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”

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”

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”

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”

The Words To Die For

Sinq Laison Region – Algintal Constellation
Audaerne System – Planet VI, Moon 5
Modern Finances Depository Station

5 October YC 122

Aura was giving me a silent treatment. Ever since I boarded the capsule and turned her on, she just looked at me disapprovingly without saying a word. I guess I deserved it, so I had to make the first step to break the ice.

“Hello,” I said tentatively.

Aura pursed her lips and asked testily, “Another long lunch?”

Inwardly, I sighed with relief – I was afraid she wouldn’t talk to me at all.

“You won’t believe what happened,” I said aloud.

“What, your wiki site was such a success that you spent all this time signing your photos for the fans?” Continue reading “The Words To Die For”

The Most Impossible Club of All

Central Serpentis Sparkling Transmitter
Genesis Region – Reya Constellation
Hirizan System – Planet VIII
Wiyrkomi Corporation Factory Station

26 July YC 122

I boarded the capsule, turned Aura on and was greeted by her angry voice.

“Hey, what’s that? You said that you would go out for a lunch.”

I made an innocent face, “So I did.”

“That was 17 days, 19 hours and 44 minutes ago! Where have you been all this time? I know you, humans, are slow, but surely it doesn’t take that much time to refuel. Or did you meet Yakub again?” Continue reading “The Most Impossible Club of All”

Dangerous Capsules

Genesis Region – Mih Constellation
Zoohen System – Planet III
Theology Council Tribunal

14 June YC 122

I briefly popped back to Zoohen to drop off the loot and was about to undock when Neocom chimed indicating that there was a new transaction. Aura checked the wallet and her eyes grew wide.

“Look here! Someone has just donated 250 million kredits to you!”

“Who did that?” asked I, more surprised than pleased.

“A lady, apparently,” replied Aura and smirked, “So you don’t remember what you were doing those 3 days after receiving the medal?”

“What are you trying to insinuate?”

Aura looked innocent, “I dunno. Maybe you had an affair and made some lonely, and rich, lady so-o-o happy…”

I snorted, “I wish! Actually, not. I don’t. If it’s true then I probably missed the best part of the celebration. Does the lady have a name?” Continue reading “Dangerous Capsules”

Morning(s) After

Genesis Region – Mih Constellation
Zoohen System – Planet III
Theology Council Tribunal

11 June YC 122

The last three days were a bit of a blur. It all started with corporate drinks; I had a few to celebrate my award. Then there was an after-party where everyone felt obliged to shout a drink for me. Then I didn’t remember much. The next morning I went to a cafe for breakfast. It turned out that my circadian cycle was not in sync with the local rhythm, and what I thought to be morning was actually late afternoon by the local wall-clock. So instead of muesli and yogurt buffet I was greeted by a dinner menu and a new group of Signaleers who were unable to attend the previous day’s meeting in person. They dragged me to a bar where I received my breakfast, lunch and dinner, all together in a liquid form. Then I didn’t remember much. Continue reading “Morning(s) After”

Heretic Encounter Debrief

Region B-R00008 – Constellation B-C00062
System J153003

6 June YC 122

Replaying the incident at Ruined Serpentis Monument Site in my mind, I realised how incredibly lucky I was. Acting intuitively and flying blindly, I managed to escape a prepared attack by a dedicated hunter in an interdictor. I say “prepared attack” because the location of the Monument site was obviously pre-scanned – I didn’t see any probes in space. Still, there were some inconsistencies in my recollection which I decided to discuss with Aura.

“One thing that I don’t understand is how that dictor managed to approach us so quickly from the 60-kilometre distance. The warp disrupt probe range is just 20 klicks, so it had to fly 8 km per second to cover that distance before I could align,” mused I aloud. Continue reading “Heretic Encounter Debrief”