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.
Annaro, The Citadel – Everfresh, a partnership between megacorporations Sukuuvestaa and Quafe, announced its first contract outside the partnership today. News of the contract, which provides food services to Kaalakiota's massive creche infrastructure, preceded a slight bump in both Quafe and SuVee stock.
Currently, Everfresh is the primary provider of meal and nutrition services to SuVee's creche network. Comprehensive meal and nutrition services for megacorp creches pose logistical challenges beyond the cluster standard for children's meal plans. While a public school in the Federation or Republic may serve one or two meals on school days, an average creche within the State must be capable of supplying all daily meals, every day of the week.
An additional level of logistical complexity is entailed when specialized creches provide end-of-life care for retirees whose family prefers to defer their guardian responsibilities to professionals. With care for the elderly through a "return to mother megacorp" becoming commonplace, meal and nutrition services within the State must offer balanced plans for the elderly, as well as each stage of childhood.
Everfresh has managed to carve a niche in the creche food service industry beyond normal megacorp boundaries, with Quafe working to its strengths in food preparation and long-term planning and Sukuuvestaa supplying fresh ingredients from its extensive network of agriworlds.
According to Kiruma Wasakaila, a market analyst with Kaimon Partners, "Kaalakiota might seem to be an unconventional customer for Quafe, and the deal is probably more of a reflection of SuVee connections with KK, but the partnership between SuVee and Quafe is unconventional to start with. A deeper look shows that the combination of SuVee's enormous agricultural operations, and Quafe's expertise in processing and distribution have led to an overall drop of 3% in costs. And that's just for SuVee internally, once Everfresh replaced their in-house group."
SuVee's previous forays in the food preparation industry have been public relation disasters, such as the Protein Delicacies scandal of YC105. In the 15 years since then, the previously strained relationship between SuVee and Quafe has become professional and businesslike, confounding expectations of corporate conflict between the two giants.
While the full details of the Kaalakiota contract have not been announced, experts are suggesting the projected savings may be even higher due to KK's larger creche network, overall older demographics and considerable interests in veterans' retirement barracks.
M-N7WD III, Curse – Angel Cartel-affiliated planetary defense forces have been celebrating after "fighting off an attack by a suspected rogue drone" on the third planet of M-N7WD, today.
Sources among the local Salvation Angels group told the Scope that they believed the attack to be evidence of a new rogue drone swarm or even Triglavian Collective subversion of rogue drones in their space. Further investigation by the Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx, however, revealed the true story to be an even stranger tale than that.
According to evidence released on GalNet by residents of the M-N7WD III township of Hardscrabble, the purported "rogue drone" was actually a Hyasyoda Model 373 auto-combine harvester. Witness reports say the machine was in the small farming town's heavy equipment shop for maintenance when it suddenly burst free from the garage and headed directly for the town center.
The heavy-duty auto-combine then ran amok and did significant damage to multiple township buildings before local Angel Cartel militia arrived. The crazed farming machinery was brought to a halt after several rocket-propelled anti-armor plasma charges were fired into its control core.
Images posted to GalNet clearly show the serial number of a Hyasyoda Model 373 in several places on the seared, twisted and melted wreckage. According to purchase reports, the auto-combine was originally destined for Ihumoanopolis, Rens III, but the shipment was lost enroute. When reached for comment, Ihumoanopolis Deputy Administrator of Agriculture Luren Bear admitted to playing a role in the havoc in Hardscrabble.
"Yeah, I sent that auto-combine on a rampage. I was doing a check on our 373s and saw that one pop up as connected to the network. They must have been trying to do a software update or something so I hit the auto-recall. Hope it ran over some of those Angel bastards," said Deputy Administrator Bear.
The Angel Cartel declined a request for further comment. Hyasyoda representatives noted that any warranties applying to their products would be void in this case due to modification by an unaffiliated repair shop, uncontrolled exposure to explosive munitions and illegal export to a territory lacking the proper export-import licensing regime.
Great Caravanserai, Matar – The Minmatar Republic and Gallente Federation governments have approved trade sanctions against the Amarr Empire, as a response to the Empire's handling of the recent violence in the Kahah system. The Republic resolution, reportedly drafted two weeks ago, was announced by the Tribal Council to coincide with President Jacus Roden's signing of complementary Federation sanctions measures this morning.
"The Empire has long brutalized and massacred the oppressed under the rubric of 'pacification'," said Sanmatar Maleatu Shakor in his announcement of the Tribal Council's decision. "These are not the actions of a civilized nation. Until the Empire ends its barbaric practices, we will not tolerate further efforts by the Empire to normalize its economic relationship with the rest of New Eden."
When asked how the Republic would weather the loss of Imperial trade, Shakor said, "The Minmatar Tribes are resurgent. The loss of Amarr trade – which was never a significant part of our economy – only opens the way for new investors and the development of local, Matari enterprises. The Amarr have always wanted people to think that we need them, but the truth is we do not need them and have never needed them."
The sanctions aim to limit Imperial and Khanid access to Federal and Republic capital by freezing assets and implementing travel bans for select Amarr and Dark Amarr officials and Holders. Several hundred Holders and businessmen throughout the Empire and Kingdom are being targeted, with Lord Tunir Tash-Murkon, the current royal heir of House Tash-Murkon, the highest-profile individual to be affected. Other individuals include Zoar and Sons CEO Lady Ardamad Zoar, Khanid Transport director Isan Anmeal, Lord Toha Kojafi of Tash-Murkon bank Dharian Kojafi, and Lords Alar Chakaid and Soshan Fayez, who were involved in the pacification efforts on Kahah.
The sanctions extend to imposing severe restrictions on numerous Imperial and Khanid corporations, effectively preventing them from doing business on planets, moons and colonies in the Federation and the Republic. However, the measures stop short of infringing on the provisions of the Yulai Convention governing extraterritoriality of space stations and regulation of SCC markets. Among the businesses affected are Carthum Conglomerate, Imperial Armaments, Inherent Implants, Zoar and Sons, Dharian Kojafi, Nurtura, and clothing retail company Eternity Designs.
The sanctions also target major Khanid enterprises like Khanid Innovation, Khanid Transport, Khanid Works, Royal Amalgamated, and the Royal Khanid Bank, but these corporations, with the exception of Royal Amalgamated, have considerably fewer economic ties to the Gallente and Minmatar markets. The Royal Uhlans and the Khanid Kingdom's Asbara military elite, both major participants in the pacification efforts on Kahah, were also included in the list.
Though the Amarr Empire and Khanid Kingdom conduct a large portion of their interstellar trade with the Caldari State, a number of Holders and Amarrian corporations have continued to do business with both the Federation and the Republic, especially in the textiles, cyberware, and weapons manufacturing sectors. Trade growth has been limited, however, both by the Empire's protectionist economic policies and by their reliance on slave labor, with neither the Federation nor the Republic willing to deal in slave-produced goods.
The effect the sanctions might have on the Kingdom itself are unclear. The Khanid Kingdom was able to recover from the Caldari-Khanid recession of YC 108-111 thanks to the rebound of the Caldari economy and the negotiation of new trade deals with the Tash-Murkon Family, but its dependence on outside trade leaves it vulnerable.
Federal and Republic representatives have raised the possibility of imposing additional sanctions against Caldari corporations with ties to the Kingdom, such as Lai Dai and Kaalakiota corporations, but are wary of creating additional tension with the State. "We are considering other alternatives for applying pressure," said President Jacus Roden in reply to questions at the post-signing press conference.
Empress Catiz I has called a special session of the Privy Council to discuss the sanctions following the Federation and Republic announcements. Imperial Court correspondents indicate that preparations for a visit to Kahah by an inquisitorial tribunal that would have been headed by Royal Heir Arrach Sarum have been suspended in light of the sanctions against the Empire.
New Caldari – Ishukone and Hyasyoda have submitted findings from a year-long joint investigation into alleged smuggling by Nugoeihuvi and CBD to the Caldari Business Tribunal, calling on the Caldari intercorporate court to open a case that may lead to penalties for the accused megacorps.
Witness testimony, shipping manifests, and whistle-blowers support claims that the NOH and CBD megacorporations used extralegal means of moving goods and peoples across the border during the YC119 partial closure, avoiding restrictions which hindered other megacorporations, their subsidiaries and interstellar trading partners. The evidence largely hinges on records acquired from Amaguq Freight Solutions, a Syndicate-registered import-export company, which the Ishukone-Hysayoda report alleges served as a front for the smuggling operation.
The listed address for Amaguq Freight Solutions, on the Intaki Syndicate station orbiting MXYS-8 IV M1, is actually an Intaki takeout restaurant. Independent reporters were able to confirm the allegation of a front address, noting the restaurant appeared to specialize in deep-fried protein delicacies sold as "long-limb roe tempura".
The report's testimony from whistle-blowers includes claims that the front was a joint operation by Serpentis and Guristas smugglers, allowing them to exploit contacts on both sides of the border. This criminal arrangement, the testimony suggests, worked out so well that the pirate organizations used it to move their own goods independently of their arrangement with NOH and CBD.
The Ishukone-Hyasyoda taskforce's investigators further assert that this channel was how CBD and NOH exchanged luxury goods for high-value, low-volume raw materials directly on Federation markets without paying the significant markups incurred by competitors diverting through the Amarr Empire or using its markets as an alternative.
"I'm sure that when Kaalakiota, Lai Dai, and Sukuuvestaa voted in support of the closure, they had thought all parties would be at an equal disadvantage," said Wiyrkomi Peace Corps representative Uvas Noma, when asked to comment as she attended a security conference on New Caldari Prime. "But it appears that through just this one avenue, NOH and CBD managed to save billions. The Peace Corps is looking at additional evidence we independently gathered, which suggests there are more illegal channels to be uncovered."
Noma noted that signs of the smuggling operations have been spotted on Ishukone, Hyasyoda, and Wiyrkomi stations, and the three megacorps are in talks to merge their investigative efforts. "It's telling that CBD and NOH were two of the main holdouts when it came time to lift the restrictions," she concluded.
Further comment on the allegations was supplied by sources among outlawed organizations. In particular, Guristas pilot Panola 'Punchy' Paatama confirmed the allegations. "Hell yeah we smuggled for CBD and NOH. We smuggle for Catiz and the godlovers too – we smuggle for damn near everyone, cause we don’t discriminate, we got the best rates and the best customer service, and up yours if you think otherwise!"
Khanid Prime – Queen Zidarez Khanid claimed the successful pacification of Kahah in an interview with Dark Amarr News today, her first public appearance since the Deathglow bombings and slave rebellion in that system. Queen Zidarez, seemingly quite recovered from her injuries, also spoke of her experiences on Kahah III when the chemical attacks began.
When questioned on the crisis, Queen Zidarez said that Khanid forces had "eliminated all remaining rebel strongholds" and claimed that they were "no longer a significant threat." She went on to thank the Khanid troops currently fighting in the system. She also expressed gratitude to Sardar Marshal Soshan Fayez, overall commander of the Khanid forces in Kahah, and highlighted the efforts of the 7th Asbara Cyber Knights, 19th Royal Uhlans, and loyal capsuleers for their "great service to the Kingdom's defense."
"The men and women on the ground handled the pacification campaign with expertise and finesse," Zidarez said. "Despite the exaggerated claims of foreign agitators seeking to profit from the situation, casualties on the surface have been kept to a minimum – three hundred thousand, perhaps fewer. While that's somewhat higher than the Mabnen toll, it should be noted that on this occasion the Blood Raiders launched their attacks on several planets at once. Their new weapon was also even more disruptive and rather deadly to our workforce." Mabnen I is a planet in the Amarr Empire's Throne Worlds that was the site of a similar Blood Raider attack in YC107. The attack, resulting riots and military clampdown claimed an estimated hundred thousand lives.
Kahah III (Courtesy: ARC Studio)
The Scope is unable to verify Queen Zidarez's claimed casualty numbers. The Khanid Kingdom is notoriously secretive about its total slave population, though others claim this masks lax practices, and has restricted reporting of the situation, making difficult to accurately assess the total number of casualties. Independent analysis from groups such as the Servant Sisters of EVE and the University of Caille suggest far higher numbers, with overall estimates between 2 and 9 million. These estimates include both slaves and freepersons, across all planets of the Kahah system.
When asked to comment on claims from the Minmatar Republic's Inner Circle delegate, Keitan Yun, that the rebels were fighting for their freedom rather than because of the chemical weapon effects, Zidarez rejected the assertion. "Our people are devoted and peaceful. Kahah's workers were not just waiting around for the opportunity to rebel."
Despite the claims of victory from Queen Zidarez and Imperial outlets like DAN and ACN, sources in the Kahah system claim sporadic violence is still ongoing. The remnants of the rebel forces on Kahah III, now identifying themselves as the Kahah Free Army, and reportedly joined by a small number of Kahah militia defectors, have continued to carry out insurgent attacks across the planet.
King Farokh Khanid III has not yet publicly addressed the uprising, but is reported to be in regular contact with Empress Catiz I and the Amarr Empire's delegate to the CONCORD Inner Circle, Captain Marshal Sirdan xer Qosh. The other five Royal Houses of the Amarr Empire have not yet commented but are rumored to be digesting the remarks of the Khanid Queen.
Even so, Queen Zidarez is not the only Amarrian noble to speak about Kahah and other recent chemical attacks. Many Amarr noble houses have released statements, with most condemning the violence and the involvement of Blood Raider cultists. Some houses, mostly from the Kador, Tash-Murkon, and Sarum territories, have proclaimed solidarity with the Khanid Kingdom and its response. Others, especially houses aligned with the Ardishapur and Kor-Azor families, have criticized its actions as needlessly brutal.
Yulai, Genesis – An active information worm attributed to the Triglavian Collective has been deployed to the GalNet fluid router system, reports the Secure Commerce Commission. The purpose of the worm appears to be to interact with Triglavian filament technology, reconfiguring it to permit support of frigate-sized ships.
The self-replicating and -propagating information worm has spread itself across the fluid router network at "extraordinary speed" according to sources in the SCC. "We're unable to stop it and it's distributed itself across thousands of light-years of router connections. I don't think there's ever been a worm with that long a tail," said one information warfare officer.
While the worm has spread rapidly and widely, information security specialists have been analyzing examples of its cellular code and payload in secured, unentangled and air-gapped "black box" computing environments. SCC analysts believe it poses little to no threat to normal operations of the GalNet system, SCC market network, or other computer and information networks.
Triglavian Damavik-class ships in Abyssal Deadspace
The purpose of the Triglavian Collective in apparently unlocking the capability for small groups of frigates to enter Abyssal Deadspace remains obscure. The Collective continues to fight a war with the Drifters in its domains, by all accounts, and some have speculated that it seeks allies in this struggle. Others theorize that Triglavian culture involves extensive use of ritual, including forms of gladiatorial combat that serve an important purpose in a posited "dominance hierarchy".
Another theory is that the Triglavians are deliberately luring ships from New Eden into the Abyssal realm so as to sample our technology, gain intelligence or even harvest biomass. Whatever the case may be, Abyssal Deadspace is opening to groups of up to three frigates and collaborative exploration of the depths of this mysterious realm will be possible.
(For more information about developments in Abyssal Deadspace see the Abyssal Onslaught devblog.)