The Black Hole Pub is an open place, if you’re a capsuleer or rich enough to buy a way past station security. It’s the center piece of a small system near the Amarr/Minmatar war front . The magnificent view of the Metropolis nebula and slightly isolated location gives this place an eerie feel. But, the feeling is not permanent. For the feeling dissipates quickly like hot steam to the open air.
Jack Kourner sits in the bar. He is slightly in the back near the door but not too close. He is not drunk. He looks around the place as he has been doing for some time. His life partner was supposed to be in the establishment hours ago. They had just come off a fight and he was too nervous to return home.
Mike Hammel walks in as Jack contemplates his miserable life. Mike has his own problems. Some would say just as sad if not more disappointing and miserable as Jack’s life. Mike is once again feeling lonely and sad. He decides to make friendly with his close buddy and picks a seat near Jack. He doesn’t want to sit next to him but close enough to show that he wants to talk. Jack says the first words. “Hello?”
“Hi.” says Mike.
“Hey Mike. How’s that weather out there?” Jack laughs softly but Mike instantly recognizes that there is something on his mind.
“Same as it always is, cold and miserable.”
“Ah, I was hoping for some warm and sunny.” They both laugh softly. Looking at his drink and then his friend, he asks, “Hey Mike. Want a drink? I’m buying.”
“Oh,” says Mike “Buying me a drink. This is a first. What’s the occasion?”
“Oh you know; just two friends at a bar.” He laughs, but Mike sits there realizing for sure that something is up. He doesn’t want to ask just yet though.
“So how about TEST and the whole thing with CFC?” asks Mike.
“What about the drink?” Jack says quickly to Mike.
“Oh sure fine, fine. Get the drink. What about the war?”
“I’m not sure. Did they win?”
“You know you always follow. I’m the one always asking you about nullsec.” He looks at his friend and then looks at his watch. For whatever the reason the time was bothering him. It is roughly a quarter to six.
“Didn’t have the chance to get caught up on intel last night.”
“Why is that?” asks Mike.
Looking at his drink, Jack just pauses, retreating into himself until after a couple of seconds he looks up. “Well hey, I don’t always have to be up to date on things.”
“True, but the fact of the matter is you aren’t up to date, and you’re always up to date on things.”
Jack, feeling nervous and not wanting to lie to his friend again, starts turning his bottle. He notices the emptiness in the bottle and feels emptiness in himself. “Oh, you know. I fought with Megan.”
Mike, taking in what his friend said, just looks at him. “Oh I see.” This was the newlyweds’ first fight; this would explain Jack’s very strange behavior. “Well, you know you should just go talk to her.”
“Well that’s why I’m here!” says Jack a little angrily. “I specifically asked her to come here and she never showed. I think she’s forgotten about me. She hasn’t answered any of my communications. She been ignoring me at our quarters too.”
“Don’t you think you’re over thinking this?” says Mike.
“Maybe? I would say so. You are over thinking this. Just get up and go home.” He takes a breath and continues. “Don’t over think, couples do this all the time and this is no different from me and Ashley only…” He stops abruptly, but then continues “…well, we know how that turned out so please just go home. We don’t need more heartache. Don’t do what I did.”
Jack, realizing the hurt in his friend’s eyes, decides it would better benefit his friend if he just took his advice. Getting up, he starts his own journey of a thousand miles, exiting the bar presumably to head back to his quarters.
Mike sits there in the bar. He looks at the drink that Jack left behind and sees that it is empty.
It reminds him of his own eternal emptiness.