The Intaki Prosperity Initiative received a declaration of war today from the most unlikely corner: Valkyr Industries, a member of the Minmatar militia.

To say this is a mess is a gross understatement. Why the war was declared wasn’t clear at the outset and the more I got into it the more murky and confused things became. At first it seemed to have been issued because one or more of my pilots responded to assist FCO pilots when FCO was attacked by VKYR pilots in Intaki.

But no. The actual reason is, to put it bluntly, so incredibly…stupid

Transcripts follow.

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Channel ID: 2114849776
Channel Name: FreeIntaki
Listener: Sakaane Eionell
Session started: YC114.07.21 03:38:17
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Miss Sparkles > Greetings, Sakaane.

NOTICE: TIME INDEX SKIPPED. NO DATA FOR 6 MINUTES, 20 SECONDS.

Sakaane Eionell > Namas. I apologize for my tardy response. I am in a meeting at the moment. May we talk later?
Miss Sparkles > Yes, of course.

NOTICE: TIME INDEX SKIPPED. NO DATA FOR 17 MINUTES, 26 SECONDS.

Sakaane Eionell finishes her meeting.
Sakaane Eionell > How may I help you?
Miss Sparkles > Did Bataav talk to you about Drake?
Sakaane Eionell > I am aware of the incident, yes. I was there when you blew up.
Miss Sparkles > I did not shot first. You were not on the recorded loss mail I received.
Sakaane Eionell > That is true, I was not. But I was in the belt to witness the explosion.
Miss Sparkles > Did you see that the Myrmidon pilot web me first? I am telling the truth.
Sakaane Eionell > The situation is one where we can neither confirm nor refute your statement. It is your word against the word of our pilot.
Miss Sparkles > I see. So you will not give me new Drake? I understand if you do not.
Sakaane Eionell > Before the engagement in the belt, you were reported to be bumping and targeting one of our pilots outside the Astral station. What explanation do you have for this?
Miss Sparkles > I did not shot your pilor outside the station.
Sakaane Eionell > That is not what I said.
Miss Sparkles > I was bumping him for fun. I regret it now. I did not mean harm. I warp to belt to kill Serpentis and get caught.
Sakaane Eionell > Our rules of engagement classify bumping and passive targeting as aggressive behavior, even if the pilot is neutral. Such actions are harrassment and our pilots are free to decide to engage in response as if the neutral pilot is red.
Miss Sparkles > I understand.
Sakaane Eionell > I can see from your public combat record that you are not inexperienced in capsuleer combat.

NOTICE: MISS SPARKLES HAS LEFT THE CHANNEL.

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Channel ID: -32266375
Channel Name: Private Chat (Darc Kaahar)
Listener: Sakaane Eionell
Session started: YC114.07.21 21:33:56
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Darc Kaahar > So Miss Sparkles is a good friend of mine. And she is furious about losing her Drake to pirates, who claim to be anti-pirate. That is what this war is about.
Sakaane Eionell > That’s unfortunate.
Darc Kaahar > But, if you give Miss Sparkles her Drake back, this can end. A public apology on the IGS would be required too.
Sakaane Eionell > I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. You don’t seriously expect me to agree to that.
Darc Kaahar > I was hoping you would see sense. This is no laughing matter. Miss Sparkles is very cross. And when she is cross, I am cross.
Sakaane Eionell > Miss Sparkles is a seasoned combat pilot. Engagements happen in low security space all the time. Some go in her favor, and some do not. She admitted to bumping and passive targeting and that’s what resulted in the engagement. If she’s cross about that then perhaps she could improve her behavior toward other pilots she has not previously met.
Darc Kaahar > Well, she was not actively aggressive toward your corp. I think this is a gross injustice. You can spare the lives of many by reimbursing the Drake and apologising on the IGS.
Sakaane Eionell > As I explained to her, our rules of engagement classify bumping and targeting, even without firing shots, as harrassment and aggressive behavior. We empower our pilots to use their own judgment in dealing with situations like those.
Darc Kaahar > It seems we are at an impasse.
Sakaane Eionell > If Miss Sparkles is really quite adamant that her behavior was not meant to be aggressive, I might be inclined to consider some form of compensation. But an IGS apology is out of the question. And in return I would require you to compensate Bataav and Jezebel for their losses.
Darc Kaahar > Again, they attacked me while I was engaged with other pilots. I merely fought back to save my ship. I suppose, I am an outlaw.
Sakaane Eionell > Indeed you are. And the pilots you engaged requested assistance.
Darc Kaahar > But nonetheless, I will never reimburse their ships. I sorted out the matter with the Drake pilot I attacked, it was a misunderstanding.
Sakaane Eionell > I see.
Darc Kaahar > It is just a Drake, Miss Eionell. I think it wise for you consider reimbursing it.
Sakaane Eionell > I could say the same to you about the Myrmidons, especially since you admit your attack was a mistake to begin with.
Darc Kaahar > If you do, I will think about leaving the public apology out of it.
Sakaane Eionell > And what guarantee would we have that Miss Sparkles would not return and exhibit the same behavior again and then go crying to you about it? If she is willing to incite war over a single ship loss why shouldn’t we set her red?
Darc Kaahar > I think she has learned her lesson. She did not want to harm any of you. It was an unjust loss, no way around that.
Sakaane Eionell > On that we will have to disagree.
Darc Kaahar > For anti-pirates I find this hypocritical.
Sakaane Eionell > In what way?
Darc Kaahar > She is not an outlaw and you commited an act of piracy upon her.
Sakaane Eionell > I will not repeat myself regarding our rules of engagement.
Darc Kaahar > You do not need to, I read it the first time.
Sakaane Eionell > Many of the pirates and aggressive pilots we engage are not classified “outlaws” by their security status. Nevertheless, aggressive behavior is aggressive behavior and we respond accordingly.
Darc Kaahar > Will you respond to our agression accordingly? That is now the question. I want that Drake, Miss Eionell. I will not stop untill Miss Sparkles has it.
Sakaane Eionell > It is a pity you put so much energy into this rather than into more wholesome pursuits. Such as the supposed war you are supposed to be fighting against the Amarr. Instead you think is worth your while to sink to such a petty level.
Darc Kaahar > I do not think this petty, I want justice.
Sakaane Eionell > There are many other ways to obtain such a thing than war.
Darc Kaahar > You know nothing of how we fought the Amarr. Days fighting in Roushzar. Freeing my CEO’s mother from the Ice Mines of Kourm V.
Sakaane Eionell > I never proclaimed to. But what does it say about your convictions that you are ready to abandon your war effort over a ship? Just how many Drakes could you have purchased with the money it cost you to issue the declaration?
Darc Kaahar > That is not the point. It’s a matter of principle and protecting my friends.
Sakaane Eionell > You certainly have some interesting principles.
Darc Kaahar > You damn right.
Sakaane Eionell > It wasn’t a compliment.
Darc Kaahar > See you on the battlefield.
Sakaane Eionell > As I said before, I might be willing to consider what you asked. But that is a matter that Miss Sparkles should have the fortitude to discuss with me, rather than hiding behind you.
Darc Kaahar > She told me that see tried to talk with you, but was shot down. Figuratively this time.
Sakaane Eionell > I’d hardly consider the discussion we had as being “shot down”. She left immediately after I explained how our ROE applied.
Darc Kaahar > Do you want ro speak with her? I will mail her, if you do. Or you can approach her yourself.
Sakaane Eionell > If you prefer to continue acting as her intermediary I won’t stop you.
Darc Kaahar > “Miss Sparkles should have the fortitude to discuss with me, rather than hiding behind you.”
Sakaane Eionell > Indeed.
Darc Kaahar > I will tell her. But if you change your mind, and I hope you do. This war will be finished.
Sakaane Eionell > I will negotiate that with her. But there will be no IGS component.
Darc Kaahar > Can’t be seen to look weak, I understand. Thank you for your time, Miss Eionell.
Sakaane Eionell > I am not going to apologize for my pilots doing their job.
Darc Kaahar > You would be apologising for your pilots commiting acts of piracy in your home system, no less. But we will have to agree to disagree on that point.
Sakaane Eionell > Yes, we will have to agree to disagree, as there was no act of piracy. According to our records, Miss Sparkles fired first. Unfortunately neither side can prove their version of events.
Darc Kaahar > She tells me that is not true. But I can’t prove that, obviously. I do believe her, though.
Sakaane Eionell > And I believe my people.
Darc Kaahar > As I said, we are at an impasse.
Sakaane Eionell > Mhmm.
Darc Kaahar > I do appreciate you talking to me Miss Eionell. Goodbye.
Sakaane Eionell > And you. Goodbye.

This war, this declaration that we received today, has been made over a single ship loss that occurred two weeks ago.

Any combat pilot worth even half their salt knows that bumping and targeting another pilot and then warping to a belt is a clear invitation to fight. Miss Sparkles has been around the block enough times to know better.

She might truly regret the incident now, which is fine. And if she’d stuck around a bit longer in FreeIntaki I would have gladly continued to discuss the matter once she understood our perspective. But the wounded dove routine? Having a militia corporation declare war in retaliation? Please.

In the meantime, I can’t help but think this war, ridiculous as it is, would have been the perfect shakedown for the navy the Suresha had wanted to build. I have been wondering if, despite his absence, the hundred pilots he promised might still turn up. Oh, not all at once of course, but in some numbers here and there. So far? Nothing.

As for Miss Sparkles and her bulldog… A single ship loss in and of itself would not have been a big deal if the approach to us had been handled better. But this? I’ll not set precedence by giving in to unreasonable demands. She lost all hope of that as soon as the decision to declare war was made.