Editor’s Note: The following interview was produced by the independent “A Federal in Pochven” and recorded live in Wirashoda on 07.02.YC123. By being broadcasted on the IGS, it is hereby licensed for syndication by third party news agencies and copies have been directly submitted to The Scope Network, Amarr Certified News and the news subsidiaries of Nugoeihuvi Corporation, Echelon Entertainment, and the Leisure Group. All rights reserved.
Depicted: The “Queen of Space Hell” Sahara Jackal; “Most of all, I would have the people of New Eden know that Triglavians need not be their enemies forever.”
[A Title Sequence Opens for “A Federal in Pochven,” which shows an animation of a soaring eagle diving into a triangular filament becoming a stylized logo. It is followed by a logo sequence for Stribog Clade.]
Setting: Footage starts of a conference room with a cushioned chair and a small, square two-seat couch facing each other, but angled slightly towards the primary camera angle. In the background, the Wirashoda star glows with characteristic purplish red. The pre-interview scene cuts periodically to camera drone footage of the Wirashoda V - Veles Clade Extractive Terminus main concourse and the view directly outside of the conference room. Subtitles and closed captioning are available both in standard New Eden languages as well as the Triglavian alphabet. Triglavian messages are translated in quotations for the benefit of viewers. The lighting for the intereview is warm and approachable, despite the coloration of the star in the background.
Viverina appears on screen, seated on a cushioned chair, to a backdrop of a splash of music. She is wearing a muted, white, one shoulder dress. She smiles brightly as she addresses the camera.
VC: “Salut and welcome! My name is Viverina Cielvoss and I am here in Wirashoda at the Veles Clade Extractive Terminus with the ‘Queen of Space Hell’ herself, Sahara Jackal. Thank you for agreeing to this interview.”
The camera view then pans over to focus on Sahara, a banner at the bottom of the screen depicting Sahara’s affiliations and titles. Sahara Jackal is seated across from Viverina. She is dressed in a bright red swallowtail jacket over a gray, form-fitting jumpsuit and knee-high black boots. She leans on her left arm, legs crossed, her right arm over her lap. The only jewelry she wears are wide platinum bracelets on each wrist, studded all over with sparkling diamonds.
SJ: Thank you for having me.
VC: ‘Queen of Space Hell.’ That is quite the moniker. How did you come to obtain that title?
SJ: [laughs softly] It’s what a notorious band of capsuleer pirates who operate in Pochven started calling me. Hysterically funny, every one of them. When they first arrived, they caused a tremendous amount of hostility for some of the kybernauts. Especially the ones who were unused to dealing with privateers. I took a different approach; I showed them respect. [Sahara gestures to punctuate the word “respect.”] I won their respect in return—and the name. It stuck.
VC: [leans in towards Sahara] How does one, even one as formidable as you, win the respect of capsuleer pirates?
SJ: [laughs] The traditional way you make friends with pirates. Matched them shot-for-shot with whiskey and then took all their money at the blackjack tables afterward.
VC: [laughs] Pochven remains a mystery to millions. Help us peel back at least one of those layers. What is ‘the day in the life’ like for the Queen of Space Hell? Do you jog around the concourse? Go swimming? Pursue any hobbies? Aside from drinking pirates under the table and robbing them of their wealth, that is?
SJ: [deadpans] I do paperwork. [solemn pause, then smiles] Paperwork in the morning, paperwork all afternoon, paperwork in the evening. [breaks into a laugh] This will not come to any surprise for anyone who has a leadership position in a capsuleer alliance. By the time I wake up in the morning, I have a dozen or more messages waiting for me from diplomatic contacts, internal staff, perfect strangers, or all of the above. After I finish sorting all that out, it’s meetings with the Paramount Executive, with representatives from Veles Clade or Intriguerre, our allies . . . God help me. The best days are when I can chuck the entire diplomatic schedule out the airlock and step into a combat ship as Stribog Clade’s Supreme Fleet Commander. That certainly gets the blood pumping.
[A camera window opens with clips of newsfeeds involving Stribog Clade spliced with fleet combat footage involving Sahara Jackal as fleet commander]
VC: [wears a wry grin] Before we get into the weight of command, I would be remiss if I did not ask the question on every capsuleer’s mind from Pochven, to Luminaire, to the Intergalactic Summit. Miss Jackal, what exactly is going on between you and Mister Federation YC123, newly-minted Federation citizen, Commander Edward H. ‘Mantel’ Adams? Please spare no details.
SJ: My goodness. [Eyes wide, she gently touches the skin of her neck with one hand, brushing her fingers down to her collarbone] I see the gossips are hard at work. But I’m afraid I’ll have to disappoint them all. You’ll get no details from me, except to say. . . [she looks up with a thoughtful expression] Commander Adams and I are having a lengthy. . . discussion, of a kind. Sharing our respective views on a number of topics dear to both of us. That’s all I’m willing to say.
VC: Ah the mystery continues! But I assure our viewers that I will be following it closely. [she joins her palms together] Power and responsibility come hand in hand. How do you handle the gravity of your authority, which affects hundreds of kyerbnauts and countless mortal lives?
SJ: [expression becomes serious] With great respect and diligence. A true leader is not some tyrant barking orders. True leaders understand that they are servants first and foremost. Servants to all those who follow them. Understand this, Ms. Cielvoss. There is nothing I will not do to protect the kybernauts and baseliners that I serve. There may be times you do not approve of my methods. But my motivation is always the well-being of my people.
VC: Which segues directly into a topic of solemn controversy.
[A camera window opens with footage of Sahara Jackal presiding over trial proceedings]
VC: By now, everyone has seen the footage of the Federation Day executions. And for those with a penchant for digging through cyberspace, there are also recordings of the trials you presided over that ordered those executions. [holds up one finger] My first question: ‘Can you confirm the veracity of those recordings?’ [holds up another] My second: 'What was your hope when the recordings of the executions–not the trials–were sent, I presume, to NADSC? What was the message you wanted to send? [holds up a third] And my third, ‘Surely, you know that many would perceive the trials to be shams at best; so why remain committed to legal proceedings?’
SJ: Three questions in a row. All right, then. To your first question? Yes. The recordings are absolutely genuine. They were never meant to be distributed to the public, but we have never disclaimed their authenticity.
SJ: Your second question. . . [Sahara smiles ever so slightly, with only one side of her mouth] The terrorists in question belonged to NADSC. It was only proper that they be notified. I elected to do so by providing incontrovertible proof about the execution of the criminal sentences, so that facts would prevail over rumors and innuendo. Our message to NADSC was very clear: actions have consequences.
SJ: [Sahara links her fingers together] As for your third question, I can’t imagine any reason not to remain committed to legal proceedings. In the absence of a Triglavian-established legal system for kybernauts and narodnya in Pochven, we elected to create one for ourselves. I find it more than a little ironic to hear criticism about that from the Gallente Federation. How exactly do they think they got the authority to dispense justice in their territories? It wasn’t bestowed upon them by Almighty God. They simply decided—for themselves—to make one. Precisely like we did, in Pochven. We do not recognize the authority of your Empires. We do, however, recognize that civilization requires justice to function.
[A camera window begins a slow scroll of “lossmails” of vessels destroyed in Pochven over the course of the last couple months]
VC: Much has been focused on the two hundred and seventeen souls who were executed on Federation Day–and my heart goes out to their loved ones. But the conflict that led to those executions has consumed many more lives, from the ranks of both EDENCOM loyalists and kybernauts who serve the Triglavian Collective. Stribog Clade and even you, specifically, have not emerged unscathed. Between the destruction of Upwell structures and countless ships, how have you been handling the loss of life, the ‘human cost’ of this war between immortals in space hell?
SJ: [Closes eyes and takes a deep breath] I prefer speaking truth, so I will simply say it here. It has been extraordinarily difficult. There is no pleasure in loss. There is no joy in defeat. But I have great pride in the valiant way that kybernauts of all banners joined together to fight against EDENCOM terrorists and the horde of nullsec pirates they enlisted to fight for them.
SJ: [Eyes glitter with anger] And I say this much—those terrorists in Electus Matari, Khimi Harar, CALSF, and NADSC have nothing to be proud of. All they had to do was trade their principles to ensure a hefty payday for their pirate hirelings. And shame on you especially, Khimi Harar. The words ‘Amarr Victor’ should never pass your lips except to burn your traitorous mouths with hellfire.
SJ: Most of all, I detest what a waste of time, effort, and narodnya lives this has been. The EDENCOM-aligned forces have gained nothing. We remain here, and always will. The only thing any of those alliances and corps gained was permanent damage to their own integrity. Proud Amarrians taking commands from Debes Sparre? Edward Adams flying in formation with Diana Kim? My God. The hypocrisy of it all.
VC: Yet, here we are, in the aftermath. As you said in such stark terms, ‘there is no joy in defeat.’ But pride remains and you remain committed to living here. What do you see as your future moving forward in Pochven? For yourself, for Stribog Clade, for the wider community of. . . [she falters with the pronunciation slightly] ‘Sobornost’ Kybernauts?
SJ: Simply put, we will do what we have always done in Pochven: Work toward the success of the Triglavian Collective in its newly conquered sovereign territory. Our dedication has not wavered [moves her right hand]. When we saw how the continued existence of our Upwell citadels attracted hostile entities into sovereign Triglavian territory, we burned them ourselves rather than risk harm to the Weaving of Pochven. Let that be a reminder that our loyalties remain unchanged, no matter what the personal cost.
VC: When this interview is concluded, I will be submitting it to the IGS and open it for syndication to news organizations in New Eden, including the Scope and Amarr Certified News. And it should come as no surprise to you that CONCORD, EDENCOM, and SARO have worked to suppress news and information flowing out of Pochven to the rest of New Eden. If there is only one message you want to share with the rest of the cluster that gets through the censorship, what would that be?
SJ: [Takes a long pause. Then her voice becomes quieter, but more urgent] Most of all, I would have the people of New Eden know that Triglavians need not be their enemies forever.
SJ: What CONCORD, EDENCOM, and SARO do not want known is how utterly unable they are to undo that which has been wrought. Do not believe lies about ‘taking back our stars.’ It is fantasy. Fallacy. The Collective cannot be removed. Nor should it be. They hold in their hands nothing less than the future of the human species. So why does CONCORD, EDENCOM, and SARO work so hard to suppress the truth? [narrows her eyes] Simple. Because the Triglavians offer their gifts freely, to any who will accept them. And gifts that are freely given cannot be controlled by those with a vested interest in doing the controlling.
SJ: Think about that, before you dismiss the Triglavians as barbarians, or the kybernauts as butchers and thieves. All I desire is that the people of New Eden consider there may be another way.
VC: I believe there are many who would agree with you. Now, let us see if anyone in the audience following on the Summit or other fluid router channels has any questions for Miss Sahara Jackal. I hope you do not mind if they are completely unmoderated?
SJ: Not a problem at all.
[Audio plays into the conference room. A camera window provides the CONCORD/DED portrait of the speaker: Hasna Mehra]
HM: You say that there is another way, that the Kybers should not be considered butchers and thieves, Why then do you openly support the butchers and thieves of New Eden… and in so invite the wrath of capsuleers loyal to their empires into Pochven? If your goal is diplomacy and peace, why invite such destruction upon yourselves?
SJ: [Raises a brow as she listens to the question] I’m not sure what you mean. If you mean the amusing pirates I talked about early on, we didn’t invite them. They simply showed up. But if you mean the Triglavians themselves? They conquered territory by war. That makes them no different than any other Empire of New Eden. Why should it be surprising that after the dust settles, that all five empires come around to détente? The past cannot be changed. Meanwhile, the future is yet to be determined and Triglavians have much to offer. It would be rank foolishness not to take it.
HM: The past cannot be changed, but the future can. So do you now, this very day, openly support the butchers and thieves of the Malicious Mineral Hounds?
SJ: [Listens to the follow-up question] Ah, Malicious Mineral Hounds. Many of their pilots served as loyal kybernauts helping the Triglavians conquer stars that eventually became part of Pochven. And they, like us, received little but abuse, scorn, and weapons fire from Electus Matari afterward. Are you really surprised that they went pirate just to spite you? As I said. It would be far preferable to take a different approach.
VC: It does not appear we have any other questions forthcoming from the Summit or other fluid router channels. Have you anything you would like to add, Miss Jackal? Perhaps a message to a special someone?
SJ: [smiles] No, no messages to send. Those who are special to me already know how I feel.
VC: [returns the smile] Thank you very much for your time, Miss Jackal. [turns directly to the audience] And thank you for tuning in! This is Viverina Cielvoss with ‘Queen of Space Hell’ Sahara Jackal, signing off.
[The camera transitions to camera drone footage of the station concourse as well as the station undock. After a few moments, the footage then cuts to the opening title sequences and fades to black after showing the “A Federal in Pochven” logo]