“Come in, come in. Sit down, please make yourself comfortable.” He gestured me toward an obviously expensive chair opposite the immense desk, across from his own obviously somewhat more expensive chair.
“Can I offer you a coffee or tea?” He gestured toward his obviously expensive secretary who stood with a notepad ready to take the order.
“Coffee, please,” I said, reminding my eyes the proper focus point for their undivided attention was above her neck, not where they were currently targeted, somewhat lower. They were unimpressed with my turning my head back toward the man opposite, as they hadn’t finished with what they were doing.
“Now, we haven’t been properly introduced yet, errr …” he quickly glanced at his notebook screen, “Mr. Past Fadius is it?” – Give me strength.
“Blast Radius1.” – You idiot.
“Ah, of course, sorry Blast, can I call you Blast?”
“Whatever keeps your cap up mate.” He shifted uncomfortably at that.
“Yes, yes, well my name is CCP Grabalot and I represent the company that owns the universe. He leaned back in his chair and smiled at the obvious reaction he expected he’d get from that. Well, we’ll see about that.
“That’s funny, you don’t look Russian.” The loss of blood from his face was notable. He grabbed the opportunity to compose himself as the secretary served the coffee. My eyes were quietly told they would be summarily offlined if they didn’t start behaving themselves.
“Ahem, well, anyway, the reason you were invited here is because we are concerned at the current situation as regards our relationship with you pod pilots and we would like to know what we need to do to rectify the current situation.”
The secretary swiveled her way out of the office and I waited for the pain to subside as my eyes found out the hard way they don’t have full 180 degree tracking.
“You could stop pissing us off maybe? Stop treating us like we were fifteen year old consumers and drop the corporate marketing bollocks and damn LIES you keep trying to feed us and start treating us like the mature humans most of us are?”
He had paled considerably during that little outburst and was nervously fiddling with a plastic model tree on his desk. He seemed to have a thing about trees, actually. There were posters of them and expensive oil paintings of them all over the place. You’d think the guy had never seen one in real life or something. There were model boats on a shelf on the wall too, long thin things with upturned prows, a striped square sail and shields arranged along the side. Wierd.
“Well, we have been trying to work with your elected representatives to see if we can’t fine tune some ideas to make things somewhat more balanced …”
“I don’t live in bloody null sec any more mate.”
“No, quite.” He was obviously uncomfortable with the whole situation, but his air of resignation indicated this was not his first interview of the day and that the previous ones had been equally discomforting.
I didn’t really give a toss.
“Look, I used to live in null sec, but for some reason the pirates I was helping to control suddenly stopped carrying expensive modules and their ships got so flimsy the salvage from the wrecks was worth bugger all.” It was almost as if he was somehow responsible for that, as he shifted uncomfortably in his chair and started to glance nervously at a particularly big tree painting.
“So I decided to move back to high security space, but the agents had reduced their pay and the ‘rats up there were starting to get cheap with their fits too.” Yep, he definitely knew something, what the hell could some shady corporation have to do with pirates? Unless … nah. that couldn’t be …
“We are trying to make things better Mr. Radius1, we are working on giving access to station facilities for you pilots, as soon as the builders have finished …”
“I’d just like them to fix my bloody door, to be honest.” What the hell did I care about trotting around in a space station? I was a pilot, not a jogger.
“Well, the recent riots in the trade hubs gave us an indication that you pilots were not happy with the way things were going … ”
“How’s the repairs on the monument going?” I grinned wolfishly.
” … so we’re just trying to gauge the best way forward from here so that we don’t get any more pilots deciding to go planetside or off to some other galaxy or something. I would like any help you may be able to give at this point. Please.”
He wasn’t a bad bloke, really. Bit of a git, but corporate wankers are all a bit like that, aren’t they? I realised I was wasting my time, but why not tell him how it is, just this once?
“It’s really quite simple mate. Not hard at all, really.” I started to tick off things on my fingers, “start treating us like equals not consumer idiots, fix low sec, fix null sec, fix high sec, fix faction warfare, fix supers, fix wormholes, fix the GCC, give us back our ship viewer, give us back the quarterly reports, stop pissing about with station crap we don’t need and stop trying to feed us fashion rubbish we don’t want like clothes, boots and bloody eyewear. We live in pod goo fer cryin’ out loud!”
I swallowed the last of the coffee, jumped up and flicked him a casual wave.
“I’ll see meself out mate, thanks for the coffee, nice tree collection too. Later.”
I strolled out into the reception area and winked at the secretary, letting my eyes do their worst as she blushed furiously and tried to pretend she didn’t notice. What the hell, why not? I asked myself. I wandered over to the counter and leaned across. I overheated my eyes and hoped I didn’t burn them out too quick.
“Y’know the only real difference between me and you love?” I leered at her ferociously and raised my eyebrows. Her eyes flashed contempt and fear at the same time.
“You’re gonna grow old and die, and I’m not.”
As I walked out the front door, she honestly looked like she was going to cry. I didn’t give a rats arse. My eyes were happy as could be.
It’s all in the mind, you know.