Deklein, shit. I’m still only in Deklein.
Every time I think I’m going to wake up back in Venal. When I was home after Branch, it was worse. When I was there, all I could think of was getting back into the fight.
I’ve been here a week now. Waiting for a mission, getting softer. Every minute I stay docked I get weaker. And every minute Black Legion squats on a gate camp they get stronger. Each time I look around, Local looks a little more crowded.
Everyone gets everything they want. I wanted a fleet op, and for my sins they gave me one. Brought it up to me like room service. ”
-Fleet Commander Willard, before his last op in Venal
It was December 18, 2011 when I joined the BSC Legion, a corporation in the TNT Alliance. By the next day I was in a fleet, in Branch, helping to prosecute the war against White Noise. The war in the north of null sec had begun, and I was there.
When Branch was overrun, the North seemed quiet. We thought there would be peace. But the war had only slowed down temporarily. It still festered along the border between Branch and Tenal, with Raiden and the CFC prodding each other.
Then, at FanFest, it flared up. The seeming weakness of The Mittani emboldened our foes.
The war flared with a renewed fury. We convoyed to our forward base at CS-ZDG and began operations to beat down the enemy. After a fierce weekend of fleet engagements the enemy’s will to resist broke. Raiden began to evacuate Tenal and the systems in the region changed sovereignty rapidly.
Then came the punitive expedition in Venal against the Northern Coalition, who had broken a treaty to come assist Raiden against the CFC. Then tech moons in Venal were to be the price of their actions.
We must kill them. We must incinerate them. Ship after ship, pod after pod, tower after tower, fleet after fleet. And they call me a griefer. What do you call it when the griefers accuse the griefer? They lie… they lie and we have to be merciful for those who lie. Those nabobs. I hate them. How I hate them..
-The Mittani, speaking on the Northenrn Coalition expedition (paraphrased)
We formed up and plunged into the region in force. The struggle in Venal was costly. We lost battles, though we kept to our objectives and took moons. Despite losses, fleet ops were organized and run every night. Last night I came home expecting to be in another large formation headed into Venal.
Instead, I found a message waiting for me.
It said the war was over.
Diplomatic negotiations between the alliances had come to an accord. Fleet operations were cancelled. Convoys from our forward deployment were being organized. We were going back to our home systems.
But I still have visions of the war.
Direct link to the video here. Sorry it won’t play on mobile devices, but the rights management associated with the music turn off that ability.
Hey, man, you don’t talk to Dabigredboat. You listen to him. The man’s enlarged my mind. He’s a poet-warrior in the classic sense. I mean sometimes he’ll, uh, well, you’ll say hello to him, right? And he’ll just fly right by you, and he won’t even notice you. And suddenly he’ll call you out, and he’ll say “Do you know that ‘if’ is the middle word in life?” And then he will start in about people’s mothers — I mean I’m no, I can’t — I’m a little man, I’m a little man, he’s, he’s a great man. I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across floors of silent seas…
-A new guy, after a six hour Boat fleet
Now, four months later, the war appears to be over. Convoys are bringing ships home. I am back in Deklein.
Maybe it is time to get that Hulk out… that Hulk I had shipped to null sec all those months ago. Mineral prices should be going up soon.