Aftermath

He uttered more obscenities under his breath, cursing the capsuleers anew. He spoke aloud to no one but himself, but that was fine with him; he had realized long ago that he was his own best company.

“It’s going to take me days to clean up this goddamned mess.” he grumbled to nobody.

He pushed his broom across the floor, sweeping up more of the garbage left behind. For four days they had come to his section of the assembly plant, and for four days they had drank their fool faces off.

Many of his colleagues had been bitter with envy that we has going to be so close to them, the eternal pod pilots of New Eden. The few “friends” he had demanded he get them autographs, or pictures, or anything from any of them.

He harumphed and moaned, regurgitating the same thing he had been saying for decades; there weren’t nothing special about capsuleers.

When he was young, he had served as a reserve in the Caldari infantry; that is, until he blew two of his own fingers off during a training exercise. They gave him a crap medal he had hocked years ago as thanks, and that was that.

Now had he been a capsuleer, they would’ve spent the money fixing him up. It’s not like the technology wasn’t there; he just wasn’t worth the money or the effort.

Nobody understood the capsuleers like he did. They weren’t some gods, worthy of adoration. No, they were spoiled sycophants, obsessed with nothing but themselves; not a one of them deserved immortality.

He piled up some more garbage near the trash receptacle.

For 38 years, he had whined to his wife about the injustice served to his life because of the capsuleers. Eventually, she had taken enough and left him, as had most of his other friends.

That suited him just fine; his life was better off without them anyway.

He lived alone, in small quarters on the station, taken to be an eccentric and bitter old man. He didn’t care what anyone thought of him. He didn’t care about anything.

He did his job, though even that was becoming tiresome lately, his body aching in ways it never used to. He knew he would never advance his life to where he had wanted it to be in his youth, but that wasn’t his fault. He had asked for raises over the years, only to be reminded that he could easily be replaced by a cleaning drone, and that he should be thankful they kept him at all.

He barely made enough to get by in all honesty.

He grumbled some more, cursing the capsuleers. There were legends surrounding their untold wealth, but like he had said to his “friends” so many times during poker night, not a one of them ever left a tip. In fact, he hadexperienced the distinct pleasure of empty booze bottles shoved in his face, half-eaten meals thrown at his feet, and worse, all the while enduring their insufferable attitude towards everyone not among their elite caste.

Quite simply, he hated everything about them.

Everyone dismissed him as a bitter old man, rife with jealousy of a life he would never have. Damn right he was bitter, and rightly so.

He continued sweeping with his push broom, his back starting to ache, cursing some more about how long it was going to take to clean up his section of the station.

One day they would know he was right. One day everyone would see the eggers for what they truly were; tyrants with the minds of children.

It made him scowl just thinking about them, and yet he could think of nothing else.

What was that? he thought to himself.

He stopped his sweeping for a moment, looking at the detrious he had collected. He squinted his eyes closely, trying to focus on what he had seen a moment before.

It was shiny.

He put the broom aside, squatting down by the pile of refuse, his joints cracking and popping loudly as he did so.

He began swiping away garbage, trying to dig through to reveal the shiny object he had seen.

His eyes opened wide as he finally cleared away enough trash to unveil his discovery; a single ISK chit.

He looked around quickly, even though he knew he was alone. He grabbed the ISK immediately, holding it up for closer inspection.

It was intact. Sunuvabitch!

He stood up quickly, despite the many protests of his body, leaving his broom discarded on the floor, and walked towards his quarters.

Let someone else deal with this shit, he thought to himself.

He would pack his meager belongings, and he would leave this hellhole. Maybe he would buy a condo on a nice vacation planet; maybe he would take that young stripper he visited regularly with him.

He would definitely get the latest prosthetic fingers, and that was a fact.

A whole new universe of possibilities had just opened up to him.

It didn’t matter what he would end up doing, or where, or whom with. What mattered was that he was now rich beyond his wildest dreams, the entire galaxy his plaything, and for the first time since the day he had married his ex-wife, he smiled.