The Other Side of the Kite

A cigarette burns close to the filter. One more inhale, exhale, and the cigarette is grinded into the ashtray. Another cigarette is lit. The air is hot and humid on this May evening in Georgia with crickets chirping in the background. I’m sitting on the back porch, nervously chain-smoking. In front of me is my laptop and on the screen is a virtual spaceship. More importantly, in a small chat window a rebellion was brewing.

The Good Ol' Days

It felt like my accomplice and I were in a shady back room planning and scheming when in reality we just felt like we’d gotten a raw deal. After the Fanfest coverage Kite Space Trucking’ Co. (referred to as Kite from here on out) blew up in size. Within weeks Kite had become one of the largest non-allied corporations in all of New Eden with almost 300 members. Kite offered new players guidance and an easy gateway into the more exciting aspects of the universe such as fleet pvp. We were pleased to see so many new people start playing but we had a different agenda.

EVE offers something that very few other games do. Options. While many enjoy fighting with other players or running NPC missions, we were a different breed. We mined and manufactured all we could. The game isn’t about experience points or raids, it’s about money and this is how we chose to make our fortunes.

Kite blowing up like it did drew attention from some of the players around us. They realized that they could declare war and very easily destroy the ships of those who were underequipped or undertrained to deal with them. War declarations came pouring in, one after another. Eight jump gates away from Kite HQ, we kept mining. Countless beginner ships lost, we kept mining. However this did not go on for long, we were discovered. If mining ships could be described in two words they would be: expensive and helpless. Unarmed, except for the handful of drones we could carry, we were picked off and blown up time and time again. Stuck hiding in our station we grew frustrated but there was little we could do. The only advice we got from the higher ups at Kite was to stop mining and come fly combat frigates with everyone else. This was the game we chose to play and this is when we stopped seeing eye to eye with management.

Our losses were great to say the least. Billions of ISK were lost in total just by tens of industrial players. Some members lost hundreds of millions worth just by themselves myself included. Mining frigates, industrial transport vessels, mining barges, exhumers, and even an industrial command ship. Our friend Scott was on his way to come to help us with our mining operations even though we were at war at the time. We were foolish as a whole but Scott lost his Orca (valued about the same as a month’s subscription at the time) and losing implants worth just as much. If we weren’t afraid to go outside before, we were now.

Mutiny

We did not entirely blame Kite for our losses, they were our friends and we had shared many a good time with the lot of them. However there was nothing they could do to alleviate our plight, the corporation was a massive target, us doubly so. What Kite did at the time was bring people into the game who would have never played it otherwise and helped them get through the early stages which are definitely the game’s toughest. This was an amazing feat, but we had to make our money somehow. It was time to take the matter into our space dust coated hands.

Kite’s growth also attracted a different breed of EVE player, spies. It was clear to most people in the corp at the time that no chat was safe from the spies. There was no point where you could escape from the ire of those hunting us because of this scourge. No matter where we tried to go, we were always found. As the corporation was undergoing its mole hunt we decided that this would be the time to act.

I was anxious and my hands were shaking so I had to go out to the back porch for a smoke. I sat there and navigated the UI equivalent of a Rubik’s Cube to send a private chat invitation to the only person I knew I could trust for sure, the G-man. He was one of the people who had a say in the mining and manufacturing division of Kite and ostensibly the head of our pack. I wanted to know what he thought of the situation and how we could get back to crushing rocks again. G had previously started another corporation on one of his other characters to be a more industry focused and had quit Kite to mine peacefully. However he had returned to Kite riding the wave of new members.

I sat there and talked to G smoking one cigarette after another. I was a bit apprehensive to leave at first because of all the work we had tried to put into making Kite a better place from the bottom up. After about an hour we had hatched a satisfactory plan. We would leave Kite and start mining elsewhere away from those who wished us harm. But we couldn’t leave all our buddies behind. There were many people in Kite who had mined with us for as long as they’d played the game and that we’d grown especially fond of. We carefully picked out a skeleton crew of 5-6 people to take with us when we were to leave the corp. We sent them EVE-mails explaining the situation and asking them to join our cause.

[Character Name],

With recent developments within the corporation involving wars and an impending move to null-sec the time for hard decisions has come. The wars have been especially difficult for industrial corp members due to expensive ship losses and restricted access to mining operations. After much deliberation the time has come for us to enact our contingency plan and move to a smaller corporation more focused on industrial work rather than combat against other capsuleers. An attempt will be made to keep this operation low profile as to not raise the ire of those looking to stage wars against us. However this plan will not succeed without the aid of those of you dedicated to the cause of mining and production and thus you have been chosen among few others to join us in this endeavor. With your swift response we will be able to solidify a plan of action and start a new era of industry under the banner of the Laser Scorpion™.

Sincerely,

M

G

We can be reached for any questions or concerns regarding this plan.

Afterwards we contacted these few with both private and group chats explaining the situation and asking for their input on the plan. Within just a few hours we had a finalized our plan of action. The game did not allow someone who possessed certain roles in a corporation to quit without a 24 hour confirmation period. For us the most important part was to stay under the radar and do this unnoticed. So for those of us who did possess roles we would wait out the clock with the other members and all quit at the same time and disappear like we were never there.

The next day our hit time was rapidly approaching and I watched the clock tick down, hand sweating as my finger lay on top of the mouse button. The signal was given and with just a right click and a small confirmation window, I was no longer a member of Kite Space Trucking Co. As we were applying to the new corporation we left Kite behind and started a whole new chapter in our lives in New Eden.

We did not go unnoticed however as we were quickly contacted by the CEO of Kite. I accepted the request to the chat with him but we had nothing to say to each other. G and I tried to explain our stance and he was kindly asking us to return. Like many of the other higher members of Kite he had helped an innumerable amount of players new and old and we respected him for that but it just wasn’t the place for us. We bid each other farewell and went our separate ways. Knowing that in a perfect world we could’ve all been a part of the same corporation and worked together to build something great. If it weren’t for him talking some of the other brass down we would’ve been labeled rebels and hunted by Kite. The cruelty of space and money put a stop to that and our small crew dropped through the cracks and prepared to disappear into the void.

Outcasts on the Run

We had been kicked out of the general Giant Bomb chat. Shunned but proud, we celebrated. We had broken apart from the rigid giant and we were ready to run this corp with every member’s viewpoint taken into account. Our joy was short-lived as our mailboxes started blinking. We were to face our first crisis as a group, our first war declaration. The aggressors were the same as those who had been killing members of Kite. We had all been destroyed by them numerous times and we weren’t about to let it happen again. We didn’t give up everything only to end up in the same situation all over again.

We were a small enough group to act on decision fairly fast. Our handful of renegades was listening with open ears as to what G and I would plan to do in this situation. In yet another private chat nervous glances were exchanged and after a little while a new corp mail was sent out:

Hello all,

With the recent addition of several ex-Kite Co. members to the corp it seems that we have been followed by the war ravaging them. One of the corporations that has been engaged in war with Kite Co. ( **** ) has declared war on us in KASCO. Being industrial players, we cannot hold our own in combat against the T2 ships that this corp's members have been known to fly so we have taken a different tactic. For the time being many of our members have moved mining operations to **** with the hopes that these would-be gankers would not follow us this far into Amarr space. The war starts at 02:46 tomorrow so we hope to have our members moved out of HQ by then. We currently have no plans to move offices and this is planned as a temporary move until the war is over. Pack light as we will be returning to claim our land. This gesturing on their part will not stop us from ushering in a new age of industry under the banner of the fierce Laser Scorpion™.

Sincerely,

M

Director

We packed our bags taking with us the bare necessities: a barge or an exhumer stuffed into an industrial ship. Trying to make it as far as we could before the war actually became active. We had given up too much for our industrial dream to have our home taken from us by simple gankers. We would give them two weeks, we said. We’ll return one day, we hoped.

However, what we found however was something better than the home we left behind. Rugged from making one slow jump after another in our industrials we arrived and we were not disappointed. This new place offered better ores, more manufacturing and research lines, and better trade routes. After just a couple of days it was decided that we would go back to get the rest of our things once the war was over. Feeling nostalgic for our original home would not be reason enough for us to not make money. Everything that we could hope for and more and for a brief moment all was well.

Not wanting to completely waste the money that they spent on the war declaration, our would-be gankers followed us to our new home. We made our fair share of ship losses at their hand but now as a small group we could coordinate more easily to avoid them. In the end the 4 ships we lost in this conflict were worth it. As we had predicted the war quickly lapsed and our killers took with them the rattle of guns and the confusion of battle. Leaving behind just deafening silence waiting to be broken by the gentle pulse of mining lasers.

Taking a Step Back and a Look to the Future

That was a long time ago, a year to be exact. We’ve had a handful of wars since then but we’ve always looked back on our shaky beginning and endured. Times were tough but we survived and kept going. I remember going flat broke after losing my first exhumer and not wanting to play anymore. What made the difference for us is the fact that we are such a tight knit group of friends. On the surface, we’re a mining corporation but in reality it’s just a bunch of dudes who use EVE as an excuse to hang out.

Mining in EVE is half photoshopping

Ours is a story of unlikely friends working together to take what they consider to be their fair share of space. G is a Norwegian guy with a kid who just cracks dad jokes all the time to everyone’s displeasure. Ix is an occasional graphic designer who goes to anime conventions cosplaying as a male version of Harley Quinn. I’m a full time student and a cadet in the US Army ROTC. Judging from the amount of ships he’s lost I’m not entirely sure that Gar doesn’t play the game with his feet. And like any good space corporation we have more Swedes than you can shake a stick at. Somehow these people were able to stick together for long enough to get this far.

Our story doesn’t end here. This is an account of events past, which doesn’t limit our future. We are not the biggest or the toughest corporation out there but that never stopped us before. Always looking forward to new challenges and to take on new members, we look towards the dawn of our second year in New Eden. KASCo won’t conquer null-sec, we know that and we don’t care. I’d rather just hang out in my small corner of space with my bros, lean back in my chair, and light another cigarette.

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My new Fightstick art (Feat. Hardcore Dave)

For a pretty long time I've been wanting to customize my TE stick and I finally went ahead and done did it. After spending some time throwing this together in photoshop I went ahead and ordered a print of it along with a plexi.

You can probably guess who I main in SSFIV based on the art.

I'm a lot happier with the art in real life than I was looking at it in PS.

Ended up putting Hardcore Dave in there because he's Hardcore Dave.

In case anyone's wondering, "Live it or loofah" is what my friend thinks Cody says when he's yelling "Criminal upper."

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