I was awoken by excited comms chatter. Normally I tune out completely but for some reason I hadn't this time. Oh well, guess I'll see what's up... Really? Someone attacked a customs office and it's now in a reinforced state? Okay, guess we'll be ready for the killing blow if it comes.
As it happens this was occurring over several days where we had scheduled fleet operations anyway so switching to live ammo wasn't really a problem. It would also give those amongst us who had no fleet experience the best possible environment for learning in - the deep end.
Our customs office was set to come out of the reinforced state early the following evening giving us plenty of time to form up, discuss tactics and generally get ourselves sorted. We scheduled the formal assembly for a short time before the reinforcement timer would end. I fell asleep that night with the taste of battle in my mouth, or maybe it was pod goo given my choice to sleep out of the tower that night.
The following day there was a tangible quality in the air. The rest of the corp were relaxed and yet also tense in their own way. No matter what else was discussed, one thing was certain - we would turn up and fight to defend our space. Thus far we had no need to defend any private customs offices. We built them in the aftermath of Interbus' ill advised deal with CONCORD and they had remained untouched. I guess we all knew this time would come but living out in a wormhole means structure affecting combat is rare unless someone really wants to move you on.
In preparation for the battle ahead I took myself off to a quite corner of the system and engaged in some quiet introspection. Yes I am essentially immortal but that doesn't shake my attachment to a given clone. I had shared a journey with this particular clone for many months now and it was, um, comfortable. And in any case, getting a route back into the home system can be a real pain in the arse.
Battle would come later: Now was for meditation.