The coffee was hot and the company cool. Mike leaned back and listened as Ev and Scotty argued the merits of ships and politics and sipped his. Finally Scotty turned to him and said. “You’ve been damn quiet during all of this. You finally come to your senses and quit politics?”
“Nah, I aint that smart.” Mike stretched and leaned back. “I just keep hoping that some storm is coming and finally there be clouds forming on the horizon. So I am watching and waiting, though I feel like I have been waiting a hell of a long time.”
Scotty laughed. “An immortal who is impatient? Isn’t that just a little ironic?”
“See? That is part of the problem. For the most part pilots are an impatient group. The counter to that is that they are lazy thinkers and if something is not right in front of them they tend to forget it, for a time. But I think dat time be coming to a close. Too long have promises been made and too long has information been promised. So there be changes coming and I am not sure how I should set to weather dem.”
Ev grinned. ‘Y’all juss be fightin Sanshas, same as eva? You gots a good ting goin dere, mon.”
Mike snorted, almost spilling his coffee. “I had an FC invite me to a private shiny fleet channel, begrudgingly.”
“Why he be grudgin you, den?”
“He said I was a bit . . . how did he say it? . . .Green. Ya, he was fairly sure I was new to incursions and might be able to fly with them only if better pilots were not about.”
Scotty roared with laughter. “You tell him off?”
“Nah, not worth it, I came close to burni8ng bridges with another snooty FC who has a habit of recruiting without need and then parking pilots in an afk squad for upwards of an hour. He yelled at me for not linking a fit quickly and then said I could ‘maybe’ be on his waiting list. I told him that he could be on mine.”
Ev whistled. “How did Mr. High-and-mighty like dat?”
“Not at all. Got all defensive and ‘do you know who I am?’. Thing is they don’t know who I am, for the most part. So I am treated like a kid brother of ‘real pilots’. Real pilots fly Nightmares and Machariels.”
“You do qualify for both of those.” Ev pointed out.
“Yup, but they are outside my budget right now. So I am always the Green guy with a bad attitude.”
“Anybody die on your watch?”
“Not in a very long time”
“Get any complaints from the FC’s who do take you on?”
“Then the issues you are facing are bad communications and the old saw about bad news traveling further and faster than good. If you were a grieger your name would be on a list or two, am I right?” Scotty did not wait for an answer but plowed on. “But competent pilots are not on any lists, they get the invites to the ‘special channels’ or they get picked first for the Mom fleets, but that is about it. Because of this the ship you fly is becoming your calling card of competence. The folks in the big shinies, well, you suppose they earned them doing things right.”
“Yes, I know that is not the truth of the matter, but it is the way things seem to be playing out.” Scotty frowned. “Truth is becoming a bit of a secondary objective for a lot of people. I suppose you know that Dierdres death was deemed an unfortunate accident?”
Mikes smile vanished. “I heard.”
“Ya mon, but what you might not be hearin is the talk on the decks. There have been some incidents, usually involving your ships.” Ev leaned forward. “Somebody wants another accident ta happen and this time they want to make sure you is there for it.”
“Why.” Mike paused to calm himself. “Why have I not heard about this?”
“The hangers be ours, not yours.” Ev poked a stubby finger in Mikes chest. “We takes care of what happens on dem and we no bother the high and mighty immortals bout it at all. But there been some badly labelled boxes that didn’t make it inta yer hold and a few ‘new crew members’ have had accidents.”
“What sort of accidents?”
“Permanent ones. You moves around a lot and you makes it hard for someone ta target you proper so they try here, the one place you come home ta. Ting is, here, home, you gots folks who kin watch yer back. You may want ta take extra care in other stations. Strange as it may be to believe . . . not everybody is your friend.”
Mike nodded slowly and sipped his coffee, his thoughts as dark as the brew he favoured.
What do you do when someone accuses you of lacking experience? I laughed, and i wrote about it.
What i don’t do is compare e’peens. Skill points mean nothing. The ship you are in . . . same thing. We all have seen newbs buy plex and convert them to ships they can barely fit, let alone afford to lose.
When we get to Walking is Stations meaning you can see other folks, will sabotage become possible? Think about that one for a moment . . . . spies and counter spies on a whole new level.
damn I just scared myself.
fly it like nobody has been messing with the nav comp