Battle of Caldari Prime
All this data is potentially out of date, and should be taken with a truckload of salt
|Event Title||Battle of Caldari Prime|
|Start Date||March 15, YC 115|
|End Date||March 26, YC 115|
|Attacking Forces|| Gallente Federation|
Federal Defense Union
Fleet Coordination Commission
Live Events Fleet
|Defending Forces|| Caldari State|
Caldari Providence Directorate
Live Events Fleet
|Result|| Decisive Gallente victory|
• Shiigeru Leviathan destroyed
• Entire Caldari Navy 37th Octopus Squadron destroyed
• Permanent scarring of planetary surface
• Massive damage to Arcurio
• Clone soldiers recognized and acknowledged
• Hearth and Home relief operation launched
• Admiral Visera Yanala executed
• Luminaire VII declared planetwide DMZ under Mordu's Legion
• Tibus Heth and Provists removed from power
• Caldari State Chief Executor position dissolved
• Highlander documents scandal
• Capsuleers awarded medals; memorial constructed
• 37th Octopus Squadron officers court-martialed and eliminated
|Commanders and Leaders:|| Gallente Federation:|
Directive Enforcement Department:
Hearth and Home Curator:
The Fourth District
|Strength:|| Gallente Federation:|
4 Nyx Supercarriers
11 Thanatos Carriers
25 Moros Dreadnoughts
237-capsuleer FCORD Fleet
1 Leviathan Titan
4 Wyvern Supercarriers
11 Chimera Carriers
5 Phoenix Dreadnoughts
90-capsuleer Live Events fleet
At least 2,000 capsuleers
Unknown numbers of clone soldiers
The Battle of Caldari Prime was a massive engagement between the Gallente Federation Navy and Caldari State Navy and aligned capsuleers on March 22, YC 115, in Luminaire over the system’s seventh planet, Caldari Prime. The engagement was initiated in the course of Operation: Highlander, which was designed to break the Caldari State’s hold on Luminaire VII and focused on the deployment of a Federation Navy capital fleet to Luminaire VII in response to the activation of the Caldari Navy Shiigeru Leviathan. The Leviathan had brought several cities into orbital bombardment range in an effort to curb escalating tensions and unrest on the planet’s surface, which were threatening to undermine Caldari State security forces’ hold on several cities.
The operation resulted in the complete destruction of the Caldari Navy Leviathan Shiigeru and the entire 37th Octopus Squadron responsible for defending it.
The impact of the battle continues to have far-reaching consequences to this day, from shaping the development of interstellar politics to speculations at the water cooler and conspiracy theories throughout the trade hubs.
- 1 The First Invasion of Luminaire: A History of War
- 2 Prelude To Conflict: The Clone Soldiers
- 3 Planetary Uprising: Moving The Chess Pieces
- 4 The Battle of Caldari Prime
- 4.1 1100: The Shiigeru Moves Into Orbit
- 4.2 1530: DED Arrives
- 4.3 Zero Hour: The Battle Begins
- 4.4 Tactical Analysis
- 4.5 1800: The Shiigeru Is Destroyed
- 4.6 1900: The Gallente Capsuleer Fleet Withdraws
- 4.7 1919: The Shiigeru Wreckage Makes Landfall
- 4.8 Orbital Combat Assessment
- 4.9 Surface Combat Continues: The Caldari State Holds
- 5 The Dust Settles: Immediate Aftermath
- 6 Standing Down: Planet-Wide Demilitarized Zone
- 7 Long-Term Consequences: Battle Reverberations Continually Felt
- 8 The Fall of Tibus Heth and the Provists
- 9 Backlash: The Highlander Documents Scandal
- 10 One Year Later: Remembrance and Honor
- 11 Retribution: The Court-Martial of the 37th Octopus Squadron
- 12 Rebuilding Over Battle Scars
- 13 Whispers In The Dark
- 14 Trivia
- 15 Killboards
- 16 Media
The First Invasion of Luminaire: A History of War
Luminaire itself has been a hotspot and a point of contention between the Gallente Federation and Caldari State for centuries.
Both planets saw significant action during the Gallente-Caldari War. In response to the bombing of the Gallente underwater city of Nouvelle Rouvenor by Caldari Templis Dragonaur extremists, the Gallente Federation Navy initiated an intense orbital bombardment of Caldari Prime. Rather than give in to Gallente demands to surrender, Caldari Navy Admiral Yakiya Tovil-Toba began a violent and intense guerrilla campaign upon Gallente Prime, which culminated with the self-destruction of the Kairiola water freighter in the atmosphere over the planet. Admiral Tovil-Toba had scuttled the craft in Gallente Prime’s atmosphere, which rained down debris across the planet and claimed the lives of over 2,000,000 alone in the city of Hueromont (the events becoming known as the “Hueromont Incident”). The admiral’s campaign and sacrifice bought the Caldari enough time to evacuate their remaining population from Caldari Prime. They would not return from another two centuries.
In June YC 110, upon his rise to power following an uprising at the Caldari Constructions’s Piak facility, Caldari State Executor Tibus Heth capitalized off of the Minmatar attack on the CONCORD headquarters in Yulai and scrambled almost the entire Caldari Navy as part of a massive invasion of Luminaire to retake Caldari Prime. With the Shiigeru Leviathan at the helm of the fleet, the Caldari Navy decimated all resistance and swiftly recaptured the planet and homeworld of the Caldari people. With the Caldari Navy threatening to orchestrate a bombardment of Gallente Prime should the Gallente mount any resistance whatsoever against the fleet, the Gallente Federation had no choice but to submit Luminaire VII as “Caldari Prime” to the State. While Luminaire would remain under Gallente sovereignty, Caldari Prime itself would be placed under Caldari control-the Shiigeru Leviathan and a small security detachment would remain in orbit above Luminaire VII to ensure the planet’s security.
Under constant observation from the Gallente Federation, the Shiigeru remained in orbit over the planet, fending off occasional attacks from opportunistic capsuleers. The most significant attempt to destroy the Leviathan was initiated on June 25, YC 113, by hundreds of capsuleers in the course of the “Monoclegate” protests.
While the fleet failed to destroy the Titan over Luminaire VII, it gave enough pause to New Eden as to the sheer scope and force that would actually be required to destroy such a massive spacecraft in anger.
Prelude To Conflict: The Clone Soldiers
The series of escalating events and confrontations which ultimately led to the incident which would become known as the “Battle of Caldari Prime” can perhaps loosely trace their origin back to January YC 115, when first contact with “powerful troopers” who would later be identified as “clone mercenaries” and later “clone soldiers” was made on the battlefield .
These operatives distinguished themselves from traditional military personnel primarily by their use of dropsuits and their uncanny ability to transfer their consciousness to a new clone body at the moment of death without the need of a hydrostatic capsule (similar to that of capsuleers). While these clone soldiers were fielded roughly at the same time by all four empires, the empires officially refused to comment on the existence of any soldier who could “clone himself,” with the exception of Amarr Empress Jamyl I who immediately welcomed the existence of said soldiers as “new special forces who are unmatched in New Eden.” Furthermore, Mordu's Legion embraced the idea of any new technology which could provide them an edge on the battlefield.
Despite the secrecy surrounding the existence of clone soldiers, their deployment resulted in a massive military mobilization of the Caldari Navy, State Protectorate with ground support from the Caldari Providence Directorate (sometimes referred to as the Caldari Provincial Directorate or “Provists”), and Caldari Marines inside their own borders on January 28, YC 115. Documents obtained by The Scope at the time confirmed that Caldari Navy vessels were directing their operations against their own planets, with heavy fighting reported across several of them. This mobilization prompted all other empires to put their own navies on high alert, with the Gallente Federation readying its Titan wings and preparing to retaliate against any attempted border crossings .
These maneuvers were further complicated by the interdiction of Guristas Pirates on Vellaine III on January 29, YC 115, while the Caldari military was deployed to the surface. Responding to a request for aid from Koraski Hakatain, (a representative of a group of clone soldiers who would later be identified as the “Intara Direct Action” mercenary organization), the Guristas attacked the Ishukone Corporation Factory at Huola, stealing a Rhea-class Jump Freighter before deploying it to Vellaine two hours later. Despite a blockade of capsuleers which attempted to intercept the Guristas, said jump freighter was utilized to evacuate the clone soldiers from the planet before escaping intact .
Weeks later, following accusations from the Pyre Falcon Defence Combine Alliance and the Kaalakiota megacorporation that Intara Direct Action had conspired with the illicit Guristas Pirates, Intara filed suit through the Caldari Business Tribunal, claiming harassment and corporate slander. Less than ten minutes into the first session Caldari Providence Directorate representatives intervened on behalf of Caldari State Executor Tibus Heth, relaying an executive “cease and desist” order than stopped the case cold .
A second incident of similar scope occurred in early February YC 115, when Mordu's Legion landed upon Autama IV and evacuated clone soldiers from an organization which would later be identified as the “Osmon Surveillance” mercenary corporation .
In both cases, the Caldari Navy refused to comment on the matters, claiming that doing so would put operations security at risk. Though, it expressed vehemently that its actions were not being directed against its own citizens. Refuting this claim, Mordu's Legion, Angel Cartel, and the Guristas Pirates all delivered public statements offering support and recruitment opportunities for individuals who had found themselves under the thumb of Caldari military actions .
As suddenly as the Caldari State’s sweeping military campaign was scrambled, it was discontinued on February 19, YC 115, after three weeks of intense fighting, bombardments, and orbital deployments. No official comments were made from the Caldari Navy on the justification for the maneuvers, save for the words of Caldari Navy officer Sami Okuuda, who claimed “The Caldari Navy was dealing with internal security issues against armed combatants who were dangerous to both Caldari citizens and the cluster at large.” Regardless, the lack of disclosure prompted frustration from capsuleers and political officials across the empires. Furthermore, any attempts by the corporations involved to seek answers from the Caldari State or collect damages through legal proceedings were dismissed by Provist loyalists or Tibus Heth himself, alluring to a cover-up .
Months later, it would be discovered that State Executor Tibus Heth had personally ordered the Caldari Navy, State Protectorate, and his personal paramilitary division of ultranationalists, the Templaris Dragonaurs, to execute the campaign to destroy “enclaves” maintained by his own “first generation” clone soldiers in an effort to purge them from existence .
It was argued that the November 30, YC 114, assassination attempt against Tibus Heth confirmed his belief that the Caldari State was under threat from enemies within its own borders, a belief which may have led Heth to make the decision to initiate the purge in the first place .
Clone Soldiers As Mercenaries
Despite the Caldari “purge” of their ranks, clone soldiers were fielded by all empires for various operations-most were hired as mercenaries by various corporate and private parties for a variety of contracts, and even by opposing organizations over the course of the same conflict. In mid-February YC 115, mercenaries of the Amarrian corporation Bragian Order attacked a Starkmanir Tribe colony on Vard VII, but were resisted and defeated by the Minmatar private security group Sebiestor Field Sappers. Sebiestor Field Sapper representatives claimed the Bragian Order had been hired to specifically target the Vard colony for racial reasons, though the historic Minmatar Tribal Council meeting in Pator would not comment regarding either group or the incident itself .
Furthermore, toleration for these clone soldiers on the part of the Minmatar Republic may not have been as overtly promising as once believed. An emergency speech delivered by Gallente Federation President Jacus Roden suggested that a live-fire exercise inside Minmatar space on February 28, YC 115, was actually a cover for a large-scale purge of Minmatar clone soldiers, similar to the purge launched by Caldari State which had concluded earlier in the month. Specifically, members of the Republic Fleet believed that some Amarr and Angel Cartel personnel were continually making use of clone soldiers to threaten Minmatar border security, and thus, Minmatar military operations were being concentrated on “top-secret Republic military facilities” upon several planets to rid the Republic of clone soldiers. Much like the Caldari State before them, the Minmatar Republic dismissed these claims .
Even inside Caldari State, beyond the times of the purge, clone mercenaries were continually contracted by interested parties, though their deployments at times contributed to further violence. One glaring incident was the massacre of unarmed protestors at New Caldari by State Peacekeepers in March YC 115. In the course of demonstrations against Caldari economic policies by factory workers of the Kaalakiota Corporation, representatives of the protest groups hired the Expert Intervention mercenary group to maintain security during their protests in early February and late March YC 115  .
On March 1, YC 115, a protest by Kaalakiota workers on New Caldari was confronted by Home Guard and State Peacekeeper personnel. After State Peacekeepers declared that all protestors’ employment contracts were terminated as a result of their participation in the protests, the crowd was ordered to disperse, but attendants refused. State Peacekeepers then attempted to disperse the crowd with non-lethal means after projectiles were hurled at them, which led to a riot, prompting Expert Intervention personnel to open fire on the Peacekeepers and Home Guard personnel. A two-hour firefight resulted in a victory for Expert Intervention. Above the planet, demonstrators continued their protest, undocking from the Chief Executive Panel station and demanding an audience with Tibus Heth himself. Despite capsuleers supporting the protestors, Home Guard vessels arrived on the scene and demanded all protestors stand down. Upon their refusal, Home Guard officers announced the termination of all protestors’ contracts and opened fire. Directive Enforcement Department and CONCORD efforts to quell the violence brought on by the presence of the hostile Home Guard fleet failed to save the freighters occupied by the protestors. The massacre of both planetary and interstellar Caldari citizens was met with harsh condemnation from Ishukone CEO Mens Reppola and Sukuuvestaa Corporation CEO Kuikiainen Onita .
Conversely, inside Gallente space, illicit mercenary clone operatives such as the Ostrakon Agency were hired by the digital activist group “SnipeHunt,” which claimed to work to expose “Black Eagle corruption” after accusing them of developing riot control weapons which violated CONCORD directives .
SnipeHunt contracted Ostrakon personnel to assault a Black Eagles facility in Inghenges and raid a Federal Intelligence Office station in Ommare on March 9, YC 115. Despite brewing concerns over the use of clone soldiers, Federal Intelligence Office officials hired their own mercenaries to help defend against the Ostrakon Agency attack .
Black Eagle operatives dispatched the attacking clone soldiers, with survivors placed under arrest .
Harsh Words: Eyes On Luminaire
Following the massacre at New Caldari, the Gallente Federation relayed staunch condemnation of the Caldari State’s handling of the protests. On March 1, YC 115, Black Eagles Director Mentas Blaque publicly condemned Tibus Heth, who Blaque was convinced had been complicit in the circumstances leading to the massacre. In his address, Blaque labeled Heth “a jackbooted dictator who massacres his own people when they express discontent with his fascist policies.” With further criticism labeled at the State, Blaque closed his statements by advocating for retaliation on the part of the Federation: “We cannot allow this sort of brutal oppression to continue unabated. The Federation must do something. And it starts by striking at the threat in our midst, bandaging the wound, and then taking the fight directly to them” .
As Director of the Black Eagles, Mentas Blaque was no stranger to controversy. While at the head of a pro-Federation rally designed to garner support for the Black Eagles on February 21, YC 115, Blaque had remarked that continued conflicts against the Caldari State were a means of “self-defense due to a fundamental breach of our sovereignty” as a result of “racist prejudice brought against us by those who would seek to attack the fundamental principles of our constitution.” Declaring a threat presented by the Provists as credible, Blaque had labeled the Shiigeru Leviathan in Luminaire as “the presence of a wall of Provist steel that orbits Caldari Prime” .
In a continuation of criticism against Tibus Heth following the March 1 massacre at New Caldari, on March 4, YC 115, Blaque once again alluded to the Leviathan in orbit over Luminaire VII, while anticipating discontent throughout Caldari State by declaring “[Tibus Heth] has already alienated the executives. He’s shown he’s willing to massacre his workers. It is only a matter of time before his people stand up against him and declare that they’ve had enough. When that happens, what does that mean for the warship parked in Luminaire? When a government is in disarray, its weapons can fall into anyone’s hands. It’s a tremendous danger to the very safety of the Federation.” Gallente Federation President Jacus Roden expressed resentment over the comments .
On March 5, YC 115, several Kaalakiota, Home Guard, and Caldari Constructions executives submitted their resignations over their handling of the New Caldari protests, as well as the continued state of affairs inside Caldari corporations. Officers from additional corporations and security groups followed suit. Showing support for Tibus Heth, the Caldari Provincial Directorate attempted to dismiss the resignations while also controlling angry workers, while Tibus Heth labeled the resignations as attempts by the Gallente Federation to undermine the State through “black ops.”
Coincidently, Leviathan pilot Admiral Visera Yanala relayed remarks on the resignations, labeling them treasonous and throwing support behind Tibus Heth with “We should not be questioning our leadership at a time like this” .
Five days later, Provist operatives arrested a number of Caldari executives (some of whom had already resigned), accusing them of holding ties to Gallente Federation intelligence groups, while “being involved in a prolonged plan to destabilize the State government” .
In the face of the resignations of megacorporation executives, Tibus Heth continually perceived a constant threat to the Caldari State from the Federation, especially in the wake of the SnipeHunt activist attacks on Black Eagles installations, while declaring that the Federation was in “a state of barely concealed chaos” .
Clone Soldiers Exposed: A Spark
On March 14, YC 115, a Caldari Navy Charon Freighter carrying a group of clone soldiers crossed the border between the Caldari State and Gallente Federation in Algogille. The clone soldiers were seeking asylum in an effort to escape a detachment of the Caldari Navy (which included Sami Okuuda), who were in hot pursuit and intent on completing their purge. Seeing the border crossing as an unauthorized breach, the Federation Navy scrambled to intercept the Caldari. While the Federation Navy and members of the Fleet Coordination Commission engaged and destroyed the Caldari Navy pursuit force (including Sami Okuuda’s Raven Navy Issue Battleship and capsule), the freighter made its way to neighboring Couster, where it landed on Couster IV and triggered a massive engagement between State Protectorate troops and the Federal Defence Union. Mercenaries on both sides were awarded contracts to help resolve the situation .
A day later, Federation President Jacus Roden was forced to officially acknowledge the existence of clone soldiers in an emergency speech, as well as to acknowledge that the Caldari Navy and the Minmatar Republic had both initiated purges and containment of said clone soldiers .
Calling the technology of the “first generation” of clone soldiers “flawed,” Roden announced that the Gallente Federation would be initiating a purge of their own in an effort to quarantine the clone soldiers, justifying it as a necessary step for ensuring the safety of all Federation citizens .
In response and in a complete reversal from all other empires, on March 17, YC 115, Amarr Empress Jamyl I once again offered asylum and acceptance to any and all clone soldiers who might find themselves under threat from any empire purges, claiming that the Amarr Empire had improved upon the existing clone soldier technology .
Planetary Uprising: Moving The Chess Pieces
By mid-March YC 115, tensions between the empires were fierce over the discovery and handling of clone soldiers, as well as charged opinionated statements by both Gallente and Caldari officials concerning the posture and direction of the empires.
On March 15, YC 115, the first incident which officially marked the weeklong struggle that culminated with the Battle of Caldari Prime occurred. Armed Gallente personnel launched a series of attacks against Caldari security forces and military positions across Luminaire VII. Reports could not confirm the origins of the troops, with speculating observers labeling them a combination of leftover Gallente military personnel, fresh troops covertly deployed over the past several weeks, armed partisans, and/or contracted mercenaries. Despite the surprise attacks which the Caldari labeled “armed insurrections,” Caldari Navy officials (namely Sami Okuuda) remained confident that the Caldari forces would be able to maintain order .
On March 16, YC 115, the Federation Navy deployed a massive fleet of capital ships including Titans, Moros Dreadnoughts, and Nyx and Thanatos Carriers from its headquarters in Algogille. The vessels were affiliated with the Federation Navy, Federation Customs, and Tripwire security groups and were being fielded as part of the “Federal Combined Armed Forces Training” exercises held in the Placid region, according to Admiral Anteson Ranchel. The exercises were officially being conducted in order to strengthen Federation response capabilities in an effort to prevent a repeat of such incidents as that of the two attacks of Evaulon VII   (which revealed significant flaws in Federation security) and most notably the YC 110 invasion of Luminaire, which resulted in the occupation of Luminaire VII (Caldari Prime) and the positioning of the Shiigeru Leviathan in orbit above the planet in the first place. Specifically mentioned in the official response was the Caldari border crossing of March 14, YC 115, in response to clone soldiers seeking asylum from the Federation.
Senior military officials speculated that this was the deployment of “Operation: Highlander,” of which had been overheard two days prior in Gallente Senate chambers in Villore, but no senior government personnel would comment on the matter or the connection. Nevertheless, the exercise prompted the Caldari Navy to put their fleet on alert and mobilize them to the neighboring Black Rise region .
On March 18, YC 115, the conflict on Caldari Prime escalated with organized attacks launched on Caldari Providence Directorate positions in the city of Arcurio. Armed Gallente civilians repeatedly struck at Provist patrols, roadblocks, and checkpoints positioned in the southern areas of the city, to which Caldari security personnel retaliated a number of times by firing on civilian vehicles at other checkpoints throughout the city’s eastern sector. The escalating conflicts left significant numbers of both security personnel and Gallente citizens dead. Provist occupation force Brigadier General Rus Kartaka regarded the incidents as having no “major concern” for Provist occupation divisions, while promising to identify and execute the responsible parties. However, further statements from Kartaka declared Luminaire VII as “Caldari Prime,” with the promise that Provists would keep the “ancestral home world of the Caldari people…secure at all costs, even if doing so means the removal of all Gallente influence from Caldari Prime.” Said statements prompted outrage from the Gallente Senate which had called an emergency session, with some political figures appealing to CONCORD for assistance .
Despite Caldari dismissals of the situation on Luminaire VII, on March 18, YC 115, at exactly 2130, the 102-story Shintoko Tower (which was being used as the operational headquarters of the Provist occupying guard) was destroyed in an intense, violent, and coordinated bombing. Powerful explosive devices placed on the foundations blew apart the lower floors, causing the tower to topple into an adjacent structure before its total collapse. The death toll was initially estimated to be somewhere around 800 and supposedly included Provist Brigadier General Rus Kartaka, himself, who had commented merely hours prior that the Provist occupation force had the situation contained. Historically, the tower had once doubled as an embassy for the Caldari and a House of Records repository before the initial YC 110 invasion of Luminaire .
At exactly 2200 that evening, in response to the rampant destruction and continued violence, both the Gallente Federal Defence Union and Caldari State Protectorate began officially awarding contracts to clone soldiers and mercenary groups to help reinforce their respective positions on Caldari Prime .
Officially, Luminaire VII was in open revolt.
In response to the intense violence sweeping across the planet, the Caldari Navy summoned Admiral Visera Yanala back into service to command the Shiigeru Leviathan over Luminaire VII on March 19, YC 115. At the time, Yanala was serving as a senior military advisor to the Caldari Navy and Caldari Providence Directorate after having attained over fifty years of experience in command of the Shiigeru. Upon her reactivation, Yanala proclaimed “I know every subsystem of her better than I know myself. It will be an honor and a privilege to take to her helm again” .
Yanala was once again placed in command of the Kimotoro Fleet and immediately began delivering weekly addresses to the public, praising the work of Caldari security forces, while assuring that both Caldari and Gallente citizens on Luminaire VII would be protected. While Yanala’s address generated widespread praise, CONCORD and Directive Enforcement Department officials remained attentive in monitoring the unfolding events, yet delivered little in the way of public statements .
On March 20, YC 115, with violence spreading to military and industrial sectors in the cities of Tovil, Pakuri, and Arcurio, and riots reported in several districts, CONCORD issued a travel advisory for the entire Luminaire system, while placing its fleet on alert .
That evening, a Gallente Federation Navy battleship reconnaissance team under the command of Admiral Auvier Bauvon positioned itself a few hundred kilometers off the Shiigeru’s bow and began conducting scans of the planet’s surface to investigate current conditions. This caught the attention of capsuleers across New Eden, with several flocking to Luminaire to support both Gallente and Caldari forces. The reconnaissance team continually ignored repeated orders from the Caldari Navy to disperse since they had violated a de facto no-fly zone, and expressed that their intent was not combat-related .
The results of the scans were appalling: widespread destruction wrought across the cities of Arcurio, Pakuri and Tovil, unrest, chaos, and several fires. Following the release of Admiral Bauvon’s report, the Caldari Providence Directorate officially installed a de jure no-fly zone around Luminaire VII-any violations of this airspace would thereby permit the Caldari Navy to open fire upon any offending vessel .
To further complicate matters, the manner in which Provist forces were responding to civilian disturbances throughout the cities under siege was being questioned by the Gallente Senate after reports of Provists firing upon and killing protestors as well as strafing civilian convoys evacuating the cities surfaced on March 21, YC 115. These incidents were met with angry retaliation from armed citizens, who overran Caldari checkpoints and patrols. Only rampant rumors of the Shiigeru Leviathan bringing its weapons online and preparing to enter low orbit quelled the violence for the day .
A statement later in the evening by Tibus Heth confirmed the position of the Provists, with Tibus Heth in fact prepared to authorize the deployment of the Shiigeru to a low-orbit position in an effort to protect the planet and its security forces .
Luminaire VII was in chaos under open revolt.
Gallente and Caldari forces stood ready for action.
The empires were now at the point of no return.
The Battle of Caldari Prime
The events of March 22, YC 115, paint a picture of inevitable violence, chaos, and utter destruction.
Early in the morning before the battle commenced, Provist forces and ethnic Caldari businesses found themselves under attack in Pakuri by radical Gallente citizens. Occupying Provist troops retaliated by assaulting a nearby Gallente-controlled district, but retreated when faced with thousands of protestors.
1100: The Shiigeru Moves Into Orbit
At 1101, contact was lost with the surface of the planet, to which Provist officials relayed an executive order to Admiral Visera Yanala to move the Shiigeru to a low-orbit position, 20,000 kilometers closer to the planet. Hundreds of Sparrow-class dropships were then deployed from the Titan as the Caldari Navy worked to regain control of the situation. Meanwhile, the Gallente Federation Navy officers in Algogille proceeded to assess the situation and prepare a response .
At approximately 1310, the Federation Navy scrambled a massive capital fleet out of Algogille, intending to deploy them to Luminaire. In the moments that the cynosaural field jammers were taken offline, the Caldari Navy jumped four Wyvern-class Supercarriers from the 37th Octopus Squadron into Luminaire and moved them to the Shiigeru’s perimeter. Contact was reestablished with Provist security forces just before 1340 .
At 1436, the Gallente Federal Intelligence Office confirmed that contact had once again been lost with Luminaire VII, and a “massive surface offensive” had been initiated against occupying Provist forces. Electrical power in Pakuri and Tovil was subsequently thrown offline during the fighting, and all communication between the surface and the Caldari Navy was severed. Analysts speculated that communications were being deliberately jammed to prevent the Shiigeru from obtaining proper coordinates for orbital strike packages. Eyewitnesses took note of explosions visible from orbit occurring around Pakuri, while a battalion-sized force of combat dropships were deployed by the Caldari Navy to that city’s perimeter .
1530: DED Arrives
In the course of escalating tensions, the Directive Enforcement Department dispatched General Odo Korachi to the Shiigeru perimeter to investigate and determine if any violations of the Yulai Convention had been committed. Beginning at 1532, General Korachi repeatedly demanded status updates from Admiral Yanala and the Caldari Navy, and subsequently ordered the Caldari Navy to power down all of the Shiigeru’s weaponry. The Caldari Navy refused, likewise demanding that Korachi withdraw from the area for having violated the Caldari Navy’s imposed no-fly zone. Likewise, Korachi stubbornly refused. At 1552, Admiral Yanala ordered the Shiigeru to fire upon Korachi’s ship, instantly destroying the Marshal-class Battleship under his command. Swiftly, the Directive Enforcement Department declared a state of emergency across the entire Luminaire system, relaying a “full-scale traffic advisory” and warned of the inevitable flagging of all pilots (including capsuleers, the Shiigeru Leviathan, and the Caldari Wyvern Supercarrier support fleet) in the system as “suspects.” Before his final departure from the Shiigeru perimeter at1553, General Korachi relayed a simple cryptic message:
Realizing that the situation in Luminaire was fast spiraling out of control, the Federation Navy jumped their massive capital ship fleet of twenty-five Moros Dreadnoughts, eleven Thanatos Carriers, and four Nyx Supercarriers into Luminaire, while the Caldari Navy bridged its own capital fleet of five Phoenix Dreadnoughts and eleven Chimera Carriers from the 37th Octopus Squadron into the system from Kassigainen before the cynosaural field jammers could be reactivated. With their capital ships now in system, the Caldari Navy moved to reinforce the Shiigeru perimeter and the four Wyvern Supercarriers already on station, despite being cut off from reinforcements, whereas the Federation Navy kept their capital fleet away from what would inevitably become a battlefield over Luminaire VII 
Zero Hour: The Battle Begins
After reinitializing the cynosaural field jammers in Luminaire, the Federation Navy moved its capital fleet to the Shiigeru’s position, upon which Directive Enforcement Department personnel made good on their threat and suspect-flagged all vessels (including capital ships and the Shiigeru Levitathan) across the entire system. Moments after their arrival, at exactly 1650, the Federation Navy opened fire on the Shiigeru and its defense fleet, initiating a full-scale assault as part of Operation: Highlander’s true purpose, the likes of which had not been witnessed since the end of the Gallente-Caldari War.
News of the opening barrages and the subsequent chaos that unfolded spread uncontrollably throughout the universe. All international news circuits covered the events. Even several capsuleers made recordings of themselves participating in the live battle. With CONCORD steering clear of Luminaire, Directive Enforcement Department officers repeated a travel advisory for the system, warning that any pilots who entered Luminaire while the battle was in progress would be flagged as suspects and could be freely engaged .
From a tactical standpoint, the battlefield dissolved into complete chaos within minutes of the first shots fired. Dozens of capital ships from both the Gallente and Caldari navies were scattered about, with hundreds of capsuleers caught between them and ships firing in all directions. The physical layout of the battlefield itself was likened to that of engagements between major alliances commonly found in null-security space. Several fleets were organized to serve both empires (or as independent coalitions) as pilots darted in between the maze of colossal vessels.
The most significant fleets were organized by personnel from the Fleet Coordination Commission and the Live Events community. Later estimates placed just under ninety capsuleers (including members of the Caldari State Protectorate), in service to the Caldari Navy, while Fleet Coordination Commission officer Grideris and his colleague Nevyn Auscent organized and led a fleet of exactly 237 pilots from the Live Events community and Gallente Federal Defence Union to support the Gallente Federation. A veteran of previous large-scale battles against the Guristas Pirates and Sansha's Nation’s initial incursions into Empire space, Grideris helped organize fleet leadership, coordinated logistical support (which was then passed off to Nevyn Auscent), and helped designate each target to be destroyed in the course of the battle). Despite the nightmarish conditions and the chaos surrounding them, the Gallente capsuleer fleet maintained their reserve and followed orders as instructed, with logistics pilots minimizing combat losses. The successful performance of the Gallente Live Events fleet was attributed in part to Grideris’s decision to wait until after both the Gallente and Caldari capital fleets had deployed to the Shiigeru perimeter, then warp to a position several hundred kilometers over the battlefield to properly inspect battlefield conditions before choosing to warp directly on top of the Shiigeru itself, well underneath its minimum firing arch, thus negating its offensive advantage.
At approximately 1728, the first capital ships were destroyed by the overwhelming firepower present on the battlefield. The first casualty of the Caldari Navy fleet was a Wyvern Supercarrier. Every capital ship loss further compromised the integrity of the fleets, particularly on the side of the Caldari Navy, who were outnumbered by Moros Dreadnoughts alone as the Federation Navy maintained “home field advantage,” denying the Caldari Navy an opportunity to bring reinforcements to the field. Sensing the threat posed to the Shiigeru with every loss incurred, the Caldari Navy carriers attempted to provide remote shield transfers to the Shiigeru to maintain its integrity, but in doing so left themselves vulnerable to attack from the Gallente capital fleet and capsuleers, losing two Wyvern Supercarriers due to divided logistics efforts. With their logistics already spread thin, each Caldari Navy carrier loss was another ring of the Shiigeru’s death bell-without logistical support, the destruction of the Caldari Navy capital fleet was all but certain.
At 1753, the Shiigeru’s shields failed in the face of overwhelming firepower, prompting Admiral Yanala to sound the evacuation alarm and order all personnel aboard to abandon ship. At 1755, the Leviathan’s primary reactors were knocked offline, rendering the vessel adrift towards Luminaire VII.
At 1759, the Shiigeru’s reactor containment measures failed, leading to an unstoppable catastrophic failure of the Leviathan’s reactor cores .
1800: The Shiigeru Is Destroyed
At exactly 1800, March 22, YC 115, after four years and eight months in orbit over Luminaire VII, the Shiigeru Leviathan was destroyed by the combined force of the Federation Navy capital fleet and hundreds of capsuleers fighting alongside it.
Following the destruction of the Shiigeru, CONCORD traffic restrictions could no longer be maintained, which permitted a flood of 1,000 further capsuleers into the system, jamming all star gates. Within minutes of the Titan’s destruction, the first large pieces of wreckage from the hull began penetrating Luminaire VII’s atmosphere. In particular, a single piece of the forward superstructure seven kilometers in length was spotted entering the atmosphere roughly three minutes after the Titan’s destruction, while Arcurio reported debris landing around the city while already initiating an evacuation of its western districts.
In an interview with The Scope, Roden Shipyards quantum physicist and ship designer Vlan Peloelus analyzed the footage depicting the Shiigeru’s last moments in orbit and commented that “her destruction was more than likely caused by a catastrophic failure of the magnetic containment field used to isolate the core of her secondary reactor. This in turn probably caused thermal overload and eventual meltdown. This is also more than likely why she broke up in the manner that she did, and would explain why her aft-decks, which mainly contain engineering subsystems, were completely destroyed.”
Even while the remnants of the Leviathan continued to plummet towards the planet, the battle overhead continued to fiercely rage .
1900: The Gallente Capsuleer Fleet Withdraws
Roughly one hour after the Shiigeru’s destruction, all but one of the Caldari Navy capital ships, a Phoenix Dreadnought, had been destroyed by the Federation Navy capital fleet and its supporting capsuleers. While it is unclear when the Caldari capsuleer fleet departed the battlefield, at that time, Grideris of the Live Events Gallente capsuleer fleet made the decision to withdraw the Gallente fleet, as illicit capsuleers, pirates, scavengers, and members of Goonswarm had arrived in the system. The fleet scattered and withdrew to safespots established throughout the system, with surviving pilots activating cloaking devices. Suspecting station and gate docking corridors to be under guard by hostile fleets, they held their positions until the suspect timers expired, then docked safely, officially withdrawing from further combat actions while other capsuleers and organized forces continued to do battle with the remaining capital ships on the battlefield.
The objective had been accomplished.
The Shiigeru had been destroyed.
Operation: Highlander was a success.
1919: The Shiigeru Wreckage Makes Landfall
With the Shiigeru destroyed in orbit over Luminaire VII, at approximately 1919, a massive section of the Shiigeru’s superstructure slammed into the planet on the south side of the Kaalakiota mountains 700 kilometers west of Arcurio. The impact of the wreck severed communications across the entire planet due to electromagnetic disruption, going as far as to cause the shields of vessels in low orbit to fluctuate. The wreckage penetrating the atmosphere created a massive atmospheric firestorm visible from the ground, and the crash triggered a significant concussion blast that damaged and even collapsed some buildings in the city, as well as atmospheric distortion and a cloud of dust which stretched across several hundred thousand square kilometers. All of Arcurio was swallowed up. CONCORD and Federation Navy Commander Anteson Ranchel strongly advised against approaching the planet, with the Federation Navy declaring the entire planet a “Federal disaster zone as the battle for orbital superiority continues” .
Orbital Combat Assessment
The success of the Gallente Federation’s operation to destroy the Shiigeru has been attributed primarily to three factors. Firstly, with the engagement being fought in Luminaire, a sovereign Gallente system, the Gallente Federation was able to maintain “home field advantage,” being already familiar with Luminaire, its neighboring systems, and its population of Gallente nationals. As well, the Gallente were able to maintain complete control over the system-wide cynosaural field jammers, thus denying the Caldari Navy an opportunity to reinforce their position with additional capital ships after the first shots were fired.
Secondly, the number of supporting capsuleers officially swearing allegiance to the Gallente Federation vastly outnumbered those who chose to align themselves with the Caldari State at a ratio of almost three-to-one, despite there being roughly 1,000 capsuleers on the battlefield at the time of the operation’s opening moves. Additional capsuleers arrived later, but largely, the Gallente loyalist capsuleer fleets maintained numerical superiority over all other groups present during the battle. While numbers alone convey no advantage, the Gallente capsuleer fleet also distinguished itself with superior logistical control, which preserved many ships. At times, logistical support was even provided to capsuleers by the Federation Navy’s carriers.
Thirdly, the composition of the Federation Navy’s capital fleet proved to be a superior choice for completely overpowering and outgunning the Caldari Navy. In particular, the twenty-five Moros Dreadnoughts alone outnumbered the total number of Caldari Navy capital ships which participated in the engagement. With Gallente Navy fleet commanders choosing to warp in directly on top of the Caldari Navy Shiigeru Leviathan and its support fleet, the Moros Dreadnoughts excelled in close-quarters combat with the utmost efficiency and lethality, overpowering the Caldari Navy.
In truth, only ten ship-based “killmails” and a number of pod losses were confirmed as having been claimed by capsuleer pilots-the rest were allegedly claimed by the Moros Dreadnoughts or other capital ships. It should be noted, however, that CONCORD logs which typically track ship and pod losses show nothing regarding the loss of the Shiigeru Leviathan or Admiral Visera Yanala’s hydrostatic capsule pod. CONCORD officials attribute this lack of information to internal system errors.
Surface Combat Continues: The Caldari State Holds
Despite the Caldari Navy losing their entire fleet in orbit over Luminaire VII, combat on the ground between the Federal Defence Union, State Protectorate, Provists, Gallente partisans, and mercenaries contracted by both sides continued for several days. By the time the full extent of the situation could be assessed, it was clear that the Caldari State Protectorate barely maintained an advantage over the Gallente uprising. Nevertheless, combat between both sides was fierce and continuous, with tens of thousands of engagements being waged over the course of several days. In many cases, the towering burning wreckage of the crashed Shiigeru illuminated some of the battlefields and could be distinguished from several miles away. The last armed elements and participating partisans reported terminating combat actions at approximately 2200 on March 26, YC 115, finally ending the "Battle of Caldari Prime" .
When all sides had agreed to cease hostilities, front-line correspondents reported that Caldari security forces maintained control over their holdings, but the victory was marginal. Luminaire VII was still sovereign Caldari territory, though the State had been significantly bloodied, while remaining resolute to the end .
The Dust Settles: Immediate Aftermath
Even twenty-four hours after the initial orbital battle over Luminaire VII had concluded, the wreckage of the crashed Shiigeru Leviathan continued to smolder and burn. Impact craters visible from orbit permanently scarred the surface, with fiery molten rock and smoke outlining them with a eerie glow which could be seen from between the clouds. Arcurio officials and survivors worked tirelessly to initiate rescue operations and repair damages to the city, despite their homeland still being rendered a disaster area by the continuing conflict on the ground, and with smoke from the Leviathan wreck still choking the atmosphere. Most of the Titan and its capital escorts had broken apart during atmospheric reentry and descent, though a significant portion of the hulls passed directly over Arcurio itself, littering the streets with debris, damaging several buildings, and effectively shutting down the entire city.
Contact with Luminaire VII was reestablished at 1100 on March 23, YC 115, with reports of rampant destruction and continued fighting immediately being transmitted over emergency circuits. Officially, Provist forces continued to maintain Caldari military authority on the ground, even in the face of continued vicious attacks. Rescue teams from both Gallente and Caldari forces attempted to reach the Shiigeru crash site, but were hindered due to terrain and the intense heat of the wreckage.
A debris field suspected of covering as much as 2,000,000 square kilometers blanketed the crash area, with a thick dust cloud preventing satellite and orbital observation from painting a clear picture of the situation. Nevertheless, Gallente personnel worked to filter the atmosphere using specialized scrubbers, while the Sisters of EVE, Combined Harvest, and Caldari Provisions filed requests for donations to provide much-needed relief.
It would take three days of significant decontamination of the Luminaire VII atmosphere before a detailed analysis could be executed with any clarity on the Shiigeru’s wreckage. Contrary to initial estimates, the debris field covered only 1,200,000 square kilometers near the Kaalakiota Peaks’ south face, while craters still burned and smoke spread across hundreds of kilometers. Federal Marines utilized remote-control MTAC systems to reach the crash site and confirmed the extent of the devastation, of which the penetration of the wreckage had been severe enough to trigger seismic events and “tectonic instability.” Combined Harvest’s Dr. Kuelin Lears declared that “the scale of ecological devastation is unprecedented; nothing in the immediate area has survived the impact other than clone mercenaries, who were on the ground several hundred kilometers away. The sheer force of the Shiigeru’s impact has destabilized the crust of Caldari Prime in several places so badly that it can be seen from orbit.” Kuelin’s initial assessment of footage of the crash site led her to conclude that the wreckage could smolder for decades, while recognizing the fact that had the more volatile components of the Shiigeru (such as reactors and engineering systems) entered the atmosphere and impacted upon the planet, “the result would no doubt have been an extinction level event for Caldari Prime.” By March 26, YC 115, fighting had been reduced to infrequent engagements .
Capsuleers To The Rescue: Hearth and Home
Despite Federation Navy and Directive Enforcement Department orders to avoid the embattled Luminaire VII, a number of capsuleers and corporate entities began scrambling their own rescue and relief operations immediately after the orbital conflict had ceased, even while the situation on the surface remained hostile and under dispute .
One of the most notable private relief operations launched by a capsuleer was orchestrated by Morwen Lagann, Chief Executive Officer of Tyrathlion Interstellar. On March 23, YC 115, at exactly 0715, in the name of diplomacy, Lagann called upon the capsuleer community of New Eden to provide various medical supplies, equipment, food, water, and other critical essentials to Tyrathlion Interstellar via contracts authorized by the Secure Commerce Commission. Codenamed “Hearth and Home,” the goal of the project was to create a stockpile of the essential supplies required to provide relief to beleaguered survivors across Luminaire VII, and especially those trapped in Arcurio, with the intent of delivering said supplies to the planet’s surface the moment the CONCORD and Federation Navy travel restrictions were lifted. Lagann was quoted in her declaration with “It doesn’t matter what side of this conflict you consider yourself to be on. Whether you’re Dove, Hawk, Patriot, Liberal, Practical, or something else. Down there, it is no longer about who is Caldari, or who is Gallente. They’re all human, and they all need our help.”
Within minutes of her call for aid, dozens of donations were pledged by various capsuleers and corporations from all across New Eden and delivered to various staging points established in every empire. Even veterans who had participated in and survived the orbital battle merely a day prior contributed to the operation. At times, supplies were amassed in quantity large enough to fill several freighters (YC 115 variants) in a generous show of support. By March 27, YC 115, Lagann reported that the donations had been amassed at just under 1,871,000 cubic meters of storage space.
Upon the Ishukone Corporation’s official contribution to the Luminaire VII relief efforts via relief convoy, all supplies gathered by the Hearth and Home project were transferred to Ishukone officer Kaus Siainda following their cataloging and safety inspection by Tyrathlion Interstellar personnel on March 27, YC 115, at 0400. Lagann continually accepted donations and transferred these supplies to Ishukone every few days afterward .
On May 22, YC 115, Lagann transferred administrative control of the Hearth and Home project to Mordu's Legion Commander Tsuni Aina. By this time, the Caldari State and Gallente Federation had agreed to declare Luminaire VII a planet-wide demilitarized zone, while officially installing Mordu’s Legion as peacekeepers. With this transfer, Mordu’s Legion would officially be responsible for coordinating relief operations. By the time the transfer was arranged, already 5,220,000m3 worth of relief materials had been donated to and collected by Tyrathlion Interstellar. While encouraging that future relief supplies be contracted directly to Aina, herself, in an effort to “cut out the middleman,” Lagann’s last direct delivery to Luminaire VII as part of her Hearth and Home project was delivered in the early morning of May 23, YC 115.
Upon the completion of the Hearth and Home project, Lagann was quoted in saying “It has been an immense honor and privilege to work with both Ishukone and Mordu’s Legion personnel to provide relief for the people of Caldari Prime in their time of need, and the response to the relief effort has been beyond amazing. I wish to extend my most sincere thanks and appreciation to all of those who have stepped up to help the people of Caldari Prime – your actions serve as a reminder that even in this harsh and unforgiving cluster and despite the perceptions held by many, there are still capsuleers out there whose desire to build and restore is greater than the temptation to destroy the world around them. Thank you” .
Ishukone Relief Operations
On March 24, YC 115, ground combat between Caldari Provists and Gallente military elements-and their contracted mercenaries-raged uncontrollably, with Arcurio rendered completely shut down while the death toll from the orbital battle remained under assessment. Moving swiftly to provide desperately needed aid to Luminaire VII, Ishukone Corporation filed a formal request with the Gallente Senate to gain access to the planet’s surface for relief purposes. They were met with resounding majority support. The request was filed personally by Ishukone Corporation CEO Mens Reppola and signed by the entire board of directors, which formally requested that Ishukone and Ishukone Watch be granted access to the planet “in a civilian capacity.” Citing the massive destruction, loss of life, and environmental damage to the planet, Reppola appealed to the Gallente Senate via holographic transmission even as fighting between Provist-hired mercenaries and Federal Defence Union personnel and Federal Marines continued unabated. Though no official estimates could be tallied due to continue combat actions, the total death counts from the orbital battle were slated to be in the tens of millions .
A day later, Ishukone’s request for access to the devastated Luminaire VII was approved unanimously by the Gallente Senate. Despite the humbling words relayed from Ishukone leadership to the Gallente Federation and the speed at which Ishukone took to its task, some Caldari corporate leadership stood divided and dissatisfied with Ishukone’s position, particularly executives from Kaalakiota and Lai Dai. Nevertheless, rumors persisted that Ishukone leadership was attempting to negotiate for Luminaire VII to be declared a demilitarized zone since clear pictures of sovereignty and control could not be established .
On March 26, YC 115, while agitated over the loss of the Shiigeru Leviathan and Ishukone’s decision to organize a relief operation through seeking the approval of the Gallente Senate, Caldari State Executor Tibus Heth made his first address on both matters from in front of the Caldari Providence Directorate headquarters on New Caldari Prime. Labeling the battles over and upon Luminaire VII as “atrocities committed against both the Caldari Navy and the Caldari People by Gallente armed forces,” Heth regarded the destruction of the Shiigeru as the Gallente “[tearing] a burning scar through our heritage with their defacement of the Kaalakiota Peaks. In time, we will return this gesture with interest, and will ensure that the Federation is aware that we will not be so easily deterred from taking back what is rightfully ours.” Observers of the speech noted that Heth grew increasingly agitated and furious as he vented his frustrations. Furthermore, Heth made note of Ishukone CEO Mens Reppola’s decision to organize a relief effort to Luminaire VII with “If Mens Reppola truly had any idea what was best for the people, and indeed for the Ishukone Corporation, he would not be openly consorting with enemies of the State.” Furthermore, Heth pledged to launch investigations into the actions of the Caldari Navy 37th Octopus Squadron in regards to their activities during their engagement over Luminaire VII-specifically mentioned were Shiigeru pilot Admiral Visera Yanala and Wing Commander Sami Okuuda. Largely, however, the Caldari Navy’s next move remained unclear since they had suffered their “heaviest losses in over a century during Friday’s contact with Gallente Forces” .
Despite Tibus Heth’s fervor over Ishukone’s dealings with the Gallente Senate, on March 26, YC 115, Ishukone Corporation made good on its promise to provide relief to Luminaire VII by organizing a relief convoy. At 1300, Gallente and Caldari pilots who had declared their loyalty to their empires of choice were notified by navy admirals of the convoy’s organization and intent, and were encouraged to muster at either the Ishukone headquarters in Malkalen or in Algogille on the Gallente-Caldari border to help provide protection and escort. Four Rhea-class Jump Freighters filled with various relief supplies and three Ishukone Watch Scorpion Battleships (“to assist with triangulation of surface forces” while being “considered vital in the relief effort and Ishukone’s attempts to end the fighting”) would proceed to Kassigainen and cross the empire border to Algogille in Gallente space, where they would be handed off to the Federation Navy for escort directly to Luminaire.
The convoy undocked under the command of Kaus Siainda at 2100 under the escort of dozens of capsuleers under the command of Grideris of the Fleet Coordination Commission. The escort detail was comprised of pilots from the Live Events community, including members of The Fourth District. Upon jumping into Kamio, forward scouts learned that a Goonswarm fleet was once again patrolling the gates in Uedama, a 0.5-security system notorious as a killing field for freighters. Since November of YC 114, Goonswarm had been active in both Uedama and Niarja, engaging and destroying a number of freighters via kamikaze attacks while taking advantage of CONCORD’s slow response time in both systems, as well as a change in the global criminal flagging procedures. The convoy was forced to dock and nearly scrubbed its mission, had it not been for escort detail personnel convincing them to continue, while devising an alternative route. An ambitious plan was proposed by a capsuleer named Stitcher, from Reawakened Technologies: Jump the freighters to Seyllin on the Metserel gate, proceed to Metserel, and then continue onwards to Luminaire, thereby bypassing the Goonswarm blockade. With the escort detail whittled down to forty-five pilots, the decision was made to proceed with the jump. A number of additional escorts were scrambled to Seyllin to receive the freighters and provide protection. The jump was successful and the freighters were able to continue their route through high-security Federation space-the ship which provided the cynosaural field in Seyllin was lost to a late surprise attack launched by a lone operative inside the Live Events community.
Under escort from the Federation Navy, the Ishukone freighters arrived in Luminaire and docked at the Federation Navy Assembly Plant near Luminaire VII late in the evening of March 26, YC 115. Upon their arrival, Ishukone convoy officers secured the first collection of relief supplies as part of the Hearth and Home relief project, with the first delivery scheduled for 0400 on March 27, YC 115 .
With Ishukone setting the example as a beacon of relief and diplomacy, on April 2, YC 115, other Caldari megacorporations pledged their support to bringing relief efforts to Luminaire VII. In particular, the Sukuuvestaa Corporation organized a large collection of supplies for both military and security purposes, with Chief Coordinator Oilenen Inuki commenting, “There is a time and a place for war. And we must not forget that we are fighting a war. But we must be responsible for Caldari Prime. This is the right thing to do.” At the time of the declaration, analyzes of Luminaire VII confirmed that large sectors of the planet and its population centers were stricken without necessary resources such as electrical power and clean water due to “widespread damage” .
Humanitarianism Disrupted: Battleship Stolen
Despite the interstellar relief effort, operations to provide humanitarian assistance to Luminaire VII and survivors of the weeks of combat did not proceed without incident. On April 5, YC 115, an Ishukone Corporation temporary low-orbit shipyard over Luminaire VII was attacked in an organized and coordinated strike, resulting in the theft of one of the Ishukone Watch Scorpion Battleships. After Luminaire VII was declared a planet-wide demilitarized zone, the battleships had been fielded to evacuated Provist troops from the planet’s surface. Ishukone Watch security consultant Landea Vrankef promised a full investigation, while blaming the attack on the Guristas Pirates .
A day later, the stolen Scorpion Battleship was located in Korama’s Republic Security Services Logistics Station around the fifth moon of Planet II. According to station staff and Vrankef’s investigation, the vessel had been abandoned in a storage hangar. Upon its discovery, panicked station staff relocated the vessel to a hangar which was thought to be unrented, but was actually in use by a capsuleer named Jack DuVal, whose pilot’s license had been temporarily deactivated. Given DuVal’s Gallente citizenship and positive standings with various corporations throughout the Caldari State, Ishukone Watch Chief Executive Eborimi Shiskala declared that the corporate board of directors had voted to allow DuVal to claim the vessel as his own “as a gesture of goodwill, and as an olive branch to foster further positive relations between the Federation and State” .
Standing Down: Planet-Wide Demilitarized Zone
On April 2, YC 115, Gallente Federation diplomats and representatives of the Caldari State Chief Executive Panel reached a tentative agreement to install a planet-wide demilitarized zone across the entirety of Luminaire VII in an effort to end hostilities. Before interstellar news agencies had made the announcement, the treaty had already been signed by President Jacus Roden and a majority of the eight major Caldari megacorporation chief executive officers.
Ishukone CEO Mens Reppola had personally undertaken the task of persuading both sides to come to a peaceful resolution via the treaty in question, proclaiming “This is a great day for the State,” with President Roden declaring concurrence: “Too long has the issue of Caldari Prime been contentious when a reasonable solution was present. It is a historic homeworld of the Caldari people; to deny it to them is misguided. But it is also within the borders of the Federation and we cannot allow a foreign military to act within them. With this step, we can solve both our needs.”
The Caldari State largely responded favorably to the agreement, albeit with some detraction. State Executor Tibus Heth denounced the agreement while refusing to authorize it with his signature, subsequently refusing to comment on the matter in his “livid” state-of-mind. Secondly, Lai Dai’s chief executive officer Alakoni Ishanoya aligned with Heth as one of the two nay votes. In a public statement, Ishanoya declared the belief that Caldari military forces were in control of the planet and could have maintained the advantage, although military experts disagreed with this sentiment, noting that the Federation Navy maintained orbital superiority and would have been able to eventually break the Caldari State’s hold on the ground .
On April 3, YC 115, the Federation Navy officially disclosed their after-action reports related to “Operation: Highlander,” which had been officially regarded as an “overall success.” The reported noted, however, that the Federation Navy felt regret over the Leviathan’s physical crash into Luminaire VII itself (rather than otherwise being totally destroyed in orbit) and also made note of the Caldari military’s control over several orbit-to-ground defense systems. The report declared that any effort to secure these defenses in order to enable supply drops “would have been too costly to attempt.” The Federation Navy’s report also declared their official support for the treaty to demilitarize Luminaire VII, with naval forces already in the process of withdrawing from the planet. Security for Luminaire VII would be the responsibility of Mordu's Legion. Reaction to the report was mostly positive .
Major criticism was leveled at the report (and the decision to declare all of Luminaire VII a demilitarized zone overseen by Mordu’s Legion) once again by Caldari State Executor Tibus Heth. In a speech to Kaalakiota employees on the morning of April 4, YC 115, Heth labeled the decision to convert Luminaire VII into a demilitarized zone as “an appeasement that solves nothing and keeps billions of Caldari imprisoned for future generations.” Heth frequently denounced the relief operations of both the Ishukone and Sukuuvestaa megacorporations as misplaced efforts that otherwise should have been exercised to reinforce Caldari military positions, while remaining firm in his belief that Caldari military forces would have eventually achieved the upper hand across the entire planet against the Federation Navy since Caldari forces remained in control of the orbital defenses .
A day later, details of the demilitarization of Luminaire VII were finalized. The entire planet would be divided into districts overseen by both the Gallente and Caldari, while Mordu’s Legion would assume the roles of policing and protecting said districts. Specifically, 54% of the districts would be administrated by the Ishukone Corporation as the Caldari representation, while the remaining districts would fall under the direction of the Gallente Federation’s Material Acquisition corporation-ethnic segregation would not be applied. Furthermore, those living in Gallente districts would be considered Federation citizens under laws which applied to Luminaire VII prior to the YC 110 Caldari invasion. Those in Caldari districts would maintain their individual corporate citizenship with current employers, but would pay taxes and follow laws maintained by Ishukone itself. As for the cities of Arcurio and Tovil, Arcurio would be under the control of the Gallente Federation, with Tovil falling under a Caldari administration. Defense and police oversight would be maintained entirely by Mordu’s Legion-neither the Gallente nor Caldari would be permitted to maintain any sort of armed forces or corporate police upon the planet. Payment for Mordu’s Legion would be fielded equally by both the Gallente Senate and the Caldari Chief Executive Panel. The treaty was signed into law by President Rodan, the Gallente Senate, and Chief Executive Panel on April 5, YC 115, with a joint statement between the Gallente Federation and Caldari State released shortly thereafter which declared the agreement “a compromise that provides the best path toward the preservation of Caldari Prime” and “the fairest resolution that could be reached.”
Upon the signing of the declaration, Ishukone had already reported making positive progress on its relief operation, with support coming in from other Caldari mgacorporations, including Sukuuvestaa, “which diverted a shipment originally planned for the [Caldari] Navy to the relief effort.” By this time, most combat forces had been relocated or evacuated from the planet, while power had been restored to two-thirds of those who had been thrown into darkness in the course of the fighting .
Despite the efforts to rebuild in the aftermath of the fighting, Tibus Heth remained continually uninspired. On April 13, YC 115, Heth again condemned the Gallente Federation in a speech delivered to supporters of the Caldari Providence Directorate (who had been hand-picked as attendants to the speech “because of their previous ‘loyalty and quality of service’”). Labeled “‘animated’ and ‘furious’” by those in attendance, Heth unleashed an oratory later described as “a “disjointed, rambling attack on the Federation,” addressing a myriad of subjects ranging from the demilitarization of Luminaire VII to a violent April 11 terrorist attack at the Caille Luminaire Center for Culture and The Arts on Gallente Prime, which had left the Sebiestor Tribal Chief and former Minmatar Republic Prime Minister Karin Midular wounded. Specifically addressing the attack at Caille, Heth noted what he observed as “the imperialism of the Gallente in full force…They are never able to admit to error and believe their own systems to be eminently superior to any others.” Heth fiercely criticized the Gallente Federation’s refusal to turn over Midular and the shooter responsible for the attack to the Minmatar Republic, which led to a standoff in Colelie between the Federation Navy and Republic Security Services. Warning of Gallente influence “[grinding down]” neighboring empires “until we are nothing more than cultural slaves to them,” Heth swore to always resist the Gallente Federation “no matter what.” Upon the conclusion of his speech, observers noted Heth appeared “‘exhausted’ and ‘notably sluggish’ as he exited to applause and cheers from the Provists” .
Despite senior criticism of their efforts and choice of interstellar partners, those committed to the relief effort of Luminaire VII remained unwavering in their dedication to their mission to restore the planet to normalcy. On April 15, YC 115, Nugoeihuvi Corporation representatives released details of their report on Ishukone Corporation’s progress of their relief operation on Luminaire VII. Their report declared in no uncertain terms that Ishukone was “showing stellar progress in securing Caldari interests on Caldari Prime.” More specifically, the report indicated that a “vast majority” of services disabled as a result of the heavy fighting had been restored, with repairs to infrastructure proceeding “ahead of schedule,” although it would require years of work to fully complete them. Both Gallente and Caldari citizens reported general satisfaction with their living conditions, including those of the empires living in districts overseen by the opposite empire administration. Tibus Heth, however, criticized the accuracy of the report, citing that Nugoeihuvi officers were “constantly shadowed by members of Ishukone Watch, ostensibly for their protection, despite the so-called treaty which assigns policing duties of Caldari Prime to Mordu’s Legion.” While Nugoeihuvi dismissed Heth’s accusation of bias or faulty reporting and insisted on their neutrality in their observation, Heth swore to launch his own investigation, anticipating hearing a much different story from… [his] own loyal men and women acting completely independently of any Ishukone oversight” .
Furthermore, on April 19, YC 115, Heth once against attacked the Federation and even the megacorporation system of the Caldari State in a speech broadcasted across the entirety of the State from New Caldari. The address made public Heth’s wish to “‘unify the Caldari people’ and abolish the ‘divisive system that has led us astray,’” insisting that a unified state was necessary for the survival of the Caldari people, who “must not allow the work of foreign elements continue to break us apart.” On the subject of Luminaire VII, Heth once again declared that the megacorporations participating in the rebuilding efforts had sold the Caldari State out to the Gallente Federation with “Ishukone sells our people out to the Gallente. They sold half our planet to invading conquerors. Then Sukuuvestaa helped them, while other megacorporations who supposedly believe in the Caldari people agree with them. It is shameful and only serves to weaken the Caldari people.” No megacorporations issued an immediate comment following the speech .
On May 11, YC 115, Mordu's Legion achieved full military control over Luminaire VII and its planet-wide demilitarized zone upon the completed relocations of both Gallente and Caldari military forces. Under the treaty signed between the Gallente Federation and Caldari State, Mordu’s Legion would be responsible for working in cooperation with police forces in local districts and maintain security to prevent smuggling and border crossings and resolve “disputes between districts.” In the name of transparency, cooperation would be maintained between Material Acquisition and Ishukone Corporation, with reports relayed to both the Caldari Executive Panel and Gallente Senate. By this time, international parties were already “pleased” with the Legion’s progress across the planet .
As of the installation of the demilitarized zone and the district administrations, Material Acquisitions declared the moves as “highly profitable,” to the point that additional facilities were opened throughout the Crux constellation in October YC 115 .
Long-Term Consequences: Battle Reverberations Continually Felt
Immediately following the resolution of the conflicts which rocked Luminaire VII, the interstellar parties struggled to rebuild their positions and protect their interests. Aside from the obvious destruction of the Shiigeru and the damage wrought across the entire planet, the battle and its aftermath had a profound impact upon all elements of New Eden, even those which were not personally present on the battlefield at the time of the Leviathan’s destruction. Beyond the exhaustive work to rebuild Luminaire VII and provide relief to its entrapped citizens, the empires and their capsuleers continue to grapple with the consequences of their commitment to the engagement which undeniably shaped the course of history. The engagement over Luminaire VII continues to reverberate in the minds of its survivors and participating empires in the form of far-reaching consequences, which are continually presented at the forefront of modern issues.
Reconsidering The Clone Soldier
Despite the efforts to curtail their existence (while at the same time employing them as mercenaries), the empires finally recognized the viability and effectiveness of clone soldiers and began fielding them more regularly and openly.
On April 29, YC 115, Modern Finances released an official report which outlined the profitability of utilizing cloned soldiers and declared that “the average cloned soldier begins providing a greater return on investment with each passing day, allowing them to quickly overcome their initial cost.” While initial training and implant installation costs were higher than that of traditional soldiers, the retaining of training skills and combat experience, as well as the clone soldiers’ ability to fearlessly engage in battle allowed clone soldiers to present themselves as an effective and capable alternative to regular soldiers. However, the report did not declare that standard soldiers should be discarded entirely .
Capitalizing off the report, the Thukker Tribe cleared the way for clone soldiers to enter Molden Heath en masse “in an effort to police the region and protect it from piracy” on May 14, YC 115. At the time, the Republic Fleet noted Molden Heath as a stomping ground for the Angel Cartel pirate organization and had likewise “virtually abandoned” it. Through this invitation, the Thukker Tribe granted access to several planets with nearly completely empty urban districts for settlement by clone soldiers as a deterrent against Angel Cartel invasions. Though the move proved controversial on the part of criticism from the Minmatar Republic, the Tribal Assembly recognized that the planets open for settlement all fell under Thukker Tribe jurisdiction .
In minutes, every district opened by the Thukker Tribe was claimed by independent corporations, with new settlers pouring in by the thousands and rival mercenary organizations already preparing to strike their neighbors. Despite the potential for infighting, the Thukker Tribe noted that the increased presence of thousands of fearless, well-trained, and heavily armed mercenaries had given the Angel Cartel significant pause .
Within days, the increased presence of clone soldiers in Molden Heath had a significant impact on Angel Cartel operations, with criminal activities and trafficking of boosters decreasing. With the clone soldiers acting as a reinforcing element, the Republic Fleet and Thukker Tribe forces were able to reconstitute their efforts in other sectors while the clone soldiers occupied their choice districts .
On May 20, YC 115, the Minmatar Republic observed continued stability brought into Molden Heath by the presence of the clone mercenaries and their occupation of planetary districts across the region. Due to their solid performance, security, and significant impact upon criminal enterprises therein, the Minmatar Republic officially granted control of the mercenary-occupied districts to said corporations which laid claim to them. While the move was praised, it was criticized by law enforcement personnel, who noted escalating conflict between the mercenary corporations in addition to combat actions against the Angel Cartel .
A Republic Security Services report released four days later echoed the positive impact on security brought on by the mercenary groups, even in low-security systems. Nevertheless, the intensity of the violence between some corporations dampened the report, which indicated that profit-driven capsuleers might attempt to capitalize off the circumstances .
In September YC 115, an official report released by the Thukker Tribe outlined the decline in pirate activities, as well as the bolstering of the economies of systems occupied by mercenaries due to the demand for logistical support via the local markets and otherwise. However, the report also revealed that collateral damage brought on by combat between the mercenary organizations, as well as orbital bombardments, was particularly heavy, as anticipated by observers since the hour that Molden Heath was first opened to mercenary occupation .
In the course of the Thukker Tribe’s invitation of clone soldiers into Molden Heath, the Caldari Navy released their own conclusions regarding the performance of clone soldiers. In a complete reversal of previous attitudes and positions maintained by Caldari State, the Caldari Navy’s report of May 19, YC 115, declared “that cloned soldiers provide a large benefit over traditional infantry.” Further investigations into clone soldier technology were planned, and likewise, the report was confirmed by a number of megacorporation security firms. Specifically, the Caldari Navy acknowledged that clone soldiers were better able to handle high-stress scenarios, maintained closer unit cohesion, and maintained superior “general tactical awareness on the battlefield” better than standard soldiers. The Caldari Navy then announced an investigation to determine the possibility of “second generation” clone soldier integration into Caldari State security forces. The report generated a debate amongst military experts over Tibus Heth’s decision to purge “first generation” clone soldiers from the Caldari ranks earlier in the year .
Even in the aftermath of the battle across Luminaire VII, rumors continued to spread regarding clone soldier operations carried out upon the planet, even in the wake of peace overtures. In early April YC 115, it was alleged by observers and military officers that the ultranationalist Caldari faction and quasi-terrorist organization known as the Templis Dragonaurs were maintaining covert positions throughout the Gallente Federation and were using them to carry out raids and sabotage operations. Loose talk suggested that the Black Eagles had discovered the presence of one such hidden base upon Luminaire VII, as well as others throughout the Federation. The discovery of such positions supposedly prompted mercenary contracts to be offered to clone soldiers by both the Templis Dragonaurs and Federal Intelligence Office on April 4, YC 115, with the Federal Intelligence Office further enticing participants by offering them Black Eagle dropsuits .
Honoring The Fighters
Concerning the capsuleers and crewmembers lucky enough to survive the fiery conflict over Luminaire VII, their service to their respective empires was not forgotten. Shortly after the engagement, members of the Live Events community discovered two new items linked into their databases: the “Assault on Caldari Prime Ribbon” and “Defense of Caldari Prime Ribbon.” Research into these links confirmed that these entries were being considered as potential rewards for capsuleers who participated in the conflict-they would be awarded as “items.”
However, some capsuleers were concerned over the idea of “stolen valor” corrupting their participation in the conflict. A medal as an “item” could be bought or sold on the market for profit, defacing its intrinsic value. Furthermore, it was argued that any capsuleer could present a link to these items and falsely proclaim participation in the conflict without having actually been on the battlefield. By these arguments, [[Commander A9 (character)|Commander A9, a member of the Live Events community and survivor of the event which was fast becoming known as the “Battle of Caldari Prime,” organized a push to encourage the empire navies to award official medals to the participants rather than simply issuing capsuleers marketable items .
The argument at large presented the stance that instead of an item which could be lost or squandered in a trade, a medal displayed on the pilot’s profile was a more fitting, respectful, and permanent alternative. After careful consideration and debate on the criteria for capsuleers to receive such a “profile medal,” personnel within the Gallente and Caldari Navies and Directive Enforcement Department in authority on the matter agreed to the proposal to award capuleers said medals .
Capsuleers exercised patience in the matter concerning medals for their service over several months as the Gallente and Caldari Navy and Directive Enforcement Department debated over the awarding criteria and process .
On August 22, YC 115, Mordu's Legion Command took matters into its own hands and issued its own decoration, “Muryia’s Wings,” to 3,841 capsuleers (all of whom were registered with the Directive Enforcement Department) who participated in the engagement over Luminaire VII. CEO Muryia Mordu declared the medal “a tribute to the actions of independent capsuleers and the noble sacrifice of countless crew in service of both the Gallente Federation and Caldari State, which was made to ensure that the turbulent situation on the planet was brought to an end.” Strike Commander Tsuni Aina further supported Mordu’s decision, confirming that the debate over honoring capsuleers for their service had “been in dispute with the Directive Enforcement Department for over a year, after a number of Navy personnel involved in the conflict regarded the decoration of capsuleers for their actions during Operation Highlander to be in poor taste.” Aina declared that capsuleers fielded the military support required to bring the conflict to its conclusion, and also saved millions of lives by otherwise preventing the single climactic battle from simply adding to an already devastating conflict that could have dragged on for much longer .
The Execution of A Hero: Admiral Visera Yanala Murdered
While relief operations and reconstruction procedures were already underway, survivors and capsuleers regrouped and gathered themselves as the smoke cleared and dust settled. Regardless of affiliation or disposition of the participants and communities, there was mounting speculation amongst many as to the circumstances surrounding the performance of the Shiigeru Leviathan, and more importantly its final moments. Most noticeably, questions were posed as to why the Leviathan Oblivion Doomsday Weapon was not discharged as a final act of defiance, or in the course of orders to do so in the event of the inevitable conflict. Furthermore, growing concern amongst capsuleers prompted them to speculate regarding Admiral Visera Yanala’s last known whereabouts upon the battlefield over Luminaire VII. At the time of the engagement, no pilot had officially claimed having successfully placed the final blow on either the Shiigeru or Yanala’s capsule-any official documentation or record of either kill was absent. For all intents and purposes, Yanala had vanished.
To help navigate the confusion, the Caldari Navy and Chief Executive Panel announced on May 11, YC 115, that a joint investigation into the events surrounding the battle of Luminaire VII was already in progress. Without going into detail, a released statement confirmed the investigation was designed to execute a “broad analysis of the entire situation, from the highest levels of command to the very bottom.” Secondly, the investigating panels encouraged capsuleers who had been present during the battle to provide their own analyzes and reports on the engagement, with documentation and testimony to be presented to Chief Executive Panel capsuleer liasion Odo Hakaalen. When requested by the Federation Senate, the Chief Executive Panel agreed to provide a copy of their report to their chambers .
Days later, on May 15, YC 115, the Chief Executive Panel and Caldari Navy both confirmed that their investigation would include examining the wreckage of the Shiigeru. With Mordu's Legion providing oversight, Ishukone Corporation and subsidiary Zainou Biotech would retrieve pieces of the wreckage for examination, with concerted effort focusing on recovering the ship’s flight recorder and other major components. Even months after the Titan’s initial impact on the surface of Luminaire VII, the wreckage “[remained] unstable” due to the reaction between the superstructure’s tritanium alloy and the oxygen atmosphere. This reaction and instability was said to affect any attempts at cleaning up the wreckage, of which such would only be possible “years – if not decades – down the line.” A statement from Ishukone confirmed that its crews would “exercise ‘extreme caution’ in approaching the wreck, as ‘any unnecessary disturbance could cause the power core or doomsday device to explode’” .
Soon after their search was orchestrated, the Shiigeru’s flight recorder was recovered and examined in detail by the Caldari Navy, which announced on May 17, YC 115, that “Admiral Yanala ‘acted in the best interests of those on the ground’ in the ship’s final moments.” The Caldari Navy’s investigation confirmed that during the Shiigeru’s plummet towards the plant, before the ship was rendered catastrophically destroyed, Yanala had shut down “all volatile systems on board, including the heavily damaged propulsion system, rendering them completely inert before the ship broke apart in orbit. Additionally, the doomsday device had been taken offline several minutes before, not only preventing it from firing but also preventing it from entering an active cooldown phase.” According to the Caldari Navy’s examination, Yanala’s actions prevented the extermination of all life across Luminaire VII, which otherwise might have occurred had certain components of the Titan exploded upon impact and claimed millions of lives, while rendering Luminaire VII uninhabitable. Immediately after the report was confirmed, the Gallente Federation Senate commended Yanala “for her ‘bravery and willingness to place the lives of civilians above and beyond all else. When faced with a critical decision in a situation of high stress, Admiral Yanala made the proper choice; one that has massive long term repercussions for billions of individuals.’”
If all actions, no matter how subtle or bold, always have an impact upon the universe, the actions of Visera Yanala as a single individual indeed resonated throughout the entirety of New Eden in a single moment .
By May 20, YC 115, the Caldari Navy report had become widespread, prompting Caldari citizens to view Yanala as a State hero. Many Caldari requested her presence before the Chief Executive Panel so that she may receive proper recognition and likewise address the State .
Within days of Yanala’s actions being credited as heroic, it was likewise first declared by the Caldari Navy on May 22, YC 115, exactly two months after the battle which claimed the Shiigeru, that Visera Yanala’s clone “failed to activate” following her initial podding in Luminaire during the engagement. With the State gripped in shock, Executor Tibus Heth remarked that the clone activation failure was considered a “tragic cloning accident” brought on by Yanala’s focus on her efforts to minimize collateral damage in the course of the Shiigeru’s destruction over Luminaire VII, although exact details remained unclear in Heth’s eyes. Memorial services were held across the Caldari State, with the Chief Executive Panel intent on investigating the circumstances behind Yanala’s clone failure. Furthermore, the Panel declared that the State Stock Exchange would be opened with an eight-gun salute in honor of Admiral Yanala, rather than the traditional opening bell .
The following day, the Chief Executive Panel confirmed its intent to question Caldari Navy Executive Officer Mininela Erinen on matters pertaining to Yanala’s failed clone activation, as well as Yanala’s orders given in the course of the engagement over Luminaire VII. The Caldari Navy complied with the Chief Executive Panel’s request to have Erinen present herself on May 25, YC 115, during which the hearing panel would utilize advanced detection and analysis equipment to verify the accuracy of Erinen’s statements .
Just after noon on May 25, YC 115, the Chief Executive Panel announced the findings of the hearing: Admiral Visera Yanala had not been killed as the result of a failed clone activation, but rather had been forced to partake in a “Tea Maker Ceremony” by Tibus Heth himself. Any claims of a failed clone activation had been announced as part of a cover-up organized by Heth and enforced by the Provists on the staff of the cloning facility which received Yanala after her podding in Luminaire. According to testimony from Mininela Erinen, upon learning that Yanala had failed to discharge the Shiigeru’s Oblivion Doomsday Weapon upon Luminaire VII, Heth summoned Erinen to Yanala’s post-rebirth chamber, which had been placed under Provist guard. A brief interrogation revealed Yanala’s refusal to fire the Leviathan’s Doomsday system, after which Heth ordered Yanala to ingest hak’len tea, a poisoned drink consumed in the course of a Caldari ritual (during which an individual condemned to death personally drinks the substance-if the individual survives, it is believed that said individual has been spared death through divine intervention and is therefore innocent). Intimidated by the Provist presence and unable to resist Heth’s orders, Erinen watched as Yanala drank the tea in defiance of Heth “as punishment for ever following Heth in the first place.” Moments later, Yanala was dead due to respiratory failure.
According to Erinen, Heth had grown concerned that Caldari citizens were aligning in favor of Yanala, and would therefore fall into riot once they learned the truth regarding the circumstances behind Yanala’s death. Therefore, Provists were deployed to “shake down the workers at the clone facility and ordered anyone else involved to keep silent on threat of treason” .
A report released by the Chief Executive Panel detailed Yanala’s last interaction with Heth as witnessed by Erinen.
The international response to the Chief Executive Panel’s report on the truth behind Admiral Visera Yanala’s passing was swift, fierce, and dramatic. On May 26, YC 115, the Gallente Senate voted by majority to condemn the death of Yanala, while also officially recognizing her as a “war hero.” The Gallente Sentate further encouraged the Caldari Chief Executive Panel to continue investigating the matter “and bring the perpetrator to justice” .
A day later, reports surfaced that vigils held in Yanala’s honor were deteriorating into protests against Tibus Heth, with protestors demanding answers for his actions. Provist forces were deployed to quell violent outbreaks, with hundreds injured .
On May 27, YC 115, Tibus Heth publicly addressed matters concerning Admiral Yanala’s death for the first time, this time by presenting himself before a crowd of Caldari Constructions employees. Heth began his address by admitting that the Chief Executive Panel’s report on his handling of Yanala’s final moments was “essentially true,” while claiming his actions were carried out “only in the best interests of the State in making this decision” and that Yanala had acted treasonously. Heth further declared that the hak’len tea was offered to Yanala in an effort for her to prove her actions as honorable, but “the Maker did not protect her, so her life was forfeit.” As the crowd turned increasingly agitated and violent, Heth claimed that he only discovered Yanala’s intent to preserve lives through refusing to fire the Shiigeru’s Doomsday Weapon after the Chief Executive Panel’s initial report was released following Yanala’s death, and further expressed regret for his actions. This confession, however, was not enough to quell the crowd’s anger. An attendant tossed a bottle towards the stage where Heth was delivering his speech, which prompted the Provists to detain the protestor, but also caused a riot to break out, while Heth was ushered away. Over twenty people were injured. A full board meeting of the Chief Executive Panel was scheduled shortly thereafter .
On the evening of June 12, YC 115, Admiral Yanala’s family held a private funeral on Luminaire VII near the Kaalakiota Peaks, opting for a small ceremony with few guests rather than a burial with full military honors to which Yanala was entitled. Several Caldari megacorporation CEOs and their representatives attended the gathering, including Ishukone’s Mens Reppola, Hyasyoda’s Ahtonen Osmon, Lai Dai’s Alakoni Ishanoya, CBD’s Chief Financial Officer Kentanen Shinagimi, Wirkomi Chief of Staff Saakkimuka Ishaken, and former Kaalakiota Chief Executive Officer Haatakan Oiritsuu. Invitations had been extended as thanks for their support.
While reporters were not invited, Yanala’s family declared their appreciation of being offered a military funeral for Yanala, confirming their decline since “[Yanala] never wished for glory. She was never the type who did something to earn attention for herself. We believe she would have wished for her funeral to be a private affair with those who knew her best.”
The Fall of Tibus Heth and the Provists
Following the engagement over Luminaire VII, Caldari Executor Tibus Heth found himself clinging to what power and authority remained within his grasp, while wrestling with the cold reality of being handed a crushing defeat by the Gallente Federation. The Shiigeru and the escorting 37th Octopus Squadron had been utterly decimated over the Caldari ancestral homeworld, which was being carved up and divvied between parties involved like pieces of meat in a butcher shop, while Admiral Visera Yanala had proven to be a defiant traitor to the entire State. Therefore, eliminating her from Heth’s chessboard seemed to be the only logical solution to maintain his position, though his choice of which pieces to remove would ultimately prove to be his undoing, along with engineering the destruction of the Provists under his command.
Before the Chief Executive Panel would announce its findings implicating Heth in Admiral Visera Yanala’s death, however, perhaps the first blow to Heth’s credibility was self-inflicted through his plan to nationalize the Caldari megacorporations, thereby placing them under the control of the State. Heth’s announcement of his intent was delivered upon the release of reports which confirmed on May 5, YC 115, that Tibus Heth’s own Kaalakiota Corporation was “funneling money to support the Caldari Providence Directorate,” which had led to disastrous financial constraints. The reports revealed the fact that Kaalakiota possessed “very little operating capital on hand” since most of its funds had been diverted to support the Caldari Providence Directorate, which continually required extensive amounts of personnel and materiel without generating any monetary return. Economically, Kaalakiota was operating “at a loss for the past three years, with losses spiking in recent months as Heth’s policies continue to grow more and more unpopular.” The report caused Kaalakiota’s stock to crash and left analysts concerned about the megacorporation’s capacity to pay its debts owed to Caldari Funds Unlimited (In October YC 115, Kaalakiota would be forced to sell its subsidy Echelon Entertainment to cover its debts).
Furthermore, Heth’s announcement confirmed his intent to bring about “Caldari unity” and eliminate “corporate back-biting” since “Individual corporations fighting over every last coin has brought this great State to near-ruin once before.” Heth even attributed the loss of the battle over Luminaire VII to the hypercapitalistic attitudes of the megacorporations. Despite Heth’s intent to unify the State by stripping the megacorporations of their autonomy, no official movement to seize controlling stocks or affect labor policies was made on the part of Heth or Caldari leadership-all megacorporations continued to operate as normal .
Reacting to the riots triggered by Heth’s admittance of responsibility in engineering the death of Yanala, the Caldari Chief Executive Panel convened a meeting on May 29, YC 115 in New Caldari to discuss the findings of its investigations. To the surprise of the executive officers gathered, however, Heth was not in attendance, despite typically demanding full attendance from all chief executive officers at board meetings-Kaalakiota dispatched Chief Financial Officer Amaari Siaiki instead. Furthermore, rumors continually spread concerning the whereabouts of not only Tibus Heth, but also Provist forces, as well as those most close to Heth-everyone associated with the aforementioned entities had suddenly disappeared without a trace or public statement .
In a move to proactively prepare for any clandestine hostilities on the part of the Caldari State, the Gallente Federation fortified its Tripwire special forces’ positions along the Caldari border zone a day after Heth and his Provists vanished. The Federation Navy cited “ongoing turbulence in the State” as justification for its movement .
The Siege of Haatomo
More than a week after failing to attend the meeting organized by the Chief Executive Panel, Tibus Heth reemerged at the helm of an invasion of the Caldari Constructions Warehouse in Haatomo on June 10, YC 115. A coalition of Provists and Templis Dragonaurs breached their way into the station under orders from Tibus Heth himself, who declared his intent to “take back Caldari Prime.” An attempt to forcibly recruit workers into the invasion force was met with resistance, which sparked retaliation on the part of the Provists. Those workers who managed to escape confirmed that the Provists and Dragonaurs were “heavily armed” and had taken measures to barricade their position by closing off access to several of the station’s entry points, decks, and hangars. They had also seized a number of Caldari vessels. The Caldari Navy then mobilized .
At 1800, Caldari Navy forces completely surrounded the Caldari Constructions Warehouse docking perimeter with a fleet of five Chimera Carriers and five Phoenix Dreadnoughts, while also docking to deploy security personnel to contain the onboard occupants, effectively sealing Heth and his Provist and Dragonaurs followers inside. Two hours of posturing by both forces left the situation unchanged, though rumors spread that Heth’s coalition had access to capital ships stored inside the station .
In the afternoon on June 11, YC 115, on the second day of the siege of Haatomo, the Caldari Navy confirmed the intention of Tibus Heth and the loyalists under his command to utilize Haatomo as a staging area to launch a counterattack upon Luminaire VII in an attempt to retake it in full for the Caldari State. With the siege of Haatomo unchanged, the Caldari Navy labeled the situation “contained,” citing a significant blockade maintained by the eight megacorporations, as well as the presence of security personnel aboard the station preventing any means of escape. Docking privileges were continually being relayed to capsuleers by a “skeleton crew” of workers aboard the station, with the Caldari Navy totally sealing off access to all sections otherwise unoccupied by Heth’s forces.
As part of the Caldari Navy’s announcement, the Chief Executive Panel officially denounced Heth’s seizure of the station, declaring, “Tibus Heth is acting without the authorization of the Chief Executive Panel and any military action against Caldari Prime is completely unsanctioned. This is being treated as an act of terrorism by the constituent corporations of the Caldari State” .
Within minutes of the Caldari Navy’s announcement, officers of the Live Events community scrambled a fleet of capsuleers to reinforce the Caldari Navy blockade around the Caldari Constructions Warehouse where Heth and his followers remained barricaded. The fleet of forty-five capsuleers assisted in maintaining the blockade for six hours, while resisting the attempts of rival capsuleers loyal to Tibus Heth to disrupt their operations. Several members of the fleet left charged messages reading “Death to Heth” attached to secured containers anchored around the station.
In the course of the Live Events blockade, an individual claiming to be Tibus Heth himself took to posturing his position across international communications frequencies as a response to Heth’s activity being labeled “terrorism” by the Chief Executive Panel, with little effect on the fleet’s disposition.
With both sides unwilling to retract their positions, the siege continued for over a week, while the Caldari Navy maintained its position out of concern for Caldari Constructions workers trapped aboard the station and potentially being held hostage. On June 14, YC 115, the Chief Executive Panel officially unseated Tibus Heth from his position as the Caldari State Executor upon a near-unanimous vote by the eight megacorporations. Kaalakiota was the only group to abstain since Heth was still legally the megacorp’s chief executive. The removal of Heth was coupled with an official declaration labeling Heth as “the leader of a terrorist insurgency against the Caldari State.” Kaalakiota’s corporate board then debated holding a “shareholder vote” to determine the fate of Heth’s shares in the corporation, along with branding Heth as an “outlaw in Kaalakiota territories.” Heth was subsequently removed from the position of chief executive officer .
After eight days, the siege of Haatomo would come to a climactic and violent end in the evening of June 18, YC 115 after the Caldari Navy received intelligence confirming threats to the lives of the Caldari Constructions workers held hostage aboard the station. At exactly 2000, the Caldari Navy breached the sealed sectors of the stonewalled Caldari Constructions station and stormed the positions of the Caldari Providence Directorate and Templis Dragonaurs. A Caldari Navy capital fleet then warped to the station and docked to deploy additional breaching teams. This forced Heth and his loyalists to board a number of capital ships and scramble out of the station, directly into a blockade maintained by the Caldari Navy and a fleet of over fifty Live Events personnel, including members of the Fourth District.
Four Phoenix Dreadnoughts and four Chimera Carriers seized by Provist forces attempted to run the blockade, but were unable to break through and were summarily destroyed within minutes. While initially remaining at bay, CONCORD operatives were forced to intervene upon one of the Provist capital ships after its crew committed an illegal action and were subsequently flagged as criminal. In the course of the battle, a Raven battleship piloted by a Templis Dragonaur operative named Tolen Kirakachi escaped the station and fled the system, with Caldari interceptors in pursuit.
Upon docking and securing the station, Caldari Navy personnel under the command of Caldari Navy officer Pintama Ashamakka reported that Tibus Heth was nowhere to be found aboard the Caldari Constructions Warehouse. However, official confirmation of Heth’s whereabouts was not delivered from the Caldari Navy at that time .
Tibus Heth Disavowed
With Tibus Heth having escaped with the remainder of his Provists and Templis Dragonaurs, the Chief Executive Panel took measures to ensure that a repeat of tyrannical manipulation of Caldari politics and military efforts could not be undertaken in the future. On July 9, YC 115, the Chief Executive Panel abolished the position of Caldari State Chief Executor and dissolved the Caldari Providence Directorate.
In the course of removing the position as an available seat of power, the Chief Executive Panel commented that the position of Chief Executor had once been created specifically for Tibus Heth, but the chair had exercised “broad dictatorial powers over the Caldari State,” of which “was at odds with the foundations upon which the Caldari State was founded. The megacorps are nothing without their shareholders and workers. Allowing a single individual the ability to dictate business decisions and direction within the State was a mistake that should have never been made. We will not extend that mistake into the future.”
As for those supporting Tibus Heth in his seizure of Haatomo and his attempt to retake Luminaire VII for the State, the Chief Executive Panel declared the Caldari Providence Directorate an illegal entity within the State, with the Provists facing international condemnation and officials being terminated from their duties and service posts. The ultranationalist Templis Dragonaurs were continually regarded as terrorists, despite having been deployed “in official capacities by the Heth regime” while sharing a “close affiliation” with the Provist organization.
The last installment of the Chief Executive Panel’s reformation of power concerned the Caldari Business Tribunal, to which said station was granted full powers “to adjudicate matters between the constituent corporations of the Caldari State” after having been curtailed previously by Heth in late YC 114 during the initial purge of first-generated clone soldiers .
With their search of the Caldari Constructions Warehouse station finished, Caldari Navy personnel announced on July 11, YC 115, their belief that Tibus Heth had survived the siege of Haatomo, citing security cameras revealing Heth boarding a ship which then evacuated the station during the fighting. The Caldari Navy also noted that Heth had sustained injuries during the boarding action, with Heth’s DNA matching blood found in the station’s docking bay. Navy intelligence reported Heth’s last location in the Kedama system and deduced that Heth was likely taking refuge in the “largely unpopulated and isolcated communities of Black Rise.” The Caldari Navi fielded a manhunt operation, while warning that Heth had the potential to alter his physical appearance and receive assistance from supporters across State territory, even though his overall popularity was plummeting and zealous followership of Heth was likely to be in the minority .
Speculating that Heth would seem asylum with members of the Guristas Pirates, Live Events personnel frequently organized fleets which scouted sectors of Black Rise, but found no trace of Tibus Heth or the ship he had fled from Haatomo upon.
In continued condemnation of Tibus Heth and his regime, the Caldari Business Tribunal awarded the Kaalakiota Corporation a Caldari State-wide corporate warrant for his arrest over charges of malfeasance, misappropriation, and embezzlement “of corporate resources used to fund the Caldari Providence Directorate over the course of several years.” In the aftermath of said misappropriations, Kaalakiota was forced to auction off significant assets to remain financially intact. It would later have to sell off additional assets associated with its Echelon Entertainment subsidiary to cover its debts as a result of Heth’s regime. Heth was further charged with theft over his forcible requisitioning of ships he deployed to occupy the Haatomo warehouse which led to the week-long siege.
A warrant under Caldari basic law was subsequently declared by the Chief Executive Panel on charges of terrorism, political extremism over his occupation of Haatomo’s Caldari Constructions Warehouse, and the murder of Admiral Visera Yanala. While the CEP declared their preference of Heth being apprehended alive, their understanding was that “capturing the renegade alive may not be possible.” .
In a move to cut all ties with Tibus Heth, Caldari Constructions called for a shareholder’s vote to nullify Tibus Heth’s shares on July 26, YC 115, expecting the vote to easily pass . Nullification was completed on August 28, YC 115 . Days later, on July 30, YC 115, Kaalakiota announced that it had appointed Haatakan Oiritsuu as interim Chief Executive Officer of the distressed corporation, with Oiritsuu promising to “return the corporation to financial stability after over half a decade of fiscally abusive and negligent rule by the Caldari Providence Directorate.” Oiritsuu had been ousted from her position as CEO in YC 110 in the course of a hostile takeover by Provist operatives. Her appointment was widely viewed as a positive step made by a corporation which was well on the decline towards eventual bankruptcy and even total collapse .
In August YC 115, in a show of confidence in her ability to lead, Oiritsuu pledged 40% of her personal wealth to invest in Kaalakiota directly in the form of a no-interest loan, while the corporate board of directors signed off on a “bold” five-year plan designed to put the company on top of the Caldari economic ladder .
The Hunt For Heth
While the Caldari State worked tirelessly to distance itself from its former Chief Executor, Live Events personnel and Caldari Navy fleets continued to search Black Rise for the elusive Tibus Heth, with little success. However, on October 10, YC 115, a ship with a transponder signal matching that of Tibus Heth and Provist forces was identified in the Okagaiken system, of Black Rise’s Urpiken constellation. Caldari Navy forces searched the system but found no trace of the vessel .
Soon after the publication of the Caldari Navy’s report, an individual once again claiming to be Tibus Heth himself taunted New Eden using international communications channels. While the account is continually in use today, the Caldari Navy has dismissed it as an imposter holding fanatical devotions towards Tibus Heth.
The last reported contact with a vessel associated with Tibus Heth was made on October 18, YC 115, when Caldari Navy forces located wreckage of a fleet believed to have been escorting Tibus Heth throughout Aivonen. Upon investigating the wrecks, the Caldari Navy reported that the ships appeared to have been fired upon with energy weapons, then boarded. Several escape pods were still intact on the ships, but no crewmembers were ever found. While blood belonging to Tibus Heth was discovered on a prized Caldari Constructions pocket watch left behind aboard one of the vessels, Heth himself remained unaccounted for.
To this day, Tibus Heth remains at large, and no party has claimed responsibility for his disappearance .
Backlash: The Highlander Documents Scandal
While the Caldari State continually worked to pick up the pieces in the wake of Heth’s ousting, the Gallente Federation was presented with its own crisis of confidence, which resulted in significant embarrassment for the Gallente Senate.
On August 30, YC 115, the first reports surfaced confirming that sensitive documents associated with Operation: Highlander had gone missing. The documents had been assembled into a collective dossier and contained a wide array of information related to the “planning, assessment, and post-action review… of the operation to assault Caldari Prime,” as well as “sensitive intelligence information on other factions, including the other three empires.” The documents had been prepared for a Senate oversight committee charged with reviewing the operation as a whole, which deemed the operation to be an overall success with appropriate execution. The Federal Intelligence Office was immediately activated to respond what the Gallente Senate was viewing as “a major security breach” .
Almost two months later, on October 24, YC 115, The Scope reportedly obtained the Operation: Highlander dossier and subsequently published a portion of the material under whistleblower and freedom of information statutes. The released documents indicated in no uncertain terms that the Gallente Federation had deployed operatives to infiltrate the Caldari State and had been engaged in such practices since the YC 110 Empyrean War. The operatives were “engaged in long-term, deep-cover operations within all eight Caldari megacorporations,” wherein “several high-level megacorp executives had been compromised by intelligence operatives,” thus “contributing to the destabilization of the Heth regime prior to the attack on Caldari Prime.” While the names of specific Caldari executives were not listed in the documents, they indicated that none of the officers were still “active assets” following Heth’s ousting, but that “several ‘less valuable assets’” were active within the megacorporations, Caldari Navy, and State Protectorate forces. While The Scope claimed legal precedent in the release of the documents, Black Eagles operatives raided several Scope offices across Federation space .
A week following the release of the initial Operation: Highlander documents, the Caldari Chief Executive Panel released a statement on behalf of the megacorporations denying the claim that Caldari officers worked with the Gallente Federation to undermine the Heth regime or to launch an assault on Luminaire VII. Likewise, the Chief Executive Panel officially demanded that the Gallente Federation present to them a list of any executives and Caldari Navy personnel named in the documentation, citing threats of corporate espionage to the international economy. However, some Caldari officers dismissed the claims of widespread spying. In particular, Kaalakiota Corporation’s acting Chief Executive Officer Haatakan Oiritsuu declared publicly that the Gallente Federation “was attempting to claim responsibility for events they had no part in” as a sign of “typical Gallente arrogance,” and furthermore that the collapse of Tibus Heth’s regime was the result of “his own insane decisions.”
The release of the Operation: Highlander documents was likewise blamed for tensions on Luminaire VII, which escalated to a series of attacks by mobs across the borders of Gallente and Caldari districts. Mordu's Legion security forces were deployed to each disturbance and utilized non-lethal “riot suppression” measures to dissolve the violence, with several instigators and participants placed under arrest. No deaths were reported, with Mordu’s Legion receiving the praise of several district administrators .
On December 17, YC 115, a second release of Operation: Highlander documentation obtained by The Scope one day prior revealed that the Gallente Senate had authorized over 300 “illegal border breaches” between October 6, YC 110 and March 10, YC 115, in an effort to obtain intelligence, specifically on the Caldari Navy and its combat capabilities. An investigation revealed that these breaches may have been in violation of the CONCORD Emergency Militia War Powers Act and the Yulai Convention. The documents went into detail regarding the Caldari Navy’s prized Kimotoro fleet, Caldari Border Zone forces, guard forces along the Lonetrek-Pure Blind border, and even the Mito constellation fleets. The Chief Executive Panel’s Corporate Relations Director Odo Hakaalen immediately labeled the information as “outdated, three-year-old data with no tangible use for tactical advantage” and also criticized the Gallente Federation for its “continued increase in belligerent behavior on the part of the Federal Administration.” CONCORD Inner Circle Chief Investigating Officer Keraimo Hakanuro confirmed that it had initiated talks with both the Chief Executive Panel and Gallente Senate as a result of State concerns-the Gallente Senate however had refused to provide public comment .
Three days later, on December 20, YC 115, Gallente Federation Head Senator Aulmont Meis resigned over the release of the Operation: Highlander documents which confirmed that the illegal border breaches by Gallente personnel were in violation of Article 6 of the Yulai Convention. Meis’s personal assistant, Harelle Jovingeur, was also dismissed due to her involvement in the Highlander scandal. Upon announcing his resignation, Meis justified his decision to authorized the border crossing as “intended solely to protect and preserve the safety and liberty of the Gallente Federation and its people” and was “necessary to ensure that the Federation was adequately protected against further aggression from the Caldari Providence Directorate.” Although he was resigning from his Senate position, Meis proclaimed that he was being transferred to a position with the Senate Security Council, a post he held prior to his tenure with the Foreign Relations Committee in August YC 106. Following Meis’s resignation, Gallente President Jacus Roden declared resolute support in the Senate and Federal Intelligence Office’s commitment to “the safety and security of the Gallente Federation, and her people,” while assuring that contact would be maintained with CONCORD’s Inner Circle .
On Christmas Day, in the wake of the Highlander scandal’s aftermath, the Gallente Senate released its official statement regarding the border crossings. Grand Admiral Anteson Ranchel acknowledged that “a number of missions were planned and executed outside the Federation Navy’s usual sphere of operations between these dates. All action was solely for intelligence gathering purposes, and all operations were both passive and observatory in nature, with no offensive orders issued to the personnel deployed.” President Jacus Roden’s office likewise commented that the border crossings were invaluable to the security of the Gallente Federation following the initial YC 110 Luminaire invasion and the invasion of Ratillose orchestrated by Amarrian heir Uriam Kador.
In response to the Federation Navy’s promise to take any means necessary to secure its borders against threats from hostile forces, the Chief Executive Panel diffused the charged announcements with the reminder that any intelligence which had been obtained during the crossings had “no tangible use for tactical advantage, and was accrued during the years that the Caldari State was under Provist administration.” The Chief Executive Panel Corporate Relations Director Odo Hakaalen further expressed the position that any additional breaches of Caldari space would be met with “full lethal force.” Amarrian representatives offered no comments, despite being named in the Federation Navy’s announcement .
On December 30, YC 115, the Gallente Senate held an internal election, with the head of the Senate Domestic Security Council, Senator Andon Gardieu, winning the position as Head Senator. The election of Gardieu marked the first time in almost a century that a female had won the position as Head Senator .
She was sworn in that evening in a ceremony attended by President Jacus Roden, Black Eagles Director Mentas Blaque, Federation Navy Admiral Auvier Bauvon and a number of other key government officials. The ceremony was witnessed by trillions of viewers, while the inauguration was heralded as a victory for gender and racial equality and educational reform advocates .
One Year Later: Remembrance and Honor
Almost a year following the climactic battle over the skies of Luminaire VII, the planet remained scarred from the crash of the Shiigeru and its escorting capital ships. Efforts to get close to the wreckage to salvage and even analyze it had largely been hampered due to the instability of the wreckage and the difficult terrain. Nevertheless, prospective parties boldly assumed the responsibility of cleaning up the debris in the aftermath of such violence.
On such party was Material Acquisition, which on March 5, YC 116, announced plans to clean up and salvage the massive 1,200,000 square kilometer debris field of the Shiigeru Leviathan, citing the environmental impact of the crash and plans to subsequently salvage and recycle the materials in an effort to rebuild the Qaiian Tower, Nugoeihuvi Corporation’s regional headquarters. The tower had sustained significant damage during the Titan’s chaotic descent into the atmosphere.
The proposal was approved by Material Acquisition, Ishukone Corporation, and the Gallente Senate, and within an hour following the announcement, orbital salvage platforms from the Ishukone Corporation salvage were moved into position .
As salvage efforts continued, Nugoeihuvi media outlets discovered an Ishukone Corporation convoy under [[Mordu's Legion|Mordu's Legion] 31st Armored Division escort in Arcurio on Luminaire VII. Said convoy stopped at the Gallente Federal Embassy complex, where it was speculated that several Ishukone Corporation administrators then initiated unannounced talks with Gallente Federation representatives on March 20, YC 116. While the subject of such talks remained undisclosed, the movements of Ishukone shocked several officers within the Caldari megacorporations “over Ishukone’s increasingly close cooperation with the Federal government,” perhaps in part due to Ishukone’s showing of significant profit gained from sound administration of several districts across Luminaire VII’s rebuilding cities.
The secretive maneuvers of Ishukone prompted representatives of Lai Dai and Kaalakiota to bring concerns over “Ishukone’s continued distancing from the rest of the big eight [megacorporations], their relations with the Federal Government, and their monopolistic hold on Caldari operations on Caldari Prime” to the Chief Executive Panel, primarily due to Ishukone’s reservation on any formal announcements or communication with the Chief Executive Panel upon assuming control of the Caldari-controlled districts on Luminaire VII. These concerns were only further exascerbated by the rumor that Ishukone Chief Executive Officer Mens Reppola was en route to Luminaire VII to attend the talks personally .
On March 22, YC 116, the one-year anniversary of the “Battle of Caldari Prime,” the results of Ishukone’s talks were made public: a massive monument built in honor of the lives lost during the battle was unveiled. The monument was composed of a “120-meter-long, 6-meter-high section of titanium diborite armor plating from the hull of the Leviathan-class Titan CN Shiigeru, standing on a solid base carved from granite sourced from the Kaalakiota mountain range” set up in District 24 of Arcurio, where the deceased Caldari Navy Admiral Visera Yanala was born and raised.” After the unveiling, Ishukone Chief Executive Officer Mens Reppola, Gallente President Jacus Roden, and Federation Navy Grand Admiral Anteson Ranchel delivered tributes to those killed in the conflict. The ceremony closed with two minutes of silence, upon which Reppola recited the dedication message upon the monument, which featured the military service numbers of all known casualties on both Gallente Federation and Caldari State forces in Raata script.
As the ceremony proceeded in Arcurio, capsuleers in orbit above the planet gathered to mark the first anniversary of the battle. Organized by [[Live events (Chat channel)|Live Events Marshal and Moderator Commander A9 a month prior and advertised by Aurora Archology Biosphere Project leader Jandice Ymladris, the gathering was attended by veterans and survivors of the battle from all empires (even fervent supporters of the Caldari Navy), as well as those wishing to learn more about the largest engagement between the Gallente and Caldari empires since the end of the Gallente-Caldari War in YC 110. Starting at 1700, the event lasted several hours, with DJ Daggaroth from New Eden Radio playing music in celebration and to support several lightshows, wherein capsuleers participated in win prizes associated with the battle (including battleships and weaponry). At exactly 1800, to mark the exact moment that the Shiigeru Leviathan exploded over Luminaire VII, Commander A9 and several capsuleers from the Live Events community executed a “Missing Man Formation” which passed over the Operation: Highlander beacon during the ceremonial playing of “Taps." All fireworks ceased as the formation executed its maneuver. Additionally, the event’s attendants formed into a fleet which executed “flypasts” through the precise location where the actual battle look place, 20,000 kilometers closer towards Luminaire VII from the position of the Operation: Highlander beacon.
It was the hope that attendants on the ground in Arcurio would see the illuminated contrails and warp bursts of the ships as they soared over the planet as a sign of respect to those who lost their lives during the engagement in space and on the ground.
Several flypasts and lightshows were executed that evening, with a toast given to Admiral Visera Yanala. DJ Daggaroth closed the event by raffling off a carrier, which was fittingly won by Hearth and Home organizer Morwen Lagaan .
https://imgur.com/a/TwgwB In its aftermath, the event was widely praised by its attendants and observers. Capitalizing off the success of the first gathering, Commander A9 is currently preparing for the second anniversary, having hosted a small gathering on March 22, YC 117, with the intent of hosting a much larger event on March 29, YC 117, under the assumption that attendance would be larger upon delaying the official gathering by one week.
Despite the positive reception of the Luminaire VII Arcurio monument and the celebrations in space, Ishukone Corporation found itself facing potential reprimand for what was being regarded as illicit meetings and backroom dealings with Gallente officials by the Chief Executive Panel and several megacorporations. With Ishukone continually holding meetings with Gallente officials even after unveiling the monument, Kaalakiota and Lai Dai again filed requests with the Chief Executive Panel on April 4, YC 116, demanding an investigation into Ishukone’s activities and association with the Gallente Senate over concerns of State security. The Chief Executive Panel announced that a full investigation into Ishukone’s dealings with the Gallente Federation government would be initiated and “every effort will be undertaken to ensure that the security of the Caldari State remains intact, and any potentially illegal actions taken by Ishukone or indications of corruption within the corporation are dealt with appropriately.” A disgusted Ishukone Chief Executive Officer Mens Reppola declared any accusation of corruption “completely ludicrous,” swearing to continue operations as normal .
Under investigation over charges of corruption and inappropriate foreign relations, Chief Executive Officer Mens Reppola and the entire Ishukone board of directors were subsequently called to a hearing with the Chief Executive Panel on April 7, YC 116. Chief Executive Panel Internal Security personnel saw the charges as serious allegations with respect to the security of the Caldari State, with Ishukone labeling the accusations as “completely baseless,” declaring “Ishukone’s legacy as a corporation that believes diplomacy is a more powerful tool than gunfire will continue to be forged” .
While no formal charges were ever filed against Ishukone on the part of the Chief Executive Panel, Ishukone was forced to disclose early its ongoing negotiations with the Gallente Senate to return the city of Arcurio to Caldari control, as the city was continually regarded as the Caldari capital and cultural center despite its location within Gallente territory .
Retribution: The Court-Martial of the 37th Octopus Squadron
In the course of the dissolution of Tibus Heth’s deposed administration, a dynamic shift in leadership and political attitudes and the loss of the Caldari “old guard” in February YC 116 led to the events which resulted in the annihilation of the highest officers of the 37th Octopus Squadron.
On February 20, YC 116, the Caldari Navy confirmed the arrest of 37th Octopus Squadron Wing Commander Sami Okuuda, who had been placed on administrative leave following the failure of “Operation: Spectre” in November YC 115. Operation: Spectre involved the Okuuda’s recruitment of hundreds of capsuleers to destroy Angel Cartel pirate bases in null-security space on November 7, YC 115, but had ended in disaster upon the fleet’s encounter with an opposing force of capsuleers aligned with the Angel Cartel . With their honor already stained following their failure to protect the Shiigeru Leviathan during the battle over Luminaire VII, all eight major officers of the 37th Octopus Squadron were arrested and replaced on charges associated with failures of command during the Caldari Province Directorate’s administration, Operation Highlander, and Operation Spectre. At least fifty other senior officers faced arrest over court-martial proceedings within the coming week .
On February 27, YC 116, all fifty-seven personnel arrested on charges of “actions performed against the best interest of the Caldari State and People” were court-martialed and dishonorably discharged from the Caldari Navy. Charges had stemmed from a series of incidents which occurred during the political reign of the Caldari Providence Directorate, while formal charges included “dereliction of duty…gross insubordination, incompetence of command, and operations in breach of the Yulai Convention.” 37th Octopus Squadron Wing Commander Sami Okuuda himself was included in those discharged, and was last seen leaving the Perimeter system for New Caldari. Caldari Navy Executive Officer Admiral Mininela Erinen declared the court-martial proceedings to be officially resolved, which thereby closed the chapter on “an era in the Caldari Navy’s history during which those who should have been in a position to command had their hands bound by an administration that should never have been permitted to dictate our military objectives or projection of force.” Admiral Erinen announced that the Caldari Navy would once again return to its purpose of defending Caldari territory upon behalf of the State and its citizens .
In the afternoon on March 6, YC 116, the body of former Wing Commander Sami Okuuda was found in Kairiola Park, central in the city of Tovil, on Luminaire VII. Okuuda was alone, dressed in full military uniform, seated in a public beauty spot often frequented by tourists and visitors, with a flask at his side. Mordu's Legion examiners ruled out any foul play. While no official comment was offered by the Caldari Navy, Okuuda’s oldest son dismissed questions, remarking “my father died in service of the State during the battle in Luminaire last March. The man you speak of obviously did what he felt was appropriate to preserve the honor of his family’s name” .
The Provists Resurface
On April 12, YC 116, members of discharged Provist forces formerly under the command of former Wing Commander Sami Okuuda attacked a Caldari Navy shipyard in Otsasai and hijacked a number of carrier capital ships .
Declaring these men to be traitors to the State, the Caldari Navy responded by offering significant bounties in the form of dozens of Pilot’s License Extensions for every confirmed kill of a vessel under Provist control. Analysts regarded the “manhunt” as the largest in the history of the Caldari Navy  .
At times, however, the manhunt was disrupted by capsuleers swearing allegiance to the Provists and even major alliances, namely Pandemic Legion. An engagement against Provist forces on April 19, YC 116, saw a fleet of Pandemic Legion provide cover for the Provist capital ships, allowing them to avoid destruction from a number of capsuleers before the Provists were able to escape. It was speculated that Pandemic Legion later destroyed these Provists, with their entire operation focusing on preserving the Provists long enough to claim the Caldari Navy’s bounty for themselves .
A day later, on April 20, YC 116, the last of the renegade Provists were destroyed by a collective force of over 1,000 capsuleers. The Caldari Navy subsequently announced that all Provist personnel who were responsible for the theft of the capital ships had been confirmed dead as a result of the manhunt .
The Caldari Navy made good on its promise to deliver bounties for the deaths of the Provists on April 23, YC 116. Hundreds of PLEX were awarded to participating capsuleers for their efforts, although two bounties were unpaid because the bodies of the Provists in question were never produced for inspection. In regards to Pandemic Legion assisting former Provists with their escape, the Caldari Navy remained considerate of the prospect of declaring the entirety of Pandemic Legion as a pirate force throughout the State .
Rebuilding Over Battle Scars
Though the manhunt against the Provists proved to be a distraction of sorts, Ishukone Corporation continued to make headway with negotiating over the transfer of [Arcurio|Arcurio]] to Caldari administrative oversight. On June 10, YC 116, the Gallente Senate confirmed that the cities of Tovil, Arcurio and Pakuri would all be placed under the administrative direction of Ishukone Corporation as of July 1, YC 116. Furthermore, Mordu's Legion’s defense contract would be extended until YC 120 .
On July 1, YC 116, Arcurio was formally handed over to Ishukone during a signing ceremony held before the Operation Highlander memorial in the 24th District in Arcurio. According to the terms of the agreement, Arcurio would be placed under Ishukone’s control, while Mordu’s Legion would maintain global security and police powers across the entire planet. Despite having been criticized by the Chief Executive Panel months prior over the negotiations leading to the transfer, Ishukone was praised for their “openness, professionalism and diligence in ensuring that the correct criteria for handover were met,” as well as for its “incredibly professional approach to an extremely sensitive and important matter” .
Whispers In The Dark
Thought it has been over two years since the climatic Battle of Caldari Prime rocked the entire system of Luminaire, old ghosts, dogmas, and the maneuvering of interstellar powers occasionally invoke Luminaire VII as a subject of debate, if not more than for a brief moment. But even a moment can be enough to trigger the memories shared by millions of citizens.
In the course of Gallente elections, on January 26, YC 117, former mayor of Arcurio Shaileen Ramnev invoked Luminaire VII as a platform for her presidential campaign.
As a Gallente citizen born on Luminaire VII, Ramnev was noted for her shared Gallente-Caldari ethnicity, and likewise as formerly the Mayor of Arcurio prior to her resignation following the installment of martial law and occupation of the city by Provist forces in YC 110. After escaping Arcurio, she joined the Joint Resistance Movement and battled against Provist occupiers. As a candidate, Ramnev was regarded positively over her stalwart defenses of the interests of the population across Luminaire VII, placing citizen concerns at the forefront over “the will of empires” as a promoter of peace between the Gallente Federation and Caldari State .
Luminaire VII and especially Arcurio remained at a forefront of Gallente politics throughout the campaign, with even President Jacus Roden invoking the planet and its violent history in his own address on January 27, YC 116 from in front of the Operation Highlander monument. Roden reminded his listeners that the Federation was still at war with the Caldari State’s military apparatus and should remain resolute as a solid and unified force against any continued threats to its security.
Though she did not win the presidential election, Ramnev’s invoking of Luminaire VII and the rights of its population were thought to have propelled her to second place in the polls, and at one point, Ramnev was predicted to win the presidential race .
- Faction Warfare restrictions in Luminaire (i.e, a Gallente-controlled system) were waived for the day to allow Caldari Militia pilots to enter the system uncontested.
- Luminaire was player-capped at 1,000 while the Titan was still active; 1,000 more were allowed into the system after the Titan was destroyed.
- At peak, over 2,000 pilots participated in the event.
- During the battle, Visera Yanala, the Leviathan pilot, was under the control of CCP Falcon. He continually references Yanala in his biography as the “best Titan pilot,” which shows a screenshot that was the center of some controversy .
- The Battle of Caldari Prime was the subject of some controversy concerning the outcome of the “Live Event” being “scripted” by the actors. In the days prior to the battle, a screenshot showing a crashed Leviathan on the surface of a planet in DUST 514 was made public, leading to speculation that the Leviathan in Luminaire was destroyed by design, without any chance for capsuleers to actually affect the outcome of the engagement in space .
- Historically inclined capsuleers have noted that Federation Navy Admiral Aubarell Dogenon’s response of “Noted” to Admiral Visera Yanala’s warning regarding the violation of the Caldari Navy’s no-fly zone may have been homage to 101st Airborne Division General Anthony McAuliffe’s response of “Nuts!” to an offer made to American forces in Bastogne, Belgium, to surrender to the encircling German Army during World War II’s Battle of the Bulge.
- While the DUST 514 “One Universe, One War” trailer depicts orbital bombardments being executed upon Luminaire VII during the Battle of Caldari Prime, it remains unknown as to whether any pilots were successful (or even enabled to via game mechanics) in actually deploying an orbital strike for DUST 514 players .
- Records of actual actor communications logs have become hot commodities, although an after-action report maintained by Astroyka lists many of them .
- There has been speculation that the Shiigeru was so named in honor of Shigeru Myamoto, famed Nintendo developer and pioneer of the Super Mario series, as well as numerous other Nintendo projects.
- A few months after the Battle of Caldari Prime, Grideris was recruited by Crowd Control Productions and accepted an official position.
- Subsequent live events (specifically the Ishukone Watch convoy escort) following the Battle of Caldari Prime called for the participation of capsuleers via the “Declare Your Loyalty” thread .
- Originally, in-game ribbons as items were to be awarded to capsuleers who participated in the battle. However, citing the degradation such a medal awarded as a marketable “item” would have on the ribbon item and the battle itself, Commander A9 organized a push to have profile medals awarded instead. The medals were awarded in August 2014 .
- In the aftermath of the battle, CCP Falcon wrote “Falling Skies,” a popular chronicle detailing the events following the Shiigeru’s destruction .
- Caldari Navy Losses
- Gallente Navy Losses
- Note: CCP later confirmed after the event that logs for some of the kills (including the Levitathan) had gone missing or were never produced due to a “very unfortunate bug”