Chapter 21: Old and New Business

The Council wasn’t happy the way things had turned out. A few older officers were glad he was gone, while others claimed him leaving on his own wasn’t what was needed. They claimed he was a fake, and that every test he ever took needed checked and rechecked to show how he did it. But the Chairman wasn’t up for it, and soon it looked like a few might be after his job as well.

“And what will you do when the next bright young officer rushes to the top? And the next? I think we’ll be seeing that happen soon because we teach them better at early ages. Things we had to learn on our own were repeated over and over until they became part of the schools curriculum. So yes … I think we’ll see other young people like him someday, and if he decided to sign up again I’d be the first to welcome him back.” The Chairman said as mouths dropped all over the room.

“You might be the Chairman but that job is voted on every few years and you better remember that too.” Got mentioned as Vise Admiral Blake turned to stare at the man who looked less than thrilled by getting singled out.
“You want this job and all the responsibilities it entails? Hell I’ll give it to you! But remember, that every mistake any of us makes falls right here.” He said tapping his shoulders.” So unless that suits you, you better reconsider.” He went on and many got really quiet at that.

“Stanley didn’t run away from responsibility.. he’s out there right now in a tiny little boat doing convoy missions and protecting stations … all alone … and he’s happier that way then working with us … because he knows gentlemen … he knows we are getting too old for this anymore, and there’s a war going on, and we hide here safe and sound not because we are needed … but because we are afraid to die …. and so we order others to die for us!” He added loudly, as eyes fell all over the room and a swift tap of his hammer and the meeting ended and no one said a word to him on the way out and he was just waiting for someone to try.

And two weeks later the Command Carrier got reassigned to a new Captain and for the first time in the war a full fledged Command Ship was on patrol, and many other Admirals saw their time coming too, and one gave his ship to his Second to use, that way it still looked like he owned it … but would never use it again.

The Battleship got given to a young officer that made Captain almost as fast as Stanley did, and the writing was on the wall … and every major ship got reassigned … one way or another. And by the end of that year, the enemy knew just how badly they had messed up by just playing around at the boarder … because now the Real Fleet was here to stay, and battles ended a lot faster, and Haidar ships lost a lot more often.

Stanley saw it all happen and smiled a lot about it. He left not because they were forcing him, but because no one had ever asked what HE wanted, and so he was forced to follow everyone else’s ideas until he just couldn’t take it anymore.

Now he was a successful business man, doing escort jobs, and salvaging, and making money a dozen ways that left him come and go when he liked. In a few weeks he had a second ship, a fighter escort that asked him repeatedly to let her fly with him, and so he did. Now his little company had 2 ships and soon another asked and a freighter signed on and got called when cargo containers too large for the Escort got found … and that was pretty often along the boarder.

His retirement account doubled … then tripled, and on he went just having a good time being himself, while other Captains started thinking his way was better, and asked him for advise when they saw him in stations.

But he wouldn’t talk badly about the Navy, they had taken care of him for a long while, but he did admit that being his own boss was nicer than listening to people fight over who was better, when no one asked, or when they had others do their work then took credit for it themselves, and many nodded agreement to that and went away thinking seriously about what they personally wanted to do next.

And when an older corvette class asked to join him Stanley saw that calling them ‘his wing’ wasn’t going to cut it anymore … and so the Hudson Fleet was founded … officially a Corporation now it got tax credits and other benefits that made Stanley wonder why he waited so long to do it.

Chapter 22: Paying the Bills

A 4 ship fleet…now in his name, and he saw things getting better all around. He bought another freighter and had it refitted for mining, and when he carefully chose a spot there few enemies were seen it went to work, with a fighter escort.

Now he had 5 ships, and they were all paying for themselves weekly. With the war still going on stations were short on everything, and his miner helped supply many that paid through the nose to get it. Prices were high indeed, and his ship was lucky so far, wither because it had an escort or from pure dumb luck. But ores got mined and cash came rolling in, and Stanley advertised he wanted more fighters, and a wing of 3 joined them a week later.

He knew these prices wouldn’t remain like this forever, but the war was showing no signs of stopping right now, and freighters can make good money during peace times too. So every month or two he added something else. Freighters hauling badly needed supplies with fighter escorts, or ships doing convoy protection missions, and getting paid twice what would normally be possible.

Since he treated his new Corporation with serious interest it prospered, and his employees were well paid and still he made a profit from each one every day. His name stood for hard work and smart choices, and even the Chairman saw that the Military wasn’t his only chance at success.

And within 2 years of leaving the Military Stanley was known far and wide as the CEO of a successful Corporation, a corp. with a waiting list of clients, and cash rolling in faster than he would have ever guessed. His ‘retirement account’ was a thing of the past now and e was quite wealthy actually. He kept sending cash back to his mom until the day she died, long after his brothers and sisters moved away, and his youngest brother got a free college education online that was paid for by some unknown person far away that didn’t need the glory for it.

And this was how Stanley Hudson became the man he is at 66 years old. He never found anyone else to love and his memories of his first wife stayed with him forever. He had women of course and one son from those that was well taken care of but Stanley lived as he had been born, a slave to a system that only gave credit for money, not abilities. His were always in learning new things easily and with 5 degrees and 4 spoken languages he was far from illiterate, but still he read and smiled and learned until the day his Butler found him asleep…forever…in his bedroom, and his Legend stopped there. One young man from deep poverty that would not settle for the Mines but made a name for himself that would stand as long as anyone who ever knew him lived, and isn’t that the true meeting of Life? To be loved and remembered?

Happy Holidays Everyone..