There's a problem that 'carebears' have when they venture into piracy - they feel guilty when they kill other pilots who aren't experienced at combat.
These poor, innocent souls aren't combat veterans, and they often know nothing about how to properly fit their ship. They're the wrong people in the wrong ship in the wrong place at the wrong time.
And it feels wrong to kill them.
When we DO kill them, these innocents without a clue, we feel guilty. We feel sorry for them, for all the work they've put into whatever it is they've been doing. Their emotional attachments, their naivety, their pure innocence. They lose so much when we take it from them.
How can we NOT feel guilty?
We used to be them, and we know how it feels to have someone attack us because we were weak, because we were new, because we didn't know how to defend ourselves. We used to be them, and now we're doing to them what was done to us.
The cycle continues, and it shall always be this way.
Oh, don't get me wrong. I have no issues engaging in combat with someone who is looking for a fight, who has fit their ship for war, and who is a veteran of many battles. In this case it's a dance of skill and wits. May the better pilot win!
No, my issue - and the issue of so many other 'carebears' - is the blatant destruction of the young pilot in their first battlecuiser, who has been flying only missions. Or the young trader or hauler who has never even fought an asteroid battle in his life.
When these naive fools venture into lowsec because they don't know how harsh it is, they can lose so much, and we feel so guilty.
I've gone through a few stages of 'growth', I guess you could call it. I know I'm not a bad person, I'm not evil. And so I've been trying to come to terms with this blatant killing of innocents. How do I console myself over what I'm doing?
Of course, I could stop doing it, but then I remain the same naive fool that I've always been. That's not an option. So there has to be another way.
I realised it only recently, when I was writing a previous post. I'm helping these young pilots grow.
These pilots are fresh out of flight school, or trader's academy, or miner's classes, or whatever it is they've been doing. CONCORD has been protecting them from the harsh realities of life outside of Empire space, and this protection has made them weak.
In order to grow, they need to learn how to protect themselves, how to find strength in their souls - and in their ships. They need to learn tactics, strategies, and the best way to achieve success in their lives.
Without hardship, there is no growth. We provide them with the hardship that they need to grow.
And if they can't find it in themselves to grow from their experiences, then we have helped them learn their limits. They will either return to the safety of CONCORD, living fearful lives, or they will find their strength and carve out their place in this harsh galaxy.
Or they'll quit and retire from piloting, returning to their life before they jumped in a ship.
Either way, we have helped them.
Immortality is there for all capsuleers. Dying in space is not permanent, it's just part of the ongoing cycle of life and death for those of us who are privileged. It's only through repeated death that they learn it has no significance. It's only through repeated financial loss that they learn to adapt their money and asset management.
We help them more than they will ever realise.
We help them become us. We shape them to be the best they can be. We become the best WE can be in the same process.
Kill someone today, and tell them "You're welcome."