I was dreading opening today’s mail, as I had a good idea of what to expect.
The day before my a current Alliance boss, Tavi, had expressed specific discomfort with one of my corp members, who also happened to be my former Alliance boss. Of course, all I had to go on from Tavi’s side were paraphrases, not actual logs. Considering the nature of our communications, it could have been just a misunderstanding in tone. Nonetheless, I had to follow up with my corp member, just to be sure.
In hindsight, I may have been too blunt, too Khanid in my communication with him, instead of the usual flowery Amarrian standard of business comms.
Oh well, that’s what I don’t get paid for, right?
I punched the button.
The expected mail was there - and an unexpected one recalling the past glories - of course denying all allegations. As I feared, I was left with nothing but hear-say. And - oh look! -a reference to a plentitude of ISK and capitals defending our 0.0 sec POS.
Gods. When did I get that sarcastic?
‘When he abandoned you almost a year ago.’, answered my inner voice.
Shut up, inner voice! ... what do you mean?
‘He vanished, leaving you to hold the bag.’
I remembered too well. The alliance fell apart, people going off to new adventures, just me holding on to the hope that the alliance might return. I even called in favors with my aunt to keep the bills payed.
I remembered trying to break away - unsuccessfully, coming this close to losing myself in the serenity of wormhole space. If my corp members hadn’t made unofficial contacts, I might have never returned.
But I returned, eventually, swallowing my pride and hopes, and found a place for my corp in an alliance we fought just about a year ago.
My corpie may have had valid points, which I’d made sure to keep in mind, but at the same time... at the same time...
‘She makes prodigious mistakes, she has colossal faults, but one thing cannot be denied: she is always on the move. She may be going to Hell, of course, but at least she isn't standing still.’ supplied my inner voice. ‘e.e. cummings, I believe.’
I nodded. While I wasn’t willing to make a judgement without proper proof, my sympathies lay more with the people who actually went out and did something, than with those who celebrated the status quo of the past.
I was just starting to write an answer, when a new mail came in.
Blah blah CONCORD blah blah Pedevil blah blah deeply sorry blah blah accident in in cloning process blah blah - wait? what?
I looked around this meagre room in the POS we had erected in 0.0.
This couldn’t be true. Not Ped!
I looked at the screen displaying the half-written reply to my corpie, and it suddenly seemed small. Irrelevant.
I walked over to the fridge, and pulled out a bottle of Kadeshi’s Finest - or as it was better known in Empire, Pulse Laser Coolant. Selecting the cleanest glass I could find - easy when there’s only one - I walked back to my desk and opened comms to HQ back in Empire.
To my surprise, it was Jaana who answered, not Eta as usual. Jaana must have gotten a day off from Imperial University.
“Hey folks,” I began unceremoniously, “I just got note that...”
[ We know. ], Jaana cut me short. [ We got a copy sent to corp. ]
“Oh...ok. Then I suggest that you get yourself something to drink...”
[ Way ahead of you. ] The camera view zoomed out and I could see the people gathered in the room - Jaana, Eta, Calcinus, Keilidh - heck, even Heloisa, and a few other people I didn’t even recognize! All with a drink in their hands, looking expectantly at me.
I cleared my throat.
“I’m not good at this,”, I continued, “I _don’t_want_ to do this. And this may be the worst obituary ever.
”But if you’re here, it means you have known her, by reputation if not in person. And you know that if life were fair, she’d deserve more than an impromptu speech. Pedevil has been the bedrock... frack, without her Frequent Flyers wouldn’t even exist today! Yet she never aimed to be in the limelight, always putting the needs of the corp over her own.
“I wish we’d have the numbers to give her a proper farewell, like we did for Psi... But even so, I know that she would not want us to look back, but move forward without fear in our hearts.“
I lifted my glass.
”’Give me a star to navigate by...’“, I intoned Ped’s motto
[ ‘... and a cute girl to pass the time until I get there.’ ], answered the group.