Partners

Sitting at the bar in the poorly lit Minmatar station reminded me of home. The combination of smoke from the patrons and moisture  from the over-active humidifiers gave the feeling of being in a swamp.

There were two other people in this particular station besides the crew. One was missing an arm and talking heatedly with a bulkhead about the fruit which used to grow on his home world, and the other occupant was sitting in a booth. There was something strange about him. Something… Familiar.

I ordered another round for myself and asked the barkeep to send one to the stranger in the booth. Sure enough, my ploy worked and after receiving his drink, he approached me.

“Strange seeing someone like you out in these parts” He said, sitting himself on to the stool next to me. He was tall, obviously Minmatar and proud of himself. His hair was dark brown, and he had a tattoo on his face. His eyes were piercing blue, obviously from an optical implant. “Don’t usually get such…” He gave me a look up and down, “interesting characters in the old stations. Don’t like Hek?”
“You don’t look like you shouldn’t be here either” I replied. Why did I feel such a strange connection to him?
“Neither of you fish look like you should be out in these parts” the bartender mumbled gruffly from somewhere behind the dirty glass he was attempting to clean. “You don’t know me” I said to whoever decided to listen. “Neither of you know me. But you will. Soon. Very soon.”
“You sound like you know where you are headed” The stranger said, obviously intrigued.

After my last attempt at wrecking havoc. Or more accurately, getting my ship shot to hell, I could use some intel about the system I was in, or maybe even a wing man, on a casual basis of course.
“What do you do for ISK round these parts?” I asked, with a casual air.
“Depends, who has the ISK, and what I have to do to get it” He said, with a smug look on his face.
“That’s my kind of answer. Interested in swapping intel, maybe roaming some belts? Do you know any sweet spots?”
“Maybe. Are you suggesting a partnership?” His eyes were looking directly at me now. The blue was unnerving.
“Partnership is such a… formal word” I replied. “I am more interested in… how would you put it? Beneficial Communication and Blowing the crap out-a anyone who doesn’t like us”
“That sounds fun” he said, with raised eyebrows, “When do we undock?”
“How’s 0900 tomorrow sound?”
“Early. 1100 and you have a wingman”
“Glad you said it” I said. We finished our drinks and got up to leave.
“Oh, hey! What do I call you?” I asked
“Partner” he said, smiling as he walked out of the bar.

That is that. If he betrays me, I can always kill him. Until then, it will be good to have some extra firepower.

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~ by Janette Davy on January 17, 2010.

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