We’ve all heard about it of course – the possibility that the rigors of prolonged travel in space might be enough to make someone come unhinged. Might distort their perception of reality.
Suggestions include paranoia, dissociation, psychosis, and a list of other things that is so long, you know that all its really telling you is that They don’t know what will happen, only that it will.
Last night, I saw it with my own eyes.
We were clearing out a rat complex in low sec, a Raven, a Drake, a Tempest, a Ferox, my Vexor, and a Catalyst salvaging for us.
We had splashed the last Angel General and were picking up loot and chatting, deciding what to do next, when all of a sudden the Raven locked on to the Ferox and launched a volley of missles. Chuckles were immediate and of course the Ferox pilot half heartedly returned sporadic fire.
But the missles kept coming. Our fleet commander (FC) called out a warning to back down, the Ferox pilot complained that his shields were about to be down, and then to top it of, the Raven started a target lock on me as well! And then all of a sudden, he went red…he had left fleet.
For a few moments, all hell broke loose. The FC was not on Vent, but there was confused chatter there and in the chat channel as well, as he ordered the Ferox to warp out. The lingering image of the Ferox trailing flames as it leapt out of the complex was still burned in my retinas when the first volley of missles from the Raven blew my shields apart. Somehow, in instinct or reflex, either way a moment I was proud of, I found that I had already aligned to the gate back into our home system, and so I was gone before he could hit my armor. I sat tight there, hearing the battle report over the intercom.
Our FC was furious, and his Drake and the Tempest were lighting the Raven up pretty good. He finally warped to me at the gate, and I jumped through to head for home…and then on impulse, waited and stayed cloaked…he jumped through a second later and headed for our corp offices. Oh boy…
By this time, alliance chat was alive with scrambling ships and questions. We realized that none of the officers were on – which meant he could clear out whatever he wanted from the recruit hanger, and see our intel on him. We also realized he had been playing the game less than a month (seriously, again, how do people get that kind of cash? I’m nowhere near buying a Raven and I’ve been in for almost two months!) and he might be a traitor.
And then he came onto the Alliance chat channel with one devastating line:
“This game is f—ing boring.”
A second later, he left his corp, our alliance, and logged out of the game.
In the stunned, silent aftermath, I think we all almost wished he had been a traitor. EVE Online apparently breeds all the things I mentioned in my last post – but it can also breed other things as well. So tonight…tonight we will all probably laugh a little louder than normal and try to reassure ourselves that all is well, that we are on the same team, and that we trust each other to cover our butts on our next op…but in the back of our heads…
We will have to learn to let this go as well, or we might find out that space madness…is contagious.