Some days everything happens except what you were planning on doing. Mike honestly had every intention of a quick shuttle flight down to the surface to get some fresh ingredients. He had booked a commercial flight and was heading for the door when he got commed. “I do not have time for . . . oh, Chribba.”
He stood staring at the door as he asked Chribba a few questions and then he picked up his travel bag and . . . the comm went off again. His investment broker was calling . . .something about oxytopes. Mike looked at the charts and frowned, he called up the news sources and found the Goons had declared open season on ice miners. Sceculation was driving the price of ice through the roof. “I’ll be they bought a billion or three quietly over the past month before starting this. But where will the bubble burst?” Mike agreed to invest a big of isk and shrugged. Even if the bubble did pop he would have the ice and everything went up in value eventually. How often had Bleys told him that holding isk was the surest way to LOSE and buying almost anything was a smarter move to make?
Business attended to he, once again, grabbed the travel bag and, once again, the comm chimed. A pilot named Brockmist had seen that he was in the area and wanted to donate a little something to the GBA. Well, that was not something that could be delayed . . . and Mike set the bag down as they discussed the donation, settling on a Caldari Hookbill. “I’ll see that it finds a good home.” Mike said, grinning and made a note to start a new draw. Ownership transfer documents cleared and the ship was in the hanger he once again . . .
Commercial shuttles do not wait for distracted pilots who wanted to go grocery shopping. As he stood there on the concourse an Interbus shuttle was unloading. “Ah well, at least I was on time for someting.” He grinned accepting the change of plans with a smile and strode over to Ms. Dom who was in ‘disguise’.
“Ah’ll take your bags?” He asked her.
“Don’t have any, and how did you spot me?” Her hair was a different colour, length and cut. She was wearing a baggy set of clothes to muffle her shape and yet the grinning idiot had walked right up to her without a moments hesitation.
Mike frowned and shrugged. “I knew it was you . . . dunno how. I spose you have changed your hair and stuff but yer still you. Who else would you be?”
“I am sposed . . supposed . . to be incognito.”
“Well yer not. Yer in Bereye.” Mike nodded like that settled things and took her arm, leading her away from the main crowd. “Now the guy who contacted me said you wanted a place to lay low. Do you want me to book you a place?”
“No, nothing that can be traced or leave a record. I was hoping you would have a couch . . . ”
Mike nodded. “Thought you would say someting like dat. Yer friend, he seem pretty evasive but I got that much. Just wanted to make sure. Tanta always says, make sure you know who is staying for dinner before you set the table.”
She looked at him for a long moment and then nodded. He was staring up at a news kiosk and so she looked to see what had distracted him. Hijackers had taken some shuttle, presumably on some planet in system. The news was showing the smoking wreckage of the vehicle on a small landing port. Text scrolling along the bottom listed the death count of the crew and passengers. Names, of the dead did not interest her, she had a large enough list of her own.
“There, my lucky day in so many ways.” Mike murmured to himself. The passenger manifest listed him as one of the dead. “I just missed that flight by accident. I wouldn’t have been here to greet you if I was mixed with some of that smoke, eh?” He laughed gestured in a grand sweeping movement to direct her to the pilots wing of the station.
“No bags means no . . . .stuff. Women always carry stuff. If ya don’t want ta be leaving tracks I kin foot the bill. You want to stop and get a few tings?”
“It will be odd, you buying womens clothing and toiletries. It might raise some flags.”
“Nah, won’t be the first time I have had unannounced or unplanned guests. We fix ya up riiight proper. You kin do it in person or juss place an order from my place and have it delivered.”
“That would be better, delivered.” She paused. “Are any of those other guests likely to show up?”
“She be a fair ways away.” Mike paused. “She . . . . well I dunno if she would be possessive but if she shows up I would take it as a favour if you two did not try to kill each other. There are folks who would pay a lot to see that fight, though, especially if you both were in nighties.” Mike roared with laughter at the image and stopped at the door to his suite. “I’ll chat wit her later, see if where she is. You want me ta key the door to ya? We kin set it to a guest pass, no biometrics so you don’t have to show on the system.”
She stopped and just looked at him, huge open smile on his face and the question in his eyes as to what she wanted. “Why are you doing this?”
He shrugged. “You asked for my help.”
“A place to stay for a while . . . .you are offering me the keys to your place. What if I decided to steal . . . ”
“Steal what?” Mike gestured into the suite. “I am a pilot. There are not a lot of personal effects in there except for in the kitchen and my travel kit. I will buy you what you need so why would you bother stealing from me? Free . . . I know you are on the run and I ain’t asking what ya did that meant you had to run this far. I has a relationship and I don’t expect nothin from you except some appreciative noises about my cookin.” He paused. “and company. Bein a podder means a lot of time alone. There be something about having a living breathing person in the room with ya. It is why so many hit bars as soon as they are in station. If you left us in a room alone, staring at a door or the comm channels we would go stir crazy in short order.”
He chuckled and continued in a softer voice. “You asked how I knew it was you . . . well don’t tell nobody or they’ll take away my Gallente Guy card. I see you but I ain’t lookin at the surface, nice though it be. It was the way you stood, the way you move. you were tired and happy to be outa the seats they have there. You stretched and all I could think of was a tigress slipping back into the long grass. Dat was when I knew it was you.”
She looked at him waiting for more but he just keyed the door for her entry and then lead her in. He tossed his small kit bag on the floor by the kitchen and started getting food out.
The room was small and utilitarian . . . as pilot quarters always are. She found the comm remote and started shopping for ‘things’ as the smells of food cooking started to fill the suite. He was singing something about ‘zydecko’ and whatever a ‘bayou’ was as he merrily stirred a pan where meat sizzled. “I wonder how many people just see his surface?” She asked herself as the selections fo clothes ripped past. She hesitated as it passed the lingerie then shook her head and scrolled further.
In reverse order. I prefer to be underestimated. That way if I get something right it is so much more impressive.
CCP made the biggest mistake with giving us bodies but no way to see others. Podders DO want to interact, to preen and show off. Least wise some of us do. The howls of disgust at the quarters is partially the knowledge that we cannot show them to anybody. Even if the engine could only handle a few models . . . it would be something. Rigth now CQ is nothing but a slightly roomier egg with a view.
Hookbill up for grabs. Toss a comment in by Sunday afternoon and I will hand it across to somebody. Remember to include your character name so I know who to contract it to.
Goons and Ice. If it works it will be impressive. I think all the real isk has been made already and if the price goes too high then the russians will roll in stuff from their 0.0 mines. Make no mistake, this is not about botting. It is just Goons being goons. For the record, I have mined blue ice before so NOT every miner in those belts is a bot. Happily I handed the mackinaw back to the corp that gave it to me a few weeks ago.
Yes, I mine, now and again. Not for profit but for the satisfaction of doing something while chatting with other folks. I like the minerals and knowing that things I give I often made, start to finish. It is still just pixels but I take pride in it, just the same.
Speaking of mining, I am trying to put together an article about Chribbas war in 9UY but the damn thing is growing into something else. Post 200 is just around the corner and I hope it to be a milestone I can celebrate. There will be a ship given away and I want that post to be something special.
fly it like you won it