The crowd on the neighbouring table turned a bit rowdy, and I found it harder to concentrate on my data pad. Because, even though I decided to give the combat pilot’s life an honest try (after all it’s been only four years), the ISK has to come from somewhere. In my case, that meant overseeing a small gaggle of PI colonies. And even though those colonies could run themselves for quite a while, once in a week I did have to look after them.
“No, no - I tell you: Home is where I kick off my shoes after a long walk!”
“You don’t walk - you fly. In your pod!”
“I know - I was, whatsit, figuratively speaking.”
I grimaced, and gestured to a waiter to refill my glass. I don’t know what got the table next to me to discuss the question of ‘Home’ in the context of capsuleers, but they were going at it with gusto.
Just now, one was declaring that he had no real home, that instead he was just like a Gypsy, flitting from here to there.
I snorted - that guy was obviously kidding himself: he just hadn’t yet found the right place to call ‘home’. Yet, at the same time... no, hold that thought.
I looked again at my data pad: overall the colonies were running fine, if at a somewhat unexpectedly low level of revenue. Maybe it was that I was used to the high levels of income back in the old days, but still: I would have to adjust my expectations.
And add an advanced factory here... and there. It wasn’t much, but seeing that I hard time finding people willing to blow me up over the recent days, it probably would suffice.
Heck, even my sec status had increased by 0.2 points over the last days, because I had found nothing but Blood Raiders to shoot!
An instruction here, another instruction there, and my colonies were it tip-top shape again. Now, what else?
Just a mail from my sis, informing me that the next batch of her reactions would be finishing in a couple of days, so that I could expect my share of the profits to be transferred soon after. And that of course she’d no longer keep our associate on retainer.
I grimaced, and took a draught my glass. I knew that Eta wasn’t the type for hidden meanings, but nonetheless I was reminded of what a mistake it had been to mix business with pleasure. Not for the first time I vowed to never let that happen again.
What, why is the glass empty already? Waiter!
“You’re all wrong! The question is not what is your home, rather it is what you make your home!”
I glanced at the table next to me: while I didn’t recognize the speaker right away, he did sound familiar. Plus, not many pilots did wear hats inside establishments. And he was right.
Yet, he knew only half of it. You don’t know what your real home is until you lose it.
Just look at the Flyers which I had headed for the good part of three years (rather unsuccessfully, I was ready to admit). While we had had our HQ, it didn’t really matter where it was: what mattered was where the bulk of our people were: 0-sec, wormholes, our little hi-sec area next to lo-sec - you name it.
I took a drought in remembrance - it had been good times.
But... it was the loss which hurt. Ever since the majority of driving people of the Flyers either went dirtside, or left to pursue their own interests, the corporation had withered on the vine.
Not that I blamed them - it had been a step long overdue. But at the same time it was telling that the majority of my ship hulls were back in our former stomping grounds, unfitted. Though Petidu was supposedly my new home, all I had stored here was some loot, and a Harbinger. Otherwise I lived in my Purifier, flitting from system to system, ever searching for the elusive prey, and I could count on one hand the number of nights I had spent in Petidu.
I had even dropped all corp roles some weeks ago. If it hadn’t been for our shared history...
Morosely I looked at the glass on my table, and then emptied it in one long draught, dropping it back on the table upside down; then clapped my hands together, and stood up, not even glancing at all the strangers around me.
“Time to get back to work!”