Its been a few weeks since I’ve seen her. I arrange to meet Raven at Artemis Lodge in Celaeno to catch up and plan on how to resume our fight against the Thargoids. I’m hoping that she might be pleased to see a familiar face, along with my new anti Xeno Cutter. She’s late – and has also clearly been at that cheap synthetic gin again. Shs’s not happy at all.
“I suppose I should call you `sir` now, or is it `your royal highness?`” Is she referring to my status as Duke? or maybe the Cutter I’m now using (or both?). “How many slaves did you have to trade for that title?” She’s got an issue with me being a Duke. “And did they give you a nice big house too with servants and a plot of hunting land?” she adds. I think she is being sarcastic here. Its definitely the Duke thing she has a beef with.
“Actually, I didn’t have anything to do with any slaves. I ran courier missions, moving tactical data, recon missions – that sort of thing.” I’m trying to make it sound more heroic that it actually was, but Raven, like me, sees it for what it really was.
“So you basically just flew around in circles for a few days as some sort of glorified messenger boy and after doing that enough times, they make you a Duke!? I cant quite believe it. While I was out here on my own risking my life against these bugs, you’re dossing about in a DBX and getting credited for being some kind of imperial hero. Then you decide to take another week out, hanging about with some money grabbing loser, mining for riches you don’t even need?” she continues. I’m baffled. Raven is having a go at me, but I cant help thinking that she could have done a bit of this herself and got herself a bit more firepower to help her cause.
I now feel like some rich, privileged kid showing off his new toy. Worse still, I don’t really know how to use it effectively for Thargoid fighting. Did I do the right thing? Should I have just stayed here and slogged it out in smaller craft, scraping a few thousand credits of profit here and there, chipping away at the ever increasing Thargoid numbers. No, on reflection I did do the right thing. OK, I was out of the area for longer than expected, but I’m not content with working the same formula, its important to explore options, diversify and try out different methods in an effort to become a better pilot and to have more of an impact.
As I walk off with her still shouting back at me, I realise that maybe its not as easy for some people to do what I did. I have 20 years of experience on her, 20 years to form relationships, to learn how people work, to work on my rankings and reputation and to know how best to get what I need. Something that I take for granted maybe.