The message light on my personal comm was blinking. I'd just gotten back from an excursion. It was a simple trip - uneventful but exhausting. Not that I'm complaining. I mean, that's all I've ever wanted, really. I was going to ignore the message until tomorrow, but something made me decide to go ahead and check it out.
Reggie. Now there was a voice straight from the past. Reginald Tyson, one of my buddies from my Navy days, somehow learned of my budding business and wanted to meet me over in the pilot's lounge. Said he had a 'proposal' for me. Well, I figured, Reggie was always good for a laugh at least and hey, maybe I could at least get a free beer out of it..
"So what's this all about?" I asked after we'd settled in and finished our nostalgia trip. He told me he was working with one of the political groups in the system. The "Alliance of Radegast". Radegast, I asked. Like that bird wizard in that old epic? If you say so, he shrugs. "I never paid attention in those classic lit classes. Wasn't a nerd like you" he says.
Anyways, he's working for a faction, a small player here in 39 S, but they see an opportunity to expand, both here and possibly to some new systems. He says if I'm willing to work for them exclusively, at least for a little while, they'll make it worth my while. I frown. I'm not looking to make enemies, I say. And besides, I tell him, if he's looking for a combat pilot he's barking up the wrong tree. I won't kill anyone. Not anymore. Relax, he assures me. "I remember how bad a shot you were back in Basic. I wouldn't trust you anywhere near a pulse laser.."
Fair enough. So then, I say, what DO you want? He says just do what you are doing. Only, do it for the Alliance. He tells me they are looking to expand and they need help with some survey work. Maybe some data couriering, and ferrying some analysts around. Nothing illegal. Nothing likely to get me on someone's enemy list. Just some exclusive work for an old friend.
Reggie was always a friend, but a good liar he is not. There's more to this, I'm sure. But I can't see a downside to his offer, at least not yet. He's right - it's the same work I'm doing, with a chance to build my name in all the places the Alliance operates. A win-win, I suppose. At least, I hope...