It was an hour before he got himself down to the hanger and looked around. It didn’t take much work to find the crowd gathered around the mining ship. Normally they came and went without any fanfare but today . . .
“Well,” Said a capsuleer with a tool belt slung over one shoulder. “Oi rigged ‘er so the main hold can handle the DJ and it will drown out damn near anyfing. If Oi made it any louder then it would be classed as a weapon.”
“Sound system in the hold?” Mike wondered out loud.
“Well the dancers need something to move to, though the ones you hired last night seemed willing to dance whether there was music playing or no. But you told me, Audio, if you are going to be in on this then I need you to rig the music. I done that and pitched in to the kitty, so my part is done, I figure.”
Mike looked at his left arm and saw a small notation, Audio-0.5M + sound system for hold ‘Um, dancers?”
“Yeah, you had them all sign the contract . . . and by that you kept pointing at your shirt.”
“Oh, aye. That explains all the names on the back of this.” Scotty waved my shirt, now covered in fitting orders and names of dancers. “We’ve loaded the booze and smokes on board already, kept them out of the way of the sound guy here. The hardwood flooring will be in as soon as it is shipped up from the planet.”
“Aye, for the dance floor. You said something about wood with light insets here on your right sleeve . . . ”
By now Mike realized that the rest of the people were gathering around and grinning. “What are you lot laughing at? You all paid into this as well.”
“I, for one, don’t regret a single isk, how about you, son?” Bob grinned and waved up at the ship. “Best in emergency decompression fittings. Your passengers will have an excellent chance of survival, wouldn’t you say?”
Marham grinned at Bob and then at Mike. “Money well spent. This is going to be one hell of a ride for the rich crowd. Who else would have thought of getting extra funding by offering a chance to ride IN the race?”
Mike glanced from them to his arm and back at them in shock. Marham 5m BobF 10m “You are both mad as hatters. Who the hell are the Old Goats?”
“That’d be us. We are in the alliance and heard you might need some funding to fly a pig in a thoroughbred race.” Two pilots looked up at the ship and back at Mike. “You’re calling them mad?” Others crowded up introducing themselves to the increasingly stunned Mike and making comments on how well the Party ship would fare in the race.
Kotacko said it best. “Two, three jumps if you are lucky. Is a big bulls-eye begging to be tagged. You have any plans for making it further?”
Mike ran his hand back through his hair and grinned wolfishly. “May look like junk but she’s gonna have what it takes. All that and exotic dancers, how can I lose? But in answer to your question, yes there is more help to be asked for, and not of the checkbook variety. I am going to need a pit crew and race managers.”
“To do what?”
“Suppose, just suppose, a few friendly folks managed to get ahead of the race in bombers. If they were to find a camp there would be good hunting to be had. Especially if the campers were not expecting an ambush.”
Kotacko shook his head. “If I were setting a camp I would put in Sniper Hacs, not as vulnerable to bomber groups.”
“I have found that we often err in thinking that the enemy has had days to plan an operation and set all the pieces perfectly in place. I actually expect the camps to be ad hoc affairs of ‘bring something to shoot with’. This is the main reason that the course has such security on it. I am likely wrong but that is another thing that a pit crew could do, scout ahead. If we have some folks down the line spotting the camps we might be able to reroute or least wise be on the toes more when hitting them.”
Two techs came down out of the ship and waved. “Yer eight view-screens are set in the hold now. Cross-rigged to the DJ’s board.”
“For the party, so they can see the race from inside?” Mike asked weakly.
“Now its coming back to him. Show him the plans for the advertising campaign.” Smeginhell walked up from behind, laughing. Kleve pulled out a pair of pants with designs and notes all over them.
“What did I wear home?” Mike asked softly.
“I think you still had your left shoe on when we saw you leave with . . . ”
“Now now, son.” Bob chided Marham. “We aren’t to be spreading gossip.”
“What about what he was spreading?” Marham joked and then was quiet.
Mike slowly looked up at the docking bay supervisor window and he could see Dee up there, laughing down at him and his friends. The laughter told him far more than he could hope for. “Now if you cannot hunt the hunters and you aren’t close to the start you can still scout the far end. If you are in the race with me then we can cross link information.”
“I was thinking if I go in it I might bring along a remote rep setup, just in case.” Kotacko said. “I still think you are crazy but it is a fun kind of crazy.”
“Two mining ships?”
“Do I look THAT mad? No I will be in something a bit quicker and better at surviving.” Kotacko grinned. “Still, it wouldn’t hurt to pack a remote repper for the party boat. see if we can beat the morning odds.”
“What odds?” Mike asked closing his eyes.
“The local media found out about your plan and they are already making book on how far you will get. I think your right knee has the info you ‘leaked’ to them.” Kotacko took the pants from Kleve and showed how Mike had planned out the campaign. “This in turn will get the rich thrill seekers curious and make the ride THE hot ticket of the season. We just have to follow the shin timeline.”
Mike took his clothes back and slowly looked through the notes written all over them. Names, contact numbers, plans, meeting times. “According to my armpit we have a strategy meeting in four days.” Mike held up the shirt. “I expect the party vessel to be painted and wired and ready. Audio, my ribs tell me you know how to get a quick party going? We will be hosting the Meet the Ship right after the meeting. I’ll need a DJ, all the dancers and then some. Scotty, whatever we ordered for ‘party supplies’, double and have the second load standing by to replace the first. Now we all have our assignments, gentlemen? I am going to go throw-up and then sleep for six more hours.”
He staggered out of the hanger to laughter but he only had eyes for the woman laughing far far above him.
http://deathrace.evepress.com/ Read this if you have no idea what race I am talking about.
There are a lot of people willing to pay to see you do something different. Some of the ones who donated I know but other donations came right out of the blue.
I’d love to figure out how to set up a betting board for this race. How far, how fast . . .etc.
Thanks for donations to AudiogeekUK, Old Goats Logistics, Jhered Skyfire, Drakken war, You Dobber, Xaveir machievelli, Kotacko, Smeginhell, Kleve, Marham and BobFenner.
These are people who know damn well that this is going to be a fools errand and they still are willing to fund it. I welcome input as to other things the pit-crew can do. It is not too late to be part of classic silliness.