Saturday, September 6, 2014

Long Distance Relationship

”Hey there!“

”Yes, of course it’s me - your sunshine from the other end of New Eden!“

”I know, I know, it’s been a while. Which is why I called today - I missed you.“

”Yep, I’m growing it out again. It...“

”Oh, really?“ chuckles ”You’re right - I didn’t even think of that when I chose the cut. My subconscious strikes again!“

”Maayybe - I can always dial it back to something more subtle. But I needed a change, so I went with it.“

”Oh, by the way, I got new ink as well - want to see?“

”That’s a longer story - I’ll tell you next time we get together.“

”Ok, ok, the nutshell version: remember when we last met? Couple days later acquaintances from my past contacted me, asking me to consult for two weeks with a planetside project. Security, hush-hush, that kind of thing. A break from losing ships sounded tempting, so I agreed. Well… two weeks became eight, and it ended rather badly; but somehow I had become accepted into their team of baseliners, and they insisted that I get it.“

”Thanks. I like it, too.“

”Well, where to begin…. you remember the Alliance Tournament?“

”Yes, that one, where I again almost didn’t get to fly, if it hadn’t been for the double elimination format.“

”Thanks, but really - I was just a grunt in that effort, due to various reasons. I’m glad that GG even let me fly in the first place…“

”…you’d think, and you wouldn’t be wrong either. But once the alliance got going, everybody had this energy. Like you have in a new relationship - active, googly eyed, and all that. So we deployed to Tasti - to give near-FW low-sec a try, bond, and all that.“

”Yes, for a while it really worked. Heck, even Kitten came back! …though she made it clear that she was there just for the sec tags.“

”… no, we’re good, but she’s seeing somebody else now. ...aanyway, while for a very short time we had control of the system, enthusiasm faded, mismatched expectations surfaced, and eventually people were doing stuff on their own again. You know how it is - people drop off, until you have a minimal core of pilots left.

“Which is good in one way, since you know who you can rely on; but also bad, in that you are at a point where you don’t have enough folks to get anything done.”

“Yeah, lessons learned, and all that. So, now we’re taking the lessons from Tasti, redeploy to a new area, and are going to be more discretionary in hiring new folks, and I intend to be more involved with any nublets.”

“I know - knock on wood, and all that. But enough of me - how’s it for you?”

“Again? Sorry.”

“They did? Jeesh, they are really hardline on war losses now, are they?! I mean, I can understand the rationale, but still…”

“Right, right, I left. But I still can have my jaded opinion, yes?”

“Oh.”

“Ouch. Really? Ever since the market liberalization act? But I thought you did so well there, with your Prospect effort?”

“I… I really don’t know what to say there. But if your CEO is really AWOL … coup d’etat?”

“Yeah, yeah, I wouldn’t either. Been there, done that.”

“Tell you what, I’ll keep some assets in your area. I was thinking of consolidating, now that I live elsewhere, but in your case…”

“No worries, you helped me enough already. I’m glad about every opportunity to pay some of it back. But - not to change subject or anything - how’s it going with the boy?”

“Glad to hear - that makes at least one of us.”

“Oh - you think it’s going to work out?”


“Well, I wish you the best of luck then.”

“No, nothing here. There was … but never mind. Less said, the better. Instead I've been flying more again.”

"I know, it's hard to believe!"

"Hit and miss - though mostly miss. But practice makes the mistress, right?"

"Hmm mhmm."

"'k - but it was good talking to you again."

“I love you, too.”

“Bye.”

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Change of Plans

        “Life is a hotel and you ain't about to check out yet
         Call for back up, it’s time to regroup and reload”
         -- Chaundon & Curtiss King - Be All You Can’t Be

The chatter and background music of the bar was flowing over me like a warm blanket, but I paid it no heed. Occasionally taking a sip from my drink - a very nice red from the wine yards of Jufvitte - I focused on the book in front of me. In an age of neural links and instant information updates, reading an actual physical book gave me a very tactile enjoyment.

Or at least, in general it did. That night however I had long lost track of the book’s plot. I was reading the words, turning the pages, but I wasn’t really paying attention to them. Instead, my mind replayed the conversation I had with my former corp mates just before.

My plan had been to follow my former corpies into their null-sec corporation and alliance, to dip my toes into waters unfamiliar to me. But my just flourished spark of enthusiasm had received a significant damper upon learning that my former corpies were already planning their withdrawal and move into a new corporation. Which not just meant that I had lost a reference to sweeten my application, but the reasons for their withdrawal were significant enough to cast serious doubts over the probability of me lasting more than a week in that environment.

I suppressed a sigh, and turned another page. Finding a new place to call home was turning out to be more difficult than expected.

So self-absorbed I was, that it took a discrete cough to alert me to the presence of two women standing at my table, mustering me with intent. One I had met before - Miss Phage, who had hired me the previous year for some shock and fear; the other one so far I had had only had comms contact with - Greygal, captain of the NEO-II team I had lent my feeble skills to.

Closing my book, I gestured both of them to sit, and we exchanged the usual pleasantries while a waiter brought them their drinks.

“So - how can I help you ladies?” I asked finally. Not the smoothest change of topics in the recorded history of conversations, but I wasn’t really in the mood for smooth anyway.

“Actually, we have a proposal for you.” replied Miss Phage. “A chance to chip in for a greater cause - without all the null-sec nonsense.”

“I liked what you did for our NEO team”, continued Greygal, “even if in the end you didn’t get to fly. I’d like to have to you on our Alliance Tournament team.”

“But…”, I rubbed my eyes, “to be in the AT, you need to be in an alliance, and I am not.”

Both women smiled enigmatically, and then realization dawned upon me.

“Oooh….”

Greygal leaned forward. “One question though: You’re in deep null-sec, of your original fleet only a couple of frigates have survived, but you have a clear run back to hi-sec, when suddenly one of your pilots announces that he could get point on a lone battleship. When he asks if he should, what is your reply?”