The Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx brings a roundup of news from around the cluster as claims of conspiracy and plots emerge amidst concerns of a looming Triglavian invasion.
SOE Splinter Group Claims CONCORD Preparing "Safe Zones" and "Bunkers for Elites" as Invasion Fears Mount
Yulai, Genesis – The Pharos of Thera group, a splinter faction of the Sisters of EVE, has claimed that CONCORD is preparing extensive "safe zones" and even "planetary bunkers and other survival strongholds for the ruling elites of New Eden" in the event of a Triglavian invasion of New Eden. The allegations come at a time of rising fears that the inscrutable and mysterious Triglavian Collective is preparing to mount an assault on New Eden using "World Ark" super ships it is building in Abyssal Deadspace.
Pharos of Thera has often warned of covert activities carried out by CONCORD or the core empires, as with their YC120 claim that the DED's Special Affairs for Regulations & Order unit was engaged in bizarre experiments under cover of a timebase measurement project. CONCORD has declined to comment on "wild conspiracy theories" and will only "reiterate that our newly-formed AEGIS division continues to co-ordinate the ongoing response to emergent threats."
Criminal Conspiracy Alleged as Amarr Capsuleers meet with Thukker Renegades and Khanid Slaver
D85-VD, Syndicate – The Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx has been passed imaging data that purports to show a meeting held earlier this week between a number of Amarr Empire-aligned capsuleers, an alleged Thukker renegade group and the notorious Khanid slaver Orlon Zashev. Apparently held on the Intaki Bank Vault station in the D85-VD system of Syndicate region, the meeting is alleged by the Galactic Hour's source to be evidence of "a criminal conspiracy by liberal capsuleers to overturn the order of Holy Amarr in conjunction with Thukker renegades and a wanted criminal."
Amarr Capsuleers Meeting with Thukker Renegades and Khanid Slaver
The Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx has been able to authenticate the image despite some adjustments evidently intended to obscure the presence of one person in the system. Public routing data and locator agents on contract to the Galactic Hour's award-winning investigative team have confirmed that a number of the persons shown in the imaging data were present in the D85-VD system on or about YC121-05-14, the day it is claimed the meeting took place. The Scope's source has claimed that the parties present left separately despite this meeting potentially being related to a public auction of Orlon Zashev for bounty by the Seykal Expeditionary Group's Sesli Ashok.
Semiki Network Attack "May Have Been a Cover for Intrusion into FIO Data" Claims Whistleblower
Villore, Essence – A powerful network intrusion attack in Semiki was primarily aimed at penetrating a Federal Intelligence Office covert listening post operating out of the Aliastra Warehouse in the system, according to a whistleblower claiming knowledge of the Gallente Federation's investigation into the incident.
"The Caldari side's investigation has focused on the background and apparent motivations of the alleged perpetrator, Steine Vailakkel, and understandably so. But our side immediately focused on the FIO's covert post on the Aliastra station. The word from on high was that any sign of intrusion was to be reported straight up the line. When the investigation uncovered evidence of data-siphons running on the personal implants of FIO staff, all the hells broke loose. The hammer came down on the whole business and the Black Eagles got involved. Everyone on that post has disappeared into a black hole. If you ask me, Vailakkel was a catspaw for someone playing another game entirely."
The Galactic Hour's source has shared confidential data confirming their account via a secure and anonymous data drop. We would like to emphasize that not even Ret Gloriaxx of the Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx is aware of the identity of this source.
Allegations of Bribery Cast Doubt on Tribunal Proceedings over NOH and CBD Smuggling
New Caldari, The Forge – Bribery allegations have prompted fresh calls for the Caldari Business Tribunal to accelerate proceedings and fully empanel a corporate audit and adjudication board to deal with charges that Nugoeihuvi and CBD corporations engaged in smuggling during a CEP mandated Caldari-Gallente border closure. Media outlets controlled by the Ishukone, Hyasyoda and Quafe corporations have been airing claims that officials of the Caldari Business Tribunal have been bribed or approached with offers of bribes to deliver summary judgment to dismiss the charges under provisions of the Caldari corporate sovereignty laws.
Experts in Caldari corporate jurisprudence have noted that decisions based on Caldari corporate sovereignty laws are normally rendered by a full panel of corporate auditors of the highest rank. Caldari corporate auditors of the "extrajudicator" rank are given total immunity from specific megacorporate laws under direct guarantee of the Chief Executive Panel as extraterritorial adjudicators. The Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx understands that the focus of the bribery attempts was aimed at having the case heard by lower-ranking adjudicators who would not normally deal with corporate sovereignty.
In Other News
Royal Heir Arim Ardishapur Announces Tour of Ammatar Mandate
AEGIS Opens Tendering Process for Small Arms Contract
Sebiestor Chief Acassa Midular Visits Capsuleer Memorial Station in Colelie
Talks Between Chandeille Equatorial Zone Factions Break Down Threatening Two-Year Ceasefire
- Mordu's Legion Organized PMC Exercises Continue on Caldari Prime and Intaki V
The Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx brings a roundup of news from around New Eden as capsuleers across the cluster celebrate the 16th anniversary of independent capsuleer licensing on Capsuleer Day YC121.
Capsuleer Day YC121 Celebrations Across New Eden
Around New Eden the celebrations are getting into full swing as Capsuleer Day is marked by capsuleers, space-industrial corporations and baseliner fans and aspirants to the status of "The Elite" across New Eden. The Upwell Consortium has issued a strong profits notice in its regular assessment of business with the capsuleer sector, while the Society of Conscious Thought has noted the anniversary and expressed its hopes for "continued progress by the heirs of Jovian capsule legacy." Many festivals and sports events are being held in communities where "capsuleer fandom" is at a high level. Particularly notable events are the Jita 4-4 Capsuleer Day Mind Clash Open, the Hedion University's "Religious Poetry in the Empyrean Age" Festival, and of course the long-running "Cosplay as a Capsuleer Carnival" held annually on the Crystal Boulevard, Caille.
Amidst the celebrations, concerns continue to be expressed over the intentions of the Triglavian Collective as further intelligence is gathered from their gigantic constructions sites in the depths of Abyssal Deadspace. CONCORD itself has adopted a more conciliatory note towards capsuleers as the signs of a serious threat from the Triglavians have mounted, and the Inner Circle issued a note celebrating the contributions to "the prosperity and security of the cluster that have been made over the last decade and a half by capsuleers."
Ishukone Watch Concludes Oimmo Investigation
Malkalen – Final charges were filed today against the remaining co-conspirators covered by the so-called "Oimmo Investigation," according to an Ishukone Watch press release. The investigation represents one of the longest-running in Watch history. The operation began in YC110 and targeted Guristas infiltration of Ishukone holdings in the Mito constellation, primarily in the Hakonen and Oimmo systems. A botched Provist raid in YC111 compromised the undercover component, which allowed many of the subjects to flee or avoid identification. In spite of the Provist interference, the Watch was able to arrest 304 of the 351 suspects at the time. Pursuit of the remaining 47 was handed over to the Ishukone Watch Office of Special Investigations.
Ishukone Watch Press Officer Aimon Anttulen said, "With today's charges, the final three surviving perpetrators have been brought to justice. This should be a message to all criminals that the Watch will find you, and you will pay." Oswik Shimala and Raigaken Airiken are accused of being couriers for the Guristas organization in Mito. Cilis Tahiri was an Ishukone employee in accounting who allegedly gave the Guristas unauthorized access to Ishukone systems. The three of them were reportedly residing in the Republic, and the Watch has declined to comment on how they were apprehended or returned to the State.
Major Marko Sandan (ret), the original commander of the operation, commented, "While I wish I could have been there to see the last of them brought in, I always trusted that the Watch would get the job done. We always do."
Leak in Thukker Mix Reveals Next Gen City Ships
EZA-FM IV – Leisure Group publication Eagle's View published extensive documentation and video evidence of a major Thukker city ship project, late last night. The anonymously sourced evidence confirms suspicions that Thukker Mix and Core Complexion are collaborating on the construction of new city ships using technology recovered from several expeditions into the Rogue Drones regions. The source, claiming to be an engineer, says their leak was motivated by concern about the poorly-understood technology, which has a record of behaving unpredictably.
Timestamps on the digital documents date the start of the project in YC111, though research missions in the Rogue Drone region had apparently been ongoing for several years prior. Construction is stated to have commenced in several Great Wildlands deadspace pockets during YC114. Eagle's View has told the Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx that their investigation into the ultimate disposition of the "city ships project" is continuing.
Chaotic Scenes as Reborn Senator Assaults Suvio Bellaron
Villore – In extraordinary scenes, just before the Federal Senate convened for debate this morning, Senator Nakula Chattarak punched Senator Suvio Bellaron in the face, breaking his nose and sending him tumbling down the auditorium stairs. Senator Chattarak is a Reborn Intaki representing the Intaki system subdistrict and is Suvio's junior by several decades. When Senate gendarmes approached the two to restrain them from further hostilities, Senator Chattarak excused himself from Senate business for the day. Chaos ensued as Bellaron's supporters shouted for the gendarmes to restrain Chattarak, over the loud objections and wild gesticulations of opponents. Order was restored after Bellaron requested his faction to return to their places.
Senator Bellaron brushed off the affair as "a professional disagreement" and declined to file charges against Chattarak. "I'd rather not distract from the important ongoing discussions any more than Senator Chattarak already has," he commented. After the assault, Senate debate centered around a directive bill Bellaron had previously submitted to the floor, dedicated to abolishing capital punishment at the Federal level and imposing strict guidelines for its administration at lower levels of governance. Early debate has suggested senators from Essence, Verge Vendor, Sinq Laison, and Placid are receptive to his proposal, though observers were surprised when other Reborn senators presented strong arguments against the legislation. No further violence interrupted the session.
The Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx brings a roundup of news from around New Eden to GalNet as continuing transmission from Triglavian sources indicate increasingly ominous signs of what capsuleer explorers and analysts believe is an impending invasion from the Abyss!
Triglavian Transmissions Reveal "World Ark" and Star Survey Activity
New developments in the nature of data received via Triglavian "Semiosis Conduction Consoles" have emerged, with datastreams that apparently show the exploration and surveying of multiple New Eden star systems by mysterious Triglavian scouting parties. As has been the case for several weeks, capsuleers have been receiving transmissions that are clearly Triglavian and are sharing their analyses of the data with the public on GalNet. The latest and perhaps most disturbing development has been a datastream that appears to show a gigantic "World Ark" running through various checks and apparently confirmed as ready for action. Capsuleers now seriously fear that the Triglavian transmissions, and multiple reported construction sites of these vast vessels, represent a prelude to invasion of New Eden by the denizens of the Abyss.
CONCORD Places AEGIS Division in Overall Command of Response to Emergent Threats
In a related and welcome development to the unfolding Triglavian emergency, it was announced by Colonel Kasiha Valkanir that CONCORD's AEGIS division has assumed "command responsibility for investigation and response to related emergent threats, in particular those covered by Case Green Magic and Case Red Gamma." The Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx understands the "Case Red Gamma" coding to relate to emergent threats such as the Drifters and the Triglavians. It is widely speculated that the coding "Case Green Magic" refers to activities of Sansha's Nation and that intelligence has determined the forces of Sansha Kuvakei to be involved in a struggle with the Triglavians. If true, this would suggest a three-way conflict is ongoing in Abyssal Deadspace between the Triglavians, Drifters and Sansha's Nation. However, Nation forces have not been sighted by capsuleer explorers in the Abyss and the locations of the speculated conflict remain a mystery.
Colonel Valkanir, who is Provost Marshal of AEGIS, has also declared that she sees no reason "to place obstacles in the way of independent agencies operating within the law" regarding the Triglavian emergency. The Scope hopes that this apparent change to a more open policy will lead to concrete efforts to place more information on this critical issue in the public domain.
Calls for Noir to Be Stripped of Aidonis Ahead of Malkalen Disaster Anniversary
The upcoming anniversary of the Malkalen Disaster of YC110, on May 15th, is to be marked by a number of memorial events in the coming weeks, not least a capsuleer gathering organized by the Ishukone-Raata Enforcement Directive for this weekend. However, the run up to the anniversary has been accompanied this year by a reignited controversy over the Aidonis Statue that was awarded to the rogue Admiral Alexander Noir before his infamous act of terrorism 11 years ago. Calls to strip Noir of his Aidonis Statue were made in the aftermath of the Malkalen Disaster but the Aidonis Foundation ultimately decided to leave the matter as it stood on the basis of the award being made for his contributions to peace in the previous decades. However renewed calls to strip Noir of the Aidonis are being made again, with an influential op-ed piece raising the profile of these demands. So far, the Aidonis Foundation has not commented on these new calls for action.
Notorious Khanid Slaver Auctioned by Thukker Bounty Hunters
Orlon Zashev, a notorious Khanid slaver wanted by authorities in both the Amarr Empire and Minmatar Republic, has reportedly been captured by a Thukker bounty hunter group and is currently being auctioned to the highest bidder via GalNet. The Seykal Clan "headhunter", Sesli Ashok, claims that Zashev was captured by her group due to carelessness on his part. Amazingly, the former colonel in the Khanid Royal Uhlans, alleged war criminal and long-time slaver has proven to be ISK-poor and is the subject of a Republic Justice Department bounty of 500m ISK that Ashok described as "not all that" and "a bit low". Ashok and her group instead opted to auction their bounty target to the highest bidder and have apparently received bids from a variety of interested parties associated with Amarr and Minmatar factions. The auction remains active until the stroke of midnight Monday evening.
Suukuvestaa Launches New Achura Tourism Campaign in Minmatar Market
A major campaign featuring holographic displays of the verdant landscapes and ornamented towns of Achura (Saisio III) has been launched across the Pator system by Suukuvestaa's tourism division. Commuters in the Hukerenui township on Huggar (Pator III) may drive by billboards featuring Kasom Glades, and casinos on Matar's Jade Coast have started swapping classic slot machines out for Pensria Temple-inspired versions, which showcase dancing monks upon obtaining spiritually significant numbers. A commercial during a break in last night's Shifting match broadcast featured an animated Achura girl, Kanya Pongcha, smiling and singing as she skipped through the narrow streets of Chalerm township. At the end of the break, Kanya invited watchers to write down their favorite product from the Sukuuvestaa brand and send it to a specific GalNet address for a chance to win an all expenses paid vacation in Chalerm. Several audience members commented on how the character's facial features appeared to be exaggerated.
The targeted marketing effort is part of Sukuuvestaa's new tourism push for Saisio, aiming to capitalize on the recent celebrated achievements of Katia Sae, the Achura capsuleer who recently completed an epic journey around New Eden. As part of the initial roll out, Sukuuvestaa will be offering a limited amount of vacation packages, but a representative shared plans to expand the program depending on demand. In the coming weeks, similar roll outs will happen in Luminaire and Amarr.
Tragedy in Dam-Torsad as Famed Residential Aboretum Complex Goes Up in Flames
Late-breaking news reports from the Imperial City of Dam-Torsad on Amarr Prime state that a famous residential aboretum incorporating a number of noble estates has been the scene of a major blaze. Details are confused but several reports indicate that the inferno began in the vicinity of the estate of House Elkin and swept through the ancient and rare trees and plantings of that section of the aboretum complex. Authorities refuse to confirm or deny reports of arson and rioting but one eyewitness has told the Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx that several visitors to the arboretum "suddenly ran amok and then exploded into fireballs". The claimed suicidal firebombing attack is then said to have started a major blaze that destroyed much of the aboretum and gutted the main palace of the Elkin estate. Unconfirmed reports suggest that several members of the noble House Elkin are missing at this time.
Note: The Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx is reproducing this op-ed piece by syndication arrangement with the author and the Villore Clarion, where it first appeared on YC121-04-28.
When cameramen and photographers set up their equipment on a suburban lawn in early YC110, only an hour before the arrival of the chairman, they had no way of knowing how infamous the image of a smiling Admiral Alexander Noir standing on his front step, holding an Aidonis Statue would become. At the time, Admiral Noir was bestowed with the informal title of least controversial winner in the history of the award. The YC104 award of the Aidonis to Emperor Heideran VII was condemned by many in the press, and even the earlier decision to give the award to all the signatories of the Treaty of Tierijev became a matter of contention when that meant the statue went into the hands of the Chief Executive Panel - some of whom helped spark the war to begin with. In contrast, Admiral Noir had earned praise from across the very border regions in which he fought. Active members of the Caldari Navy had kind words for him.
When neoclassical architectural and concept artists came together to sketch out the first Nyx-class supercarrier design, they did so in the wake of the Yoiul Conference. This generation of young dreamers were the first in decades whose thoughts could alight upon peace, and the first flights of the fledgling CONCORD encouraged them. King Doule dos Rouvenor III, the Great Reconciler, had so many paintings of himself commissioned during his 36-year reign that each Gallentia World History textbook publisher could claim one for their covers and still have some to put on display in the Library of Outer Lyace. His scepter must have been literally right there, glittering in its faux gilt glory, tempting university students as an aesthetic muse. If there was irony that such a symbol of peace would be transmuted into a tool of war, it was subverted by the first Nyx, which never saw violence. The FNS Nyx finished construction after the end of the war. Its earliest iteration was poorly suited for the battlefield, packed not with ammunition, but instead with the latest in cutting-edge ergonomic and medical technologies. The Federation Navy put it to better use offering relief to wartorn systems.
How surprised both parties must have been on May 15th, YC110. Were they more surprised than the rest of us, we who have read about Noir and the Nyx, yet never saw either with our own eyes? They must have been watching the footage of the Malkalen shields failing when the FNS Wandering Saint passed the point of no return. We don't know how they felt, but we know how the Aidonis Foundation felt about it. “Despite whatever madness possessed Alexander Noir in his final hours, it does not erase the near-century of his work for peace. The Aidonis Statue was awarded for these efforts and will not and should not be taken away," according to the Foundation's board of directors in a public statement.
I suppose, if we wanted to determine the truth of such a statement, we would have to consider Noir's near-century of diplomatic work. Who can forget his passionate testimony before the Senate in favor of the State-Federation Crielere research project, which led to advances in morphite applications, field generation physics, and tech two blueprints? The halls between laboratories drew persuasive political powers such as a Jovian delegation, President Souro Fioritan, Ishukone CEO Otro Gariushi, surely establishing a stable foundation for further collaboration for years of, oh, I'm sorry. My teaching assistant has just informed me that project ended in ruins and Gariushi was among the several hundred thousand casualties of Noir's attack.
Perhaps our purposes would be better served by looking further back in Noir's career. Let us examine his deft diplomacy in the Tierijev Pocket. Tierijev was a single system under State control for the entire Gallente-Caldari War, in spite of being surrounded by Federation systems, which were inhabited by Federation citizens. During the war, it was a vast military complex, one way in, one way out, via a jumpgate that led deeper into State territory. Then one day the CEP and a Federation delegation arrived, signed a piece of paper, and the war was over. Noir was there to advocate for new jumpgates in Tierijev, ones that would link it to its neighboring Federation systems, and even suggested the framework for joint military administration of the system that led to its rise as a major trade post. In fact, let me check my notes -
My mistake. After the "Malkalen Incident," the State withdrew their Tierijev assets and redeployed them elsewhere in light of increasing tensions with the Federation. Bad example.
In YC110, the Aidonis Foundation could be forgiven for underestimating the consequences of Noir's “madness.“ Many repercussions will take more than a decade to see in full. In over ten years, though, and soon to be eleven, we have lived their legacy: war. Whatever peace Noir worked for, he has more than undone. The end of the first Gallente-Caldari War would have happened without his contributions. The beginning of the second would not have.
Doctor Felisenne Olvenari is a professor of political science at the University of Caille. Her seminal work, Communication Networks: The Lynchpin of Empires, will arrive in bookstores on May 10th YC121.
The Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx brings a roundup of news from around New Eden to GalNet as mysterious communications believed to originate from Triglavian sources continue to fuel speculation among capsuleers of an impending "invasion".
Capsuleers Pore Over Triglavian Data Routed to Holders of Semiosis Devices
For some weeks, capsuleers have been receiving data that appears to be Triglavian in origin and sharing their findings with the public. The Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx commends these efforts and notes that capsuleer deciphering efforts, combined with exploration of Abyssal Deadspace pockets containing vast construction yards, are the main source of information concerning Triglavian activity and intentions. When reached for comment, Captain Oveg Drust of the DED's SARO division said, "Capsuleer arrogance over these classified matters continues to wax strongly and has led to multiple incidents where CONCORD has been forced to put in place countervailing measures. Even now a capsuleer madman is attempting to provoke an incident in Pator and these meddlers in ARC, LUMEN and other capsuleer groups are essentially aiding and abetting him. This recklessness must stop."
Sansha's Nation a Target for Triglavian Extirpation Efforts
Military experts and posthumanist philsophers alike have told the Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx that Sansha's Nation seems to be a target for Triglavian hostility, with repeated references to "extirpation" of "hivemind corruption" and "hivelinked" entities. Dr. Umberto Pendulo of the University of Caille's Department of Posthuman Studies, and author of Meta-archaeology of the Epistemological Crisis, told us that, "There are significant indications of a deep hostility towards forms of posthumanity that involve so-called 'hive minds', which would presumably include Sansha's Nation and almost certainly their supporters." Colonel Cromwell en Sud, a retired Federal Marines officer, said, "If I were a capsuleer supporter of Sansha, I'd be getting worried. Mind you, if the Trigs want to take out the drillheads for us that'd be just fine!"
Public Debate on Death Penalty Spills Over Into Violence as Senate Procedure Stalls Bill
In the Gallente Federation, the slow passage of the "Bellaron Bill" aiming to outlaw capital punishment has allowed a substantial public debate on the death penalty to develop on most Gallente worlds. Senator Suvio Bellaron's bill was tabled for debate by the full Federal Senate but has been held up as procedural wrangles have resulted in it moving up and down the Senate schedule. Meanwhile, proponents of the bill accuse special interests from constituent states that retain the death penalty of using "dirty tricks". Last night, a rally to support the measure was held in the center of Clovis, the main federal city on Chandeille, but broke up in violent scenes as pro-death penalty groups clashed with rallygoers. Dr. Arturio Kiervalan, speaking at the rally on behalf of Aidonis Medical, told the Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx that, "I've seen political violence in many places, such as when I served in refugee camps in the Minmatar Republic, but it's especially sad to see it in the Federation. It won't stop this movement though. The end of capital punishment is coming."
Khanid Kingdom Still Pursuing Legal Remedies Over Fabai Constellation
The Amarr Imperial Court is reported to be the scene of a growing legal wrangle between House Khanid and two vassal families of House Kador over the disputed Fabai constellation at the Aridia border with the Khanid Kingdom. Recent events in Anath system, which involved Royal Khanid Navy forces relieving the system from a devastating Blood Raider attack, put a spotlight on the weak security presence provided by responsible holder houses. In point of fact, the title of Holder of Fabai has been the subject of a seven-year legal tustle between House Jakad and House Pashtim at the court of the Royal Heir House of Kador. The two vassal houses of the Kador family are now alleged by House Khanid to have neglected the security of Fabai while arguing over the holdership of the constellation. A source in the Amarr Imperial Navy's 7th Fleet has exclusively revealed to the Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx that the Khanid claims are not without basis, with the 7th Fleet having to "constantly fill in gaps in the patrol schedule that is supposed to be maintained by the local house fleets."
Amarr legal observers are divided on whether the Khanid writ of destraint will prevail but note that House Kador itself has directed all its efforts in Aridia into the Mayonhen constellation, and may be vulnerable to a transfer of the primary fief of Fabai to meet obligations under Imperial law. Aga-Count Alar Chakaid, a key party in the Khanid case, reflected on the relief of Anath and continuing instability in Fabai, "It was a tragic scene, particularly on Anath II, but my own Royal Uhlans and the Navy did what we could. Fabai is a valued neighboring territory for us in the Kingdom, and my own home of Zirsem is a but a few jumps away. So you can understand the horror with which we view the Blooder incursions, and the contempt we feel for those who, even after that vile raid, could not be troubled to prevent opportunistic Minmatar terrorists and Ammatar traitors from exploiting the situation! It is clear that under Khanid protection Fabai would be safer and more prosperous."
Caldari State Confirms that Special Security Measures in Taisy Remain Intact
Following a recent report of Guristas raiding activity in Taisy, notorious as the location of the "Kyonoke Pit", the Caldari State has responded to requests from the Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx for information concerning the raid, the apparent presence of a CONCORD AEGIS division monitoring station, and the security situation in the system and on the Taisy VIII, Moon 1 Kyonoke site itself. Responding for the Chief Executive Panel, spokesman Odo Hakaalen said, "The CEP is satisfied that State authorities and involved megacorporation security forces have maintained the integrity of the Hyasyoda-Kyonoke Superconductors Mine Pit on Taisy VIII, Moon 1. Caldari Navy forces and Home Guard units operating under subcontracted authority were not involved in the recent Guristas incident. Requests for information on that matter should be directed to CONCORD." The Scope has thus far received no response to our requests to AEGIS or other CONCORD divisions for comment on the Taisy raid.
Mordu's Legion to Hold Large-Scale Exercises in Intaki and Luminaire systems with Caldari and Gallente PMCs
Mordu's Legion has announced that it intends to host and hold a series of exercises in the Intaki and Luminaire systems in the coming weeks. These exercises will involve a number of private military companies, including Condotta Rouvenor, Isuuaya Tactical, Kirkinen Risk Control, Resheph Interstellar Strategy, Villore Sec Ops, and Zumari Force Projection. The annoucement follows on from last month's summit on Intaki Prime, at which Mordu's Legion gathered a number of Caldari and Gallente PMCs to discuss the private military and mercenary contracting sector across the State and Federation.
Order of St. Tetrimon Establishes a Chapter in Ammatar Mandate at Invitation of Lord Arim Ardishapur
Sources at the court of House Ardishapur in Ves-Arkon, Ardishapur Prime IX, have told the Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx that a new chapter of the Order of St. Tetrimon is being established in the Ammatar Mandate at the invitation of Royal Heir Arim Ardishapur. The new chapter is to be formed around a core of volunteers from the Mother Chapter of the Tetrimon Order and has apparently been given special dispensation to recruit new members from the Ardishapur demesne, which includes key systems in Domain and the entirety of the Derelik region. Rumours also suggest that Lord Ardishapur has given permission for the construction of a fortress-monastery on the planet of Halturzhan in Jarizza system, tasking House Ardishapur's 1st Mandate Redemptionist Brigade to provide engineering and logistical support to the Order of St. Tetrimon.
Krusual Tribe Celebrates Wildly as YC121 Matar Global Mind Clash Tournament is Won by the "Black Dragon"
Zirud Mikkela, the veteran Krusual Mind Clash player known as the "Black Dragon", has finally won the Matar Global Mind Clash Tournament after almost a decade at the top of the Minmatar Mind Clash tour. Mikkela's victory over three-times Matar Global Champion Effegod "Copper Snake" Xhoara led to wild scenes of jubilation in Krusual communities as their champion unseated the Brutor Clash Master. The Black Dragon will now gain an automatic place at the Mind Clash Worlds Championships to be held at the famed Grand Teigjon Casino at the end of this year's Clash season. For Mikkela, a Clash Master for ten years, the five-times Krusual Tribal Champion, and twice winner of the Matar Masters Series, his first win of the Global title that so long eluded him is surely the culmination of his career so far.
New Caldari Prime – Ishukone unveiled its latest addition to their New Caldari headquarters complex, Momoriyota Plaza, this morning: a major extension to the communications and viewing spire of the megacorp's primary skyscraper. As a result of this new extension, the towering edifice sets the planet's record for tallest building. It supplants the previous record holder, Kaalakiota, which has a campus a few kilometers away from Ishukone's central complex.
The Momoriyota Plaza is the anchoring ground for a circle of towering skyscrapers that rise several kilometers, all interconnected by transit tubes and skybridges. The design allows for the Ishukone corporation to occasionally tear down and replace one of the skyscrapers without interfering with the rest. The Momoriyota Plaza has a reputation for always being under construction due to the mega's historically reliable growth.
During the opening ceremony, employees living in corporate housing on the plaza expressed relief that the current phase of construction work had ceased. "It's a prestigious posting to be sure," one source said, "But is getting three meters more important than a full night's sleep? We've had constant autojet traffic back and forth, and these last months the plaza's been more of a launchpad for constructor drones than a pleasant park for workers to enjoy!"
Eyewitnesses across town reported seeing construction equipment being moved to the Kaalakiota campus only a few hours after Ishukone's opening ceremony.
The Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx brings a roundup of news from around New Eden to GalNet as the cluster's inhabitants continue to ponder the meaning of the message being broadcast by the Triglavians across stargate and station billboards.
DED Plays Down the Discourse's Claims of Declaration of War by Triglavian Collective
The Directive Enforcement Department has played down claims by capsuleer news program The Discourse that the Triglavian message constitutes a declaration of war by the Collective. Captain Oveg Drust of the DED's SARO division said, "This is typical hyperbole of the kind we have come to expect from the irresponsible group behind this so-called 'news service'. The track record of ARC Studio shows that it is really a propaganda outlet for an organization that makes a point of defying the rule of law and arguing for capsuleer rights to be supreme above considerations of safety and security for the rest of the cluster."
New Eden Public GalNet Services Disrupted by Triglavian Intrusion Resume Service on Backup Channels
Public GalNet services across New Eden have finally been restored to some semblance of normality after considerable disruption by the Triglavian cyber-intrusion that took over billboards and other communication channels to widely broadcast a message from the Collective. Backup channels have been resorted to by most GalNet content casters and FTL communications providers are exploring further measures to increase backup bandwidth and harden the security of primary FTL traffic backbones.
Escaped Slaver Remains at Large as Royal Heir Arrach Sarum Appointed Inspector General of MIO
As the notorious Khanid slaver Orlon Zashev remains at large, following his dramatic escape from Ministry of Internal Order custody on Thebeka III, it has been announced by the office of the Amarr Imperial Chancellor that Royal Heir Arrach Sarum has been appointed as Inspector General of the MIO. Formerly Constable-General of the Police and Border Forces under Empress Jamyl I, Lord Sarum has been given a mandate by Empress Catiz I to "conduct a root and branch inquisition into recent failings of Her Imperial Majesty's Ministry of Internal Order."
Semiki Station Networks Undergoing Compartmentalized Purge after Corrupted Remote Sites Cleared
Following successful joint operations in Semiki by the Ishukone Watch and Wiyrkomi Peace Corps to clear a number of in-system remote communications sites and navigation transponder beacons of corruption, a comparmentalized purge of station networks is ongoing. The situation aboard the Aliastra Warehouse and Zainou Biohazard Containment Facility stations has been officially declared "contained" and it is reported that "steady progress is now being made as the process of removal of outstanding malware infection continues". Aliastra Corporation has hailed the co-operation and assistance it received from involved Caldari State corporations as "remarkable and in the best tradition and spirit of the positive relations possible between the Caldari and Gallente peoples".
Federation Capital Punishment Ban Proposed by Bellaron Bill to be Debated by Federal Senate
Senator Suvio Bellaron's bill to ban capital punishment in the Gallente Federation has received a boost as the Federal Senate has moved it out of committee and tabled it for legislative debate by the full senate. The bill is gaining support within the Federation but observers believe the debate and voting will be close fought as federal factions opposed to change are joined by politicians representing constituent polities and states of the Federation that maintain the death penalty.
Triglavians and Zorya Continue to Trend on GalNet, System and Planetary Networks
Zorya Triglav and the Triglavians in general are still trending strongly on GalNet and local networks as a wave of "Trigmania" sweeps across certain societies and energizes subcultures all over New Eden. Responses to "Trigmania" vary from disdain among Caldari and Minmatar elites, through opportunism from Gallente popoliticos and chatfluencers, to disapproval and suppression in many parts of the Amarr Empire.
Order of St. Tetrimon Investigating Zashev Escape as Angel Cartel and Minmatar Infiltration Alleged
The Order of St. Tetrimon has confirmed that it is investigating the Orlon Zashev escape under its mandate to "investigate and rectify disaffection and heresy" among slave populations in the Amarr Empire after allegations of infiltration by Angel Cartel or Minmatar Republic agents. The role was conferred upon the Tetrimon Order by Empress Catiz I to relieve an overstretched MIO as a series of slave revolts took place across the Amarr Empire. Observers of Imperial politics suggest that the Orlon Zashev incident has sparked an internal dispute within the Empire's upper echelons that may have been brewing for some time.
Ishukone Corporation Archaeological Dig in Kaalakiota Mountains in Early Stages but Signficant Findings are Likely
With major clearance and environmental recovery work still ongoing in the CN Shiigeru titan crash zone of the Kaalakiota Peaks region of Caldari Prime, the Ishukone Corporation has repeated its confirmation that significant archaeological findings are likely but has noted that the dig is in early stages. "It's a little too soon to say more about what we're looking at in the crash zone but I can say that the Shiigeru's fall may have uncovered something remarkable," said Kuuoso Akimora of Ishukone's Cultural Capital Preservation division.
Remote Amarr System of Anath Subjected to Massive Blood Raider Attacks as Royal Khanid Navy Relieves Devastated Colonies
The Anath system in the Amarr Empire's frontier region of Aridia is reported to have suffered major raiding of its population by Omir Sarikusa's Blood Raider Covenant. On the basis of information from Royal Khanid Navy forces relieving the Amarr colonies in the border system of Anath, it has been established that the subsurface colony town of Ca'lik'bar on Anath II was totally depopulated by the first wave of Blood Raiders. Other self-contained colony towns and cities on the barren world of Anath II fared similarly according to initial reports. Colonies on the temperate world of Anath IV were also attacked, and allegedly bombed with chemical weapons using the "Deathglow" hallucinogen. Casualty reports from Anath IV are still coming and the RKN has established a security cordon in conjunction with the Imperial Navy's 7th Fleet.
Hukerenui township, Huggar (Pator III) – Representatives of the Galar-Yu Circle, the Brutor Tribe, and Riri Clan announced today that they had negotiated an agreement on the ndokassi relics dispute. The ndokassi had been discovered on lands belonging to the Riri Clan of the Sebiestor Tribe, however this area is also recorded as once being held by the defunct Great Clan of Kul-Brutor.
The discovery by archaeologists of the Vherokior Tribe's Galar-Yu Circle sparked a heritage property controversy involving the Brutor and Sebiestor tribes that threatened to become a controversy at the Tribal Council. The revelation that the ndokassi contained hapa mold used for traditional purposes by both the Krusual and Nefantar tribes seemed likely to draw them in and widen the dispute.
However, Riri field-keeper Yumi Gaunarr played a key role in forging an agreement through consensus as representative of her clan and custodian of the lands. As part of the arrangement, the Riri Clan will receive an allocation of the relics, which Gaunarr confirmed would be donated to the Hukerenui Cultural Museum. Until such a time that the museum has installed appropriate storage and preservation equipment, their fragile ndokassi will remain in the Galar-Yu Circle's off-planet research facility.
"It is true that historical ownership of those lands by a great clan of the Brutor Tribe was rather obscure. Our private archive contained most of the evidence pertaining to the matter," Ihumanoana Circle lead archaeologist Sukandi Bjokur said. Based on the evidence presented by the Ihumanoana Circle, the Brutor Tribe was granted two of the ndokassi. The tribe has granted custodianship of their ndokassi to the Ihumanoana Circle, releasing a statement describing the circle as "One of the Brutor Tribe's premiere archaeology circles."
"The circle appreciates the confidence that tribal leadership has shown in us," said Bjokur. "We did, in fact, recover the spores of the hapa mold from one of the ndokassi granted to us. Unfortunately, we've discovered that in the time between their extinction and now, it appears a large segment of the population developed a strong allergy to the spores. They gave our research interns burning rashes and watery eyes.
"We are unsure if the mold, separate from its spores, is also an allergen. Nevertheless, in the event that we are able to grow a sustainable colony, we are willing to share the mold with the Krusual and infant Nefantar tribes. This is an important part of the Brutor Tribe's cultural legacy, so work will continue."
During the delicate negotiations, lead archaeologist Gesila Fraemar of the Galar-Yu Circle was permitted to resign after her peers in the circle indicated that they would consider a request from the Vherokior Tribe for her dismissal from the group. The request highlighted her apparently disingenuous conduct in the acquisition of the ndokassi.
The new lead archaeologist of the Galar-Yu, Jonama Hadidi, announced that her circle had revised its plans. "It's most important to us that we try to recover even a small portion of the technologies and the techniques that were used in these wondrous relics. We hope that with the remaining ndokassi we have been granted, we'll have enough time and expertise to reverse-engineer at least the basic principles," she said.
As part of the arrangement, the Galar-Yu will be expected to share any discoveries derived from their study with the Ihumanoana Circle and Riri Clan. Whistleblower Aratera Kurn, another member of the Galar-Yu Circle and a graduate student from the Republic University, has apparently been given a commendation by the peers of the circle and acquired increased status in the group.
Yulai – There were extraordinary scenes at a press conference called this morning by CONCORD to address reports of growing Drifter activity across New Eden, as it was disrupted by an argument between the Scope's Ret Gloriaxx and Amarr Delegate to the Inner Circle, Captain Marshal Sirdan xer Qosh. The presser took a discordant turn during the Q&A when Ret Gloriaxx of the Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx, asked for comment on Drifter and CONCORD activities in Semiki system.
The press conference at CONCORD's Yulai X DED station began with a statement from Sirdan xer Qosh confirming that CONCORD and the major empires had detected a growth in apparent Drifter activity since before the end of YC120, primarily marked by an increase in the "unidentified wormholes" that are the signature of Drifter incursions into New Eden known-space.
Accompanying Delegate xer Qosh at the conference was Captain Oveg Drust, of CONCORD's Case Red Gamma Taskforce, and Provost Marshal Kasiha Valkanir, head of the AEGIS division responsible for spacelane security. Captain Drust, recently in the news over the "Semiki Incident" reported that "counter-measures aimed at reducing Drifter capacities have been developed and, we can now report, are being rolled out with considerable success."
Provost Valkanir reported that AEGIS had taken part in "operations to increase the security of New Eden's space in line with the remit of my division." The head of AEGIS also noted that her division's remit had been extended to include "security actions" on all forms of space infrastructure covered by the Yulai Convention, as well as spaceship traffic.
Delegate xer Qosh, summing up, said, "CONCORD's police and security forces have the primary role of ensuring that New Eden's space is secure and peaceful under the mandate given us by the assembly of member states. We will brook no interference with this duty and will always act first and foremost in the interests of the populace at large. As such, we have no comment on broader issues but will take questions of clarification on our report today."
The ACN's Zara Serir asked for details on the impact of CONCORD operations on the Amarr Empire and was assured by Captain Marshal xer Qosh that the Empire's security was being "enhanced by CONCORD forces, primarily consisting of Imperial service personnel seconded to DED, working with elements of the Imperial Navy." Yasda Hadoka of the NoH News Network made a similar enquiry regarding the Caldari State's security, to which Provost Valkanir responded with assurances that State and Megacorp security forces were involved at all times.
Ret Gloriaxx of the Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx then asked for an account of CONCORD operations in Semiki and the presence of Drifter forces in that system over the last few days. Captain Oveg Drust responded, "CONCORD operations are classified but it is a matter of record that Drifters were engaged and the threat neutralized, we do not consider the Drifter presence in Semiki to be unusual against the background of overall Drifter activity currently."
Attempting a followup, Gloriaxx asked "how can it be said the Drifter activity in Semiki is not unusual after detailed capsuleer reports on events there?" At this point, Captain Marshal Sirdan xer Qosh forcefully stated that "Capsuleer exaggerations and hyperbole do not inform or shape CONCORD policy and are not the subject of this conference." Gloriaxx reports that xer Qosh then "bellowed" for the "next question".
With the voice pickup focusing on another journalist, Gloriaxx shouted his question again, adding "why are CONCORD so afraid of capsuleers?" Several reporters present agree that Sirdan xer Qosh then "gesticulated" while shouting something that recorders partially picked up as "not afraid of meddling degenerates" before Provost Valkanir stepped forward and closed the press conference amidst scenes of confusion.
In related news, Semiki system is still the scene of a major information systems intrusion incident on the Zainou and Aliastra stations, with the Wiyrkomi and Core Complexion stations reporting increasing attempts at remote intrusion by the infowar virus that was unleashed a month ago. SCC specialists have confirmed that the Semiki-Antiainen gate and interstellar fluid routers remain uncompromised.
Yulai – Following an order from SARO Command Liaison Captain Oveg Drust that capsuleer organization Arakata Research Consortium [-ARC-] hand over its stockpile of over 20,000 Triglavian trinary samples, and a confidential appeal by the Caldari State and associated parties, current State Delegate to the Inner Circle and Ishukone CEO Mens Reppola formally argued the State case at the CONCORD Assembly today. The committee session handling the appeal was ordered to be held in the open after applications made by various media organizations, including the Scope, and with the support of the State delegation and other parties.
Like ARC, other capsuleer organizations including Ishukone-Raata Enforcement Directive [I-RED], Heiian Conglomerate [HECON], and Sapphire Interstellar Capital Holdings [S-ICH] have been collecting Triglavian and Rogue Drone research materials in response to a containment breach and the spread of a modified Rogue Drone virus in the Semiki system. Ishukone Watch Chief Investigating Officer Kauntora Itkaku had requested the materials to aid the development of a countermeasure prototype.
Ishukone CEO Mens Reppola introduced the Caldari State's appeal case at the Yulai Accords and Convention Arbitration Committee of the CONCORD Assembly. CEP Chair Kossinen echoed Reppola in making the Caldari State case and reiterated that the CEP recognizes the gravity of the present situation in Semiki. During the Assembly appeal, Officer Itkaku's testimony was significant.
"As far as we have been able to determine, SARO's interests in the research materials are predicated on a potential threat that could arise. The Zainou and Aliastra stations in Semiki are suffering the consequences of an active threat. Our quarantine has been sufficient for now, but quarantines, at best, slow the spread of a contagion; they cannot stop that spread forever. This virus has proven both resilient and adaptive. It can handicap a station mainframe and neural implants with equal ease.
"Our on-site researchers are under no illusions as to the real risk of a novel or exotic vector by means of which the informational virus could spread to the other two stations in the system, or even the star gates – they only hope that Captain Drust's unwarranted action has not delayed researchers so long that the virus has had time to evolve and overcome even our adaptive firewalling and other safeguards."
Wiyrkomi Peace Corps CEO Sekadama Roikikasvio confirmed that, in anticipation of the virus's spread, Wiyrkomi has been evacuating its non-essential personnel and sensitive equipment from its nearby testing facilities. Reports from Wiyrkomi specialists were submitted for the Assembly to review, which confirmed that since the initial breach, the virus has spread to all of the Zainou Biohazard Containment Facility's regulatory subsystems, including life support.
Specialists on the scene also estimate that the Aliastra Warehouse's subsystems will reach critical infiltration in the next month. There has been considerable work undertaken to firewall the Wiyrkomi and Core Complexion stations, so far with success as no disruptions or infections have been reported aboard them. Gallente capsuleers have been active in seeking remedies for the the Aliastra situation, including a petition to the Federal Senate from the Villore Accords grouping. Federation authorities have declined to comment other than to state that the Aliastra corporation's joining of the appeal was perfectly within their rights.
Captain Oveg Drust testified that he was unable to provide specific details to the committee, citing the sealed nature of the directive's codicils I, II and III and the need to preserve the security of Case Red Gamma Taskforce's operations. He repeated that "the containment challenges posed by a class A, class B or even a class AB incident are extremely grave," as he had stated in his original order.
The committee ruled in favor of Ishukone and Zainou, on the condition that any remaining materials in Ishukone or Zainou hands be turned over to Captain Drust and SARO after the development of a successful countermeasure prototype, as well as a copy of any research resulting from the use of the research materials. CEO Reppola accepted these terms on behalf of the Caldari State and associate parties, and voiced satisfaction with the ruling.
In related news, capsuleers have reported signs of increased Drifter activity across New Eden, including claims that Drifter battleships and associated Sleeper drones have been sighted in Semiki itself. The Scope has been unable to verify the Semiki claims but the reports of increased Drifter activity have been independently confirmed.
Huggar (Pator III) – A dispute over the fate of a rare cache of intact ndokassi artefacts has sharpened into an ethical controversy, after a whistleblower revealed lead archaeologist Gesila Fraemar's claim that the manifest had been corrupted to be inaccurate and allegedly a deliberate deception.
Aratera Kurn, a graduate student and member of the Galar-Yu Circle, uploaded an undamaged copy of the ndokassi cache manifest to the dark GalNet forum "the Core", this morning. Kurn's release follows the disagreement between the archaeological Galar-Yu and Ihumanoana Circles as to the rightful tribal claim to the rare Minmatar Empire era relics. A specialist in cultural land heritage in Pator, Kurn posted that the discovery was too important for her circle to claim for itself alone.
Responding to the leak, Gesila Fraemar of the Galar-Yu Circle claimed that her group was motivated by a desire to verify the manifest's listing as correct and "entirely uncorrupted" before involving other parties. Fraemar declined to describe her circle's efforts to confirm the manifest's authenticity and the ndokassi contents, claiming that the process was a "trade secret" using proprietary data reconstruction and scanning techniques.
Kurn has contested the Galar-Yu authentication story in a follow up post on the Core, and commented that, "It's currently impossible to scan the ndokassi and check the contents prior to opening them. Additionally, opening them would likely damage the internal mechanisms of the ndokassi and could prevent us from replicating the technology. This is a unique treasure from our entire people's past and it's a decision which should not be left to our circle."
The complete manifest suggests that some of the ndokassi contained spores of a fungal species, known as "hapa", that was had deep ritual significance in pre-invasion Minmatar cultures. For the Nefantar Tribe, the hapa mold was a traditional ingredient in the tribe's ceremony providing for new clans to be founded. The mold would be turned into powder and scattered on the site of the ceremony, acting as blessing to free new beginnings from grudges of the past. For the Krusual Tribe, the hapa was used in funerary rites after being ground up and mixed with a poultice, which then would be massaged into the departed's scalp.
Hapa mold is well attested in historical sources for being fragile, difficult to cultivate, and short-lived. Hapa is among a number of cultivated species that Minmatar historians charge were deliberately targeted by an Amarr campaign of chemical and biological warfare aimed at eliminating traditional Minmatar agriculture and cultural life. Hapa mold was believed to have become extinct during the occupation of Pator by the Amarr Empire.
Reacting to developments, Sukandi Bjokur of the Brutor Tribe's Ihumanoana Circle expressed outrage and reiterated his tribe's claim on the ndokassi, "I name Gesila Fraemar as a mountebank and a fraud. This is an ethics violation of the most outrageous kind. It's clear that the ndokassi must be given into our keeping, especially as the full manifest confirms that at that time the ndokassi were being stored on land owned by the ancient Kul-Brutor Clan." He further suggested that he would be sympathetic to hearing Nefantar and Krusual perspectives on the potential fate of the relics given the special cultural role of hapa in their traditions.
For her part, farmer Yumi Gaunarr, had strong words on the matter. "I was growing licorice on that land but some snobby academics showed up, flashed a fancy piece of paper, and ripped up one of the fields. I haven't been compensated and neither has my clan. Did the Galar-Yu Circle have a cultural recovery warrant or did they pull a fast one on me? By the way, it's not my land, it's a clan-holding and I'm just the field-keeper here. I say we should put the damn things in a museum, and I'm going to get my clan chief to petition Acassa Midular to make sure of it."
While Hukerenui township is an inter-tribal community and the surrounding rural lands are a patchwork of different tribal and clan holdings, the fact that the farm itself is a clan-holding of a Sebiestor land clan has drawn in yet another tribe to the dispute. Multilateral discussions on the matter between the involved clans and circles seem likely to be held in the coming weeks.
Huggar (Pator III) – Controversy has erupted after the Galar-Yu Circle, an archaeology group associated with the Vherokior Tribe, successfully unearthed a rare cache of ndokassi hidden beneath the fields of a farmstead in the rural outskirts of Hukerenui township and transferred them to an off-planet research facility.
Ndokassi are advanced storage containers, typically measuring a third of a meter on each side, that are known to have been in use across the Minmatar Empire, well before the Amarr invasion known as "The Day of Darkness". According to Krusual tribal records, ndokassi were capable of preserving biological matter for hundreds of years. The technology was lost at some point during the period covering the contact, invasion and occupation by the Amarr Empire. Several well-known examples exist in tribal collections but almost all are damaged and non-functional.
Lead archaeologist Gesila Fraemar confirmed that her circle had earlier recovered a data manifest listing the location of the cache and contents of the ndokassi from a related site, but noted it had been heavily corrupted, most likely due to electromagnetic damage inflicted during an Amarr attack. Exceptionally, the cache itself contained several intact and sealed ndokassi, although others appear to have been damaged and broken open by farming-related disturbances of the burial site. Speaking for the Galar-Yu, Fraemar shared their plans to open certain of the intact containers under controlled conditions.
The news has been met with considerable controversy in the Republic's influential and highly diverse archaeology community. Sukandi Bjokur, famed discoverer of the Kul-Brutor wind-traps on the Great Central Plain of Kulheim, condemned the Galar-Yu Circle's plans and called the conduct of the excavation disrespectful. "Before the invasion, those lands belonged to the Brutor tribe. The Great Clan of Kul-Brutor may no longer be with us but we are their kin right enough. Those artifacts are a legacy for all Brutor, and they belong to us. The Galar-Yu did not even consult us before digging there and they should return these precious relics."
Sukandi belongs to the Brutor Tribe's Ihumanoana Circle, which has a longstanding rivalry with their Vherokior counterparts. Conflicts between the two circles have often centered on cultural land rights due to the tension between the traditionally sedentary Brutor and nomadic Vherokior tribes. No comment on Sukandi's allegations has been made by the Galar-Yu Circle.
Semiki, Lonetrek – The situation remains chaotic on the Zainou Biohazard Containment Facility and Aliastra Warehouse stations in Semiki, after an adaptive virus infiltrated their networks a week ago. In the latest incident today, an unmanned internal transit car within the Zainou station accelerated beyond safety limits and derailed, crashing through several internal bulkheads and injuring dozens of residents.
Aboard the Aliastra Warehouse, employees with compromised implants continue to suffer a variety of symptoms, including lapses into fugue states and even short comas, lasting anything between a few minutes or a few hours. These symptoms have caused several incidents of employees collapsing while performing critical tasks, such as operating heavy machinery or performing first aid. Medical professionals on station fear the frequency and severity of these symptoms may grow without targeted treatment.
"One of the areas infiltrated by [alleged perpetrator] Steine Vailakkel appears to have been our rogue drone disposal facility, and our experts, as well as consultants from Itsukame-Zainou Hyperspatial Inquiries [IKAME], confirm that a great deal of the base code resembles an infectious rogue drone subroutine. However, the subroutine has been extensively modified, and standard countermeasures have proven ineffective," Ishukone Watch Officer Kauntora Itkaku said. "The modifications have made the subroutine behave more aggressively, while making it more effective at subversion and infiltration across a variety of platforms."
Capsuleer offers of assistance in the form of personnel and equipment have been refused for fear of contamination. However, after vetting, checking certifications, and rejecting those with criminal, pirate, and terrorist associations, Ishukone has permitted several employees of IKAME to verify Zainou's conclusions. IKAME is not the only capsuleer entity with a presence in the system, however Ishukone-Raata Enforcement Directive [I-RED] representatives have refused to discuss their activities with the Scope, citing operational security concerns. Other capsuleer organizations operating in Semiki include Heiian Conglomerate and Phoenix Naval Systems.
Ikomari-Onu Enforcement's Hageken Ku speculates that the attack resembles the one made on Holene Vailakkel because it may use the same base subroutine. "Rogue drone software and firmware has a reputation for being malleable. It's not easy to manipulate for specific goals, but when introduced to new code, it's very good at re-purposing. Sane experts avoid using it as a foundation for bigger projects because of its unpredictable nature; it's far more likely to backfire than anything else, the attack on Holene Vailakkel notwithstanding," he said. Ishukone Watch have confirmed the interrogation of Steine Vailakkel is ongoing.
"It would assist our researchers immensely if amiable parties would be able to gather and supply us with relevant research material, like rogue drone nexus chips, artificial intelligences, and other fragments of rogue drones. Additionally, any trinary datastreams," Officer Itkaku said. Officer Itkaku did not confirm if the alien modifications resembled the Triglavian Collective GalNet worm deployed several months ago, but he reaffirmed that the Watch and the Peace Corps are investigating every possibility.
Lai Dai released a statement asserting that Steine Vailakkel's employment had been terminated last year and that he acted without the knowledge of the megacorp, or any of its subsidiaries and affiliates. They declined to share his personnel file or disclose any information pertaining to his employment.
IKAME affiliated ARC Studio has additionally released an edition of The Discourse newscast on GalNet reporting on events from their perspective, while the Zaibatsu Associated News Institute has produced a survey of capsuleer activities since the crisis broke out.
Villore – Senator Suvio Bellaron of the Intaki system, proposed a new bill in the Gallente Federal Senate, today, aimed at abolishing capital punishment at the Federal level and imposing strict guidelines on methods of capital punishment for member state and constituent polity governments, legislatures and courts.
Senator Bellaron's bill comes in the wake of public outrage over the Jin-Mei nation's use of punitive exile, which critics accused of being little more than a prolonged death sentence. The proposed measure closely resembles another bill the Senator proposed in YC111 after the considerable outcry over the public execution of Anvent Eturrer.
In the Senate session, Senator Bellaron echoed activist sentiments: "As a matter of ugly necessity, we must limit the legal protections of those who break the law – that much is not in contention. I ask instead how many freedoms need we sacrifice on the altar of retribution. Some have decreed no right too sacred." To make his point, the Intaki Senator read the names of children evacuated from Lirsautton VI, who were innocent of the crimes of their parents.
Senator Faron Shu, representing Jin-Mei interests on the planet of Chandeille, accused Senator Bellaron of misrepresenting the situation. "The people sent to the cursed planet were not simple pickpockets. These were murderers. They were saboteurs who had committed treason. They were people too dangerous to remain confined in four walls under guard.
"That these criminals decided to perpetuate the pain they brought upon themselves is unfortunate, but it is no grounds for this trespass on the rights of sovereign governments and legislatures. The truth of the matter is that Bellaron is peddling his Intaki anarcho-pacifist ideology yet again and using the pain of the Jin-Mei people as an excuse to do so!"
Senator Faron Shu's reference to Senator Bellaron by family name alone was a breach of the rules of Senate floor etiquette and the chamber descended into chaos at this point. With the hour late and Senators from all sides refusing to come to order, Head of Senate Aulmont Meis adjourned the session for the day.
Semiki, Lonetrek – An intruder with alleged connections to Lai Dai broke into the Semiki IV Zainou Biohazard Containment Facility, and was apprehended by station authorities after accessing and sabotaging several station systems, the Scope has learned.
It is understood that the breach was detected in time to issue a station-wide stop and detain alert to all security forces. Allegedly, one Steine Vailakkel, 45, was apprehended under a false identity by an officer in the Wiyrkomi Peace Corps. Vailakkel is believed to have been attempting to leave the station via a shuttle facility maintained by Wiyrkomi to facilitate transfers of hazardous waste materials from its nearby testing facilities.
Early, unverified reports indicate Vailakkel may have had the assistance of one or more Zainou employees. Investigators from Ishukone Watch are still assessing the extent of the breach and any damage done. Zainou have made a statement that the wide umbrella of targets was likely intended to obfuscate the true objective of the operation. Requests for further comment were refused and questions on the investigation's progress referred to Ishukone Watch, Zainou's security provider.
There are widespread accounts from Semiki IV station residents of malfunctions in artificial gravity, communications, and internal transit. Sources indicate that a routine InterBus transport moving personnel from the Zainou station to a nearby Aliastra warehouse during the incident carried a digital stowaway: a malicious virus designed to target implants.
While the virus went undetected on the Zainou station, Aliastra employees often have brain augments which assist in tasks associated with their jobs, such as translations, team coordination, and mathematics. When the contaminated transport data-synced with the Aliastra warehouse network, the hostile code was spread to integrated staff. Affected individuals report severe migraines, dizziness, nausea, and double vision.
Ikomari-Onu Enforcement's Hageken Ku, a noted information warfare expert, commented, "Malware like this is mostly reported in rumor, as the required resources to develop it are exclusive to nations, megacorporations, and similar large actors. While general consensus holds that it exists, entities that develop it must avoid disclosure because such tactics are most effective when least understood. That being said, this malware does resemble an attack on Lai Dai physicist Holene Vailakkel, who has been in a coma for nearly a decade."
According to corporate records, Steine Vailakkel is Holene Vailakkel's spouse. The Lai Dai megacorporation has declined to comment on the matter. The Wiyrkomi Peace Corps are assisting with the investigation and have made available specialist security assets from their neighboring facility to Zainou and Ishukone Watch.
Thebeka, Domain – Accusations of opportunistic and illegal slave-taking have been levelled at paramilitary forces participating in counter-insurgency operations on Thebeka III, where a slave rebellion provoked by chemical weapon terror attacks is entering its fifth week. The sense of outrage among the Holders of Thebeka III has been heightened by the reported arrest of the notorious slaver Orlon Zashev, a former Sardar-Colonel in the Khanid Royal Uhlans alleged to have carried out war crimes and slave raids during the Vindication Wars.
Slave rebellions took place on several Amarr worlds a month ago, following terrorist attacks believed to be the work of the Blood Raider Covenant, although most of the uprisings were swiftly put down by local forces. The worst affected planets were the Sarum world of Alkabsi IV and Thebeka III in the territories of the Ardishapur Family. House Sarum forces were able to reduce the Alkabsi rebellion to a low-intensity and isolated insurgency shortly before the end of YC120. With all cities and vital infrastructure secured, Amarr military forces on Akabsi IV have been withdrawing to their garrisons as the Ministry of Internal Order and Sarum police troops deal with outstanding trouble spots.
The Thebeka III situation continued over the Yoiul Festival period and as a result has been the focus of much paramilitary and capsuleer activity. Amarr loyalist capsuleers from organizations such as PIE and the CVA have landed many troops on Thebeka III, under Imperial mandate, as have numerous other paramilitary and mercenary companies loyal to the Amarr Empire. Lord Khalil Numayr of the Numayriyah continent of the planet had already been reported as expressing disquiet at the continuing presence of numerous forces not directly loyal to House Ardishapur or its vassal houses. While Lord Numayr has not commented on the most recent developments, members of the Numayr court and vassal Holders across Numayriyah have complained of numerous incidents of illicit slave-taking during the unrest.
As the situation on Thebeka III has improved, with only the city of Dabara remaining a serious site of conflict, fresh accusations have emerged of paramilitary forces taking slaves from pacified areas where Ardishapur police and security forces remain overstretched. The scandal has exploded into open outrage among the local Holders with the reported arrest of Orlon Zashev in Sertene-Nauon, Numayriyah by Ministry of Internal Order troops. Some local Holders have claimed that large numbers of capsuleer, mercenary and foreign troops have contributed to a sense of chaos in their regions. Lord Caul Tol-Sarpol of the Trans-Dabara region went so far as to charge that "criminal acts of property damage, theft and abduction of servants have been carried out by foreigners claiming authority from so-called capsuleer 'lords' taking advantage of the situation."
For its part, the Minmatar Republic's Justice Department lists Orlon Zashev as their fifth most-wanted slaver and has filed a request through CONCORD for Zashev to be handed over to them under the terms of the extradition provisions of the Yulai Accords. It is highly unlikely that Zashev would be handed over given the strong protections Amarr and allied militaries have under Imperial law. Further impediments to such action would be the priority of any case the MIO has against Zashev, the likely inapplicability of CONCORD law to the Republic Justice Department's charges and the ongoing diplomatic tensions between the Amarr Empire and Minmatar Republic.
As direct fief-holder of Thebeka and its planetary bodies, Royal Heir Arim Ardishapur has indicated that the presence of paramilitary and other auxiliary forces on Thebeka III is no longer needed and evacuation of such forces should begin. Imperial authorities have expressed a desire for loyal capsuleers to concentrate on the security situation in Thebeka system's space.
Cardinal Sourem Itharen of the Court Chamberlain's Office said, "The additional forces supplied by loyal capsuleers to secure Thebeka III were most welcome but the time has come for them to withdraw. We remain most concerned by the presence of Minmatar terrorists, heretics, anarchists and criminal elements operating in Thebeka, and would wish loyal capsuleers to now concentrate their efforts on removing enemies of Amarr from our space."
Yulai – The Amarr Empire has confirmed that the recent appearance of Imperial Navy flotillas in key border systems with the Minmatar Republic are a response to the Republic Fleet taskforces sent to the Auga, Isbrabata and Vard systems.
Coming from a meeting of the Privy Council to the standing emergency session of the Inner Circle in Yulai, Captain Marshal Sirdan xer Qosh said:
"The Amarr Empire will defend its sovereign space with all the might at our disposal and with the force of law and God's will on our side. Her Sublime Imperial Majesty Catiz I has instructed the Imperial Navy to patrol the Ezzara, Kourmonen and Kurniainen systems in order to secure the border with the territories occupied by the Minmatar Republic under the Yulai Accords."
The Imperial Delegate to the Inner Circle went on to detail developments in the Empire following the chemical weapons attacks and subsequent slave revolts on five Amarr planets:
"Her Sublime Imperial Majesty's Privy Council has received full reports from the civil and military authorities of each affected planet. The attacks against Mabnen I and Sehmy III were appalling but order was swiftly and professionally restored by local forces. Serious disorder broke out on Dakba IV but order has also been restored there with the intervention of the Ministry of Internal Order and Theology Council. Again, this was done professionally and with minimal loss of life.
"As is well-known, the attacks on Alkabsi IV and Thebeka III were more serious and evidently aimed at provoking serious violence among the large slave populations of those worlds. It is true that in this aim the attacks on these two planets succeeded. However, rapid action by the forces of House Sarum and House Ardishapur, together with the support of the Ministry of Internal Order, Theology Council, Order of St. Tetrimon and loyal vassals, has restored order in most localities.
"The cities of Alkabsi IV are at peace, again with minimal loss of life. The ongoing rebellion in the southern continent of the planet has been reduced to a low-intensity insurgency following successful, and unfortunately necessary, assaults on the Kaba Hills mineworks, a tunnel complex that harbored some several thousand rebel troops. I wish to place on record holographic evidence of the exceedingly well-fortified and well-armed rebel strongholds in those tunnels.
"There is also news from Thebeka III, where the situation remains grave. The city of Dabara is the scene of open rebellion and has been placed under interdict by House Ardishapur. Happily, it can be reported that Lord Khalil Numayr has been recovered by special forces of the 7th Ardishapur Kameiras. The fact that Lord Numayr was kept from harm by the Numayr household slaves and his own personal Kameira guards has weighed heavily in determining the fate of Dabara. By order of Lord Ardishapur the city will be retaken. The example we shall make is that the loyal will not be abandoned. The heretics and the traitors will not force our hands.
"We expect the retaking of Dabara will take some time. Given the wise forbearance of the Lords Ardishapur and Sarum, upheld by Her Sublime Imperial Majesty, all should condemn the continued interference in our sovereign internal affairs by the Gallente Federation and, most especially, the Minmatar Republic. It has not gone unnoticed by us that the rebels were armed and ready for this sequence of events. We also have tracked many of the so-called Republic Justice Department's infiltration vessels across Amarr space and most particularly in Alkabsi and Thebeka. These attempts to destabilize the Empire must cease. We have acted with forebearance but also with necessity. We would expect nothing less from others should rebellion arise in their territory."
Gallente Federation delegate Devan Malate branded Captain Marshal xer Qosh's remarks as "repugnant excuse-making for brutal assaults on civilian populations and a grotesque attempt to shift the blame for the standing violence that is slavery onto the enslaved." The Gallente Federation is maintaining a sanctions regime against the Empire, Khanid Kingdom and many key Amarr officials and corporate entities.
In response to the accusations of infiltration, Minmatar Republic delegate Keitan Yun declared, "There is as much truth in the accusations of Justice Department rescue and survival enhancement missions taking place as there is in the never-ending testimony as to Amarr slave-taking being carried out under flags of convenience every day!" Challenged on his meaning, Ambassador Yun replied that his words could be taken "any way the Amarr Empire wishes to take them for they know the truth of the matter very well indeed!"
Varied operations in space continue on the part of Imperial and Republic forces across the border zones and, it would appear, in the Amarr systems of Alkabsi and Thebeka. Loyalist and allegedly rebel-supporting capsuleer forces have also been engaged in combat over the stricken worlds, with frequent skirmishes and several attacks on capsuleer structures taking place. The security situation in the Amarr Empire has also been confused by three ongoing Sansha's Nation incursions into imperial territory, with one at the Bleak Lands border with Metropolis. There are reports that both Amarr and Minmatar fleets have clashed with Sansha's Nation units.
Yulai – The Republic Fleet has deployed taskforces to key regional border systems in the disputed territories between the Amarr Empire and the Minmatar Republic. CONCORD's Inner Circle was given notice of this action by Minmatar delegate Keitan Yun.
"The Minmatar Republic cannot stand by and tolerate the recurring violent suppression of our brothers and sisters in slavery by the Amarr Empire. The Tribal Council has instructed the Sanmatar to mobilize the Republic Fleet and enforce a blockade of the border with the Amarr Empire. I must inform the Inner Circle that Minmatar taskforces have been sent to Auga, Isbrabata and Vard to secure the gates leading from Heimatar and Metropolis into the Empire."
The Amarr Delegate to the Inner Circle, Captain Marshal Sirdan xer Qosh confined his response to condemning the Minmatar Republic's action, describing it as "precipitous and a naked attempt to capitalize on the misery produced by Blood Raider terror attacks." Captain Marshal xer Qosh then left the Inner Circle session to consult with the Imperial Privy Council.
The Inner Circle remains in emergency session but the Scope understands that the meeting has been suspended as all core empire delegates are presently consulting with their respective national governments. CONCORD has confirmed that the Republic Fleet's actions are technically legal under the CONCORD Emergency Militia War Powers Act of YC110.
The Gallente Federation has issued a call for calm and negotiation, while repeating its stance that military suppression of slave revolts is "a gross violation of human rights and those perpetrating it remain subject to sanctions."
Caldari State authorities have remained closed-mouthed and the CEP's formal position is that the internal affairs of the Amarr Empire are not a matter for it to comment on.
Khanid representative Sa-Baron Alar Chakaid claimed the Republic's actions to be "a palpable smokescreen for their use of Ammatar traitors to promote insurgency and terrorism across Holy Amarr." The Ammatar Mandate's consular government has made no comment. The Blood Raider Covenant has not claimed responsibility for the terror attacks nor denied its involvement.
The Scope will continue to report on this situation as it develops with further coverage available in the Scope's GalNet bulletins.
Amarr Prime – Military and security forces of the Amarr Empire have been responding to yesterday's series of terrorist attacks on five Amarr planets over the past 24 hours. Reports from the different locales indicate a variety of approaches to dealing with the aftermath of the attacks, apparently depending on their impact and the posture of local authorities. Claims that the hallucinogenic Deathglow and mutagenic Insorum boosters were used in the attacks appear to have been confirmed by some planetary authorities.
The most seriously affected planets are Dakba IV and Thebeka III, both part of the Ardishapur Family's territories in the Domain Region, and reportedly experiencing widespread rioting in areas with high slave populations. Lord Eshvizir Tapur, Holder of Dakba, issued a statement condemning the terror attacks on one of his system's most populous planets and deplored the ensuing slave revolts. "These attacks are vile blows at the order of the universe but the metropolitan and continental Holders of Dakba IV will have to account for the collapse in the security situation. I am firm that proper moral guidance in the light of Holy Amarr would have prevented this kind of rebellion, regardless of the use of vile chemical weapons," said Lord Tapur.
On Thebeka III, attacks were concentrated on slave districts across the continent of Numayriyah, with considerable violence ensuing in the aftermath. The Holder of Numayriyah, Lord Khalil Numayr is reportedly missing, with his niece Governor Adila Numayr of Dam-Sertene co-ordinating the response. The city of Dabara is reported to be in flames, with Ministry of Internal Order troops exchanging fire with apparently well-armed rebel groups.
The attack on the Imperial World of Mabnen I is widely reported as having been thwarted by a combination of rapid security response, environmental safeguards and the high use of transcranial microcontrollers among the slave population in the domed and underground cities of a planet that is focused on mining and manufacturing. Sources in the Imperial civil service believe the attack on Mabnen I was a largely symbolic echoing of the devastating June YC107 attack by the Blood Raider Covenant on the planet. Successive Amarr governments have rebuilt Mabnen I with a view to preventing similar attacks, evidently with considerable success.
The Kor-Azor world of Sehmy III is also reported to have weathered the attacks without experiencing large-scale disturbances. Well-placed sources in the court of Lord Antem Ojir of Sehmy attribute this to the extensive use of transcranial microcontrollers among the Sehmy III population. Given the reports from Mabnen, the experimental evidence that TCMCs significantly reduce the impact of weaponized Deathglow would seem to be borne out.
The Sarum domain planet of Alkabsi IV was somewhat worse affected by the attacks and significant rebel activity has been reported. Most cities on the planet were quickly pacified by Sarum Family Police Guards but fighting in the mineral extraction fields of the southern continental outback is ongoing. A battalion of Shining Flame company mercenaries is believed to be accompanying a brigade strength deployment of troops from the 1st Sarum Royal Army with a view to "crushing all resistance to the rule of House Sarum on Alkabsi IV" in the reported words of Lord Arrach Sarum.
The Imperial Privy Council continues to meet in Dam-Torsad on Amarr Prime but has made no official comment other than to issue orders in council to the Imperial Navy, Ministry of Internal Order, Theology Council Paladins and other Imperial security forces.
Khanid Kingdom plenipotentiary representative Sa-Baron Alar Chakaid was more forthcoming, "These evil attacks against Holy Amarr are plainly the work of Ammatar traitors in league with Minmatar rebels and terrorists. The brute mentality of the Minmatar has always been to bite the hand that feeds them, whether that hand is filling their bellies or nourishing their souls. It is becoming clear that current policies on slave-holding, particularly in certain domains, are founded on deeply mistaken interpretations of scripture on the Reclaiming, the Chosen and even matters of economics. We in the Kingdom naturally stand ready to assist our brothers in Holy Amarr in these matters."
Amarr Prime – As the Amarr Empire's Privy Council met in special session today, a series of terrorist attacks were carried out on five Amarr worlds across the Empire. Reports of attacks on Alkabsi IV, Dakba IV, Mabnen I, Sehmy III and Thebeka III have been confirmed by the Scope, while Amarr sources indicate the mobilization of Ministry of Internal Order forces across the Empire.
Imperial Navy forces are said to be on high alert though no incursions into Amarr space are being reported. While the situation on the planets that have been attacked remains unclear, many believe these terror strikes to be another attempt to destabilize the Empire through chemical attacks aimed at provoking slave rebellions such as those that took place in Kahah.
Earlier today, the Privy Council continued its special meeting, called by Empress Catiz I to consider responses to the violence in Kahah and the ensuing sanctions levied by the Gallente Federation and Minmatar Republic. Attended by the Heirs of all six Royal Houses, the special meeting began over the weekend and had been characterized by vocal and strong opinion expressed by several Royal Heirs ahead of the formal sessions.
Speaking at the weekend, Royal Heir Arrach of the Sarum Family issued calls for renewed vigilance against Blood Raiders and other Sani Sabik heresies. "Recent attacks have struck at the heart of the Empire. It is complacency of the highest magnitude that we have allowed Sanist influence to return to levels preceding the purification of the Bleak Lands. The Empire must immediately launch a full investigation into these attacks, and the full force of Holy Amarr be brought upon anyone found to be league with evil." Lord Sarum is also reportedly furious with the Khanid Kingdom, though it unclear whether this is due to the Kahah massacres or the economic sanctions they provoked.
Lord Tunir Tash-Murkon indicated that the incidents in Kahah were unfortunate, but that the response was a logical reaction given problems with maintaining discipline over the Kingdom's slave population in the face of terrorist attacks. "However, we now have to contend with attempts to bring economic pressure to bear on us from the Minmatar and the Gallente. I feel sure the Empress will focus the Council's deliberations on a correct and measured response to misguided attempts to use interstellar diplomacy and economics to effect internal change in a sovereign state."
Lord Arim Ardishapur chose to point to the 24th Imperial Crusade as an example of growing heretical influences. "We live in a time of falsehood and the light of the true faith grows dimmer every day. When Holy Amarr represents itself on the battlefield with unholy mercenaries who perform twisted blood sacrifices in our name, should we not expect that God turns His gaze from us?"
The Kor-Azor Family was muted by comparison. Steward Aya Khema, who spoke on behalf of Royal Heir Ersilia Kor-Azor, said the Kor-Azor Family "laments the loss of life in the Kahah system and elsewhere," and joined calls for an investigation into how such large-scale attacks could have happened.
Given the developing situation on numerous Amarr worlds this evening, the position of the Kor-Azor and Sarum Families will be reinforced and observers of Empire politics believe it will almost certainly lead the Privy Council to recommend an enhancement of the Empire's internal security and military apparatus. So far, House Kador has remained notably tight-lipped and the Khanid Kingdom has concerned itself with putting down a number of smaller uprisings in the systems of Palas, Ashmarir, Danera, Gehi, and several others since the Kahah rebellion.