A quiet New Year period was disturbed by rumors in early January of mysterious trading cartels buying up commodities in Caldari State hubs. As the month wore on the renegade scientists Albery Vance and Victor Stats- last seen evading capture after a their prototype 'brain control' device failed- were said to have been sighted in the Isaziwa system of the Citadel region. This sighting was confirmed when Dr. Vance appeared in the Saila system and claimed to be close to finishing a second, functioning, 'brain wave control' device. Quite what happened to the bizarre pair of scientists after these appearances is a mystery for the two were never seen again, their activities becoming fodder for conspiracy theories for months to come.
The ever- controversial Order of St. Tetrimon was the subject of much speculation later in the month when the Privy Council lifted the edict of suppression against the heterodox order, allowing it to openly return to the Amarr Empire. Evidently acting on the recommendation of the Theology Council, the Privy Councilors appeared to have had their hand forced by the results of a study of the so-called "Tetrimon Scriptures" - delivered to the Theology Council over a year earlier - by archivists of the supreme religious body. For its part, the Theology Council, headed by Arch Deacon Mervan Moritok, declined to comment on the suspension of the edict.
The Serpentis Corporation stepped up its operations, despite the loss of a carrier to independent capsuleers in Delve, and by February was clearly aiming at taking control of the Outer Ring Excavations (ORE) conglomerate. However, the month was dominated by the Reschard V Disaster, an explosion in the atmosphere of that planet that devastated its entire surface. CONCORD's analysis of system scanners showed that a capital-class vessel was in low orbit moments before the explosion, and speculation was rife as to the possibility that a new weapons system had been tested on the ill-fortuned planet.
Concern over the disaster itself turned to outrage when a relief convoy organized by the Servant Sisters of EVE was set upon by capsuleers of the IRON alliance. A running battle between the convoy's Mordu's Legion escorts and the capsuleer raiders ensued, with damage to an SOE freighter possibly resulting in its destruction by critical drive malfunction in Reschard system. Others claimed the freighter had been sabotaged, raising disturbing questions given its mission of mercy.
March brought news that the trend of Minmatar emigrating from the Republic to the Gallente Federation was showing signs of rising, prompting concerns of overcrowding in some destination systems. The Gallente were not alone in being concerned by the situation, with Minmatar analysts pointing to labor shortages and declining industrial output in the Republic.
A terrorist strike by Minmatar capsuleers succeeded in assassinating Holder Jamir Torash, leaving House Torash leaderless. Some Amarr pointed to the fact that Holder Torash's convoy was carrying large quantities of Vitoc, and linked the attack to critical shortages of the substance among immigrant Minmatar in the Gallente Federation.
More positively, the Federation's University of Caille announced plans by its Department of Archaeology to explore the Crux constellation in search of ancient ruins. In further happy news, the Intaki Reborn and philosopher Vremaja Idama announced his marriage to Vika Kuvakei, daughter of a renowned Caldari patriot.
With the Serpentis Corporation enmeshing ORE ever more securely in its coils, April had in store stunning news for the Gallente Federation, and not only in the form of ORE capitulating to the underworld corporation as it divested private and legal stockholders of any control over its operations. Remarkable as the events in Outer Ring were, with CONCORD's DED promising to use deadly force if the Serpentis expanded any closer to the borders of the Federation, later political developments were to push them into the background so far as Federation citizens were concerned.
The Minmatar Republic Fleet celebrated the career of one of its most distinguished pilots by awarding the Drupar's Sun, one of its most prestigious medals, to Captain Karishal Muritor. In addition to his decoration, Muritor was promoted from Captain to Captain 1st Class, making him the youngest man to hold that senior rank in the history of the Fleet.
With the Gallente Federation President election campaign well under way, presidential candidate Eman Autrech shocked the nation by withdrawing from the race, leaving incumbent Souro Foiritan to fight his only remaining challenger, Senator Mentas Blaque. Dismayed members of the Autrech campaign were unable to shed much light on the surprise withdrawal and conspiracy theorists were not slow to conjure up suspicions about the former candidate's reasons. President Foiritan refrained from politicking over the matter and paid a warm tribute to Autrech, describing his withdrawal as a 'blow to democracy.'. Mentas Blaque was rather more waspish in his remarks on the matter, describing Autrech as 'reneging on his duties.'
The Gallente elections continued to produce controversy in May when Mentas Blaque visited the city of Hueromont on Gallente Prime, ostensibly to commemorate those Gallenteans who had died there when the Caldari Admiral Yakiya Tovil-Toba flew his carrier into the planet's atmosphere during the Gallente-Caldari War. Using the occasion to deliver a speech urging vigilance on the part of Federation citizens and reminding his audience of their duty to safeguard the 'homeland' Blaque was accused by liberal commentators of being deliberately inflammatory. Some saw the resignation soon afterwards of Intaki spiritual leader Vremaja Idama from his lecturing post at the University of Caille as connected with Blaque's speech, pointing to his recent marriage to the Caldari Vika Kuvakei.
In the Amarr Empire, House Torash regained stability with the announcement that Gavit Torash was to take the place of his assassinated father, Jamir, as the Torash Holder. Citizens of the Minmatar Republic were disturbed by the fall from grace of Captain 1st Class Karishal Muritor, as Republic Fleet command denied him permission to take a task force into Molden Heath in order to 'pacify' the region, after he had lost an entire patrol to renegade capsuleers. In the State, the Caldari Gaming Commission announced that it would be holding a second capsuleer Alliance Tournament, arousing much speculation as to the rules and format.
The Order of St. Tetrimon lived up to its controversial reputation when it engaged in a large-scale battle with the Blood Raider Covenant at the end of the month, reportedly retrieving several artifacts plundered by the Raiders from a temple in the Genesis region.
Its interest aroused by the activities of the Tetrimon, the Amarr Privy Council ordered an investigation in June into the temple from which the artifacts recovered by the Order allegedly came. The relics in question, a number of holy statues connected with the Amarr concept of the Reclaiming, attracted considerable attention from scholars and theologians, particularly those Theology Council archivists studying the 'Tetrimon Scriptures' that led to the Order being allowed to return to the Empire.
Embarrassingly for the Republic Fleet, a supercarrier-class vessel, the Alfhild, went missing, amid fears it had been stolen by Captain Karishal Muritor, in the middle of June. This was accompanied by the mobilization without authority of other capital-class vessels and numerous subcapital heavy ships.
Throughout the month, Mentas Blaque basked in high approval ratings as he continued to make controversial speeches on the Presidential campaign trail. The Caldari Chief Executive Panel criticized him for seeking to inflame passions concerning Caldari-Gallente relations but possibly did more good for Blaque's ratings than anything else. The Caldari Gaming Commission opened sign-ups for the Second Alliance Tournament and announced the tournament format was changing to a group system for the initial matches.
The Minmatar Republic was placed in the position of declaring the senior Republic Fleet Captain Karishal Muritor an outlaw on the first day of July. Confirmation that Muritor was in control of the stolen Republic Fleet supercarrier Alfhild, and its escort carriers Magni and Modi, came with news that the highly-decorated officer was no longer a member of the Republic Fleet and had formed a dissident group named 'The Defiants'. Amarr Navy commanders, assuming the Defiants meant to raid into the Amarr Empire, expressed skepticism about the Republic's willingness to bring Muritor to justice, despite the dispatch of a task force under Vice-Admiral Kanth Filmir for this stated purpose.
The latter half of the month was dominated by coverage of the Second Alliance Tournament, with the Mercenary Coalition being beaten for a final spot by the Band of Brothers, while Ascendant Frontier defeated Interstellar Alcohol Conglomerate for its place in the championship match. A very hard- fought match between the teams of the two powerhouses resulted in the Band of Brothers retaining their title.
Since returning to the Amarr Empire, the Order of St. Tetrimon seemed to have been courting publicity whenever it could. In August this continued when the Order petitioned the Theology Council to remove the privileges granted by the Cross of the Sacred Throne to Golan Trevize on the basis that the capsuleer's mercenary activities meant he was no longer worthy of the honor.
Speculation as to the motives of Tetrimon Grand Master Horm was immediate and considerable, with some believing the petition was an attack on the Cross of the Sacred Throne Order itself, and thus by proxy an attack on the very basis of the Emperor system. Others believed that the petition was intended to distract and disrupt the Theology Council. Whatever his view of the matter, council member Deacon Lorenzo Azir called for the petition to be dismissed immediately on the grounds it had not been offered in private.
The theft by the Defiants of a Minmatar Republic supercarrier was serious enough but in September the Serpentis Corporation emulated the act, with their own Admiral Siral stealing a Federation Navy supercarrier from its moorings in the Luminaire system. Rapidly alerted, CONCORD forces called on capsuleers in Luminaire to disable the warship before it could jump away. Confusion and hesitation allowed Admiral Siral to jump his prize to the PFP-GU system. There Siral attacked a lone capsuleer he chanced upon and this pilot alerted his allies. A substantial fleet of independent capsuleers then descended on PFP-GU and destroyed the stolen Nyx-class vessel.
The theft of capitals was shown to have turned into something of a trend when the renegade Ultra Unionist Movement attempted to steal a carrier destined for the Royal Khanid Navy from military contractors Dark Amarr Creations. The radicals were thwarted by elements of the Royal Khanid Navy, including a Revalation-class Dreadnought and a large force of Khanid loyalist capsuleers which numbered among them, two Archon-class carriers.
Rescue ships were finally able to land on the devastated surface of Reschard V, seven months after the disaster that struck the planet, as the megastorms that had constantly swept through the atmosphere abated. Led by the Servant Sisters of EVE, the rescue teams were able to discover around 2,000 survivors sheltering in deep caves Investigators also announced progress in determining the cause of the disaster. Deep analysis of scanning telemetry was able to confirm the presence in low-orbit of an Avatar-class Titan moments before the explosion that blasted the planet. The nature of this explosion and residual energy readings confirmed that it had in all likelihood been the detonation of a 'Judgement' doomsday weapon, as carried by Avatars. Unfortunately, it had proved impossible to track the capital ship due to the large number of open cynosural fields in the New Eden cluster at the time of the disaster.
The Serpentis Corporation seemed unbowed by its failure to successfully steal away a Federation supercarrier and continued its consolidation of control over the Outer Rings Excavations (ORE) combine. In a surprise move, the Serpentis appointed former ORE station administrator Fazin Oorund to the rank of Lord Admiral with responsibility for liaising between the Serpentis Corporation and ORE.
After a long, hard-fought and considerably drawn- out campaign, October would finally see polling day in the Gallente Federation Presidential elections. Having been riding high in the polls for some months the challenger, Senator Mentas Blaque, continued to lead as the month opened. With election day falling on the 27th, there were several weeks of campaigning still to go before the final result.
In the Caldari State, the Chief Executive Panel vehemently refuted claims by the noted economist Arvelan Tokaru that the State was headed for a deep recession. Citing heavy-handed tariffs and other forms of protectionism, Dr. Tokaru warned that the State ran the risk of alienating trading partners and losing out in competition for foreign markets in the long run.
The Order of St. Tetrimon suffered a grave setback when an Imperial Navy fleet, containing numerous capitals, destroyed a large Tetrimon installation on the orders of the Theology Council. Deacon Lorenzo Azir, representing the Theology Council, accused the Order of spying on the Council and oversaw the destruction of the facility, believed to be a signals intelligence station used by the Order in their espionage. Observers of the Amarr Empire suggested that the incident showed the Theology Council had lost patience with the Order of St. Tetrimon and that the edict of suppression against the Order could be reinstated at any time.
As scheduled, the polls opened across the Gallente Federation on the 27th as the Presidential elections got underway in 528 voting districts. Early polling figures continued to show Mentas Blaque leading incumbent President Souro Foiritan. By the evening, with 233 districts counted, this lead appeared to be a solid five-point margin. However, as the border regions returned their voting data the count showed Foiritan gaining a full three points on his challenger. Remarkably, the final results showed President Foiritan's electoral base rally and give him a single point victory over Senator Blaque. His re-election made him the first two-term President in the history of the Gallente Federation.
In November, as expected, the Privy Council of the Amarr Empire reinstated the edict of suppression against the Order of St. Tetrimon, sending the radical cult back into exile. The month also saw attacks on Amarrian holdings in the Bleak Lands flare up again, with Holders in the troubled region complaining that the Imperial Navy was giving them little assistance.
A major incident erupted in the Caldari State, as rioting at the Truissu Station mining colony on Kassigainen IV resulted in bloodshed when Home Guard security forces used deadly force to beat the rioters back. Amidst allegations that the Home Guard had provoked the rioting by brutally killing a miner, it became clear that dozens had died when the riots were put down. The Home Guard's parent megacorporation Kaalakiota Corporation ascribed the rioting to disaffected elements seeking to cause trouble and disputed claims that Home Guard officers had triggered the incident.
Perhaps seeking to flex his diplomatic muscles in the afterglow of his re-election, President Souro Foiritan sent an aid convoy to Kassigainen as a gesture of goodwill. The initiative backfired badly when the convoy was shot down by capsuleer pirates after Home Guard refused it permission to land at Truiisu Station. With Kassigainen now assuming the proportions of an international incident, Kaalakiota and Home Guard insisted the situation was under control, despite heavy criticism from the Gallente Federation as the final death toll was reported to be over 400.
If capsuleers welcomed the news that the Caldari Gaming Commission intended to hold its Third Alliance Tournament at the end of the year, they were startled when a number of offline stargates across New Eden spontaneously reactivated. Tentative explorations indicated that as many as eight previously closed-off regions could now be accessed. CONCORD warned that the new regions should not be entered due to unspecified dangers, but were largely ignored by the capsuleer population. It was soon discovered that the regions were heavily- populated by rogue drones, leading many to call them the 'Drone Regions.'
As the year YC108 approached its end, the news across the empires during December remained resolutely grim, with war breaking out between two Amarr Holders over the honor of one's daughter. The insulting behavior of Touraj Miyan towards Mina Darabi, led the latter's father, Iraj Darabi, to declare war between the two minor houses. This war became mired in stalemate when the House Darabi fleet stymied the larger House Miyan fleet using clever tactics.
The Caldari State saw further violence in its industrial sector, when insurgent guerillas attacked a Kaalakiota factory on Sirppala II. While there were no deaths, several security guards were injured and production at the factory was severely disrupted. Commentators decided that the attacks, and the worker strikes that followed, benefited Kaalakiota's rival Sukuuvestaa Corporation more than anyone else and suggested the involvement of the latter in orchestrating the unrest. Sukuuvestaa strongly denied this and indeed Kaalakiota itself stated that it could see no evidence its rival had been involved.
The year was rounded off by the Third Alliance Tournament, which was dominated by high-firepower teams and many matches with total wipeouts of the opposing side. A notable highlight of this tournament was the spectacular loss of one of the few privately-owned Imperial Issue Apocalypses by the Interstellar Alcohol Conglomerate team. The final was fought between challengers for the title The R0NIN and defending champions Band of Brothers, with the latter triumphing once more and remaining the only tournament winners to date.