With the next Amarr Emperor undecided and political turmoil in the Minmatar Parliament, apprehension is widespread and speculation about impending war is at an all-time high. Fears of a renewal of hostilities between the Amarr and Minmatar, and any effect said hostilities would have over relations between the Gallente Federation and Caldari State, are causing a chilling effect in the market. While industrialists reexamine production projections with an eye to supplying any such outbreak of hostilities, commodity traders look to divest themselves of any holdings across political divisions, and tourism and non-business travel between the empires is plummeting.
The effects extend to official governmental industry as well. Ivowik Huneimina, a representative of Republic Fleet, confirmed reports of production changes. “We’ve been told to conserve resources and curtail production of wreathe- and hoarder-class industrials.” When asked for interpretation of these orders, Huneimina said, “Mammoth-class vessels were originally designed as war-time freighters, with shielding and armor far superior to either the wreathe-class or hoarder-class ships. If I had to guess, I’d say someone at headquarters is thinking we might need more freighters capable of sustaining hostile fire in the near future. Doesn’t seem that far-fetched to me.”
News from within Amarr space is similar: non-Heir production enterprises are issuing statements indicating projected manufacturing figures can no longer be relied upon as accurate. Amarr business enterprises contacted for this story did not reply by press time, but a Caldari citizen, calling himself a “supplier” and speaking on condition of anonymity, substantiated claims that all non-royal houses have been instructed by their governing bodies to begin stockpiling resources and commodities. “The official documents say ‘for any unforeseen circumstances of a dire nature,’ which is pretty transparent.” the Caldari source said. Such language, he claims, is thinly-veiled code alluding to possible full-scale war. Production plans of the Five Heir families are not public knowledge.
Jera Littornau of the Garound Investment Bank confirmed that long-term business loan applications had fallen to new lows. “We’re seeing a marked decline, and it’s obviously related to the difficulties in the Republic Parliament and the uncertainty over the next Amarr Emperor.” Littornau is a loan officer for the GIB. “Some of these business ventures—mostly Gallentean and Minmatar, of course—have been around for more than eighty years. They commonly use our loans to fund production and research. A dramatic decrease in the number of loan applications indicates a dramatic decrease in active production and scientific work. This is bad for everyone.”
“If it’s war, we will get drawn into it, there’s no doubt about it,” said Baus Balenne, a production manager for Astral Mining at an outpost owned by that company in Agaullores. “Look at the situation—two, possibly three of the Five Heirs would welcome war with the Minmatar. Again, two or three of the major Minmatar tribal houses are calling for the replacement of Prime Minister Midular. So that’s roughly a forty to sixty percent chance of war, even without increased raids on either side?” Balenne went on to say, “The Federation has always been a staunch ally of the Minmatar Republic—we would have no choice but to aid our friends.”
“Our local business is falling off, and our supplies are dwindling,” said Myenitte Alpymyr, a sales manager for the Gallentean Aliastra Corporation. “This is both because of changes at head office and because of difficulties in the supply system.” Alpymyr is stationed at the Aliastra Retail Center in the Minmatar system of Anher, Barvigrard Constellation, and feels this is a telling detail in the reduction of revenue in recent days. “If this office were in Federation space, I’d expect sales to be off a little—the economy is slowing right now. But what we’re seeing is a direct result of being a Gallentean business in Minmatar space. Minmatar business concerns don’t want to issue purchase orders for goods or services that they expect might be disrupted by increased military action or raids by the Amarr. Amarr raids might seem like ancient history to a lot of people, but in this part of the universe, memories are long. And vivid.”
“It goes beyond business slowing down,” said Erold Albimer, a booking officer for The Leisure Group, a Minmatar corporation. “People are anxious. I wouldn’t say frightened would be the right word. Look, a lot of Minmatar would welcome the chance to free our brothers still enslaved by the Amarri. Many more think reparations are not only due to us, but that we’ll have to take them by force.” When questioned as to his own beliefs, Albimer said, “As a representative of The Leisure Group family of businesses, I’m afraid I have to be a little more discrete than perhaps I’d like to be. But I don’t think my employers would object to my stating the obvious: people are tense. Everyone you talk to has the same questions—do you think it will mean war? How long do you think before fighting breaks out?”
Most political analysts agree that the frayed nerves are not unreasonable. In what is arguable the most politically unsettled climate in over a hundred years, business and personal decisions no longer seem as easy as they might have just weeks ago. And in all of this, the Jove Empire remains silent and aloof, with rumored sightings of Jovian expeditionary vessels and Jovian scientific drones adding to the mystery.
One thing is certain: with the future face of both the Amarr and Minmatar ruling elite still deep in shadow, very real possibilities exist that could lead to decreasing diplomacy between the two empires—possibly even war.