It didn’t last very long, but it shone brightly.
I mention this because I feel it’s worth reflecting upon. An outer region group attacked another, and diplomatic matters became rather complicated as there were ‘blues’ and ‘light blues’ on both sides of the conflict, and some decided to try and stay neutral while others stepped to one side of the fence or another. I’ll have to admit, it was a war worthy of tales. Not so much due to any staggering numbers or amazing battles, although the last week of it certainly took its toll. It was because everyone involved fought tooth and nail, against equal or even stronger enemies and fleets. Underdog fleets sometimes came out victorious, sometimes numbers won out. Most of the time… it was just war.
There was no cowardice or craven worry about kill statistics or ISK values. The sides had drawn lines in the sand and stood their ground. It’s a horrifying thing to say but this was a wonderful war. Every target was a capsuleer worth killing and there wasn’t an innocent soul in sight. Every structure was a hive of outer region riff-raff and those risking life and limb for their lucrative paychecks.
The destruction was beyond measure.
It paled before what was to come.
After having teetered on a knife’s edge, the final push came. The final bastion was going under siege.
Over seven thousand different capsuleers showed up for the siege. Over two hundred and fifty billion ISK worth of ships were destroyed in a single battle. Another hundred and fifty billion ISK worth of ships died to the Keepstar in its final hours. Six grueling hours of destruction, culminating in what news reports claim was the death of “countless millions”.
As we birthed a brief, yet beautiful star. It’s one of the most powerful memories I have, entering warp and the explosion overtaking us, with blinding light and heat surrounding us. So many dead. So much destruction. So much outright horror, unfathomable courage, strength of will and enemies I will never forget for their sheer tenacity.
For what exactly, though? What did all those people die for? What did we kill all these people for? Don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets about that war or that day. I find no moral outrage over the deaths of those who willingly went to war in servitude of mad eggers with grand designs. Everyone who was there, chose their path and knew the risks.
Yet… what was it for? “Empire Building” some will say, disregarding that no capsuleer “empire” has lasted more than a blink of an eye compared to the nations of New Eden, and almost always begins and ends with death tolls beyond measure. “For Honor” some will say. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out if the outer regions has any of that, given their willingness to waste so many lives on such fruitless endeavors. “For wealth and power” some will say, and I can’t really argue against that. Except… does it really pay off? 300b Keepstar. 250b in ships. Another 150b in another battle. Trillions and trillions when it’s all tallied up over the course of a war. For a spit of land, where you can harvest some bounties or some rocks.
It’s been a year and I don’t really have an answer. I never had any stakes in the outer regions, rather I’ve spent my time here learning and keeping that knife’s edge sharp against enemies like Co2 that traced their name in fire across New Eden’s skies, or The Initiative pioneering brand new strategies and doctrines with impressive skill, and Providence neglecting to warn their own about an impending Keepstar erection… or perhaps just Goons dying horribly in droves under incompetent FCs. Is that worth so much death perhaps?
I have no answer for these questions.
Perhaps someone should. If nothing else, it’s something worth recognizing and thinking about.
That is… once I’m done remembering the birth and death of a star, seared into my inner eye.