Sou’s back after another bout of poking at things which don’t concern him. Of course, as soon as he heard about the Barnacles being discovered in Merope he had to run 500ly to go and lick one.

But he’s returned, full of energy and questions.

None of which I can answer. Even fewer that I care about, as long as he doesn’t accidentally start a war.

I took the opportunity while he was in Candecama to introduce him to Ronnie, who moved to the system as soon as he realised there was some really good hunting in the local space. He and I have been having a ball, after all 2 FDL’s are better than one.

I Invited them both over to mine. Whelan Ring is an industrial habitat and there’s not one good restaurant in the entire station. If I want to eat well, I have to cook it myself. Fortunately there’s a guy who owes me a favour over in Opila so he occasionally express ships me good ingredients.

Ronnie and Sou really seemed to hit it off, not surprisingly. Sou loves to talk, and Ronnie likes to listen. Plus they both have an abiding love of Her Imperial Majesty (bask in her whatever). They got chatting while I was pouring us a few whiskeys and I came back just in time to hear Sou ask:

“Vex tells me you’ve made an improbable sum of money since you left the Navy. How have you done that?”

Ronnie took the drink from me, took a sip and said, thoughtfully: “I suppose I’m just very good at blowing ships up.”

Not boasting, just stating the fact. That’s Ronnie for you, he is the least egotistical guy I know, but he knows what he’s good at.

“Marvellous. Two of you,” sighed Souvarine.

“Not quite,” replies Ronnie. “I’m a better pilot than Dexter.”

Sou looked at me to see what my reaction to this was, but I just shrugged. I can’t deny it, he is.

“Besides”, continued Ronnie “Dexter is…”

Sou smiled. “An ornamental butter-knife short of a picnic?”

“I was going to say ‘unhinged’.”

“Psycopathic? Unable to legally live within two hundred metres of a school?”

“More of a lunatic, isn’t he?”

They’re both looking at me grinning.

“The phrase you’re looking for,” I said, “is highly-functioning sociopath. More importantly, a sociopath who knows where you both live.”

I give them both a smile to let them know I’m kidding, and go and get a cigar. There’s a brief silence behind me which, unusually, Ronnie breaks.

“So Souvarine, Dexter tells me you’re a pretty good pilot yourself.”

“He said that, did he?” replied Sou, sounding surprised.

“Not quite. His exact words were ‘he can be a pretty tidy scrapper when he can be bothered’ which from Dexter is pretty much the same thing.”

“Yes that sounds more like what he’d say,” says Sou.

“Well, before you arrived Vex and I were discussing a pirates nest not far from here at Cande 16 A. Sizeable bounties, would you like to share?”

Well that was all Sou needed to hear. Exploring the great unknown pays pathetically and the Vortigaunt doesn’t fuel itself. So once the two of them pull themselves out of their beds we’re off to Candecama 16 A to upset the locals.



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