LUMINAIRE. Already rising tensions between Caldari Steel and Roden Shipyards approached a critical point last Thursday as two separate attempts were made on the life of Mind Clash Champion Joelyn Donalokos, whose saving grace was a fully upgraded clone. After surviving the attacks, Donalokos managed to reach his destination of Caldari Prime, where he stated he would continue despite the events, and defend his title in this year’s tournament.
It is understood that the corporation Raddick Explorations was responsible for the initial attack on the champion in the system of Luminaire, resulting in the destruction of both Joelyn’s ship and those of his security escort. Citing their distrust in a tournament they see as corrupted, they found themselves in an escalating war of words with Joelyn and his team that eventually broke out into open conflict. “Let’s be honest here, 'Champion' is a very presumptuous title,” stated the founder of Raddick Explorations, Tobias Raddick. “We received reliable information that the Mind Clash tournaments are more than just rigged...they’re essentially staged.”
Only moments after the encounter with Raddick Explorations, it is believed a group now identified as “Arising Liberation”, a collective of Ultra-Nationalist Roden Shipyards employees, were responsible for the destruction of Joelyn’s capsule. Carrying a payload of explosives, a cruiser-class vessel was able to approach Donalokos’ capsule surreptitiously as he made his way to docking range in a nearby station. The detonation destroyed both the ship carrying it and Joelyn’s capsule, activating his clone in a nearby facility. Eyewitnesses in the station reported a “massive ripple of light” as the cruiser detonated its payload, which also damaged the outer structures of the station. No other people are reported to have been injured or killed in the blast.
“I never thought the threats were for real,” Joelyn responded afterwards. “I really didn’t think anyone would actually try to kill me. I’ve had these kind of threats many times before, but someone actually acting on them…that I didn’t expect.” When asked if the incident would affect his performance in the tournament the shaken Champion responded without his usual poise: “I don’t know. As I said, this is the first time…I have to admit it’s upset me greatly. However, I am confident enough that I can deal with this…I hope.”
Holding a hastily assembled press conference outside the Caldari Steel offices in Abagawa, spokesman Matoh Kairatoh was furious when news reached him of the attack. “I knew this would happen, and I knew they would not leave us alone. I warned our people it would and they accused me of making trouble and spreading propaganda! Well I hope everyone’s eyes are open now!” Mr Kairatoh further explained he had anticipated the attack and personally arranged for the escort. “I don’t think I need explain how valuable Joelyn is to us and indeed, the general community. We have invested a lot into this tournament and we take no chances when it comes to the security of our athletes.”
Mr Kairatoh demanded a formal explanation from Roden Shipyards, and pushed for a full investigation into the matter given that Roden employees were directly involved in the attack. The company's recent outspoken nature about the venue of the tournament has only fuelled speculation about their level of involvement. The only official response from Roden so far was from spokesman Orvecel Raoulin, who confirmed that those responsible were indeed fellow employees. He added that immediate action had been taken to expel them from the corporation and turn them over to the proper authorities. However, it seems that shortly after the attack the Arising Liberation members went into hiding. Their location remains unknown at this point.
Despite their presence nearby at the time of the attacks and their involvement in the destruction of Joelyn’s vessel, Raddick Explorations employees have denied any links to Arising Liberation, with Tobias stating: “As it should be, where skill, rather than money, determines the winner, RDEX has no significant objection.” His views are in stark contrast to the Arising Liberation, whose actions and words have expressed a “profound disgust” with the notion of a Gallente-Intaki being paraded as a moneymaking pet of the State Mega Corporations. Many have been shocked at the apparently widespread anti-tournament sentiments broadcast, even more so at the lengths some have gone to in expressing their discontent.
Shortly after the publishing of this article, the Interstellar Correspondents were contacted by Mr Donalokos’ management who wished to state that the Champion’s capsule in fact, survived the blast. In a speedily written transmission to IC Headquarters in Polaris, his lead manager stated: “Joelyn has been terribly shaken by all of this, I don’t think he realised he did not make it clear that his pod survived. We assumed the Interstellar Correspondents were aware of this. We are happy to say that he made it to the docking ports mere seconds before the explosion.” Attached logs from Mr Donalokos’ cloning facility have confirmed this as fact and the IC wishes to apologize for the miscommunication.
Only moments after the IC received the first transmission, it was followed by another. Originating from an untraceable source, the anonymous message is believed to be from the ringleader of the Arising Liberation group. It read: “We would like to thank Raddick Explorations for their most recent help. They have proven to be a good friend to us in the past but today they have shown themselves to be much more than that, we now consider them an ally. The promised payment for their help this time will be double the usual. We also understand the little weasel escaped this time. Rest assured, we will not be thrown off our path. The purification of the Gallente race is a duty we will not disregard. The corrupt best watch their backs, we will return to finish the job.”
A return reply could not be sent, nor could any Raddick Explorations employees be reached for further comment at this time.