Assault with a Deadly Weapon

It was about 2:30 am. I hadn't planned on returning late. My girlfriend and I had a falling out and I ended up leaving the party early. I hadn't planned on leaving at all.

The walk back took me thru a section of deserted industrial darkness. In particular underneath a rather foreboding railroad bridge. It was winter and it was cold.

In moments like this your mind conjures all sorts of terrible scenarios, flicking around your options like a menu of less and less desirable food. You know you are screwed. Only the odds play in your favor.

Except when they don't.

The two stepped out of the shadows in front of me. The other one I didn't know was behind me until his baseball bat glanced off my shoulder and head. The hood of my winter coat absorbed most of the impact, but I saw stars. The details of what happened next are confusing to me now, lost in the fog of time and of the many re-tellings. But I spun around immediately and grabbed the bat on his back swing. The other two yelling, the look of surprise on "Willie May's" face as he lost his grip. He didn't have a hood. But I spared him his face. The other two didn't spare me their fists. Nor I mine.

I was lucky. Lucky they didn't have anything more than a bat and some other blunt instrument that might have been brass knuckles or a pipe. I was lucky that I was bigger and not the easy target they thought I'd be. I'd been a fighter all my life, both on purpose and in defense. In the end they ran and I made it back to my apartment. I was black and blue, and my head was bleeding. But otherwise no worse than I deserved.

In Eve parlance, I had been the victim of a gank.

The typical thing at this point in the post would be to tell you how horrible the experience was, how I learned to have sympathy with the poor victims and how this event changed my life. That would be the expected, easy thing to tell you. But it would also be a lie.

I survived because I was bigger, smarter and meaner than my attackers. I was also incredibly lucky. But I "won" ( for lack of a better word ) the encounter. That is an euphoric feeling. That is a powerful rush. The event didn't make me seek out such adventures or put on a cape and fight crime. No, I went about my life the same as before. I've always refused to be a victim. That has been in my character since I was born. This event was just another in a long string of such events, some bigger and many more smaller. It is just one marker on the path of my life.

And so it is with Eve. We choose to be the victim or we don't. I didn't have to walk back from that party, I could have easily have gotten a ride from a friend or called a Taxi. I knew, somewhere deep down, what I was doing. No, I didn't ask for it. But I wasn't doing a lot to avoid it, was I?

When your finger hovers over the jump button and the gate leads to Null or Low Sec, you are actively engaging the option of suppressed violence. Only the odds play in your favor... except when they don't.

Life is a violent engagement. You may or may not be aware of it. Every once in awhile, the forces that lie beneath the surface arise to bring you down. They are always there. Around the corner, in the other lane, above you in the sky, smoking in the wiring, squirming on the unclean faucets in the bar, wafting in the air, expelled from the nearby factory, or simply festering on the artery near your heart.

And Eve reflects that. Albiet in a safe, virtual landscape that is removed from reality. But the enduring quality of New Eden is how well it reflects that reality. Eve is harsh because life itself is. And that quality, that violent engagement, should never change.

Those that seek eternal safety are fooling themselves. Such a thing is only determined by how big the blinders you've attached to your eyes happen to be.

Stop being the victim and fight back. You might just surprise yourself.

And me.

[PS: I feel a sudden urge to say something. This is a post about Eve, not about real life. I have used this true story to illustrate a point about Eve, not real life. I am not advocating that victims fight back, or that their actions lead to criminal victimization. That would be ludicrous in my opinion. Just so the record is straight here, I reported the crime to the Police. Eventually those three men were caught and convicted. I also had to go to the hospital and have 22 stitches in my head. It was not my intention to down play the serious nature of the event. But since this is an Eve blog, I tried to frame it in an entertaining and Eve focused context. Real world violence is a serious issue with serious consequences for all of those involved. Eve is a game. I am well aware of the difference.]

1 comment:

  1. If you haven't read it already, I highly recommend Meditations on Violence by Sgt Rory Miller.