*Hi all, *
*Please, please, please be considerate. I am a dyslexic learner and I am really self-conscious and critical of my own writing. It is my biggest insecurity. I wrote this as a way of working on my writing outside of work. I have played EVE for a year now and this contest has allowed me to write about a game I love and share a few of my own experiences of eve through writing. *
Also I have not run this by anyone and I’m am slightly worried whether I should have run this by my alliance first, but I didn’t want it to influenced by the opinions and accounts of others.
*I guess this could fall into both category 2. & 4. *
Please bare in mind that this is based on true events, but there are exaggerated role playing, story telling taking place in this piece.
Please see below
Part 1 – The Slave and Slavers
Chapter 1 – Bloodlines and tradition
Pain in New Eden can vary from capsuleer to capsuleer, one clones pain is another clones pleasure. Some veterans within this vast verse could consider the Barca family prepubescent. I even hear the echoes of my tribe even now whilst I try to scribe down what Pain means to me and my family “The Barca family and their ancestors are Brutor’s by birth right, but they are far too young to understand what Pain is to a casuleer, how can they truly know what Pain is”.
For our family, Pain is represented everything we do. From skin implants as child, skin bleaching tattoos as juvenile, the tales of our descents breaking free from the shackles of slavery are etched into our skin at young age. Generations of Barca’s captured within tattoos, all fighting to ensure that the story of our pain is heard. This appreciation of pain and its meaning is every bit a part everyday life in Minmatar culture, if your family can afford a clone bay your tribe encourages you to join fight against Amarian oppression, by joining Ushra’Khan.
With an inherent rebellious nature, that would not be the path walked for the Barca family. As soon as our family could explore beyond the influence of the tribe, we undocked our belongings and set out for solar systems that we had only ever heard of in the data reels. In search of a new meaning for pain, family and wealth we moved further and further away from the brutal societal practices of Metropolis and Heimatar. We stumbled by chance across a collection of young rag tag families from different races. Welcomed with opened arms by the families of Greene, Sab who accepted myself and my brothers regardless of our heritage. Together our families united in our desire for a home and lasting wealth, but I chose not to share our desire to understand the meaning of pain yet. We found our purpose in ship building and we chose a name for ourselves that would represent the services that we would provide, all that we needed now was home.
High-security in Verge Vendor would become our first resting spot, but it never really felt like our forever home, what does a forever home look like for travelling capsuleer?
In our search for a home and lasting wealth we gradually we ventured our chances mining in Placid, further and further way from the protection of the Concord, closer and closer into the dark clutches of pirates. With Stacmon as our market we pushed our luck initially, mining and engaging with local pirates in Cumemare, Aunsou and Reynire. I’m not one hundred percent sure why, but the Greene family had proposed that we permanently move to a quiet system called ‘PAIN’. I couldn’t quite believe what I had just heard, why could someone be willing to constantly live in ‘Pain’, was this our family reckoning for leaving the tribe? No, it wouldn’t be, but the reckoning for our families would come, as we would quickly learn that when you move into low security space ‘there is always a bigger ship.’
A few parsec’s had passed, since we had moved to Pain and we not really experienced anything that concerned our relatively low level mining operation. We started to notice in stations and the local system that new group had begun to move into the region.
Regal and royal in demeanour, I could tell when I entered a station if they been there because I could smell their distinct rich perfume. I knew of this group almost instantly, as though my ancestors were speaking to me, the oppressor filth, the Amarian slavers and the dogs of the empress.
Curatores Veritatis Alliance (CVA)
If I ever saw them in local I would utter crude brutish insults and spit out some of quafe in their general direction. In my first days exploring the systems I swore that I would never use or sell anything to Amarian loyalists. I had moved across the verse to remove all cultural and societal influences for me and my family. A fresh start, free from the faction warfare, our heritage and the ‘pain’ that racial persecution which had held over my family and that they had carried from generation to generation had now followed us to Placid.
Chapter 2 – The Kings of Lowsec
The families within our small corporation had started to gradually flourish and grow. As more capsuleers joined us and we made Pain our home and we became stronger together. If we ever had any visitors in our system, our running joke was that ‘We live Pain’ and whilst in Pain we began to successfully market ourselves as Battleship builders. We now had an Athanor in Pain and our mining fleets were slowly becoming little a more serious, but Athanors require fuel and the Sab and Greene families posed the question of approaching CVA’s industrial overseer ‘The Count’ so that we could negotiate a deal to cheaper fuel. ‘Hell no’ was the exact response that I gave “and I speak for my brothers when I say we do not want anything to do with those Amarian scum.”
The Greene family assured myself that all fuel costs would be paid for by them until the corporation can negotiate a better deal elsewhere.
Trust a Caldari to find a compromise, ‘Fine, let’s leave it at that.’*
That would become the status quo for a while with CVA, I wouldn’t Talk to them in Stations about this week’s Meta Show, or what was going on in the war and they wouldn’t bother me. I preferred it this way, then I wouldn’t be reminded what they would do to my fellow tribesmen, women and children.
Ooo the stories of what the Amirian’s would do to our children, they would make your clone sick in their capsule.
I’m sure that if you spoke to the Greene, Sab, Gnorak and Spear families, that their view of CVA at that time was very different but they had been raised from very different ethnic background.
For a short while the Pain system felt safer than High-Security space, as it was much quieter and was free of the scammer’s and con artist’s that we had experienced in Verge Vendor. The Sab family who were and our nominated figurehead had now moved most of our industrial operations into Pain, maybe we were a little naïve, but we now felt that we could keep our assets safe from pirates. Those were good days, taking an Orca out with a fleet of Covertor’s, music and booze flowing as we all stripped the low-security of ore.
Within the space of week that changed.
Just like every day, I remember being on the belt with the Sab family and noticing that new pilot had come into system while we on the belts, nothing unusual, we had our safety procedures and because Pain is such a large system its not uncommon to not catch a ping for a ship on your directional scanning equipment. We all started to align to station in preparation of docking up and that’s when we noticed a ship declocking right on top of us. ‘Warp Drive-Actived’.
“Sab I’m out, I’m at the station.” ………….
Silence for what seemed like at lifetime.
“Sab are you alright?” ……………
“Nope ………. Damn……. they’ve got my Orca, they have destroyed one of our covertors and the Orca is going down. They have just cyno’ed in.”
“Sab who are they?”
“The Kings of Low-sec …………. Snuffed Out”
It was clinical, in the space of a few seconds months worth of hard work was gone, and this would massively change way we viewed Low-Sec. This was the first real time that we have felt pain in Pain.
The first lesson that we learnt about pain was that, no matter where you are in New Eden, High Security, Low-Security, Null Space or in a Worm Hole there is always a bigger ship and you need security no matter where you are.
Chapter 3 - The olive branch of a director or was he a dictator
Noise had started to spread across Placid of miners that had lost an Orca in Pain. There’s an Athanor in Pain, a small gang of miners that can’t defend it. Not much time has passed at all and what initially seemed like a saviour presented itself to our small corporation. A local figurehead for a small proactive alliance approached us with an offer, but in hindsight it was no offer, it was an ultimatum.
“Join us, build ships for us, or lose your Athanor”
Seeing no other alternative and in need of security we accepted, plus this local alliance were friends with the much larger CVA. We were just a collection of industrialists and we thought the relationship had started well. In our first transaction we were able to provide 100 Drakes and 200 Catalysts, being told that as soon as we could supply more they would be brought from us. For a short while we enjoy the fruits of our labour.
It didn’t take long though for things to change and the relationship with our alliances leadership began to sour. We began to receive orders that we would have to commit a certain percentage of our pilots to fleets, our ship hull losses were being monitored and we could now only use the alliance comms. One thing about this alliance was, at this time was that they were incredibly organised and they had ambitions of quickly becoming very influential within Placid.
My first fleet was on a station removal within Dour, it was an eviction effort, the opposition leader of a small local alliance by the name of ‘Revenant Order’ who was a known broadcaster. That’s a capsuleer that live documents his experiences for audiences across New Eden. It was a massacre. The capsuleer’s of Revenant Order never stood a chance and to further boost morale a copy of broadcaster’s data-stream was circulated within our internal comms.
For the guys in our corporation this had the opposite effect, gradually less and less family members would turn up to alliance fleets. After a while the alliance dictator, sorry I mean director finally showed his true nature, “start turning up to fleets or we will destroy you station in Pain”.
Here we are again, facing more pain in Pain.
A day or so passed by and I was approached by the dictator, “Ernak we want you to join us, but we are cutting the other families of your corporation from the alliance and we are going to give our boys a free pass to destroy the assets for the rest of the families within your corporation.”
“Ok, let me tell the families that we are parting ways”
Chapter 4 – Choosing one Pain over another Pain
I went back to the families and told them word for word what had been said in my conversation with the dictator.
The Greene family there and then said, “let’s leave, I have a great relationship with the ‘Count’, CVA are friends with our alliance so they would not be able to remove us from Pain.”
“We will lose the Athanor, but if we act quickly we can join CVA and I’m certain that they would allow us to have our own station in Pain.”
The Sab family then quickly suggested “yeah let’s do that, either way they were going to destroy the station, lets strip everything out of the station and then let’s shoot the station with them.”
“Ernak, so long as you can put your differences aside with the Amarian’s then this is the best option we have if we want to be able to constantly live in Pain”
Are the Caldari that ignorant of the suffering of the Minmatar?
Am I willing to move past the suffering of my ancestors for the suffering of my new family?
Unsure if I was ok with this, it felt like I was physically watching the words leave my lips “Who is their diplomatic officer?”
“Some guy called …… Chotar”
The Count and the Green family arranged the meeting, this was the first time I had ever sat down with an Amarian loyalist. In passing I could tell that the Count was an industrialist but Chotar was defiantly a Military Officer. Wearing traditional Amarian fatigues and a regimental beret.
That rich pungent smell of Amarian perfume was perforating my nasal cavity again.
As true Brutor I came into this meeting full of anger, passion, frustration and pain. I wanted the situation resolved, I wanted to protect our home, but I knew we couldn’t do it alone. I just wanted my family to heal and continue to grow but I didn’t want to have to approach CVA, in my mind they were Amarian scum, but had my ignorance had blinded me?
Through all the ancestral hatred that I had, I had never once spoken to a Amarian loyalist let alone considered what their understanding was of pain in New Eden and how they dealt with it.
This tribesman is driven by with passion and aggression but in my search for the meaning of pain. In CVA, I encountered something that I had not yet experienced in travels across New Eden.
I unloaded everything on Chotar, our story, where we had come from, where we were going and what we wanted out of our journey across New Eden. In that moment Chotar did not show me any racial discrimination, I did not feel judged for being a relatively young capsuleer or for being from the Brutor Tribe. I had assumed that all CVA were slavers who were fanatic religious zealots. What they acutely showed me was that Amarian loyalist are calm, disciplined and were honourable.
What learnt from that meeting with Chotar is that true Amarian loyalists does not excuse their heritage and culture, they own it with a high level of acceptance. Not everyone in CVA is a slaver but those that are ‘blame Erin Aldent’ for it.
Chotar listened and calmly outlined what our corporation would have to do if we wanted to become members within CVA. We were industrialists, so the heads of our households would need to join the Eagle Wing Industries. All our brothers and sisters would be able to stay together in their corporation but would have to join the auxiliary, which is was in sorts CVA’s militia.
We would not be forced into fighting in fleets if we didn’t want to, but we were asked help out where we could.
Chotar then stated that “CVA had moved to Placid to grow stronger. This is our pilgrimage.”
I took out my Brutor kukri styled blade with my right hand and positioned to my forehead “If you can guarantee the protection of my family and the families within our corporation, I will make a blood promise to CVA and to the Empress.”
“That is not needed but I will guarantee the protection of your families if you join CVA.”
I pressed kukri down deep into the skin of my forehead and drew the blade down to my brow. The blood ran fast and hot, flowing down the contours of my face. With my left hand I smeared the blood on my face and then offered it out in a traditional tribal trust shake. Without flinching Chotar returned the offer and the promise was sealed.
Chapter 5 – Persistent cuss’s and the pilgrims
Our former alliance was not happy with how quickly we had moved, they had underestimated what a group of close families could sacrifice for each other. They did return to Pain to deal out what they felt was pain, but we also showed up to help them shoot at our own station. We were already prepared to replace it with a brand new Athanor, I personally helped to etch the gold Eagle Wing insignia on the station.
To cement the blood promise, I started to attend more alliance fleets, which was when I realised that I had more in common with the CVA’s veterans than I first thought. System to system on our roams, different groups would cuss at us, “Go home”, “Go back to provi” “Death to the empress”. It takes a certain special spiritual discipline in New Eden not to reply in local communications, but not once have I seen the integrity of the Curatores Veritatis Alliance fleet line members lowered to that of other pirates that I have witnessed in Placid. On each roam I have witnessed more and more insults thrown our way the regal discipline of my CVA brothers has remained unfaltered.
The journey that took me from Metropolis, to Verge Vendor and now to Placid in search for family, wealth and to gain an understanding of pain in New Eden. I could see the same pilgrimage in my fellow line members in CVA. Many of them were looking to rebuild and grow, searching for new family members and spiritually coming to terms with the pain of moving out of Providence. Providence is clearly the ancestral home for so many of my new brothers and Placid is just a part of their pilgrimage that will eventually take the pilgrims back to Providence someday.