If you've been in a cave, then I'm talking about the assassination of Empress Jamyl by a surprise attack from a Drifter fleet during the ceremonial launch of the Navy's new Abaddon in Safizon.
I was in the system to watch as the event was publicised in advance on World News. I arrived slightly late for the proceedings (fashionably late), but I stood off at 50 km range in my Magnate (Revolution) as the anticipated huge crowd of over 700 capsuleers jammed the Local channel solid. I wish I could say I got a good view of Jamyl's Titan - TES Seraph - but I didn't. There were some agitators, some grandstanders, but these idiots were dealt with:
Then this happened, but you'll know all about it by now (apologies for the crapness of my cam drone imagery, but I was 50 km away):
If you really didn't know, a large Drifter fleet warped in from one of their self-generated wormholes and one-shot Jamyl's Titan with a massive combined volley of their 'Lux Kontos' doomsday weapons.
It didn't stop with the Titan. Jamyl's pod was scrambled and destroyed:
It was very obviously a planned surgical strike on a single pre-selected target. An assassination, no less.
The response in the Local channel from the community was what you would expect: 60% concern, 20% shock, 20% arseholery:
The Navy, on the other hand, appeared unprepared and in a state of discombobulation (and why was some idiot persisting in flogging scam contracts in Local when all this was going on?):
The Navy went on to assume the Drifter fleet would make a move on Navy HQ in Amarr, but the Drifters' work was in fact done: they disappeared back from wherever they came from.
It was over as quickly as it had begun.
* * * * *
So Empress Jamyl is dead.
Or is she?
She is a capsuleer. It is simply inconceivable that she didn't have a cloning provision in place just like the last time.
Above is one of the cam drone stills I obtained when I revisited the Safizon system the day after the tragedy and observed the wreck of the TES Seraph up close. It is an awesome sight. A dead Imperial Titan, its back broken, symbolic of a power so great that it can destroy the divine manifestation of the unimpeachable Amarrian God. A power greater than God. Or, if you prefer, a demonstration of the principle of 'he who has the biggest guns always wins, even against a Titan'.
Now here's my own bit of political commentary:
- wasn't it a bit obvious that the Drifters would make an attempt on Jamyl's life during this event given their previous form? Since the event was so public, all the Drifters had to do was watch World News to find out when it was happening. That's a laughable breach of security right there, even if Jamyl was all insistent and Imperial about showing up, which I'm sure she was.
- as soon as they had performed the hit, the Drifter fleet did not hang around to engage the Navy. They vacated the scene immediately like any decent assassin. This new massed fleet 'hit and run' tactic combined with the ability to appear at will wherever they want to makes them basically invincible. This is all the more reason for us to get into UUA-F4 and find out what the hell happened to the Jovians as soon as possible, to bring them back into the fold and ask them nicely to give us some more of the tech that CONCORD uses. It's the only way.
- ultimately though, the power vacuum created by Jamyl's apparent death is far more dangerous to the Empire than any amount of Drifter fleets. The cliques, coteries and factions within the Amarrian theocracy that were seen to oppose Jamyl will have been manoeuvring long before this happened, and her 'death' is a gift to them; but need I say the words 'Chamberlain Karsoth'? The Karsoth Era was the worst period that the Empire ever endured and directly led to the Elder War. Karsoth was supposed to be a 'placeholder' while the interminable Succession Trials argument went on, and he used the interregnum to consolidate his position with the unseen backing of the Covenant until the return of Jamyl in YC110. Now after Jamyl's removal, a pretender must not be allowed to gain power again.
- I'll say it again: Jamyl was a capsuleer. She was piloting her own Titan when it was attacked. Her capsule was warp-scrambled and destroyed by Drifters. Her body was reportedly observed. We all know what is supposed to happen next, don't we?
Jamyl will rise again.