I Am a Thera Scanner

Editor’s Note: This week we’re featuring a blog post by our very own Vladimir Korff, an in character story about learning the ropes of becoming a Thera Scout. You can visit his blog at Encapsulated Space.

REGION G-R00031 – CONSTELLATION G-C00324
THERA SYSTEM

Vladimir Korff

3 January YC 123

“Okay, we are finally in Thera,” said Aura. “What’s next?”

I knit my brow, “I am trying to remember Maxwell Kurvora’s lecture where he explained how to record Thera signatures.”

Aura giggled, “Is it the one where he also called your blog boring?”

She referred to an episode where Maxwell was demonstrating various software tools in his browser and said something like “Here you can see my boring bookmarks.” One of the bookmarks was named “Vlad’s Blog”.

“Oh, come on,” protested I, “he didn’t mean it. If anything, it was a kind of a self-deprecating joke.”

“I dunno, it sounded very much like a blog-deprecating criticism.”

I noticed a glint in Aura’s eye and cried, “Hey, stop teasing me! We have a job to do.”

“So what are you waiting for, Captain?” asked Aura, innocence incarnate.

I shook my fist at Aura, she stuck her tongue out at me. Having completed the exchange of pleasantries, I racked my brain.

“It’s a bit confusing. I remember that the main goal was to add a wormhole to the Tripwire and bookmark both ends in the shared corp folder, but most work had to be done in Mzsbi Haev’s Thera Scan tool. The problem is, I don’t remember how to use it.”

“Shall we watch Maxwell’s lecture again?” suggested Aura, with a suspicious sparkle in her eyes.

“No, it will take another hour. Let’s just open the tool and figure out how to work with it.”

And so we did. In fact, as soon as I saw the screen, it all came back to me, and the built-in step-by-step instruction plugged the gaps in my memory. The tool was super convenient – it was developed by a capsuleer, for capsuleers. I guess, Mzsbi spent many a boring hour typing signature IDs into Tripwire and the bookmark folder before he finally decided to introduce some automation. And now it all worked like a charm. Thera Scan tool was compatible with my neurointerface which it used to extract data from the probe scanner and Tripwire. After comparing the data from those two sources the tool produced a programme of work which consisted of collapsed wormhole removal and new signature scanning. After that, all I had to do was scan and bookmark the wormhole and manually enter three pieces of information: a type of the wormhole, a signature of its other end and the destination system. Everything else was just copy-pasting. It was a great tool!

Still, it took me a while to get a hang of it. While I was working on my first signature, I saw Azamex announce scanning the same one. That was not surprising as I published my own announcement 12 minutes earlier, before she joined the comms channel. I told Azamex that I was already working on that signature, she just shrugged and switched to scanning another one. While I was learning the ropes with my first wormhole, Azamex managed to scan and add three other signatures to the map! Moreover, when I was about to create a Tripwire record for my wormhole I found that she already added it but it didn’t have all the details. I filled in the missing data, invoked Submit command and held my breath… After a few seconds I reloaded the list, and voila – my first ever Thera wormhole appeared on our alliance server!

I was proud and excited and wanted to tell the whole world about it when I heard Aura’s angry voice.

“Hey! What’s that? Why does it show Azamex as the scanner?”

I looked at the screen and, indeed, the server indicated that the wormhole was scanned by Azamex.

“Hmm… I guess it’s because she created the record in Tripwire,” I said tentatively. “That’s where our server gets information from.”

“This must be fixed immediately! Contact the server administrators and ask them to correct the name.”

I laughed, “The server admin is no other than our Alliance Leader Johnny Splunk. I guess, he has more important work to do than manually correcting values in the database.”

“Then… then just delete and recreate that Tripwire record under your name!”

“Why would I spend my time on it?”

“Because it’s unfair! It was you who scanned that wormhole but now all the credit for it went to Azamex!” fumed Aura.

“Doesn’t matter,” shrugged I. “I know that it was I who did it.”

“But Tekufah doesn’t!” she blurted out.

I was wondering why Aura suddenly got so excited but finally the penny dropped. Tekufah was running an award program and gave a CovOps frigate to any Signaleer who scanned five Thera wormholes.

I looked Aura in the eye and asked, “Aura, honestly? All this outrage only because of a frigate?”

She blushed but stood her ground, “And why not? T2 frigates aren’t lying around.”

“Even if I don’t get credit for this one wormhole, I would have already scanned another one if I didn’t have to waste time on this pointless discussion.”

“No, you wouldn’t. It took you 18 minutes 22 seconds to finish this one and we’ve been talking for just 1 minute 18 seconds.”

“That’s because it was my first wormhole,” I pointed out. “I am sure I can scan another one much quicker.”

“Not as quick as recreating the Tripwire record,” grumbled Aura.

I ignored her remark and focused on the next signature. Indeed, my time improved to 12 minutes 25 seconds but it was still far from Azamex’s blazing performance – she was ticking off a new signature every 2-3 minutes. So by the time I finished my second wormhole, Azamex completed the rest of the unmapped signatures.

“Now what?” asked Aura testily.

“Now we just wait for new signatures to pop up on the radar.”

Aura ostentatiously switched herself off and I spent the next half an hour in peace, reading the corp forums. While I was thusly occupied, two more signatures appeared on the probe scanner and I eagerly set to mapping. This time round it took me only 8 minutes per wormhole. I didn’t have time to wait for new signatures so I called it a day and warped to a hi-sec connection bookmarked by a fellow Thera scanner.

“You see, with 8 minutes per signature, it will take us just 40 minutes to earn a new frigate,” said I trying to placate Aura who was still sulking.

“Sixty two minutes forty seven seconds,” were her last words before the wormhole sucked us in.

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