...They can be pulled up, and put down, but they should never be forgotten.
I stepped out of the shower, feeling refreshed, the rush of combat adrenalin rinsed away. We'd just had an incredibly successful run with The Bastards, at Flashfresh's invitation, and desipte the misgivings RoninData had initially voiced -- that the long-established pirate force might not feel they could be themselves with the two of us around -- after the last week or so of intermittent association,things seemed to be running smoothly.
Flash met me at the hangar entrance. 'You and Mynx coming to the pub?'
I shrugged and said, 'Well, I hadn't really made any plans...'
'Come have a drink with us. First fleet since the afterburner standardisation regs went out and we take down three battleships? Ronin's called for a little party.'
We found Mynxee and headed up to the bar which sat in the centre and above the space-dock, unimaginitively named 'The Hub'. The revelry was only just starting, and I shouldered my way amongst the taller pilots towards the bar to order drinks while Mynxee looked for a table on the lower level.
As I waited, I realised I was elbow to elbow with one of the other pilots we'd flown with. Offering a smile, I said, 'Hi there.'
The Khanid man started; it was hard to tell where he was looking with the solid hood pulled low over his face. 'Uh, h-hi.'
Shy, huh? I studied him. 'You were the Vengeance pilot, right?'
'Yeah,' he said shortly. His drink arrived and he hurried off with it without another word.
Someone tapped my shoulder; San Rintu, one of the Bastards' few women pilots, said, 'That's Jorge. He doesn't tend to socialise a lot. Drinks lke a fish, though. Weird boy.'
'No shit. Oh well, long as he doesn't turn turtle on an op...'
'Nah, he focusses well enough.' The taller Achuran woman wrapped her arm around my shoulders. 'So are you guys going to be sticking around a bit? It's kind of nice to have some more ladies to hang out with in the testosterone pool.'
I smiled. 'Dunno. We've been discussing setting up a base here, but we're still a part of Doom Armada.'
'Oh, of course. But, I mean...' She took a drink from her pint. 'We work well together. And you have a lot more roaming space out here than you do in a pocket lowsec like Decon.'
'We're considering it, San. That's about it for now.'
The bartender slid Mynxee's and my drinks onto the counter, and I carried them carefully down the wide spiral stair to the lower part of the bar. Down here, the walls were filled with windows overlooking the space-dock, an upturned hemisphere with dozens of individual hangars stepped and honeycombed together around the docking lanes. The far walls were almost indistinct through the thin haze of moisture and exhaust clouds.
Mynx had picked a table tucked into one of the wide bays, looking out with her chin cupped in one hand. 'I was thinking we should maybe move a few more ships out here, Shae,' she mused as I handed her drink over. 'It'd be easier to join the guys if we had more flexibility in what we're flying.'
I was nodding. 'I've been meaning to get a Myrmidon brought in... I have a lot of stuff still sitting in Arnon from when I first joined the corp. Maybe we should just open a corp office here so we can manage a communal hangar for ammo.'
'Makes sense.' She took a swig of her drink and hmmmmed thoughtfully. 'I hope Sicks doesn't mind. I love the guys in D-Gen, but it's kinda fun flying with the Bastards, too.'
'Hope they don't feel we're "cheating" on them in some way...'
Mynx snorted. 'Cheating, my ass! We're an independent corporation, and we already have a side-base in Vitrauze anyway. We're a part of the alliance, not sleeping with them!'
We cracked up laughing and touched the rims of our glasses together.
'I'll get on moving the Myrm in. My hauler's been busy with her own stuff, I may just take a chance and run the lowsec route.'
'I'll set up a corp office tomorrow. Make Evati our little home away from home.' She grinned. 'This could be fun.'