I would like to take this opportunity to present to you the cultural phenomenon relating to Bob the God of Wormholes. No, it has nothing to do with the infamous Band of Brothers from yesteryear. Bob the God of Wormholes is an entirely unique quasi-religious construct that has gained popularity amongst those that ply their trade in Wormholes. Bob is both a running joke, and a topic of very serious debate.
To those that are devoted followers of Bob the God of Wormholes, He is not so much a creation, but a Revelation of Undeniable Truth.
This Revelation becomes painfully apparent to anyone that has spent eight or more hours chain-collapsing wormholes looking for a fight, or a convenient exit to K-space to run logistics. It is said that if you put your ear to a wormhole in its last stages of life, Bob will grant you visions and dictate prophecies rivaling the length of a feature article penned by James 315.
Bob is a catch-all. He can be blamed, or praised, for just about anything; from exceptionally profitable salvage, to the loss of billions worth of ISK in an ambush. Just like the chaotic nature of W-space, Bob is generally lukewarm and indifferent to the joys, and suffering, of capsuleers that worship him. As to the exact nature of Bob, some say he is a supernatural deity rolling dice to determine the fates of capsuleers. Others speculate that Bob is not a “He”, or even a God at all, but rather a Gallente transvestite that moonlights as a stand-up comedian in the Blameston system.
Even stranger, and perhaps the most chilling, is the theory that Bob may be a mischievous artificial intelligence left behind by the Talocan. Supposedly, tiny nanobots infect capsuleers which project vivid hallucinations, delusions of grandeur, complete lack of financial restraint, fits of maniacal aggression, and an unflinching devotion to the mercurial and capricious entity known as Bob.
The last person to say that they had evidence of these nanites was a curious fellow wandering around low-sec, selling off pepper flakes in reliquaries for the indigent, and entirely gullible, faithful…
THE CULT OF BOB
The rituals and bylaws surrounding Bob the God of Wormholes are as wide and diverse as those that follow him. It would be painfully obtuse and tedious for me to write down all the varied nuances of the sects. Suffice it to say; the dogma is as loose and nebulous as the ferrofullerine gas found in wormholes.
However, there are a few things that are agreed upon almost unanimously:
Bob loves a fight, but not necessarily a “good fight” (although those certainly do happen). It is more to the effect that Bob appreciates the general willingness to engage in battle wholesale. Unfettered aggression and an unflinching propensity for violence is what is said to draw the favor of Bob. It is also said that Bob is a speed freak, is entranced by big explosions, and anything reflective and shiny. Followers of Bob typically lavish their expensive ship hulls with equally expensive fittings in a florid attempt to curry favor from the fabled deity.
When one feels that their luck has turned sour, it is because they have incurred the Wrath of Bob. Dogma dictates that when one experiences this streak of poor fortune it becomes necessary to placate Bob through sacrifices.
Sharing an eerie similarity to hiccup “cures”, solutions to placate the ire of an Angry Bob are many, and are typically to provide amusement for everyone but the supplicant. The most common of these “sacrifices” takes the form of a strange ritual in which the supplicant is advised to self-destruct a shuttle 0 kilometers from a star – which is usually the one in the supplicant’s home system. Social dictum holds that the vessel’s cargohold should be laden with a combination of Exotic Dancers, ammunition, drugs, and Quafe. While few will admit to it, most capsuleers avail themselves of the creature comforts packed into their cargo holds to have an orgy that would make the ancient Caligula blush.
The bolder and more enterprising seek a more aggressive means of atonement for their perceived sins. Seeking out a hostile wormhole, the supplicant loudly announces their presence in /local, and issues a challenge to engage in mortal combat by anyone willing to fight. The supplicant almost always dies in some horrific manner, typically in a ship that is deliberately fit in such a fashion as to be next to useless, or to provide an amusing killmail for the enjoyment of corp mates, and Bob.
The last, and possibly the most bizarre form of ritual suicide is known as “POS Gun Seppuku”. Typically these mortally depressed individuals are completely unaware that Bob is displeased with them. Ignorant of Bob’s Wrath, they warp themselves too close to an occupied moon, and the guns do the rest -the result being predictable and hilarious.
Bob also appreciates practical jokes and community service. It is not enough to simply blow up someone’s industrial ship, steal the contents, and then leave. No, that would be rude, and poor form. To leave behind dirty freight containers would be terribly impolitic. One must make the effort to acquire some Janitors, leaving one behind in each container, with a small pile of Garbage. Of course, these services are not free, and it would only be proper etiquette to demand the owner of the filthy containers to pay you for the services of said janitors.
Another strange ritual involves ransoming pilots who fly particularly expensive ships. You cannot simply buy your way out – ISK simply will not do. The unfortunate soul is usually forced to sing. Depending on the performance, one may either be released unmolested, or molested and released, or simply blown up anyway. Why? Because “Bob Wills It!”. And Bob enjoys emotional scars. One “official” text, written in purple crayon on construction paper, states: “Scars are tattoos with stories…”. The rest of the text was obscured by crudely drawn ponies, globules of glue mixed with glitter, and uncooked pasta assembled to look like a portrait of Gary Busey.
The followers of Bob take great joy in savagely destroying one anothers’ assets. But in the case of a mutually hated enemy – typically in the form of an arrogant 0.0 alliance that invades a wormhole corporation’s home, thinking it will be “easy” picking on the “wormhole hillbillies” – the fractious and disparate forces of W-space will unite and come to the aid of their stricken comrades.
Such was the case on the first of June, when RAZOR decided to invade The Red Circle’s (TRECI) home system. Thinking themselves rather clever, RAZOR infiltrated TRECI and attempted to steal various assets and destroy TRECI’s home by seiging their towers. A united force from the major Wormhole PvP corporations assaulted the heathens, and delivered Bob’s Swift Justice upon two RAZOR carriers, as well as a Revelation and a Moros dreadnought. Chastened by a keen and aggressive counter-attack, the pagan 0.0 sov holders destroyed their own ships and retreated in the wake of such catastrophic server failures. Bob does not take kindly to interlopers, and neither do his followers.
THE GRAND POOBAH OF “BOB”
So who runs the Church of Bob? From what I gather… no-one does. And everyone.
The easiest way that Bob has sought fit to handle the touchy topic of leadership is for his devoted followers to simply make up grandiose titles for themselves. These people often pontificate. Loudly. They will also vehemently declare anyone with a larger, and more self-aggrandizing title, to be a heretic that will surely suffer the Wrath of Bob. It is then customary to hunt each other down in anger and settle the religious disagreement with righteous gunfire.
In the aftermath of the exchange, somewhere, in the dark corners of W-space…