After the race, things always slow down

“Pthwaaaaah, ha ha ha haaaaaaaaa.” The clone sat up from the holding gel and started laughing as he disconnected himself with practiced hands.

“Sir sir, we can do that, you might injure yourself.”

This only caused him to laugh harder and he doubled over, falling off of the bed. “Injure myself? bwa ha ha haaaaaa” He staggered to the comms and tapped into the fleet chatter listening as others finished the race, and even more reported losses. Bringing up the maps he saw that there was no way to get from where he had appeared to the finish line in time to do anything but wave at the winners so he monitored the channel for a bit as he toweled the clone goo off of his body. He called up the details of his own demise and the smile slowly slid from his face. “damn” His people had rehearsed emergency procedures and it showed. The marines got clear, Free and the heirs favorite slave got clear. But those who were there to party . . . did not. Blame it on high spirits, drunkenness . . . none of the ‘guests’ made it to the emergency chambers. Mike sighed.

A tech handed him clothes to wear and he put them on, absent mindedly. Cloth scrubs, once size fits nobody well. He closed the comm down much more somber than he had been when he opened it. He went down to the hanger deck where he had rented a small temporary office for the party preparations and shut the door behind him, activating the lock. The comm started chiming in the office as soon as he sat down and a glance at the incoming calls confirmed . . . relatives of the partiers, the parents of the four grads who had gotten on at the last minute. He spent a few moments making his a routing program to connect such calls with the documents that all had signed prior to the race. Legally, he was covered. Legally.

The door to Mike’s office suite slid back noiselessly, admitting a tall, craggy faced capsuleer, with iron gray hair and eyes the color of the finest Caldari stainless steel. He had a small fabric bag under one arm.

Dee stepped into the reception area on the way to the hangar deck at almost the same moment.

“Can I help you?” she asked in a tone that indicated she had better things to do than play receptionist and her supply of patience was bouncing off the ‘E’.

The stranger half-smiled, almost in anticipation. “I’d like to speak to Mike, if he’s available.”

“I don’t think he’s much in the mood for visitors,” she said, moving to encourage him to back out the door.

“I see. Taking the Death Race podding hard, is he?” the capsuleer asked, shifting the bag from one side to the other.

Dee shook her head. “You can say that again. He’s been in his office since he got back with the door locked and the comm on “Do No Even Think About It”.”

“New at this part of it?”

“Well, not really new, just having a hard time dealing with losing the ship and the isk and the people,” Dee said quietly. “Especially some of the people.”

“I see. I think I might be able to improve his mood a bit, if I can have a moment of his time.”

Shrugging “It’s your podding. Who do I say wants to talk to him?” Dee turned to the comm panel.

For some reason, that response ignited a sparkle in those eyes and the half-smile turned into a genuine grin as he said simply “Dee.”

“What?”

“You asked who wanted to talk to Mike. Dee does.” he said slowly.

“Oh no! I don’t want to talk to him! I know how he is when he gets in these moods! Now if you want me to see if he wants to talk to you, you’re gonna have to give me your name.” Her tone was a little more frosty.

The grin expanded even more. “Dee” he said, with genuine mirth in his voice.

“Look pal, I don’t know what the joke is, but I already told you that I don’t want to talk to Mike as long as he’s in a funk! Last chance. Tell me your freakin’ name or I’m calling Scotty to toss your sorry ass out into the corridor.” Her volume increased with each word, with ‘ass’ punctuated by a finger point to the chest.

He started giggling at that point.

Rising up on tip toes, Dee began poking him in the chest with each word “Get! The! F! OUT!”

Mike came out of his office “What in the hell is going on out here! Dee?”

The “What?!?!?” was delivered in stereo.

With that, Mike joined the stranger in giggling.

Dee’s expression indicated that someone needed to let her in on the joke very quickly.

Mike stopped giggling long enough to gesture “Dee, let me introduce you to Dee. As in Dee Carson. Dee, Dee.” Having delivered the introduction, the giggle turned into a full on laugh.

The wheels turned in Dee’s head. Her mouth opened. And closed. And opened. “Dee Carson? As in the 250 mil Dee Carson?”

“At your service, young lady.” Dee Carson half bowed.

“Sir, I’m so sorry, I intended no …” she started, only to be cut off, gently.

“Now, Dee, I have to confess that the possibility of an unrehearsed homage to one of my favorite ancient comedy routines was in my mind when I arrived. I hoped that you might great me and that a bit of humor might ensure. I figured you guys could all use a little cheering up.” said Carson. Mike’s laughter faded.Carson turned his attention to the morose pilot. “Mike” he said, “I know that you feel responsible.”

“I don’t just feel responsible, I am responsible.” The pilot muttered.

“Mike, everyone who participated did so with full understanding of the potential consequences.”

“What about the normal people? The non-capsuleers? They don’t get to wash the pod juice off & try again, Dee. What about them?”

“Mike, have you lost a big pot at the poker table when some noob donkey hits a two outer on the river?”

“Sure I have. It sucks then too!”

“Who is responsible for that? The dealer? You? Your opponent?” Caron asked quietly.

Mike inhaled to begin to reply, but stopped, considered and sat down on the edge of the desk. “I see what you did there, old man. But the head can’t make the hurt in the heart go away.”

Carson reached into the old cloth bag & removed a tall, green bottle. “No doubt. That’s what The Glenlivet is for. Given that we are in the company of a lady,” he said with a nod toward Dee, “I think you should find some glasses.”

“Oh no. I have work to do . . . you two boys go do that bonding thing that makes you feel better. I will be up there . . . ” Dee pointed above. She took a moment to glare at Mike. “I don’t want you wandering off till you are over this mood, mister.” With that she walked away and the two men smiled at each other.

Mike lead Carson into the office which was well appointed with Party Boat adverts on the walls and slid a tumbler his way. “You pour.”

The golden liquid did not stay long in the glasses and after the first round was gone and the second lined up Mike started. “Look, I want to apologize. I let you guys down.” Mike hung his head for a moment.

“Not at all!” Dee smiled. “I think only you thought you would make it very far. But it was not the achievement that counted . . . it was trying. Tell me the details of the race. How did it go?”

Mike leaned back and shot the second shot back. Dee tried not to wince at the fine scotch being treated as third class booze. “Well we got the call for the starting system to be Dital. But that was a 0.5 sec system and some of the less savory competitors would have had trouble hanging around there so a few minutes later it shifted to Assah. It was a few jumps through lowsec which went smooth as glass. Assah filled up quickly with all sorts of ships. I docked for a wee bit and let a few last minute people off the party boat. So I went out and took some shots of the boat and some of the folks around the gate.”

“What sort of ships were there?”

“Well, I was the only skiff. There was a Typhoon that HAD to be rigged for disco on the outside, not the inside. I saw Dramiels, Maledictions, Stilettos and Claws. Pretty much any faction frigate or interceptor you could think of. By the time the race was about to start there were about 55 in system.”

“I heard 75 entered.”

“We assumed the rest had come to their senses. That or they joined just so they could be in channel and hear the path so they could set up along it. 5 Million isk scouts.”

Dee brought up a map and nodded. “Right on the border to 0.0, I see.”

“And so could anybody else who could read a map. So yes, bubbles were waiting for us on the first jump.” Mike took a slower sip. I saw pods all around me appearing then vanishing. I came out almost center of a bubble nd followed what Escoce had taught me.”

“Escoce?”

“He had called me to lend support of an educational value. I didn’t make too much noise about it because I was afraid that it might give others an edge if they knew what I was flying or the style I was going to fly it in. He showed me some excellent fittings I could adapt to the sled and also the proper way to be a blockade runner. Which is pretty much what I needed, skill wise. His teaching saved my ass in the first bubble camp. I kept calm, pulled back the camera drones and burned for the edge of the bubble.”

“Nobody popped you?”

“The rules were not to be able to warp cloaked. I cloaked up and was slow-boating my way through the bubble, well within the rules. Soon as I had a clear line on the next gate I dropped the cloak and warped. I even heard someone in a pod cheering that I had made it through that gate.”

“This surprises you?”

“No, it made me happy to be part of this, even in combat the racers were cheering for each other . . . there was a happy violent camaraderie.” Mike held out his glass for more.

“You haven’t flown in large fleet battles, have you?”

Mike laughed. “I am a carebear. I fly solo or with a few friends. Last violent gang I was in was when we went to teach an extortionist that not all carebears lack claws and teeth. He lost a faction cruiser and then taunted us, sitting on a station with two remote rep battleships flanking him. So no, most of what I have done has been small gang.”

“You should try a large fleet. I think you would enjoy it.”

Mike started to laugh. “Maybe I should take the Agony course. They were the ones who had the next gate camp.”

“Another bubble set?”

“About 4 I think, could have been more. I hit an outer one and there was a Sabre on me in nothing flat, firing.”

“So you died?”

“Heh, no. I would have loved to see the Sabre pilots face when he lost a Skiff from point and I warped away. But that still left the gate to get through. I should have been smarter because this is where I screwed up and people died. I pulled up the solar system map and tried to come in from the side, but they had that avenue covered as well. The Sabre spotted me again and they shifted a new bubble on top of me. That meant no more slippery party games.”

“He killed you, then?”

Mike handed across the kill notice. “Him and a few friends.”

Dee read the notice and started to laugh. “All of these, on a skiff? Oh this was worth every isk. You forced them to use multiple sabers, ishkurs and a hurricane and other ships. I will be several ships made it through the gate while they were busy trying to get you. You may have saved some folks by being the biggest target going.” Dee read further down. “Aw, and they didn’t even get the ship pimping.”

Mike smiled. “Yeah, damn shame about that.”

They sat and finished that bottle and a few others as Dee told Mike of larger battles and other losses in other times. In the end, Mike felt slighly better but when he closed his eyes he could still see the happy tourists boardig the ship and hear the unss unss unss of the music of the doomed cruise.

******************************
Lessons

Losing a ship is not losing the game

Well done camps are impressive, Thanks you to Agony for showing me how it can be done.

If you do not go out and risk, you have not been playing for keeps.

Roc is having trouble counting (where is 300)

m

Kill mail below

2010.08.22 18:15:00

Victim: Mike Azariah
Corp: Smegineer’s
Alliance: Brainfarts
Faction: Unknown
Destroyed: Skiff
System: 4B-NQN
Security: 0.0
Damage Taken: 1048

Involved parties:

Name: Pascal Almaric
Security: 5.0
Corp: Agony Unleashed
Alliance: Agony Empire
Faction: NONE
Ship: Ishkur
Weapon: Light Ion Blaster II
Damage Done: 337

Name: RiotRick
Security: -1.2
Corp: Agony Unleashed
Alliance: Agony Empire
Faction: NONE
Ship: Sabre
Weapon: Sabre
Damage Done: 296

Name: Vajrabhairava (laid the final blow)
Security: 5.0
Corp: Agony Unleashed
Alliance: Agony Empire
Faction: NONE
Ship: Hurricane
Weapon: Dual 180mm AutoCannon II
Damage Done: 239

Name: Gingger
Security: 5.0
Corp: Agony Unleashed
Alliance: Agony Empire
Faction: NONE
Ship: Sabre
Weapon: Sabre
Damage Done: 131

Name: Alistone Malikite
Security: 5.0
Corp: Agony Unleashed
Alliance: Agony Empire
Faction: NONE
Ship: Eris
Weapon: Eris
Damage Done: 45

Name: glepp
Security: 4.8
Corp: Agony Unleashed
Alliance: Agony Empire
Faction: NONE
Ship: Ishkur
Weapon: Light Ion Blaster II
Damage Done: 0

Name: Agent302
Security: 4.9
Corp: Agony Unleashed
Alliance: Agony Empire
Faction: NONE
Ship: Sabre
Weapon: 125mm Gatling AutoCannon II
Damage Done: 0

Name: Corywyn
Security: 3.4
Corp: Agony Unleashed
Alliance: Agony Empire
Faction: NONE
Ship: Capsule
Weapon: 125mm Gatling AutoCannon II
Damage Done: 0

Name: Pappy Stirling
Security: 2.7
Corp: Agony Unleashed
Alliance: Agony Empire
Faction: NONE
Ship: Ferox
Weapon: Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II
Damage Done: 0

Destroyed items:

Tobacco, Qty: 100 (Cargo)
Nanite Repair Paste, Qty: 99 (Cargo)
Exotic Dancers, Qty: 35 (Cargo)
Synthetic Oil, Qty: 10 (Cargo)
Micro K-Exhaust Core Augmentation
Magnetic Scattering Amplifier II
Improved Cloaking Device II
Science Graduates, Qty: 4 (Cargo)
Republic Fleet 10MN Afterburner
Janitor (Cargo)
Medium Low Friction Nozzle Joints I
Antibiotics, Qty: 30 (Cargo)
Freed Slaves, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Spirits, Qty: 20 (Cargo)
Tourists, Qty: 30 (Cargo)
Medium Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer I
Synth X-Instinct Booster, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Long-limb Roes, Qty: 25 (Cargo)

Dropped items:

Heat Dissipation Amplifier I
Corpse (Cargo)
Freedom Fighters, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Spiced Wine (Cargo)
Elite Slaves (Cargo)
Holoreels, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Livestock, Qty: 10 (Cargo)
ECM Burst II
Marines, Qty: 10 (Cargo)

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to After the race, things always slow down

  1. Very nice! I was wondering what all the noise was about back there. . .! =D

  2. Rixx Javix says:

    Well done and well written as always m8. I’m so glad you had fun with the race and enjoyed yourself, even though you were podded sadly. The “Jabba Boat” was an inspired touch and a worthy entry, not sure how you could top yourself next time but I’m hoping you try.

    Funny, at first I thought that steely eyed Caldari might’ve been me! 🙂

  3. Dee Carson says:

    Well played, sir! Well played indeed! It’s clear that Rixx had fun, you had fun and I had fun following along. That is the point. Making sure that you could go crazy and not have to worry about budget restrictions was an easy part for those of us who kicked into the kitty to play.

    Next time, perhaps the hunted becomes the hunter? Stranger things have happened!

    Dee Carson

  4. mikeazariah says:

    Grinning, yes I think the second race will have to be something different.

    My students ask me if I have a tattoo and I tell them no, but if I did it would be the world wildlife federations panda . . because the logo design is fantastic, pandas are cute, cuddly, and have the claws and teeth to do some real damage IF provoked.

    funny thing is almost every student takes a step back as I finish that sentence . . .

    m

  5. cr8r says:

    I’m surprised Dee didn’t pimp slap you for shooting good scotch. Though I’ve heard that after his turn to the dark side, he’s been known to contaminate his scotch with ice now and again.

    As for the race, I’d like to say my friends are sorry for taking you down, but as it turns out you were the loltarget for the race and a bit of a prize at that. Good on you for thinking outside the box. Look forward to the encounter at the next race should you sign up.

  6. mikeazariah says:

    And as you see, there are no hard feelings on this side either.

    And oh yeah, I will be in the next one as well if RIXX runs it. Wouldn’t miss it for the world.

    m

  7. Pingback: Orca | A Missioneer in Eve

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s