27 March 2009

Is There Honor In War?

Back in 1998, I joined the United States Marine Corps where I served four years serving my country in defending it's right, freedoms, and beliefs....and well as fighting for the freedom of others (i.e., Iraq). The core values, a part of their creed, is honor, courage, and commitment. Those things are ingraned in you from the moment you put your feet on the yellow footprints when you arrive at basic training. To break any one of those three values can bring drastic punishment.

The reason I say all this is to sort of convince you that I truly know a thing or two about war. I know the tactics, the horrors, the order amongst the chaos. I know what it's like to make difficult decisions that on any other day, in any other place, you would be appalled to even consider the possibility of doing such a thing.

Let me also say that I don't give a damn what anybody says. War is war. There is no rules. There's no such thing as fighting honorably. There are certain rules of engagement, created by lofty beauricratics in there comfy little homes far from the frontlines. Far from the blood and horrors and sweat. But these rules must be abided by and so we do....but in the areas the rules don't prevent us, it's open game.

As it is in life, so it is in Eve.

Last nights events I was unfortunately not a part of as I had some business to attend to back in Solitude. My plan was not to head out to the wormhole until probably this weekend. Now I almost wish I hadn't just so I could get in on the "fun" that transpired last night. So without seeing it first hand, forgive me if I error in a few of the details.

Basically, a number of corp mates were in the process of moving gear into the wormhole space. Seems an entrance had opened up only 10 jumps away from Jita. I'd like to pause a moment here and tell you that although it was a low sec system, the low sec system connected to the high sec systems surrounding Jita. Why does that matter? Because this same wormhole space can and does open fairly regularly deep in 0.0 space. So it was an opportunity that definitly needed to be taken advantage of.

Seems our unwanted neighbors felt the same. However, it seems the intelligence level of their corporation is a bit lacking.

As we're moving gear through, a Buzzard class covert ops appears at the wormhole. It sort of catches the group unawares but with the Buzzard now in k-space, his wereabouts become a bit easier to track. Quickly the w-space team scrambles their pilots.

This isn't just any buzzard. This Buzzard just happens to be piloted by what we believe to be their strongest and most skilled prober. It was this pilot who showed up in the w-space first and this very same pilot who'd been there pretty much ever since. The possibility of him being out and about, and even better outside of the wormhole, was an opportunity that just couldn't be missed.

So quickly a cov-ops killer was thrown together along with a few other ships piloted by the various members in the wormhole space, to include a drone boat and the freighter being forced to rush back from a nearby station in k-space where he was offloading salvage and ore while loading needed supplies and gear for our w-space operation. For awhile, the pilot stayed in the k-system that contained the wormhole but after a bit, left system headed to other parts of space. From there on, it became a sort of race to see who would arrive first, the buzzard pilot in attempt to return back to the w-system or our freighter pilot.

Unfortunately, our freighter pilot was far from being ready and even once he was under way.....well....I'm sure most are aware how getting anywhere quickly, just doesn't happen in a freighter. So as expected, it was the buzzard pilot who returned first. Unfortunate for him...we we're ready. Cloaked just outside the wormhole, our scout gave the news the pilot had arrived just as he passed through the wormhole. On the other side, he found his worse nightmare.

Drones swarmed everywhere. A giant warp disruption bubble in place. And even worse, a ship yielding smart bombs. Obviously the pilot couldn't stay in one place for long as the smartbombing ship orbited the area. So far he'd remained unscathed, sitting here cloaked, but if he waited too long, the bombs might be in range.. So with little thought and like a scared rabbit, he bolted, throwing his afterburners in full gear and jamming the cloak command only to be alerted of drones within the safe 2000m distance. Like angry bees, the drones swarmed his ship and made very short work of it. And to solidify the matter, and perhaps slow any attempt at returning, we were quick to dispatch the pod as well, sending him on his merry way back to the clone vat.

*Note: At this point I'd like to make note that wormhole space seems to cause a few anomolies in the killboards. One, the KB is unable to recognize the wormhole system, thus the mail having to be changed to a known system, in this case we just chose Jita. Second, the buzzard was fitted with sisters probe launchers and a large amount of sister core probes which do not appear as it seems they are not registered in the killboards inventory and thus does not show up when viewed*

Finally the freighter arrived. It was surprisingly able to jump through the wormhole without collapsing it. Quickly the goods were offloaded, more ore and salvaged loaded up to be taken and sold and off it went. Just as expected, as it exited, the wormhole immediantly collapsed behind it. Now it was just a matter of seeing how many were still left in system...and more specifically, how many probers they had in system. And as the night played out, we've learned it might very likely be possible we have already successfully broken their operations.

About an hour had gone by when scanners picked up movement within the enemy POS. A pod was moving about though what he was up to it wasn't sure until suddenly, one of our members received a communication request. Seems the pilot was requesting assistance from one of our members to leave the w-space. Claimed he wanted no part in the affairs but was incapable of finding a way out himself. Several offers were made to him including him offlining their POS but all offers by our member were for the most part ignored. After some time had passed, it was decided that one of our pilots open a line with the stranded pilot and see if he could tempt him instead.

[ 2009.03.27 01:15:57 ] Lambda Minion > sorry
[ 2009.03.27 01:15:59 ] Promephius > hi again
[ 2009.03.27 01:16:00 ] Lambda Minion > desinc
[ 2009.03.27 01:16:14 ] Lambda Minion > desync to be right
[ 2009.03.27 01:16:37 ] Promephius > Well I have a offer......... I have a exit for you
[ 2009.03.27 01:16:55 ] Promephius > 25 million isk and Ill fleet you and get you out... if you dont mind going through low sec
[ 2009.03.27 01:17:47 ] Lambda Minion > I do not mind.
[ 2009.03.27 01:18:04 ] Promephius > you do not mind?
[ 2009.03.27 01:18:20 ] Lambda Minion > minute
[ 2009.03.27 01:18:44 ] Promephius > i feel sorry for you but it has to cost you
[ 2009.03.27 01:18:44 ] Lambda Minion > exit to tush murcone is gone?
[ 2009.03.27 01:19:07 ] Promephius > I have another exit .... I cannot tell you where
[ 2009.03.27 01:19:20 ] Lambda Minion > sure. I understand
[ 2009.03.27 01:19:34 ] Promephius > so do we have a deal?
[ 2009.03.27 01:20:04 ] Promephius > I do sympathise
[ 2009.03.27 01:20:13 ] Promephius > I think its a bit hard what my guys have done to you
[ 2009.03.27 01:20:25 ] Lambda Minion > no really
[ 2009.03.27 01:20:38 ] Lambda Minion > I understand this rush of... what?
[ 2009.03.27 01:20:48 ] Lambda Minion > money, feeling you won?
[ 2009.03.27 01:21:07 ] Promephius > if you want out of the worm hole I want isk to give you the location
[ 2009.03.27 01:21:26 ] Lambda Minion > I allready sent them
[ 2009.03.27 01:21:29 ] Lambda Minion > check
[ 2009.03.27 01:22:03 ] Promephius > one second
[ 2009.03.27 01:22:56 ] Promephius > safe to warp to me
[ 2009.03.27 01:23:07 ] Lambda Minion > 0km?
[ 2009.03.27 01:23:11 ] Promephius > yes
[ 2009.03.27 01:23:19 ] Lambda Minion > in warp

Little did this pilot realize until it was too late....but he had just voluntarily warped to our own POS. Needless to say, he didn't last long. Now, we are a so-called carebear corporation, so we couldn't be totally evil, so yes, we did provide him a way out. Via the clone vat express! Hey...Prom never said that the way out wasn't a wormhole...

Now some of you may be screaming "Foul! He paid the ransom! You give a bad name to piracy with what you did!" However, before you get your feathers ruffled too much, I want you consider a few points on this.

One, we are not pirates. We do not fly around killing anything that moves and attempting to make our isk over the loss of other's. The only time you should be concerned with our presence is if you are a neutral and we meet you in nullsec, we do live by the common NBSI rule. As for lowsec, we live by the NRDS rules of engagement unless of course engaged first.

Two, though no official war was declared, we were in essence at war with this group. Yes, they have tried to open diplomatic relations with us and attempt to get blue settings between us, but this was one particular occasion when the request was quickly denied. He knew this. I mean....come'on. We just killed one of his corp mates!

Three, if we had simply offered to show him the way out, would he have been so willing to be tricked into thinking we'd safely escort him out? By demanding payment, it was a method of getting him to believe our intentions, though harsh, were to help him leave. Yes, consideration has been made to give him back the money...but looking at his ship fittings and the stuff in his cargo hold, we're lead to believe he wasn't in any serious need of the isk. Plus the entire incident will be a good lesson for him for future endeavors.

Fourth and final point. We could not truly show him the way out. What if his intentions were of trickery as well? What if, after we showed him a pathway in and out, he relayed this to his corpmates and we would quickly find ourselves back to square one. Sure, we could have theoretically closed that one behind him as well, but that would require a lot of danger and time we were not willing to spare.

So is the war over? Have we completely cleared the area of their corporation? Only time will tell as we can not be sure yet that someone isn't still present, just offline. Hopefully in the next few days we'll know and we'll also continue keeping an eye on their POS. An entire POS going offline when the fuel runs out? Yummy!