent jumping from one Anoikis system to another. To my surprise the journey was uneventful in all respects.

For one thing, no one killed me or even tried to. There were no gate camps and no bubbles but even without them entering a new J-space system was one of the most dangerous parts of a journey through Anoikis. That was where I had to appear ‘naked’, without a cloak, even if for the briefest of moments. And it took me some time, after my initial underwhelming performance,  to make sure that that moment was indeed the briefest. Eventually I settled into a routine which was done almost automatically: bookmark the wormhole exit, bring up the system map, choose a celestial, start the warp and activate the cloaking device. All that took less that 15 seconds, so I never lost my gate cloak until I started moving, and after that the CovOps cloaking device made sure that my Buzzard flashed its tender flesh for less than a second. If there were any wannabe hunters, they would have had hard time even acquiring a target lock on me, to say nothing about attacking.

Being not just a traveller but an explorer I was also exposed to a potential assault while I was hacking containers at data and relic sites but that risk too did not materialise. That could probably be explained by an interesting (or, depending on your point of view, boring) fact – I didn’t see many pirate exploration sites where I could have been ambushed. By the way, Aura and I had finally figured out the classification of Anoikis cosmic signatures – if a site had a pirate faction included in its name then it was an unguarded remainder of their base; if a faction was not mentioned, then, no matter how innocent the name sounded, it was a Sleeper camp defended by an armada of bloodthirsty drones. So it happened that most relic and data sites I found were those ‘unprotected’ and ‘forgotten’ Sleeper bases which I, naturally, avoided. Continue reading “Day Job”

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.” Continue reading “The Big Scary Outdoors”