"Some say a man's home is his castle. For others it is wherever they lay their hat. The concept is just as nebulous in the New Eden sandbox.
In EVE Online, what does the concept of "home" mean to you?"Before Saturday night I would have said Aporulie. That is where I've spent the vast majority of my time as a capsuleer in New Eden. It is where I started Mabrick Mining and Manufacturing. Before that I would have said Cistuvaert. That is where I started life as a capsuleer. That's where the connections up my spine were implanted. Both answers would have been wrong. Home is not where your castle is.
There have been times both long and short I've docked my ships in various other locations. I've hung my hat in Aidart, Jufvitte, Yona and Oursulaert. These were for business reasons except for the last location. That was where I went to await the Goonswarm blob that promised to thrash me for being insolent. It is also wrong to consider those locations home. No place is home simply because that's where business took me.
This place too is perhaps one of those. I am currently in a hole with TurAmarth and the rest of HBHI and their select group of friends. It is not a permanent arrangement as has been written of by both he and I. So even though I've brought a small fleet of my own, this really is a hat hanging arrangement. It should not be home to me - and as a place it is not.
And that's the crux of the confusion isn't it? The nebulousness of the concept isn't rooted in the question of whether the location is intended as permanent or temporary lodging. It has only been our evolution that has caused us to consider home like that. After all, the cave of our ancient, ancient forebearers was dry and warm. It was safe. It was the one place that, after a long day (or days) of hunting dangerous beasts in the unforgiving wilds, they could finally relax, lower their guard somewhat and enjoy life a little. Their cave was the center of their 20 square kilometer universe. And home was there. But the cave was not home. It only represented home in their minds.
That is our confusion. This is as true today as it was tens of thousands of years ago. Last Saturday night brought the fact... home to me - in a very personal way.
It started in the early evening when I scanned down the day's static connection to low-sec. It was one of those good news/bad news connections. The good news was that our K162 was only six jumps from Jita. The bad news was the K162 was in Nisuwa and we had to travel through Kedama and Tama to get to Jita. This is why I brought a Viator blockade runner and not an Iteron Mark anything. I needed some supplies and left to get them.
One run is typically uneventful. Pirates don't know you're coming and they aren't ready for you. The problem started when Tur informed me we needed another run. He'd made one already too so this would be a third run. The night we lost my first Dominix was still fresh on my mind as I departed for our static again. This is what I do after all, I kept telling myself.
My first jump from Nisuwa to Kedama went without a problem. There was no one on the Kedama side of the gate so I warped under cloak to the Tama gate. As I landed on the gate there appeared to be a gate camp of Merlins and Thrashers - an alpha fleet I was informed on comms.
I jumped on landing as is best practice (in my book) and immediately warped cloaked for the Nourvukaike gate. As I landed on that gate, the last thing I saw as I jumped was a Thrasher from the camp following me. I wasted no time getting docked up in Jita IV.
That's when the true definition of home began to trickle into my brain. As I sat in Jita IV with a full load of needed cargo, I pondered just waiting for the next day's static and hoping it would not be a 30 jump haul (it would have been BTW.) Then a good friend of HBHI, Sov for short, joined voice comms.
What's up?" he asked.
"Stuck in Jita," I replied. The situation was quickly related to him.
"Tur, do you have an armor 'cane?" he asked. Things began to change quickly after that. Sov is a very experienced FC I'm told. I can believe it now.
Soon I was sitting cloaked at a safe in Nourvukaike aligned on the Tama gate and waiting for my fleet to make the route to our K162 safe. When all three gates were confirmed clear (the camp had cleared out,) Sov ordered me to proceed through the Tama gate and immediately warp to a safe Tur had set up. There was a big red Megathron on the high-sec side of Tama but I was through before I got a name or he a lock. On the next gate a Tempest showed some interest in one of our fleet ships, but I was already past and we simply warped on.
This is how it went all the way back to Serenity station, the HBHI POS. I landed inside the shields, off loaded my cargo and realized I was home. But it isn't the station. It isn't the wormhole. It isn't simply the sky or the life of a capsuleer.
Home is belonging. It is camaraderie. It is being with a group of people willing to lay down their implants to aid my safe return. It is sharing danger and sharing profit. It is sharing knowledge: Sov's knowledge of PvP; HBHI's knowledge of WH life; my knowledge of industry. Some times, it's simply floating inside the POS and shooting the shit. It's the final exchange of the evening (paraphrased for brevity,)
Corp mate: "Break, break: we have talk in local."And we did. It did not matter where it was. It only mattered that we were there together. We were home.
Typed in local by a tourist: "Nice wormhole we'll take it."
Corp mate: "Faction scum."
Mabrick: "Want to reship and take care of him."
Corp mate: "Nah. He can't do anything here. We should just ignore him."