The Conquest of New Eden by Dr. Irie Solais
When the age of the independent capsuleer pilot dawned around a decade ago, CONCORD faced the largest challenge in its history: the crowd control of an elite posthuman demographic. Upon the marriage of the capsule and the clone, the Yulai Convention was updated to reflect the era of the capsuleer, with the inclusion of the CONCORD Capsuleer Pilot Act. This enabled the official employ of capsule pilots by the empires, and clarified their political status as independent entities in order to prepare for the coming eventuality that the capsule would become a tool for both the various sovereign navies in the cluster and the independently wealthy.
This initial draft of the CONCORD Capsuleer Pilot Act mandated the conditions and restrictions under which a capsuleer could form and maintain a corporation, as well as the conditions under which two independently formed corporations could engage in formally declared hostilities. By the end of YC 105, this legislation was expanded by the Secure Commerce Commission to contain documentation mandating capsuleer control of various stations formerly under the control of empire-loyal corporations; this was known as the Secure Commerce Commission Outer Territories Act, which came into effect on December 18, YC 105.
From this point forward, the capsuleer gained official recognition in the eyes of CONCORD, and with this newfound freedom capsuleers flooded from what many of them regarded as unnecessarily restrictive core empire systems out into the border regions, staking their claims on resource-rich areas of space outside the borders of the sovereign nations, and forming their own ad hoc alliances and political coalitions.
After extensive petitioning from capsuleer-run organizations, the Inner Circle voted to push through the CONCORD Exodus Act on November 17, YC 106, which included legislation for the formal registration of capsuleer alliances with both the Secure Commerce Commission (SCC) and the Directive Enforcement Department (DED). This allowed independent capsuleer corporations to create formal alliances and effectively become autonomous political entities, and established the legal means for them to actively begin building infrastructure in their claimed territories, erecting their own star bases and formally claiming space. The Exodus Act also included updated legislation for the formal declaration of hostilities between two political entities, to take into account the formation of these new larger groups of capsuleers.
By this time, tens of thousands of independent pilots had begun to colonize the outer regions, with the outbreak of large-scale warfare over resource-rich areas of space reaching even to the core systems and making headline news across the cluster. The entirety of New Eden watched on as the capsule pilots continued to paint the stars crimson in the name of power and monetary gain. With the growing tensions between the four core empires, CONCORD was once again forced to revisit its policies in order to maintain relative calm, with the release of both the CONCORD Sovereignty Act and the Directive Enforcement Department Interstellar Highways Act on June 29, YC 107.
The Sovereignty Act was designed to curb the heavy straining of infrastructure at many of the stations in the outer regions, permitting those with appropriate claims to sovereignty the right to link independently constructed outposts to the fluid router system, and therefore, by proxy, the SCC-monitored and audited interstellar market system. Capsuleers immediately began construction of their own deep space habitats to assist in further colonization of the outer regions.
Along with this, the Directive Enforcement Department Interstellar Highways Act increased the mass of vessels permitted to utilize the public star gate network, leading the four empires to release the blueprints for their Freighter-class vessels and turn a hard profit from independent pod pilots (up until that point the vessels had only been utilized for stationto- station resupply by sovereign nations). The Interstellar Highways Act also realigned a number of star gates across the cluster to create more defined highways and trade routes between the four core empires, and created further links to the border regions to assist with colonization and the movement of supplies.
On top of these two acts, the DED at the same time released further documentation in the form of their Cynosural Licensing Guidelines, making possible the public construction of Dreadnought-class capital ships by independent shipyards outside the control of the various sovereign navies. Fleets of these vessels immediately began to be sighted in the outer regions, waging immense battles the likes of which the cluster had never seen before.
A further three acts were introduced on December 14, YC 107, which included the Inner Circle Infomorph Registration and Control Act, mandating the specific use of jump cloning technology for independent capsuleers and allowing for rapid battlefield deployment; the DED’s Spatial Destabilization Control Act, designed to regulate the operation of new Titan-class vessels and their jump portal generation systems; and the CONCORD Supercapital Deployment Mandate, denying capsuleers the right to operate a Supercapital-class vessel within the patrolled space of any existing sovereign empire. In addition to these new pieces of legislation, the Cynosural Licensing Guidelines were also revisited in the wake of the Serpentis Corporation’s theft of the Soltueur-class titan FNS Molyneux in May YC 107, to ensure that all legislation regarding the deployment of Supercapital-class vessels were in line with one another.
Finally, on the same day the SCC released the Non- Sovereign Starbase Charter, permitting independent entities, under specific nonsovereignty-claiming conditions laid out in the Yulai Convention, to erect control towers within the borders of sovereign empires in order to assist with their industrial efforts. Within weeks, hundreds of corporations with the appropriate positive standings toward their respective sovereign states had erected structures, paying billions in revenue into the coffers of the empires in exchange for their own industrial staging platforms.
Between December YC 107 and June YC 109, legislation regarding the outer regions barely changed. During this time, all-out warfare between independent capsuleer organizations was the sole shaping force of the political landscape in nullsec space. It was not until June 19, YC 109, that a revision of the CONCORD Sovereignty Act was issued to break a number of stalemates between various nullsec political entities, creating officially recognized tiers of sovereignty to solve territorial disputes and ease tensions in the outer regions. While tensions remained at a boiling point, the situation was manageable for almost a year—until the events of June 10, YC 110, which shocked the entire cluster into action.
With CONCORD’s headquarters disabled for several hours, the Caldari State launched a full scale invasion of the Gallente Federation’s home system of Luminaire, in concert with a Minmatar Elder Fleet which simultaneously engaged in a frontal assault against the Amarrian imperial throne worlds. Several hours of bloody fighting and the deaths of hundreds of millions led to the introduction of the CONCORD Emergency Militia War Powers Act, which brought tens of thousands of capsuleers, including fleets from some of the largest nullsec political blocks in existence, back to sovereign space to reap the rewards of fighting as part of a sovereign militia for contracted rewards. For a further year, the conflict in nullsec ebbed and flowed under the existing legislation, with the Militia War Powers Act providing a sizable fortune for most nullsec outfits to keep the gears of their own wars turning.
However, an unprecedented natural occurrence was to change the landscape of New Eden permanently. In March YC 111, a large proportion of the inner realms of the federal system of Seyllin was obliterated. For reasons still being speculated upon by scientists, a series of natural wormholes tore open New Eden, creating an unstable gateway to a distant area of uncharted space over which the CONCORD Assembly had no control. The result was the immediate issuance of the Directive Enforcement Department Uncharted Space Response Waiver, which expressly absolved the CONCORD Assembly of any responsibility for the protection of those who chose to venture forth into the newly discovered space. And venture forth capsuleers did, pouring through these newly formed gateways en masse, in search of further territory and riches. Once again the cycle began anew as this new space, commonly referred to as “W-space,” became the most hotly contested, resource-rich real estate in the cluster.
Warfare was intensified further in May of YC 112, when CONCORD allowed the Secure Commerce Commission to push through further legislation to govern resource harvesting, passing into law the SCC Independent Planetary Management Act in order to ensure proper governance over planetary installations and the correct treatment of planetary environments during resource harvesting operations. It was believed that this legislation would also allow the faster, cheaper, and more prolific production of most goods, while allowing the SCC to oversee the process and enabling local administrations and the core empires to retain sovereignty over any planet used as an industrial base.
Regarded by many capsuleers as a defining turning point in the history of CONCORD, the introduction of the Directive Enforcement Department’s Retribution Act on December 4, YC 114, prompted some of the most intense warfare ever seen in New Eden. A mass simplification of the rules of engagement and CONCORD’s response protocol—along with the legalization of cloned mercenary technology under the DED’s Mercenary Infomorph Act in early YC 115—has seen conflict ignite across the cluster, as hundreds of thousands of capsuleers and cloned mercenaries fight for control of the most valuable resources in New Eden.
Legal analysts have called the Retribution Act a barbaric, inhumane piece of legislation, with CONCORD essentially arguing that those with posthuman status may choose their own level of humanity so long as the treatment of non-capsuleer personnel remains within the realms of the Yulai Convention. A number of political and military analysts have also accused CONCORD of backing down to the sovereign empires when challenged regarding the legality of cloned mercenaries. Many believe that with their seat of power eroding, and both capsuleers and cloned mercenaries pushing the boundaries of increasingly flimsy legislation, the Directive Enforcement Department’s—and, indeed, CONCORD’s—days may soon be numbered, as posthuman pilots and soldiers venture forth together at breakneck speed into a wholly unpredictable future.
(This article first appeared in the June YC115 issue of the Astropolitical Intelligencer, University of Caille Press)