Thursday, December 19, 2013

No One is Watching

If there's one thing that online games are known for, it's that they're home to the absolute worst kinds of people. In the virtual world, social norms and courtesy can be disregarded with wonton glee. In Eve, I've been lied to, backstabbed, blown up, robbed, and blown up again just for good measure. Confused bystanders would ask why anyone in their right mind would want to play such a game where complete strangers regularly betraying you is a normal aspect of gameplay. I've yet to come up with a good response for why I keep going back for more. 

Pictured: A complete stranger that wants to ruin your life for no reason. 

Just like in real life, examples of pure charity and christian behavior in Eve are as eye grabbing as an armed robbery, it's a rare occurence and usually quite spectacular when it does happen. 

One day, our target on a hunt was a lonely Nidhoggur Carrier who was relaying through the Aridia system. The 'man on deck' with me at the time was Gunny, a formidable German fellow with a hearty laugh and a lust for killing anything bigger than a cruiser. Our scout observed a Nidhoggur Carrier jump into the Afrah system at a planet, after which he jumped to the station in Yiratal system. 

Since we also monitored the local market carefully for clues, we noted that the Carrier pilot had quickly purchased 300 units of liquid ozone next door and returned to his spot on the planet. Clearly, after his business was done in Yiratal, this mean the Nidhoggur would likely jump back through Afrah system. 

In preparation for this, I positioned my own ship close by where his would turn up, at the same planet. The plan was simple: on his return trip, we'd tackle him and then drop our own capital ships to kill him. it seemed the easiest and cleanest of kills.

"HE'S UNDOCKING!" roared Gunny, who had docked at the same station in Yiratal.

But instead of a massive capital ship, the fellow appeared instead in a Rookie ship, a small frigate known as a reaper. 

To our surprise, this reaper then jumped to our own home system in Fihrneh. Once there, we monitored him buying Hydrogen Isotopes (The fuel for his carrier) at the market. Then, he undocked again and flew back to Yiratal, where his Nidhoggur was docked.  

"Now it comes!" enthused Gunny. But again it was the reaper, and not the carrier, which appeared. 

We waited. Clearly this man, whom we now dubbed The Ferryman, was intent on moving a lot of fuel for some grand journey. He also appeared to have no intention at all of simply dropping into the station and putting it all into his carrier at once. No, he was happy enough to fervently fly back and forth, hauling it piecemeal in the under-endowed cargo of a rookie ship. 

In Eve, good things often come to those who wait. So we sat and watched. As we imagined the isotopes piling up and the carrier getting ever closer to its fateful departure, we decided that there was something inherently moribund about the sight of a man so methodically crafting his own doom.

Even his anointed name became strangely apt. The scent of death followed our ferryman as closely as it would his namesake scurrying across the banks of the River Styx.

And still we waited. And still the ferrying went on. 

Then, with our patience wearing thin, we devised a plan to give fate a helping hand.

During one of his stops in Fihrneh, we piloted a Hoarder (an industrial ship) to the system of Edilkam, which lay between the fuel haven of Fihrneh and his carrier's location in Yiratal.  

While he was busy loading up another round of fuel and undocking, the pilot ejected from the Hoarder and left it floating in space. Although unboarded, the hauler was far form empty. We'd laden it to the brim with Hydrogen Isotopes.

The Ferryman's rookie ship soon arrived. We watched with baited breath as he aligned toward Yiratal. Would he ignore this offering? Suddenly, to our Malignant delight, he began approaching the Hoarder and boarded it. After a long pause, he warped it toward Yiratal.

"We have him now." exclaimed Gunny. 

Dreadnoughts were primed and final checks were made on the drone bays of our own hungry carriers. Surely it would b only moments until he warped into our trap.

Suddenly, Gunny erupted again on the comms. "It can't be!" 

The Ferryman had returned to Edilkam and he was still flying the Hoarder. We watched in shock as he carefully positioned the cargo sip back into the same spot over the gate where he'd found it. Then he boarded his rookie ship again and continued his work.

During one of his stops in Yiratal we checked the Hoarder. It's cargo was completely untouched. 

In Eve, the phrase 'Honor tanked' is often reserved for the dark art of hull tanking. (taking direct fire to the hull of your ship, rather than the armor or shields) And yet, it would never have been more applicable than for the incorruptible Ferryman.

When he finally did jump out, it was much as we expected. He warped to the exact planet and spot where our own pilots were waiting. Our tackler remained resolutely cloaked and we could only offer a silent salute as he jumped on to whatever adventures awaited him in New Eden.

Integrity means thinking and doing what is right at all times, no matter what the consequences. when we have integrity, we are willing to live by our standards and beliefs even when no one is watching. Choose to live so that your thoughts and behavior are always in harmony with the gospel. 

True integrity is a rare thing these days in society. Just like the virtual world, there always seems to be someone lurking around the corner just waiting to cheat you in some way or another. I think we all know at least one person that cheated his way through high school. Ditto steroid use in sports. There's an awful lot of pressure for us to do well in life and there seem to be just as many short cuts to achieve what we think will make us successful. But there always seems to be a catch. 

It never pays off to take the easy route through something. One way or another, it'll come back to bite us in the rear. The above account with the Ferryman provides a stark contrast for that. Had he done what we assumed he'd do, he would've taken the fuel for his carrier and then warped into his doom as we sprang the trap. Another Carrier would have become scrap metal floating in space. 

So what will you do the next time the opportunity presents itself and you believe no on else is watching? Will you take the shortcut or follow the path you know to be right? I can promise you that the we'll always know the difference between the two and when we make the correct choice, sometimes at great sacrifice, that we'll be recompensed for our effort. That's the joy of living the commandments. We're able to receive the help that we need from a loving heavenly father who knows our needs and is ever anxious to bless us. 

1 comment:

  1. In a small town there's always someone watching. What we do in our own homes or when we think no one we know is around is revealing. This is one of the reasons parents love to hear that their children have behaved well when away from home. Interesting post! By the way, you might enjoy the futeristic novels by J.D.Robb. :-)