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Peace on Earth...

…Good will toward Man. That’s the single-most oft-repeated theme in all Aura’s pulled up regarding the ancient tradition called “Christmas.” Based on the holofiles she’s retrieved, Christmas looks like it was a time of year when everyone could (more or less) set aside their differences. They would draw closer to the ones they loved and forget about their conflicts for a week or so, celebrating their lives together. They would exchange gifts with one another and exalt more in the giving than in the receiving. It sounds crazy, doesn’t it!

¶ Peace on Earth, good will toward Man. A novel concept, to be sure. It’s too bad that Earth is galaxies beyond our reach, now, and that the EVE Gate is closed forever. Because here in New Eden, the calendar month of December is no different from any other calendar month.
¶ There is no peace. There is no good will, especially not toward Man. The Amarr still take their slaves. The Matari still commit their acts of savage retribution. The Caldari still subjugate. The Gallente… well… I don’t really know WHAT the Gallente do, but I’m sure it’s violent and it has to do with drones. Anyway, the specifics aren’t important. The fact remains that good will toward Man is the last thing on anybody’s mind.
¶ Now, seeing as I knew I wasn’t going to get one of these ‘Christmas Presents’ Aura’s holofiles spoke of, I set out the other night to salvage the wrecks left in my corpmate Niques Leutre’s wake. It was going to be a long flight from Molden Heath to Lonetrek in my Thrasher, lovingly christened “LoLArtys” but fitted with only salvagers and tractor beams this night, but for the money that stood to be made it was worth it. I had no idea just how much money I was about to make!

Maybe I DO get a present!

¶ I was in The Citadel on the eighteenth or ninteenth jump of my twenty-nine jump journey when, as I scanned the overview for the next stargate in my route, I saw two smoldering wrecks just a few kilometers to port. Closer inspection revealed that one was an Iteron V and the other a Harbinger-class battlecruiser. This looked interesting! Yet closer inspection revealed that the Itty wreck had an unknown amount of cargo still safely tucked away inside of what remained of her cargohold. Knowing that I wouldn’t have much time, I told Aura to take us to within fifteen hundred meters of the broken Iteron V while I kept an eye out for pilots from the wreck’s parent corporation. When I was close enough to open the cargohold, though, I couldn’t have cared less who was there.
¶ The first thing I saw, neatly stacked in a transparent aluminum crate, was one thousand alloyed tritanium bars. A thousand of them. I nearly swooned in my capsule, but Aura’s continual alerts of unidentified vessels arriving on the scene kept me moving. Knowing that my Thrasher only had four hundred cubic meters of carrying capacity, I scanned through the wreckage and grabbed the most expensive things I could find. The trit bars, a half-dozen Tech-2 1400mm guns, a Domination 10MN Afterburner and some other salvage. With my hold nearly full, I warped to the next gate, jumped, and warped to the next gate after that. I ran two systems and docked to wait out the 15-minute countdown and catch my breath.

…Seemed like a good idea at the time.

¶ Just then, the interstellar comm lit up and Aura identified the pilot wishing to speak to me. This wasn’t the same guy as the one who used to own an Iteron V, so I looked him up - sure enough, not even in the same corporation. I accepted the convo, and it turns out that this capsuleer had actually been the former owner of the Harbinger whose wreck I also saw at that stargate. Without going in-depth about it with Aura’s word-for-word transcript of the conversation, suffice it to say that this guy had suicide ganked the hauler and had the misfortune of having his buddy’s own cargo ship warp in at over thirty klicks away. Tough luck.
¶ Now, I knew that about the only thing of any value that I’d left on that Itty wreck was forty-three units of Morphite and a handful of T2 frequency crystals. And here’s this guy, a pirate like myself, who had just sacrificed an easy sixty million ISK worth of fitted battlecruiser, a thirty mil loss if he was smart and bought Platinum insurance. And all he was going to gain was ten million ISK or so from the dregs of cargo I left behind.
¶ And here’s me, having just read some ancient cultural history about the origins of my people. This guy didn’t mention ‘Christmas’ one time during the entire conversation. Probably never heard of it… more than likely never will. But I’ve heard of it.
¶ I sold everything that could be sold directly to a buy order and pulled in over 350M. In keeping with this “Christmas Spirit” that was referred to in the tales, I gave the suicidal pirate 100M for his troubles. The rest went toward putting together a shiny new Hurricane-class battlecruiser for myself and I am currently looking at the viability of a medium control tower for my corporation to use as an office down in our alliance’s sovereign space.

Merry Christmas, everyone. May the new year be profitable for us all.

-Havo out.