Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Chapter Four Gamma


ISK Balance: 88,161,514.28

I was met with a bittersweet surprise upon logging in - a zerg rush of killmails. At first I thought it was a mail bug that had unread my many (many, many) deaths, but as I began clicking through them, I realized they all seemed identical. In an instant, it occured to me why - my Ibises had been smartbombed. They had been smartbombed by a Vagabond, ironically, their wet-cardboard hulls torn asunder by successive waves of gravitonic resonance. I contacted Durar - the perpetrator - not so much because I was upset but more out of hope he'd taken pictures or video of the occasion. Unfortunately, he or she was not the most fluent in English and responded to my conversational attempts sporadically, so I probably won't be able to get pictures if they exist.

This was not a setback at all, though, for I was trillions of AUs away in both geographical location and in mindset - I had a new project.

I have never had the persuasive skill or the motivation to be a scammer - also I always run into the cynical, unwilling smart ones instead of - for lack of a better word - the suckers. I positioned myself a couple jumps off of Jita, and began expounding in local how I had spent my savings on a POS and needed help to fuel its operations - both in actual fuel and in minerals with which to manufacture product to sell on the market. I left the link to these tales in my bio, both out of lethargy and to reward those smart enough to check my background before investing in me. Surely, I thought, anyone who read just the first entry or two would realize in all probability I was not the proud father of a bouncing baby POS.

There are a lot of impulsive spenders in EVE. There are a lot of cautious, frugal ones, too. My machinations were met with extensive eye-rolling and sarcastic comments. Dark Omen, a Privateer, chatted with me some, led me on, read my tales, and then eventually paid me ten million ISK to go away. Figuring this was all I was going to get with the investment fraud, I was headed back towards the Gallente Federation when another former corpmate - Boris A - a crafty and enwizened player gave me an idea; people were wary about promises of returns on investment - something not well covered by game mechanics - but were often less cautious about tangible things they could take for granted. Blueprint copies, for instance, could be passed off as far more valuable originals mostly due to a moment of thoughtlessness on the target's part.

Get some drugs, the Russian said. Sell them as boosters. People are totally ignorant as to the differences between boosters and drugs. Most drugs even say "booster" in the description! It seemed so easy.

Before I ran off to acquire the materials for a scam that was looking more promising by the minute, Boris had a question. "By the way," he said, "are you going to be writing about this while you try to scam?"

Of course I am. We smiled devilishly and turned back to our respective computers.

While the Sisters of EVE buy orders for Vitoc amused me, I didn't want to use the common, widely legalized drug as my so-called "booster," for it was too well known. Unfortunately, Vitoc was the only narcotic for sale in almost the entirety of Empire space, as one might expect. This meant I was headed back to The Intaki Syndicate for my needs.

Not wanting to lead Kabbalah into that dangerous mash of systems, I instead rigged up Marathon, an unarmed, triple inertially-stabilized drug runner, and plotted a course to the closest source of the suspiciously coke-esque Crash.

Once nearly through Placid, I was stalled by a trio of pirates. After escaping their minimalistic gate camp, I holed up in a station and struck up a conversation.  I reminiced with one about the comically inept alliance that was UNL after learning she was a former Immensea resident, and once one of the others logged for the night I decided to follow suit.

Upon waking up the next morning I logged on, eager to enter Syndicate and smuggle my drugs back into Gallente space. I ignored the NBSI warnings on the secure containers outside of gates as I forged my way through space owned by the Brutally Clever Empire, and smiled greedily as I docked with the station.

As I oversaw the dock workers loading the crates of Crash - and some Frentix, too - the BRUCE locals began to notice me. I soon realized that the alliance was extraordinarily polite, a virtue apparently lost on the population of Fountain and most other 0.0 regions. The populace of this particular system was comprised of friendly miners and manufacturers who were a pleasure to talk with, but they warned me they had a few PvPers about who were bloodthirsty after the numerous capital ships they struck down yesterday.

I talked with Zaphod Bee, apparently a personality with some influence over the fellows now sitting on the gate that would lead me out of Syndicate. I had split the present alliance members into two camps simply by arriving; those that wanted to pop the unarmed Rifter and send me back to my clone, and those that didn't. Queen Elissim, one of the latter, opened a conversation with me just as I clicked the jump button, trying to warn me about the interdictor and accompanying camp on the other side, but it was too late. My jump landed me within the bubble, near its southern pole, and I took my minute of free invisbility to calculate if I would be locked before I could escape the bubble. No interceptors. I jammed my microwarp drive into full throttle and the semicircle speedometer swelled with blue as I launched free of the bubble. I engaged warp to the planet I had handily prealigned to, just barely remembering through the fog of sudden liberation to make a safespot midwarp.

I sat at my safespot for a good long while trading stories and information with my captors, getting Zaphod and a few others interested enough in my wanderings to take a look at this thread (hi there, if you're reading). I was probed down, but not fired upon. Just too nice of a guy - or simply not threatening enough - to be blown out of space. Eventually I decided I had best be getting back to my original intent, and once I was fairly sure I wasn't going to be executed I made my way out of BRUCE space as fast as my thrusters would allow.

I had acquired my drugs, now I had to smuggle them into the Federation. I brashly ignored the warnings that came along with my illegal cargo and headed straight for Cistuvaert, miraculously encountering not a single customs officer suspicious enough to scan me. I siddled my Rifter into the station, and beamed as I unloaded the drugs into my hangar before contemplating how I would best go about making a fortune off of them.

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