Slaves

A few days passed and she began to get used to his routines. Food was the centerpiece of his day and the anchor to which all else was tied. Breakfast was a time to discuss the news. Mike did his damnedest to be well informed and subscribed to various news services from across all of New Eden. He was as likely to be discussing null sec politics as he was to be discussing the latest fashion trends in Rens or some obscure theological debate in Amarr. He did not seem to find them jarring but, rather, he treated them as pieces of some larger puzzle and was always looking for connections.

Lunch was shopping and design. He might go to a market or spend time arguing with merchants or he might be setting contracts for purchase or sale. He would be looking at a holographic model of a ship and comparing it to notes he had on the side while something baked in the oven. She watched from the side while when he exclaimed ‘SALE!?’ and spent the next half hour negotiating with another pilot for a pair of Slicers.

“He was cleaning house and wanted to unload a few tings. I chose not to be too greedy but he did let me have them at below the lowest market value I could see.”

“Cleaning house? You make it sound like ships collect like old magazines.”

“Well, they do, for some pilots.” Mike had the grace to look slightly embarrassed.

“Oh they do do they? I suppose you own more than one or two?” She watched him chop some vegetables into the soup silently.

“I am very bad at keeping things, other than the kitchen, neat and tidy. I just get busy or I lay it aside having every intention of coming back to it . . . ”

“How many ships?”

“I honestly don’t know.” He tapped his comm and called up a program “Merde . . . I didn’t think it was that bad.”

“How many ships?”

He tapped the comm a few more times.  “Nine.”

“Well that isn’t too bad.”

“That is the battleships.  They were easy to count because I don’t fly them very often.  Two of them are special.  One of them is mine because you arranged for me to get it and the other never will be mine.  I am just holding it for someone.  You don’t want to know how many other ships I have.”  Mike closed the comm down and continued cooking but he had a thoughtful look on his face.

“You have ships you don’t even remember?  How can you do that?”

He shrugged and added some more pepper after tasting the soup.  “Some are out in specific areas so if there is a need I will have something close to hand.  Others were replaced but I did not try to sell the ship I arrived in.  Some I have made, others I bought and occasionally people donate ships to me to give back out to others.  The GBA has me occasionally contact new Gallente Pilots to welcome to their new path.  IF they answer back politely then I send them a ship.  Most of them are too wary to talk to strangers and ignore me.”  His shrug was very expressive.  “They get nothing.”

“you just . . .send them a ship . . . ”  She put a hand to her head trying to understand him.  “not loan, just give it to them?”

“If they want it.  The organization I work for is quite charitable.  One of the slicers I bought will also be given away, most likely.  All we ask for is basic manners and communication skills.  Amazingly, that is a fairly high requirement by the looks of it.”

“So you buy ships and give them away.  How else do you use your isk?”

Mike ticked a list off on his fingers as he thought about it.  “Education . . . . last course I took cost more than a most ships I fly.  Legal expenses.  Ship refits.  Industrial research.”

“Legal expenses?”

Mike sighed.  “Do you know what one of the hidden shames of Gallente space is?”

“I thought shame was a foreign concept to your people, along with decency and morals.”  She smiled to take the edge out of the jibe.

“Slavery.  Every other empire is willing to make laws about it but we just said NO and dropped the subject.”

“So?  That is how it should be.”  This was something that Free lived and she was confused that Mike just shook his head.

“No, it isn’t.  Because we just say ‘no’ what happens to slaves in Gallente space.  We do not have manumission laws.  We do not allow transport of slaves.  So you cannot free them, you cannot take them to where they can be freed.”

She had never heard of this problem before.  “How do slaves get into Gallente space?  Never mind, any route to avoid the taxes, petty raids on low level worlds . . . yes I know how.  So what happens to slaves . . . legal fees?”

He nodded.  “On every damn planet I hire lawyers to make cases, set precedents and try to make a ground roots campaign to change the laws.”

“But for there to be a case there needs to be slaves don’t there?”

His voice dropped almost to a whisper.  ‘Nobody wants them, you cannot hire a slave, you cannot free them.  They wind up at the bottom of the social ladder, working under the table and for all we speak of freedom, they would be better treated if they were back in Amarr space.  So I take them and start the cases.”

“What do you mean, take them?”

He raised his eyes to meet hers.  “Dammit, you want to hear me say it don’t you.  I buy them.  No other way to put it.  Me. Slave owner. Me.  You ran to hide with a chainer.”  Tears of shame were filling his eyes.  “I don’t know what else to do.  It was the only way I could get the cases into the courts so we could change the laws.  but it takes     so        damn    long.”

Emotions raged behind her eyes but years of training meant nothing showed.  In a voice as quiet as his she asked.  “How many have you freed?”

“Eight hundred sixty five as of yesterday.”

Her eyes went wide as she processed the number.  “You have bought and freed almost a thousand people?”

“I know, I know . . . . not enough.  The cases outstanding will help but . . . ”

Her hand came up and stopped him.  “OK, ‘chainer’.  How many slaves do you own currently?”

“Right now?  Including families it is somewhere over 30 . . . . thousand.”

She staggered back into a chair, not taking her eyes off of his face.  “How the hell did you get thirty thousand slaves.?”

“Some are rescued from Amarr convoys.  Others I found in small systems and just . . . bought them so I could start the cases.”

“Thirty thousand.”  She asid to herself more than to him.  “Where are they?”

“All over the place . . .each planet . . .”

“I get that.  I mean you don’t have factories, plantations, bordellos do you?  What are they doing?  Where do they live?”

“Ah, well most times I buy property in a community and fund local schools and shelters to support the influx of people.  I pay for skills training if they have none.  Very few of the ones that have been freed have moved far away from where they were living before hand.  Bordellos?  Really?”  He ladled the soup int bowls and slid one across to her.

“How much does this cost you?”

“Less than the inability to sleep nights would cost me.  I am not broke and saving isk for isks sake is a fools game.  If the isk is not working then it is not worth having.  This is how I choose to let mine work.”  He looked at her closely.  “I am trying to do what is right but it does mean I own slaves.”

She snorted and blew on the spoonful of soup.  “I read once that surgeons could not be considered doctors because of the damage they did to their patients.  Eventually people were able to understand that there is a difference between the means and the ends.  Have you ever been tempted to keep one, someone skilled?  Or Cute?”

“Pfft.  I have a beautiful woman who puts up with me.  Why would I want to keep someone who did not?  One or two of the freed ones now work on my ships, I think.  I know I paid for ships training institutes.  My crews work for me and with me.  It would be stupid to have someone who was there under threat of death.  No.  I own the slaves so I can legally free them.”  He crumbled crackers into his own soup and dusted his hands off as if dismissing the notion.  “Sooner or later the courts will get tired of dragging it out and the Amarr will stop throwing up roadblocks.”

“Whoa whoa.  How do the Amarr figure in?”

“Last thing they want is this dragged into the limelight.  So they fund their lawyers to slow things down.  Lobby for the status quo so that the Gallente courts keep from making sweeping changes.  Stay and delays are their tactics.  They try to bury it in minutia.”

Her eyes turned flinty.  “Shakespeare was right.”

“Hmm?”

“Nothing.  The soup is good.  Are there any cases ongoing in this system?”  Her voice was a feigned strained casual.

“Always.”

“Could you lend me some isk to make a shopping trip to the planet?”

Mike chuckled low.  “No loans, what you need you get.  I’ll set you up with a corp card, again, so you leave no personal data track.”

*********************************************************

Questions

Slicer up for grabs, comment to enter.

How much change could a capsuleer do to mortal laws?  Are we the pan galactic elite?  How many care to try?  Please CCP, send me an isk bill and convert the slaves I have to freed.  I’ll pay it.

Oh, any donations of slaves to my ‘free’ cause will be gratefully accepted.

Ever run a program to look at how much stuff you have lying about?  Can be possitively scary.  If you decide to have a garage sale, let me know or toss me the stuff that would go in a bin at the end of the driveway after the sale is over.

Yes, I send evemails to new pilots who are Gallente and get mentioned on the ‘screen in CQ’  ONE person has answered back politely.  One.  I understand paranoia of scams . . . really I do.  But this is a bit extreme.

The one BS?  You’ll get a chance for it in post 200 . . . I think this one is 197

fly it like you won it.

m

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Slaves

  1. bobfenner says:

    Excellent post as always Mike. I admit that even though I know EvE is just a game, I find myself drawn to the idea of what the universe would be like if Capsuleers had the ability IN THE GAME to make a difference in things such as politics, laws and other weighty issues.

    I am particularly hopeful that some time in the not too distant future that I will be able to train the crews that man my ship to increase efficiency AND to help take some isk from my wallet. I can imagine the isk I pay my crews putting food on their families plates. Hell, maybe it would make some people take more care of their ships if the crew were more than just a footnote.

    Eve could go so many ways and follow many different paths, but if CCP want it to be the ultimate futuristic Sci-fi universe the people that inhabit it must play more than a bit part.

    What do you think?

    • mikeazariah says:

      Training crews will be an interesting idea. Lose a ship and take a hit to crew skills as well. I wonder if you can train and then ‘sell’ a crack crew making for a new market for hisec carebears to engage in. train them up then ship them off to low or null for big battles.

      nah, that would be evil, wouldn’t it?

      m

      • bobfenner says:

        You could make it even more granular in nature and have ship officers that specialise? Imagine having your own version of Mr Scott as your Chief Engineer for example? You could gain a small boost to any repairs you were doing, or divert more capacitor to your shields, or take less damage whilst overheating your engines? The possibility is endless?

        Oh, just to derail your train of thought but I am really hoping they get the balance right when our beloved CCP finally fix us poor disheartened Gallente pilots Hybrid weapons!

        Keep them posts coming Mike. I love your writing. 🙂

      • David Smith says:

        Add another metagame element – the ability to “poach” good crew from another pilot by offering better pay / conditions that way the crew could “choose” to go to low or null for higher risk / reward.

        Could also have assassination missions as part of FW / WiS.

        Athereon.

  2. I lost a duel to a navy slicer this week.:-(

  3. mikeazariah says:

    well let’s see if winning one makes the boo boo better

    m

  4. mararinn says:

    I too wish there was something better I could do with slaves than … uh … the current method of handling stuff in the hangar that we can’t legally take out of the station.

    I gave up keeping track of what assets I had scattered around the place when I realised that I’d need a freighter and an entire week to collect it all.

    • mikeazariah says:

      You could do it one one freighter?

      I have had to move house when a hanger became so full it was refusing additional items. Then I learned to use station containers. Ammo, Shields, Drones, etc are all in little boxes.

      m

  5. Keilidh says:

    Slicers are sexy little things. I have one already so omit me from the list, Mike. 😉

    Yea I’ve wondered about the involvement of capsuleers. The whole ‘demi-god’ reputation stems partly from the fact that most can’t be bothered. They have their new world to explore and the ol’ mundanes are just sheeple down below.

    Keilidh’s never been good at keeping above it. She’s only ever owned one slave, and she still technically does (though Monique could leave if she wanted to).

    • mikeazariah says:

      Funny, I could swear that says ‘omit me from the list’.

      Yeah. Dust is supposed to reinforce the fact that we do have an effect on the planets we fly over but . . . well I think we would, now.

      That being said if CCP starts to extend their ultimate simulator by making a sim city variant. Um, no.

      m

  6. Marcus Janus says:

    Amazing post, I’ve been reading on and off via my iphone for about a year and a half, the whole revelation about owning slaves actually made me take the time away from playing at home to comment on this.

    Also quick question on this, is there any where I can find out more about the GBA I’ve been playing gallente for years and would love to find a few people to chat with.

    • Marcus Janus says:

      I meant the Gallente hero’s channel, I get that and the GBA mixed up alot, sorry about that!

    • mikeazariah says:

      Thank you. I think that makes 47 readers, now.

      I honestly do have over 30k of slaves because I could nto bear to sell them and then it became a bit of an obsession.
      I also have enough small arms to give each of them a weapon.

      The Nuclear small arms prototype is mine, though.

      Okay, the GBA is a one man Corp, on the face of it. I do not recruit.

      Gallente Hero is the name of the channel I hang out in the most. It is a public channel and all are welcome.

      Other channels you may want to know about

      Project Halibut is a channel dedicated to helping new players and a place for experienced helpful ones to drop by.

      I monitor a LOT of A’J channels, a few ‘pub’s (channels that simulate bars, the Syne Accord and assorted private channels. I have been forced to spit my channels into seperate blocks so I can focus when in fleet but still not be missing too much

      There are days where I do not hit space and laugh ruefully at the joke that Eve is a very expensive Chat program.

      m

  7. Wiz0 says:

    Hey Mike,

    Just read your post, excellent material. I have just started playing Eve a month ago and I must say: it is a lot of space simulator (much like Elite) but the political and diplomatic side of the game is very subtle (if non-existant in terms of game mechanics).

    It would be great if galaxies could have chosen leaders and then have senators and the works fill it out. They could set taxes and strictness on illegal commodities (and what they are… slaves are a commodity I guess in Eve?). People would have to campaing to gain votes, doing favours here and making enemies there. It could mean a whole new dimension to this wonderful game.

    Maybe one day, they will even have a sort of player based court system, where fines can be given to players if they are found guilty… oh wait.. that is probably why they still haven’t done anything I thought-up.

    Where players gain control there is grieving… for some reason every mmo I’ve played has those kind of people…

    And I am guessing we also have the answer as to why no-one replies to your offers? Glad you’re using your powers to do good though: keep that up!

    • mikeazariah says:

      Do some reading on the CSM (Council of Stellar Management) It is metagame politics. As for diplomatic the larger corps actually have designated diplos to help ease the strain between the alliances who can number in the thousands.

      I do think that it would be nice to have more of an effect on the politics of the day but would planet-side dwellers want one of us godlings running things down below?

      m

  8. David Smith says:

    Nice post – Always wondered what happened with the slaves picked up in NPC drops – it didn’t seem right to just trash them… Seems to be a flaw in the backstory that there is no mechanism to free slaves.

    As for your question regarding capsuleers – given our long “lives” and financial power we could probably have a disproportionate effect on mortal laws should we choose. I would expect that not many capsuleers would deign to interfere in mortal laws unless they have a significant effect on the capsuleer – probably beneath our notice – and much easier to JC or relocate to a place with laws that suit us better.

    Cheers,
    Athereon.

    • mikeazariah says:

      But then that begs the question another commenter raised earlier. What if we did decide to make changes. What if we did still care about what happened on the planets. Immortality may take a while to change attitudes. Even if we are nominally immortal we all we converted in the last decade (give or take) which means we still have friends, family, who we are watching age, work day to day lives.

      On the other hand, getting even with anybody who crossed you would be a hell of lot easier

      {commence orbital strike yes/no}

      m

  9. nice post. i tohught i had some slaves sitting in a hanger but cant find them. i do have some prisoners jsut sittign around doing nothing if your interested in them

    Darth Skorpius

    • mikeazariah says:

      Laughing.

      No I think I will stick to saving slaves . . . .who knows maybe the prisoners deserve to be prisoners

      m

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s