“I am good at making tin foil hats. Please do not force me to use that skill.”
-- Mike Azariah
“What do you think - will there be an operation today?”, someone asked.
It was good question. Ever since our POCO got re-reinforced, Greygal and Onslaughtor had engaged in a flurry of diplomacy, and even right then they were holed up in what we called A Very Dark Room. I sincerely hoped that there would be a peaceful resolution, as our numbers tonight were not quite as stellar as previously.
Though… looking around a room there were a number of faces I did not recognize - friends of friends, willing to lend a hand just because they could.
…hold on a second - that Gallente over there, he looked familiar. I got up and casually ambled over to him, to take a closer look. Indeed!
“Mike! Mike Azariah!”
The Gallente looked up. “Yes, that’s me; do I know you? …oh, Druur! It has been a while!” He paused, and cocked his head to look around me. “Are you…”
“…alone?” I completed his sentence. “Yep - no angry industrialist eager to punch you with me this day.”
“Why would anybody want to punch him?”, asked a pilot nearby.
Mike rose to answer, but suddenly the lights in the room dimmed.
The door to the Very Dark Room had opened, and darkness was spilling out. Out of the gloom, our intrepid leaders emerged. I relaxed - they looked somewhat calm, so things seem to have gone well. Chatter in the room died down, until everybody was looking at the two.
“Right,” began Greygal, “The good news is that the attack was - once more - not an officially sanctioned operation, nor was the fleet even listed on their boards. A truly private endeavor. Talking to the fleet commander, it was a case of mistaken identity.” She sighed. “I don’t quite believe that, but whatever let’s them save face.
”I got the assurance that their fleet won’t interfere with our repair operation, and in fact we may come to an agreement to not attack each other’s structures in this area.“ A smile crept on her face. ”I know, it’s a bummer, given how much we looove structure grinds.“
”The bad news,“ continued Onslaughtor, ”is that other people might interfere. It is unlikely, but we need a few combat ships to fly screen.“
I raised my hand. ”Rupture!“ Not that I had to think about it - I was horrible in Logistic ships.
Next to me, Mike raised his hand as well. ”Would you like a perfect Scimitar?“
Greygal scanned the crowd, and then beamed. ”Of course we’d like a perfect Scimitar, Mike. I’m glad that you made it!“
”How could I stay away?“
”Some of you may not know him,“ addressed Greygal the whole room, ”but this is Mike Azariah, currently on the CSM.“One of our younger pilots had a question. ”What is the CSM?“
Mike looked at Greygal. ”May I answer that?“
Mike took a breath. ”I have to go back in time a bit for this one. Several years ago…“
While Mike continued talking, I got up and made my way to the exit, to get my Rupture out ahead of the fleet. And fight or not, comms would be interesting that evening.