Mike tossed his travel kit on a small tram and rode across the hanger to do one last check-in with Ev and Scotty before heading out. He looked up at the Ishtar hanging over him and whispered. “Gonna miss you” softly. Then he looked further to the bay window that overlooked the hanger entrance and hoped Dee could not lip read.
“So you still goin true wit dis foolishness, mon?” Evs dreadlocks bobbed as he nodded to Mike, hopping off of the tram.
“Said I was going to, people are in motion, now. So . . . yup.” Mike saluted Scotty and grinned. “Need to grab a new ship to take, something I won’t mind leaving behind.”
Scotty rubbed his chin. “A shuttle?”
Mike grimaced. “Goes against my grain to fly so far in an unarmed boat. What have you got in the used frigates?”
“Well, ” Said Scotty, “Let me see.”
As Scotty paged through the market orders Ev asked. “So you thinking of juss leavin a frigate ova there? That be a bit of a waste, mon.”
“I prefer to think of it as saving for a rainy day. I may come back and it always a nice surprise to find a fitted ship in a place I have forgotten I had ever been before. It is like finding an old isk note in a long un-worn pair of pants. You know it is yours but it feels like you just won something.”
‘So you have a few of these ‘isk notes’ stashed away? Or do this be a new philosophy?”
Mike brought up his comm pad and called up an asset inventory. “Let’s see . . . 18 frigates, 9 industrials (mainly iterons), 8 destroyers, 16 cruisers, 6 battlecruisers, a battleship, three assault frigates, 2 heavy assaults, two covops, 2 stealth bombers, and a hulk I borrowed from a friend. Gods know how many shuttles and I think I have a mining barge or two lying off someplace . . . what?”
Scotty and Ev were staring at him. Eve found his voice first. “Dontcha eva sell a ship?”
“Oh I have sold quite a few that I had made, but I am not prone to sell used ships, no. I may have a use for them some day.”
“A use for them . . . ” Scotty said, stunned.
“Yup. So I mothball and store.”
“Well, laddy. Why in the name of all that is thrifty aren’t you taking one of those?”
“I’ve decided. Find me a catalyst on the market, prep it for speed and hitting power. Name it the Boomerang.”
‘Why the . . . ” Ev followed Mike gaze up to the docking offices and smiled. “I get it, because you be coming back, ok, I be buying and putting it together for you. But you cannot board it until it be ready which be just enough time for you to go say goodbye.”
Mike smiled. ‘Did that already.”
“Never can say goodbye well enough. I be thinking there is always something else you can be saying.” He toggled a switch. “Docking Super to hanger floor, please and thank you.”
And so, as a Catalyst was finished off he kissed her, right there on the hanger floor. If there were whistles, cheering, or any comments shouted, ifthere were tools banged on metal or horns sounded . . . Mike and Dee did not hear them.
Following the current meme of what is in your hanger. a few ships here, a few there. No conglomeration but they are spread across empire space so I can hop from agent to agent and have thinsg ready when I get there. Silly? Inefficient? yup. But that is how I play.