Artificially Intelligent Graphic Designer

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

3 May YC 122

“Beautiful! Stunning!” gushed Aura browsing the photos. “Your corp mates do know their fireworks!”

“Oh, don’t rub it in,” grumbled I.

“What do you mean?”

“I know that my puny green scatter dots did not look as grandiose as all those ‘Angel Wings’ or whatever they are called.”

“But I didn’t mean to denigrate your fireworks,” objected Aura.

“But you did say ‘your corp mates’ which rather pointedly excluded me!” Continue reading “Artificially Intelligent Graphic Designer”

Caching Up

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

21 April YC 122

I stood in a hangar looking at a group of objects delivered to me today. Despite Aura’s scepticism both my photos actually made it to the podium – a second place for the capsule and a third place for the corpse – and today I received the prizes.

“Hmm…” said Aura, trying to look unimpressed. “So what have you got?”

I walked to three large boxes in the corner.

“Firstly, there is a Buzzard…” I started saying.

Aura scoffed interrupting me, “Ha, charges to charges.”

I smiled, “Yeah, you are right. In my line of work CovOps frigates are just consumables. Still, one less trip to Jita.”

“What are those?” asked Aura pointing at the other two containers. Continue reading “Caching Up”

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”

The Kindness of Strangers

Khanid Region – Arniri Constellation
Danera System – Planet III, Moon 3
Khanid Transport Storage Station

16 April YC 122

Yakub and I exchanged the latest news and left the bar around 6 pm. He was keen to continue exploration of the local joints but I had to pass up that tempting opportunity because I planned to take part in Tender Games on the weekend. If our previous escapades were any guide, it was quite possible that the next time I checked my watch I would discover that it was Monday.

Having said good-bye to Yakub, I boarded Nosuri II and asked Aura to plot a route to Kaaputenen.

“Why Kaaputenen?” asked Aura.

“That’s where Yakub dropped off a Buzzard for Tender Games,” explained I. “Look here”, I pointed at the penultimate system on our route.

“Oh, he left it just before Niarja,” smiled Aura and nodded knowingly. “That’s why we have to make 13 jumps instead of boarding the new frigate here, in Danera.” Then her eyes lit up, “I have an idea: next time you drop off loot for him, leave it in Niarja!” Continue reading “The Kindness of Strangers”

Tender Games Preparations

Solitude Region – Orvanne Constellation
Aeter System

14 April YC 122

Two weeks of laid-back rustic life in Aeter bored me enough, to say nothing about Aura who, of all systems, preferred Jita. Besides, it was time to start preparations to Signal Cartel’s Tender Games. So in the morning I loaded the loot into Nosuri’s cargo hold, said good-bye to Federation Navy Station and undocked.

“It was good while it lasted but I don’t fancy returning here in future. Ever,” said I throwing the last glance at the station.

“I wouldn’t be so confident,” scoffed Aura. “With your luck you may visit this place more often than you think.”

“Ha! Is it an official route prediction by the navigational AI?”

“No, it’s an observation of an experienced woman who shared this gel-filled blob with you for months!” Continue reading “Tender Games Preparations”

How to Return a Stolen Starbase

30 March YC 122

After the adrenaline rush of starbase extraction operation subsided I finally had time to think it over. Although I agreed with Aura’s argument that the unanchored structure had to be removed from space I was still not sure that it was right to appropriate it. And I mean right in the Credo sense, not by the rules of CONCORD who are too shy to poke their noses into Anoikis. For some time I played with an idea of not telling anyone what happened but quite soon I realised that the nagging desire to get some kind of closure, be it exoneration or condemnation, was not going away. There was only one way to resolve this – consult my corp mates who lived by the Credo longer than I. And so I wrote a post on the corp forum explaining the situation, my take on it, and asking for advice. Continue reading “How to Return a Stolen 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”

A Leap of Faith

Anoikis – Region B-R00005
Constellation B-C00037 – System J150859

16 March YC 122

Sisters Core Scanner Probes combined with Buzzard’s Covert Ops bonuses to the probe strength made scanning a walk in the park. Soon my Probe Window showed the following list of signatures, all green:

    • AWS-076 Cosmic Signature¬† – Data Site – Unsecured Perimeter Comms Relay
    • CGF-120 Cosmic Signature – Relic Site – Forgotten Perimeter Habitation Coils
    • IBA-022 Cosmic Signature – Data Site – Unsecured Perimeter Comms Relay
    • KOA-082 Cosmic Signature – Wormhole – Unstable Wormhole
    • PQR-195 Cosmic Signature – Wormhole – Unstable Wormhole
    • RGO-690 Cosmic Signature – Wormhole – Unstable Wormhole
    • SEZ-118 Cosmic Signature – Data Site – Central Angel Sparking Transmitter
    • WLS-952 Cosmic Signature – Relic Site – Ruined Serpentis Science Outpost

“Righteo,” I rubbed my hands, “Let’s get hacking,” and willed Nosuri to warp to the first data site in the list.

When Aura realised what I intended to do her eyes widened and she screamed, “Abort! Now!” Continue reading “A Leap of Faith”