“Sometimes my work is so secret I don’t even know what I am doing.” Mike greeted Scotty as he climbed down out of the ship.
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
“Well, I was told that nobody gives gifts without ulterior motives. I drive the Bus handing out free ships and do not know what my motive is, aside from trying to help some new pilots.” Mike shrugged. “Oh course the conversation was in another language so there was that. Been a long time since I spoke patois. Anyhow, buy you a coffee?”
Scotty smiled. “Why, what are you up to?” He laughed. “Sure, lead the way.”
Once they were sat in one of the coffee shops that surrounded the hanger deck Mike continued. “I know lots of good folks who donate to the Bus and never ask a thing in return. I hand out the ships and THEN mention the mailing list so they know that membership is not required for a free ship. But still my motives are questioned. Still they ask what the catch is . . . why?”
“The way of the world. Mike, how many people do what you do?”
“A few, Sin, some of the npsi folks like Greygal, um . . . me . . . . . . ”
“That is the first reason people don’t believe you. Your kind are freaking Unicorns. The second one is less tasteful. Often gifts are to people and they ARE hoping for something more. Take that media pilot, Panda.”
“Yeah? I know her a bit.”
“Somehow I knew you would say that. Anyways she was short of funds to get to the big to-do for your kind, Fanfest? Some other streamer asked HIS viewers to chip in and the funds were raised. Nice, right?”
“I know where you are goin with this and . . ”
“Then let me finish. I doubt the dust had even started to settle before there were accusations of a misogynistic nature. ‘She only got the money because she is a she’ or ‘What does he expect from her when they get there.’ Am I right?”
Mike sighed. “You are. A lot of it was downright nasty stuff.”
“Of course it was. Those are the same folks who believe there are no gifts, always ulterior motives. They cannot imagine a universe where one person might help another ‘just because he or she can'” Scotty paused. “Question is. Does it make you want to change what you do?”
“Of course not.” Mike snorted. “Hell, it makes me want to do it more, to show that it can be done. I am damn glad I am not running in the election this time around so there is no saying that I am giving so I can get more votes.”
“And what about Panda?”
“What about her? I have seen her fly in fleets and she still has the new pilot thrill of flying thing that is so damn cute. Probably could cut me into little chunks in a fair fight but why should that bother me?”
“What if she gets things because she is beautiful?”
“What if I get things because I have a convincing voice? What if someone else gets things because they are smarter than the average pilot or better at trade? Should we all hide in darkened hoods like some Amarr, use voice modulators to impersonalize our speech? When did being something special become wrong? If a person judges you on looks or gender alone the problem should be theirs, not yours. If they act inappropriately on the basis of that reaction then, again, the fault lies with them.” Mike realized that he was raising his voice and paused. “Sorry, got carried away.”
“You sure you are not running for office again?” Scotty asked softly.
“Not this time round. I am very sure.”
“So what are you going to do?”
Mike grinned. “Take the weekend off. Maybe catch up with an incursion fleet or just do some exploring. The Bus will still be there, come Monday.”
“So the opinion of others?”
“Is something they are allowed to have. As I am allowed to have an opinion as well. Like assholes, we all get to have one. Just some folks seem to choose to let it be their entirety.”
“Opinion or asshole?”
Yup, still making the rounds, yup still folks trying to figure out what my scam is or why I would do such a damn fool thing.
I don’t really want to go down the gamergate road because people on BOTH sides of that argument got way out there. But we cannot complain about the dearth of female gamers and then verbally attack any who show up.
I assume you all are. It explains our love for watching cats.
Racism, sexism, ageism, polydactylism, whatever. Yo dog, you be you but don’t go pissing on my tree.
fly it like you won it.