Mike had spent most of the afternoon doing ship things and promotional efforts for the GBA. She watched from the side as he would smile and chat with people from all walks of life, treating each with a mix of humor and manners. She used a side comm to do a bit of research and check the stellar classifieds. Her ‘control’ had made it to a safehouse and was now a few systems over. She would not need him for this next project and was not even sure if the organization needed to know about what Mike was doing.
He was on the big screen taking an incoming call. “Mahk, you busy?”
“Jube, hells no, whatchoo want?”
“Going to be taking a fleet into lowsec, Gallente space in a bit, you want in?”
“Basi would be preferred. But we’ll see when the time comes. I do have another question for you, while I have you here.”
Mike leaned back and winked at Free on the side. “Fire away.”
” Mind if I add you to a list of mine?”
Laughing, Mike asked. “Depends, is it a list of people to kill?”
“No,” Jube laughed back. “I’m finding pilots that are keen on lowsec incs and lowsec combat in general. Are you keen for both or ? When I run assaults I find out who’s keen for inc and combat and add them to my list to call upon when the time calls.”
“Add me . . . I am willing to take a risk, every now and again.”
“Which, Sansha, pirates or both?”
“Both, I have not done a roam in a long time but sometimes I want to fly things with guns attached. Just remember, I fly a bit of everything.”
“Awesome, my list is getting bigger. If my list was big enough you’d probably be in my mom fleet right now, killing that lowsec once and for all.”
Mike laughed when the conversation ended and looked over at Free. “I’ll be heading out after dinner. You okay here for a day or so?”
“I’ll manage. I’ll do those errands on the surface while you are gone.” Free stretched and rolled her head. Mike got a brief glimpse of her black widow tattoo and smiled. He could not forget that the first time he had seen her she had been a floating corpse in space. She would do what was needed to get close to a target. He could admire the form and the grace but he never forgot what she did for a living . . . killed slavers.
Over dinner (panfried steaks, cornbread, and okra) she asked him about Jube. Mike leaned back and took a sip of water before answering. “Diffrent FC’s start to get reputations just like diffrent pilots do. He likes to run things a bit off the beaten path. While other FC’s run for the Vanguards he takes on the assaults. While others only are willing to fight in hisec against the Sansha he is forming up to go after them where they are ‘safer’ and we are not.”
“I’ve heard the media saying that a lot of the ‘brave defenders’ are not that brave.”
“Maybe so. A lot of us defending the systems are ‘carebears’ and not ashamed to admit it. If you are fighting the Sansha you do not have a lot of room for more enemies to show up looking for easy kills. But then there are a few others who do know something about heading into where the wild things are.”
“Which are you?”
“I am a carebear who occasionally remembers that he has teeth and claws. I am not a wild thing but I can hum the tune and fake the steps.”
“You said pilots have reps as well. What is yours?”
“I have NO idea. Long as they let me fly wit dem now and again I really don’t mind what they tink o me. Fool most likely.” He scooped up the plates and headed for the kitchen. ‘You ever worry about your rep?”
“Only in that it gets me the assignments that I want and less argument from my superiors. Yes, I have a reputation and I work to maintain it.” She took the glasses into the kitchen, following him. “Doesn’t your reputation matter?”
He paused, putting the dishes into the washer. “Yer right, it does. What Concord thinks of me, how I am treated by agents, right up to whether or not I am on blacklists. All of it matters. I know some folks play their reputations like a game itself, going up and down in other folks eyes. Some try so hard to maintain what and who they are they almost become caricatures of themselves.” He turned on the washer and wiped his hands. “When I get back let me tell you about the Heroes and Villians. I was talking to Chribba about that the other day.”
So they went their separate ways, he to Gallente lowsec and she down to a planet, each causing their own types of death and destruction. Three law firms experienced sudden losses and it became slightly harder for Amaar lobbyists to find representatives.
He joined a fleet and they moved to the lowsec system of Gallusiene where they proceeded to show the Sansha that it was NOT safer. “You know what I just realized?” Mike called as they watched the remnants of a Sansha force scurry away
“What?” A pilot on her second foray against the Sansha asked.
Mike grinned. “Usually I am in the cheapest ship in the fleet, flying a Basi. Today I am in the most expensive.” It was true and the other pilots laughed as their fleet consisted of three basis, a scimi, three drakes, two hurricanes a myrmidon and a maelstrom for their anchor. By the end of the flight almost all pilots had earned enough to be able to easily replace the ships that they had brought and they did not experience a single loss. Jubes was . . .well, jubilant in that word had gotten out about what he was doing and he had a waiting list of pilots looking to join him.
Mike mentioned. “Puts a bit of a lie to the idea that we only fly safe places if you can get this much interest this fast.” He was right. but he also thought to himself that a nucleus always seemed needed to get things started. On person to stand up and lead . . .which brought him back to reputation and Heroes
They closed the fleet down and Mike put in to a local station for rest, returning home late the next day.
The biggest pair of selling points for this game are not graphics or depth. It is the fact that this is a single server and so what you do is or can be known to all. The other point is the players themselves making the histories, the events.
Do you have Heroes in this game? Players/pilots who you look up to? Do you try to be one? How?
Before she left, Free drew Bleys’s name out of a hat . . .he gets the Hookbill. Next post will be who won the Slicer, post after that will be a Firetail. For a chance at the Firetail you comment here.
Lists of people you can trust. At one time that was called a corp, or an alliance. Then we saw how many spies can dance on the head of a pin. So you fly with some, talk to them, they may still be spies but you are not a corporation to spy on, just a quick assembly of pilots with a common goal, a roam or an incursion.
fly it like you won it