B-R5RB: The Sky Is Falling

 

B-R5RB.

It’s a story that’s been told over and over again this week. ISK lost, damage done. This FC’s perspective, that pilot’s perspective. So much talk about victors, heroes, agony, and triumph. Every time a new story, a new angle, a new interview has come out, the narrative has become more and more impressive. And it was impressive, wasn’t it?

There’s a side that was missed, though. It’s a side that I know many people were on, but not many people will talk about.

… good thing I’m not many people.

This is the story of the coward’s perspective. This is the story of a player who watched the ENTIRE thing happen and was paralyzed with fear, scared to help. This is the story that is burned into my brain and every time I think of this game, I will remember it. This is my story.

I woke up early Monday morning to take the kids to school, then returned home to wake up my husband, Bagehi. We had just returned home the night before, having been out of town for a funeral, and we were both exhausted– physically and emotionally wrung-out. After a brief discussion, it was decided that he would stay home and try to regroup. We would just, I don’t know, unplug and spend the day getting over our grief.

We sat at our computers, drinking coffee and browsing Reddit, which is our morning routine. While he was engrossed in r/politics or whatever-the-hell other boring subreddits he reads, I noticed my pidgin icon blinking. I clicked on it, and that’s when I learned what was going on. I did a quick read-through of the last couple of hours on Twitter, my heart sinking with every scroll of my mouse key. I turned to my husband.

“Razor has B-R,” I said quietly.

“WHAT?!?!?” he yelled.

“Something happened. The sov bill wasn’t paid. Razor took the station. Check IRC. They’re forming up now.”

He read through everything and started to log in.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“I need to do something.”

 

“Well, if we undock and get into fleet, we can’t dock back up, right? What if we die? What happens to our stuff?”

“It gets stuck in the station until we can get the station back.”

The thing with Bag is, he’s so matter-of-fact when dealing with a crisis. Especially in Eve. He’s been playing long enough, after all. Then there’s me. I am a panicker of comedic proportions. I start running through scenarios of everything that can go wrong in my head and then I start freaking out and, the next thing you know, I’m hyperventilating into a mug of coffee.

I’m not proud of what I did next. I guilted the poor man into not playing. I didn’t have to say anything because we’ve been together long enough for him to read me. I got up, walked away from the computer, and sat on the couch, staring blankly at the TV that wasn’t even turned on. You could see the internal struggle on his face. His alliance was screaming for help, he had the day off, and he felt obligated to go to the aid of our space family. On the other hand, he had said we would spend the day together.

I watched as he sighed, got up, pushed his chair in, and shuffled over to the couch.

(In my defense, the reports that were coming in were saying that this was a supercap fight. There was a lot of talk that it would not last that long. We just needed to drop TCUs again and try to regain control of the station. No one – not me, not anybody – could have known what the next 20-odd hours held.)

We were on Twitter constantly. The updates we were getting were obviously making us very nervous. At one point, I texted Hedliner, who told me he was getting very sketchy information about what was going on (unlike some people, he actually went to work on Monday) and to sit tight until he knew more.

“Don’t undock. We will get the station back.”  He’s very reassuring, that one.

“There you go. Hedliner said don’t undock just yet.”

In retrospect, he probably didn’t mean both of us. Hedliner, being a very attentive FC, knows I am complete shit in large battles. I can’t focus, I have no idea what’s going on around me, and I’m usually more of a liability than an asset. He also knows that Bag is one of the best pilots flying for him and, if given the choice, would have wanted him undocked and shooting bitches. At the time, though, I wasn’t thinking clearly. Hindsight and all that.

BfEm3CPCYAE1jIr.jpg-large

We watched Nick Fuzzeh’s stream all afternoon and evening. I would announce the titan losses every time I noticed a change. Every hour that went by, it was getting more and more dire. There were constant pings for reinforcements of all kinds. “Don’t be a coward,” they said, “just get your ass into fleet and await instructions.”  I could see the determination on Bag’s face every time he read one and, every time, I talked him out of it.

Would I fight and die for my family? Absolutely. Was I prepared to undock, fight, die, and leave everything else behind? No.

I realize that a lot of the more expensive assets I have were given to me by people in PL, but they were mine. I had bought a lot myself, as well. I had several billion ISK in that station. I know it doesn’t seem like a lot to some people, but I’m not space-wealthy like they are. I have 1.1 billion ISK to my name and I wouldn’t be able to replace a fraction of the ships I had in station, so I’d be damned if it was going to be trapped where I couldn’t get to it.

As the hours crept by and the damage totals grew larger and larger, I felt more and more like the biggest chicken-shit asshole in the history of Eve Online. 20 titans dead. Now 30. Now 40. From about 8pm EST on, hot tears would stream down my face in intervals. I was embarrassed and ashamed of what I’d done and, worse still, what I’d made Bag do. Now, I realize it’s just a game and these are just pixels, but I am a firm believer that how we behave online is a direct reflection of who we are. If you’re a jerk on the internet, you’re most likely a puppy-kicker IRL, you know? Don’t deny it. You know I’m right. That’s why this hit me so hard.

I had abandoned my family to their fate, choosing instead to watch them die one by one from the safety of my pod, tucked snugly into station. When they absolutely needed me to be brave, I was too scared to think of anything but myself. I was too busy thinking about losing my stuff, as if it couldn’t be replaced, as if it cost anywhere close to the SIXTY GODDAMN TITANS that were sacrificed so that people like me had the liberty of hiding in station.

When I woke up the next morning to, well, everything we woke up to Tuesday, a switch turned on inside me. The sick feeling was still there but it was being overtaken by anger (Nick Fuzzeh? Really?!?!?!  You HAD to kill Nick Fuzzeh?!!?!?) and a strange mixture of defeat and pride.  I mean, it had been a complete slaughter that left my alliance bruised and scrambling.

But we were still standing.

I know that Pandemic Legion has been around forever and will be around long after I quit playing, but I am not a veteran player and I have watched every single alliance I’d been in prior to this one fold and collapse. This was an entirely new experience. It was an amazing feeling. The sheer relief that we were still (relatively) intact helped counter the overwhelming waves of smug coming from the CFC. Well, for awhile. After seeing it all over Reddit, Twitter, Facebook – hell, CNN and Fox News even – it started to grate on my nerves. All of the frustration and emotion of the previous day came boiling out of me in song form, which resulted in this:

There aren’t a lot of ways I can contribute to PL. This is something, though. We had lost decisively, but I wanted to rally people, to remind them there was still hope.

To remind myself.

As we removed all of our assets from station Wednesday night, I started to gain resolve. I knew what Grath had done to get all of us out safely (he mentioned something about kneepads and a complete loss of dignity) and I was determined to repay him for, once again, saving my ass. This confession is my first payment. A willingness to fight and die, regardless of the odds, will be my next. A pledge to never again be a dumb girl and force my husband to do what I want by using wife-aggro is my last.

I only hope that’s enough.

Tags: b-r, sindel

About the author

Sindel Pellion

Trying to figure out where you’ve heard her name? When not running in-game charity, The Angel Project, she has a thing for taking catchy pop songs and making mediocre Eve parodies from them. For some reason, people encourage this nonsense.


  • Powersv2

    Glad you gave yourself that pep talk.

  • Akely

    Who knew? Actual humans play Eve? Wow.

  • Forlorn Wongraven

    :slowclap: And that is how we get motivated.

  • Poetic Stanziel

    I quite liked your piece … until I got to this sentence: “A pledge to never again be a dumb girl …”

    What the hell does being a girl have to do with it? Does your gender instill extra cowardice in you? Let’s dispense with the Barbie-Math-Is-Hard stuff. It’s 2014.

    What I don’t get is, as a girl gamer, how you can bring gender into the equation? It confuses me. I don’t see how it’s applicable at all.

    Anyhow, good piece, even if it did end on a Father-Knows-Best kinda note.

    • Sindel Pellion

      Man, sometimes you infuriate the ever-living fuck out of me and I want to just choke you… but then I remember that’s most likely your goal and I calm down enough to form coherent thought.

      Let me break that sentence down for you a little further, on a personal level: Bagehi and I have a very solid relationship. It’s strong for a countless number of reasons, but a main one is we aren’t petty or spiteful. We don’t bring up things the other person has done, and we don’t use emotional manipulation of any kind. It just doesn’t seem right to force someone you love to do something they don’t want to do.

      A lot of the girls I have known in the past do not function well in relationships like this. It’s hard to get what you want by, I don’t know, just ASKING for it, apparently.

      When I saw how much he wanted to abandon our plans and log in, I got angry, so I actually used the whole “wife aggro” thing and damn it if it didn’t work like a charm– not just the first time but every. single. time.

      You’ll notice (well, you might, since you’re you and you twist everyone else’s words into your own, usually incorrect, interpretation) that my gender is never mentioned when I talk about my “cowardice”. I never say I can’t play this game because I’m a girl. I NEVER say I’m scared because I’m a girl. That’s all you. It’s mentioned at the end, in the sentence you saw fit to cut in half for the sake of making it fit your opinion. “A pledge to never again be a dumb girl AND force my husband to do what I want by using wife-aggro is my last” is the full sentence. You see, a woman doesn’t manipulate her man to get what she wants. A dumb girl does.

      THAT’S the point of that sentence. Do you better understand, or should I type more slowly next time?

      P.S. You might have seen me say “math is hard” in the past. That’s because it IS hard for me. I have an English lit degree for a reason. Again, it’s not because I’m female, it’s because I’m me. If you have a problem with me and the way I tell my stories, you can get the fuck off my post.

      • MaraRinn

        I get what you’re saying.

      • Poetic Stanziel

        It’s never my goal to infuriate you.

        And that sentence that I chunked apart. I chunked it at the AND … which divides two separate clauses. Maybe it would have been better written as follows, the two thoughts would have been more clearly connected. But as you say, I’m not an English Lit major, so what do I know?!!?!?

        “A pledge to never again be a dumb girl, forcing my husband to do what I want by using wife-aggro is my last”

        • Ben

          Props for following up on being wrong with being sensible.

          And I made a diagram of her figure of speech for improved accessibility:
          childish: girl grown-up: woman
          childish: boy grown-up: man

          Also: 1+1=2

          #paranoiamuch

      • Lowsec Girl

        You’re being too touchy. I interpreted your dumb girl statement the same way as Poetic.

      • Kamar Raimo

        I totally understand where you are coming from Sindel (and actually did when I read it without the added explanation). I too have a partner who really hates it when she falls back into stupid stereotypical behaviour, because she wants to be a mature person and not a pouty little girl.

        Kudos also to Bagehi for reading your reaction and sticking to his promise. You guys sure must have a good relationship with eachother.

        As for the rest, don’t beat yourself up too much about it. Both of you got your stuff out intact and live to fight another day, that’s also worth something.

        Actually I personally think that the people who sign backroom deals with the CFC are doing much worse for the spirit of the alliance than you did there by not logging in. The recent example of BL shows how one can react very differently to diplomatic pressure from the CFC.

    • Druur Monakh

      I think you’re over-interpreting here.

  • MaraRinn

    Thank you for sharing your fears with us, Sindel.

    Please don’t bring gender into it 😛 At least you have something to talk about on the next Controller Issues 🙂

    • Sindel Pellion

      I brought it in for a reason. Please see below.

  • Watson Crick

    That last paragraph is something I didn’t know, did the CFC really allow PL to remove their assets from the station?

    • Sindel Pellion

      Yes, all of my stuff is now safely tucked away in stations we control.

  • mynas

    Honestly I’d have kicked you from my Corp for that.

    • Just A Passer-by

      Apart from she was grieving at the same time so her emotionalmental state is questionable…people react differently under stress let alone grief as well.

    • Bagehi

      For not logging in in the middle of the day on a work week for an unscheduled op? Really? You must not have many people in your corp then.

    • Kamar Raimo

      Could you please let me know which corp that is. There might be a day when I have no job, no relationship and no life anymore and have to look for some online experience that will occupy all of my time lest I realize that I am a sad creature.

  • Zakn

    Hind Sight is 20/20 and if you had undocked you’d have lost whatever you were flying due to the positions of the fleets. I empathize with you completely. I do thank you for sharing this, as most people wouldn’t.

    People default to Eve is a Cold, Hard Universe to rationalize all the bad things, but at the end of the day, all of us are real people playing a game. Most of us know each other, have broken bread with each other, drank with each other, but in a moments notice we know that no fucks are given if shit goes sideways and we get a chance to gain an advantage over someone in game, it will be done (and should be done). In fact we will laugh about it when we meet again. Its the way of life in this game.

    Thanks for sharing a Yes We are People Story. It doesn’t happen often, and when it does, people like Poetic will come at you with. I think I know where he was going with his comment, but I will in no way defend it.

    Also Cake fucking Rules, and I will overlook your tweet that says tweetfleet like bad music if you and Bag come to Eve Vegas 2014

    • Bagehi

      We both have relatives near Vegas. We really should go this year.

  • S2N Pilot

    Thanks for sharing this. With all the bluster that surrounds everything happening in this game it’s rare for people to acknowledge any kind of weakness.

    It also gives fresh perspective on the things we fight for/over. For all the hours I spent on field in B-R that day it never once occurred to me that the battle carried a lot of personal consequences even for people who weren’t on field.

  • tash murka

    To be honest the real bravery is right here in this article.

    To thell the hole world that you made a mistake. That you feel bad about it and that you will do everything to do next time better. Shows to me mutch more human and bravery then to undock and be in a 20 hour fight that had every aspect in place to go very very bad.

  • Poetic Stanziel

    Most of Sindel’s problem is that she feels inadequate and useless in Pandemic Legion, so that adds greatly to the feelings that plagued her during B-R5RB. As I’ve said before, she’d have a much better time in a lower skill alliance. She should take a hard look at her time in Pandemic Legion and ask if the corp is adding fun to her gameplay or if it is adding angst?

    She’d likely have a much better time with Brave Newbies or Stay Frosty. She’d have less existential angst too.

    • Kamar Raimo

      While you might have a point there, don’t underestimate the possibility that two people playing the same game as partners might want to do things together in-game.

  • Total Newbie

    I have 5 bil to my name, and I gladly jumped in both my dreads HOPING for one or two titan kills before they were both vaporized by a DD…… 28 kills later I jumped out. Decent blog, though. Thanks for sharing.

  • Shinhwa

    Luckily I do not share your view that how someone acts in a video game reflects how they act in real life. If I did, and were you, I’d have no idea how I’d even look at the ones I love in real life in the face. So I’m 100% sure that in real life you would do whatever it takes to defend your loved ones. Being a competitive video game player I can’t understand not undocking, and keeping your husband from undocking. But I’m not sure what you are currently lending PL in terms of support. Nice article though.

  • Joran

    Aside from any other opinions, it took balls to make a public article about something so intimate as a husband/wife relationship, so props.

  • bo

    The assumption that how you act online reflects how you act in real life is completely false. A game is precisely made so you can do in it things you can’t do it in real life. If it applies to you, it doesn’t mean it applies to everyone.

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