Disturbing rumors have been coming from the Heart constellation of the Outer Ring region, as the Serpentis continue their consolidation of the Outer Ring Excavations Corporation. Sources inside the organization have commented on increased traffic in material and goods, most flowing to the ORE stations in 4C-B7X. In addition, Serpentis pilots have taken to patrolling routes from 4C-B7X to PF-346, setting Federation officials on alert. PF-346, connected to the Orvolle system via a jumpgate, has seen several skirmishes involving Serpentis forces, including an unsuccessful assault on a starbase anchored in the system.
Admiral Brion, in command of the Serpentis First Fleet, recently released a report to the press stating that, “The Serpentis Fleet considers the bordering regions of Cloud Ring and The Syndicate to be regions of influence. We have worked with the G Alliance and the Intaki Syndicate to provide support in several ventures, and we believe that all groups will benefit from the arrangement.” These arrangements, the release explains, will be substantially different from the relationship between the Serpentis Corporation the Outer Ring Excavations.
In a move stunning much of the business world and stunning markets throughout the Federation, the Outer Ring Excavations Corporation announced last week that it was divesting most of its private stockholders of their shares. The corporation promised that the full value of the shares would be reimbursed to its stockholders, but that “external pressures” forced the corporation to adopt such extreme measures. Market analysts who had been predicting a radical shift in ORE's business strategy were not surprised, saying that the siege of ORE stations and the recent deployment of Serpentis Corporation starbases in ORE's headquarters, 4C-B7X, were all indicators of a restructuring of ORE's corporate model.
“Having a known outlaw organization siege your stations, kill literally thousands of your employees, and control your space is not conducive to business,” Beria Metzcalf, an analyst for the Yulai Daily, explained. “I'm surprised it's taken this long for them to fold.”
Grand Admiral Junsest, Admiral of the Serpentis Home Defense Fleet and chief liaison with the Gallente Federation, said that allegations of widespread fighting were "overblown" and that the stationing of the Serpentis First Fleet in 4C-B7X was "a peacekeeping measure, designed to prevent malcontent forces from gaining undue influence." Deputy Commissioner Ishunala Shitula of the DED disagreed. "If this were simply a peacekeeping action, then I could see a few dozen patrol ships as justified. Bringing in a fleet of literally hundreds of ships, including over a dozen Dreadnought and Carrier class vessels, is nothing short of an invasion. Should the Serpentis continue their expansion closer to the Federation, the DED will intervene and use lethal force.”