I've been once again confined to Station for general lack of motivation to undock. The station bar has nearly become my second home as I wiled away the days with alcohol and a terminal. I ended up getting immersed in a few holoreels and old video games, with real life taking a back seat. My ships sat floating in my hangar unused.
I looked up from my terminal to one again see Maya Nao sitting across from me. The level of her stealth skills astounds me. She was slouched over the table, elbows on the surface and chin resting on her hand. She looked bored out of her mind.
"How long this time?" I asked.
"Since I sat down?" she asked, "I've had three drinks. Soooo maybe an hour?" My eyebrow raised. This game I was playing was addicting. I had to put it down for my sanity's sake.
"Wow." I mutter, setting the terminal down. The bar doors slide open, again the right panel squealed as it recessed into the wall, a sound everyone was used to by now but still no one bothered to fix. Rekindle lumbered inside seemingly exhausted and took a moment to survey the room. Seeing that my table was the only occupied at the time, he strode over and sat down between Maya and myself.
"Afternoon, Sain, Maya." he said with a huff. He waved at Donta behind the bar and he poured a drink, drifting across the room with it to deliver a moment later.
"Afternoon, Boss." I acknowledge, "You look tired. What's going on?"
"The alliance is starting to get a little pushy with the CTA's, Sain. I didn't want this. You know our corporation doesn't believe in mandatory CTA's." he explained.
"Are they becoming mandatory?" I ask.
"Oh no! Never. We're not about to do that to our little group." he said, "I've made arrangements."
"Arrangements?" Maya asked, leaning back in her chair with her drink.
"Yeah, we're moving again."
Maya coughed and nearly choked on her drink.
"Again?" I ask, "Why?"
"This is the direction they seem to be heading in. Making these Call To Arms mandatory to start expanding their space. I don't like it and we didn't sign up for this. I've made arrangements with another alliance in Immensea where we can go back to being a sort of renter corporation." he explained. My smile was contagious. Maya even seemed excited.
"We get to go back to the way we were before? We get a system or two and are left alone to do what we want?" I ask. Rekindle nodded.
"Granted you are welcome to stay here and move to another Corp if you want to fight other capsuleers, and the new alliance also has those kinds of opportunities as well. CTA's will be entirely optional and because we are paying rent, we aren't expected to participate."
"This is good." I say.
"The move won't be as bad as last time, right Sain?" Maya asked, "I don't think you have too much stuff here yet."
"So you're in?" Rekindle asked, finishing his drink.
A few days later and a lot of Jump Fuel later, we were under the new flag of a new Alliance, moved to another home system, and all without the loss of any of our freighters, this time.
As I walked about the new outpost; an Ammarian model this time, I tried to take note of the amenities: The Med bay, the pub, the market, the research lab, repair shop, etc. It was a big place to get lost in, but I managed and found myself in an exterior hallway watching the Freighters dock, undock and cyno jump away. Once again, it was a new opportunity. The Market needed feeding, infrastructure needed to be stabilized, and space needed to be explored.
It was time to start building a new sand castle.