The Defenders of Crielere
To the Government agencies involved, Crielere was simply a business venture gone bad, without use, a failure. And so, their answer was simply logical: Why waste ships and men on a situation with no bottom line?
Yet, the citizens of EVE did not seem to find that reasoning acceptable. And so they took it upon themselves to defend something that does not have a price tag attached. Their ideals. They chose to come and expend their resources in the defense of a few men, who determined that they would not abandon their life's work: Henric Touvolle and Taromi Umailen. Seeing that these men were facing certain death, more than a hundred pilots deemed that their ideals were a thing worth fighting for.
The Guristas came armed. They came in force. But they did not bring weaponry enough to break the will of the defenders that day. While the skeleton crew aboard the Crielere station fought to keep their systems running, a ragtag battle fleet repelled wave after wave of bloodthirsty pirates. At times, the scientists aboard the station would shout encouragement and gratitude over the communications net to their saviors. Other times, the station grew silent, as they were forced to reroute limited power reserves to keep the huge particle accelerators stable.
Outside, missiles raced between the combatants, and lasers rent the void. The engagements lasted much of the day, until the groups surrounding the station recieved word that the pirates' rallying points had been identified. The Defenders of Crielere then split up and took the fight to the Guristas.
The Battles of Crielere 5, and Rancer 3, were the most hard-fought yet. I, even in my military days, have never witnessed such a display of firepower and carnage as I saw today. The rocket trails formed rivers of light and destruction, connecting attacker and target with deadly finality. Lasers flicked back and forth, beautiful even as they rent armor and hull. The steady drumbeat of artillery sounded the cadence of the Gurista's doom.
When the assault had finally been broken, the victorious resumed their guard outside the Crielere Research station. But the moment had passed. What started out as shoulder-to-shoulder unity in the face of the pirate threat now devolved into useless bickering over salvage. As the defenders began to fight amongst themselves, other groups of treasure-seekers and glory hounds hunted the last of the invaders to their deaths.
As I leave Crielere today, I wonder. Are all such idealistic ventures doomed to failure, as gray materialism closes it's hand upon us all? I do not think so. It may just be that crisis brings out the best in people. But, I think, it can also bring out the worst. Today was a good day in Crielere; and I do not believe that we fought in vain. Hundreds of privately owned ships were destroyed. Yet, I do not believe that those citizens count them a loss.
Maybe their losses, and their dedication, have convinced some people to re-examine the bottom line.