Founded by the charismatic Fatal and technically-minded Rabbit, the Guristas pirates are a fearless, professional and highly-organized outfit operating out of their home region Venal. Unlike other rogue factions, the Guristas focus primarily on old-fashioned piracy, although they're not afraid of making surgical raids deep into Caldari space if they think doing so will achieve something worthwhile.
In YC 86, Jirai "Fatal" Laitanen found himself passed over for promotion, a blow felt keenly to his ego. His friend Korako "the Rabbit" Kosakami was held responsible for a fatal crash landing. Deciding they had enough, the pair from the 37th (Octopus) squadron stole a Condor-class frigate and disappeared into the lawless void between Caldari and Gallente space.
In YC 94, they re-emerged with the founding of the Guristas, which means 'naughty people' in the Caldari tongue. Their criminal organization quickly rose to fame and power within the New Eden underworld. Profiling themselves as a haven for Caldari exiles, they managed to grow their ranks at a steady pace.
Kidnapping of Ambassador Rileau
YC 101 was the year of their biggest heist to date. They succeeded in the kidnapping of Ambassador Lucin Rileau through playing on his passion for gambling. While a disguised Fatal purposely lost a gamble where his ship was entered as a stake, the Rabbit had the ship rigged to fill with sleeping gas. When the ambassador and his bodyguards entered the ship to inspect their winning, the nitrous oxide knocked them right out. The Gurista duo made off with their valuable target, only to be followed by a fruitless search from the Gallente for their man. Thanks to the ineptitude of the Federation in dealing with the situation, they were able to exchange the ambassador for a sizeable ransom of uncut diamonds, provided by the father of the victim.
Ishukone and the Raven
The Guristas are not against working with the Caldari when it suits their agenda, and no event is more notable than the story of how they obtained access to the Raven battleship blueprint and the start of the career of Otro Gariushi as Ishukone's CEO. Most of this however is still unknown to the public today.
Otro Garuishi's father, Villamo, started dealing drugs for the Guristas after he lost his job as Ishukone for stating the truth rather than what his superiors wished to hear. The loss of his wife in an industrial accident, and the estrangement of his daughter meant that his hopes were built upon providing his son Otro with a better life. This hope however was cut short when an Ishukone executive shot Vilamo after purchasing drugs from him. The Guristas, disgusted by the actions and knowing of Vilamo's plight, offered Otro a chance to enter their ranks.
While Otro was further raised under Guristas influence, he drifted apart from them in pursuit of his quest for vengeance. This caused a notable rift between himself and the officer named Bane, who was working with the corrupt Ishukone CEO Les Akkilen. Akkilen provided the Guristas with information on their competitors in exchange for protection, a move that was beneficial to covering up his failures as a CEO.
Otro, who managed to recover his long lost sister Mila, struck up a partnership with her and his associate Gavriel, benefitting from Mila's years of corporate espionage under the guise of an escort service. Together they targeted Ralirashi Okimo, the Chief Financial Officer for Ishukone. From him they extracted information on the Raven, a secret project that Akkilen was unaware of which Rali was funding to ensure his position within the company. One of Mila's madames persuaded Rali to work with them through means of blackmail and by playing on his weaknesses.
During a board meeting, Rali unveiled the Raven. It was sent into unregulated space and attacked a Guristas fleet. Otro used this to convince Fatal that he must tell Bane to halt the ongoing attack on Gavriel and Mila. Base refused and Fatal agreed to give up Bane in exchange to access to the Raven blueprints. Proof of Akikilen's corruption was presented to the board and established Otro Gariushi as the new CEO of Ishukone, joined by his sister Mila as CFO (known as Kinachi Hepimeki to the public).
A dark page from the Guristas' history comes from the events that took place at the Crielere research project. Fatal managed to have a Caldari research agent named Ariko spy on behalf of her parent corporation Wiyrkomi. She was instructed to poison the Senate-enlised Medila, the personal aide to the two head scientists. Meanwhile Otro Gariushi (then already CEO of Ishukone) had blueprints and equipment stolen to assist in further sabotage. When the Senate caught wind of this debacle they pulled their funding, as did the involved mega-corporations. The project remained running with only a skeleton crew in place, unprotected now that the Empires had pulled back their police forces.
This opened the way for Fatal and the Guristas to arrive. Capsuleers, however, caught wind of the situation and attempted to drive back the pirate forces. The Guristas targeted the station and caused massive damage before being forced to temporarily retreat. Later on they returned and, thanks to past access granted by Ariko, the Rabbit was able to enter the station and capture one of the head scientists, Tarimo Umailen. Using his life as a ransom, the other head scientist Henric Touvolle was also kidnapped and led off station. It was during this escape that Fatal got podded, resulting in his ousting from the Guristas and subsequent exile as the use of a low quality clone left him with severe memory loss and reduced motor functions.
The Guristas decided to try and wash their hands clean of the failure and sell the scientists to Articio Kor-Azor, their highest bidder. While the Federation under president Foiritan tried to get the scientists back, they were unfortunately lost due to identity theft during supposed return on a slave transport. They eventually expired while working within a slave colony.
Over the years, the Guristas have found themselves both working with and againstcapsuleers. In conflicts with the Caldari Navy, loyal pilots have often lend a hand in the destruction of Guristas assets. However, amongst the alliances, they have found those who are willing to work with them and even groups who are loyal to the cause.
Juul Anttus, a CONCORD officer who was supplying the Guristas with insider information, was found out by Hyota Vasy, a sub-nanite communication engineer. Despite being placed in the witness protection scheme, the Guristas managed to track him down and nearly succeeded in taking his life. However, due to the interference of local pilots, the Guristas suffered heavy losses, including a pair of then-brand-new Rattlesnake battleships. When Hyota led a group of mercenary pilots to a meeting of Guristas officials, he made a grave error in employing an illegal clone as a decoy. The clone escaped and turned itself in, and the original man was forced to disappear again.
The capture of a large convoy of Taladigi Transport & Trading Corporation vessels carrying a classified Caldari Navy shipment was turned into trap when the emptied vessels were set up to lure a group of investigators. Kilroy Eckheart, head of security for TT&T was joined by a large enough capsuleer force that they were able to destroy the guarding Guristas fleet. While TT&T continued to try and fulfil the contract with smaller and faster shipments, their transports continued to get destroyed. Seeking vengeance against the Guristas by baiting them with leaked information on the convoys, Eckheart nonetheless failed in his attempts, despite having capsuleer backup. The entire debacle resulted in TT&T losing their contract with the Caldari Navy.
The kidnapping of Innovaatio scientists went south when the sole surviving scientist was able to send out a distress signal to Internal Security. The scientist, involved in prototype cloaking technology, would have made a valuable resource. Unfortunately a rescue fleet was able to extract the gravely wounded person.
A raid upon two storage and warehousing facilities owned by FedMart caught media attention when it turned out that Wiyrkomi facilities in the same system were left alone, and that Wiyrkomi Peace Corp forces did not respond to the distress calls of the FedMart personal. Speculation was raised that the State chose to turn a blind eye in order to protect their infrastructure.
Also this year, The Guristas unsuccessfully applied for participation in the 5th Alliance tournament. The official reason given was that the Guristas are not technically an alliance, nor are they a pod-pilot-only organization, and that furthermore they applied too late. The Guristas however simply concluded that the Mercantile Club excluded them because of their reputation.
A series of raids by Ishukone Watch to crack down on aiding piracy and corporate corruption led to a loss of infiltrants and insider sources within Ishukone. This followed an already increased support of anti-piracy and corruption operations which had in the past led to the exchange of gunfire. The raids appear to have been a sudden decision, causing the Watch to move in on targets that were already under surveillance in an attempt to capture as many as possible.
The Guristas are heavily disliked by the Caldari, their military allies the Amarr, and the Ammatar and Khanid Kingdom by extension. The Gallente and Minmatar, however, maintain a neutral stance towards the Guristas. This is likely due to the fact their territory does not form the target of Guristas raids, and there is speculation that the enemy of their enemy status may be a redeeming factor as well, though neither will ever publicly admit to this. The Thukker Tribe forms the exception to this rule, thought to be because before their joining of the Republic they and the Guristas were competitors in the grey market.
The Guristas themselves hold no love for Amarr, and a slight distrust for the Ammatar, a stance taken on grounds of slavery. The other empires are regarded with neutrality, and (illegal) dealings with them are not out of the question. It is only under extreme circumstances, like the aftermath of the Crielere raids, that the Guristas will close a deal with the Amarr. The fate of the ransomed scientists acted as further salt into the wound and is often cited as an example as to why the Amarr are not to be trusted or shown any mercy.
When it comes to the other pirate factions the Guristas are liked by the Nation and even more so by the Blood Raider covenant. This is reflected mutually, although the Guristas regard the Sansha higher than the Covenant. Why this is has never been met with a public answer, and despite the mutual standings the Guristas are not known to have ever directly co-operated in any official manner with either faction. Unlike the Angel Cartel and Serpentis business relationship it seems to be more a matter of shared dislikes and forming an opposing 'pirate bloc'.
CONCORD rates the Guristas as second most hated after Sansha's Nation, on part with the Blood Raiders. When asked about this an official stated that their ratings are largely influenced by the aggressiveness and overall threat to peace that any given pirate faction forms. Unsurprisingly, the Guristas are no fans of CONCORD either and treat them with similar disdain.
Worthy of note is that there exists a strong and mutual rivalry between Mordu's Legion and the Guristas. The stance of the Legion makes sense, as it is an extension of that of the Caldari. Furthermore they idealize the honor code, integrity and military ideals whereas the Guristas are in the mercenary business for good old greed and lust for power. The feelings however became mutual after a series of incidents within the mercenary business. Each side will claim the other started it, but what is sure is that an escalation of theft and sabotage of contracts caused both parties to hate each other's guts. Even to this day both sides will practice caution to keep their business a secret from each other, and when they do find themselves on opposing sides of a conflict it is pretty much a guarantee that things will get personal.
The Servant Sisters of EVE, Interbus and the Society all carry a minor dislike for the Guristas. The Guristas are neutral towards the former, but mimic the standings of the latter. This seems to be grounded in a clash of ideologies, but unfavorable affairs may also be to blame. No real public information has ever been given nor officially requested.
Finally, the Jove and ORE are reciprocally neutral, and a fair guess here is that none have really interacted or had reasons for interaction.
The Guristas have hundreds of staging posts set up alongside the Caldari border, from which they launch their raids into Caldari territory. This allows them to operate well away from their home region of Venal and maintain a healthy presence in the lower security systems, occasionally being so bold as to establish themselves in high security. Their forces can also be spotted roaming through Deklein, Tribute, Tenal, Branch and Vale of the Silent.
Subterfuge is not an activity they shy away from. It is thought that within the heart of the empires, many shadow corporations and other such shady organizations operate with direct and indirect ties to the Guristas. How high up the ranks their control reaches, however, is only for them to know.
Takeovers of existing facilities
The Guristas often overtake existing facilities that either have gone into ruin and decay or have insufficient protection. Examples of these are the gas cloud harvesting operation in 09-4XW, or the by Lai Dai corporation abandoned R55 Colonial Ruins in the Isie system, which surrounding toxic gas cloud provides it with a defensive barrier. In recent times, the Guristas have taken to overtaking secretive research facilities of other pirate empires, where they conduct a mix of black market trading and skunkworks research into cryptic high-speed technologies.
The Guristas control a notable share of the "grey market" smuggling of competing products into megacorporate enclaves in the Caldari State. They also run one of the largest illegal currency exchanges of Caldari corporate scrip. In addition to this they also engage in other counterfeiting practices, knocking off anything that rakes in ISK. Black-market trading, illegal weapons, smuggling and human trafficking are not something they shy away from when it comes to funding their activities and turning a steady profit.
Lastly, the Guristas are well-known for their work as mercenaries, their fearsome reputation often being enough to win a contract before it is even executed. Their ruthless methods and proven track-record make them a formidable player in that field, one that strikes fear into the hearts of those who happen to find themselves on the wrong side.
All Guristas vessels appear based on those of the Caldari Navy, although the Guristas themselves claim that it was in fact the Caldari Navy who stole the design for their Scorpion from the Guristas Rattlesnake. Suffice to say the Guristas equivalents of each vessel are offensively superior vessels whom fit perfectly within their aggressive tactics, yet are able to withstand quite a bit of punishment.
First came the Gila, based on the Moa hull. Kosami sacrificed speed and cargo capacity to bulk up the ship's structure. The gunnery platform was done away with in favour of missiles supported by superior drone capacities. Sadly this expansion led to a slightly less powerful capacitor, but thanks to using missiles this is not noticeable during operation. Should pilots mind, the extra midslot could certainly be employed to rectify this fact.
The Worm was the first frigate that was converted, again changing from a turret to a missile platform with drone capacity, something which the base Merlin entirely lacks in. Again unneeded space was done away with to beef up its survivability rate. Choosing an equally strong but slower-charging capacitor, targeting range was shortened to adequately power all electronics systems within the hull.
Then, the Rattlesnake is again a missile and drones platform, whereas the Caldari Scorpion offers a mixed weapon platform that is often supported by ECM modules. The sturdier Rattlesnake also has a different slot layout, having an extra slot in the high and low where the Scorpion had an extra midslot squeezed in. The Rattlesnake's targeting systems too are shorter than those of the Scorpion.
Finally the Taipan is a relatively new vessel and was based on the iconic Ibis which many new Caldari pilots take their first flight in. While the 'rookie ship' is often scoffed at, the Guristas once more prove themselves capable of building fearsome ships. Without sacrifice they were able to strengthen its structure and even find space for an additional midslot. While the two turrent hardslots were given up, the Taipan can field drones and thus match the Guristas fleet doctrine.
Organization and culture
Presently, the Guristas pirates are overseen by the Rabbit. He is assisted by a team of fourteen officers, each which oversee a cell. Each cell trickles down in a hierarchy quite alike to that of a military structure, and there is fierce competition between each cell to be seen as the best.
Military fashion and Caldari traditions are found within abundance everywhere within the Guristas, even after outsiders started to enter their ranks. They consider themselves a professional organization and will do the utmost to keep up this image. While they are certainly known for their outrageous acts at times, they are nevertheless meticulously calculated when it comes to the impact upon their reputation.
Gambling, that most favourite of Caldari vices, is something the Guristas have come to love as well as will gleefully exploit. From bookmakers to match rigging and illegal tournaments held in hidden establishments within deadspace pockets, if you have money to enter the Guristas will have something that strikes your fancy, especially if that happens to be Splinterz or Mind Clash.
During the increased Caldari Navy mobilization of YC 115, the Guristas joined Mordu's Legion in rescuing victims of the conflict and offering them adequate aid. It is thought that their humanitarian efforts were in fact simply an attempt to profit from the situation and to draw those whom now may scorn the State over to their side by profiling themselves as rescuers.
With the news spreading on 'ghost sites' and CONCORD's subsequent off-limit declaration, the Guristas as well as other pirate factions have begun to issue buy orders to coerce capuleers into selling the recovered covert research tools to them. This seems to hint at a pirate research race, and already there is much discussion going about what breakthroughs this might eventually lead to. A recent Guristas raid that was halted by capsuleer forces raised some hope of seeing some of these new advances, but the Federal Intelligence Office was adamant that there was no evidence of prototype or unconventional vessels.
In recent times, the Guristas have stepped up their research efforts, with reports of them having overtaken research sites previously belonging to other pirate factions, and adding a glut of black-market trading to what appears to be a successful line of research into high-speed technologies. Mordu's Legion have reportedly become extremely unhappy with this turn of events and have responded with extreme force to any sites they uncover, having even gone so far as to enlist the capsuleers in the initial efforts of finding these sites. Whatever it is exactly that the Guristas are developing in these sites remains unknown.