I drop onto the couch and stare at the massive screen mounted on the wall of my quarters.
Too much information, and none of it useful. Where’s the off switch?
Hell, where’s the remote?
“Channel broadcast please. Echo to Milcomms. TLF. BSB. Message follows:”
Ty > Anyone up to any shenanigans? I’ll take anything but another infrastructure Hub bash.
I lean back and closed my eyes to block out the massive but blessedly mute screen. On the one hand, I was tired, but it was more the sort of tired you got from doing the same thing over and over, which described the last 24 hours pretty well. Four (or was it five) infrastructure hubs had died, replaced with our own, and while the Oracle battlecruiser I’d brought to the last few had made the process a bit less annoying than the dozens of bomber runs from yesterday, it was still a mental drain. I was more restless than worn out, but wanted to do something — anything — else.
“Transmaritanus requesting private channel connection, pilot.”
“Let him in.” I smirk. This should be good; Trans was a pretty good poster child for ‘something else.’
“Yo.” Trans’s voice was, as usual, distant and tinny, his words rushed. “I’ve got a fleet I can maybe get you in, but you need to shut up about it. It does not exist. If you talk about it out in public, I will burn your fields and villages, okay?”
“Who is this? How did you get this number?” I replied. “I don’t know what a ‘fleet’ is, and I certainly don’t know anything about one forming up.” I cut comms and crossed my fingers.
Working my way up out of the ‘entry level’ chafe in the TLF war effort was an ongoing chore — one I’d been engaged in for almost a month. Tedious, albeit fairly simple: be active on comms, don’t be a moron, don’t be a dick, answer what questions you can, no matter how repetitively they’re asked by the constant influx of new pilots (nevermind that I’d actually taken the time to go and find the answers myself), and just try to use your head.
Being able to mute pilots who are either too stupid to learn or too bitter and nasty to add anything to the conversation had helped immensely.
Eventually, one of the few well-respected veterans who still had the intestinal fortitude to spend time in general Milchat had decided I might be worth spending a little more effort on, and gave me access to a private channel he used for pulling ‘potentials’ into fleets that, while not ‘open’, per se, weren’t entirely closed to all strangers. I’d gone from being one of the unwashed hippies camping in a cheap tent out on the lawn to being a semi-respectable stranger standing in the entryway, trying not to track mud on the tile.
Through Trans’s channel I’d organized or been invited on a few very small operations, but this fleet sounded like a bigger deal.
Assuming he could get me in.
Several minutes passed, and I was about to write the whole thing off as a false positive, when Aura chimed.
“Fleet invitation incoming, pilot. Would you like –”
“Accept!” I cut in. “Accept.” A new channel ID opened on the giant screen, with fleet information. Tech2 frigates and destroyers… twenty pilots in fleet…
Heading to… null-sec?
“Ty, are you familiar with the Curse region?”
I wonder if living there for six months counts. “More than a little. What do you need me to bring?”
“Got anything fast?”
I can’t help but smirk.
Sometimes it can be fun to go back to old stomping grounds. A great night. Killed fifteen or sixteen ships and took on some really impressive groups (one with a pair of Basilisks for logistic support) with a pilot of assault frigates and destroyers. Only lost two ships the whole night.
Best of all: invited to a couple new comms channels to ensure I’d be in the loop for future activities. Awesome.