Sep 15, 2015

IC: Mud and Mountaintops

She meanders on a mossy stone path that curves gently to follow the perimeter wall of the combination warehouse and office space. Her fingertips brush a wall of live foliage to her right. Her eyes gaze across pristine mountain vistas displayed on the curving video wall to her left. A small fountain gurgles somewhere behind her. She is lost in thought, meditating on all the matters under her purview. As those matters relate to herself, they are dead simple. Magnified through the lens of 700 pilots, they become much more complex. Somewhere between the two extremes is a manageable balance. If only she can find it.

The door chimes. "Johnny Splunk", informs the room AI. "OK", she says.

Exiting the path, she crosses to a comfortable lounge area where Johnny is already seated and unpacking something that smells delicious.

"Hey, what's all this?!" she asks in surprise.

"Dinner! You have to eat, you know!" he says, smiling. Always smiling, this one, she thinks and can't help but smile herself. He jumps up to give her a friendly hug before sitting back down to continue setting out food on the low table between the sofas. She sits across from him.

"Smells and looks great! Yeah, um...I think I forgot to eat today. Thanks!" she says. Her stomach is rumbling with hunger, she realizes. When did she last eat?

They tuck into creamy fish curry, fruit and cheese, fresh-baked (!) bread, and a crisply sweet Gallente white. "Gallente wine, best wine," she declares after the first sip. "Agreed...and I admit I conned the corp AI a little bit to find out which one you favor at the moment," Johnny says. They both laugh. If anyone could con an AI, it was Johnny Splunk.

"So, want to talk about the wars, the spies, or the wormhole search services thing first?" he asks.

"Oh gods, let's save the war talk for last. Whatcha got for me on the spies?" she says, and so they launch into a wide-ranging discussion on fresh intel, observed activities, reports from members and actions being taken. The discussion moves onto corp program changes, tools to support the ever-increasing number of wormhole search requests, EvE-Scout service coverage, corp financials, member initiatives, staff positions needing filled, personnel matters, recent fleet ops, Helios Anduath's latest update from his brief sojourn planetside, and finally the current wars and how to best help new pilots cope with them.

"I just have to stop getting so mired in the day-to-day worry about the ones who insist on flying in high sec during the wars and lose ships because they don't know what they're doing yet," she admits.

"Right...look at it like this: we provide the information they need, they can choose to use it for their own benefit or not. Either way, they get the experience of learning about war firsthand. Trial by fire for some of them. It's their choice. And if they keep making the same mistakes, they're probably not going to stay anyway. So why worry? It'll sort itself out." Johnny shrugs melodramatically and signs their inside joke #freeshrugs by crossing the first two fingers on each hand across each other. They laugh in recognition that they are both prone to worrying and obsessing overmuch about corp things.

"Ok, lady, one last thing before I go get ready for the Vulfpeck fleet." He narrows his eyes at her. "When's the last time you undocked just for the joy of wandering through space to see the sights?"

"Errr...", she mutters.

"Mynxee, you need to go...and I got you something to take with you to help keep things in perspective!" He grins, handing over a small wrapped package.

"Uh oh," she says as she begins to unwrap it. And then she bursts into laughter seeing what is inside.

"Okay, okay, I get the message. It's all about the fun! I'll get the Astero prepped and head out for a few days," she says, still laughing. "You nut!"

"You know it!" says Johnny and with that, he's out the door. Vulfpeck business is serious business.

Smiling, she sends a prep order to her Hangar Chief, gives the bobblehead a tap, and closes every spreadsheet, every email, every Galnet post, and every comms channel before heading to bed with a good book and one last glass of wine.


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