There’s no real way to describe exactly how I went about my search in terms humans could understand without heavy use of analogies. A mind raised connected to a computer interface, one that has never known life without a constant neural datalink except for brief, horrible moments of smallness… This is going to dark places for me.

I perused various methodologies of recruitment for corporations. Galaxy-spanning ‘chat rooms’ filled with semiautonomous spambots, digital fora unkempt and untended… I scanned news reports; searching for areas of activity and cross-referenced with my searches. I knew what I was looking for; and filtered my searches accordingly. Of all the capsuleer power blocs, there were only three which could rival the great Empires; only one that had the… feel that I was looking for. So I cast my search net through the ranks of the so-called Northern Coalition. A BBJ-S vessel requires a certain degree of reliable support that a small or newly-established Corporation wouldn’t be able to provide, and likewise a certain threshold number of fellow covert operations pilots would enhance the degree of effectiveness I could bring to the field. Communications methodologies, sovereignty locations, corporate history and press releases. It was all funneled in to the data sieve I’d established.

And yeah, the recent activity out in LXQ2-T played a part in my decisionmaking. Even with as little frontline experience as I have, I still consider myself a combat pilot. An underhanded, dishonorable jam-happy cloaker freak, maybe; but a combat pilot nonetheless. One of my early space combat instructors was fond of saying “Never kill a man in a fair fight; kill him before he gets the chance to start one.” Facing an opponent on even terms when there’s an advantage to be taken is setting yourself up for failure.

I opened a comm link to the Concord inspection team leader, trying to find out what the holdup was. His reply, that they were having difficulty accessing the interior volumes of the ship to inspect for concealed smuggling compartments, made me laugh. The Widow was conceived specifically for the role of penetrating Empire security, the whole ship is one big smuggling compartment with a battleship inside.

Never laugh at Concord officers; they have no sense of humor.

8 to 10 days for the paperwork to be processed, he said. At least it’ll give me time for my job search.