Memorial

“La, and where has you been, den?”  Tantas voice was a shade weaker, a shadow of a whisper creeping into it.

Mike hesitated but he knew better than to try to lie to her  “They made a new monument to the capsuleers who chose not to go on, for one reason or another.  We may think that we are immortal but truth, Tanta?  We just ain’t gonna end in the same way or for the same reasons.  So I went to pay my respects.”

“Tis always good to pay the respects when you can.  While you was away Boro dropped off a present for me, the work is done.”

“You danced for him, then, did you?”

“We all did, and yes I saw that even you managed a few steps without ruining things.  I assume the countess put you up to it?”

“Boro asked but I do think she encouraged it.  And, yes, I managed not to trip over myself, or anyone else.”

“I will be inviting some folks to see it, afore Boro puts it out there.  You gonna have to come for that.”  Tantas voice lacked power but not determination.

“Yes, Ma’am.”  There was no other answer possible.

***************************************************************

Lessons

I really like the new memorial.  I like the thought behind it, the design and the fact that CCP saw fit that this is a thing for the community.

I am old.  I have left my footprints in the sand in a lot of places but I do hope that someone will anchor a bit there in Molea (planet 2, moon 1) when the time for me comes.

I would like that

fly it like you won it

m

 

 

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So Much to Do

“So,” Ev asked, late the next day, looking at the fit Mike was requesting be laid aside.  “Where was ya gonna take dat to be blown oop?”

Mike smiled and patted the stealth bomber.  “The nice thing about this is that it lets me live, now and again and is an approved for for the E-Fleets.”

“E-Fleets>  You telecommuting bombs now, mon?”

Mike laughed.  “No, I have been flying with the Edencom forces, holding back the Trigs.”

Ev sighed.  “Yeah, we been hearin bout dem poppin up all ova da place.  Also been hearin some of your bros be fighting for the Trigs and not for the Empire.”

Mike grinned.  “Oh some of them give me a hard time about it but I have chosen my side and that is all there is to it.  Not all pilots have much connection with Empires or normal folks, anymore.  I am thought a bit of a loon for what I do and how I choose to spend my downtime.”

“A loon, for defending your home.”

Mike shrugged.  “Like I said, not all capsuleers feel the same attachment or resent Concord enough to want to stick a thumb in the eye.  Or they just want to see the world burn.  But I find the folks in the Edencom fleets fun and welcoming and they let me bring in the odd ship or two to try things out.”

“So Bus and e-fleets keeping you busy.”

“And the stuff I cannot talk about.”

“Ah, dem powas that be stuff?  Now that you is all elected and official like you have what, one hour a week to toss away to dem?”

“I wish.  Meeting today, meeting tomorrow, meeting Friday.  Chats on the sides and we are barely getting started.”

“Chats bout what?”

“Not even if I was drunk, Ev, not even then.  They be serious about security and I not want to be in their bad books.  But my time is short, the other ship ready for me?”

“Would I letchoo down, mon. It be ready and waitin.”

“Then I am off, place to do, things to be.”

**********************************************************

Lessons.

Anyone who is bored in eve?  it is a character flaw, not the games fault.

Tonight there was a huge battle celebrating the birthday of an ill pilot.  By all reports it was a rousing success.

Edencom and the  Trig supporters fight across multiple star systems.  Fleets in the 50s not unusual (on our side, anyways)

Politics and combat and the Drums of War sound deep in the null regions, although who knows what will come to pass?

Bored?  Your problem.

fly it like you won it

m

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Horse race

He stepped onto the concourse and sighed.  Yes he was home but things were continually changing.  Space was always in flux.  Scotty walked up and joined him, looking at the flow of the people moving about their business.  “You still miss here, don’t you.”

“I will until the last day that I die.”  Mike confirmed.  “I was thinking about change.”

“And I was thinking about how some things never seem to change.  I see that you are back into politics.”

Mike nodded.  “I felt the need to do it again and damn if the people didn’t give me my shot.”

“You ran a fair to middling campaign.  Not your usual media blitz but you seemed to tick a few of the boxes.  Even talked to your fellow candidates and, as usual supported them.”

“It is going to be an interesting council,”  Mike said agreeably, “Oh I wish a few other folks got on but from what I have seen? Yeah, I can work with some of these folks.  Gotta say though that damn election announcement had me on the edge of my seat.  It was like watching a horse race and I was one of the horses.  I did not exactly come out of the gate at top speed. Not that I am complaining, mind you. It was enough to keep me in the race.  And that was the key.  Each round they eliminated the rearmost ‘horse’ and the votes were redistributed according to second choices and third and so on.  Seems that while I was not everybodies first choice I was on their ballots somewhere.”

Scotty smiled.  “Comes from being ‘known’, as you call it.”

“Most likely true.  So almost every elimination tossed some votes my way, it felt like scraps at times but they started to add up.  40 people running and ten seats up for grabs meant that I had to survive 30 rounds.  Round 14 still saw me sweating, not in the back but pretty much the middle of the pack. About round 21 I was breathing down Torvalds neck but he still had a lead.  He was the one I could see edging me out for that tenth seat.  But then the peopl I liked and wanted to work with started to fall, which was both bad and good.  Dutch gunner tossed a lot of votes my way in round 24 then Jurius Doctor fell in round 25 and the same happened again.  Damn, I do not like getting ahead over the bodies of people I would like as allies.  But the scraps kept coming in and I kept moving up through the pack.  It was close until round 29, right at the end of the race.  I was the second choice on a lot of the ballots for Ikarus, it seems.  786 votes all for me.  It was enough to push me across the finish line as, at the time, In was about 300 votes away from it.”

Scotty whistled.  “All the way to round 29 eh?  But that means you got in before round 30.  You did well.”

“Yeah and so did Torvald and  Brisc but that was it from my list of recommended, unless you count myself.”

“Which we do.”

‘”We?”  Mike asked.

“We as in the congratulations party that is waiting for you if you get a move on.  I swear, driving that Bus has made you slower.”  Scotty nodded to the nearest bar where Mike could now see faces, old familiar ones, peeking out at him.

“Food booze and friends and you let me tell you this story out here?  Now I am gonna have to tell it in there, multiple times, most likely.”

Scotty grinned “Most likely and you will enjoy every minute of it, as will we.”

The two crossed the concourse and Mike entered to Pub to a roar of welcome.  He still missed her but being home had both the good and the bad.  This was the good.

*******************************************************

Lessons

Wow, thank you one and all, that was a nail-biter right to the end.  In want to thank my fellow candidates and wish those who did not make it the best of luck in future elections.  I appreciated the support that I could read on the twitch stream and have nothing but kudos for how CCP Aurora put together the presentation.  Worth every minute of the 18 hours that she spent on it.

I played what I thought of as a ground game in this election. I kept talking to people, did not manage to get on all the podcasts but I made a few.  That is the key, for me.  Reminding people that I exist.  About once a week a vet returns and exclaims surprise that I am still in the game doing what I do.  I do not consider myself famous but I am known, in game.  That counted for something, the ground game, enough 1st votes to survive the early bloodbath and then the slow second and third choices pushing me up through the ranks.

Once again, thank you and I will, as always, be looking forward to hearing from you, eve mail, comments here as I do my own take on what is happening that I can tell you about, hell even twitter @Mikeazariah I am your representative, whether you voted for me or not.  That is what I said I would do and dammit . . . . it is what I will try my damndest to keep to.

fly it like you won it

m

 

 

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OOC CSM15 Election time – Mikes list

https://www.eveonline.com/article/qajoai/csm-15-know-your-candidates is the full list of candidates.

Oh, did I mention that I am on that list and running?  No?  Well I am.  Thing is, so are 39 other people for a very limited number of seats.

So let me do a little breakdown on how I plan on voting but before I do?  Word has come to me that the Null Blocks have managed to now make a ‘one click we will tell you how to vote’ ballot.  This means they are making their people into F1 monkeys, again.

sigh

40 people, let us see if I can trim the list a bit.  Well if the null blocks have their prefilled ballots and name exchange lists?  I do not think that they need any average Joe votes (there will be an exception or two to that)

So 40 names needs a winnowing of the null blocks

Well, it is a start but there are still a lot of names.  The exceptions I referred to are Brisc and Maria.  One is just someone I like to see serve and the other represents a block nobody else does.  Now for folks

Now I start to look at who does what as opposed to who they answer to. Community minded folks, well that would include a LOT of people who say they will be community so you have to go by record.  Brisc has that record of working with people, so does January Valentine and Insidious, Pandora and Torvald.  Look, community means something to me.

Exookiz is a good wh candidate and an incumbent.  I do hope that he gets in but I do not think that he needs my vote.  I hope I am not wrong in that.

Komi has at thread full of a lot of RP and I love rp as much as the next space geek but it is not translating well in their case. Darius is an odd one and making this cut as a non big bloc but null person.

Dhuras has been fairly low key in the forums but what he has said I find myself disagreeing with.  It looks like he has not thought all his grand ideas through.  The biggest one (to me) is asset safety.  He wants it gone.  I know of players who are deployed overseas or away because rl has overshadowed gaming, sometimes suddenly.  When those players come back and find everything is GONE do you honestly think that they will stay?

There are a few people who feel like they are running on a very similar platform as myself, Dutch Gunner, Jurius Doctor, Ikarus, Rhea

Stich and Loroseco and both good candidates as well with similar foci.

Some folks I think just need a bit more time to refine their ticket, Ironwulf, Ikarus, Fieden fit this bill

Meredith impressed me on our co-appearance on declarations of war. So she stays on the list is only for the industry aspect (damn I miss Steve already). The Oz had a damn good campaign vid and presents well.. Styxx on the other hand has a great paper resume but not a lot of known community contact, etc.  PJHustle does have the resume and while I am on the fence about whether a renter will be beholding to  a larger alliance, for now he stays on.

dammit 17 people still on the list.  Did I mention that you can vote for 10  order of preference?  Well, you can.  Order matters, too.  Top of the list is the person you really want to see get in (I hope that that name is mine)  next name gets some of your vote IF the top name is eliminated OR voted in.  and so on down the list.

So I have to trim a few names.  Well in the end, yes, I am going to vote for myself. I need every damn vote I can get including my pitiful one omega account.  After that I apply the last filter of who I would like to work with if they got elected as well.

This is the most personal of the filters and I do not tend to need to explain my feelings.  They are what they are.

so my list

That was a lot tougher than I thought it would be to finish.  I am sorry for the 7 I left at the last gate and I hope that each reader of this takes the time to do a bit of reading themselves. Please vote.

Now, do any of you want me to make up a one stop vote button with the above list? I will if asked but personally I find it a bit offensive to think that you cannot fill out your own ballot.  You have the vote unless you have willingly abdicated that measure of power to others who tell you what to think, what to do.  In which case?  well you will be voting for the names at the top of this post wit the lives through them.

Good luck to all my fellow candidates.

fly it like you won it

m

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Table Talk 1

He sat at the table, nervous, trying not to eat with the wrong spoon or drink the lemon soup other folks were sticking their fingers in.  This was not like the spread back home where you reached in a grabbed before someone else got all of it.  He slumped down a bit in his chair and looked about to see where granpa was sitting.

She watched him for a moment and then slid the bowl of buns towards him.  “Eat, the hard part is over and he shut up.  Now we gets ta do the talking, we do.”

The boy looked at her in shock as he instinctively took the bread and then the butter she shoved right behind.  “I really didn’t get what he was talking bout.  Didn’t make no sense at all.  How can you be organisation without organisin?”

She smiled at him.  “Spies sometimes work in things they call cells.  Each one only knows a few other folks so if anyone gets caught they cannot hand over the whole group, they can’t.”  She looked at him for a moment, taking in the clothes, his hands . . .  “Farmer?”

He nodded, mutely, wondering what gave it away.

“Last barn that went up where you live, remember that?”

He smiled at the memory.  “Laszons place, yeah.  Took two days and it was a party for most all o it.  Gramps drank so much he even dropped a hammer once.”  He smiled at the memory.

“Someone told you to go help?  Ordered you?”

“Woulda had to fight me to keep me away.  Folks round where we live, well ya helps each other.  That is what farmin is.  Everbody hits bad times now and agin and so ya needs to know that we is there . . . for . . . ”  He stopped talking and she smiled.

“We”  she repeated.

He sputtered for a moment.  “Well why dint he say so?  All that long stuff about history.  ‘We’ is easy, ya helps yer neighbours.  What was he some sort o professor tryin to make himself seem all smart like?”

She smiled and nodded.  “Something like that. But thing is, your neighbour needed a hand and y’all pitched in, y’all did.  That is we, right there.”

The boy smiled, straightened up in his seat and passed the buns to the next person.  He had manners, been raised right.

*****************************************************************

Lessons

If there was a way Eve players could strike back at ddos? Man CCP could weaponize us.

Been a rough weekend for the servers.  But they will survive.  CCP devs are posting last shots of their offices as they move house, I have yet to see any shots of the new place as they are moving in, making it their own.  Dammit I liked going into that building when I visited.

Today marks 17 years that Eve Online has existed.  Just take that in

I wanted to do a sequal to the Winning Eve talk I did back in ’17 in Vegas.  Its title was Longevity.  Still do and maybe someday I will get the chance.

fly it like you won it, to hark back to my old days of giveaways?  comment below and in a weeks time one commenter will win the draw for a praxis.

m

 

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We

And so they came,  from all over New Eden, to the gathering.  Such events only happened now and again and they had no official name, no title to go by.  You were told that one was on and you brought the oldest, the youngest, those to remember and those to learn.  At the door to the hall you were asked to find tables not with your own folks but to spread out.  No table was better than the others, no one was ‘above the salt’.

Jake was 15 and had no idea what the hell his grandfather had brought him to.  One day he is working the fields and the next they are on a starship flying to some other planet.  He KNEW his family did not have the money for the tickets but the old man just smiled, first at Jake and then at the travel agent as tickets were issued.  “Sometimes you find a way, boy, other times the way finds you.  Keep your ears open and don’t go embarrassing the family by being too noisy . . . or too quiet.”

Boro had brought a two students and shoved then in separate directions.  “Meet people, come back to me with stories . . . or do not come back”  He then searched the crowd until he found Tanta, standing with some others.  He made a beeline for her, noting that her student, Free, watched all who came near her with laser like attention.  “Madam, my day, no my year, is complete having had a chance to see you in the flesh again.”

“La, and what would you be knowing about my flesh you old reprobate?”  She smiled and stepped in for a hug.  “Now we will not be sitting together but we will meet up afterwards?”

Boro opened his arms wide after hugging her.  “Not even your student could stop me from that appointment.  ”

Mike kept to the sidelines, watching the people and trying to gauge the mood of the room.  What he wanted to say would have to be done right and in keeping with the time and place.  Too long?  too short?  Too academic?

A chime and a calm announcement directed the guests to find seats and to try not to sit with people they knew.  Too late, it was time.

Wait staff took orders and delivered drinks to all the tables as Mike made his way to the center of the room.  “Go ahead, start yer drinking.  This may take a bit and refills will happen as needed.”  Mike smiled,  turning about in place to take in all the guests.  “To me fell the task of the History Toast so we might as well get it over with so the important task of food can be gotten to.”

“Now I knows y’all know history but I am asking you to consider it through a different lens.  We started New Eden broken, scattered, crashing back into chaos and barbarism.  From the ashes of that disaster cam the new Empires.  Amarr built theirs upon the church and slavery and the subjugation of the Minmatar.  As a result the Minmatar were held back and are now just developing their own laws and ways based upon family and tribal lines.   In the meantime the Gallente grew, a democracy and the strongest member of the federation was the Caldari who focused on commerce and power through money.  In the end we came to blows and went our own ways, they becoming the State and we the Federation.  Each Empire has its own ways of doing things, its own ways of deciding what is right and what is wrong.

Problem is . . . ”  Mike paused to take a sip from his own drink.  “They kind of forgot the rest of us.  Thems as what are in power do not relinquish it easily.  Amarr has its own dynasties,  as do Minmatar, Caldari and yes, even we ‘free’ Gallente.  Oh, the powers that be may squabble between themselves.  Some want more power over the common man and others want less but they are pulling on  two ends of the rope we is all tied up with.  No matter who is winning?  We feel the squeeze.  But forgetting us does not mean we go away or that we meekly follow the orders of whichever interchangeable boss is in the power seat this year.”

He turned slowly to look around the room meeting eyes and letting the pause grow.

“Not by  along shot.  This is where you come in.  Where WE come in.  According to legends Gallente society is based on ancient traditions from Earth.  I want to give you six words from that history, three each from two different histories.  Carry these words with you and I will have succeeded in my given task.”

He held the glass high and said in a voice that filled the room.

“Liberté, égalité, fraternité

Now, for those of you not knowing other languages.  Liberty, equality, brotherhood.  We are all free, we are all equal, THEY are not better than you just because they are in power and we are all brethren.  To help one of us is to help a family member, something you do, I would hope.  The other three words? They be in the common tongue.

We the People

Because that is what it is all about.  Us, we the people.  They may be elected, appointed by God, inherited the power, or born into the right tribal line but it don’t matter.  They rule because in the end WE let them.  Until they screw it up.  That is where you come in.  We the people are the corrective force.  We are not organised or even named.  We have no leaders, just maybe a few elders whose voices might carry some weight or deserve some respect.  But if our leaders go astray?  We tug them back into line, one way or another.  You are now part of this, there is no oath to swear, no secret handshake to learn.  By living in New Eden you are one of us.  Hell you even could carry the shame of BEING a politician, we would accept you just the same.

That is it, folks.  History Toast can be long and academic or short and to the point.  Comes down to the second set of three words, in the end.”

Mike raised his glass and looking up said loudly

“We the People”

after a moment the room followed suit.

Mike sat in an empty chair and looked at people he had never met before.  “So, do I order the chicken or the sea bass?”

******************************************************************

Lessons

Madness.  I feel like our real world is descending into it.  I started writing this while watching the US elections but now it feels like that is almost on a backburner if not wrapped in plastic and tucked away.

Nobody gets to rule unless the people let it happen.  Enough revolutions/uprisings of late have shown that to be true.

You count as much as the next person, just don’t stand too close to them.

Health.  Mine is in limbo, if you follow my tweets you will know that my cancer may have moved to the lymphatic system . . . I do another test on that next week.  This puts me in what they are calling these days an immuno-compromised position.  I am playing it safe and keeping fairly home bound with walks along a wide parkway.

I honestly hope that you and yours are healthy and taking the proper steps to stay that way as well.

Madness in maddening times.  Keep your sense of humour and of your humanity.  Don’t give in to the panic, the cabin fever, the hysteria of the media.  Facts, precautions, hope.

But especially the sense of humour.  On twitter I got critiqued for a joke I made, today.  Of the 12 people who disapproved? 11 of them had pronouns in their bio and none of them were Eve players.

Eve players get me.  Well they try anyways.

fly it like you won it

m

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Invites

Mike stepped down from the ship, laughing.  “Damn if that is not a fun little thing to fly.”

“A bit garish there, mon, you really mean it to be so  . . . so  . . . yellow?”  Ev squinted up at it.

“Branding.”  Mike replied.  “But it was a sweet little runner for an abyssal trip, nary a problem or hiccup.”

“Well, you know you best, I s’pose.  But while you was out of the normal sidereal universe there been someone tryin ta find yas.  He make no bones about turnin ova evary stone once you no be answering your own comms.”

Mike grinned guiltily and turned his comm on.  When out on ‘me time’ he often closed all incoming and just focused on the fun he was having.  A lot of the messages were echos of what Ev had told him, others who had been called . . . but the root one was from home.  He cursed to himself and opened the channel.

*Took you long enough*  Cory said  *I was afraid I might have to start tracking down your ex-girlfriends.*

Mike grinned, “Not even Tantas comms has that much spare memmry.  But what are you doing there and is Tanta alright?”

“She is fine, she just set me the task of finding you and letting you know that there will be some sort of gathering and you will be doing the History Toast.  Whatever the hell that means.”

*Means I gots some planning to do and it is time to come home, eh, time to come home.  She give a timeline?”

“One week.  Problems with that?”

Mike laughed.  “One does not have problems with Tantas ‘requests’.  You just make it work.  I will be there in time, I will.  Tell her I said so.”

*Will do, now she has me contacting a LOT of other folks and sending out the invites so I best be . . . .*

“Hold on.  You working for Tanta now?  Free?  What is going on?”

*Yes, we are with Tanta now, will explain when you get here, for securities sake AND I want to see you expression when we tell the story.  One week.*

“One week.”  Mike agreed and closed the channel.

On the other end Cory looked at the ever growing list of contacts he had to make.  Judges, military, churches and farmers and small business owners from planets all across Gallente space and beyond.  No rhyme or reason he could see but it was looking to be a very large gathering.  Always the same format, though.  Eldest, youngest, and leader (Plus ones allowed but please rsvp)  He smiled and got to work.

*********************************************************

Lessons

The other thing about comms is getting folks to answer.  With players all the way around the world?  ya gotta sleep sometime.

Was recording a podcast with Ashterothi yesterday as he ran abyssal sites and it got me back on that play-style again.  To try something new I hit the web for solo frigate abyssal runners that were NOT ones I had done before.

Settled on this one and I DID enjoy it

https://www.eveworkbench.com/fitting/hawk/8e9f4f75-d62c-4906-fdab-08d6cfc59765

yeah I am lazy and run calms, so sue me.

fly it like you won it

m

 

 

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OOC Sock matching

Occasionally I write just to catch up on all of bits and pieces of New Eden. This is one of those posts. A few things to cover in and out of game.

Let’s start with the biggest and most recent. They cancelled Fanfest 2020 in Iceland. With the Covid 19 virus and people getting more nervous travelling? It makes sense.

But.

They skipped last year as well. I hope momentum does not take over and end a venerable Eve tradition. Funny thing is? Some pilots are going to go anyways. Even if there is no fest they can meet up and tour the magical place that is Iceland. If you are one of those going anyways? Talk to folks like Rixx Javix and meet up, sanctioned or no. We are Eve pilots, we adapt and conquer.

Then the mining changes that are just around the bend. This I know less about but if mining or industry is your thing, get out there and read. Oh and industry folks, CSM sounds like they may be doing some industry sessions so you may want to find folks there who may represent you. Dunk Dinkle leaps to mind.

Now the cool ‘out if the blue’ announement. Battleships can now carry a frigate as an escape vessel. Lose one and jump into the second. I REALLY want to see an Alliance Tournament with this mechanic.

K

People were afraid Eve might be stagnating. I must have some different definition for that word.

The surgery went well and I will be in the hospital until Monday.  I miss you all and Eve and especially rookie help chat.

Fly it like you won it.

m

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Spies

They arrived an hour later to find Tanta sitting at a large comm panel.  She stepped aside to let Cory take the control seat and gave him a few simple instructions as to what she wanted.  He grinned and nodded admiring the panel as an antique lovingly cared for.

“Run a sweep, we want to make sure this conversation is private.”

He called up the protocols and whistled.  “Under the wood panels is state of the art?”

“Best we can keep up with, yes, dear.”  Tanta smiled and touched his shoulder.  “What we show on the surface does not always go right to the bone, eh?  Now remember my cues, I ‘spect we will need them, I do.”

Cory nodded and completed the security check.  “Clear as far as I can tell.”  He pointedly looked around the room.

Tanta nodded.  “Part of dusting and cleaning a home includes a good sweep now and again.  This room is clear unless you brought something in yo’self, unless.”

Cory sputtered denials while Tanta and Free laughed.

“Good then.  Open comm one, please.”

The image on the main screen showed the briefing room that Free was very familiar with.  The lights and shadows moved and one voice asked in an exasperated tone.  -Well then who DID convene this meeting?-

Tanta stepped forward and her image appeared in the center of the room where normally agents would be briefed.  “That would me, that would.”

One or two of the shadows gasped and another protested -impossible-

“And yet here I am.  I am calling in favours you owes me.  All of them.”

The room quieted swiftly.

-What do you want, Madam.-

“I wish two of your people to now work for me and mine.  No ties, no restrictions.  I have asked them and they agree so all there is left is for you to give your blessings and it is done, it is.”  She stood looking about the room as though she could see into the shadows.

-Agents of the council never leave.  They are ours until they die.-  The oily voice whispered.

“That sounds like slavery.”  Tanta pursed her lips as though she had bit something sour.  “Are you sure that is what you meant to say?”

-THEY ARE OURS!- The voice yelled back.

Tanta looked to Cory and said “3x”

Cory tapped the keypad and the room changed as the dark pillar where the oily voice came from was suddenly lit . . . and empty.

“Now I knows he does not speak for all of you and now we all knows this room is empty, not a single one of you is here, just as is true for myself.  By your code it takes a majority to pass such a decision and I am willing to have him set down as ‘against my request’.  The question is . . . how will the rest of you decide, how?”

-How did you . . . –  A slightly startled womans voice asked.

“His house 0n the lake has suffered a sudden power outage.  I am sure that it will all be fixed quickly, but for now he will not be joining us.”  Tanta looked straight were the womans voice had come from.  “Now, Valery, how will you be voting?  How?”

The silence stretched for a moment before the womans voice answered her.  -They may go.-

-WHAT? A name drop and a comm closure and you yield?  She is bluffing and you all fold like . . . –  The voice was loud and aggressive and Tanto slowly turned to face the new pillar.

“You have only been on this council a few years, taking the seat from your father.  You may want to think before you say something that cannot be unsaid.”

-I will NOT be bullied by some Gallente Witch with delusions of . . . –  There was a loud thud and then a soft moan.  -My pardon.  I believe I will speak for my son on this matter as he is not well, right now.  Madam, you have my houses assent.  I did hear that the offer was all favours evened?-

She nodded to the pillar and smiled.  “All, we will start with a clean slate moving forward, a clean slate.”

The voice addressed the others of the council.  -I have been a bit in the background, of late, but that does not mean that I am completely gone.  Take a moment, brothers and sisters and consider what we owe her.  Also consider that she probably could arrange power outages for any one of us.  Temporary or otherwise.-

-But that would mean . . . – Another voice protested.

“That I have people within your organisation but you have not managed any in mine.  Yes, that is what it means, it does.  And before you get any idea that this offer is your way to change that?  I will take any actions by you to turn or double agent these two as a direct insult and attack upon me and respond accordingly.”

-For how long will this threat last?- Another voice asked with a subtle tone of derision.

“My health you mean?  Oh, I may not last long but WE will.”  She gestured for Free to join her in the image.  “Speak your mind, child.”

Free looked around the room that had held mystery, her orders to hunt and kill all had come from these people and she felt . . . nothing.  There was no fear, no hesitation, and no need for words.  She just stood slightly behind Tanta and rested one hand on her shoulder, lightly.

-We have already lost, brothers and sisters.  It is now just a question of how hard she needs to hurt us to make us realise it.-

The vote was completed soon after that and the room became silent but Tanta stayed put and asked Cory.  “4R if you please.”

The Fathers voice answered,  =I was wondering if you were bluffing, as my son said.  Now I know.=

“We will be having a small ceremony, tradition and all.  You are invited and you are welcome to bring your son if you think he will learn something from it.  A weeks time?”

=I doubt he will learn but I will bring him just the same.  There is always hope.  Your home?=

“It will be a larger sized gathering, contact when in orbit and we will give directions.”

=I look forward to it.=

Tanta made a closing gesture and Cory shut the comm panel down.  She slumped into a chair and breathed heavily.  Free rushed to her side while Cory touched the buttons that summoned the med staff.  They started to take her back to her room but she stopped them to give one last order.  “Call Emé, he has a week to get here, tell him that he will be doing the History Toast.”

Free nodded, her face full of concern.  Tanta was taken from the room and Free turned to face Cory.  “Did she just . . . .?”

Cory shook his head.  “What the hell are we getting into?”  He sighed and started tracking down Mike.

***********************************************************

Lessons

Spies are a thing in Eve Online (Spais)  Infiltrating another corp can be to betray, rob blind, get inside secrets.  It has been done often and well.  I have been in corps so infiltrated in both directions that battles were arranged up to what both sides would bring for a gud fite.

The best thing is a stringent entry requirement but a decent spy can still get past that.  One corp I was in took a simpler approach.  Trust in assets was not given so there was little or nothing to steal or betray.  But I think the BEST way would be to be so much better than the folks who sent the spy that you were who they now set their loyalty in, giving up or even turning on their former masters.

But how would ever know for sure?  You would not.

The next post, I hope, will be more eve and ships than the last few and then a big one . . . very Free and Tanta and politics.  I was thinking about putting in a disclaimer but . . .nah.

fly it like you won it

m

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Change is Gonna Come

The following afternoon at lunch Tanta asked Free and Cory to stay behind and help clean up.  Relieved dancers whose turn it actually was took the hint and swiftly fled the room. Once it was just the three of them Tanta set out tea and sat, watching them wash, dry, and put away.  Cory seldom had to open more than one cupboard, he had already learned how the kitchen was laid out.  She was more surprised that Free also knew there things went . . . then she remembered Free had spent time with Mike.

When they were done she nodded approval and gestured for them to sit.  “I has a question for the pair of yas, a question.”  she smoothed her dress and met both their eyes in turn.  “Do you want to leave who you work for and join this family, work here, instead?”

Free and Cory looked at each other.  “Madam, we are not allowed to ever . . . ”

“Oh that is what they say.  I asks you before I talks to them.  Iffen you wants I will ask them, nicely.”  Tanta smiled.  “Then if I have to I will be less nice.”  Again she smoothed her dress.  “But I need to know . . . will you come to me and mine if you can?”

Free smiled almost shyly.  “I will not speak for him but I would like nothing more.  But Tanta, nobody ever leaves . . . ”

“That is for Tanta to worry about.  How about you, young man?”

“I am just a tech, Madam.  Not a skilled Operative like Free.  People like me are a dime a dozen.”

“NO.”  Free and Tanta said in unison.  Tanta nodded and Free continued. “We are a team.”

Tanta nodded.  “I read your after action report of the hotel where you thought Eme was.  You were not a just a tech.  Boro noticed you and he tends to think of most people as semi sentient furniture.  It will not be all ‘making tea and cookies’ but we will find things for you to do.”

“Madam, it would be an honour to work with you and yours.”  Cory bowed his head.  “But . . . ”

“No buts, it be settled.  I will make the call in an hour.  Come back here, then, please.”  The manners were there but they both knew an order when they heard it.

________________

Boro was also giving orders but there was no mistaking his imperious tone and the words were not so polite.  “You, call and find me the best female dancers ages 6, 12, and 18 who are proficient in Mendre.  Planetary champion level at the least.  Bring me a list in an hour.  You?  Call the Countess Beatrice Batteuse and tell her I need her to do a favour for me and Madam.  You there, in the back.  A composer, Roc if you can find him, otherwise someone lesser.  Well?  Why are you all still standing there?  Go, go!

_________________

She pulled down a ledger and flicked on a light.  Running her finger down the columns she made a few notes and nodded to herself.

_________________

“She read our after action reports?  But those are . . . ”

“I do not doubt that Tanta did if she days she did.  The reach of that woman is more than just impressive, it is frightening.  This will not be a step down in operations, it will be a step up.”  Free looked out the window.  “It will not be just kill this one, erase that one, though.  Has it occurred to you that we do not actually KNOW what she does?”

“Yes.”  Cory hesitated then went on.  “Doesn’t matter, though.  I will still sign on if she will have me.  But the timing is what bothers me.”

Free nodded.  “Me, too.”

************************************************************

Lessons

Ever see a large Eve corp change management?  Undergo a sea change?  It is unsettling for all concerned but very much so for the rank and file and most of all for anybody new, just coming in.

Businesses, Governmental changes, always questions of what will be different and what will stay, will I fit in to the new plan or is that door opening for more than just the boss?  Some corp/alliance leaderships border on cult status and perhaps with good reason.

As a teacher the change in admin teams is always stressful because you had to find out where the new boundaries were.  I usually found out by blithely crossing them at high speed.

Back to Eve for a moment, I saw a tweet about someone seeing more and more of Pearl Abysses hand in CCPs day to day.  I have not noticed it but then I am old and tend to barely notice when my wife gets a haircut.

Change happens.

fly it like you won it

m

 

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