Category Archives: Storytime

Pilgrim’s Adventures: 21-Aug-2014

“Didn’t want that Tengu anyway”

“Focus on the positive, focus on the positive!” Pilgrim muttered to himself.

“Ok, I have over 3 Billion ISK in materials here that need to be sold or contracted – that’s a good thing!.”

“Doing it myself means fairly quick sales and good prices – that’s a bonus.”

“I can upgrade some of my implants while I am here”

“I can completely refit a new Tengu just the way I like it.”

Pilgrim’s anger and frustration re-boiled to the surface at that last thought.

“I don’t want a NEW Tengu. I liked my old one. We bonded. We fit together. It was an extension of me. I don’t want to bond with a new ship. Maybe I should just fly something that doesn’t hurt so much when you lose it.”

Back and forth Pilgrim went. He knew he sounded childish. Fortunately, there was no one around to hear him whine. “Because they are all dead!”

Pilgrim sighed. He was better than this. Time to face the facts and push the emotions aside. Yes, he lost his Tengu during a pirate raid gone bad. Yes, it had been a LONG time since that had happened. But these things do happen. Being an immortal capsuleer means that you outlive a lot of ships and a lot of crews. It is unfortunate, but it is a fact of life. The ship and its equipment, and even its crew are all easily replaced. “Perhaps too easily.” It was expensive, but Pilgrim knew he could afford to lose that Tengu several times over. It was more of a mental blow than a financial one. Yes, he would have to re-bond with a new ship, but that only took about 4 days. Not that long really. And no, he wasn’t seriously considering flying anything else. Not long-term anyway.

Pilgrim stretched out in his quarters and replayed the events in his mind. He remembered the excitement of hitting each pirate site. He had blown through each of them so quickly. He landed at the final site and burst through the acceleration gate. There were only a handful of ships on grid and none of them were threatening. He destroyed about half of them and then saw the structure that was his objective. As the first of his missiles hit the structure, more ships appeared.

Pilgrim paused in his remembrance. There. That was his mistake. He should have cleared the most dangerous of those ships immediately. Instead, he continuing destroying the structure and several more waves of ships landed on grid.  True, his intel hadn’t mentioned anything about neuting ships.  Or webbing ships.  Or warp scrambling ships.  But he should have been gathering that intel himself – not relying on others to provide it.  He destroyed a couple of the neuting ships, but not enough of them and not quickly enough, and soon he was in a pod beside the wreck of his ship.

Next time he would be more careful.  Next time he would not be overconfident.

Pilgrim walked out to the maintenance bay where his new Tengu was being assembled.  His own mistakes aside, he was quite happy with the performance of his last ship and this one was being configured to those same specifications with only minor upgrades.  The only thing this ship still needed was a confident captain and a new name.  And Pilgrim had the perfect one in mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pilgrim’s Adventures: 13-Jul-2014

“All wormholes eventually lead to Aridia”*

Another glorious day in space!

“Not that space in the Aridia sector could be considered glorious, but one has to start somewhere” Pilgrim muttered to himself.  Probes had been launched and the ship’s science officer was rapidly returning the results.  Pilgrim often did the scanning himself, but he was currently overseeing the pursuit of some Mordus Legion ships.  He had heard that some of they carried some pretty impressive blueprints.  He just hadn’t managed to find any yet.

The scanning returned 2 wormholes to Lowsec and a bunch of data sites.  Pilgrim’s survey of the various asteroid belts turned up nothing so he directed the ship into the first wormhole.  There was a “whoosh” and a sensor recalibration.  A familiar golden hue.  Sensor data comes up…

“Seriously?  That lowsec wormhole led to another part of Aridia?”  Pilgrim shook his head incredulously.  “Oh well, according to the navigation computer, we are only 10 jumps from where we started.  We can scan those systems on the way back, and then take the other lowsec wormhole if we don’t find anything else.”

The 10 jumps yielded nothing interesting so Pilgrim ordered the jump through the next Lowsec wormhole.  Another “whoosh” and another sensor calibration.  A familiar golden hue.  Sensor data comes up…

“We are in Khanid, sir.  Exactly 6 jumps away from Aridia, in case you are curious” said the smartass navigation officer.  Pilgrim chuckled, he was started to like the young officer.  He would probably make a good capsuleer.

“Launch probes and scan away, I am going to start checking the asteroid belts.”

At Planet 4, Belt 2, Pilgrim encountered something interesting.  It was some kind of clone soldier.  The ship had a high bounty and various bulletins had listed its ship tags as being pretty valuable.  Not “pay for another Tengu” valuable, but probably “buy a few thousand missiles” valuable.  Pilgrim marked the site and continued to check the rest of the belts.  A few had some battleships, but none of the Modus Legion ships that he was looking for.  Pilgrim reviewed his Overview for the third time just to make sure it was configured to show the new ships.

The scanning results were completed so Pilgrim reviewed the list.  There were several data sites, several Blood Outposts, a Blood Watch, and some Rogue Drone sites.  Interesting, but not exactly exciting.  Still, Pilgrim ordered a Mobile Depot deployed and the ship reconfigured to its standard combat fitting.  The crew was getting quite good at this and Pilgrim was pleased with their efficiency.

Once complete, Pilgrim warped the ship to Planet 4, Belt 2.  And found nothing.  “Where the frak is that clone ship?”  Could he have noted the wrong belt?  Did the clone ship fly away?  Did it move to another belt?

“The sword has been drawn from it’s sheath, I am not returning it until blood has been drawn”  Pilgrim said to his crew.  “Preferably Blood Raider blood.”  With that, Pilgrim warped to the next belt and the next, killing the largest ship he found at each belt.  After working his way through the various belts, he came upon the clone soldier ship.  Pilgrim checked his coordinates and noted that he was at Planet 3, Belt 2.  “Clearly, the clone soldier warped to a different belt after we scouted him.” Pilgrim said.  He mentally dared the smartass navigation officer to make a comment, but the officer wisely held his tongue.  Perhaps he might actually live long enough to become a capsuleer.

Pilgrim locked onto the clone soldier and accelerated towards him activating missiles.  He got off several gratifying rounds before the clone ship finally exploded.  Pilgrim looted the wreck and noted the tags.  They were worth about 20M ISK.  Not bad.  But not worth warping though every asteroid belt in the frakking system.   Still feeling a bit bloodthirsty, Pilgrim warped to the Blood Watch.  He immediately killed the drones that appeared knowing that each destruction would summon more reinforcements.  He laughed as they little destroyers failed to penetrate his ships shields.  Finally, the commander showed up and Pilgrim dispatched him allowing access to the acceleration gate.

Pilgrim warped though the acceleration gate and immediately targeted the Blood Cathedral.  More reinforcements came, but Pilgrim ignored them.  Finally he found the supervisor and sent several rounds of missiles his way.  The supervisor’s ship exploded in a satisfying burst and an alert message popped up on Pilgrim’s screen.  Pilgrim passed the coordinates from the message off to the navigation officer and quickly scanned his overview for a Dark Blood commander.  Finding him, Pilgrim locked on and destroyed him before he could escape.  Looting his wreck yielded very little so Pilgrim warped away (after dispatching the pesky frigates that kept trying to disable his warp engines).

Arriving at his mobile depot, Pilgrim directed the reconfiguration of his ship to its covert travel mode.  After sealing everything up, he directed the navigation officer to follow the coordinates left behind by the Blood supervisor.

“Guess what, ” smirked the navigation officer, “it looks like we are headed back to Aridia sir!”

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* I  was sure that is a direct Penny quote although I couldn’t quite find it on her website.

Pilgrim’s Adventures: 19-June-2014

“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.