Archive for the 'Notable Smacktalk' Category

Apologies dear readers if this grows tedious for you. I use this blog sometimes as an aid to memory, and so I tend to include stuff that happens all in a rush even when it doesn’t make a lot of dramatic sense to blog about it. If you’re just now joining us, there’s a rush of incoming love notes from Vampire Zim. If you prefer sequential chronology to this reverse-bloggy stuff, start with Love Letters From VampireZim, then read But Wait, There’s More! and then come back to here.

For those just joining us, in a previous post I called VampireZIM a liar for claiming he was “making every effort to right this issue.” Last night just as I was logging off, he responded:

Obviously I meant that I was making every effort to right this issue without losing face. If I back down after the wrong you have done me, then I look bad. So that being known, unless we find another way to right this, and I think I have taken a big step in calling for this cease fire, that you have declined, then I dont see this ever ending.

Losing face? You’d think the guy in his ninth fruitless war would have started to notice he’s not exactly saving face by declaring and maintaining them. But, maybe that’s just me.

Just before I logged out for the night, I wrote back:

Do you honestly think anybody but you thinks that some POS modules you lost two years ago are a matter of honor? It’s like the first caracal I ever lost to a pirate, I’m the only one who cares. It’s EVE, sometimes you lose shit.

I suppose that wasn’t nice, but it’s how I see things. Readers, tell me — does anybody here have a low opinion of VampireZIM that stems from his failure to avenge some laboratory modules lost in 2006, which low opinion will be revised upwards if he successfully blows up some Ironfleet ships and pods?

Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?

Anyway, this morning I woke up to more love letters. I tell you, things don’t look good for the forces of detante. Where’s Jimmy Carter when we need him?

Responding to the last two paragraphs of my last blog post, VampireZim writes:

First, of all I dont need permission from an FC to pursue you into low sec, if that was my intention, it would have already happend, like the first two times i asked for fleet, I knew you were entering tama, why didnt i set up my camp on the other side waiting for your arrival.

Second, I offered this cease fire for the benefit of the fleet, I very much want to kill you, but I am not going to cause problems in a fleet where I am expected to watch my “brothers” backs.

Zim’s trouble here is that he’s got a credibility gap. Why didn’t he set up camp on the Nourv gate in Tama? Because he lacks the forces required. That gate is usually too hot for two pilots (which is what he had in Nourv yesterday) to sit on. It would be a waste of his Ishtar and Max Threat’s Onyx, and he knows it.

The pious “for the benefit of the fleet” would cut more onions if he’d ever previously volunteered for this or any other of the fleets leaving Nourv at that time of day. (There are time slots when I’m rarely online, I can’t speak for what fleets he joins at those times.) Bluntly put, I don’t believe that he is “not going to cause problems in a fleet” that he joined for the express purpose of finding and killing me. It’s simply not credible.

His next EVEmail, responding to the one above that I sent just before logging off last night, the one in which I asked if he seriously thought anybody else in the game cared about his two-years-gone POS modules:

No, that is the difference, you lost a ship because you were stupid and entered low sec, my POS was my home, it was supposed to be safe in high sec, but you exploited a bug that allowed you to attack it without concord agression. Thats why it was telling you that you were committing an offence against concord, but they didnt show up, you knew you were doing something wrong and you did it anyway.

In addition, it doesnt matter what others think, I think its a matter of honor and thats all I need.

I am fascinated and astonished that VampireZIM thinks I “exploited a bug” when I attacked his off-line POS (apparently home maintenance is not a vampiric strength). At the time, in 2006, there was no Concord response to such attacks. I searched the forums to find out whether Concord ought to be responding, and found nothing but a few conflicting opinions; nobody seemed to know. I didn’t know squat about “the rules” for high sec POS warfare, so I figured hey, shoot first and ask questions later, that’s what everybody else in this game seems to do.

Moving on: Does anybody else see a conflict between the statement “If I back down after the wrong you have done me, I look bad” and the statement “it doesnt matter what others think, I think its a matter of honor and thats all I need”? If it doesn’t matter what others think, why care about looking bad? How can someone fret about “losing face” who doesn’t care “what others think”? Somebody needs to quietly re-examine their inner motives.

And then — the fun never stops! — two more emails in the queue:

I have always warned you, out of sight out of mind, since you joined militia, you have been in sight alot, that is why you are perma dec’d. It was easy to forget you and move on, but now you are always where I am, that is the problem.

I will not cancel this war until we are back to that point, you on one side of Caldari Space, me on the other side.

You make alot of assumptions, I join fleets all the time, you dont seem to notice, I play eve 16 hours a day and I have 3 accounts, just because you dont notice the times I am in fleet, doesnt mean i never do. When I am in fleet, i have a job to do, i dont give a fuck about you, im not going to sacrifice my position in fleet and make myself look bad just to kill your “fully insured T1 replaceable ships”.

But while you are flying around stealing peoples shit, blowing up thier POS modules or whatever the hell you CLAIM to be doing with your time, I will fuckin hunt you till i pass out.

Thirty six minutes later:

In addition and I really think you would be doing the few people that read your blog justice by adressing this. You keep coming back to this SMOKING GUN, that I promised not to attack you if you stopped blowing up my shit, and then afterwards war dec’d you.

Lets put it like this, an evil man breaks into your home, while you, your wife and 5 children sleep, you wake and confront him, he stars shooting one child at a time. You in an act of desperation, tell him you will open the safe and give him all your money if he just leaves, he agrees, then you pull a gun out of the safe and shoot him. In your twisted little mind, are you a dis-honest person or justified in taking revenge on your attacker, someone who has done you harm?

You were blowing up my fucking shit, I negotiated with you to get you to stop blowing up my shit, you are NOT the rightious party in this situation, so get the fuck over yourself already!

The first email speaks, I think, for itself. The second one, since he asked me to address it here, I shall address.

VampireZIM entirely misconstrues and misunderstands the significance of his broken promise to me the night he first encountered Ironfleet. Although I am enormously entertained by the comparison of Ironfleet’s mighty Caracal fleet to an evil child-murdering home invader, I have no problem with the essential mechanics of the analogy. This is called situational ethics, and it’s highly pragmatic — the idea for people like VampireZIM is that you make the promises you need to make in order to get what you want, and then you break them as soon as you’ve gotten what you want.

Situational ethics are pragmatic, but they are not “honor” in any normal sense. Someone with situational ethics cannot be trusted, because they will break a promise whenever it is convenient. And that is why I “keep coming back” to my first encounter with VampireZIM. He speaks of honor, but he doesn’t practice it. And then he wonders why he cannot negotiate with Ironfleet. I think he’s genuinely confused about that part. Because he’s full of his own sense of self-justification, he doesn’t see that he’s forever destroyed his capacity to be believed.

Now, as it happens, I think “honor” tends to be pretty silly in an internet spaceship game. These modern-day would-be samurai who smack-talk anybody who won’t “come out and fight” are figures of derision for me; I see EVE as a very modern war of all against all. Picking your fights and arranging for uneven fights, avoiding the ones you aren’t sure to win, strikes me as the very essence of enlightened self-interest, and EVE is a game that rewards self-interest.

What is not silly, despite all pointless notions of honor, is a reputation for keeping your word and doing what you’ll say you’ll do. Even pirates, the good ones, try to develop a reputation for honoring their ransoms. In a game where many fun and interesting activities require trust, a reputation for situational ethics — for giving your word lightly and breaking it just as lightly — is a bad thing to have. And that’s the reputation VampireZIM has earned with Ironfleet. It makes negotiations between VampireZIM and Ironfleet virtually impossible — a fact he does not seem to grasp or comprehend.

I have never claimed to be the “righteous party” in Ironfleet’s dispute with VampireZIM. On the contrary, I’ve freely admitted that we did him an injury in the hope of financial gain. That’s what Ironfleet does, unless we’ve given our word not to. (I defy anybody to name an instance where Ironfleet has given a promise and not kept it, though. The closest case I can think of was when I accidentally podded Aktala at a time when she thought, wrongly but with good reason for thinking, that we had a no-podding agreement; and I resolved that by paying her the price she named for her implants.)

Nope, the only reason I keep mentioning VampireZIM’s infamous lie (and his repeated statements that he doesn’t feel bound by his promises to Ironfleet) is because he keeps going on about his honor. What he needs, and does not have, and now cannot get because of his repeated denunciations of the very idea, is a reputation for keeping his word.

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.

Today was pretty funny, VampireZim made several more efforts to get into my fleet while it was forming up, and even (briefly) got into the fleet before being summarily kicked by the fleet commander. Whereupon he began complaining about me in militia chat, to the general entertainment of all:

VampireZIM > Merlenus is a loot theif, hope you dont care about your loot fleet
Marlenus > LOL, the FC and I have an understanding

The reason I was LOL is that whatever grudge Zim has against me, thievery has played no part in it. Vandalism? Yes. Vandalism with intent to purloin? Also yes. But actual thievery? It never happened. As the lawyers put it, mine was a crime of intent.

Right then I had a computer crash, and when I got back on, one of the former AC-ME boys (one I always enjoyed flying against, and have happily flown with in FW) was saying in Militia:

Murdock Jones > uh oh ZIM! He’s back hide your POS :P
Marlenus > LOL

The LOL was real, and real loud. Murdock’s gibe (sheesh, there’s a word straight out of the old Hardy Boy books) told me Zim had been trying to impugn my sterling reputation (hence the LOL) while I was offline. Seriously, if I wasn’t proud of Ironfleet’s endeavors, would I publish this tell-all blog?

(Well, “tell-most” would probably be a better phrase. is of course the propaganda organ of Ironfleet, as if that weren’t obvious. If you see it here, it’s because I think it advances Ironfleet’s interests to have it here, or it amuses me sufficiently to outweigh any detriment to Ironfleet.)

Marlenus > x discoed
Threv Echandari > OMG Drama Detector peaking…….
Threv Echandari > wahts up this time guys?
VampireZIM > yea, hope you dont accidently disco when i am blowing up your ship :)
Marlenus > Murdock did he say mean things about me while I was gone?
VampireZIM > just the truth
Marlenus > Zim, in two years you’ve never managed to get weapons hot on my ship.
Murdock Jones > just the same old you stole and blew his stuff up
VampireZIM > yea, its easy to run and hide and you are good at it, so many people chasing you all the time, practice makes perfect
Threv Echandari > oh nvm Ironfleet/Zim Stuff….

Right about then, in fleet voice, somebody asked (for about the fifth time) “who is this VampireZIM at the rally point but not in the fleet?” And the FC said “Hey, he’s convo-ing me, I wonder what he wants?” And I said “He wants to tell you what a big old thief I am.”

… pause …

FC says “well, what do you know, that’s exactly what he’s telling me!”

A little more time passes, and Zim is back to smacking in militia chat:

Threv Echandari > Girls girls your both pretty now go and shoot some Gallente for a change
VampireZIM > I wanted to, but the FC would rather have a thief in fleet rather than an able pilot

Remember that “I wanted to” later when you see VampireZIM’s mail accusing me of lies. In two months of factional warfare based out of Nourvokaiken, I’ve seen the call go out to “x up” for hundreds of different fleets. Dozens of those fleet calls have happened when VampireZIM was present in the system. Out of all those dozens, the ONLY times he has ever attempted to x up for a fleet have been when I was in said fleet, and that has only happened … wait for it … twice. He wanted to go shoot Gallente, but only if I was going, too? How…flattering.

Not to mention, unlikely.

Anyway, I responded:

Marlenus > LOL, aggressive salvage is not *all* that I do
VampireZIM > merlenus, yes, you run like a little girl too

Of course I prefer to call it “sensible tactics and good business” — unless there’s some sekrit uber strat for taking on a heavy interdictor and two heavy assault cruisers in my Crane? Of course I run from that gate camp, and I always will. Any sensible solo pilot would. And anyway, until fleet warfare came along, I was never any kind of combat pilot, never wanted to be. Rallying to the defense of the Caldari State like all true patriots, I’ve been forced to learn a few modest skills, but I’m still pretty much in the “fly something simple, follow orders, and keep a deep hangar so you can be in a replacement ship instantly” school of PvP. Tangling with humorless smack-talking enemies offers no reward, so I’m not gonna bother. (Well, not unless they dangle Merlins and Kestrels in front of me like low-hanging fruit.)

So, yeah, Ironfleet is good at avoiding unwanted combat. We’re damned proud of it, too. Which makes it a great day when our enemies complain about how good we are at it.

While VampireZIM and his “buddy-who-often-logs-at-the-same-time” Max Threat were waiting for me at the fleet rally point, I was chillin’ in my undisclosed location, shootin’ quails and drinkin’ beers with my buddy Dick Cheney. (He’s there a lot.) Then the fleet scout reported a rare moment of clear space on the far side of the gate into Tama, so I took the opportunity to move out down the line of the fleet advance and get a few jumps ahead of the fleet. I am reliably informed that Zim/Threat followed the fleet as far as … the Nourv gate into Tama, where they set up camp for many more hours.

Fleet operations, until my dinnertime, were uneventful. At dinnertime, I docked in Tama to save drama at the Zimcamp, and went AFK. When I came back from my meal, I found somebody from Blood Raiders Dominion keeping me company in the station, plus EVEmail from VampireZIM, the first in two years. I’m sorry to report he still hasn’t had time to grow a sense of humor.

The mail — which I am going to go through line-by-line, just for fun, starts:

I have just read your blog, granted I had thoughts about burying my grudge, but in all honesty, Im bored.

First thought: Good. Boring the crap out of VampireZIM has been the main Ironfleet goal in all nine of the Zimwars. I’m delighted to learn that we have achieved our primary war aim.

Second thought: Wait a minnit. “Just” read my blog? All these wars, all this time, and VampireZim (an internet sort of guy — he publishes, or published, an internet video show about this online spaceship game fer chrissake!) has never bothered before now to type “Marlenus Ironfleet” into Google? It’s possible I suppose, but … wow.

The mail continues (we’ll be doing this for awhile):

I was happy to see that you agree that my grudge is justified, I kinda thought so myself.

It’s true that I did say, back on June 19, “to be fair, we did him an injury first, so he, too, would be justified in holding a grudge.” Of course, I was humorously attempting to mock him at the time; this was right after the part where I referred to him as “the notorious carrot juice drinker and wearer of feminine undergarments”.

The grudge is understandable. The passion with which it has been so unsuccessfully prosecuted? Not so much. Fairer minds than mine have considered the situation and said “he really ought to get over it, already.”

As for your childish names and lies, brings me back to the fact that you are a well spoken scumbag. First of all, it is untrue that I drink carrot juice, still not sure what insult that is supposed to bring against me. I do however enjoy V8 vegitable juice from time to time. Second, I do not wear womens garments, not sure where you came up with that.

I looked at that bit of the mail in astonishment. Could it be, could it genuinely be, that VampireZIM has no sense of humor at all?

Dude, those were jokes. You know, vampires, they drink, er, blood, right? Blood Raiders Initiates, Blood Raiders Dominion, the blood theme, it’s not exactly a new thing with you, right? Drinking the blood, it’s one of the things that makes a vampire scary, right? So what would be a fun thing to accuse a non-scary vampire of? Drinking carrot juice. It’s a gibe, it’s a joke.

Yeah, I know, when you explain a joke, all the funny falls out. Sorry ’bout that.

Anyway, it’s not a lie. A lie requires intent to deceive. If I said “VampireZIM drinks Quafe” that might be a lie, because — since the game mechanics allow it — it might be that I wanted someone to believe it. But unless there’s carrot juice somewhere in the EVE database, it was pretty obvious that “VampireZIM drinks carrot juice” was not believable, not intended to be believed. Not a lie.

Same pretty much goes for the “feminine undergarments” accusation. Joke. Mockery. Not capable of being a lie. Not a suggestion anybody was ever supposed to take seriously.

More from Zim:

I will go ahead and keep the war going, until I get bored of that.

Ironfleet shall continue endeavoring to hasten that day to the best of our ability.

To answer your question of why I camp the gate for hours on end, Im watching movies and doing other things, waiting for RED to show up and if you look at our killboard, you will see MILITIA KILLS IN TAMA, so we are doing our part, as well as several others in low sec. In fact CALDARI STATE MILITIA kills MORE THAN DOUBLE Ironfleet at the time of this writing.

No surprise there — as little joy as Ironfleet has given the CLDRI gate camps, it defied imagination to think the hours and hours of camping were solely for Ironfleet’s benefit.

I am laughing, however, at the proud assertion that Caldari State Militia, a shiny new FW corp with 18 members, has gotten on twice as many killmails as Ironfleet, which has seven pilots on its dusty rolls and only two pilots actually flying in factional warfare. Twice as many, in a corp that flies battleships and HACs and command ships. Jim Bridger’s T1 destroyers, and me in my cheap frigates, my Blackbird, my Drake, we’ve gotten on half as many killboards as CLDRI? I say in all sincerity: COOL.

So again, caught in lies. I am very sorry for an individual like yourself who preys on others, stealing and lying.

What is it with this repeated “lies” accusation? Hey wait a minute, does this sound familiar to anybody else?

Who here remembers Chebri? Yeah, that Chebri, the one who hated me with such an unreasoning passion, and always harped about “lies” when she couldn’t actually point to any.


Back to VampireZIM:

I just want to let you know, that I also have alot of ISK burning holes in my pockets, so I will be funding bounties on you and your corp mates, we will see how easy it is to fly in fleets when you dont see the shiny red star next to your enemies.

To which I can only say: “Good luck with that.”

I mostly fly fully insured T1 replaceable ships in fleet, usually ones I’ve got stacked four or five deep in my fitted ships hangar. I go out prepared to lose two or three a night. And if there isn’t a CLDRI tag on the killmail, I won’t even know who was the engine of my misfortune, so I won’t exactly be stewing in impotent rage about VampireZIM’s stealth victory for T1 manufacturers everywhere.

Not to mention the little detail that most FCs I have traveled with tend to primary anybody who shoots at a fleet member in low sec. So those “bounties” will be hard-earned by whomever collects them.

I rather enjoyed the recount of the initial attack, well done

Thank you!

But you failed to mention that shortly after we dec’d your corp, ALL your active members quit because we were chasing them around the verse. Leaving you, your alts and dead characters, for which I see you have never recovered from to this day.

I didn’t “mention” that because it’s not quite true, and the parts that are true contain false assumptions about Ironfleet’s goals and motives. Actually, several of my members did not quit, and some of the originals who moved to other corps during Zimwar I (that part is true enough) made new Ironfleet alts who still play from time to time. (Torpedo Ted, for instance, took out an AC-ME hauler during the INDY war, all by himself in a rocket kestrel.)

But the real fail in that view of the world is that Ironfleet was never intended to be anything but a way for me to get more hangar space, with tabs, and for me to easily give free frigates to some real world friends who joined the game a couple of months after me. Ironfleet has never “recovered” because growth was never an Ironfleet goal. Ironfleet does not recruit, we (politely) reject several applications a month, and I still don’t want anybody in the corporation whose neck I cannot get my physical fingers around if they jack up the stuff in the hangars.

BTW, do not incinuate that the war from BLOOD had anything to do with the drop in members, I pruned the dead beats to raise our CALDARI STATE to join the MILITIA, then decided it would be easier to start CLDRI. BLOOD is growing again.

I’m glad that’s cleared up.

Whew, long blog. My fingers will be glad when this war is over!

Remember Yorlock The Butthurt? This guy? You remember, the guy who wrote: “I am hoping your are exceptionally stupid and continus this conduct.”

Well, that was April. Lotta blustery smack, but then I never heard from him again.

Well, I did once. He saw me in local on June 22 and said:

Yorlock > 10 mil to whioever pods Marlenus
Marlenus > LOL, you still butthurt?
Yorlock > your a smacktard, a thief and a war dec dodger

Which I thought was pretty funny coming from Yorlock, whose outrageous smack has been documented before, and not just in this space. The war dec dodger remark is doubly funny — first because of my unblemished history of employment in Ironfleet, and even moreso because at that very moment, my last war had been the one Ironfleet declared against the INDY Alliance — and won.

It turns out that on June 22, friend Yorlock had just founded (the day before) a one-man corp called Bot Death (ticker: BOT-U).

The news: today’s bundle of junk mail from Concord included a war declaration from Bot Death. Yes, boys and girls, Yorlock is going to try and pod him some thieving smacktard war dec dodging Ironfleet “scumbags”.

We tremble in our pods, we truly do.

Also: good luck with that.

By my count, the not-yet-retracted war by VampireZim’s CLDRI against Ironfleet Towing and Salvage is the ninth war declared (by the Zimster, his alts, allies, associates, and for all I know, buttboys) in pursuit of vengeance for something that happened more than two years ago.

I’m not sure, it could be more. Ironfleet has had at least one mercenary dec us for reasons never explained.

In all those nine wars, my entire losses to date have been one day-old alt in a shuttle, popped, then caught again in his reaper, and podded. I think, but am not sure, that one of my old corpies from back in the day may have lost a small ship also. I also had some giant secure cans go missing during the first war, but I’d count those as a loss for the other side, given the time and missiles needed to blow up a giant secure can.

As the Six Fingered Man in The Princess Bride might say: “Are you still trying to WIN? You’ve got an overdeveloped sense of vengeance.”

So, I know you’re all wondering. What terrible misdeed did Ironfleet Towing And Salvage commit on June 21, 2006, in our massive rumbling fleet of three, yes THREE awesome and fear-inspiring Caracals and one Maulus frigate, piloted by a fearsome crew (that’s us) of intrepid salvagers, the oldest of whom (me) was all of two months and nine days old?

Aside: now that I see it in print, that date of our infamous crime is precisely two years prior to the recent (now-retracted) wardec from BLOOD. Coincidence? Could be. Maybe not.

Ah yes, the crime. You want to hear about the crime.

To tell you about the crime, you have to understand that when I started EVE, most missions were taking place near the stargates, so that when you travelled anywhere, you would see these vast “canstellations” of loot cans. I quickly discovered that the ISK from cleaning those up was vastly better than from anything else a noob pilot could do. Yeah, sometimes an irate Navy Raven pilot would lob torpedoes at my Condor, but that was more exhilarating than dangerous.

I did try mining (boring) and mission running (same) and ratting (great until I ran out of challenging rats in high-sec). When I tried to go to .4 space for better rats, they started spawning cruisers with heavy missiles; since I was in a destroyer with low skills, that ended badly. I never even got a chance to meet a pirate, lucky me. So I went back to cleaning up canstellations, and started saving up for a Caracal so I could have some of those heavy missiles for my own. Yes, friends, my ongoing enthusiasm for heavy missiles can be directly traced to about sixty very bad seconds in Horrkenson when I lost my first destroyer to some Gurista pirate cruisers.

Right about then, I had some friends who were interested in the game, so I gave them some timecards and set up Ironfleet Towing And Salvage, bought them some frigates, pointed them at the canstellations, and told them to get to work.

Which they did, after a fashion, but unlike me, they also enjoyed mission running. So they did that too.

Then came the fateful day when I was warping from moon to moon in Eitu, trying to find some of the famous Player Owned Stations (POSs) I had been reading about on the forums. Found some, too. And one of them, interestingly enough, was out of fuel, offline, and had no force field. It did, however, have several labs, a ship assembly array, some silos, all kinds of stuff.

The POS belonged to an outfit named Caldari Manufacturing Corp. Member count: 1. Founder and CEO, you guessed it: VampireZim.

And that’s when my salvager instinct kicked in. What would happen, I wondered, if I blew up some of those labs and silos? Would candy fall out of the pinata?

I hit the forums. There I found an interesting thing — there was a dispute going on about whether Concord would respond to an attack on a high-sec POS. Some said yes, some said no. And nobody seemed to know whether loot could fall out; again, some said yes, some said no.

I figured it was time to conduct some salvage science.

First thing I did was jump in an Ibis and go shoot at a (different) POS I had found. Ping, ping, ping, the peas from my civilian Gatling peashooter struck it, buffet after puny buffet.

Concord did not trouble itself with this modest problem.

So I called in the troops. By now Ironfleet could muster three Caracals and a Maulus frigate in space at one time, so at an appointed hour, we all showed up and began blasting POS modules. Each one took awhile, but we had plenty of time.

By the time we had blown up perhaps a third of the modules, I was receiving an urgent communique from one VampireZim. It was at that moment that I encountered my first EVE smacktalk. (Before that, I had been a smacktalk virgin.)

And my, how the smack was smacked! Sadly I do not have the chat logs any more, so I cannot give you particulars. But names were called, and threats were made, and we were all going to die repeated and bloody deaths until we were podded out of the game and left wallowing in freakish misery forever. Or something like that.

It was not a communique calculated to preserve his assets. Heck, he could have probably offered us three million ISK in ransom and we would have gone away stupidly happy, but we were too clueless to ask and he was too frothy to offer.

As well hung for a sheep as for a lamb, we kept on popping POS modules. And VampireZim kept on convo-smacking.

By the time we’d blown up about half the modules, we were (a) low on missiles, and (b) not seeing any loot cans. And my corpies were starting to worry about the retribution. Just about then, VampireZim switched from threats to pleading; now, he was saying, if we’d only stop shooting, he’d take back all the violent death threats and promise not to declare war on us. Otherwise, of course, we’d be wardecced into freakish misery, etc.

So we stopped shooting. And told Zim we’d accepted his generous peace offering.

About two minutes later (why were we still there? I have NO idea at this time), Zim’s Nighthawk (and yes, it was the first time any of us had seen one) came screaming out of warp and began trying to blow us all to hell, which apparently he had blinky red rights to do in consequence of our aggressive salvaging behavior in regards to his former assets.

We left, hurridly but in our ships. And contemplated our first lesson in EVE honor.

Eve honor, Lesson One: VampireZim does not have any.

Naturally, the smacktalk from Zim continued. Doomed, doomed, we were all to be eternally doomed. EVE was over for us. Zim and his big brothers and his ebil pirate friends and their mommas were all going to pod us repeatedly until the pod goo runs clear, or some such. I wish I had those chat logs. I was civil but unsympathetic, as I remember it. Zim probably remembers it differently.

Then came the first of many war declarations:

2006.06.22 08:35
Caldari Manufacturing Corp has declared war on Ironfleet Towing And Salvage.
After 24 hours fighting can legally occur between those involved.

That was swiftly followed by an utterly ridiculous and somewhat extortionate demand for compensation:

I have declared war on your corp and you will be getting a second declaration from my sister pirate corp. This war will continue until you pay Caldari Manufacturing 250MILL ISK. Until then, we will hunt you no matter where you go, you and your 3 ALTS.

BTW, in our chat, when I mentioned re-embursment, I meant, on your part, not mine, moron. Your re-embursment is 250MILL, until then I hope you dont mind being shot at where ever you go.

See you in my sites.

The chat reference is to an exchange I no longer have, but I remember it; he said “Reimbursement WILL be paid” or something to that effect, to which I replied in an admittedly feeble attempt at humor: “Oh, you are going to reimburse us for the missiles we spent?”

Apparently he didn’t find this funny.

The “sister pirate corp” declaration was not far behind:

2006.06.22 08:53
Blood Raiders Dominion has declared war on Ironfleet Towing And Salvage.
After 24 hours fighting can legally occur between those involved.

Now, the reasons I called the reimbursement demand “utterly ridiculous” are twofold. First, I believe the amount was way out of proportion to the damage we did. More to the point, I’d be surprised if Ironfleet Towing And Salvage had fifty million in total assets at that time. We couldn’t have paid if we wanted to, which we didn’t.

Second, as I told VampireZim, paying him anything at all was looking like a fool’s game, since he’d already broken his word once:

LOL, pretty funny — since you don’t honor your commitments, what possible advantage could there be to paying you “reimbursement”?

You already said you wouldn’t declare war, and accepted valuable consideration for that promise. If you break that promise, why would we assume you’d keep the next one, and end the war if we paid your demands?

Obviously, we can’t believe you. So, it will be a cold day in hell.

Cordially —


My skepticism seems to have been well-founded, because Zim’s very next email made it clear he never intended to honor his promise to drop the war if paid:

First of all why the fuck would I honor a promise to someone who has attacked and robbed me? I have declared war, the vote is on and in one day you will see everyone in my corp blinking red, just before your ship explodes.

Which turned out to be a grandiose promise. I think he got a target lock on me, once; but to this day I have never lost a ship. I did have an alt that one of his alts caught coming from Minmatar space in a shuttle; he blew the shuttle, caught the alt again in his reaper, and blew the reaper, podding the day-old alt. This is all the satisfaction VampireZim has ever had from Ironfleet Towing and Salvage.

More emails to demonstrate The Joy Of Zim. After the bizarre robbery allegation, I wrote:

Precision in language, my good man, is always valuable. We didn’t rob you — in fact, we didn’t remove an ounce of loot.

And as for why you would honor your commitments, only you can answer that. But if you *won’t* honor your commitments, it’s rather silly to offer your word a second time in regards to war termination, isn’t it?

— Marlenus

And he replied:

You did rob me, by destroying my property. Just because your a moron and didnt know you wouldnt gain anything is not my problem.

You have robbed me and I will get re-embursment or I will take it out in the destruction of your property.

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

You will pay, because eventually you will want to fly a better ship, unless you plan on quiting eve, you will eventually be flying ships that you WILL regret losing.

this conversation is over, pay or die.

To this day I am laughing over his ability to say “pay or die” in the same email as he says “I will not honor my word.” If he won’t honor his word, why on earth would anybody pay him? If it’s a choice between “die” and “pay AND die” I’d rather just die, thanks.

So I wrote back:

Well, as Fezzik the Giant said to the Sicilian: “I don’t think that word means what you think that word means.” You can’t be robbed if nothing is taken away, and we took nothing away.

I’ll admit, however, that you were rather heinously vandalized.

As for paying, it’s simply *not* going to happen. You’ve proven there’s no *point* in paying you anything — you admit you won’t honor your word, so what’s to stop you from taking the money and continuing all this pain you say you’re planning to visit upon us?

I’ll point out once again that you simply can’t hurt us — we don’t have anything that will hurt when it goes boom. You guys, on the other hand, do. (As I think was rather ably proven tonight.) So if the war goes on long enough, the odds are in our favor — however newbish we may be, we’re bound to get lucky eventually.

It’s entirely up to you, my young corpmates are looking forward to the war in any case. Me, I don’t much care. We aren’t flying *anything* that isn’t fully insured, and (perhaps you’ve forgotten) standard Tech I gear is really cheap. You simply can’t hurt us, no matter how many ships you pop. I figure you’ll get bored soon enough when you never find any juicy war targets.

Marlenus, over and out.

The conversation may have been over, but VampireZim was not done talking:

First of all I told you I am not a war corp, going to war with you is to defend my honor.

You will eventually be flying ships that are valuable. I welcome your attack on my POS now, I have had an army of BS attack my POS, a few frigs and cruisers arent going to stand a chance. So you see I have nothing to lose. Your entire corp could attack my one NIGHTHAWK and i would end you all. I dont intend to lose anything more.

There is no such thing as FULLY insured btw. Also insurance costs money.

Hehe, bored? NO doing missions day after day is boring, going to war is going to be FUN. Specially since I know its against a little pee on, it will be worth just seeing your ships pop in front of an audience.

It must be sad to be a man with no honor, who also can’t spell the word “peon.”

And that, really, is the last I ever heard from VampireZim. A week later, one more war dec:

2006.06.26 18:07
Murder-Death-Kill has declared war on Ironfleet Towing And Salvage.
After 24 hours fighting can legally occur between those involved.

That one actually impressed me; at the time, Murder-Death-Kill had something of an impressive reputation as a mercenary corp. Zim had been doing a terrible job of finding us (except for the AFK alt in the shuttle); I thought maybe the MDK boys would be more dangerous. I believe the CEO, one Xaeon, did manage to get in the same system as me one time; but for the most part, they did not even try to bring it. (Zim and his many alts and associates, however, did spend a lot of time following me around with location agents.)

After another week, the first two wars expired for nonpayment of war bills, and MDK retracted theirs. I guess this was supposed to lull me into a false sense of security.

Two weeks later, two more wardecs:

2006.07.08 20:36
Caldari Manufacturing Corp has declared war on Ironfleet Towing And Salvage.
After 24 hours fighting can legally occur between those involved.

2006.07.08 21:46
Blood Raiders Dominion has declared war on Ironfleet Towing And Salvage.
After 24 hours fighting can legally occur between those involved.

These lasted three weeks before expiring for non-payment of the war bill.

The peace lasted three weeks, until the next outbreak of unprosecuted wardec Tourette’s Syndrome:

2006.08.23 09:56
Noobie Pirates Militia has declared war on Ironfleet Towing And Salvage.
After 24 hours fighting can legally occur between those involved.

2006.08.23 10:02
Caldari Manufacturing Corp has declared war on Ironfleet Towing And Salvage.
After 24 hours fighting can legally occur between those involved.

The Noobie Pirates Militia, it turns out, was founded by D34TH, one of the CLDRI boys in local tonight; although closed, it’s also visible in Max Threat’s employment history, and Max Threat is (if not a VampireZim alt) prone to logging in and logging out at the same time Zim does.

Those two wars lasted a week, no action, and were quietly canceled by Concord when the war bills went unpaid.

In all the time since, I’ve only had one conversation with VampireZim. I was in some new-to-me system looking for ore to salvage, and he saw me in local, said something to the effect of “get out of this system and stay out, or it’s war again.” Which made me laugh, seeing as how all seven previous wars had come to nothing, and also seeing as how I was only passing through.

So that’s it, the whole epic tale. Nine wars (by six different corps) later, and VampireZim has still not had his revenge. Which is why it says, right up there in the “About Ironfleet” page, that VampireZim drinks carrot juice.

The funny part about all of this is that Zim has a right to be aggrieved. But by breaking his word to us within ten seconds of the first time we ever saw him in local, he utterly destroyed any chance of a negotiated settlement for his legitimate grievance. Nine wardecs later, he’s still spending money chasing ancient grudges that he can’t possibly hope to settle.

I am increasingly finding myself in the position of teaching hard lessons to newer players. I don’t do this with scorn — we were all new once — but I do find myself wondering sometimes if I’m the first hostile opponent they have ever encountered in EVE.

Tonight when I logged in, the first banter in local I saw was:

Tang Ra > hes robbing u
NeoEclipse > ya i saw that..
Tang Ra > a lots of nasty ppl in this game

That was enough hint of loose ore waiting to be salvaged for me; I jumped in my Crane and went salvage hunting.

Sure enough, I found NeoEclipse hanging in the belts in a destroyer, near a jetcan. He’s in a corp, and his mining lasers were not lit. Real, or bait? No matter, I’ll chance it.

Sadly, the can was light — not even a Craneload. Still, I emptied it. And bedamned if he didn’t launch some drones and sic them on me!

Alert for a trap, I nonetheless did the necessary. It was fast and ugly, because his drones were his only weapon and he had no tank except for his small armor repper:

2008.06.03 06:45:00

Victim: NeoEclipse
Alliance: NONE
Corp: Galactic Revolutionary Forces
Destroyed: Exequror
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.5
Damage Taken: 4357

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.4
Alliance: NONE
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Ship: Crane
Weapon: Havoc Fury Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 3839

Name: Guristas Despoiler / Guristas
Damage Done: 518

Destroyed items:

Rich Plagioclase, Qty: 1114 (Cargo)
Small Armor Repairer I
Miner II, Qty: 2
Hornet I, Qty: 2 (Drone Bay)
Survey Scanner I

Dropped items:

Miner I
Co-Processor I
Miner II
Hornet I, Qty: 2 (Drone Bay)
Basic Co-Processor

Ugly! What was he thinking? Ah, there’s a hint — he’s less than two weeks old. Did he, do you suppose, take from this a salutory lesson, and resolve never again get cocky in a ship that’s packing a full rack of mining lasers?

His remarks in local suggest… maybe not. And dig the supportive-but-inarticulate sidekick who chimes in part way through the conversation:

NeoEclipse > u fuck
NeoEclipse > Marlenus
Marlenus > LOL, attacking the helpless hauler not such a good idea?
NeoEclipse > ya i guess so. but now im goin to have you killed for sure. everytime i see you in this zone im goin to bait the shit out of u with everyone in here.
Marlenus > Good luck with that.
NeoEclipse > this is my base so it wont be hard
Marlenus > We’ll see I guess.
Esplin9466 > jes vee vill
NeoEclipse > i hope everyone can read in this area and marks you down. freakin idiot. 2 yr player and total jackass.
Marlenus > LOL, if they can’t read it here, they can read all about it on the Ironfleet Towing And Salvage blog at
Marlenus > And you attacked a transport ship in a mining cruiser with no guns, who was the idiot again?
NeoEclipse > u are..just to remind you. you are
Marlenus > If that’s what you have to tell yourself, OK I guess…
Esplin9466 > goo bagz
Esplin9466 > = bagz of goo
Esplin9466 > jizzimous goo

I confess I came closer to taunting the poor boy than I usually like to do, but he was trying so hard to offend me, it seemed a pity not to rise to his bait a little bit.

Jizzimous Goo, over and out…

Wow, how long has it been since I had a chance to defend an Ironfleet can with heavy missiles? Months, I think.

Tonight, I did, though. And how!

As I mentioned in the last post, I’ve been forced to do a bit of mission running lately, for standings. I finally worked my way up to a high-quality Level III agent in a convenient location, and so last night I began to relocate my fleet into that system so I can work out of there when I simply can’t stand the fork-to-the-face boredom that is mission running.

So, tonight I took the Crane out for a sweep of the belts, hoping to haul some ore before getting down to missions. And I saw an unusual thing: a guy, member of a corp in an alliance, who’s been playing four months longer than me, jet-can mining … in a Retriever. Flying a full set of mixed Tech 1 combat drones.

Needless to say, I was suspicious it might be a trap. Checked the graphics, yup, he’s got two lasers running; check the can ownership, yup it’s his can at least. No telling how many friends he’s got, though, just waiting a short warp away to pwn the careless and greedy.

Still, faint heart never won fair lady. I approached the can. Hey, it’s mostly full of plagioclase! So I grabbed a Craneload, flipped the rest into an Ironfleet jetcan, and hauled ore for the station.

Hauling all that in a Crane is not going to be easy — better to use a bigger hauler after the agro timer expires. So, I’ll jump in the handy Cerberus and go guard the Ironfleet can.

Remember my Cerberus? Have I mentioned my Cerberus? INDY was flying one against me during Chebri’s War, and I admired it. A lot. So I finished the necessary skilling, and bought one. It’s a hangar queen and a toy, mostly, but I luvs it to death and polishes it to a high shine every Saturday afternoon, whether it needs it or not. Aside from one brief-but-exciting encounter with a Vagabond, I haven’t had a chance to do any combat flying with it, although it blows through low-level missions like you would NOT believe. Overkillus Maximus!

Speaking of overkill…

When my Cerberus came out of warp thirty clicks from the Ironfleet can, there was no Ironfleet can.

What there was, was a flashing red Retriever. Really? Oh no, he didn’t!

Oh, yes, he did.

Lock, fire. In my haste, I somehow managed to miss turning on one heavy missile launcher, and I forgot to load the fancy missiles. So the first volley of four is on its way. Is he going to flee?

Let’s go to the videotape:

Your Scourge Heavy Missile hits ArcticIcewolf (Retriever), doing 184.9 damage.
Your Scourge Heavy Missile hits ArcticIcewolf (Retriever), doing 184.9 damage.
Your Scourge Heavy Missile hits ArcticIcewolf (Retriever), doing 225.6 damage.
Your Scourge Heavy Missile hits ArcticIcewolf (Retriever), doing 231.2 damage.

Volley one! Is he fleeing? Why, no, he’s sent his drones after me. He wants to fight!

Hornet I belonging to ArcticIcewolf places an excellent hit on you, inflicting 13.8 damage.
Hornet I belonging to ArcticIcewolf hits you, doing 8.6 damage.
Hornet I belonging to ArcticIcewolf heavily hits you, inflicting 11.6 damage.
Hornet I belonging to ArcticIcewolf heavily hits you, inflicting 10.9 damage.
Hornet I belonging to ArcticIcewolf heavily hits you, inflicting 10.6 damage.

Oooh, that smarted! Volley two, away!

Your Scourge Heavy Missile hits ArcticIcewolf (Retriever), doing 231.1 damage.
Your Scourge Heavy Missile hits ArcticIcewolf (Retriever), doing 290.3 damage.
Your Scourge Heavy Missile hits ArcticIcewolf (Retriever), doing 308.2 damage.
Your Scourge Heavy Missile hits ArcticIcewolf (Retriever), doing 308.2 damage.
Heavy Missile Launcher II deactivates as ArcticIcewolf’s Retriever begins to explode.
Heavy Missile Launcher II deactivates as ArcticIcewolf’s Retriever begins to explode.
Heavy Missile Launcher II deactivates as ArcticIcewolf’s Retriever begins to explode.
Heavy Missile Launcher II deactivates as ArcticIcewolf’s Retriever begins to explode.

Oops, that was fast.

A moment’s pause. And then, in local:

ArcticIcewolf > Marlenus you fucking prick

I decide not to dignify that with a response, but there’s a bystander:

Waxau > lol
Waxau > NERD RAGE!

Here’s the killmail:

Victim: ArcticIcewolf
Alliance: Chances of Misfortune
Corp: Hearts of Obsidian
Destroyed: Retriever
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.5
Damage Taken: 2067

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Alliance: NONE
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Ship: Cerberus
Weapon: Scourge Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 1964

Name: Thorn Rocket / Guristas
Damage Done: 103

Destroyed items:

Strip Miner I

Dropped items:

Strip Miner I

So, I’m closing with the wreck to scoop that stripminer, and I’m thinking, this guy’s been playing longer than I have, he’s in an allianced corp, he should know better. What was he thinking?

I scooped the miner, flipped all the plagioclase back into an Ironfleet can, filled my cargo hold, and docked. Decided to go back and guard the can some more, until it’s safe to take a hauler in.

Back I went. In the Cerberus. Parked about 70 clicks out.

Here comes ArcticIcewolf, still flashing red, in an industrial (Bestower). I guess he still wants the ore. Doesn’t he know better?

Apparently, not:

Victim: ArcticIcewolf
Alliance: Chances of Misfortune
Corp: Hearts of Obsidian
Destroyed: Bestower
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.5
Damage Taken: 1956

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Alliance: NONE
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Ship: Cerberus
Weapon: Scourge Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 1956

Destroyed items:

Civilian Expanded Cargohold, Qty: 2

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, he’s been playing since December of 2005 and he’s fitted his hauler with CIVILIAN EXPANDED CARGOHOLDS!

By now, I figure he’s mad, but there’s been no further smack in local. I continue guarding the can until the agro wears off, and meanwhile, I strike up a chat with a friendly bored hulk pilot. We’re talking about unrelated stuff, he mentions an ISK windfall he just got, and I mention a market killing I made once due to another player’s error. Suddenly, we’re hearing from ArcticIcewolf in local. During the conversation you are about to read, I had time to haul all the ore in my Crane (sadly, I didn’t have a larger hauler in system, so it took about four trips) and then come back in my salvage destroyer to salvage both of ArcticIcewolf’s wrecks. My favorite part of what follows is where ArcticIcewolf explains that he can’t fight because he has a life, and thus cannot play enough to afford any combat vessels:

09:04:54: ArcticIcewolf > hey you cant help being an asshole its in your nature
09:05:03: Marlenus > Lol, still chafing are we?
09:05:17: ArcticIcewolf > just a tad
09:05:38: Marlenus > Honestly I’m not sure why you came back in the hauler when I had an Ironfleet can to defend.
09:06:15: Lord Vindicarious > Did you boys get in a pissing match?
09:06:22: ArcticIcewolf > well concidering you stole all my shit i dunno think bout it
09:06:30: Marlenus > Naw, just an altercation over ore floating in space
09:06:42: Marlenus > Cerberus versus retriever, it was fast but ugly
09:06:43: ArcticIcewolf > yeah fucker stole my ore
09:07:03: Marlenus > actually, you were flashing for taking ore from an Ironfleet can, if we must be precise
09:07:23: ArcticIcewolf > because you stole the shit put it back out as yours
09:07:36: Lord Vindicarious > Tisk, tisk
09:07:50: Marlenus > All that fit, I kept, and I’m still hauling it as we speak.
09:07:52: Lord Vindicarious > Honestly, that’s what you get for not using a secure can
09:08:01: Gregory Wallace > sounds shady
09:08:07: ArcticIcewolf > oh that justifies it ?
09:08:26: Lord Vindicarious > Well, yeah that’s what you get for being a dumbass
09:08:30: Marlenus > You make it sound like I was trying to be deceptive, when I was just doing good honest salvage.
09:08:36: Marlenus > Of ore jettisoned into space.
09:09:19: Lord Vindicarious > People can only take what is unsecured
09:09:51: ArcticIcewolf > Lets see its rite next to me and you take it and then Rejettison it as your own, thats Honest ?
09:10:15: Marlenus > Just cleaning up the spaceways, one of the services Ironfleet Towing And Salvage is always happy to provide!
09:10:21: Gregory Wallace > someone picking a fight is what it was
09:10:32: Marlenus > Nah, somebody hauling ore is what it was.
09:10:41: ArcticIcewolf > its you being a dooshbag
09:10:52: Lord Vindicarious > And if you are flying a mining barge, you really shouldn’t jetison unsecure cans unless you WANT some prick to to pick a fight with you
09:10:55: Marlenus > I didn’t really expect the guy in the mining barge to pick an actual fight.
09:11:21: Lord Vindicarious > LOL, sorry but you get no sympathy
09:11:41: ArcticIcewolf > lol why because you just as disshonest as him ?
09:11:47: Lord Vindicarious > Nope
09:11:53: ArcticIcewolf > really
09:12:02: Lord Vindicarious > I never bother stealing ore, it isn’t worth my time
09:12:07: Gregory Wallace > with mining u have to have muscle with u- have a buddy or two cloak a recon by u
09:12:09: ArcticIcewolf > standing up for a disshonest player dont really put high marks on your moral opinions
09:12:42: Lord Vindicarious > However, if I am in my salvager and there are unclaimed wrecks laying about, I’ll salvage them
09:13:10: ArcticIcewolf > even if they rite next to the miner and you know whos it is
09:13:31: Lord Vindicarious > If you are in the belt, i’ll ask first
09:14:08: ArcticIcewolf > well great for you , but marlenus is as disshonest as they come
09:14:15: Lord Vindicarious > But as to your origional gripe of somebody flipping your can, sorry but that is like the oldest trick in eve of picking a fight with somebody
09:14:42: Lord Vindicarious > He did it so you would give him a reason to be able to shoot you
09:15:02: Marlenus > Actually, Lord V, that’s where you are wrong — nobody believes me but I really do do this for the ore.
09:15:25: Marlenus > I was in a T2 transport when this all started, hauling.
09:15:26: ArcticIcewolf > why cant earn your own
09:15:39: Marlenus > It is my own once it’s in my hangar.
09:15:47: Lord Vindicarious > LOL
09:16:22: Lord Vindicarious > I’ll tell you what though Mar, if you ever tried taking MY ore I’d kick your ass
09:16:39: Lord Vindicarious > I wouldn’t just whine about it in local
09:16:59: Lord Vindicarious > (hint hint)
09:17:00: Marlenus > I can respect that. Whether you’d succeed is an open question, but that’s a perfectly respectable approach to take.
09:17:30: ArcticIcewolf > hint all you like lord, some of us have a lifes and arnt on enough to earn biggger badder ships to fight back
09:18:29: Lord Vindicarious > I’m only on for about an hour or so a day, I think I “have a life” thank you
09:18:38: Marlenus > No salvage on the mining barge. :(
09:19:20: Marlenus > couple of burned logic circs from the hauler wreck
09:19:44: Lord Vindicarious > However, that being said, I’ve been playing eve since 2003, so I think I just might have the combat skills to kick your ass Mar if we are both in the same type of ship
09:19:56: Marlenus > Of that, I have NO doubt.
09:20:01: Lord Vindicarious > LOL
09:20:01: Marlenus > I am not a combat pilot…
09:20:14: Marlenus > …and I try very hard to start any fights with an overwhelming tonnage advantage.
09:21:05: Lord Vindicarious > Drones are nice, too
09:21:19: Marlenus > But I am very very good at getting ore out from under the guns of combat escorts, you might be surprised, once.
09:21:39: Marlenus > Having the element of surprise helps a lot
09:21:48: ArcticIcewolf > well, i do respect that you are honest about being Disshonest
09:22:06: Marlenus > You made up that dishonesty part, I see nothing dishonest about salvage
09:22:18: ArcticIcewolf > thats not salvage thats thievery
09:22:36: Marlenus > I believe we disagree on that point.
09:23:06: Lord Vindicarious > LOL, this point is getting a bit stale
09:23:07: ArcticIcewolf > nothing made up, your a poor player, you just admitted a few sentences up about being very good at getting ore from uder other players noses
09:23:25: Marlenus > Not “admitted”, rather I think I was bragging just a bit
09:23:40: Marlenus > And I don’t consider that any sign of being a poor player
09:24:02: Marlenus > Lord V, if you think it’s stale, how do you think I feel? I hear this sort of thing quite often, as you might imagine. ;-)
09:24:32: Lord Vindicarious > Artic, I’m sorry but when you consider the nature of this game then you have nobody to blame but yourself
09:24:40: ArcticIcewolf > if you hear it quite often then i’d prob say your logic of thinking nothing is wrong is missconstrued
09:24:47: Lord Vindicarious > DON’T USE UNSECURED CANS
09:24:56: Marlenus > Well, somebody’s logic has a problem, I’ll grant you that much.
09:25:11: ArcticIcewolf > I can respect that Lord but, to say he was rite in his actions is not rite
09:26:02: Lord Vindicarious > I am NOT saying he is right, I AM saying however that YOU are wrong for using unsecured cans and not expecting to be stolen from
09:27:46: Marlenus > Good night gentlemen, it has a been a pleasure providing salvage services and public entertainments to the good citizens of [redacted].
09:27:58: Gregory Wallace > night
09:27:59: Marlenus > Ironfleet out.
09:27:59: Lord Vindicarious > LOL, night

I think I’ll leave you with a bit of bedtime poetry (for it is far past my bedtime as I write this.) This is copied, verbatim, all spelling and punctuation unchanged, I shit you not (although I did add line breaks) from ArcticIcewolf’s bio:

I Hunt in the deepest and darkest reaches of Space,
I hunt those who wrong others,
I hunt where no man dares to go,
I protect those who cannot defend themselfs,
I hunt those who believe in enslavement of others,
I will not Rest
I can Not die,
therefor I am like the Wolfs of thee Arctic on our Homeworld whome we Lost contact with long long ago,
I run with the pack I die with the pack,
the only problem is,
;) the pack never dies!!

Hey, everybody.

After that last demoralizing loss, I took a few days to work on other projects. I also found a cheaper concept for a heavy salvage cruiser, using an Amar Maller (more lowslots) to save needing rigs.

Took the new heavy salvager out tonight on a very successful run, came back with about 300 salvage parts from four or five different missions, including a nice pile of armor plates and melted cap consoles. And then I got this lovely email, from one Yorlock of the corp Farmer Killers [FARME], alliance United Corporations Against Macros [UCAM].

Subject: dangerous game

As a CEO you of all people should know probin mission and stealing salvage from aliances will get ya war declared. I am hoping your are exceptionally stupid and continus this conduct. I am very bored and need to pod a few scumbags.

I really wish I knew someone who does needlepoint, I’d love to have “I am hoping your are exceptionally stupid and continus this conduct” tatted up in four colors with decorative jetcans and wreck icons in the background, to hang on the Ironfleet office walls. For some reason I am reminded of this classic photograph:

morans cannot spell

Update: I decided to do a little research on our pleasant friend Yorlock. It turns out he’s got a history of letting his mouth write checks his alliance would prefer not to cash. This Eve-Pirate account features him acting all ass-hurt because somebody looted his wreck and (gasp!) targeted his ship, resulting in a war-dec against UCAM that caused his alliance diplomat to acknowledge “he does have a bad habit of attracting trouble.”

Here’s the hilarious lightly-edited transcript featuring the UCAM diplomat:

[ 2007.08.29 23:36:57 ] PHPR Freighter > any directors here?
[ 2007.08.29 23:37:32 ] PHPR Freighter > I want to know on what grounds that we were war dec’d
[ 2007.08.29 23:37:41 ] Sofia Roseburn > For love and honour.
[ 2007.08.29 23:37:51 ] atrophocy > for pewpew and lols
[ 2007.08.29 23:38:09 ] Sofia Roseburn > We are but a peaceful industrial corp, and your undercutting of our prices has pushed us over the edge.
[ 2007.08.29 23:38:51 ] atrophocy > Donovan Killar is the guy you wanna talk to
[ 2007.08.29 23:38:59 ] atrophocy > ceo boss guy
[ 2007.08.29 23:39:04 ] Sofia Roseburn > He’s currently shitfaced.
[ 2007.08.29 23:39:07 ] Sofia Roseburn > So hi.
[ 2007.08.29 23:39:22 ] Sofia Roseburn > I’ll be your liason officer today.
[ 2007.08.29 23:39:42 ] PHPR Freighter > I would like a more serious answer on why we were war dec’d though
[ 2007.08.29 23:40:18 ] Sofia Roseburn > Do you represent the alliance?
[ 2007.08.29 23:40:25 ] PHPR Freighter > I am the Alliance Diplomat
[ 2007.08.29 23:40:31 ] atrophocy > honestly mate, there’s no serious politics with DKI, they wardec for fun and laughs, it’s nothing more than that
[ 2007.08.29 23:40:45 ] Sofia Roseburn > We dec for shits and giggles.
[ 2007.08.29 23:41:02 ] Sofia Roseburn > One of your members probably made us laugh with whining.
[ 2007.08.29 23:42:06 ] PHPR Freighter > well.. allegations were that since my member didn’t want to fight you, you dec’d us..
[ 2007.08.29 23:42:25 ] Sofia Roseburn > Our logs indicate that one of your members, a Mr Yorlock, insinuated that we were purposefully harassing him. Due to the retardation of this accusation, we decided to go for it anyway.
[ 2007.08.29 23:42:52 ] Sofia Roseburn > Do you have any other questions?
[ 2007.08.29 23:43:02 ] PHPR Freighter > he does have a bad habit of attracting trouble
[ 2007.08.29 23:43:16 ] Sofia Roseburn > That’s your problem, not ours.
[ 2007.08.29 23:43:26 ] Haargoth Agamar > boot him
[ 2007.08.29 23:43:36 ] Sofia Roseburn > Tell him to jog on for the lulz.
[ 2007.08.29 23:43:42 ] PHPR Freighter > peace?
[ 2007.08.29 23:43:53 ] Sofia Roseburn > I can’t offer that, but it may appease the masses.
[ 2007.08.29 23:44:28 ] Sofia Roseburn > And I’m sure your 56 Titans which he claimed the alliance had will hurt our rears in any case.
[ 2007.08.29 23:44:45 ] PHPR Freighter > we don’t own any caps…
[ 2007.08.29 23:45:57 ] Sofia Roseburn > I know. That was me attempting to be funny. I failed.
[ 2007.08.29 23:46:38 ] Sofia Roseburn > But yeah. The war goes ahead. You should be able to kill us all easily.

And here’s the butt-hurt Evemail Sofia got from Yorlock:

IF looting my wrecks… then target locking me and orbiting at 500m is not piracy and harassment, then i must have missed something. And i am sorry if asking him to go pirate someone else was ‘insulting’. YOu need to know what your members do… I dont care about the looting… but locking and orbiting me afterwads is a tad insulting. I dont easily fall for such gank attempts…

Apparently he’s no clearer on the concepts of piracy and harassment than he is on the inherent logical conflict in his novel “stealing salvage” concept.

A couple of the day’s events:

1) Got notice that Ducky had failed to pay his war bill. So that war will be over in another hour or two. Apparently it was a typical nuisance declaration; every time I checked, Ducky was at least 32 jumps away.

2) Got smacked-talked with greater-than-usual intensity, after finding some mission salvage while surveying a system and salvaging a battleship wreck. Lachlann’s opening remarks will give you the full flavor of the conversation:

Lachlann > attention all mission runners in system
Lachlann > Marlenus this fuckwit is a salvage thief

Of course there was rather a lot more in the same vein after that. There was talk, for instance, of shoving missiles up my arse. Just by way of example.

After more friendly salutations of that sort, Lachlann turned to bluster and menace, or his best efforts at same. First:

Lachlann > you will be taken care of
Lachlann > i prefer to pay someone to scrape you off the bottom of their shoes

Then, of all things, he links to this brand new forum post:

I hate salvage thieves. There are some operating in my area of Caldari space and I want them taken out. Unfortunately I’m stuck in a research alliance atm so I cant take care of the problem myself. There are 7 members in the target corp and I want them destroyed. Please evemail me if you are interested

As I’ve mentioned before, VampireZim once hired Murder-Death-Kill to come after Ironfleet, but they never even showed up in local. We’ve never worried about mercs since, nor seen any either. Promises to hire some? Now, those we’ve got a pretty big collection of.

Some interesting facts about Lachlann:

1) He’s a member of Spear of Destiny, which has four members.

2) Spear of Destiny is a member of ZZZ, an alliance “dedicated to offering alt corporations and science related corporations a way to safely work with their blueprints in empire.” According to this thread, ZZZ has more than 500 members (seems hard to believe, but the members tab won’t open in game, so maybe?) and more than 130 mobile laboratories (in at least four systems, helpfully named).

I haven’t had many chances to shoot at Empire research POSs, but it would sure be fun to take some potshots if I have another occasion to try the Chebri / AC-ME / INDY defense. I’d have to recruit some battleship-flying friends, but with targets like those, that won’t be an insurmountable problem. Plus, if they really have that many customers, there will be a wealth of soft war targets flying in and out of the pertinent systems. Stealth Bomber field day! I almost hope it happens.

Frankly I’m surprised a mercenary corp hasn’t already decced ZZZ and locked down their systems until substantial protection money is paid.

You know you’re making progress in EVE when people pop up boasting of having killed you. People, I should be clear, who haven’t actually killed me.

I was checking’s incoming links when I found this forum discussion. A nice link to a recent blog post got this response:

hahah….bill….do you know that Marlenus guy?

i popped on of his ships a while ago when he was trying to jet can ‘salvage’ from my corps.

it was the single most enjoyable experience i have had in an mmo :smile:

Kitted up an osprey for ‘mining’….had only one mining laser, the rest was combat stuff….warp scramble and a silent targeter….it was awesome! he didnt see it coming

There’s only one problem with this story: it almost certainly didn’t happen. Nice story, though.

Memories can be bad, so it’s theoretically possible I’m mistaken, that I’ve forgotten something that happened when I was still a noob. I do remember losing a Badger Mark I to a mining barge this way, back in the day, when I first discovered that warp scramblers existed in the game. After that, I was careful; paranoid even. And I’m pretty sure it never happened again.

I’ve checked my killmails going back to 2006.05.29 — there’s been no ship loss as described during the last nineteen and a half months. So if it did happened, it happened when I was less than six weeks old.

(That date — when I was six weeks old — was the date I lost my first cruiser, got podded for the first time, and learned that saving killmails is important. My revenge on Swiftness and Omae Gaw’d hasn’t ripened … yet.)

So … killmail or shut the fuck up?

It’s not that I resent the story — as described, that’s an honorable way for a jetcan salvager to die. It’s just that I’m proud of never falling for that particular trick. You can count the number of lasers an Osprey is firing, and if they’ve only got one, that’s kind of a red flag. In my pre-Crane days, I always used lots of stabs in the low slots of my ore-hauling ships, and I learned to time the grab so that I was out before anybody could get a lock. I used to love hauling repeated loads out from under the guns of a mining battleship.

I’m pretty good at this.