As I walked down the gantry toward the Command Post, I made up my mind. It had to be done… Why not now?
“Hey Dor, how was you day?” Sydney asked and again she knew something was up. “What’s the matter?”
“Nothing… Well, something. I ran into Rock, today.” I said with a deadpan expression.
“You’re going aren’t you? You’re really going to do it. You’re going to go down there and get your ass shot off!” She always knew what I was thinking. From the moment I met her, she could read me.
“How did you know what I was going to say? All I said was I spoke to Rock.” She turned around and headed for her Laboratory. “Hey! Hey, What did I do?” I followed her into the lab and saw her at her desk drinking her coffee.
“You’re headed to Null with Rock. I knew this would happen. You’ll get your ass shot off and I’ll be up here worrying!” She was getting louder, something she never did.
“Look, it’s worth a shot. Right?” I tried to make my argument but she wasn’t having any of it.
“Why? What’s down there?” You could see that she was scared for me.
“Isk! That’s what’s down there! This tower isn’t cheap and we ain’t going to afford it much longer.” I exposed her to the financial reality that I had always kept from her.
“What? We’re doing fine… Aren’t we?” But, as usual, she knew it was the truth. “It’s that bad?”
“Yeah… It’s that bad.” I walked across the lab and sat down on the small cot Sydney kept in the lab for those marathon research nights. Syd got up from her desk and sat down next to me.
“It’s my fault, isn’t it.” Syd said and her voice cracked from the guilt she felt.
“No, no it’s not you. Trust me. It’s hard… That’s all. I’ve gotta work non-stop to keep things going and I just can’t keep it up. It’s not you.” I tried to ensure her.
“But, if I didn’t spend the Isk on my research…” She attempted to pull this back onto herself but i cut her off.
“Stop it. Your research has provided us with what we have. My Skiff, my Crane, my Sin.. which i can’t even fly yet. Without your work I’d still be flying my Merlin.” This made her smile. “Trust me, I’ll be fine. I bop on in and drop a Jump Clone, Grab what i need and fly it in… Rock said he’d fly recon for me so I can get my shit in.” Rock was the best man for this as he’s spent the past 7 years in Null Sec. He gets it, he feels it.
“Then what?” Sydney said and you could hear she was about to cry.
Then I fly back up here and you can make sure when I Jump Clone back that the guys at the clone bay take care of my head.” She smiled. “And, if the PI is as good as I think… I’ll be sending for you to follow.”
“Really? You’d want me to come?” her expression lightened.
“Of course, so get your training done. Okay?” I was almost knocked over by Syd’s hug.
“Thank you, I’ll get my training done! I promise! Thank you!” I laughed
“Easy Syd… I know you will.” Sydney released me and smiled. “Now whats for dinner?”
“Your choice!” Sydney stood and turned to help me up. “You saved me, Dor. Without you I’d still be in my pod trying to get my first ship.” her eyes welled up.
I pulled her in to console her. “Nah, you’d have figured it out. After all… You’re the scientist. I’m just a Miner.” She chuckled.
And as we began to walk to the door, I thought… What the hell was I getting myself into?