Competition: [ACE] Multi-Objective: Boring Conversation Anyway

[ACE] Multi-Objective: Boring Conversation Anyway


Even in times of apparent peace—if any such time existed—there is always conflict of some kind. The still surface waters grant a facade over the churning movements found in the depths far below. Espionage. Extortion. Diplomatic maneuvering. All this and more exists in the world of business. Even more so on the galactic scale. Arx Capital Exchange (ACE) is not immune to this truth. Nor is it above participating.

In the wake of negotiations with the Severian Principate, ACE has begun edging into the Principate's business sector through a series of trade deals. But it has not been going as smoothly as its executives had hoped. There is push back from within, with local enterprises undercutting ACE at each step, and even offering never before seen prototypes that are catered to the Principate's growing needs with a kind of accuracy market research alone couldn't grant them.

Obviously, above board maneuvering could only get ACE so far. It's time to bend the rules...or ignore them entirely. You have been presented with the opportunity to participate in an ACE initiative within Severian Principate territory. The following avenues have been opened, but the choice is yours to make:


1. Competition Dissolution
You are to use any means possible—from espionage to assassination—to ensure that our primary competitors are no longer able to remain solvent. They are to be either removed from the board or assimilated into ACE's total worth.

2. Prototype Retrieval
Our competitors are producing unique prototypes that we are currently unable to match. It is our desire to acquire one the blueprints of one such prototype or, failing that, the item itself for reverse engineering.

3. Contract Negotiations
If you are feeling confident, you can attempt to pick up the line of negotiations that has previously failed us: enacting contractual obligations with our competitors. If they are going to profit, we might as well enjoy that profit as well. The means in which you pursue this contract matters little, only the result is of importance.

How to Submit

Write a fiction at least 500 words in length. No maximum. Please include the objective in your file name. Anything in a Google Doc must be exported for submission and not be submitted as a link. All submissions must be in a common text format.

Grading & Rules

  • Adult content is allowed and will not be penalised if included, but any entries containing content above a "PG-13" level should not publish their entries (please uncheck "Publish Entry" in the submission page).
  • All entries will be graded using the Voice Fiction Rubric.
Competition Information
Organized by
Adept Thane "Atra" Skotos, Corsair Zxyl Venzos Taldrya
Running time
2020-04-12 until 2020-05-10 (29 days)
Target Unit
Entire DJB
Competition Type
Second Level Crescents and Clusters of Ice as per VOICE guidelines
19 subscribers, of which 6 have participated.
Savant Sera Kaern
File submission
Communication Breakdown.pdf
1st place
Adept Seraine "Erinyes" Taldrya Ténama
File submission
C15703 ACE Boring Conversation Anyway.docx
Textual submission

Placeholder submission in case I don't finish the full story in time.

2nd place
Knight Malevek
File submission
DJB Fiction competition 1.docx
3rd place
Seer Raistlin Sadow
File submission
No placement
Mystic Trenkyp Zkig
Textual submission

Daler was entering a room inside the ACE's Corporate Headquarters, looking for someone that would look like an important person. He had heard that there was a chance for a less than legal contract which he could have used. The Nautolan found a Human woman with an earpiece, talking about what sounded like important business. She had brown hair and black eyes with an imposing posture.

"Listen, if we're not getting 2 million credits, the ships won't be made. The manufacturing is expensive and what you want is very specific. Is that clear? Very well, goodbye," the woman angrily said.

"Good morning, I'm here to talk to Mr. Ghosan. Is he available?" the Nautolan asked.

"Ah, you must be Daler. We're sorry, but you can't speak directly to the CEO. I'm the one you are supposed to talk to. I'm Eva."

"Daler, but I guess you already know. So, I'm going to need information. The location and the other details," the Force Disciple whispered.

"Yes, right here." The Human handed him a Datapad with all the information he needed. The Nautolan read the details in 4 minutes and was ready to go when he was stopped by the woman.

"Is there a problem?"

"We need to keep in contact with you. I have a map of the place and I'll need you to guide you to the server room."

"Right, get the blueprints, destroy their copies," Daler said.

"Give me your Comlink. I just need to connect it to my... done! Now we can talk. Remember, you're taking the place of one of their tech guys. Good luck," Eva voiced.

"Thanks. I'll be back in no time."

The Nautolan was dropped off near the entrance of ACE's competitor, on a station, by a GX1 Civilian Short Hauler with all of his gear, including slicing equipment.

"Daler, can you hear me?" The voice was heard from the Force Disciple's Comlink.

"Loud and clear. Try to keep it down."

"Right. There's a body scanner at the entrance, I've disabled it but only for 30 seconds. You'll have to get through it at the end so be careful with your slicing stuff," the Human informed him.

Daler went through the entrance with no problems, but he was met by a Togrutan guard a few steps after he entered.

"You're the new tech guy? Sheesh, did they run out of people to hire?"

As the guard kept talking, the Nautolan thought of a way to escape the conversation. He focused on the guard, forcing him hear a beeping sound a few feet behind him.

"What was that?"

"You better go check," the Force Disciple told the Togrutan before he ran off.

"Alright, the server room is not far. Take a left and the second room on the right is it," the Human said through the comlink.

When he found the room, he was surprised by a door with an eye scanner.

"Eva, there's an eye scanner on this door. Did you get it?"

"What? There's no eye scanner on the digital blueprints. I can't find anything like that."

"Must be a separate system. I can slice into it, don't worry," the Nautolan uttered. He pulled out a computer spike and put it into the appropriate place on the eye scanner, configuring it to work on all tries. Daler then scanned his eye and took back his computer spike, allowing him entrance.

"Nice job. Now get me into the system," the woman said from the Comlink.

"Don't worry, I can handle this." The Force Disciple then placed his computer probe into one of the server racks' plugs. He copied every blueprint onto his datapad and deleted the originals from the source.

"Good job, Daler. Now you can return."

"You know what? If I deleted all of their security files from the servers, they probably wouldn't know. How about I do it?"

"Everything that destroys our competitors is something that helps ACE."

The Nautolan deleted everything that seemed vaguely connected to security, which allowed him access out of the building with no interruptions.

"You know your way back. Make sure you don't run into someone."

"I know my stuff. I also know how to avoid people."

The Force Disciple returned to the entrance and didn't see a single person, passing through the body scanner with no sign of alarm, silent or otherwise.

"You'll be picked up by the same ship you were dropped by. Well done, your reward has been transferred," the Human happily said.

"And your blueprints are... in your servers. Marked *special_delivery* for your convenience," the Nautolan uttered as he sent the files.

"It was a pleasure doing business with you. May the Force be with you, is that what you say?"

"It was my pleasure. And not really, I usually don't say it, but, may the Force be with you too," the Force Disciple voiced before his Comlink was disconnected.

No placement
Corsair Kano Tor Tydex
Corsair Kano Tor Tydex opted out of publishing his submission.
No placement