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Ace Dreamer

Second Hand - 24/Jul/2012
August 2011, Dublin.
Looking back, Arthur thought most of what he'd dealt with was second-hand. Second-hand equipment, ideas, maybe even motivation.  He hadn't really planned anything, it'd more just happened, he'd responded to events.
Rod had rejoined them.  Finished college.  He had a job, of course, assistant production supervisor and senior laboratory technician.  Rod had filled-out a bit, but greasy food was still his bane.  He'd dropped-in occasionally, even during his course, but seemed a bit bemused at working with attractive women, such as Janet and Alice.  Arthur's secretary, Dana Lidzt, just terrified him.
He was interested in the company vehicles, and seemed a bit surprised all there were was a few Australian-waved vans.  Arthur cheered him up by saying they were waiting delivery of a double-decker bus, for multiple uses, and, Arthur had an ancient Lear Jet, which would, when refurbished, be prestige company transport.
Janet had managed to scrape together the hours to get her pilot license, so Arthur wasn't the only person (officially) with that skill, any more.  While he approved of that, for some reason Arthur felt a little hollow.  Neither Sarah or Kelly had visited, recently, and messages from Jane were terse, and suggested some sort of crisis was brewing.
Recently, he'd taken up Tai Chi.  He didn't really have the spare time, but, it was that or take-up gambling, again.  Something was... wrong.
These days, he was speaking to important Fen, and, there was a tone, an impression, that he really didn't like.  After a particularly good tai chi session, he realised it most reminded him of when he first got involved with handwavium.  But, that was a feeling of hope, possibilities, and this was anything but that.
So, he had two choices, retreat into his hole and try and pretend there was nothing wrong, maybe that he was having an early 'mid-life crisis', or try and figure it out, so he, or someone, could do something about it.  How?  He was impersonating a businessman, but he was really technical.  If this was a technical problem, how might he start solving it?
Elimination.  His life wasn't perfect, he had to get back in the dating scene, but he was pretty sure it wasn't that.  Eire, the world, was in a real financial mess, further confused by handwavium, but...  he didn't think it was the problem.  Near-Earth Fenspace, the Inner Solar System, again a bit of a mess, but basically OK.  That put the problem further out.
There were times he'd wished he'd paid more attention when he'd been forced to study History.  But, it never seemed to have much to do with real life.  Maybe he'd idealised the Fen, thought they knew what they were doing, had things basically under control?  What happened with Alice.  Now that looked like a sign, a hint; no matter how benevolent handwavium seemed to be, someone would try and exploit it, and not in a good way.
Back to his science fiction friends.  Few of them called themselves 'fen', or planned to 'go up'.  But, they seemed to think about things.  Yes, it might be second-hand knowledge, but, that'd done him pretty well, so far.
He was going to need to get ready...
"It is the business of the future to be dangerous" - Hawkwind

Ace Dreamer

META "Second Hand"

A link story, even worse, introspection heavy. Be warned. [grin]

This story comes after "Service Sector", and before "Loss Management".
"It is the business of the future to be dangerous" - Hawkwind