You flip from station to station, you meet folks. That or you sit alone in the corner of the bar thinking you look ‘dangerous’. As opposed to ‘sad and so very very alone’. Mike was not prone to sitting in the corner. So he met pirates who thought dangerous was better proved out in space, and carebears . . . . oh the carebears.
He knew most of them hated the term . . . he wasn’t that fond of it himself. It was a stylish descriptor the pirates used to describe those who did lawful actions, worked in highsec space. Those who made the ships the pirates delighted in blowing up (and being blown up in). Those who held the line against the incursions of Angels, Blood Raiders, and Guristas in the ‘safe’ areas.
Then there was Kry. He met Kry first on the comms and thought he was a pretty decent guy. Easy to chat with and had a similar sense of humor. They both liked similar media and so ‘inside jokes’ were understood between them. Kry’s face looked vaguely familiar but Mike could not quite place it. Finally it turned out that they were in the same station and Mike headed off to meet Kry. In a bar, of course. Figured it would be no problem to find him in a bar but damn if he could not find anyone who looked as Kry did on the channel.
It was bloody amateur night on stage. One bad singer after another, one current pop song mangled, the next left bleeding on the ground, the third surrendered without a whimper. Mike ordered another drink and scanned the crowd. He was still looking when a new song started. It was not a pop song. It was a very old old melody, something about Rising Sun House. But that was not the words he was hearing. The fool woman was singing about mining. Asteroid mining. Someone off to his side commented on how bad she was and a grizzled guy who was sitting right next to Mike replied that it was not about the melody, it was the words.
Mike nodded slowly. He could understand that, sometimes it was not the medium but the message. So he gritted his teeth and listened to the whole song, the guy next to him filming it with a headcam. She finished her song and to (very) scattered applause she came straight over to the guy with the cam. Mike nodded to the bartender and pointed to the two of them and then covered the cost of their drinks.
An hour later amateur time was over and music was being piped in but the three of them were still there. Mike was still chuckling that the woman was Kry. “You get the name from that old movie?” He asked.
“The Krying Game.” Mike answered with a grin on his face.
Sab groaned and shook his head. “She’s mine. Stop trying to make time with her.”
Mike held his hands up in self defence. “All yours. No question about it. I am still having trouble reconciling that this is the guy I have been talkin to for the past while.” Kry giggled coquetishly. “Stop that damn you, it just ain’t right. You know as well as I do that space is a place where men are men and so are most of the women.”
Kry laughed at that. “And what about in stations?”
“In lowsec stations? It is a place where men are men and the women are payed to prove it. In hisec? Well there are a few financiers and miners, I suppose. But really . . . ”
Sab shook his head. “Now you’ve done it, you mentioned mining, and that means she is gonna tell you about. . .”
“Dumpty! My pet rock.” Kry laughed as she finished Sabs sentence.
“It is a huge asteroid I found in a local system. 132k if it is a pound. It is huge!” Her eyes glowed as she described a normal asteroid miners wet dream. “Veldspar, of course. Beautiful thing.”
“How much did you make off of it?” Mike asked.
“Make off of it?” She looked aghast. “I would never hit my baby with lasers. I am waiting to see if it will grow.”
“Um, it is a rock? Rocks do not grow.”
“They do in a belt if other ones get pulled in. I want to see what size it will get to.”
Mike shook his head and murmered softly. “Queen of the Carebears, won’t even shoot rocks.” He didn’t say it softly enough, she heard him. “Oh, wouldn’t that be a title to try for. But how could you prove you were the best?”
Mike laughed. “Try starting a peace initiative in lowsec. Convince others not to shoot.” He laughed at the thought of that.
Sab shook his head. “She doesn’t believe me when I tell her. Carebears are not people, they are floating pinatas in lowsec.”
Mike squinted at Sab. “You been out there a time or two haven’t you.”
Sab nodded. “Yeah, but I am ‘rehabilitated’.”
Mike snorted and the topic turned to other things. Neither Mike nor Sab noticed the new gleam in Krys eyes.