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”

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”

Consequence Management

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

8 June YC 122

After my lucky escape I spent two days attending to my tending and avoiding more exciting activity like hacking relics in an uncloaked Buzzard in the middle of J-Space. While I was calming my nerves by methodically opening small secure containers, I suddenly received an urgent invitation to a corporate meeting in Zoohen. Wondering what it was all about I found a hi-sec exit and made my way to the corp base at Theology Council Tribunal Station.

I wasn’t sure what the dress code was but decided it would be a good opportunity to wear my Polar Aurora Exploration Suit. Having washed off the pod goo in a shower I headed straight to my item hangar where I still kept all prizes from Tender Games. Passing a young female mechanic I noticed that she gave me a strange look. She then turned to her teammate and surreptitiously, or so she thought, pointed at me. Her companion shrugged, muttered “Capsuleers” and impassively turned away. At first I thought that the girl somehow noticed the neural interface slots on my body but then I realised that it was the body itself that attracted her attention. It was naked! Continue reading “Consequence Management”

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”