“War is much more fun if you are winning!” - General Martok
My comm pad beeped discreetly, and I glanced quickly at it, before slipping it back into my pocket. As expected, it was the notification from CONCORD that our last remaining war had been declared invalid, and fighting would have to stop within 24 hours.
One would think that this message would have cheered me up - in just a day, I could make a round trip to all our hi-sec POSes, turning them off while replenishing their fuel bays, and then resume business as usual.
Except that there weren’t any hi-sec POSes left. None. Nada. Zilch. One the of three war decs we had going on at once the last weeks turned out to be more than we could have handled. All weakly-defended hi-sec POSes in our Alliance had died. And there had been no coordinated response.
And it hadn’t had helped that I had been stuck for over a week in a backwater station who had all its traffic suspended for a measly fire in their docking ring. Not that I was in any way deluding myself that I could have made a difference - but it would at least have felt better!
I waved into the general direction of a waiter, to refill my glass for the 3rd? 4th?... seems I had lost track of the count.
But even that wasn’t really it. We had rebuild before - gained standings, and all that. But this time... I couldn’t stomach even the mere thought. As did one of my corpies, who went and founded his own PvP corp. To his credit, he did apply back into our Alliance, and for sure would be accepted, but that didn’t change the fact that we had lost another veteran member.
There is a time in the downhill slide when the pebbles’ opinion ceases to count.
I admit, I had started to look at alternatives myself. Going mercenary. Freelance. ... Pirate even.
Then the newly inflamed factional war had caught my eye - not that I had much love for the Amarr as such, but if Amarr fell, so would the Khanid Kingdom. And Khanid was my heritage, as much as I usually preferred to ignore it.
So I went and looked up sources. Talked to people. And then made the mistake to slip the word to somebody I thought I could trust.
The mere memory of that evening was enough to have me drain my glass in one gulp, and refill it from the bottle the waiter had graciously left at my table.
And yet here I was sitting in the very same bar, looking through the same panoramic window into space, where it all had started less than half a year ago. Maybe I did have a masochistic streak.
But this was also the place where I had to agreed to meet my FW contact, arranged before .. that evening... happened. And how would it look if I backed down from something simple like that?
Outside the panorama window, ships of all classes performed the eternal silent dance.
“Ah, there you are. Sorry that I was delayed.”
I gestured the arrival to sit down, a waiter discreetly materializing another glass on the table.
Time to turn a page.