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Daily Tip:Hybrid turrets have recently undergone a reworking, as have most of the less-used Tech II ammo types. Consider using Gleam L ammo.

Sins of a Solar Spymaster #10: Bastard's Bluff

Updated Tue, May 05, 2009 by The Mittani

If you want to change the course of a galactic war overnight, what you need is not pilots, ships, or isk, but a combination of sadistic opportunism, luck, and outright bastardry.

Meet Intrepid Crossing (IRC) and their closest friends, Ethereal Dawn (ED). Basing in Etherium Reach (or 7-K to vets) this pair of US-timezone alliances have lived in a state of near-total peace since the opening of the drone regions to the playerbase. The combination of low risk and high profit resulted in accelerating membership statistics for IRC/ED as well as a bevy of shiny supercapitals.  There was only one problem: the ever-increasing number of pilots was creating intense pressure on the leadership of both alliances to consider a war of territorial expansion, and the only nearby target was nominally friendly to them. That target was Red Alliance (RA), who live in Insmother just south of Etherium Reach.

If there is one rule in EVE politics which has yet to be disproved, it is that attacking RA is a stupendously bad idea. Red Alliance's history is replete with examples of coming back from the brink of extinction to overwhelm their foes with persistence and ruthlessness. Yet IRC/ED were either unaware of the history of alliance warfare in EVE - which is entirely possible, as they are both very young entities - or felt so geographically constrained that they believed an invasion to be their only option. In March 2009, IRC/ED invaded Insmother and began to siege C-J6, the spiritual capital of Red Alliance.

Unfortunately for Red Alliance, once the IRC/ED attack got underway, the invasion didn't seem like such a bad idea on the face of it. RA had been severely weakened over the years as its primary leaders factionalized and splintered to form their own alliances. The first of these was Against All Authorities (-A-), years in the past, led by Evil Thug. Then, after the conclusion of the first Great War, came three fractures in rapid succession: MACTEP formed Solar Fleet, Nync formed Red.Overlord, and UAxDeath formed Legion of xXDeathXx (XIX). The heritage of almost all of the Galactic East can be traced back to Red Alliance, but that was of no use now. With each splinter the mother alliance had weakened, and RA was in trouble.

Unbeknownst to the leaders of IRC and ED, they had just driven their alliances at full speed into the midst of the most intense exchanges of the Great War. Red Alliance had been aiding Legion of xXDeathXx in Tenerifis against the combined forces of Atlas Alliance and Against All Authorities. This was the 'eastern front' of the Great War, with the 'western front' being in Querious where -A-, KenZoku and their pets fought Goonswarm, Morsus Mihi, RAZOR, KIA, ZAF, and Pandemic Legion. Without RA's continued help, Legion of xXDeathXx would be overwhelmed in Tenerifis by Against All Authorities, which would have disastrous implications for the Swarm and its allies in Querious. Like the butterfly of cliche flapping its wings and creating a hurricane on the other side of the world (and then flying headfirst into a bug zapper) IRC/ED had touched off a chain of events far beyond their control.

IRC/ED had to be stopped, not only to save Red Alliance, but to preserve the Swarm's victories in the Great War. How was I going to pull these guys off RA? There was no credible military threat I could make, as Etherium Reach is literally on the opposite side of the galaxy from our home region of Delve. If the Swarm tried to send ships against ED/IRC, we'd be hamstrung in Querious. Because there could be no military threat, diplomatic sabre-rattling was out of the question, as it's nearly impossible to influence an alliance if you have no hold over them.  While Goonswarm once was a neighbor to ED/IRC before we seized Delve, since then there was nothing left we could use for influence. Espionage would have to come to the rescue.


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