Art by Major Sniper
An aggrieved party seeks revenge on those he believes have done him wrong. He hatches a plot and seeks assistance from those in a position to help. With a plan in place, he eagerly sets out to carry out his part in exacting vengeance . . . only to discover that his supposed benefactors are in league with the same ones he believes have wronged him in the first place! As they turn on him, he pleads with his supposed “allies” to stick to the original plan – but to no avail. He is overwhelmed and falls victim once again.
It might be a teaser for a Quentin Tarantino movie. Or, in New Eden, it might be what we like to call “another Friday night.”
Content in Eve is, of course, what you make of it. And on June 15, at around 10 p.m. EVE time, two of the game’s most active alliances were generating content in spades; but this time, the Imperium and BRAVE Collective weren’t fighting each other.
BRAVE Newbies carrier pilot ARfuss was invited by the Collective to seek other employment, after losing two Thanatos in just two days after joining BRAVE on 13 June. This hot on the heels of another two the previous week as a member of NPC Corp Aliastra.
BRAVE’s TheReverend Arnst shared that “Arfuss was a character which BRAVE accepted in good faith despite a rocky history with other corps. BRAVE likes to give things a chance and so he was accepted. From that moment onwards he failed to listen to any good advice and . . . did an awful job of not getting killed. ”
Arnst also noted, “He also developed a small habit of asking for ISK and getting our standing fleet welped to various entities around us by abandoning them at the last moment while generally showing himself to be unsuitable for BRAVE. Eventually the decision was made to kick him on Friday afternoon. No more thought was given to the situation.”
Seeking revenge on the Alliance that no longer required his services, ARfuss sought assistance from multiple entities he thought might be able to assist against BRAVE, ultimately turning to the ones who had handed him his most recent defeat: The Imperium’s Goonswarm Federation.
The Goons were all too happy to get involved – though not, it turned out, in the way ARfuss expected.
GSF’s John Hartley picked up the thread of ARfuss’ request for assistance. “BRAVE kicked me,” said the request, “I want to get revenge. I am in their fleet and comms.”
According to Hartley, “This sounded like something that would be entertaining so I started chatting to him. He said he wanted to kill BRAVE’s cap fleet, and to do this he was wanting to fly his Nyx into a bubble camp that BRAVE had in GE-8JV.”
“It wouldn’t have worked,” Hartley confided. “He wanted to drop on BRAVE caps in GE-, which is in range of U-Q, which is Legacy coalition staging. So they would have just dropped supers on us, plus BRAVE would have scouted us long before we got in range.”
“And,” he continued, “basically everyone likes killing supers.”
Hartley enlisted GSF FC Sothrasil to do just that. “[Hartley] told me this guy wanted to bait BRAVE with his Nyx, and we were supposed to come in and kill them,” Sothrasil shared. “We both agreed that BRAVE have been nice to us, always bringing fights when we send new FCs over to Catch and such, so we decided to kill his super instead.”
They ran into their first hurdle when ARfuss revealed that he had already been kicked from BRAVE. “He told us his super was in GE-8.” Sothrasil related. “Halfway to GE-8 he tells us he doesn’t have a jump clone in GE-8 and no way to get there because he’s been kicked.”
That, said Sothrasil, prompted the initiation of what he called “the second half of the plan.” While Hartley drew ARfuss in with promises of sweet vengeance, Sothrasil said, “I came up with contacting BRAVE.”
“I asked around and finally found someone from Corp leadership in BRAVE, explained everything to him, and he had a really long talk with their diplomats.” Sothrasil said. Ultimately BRAVE was in. After all, Sothrasil explained, “he had planned to get their caps killed.”
Arnst shared BRAVE’s perspective on the unusual dialog between the two rival corps: “My first contact with the Goons came as I was forming bombers. Most of BRAVE were a bit antsy at having 200+ Goons a few jumps away and wanted to get some killmails; we were all pretty hyped.”
Then, he said, “Sothrasil was using a character to ask for a BRAVE diplomat in local. Seeing as we had no diplos in the game I started a conversation out of curiousity. Sothrasil told me they needed a guy invited to BRAVE – a bit strange but let’s follow this rabbit hole.”
So Sothrasil worked with BRAVE to re-admit ARfuss to one of their member Corps, while Hartley explained to him that GSF had a “spy” inside BRAVE who was working behind the scenes to get him back in. “The whole time John was talking [to ARfuss], I was organizing the fleet and coordinating with BRAVE,” Sothrasil explained.
That’s when things got even more complicated.
“We get him back in,” said Sothrasil, “when he tells us his super isn’t actually in GE-8 (in Catch), but in 68FT (in Impass). Now he finds out he actually does have a jump clone in GE-8, so we tell him to JC over, take a ceptor, and burn to 68FT.”
At this point, Sothrasil said, the biggest challenge was keeping their intentions hidden from their mark. ARfuss was in both GSF fleet chat and BRAVE intel channels, and ultimately, Hartley’s concerns that they would be spotted well before reaching their target were realized. Sothrasil explained, “The plan is to light him a cyno in N-C on a HIC, and then jump the whole fleet in, but three jumps out of the midpoint he notices our fleet gets reported in BRAVE intel.”
“We tell him we’re hunting a BRAVE fleet,” said Sothrasil, “and I told my fleet to act in Fleet chat like we were in a fight. People started to -1 with ships, claiming kills and telling people to activate hardeners. The guy is cheering at us for killing BRAVE.”
This, to Sothrasil, was the most difficult part of the whole endeavor. “We had him in fleet for like an hour, and I had to control what Goons were saying in fleet chat. How he didn’t realize we were there to kill him . . . I don’t know. I mean, he asked questions about why we were doing things certain ways, and we just made up the most insane things. And he just bought it.”
“There were so many points where I thought we spooked him, he must see through this, but no. He just nodded and went along.”
Ultimately, said Hartley, “[ARfuss] got back into BRAVE, docked in the keepstar in 68FT, and stuck some modules on the Nyx that were on market in the keepstar. But the rest of his fit was in the GE-8JV station so he asked me to light him cynos to get him there, which I was more than happy to provide.”
From Arnst’s perspective, “ARfuss undocked under the beady eye of BRAVE. BRAVE’s standing fleet had been pre-riled and told we were going to snag a bling fit Goonswarm dude. Urgent attempts were made to kick ARfuss from Incredible (which Arnst referred to as ‘BRAVE Collective’s fledgling higher SP corp’) to prevent the sullying of our glorious KB but it was too late.”
Hartley picked up the thread: “When our fleet was in position next door to N-CREL in E3-SDZ I lit the cyno, he jumped, and the rest, as they say, is history.”
When Hartley’s cyno went up, said Sothrasil, “He [ARfuss] fit everything he has remotely resembling a super fit, and jumps in. At which point we do too. I’m telling BRAVE to come in, and besides waiting for Dabigredboat (who joined fleet late) to gate over, everything else is just shooting him until he exploded.”
Arnst shared that “Sothrasil called that Goons had put the tackle in. BRAVE Standing was screamed at to immediately take a jump bridge in whatever ship they were in and warp to a cyno. One of our FCs and a standing fleet herded cats to the JB and through it.”
“The Nyx,” Arnst said, “was hard-tackled by a myriad of Goon HICs and God knows what else. . . . Waves of BRAVE warped in to whore on the kill, but the Nyx wouldn’t die despite 250+ Goons.”
BRAVE soon realized why. “It turns out Goon logi were keeping him up so that as many BRAVE dudes could get on the kill as possible (♥ Goons for that one). Eventually the reps were turned off and the Nyx died within 60 seconds, all while local lit up with some of the best comedy I’ve ever seen in Eve.”
“It was like leading the lamb to the butcher, and you hand it the knife to carry it.” Sothrasil said. “In all my years as an FC I’ve never encountered something like this.”
“Are you serious dude?” ARfuss asked in his chat with Hartley as it became apparent that he was the primary. “We can take them. Let’s go for them, man. You can kill me after.”
“Sorry it went this way.” Hartley responded. “Good luck in your space adventures.”
And with that, the deed was done.
When reached for comment on this article, ARfuss said, “All I can give you is this! BRAVE and Goons are Thrash (sic).”
“Any donations appreciated to reimburse the lost Nyx.” he continued, just moments before rejoining Aliastra and losing another Thanatos to BRAVE. Arnst shared that story as well: “Due to CCP mechanics, ARfuss remained in Incredible and for some reason undocked a carrier which quickly lost fighters. Later he undocked the Thanatos again and ultimately lost it while out of corp, while hard-tackled by the very Fortizar he had undocked from.”
“Amazing work on both sides,” Arnst called the night’s engagement. “I do hope we will see more of ARfuss soon.”
“It was a fantastic sting operation and both sides won,” he concluded. Though this author is willing to speculate that at least one capsuleer in New Eden would likely disagree with that assessment.
When asked for any final comments, Hartley shared his belief that “Shadow State is the Imperium’s premier training corp!” (which this author, as a member of KarmaFleet, notes is simply a matter of opinion). As for Sothrasil, “I’m sorry I killed him the moment [Dabigredboat] jumped in. Sorry boat!”
If that isn’t Eve in a nutshell, nothing is. Sometimes you’re on the successful fleet that takes out a supercap worth billions. Sometimes you’re on a second fleet that gets to join in the fun. Sometimes you’re the unfortunate pilot who gets dropped on when you least expect it. And sometimes you’re the one who didn’t quite make it to the fight in time to fire a shot.
It’s all par for the course in New Eden. And as always, when content occurs, we here at INN will be here to share it with you.