He barely closed one channel when another opened. The image was blanked out to be just a silhouette. “Mr. Azariah, we are of the understanding that you are now back working for . . . a public corporation?”
Mike frowned at the screen but answered truthfully. “For all of about five minutes, yes. How did you know?”
“We keep an eye on our interests and you, sir, are one of our interests.” The tone was neither threatening nor friendly, just matter of fact. Mike wasn’t sure if that made him feel better or worse.
“May I ask who you are?” His eyes automatically skimmed local and scans to make sure there were no clear threats present as he set course for the docking bay.
“I apologize . . . I was rude not to introduce myself. I am the current secretary treasurer of the Gallente Benevolence Association. My name is Mr. Rioordan.”
“Ah, fine, has Mr. Javier . . . ?”
“He is now assigned to other tasks and I have taken over his files. You are, of course, one of them.”
“Of course. I have a current accounting for the funds and ships if you wish?” Mike tapped a few keys and brought up the books for the prizes he had handed out. “I am still working on the Myrmidon prizes but I hope to have those done soon.”
“I am sure everything is up to date and to our standards. No, we have a new request of you. Since you are not in a corp right now we would like you to form one in our name and be the ‘face’ for the GBA. You can and should continue in you actions as you wish but we thought it would be an idea to have a corporate presence.”
Mike frowned. “Do I have to open offices and recruit and all that? Set taxes and worry about infiltration and theft from the coffers or hangers?”
“Totally up to you. For tax purposes we need a corporate front. Although I am curious why you would be stolen from when you tend to give ships away . . . ”
“You need to meet more pilots. Usually what we want is ‘more’.”
“My predecessor assured me that funds in your hands were safe and well placed . . . are you not a pilot?”
Mike started to laugh. “Yes, sadly, I am an honest one. Which explains why I am always broke and looking wistfully at the funds you have me distribute.”
There was a long pause. “No breakage?”
“Breakage, the normal losses to a fund or stock that are a ‘service fee’ charged by the holder, in an unofficial sense.”
Mike’s eyes turned flinty for a moment. “No. You trusted me with the funds and told me how you wanted them distributed. There was no mention of fees or breakage . . . and there won’t be. If I want funds I damn well know ways to earn them. None of them are fun or fast but they work, and so do I. If you find fault with my books I expect to be held accountable . . . ”
“I see.” There was a quiet pause as if the far end had been muted. “I apologize, Mr Azariah. Such implications will not be made again by this office. You should be receiving a package with a logo, paperwork, etc. for the corporation. I assume you can use the funds you have available for the incorporation fees and perhaps give out a small something as a celebration of this new step forward for the GBA. But I would not want to give you any further direction than that.”
“So basically, I am just a storefront . . . not a full operation?”
“If you wish that to be so, yes.”
Mike rubbed his jaw. “I am going to have to do something to celebrate this . . . ”
And I am, Comment here . . . from now to the 15th of the month and you are entered into a draw . . . Gallente Hero channel style. No entry fee, no fancy do this or that conditions . . . just a comment. Prize, there is only one . . . (Megathron, Vexor, Incursus, Catalyst, Myrmidon) Yup, a set of the classic gallente ships. (should I include an iteron?)
Fine print: Your comment needs to include the name of the character you want the prize to go to. You also are allowed to name a charity such as Project Halibut and they will get the prize to distribute as they may.
Requisite begging: I have had some donations in the past and I have turned around and had draws, sudden surprise gifts and the occasional contest. Some of it was out of my own pocket, other parts were from the donations but . . . the books are telling the tale and soon I am going to have to replenish the stocks. If you have spare ships, isk, even fittings or BPC’s such things are welcome.
fly it like you won it