I pre-lock the logi pilots above and below my name and anchor on Asher. This time another pilot flies the entosis ship we are covering, rather than me. We are in the thick of the fight, with target names called out in cadence. I boost the shields of a Cerberus pilot and together with my fellow logi pilots save his ship from oblivion. The fight seems to take forever, cycling through broadcasts, repping, unlocking, locking, repping. And then, it’s over, with the enemy retreating for the moment.
Asher Leads by Example
Asher shares an image from his heart rate monitor with the fleet. I have always marveled at how – even in the thick of things – he always seems calm, lighthearted, and even kind to those pilots who messed up in some way, handing out tidbits of friendly advice. It’s this kindness that makes him so loved by the fleets he leads, for he is not just a sky-marshal in one of the most militaristic games, he is a “servant leader.”
As we cover the entosis work the banter in fleet makes me laugh. I reflect on the Brave channel stream I watched the day before in which their leadership informed their coalition members that Asher had evacuated Delve and was “leading his 30 man SIG on roams in Catch.” I imagine this was intended to portray the Imperium as faltering. We post in local about how Asher is not here, that he has evacuated, and we don’t know who the hell this guy is commanding the fleet in Delve. It can’t be Asher. PGL said so.
During the lull in fighting people talk about the secret Santa gifts they are giving or receiving. I think about my plan for my Santee that I will begin executing after the fleet. I’m happy for the opportunity to make a new friend with someone. These are the traditions Goons love and we make the most of them, often gifting and regifting throughout the holidays.
We catch another fleet at the gate and decimate them, but not before my logistics ship is primaried and popped. My clone wakes up in 1DQ, jumps in another scimitar, and bridges back to the fleet. We are having so much fun I could do this all night. Vily warps an interceptor fleet to within 1000km of us . . . and then warps them out. They warp in at varying distances two more times, I suppose to pick off stragglers, before Vily himself becomes a straggler and pops.
What Goons Will Never Lose
During the course of this war there has been much talk about the defense of structures and Keepstars in Delve. As a retvet, I understand that my fellow Goons have invested a lot in Delve over the last few years and want to defend it. The enemy coalition talks about wiping us out, but I am not very concerned about the outcome of the war. It is flying with my fellow Goons that makes this game fun, and the war has brought that fun right to my undock every single night for months. I don’t honestly think the enemy can take that away from us; further, I think they know it because many of the FCs we fight are former Goons who have lost what binds us.
Honestly, I would be just as happy on that 30-man roam with Asher or Travis or Tom or Alice or Ban or Dave or Mittens or any other Goon, anywhere on the map. We are all in their “special interest group.” We might lose some pixels here or there in the game, but we can never actually lose this war in the way imagined by those who are not Goons.