I have been offered terms by the Praetoris Imperialis Excubitoris regarding Thebeka. But before I delve further, allow me to share why I have been silent.
Over the better part of the last twenty-four hours, I have been focused on fasting and prayer. While The Ghosts of Kahah have followed our evacuation protocols, I retired to my quarters and there I consulted a weathered booklet my confessor provided me before I left for my studies in Pator.
Scrawled on the inside cover, he quoted the Book of Missions, “To know the true path, but yet, to never follow it. That is possibly the gravest sin.”
Admittedly, I did not know if I was following the true path when I was studying away from home. There were times I skipped my studies and indulged in firwa and the revelries that came with it. But time and again, I was pushed back into the path, for the life of a loyal Ammatar exchange student in the Minmatar Republic is not easy. To hold the Faith there requires patience and fortitude in the face of distrust and in some cases revilement. And so God guided me and hardened my resolve.
When news reached me of Kahah, I had been born again as an empyrean. While not a Holder, God had chosen me for another path. I learned of the carnage, of the destruction, of massacres carried out in nonchalant routine against innocents. I sought to end the suffering and the death. Yet even in failure, as I launched escape pods while my freighter exploded around me, God was there. And so God showed me the truth of the black heart of the Empire.
But I did not want to believe that the core was corrupt. I clung to the memory of Yonis Ardishapur and to what he did for my family and all of the Ammatar of the Mandate. I put my own thoughts above what God showed me and tried to believe that the corruption existed only within the Khanid Kingdom. With Thebeka in turmoil, I arrived to protect House Ardishapur from the machinations of the Kingdom. But before I could deploy personnel to the surface—indeed we were merely observing for the Khanid presence—PIE declared war. And so God showed me my foolishness.
Few came to my aid. My decisions had left me without allies and all The Ghosts of Kahah and Mordor Industries Inc. have known are defeats at the hands of the Praetoria. Our counter-attack in Dresi was crushed without inflicting a single casualty. And now our Raitaru is reduced to only its structure. And then the Grandmaster of the Order of St. Tetrimon by mandate of Empress Catiz herself declared me an attainted heretic. I was stripped of my Ammatar heritage and through attainder, lost the home of my birth and such property that was not stored in hangars protected by the Yulai Convention. And so God gave me the holiest of gifts.
“Only through many hardships
Is a man stripped to his very foundations
And in such a state
Devoid of distractions
Is his soul free to soar
And in this
He is closest to God”
God, through many trials and what ‘loyalists’ call failures, blessed me with clarity. I see the corruption of His Empire and the abuses of his so-called chosen Holders. I see the tendrils of darkness reach through every crevice, nook, and cranny. I can hear it in the cries of those yearning to be free. It resounds with the sirens urging us to abandon our Raitaru and fade quietly into the night.
The Empire can take away my home and my heritage, PIE can lance my ships and structures with lasers, and Sa-Baron Alar Chakaid can gloat, but none can take away the truth I have seen. They want me to go quietly into exile. They have struck me and expect me to bow my head and limp away like a beaten hound.
But I will stand. I will fight. I reject PIE’s terms! For the path is clear as day! If the Raitaru weathers the battle, then it shall be a rallying cry for all Ammatar and those in bondage. And if it is God’s will for it to be destroyed, then those who volunteered to stay behind will be fresh martyrs in a new wave of faith carried on the solar winds by a light that will ignite in Thebeka and spread for all of New Eden to see! A shockwave of reform will reverberate throughout the cluster.
Live or die, it will be a victory for the truly faithful.
The end comes for the perversion of the Faith as practiced by the Amarr. Rise now! Stand together or die alone! Let our voices join as one! The eyes of New Eden are upon us!
Now is the time to throw off your chains. Now is the time to fight. Fight to be free!