The door creaked open as I pushed my way past the faulty doors of the Independence bar. Glass crunched under my boots as I made my way to empty bar. Evidence of the antics from last night. Even though it was closed, there were still people around - regulars with no home to go to, supping on various alcoholic beverages. I reached over the bar and helped myself to a beer. Grimacing at the horrible taste, I sat down. My cleaner, Felix, swept the floor in regular strokes. The glass all tinkling into neat piles.
The last few days has been a headache and it has reminded me why I never want to get back into politics. As well as never working with pirates again! Right now, as I sat there staring at the door marked 'Members Only: M34N Flag bar' I remember, with painful clarity how a situation went from bad to worse to catastrophic in a short space of time. The result was that our fellow pirates from M34N corp are now hostile to us as we are to them. M34N are a well-established pirate group in Gusandall, they've lost some numbers but they are still devastatingly effective. To make sure that this new and deadly relationship was clear, all our ships 'friend or foe' identifiers have been set to flash an alarming red whenever M34N are around. We are expected to kill on sight any M34N pilot. Am sure that this relationship has been reciprocated. Checking the killboard database, Black Flag has scored six kills to our one loss (a rifter) but am sure that the numbers will increase over time. Hellequin tried to reach out to us and smooth things down but their own vote was for supporting M34N and to set us to red as well. Interesting to note that the Hellequin's internal vote was not unanimous but their loyalty to their old friends meant that the result was never in doubt. Black Flag thoroughly respect the Hellequin pilots who tried. I for one, look forward to running away from Muhaar's Wolf, named after me - as he stole it! Tempered Steel Legion, was used, ultimately, as an excuse to ignite the issue. The relationship with TSL and BF was with only a couple of blue corporation-to-individual standings in place and nothing else.
What was the issue? From careful reflection - it was clear that there was a number of inter-locking and thorny issues over corp sovereignty, setting corporations to blue, a friendly fire incident that was not resolved satisfactorily, egos, perceived disrespect and genuine disrespect between some parties and some heated exchanges by all sides that added fire to an already big fire. A bad day for all to come together.
My friend Redbad said, 'this a lot of politics for zero-politics.' As I stared at the 'Members Only: M34N Flag bar.' A former place for just M34n and Black Flag pilots to meet and discuss 'stuff'. I had to agree with Redbad on his point. Too much politics indeed.
Ultimately, Black Flag wanted no unilateral corporation to corporation blue standings. All their relationships would be based on standings to individual pilots and not their corp. Just because Black Flag likes you doesn't mean that Black Flag will automatically like your friends and your corporation. Some say that's a sign of disrespect but in a world where death is just round the corner, it is a pragmatic one. It's how Black Flag wanted to operate and this is now the reality. Black Flag are pirates after all, lest anyone forgets that.
Still, the last few days have been unpleasant but interesting too. There's been killing, looting and pillaging too, business as per usual then for some. Draining the dregs of my beer with a slurp, I gestured at the door to the once, vibrant private bar.
"Felix, sanitise that room. Then seal it."
"Yesir. Will it be opening again?" I paused and thought back to the last few days.
I turned and walked out, towards my ship's hangar. I had work to do.
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