Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Choosing Which Bridge to Burn

My desk is a mess. Starmaps, sovereignty maps, NeoCom chat logs, intel reports, starbase loadouts, asset manifests, sales history charts and the recent draft of the new CONCORD directives. Risk mitigation is nonexistent, cost-benefit analysis is highly pessimistic and the political analysis is highly hostile. I hear a knock.

"Come in, Miss Ashley."
"Present as ordered, sir."
"Your new orders are to board the Value of Trust at the earliest opportunity and fly it to the staging area. Here is the flight plan. Upon arrival, you will scout the surrounding systems and prepare for the arrival of the Insatiable Ambition, which I will be piloting."
"How long do I have to wait?"
"The flight plan for the Ambition is still incomplete, so it'll probably take a day or two. After you've finished the preparations, you will clone jump back to the Forge region, and schedule a job interview."
"Job interview? For who?"

I hand her the intel report.

"An Amarrian? I thought you guys hate 'em."
"Prejudices are simply obstacles preventing otherwise viable business ventures. That's why I'm sending you. Our current political affiliations notwithstanding, you're still Caldari and the last time I checked, the Caldari State and the Amarr Empire were allies. You will represent me in all dealings with him, and you will not mention my name, ethnicity or any other information that could be useful in identifying me."
"So this is strictly business? No role-reversal fantasies involved?"
"I didn't say that. But yes, this is mostly business. Even if we don't factor in in this.. mess, I still need an unaffiliated third party to divest assets without attracting unwanted attention."
"Anything else?"
"Find mister Parker for me. He's probably in the entertainment district. If he seems unwilling, tell him that his.. supplies have already been relocated to the staging area."
"Will do, sir."
"Just.. don't smile like that when you tell him."

With the distractions out of the way, I can now focus on the real problem. I have a reasonable customer base here and a relatively large percentage of assets tied in the market operations. I'll need any and all assets in the new theatre of operations, but shutting down my ventures here will cause some political issues. And so would making a halfhearted attempt in the new venture. A complete divestment or hedging my bets would probably burn both bridges. I'm out of my comfort zone. This isn't just business, it's politics, and I'm no good in using smoke and mirrors in place of cold, objective numbers.

Still, this is a lesson that I need to learn.