Yesterday as I was sitting in the Tower Lounge of the 5-5 station enjoying my Juffritian Tea a young boy and his Mother nervously approached and asked for an autograph. As always I graciously signed the young man's book and made light conversation. After exchanging pleasantries the young man asked me, in his own naive way, why I keep fighting. I smiled, patted his head and sent him on his way. But the question lingered long after they had left. Why do I keep fighting?
Not an hour earlier I had been up North tracking and killing Caldari State pilots who are hard at work building something for the State. Stay Frosty pilots have been up there for the past week slaughtering factional representatives from several empirical organizations as they move about their work. This is, after all, what we do. And we do so all while labeled as "Pirates". Just in the last few days I've been accused of all manner of devious, underhanded, and often vile actions. Piracy being just one of the many. Of course, we are Pirates in the true sense of the word. We have to be. There is no other way we can survive. We must steal, loot, explode, and exploit the empires in order to live. There is no other way. Unlike those that have moved into richer regions of unexplored space, ours is a poor and overlooked region that borders so closely on wealth and power.
Eventually the answers always swing back to the oppression of that wealth and power. The tendrils of nation states and religious fervor, of empires seeking to control that which they cannot. You feel it in your bones every single day. The power of control seeking to wrap its greedy hands around your throat. And push you into submission. And before you know it one of them throws up a station or two and then Concord shows up to "elevate" your system and rip what is rightfully yours away. Over the past decade I've come to understand that beast, always hungry, always looking for weakness, always striving to control everything. It disgusts me.
These border systems are my home. The home of billions who exist free from the burdens of those empires and the corrupt systems they engender. Caught between the walls of nation states on one side and the equally callous zero space empires on the other. We struggle to maintain our freedom. Sandwiched in-between those that wish to exploit us and ruin our way of life. To steal that which is ours. To take what we have earned. This is what I have come to know and love about our "low security" space. A term others have labeled our home. Not one we have chosen for ourselves. Yet another example of their oppression at work.
This is why I continue to fight. For that little boy and his Mother. For all those like them on the planets, moons, and stations in the sliver of space we call home. We fight to stay free. To keep them safe. To hold back the rising tide. And we can't do that by raising armies and standing toe-to-toe with a foe a hundreds times more powerful and backed by the enormous wealth of their own greed. No, we must do so alone in the darkness of space. From the shadows. Unseen.
Pirates. And goddamn proud to be so.