This disheartening news comes directly out of the Eve Online community in which I am still a part of.
I saw a tweet go out on Twitter by The Mittani this evening:
@TheMittani: Joys of #eveonline: one of my directors is stationed in Benghazi, goes 'oh shit gunfire' on jabber, then we see this: http://t.co/2CMkDXSJ
Less than three hours later another tweet by The Mittani:
@TheMittani: uh oh. http://t.co/t5fpMaKi
Shortly there after tweets of "RIP Vile Rat" were starting to go out among the #Eveonline and #tweetfleet hashtags on Twitter. My first thought was: "Is this real? What the hell is going on?" Surely it can't be. What are the chances?
I started to look around on the Eve-O forums, Kugu, Failheap, nothing. Not a fucking word anywhere outside of Twitter. It just so happened that the Podside podcast was going live and I tuned in. Pukin and some of the other guys are part of the CFC and started the show off with confirmation saying the The Mittani has confirmed that the person killed in the Benghazi, Libya, U.S. consulate attack was non other that Eve's very own Vile Rat, or Sean Smith as known in real life.
Wow. It really is a small world, isn't it? What are the chances? So many questions, so few answers. There just are no words. What does one say?
I never knew Vile Rat, in game or out. I wished I had. It is people like him, from the sounds of it, that pull us all together. Sure, we all may have our differences, but we are all people behind these avatars. We are fellow countryman, at very least fellow humans. Despite one's stance on a particular issue it is a true diplomat, a true hero, that can unite one another toward a common ground. This sounds like what Vile, nay, what Sean was all about. Even in his passing he is pulling together a community. Although separated by lines on a map, pulling them, us, together for the common good of everyone.
It seems as though Vile Rat's in game persona was equally matched by his real life duty. This man was serving his country and the world in a diplomatic way to try and better the world for future generations. Whether he was an IT consultant/technician or a janitor the man was risking his life for us. We own him a debt of gratitude that is unpayable. This is the definition of a hero.
To the family of Sean,Goonswarm,CFC, SMA,TEST,HBC, and the Eve-online community in-general; My sincerest condolences go out to all of you.
While writing this a tribute to Vile Rat was released by Space Monkey Alliance.
Rest in Peace
9/11/01 - 9/11/12 Never Forget