I think it was the cyno frigates that did it. They were a last step. That moment when I went from standing, with my eyes above the surface of the water to sinking fully into the depths. It was the point where I stopped looking at the surface, and back towards the land and instead looked into the rich depths around me and became a part of that world.
Now I have a label. Its not quite a tattoo but it has a lot of permanence to it. I am pretty sure that I like it and won't have any regrets about it.
My descent from miner to pirate has been a long, slow process. My sec status dropped at a slow and steady rate. I kept pushing it back up for the longest time. I ratted regularly. I let myself be swayed by others reasons. I clung to it because it was security. And at some point I let that go. I let my fingers relax and slowly started to slide deeper into the fluid waters of PvP. And then I stopped again and started to tread water. A slow, measured tread but I hovered at a space place for a while.
And then I let go. I sunk into the depths. I may not be an amazing pirate or a cool pirate or a particularly scary or vicious pirate but it is a way I think that I am comfortable defining myself. When we moved into our Vacation home and even when 7-2 moved into theirs, the comments were about how they were being invaded by pirates.
Why do we become labeled pirates? Not all PvPrs are pirates. Not everyone that lives in low sec is a pirate. Some play the role and some do not but they still achieve the same place if in different circles. I don’t have a neat factual answer. I think a lot of it is personal decision as well as where someone lives and what they do. It was reading through some other blogs and skimming the comments about waiting to see if someone locks another ship up and starts shooting that made me start to go, “I wonder if this is it.”
I wonder if it is killing all the things. That is where the cyno frigates come into play. There is nothing challenging about killing a cyno frigate. It is not hard. If a rookie ship is used the killboards do not even show the kill. Most cynos expect to be destroyed and they only fit the bare minimum needed to open the portal in the cheapest ship possible. This is honestly about destroying it because it is there and because you can and also find it fun. And in fleet, I become such a pack animal. I grow a little colder and a little harder and a lot more bloodthirsty to the boys endless amusement.
I can’t say I look at them and go, “Oh they are only X age, I’ll leave them be.” I almost feel bad as I've read comments about how people will “Let them lock me up and shoot first.” When it comes to killing things, I wait when my fleet commander tells me to wait, not because I was worried they were new. Everything should die. Frigs, rookie ships, shuttles, pods, battleships, dreds, haulers, I don’t care. Well, I don’t like shooting POSs because I get bored not because I have a problem with shooting them. All the things. Erryday. We are out for spaceship violence.
I do like stuff. Looting the wrecks is important. Haulers are mystery boxes of possible delight. When someone ejects from a ship its like a special birthday present. I like stuff. I love getting the stuff. But I have never been interested in the ransoming part of it. Pillaging seems to be more down my line of interest. I can't say that I'd hold off on a new player if I knew they were new. Perhaps, I shouldn't be that honest but its my ramble so I might as well be.
“Your meaningless PvP.” Those words from a null sec recruiter. Those words that hardened my heart some and caused me to furrow my brows a bit in a frown. Words that carried the acidic bite of disrespect for my boys. Words that may have driven me away from any other path more than anything else in the game has. "All you do is giref and kill noobs." How I used to fight against that. I guess that is where the ‘evil’ part comes in. Its that "they are brand new" and my puzzled response of, "They were there."
The PvP is meaningless in the sense that the equation is not: I shoot A to accomplish B goal for C reason. Because the equation stops at “I shoot A.” In and upon itself it is complete. I’m satisfied there. It becomes easy for me to forget that not everyone thrives upon that equation.
I try not put down someone having a reason to do what they do. Sometimes I fail but the effort is a good exercise I have not needed one for why I do what I do beyond the fact that I want to. Role and reason assignment are not always necessary although they help others understand someone. I can’t even attest to it being a drug free zone considering I make the boosters. In many ways, the structure of the game has allowed us to take on the role of pirate and prosper in it. Drugs? Loot? Red free-for-all-to-shoot status? A whole lot of Yarr and Aye in our chats? Check, check, check check and check.
Its funny. Even as Ender insists, “We are not really pirates,” and Diz and ren heckle him and call him a carebear, the coldly said, “Antipirate” when any of those said groups are encountered or brought up speaks volumes. “Anti-pirate” is “Anti-us”. “Anti-carebear” and “anti-anything else” never brings with it that coldness.
When I started this rambling stream of conscious my habitual embarrassment tickled me some. I decided to ignore it for once. Fried and Ren were on and I asked them each if they considered themselves pirates. My boys with their outlaw sec status mulled the topic for a few seconds and said "Yes."
So.... pirate. It doesn't mean that everyone has to define them the same way. Its Eve. I have but to take a breath and I can find someone who will disagree with me and voice another, contradicting viewpoint. Its not about sec status otherwise Mane would glisten with a halo and angels wings. I think it is both something given and something taken and one can be one without meaning to or not be one even with the intent.