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 Ironfleet.com’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.

The twenty four hours after war retraction passed without further hostilities, and fighting is now officially over. So, what’s the final body count, and what has Ironfleet learned?

First, the tonnage destroyed.

Chebri’s War: No ship losses on either side (unless you count Chebri’s Ibis that TorpedoTed salvaged.) Chebri had one Blackbird get damaged into structure, so perhaps a small repair bill there.

Effectively a no-tonnage tie.

AC-ME / INDY War:

Ironfleet lost:

1 Kestrel frigate (details)
1 Vexor cruiser (details)

AC-ME lost:

1 Procurer mining barge (details)
1 Iteron Mark V hauler carrying a lot of loot (details, AC-ME Acting CEO Cordus’s loss estimate)
1 Sigil hauler mining/carrying ore (details)
1 Capsule with pilot (Vryder04, amount of metal in head unknown, see above for details)
1 Giant Secure Container (AC-ME 4 in Isaz belts)
many jetcans containing ore

INDY (non AC-ME) lost:

2 Retriever mining barges (details, details)
1 Vexor cruiser (details)
1 Capsule with pilot (accidental podding, implants reimbursed after end of war)

On tonnage, the wars were a clear victory for Ironfleet.

May I pause for a moment to note how astonishing that is? Ironfleet had a total of three pilots in space during this war, and I think the three of us were all in the same system only once during the entire war. AC-ME routinely had five or six combat pilots in space, once they stopped mining and focused on trying to catch us and kill us, and that’s not counting the handful of experienced combat veteran volunteers from the Alliance that they often had flying with them.

I take that as proof that guerrilla warfare can work in EVE, if you can fly cloaked and have enough patience. Hit ’em where they ain’t, as the saying goes. But of course, it only works against an enemy who has soft targets in space.

Which leads to the money part of the war, and then to the politics. Because, tonnage victory or no, Ironfleet wasn’t fighting this war for the purpose of blowing shit up.

Economic Wins And Losses:

In raw ISK, it looks like a slight win for Ironfleet, thanks again to TorpedoTed’s catching the Iteron.

Ironfleet’s war bill was $100 million isk, versus an estimated few million for Chebri’s. We also paid for a set of +3 implants for Aktala after the war, to avoid bad blood with someone who was never our enemy but for a quirk of game mechanics. Miss Iron’s cruiser turned out to be free — she replaced it cheap in Isaz and then had the purchase price cheerfully refunded by the seller. We also picked up valuable mods from the wrecks of a couple of different mining barges, plus everything we were able to grab from the Iteron wreckage.

There’s also the unknown factor: how much metal was in Vryder04’s head? We’ll never know.

Disruption of Ironfleet’s normal salvage operations cannot be ignored — we did some salvaging during the war, but I was more interested in finding targets. AC-ME’s operations, however, were heavily disrupted. Before the war they had unescorted barges mining in the belts all the time. During the war, those same characters were often found in combat ships, and it was common for me to see all the known AC-ME members who were online in combat ships. They did get some mining done, but only in heavily-guarded operations with more combat pilots than miners. (Of course they got more done at times when Ironfleet was not online — disruption had to be far from absolute.)

It’s also hard to know what was rumor, what was counter-intelligence work, what was psy-ops, and what was maskirovka, but it’s also pretty clear that AC-ME either attempted to move during the war, or put a lot of effort (and an Iteron V full of stuff) into a pretty convincing feint.

So, there’s room for dispute, but I’m calling this as an economic win for Ironfleet, despite the expense of paying war fees against an Alliance.

What about political factors?

First of all, Ironfleet’s war plan just worked. It was audacious and frightening to war dec an entire alliance, but there was a reason for doing it, and we got what we wanted.

The logic of the thing started and ended with my perception that there was a strong and organic link between Chebri and AC-ME. I’ve detailed the reasons I thought so, and had people argue and dispute each individual reason, sometimes with merit and sometimes not. It may be that parts of the connection were weaker than I at first imagined. But in the heart of the business, I was not wrong. I perceived AC-ME as a responsible party in the hostilities, and I still perceive them that way, and nobody much disputes that they were at least an intended beneficiary and enthusiastic cheering squad for Chebri’s war.

Chebri’s war was a problem for Ironfleet, because you can’t hurt a combat pilot even if you can kill them repeatedly, which it seemed unlikely that I could given my available military resources. They live for the fight and they don’t mind losses very much. Unless Ironfleet wanted a state of perpetual war, I had to find leverage. I had to find something I could hurt, something that somebody with influence over Chebri would care about. AC-ME was the only thing I could see that might fill the bill. I wasn’t sure it would, but I thought it was worth a try.

The unknown for me was INDY. A lot of corps, most of which sounded at least somewhat industrial, and AC-ME was a new member. How strongly would INDY respond? How supportive of AC-ME would they be, versus annoyed that their new member came in with stupid and avoidable diplomatic baggage? There was no good way a noob to EVE politics could predict that one.

So, of course Chebri denies any and all influence by anyone. No man is an island, but Chebri is, if you listen to her.

But, let’s review the tape:

Chebri’s war dec was received on 12/25 at 03:57. War went active on 12/26 at 03:57. She must have paid her war bill before 1/2 at 03:57. And again, before 1/9 at 03:57.

Ironfleet’s first AC-ME kill was on 1/04. Our next (the big one) was on 1/7. Our first INDY kill was on 1/8. Our next (AC-ME) was on 1/9 after Chebri paid her war bill. Then on 1/10 toward the end of the day, we made two more INDY kills.

Chebri’s war retraction came in the early hours of 1/11. Coincidence? Possible. But I doubt it. I believe she was persuaded to let her war drop. Why else would she withdraw a war dec with five days paid on it?

So, the war worked. What were the other political gains and losses?

Chebri’s still an enemy, possibly a more implacable one than when the war began. Wars harden hearts, and enemies in EVE always have costs. I doubt we’ve seen the last of her, and I’m sure she’ll never pass up the chance to do us an injury, if she ever sees one.

I think there are a few others in AC-ME who have greater enmity against Ironfleet than they did when the war began. Another political loss.

On the gain side, Ironfleet has several new friends in the vicinity of Isaziwa. Miss Iron in particular (being a nicer person and a better diplomat than me) made some friendly contacts there. But I met some new friends too. AC-ME already had enemies, and some of them like Ironfleet better for the war.

Also on the gain side, some of the AC-ME folks that I knew a bit and liked, I now like better; and some I did not know, I know better and like. There was some nice professional flying and good courtesy during this war, and it was appreciated.

The same goes double for INDY. Independent Faction is a good outfit with some friendly people and some excellent pilots. Ironfleet by its nature is not an alliance-joining sort of corporation, but if we were, I hope we could find one as decent as INDY.

What did I learn?

First, warfare can be fun. I still don’t consider myself a combat pilot — the usual rock/scissors/paper of EVE combat leaves me cold. It’s an adrenaline rush, but I hate those — and the randomness and number of factors outside my control make it uninteresting to me. The only kind of combat I like is the kind where I’ve got the scissors and they’ve got the paper. If I don’t have a pretty good idea that’s what’s happening when I go in, I don’t go in.

But flying the stealth bomber in target-rich space was an absolute blast. I don’t know why these ships are so despised. You get to pick your targets and pick your battles, and if you’re very very careful and very very patient, nobody can touch you. It’s a slow and patient sort of warfare that works much better when you have corpmates in local to find your targets, but it works solo, even against overwhelming odds, if you’re patient enough.

Second, during this war I got a ton of practical experience flying my Manticores, completely overhauled my standard fittings, and gained an enormous amount of confidence in my ability to engage and disengage at will. I also learned a lot about which sort of combat vessels can be killed, which sort can be forced to leave, and which sort just tank the damage and laugh while calling in interceptors.

Third, I think I want one of those Cerberuses. Missile spamming from extreme range? That’s me. I have a new goal, and it’s not that far out of reach.

I’m still a terrible noob at matters martial, but less of one than I was. All in all, the war was a good experience for me and (I think) the rest of Ironfleet.

Last night at 04:40 game time, I got email from Concord alerting me that “Equilibrium L.L.C. has retracted the war against Ironfleet.” That’s Chebri and sidekick, of course.

Since Chebri’s still very unhappy with Ironfleet, I can only assume that she was responding to a request from AC-ME or INDY. Which means that, mad or not, my military-diplomatic strategy seems to have worked. Two INDY casualties (neither in AC-ME) yesterday may have had something to do with that. Or not — there are some other wars brewing in the Isaziwa vicinity that may have complicated the politics. It’s a big game, not everything is about me.

Six minutes later, I retracted the war against INDY. My reason for being at war with them is gone. And I’d like to say right now, that with the exception of a few specific characters in AC-ME, the whole alliance was a joy to fly against, professional and friendly and good-humored.

Right now, of course, hostilities are still possible, until the 24 hour window is done. But I do not intend to engage in further hostilities unless locked by a war target.

Other news from yesterday: Near the end of the day, I logged in in Isaziwa, checked a few belts for targets, and, finding none, hopped a few systems away to talk to a locater agent.

TorpedoTed, coming into Isaz from a different direction, found a hostile wad of INDY at a gate, and they tried to catch and snack upon his Kestrel. Apparently they did a creditable job of chasing him, and he was uncertain whether he would get away. But he did, and then led him on a merry chase from belt to belt for a time.

More seriously, I got a convo from Aktala, the INDY person I accidentally podded yesterday. She felt she had a real grievance, inasmuch as there had been some back-channel diplomacy between Ironfleet and INDY aimed at establishing a limited no-podding agreement. And, though Ironfleet had not in the end made a firm no-podding commitment, I had indeed expressed an intention not to pod INDY folks who had given no offense — a category in which Aktala squarely belongs. I’m not sure exactly how or at what level the miscommunication occurred, but Aktala had believed she was safe from podding based on an Ironfleet commitment. So she was, understandably, unhappy.

In time of war, I was disinclined to reward an unfortunate misunderstanding with cash for my enemies to use against me. Ironfleet’s war chest was adequate to the need, but not overflowing with excess. However, once the war was over, principles of business return to the forefront. And one of the first principles of business is to under-promise and to over-deliver. Although my natural tendency is to get stubborn and point to the letter of my commitments (Miss Iron likes to call me “lawyer-lips” when I do this) I know that a generous interpretation of Ironfleet’s promises is much better for business in the long run. So, once I’d retracted the war against INDY (which happened while I was in convo with Aktala) I asked her what she’d lost in implants, ISK-wise. She named an amount, it was fair, and I paid it. The podding was a genuine accident, it was contrary to the spirit if not the letter of the assurances I’d made to INDY, and apologies, like flattery, feel most genuine when backed by ISK.

That’s all for now. Once all opportunity for hostilities has passed (tonight or tomorrow) I’ll make another blog post recapping the two wars and tallying the wins and losses the way Ironfleet sees them. I invite all parties to share war anecdotes in the blog comments as long as you keep it friendly.

I am beginning to think some of the AC-ME and even INDY folks are starting to notice the steady parade of recent losses.

During my most recent combat patrol of the Isaziwa belts, I came upon Caen Endarr, in a Vexor fitted for combat. He attempted to close aggressively as soon as he saw me, but I had the range I needed. Stout ship, the Vexor, but helpless outside of drone range. He kept closing until the end, in a valiant-looking charge:

2008.01.10 23:58:00

Victim: Caen Endarr
Alliance: Independent Faction
Corp: Colonial Fleet Services
Destroyed: Vexor
System: Isaziwa
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 5036

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Alliance: NONE
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Ship: Manticore
Weapon: Caldari Navy Wrath Cruise Missile
Damage Done: 5036

Destroyed items:

Hobgoblin I, Qty: 8 (Drone Bay)
Medium Armor Repairer I
E5 Prototype Energy Vampire
10MN MicroWarpdrive I
Small Rudimentary Energy Destabilizer I
Stasis Webifier I
Medium Nosferatu I
Hammerhead I, Qty: 2 (Drone Bay)

Dropped items:

Energized Reactive Membrane I
Hobgoblin I, Qty: 2 (Drone Bay)
Damage Control I
50W Infectious Power System Malfunction
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane I
Small Diminishing Power System Drain I
Warp Disruptor I
Hammerhead I, Qty: 3 (Drone Bay)

The next belt over, I came upon Wcaspar of AC-ME in his Blackbird. He, too, attempted aggressively to close the gap as the cruise missiles came raining in. About 4.5k in damage taken later, he managed to break my target lock with his EW. But as soon as the first F.O.F. cruises came raining down on his armor, he disengaged.

After some meandering, I found myself on a stargate, cloaked and watching. From the comings and goings and patrollings, it quickly became clear that AC-ME and friends were loaded for bear. The crew included Dan Lyons in his crow, Wcaspar in his blackbird, Los Kias the Manticore pilot, Corruptblitz in his Scorpion, Caen Endarr back in a Thrasher I think, and what’s this? One Crusader Eomar of Aerodyne Construction (an INDY member) flying in … you’d never guess from the name … a Cerberus?

fleet including a Cerberus

“Computer, what in hell is a Cerberus?”

I’ve been playing this game for a little time but not a long time, and I’m not a combat pilot. I haven’t seen it all, indeed I haven’t even seen very much of it. But in my experience, when I have to ask “What in the hell is a {blank}?”, whatever in the hell it is, is probably both expensive and dangerous. Thus, I’ve learned to associate that momentary confusion with a healthy feeling of peril.

This time was no exception. What in the hell is a Cerberus? Turns out it’s a Caldari Heavy Assault Cruiser, built on the Caracal model, which probably means missiles. Plus speed and resists out the ass. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one of these before, but I sure as hell never shot at one. And I don’t exactly propose to start today, while he’s got two EWAR platforms with him and an interceptor pilot handy somewhere in the system.

About that time I did the sums, and realized that I’d seen every enemy pilot in the system, and each and every one of them was in a combat platform of some sort. There weren’t any more easy targets in the belts, which meant that my day’s work was done.

Right about that time, AC-ME’s Galdaan Sicarius went through the gate in front of me, outbound via Oiniken in a Badger. I gave chase, but guessed wrong about which stargate he was going to next, and didn’t find him. Instead, one of the Blackbird pilots caught up with me, but left before I could lock. By this time local was climbing fast, and when the Cerberus pilot hit local, I decided I’d had enough fun for the time being. So I found a handy safespot, cloaked, and came to make this blogpost. There are still four of them in system and (presumably) looking for me.

First combat sweep of the day. AC-ME seems to be having trouble making up its mind which new system it’s relocating into, or perhaps they are moving around a lot in an effort to avoid more trouble. So, I was on my way back to Isaziwa from a system where a lot of AC-ME folk were (AFK) last night, when I stumbled upon poor Aktala (again) mining alone in a Retriever mining barge in Oiniken.

At least it was quick:

2008.01.10 20:16:00

Victim: Aktala
Alliance: Independent Faction
Corp: AIHTD Mining and Trade group
Destroyed: Retriever
System: Oiniken
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 1725

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Alliance: NONE
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Ship: Manticore
Weapon: Caldari Navy Wrath Cruise Missile
Damage Done: 1725

Destroyed items:

Expanded Cargohold II

Dropped items:

Strip Miner I, Qty: 2
Expanded Cargohold II

But then I made a regrettable mistake. I was targeting enemy drones, and the wreck, to blow them up, and I must have flailed the overview selection process, because as I was sending away one missile to each targeted item, I realized I’d just launched on Aktala’s pod.

That, I never meant to do. Aktala is a victim of her alliance leadership’s failure to clean up the mess made by one of the alliance members. I didn’t go looking for her, but when I found her while I was hunting AC-ME, I undertook to blow up her ship. I’ve never podded anybody before, and never planned to start with someone who had given me no offense. But, war is hell.

So I watched in modest horror for the many seconds of cruise missile flight time (I was out well past a hundred kilometers) waiting for the pod to warp away. It didn’t:

2008.01.10 20:17:00

Victim: Aktala
Alliance: Independent Faction
Corp: AIHTD Mining and Trade group
Destroyed: Capsule
System: Oiniken
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 339

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Alliance: NONE
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Ship: Manticore
Weapon: Caldari Navy Wrath Cruise Missile
Damage Done: 339

For what it’s worth (not very much, I fear) I sent her a note of apology, after.

I was able to retrieve the Tech II cargo expander from the wreck, but the strip miners wouldn’t fit in the space remaining in my cargo hold, so I had to blow them with the the wreck when I scuttled it.

Today’s visit to Isaziwa was fruitful and exciting.

First, a kill. During my initial combat patrol of the belts, I found an AC-ME Sigil (Amarr Industrial, I had to check) who appeared to be AFK hauler-mining. Did somebody not get the memo about there being a war on?

Amarr haulers are tough, one volley didn’t do the job, I needed a fourth missile:

2008.01.10 00:53:00

Victim: Kevdirs Alarnia
Alliance: Independent Faction
Corp: Advanced Combat Machines and Equipment
Destroyed: Sigil
System: Isaziwa
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 2306

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 0.0
Alliance: NONE
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Ship: Manticore
Weapon: Caldari Navy Wrath Cruise Missile
Damage Done: 2306

Destroyed items:

Miner II
Azure Plagioclase, Qty: 7403 (Cargo)

Kevdirs Alarnia must have heard the noise (maybe not completely AFK?) because the pod warped away quickly. Then she quickly logged off. A minute later, here’s a new AC-ME login (suspected alt?) Han Taris, undocking from a station in a Ferox. Let’s lob some missiles just to make sure he didn’t forget his tank, shall we?

He didn’t, no point to this, let’s go.

Wait, this earns me smack?

Yes it does, Han Taris is now earnestly informing me that, unless I am a coward, I must return in my stealth bomber and recommence chewing on his tank, presumably until such time as he can assemble a gang of friends who can actually catch me and kill me.

By that measure, I suppose I am a coward, although to be honest I’ve never understood why preserving shareholder value by avoiding pointless unwinnable fights is supposed to be cowardly in this game.

There’s still one belt I haven’t checked, so I go to check it, and find an AC-ME Maulus. I shoot, he leaves.

And that’s the combat report.

No, wait, awhile later I swept the belts and found the Maulus again, this time forming the bait in a trap to be sprung by Dan Lyons in his Crow and one of the INDY Manticore pilots. I left as rapidly as I came, but it was a near thing to be honest, I saw the Crow at a range of under three kilometers as I was warping away.

And that’s the combat report.

I’ll warn you all in advance, this post isn’t particularly entertaining. You may just want to skip it.

This blog serves several purposes for Ironfleet. Entertainment of the audience is surely one of them, but it’s only one.

Obviously it’s useful to have a propaganda arm where we can spin the Ironfleet side of the story and control the dialog — I expect and assume that goal is obvious to everyone. I aim for truth, because truth is persuasive, but obviously it’s truth the way we see things — for objective reporting, buy a newspaper. (Er, on second thought, good luck with that.)

Another thing I use the blog for, is to serve as a prosthetic memory. Months later, these accounts help refresh my memory of personalities and events. That’s saved my butt several times now.

Related to that, the blog tends to fix ephemeral behavior in amber, preserving and displaying it for history. So much of what we do in EVE is fleeting, and gone as soon as the screen changes. When my enemies behave in ways that do them no credit, it strikes me as a worthy project to document that here, in their own words, where the search engines (and their next set of enemies) can find it forever. To me, someone who treasures words, that seems a far better revenge than blowing up yet another soon-forgotten virtual spaceship.

And that, my friends, is why I’m bothering to reproduce the evemails that follow. In them, Chebri seems almost to plead for trust, demanding that she be believed because (she says) her word is good. And then, in bitter irony of which she seems totally unaware, she tries to justify failing to extend that same courtesy to others (namely me and my corpmates). She knows she’s truthful so we should believe her, but if we tell the truth the way we understand it, she disagrees so we must be liars. It’s like she lives in a black and white world in which she, and only she, can know the one truth. She’s obviously never heard of the parable of the blind men and the elephant:

Once upon a time there was a certain raja who called to his servant and said, ‘Come, good fellow, go and gather together in one place all the men of Savatthi who were born blind… and show them an elephant.’ ‘Very good, sire,’ replied the servant, and he did as he was told. He said to the blind men assembled there, ‘Here is an elephant,’ and to one man he presented the head of the elephant, to another its ears, to another a tusk, to another the trunk, the foot, back, tail, and tuft of the tail, saying to each one that that was the elephant.

“When the blind men had felt the elephant, the raja went to each of them and said to each, ‘Well, blind man, have you seen the elephant? Tell me, what sort of thing is an elephant?’

“Thereupon the men who were presented with the head answered, ‘Sire, an elephant is like a pot.’ And the men who had observed the ear replied, ‘An elephant is like a winnowing basket.’ Those who had been presented with a tusk said it was a ploughshare. Those who knew only the trunk said it was a plough; others said the body was a grainery; the foot, a pillar; the back, a mortar; the tail, a pestle, the tuft of the tail, a brush.

“Then they began to quarrel, shouting, ‘Yes it is!’ ‘No, it is not!’ ‘An elephant is not that!’ ‘Yes, it’s like that!’ and so on, till they came to blows over the matter.

Toward the end of the EVEmails that follow, the exchange bogs down in specifics, and gets very repetitive of the same factual disputes that have been hashed to death already in the comments on this blog. If you care enough and read that far (I don’t recommend it) you’ll see that Chebril still can’t seem to distinguish between facts (did an event happen?) and semantics (what the undisputed event should be called, how it should be characterized, what it should be named).

——————–
Marlenus,

Two weeks and neither of us has lost a ship to the other. Good match! I enjoyed the challenge.

Shame you involved ACME though. They really never knew about it until it was started. They did eve mail me intel from time to time but for the most part I used my own locate agents.

I enjoyed the creativity of your blog and ‘role play’ of your character which is what drew me to you. However, when it became apparent that you were blurring fact and fiction to the point that it affected other players, I lost respect for your writing.

ciao

Chebri

——————–
Hey, got your mail yesterday, but was just wondering whether all that past tense was intended to indicate that you were going to let the war lapse.

As for the rest, I’m not too concerned. Your respect for my literary talents isn’t exactly my top gaming priority, and your concern about ‘fiction” became hilarious to me when you kept labeling my honest opinions and intel estimates as lies and fiction. I DO thank you for the implied threat of a lawsuit, though — that was genuinely the most entertaining communication I’ve ever gotten in EVE.

See you in the spaceways, if one of us is unlucky —

Marlenus

——————–
Your twisted perception never ceases to amaze me. I say apple…you say orange and so it goes.

Chebri

——————–
At least I can tell when I’m in Jita — TorpedoTed still swears he saw you in local, and I know the man personally, he’s very truthful.

— Marlenus

——————–
I swear, on my great grandmother’s grave (very personal here) that I never jumped the gate into Jita. There are a lot of pilots in Jita and I can see someone getting confused between red stars and red skull n crossbones.

I have been completely honest with all players in game and I hate to be accused of having done something (like get backing from ACME, etc.) that I haven’t done. Every time I tried to get the facts straight talking to you you twisted my words. Frustrating.

And yeah I figure two weeks with no points on either side is a draw.

Chebri

——————–
With an equal level of sincerity and honesty, and leaving all gaming posture aside, I tell you that (a) that’s what he told me, and (b) that’s what he believes. Of course, he could be mistaken.

When I first reported this, you IMMEDIATELY called it a lie. It wasn’t. It’s a true account of the data I have.

Don’t you see the irony in you expecting to be taken at your word, while shouting “LIAR’ at others?

You don’t seem to comprehend that other people see the world differently than you do. You don’t seem to understand that it’s possible for two people to look at the same data and reach different, HONESTLY different, conclusions.

I’ll send another email about the gaming matters. This is a different topic entirely.

— Marlenus

——————–
On the contrary. I do know that two people can observe a scene and have two different perceptions of what happened. However, there are also facts to be considered that are not subject to perception.

Fact (game logs to support) I never jumped to Jita.
Fact (game logs to support) I never got funding or support otherwise from ACME
Fact (game mechanics) ore theft is theft – not salvage

You toss accusations around without bothering to address the facts. That’s what I don’t have an appreciation for. Add to that the perception that others have that you seem to enjoy making miner’s lives miserable by stealing from them and yeah…I think you’re a lousy person. You enjoy hurting others. I have no respect for that.

Chebri

——————–
OK, back in gaming mode.

You do know I saw you fleeted up with Sparkiec the first day of our war, and you were using him as a warp-to at a non-standard place outside my station, right? That’s support. I saw it with my own eyes. That’s backing. For that reason alone — and it’s only one of my many examples — I simply don’t believe your claims to have been acting alone. I saw it with my own eyes. Why should I believe otherwise?

And that has colored my willingness to believe other things you’ve said.

Without any desire to give offense, the credibility you want to have with me, is not present.

As for the draw, I agree — I’ve made no effort to hunt you, and you have failed to catch me. I never wanted war with you, remember? You could cancel it any time.

— Marlenus

——————–
As Cordus said on your blog, can you blame them for not being willing to provide information when you’ve stolen so much from their players? A few players helped from time to time. The CEO and directors had no idea what was going on until it had already happened. So you blame an entire alliance for the action of two players.

I don’t seek credibility with you. LOL I gave up on that. I was just trying to end the shooting amicably. I still have my credibility with people who matter.

Your war with ACME and their alliance is between you and them. I’ve no say in it as they’ve had no say in mine with you. I’ve asked the alliance leader if I was causing them problems and her reply was “do what you want – Ironfleet is just a blip on our screen.” LOL

Chebri

——————–
all this and I’m still not clear — do you plan to end the shooting, or not?

— Marlenus

——————–
Doesn’t really matter what I say at this point, does it? I mean, you’re just going to assume that the opposite is true. Assumptions can be such a bitch. I’ll just let the facts speak for themselves.

LOL

Chebri

There’s an old farmer’s saying that goes “Never try to teach a pig to sing. It just wastes your time, and annoys the pig.”

That’s how I feel about trying to talk about truth with Chebri. Note how it’s a “fact” if she saw it, but it’s a lie if me and mine saw it (TorpedoTed saw her face icon in Jita local. He just did.) She hates to be accused of doing something she says she hasn’t done (“like get backing from AC-ME”) but doesn’t mind accusing others of lying when they haven’t. Then when she admits she did do what she said she didn’t do (“A few players helped from time to time”) she tries to redefine “get backing” by saying “I never got funding”. Truth is a slippery thing indeed in her hands, and in classic human fashion she’s quick to accuse others of her own sins: “You toss accusations around without bothering to address the facts.”

Friends, I have addressed the facts. I have addressed them until I was blue in the face. I had to nail them down and chain them up, they were so tired of being addressed they were trying to sneak away for beer. (Yeah, they saw that’s where the audience went, and they were jealous.)

A waste of time for sure, and I apologize for boring you with it. But if this blog post saves just one person, ever, from making the mistake of trying to discuss truth with Chebri, it will have been worth my time.

And meanwhile, Chebri’s war is now in its third week. So what was all that “enjoyed the challenge” and “I figure [it’s] a draw” and “I was just trying to end the shooting amicably” stuff for? Unless I’ve counted my dates wrong, she paid her war bill before we started talking last night. I guess it’s more truth, Chebri style.

Not much to report on the war front yesterday. Things were mostly quiet in the places I patrolled. I did finish blowing up an AC-ME Giant Secure Can that Miss Iron had been shooting at as a gunnery test, but that — needless to say — was not very exciting.

Later I was sitting in a station exchanging a flurry of emails with Chebri on the nature of truth (and boy, was that ever a waste of time, I swear it’s like trying to discuss motorcycle safety with Evel Knievel, or religious freedom with Janet Reno) when Murdock Jones showed up in his Brutix and began to camp for me.

I was getting pretty close to bedtime, so I thought I’d just let him camp while I took care of correspondence, but then TorpedoTed logged in, and Miss Iron, and before I knew it, they had launched a scheme in which Torpedo Ted was the small distracting flashy thing on the line six inches above the bait and Miss Iron was the large bait ball with the hook in it and I was the guy with the stick who was supposed to whack the fish until it stopped twitching.

Long story short, it didn’t work. Jones was a good sport and pleasant company in local, but, as expected, the armor tank on his Brutix was more than my Manticore could bust in a hurry. We were all limited by the ships and hardware that were nearby, and with available hulls we didn’t have anything that could (a) grab him and keep him grabbed long enough for a stealth bomber to kill him or (b) presuming they could grab him, survive long enough while holding him for the the stealth bomber to get the job done.

We ran the routine twice. The second time, lacking the element of surprise, I think we just did it because we were all having fun and Jones hoped we’d mess up fatally. Or perhaps he merely hoped that I would mess up fatally; on the second pass, I think he may have refrained from squishing TorpedoTed like a bug at a moment when it looked like he had the chance to do so.

And then it was bedtime. Thanks, Murdock Jones, for reminding me of why it is that I’ve usually enjoyed having AC-ME in local.

Two incidents tonight, one inconclusive and one that was a net win for Ironfleet.

When I logged in in Rairomon, the system was clear of hostiles. TorpedoTed told me he was a few systems away playing tag with Chebri, who was attempting to probe him out using a Covert Ops frigate. He had also seen an INDY command ship in local, and assumed collaboration with Chebri.

Since I was in an unsuitable ship to engage, I set off for Isaz in a shuttle, waving to TorpedoTed as I passed through the system where he and Chebri were playing. Upon jumping out, I found the command ship in question, lurking by the gate, ready to jump in. I warned TorpedoTed, and he told me not to come back in a combat ship. Instead, we agreed, a combat sweep of Isaziwa, where AC-ME appeared to be, would be more fruitful.

So, stopping at one of my hangars for one of my many spare stealth bombers, I jumped into Isaziwa and warped directly to AC-ME’s favorite belt. Nothing … except fresh cargo cans belonging to a known INDY miner (not AC-ME). I decided to be patient.

My patience was swiftly rewarded when Aktala of AIHTD Mining And Trade Group warped into the belt in a Retriever mining barge and set her strip miners to burning the roids. Now, I’ve seen this person flying a Hulk, so I suppose the Retriever was a concession to the war risk. No matter — a war target is a war target.

Uncloak, launch, boom. One volley is sufficient:

2008.01.08 05:12:00

Victim: Aktala
Alliance: Independent Faction
Corp: AIHTD Mining and Trade group
Destroyed: Retriever
System: Isaziwa
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 1825

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 0.0
Alliance: NONE
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Ship: Manticore
Weapon: Caldari Navy Wrath Cruise Missile
Damage Done: 1825

Destroyed items:

Expanded Cargohold II
‘Dactyl’ Type-E Asteroid Analyzer

Dropped items:

Strip Miner I, Qty: 2
Expanded Cargohold II

Interestingly, Aktala’s capsule does not warp away. In rapid succession, I targeted and blew up the five cargo cans and three drones left behind. Aktala’s pod is still here. I don’t like the intelligence platform it represents, but I’ve got no particular urge to pod an INDY person who has never offended Ironfleet in any way whatsoever. I’m thinking, “Pod, please go away.”

Sigh, target pod, perhaps that will send a sufficient message. Locking, locking, locking. Lock!

Ah, good, pod is leaving.

After cloaking, I sat looking at the juicy wreck, too far away and in the center of the belt. TorpedoTed, where are you?

The wish being father to the deed, there he comes out of warp in his now-famous +6 Kestrel of awesome destruction. He’s right by the wreck, and he promptly loots two strip miners and a tech two cargo expander. Off he goes to deposit them safely in a hangar. He has the instincts of a salvager, this one.

Hmm, when is the AC-ME response going to arrive?

Torpedo Ted returns. Near simultaneously, Murdock Jones arrives in the same place, in a Brutix. Uh, oh. I see a warp scramble message as I am uncloaking.

Sadly, by the time I drove Murdock Jones away with cruise missiles, he’d reduced TorpedoTed’s Kestrel to scrap. It’s not a big job, and he brought a big enough ship to do it. I saw TorpedoTed’s pod warp away safely, then Murdock went, then in rapid succession Vryder04 and Cordus showed up in Megathron and Drake, respectively.

I, of course, cloaked up and started running silent. They stayed a long time — almost twenty minutes in the case of the Megathron — but the action was over. They didn’t bring out any bait targets for me to shoot at, so I stayed cloaked.

Tally for Ironfleet: One retriever mining barge, three valuable components salvaged.
Tally for AC-ME: One kestrel.

All in all, not a bad night!

After all the excitement yesterday, it took me awhile to process the incoming intel.

It turns out that AC-ME is moving! I can’t really believe it’s in response to the war with Ironfleet, but the explanation to the AC-ME rank and file seems to have been some version of “too many ore thieves in Isaziwa.”

Apparently (and this is unsourced rumor) a number of AC-ME members chose to leave the corp and remain in Isaziwa, rather than join in the exodus.

As for the exodus itself, word “on the street” was that the new home is to be in Rairomon, only six or eight jumps away. When I left Isaziwa following the route proposed by my autopilot, it took me to Oiniken, Ahynada, then through Ahynada to the Tunntaras stargate. Sound familar? The Tun stargate in Ahynada is where Vryder04’s autopiloting Iteron died yesterday. Nice preliminary confirmation on the move intel.

When I arrived in Rairomon for the first time, local lit up with the friendly red stars of AC-ME’s finest. I greeted the assembled (nobody said hello back) and got to work on doing a preliminary military survey.

I do so enjoy a change of scenery!