Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Glass Edge: Bottleneck

Having completed the level 1 missions for Kraimir Mork, I then moved on to the level 2 missions.  The first agent I worked for was Them Burkur of the Republic Security Services.  Once again looking at the background of the agent's corporation gives some nice information.
"The Minmatars learnt early on in their freedom that it can only be kept by wrapping it in secrets and deceit. The vigilance of the RSS has helped the Republic weather many storms that threatened to engulf the fledgling state. The RSS has strong links with the underworld elements in the world of EVE, the information exchange and black marketing strengthens both sides."
Them Burkur offers a 3-mission storyline called "Bottleneck."  The first mission, "Bottleneck - Dark Tidings", is an introduction and courier mission.
"As you may be aware, the Ani constellation is beset by smugglers as well as dealers in all sorts of illicit goods. Most of the merchandise that comes through here goes to the criminal organizations, who've had this place in their clutches for far too long.
"Our plan is to change that, but it's going to take a while. Every day, literally tons of arms, drugs, and even slaves are smuggled through the Nakugard ingress, whence they are taken to various parts of the constellation to be sold. Space is a big place, and hard to police, but we do what we can as we always have ― and any help from capsuleers such as yourself is much appreciated. 

"Yesterday, I received an encrypted message from one of my deep cover agents. It appears that one Atek Vandano, a notorious fixer loosely affiliated with the Angel Cartel's Gist division, has been establishing contacts in Ani. We're not sure what he's up to, but Command believes this is something that needs to be nipped in the bud if we're to be able to maintain any semblance of control over this place down the line.

"But first thing's first. I need you to take a copy of the brief down to some associates of mine at the Sisters of EVE Bureau in Inder. We need to make sure all our operatives in the region are informed of what's going on so we can begin formulating a counter-plan if necessary. Report back to me when you're done and we'll take it from there."
He offered 14,000 isk for making the one system trip, with a 16,000 isk bonus for accomplishing the task within 12 minutes.  I'm not sure the significance of the fact that the RSS has agents in a Sisters of EVE station.  Has the RSS and Sisters joined forces in the Ani constellation?

Finishing the mission, I returned to The Glass Edge and received the second mission, "Bottleneck - Human Traffic." 
"Well, we've found out what Atek Vandano's up to, and it's not pretty. Hold on to your seat ― if you're anything like me, this is gonna piss you off something awful.
"The good Mr. Vandano, it seems, is not working for the Gist on this particular occasion. Our agents have uncovered data that indicates he's helping to bring in slave labor from Amarrian colonies to the Joint Harvesting stations in this system. We think they might be here as part of the Insorum scare; our information shows that the influx of slaves to Amarrian facilities within Republic space has increased manifold in the past weeks. The holders are protecting their "investments" by bringing them to our turf under the guise of contract laborers. Vandano thinks he can do this right under our noses. We're not going to let him.

"Obviously, to avoid an incident with the Amarrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we'll have to go about this in some fairly unconventional ways, and we'll have to use operatives not officially affiliated with us. You know where I'm going with this, right?

"Vandano has an associate, a lady by the name of Nanom Basskel. We have reason to believe she's one of the major architects behind this plan, and according to our intelligence she's in possession of documents detailing where they're keeping the slaves before final transport to the Joint Harvesting plants in system. She can usually be found at the contested military depot in Inder. Go out there, 'remove' Miss Basskel, and bring me these documents."
I already had experienced the pleasure of meeting Miss Basskel in the first room in the contested Minmatar military depot and looking through the wreckage of her ship.  I still had the documents in the cargo hold and was able to present the evidence to the RSS agent then and there, collecting not only the 297,000 isk reward, but a bonus of 354,000 isk for finishing the mission within 6 hours.

The final mission from Mr. Burkur was "Bottleneck - Liberation", in which I needed to destroy the slave containment facility.
"Thanks in no small part to the documents you brought, we now have the location of the temporary facilities in this system where Vandano and his cohorts intend to keep the slaves while their forged documents are being submitted to the Republic. According to our reports, they will then be brought to the Joint Harvesting Plantation in Barkrik. If you head out there now and destroy this outpost, our other team should be in a prime position to intercept the slave convoy when it comes in."
Running the mission in a Rupture was easy.  I received a 38,000 isk reward as well as a 32,000 isk bonus for completing the mission within 32 minutes.  In addition to the bounties from 5 frigates I also picked up 100 Sabretooth Light Missiles, 10 Cap Booster 25s and 10 janitors.  I'm not sure exactly what I am going to do with 10 janitors, but I couldn't just leave them out in space.

Running the Bottleneck series of missions was very profitable for the very short amount of time it took to complete.  Here is the haul.

ISK (mission rewards + bounties): 787,000

Standings changes: 
Republic Security Services Gain (unmodified) : increased from .38 to .81.

Minmatar Standings Gain (unmodified): from 1.74 to 1.81
Gallente Federation Standings Gain (unmodified): from 1.66 to 1.72
The Servant Sisters of EVE Standings Gain (unmodified): from 1.51 to 1.56
Caldari State Standings Loss (unmodified): from -0.50 to -0.52
Ammatar Mandate Standings Loss (unmodified): from -0.97 to -1.03
Amarr Empire Standings Loss (unmodified): from -1.14 to -1.17

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