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.