Mike looked up and slowly panned to his right until he saw her, standing in the far doorway, a pot that might hold coffee in her left hand. He had trouble focussing beyond the thought of coffee. Then he saw the look on her face . . . fear, hurt . . . hurt? He suddenly and very clearly remembered the visit he had received when he first took Dee out on a date. The residents of this station would not like it if he had hurt her in any way. The question was how had he hurt her . . . and could he fix it?
It all comes down to what you fly, he realized later. Battleship pilots and cap fleet officers bull straight down the throat of the enemy. Mike was very bad at that tactic and had the wreckage of several battleships scattered across New Eden to prove it. Frigate and interceptor pilots would make a break for it and wait to see how things fell out. Mike had barely managed to own an interceptor for a day before losing it. Mike flew HACs, dance and dodge, do not let the enemy know what is going on and above all, maintain the right distance.
“Is that coffee?” He asked weakly.
She looked at her hand in surprise as if not aware of how it had gotten there and then nodded. “I made it strong. You have been out for about 13 hours.”
Mike swung his legs off the bed and winced. “Yeah, and had coffeee before that, um, where is the . . . ” He went the direction she pointed and returned a few moments later with his face still glistening from the quick wash he had done. “Ah, thank you.” He took the coffee and sipped it carefully. It was still hot and made just right. “Oh, you are a lifesaver.” His comm chimed again, softly but insistently and he realized it was most likely that which had woken him up. He looked over at it then back at her, walked over and turned it off.
“It could be somethig important.” She sad softly.
“Maybe, but not the most important thing right now.” Mike replied and came back to sit with her in her small kitchen. “Using my fantastic skills of investigation I have come to the conclusion I am not on my ship. The thing is, and I regret this deeply, I have NO idea how I got here or what happened. Last thing I recall was talking to you about the CSM and then,” he waved his hand in the air, “nothing.”
“There is nothing to remember, I knew it was a long way to your ship and a short distance to here so I brought you here to catch up on some rest. You looked like you needed it.”
He looked her in the eye and paused. “I did. It is just very disorienting to awaken not knowing where you are or why, I thought I had died.”
“It is a fact of being a capsuleer that you will die. If you have not kept your clone up to date then there may be memory loss when your clone is animated. So when I woke up in a strange place with no memory of having gotten here . . . ”
“You thought you had died.” She finished his sentence nodding.
“Then I saw you and thought FOR SURE I had died and gone to heaven.” He sipped a bit more coffee. “The jury is still out on that one.” She laughed in a way that sent shivers down his back and got up from the small table to make herself some tea. He watched her for a moment then looked aorund at what he could see of the small apartment. The colors were vibrant and the light was diffused but bright enough to simulate a rising sun in a window just out of sight. The fridge had a single image lighting up the front of it had a man pointing to the horizon and the words below it said ‘and they thought I was showing the way’. Mike started laughing.
Dierdre looked to see what he was laughing at and smiled. “It is a quote.”
“I know. . . ‘I pointed to the danger and they thought I was showing the way. I screamed in fear and they thought it a cry of triumph. I wept and they thought it was tears of joy And so we went forward.'” Mike smiled.
She stood there, jaw hanging open, then she started sputtering. “you, I, it, when did you, what?”
Mike laughed and answered her garbled questions. “You quoted the Book of Issah to me, so I did some research.”
“I quoted it and you read it?” She asked, stunned.
“Pretty much, yeah.” Mike shrugged. “You said you would talk to me about it another time so I decided to be prepared.”
“The difference between living and dying is learning. I may get killed now and again but I don’t plan on dying. So if something is important I learn about it.”
“But” she said slowly, “the Book of Issah . . . ”
“Is important to you, so it is important to me. I read the books and did a bit of studying.”
“Well I read the current version then I contacted my advisor in the archaeology department and got some original source materials and went through those. He has assigned me for some research work in the future and I may get lucky on a few digs . . . ”
“Whoa whoa whoa. Archaeology department?”
He nodded, warming to the subject. “Remember the ceremony you convinced me go to last year? Well I kept contact with the University and have been taking a few more courses with them. Finishing off this and that. Like I said, learning is an important part of what I do and so I do my best to be good at it. But that aside, once I started reading his stuff it was something I did appreciate. He really saw what was coming way ahead of everyone else, Cassandra’s Curse.”
She stared at him in something approaching disbelief. “Because I quoted the Book . . . ”
“Yup, is there more coffee?” He looked hopefully at the pot.
Find out what is important to the people around you, including wartargets. If they are after your Sov Structures and you KNOW that, you have a better idea of what to do.
If you do not know what the people in your corp want of you, you can expect rough times ahead.
If you are running missions I have a hard time believing you are doig it without Eve-Survival
If you are making a new fitting for a ship then you are probably gonna stop at Battleclinic
Research, it might even get ya the girl.