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Last-modified: 2009-03-22 (日) 13:11:22

Copyright © CCP 1997-2009


The Encounter


 What a stroke of luck! Burki ‘Tiny’ Trom relaxed as his cruiser made the last maneuvers through the docking bay doors of the Minmatar station. He had been looking for a training kit for Entwined Shield Systems for a week now and had finally found it here in this half-ass market zone deep within the Republic. If it weren’t for his acquaintance in the Republic’s ministry of trade he would have never thought of looking in this obscure service station in the Nifflung system. But once again this only proved that if you wanted to get your hands on those rare and precious items you had to be prepared to look in unorthodox places.


 なんという運のめぐり合わせなんだろう! Burki ‘Tiny’ TromはクルーザーをMinmatar基地の格納庫へ続くドアへ向かう操作を終えて一息をついた。Entwined Shield Systemsのトレーニングキットを探し始めて早一週間、ようやく共和国の奥地にあるこの出来損ないの市場区域で売られているのを発見したのだった。もし共和国のMinistry of Tradeに所属する友人が居なかったらNifflung星系にあるこんな辺鄙な供給基地などを見てみようなどとは決して思わなかったろう。だがしかし、何度も思う事だが本当に貴重で重要なアイテムを手にしようとすれば重箱の隅を突くように探さなくてはならないって事なのだろうか。


 Tiny had already made the necessary preparations, last week he finished training Advanced Ocular ECM, the pre-requisite for ESS, and he had stocked up on stims specially designed to boost his memory faculties for faster training. Pity to have to come all this way just for an item stored in computer form. He had asked them to upload it to him as was the norm, but no, these primitive peasants demanded he came in person to collect it. Oh well, at least he was here now. Besides, Tiny knew of a rich mineral seam in a nearby asteroid field. Wasn’t it ideal to spend the idle time while expanding his knowledge to search for the mother load of all mother loads?


 Tinyは先週までに、ESSの前提条件となるAdvanced Ocular ECMスキルの訓練などの必要な準備を終わらせ、トレーニングをより早く完了させるために記憶能力を増幅させる神経増強剤すら用意しておいたのだ。*1だが単なるコンピューター上の情報形式として売られているアイテムの為だけにこんな処までわざわざ足を延ばさなくてはならかったとは、なんたる不運だろうか・・・。もちろん彼はいつもと同じように売り手にそのトレーニングキットをオンライン上にアップロードするように頼んだのだが簡単に断られてしまった。直接取りに来いと言うのだ・・・これだから未開の地の田舎者どもは!まぁ何にせよそんなこんなでここまでやってきたのだ。それにおまけみたいなものだがここの近くの小惑星帯に豊富な資源が眠っているらしい。どでかい儲け*2を探しあてるための知識を延ばしている間に過ごす方法としてはまさに理想的じゃないかい?


 Tiny didn’t spend any more time on the station than absolutely necessary, so few minutes later he was back in space. And what do you kn0w? It seemed three space cowboys were laying in wait for him, a cruiser and a couple of menacing frigates. Great. Tiny’s communication device sputtered into action: ‘OK, fella. We’ve got you covered. Now be a smart boy and jettison whatever you have in your cargo hold and no harm will come to your precious cruiser.’
 Tiny ran some profile scans on the three ships closing in on him. As he thought, pirate scum! Well, this wasn’t their lucky day. Tiny sent a reply: ‘Sorry, guys. No can do. I suggest you turn and leave before I become inclined to inflict some serious unpleasantries on your sorry asses.’ Tiny imagined the sneers his reply was getting from the gung-ho gangsters and smiled when his radar registered what he knew all along was out there. Three small dots blinked into existence, cordoned around the cowboys. All cruisers. With cloaking devices. It didn’t take long until the only sign left of the pirates’ presence was the residue from their warp drives as they fled. Before they’d warped Tiny sent them one final farewell message: ‘Heavily armed amigos, never to leave home without them!’ Then he laughed and paged his comrades: ‘Lets go!’


 Tinyは進路をふさぐ三隻の船の身元確認を行う。思ったとおり、やはり糞ったれの海賊どもか!といっても残念ながら今日は奴らにとって幸運な日にはならないのさ。Tinyは返事を送る。“悪いなぁ、君たち。そんなアホみたいなことは出来ないんだよ。僕が君たちの惨めな尻にマジで不愉快な物をぶち込でやろうって気にならない前に、さっさと尻尾をまいて逃げた方が良いよ?” その返事に対して浮かべるヤル気満々熱血海賊達の冷笑を想像しつつ、彼もまた笑みを浮かべる・・・レーダー上に、“そこにあるとずっと分かっていた”物の反応を確認しながら・・・。



*1 訂正感謝!
*2 訳註:mother loadですが、一語にしてmotherloadですと単に「でかい儲け」程度の意味になるようですbyKOPPE3. thx!