[SoERR] Reports from On the Way Home evacuation base

The purpose of this document

The purpose of this document is to give an overview to the capsuleer community about what things look like in one of the many volunteer refugee bases in the cluster. International communications and official news seem to have broken down, and in the confusion it is difficult to gain information. While what I have is only a very tiny piece of the puzzle, it seems that tiny pieces is now all we have, so I will attempt to share mine.

Before I begin, I will apologize that the information here is so poor, hastily put together, narrow and at places not much better than rumors.

And again I extend my thanks to all who have flown with us these past months. Fate walk with you all.

Do you remember that evening’s shade?
Your skin so pale, were you afraid?
We spoke no more, we did not fight.
You were gone with the dying light.
(“Before the Tears fell”, trad, Sb.)

Situation overview

SoERR base Invaders Must Die continues to be deployed in Skarkon. Beacons and gathering bases on orbit have been deployed but keep on being shot down. The refugee base On the Way Home is stationed in Gelfiven and services mainly Skarkon evacuees.

Incoming evacuation traffic has slowed down and is now mostly civilian, with military and capsuleer efforts concentrated in keeping dropship landing zones, stations, gates and orbits clear. We are receiving occasional refugee boats from elsewhere both to to Gelfiven and directly to Pator. Base runs at full capacity with minimal facilities provided.

Reports from ground and from operations in the region are difficult to piece together to form a coherent picture. Lack of information is a major hurdle.

Base situation

For the first time in its existence, I am sorry to report On the Way Home at max capacity and struggling. We are processing people in and out as fast as possible and still can provide only very basic accommodations to all in our care.

It helps that here, unlike our typical situation, a lot of the people do have a place to go, some kin off the taken system or at least tribal charity if nothing else, so we are not starting most of them from zero. Yet, there are a lot of unregistered people and people in local registries now destroyed, without a claim to their name, and we are currently processing out slower than in.

Materials-wise, we are well off enough. We have enough frozen food and clean water to last us for a year or more of this. Hab units are the scarcest resource but dockside has been kind enough to lend a hand with settling people in.

(Please do not offer help if you do not have a concrete offer as to how. As is typical in a crisis, we are also out of capacity to co-ordinate such and to teach new people on the fly. If you can donate, we take supplies - food, water, textiles, smartfab units, antibiotics, and for once we are not out of Vitoc, at least - but the best help now would be as many parallel small refugee camps as possible.)

Reports from Skarkon

Reports from the system itself are conflicted. We can confirm with certainty that the SoERR station itself has been left alone and since the main capsuleer evac operation it has not even had a werpost on it. The Parliament station and gates are heavily guarded by werposts, with new ones going up as old ones are destroyed, hampering movement in an out considerably.

Triglavian vessels in space seem to care little about what a vessel is before deciding on whether to shoot it. Unarmed transport traffic by neutral parties gets shot with as great a likelihood as a combat contingent, which makes heavier ship movement difficult without heavy escort and limits evacuation capacity.

Reports from individual ground bases on inhabited planets are conflicting. Small mining colonies on asteroids and moons have mostly been evacuated successfully and without incident. That said, we also have reports of destroyed ones, without evidence of the culprit.

Planet II orbit is mostly clear of hostile vessels, but any beacons set up on orbit are destroyed. We do not have current coverage enough to confirm by who exactly, but whoever it is, the destruction of orbital infrastructure impedes heavily with clear contact with ground and means that my operations have a very sporadic picture of what goes on on the ground as whole.

What I can tell you is that most lift-off points of our own and, based on comms chatter, those of others, have been left alone both by all forces currently on ground. There has been a lot of posturing and relationships are certainly tense, but when push comes to shove, the respect for tribal civilian life more often that not prevails.

Nevertheless, two situations are particularly worrying.

Firstly, reports of Triglavian forces overtaking civilian settlements have come in on multiple occasions. Based on pieced together reports, it seems that there are locations where Triglavian entities take to ground to set up their own structures and operations. In those areas they do not hesitate to destroy whatever comes into their way if it does not move out from under them fast enough, and do it with wanton, careless show of overwhelming force. Where mostly unaugmented human forces have been reported as attempting to delay this, they have been promptly destroyed. (We are not in contact with any of the warclone communities as is.)

Lift-off points in direct contact with us, however, have seen only sparse assumed hostile movement. One of these incidents involves a ground convoy of civilian refugee traffic’s path cut by (assumed) triglavian forces. Instead of following the lift-off officer’s instructions to not attempt to reach the lift-off but to swerve southwards and attempt to clear the triglavian movement, the civilian convoy decided to make a dash towards the base. Unfortunately, no one survived the contact. The triglavian forces stopped short of the lift-off itself and seemed to lose interest, but to be prudent this point was abandoned soon after.

Second, while the majority of evacuation operations seem to proceed without various agents bothering each other beyond harsh words and inane threats, there are still reports of heavy human-to-human conflicts outside of these operations. Another drop-off/pick-up location we were in contact with reported being threatened and either control of the point or supplies demanded by two separate forces, one claiming to represent the Krusual tribe and another claiming to be backed up warclones. How much these claimed affiliations by militia without insignia carries weight I have no idea, but at least it speaks of a belief by the locals that said groups are influential and would believably do these things. (My compliments to ground commander Aubaris & crew for handling this situation without casualties.)

Main challenges

At the moment, the main problem we face is that solar systems are, to use a technical term, big, and even on a relatively “small” population planet such as Skarkon II, there is a lot of people, they are under not normal circumstances standing in an orderly line at a dropship pickup point, and once they are off the planet they still need to be housed, fed, comforted and settled.

The operation is huge. I’ve done refugee work for two decades, and I have never seen anything like this. And yet, to think, the Republic got off easy, compared, and we are used to this kind of work, too. It must be worse in other places.

Official word on situation on ground, the triglavians, and what to expect in the “liminalities”, is sparse enough to be in practice non-existent. I do not know what would be the worst explanation: that communications between communities are so broken down not just us but everyone has lost ability to piece it together, that there is no one left that could communicate clearly, or that there is information but it is not being shared.

Lack of information and outright misinformation in general is a major hurdle. It leads to rumor mills, completely wrong tactical decisions, unnecessary delays, inter-tribal tensions that has lead to shots fired, and in general makes co-operation between the various organizations working in the region very hard. I cannot hold with any of the “information quarantines” imposed and I certainly do not hold with how the political atmosphere was still being stirred up and threats made against other operators when the system had already been fallen and the question who owns it exactly should have been a moot point long ago.

Capsuleer TL;DR

Stuff’s ■■■■■■. Planets are big. Some official information would be nice.

19 Likes

With a bit of TLC and some lowered standards, one can make a passable barracks or even apartments from some cargo containers. Although the gentlemen I host are prior military/paramilitary, which may have something to do with it.

2 Likes

Thank you Rhiannon-haani for this informational update. Torchwood will release one of our own very soon.

But in advance of that, if it helps, I would like to note that any Amarrian or Caldari personnel can be transferred to a Torchwood office or installation for processing back to their individual empires.

For the record, we are processing all refugees as well, however our assets are limited to Amarr and Caldari space at present, with only satellite offices in the Federation and no presence in the Republic. As such, we are not the best option for Gallente or Matari seeking to get home. But our extremely close ties with the State and Empire allow us to serve them better.

I also would like to say how much of an honor it’s been serving with you. You are a shinning example of the best humanity has to offer.

2 Likes

If there are any refugees needing to cross Empire lines, I can assist. I’m based out of an Orca and I’m able and willing to cross any Imperial borders, having maintained neutrality with all four Empires.

1 Like

Update from medical

(Medical wishes to apologize for the delay in their reporting and regrets that their viewpoint was not included in the first report, which is now corrected.)

According to records of the medical staff of the base, as the number of evacuees coming our way is getting lower, so is their condition getting more severe. In the beginning, almost everyone evacuated was in fine health apart from pre-existing conditions that might have been exacerbated by limited access to shelter and care. Since then, we have seen increasing amounts of evacuees in need of medical care.

As conditions worsen on the affected planets, effects of exposure, hypothermia, and plain of lack of food and water are apparent in many cases. Increasing numbers of burns, shot wounds and blunt trauma have been treated in the center.

There are also many patients with biological and chemical effects by unknown agents leading to needs of quarantines and observation in already crowded environments. While most of these cases are delegated to specialized care and quarantine, some mild effects of such agents have trickled to pretty much all centers. Chemical burns, obscure microbial growths, localized but progressing blood vessel anomalies, and changes in lung metabolism and oxygen uptake have been observed.

Eye-witness reports speak of local flora withering in the dimming light as expected, but also of heavy environmental effects where triglavians advance, effecting local scenery and wildlife - and also people - but these reports I can of course not personally confirm. I offer the eye-witness story below as representative of the stories we hear from personnel on ground.

"It is eerie; how the triglavian influence advances like a wave. If you look at it from the distance, it’s like a stormfront, where human lights go out, then there is a period of darkness, and then triglavian lights go up. Sometimes there is fighting where this happens, but often also not, it’s just… there, and then, it’s… over. People rarely come from those zones anymore. They did in the beginning, running for their lives, but they don’t anymore. And when they do, they are… sometimes changed. You can see it in their eyes, on their skin… they are changing.

And no matter what triglover reports say, sometimes they die of it. We had a group arrive, changed… You must understand, we cannot take groups like that on the regular transports, we do not have the quarantine measures, so they have to wait for someone who has, and they have to wait away from the main groups. So they waited. We kept watch, but only as much as to stop them from approaching the drop base, we had no reason to control them otherwise, free civilians. In the next morning, most of them were gone. And those who were left were dead, twisted like, maybe they had seizures or something? Some had bled a little from those weird veins on their faces, but there was no fight, no gunshots, nothing. The Fleet took charge of the site soon after."

5 Likes

Well that’s disturbing. Very disturbing indeed.

1 Like

Update

During the past 24h, evacuee traffic from inside the Republic to our base has slowed down to an almost non-existent trickle.

P5 and spaceside in Skarkon as well as most of Krirald are reported clear by both eyewitnesses and official channels.

P2 is apparently completely overrun. Most dropdown/pickup sites have evacuated or been destroyed. We’ve heard of Seykal, Krullefor, Cartel, indie capsuleer and Fleet sites abandoned. Rumor mill says AEGIS and Fleet Marines are still on ground in force and fighting, but I am personally convinced rumor mill would say that even if the planet itself was shattered to pieces and scattered off orbit.

Lots of frostbites, burns, and other damage on the last batches of refugees. Looked otherwise for a while, but medical got to earn their pay, too.

Come darkness!
I am the candle in the hand of Fate

Come war!
I am the weapon in the hand of Fate

Come death!
I am a child, holding the hand of Fate.

3 Likes

It is with growing unease that I report we have lost contact to Ground Commander Jaqel Aubaris and company on Skarkon II last night at 21:49 while the evac unit was on its way to meet with the closest units of the Skarkon Tribal Resistance Army, under conditions that do not give reason to assume anything good of their current situation.

For any concerned parties, I am taking the liberty to use Commander Aubaris’s pre-authorization for such situations, and make it known he is a capsuleer clone and maintains regular backups. Current situation does not yet meet the legal conditions for declaring death and firing a backup.

I do not have such information authorizations for the rest of the company. Kin has been notified where appropriate.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day
World’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away
Change and decay in all around I see
Oh Fate who changest not; abide with me

3 Likes

Captain Rhiannon, if its at all within the realm of possibility, I would like to extend one of my Clone Pilot squadrons and an M-class heavy transport still on Skarkon II for S&R operations to, hopefully, retrieve this evacuation unit that has gone silent, and deliver them either to a safely designated location of your choice, or bring them to their original destination.

I know that things are considerably tense at the given moment, so leave this choice to you, instead of making a snap decision.

I would be grateful of the assistance.