He’ll sit here, and he’ll say, ‘Do this! Do that!’ And nothing will happen.
-Harry Truman, on Eisenhower and the presidency
Just another Wednesday on a blog mostly about video games.
When I got home yesterday afternoon things seemed settled about the house. My daughter was busy with something, hockey was starting on the TV, which would occupy my wife for a couple of hours, and a ping for a fleet had just come up on Jabber. I figured it was a sign, and I logged into EVE Online and joined up.
We formed up an armor T3 fleet and by the time I was logging in there were threats that we were not going anywhere until there was more logistics support. Fortunately that is what I generally fly… I don’t even own a doctrine Proteus or Legion… so it was into my medical white Guardian and into the fleet just in time for us to get going.
We rolled out with a capital fleet bobbling along ahead of us, turned north, passed through that long regional gate jump between ZXB-VC and Y-2ANO, and headed deep into Fountain where we have been fighting sparring with The-Culture off and on for the last couple of months. It was a passage through history for me yet again, with system names in Fountain more familiar to me from past wars than my own current neighborhood in Delve. I cannot, for example, go through KVN-36 without thinking about that doomed capital convoy op we ran way back when.
Our first destination was an Astrahus citadel of ours that The-Culture had been busy attacking over the past week. It was coming down to its final timer and there seemed to be some likelihood that they would call in some help from the north to contest it. A fight seemed possible and there were reports on coms that they had almost 100 people of there own in captials and ready to go.
We tethered up on the Astrahus and waited. We were there early, so had to run down the timer before the event started, then sit through the whole fifteen minute exposure window.
However The-Culture wasn’t able to get a force together to contest the timer, so it ran out and the Astrahus was saved.
That left a couple hundred of us hanging about in Fountain, so the subcaps split off to go shoot a couple of towers The-Culture had in A-HZYL. This took the evening from some sitting about waiting to a game of whack-a-mole for the logistics wing of the fleet. Both of the towers had quite a few defense modules. As nobody was there to direct them, they fired in their random sort of way which meant that people were calling for reps almost constantly as the automated guns changed targets at a maddening rate.
Meanwhile, The-Culture put together a small group of Artillery fit Claw interceptors (example fit from one we popped) who managed to warp in and pick off a few smaller ships (and one Legion) as we did our tower shoot. I am not sure how they got the Legion, but they were able to alpha small ships (like B33R’s Bifrost) off the field in a single volley.
While The-Culture was big on defensive modules on their towers, they did not bother to put any strontium clathrates in them. So rather than having to go through the multiple shoot routine of reinforcement mode, we were able to kill them right then and there.
Fortunately the capital fleet sent us a few dreadnoughts to speed things up so the logi repping madness didn’t last as long as it could have. We popped one tower and then a second. After that we had to take the remaining modules offline and cover GSOL as they put up replacement in the place of the ones we just blew up.
That left us with some time to kill, which we did in the usual way. The FC, Thomas Lear, had logi start repping one of the fleet members… in this case fellow jacket pal Norrec Lafisques… and then had the rest of the fleet shoot him to see if they could break his tank.
However, but that time we had lost some fleet members… we were past the three hour mark… while logi was still strongly represented and all still awake after the tower, so we kept him alive without any fuss.
Once the towers were set, it was time to head home, shepherding the capitals and keeping together to avoid being picked off by the still lurking Claws of The-Culture. That took a while, but eventually we made it back to the staging Keepstar and were able to call it a night. We were rewarded with three participation links, which covers 75% of my minimum for the month.
During the whole fleet any discussion of politics was banned. Politics is generally one of the forbidden topics on fleet ops, but given it was election night it was being strictly enforced. So there were not any updates while I was playing EVE Online during that gap of time. Before the fleet started I had looked at Google’s election coverage and the real time live forecast that the New York Times had put together on their web site. So when I looked as the fleet was kicking off, every indicator said Clinton was going to win. The needles were all deep in Clinton territory and Trump had faint hope. When The fleet was done… well… things had changed as indicated by this chart which I clipped from their site.
I think the fleet actually started about a half hour earlier now that I think about it, but you get the picture. And while I wasn’t completely news free during the fleet… I checked Twitter and saw a few indicators come up… the radical shift was still a bit of a surprise.
My daughter, actually paying close attention to a presidential election for the first time, was disturbed by the apparent outcome. I had to reassure her that the system is designed to suppress drastic change. The government is slow and inefficient on purpose. It is a feature. Just as Harry Truman noted about Eisenhower I would note about Trump. Being the President isn’t like the military, or like a business, where you just tell people to do things and they happen. It is frustrating when you think something should be done. President Obama couldn’t even close Guantanamo Bay, a 2008 campaign promise, over two terms. But it pays back when something you don’t want is proposed.
The apocalypse isn’t upon us. I’ve seen bigger mandates and grander ambitions ground down by the wheels of government. Even that Republican congress answers to their constituencies first… or maybe it is lobbyists first, I forget… while the President is somewhere way down the list. And that will all get tossed in the air in again in two years.
We’ll see what happens. But as Scarlett O’Hara sagely noted, tomorrow is another day.