Thursday, March 3, 2011


With a barely audible hum, the lights in my quarter turned on, as well as a receiver set to a local music station, both controlled by a timer. Itís not quite the same as a morning sunrise with birds, but on a space station it had to do.

Time to get up.

Throw back blanket, swing the legs out of bed, let the torso follow the movement.

Get onto your feet - good. Now turn left, and pad into the bathroom. A splash of cold water into the face, and now there, there is the shower. Enter it.

No, not with your clothes on, dummy! Yes, better. Enter shower, turn it on.


The hot water cleared the last sleepy fog out of my head, and let me start planning for the day ahead; including, but not limited to, breakfast. Though breakfast was probably going to be the high point of the day.

Turning off the water, I grabbed a towel.

In the last weeks one of the corps in the alliance had essentially folded, its members leaving for the excitement and systemically upgraded riches of 0.0 . We were staying in contact, as you never know when one might need a discreet hauler or a boat bristling with weapons, but it had gotten undeniably quieter in our corner of New Eden.

Fresh clothes, and I shook out my hair and grabbed a brush to attack the tangles. Each time I got podded, it seemed to take weeks for my hair to stop tying itself into knots, probably out of shock that it happened again.

I grimaced at my reflection in the mirror as the brush caught a particularly stubborn knot.

The people in our corp on the other hand happily didn’t feel the need to rush into 0.0, preferring the challenges of industrialism in Empire space. Sure, we could have used a few more corps in the alliance, or maybe needed to consider moving into a different alliance, but independence and friends are hard habits to walk away from.


I just couldn’t forget the moment I got podded outside Hemin station a few days ago. Before, I had been able to walk away from an Agony class with just the lessons learned, but not this time. I just had to close my eyes, like this, to feel it again, the combination of absolute excitement and utter exhaustion...

The brush caught again, in full mid stroke. I looked at my mirror self.

"Oh, fuck it."

When I entered our Corporation offices some time later, Eta was already there, studying her nanotec notepad while nursing a cup of steaming coffee. Hearing my steps, she looked up.

"Good Morning! How did you...". She stopped mid-sentence as the sight truly registered with her. "You Cut Your Hair?!"

"Good morning to you, too." Ignoring her shocked expression, I leaned over her shoulder, peeking at her notepad. "What’cha working on?"

"But... Hulkageddon preparation... but... - Your Hair!"

"Oh, that?" Running a hand over my scalp, I raised an inquisitive eyebrow at her. "Like it?"

"Ehrm." She took a deep draft from her cup, stalling, and burst into a cough as some of the liquid went down the wrong passage.

"I hate to admit, not too shabby", she managed to croak eventually. "But still, it took you years! And why?"

"Guess I thought it was time for a change." I replied matter-of-factly, and switched topic. "How are we on Hulkageddon prep?"

Eta gave me a curious look, but followed my lead. "We’re as prepared as we can be: POSes are topped off, enough reaction material for weeks, and all current production can be done here in the station."

"Good," I nodded, "and with the one low-sec POS taken down, we should have more than enough fuel in stock, avoiding needless hauls. What about the inquiry from the Grav ... ex-Grav guys?"

"Regarding building a Thanatos or two?" She tapped on an entry on her notepad. "I haven’t run the exact numbers yet - but I have a feeling that we won’t be able to do it at market cost, not unless we can produce either the BPCs ourselves, for which we don’t have the BPOs, or mine the minerals..."

"...for which we don’t have the miners." I straightened up again. "I can’t say I’m surprised. Anything else?"

"Well...", she swiveled to look straight at me. "You could tell me why you gave me Director roles. Are you planning on going somewhere?"

"Uhm, yes." I admitted, caught on on the wrong conversational foot. Lamely I added, “I may be a while.”

"I see." she said coolly. "And where are you going?"

"Not exactly sure yet. w-space, I think."
"I see." she repeated, then gave me sly smile. "Took you long enough."

"I meant to tell...", I began, then realized what she had just said. "...come again?"

"You heard me." She leaned back, enjoying my perplexion. "Sheesh, you have been grumpy since you stepped out the clone vat; and I know you well enough to deduce why. And gods know you need a break!"

I raised my hands in defeat. "I can’t keep anything from you, can I?”

"Nope!" she agreed smugly, bounced up from her chair and gave me quick hug.

"Now go! Hunt some pod!"

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