“Scotty! We need more Power”
Pilgrim was lounging in his captains quarters in Amarr when the threat came in over secure comms. Apparently the planet bound scrubs that he had contracted to manage his colonies were about to revolt. Per the terms of the contract (and a generous one at that), they only got paid upon delivery of goods to the customs station. According to the contract managers, it had been nearly 6 weeks since any deliveries were taken and the workers were not getting paid. They were also on the verge of partially shutting down operations to divert power to more storage containers – but doing this would significantly reduce overall productivity (and incomes).
Pilgrim sighed. All this fuss over a few million ISK. What would it be like to be confined to a planet where a hundred thousand ISK was considered a good salary? He shuddered at the thought. Immortality had its benefits and extreme wealth was certainly one of them.
Well, he might as well do what he could for them. The planetary colonies were a long way away, but he had left a jump clone in the area. And maybe a Tengu? He was pretty sure he had a Tengu there. Maybe he could find a convenient wormhole out and move the planetary goods to a nice high sec station where a contract hauler could carry it the rest of the way to Jita or Amarr.
After taking a nice swig of Gallentean bourbon, Pilgrim entered the cloning station and jumped.
Amazing. And dreadful. He opened his eyes and immediately felt that something was missing. A lack of clarity, slower reactions… Pilgrim shook off the effects of the clone jump and immediately wished he could have brought the bourbon with him. The quick orientation program reminded him where he was – and that this was an older clone with lower grade augmentations. Well, that explains the loss of clarity. Again Pilgrim shuddered, this time at the thought of living without the augmentations that capsuleers were so accustomed to using.
Getting down to business, he boarded his Epithal transport ship and headed out to the various customs offices in the system. As he visited each planet, he was impressed by the quality and the quantity of the products that had been produced. In fact, it took him two trips to empty out the launch pads and storage silos of the five planetary centers that he contracted with. No wonder the workers were getting agitated. There was nearly 500 hundred million ISK worth of goods. Pilgrim paid out the agreed upon bonuses and transferred the goods the the corporate hanger he had rented in this system. Speaking with the station manager, it turns out there was nearly a billion ISK worth of planetary goods, specialized ship riggings and other materials in the “Export for Sale” hangar.
Since 1 billion is the perfect number for export, Pilgrim decided to scout around for wormholes. They were the preferred mechanism for getting product out of this far away corner of the universe. Shipping it out conventionally would be risky, time-consuming, and expensive. A quick survey of the ship hangar revealed that there was in fact a Tengu here. Pilgrim called for standard covert scanning assembly and went to find some refreshment. He had heard good things about the spiced rum in this area (the local pirates were quite good about things like that).
“Sir, we have a problem” popped up on his display. Pilgrim read the details and his blood started to boil. In a few minutes, the station manager and engineering chief were rushing to his quarters.
“WHAT DO YOU MEAN WE DON’T HAVE ANY TENGU ENGINEERING SYSTEMS!”
The station manager calmly explained that they had a Tengu hull and 10 different subsystems, but none of them were the critical power systems that were required to make the strategic cruiser usable.
“HOW COULD YOU LET THIS HAPPEN?”
The engineering chief stammered a bit, but reminded Pilgrim that on his last trip through the system he had borrowed one of the engineering systems for an emergency use and had not returned it.
Frustrated, angry, and feeling a bit foolish, Pilgrim dismissed both of them. Now what? This part of the universe was not exactly a hub for high-tech modules and the regional market scanner confirmed as much. Well, since all he really needed was to do some wormhole scouting, a standard covert ops ship would do. Fortunately there was one for sale about 3 jumps away. Pilgrim boarded a shuttle and was soon the proud new owner of a Cheetah. Pilgrim laughed at the name. Yes, it was fairly fast. But there was no way it was going to kill anything.
Pilgrim fitted it up with the scanning equipment from the Tengu. And he found another power problem. All of the propulsion modules in the hanger were designed for bigger ships. He was going to have to fly this with no microwarp drive or afterburner. Oh well. At least it was fairly fast without them.
It was a bit fun zipping around at the high warp speeds the little ship was capable of, but Pilgrim had to pass on the Covert sites he found. This ship just wasn’t capable of handling them. Pilgrim scanned down 7 different wormholes in the systems surrounding his base. One went to nullsec and the rest of the were all dead ends into wormholes with no other connections. Amazing and disappointing. Actually the whole trip to this region was a bit disappointing. There was so much he could have done here today – all for the lack of an engineering power system.
Wealthy, immortal, but not all-powerful. Perhaps it was a good reminder.