The Khanid carrier 'Equinox' was at the centre of further controversy last week, as Capsuleer forces loyal to the Kingdom were called upon to intervene in an attempted theft of the capital vessel. The 'Equinox', skeleton crewed and fresh out of the Dark Amarr Creations (D-AC) shipyards, was on its way to be delivered to the Royal Khanid Navy's fleet yards in the Irmalin system, where it was scheduled to receive its full crew complement and begin operations testing in preparation for active service.
However, unbeknownst to Khanid officials, 'Equinox' pilot Sana Apres had been presented with a lucrative offer from an organisation known as the Ultra Unionist Movement, a hard-line group working towards the reunification of the Amarr Empire and the Khanid Kingdom. For an undisclosed ISK amount, Pilot Apres had agreed to deliver the 'Equinox' into the hands of the UUM instead.
Khanid security forces moved quickly once 'Equinox' began to divert from its planned course. RKN Agent Argen Senerva turned to loyalist capsuleer forces to supplement a D-AC fleet in charge of securing the delivery. Capsuleers responded with a thirty-ship fleet including elements of Brudershaft des Warhaftigen, Royal Knights of Khanid, Beginning of the End, Templarii Holdings, Kydance Radiant Industries, Copasetic Joint Special Task Force, and Space Ghosts.
Brudershaft and DA-C forces intercepted the now errant 'Equinox' first in the Baratar system, only to find the Carrier being escorted out of its cynosural jump-in point by a UUM fleet. A fierce battle ensued, as Agent Senerva brought the Khanid Dreadnought 'Clairvoiance', delivered beforehand in secret by the Brudershaft to the Royal Khanid Navy, against the 'Equinox'. Ardor, leader of the Brudershaft, flexed his muscle as the battle commenced surrounding 'Equinox' with two Archon-class carriers from his corporation. Under assault by three capital vessels, UUM forces began to buckle and take heavy losses, finally being wiped out as further Khanid loyalist support arrived on the scene. Amid the laser fire, the escape pod of UUM leader Thelus Duant escaped the carnage.
As the dust settled, Pilot Apres, surrounded and beaten reset the 'Equinox' on course for it's scheduled rendezvous in exchange for leniency when charges were filed against her.
The fleet then continued to its destination, but met a large pirate fleet before reaching it. The D-AC fleet and their capsuleer support held this wave of ships off, allowing the capital vessels to leave unharmed. Whether this pirate fleet was hired by the UUM or were merely acting independently is not known at this time. Both the 'Equinox' and 'Clairvoyance' reached the Fleetyards in Irmalin unscathed, where Pilot Sana Apres was taken into custody by Khanid forces. She now faces charges including intent to steal Royal Khanid Navy property and collaborating with enemies of the Kingdom.
The incident has caused great concern among the Kingdom's rulers. Holder Tanamar Ured, a self-declared 'Unionist', expressed dismay. "While so many among us pray for a better future alongside our Amarr brothers, the actions of Thelas Duant and his violent brood do the cause no favours. To defy the King and his forces in the name of such a noble goal is disgusting and abhorrent in the extreme."
Those groups involved with the D-AC effort have been reported to Royal Khanid Navy Command. Thelus Duant's whereabouts are unknown as Khanid forces continue to pursue him and his Ultra Unionist followers.