Art by Redline XIII.
Shortly before 05:00 on June 3, a number of pilots from the Imperium jumped into the PanFam-controlled system of M-0EE8 in the region of Tribute.
There were two objectives on offer. One was the armour timer for the Keepstar that was transferred from PL to an out-of-alliance corporation. The transfer was put forward by PanFam as being something to do to annoy their enemies. PanFam were quite clear that this had nothing to do with trying to preserve the sanctity of their killboard stats. The Keepstar timer was due out at 05:20. At this time, the Keepstar would be able to be shot at again by those wishing for its destruction. It should be noted that generally the armour timer is considered to be the most important one when trying to defend such a structure.
The second objective was for the M-0EE8 iHub timer. This was due to spawn nodes for the very popular sov wanding contest that is enjoyed by so many. The node contest for the iHub would begin at 05:29. This objective was key in that if won it would prevent PanFam from being able to utilise the system wide cyno jammers that would prevent the Imperium from easily being able to use capital class ships.
Almost 400 pilots were in the system of M-0EE8 before 05:00, almost all of them coming from the Imperium.
As soon as the Keepstar went into its repair cycle, pilots from the Imperium started to apply damage. This paused the Keepstar repair cycle at 14 minutes and 14 seconds. The keepstar defences were manned and structure bombs were spewing from the Keepstar as fast as they could be launched.
Meanwhile, the response from PanFam was lacklustre to say the least. The PanFam main staging system of SH1-6P had only 115 pilots in system with most being docked in their Keepstar. A small detachment of PanFam frigates had left the system earlier. This would likely to be in order to try to harass any pilots from the Imperium looking to capture nodes for the iHub event.
It was in fact the local chat in M-0EE8 that was seeing the most action. With insults and mocking being exchanged from both sides. Our intrepid reporters even saw a complete and correct “z0r” chain in local from members of the Imperium. A most unusual sight.
By 05:44 the PanFam-owned Keepstar had entered its final timer. This timer would make the Keepstar vulnerable to attack in a further 8 days, 1 hour, and 30 minutes. This means that on June 11 at 07:15, the Keepstar can be attacked for potentially the last time before its destruction. The only thing that will save this structure is for PanFam to take the unusual step of trying to defend it on the final timer.
The iHub battle was also progressing in favour of the attackers. PanFam had not been able to prevent the Imperium forces from successfully hacking the command nodes spawned for the event. After nearly an hour of engaging gameplay, the iHub for M-0EE8 was won by the Imperium. The Imperium, having enjoyed the iHub hacking so much, also hacked the Sov.
This battle was a clean sweep for Imperium forces. How the final act is to be played out is yet to be seen, but we only have slightly over a week in order to find out if the gateway to Tribute will fall into the hands of the Imperium forces.
UPDATE: For reasons that are not entirely clear, the Imperium also decided to claim both the TCU and iHub of M-0EE8. Regardless of the motivation, it means that the Imperium can now exercise greater control over what can and cannot be done in the system.