And why do you care?

Mike walked down into the hanger array base with two coffees in his hand. He looked arournd until he spotted his target. “Heyas, Honour.”

“The name is Scotty.”

“Nah nah, you don’t fool me, the TITLE is Scotty. As it is on every damn station I have ever visited. I swear the Jovians probably use the title as well. Maybe even the Sleepers in wormhole space.”

The ‘Scotty’ chuckled and sipped the coffee he had been handed. “How did you know what to ask for in this? You got it right on the sugars.”

“Investigative powers that make me the bane of evil doers . . . and I asked at the three nearest coffee shops to the base floor.”

“Huh.” He took another sip. “Heard you were working out Amarr way for a while, as opposed to the usual work here.”

“Yup yup. Was trying to keep them from shooting me on sight in that part of space.”

There was a pause as Scotty looked him over. “Why? Look, I do not tell you hotshots how to fly but this I must ask. Why do you spend half your time working here trying to STOP slavery then promptly go and work for the SOB’s that legalize it? And do not give me no guff about wanting to fly free and safe because you are old enough to know that neither is really true. So, why ARE you helping them?”

Mike paused . . . opened his mouth to answer then closed it again. He nodded slowly.

“You are right. I am not sure why I care what a bunch of slavers think of me. Sometimes it is just so I can work a bit with a buddy of mine, but . . . no, I don’t have a good reason for working over in their domain. I got plenty to do here.”

“Good answer.”

Mike looked from the deck commander up to the ships floating all around them. “Nice view from down here”

“Yup, we see all of them come through here. Some pretty battered, sometimes just in pods.”

Mike grinned. “I am in the very small sleek craft often enough, myself”

“Ya know why, dontcha?”

Mike figured it was because he was a fool who didn’t pay atrtention but he just shook his head in answer.

“Yer ships don’t keep up with you. Fer instance . . . ” Honour leaned back and pointed up to Mikes favorite, Explorer.”

You’ve had that boat for a long time. Seen ya take it in and out. I’ve supervised missile after missile being loaded on board . . . ”

“Yeah?”

“And I aint seen ya upgrade the last generation shielding at all. You are flying a freaking relic. Is it sentimental value? Or are you just filling that skull of yours with some soap operas?”

Mike frowned and pulled out his personal comm. Tapped a few keys and his eyebrows shot up. “Holy . . .”

“Yeah. Thought so. You found a ship you could work in and you forgot to keep it up to date because there was a new shiny out there. You get your new shiny and forget to upgrade your bread and butter. and I NOTICED that your new shiny ain’t about, is it?”

“Um, no it is kinda . . .”

“We see the insurance reportage down here. Your Raven is now a scattering of feathers. So you are gonna get back in thatr Explorer, but have you given any thought into putting the insurance money INTO the ship that helped you get the Raven in the first place? Or are you gonna pour more money into some new shiny and leave that thing as a museum exhibit?”

Mike sipped his coffee and nodded to himself.

*****

Lesson Keep the old reliables, reliable.

New shiny boats make very pretty explosions, but no so pretty when you are in them

The grass is greener on the other side because there are more bodies under that turf, fertilizing it, do not add to their greenspace.

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