AY-YCU, Providence - Recent data suggests that Providence may be the most populous and industrially-developed region in null-sec, the so-called "outlaw space" beyond the control of CONCORD and the planetary governments. The strong alliance of so-called "Holders" who share sovereignty in the area and the "Not Red, Don't Shoot" policy originally set in place by Curatores Veritatis Alliance [CVA] appear to be the driving force behind this economic boom.
Providence for many is seen as an accessible, "open to all" region with the chance of earning plenty of allies, and ISK, but CVA have rules in place to for those who wish to operate there. These mandates can vary between the "Holder" alliances (sovereignty holders in the region, named after the Amarr Holder caste) but one thing they must all share is the "Not Red Don't Shoot Policy" or NRDS as it is known.
No alliance in the Providence Holder Network is permitted to initiate an attack in designated areas unless they are officially labelled as enemies, either for hostile politics or action in the region, or for crimes such as piracy or theft. If that rule is broken, that alliance will be forcibly removed from the region. The maintenance of such a policy requires a highly active diplomatic team and the continuous passing of intel, compared to the more popular policy of NBSI.
Alliances who accept the Holder's Oath are offered improved access to CVA outposts in the region, and sometimes ceded sovereignty in an area and given permission to construct their own outposts and facilities. Current spaceholders in the region include CVA, Amarr loyalist alliance Aegis Militia, long-time CVA allies Sev3rance and Paxton Federation, Cold Steel Alliance, former Ushra'Khan allies Sylph who changed allegiance to CVA some years ago (Sylph suffered heavy blows in the last year and have a much-reduced presence in the region from their 109-110 heyday) and Libertas Fidelitas Alliance, who recently took a leading role in the Providence bloc's assaults into Catch.
Mikella Ki'Theki, spokesperson for CVA, explained one of the reasons why she feels capsuleers are attracted to Providence. "Providence is all about working as a team. When an [outpost] is being defended or a hostile one attacked, it's often the case that we all participate."
Ugleb, member of Ushra'Khan [UNITY] admitted that CVA have pushed the growth of Providence: "Their operation, Deliverance, has been a driving force in developing the region. When our two alliances first entered Providence it had no stations. The first was built by the CVA."
Enemies of CVA and their support of slavery, Ushra'Khan formerly held sovereignty in Providence with two outposts, Unity Station in 9UY4-H and Karishal's Defiance in QR-K85. After years of conflict, the systems fell to CVA three years ago; Karishal's Defiance - named after leader of the Defiants, Karishal Muritor, whose body was housed there after his execution (some would say "assassination") by the Minmatar Republic - was renamed "Karishal's Folly" by the conquering forces. Unity station fell 3 months later, becoming "Deliverance Reclaimed."
Hostilities still continue between CVA and the Ushra'Khan to this day, with Providence representing a free-fire zone to its former UNITY residents. The decision to adopt an NBSI ("Not Blue, Shoot It") engagement policy in Providence and its neighbour, Catch, was taken by the otherwise NRDS UNITY alliance as a way of conducting economic warfare (some would say "terrorism") in a region where all sovereignty holders are tied through both economics and politics to the Amarr loyalist, pro-slavery CVA.
While the region certainly attracts conflict, it has experienced many years of relatively-stable governance. Mikella described the environment that stability has generated. "Hundreds of capsuleers pass through Providence every day. Ratting in anomalies, mining in hidden belts and trading at any one of the market hubs in the region. They generate a massive economic turnover; they make themselves wealthy and make others wealthy."
It is not all about making money, as in Providence pilots will be thrown into the thick of fighting almost immediately. Currently, UNITY and allies Against ALL Authorities [.-A-.] are attacking Providence from Catch, while Star Fraction's Operation Black Lustrum strikes at Sev3rance's territories on the Assah and Dital entry-pipes. On a more day-to-day basis, Providence sees bored fleets from the Matari Tribal Liberation Force (and indeed some from the Amarr 24th Imperial Crusade) raid into the region in the hopes of provoking conflict, and sallies from other 0.0 power-blocs such Goonswarm or Triumvirate. are not infrequent. There is always the danger of a pilot becoming a target for someone trying to attract a larger force from the Holders.
CVA maintain that Providence is an "open to all" region, whereas UNITY argue that they are simply dictating code and rules of engagement to their neighbours. The fighting in the region looks set to continue as more pilots enter outlaw space in search of glory and ISK, while also choosing the pro-slavery laws of CVA or the direct opposition methods of UNITY and their allies.
At present, Providence is involved in its largest-scale conflict for years. In retribution for the expansion of "Operation Deliverance" (the CVA-backed operation to "reclaim" space for the Amarr Empire) into their home space in Catch, Against ALL Authorities and Ushra'Khan have launched a literally titanic offensive against the Paxton Federation-held system of D-GTMI, with fleets numbering well over 1,000 being typical. Just after midnight on the 29.01.112, following several days of brutal fighting and heavy loses for Providence, Paxton lost sovereignty over the system and the station was claimed by .-A-.
Virtuozzo, of Against ALL Authorities explained a little about the D-GTMI attack. "We got pushed, so we push back and go the extra mile." The battle for D-GTMI will be examined in greater depth in a forthcoming article.
With more pilots than ever before expressing an interest in the local lifestyle, Providence could grow to match some regions of high security space in population and activity, but the effect of the recent wars upon its popularity remain to be seen.
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