Dereliction of duty

As some of you may know, I recently gave my support to the New Eden Re-housing Initiative (NERI) in order to help relocate the refugees left scattered across the cluster in the aftermath of the Triglavian War. The goal of the programme is to move them somewhere within their parent nations where they can find new work and housing. The first relocation, on the 13th, went entirely fine, with all refugees from the Urhinichi system being ferried home to New Caldari Prime without incident. The relocation of refugees from the Senda system is altogether a different story.

At 00:02 NEST on the 15th, I undocked from the Prompt Delivery Storage station in the Shihuken system with 5.000 refugees from Senda aboard. The journey proceeded without incident until i dropped out of warp at the station belonging to the Chief Executive Panel orbiting our adopted homeworld, where I was supposed to deliver them for processing. It was then that I heard the incoming weapons fire alert. This was not a sound I am unaccustomed to, since I haul through lowsec and nullsec for a living. It was however, not a sound I expected to hear in the most heavily defended system in the Caldari State. At first I assumed that it must be a very confused new Capsuleer, which would swiftly be dealt with by CONCORD or the local Navy patrols. Not an issue for a fit that regularly breaks through gate camps. Then I noticed that there were no Capsuleer-owned ships on D-scan or the overview. And then it hit me, literally, as my ship’s visual telemetry displayed dozens of incoming entropic disintegrator beams. After switching to a different overview preset, I saw fourty Triglavian warships, casually floating around outside of our government’s station in our home system. What struck me as I felt the shields fail wasn’t the fact that the station’s faulty nav data had caused me to drop out of warp outside of the docking ring, or the fact that the CONCORD ships and sentry guns weren’t firing at the enemy vessels, but the total absence of the Caldari Navy. Infuriated by the loss of the ship and it’s passengers, I alerted other Capsuleers about the enemy presence in the capital system and hopped into the only ship I know to be capable of engaging Triglavian fleets of that size alone with any success: the long-range Naga introduced to EDI by Mantel. I spent the next seven hours engaging Triglavian warships beyond counting in our adopted home system. During this time reinforcements arrived from the Amarrian Capsuleer community in the shape of Lunarisse Daphiti and Aria Jenneth, who joined the fray in two Oracles. After dispatching Triglavian fleet number nine, however, the two were forced to disengage due to sleep deprivation. I then continued to engage and destroy Triglavian fleets on my own until further reinforcements arrived in the shape of Diana Kim and a friend of her’s, who brought two more Nagas to the fray. And still, the Navy was not there. As they arrived, however, the wormhole the enemy used to enter the system closed. After patrolling for some time, and finding no enemies, the three of us then moved to transport the remaining refugees to New Caldari Prime, this time under Caldari Militia escort. And still, the Caldari Navy was absent.

It is this absence that I want to raise awareness about. As most of you are no doubt aware, this summer saw many systems across New Eden invaded by the Triglavians. During these harsh months, many people derided the Navy for it’s performance. I did not, because it was clear to me that the poor performance of our Navy was due to an over-reliance on ships armed with launchers against fleets of fast-moving enemies with low signature radii. Something which was aptly demonstrated by the fact that the most efficient ships in wide circulation within loyalist Capsuleer circles were the Naga, the Ferox and the Osprey, as well as their more advanced equivalents. The reason why I did not deride the Navy then, but why I am about to deride it now can be broken down to a single sentence: at least during the Triglavian Invasions, the Navy actually fought back. I am not saying what I am about to say lightly, because it is the same Navy which retook Caldari Prime some years ago. The same Navy that my parents served in decades ago. The same Navy my brother served in until he was killed in action when the Triglavians invaded the Urhinichi system. The same Navy I served in for three years. That said, I am told by former EDI Capsuleers that these wormholes have a lifespan of twelve to sixteen hours, and myself and the others had only been hunting the Triglavian fleets for seven. This means that by the time I exited my warp tunnel inside of a massive swarm of Triglavian ships right outside of our government’s space station, these backwards death cultists had been running rampant through our home system for five to nine hours, without our Navy attempting to stop them or even just sounding the alarm. This sort of failure not only brings shame upon the Navy as a whole, but also fundamentally undermines the trust of our citizens in their government’s ability to protect them.

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I do not wish to downplay Ms. Tereven’s criticism of her State. I feel that her criticism ought to be leveled at CONCORD as well. One could even argue that this falls squarely into EDENCOM jurisdiction, though I would maintain that Caldari leadership still bears responsibility. Yet it fell to capsuleers to raise the alarm, without even the benefit of the same system, already developed, which was used to direct capsuleers to invaded systems.

I’ll go a step further. The time for a polite request for communication came and went, and I personally made the request that EDENCOM leadership communicate with us capsuleers then.

Provost Marshal Valkanir, now I’m demanding you work with CONCORD leadership and its members to inform us of any further incursions. And not from behind a camera, posing for the news holos, speaking words of praise without acting upon it.

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When I served in the Navy, we often were telling to ourselves: “Nobody will do this except us.” It’s easy to blame the Navy and others. And I myself often blame Navy, CONCORD, EDI, EDI’s capsuleers. There is always someone who doesn’t do the job that should have been done. But what can we do about it? Stand with broom behind everyone and push them forward?

The best thing we can do - is to do our job. I wish I knew a way to bring more people to work, it still saddens me, but again, my abilities in this regard are limited.

Yet, I am proud that we have people like you, Ms. Tereven, who don’t just speak, but also does something. While we have people like you, we will remain Caldari, we will remain undefeated.

Keep up the good work and make us all proud to be born in the State!

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It is with shame that I admit my inability to assist when you made the call for assistance. I approached you on offering what assistance I could but my expertise in frigates and destroyers would not have provided assistance in the situation you were dealing with. I offered to run ammunition or serve in any other capacity that I could but was turned away.

I promised you, at that time, that I would be studying what was necessary to make me less ineffective at the next engagement and I have kept my word. I have taken the necessary training to be able to pilot ships more equipped for this conflict and stand ready to assist in the future.

We will set an example to the Navy and to our people that the spirit of the Winds is not lost in the hearts of the Caldari and we will turn back the tide of this invasion of our home by standing resolute against it.

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Unfortunately, these kinds of things can happen, and it baffles me as to why the Navy chooses not to take the lives of refugee Caldari seriously by, at the very least, clearing what should be the most important station in New Caldari of its Triglavian presence.

As the founder of the New Eden Re-Housing Initiative, I’d like to state that I do not attribute this loss to Ms. Tereven, as she could not have anticipated such a huge Triglavian presence in what is supposed to be one of the safest areas of State space. I’ll be in contact with the corporations in State space that have chosen to use our services, as they should be reassured that no one in their right mind should expect not just a Triglavian presencce in New Caldari, but one that is not even fought back by the State navy.

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I don’t know if this counts for anything (and my word probably counts for little in any case) but there are still State Navy ships in Urhinichi, along with Amarr Navy vessels under EDENCOM. Whether they’re just stragglers or recent deployments from the wormhole at Suroken at the time, I don’t know. But the last thing I saw before I docked was them devastating a Raznaborg scout fleet. May not mean anything in the grand scheme of things, but there’s definitely someone in the Navy returning the favour.

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Did you see any ship or squadron markings? Anything by which the vessels could be identified?

Well, when I first got in via the wormhole, there were four State Navy ships, accompanied by an Imperial Navy Deacon. I assume their job is to slag any Kybernaut that comes in, which is funny considering the Triglavian fleet on the other side. I didn’t dare to stick around for a closer look, since there might be cloaked pirates waiting around, but the Deacon definitely caught my eye. No idea what use it could be in repairing shield-tanked ships.

The fight I saw later on was kind of messy, so I couldn’t quite identify all of them off the bat. But the ones fighting the scout fleet were Executive State Navy ships, alongside Exalted Imperial Navy ones. The ones I noticed were the Raptors scramming the Raznaborg scout ships, but again, I didn’t want to overstay my welcome, not with the battle so close to the Svarog Clade hive that used to be our station.

Nothing on squadron marking, I’m afraid.

I see. For a brief moment, I had hope that those ships were survivors from the initial invasion of the system. My brother was stationed there.

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I see… It’s… been a couple of months. I don’t think there would have been anyone left that hasn’t been picked up by EDENCOM. Even if they were holdouts, I’m pretty sure EDENCOM would have been able to make contact via the wormholes, if the Amarr ships are of any indication. As for the station… I don’t think you’ll want to hear what they’ve done to the inside.

I’m sorry.