Throw away lives

I lost my Stiletto interceptor a few days ago (see here).  I foolishly tried to be the hero and tackle an artillery fit Hurricane that was at range to our small roaming fleet. I left the microwarp drive cycling to close the gap, but as soon as I was in range of  his guns and because I’d left the MWD on, which bloated my signature radius making me a huge object to hit for his targeting systems, one of his volleys took my shields and armor down instantly. Time slowed down as my adrenaline kicked in and I initiated warp to escape but whilst the Amarrian’s guns slowly reloaded, he fired a salvo of missiles, their trails curving out away from his ship and just before I hit warp speed they collided into the rear of my fragile already smoking frigate. A surge of pressure hit me as my Pod was instantly ejected whilst the ship exploded around me, instinctively I hit warp and made it out. My three crew members aboard the ship were not so lucky.

My Pod

Once back at station, I then made holo calls to each of the crew members’ familys. Most Capsuleers I’m sure just mail the next of kin or get someone else to inform them in a cold formal fashion. I’ve always felt it my responsibility and duty to tell them at least over the holo network in person, after all the crew are my responsibility whilst they are aboard my ship and therefore their deaths are down to me in one way or another. The families seem to somehow always know what I am about to say, expecting it by the mere fact I have contacted them, then their faces change to pure agonising misery and grief, words always fail me. Going through that highly unpleasant experience each time, reminds me that although I am technically immortal, the crews I take out into battle, that put their full trust in me, are not.

So many times I have heard, even within my own Militia, “It’s a cheap ship, I don’t mind losing it” or pilots that are happy to take a loss if it doesn’t negatively effect their isk efficiency ratio. Have we all become that narcissistic and ignorant due to our own immortality, that the people we rely on to fly our ships are treated as throw away objects, their lives being just as expendable as modules installed on a ship? I for one fly every ship no matter what it’s cost with the intention of doing all I can to keep the crew and I safe. Don’t get me wrong, I will follow orders  to the letter and indeed take risks, but providing they are educated risks and I am not just potentially throwing people’s lives away for nothing. Some may argue that it is just sacrificing the few to save many and is inevitable in war. I am sure those that sign up as Capsuleer crew men and women are prepared for the risks and dangers, but a line must be drawn where such sacrifices are unacceptable, where that line is will come down to the individual pilots own morality and values towards his comrades.

To me a pilot’s kill to loss ratio shows more than just skill, it shows that they do not just run headlong into every fight, with complete disregard for those aboard their ship. Maybe you wouldn’t expect anything less from the Amarr who even use our own enslaved people as their ship crews, but we Minmatar are better than that. We should realise how valuable these men and women are, that they are human beings, our people, fighting the same fight as us with the same passionate beliefs and they deserve more respect and admiration than they currently receive.

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