War Journal: Triglavian Collective

Ave, pilots.

So, it’s been a while since I really tried to do something like this. I really used to enjoy travel writing and all that kind of thing. My last effort was kind of recording adventures and misadventures in the Abyss, but, now the Collective’s coming to visit us instead and … some familiar places are starting to feel pretty alien.

So … Raravoss (aftermath):

I spent a couple of hours just now poking around in the conquered system of Raravoss. Now that the excitement’s died down, the place is looking pretty abandoned. Pilot count in local’s … modest, like three to eleven people at any given time, and only a very few staying for long. Pretty much a typical lowsec system that way, though apparently the local sec status is functionally -1.0, which is so far past merely “nullsec” I have to wonder what it actually means.

So … a few things.

“Hi! I’m Raravoss! I used to be blue, but now something so dramatic is being done to me that you can literally see shreds of black in my corona. This probably doesn’t mean anything good for the greenhouses on local colonies, but I can’t help it. Sorry!”

Harvesting (or whatever) continues. I can’t help noticing the color of the plume. Maybe that’s what’s happening to the “blue?”

I do not have shots of the stellar harvesting “transmuter,” and this thing is why. The transmuter still has a signature you can see and warp to from anywhere in the system, but it doesn’t take you to it anymore. Looks like it (or something) is now broadcasting a zone of deadspace, defended by this gate. The gate itself wasn’t all that defended, just two ships: a Hospodar damavik and vedmak-- easy. But, probably they can call for help, and considering all the ships they casually throw around the Triglavians must be feeling pretty confident if that’s all they’ve set to guard duty.

Speaking of which …

A curiously inactive extractor super-nexus at planet 5, belt 2. I found three others, at 7-1, 7-2, and 9-1, all just hanging there with the collars on their disintegrator mining arrays spinning quietly-- awake, but still, and mostly undefended.

Not completely, though.

A Triglavian werpost at 5-2. Pretty sure this thing would have cut my Hound in two in an instant if I’d uncloaked, and my pod a moment later. They didn’t seem to be placed around the system with any real consistency; this one was at a belt, but I saw three other ESN’s undefended and one werpost apparently placed at a planet.

That’s not to say nobody was mining.

Blood Raiders. I saw more Blooders than Triglavians-- mining, hauling, shooting at random structures; there’s definitely an FOB in system. Whether they’ve worked out some kind of deal with the invaders or they’ve just opportunistically dropped in, they’re definitely enjoying the benefits. It makes me wonder if maybe some of the reports we’ve heard of colonies going silent might not even be the Triglavians.

Probably most of them are, though. And speaking of colonies, remember those markings the Collective’s been setting up around facilities in systems it invades?

Yeah …

… still there.

Oh, and here’s a thing …

That’s the TEST fortizar. As you can see, despite TEST having sided fully with the Collective at Raravoss, the Triglavian markings are still present. If they’re lucky, those lights never meant anything very sinister: just sort of the Triglavian equivalent of posting translated versions of local navigational signals to guide their own pilots, or maybe sort of a border fence.

“Now entering Triglavian sovereign territory. Please esotericize your diction with words like ‘liminality,’ ‘forward-time,’ and ‘noema.’ Violators will be extirpated.”

If they’re not, well, the Triglavians’ gratitude might not extend as far as TEST might have expected. Is it petty of me to kind of hope it’s that one?

Either way, it’s probably not going to help Raravoss much. Or Vale for that matter. For the record, this is the photosphere as seen, unfiltered, from Raravoss I, about 0.33 AU from the star.

Gods, I hope we get to come back for this place.

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No pictures today. Sorry.

Probably not going to be especially funny, either. Sorry about that, too.

Today … today I formed up to fight in Nonni (Caldari space), and ended up fighting in Odixie (Federation space) instead beside Debes Sparre (and, briefly, even Elsebeth) for quite a few hours. We clawed the system back up pretty well-- yaaaaay-- while Nonni …

. . . .

I believe it’s important that we fight together. I believe that it’s important that we meet this threat as a unified front, and that the best way to achieve that is to fly alongside even people I’d otherwise consider enemies. Defending their homes.

It’s important. It is.

Important.

So why do I feel so raw? At helping the Federation fight off the enemies at the gates, while Caldari defenses falter and fail? The question really answers itself, although I know I alone wasn’t going to change Nonni’s fate even a little. Why is the Caldari Navy so hapless? All those years of preparing, of building, of fortifying-- for what? An entire fortified region of space, for what?

And why is our own class so utterly hilariously stupidly treacherous? I kind of knew this about us, but I always thought of the volume of us in the State as at least something of a strength. Cold, sure; amoral and callous, sure; mercenary and driven by greed, sure: there’s nothing here the State can’t work with, can’t channel, doesn’t, in fact, work with and channel every last day!

And yet … it feels like a liability now. WE feel like a liability: traitors within the walls!

I don’t know what to do with this besides just let it out and spill it like a swarming mass of ants. It’s horrible, and I don’t know what else to do with it but get it out of my head.

Saisio, home, hasn’t felt this fragile since … probably ever, I think. If the Triglavians come … It’s in The Citadel. The SuVee HQ is there. Surely it wouldn’t fall so easily? Surely they wouldn’t let it?

I’ve never doubted before whether the State military could give, at the least, a really good accounting of itself, at least to slow the enemy down. But the data’s clear. In a way it doesn’t matter why. They’re humiliating us.

I don’t even have many ties to the State anymore. It’s barely a home at all.

They’re humiliating us.

Gods. How could this happen?

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A robust account of the goings-on, if you’re looking for imaging of the completed Dazh Porevitium Transmuter I have some. I’m sorry the war is taking a psychological toll and is harshly affecting people in your home State. Standing united in spite of our background differences will definitely be key, even if it leaves a strange taste in the mouth helping former rivals or enemies.

A side note on -1.0 security status designation: it’s the same security designation CONCORD gives to systems in Anoikis. While technologies such as bombs, interdiction fields, and the like still can’t be used in those systems captured by the Collective, CONCORD must nonetheless consider them as dangerous as systems in Anoikis.

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I blame the corrupting influence of Achuran culture; having conquered the Achurans, the Caldari are now conquered by the Achurans. It has long been observed that Achuran culture, particularly its cartoons and comic books, have an infantilizing effect upon non-Achuran consumers. A Caldari military whose Achuraboo officers and men sleep with body pillows featuring members of the Doki Doki Kestrel Club (or whatever is the popular series these days) is not a military that is going to offer much resistance to anything. Also unhelpful is the Achuran religion, which privileges naval-gazing mental activity without effect in the real-world (the detachment from which is the whole point of the Achuran religion); by contrast, the vigorous Amarr Faith rewards those who enter the arena of battle and slaughter the enemies of God and Empire.

The time has come for the Caldari people to reject the corrupting influence of Achuranism and rediscover their Maker, God, the Amarr God, worship of whom will bring them salvation. Amen. Amarr Victor.

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I feel with you.
While I was doing my best yesterday in Odixie to support the Edencom armed forces, I was shaken by the capsuleer support the collective has.
Capsuleers formerly most unknown to the System jumped in with a large fleet and started destroying Federation ships - in Federation Space!

They seem to hate EDENCOM as an insitution and are spreading Triglavian propaganda.
As I reminded them that they are attacking Federation Citizens, they just laughed it off. Seems like they have no respect for the Federation as well and are not afraid of any consequences.

I begged them to stop, but of course there was no point in talking to them. The Federation ships were heavily outclassed by the capsuleers Leshak Battleships. Most of our aid had been limited to collecting survivors or circling close infront of the Leshaks to prevent them from warping.
It was horrible! The Federation should immediatly declare those capsuleers as criminals! But until today there was no announcement. Even Concord interventioned at one point but made no attempts to defend any Edencom ships!
This just feels completely wrong and it scares me what the future will bring if those untouchable capsuleers get more power…

Explosion of FN Elabon Douze
714 people dead - 18 survivors

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Live by the sword , trip and fall on the sword, die by the sword.

It may be hard indeed to bear witness to the collapse of the projected aura of ruthless efficiency that our people project.

To witness that there is no mobilizing of a force like the one we saw at the retaking of our homeworld, not only in numbers, but in will from the powers that be.

To witness that the people, our people, are giving all they got in what appear to be last stands at the ground battles, because there is nothing different they can do.

To know that the powers that be are mobilizing the entire population and turning them into combatants, but at the same time not giving what they need to fight effectively and basically making them war targets ready for slaughter, even if a brave, glorious, hard fought and tenacious slaughter.

I feel you, my kin. I truly do. I wish i could embrace you right now.

Dear @Nauplius

You may consider improving certain perspectives. While it is flattering that you give so much credit for Achura (rules), we are but a small fraction of a vast contingent of people, and our practices are not that influential within our people.

In addition, the mental state some of our practices allow may be used as a powerful weapon, for when one is ready to face the no beign, there need not to be a doctrine of no retreat implemented from above. A lot of Caldari will meet their fate with a smile, knowing they are doing what they can to protect their kin even if it means a few flowers dying, because spring will come.

I know it is a hard to translate something that comes from within rather than something that come from outside, even if internalized, but, alas, may the course of the river continue.

The State will either come out of this stronger, or it will face a hostile aquisition from a more efficient group, for much like an Iris we thrive in the rain, even if it is a rain of blood.

Resumo

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There may be some truth to this. I don’t know. I’m too busy navel-gazing.

“…if ever in your future struggle for our people you should find your resolve faltering, tempted to drink from that bitter cup that is life’s sorrow, then remember this: Within your frailness of spirit, uncared for by the cold winds of fate, and wept for by none in the endless snows of despair still beats a heart. A Caldari heart. A heart that carries within it the hope, the dreams, the will, and the fierce determination of every citizen with the fury of every star in the State against the darkness of the long and lonely night. […]

[…] to ensure the safety of those we love as our duty.

If ever in your future struggle for our people should you think yourself alone, lost, or afraid, look to the ones you love and know that the sound of their Caldari heart beats the same as your own, and it beats as strongly now just as it has for a thousand years:

Doki!

Doki!”

I used to believe (my duty lay) in fighting “For the State”, my comrades, brothers and sisters, for the safety of those we love…

…but now I’m alone, lost…and I used to be afraid, but now I just feel empty, and the ones I loved…I’m not sure if their Caldari hearts have ever beaten the same and as strongly as my own.

I used to have a heart that carried within it the hope, the dreams, the will, and the fierce determination of every citizen with the fury of every star in the State against the darkness of the long and lonely night…

…But now my resolve has faltered, my spirit has become (or perhaps it always has been) frail, I’m uncared for by the cold winds of fate, and wept for by none in the endless snows of despair…

My Caldari heart was broken.

Perhaps…this was my test, and I have failed…but I’ve come to question everything I was taught.

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God can mend, and heal your broken heart if you let in His light, His warmth. With the renewed strength, renewed will that the Faith can give you, you can again fight to protect those you love.

It’s like the gleam in a shark’s eye when it smells blood. Winds preserve.

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So … historically, as a rule, I haven’t been a huge fan of Matari designs. Fission reactors-- really? Artillery and autocannon batteries-- what’s the year we’re living in again? All the tech involved feels like something from an earlier age, updated for modern use but at the very limit of what it’s capable of doing. Someday railguns will probably overcome their current technical limitations on precision and a bottle of antimatter plasma accelerated to near-C will become as overwhelmingly lethal as it seems like it should be. What can artillery do then?

I admit, though, that they’re growing on me lately. Matari tactics tend towards hit-and-run, and there’s really no question their guns are brilliant for it. Enough artillery just kind of crushes whatever’s in its path, assuming it can hit-- I mean, that’s true for everything, but with artillery they can just kind of show up, put all their firepower for the next ten or fifteen seconds into a single barrage, and bail out. They might lose a war of attrition, but it’s hard to make them sit still for one.

Today was a good day.

A really good day.

Turns out the Triglavians with all their close-range weaponry and reliance on cross-rep (which deals poorly with high-volley attack) are a little vulnerable to tactics like this: arrive at extreme range, shred whatever you can before things get dangerous, retreat. Small fleets are vulnerable. So are exposed industrial assets as seen above, and even heavily-defended industrial assets as long as they’re not quite so tough as a super-nexus.

As seen here, moments from death.

Turns out some of their supporters are a little vulnerable to tactics like this, too.

I have been itching, absolutely itching, for a taste of traitor blood. CONCORD’s rules protect them in highsec, even the ones EDENCOM is actively fighting them in. But in endangered systems? Places where the Collective has a foothold? Not so much.

So basically the Kybernauts are fighting hard to make themselves vulnerable to us. It was so, so, so very satisfying to let them taste the fruits of their labors at last.

It feels just a little pirate-y in the very best way, hitting industrial assets and small fleets, dodging the larger fleets and Kybernaut tackle. CONCORD isn’t allowed to approve, but I’ll take that in stride. Always have. We’re fighting outclassed, and there’s one empire that really excels at making that strategic situation work. Even an antique weapon can still be deadly.

As for more modern munitions, a note to any Caldari engineers: Would I trade refire rate and even overall attack output to actually get out of a railgun the sheer punch it should theoretically be able to deliver? Yes. Absolutely. It might not be as efficient for a straight battle, but it doesn’t seem like our existing doctrines are doing us favors right now.

Maybe hit and run could be made to work. And maybe our technical know-how has been in some ways misapplied.

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It is, in fact, more efficient for a straight battle, because remote assistance exists. It’s why the vast majority of large-scale fleet combats are between alpha-strike platforms.

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Rust tends to do that.

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Tornadoes with a Bellicose painting targets considers most fleets all-you-can-eat buffet.

Tornadoes, Maelstroms, Tempests, Muninns, Hurricanes…

But Bellicose? No. Please. Too fat, too slow. Use Vigils, and keep them moving fast at long range.

But I love my ugly duckling.

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Windrunner Tornadoes have been amazingly effective at making the Triglavian supporters’ fleets crumble and stand down. Since expanding my knowledge into Minmatar and Caldari ships, I’ve really come to like a fair number of these new (to me) ships.

Really, being more flexible with ships and compositions than I was in the past has really paid off for fighting the Triglavians. I’ve broken out the heavy armor ships for a few operations, but I can now better adapt fleets to the needs of specific circumstance as well as the pilots that’ll be flying. It’s somewhat amusing how many of the EDENCOM Defense Initiative pilots view me as a ‘Shield FC.’

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Harva’s gone.

Well. Not … gone, literally, but, “final liminality.” Conquered.

And … a bit worse than that, maybe.

This is a formerly G5 yellow star.

Here’s how it was in second liminality, a few hours ago. I was mostly trying to get shots of the Daj Liminality Locus, the “weather module.”

Then the system went to final liminality while we were hitting an industrial area and … uh. Well, I was back in orbit at the star like a minute later, in time to catch this:

That blue material (plasma, probably) keeps flowing back up the beam towards the transmuter in slow pulses.

That’s what they’re doing, what they did. It’s not just a simple drawing away of material; there’s something more significant, a snapping-into-place that’s happening.

Also, that’s not a black star or anything, at least yet. But that’s definitely not yellow anymore.

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This is why the Triglavian Collective must be destroyed.

Whenever I hear news about the Triglavians, of late, I am reminded of this image:

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Sooo … just an additional really fun thought: that second image of final liminality? That’s with the sun filter on.

Anybody feel like taking a guess how much of what kind of radiation that put out?

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