PLACID. New perspectives and incidents have come to light following the release a fortnight ago of a lethal virus, responsible for the deaths of many aboard a station in Stacmon. Involved parties such as the Star Fraction have sought to clear their name after becoming embroiled in controversy surrounding their destruction of a Sisters of Eve escort seeking to limit the damage caused. At the same time, new information has surfaced about the nature of the virus and potential cures.
Widely known for their often radical and stubborn views regarding posthuman philosophy, the Star Fraction have recently been heavily criticized from many sides, joining enemies together in their accusations of recklessness and disregard for life, and even drawing strong words from Sister Rhayne of the SSOE, an organization previously thought to be on excellent terms with the Fraction. The motivation behind such criticism has stemmed from their involvement in the destruction of a Mordus Legion escort, hired by the SSOE to aid them against the continued release of the Order of Medusa virus.
Responding to the allegations, Star Fraction Executor Jade Constantine referenced previous events in the Pure Blind region explaining: “Star Fraction and Mordu's have a history of bad standings going back over a year…we informed Sister Rhayne that a situation of hostility existed…and while we stood off to allow the scientific mission to reach its conclusion we were not going to hold fire on the Mordu's vessel indefinitely…when his warning period was up we destroyed him.” Referencing the Razor Alliance, Ms Constantine further stated: “People have a right to know why a humanitarian organization seeking to relieve the suffering of disaster victims would league itself with an NBSI-class brigand power in Pure Blind… [the] Sisters of Eve need to be called on it.”
Meanwhile, an SSOE ship was cleared from quarantine at Stacmon after it was determined by Gallente Federation officials that the biomass samples they retrieved from the Hedoubel incident posed no current risk with all of the biological pathogens identified as dead and inert. Sister Rhayne then appealed to the capsuleer community for assistance in relocating half of the biomass samples to their Sanctuary station in X-7OMU for further independent study into it's origins and a vaccine or cure.
Preliminary analysis in Stacmon by Federate officials indicated a high probability that the virus was designed and manufactured. "What occurred in Hedoubel may have been a simple test," said one of the Federation scientists overseeing the study.
Numerous capsuleers were eager to assist the Sisters of EVE, but members of The Star Fraction Alliance once again involved themselves, intruding on the meeting with their demands. Star Fraction pilots refused to leave the Sisters of EVE's communication channel at Sister Rhayne's request and continually pressed for answers to the decline in relations, effectively disrupting the departure of the convoy. "It darkens my spirit that they would place their own egotism and agendas above the safety of countless lives. Never did they express any grief or sorrow for the lives lost or any concern for the future lives that they may have placed in jeopardy with their actions should they result in this biological weapon being used again," added Rhayne.
Reports state that the Star Fraction pilots continued to act in an aggressive manner, including targeting Rhayne's ship, attempting to ram her ship from the docking ports of the station, and following her ship in warp with their fleet. The Fraction denied the claims of aggression, but admitted to scouting the SSOE squad. “We became suspicious of her motives and decided to shadow her convoy ourselves to make sure it reached the X-7O base,” stated Ms Constantine, expressing confusion at what she perceived was 'peculiar behavior' on Sister Rhayne’s behalf.
Their actions forced the capsuleer pilots escorting the Sister's convoy to take an alternative route and switch ships. As they arrived into zero-sec space, tensions were raised as the Sister and her escorts jumped into a Star Fraction gate camp with an interdiction sphere, assuming hostile intent on the Fraction’s behalf. All vessels escaped unscathed and were unharmed however. Star Fraction pilots claimed to have stood down, with Ms Constantine stating in clear terms: "No SF vessel engaged the convoy of SSOE and neutral escorts...they were not prevented from moving the 15 kilometers…required to take them beyond the bubble.” She further claimed that SOE fired the first shot "without hail or provocation."
Tragedy and actual conflict was not far away however, as members of the Band of Brothers fired upon an SSOE agent, destroying her ship and pod over a perceived insult. "Seeker Lillandra declined their escort, as she had no reason to trust them and many reasons not to, seeing as they were attacking ships that were coming through the gate," reported Sister Rhayne. "I attempted to negotiate with their diplomat for a cease of hostilities and the return of her cargo, but we were unable to come to a mutual understanding." The Sister admits further distress over the fate of the Sister Lillandra body, which remains in the hands of the pilots who killed her.
Sister Rhayne wished to express her gratitude to those that came to her aid: "To the members of the capsuleer community that ensured my safe arrival, you have my eternal gratitude and I would like to personally thank pilot Killiana Lett of Raddick Explorations for lending me her covert-ops vessel. It is rare to see such outright generosity and trust among strangers, and such kindness should be treasured for the priceless gift that it is."
With the biomass samples safely secured in their station, the Sisters of EVE reports that they can get their research project underway. "We will be building a new expansion to our station specifically for genetic and biological study," says Sister Rhayne. "We have appealed to several corporations for specialists in that area. We remain hopeful that we can develop a cure for this weapon."