Thursday, August 14, 2008

Jump, Jump!

Of late, fewer citizens felt inclined to "litter" in the areas of Heimatar that I patrol. Great news for the local authorities and the Minmatar peoples' as a whole, but not so-good news for one in my line of work. In an attempt to avoid stagnation, I contemplated moving my operation into a new sector of space in search of new vict- "ahem" ignorant clients in need of education. A few days earlier a transmission in the local channel had piqued my curiosity. Two pilots had discussed something called a "jump clone".

"Jump clone? I do not have a jump clone. I would sure like a jump clone. How do I acquire a jump clone? From whom do I acquire a jump clone? Where do I acquire a jump clone? ...What is a jump clone?
Ah, the subject "jump clones" ("JC"s for short), had picked at my sanity much like a buzzard picking at a rotting corpse since that conversation. I dismissed that conjured vision and posed my question to Aura:
"What is a jump clone?"
Immediately Aura responded in her simple, pleasant tone:
"A jump clone is a shell capable of housing a pilot's consciousness. A jump clone differs from a regular clone in that the transfer process is not relegated to a death event. A pilot may "transfer" his/her consciousness, at will, to any available JC once every 24 hours. A jump clone can be utilized to travel great distances in the matter of seconds. A jump clone provides it's owner with a safe and disposable shell."

"Shell you say?"

"Yes, shell." I answered my own question. Then I extrapolated as I began to understand why a JC was integral, "Lets say that our jump clone owner will soon engage in a dangerous, suicidal conflict that will surely claim his life. Our fearless pilot has billions of ISK worth of cybernetic implants jacked into his skull and does not want to lose them. What does he do? Our pilot jumps to a clone with little or no implants. Now, his cerebral investment is protected. The pilot may commit suicide without reservation, confident in the knowledge that his precious implants will remain untouched and unharmed!"
,"Not to mention the fact that a pod pilot can traverse immense distances without leaving a station by merely transferring his consciousness to a jump clone. You want to talk about utility!" I concluded to no one in particular. I was very intrigued with the distance a JC allowed you to travel. That ability could provide me with a plethora of hunti- *ahem*, re-education spots!

"I want a jump clone!" I exclaimed to my audience of none.
Devoid of emotion Aura stated, "A jump clone must be installed in a space station. A station's owner requires unwavering fealty from a pod pilot before a station's facilities are made available for a jump clone."
With a pang of trepidation I asked Aura to extrapolate.
"Define 'unwavering' and 'fealty, Aura."
"A minimum faction standing of 8.0 is required of a pod pilot by most station owners for this particular service," was her reply.

Now, there are a couple of ways a pod pilot can acquire factional standing: Join a corporation that owns a station, or ride the coat-tails (so to speak) of a player corporation that has established high factional standings with a regional authority and station owners. The third option is to work for one of those entities myself- perform menial tasks for the faction of my choice and become indentured to that faction until I gain enough trust and clout to be deemed worthy of a JC. Since I prefer the solitude of working alone, I chose the latter. It would require a little more time for my part.

I had performed services for the Brutor Tribe in the past and had accrued a meager amount of positive standing as a result. The Brutor Tribe is where I would concentrate my efforts. Some time had passed since my last dealings with Akrada Toksdakber. I hoped that Miss Toksdakber would overlook my actions over the last few months: I had engaged and ransomed quite a few pilots flying the Brutor tribe moniker. Our conversation was brief, and after some deliberation, Miss Toksdakber agreed to employ my services. Apparently there was mischief afoot in an adjacent system, Odatrik, that required immediate attention. I happily accepted the mission and thus began my indentured service to the Brutor tribe.

With a little time and perseverance, I would own my very own jump clone! I smiled, undaunted, thinking of the pilgrimage I would make to the Amarr system. I would like to see Chribba'sVeldnaught and feed on the effort of Amarrian pod pilots. Ah, to whet Panty Dropper's lust for battle upon hapless Amarrian pilots in their own space sounded delightful. The act of targeting Toksdakber's bad guys did not shake me from my revelry. Nestled in my pod, I settled into a comfortable position in preparation for the ensuing dog fight with a small group of local pirates that Toksdakber wanted dead.

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