Trying to catch a falling knife is a risky business. This is my attempt at capturing a story that began several years ago but continues to evolve and to affect my home in Placid. As you will see, this particular knife has blades on both ends for me and I honestly don’t know if now is the best time to try catching it but, given this month’s elections, it seems as good a time as any.
The personalities involved go back much further but I will begin with the events that caught my interest. In YC 119 an informal coalition of Federal Defense Union (FDU) alliances conquered and then settled in large parts of Cloud Ring, as told in this wonderful account of an ‘Accidental Empire’. The area become known by its new masters as ‘Galmilistan’. A number of alliances were involved but the three most important to this story are Pen is Out (WANGS), Villore Accords (GMVA) and Federation Uprising (FEDUP). Like or loath the FDU, and it tends to be one or the other with us Placid locals, it was an inspiring story that made what happened next particularly shocking. Almost immediately after the foundation of Galmilistan, the settlers of this new frontier for the Federation turned their knives on each other. This is the story of what happened next and how that feud continues to reverberate across Placid today, as told using the words of leaders from each of the alliances involved.
“Pen Is Out has always looked down on FEDUP as an alliance, and the internal tension had always been there for many years. Pen Is Out dropped the Gallente Militia, and roughly a month later declared that they were resetting all of Galmil. Not long after, they started making attacks on our Cloud Ring sovereignty, coordinating with Snuffed Out who was attacking our Pure Blind space simultaneously.” says CaseyLP (Alliance Director - XMETA / FEDUP).
When asked for an explanation as to why WANGS turned on their allies, Ouso Borghese (Senior FC - RDRAW / WANGS) consulted internally but was not able to comment beyond referring to an interview at the time with Tek Stalker (CEO - RDRAW / WANGS) and Silver Suspira (Alliance EO - XMETA / FEDUP). Perhaps because GMVA was not directly involved in the eviction of FEDUP, first from Cloud Ring and then Placid, Rinai Vero (Diplomatic Director - AISA / GMVA), is more expansive, “Unfortunately, both FEDUP and AIDER have engaged in campaigns of slander against GMVA after suffering losses against RDRAW. Their leadership would rather blame us for their misfortune than confront the consequences of their own mistakes and blunders. It’s a shame, because AIDER and other FEDUP line members have fought bravely for the Federation in numerous campaigns, only to have those accomplishments sullied by the traitorous choices made by their leaders to openly aid Caldari terrorists.”
Vero is referring to the events in May YC 121 and more recently, which have seen FEDUP and a former FEDUP member corporation Aideron Robotics (AIDER) participating in operations by enemies of WANGS and GMVA against their former allies in Galmilistan. After its eviction, FEDUP left the FDU and moved about as far away as possible to rebuild in Immensea. Some time later, several FDU loyalist corporations, such as AIDER and Sons of Luminarie (GFSL) dropped out of the alliance (with varying degrees of acrimony) and returned to the CEMWPA war zone. While they may have disagreed over the importance of loyalty to the FDU, it is clear that neither FEDUP nor AIDER have forgiven WANGS for turning on them in Galmilistan or GMVA for failing to take their side. Here is CaseyLP again, “While we’ve never partnered with Rogue Caldari Union directly (only indirectly through Templis), Templis on the other hand has always respected FEDUP through our years of fighting with each other, much more so than our Galmil allies ever did, and so old enemies became our new allies. We still maintain friendly status and will help them occasionally, especially against Pen Is Out and Villore Accords, who we see to have backstabbed us and treated us terribly, especially while we were in Galmil.”
In May YC 121, FEDUP returned to the war zone to clash directly with WANGS and GMVA. These former defenders of the Federation joined a fleet led by State Protectorate (SPROT) aligned alliances Rogue Caldari Union (CURB) and Templis CALSF (CALSF) attacking GMVA structures. At the time, some were outraged at this betrayal of the Federation, despite having been involved (or at least complicit) in the original eviction of FEDUP. However, the degradation of CURB and CALSF forces over the second half of YC 121 seems to have prompted a more phlegmatic view. “On some level, they think they have to get revenge on us all because we evicted them from nullsec and forced them to go elsewhere. All jokes and such aside, from our perspective this was a war they started, and then didn’t like the outcome. They will consequently join in any blob against us (no matter how distasteful in my personal opinion) – but will never fight us, GMVA, or the rest of Galmil on their own.” comments Borghese.
Julianus Soter (Alliance EO - GMVA, also running for the Presidency of the Federation) is fairly dismissive of FEDUP and says his focus has moved on to the brewing confrontation with AIDER and their allies Intergalactic Space Hobos (.BUMS) and Ishuk-Raata Enforcement Directive (I-RED). “AIDER is enlisting in .BUMS fleets as an attempt to damage or harm WANGS while WANGS is engaging structures in Placid which have access lists that allow SPROT aligned pilots to dock. However, AIDER sees this primarily as an opportunity for them to inflict revenge for recent Athanor losses to WANGS after a failed diplomatic negotiation occured. It’s all rather ridiculous in my opinion and echos almost exactly what occured between WANGS and FEDUP back a couple of years ago. People can’t get it into their heads that they have to make bargains and deals in lowsec, form friendships, and relationships, to survive in this chaotic area. They can’t just charge through like a ■■■■■■■ isolationist state and hope to succeed. Instead of an opportunity, they saw a threat, and now they have zero structures in space and are trying to wage this bizzarre guerilla campaign.”
Perhaps that gives Federal voters some insight into General Soter’s thought process. So, what exactly is the nature of GMVA’s friendship with WANGS, what is the point of the campaign by .BUMS and I-RED in Placid and how does AIDER justify its current choice of allies? More from these characters and, I hope, Executor Hinkelman (I-RED) and Drake Arson (.BUMS) in ‘Part 2’ below.