Header Art by Major Sniper
On December 28, Luke Batters died in a serious motorcycle accident. He was nineteen years old.
Luke was also known as Diana Sarain, and he was a six-year veteran of EVE Online. His corporate history included a number of groups, and he experienced a wide range of cultures in his years playing. Luke was a person who started out in nullsec within Brave Newbies, moved into Provi-Bloc, and finally ended up in Volition Cult, an alliance who for various reasons finally widotted into Goonswarm.
Luke was introduced to EVE in 2012 by his father, who plays the character of Ashade Grey, another member of Volition Cult. Ashade is well known within the Imperium as a very relaxed person, a respected logistics pilot, and as an individual willing to befriend anyone and help people if he can.
When Ashade informed our community of his son’s passing, he posted a hugely touching eulogy to the Goonfleet forums. In that eulogy, he talked about how his life would never be the same; Ashade commented that Luke “was not the first, he was not space-famous, but he was [Ashade’s] son”. He also felt that “as a mourning father, the only solace [he has] is that Luke touched the lives of so many others”.
Paying Our Respects
Luke was remembered in a number of ways across our community. Not only was he eulogised on goonfleet.com, but there were also reddit and facebook posts, as well as an absolutely fantastic youtube video. His father Ashade even sourced an Aeon supercarrier to be used as a commemoratory sacrifice for his fallen son.
The Aeon in question was always intended to die – after all, what better way to hold a wake for our fallen comrades than to sacrifice one of the more expensive ships available in this game we all come together to play? When it comes to the manner of its death, the Aeon was killed by 385 of Luke and Ashade’s closest comrades on the evening of January 27.
The Initiative went above and beyond, as they often do – forming a bookmarked ring around the Keepstar in 1DQ1-A with their fleet of Augorors. Their Augorors lit cynos, created a spider-tanking circle around the 1DQ1 Keepstar, and really demonstrated how INIT can simply be better than most other groups when it comes to doing things in space. An album of images from this wake can be found here.
Memorialising Our Fallen
In his Talking In Stations show on December 30, 2018, Matterall commented about the GoFundMe page for funerary and other expenses associated with Luke’s tragic death. This commentary recognised that the GoFundMe was fully funded within 3 hours of its posting, and likely relied upon a lot of the Batters’ real-life friends and acquaintances. However, Matterall also recognised that the support for the GoFundMe “recognised what EVE is all about, and that is the supportive community”.
In this, Matterall was absolutely correct. It is impossible for us to know how much of that fundraising was a part of our EVE community, and it cannot be denied that Luke has had or will receive the real-life send off he deserved. But EVE Online is all about our community, and how we come together in the face of adversity.
Interestingly, our wider community has never shied away from the more difficult aspects of life. Losing a comrade, friend, or family member is inevitable, and we all know this. The cemetery in Molea at Planet II – Moon 1 has existed in one way or another for more than a decade now, and serves as a virtual final resting place for players who have fallen along the way, or even as a record within our universe of people who have never entered it – the friends and family whose only association with EVE is through members of our community.
We have even gone so far as to create a poem, often quoted at times when fellow players pass away. The poem is almost a prayer, a final benediction, and it is intended to provide comfort when we need it most. So I shall leave you with a line from this poem, and continue to marvel at the solidarity of our community.
Pay attention, capsuleer, for those who have gone before you call for you to join them.