Tuesday, March 16, 2010

When Success Breeds Failure

Minigzen at K162space has discovered the trend that has finally pushed the Applied Physics Institute out of the wormhole mining business and back into the tender embrace of hi-sec space for the time being:
After Mr. Wizz-bang-shooty-fun had essentially reduced the sleeper population into little flying bags of ISK with Hadoken beams, Mr. Industrialist perked up his ears at the mentions of ABC. And so the miners who were given a choice between working for peanuts and working for nullsec alliances chose….rapture I mean WH mining. . . .
Unfortunatley, the WH miners, being unable to focus on making ships because of lack of stations, safety, ectera, couldn’t make ships, so they carted their mega and zydrine to Jita and sold it, possibly more than the market could handle . . .
In other words, that noise you've been hearing over the past year is the sound of megacyte and zydrine prices plunging off the cliff of abundance. (Pyerite, meanwhile, has been riding the rocket upward.) When we first started this business several months ago APHID was raking in about 50 million ISK/hour from our twin-barge mining operations. Today those same operations net us only a bit more than 30 million ISK/hour—an unhappy 40% drop in income.

Prices aren't my only concern, however. Lately it seems that this system, J124654, has been getting more interest than even my seemingly limitless paranoia and charm can deal with.

The clincher came a few days ago, when I overheard a transmission in local by one of the guys who tried to smash up AEOS HQ, FitzTavi. It seems that he had been stranded here in w-space in his pod ever since his corporation's attack against us a few weeks ago. He had finally, after all this time, broken radio silence to beg someone to help him find an exit back to known space. I would have been more than happy to escort him back to a cloning tank via the Murder Express, but before I could do so, another capsuleer responded to his pleadings, showing him to a wormhole for a mere 30 million ISK.

This was bad news. Not only was there someone else I hadn't been aware of scanning my system; this same person had just given a proven hostile asshat a known route back to J124654. The hamsters powering my cerebral cortex were spinning up fantastic delusions: FitzTavi & Co. were on their way with a remote-rep battleship fleet to deliver a coup de grace on APHID's still-pathetically fit Gallente Medium Control Tower (Amber and Rol Prime had just spent the past 20 hours repairing in an Osprey and an Exequror, respectively).

So, I did it. I chicked out. Waved the white flag. Tucked my tail between my legs and GTFO—which is how we discovered that taking down a POS ranks a close second to repairing a POS on the Scale of Suck (putting one up ranks third). Fortunately, no low-sec pirates were able to catch us in the middle of the takedown operation. Unfortunately, no low-sec pirates were able to catch us in the middle of the takedown operation, which meant that APHID now had a metric ass-ton of POS gear stuck several low-sec systems deep in (one minute while I check my corporate asset window) the Lonetrek region of Caldari space.

Sure, I guess I should have counted myself lucky. We had just spent the past couple of months mining ABC ore in lawless w-space, made a couple billion ISK, and escaped back to known space without losing any significant assets whatsoever. But the ennui that had seized me when I started out on this little adventure still held me firmly in its grasp. I wasn't ready to re-join humanity.

But as I like to say, if you can't join 'em, beat 'em. If I wasn't ready to return to civilization, then I would at least have the consolation of putting a match to it and watching it burn.


  1. "....then I would at least have the consolation of putting a match to it and watching it burn."

    Like the character in that Ayn Rand novel, Haley's torch or whatever. Anyway all good things must come to an end

  2. That's interesting, because I've never had much interest in Rand's ideas and so have never picked up one of her novels. Just looked it up on Google though; think you may be talking about Ellis Wyatt, who sets fire to his own oil wells when the government makes it impossible for him to operate. He leaves behind a note: "I am leaving it as I found it. Take over. It's yours."

    Nice. That was indeed something like the feeling I was looking for.