Some speculate that a conflict between Biko and another Coordinator turned violent
Rumors concerning a severe conflict between Gateway Ché Biko and (part of) the Board of Coordinators persist due to the Gateway’s prolonged absence from Origin, and due to the fact that no official response from either the BoC or the Gateway office denies any conflict, among other things. Biko and his wife departed Origin on the 8th of June, after the first rumors of a possible conflict started circulating. Sources on the Office of Special Surveillance citadel report that Biko was treated in a hospital on the 22nd of May after suffering blunt force trauma serious enough to break one of his arms and damage his liver, and some pictures of Biko with a bruised arm had made their way to the media. Biko commented his injuries were caused by pole-arm strikes at the OSS training hangar, but has so far refused to say who was striking him, or why he was there, but a witness has reported at least one other ALXVP Coordinator was also in the area at the time. Due to the fact that Biko is not known to usually take part in physical combat training, and that he has refused to go into details has led some to speculate that there was a conflict between Biko and another Coordinator that turned violent.
Office of Gateway downplaying severity of conflict
At the time, it was believed that the conflict concerned the ALXVP Rules of Engagement concerning the Triglavians. Biko, a pacifist who has in the past resigned from two other capsuleer corporations due to disagreeing with the RoE, was said to disagree with ALXVP pilots engaging the Triglavian forces. The office of the Gateway, while downplaying the severity of the conflict, more or less confirmed this by publishing the following statement:
“It should be no surprise that Gateway Biko, as a diplomat with his reputation, would rather see that conflict is resolved with non-violent methods, whether the opposing force seems to encourage violent “proving” or not. However, if the ALXVP RoE would be sufficient reason for a conflict between the Gateway and ALXVP, then he would have left them a long time ago.”
This statement is the last and only official one on the Triglavians from the Gateway’s office since the first on the 2nd of May, where Biko said that the Triglavians posed "no immediate threat to Origin". It was believed that Biko and his wife were just enjoying some time away from the prolonged increased interest from the media and population after news of the OCP investigation, Biko’s injuries and the Triglavian invasions in New Eden reached the press.
Biko indeed seemed to be on what could be seen as a leave of absence, engaging in some cultural activities, and possibly some unofficial diplomatic ones as well. Biko visited the exhibit Love Triangle from capsuleer artist Saccade Amir on Triglavians and sexuality on the 8th, the same day he departed Origin. Following Amir’s art exhibit, he volunteered to take part in a cross cultural art exhibit, which is an initiative of former ALXVP Sub-Coordinator Verin Hakatain. He also attended the Khanid Cultural Dinner hosted by ALXVP allies SFRIM on the 22nd of June, and then visited the Awards Gala for SFRIM’s New Eden Capsuleer Writing Contest on the 29th. His entry for the NECWC, the poem named The Winter of Origin (which was popular inside Origin to the point that the populace have broadly adopted the term “Indigo Tears”), failed to impress the jury enough to even get a honorable mention.
OCP investigation concludes: "Biko did not abuse his position"
It was expected that Biko would return for conclusion of the OCP investigation on the 4th of July, but he seemed to have changed his mind just before the session. The OCP concluded that Coordinator Biko did not abuse his position to pressure OCP staff into a lenient approach concerning a family placed under OCP supervision, at least not intentionally. Furthermore, after hearing testimony from the family’s older children, the OCP decided to reverse the decision prohibiting Biko from having contact with the youngest child of the family.
Tary Lacote hints at knowledge of conflict as SeeBee ramps up activity
Since June Decentralizer Tary Lacote, a known associate of Biko and COO in Biko’s SeeBee corporation, published noticeably more anti-ALXVP/Riordan propaganda among his anti-centralization publications, some hinting that he has knowledge about the Biko-BoC conflict and other matters that might be shared with the population later this year. Particularly the critique aimed at Coordinator Saede Riordan has led some to believe that the conflict is one between Biko and Riordan, even though Decentralizers have in the past also been critical of Riordan.
At the same time work on SeeBee’s Open Surveillance Society Network ramped up and the 3rd open beta version was launched on the 9th of August.
"Hey Triglavians. Offense Taken."
Biko has all but disappeared from the public eye since the NECWC Awards Gala, but it has been possible to trace his whereabouts. He stayed docked in Yulai for a few weeks following the awards, then traveled to the Castle of the Sapphire Sun on Deninard IV 2 jumps away, where he visited a Grand Masquerade Ball hosted by Sani Sabik capsuleer Lithara.
He seems to have stayed on Deninard IV until the 3rd of August, when he lost his Astero to a Triglavian attack in Tar while en-route to Jita. The following broadcast was transmitted to the local channel before he continued on his way:
[ 121.08.03 21:00:14 ] Che Biko > Hey Triglavians. You shot a diplomat in an unarmed search and rescue ship, looking for survivors on wrecks. Offense taken.
The office of the Gateway has so far made no further comments about this attack, and instead refers to Biko’s broadcast above.
Honoring passed away ally
The Gateway departed Jita on the 23rd and traveled to the New Eden system. The next day he piloted one of the capsuleer vessels in a fleet honoring one of their own who had passed away; Druur Monakh, a member of allies SFRIM. According to our sources he has remained in that system and has spend at least some of his time there under heavy influence of various substances.
Popularity remains steady despite rumors and absence
There have been more periods where Biko vanished from the public eye for considerable periods since becoming a colonist in Origin, most notably when he disappeared in the Great Wildlands after he was rumored to become Sub-Coordinator for the Biomass Division, but this is the first time he has done so while also leaving Origin since becoming Gateway and Coordinator. People have also taken note that, despite his claims that he has no plans to permanently leave Origin, he has still not moved into the Foundation City penthouse he purchased in early YC 120, leaving quite a few wondering about his loyalty to Origin and/or ALXVP and if he’ll ever return.
On the other hand he still has the support of a large number of the populace. His popularity had increased steadily since the “Fall of Origin”, especially after his involvement in the defense of the OSS during the last two attacks and it has now plateaued on a level rivaling that of Coordinators Streya Jormagdnir and Riordan, even surpassing it in some demographic groups like the Decentralizers.