Heaving and struggling just beneath the surface of the lifeless, quivering mass of groaning automated bodies, the human contingent of IHS’ 2-man, 24 character industrial core had begun to systematically evaporate every bit of ore they could find anywhere in the constellation as quickly as they could. They paid no attention to neighboring groups or the fact that we’d disrupted industry within 5 jumps in any direction. Pookie Mayaki and dap Witch, making up the IHS industrial backbone, absolutely dominated most of the resources on the island. I had no idea if this was ordered, or simply tolerated by corporation leadership.
I’d learned that the strange CEO had oversold our ability to protect this team of extremely capable industrialists. In mineral acquisition, as in extra fire sauce, too much of a good thing now can very easily turn into a problem later. Flounder Amarr didn’t reign in the new recruits, but instead encouraged them without much thought to consequence. Their mouths were writing checks that our collective asses couldn’t cash. We were fortunate at first. The locals tolerated the first waves of the buildup, but by the time the crescendo broke, things were already way out of hand. Our CEO had been arrested and sentenced to prison on some very bad (non-CONCORD related) charges that he seemingly deserved. Awful men are among these stars.
I had come from the solitude of solo venture mining into a chaotic social situation. The corporation was at war with a seemingly unstoppable mercenary group. We had lost the squadron of alts mining feverishly in the fertile asteroid belts to the enemy. Power within the corporation was changing hands above me. I had very little idea of the true correlations of these events at the time.
Flounder Amarr picked me to lead the defense in the war before he disappeared forever. This was done regardless of the fact that I was a very inexperienced player of just a few months. Having demonstrated no reservations whatsoever pertaining to losing every other employee’s long held investments in the company in a heavy handed defense, I wasn’t given any authority to divert resources without CEO permission.
A new CEO was appointed, Helios Dacronis. He was more experienced than I was, by some years. He was also the negotiating type, I soon realized. As a more politically inclined industrialist, Dacronis focused on trying to return the corporation to a profitable, pre-war state while avoiding conflict at all costs.
Well, of course he did!
The infinite obstruction though was that the enemy forces had located our base of operations. They declared war on us, set up an operating base near our system and patrolled stations within range day and night. I hadn’t ever been a part of any defense fleet up to this point. Likely for the best, leadership made the call to retreat back to our home station until hostilities faded. At first, we’d all maintained our resolve and stayed inside the station, drinking a few beers a couple of times a week and talking in stations together instead of drinking a few beers a couple of times a week while mining belts together. We survived through the first weeks despite some heavy losses, assuming the attackers had only wanted to get a few kills and move on to greater challenges.
They got their few kills. Much to our chagrin, they stayed nearby for more.
We took our chances and decided to wait out the siege, hopeful that diplomacy might persuade neighbors to become allies. I soon discovered the extent that local politics play in EVE Online. In all things, politics are of great consequence, and should never be ignored.