Imperium Joins Fighting Against Hard Knocks

Calyle Morrison 2020-03-09

Art by Redline XIII

While the CSM were holding their winter summit with CCP, chaos struck the system of J164430 on March 5th. Hard Knocks, Lazerhawks, and several other K-Space null groups poured into the system to evict TDSIN. The move came while Exookiz, leader of TDSIN and member of the CSM, was away at the summit. The fighting is still raging and has spilled over into HK’s home system of J115404, aka “Rage”.

The following battle report was posted during Open Comms on March 6th and represents one of the bloodiest brawls thus far of many from this developing story. As it stands, TDSIN has not been able to regain hole control and has been hemorrhaging ships and assets. This difficulty comes despite having INIT and several others coming to their aid. HK, on the other hand, moved some forces back to Rage but due to the story being very new, INN has so far only been able to acquire information from interviews and commentary from Open Comms, the Meta Show, and Talking in Stations along with Brisc Rubal from the Initiative. INN will provide updates as they come in.

What We Know Thus Far

The available information comes from Brisc and notes from other interviews and commentary. What emerges are two different perspectives of the fighting.

TDSIN’s View:

TDSIN and their allies see the assault as a direct response to Exookiz’s activities on the CSM. There, he has shined a light on the inner workings of life in wormholes. When asked about thoughts on why HK began their crusade, Brisc agreed. He said that Exookiz “pointing out to CCP how much money WHers make and how safe it is”, and the ability to rat with stations being patched by CCP, was a likely point of contention. According to Brisc, another cause of the aggression is that Exookiz spoke to CCP about the use of Astrahus citadels to farm Drifter battleships

HK’s View:

However, Loroseco Kross of Hard Knocks vehemently denied these accusations during an interview on Talking in Stations. Loroseco stated that plans for this eviction happened months in advance. He further offered to release evidence of this after the fighting has subsided. Loroseco also insisted that, while the fighting was bad for TDSIN, the engagement started on a bad foot for HK. He went on to say that this was due to the time difference between the two adversaries. “The op was posted a month ago,” he stated, “I believe in early February”. That scheduling meant the line members—who mostly Europeans—could attend. As a result, they could not reschedule due to the logistics required for a full scale eviction.

Because of this, Loroseco expressed his disappointment in the timing of the fight. “I would say I feel bad about the timing but it screwed us over more than it screwed Exookiz over. ” He also said  that he would have rather had it at a different date. This brought backlash in the chat, with many calling the reasoning “convenient” along with other expletives. Some in chat claimed that HK had spent over a year on seeding. However, INN has yet to confirm this.

Developments in the Fighting

The actual fighting has been brutal and bloody. HK swiftly took hole control from TDSIN. Over the last few days, the situation has escalated. Several Null Sec groups have become deeply involved on both sides. Based off current information, INIT and the Imperium have sided with TDSIN. Brisc confirmed this, and said, “we all like Exookiz – that’s kind of what was driving this”.

Brisc also expressed a deep disapproval of the engagement entirely. “[T]rying to fuck with him when he’s in Iceland is kind of a dick move, even if it’s a valid tactic.” He echoed this sentiment on Open Comms and the Meta Show, as well.

INN is in the process of gathering further information at this time. However, Brisc confirmed that GSF forces have mobilized and arrived in Rage alongside INIT. Brisc also confirmed that GSF and INIT staging citadels were online. In addition, Imperium forces have set armor timers on HK structures. The fighting in Rage has been miniscule with Brisc affirming that “[HK have] done absolutely nothing”. He did say, though, that “we expect if we do get a fight, it will be on one of these [armor] timers”. He went on to say that at one point, “[HK] undocked like 57 caps, then docked back up.” Brisc has also agreed to update INN as the eviction of Rage develops.

Other Maneuverings

Amongst all that’s transpired, an audio recording has surfaced on soundcloud. It appears to be Exookiz telling members to give “every single person in Fraternity stuff in the wormhole so when the fort dies, the server crashes”. The audio recording was posted to soundcloud as well as to reddit with the original poster, Jimmy_Michaels, claiming that TDSIN’s counter was that that clip was “just a joke”. Deliveries like this are common in wormhole structure bashes, however. Ships in delivery drop when the structure dies. Capsuleers then destroy these ships. This generates lossmails attributed to the unwitting recipients. No action or awareness of the delivery is needed, and anyone (even the famously deceased) can be targeted. Given this common tactic, there is no reason to suspect actual malicious intent on Exookiz’ part.

As it stands, the fighting has remained mostly inside the respective home systems, some surrounding systems and wormhole ports. However, because of the intense rivalry between the null sec groups, some observers call the conflict a proxy war. According to Brisc, one name in use is “The CSM War”. With the involvement of PanFam, Fraternity, and now the Imperium entering the fray, it’s unclear whether or not this will spill over into K-space. Discussons on both the Meta Show and Open Comms, offer no hints one way or another. Still, given the exponentially increasing intensity and the collapse of DeadCo, it’s clear there is a massive desire for conflict. INN will continue to monitor the situation on all fronts and provide updates as they roll in.

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