It was quiet, a lot of capsuleers made their way planetside to rest, this time of year. Mike sighed and looked out across the hanger and then leaned back in the grav chair and sipped his drink.
“I knows whatcha mean, mon. Holidays always be hardest when you far from the ones you love.” Ev nodded from the cloud of smoke that encircled him.
“I could make it home but Tanta said she was doing finishing touches on a project and didn’t want to be disturbed. I know better than to go against her wishes. And with Dee gone . . . well.” Mike sipped, slow and thoughtful.
“Aye, the holidays be filled with many spirits. But mon, you gotta decide which ones you let hauntcha and which ones you welcome into yourself. Some to take slow,” He gestured to Mikes glass with the bottle, offering to refill it, “and some you you just let grow on you. We all miss her.”
“Hardest part was I missed my favourite part. I love trying to find the right gift for people. It is a challenge to show that you pay attention, know what they are and what they want or need. But she never even got the last one I bought for her and so gift shopping has an . . . edge to it.” He sighed. “So I bury myself in the projects and give out gifts that took far less work and a lot more of my time, to distract myself from it all.”
Ev didn’t answer, he was looking up, waaaayyy up over Mikes head. “I read ’bout dem in the journals but that be the first one to dock here, far as I knows.”
Mike looked back and whistled. “Bowhead. I have no regrets pushing for them even if they are not picking up like some people hoped they would. I Figure it is the expense. Bloody things are way out of my financial scheme even if my balance says otherwise.”
Ev frowned, still watching the docking magnetics adjust for the huge transport. “If you has the cash, how come you say you don’t?”
“I have isk in the balance but it aint mine. I collect for the School Bus,” He jerked a thumb towards the Orca that HAD looked like a huge ship till the new one arrived. “So I has isk, but it ain’t mine. One of those is worth . . . ” He frowned and reached for his comm to check the market.
“Don’t bother,” a familiar voice said as a pilot approached, “the market is crashing these days.”
Mike didn’t turn around but just grinned widely. “I knows that voice, Random, whatchoo doin in my neck o space? I thought you were a mythical Gopher, livin in a whole waiting for spring to check for your shadow.”
Random nodded thanks to Ev as he took a drink and sat in one of the chairs, watching the bay comings and goings. The harsh lighting made his bleached white hair almost glow like a halo while the scruffy beard indicated a leaning to the ‘otherside’. “We ain’t ALL wormholes, a guy can roam. Had to come anyways delivering a present. ” He jerked a thumb back towards the Bowhead.
“You came in THAT?” Mike gawked. “How big is a the bloody present? A battleship?”
“Nope . . . bigger.” He tapped his comm and smiled, waited, then frowned. “Dammit man, don’t you have alerts set on your comm?”
Mike coughed and smiled. “Sometimes, but Ev and I were just having a melancholy moment and so I muted the damn thing. Why?” Random just grinned and waited so Mike sighed and reached for his comm and opened up the display. “Messages, contacts, contracts . . . wait . . . uh Random, you may want to check your data entry skills . . . I think you slipped on this one.”
“But . . . that?” Mike pointed up at the Bowhead.
“Yup. For using as a bigger bus. Can’t have you spending ALL your time in that short bus.” He nodded to the Orca.
“But they are worth . . . ”
“Less than I hoped. Made that one myself. Since they ain’t . . . aren’t . . .damn you are contagious, they are not selling as well as hoped I figured it should be used right. That made me dicide who got it, you.”
Mike looked up at the ship, taking it all in. “Gods bless us . . . ”
“Ev ry one.” Ev chimed in grinning and passing Random another drink.
Gotta fit the damn thing but yes, a new ship for the OMSB stable. I am afraid to see how much cap rigs cost. And yes, I plan to fit it for tank, not size.
Thank you Random and all the other contributors to Operation Magic School Bus. The rookies I have been helping also want me to pass along thanks.
A Merry Christmas or whatever your holiday is. Oh and thank you all who helped with Northern Troll, getting a response on twitter was nice
Fly it like you won it