Fiction: CONCORD SCC vs EvE-Scout Enclave, by Saladiin

Consolidated Cooperation and Relations Command (CONCORD) Secure Commerce Commission

v.

Eve-Scout Enclave

143-86910 September 5, YC 119

Background: This case was brought before us when journal entries were recovered from the wreckage of a Falcon class Force Recon vessel in Hasama. The contents of the journal raised concerns that Eve-Scout Enclave (Henceforth referred to as SC0UT) was harboring known terrorists and extremist elements dedicated to disrupting otherwise lawful archeological and data- recovery efforts. The plaintiff asserts that the journal entry made by the capsuleer known as Saladiin prove that SC0UT is openly harboring terrorists committed to a campaign of terror and targeted assassinations of other capsuleers and baseliners within empire space. SC0UT representatives have referred plaintiffs to their Credo and the alliance’s strict policy of adherence to their policy of non-aggression. Additionally, they point to the fact that Saladiin has not engaged in any aggression since joining SC0UT and that they cannot be held liable for member’s conduct prior to joining the alliance. Furthermore, SC0UT claims that the personal entries of capsuleers, no matter how deplorable or sociopathic as they may be, can be used as grounds to punish crimes not yet committed. Saladiin’s personal journals, as well as ship’s logs are presented to us today to provide the facts of the case. Personally Identifiable Information has been redacted from the records for security purposes. No other edits have been made and documents may include grammatical errors made by the creator.

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***Personal log: [date redacted] ***
***System: [system redacted]***
***Ship: Falcon, ship ID “Mil Lagrimas”***

***Journal entry: “Staying on the wagon”***

I drift off into space.

Well, that’s a silly observation. I’m in a ship, what else would I be doing.

But no, it’s my mind that is drifting off. The result of a combination of mind-numbing boredom and barely-shackled bloodlust.

My sensors have been focused on this system’s relic site for hours. 4 sites in system, then 3, eventually 2 sites.

Now there is only 1.

And I sat by and did nothing as explorers came and went.

And it feels wrong. Just….wrong.

I recall my decorations and awards from my previous corporation, WiNGSPAN Delivery Service. I saw the medal clearly in my mind now:

Data and Relic site Enforcement Director. Hah! Best scam ever. I told the officials at DED that I was trying to prevent looters and grave robbers from desecrating these “ancient and hallowed” grounds, and the dummies in Yulai bought my scam (after I deposited a couple of million ISK into their account as well). I ran rampant throughout low sec, null sec, j-space, and I turned every Heron, Helios, and even the occasional Astero I came across into scrap. And I had the added pleasure of sending them an invoice for my “services” which irked most customers to no end.

I owned relic site and data sites. They were my domain. I prowled them from Outer ring to Metropolis, from Amarr to the Promised Land, I was the last thing hapless explorers would see before meeting the cold void at the hand of my missiles.

And now I just float idly by as they come and go as they please. And there is nothing I can do about.

Oh, and there goes the last site. That Imicus was quicker than most. Time to go next door.

***Stargate activation logged. Ship entering system [system redacted]***

Well, to be fair, no one is MAKING me NOT shoot these guys. It is a conscious choice on my part. I guess it’s a first step towards turning a new stone. Starting a new day. Becoming a new man. Turning a corner.

None of those phrases makes me feel better.

Ah, I see there are still three relic sites and a data site in here. I feel like torturing myself. Let’s jump to the IGK relic site.

***Warp drive activated, destination, Cosmic Signature IGK-143***

The cloak on my Falcon will give me front row seats to whoever decides to rummage through this site. What better way to confirm my newfound love of my fellow man than to not blow him up when presented the opportunity.

Why am I exploring in a Falcon? It’s certainly covert enough to avoid detection, but her Electronics suite doesn’t exactly scream “hugs ” the way the Cartel would like. But hey, as long as I don’t turn them on non-aggressors, I’m good.

Still, I could’ve taken out my astero or even a manticore fit with analyzers. So why did I take the Falcon?

Maybe I’m reconsidering my career change? Maybe I need to fulfill one last delivery? Ooh, likes like we have incoming.

***”Astero class ship, ship ID: NOPE IV”***

An Astero. A tough ship. The Sisters build ’em right.

Maybe…just maybe. If I decloak near him, he’ll panic, lock me and take a reactionary shot or two. If I’m lucky, he’ll deploy drones and they’ll agress me.

Then I could have fun.

I’m already working on what I’d tell the big boss. Mynxee is a stickler for the Cartel’s non-aggression Credo. She’s big on rules. But, what is it they always say about rules?

They’re meant to be broken.

I start pushing my Falcon out past 150 KM from the closest can. That’ll give me a nice warp-in on this Astero.

I’m imagining how this conversation would go. I’m already well underway to building my story: “Saladiin, care to explain why you have an Astero on your killboard?”

“Well you see, I was hacking this site when the Astero came in. I offered to split the site so he can have 3 cans and I have 3. Guess he doesn’t like sharing so he took a pot shot.”

“So you shot him back?”

“Yup, self-defense.”

“You ‘self-defended’ until his ship popped?”

“I can’t help that he was stubborn.”

“And did it not occur to you to use your oh-so-amazing ECM?”

“RNG was against me, boss. Missed all my jams. Go figure, huh.”

“What about warping away? He didn’t have a single scram or disruptor fit.”

“Eh, you know the stress of combat, boss. You get so focused on surviving, you just sort of…black out.”

Yup. I had my story set.

***145 km away from target***

Just 5 more KM to go.

But, what am I doing? I’m supposed to be turning a new leaf. Starting a new day. I’m supposed to be a trusted servant of New Eden’s denizens…all of them. Even these annoying, bumbling explorers.

I admit, sowing caches gives me a nice feeling. And no longer having the pressure of meeting delivery quotas was nice as well. I’m able to just drift off and explore, site-see, and meet new people.

All with the ever-present caveat:

Don’t blow the people up…

I’m starting to think I can’t wrap my head around that last bit.

***157 km from target***

Looks like I’m ready.

Yet, I find myself hesitating.

Sure, you’ve killed countless capsuleers before. But this is different. I’m SUPPOSED to be a good guy now. This guy is blithely hacking away, naively thinking that, because his database shows me as being a cartel member, he’s safe (hint: he’s not). The Eve-Scout and Signal Cartel tag means something to people, much like the Wingspan tag did. Whereas WNGSP elicited outrage or at best, barely contained anger, eve-scouts bring warmth and security to the hearts and minds of capsuleers everywhere.

I don’t want to be responsible for tarnishing that. It’s one thing to blow someone up…it’s quite another to tarnish someone else’s reputation while I’m at it.

I guess I’d feel guilty.

But wait a minute. Why should I feel guilty. What if I’m in the right here? Let’s check his previous run-ins with the law.

***Pulling up DED/CONCORD combat records via third-party database “zkillboard”***

Ahhh, looks like this Astero pilot isn’t as innocent an explorer as he looks. Seems like he’s killed two explorers just today alone. An Imicus and a Cheetah.

None of them were Signaleers… but… what IF they were Signaleers?

What if he had murdered brand new Eve-scout pilots in cold blood? And what if I just let him go? What kind of person would that make me? I’d be just as complicit in the crime as the perpetrator. A sin of omission is still a sin.

If I stop him in his tracks here and now, I could potentially save the lives of fellow corpmates and other innocent explorers.

Ya! I could still be the good guy in this scenario!

But, once again, I’m come head-on to the Credo issue. Would this be a compliant action? Maybe she’d bend a little and agree with me.

“No Saladiin, not compliant at all…not even a little bit.”

Ya….that’s probably how it would go.

***179 km from target***

Two cans left. What to do?

Come on Saladiin…you’re trying to be a changed man…a better man. Don’t do this.

“Let’s do this”

***Warp drive activated***

***157 km to target***

***39 km to target***

***Arrived at target***

I drop my cloak and target the Astero. Hopefully he decides to get trigger happy and loose his drones on me.

He doesn’t.

But hey, he may have a cyno. Let’s ere on the side of caution.

I lock him. Multispectral ECM active. He’s jammed! Fire!!!

…fireworks?

Harmless fireworks…

Betrayed, not by my conscious, but by my ship’s fit.

When I first joined, in my new found eagerness to play nice with others, I refitted all my weapons systems to fire only fireworks. A decision I now regret.

And here we are now.

***capsuleer-to-capsuleer local chat log***

Pilot [redacted]: “Whoa man, you really had me scared there lol. I saw you were a Wingspan guy before and figured I was screwed. Good thing fireworks can’t hurt me haha.”

Pilot Saladiin: “Ya, haha. Totally, brother.”

Pilot [redacted]: “Heh, yup. So, you gonna stop scramming me and let me go, hehe?”

***silence***

Pilot [redacted]: “Um, hello? You still listening, Saladiin?”

Pilot Saladiin: “Oh, right. Of course. Deactivated scrams”

Pilot [redacted]: “Thanks man. I appreciate you not being a jerk. It would’ve especially sucked, seeing as I’m holding about 1 billion in loot right now, haha”

Pilot Saladiin: “……hehe…of course. Yup. Definitely would’ve sucked! Aren’t you just the LUCKIEST capsuleer in the cluster. HAHA!”

Pilot [redacted]: “Well nice meeting you Saladiin. Fly safe!”

I briefly contemplate climbing out of my capsule, drifting over to his ship in the cold vacuum of space and clawing my way in, slowly choking the life out of him. One last act of revenge before succumbing to death myself.

I decide not to.

Well. That makes 22 days clean now. Another one gets away. Take it a day at a time, Saladiin.

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