The first location Wandering Rose assigned Rosewalker to check was the reactor factory in Nakugard. According to the listings from XXXX, it had a bit of history:
"The Nefantar, also known as the Amatar, channeled a great amount of ill-gotten Amarr wealth into the Ani constellation. Though much of the money was wasted on the extravagance of the Amatar elite, some of it was actually put to good use. One such use was the construction of this reactor factory, which was the first space-based industrial complex to be operated by the Amatar."If finding something useful built by the Amatar was unusual, so was what Rosewalker found once he adjusted his overview settings. He opened up a comm link to Wandering Rose and calmly said, "Little sister, you're not going to believe this..."
With Rosewalker not having the, to put it kindly, best of relations with the Caldari, Wandering Rose soon found herself flying to the factory site to meet with the Poksu Mineral Group's Tzumi Pokkolen.
"Hello there," the Caldari mining agent began, "you're interested in a little bit of work, yes? For many years I've been making a brisk business selling Nefantar artifacts on the black market. The buyers are all kind of people, mostly Ammatars looking for lost heirlooms or idle-rich Gallenteans looking for something unique to flaunt at the next gala showing. I long since decided to outsource the gathering of artifacts to other, more capable pilots."
"Ah, yes I am," Wandering Rose replied. She was looking for shady characters and this one was perfect. Shady, lazy and/or incompetent and the way he was running his mouth, innocent. That's a pretty bad combination in the business world of New Eden. "But there can't be that many people out there willing to buy a load of old Nefantar junk."
"It's not just Nefantar artifacts. Lately the pilots working for me have been returning with more and more of some strange artifacts that I'm beginning to suspect are not of Nefantar origin. I've seen these items on occasions in the past, but now a lot more are coming in," Tzumi said. "Not that I'm complaining, mind you, for I've always had an easy time shifting them. It's getting so easy, in fact, that I'm on a constant lookout for more pilots to collect for me. It is my understanding after having talked to my other pilots that a contested complex over in Inder is the best place to find the times I want. If you do well you can always get more work from me. Might even provide a steady income for you. To locate the right items you need the right knowledge and equipment, naturally, "
Knowledge and equipment, she thought. That meant archeology and analyzers. Both she and her brother could handle that. So she made the deal, two sleeper foundation blocks for 15,000 isk, with a 10,000 isk bonus if she returned within an hour.
"Here's the plan," Wandering Rose told Rosewalker when she got back to the station. "You take the Jaguar, take out anyone who tries to get in the way, and I follow along in the Rusty Broom. Once we get to the wreckage or whatever is in the area, I use the analyzer and we get out of the area as soon as I have the blocks. Any questions?"
"Are you sure one assault frigate has enough firepower to handle anything?" Rosewalker asked.
"Not really, but with the pay Tzumi is offering, getting the blocks can't be that hard, right?" she reasoned.
In the beginning, Wandering Rose's logic looked correct. After jumping through the first acceleration gate into the contested Minmatar military depot, Rosewalker made quick work of a gang that looked like it was led by a Amarrian national, Nonom Basskel. Although her ship was destroyed, Basskel got away. Wandering Rose found some interesting things as she salvaged the wrecks.
"Well, well, " she murmured as she went through the ship's logs. "Our Miss Basskel is a slaver. Figures. This might come in handy someday," she said as she tucked the logs into a safe place.
The problems began after the pair passed through the second acceleration gate. Rosewalker charged into a huge pack of scavenging ships hovering around an ancient site. One on five the treasure hunters were no match for a capsuleer in an assault frigate. But as fast as Rosewalker could destroy a ship another would take its place. But the scrum eventually drifted away from the site and Wandering Rose snuck into position of one of the pieces of debris. The analyzer did its work, but when she went to withdraw the block...
"Bad news bro. Looks like these guys are smarter than they look. You'll have to clear the area for the analyzer to finish the job," Wandering Rose concluded. And with that transmission, she came under file and had to beat a hasty retreat.
Some time later, Rosewalker had to tell Wandering Rose the bad news. "This isn't going to work, sis. The rocket launcher is dry and I don't have much ammo left for the autocannons. There are just too many ships out there."
"Okay, let's get out of here. Time for plan B."
"You have a plan B?" Rosewalker asked.
"Not yet," she replied. "But I will by the time we get back to Nakugard."
To be continued...