Monday, March 5, 2012

In The Red

I had been pussyfooting around this task for a week now, but I knew that in the long run there was no escape: if not now, it would catch up with me next month. Well then... Time to Balance the Finances!

A few key presses, and the terminal pulled up this month’s wallet summary. For the most part, it was business as usual: we built stuff, sold it, and used the majority of the revenue to buy POS fuel. Sometimes we even had some ISK left to put into our savings account. We weren’t rich, but it was a living.

However, this past month had not been just business as usual - as the angry red numbers in e-Ledger proved. Mostly in the category ‘Ship Losses’.

First, there had been my Zealot down in 0.0. Granted, that had been a personal loss, but it had been against a Sansha force - simple minded, but with superior numbers. In hindsight I should have turned tail right away.

Next one up, a passive-armor fit Pulse-Apoc, shredded to bits by the laser batteries of a POS next door. Even now I winced at the memory: it had been late at night, and a local operation had ended somewhat in disarray (for good reasons, as we learned later); and two somewhat hotheaded corp members got the idea into their heads to attack that nearby POS with their capitals. Without support. I thought they had a plan, them being the experienced cap pilots.

Yes, yes, I shouldn’t have tagged along, not even out of some sense of misguided loyalty - but that realization came too late. At least I only lost an Apoc (ok, and a Purifier due to bad piloting) - while they lost both their caps. Getting back on Alliance comms the next day was not a nice experience...

Neither pilot was no longer with us - not really because of the ship losses, but primarily because these events had revealed a general mismatch in expectations. But the price for an amicable separation had been a POS swap, and the wallet got hit with the bill for a large amount of fuel ingredients.

And to top it all off, I lost another Purifier last week, when I forgot that shooting someone’s POS gives you a GCC, and that having a GCC means that station guns shoot you.

Don’t they know I am one of the Good Ones?!

Live and learn, and all that, I guess.

A few more inputs, and the balance sheet evaluated into its final tally. Lower than I wished to see, but there was no sense in denying reality. Guess the corp would have to live with a higher tax rate for a month or two.

Just as I submitted the balance sheet into the depth of the corp’s computer system, the comm system demanded attention - incoming transmission from our WH operation.

“Howdy Lance, how’s it going?”

[ Pretty good, boss - except that somebody’s shooting our POS. ]

“I saw the notifications, but it appeared that they were only the usual bored fly-bys. You know - shoot the POS for an hour, only to realize that they’d never make headway before their exit collapses.”

[ Well, this group is more organized - they brought four Dominixes. The reason you got only one notification is because they didn’t pay attention to their scanners, and got wiped out by a roaming gang. ]

I got a bad feeling. “But....?”

[ ...but now they’re back - Vexors, mostly, and drones: Sentries and Heavies. ] Lance’s drawl deepened. [ I’m afraid they mean business, boss. ]

I thought about that for a second: this situation was anything but unexpected - in fact I was surprised that it hadn’t happened sooner. But nonetheless, it was an inopportune time - as Lance knew as well.

“Ok, I’ll grab my bomber and come out - let’s see what we can do.”

[ Ack. I’ll get you the entrance. Lance out! ]

I hesitated a moment, then got up and headed towards the docking area. This was not a promising start into the next month.

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