“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.
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?”