While I was blogging the last love notes from VampireZIM, another one came in. This one contained a sort of half-assed armistice proposal, which I thought a bit odd, coming as it did from the aggressor:

I would like to propose a cease fire if people in your corp are in militia fleet with people from my corp. We both have FC friends, its stupid for us to put them on the spot to decide who gets axed from the fleet.

So if we are both in militia fleet, we will have a temporary cease fire until 5 minutes after returning back to high sec from a militia ops. All other times war is in full effect.

This cease fire will be kept in place even if one party drops from the militia fleet, it will hold until both parties have returned to high sec space for 5 minutes.

You can post this on your forum, so that if for any reason there is a friendly fire during a cease fire moment, you can hold my honor to it. Unlike a thieving liar, I hold to my word, I hope that we can gain some middle ground in this endevour.

I gave this one some serious thought, because to be honest I’m not happy about internecine strife within the militia. I think it’s stupid and deleterious to the war effort, and I think it ought to stop.

Too, it’s not fair to any FC to have to worry about this shit. They’ve got a lot going on, they don’t need the distraction. I think any FW corp ought to be willing to settle — and more importantly, not to start — wars against another FW corp. Sadly, VampireZIM appears not to share this view.

But the half-assed cease fire option doesn’t make a lot of sense. For one thing, VampireZim and his crew have never before flown any interest in flying with the fleets I fly with. I’ve never seen any of them in low sec (although, to be fair, I did see a CLDRI wreck in lowsec once). So it shouldn’t be an issue for the FC’s of the fleets I’m in. And if it is, I can always — quite happily — leave those fleets and go do something else — a fact of which all my favorite FCs are fully aware.

But mostly, I was thinking of VampireZIM’s infamous emails in which he wrote, a very long time ago:

First of all why the fuck would I honor a promise to someone who has attacked and robbed me?

And also:

I will not honor my word against a tyrant who goes around destroying peoples property, without provocation.

There you have it, folks, from the vampire’s own cold clammy lips. His word, when he gives it to me, is no good. So why should I take it?

And as for his honor, of which he speaks in the armistice offer — well, let me just say that I would not be impressed by it, in the event that I were able to detect it.

So I wrote back the politest rejection letter of which I am capable, after first deleting several more derisive versions:

I’m going to reject your proposal, because I do not trust you. You broke your word to me the very first night you met, and have repeatedly said you feel no obligation to honor your word to me. I don’t see how your public word will help, since you are already on public record as not feeling obligated to keep your promises to Ironfleet.

If you want to protect your younger players and our FC friends, drop the war dec so that we can go back to ignoring each other and killing Gallente scum.

It is my opinion that your wars with Ironfleet make you look bad, and that it would be in your interest to stop them.

Despite your aspersions, I defy you to point to any time, any where, where anyone in Ironfleet has failed to keep a promise. You, on the other hand, cannot make that claim.

We do have one point in common — the desire to find some common ground. I suggest we find it by quietly, peacefully, ignoring each other, forever.

— Marlenus

Gather around me, good citizens, and speculate with me about how the VampireZIM we know and love will respond to that letter. Will he drop the war and let us both get on with killing Gallente scum, mutually unmolested? Let us read together, and see.

Oh, dear:

Your Loss, I have extended my hand and you slapped it, you will have to leave gang, because i have made an effort to make things right.

I dont give a fuck about young players, i can buy them new ships.

My war is JUST, You attacked me first, I am defending my honor.

This war will go forever, so if you dont want to take this kind gesture, then fuck you.

I have spoken to [name of fleet commander, redacted by Marlenus] and told him my gesture to you, your next lie in fleet, wont go as well as last time, I am making every effort to right this issue.

Besides, what the fuck do you care, every ship you take into militia should be one you are prepared to lose. I am not going to betray my fleet by shooting my own, if you cant make that claim, then you are a piece of shit, which re-afirms my original opinion of you.

OK, so diplomacy is not VampireZIM’s strong suit, I wouldn’t have called the insults in the first letter an extended hand of any sort. But then again, I’m obviously not a first-rank diplomat my own self, so I guess we can move past that.

“I don’t give a fuck about young players.” Well. I guess that’s their problem, then. They have my sympathies, and best wishes in finding a better corp as their EVE career progresses. I hear Boromor and RapidTaco have grandiose plans involving 0.0 access and a State Protectorate capital fleet; despite my skepticism of those goals, I can personally attest that both of those corporate leaders genuinely do “give a fuck about younger players.”

“This war will go forever.” Gee, really? I never would have guessed.

The fleet commander — whose name I see no reason to associate needlessly with this drama — is aware of the situation. I have no idea what “lie in fleet” VampireZIM might be referring to; the only thing I’ve said about Zim in the fleet is variations on “He’s just hunting me, he doesn’t usually go out with fleets” which is, I believe, the truth.

But, it doesn’t matter. I’ll happily fly with that fleet commander when he wants me, and leave the fleet to accommodate his preference if he’d rather have VampireZIM on a given evening. My goal in fleets is to be an asset to the fleet commander and the fleet goals. If I’m not an asset because of my baggage, that’s fine with me, there are plenty of fleets and plenty of complexes and (let us not forget) still plenty of uncollected salvage that could use Ironfleet’s loving attention. That’s why war has never been a problem for Ironfleet; two years into this game and I still have far more activities I enjoy than I have time to do them. If I have to put one on hold and pursue another, because of the Zimwar? No big deal.

(Just by way of example, since FW started I’ve been itching to go hunting for stragglers in my stealth bombers. Haven’t done it because I haven’t found the time. But it’s very high on my list.)

Back to VampireZIM:

“I am making every effort to right this issue.”

Now that there is a lie. VampireZIM declared this war; it wouldn’t take much effort to cancel it. If his concern is for the greater glory of the State Protectorate and the Caldari State, he could “right this issue” with three or four mouse clicks. Not so very much effort at all.

The profanity in the last paragraph seems not to warrant a response, but I’ll give it this much anyway: I have never shot at another member of one of my fleets except when ordered to do so by the fleet commander. Given my very strong reasons for thinking that VampireZIM has been trying to get shots at me by joining the fleets that I’m flying in, I think it’s pretty funny who he’s calling “a piece of shit”. I didn’t take his offer because I don’t trust him not to shoot at me in fleet no matter what he says — he’s tried (twice!) to put himself in a position to do just that and he’s repeatedly said he won’t honor promises he makes to me.

VampireZIM, if you want peace, offer peace. You can still shoot at me in low sec, from inside the fleet or out of it. You don’t need a war dec for that. Or, you could offer a fleets-only low-sec cease fire once we are at nominal peace; I’d be willing to make and keep to that deal, although I wouldn’t exactly stop watching my back.

But if you don’t actually want peace, than please, own your belligerence, and don’t try to look all surprised when you get caught trying to set up a sneak attack. Twice.

That is all.

Unless, of course, you want to send me some more love letters.

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