Bleak Sins was no longer the puking nervous wreck of a mechanic. He had participated in more than 50 kills now. And never experienced one of my inevitable losses. He was certainly a prime candidate for complacency.
“Alright, invite the capsuleer to our negotiations channel and transmit our initial demands.”
The orbit was established and system intelligence reports were favorable for negotiations.
“Mr. Todorov, would you please consider to make me an offer?”
I try to keep business meetings polite and formal, but in a friendly manner.
“I don’t know, how much do you want?”
I was about to explain my business model of customer initiative when it comes to suggesting the monetary size of a ransom, but then, out of the blue, my customer turned all sour and started screaming!
“At least stop shooting me when we negotiate! For fucks sake!”
What is it with customers these days? They always want me to stop the treatment while discussing business. The really do not value my time very much! I do not work for free and certainly not without risk! Well, I ordered my drones to chill a bit, and tried to get negotiations on track again. It is risky to let the damage application rest, but the system was still calm, and I had already dealt a decent amount of damage.
“OK, let me make an exception and suggest for you that you pay me 25 million ISK to keep your ship in one piece?”
“If you don’t stop shooting me now you get zero!”
He clearly was stressed as I had already ordered my drones to stand down.
“I have already stopped shooting and you have 10 seconds to comply, sir.”
He returned a condescending hiss.
“Who do you think you are?”
I relaunched my drones.
“I get more money from insurance.”
I sighed and shouted to Sins in the cargo hold: “You hear this guy? He really has a lot of nerves while being punched in the face by hobgoblins, eh?”
“Or he has friends behind the nearest gate” Sins replied.
I was probably wrong about my earlier analysis of Sins potential for complacency. That conclusion should have been reserved for me. He was right. We were running a huge risk here.
Our customer interrupted us with a teasing chant:
“Looser! Looser! You have a small dick!”
I was a bit perplexed. Was this someone I had had intimate relations with? What did he know about my private parts? Was there a hacked camera drone inside my pod? A hacked camera drone lacking the warning text “Objects may appear smaller than they are”?
“Looser! Looser! Looo-oo-oo-oo-oser! You get zero! Better kill me fast, bro!”
Maybe Sins was very right. Maybe there was a hot drop incoming? A cloaky Falcon emerging from the space dust? I was actually attacking as hard as I could, but the Procurer-class mining vessels are known to be slow to explode.
“People are coming” my customer proclaimed and followed up with an evil and mad laughter. “You are so weak, dude! You can’t even kill a defenseless miner! Looser!”
More laughter. His armor was almost gone now.
“Is that all you got?”
He started to remind me of some ancient terran holoreel about some knights and a grail and something. “Hey, Bleak, you getting this? He is starting to become really entertaining!”
“You did hear the part about people coming?”
“Yeah, yeah, Bleak, I heard, but he is bluffing. Trust me.”
“As I might have mentioned for you before, Saftsuze, it is a tiny bit harder for us without instant cloning services to take such information lightly…”
The miner was laughing again. A hollow and eerie laughter.
“How much time is this gonna take you, bro? This is just boring, dude!”
“No, no, no!” I chuckled to myself. “Keep it coming!”
I could see bits of the Procurer falling off now. The drones blasters eating away at the inner workings of his hull. And just as the Procurer exploded I swear I could hear him scream with his twisted voice: “What a moron!”
And then there was just a wreck and a frozen corpse in the asteroid field. And quiet. The beautiful quietness after a battle.
“Look behind you, douche!”
Ouch. My customer had been transferred to a new clone but still connected to the negotiations channel. Dammit.
“Did your dick get bigger?”
I tried to feel it. Not really. About the same.
“No, sir, but it sounds like your did?”
“You are so good at killing miners. A real professional combat capsuleer! Just another looser with issues…”
Ah, my customer was a psychiatrist.
“I must admit I do have my issues. The lack of white clothing in the NES store is one example. It is driving me mad!”
He laughed his evil hollow laugh again. Although it was more like a hiss now.
“No, man, you are just low. You can’t fight real combat capsuleers, so you hunt miners instead. If you had any dignity you would go fight combat capsuleers and not miners. You better use the time here while you can because soon you won’t be so lucky.”
I am always amazed how many of my customers that expect my profession to be so honorable and just.
“But, sir, you must understand I have no dignity. Only freedom.”
“No, sir, you don't have freedom you are a prisoner to your low mind.”
Ouch. That was a bullseye. I think I heard Sins laughing in the cargo hold.
“Ah. You may have a point there, actually.”
I must admit it. I am a prisoner of my low mind. And I love it.
Epilogue OOC:The above dialogue has been edited for your reading pleasure, but is as accurate as possible in regards to content and meaning in the original chat logs (and my added roleplay with my mechanic aboard my Astero). A few hours later I received a convo when Fox Todorov warped through a system I had parked in, this is the unedited content of that conversation:
Fox Todorov > hey sorry for beeing rude today when you killed me
Fox Todorov > accept my apoligies
Saftsuze > no worries, it provided me some good content for my blog :D
Fox Todorov > hehehe
Fox Todorov > well happy that i helped you in some way then
Fox Todorov > again sorry for beeing rude i just let emotions get the better of me
Fox Todorov > since that was my last ship left :P
Saftsuze > Totally fine. Thats eve. It is about emotions. The sense of loss.
Fox Todorov > well i hope i find a way to get into a new ship since i'm dont to a 100 isk
Fox Todorov > guess i need to buy a vantrue or smth
Fox Todorov > it was stupid of me to forget to insure that proc
HA! I knew it!
Fox Todorov > did you actually get any money out of killing me ?
Fox Todorov > i'm just curius
Saftsuze > a mill or something
Fox Todorov > hah i'm pathetic :D
Saftsuze > nah, youll get the hang of it
Fox Todorov > sry for loosing your time sir
Fox Todorov > and thanks for beeing a good sprot and killing me it helps me in more ways than it looses me isk
Saftsuze > no waste of time for me, this is my job!
Fox Todorov > i guess you are pritty good at it
Fox Todorov > ^ ^
Saftsuze > Well, Ive been doing it my own way for about four years, so im getting the hang of it, yes :)
Fox Todorov > ah i was just stupid enough to let my guard down
Saftsuze > number one: never fly something you cant replace instantly
Fox Todorov > yeah i know that but i didnt had much choise
Fox Todorov > since i was still learning and all that
Fox Todorov > i dicided a few ice could help me get on my feet again
Fox Todorov > but you came and liberated me off of that dream i guess ^ ^
Saftsuze > well, you just gotta get back up on your feet and follow the number one rule
Saftsuze > get help from your corp
Saftsuze > do stuff together with them
Saftsuze > help each other out
Fox Todorov > will do
Todorov > thanks for sharing wisdom with me
Saftsuze > make sure you know about the risks vs. rewards on your activity - take risks, but with insurance of a backuo
Saftsuze > *bakcup
Fox Todorov > yup i just forgot to insure that ship
Fox Todorov > very stupid move by me
Saftsuze > insurance is good, but a backup ship or five is more important
Fox Todorov > will remember that
Fox Todorov > and pls dont write too bad stuff about me in your blog :P
Saftsuze > Nope. It will be funny. And I'll be nice as well :)
Fox Todorov > funny is great
Fox Todorov > i love self irony so i'll just have a cool story for my corp bros
Saftsuze > dont worry, you'll get the chance to be self ironic, theres some material in the chat logs :)