I never thought I would see the day come.
I was in the process of moving a battleship to CHAOT HQ and knowing that I was going the long way through Hi-sec (getting popped in Auga or Kourmonen would just suck) I set the auto-pilot and spent time chatting with alliance mates, Montreal mates, surfing them internets, anything to distract me during the long trip. I finally get to HQ, which is then assaulted by a 25-30 man Provi-Bloc gang who tried a funny but failed attempt at Local smack-talk, being opposed by a few experts at the art. But as I'm happily trading smack blows in Local, the EVE MTL channel starts blinking and a quick check tells me that not only is the message for me, but the news it carries is almost shocking:
"Yo Coz... no more BOZO... going to sleep"
The fat-cocked, face-raping monster of Curse running out of spunk? I could barely believe it. I then tried to reach Icelandic BOZO Cerui Tarshiel to get a bit more info on the subject, but our messages were a bit sporadic as night time was creeping up on Reykjavic, and Cerui was in his own words semi-afk. But the small bit of information was clear: Clown Punchers is Queb's and Teister's baby; it can survive one of them going on a sabbatical for a while, but not both at the same time. This is pretty much all I got from Cerui as I had to leave the house, but as shocking as it was to have the confirmation, I will admit that it's something I did see coming. A few weeks ago I had a short stay in Curse, and in the same constellation as BOZO. So of course, me being me, I just had to do the dangerous thing and fly over there and trade some smack-talk with the best in the business. It helped that I had dozens of bookmarks in the 5E-VR8 system alone! When the system loaded I was almost appalled at the number of players: only 5 BOZOs (2 of whom I didn't know) and a couple reds. That was it. As much as trading smack for a couple minutes was very fun, it wasn't the smack assault I was expecting. I had noticed that the BOZO killboard had been getting a lot more quiet lately but had no clue as to how bad the quietness had spread.
To give a short history lesson, Clown Punchers was formed by the more PvP inclined members of Queb's AMC alliance (yes, currently Letrange's AMC) and Teister's UFA. According to T and Q, when the two of them met somewhere in Molden Heath space something happened kinda like when a bee meets a flower and pollen starts flying everywhere. After what must have been the roughest instance of man-sex the two were now joined at the nut-sack and it was together that they decided to get away from what they hated the most about EVE which was industrialism (though I know Q did his own little thing but never at Letrange's level), carebearism in all its forms, POS/Sov warfare (pre Dominion... remember those days?) and alliance democracy. They wanted to concentrate on that one oh so beautiful activity, skirmish warfare PvP. And they had every reason to want to do this because they excelled at it. When I was a new-born EVE player and got thrown into BOZO's lazer-shark pool it was already evident how tight a ship these guys wanted to run. They were pushing us pilots hard, but they were pushing themselves just as hard, maybe even harder. The killboard stats spoke for themselves.
Without wanting to be too critical, this is probably what lead to the BOZO engine running out of gas. When I first left BOZO I was sad about it for a bit because these guys had taught me so much, and yet I knew that my real-life buddy would need all the help he could get in shaping what was essentially an industrial alliance into one that could be combat-ready when the call came for it. T and Q may not know it but they did indirectly play a certain part in AMC's transformation from carebear to kodiak. And the second time I left had nothing to do with them being bad or anything, but everything to do with me not being able to keep up the frantic pace they had gotten into in my 6-month absence. But I'm afraid that this relentless pace simply could not be kept indefinitely without something breaking.
So is this the end of the self-proclaimed Big Fat Hairy Apes of Rape? Frankly I sure hope not because EVE needs corporations and alliances that are so dedicated at quality PvP. You see, unlike most gangs roaming around out there, they were extremely organized and the fleets flying as a single cohesive force. And when they found themselves facing a larger enemy, they did not run from it... they ran AT it! And somehow they found a way to come out on top. One of my first experiences as FC saw my T1 Jihad fleet holding the ground against a gang that should have killed at least half of us. At another time we held the ground with mostly noob ships after our T1 rides had died. Or one of the best ones: our mangled BOZO pod fleet is coming back to the then HQ at Jorund after a big scrap with the Provi-Bloc (them again!) and we're to arrive from the low-sec entry system of Sendaya, only the gate is camped on the Doril side. Teister, in a brilliant stroke of timing, called for whoever was active in Jorund to form up on the Doril gate, while the pod fleet sits at a safespot in the system just before Sendaya. When everything and everyone was in place, T had the pod fleet jump into Sendaya and warp straight to the Doril gate, and as soon as we landed he called for everyone to storm Doril from both sides. Seeing the massive BOZO spike in Local, the campers packed their tents and fled. Busting a camp with 10 to 12 pods... absolute brilliance !!!
I will not hide that now that I'm flying with another alliance, I was kinda of hoping to bring the fight to BOZO, hopefully to use everything they taught me to at least be on par with them, if not beat them. Now it seems I will have to wait a little before this clash happens. I know that I will have to spend this wait smartly if I want that clash to happen, because I know that when the Clown Punchers do come back, they will come back hungry. Let's hope I can give 'em something that's hard to digest!
Queb, Teister, I salute the fuck out of you.