America’s present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration; not agitation, but adjustment; not surgery, but serenity; not the dramatic, but the dispassionate; not experiment, but equipoise; not submergence in internationality, but sustainment in triumphant nationality.
-Warren G. Harding, 1920 Presidential campaign
Such was the election winning sentiment of the nation after WWI.
Some sense of normalcy is also what the Imperium clearly sought after departing the north of New Eden in defeat at the end of the Casino War just under two months ago. And so we packed up and headed south towards Delve, basing first in Sakht, then 1-SMEB, and finally in D-W7F0, dropping citadels everywhere, as the conquest of the region progressed.
The locals set up to hold the line against the Imperium, but were seriously out numbered and required allies from the north in order to commit to any sort of serious resistance. Fights around the first constellation were largely supported by Pandemic Legion and Northern Coalition.
Later, as the Imperium expanded its hold on the region, and the locals began to evacuate, TEST formed up and came down to make common cause with the remaining residents against us.
The low point for them was getting a Machariel fleet bottled up in a dead-end constellation with an incursion running in it, which had the bonus effect of blocking cynos. It isn’t clear why they chose that constellation, though a going theory was they were going to run the incursion to help raise our ADMs. But, there they were, so we setup a blockade. SynCaine and I were both in the initial fleet for that.
This led to them logging out, then logging back in later to try and slip away. (Their leader was not so patient and got popped early on trying to run the gauntlet.) The blockade stayed in place, watching the exits, and a confirmed 30 Machariels were killed, along with half a dozen other ships from the fleet and an unknown number of self-destructs. As I mentioned in the August in review post, one pilot ejected from his Machariel (screen shot) rather than face the apparent shame of giving us the kill mail, at which point Jay Amazingness hijacked the ship; pretty much a direct transfer from TEST to GSF.
Shortly thereafter TEST declared their deployment a success and set a course back to Vale of the Silent, though as last as this morning errant Machariels were still being knocked off trying to slip away. TEST pilots reportedly have three days to get back to Vale. (Reference: Progodlegend coms meltdown early in the Delve deployment, after which “three days” became a meme in the Imperium.)
None of which did much to slow down the sovereignty grind, so that now almost all of Delve is in the hands of the Imperium. Just a few systems left to go.
The remaining members of the Imperium interested in holding sovereignty have been given a couple token systems each. TNT, like LAWN and Bastion, got the TCUs in two systems, though GSF holds the ihubs and stations still. I guess this was a point of pride, being back on the map or some such. But since ratting and mining is now a free-for-all in all Imperium held space, it isn’t as though we were restricted to just those two systems.
And ratting is very much under way, with a standing fleet and coordinated response teams, to help raise ADMs and the boost our wallet balances.
We even have our own Fortizar online. I visited it at one point while it was going up.
Later, after it was live I docked up and found that I had been given access to the defenses!
I was able to see the fighting interface for the citadel, which looks just like the interface for ships, with a special module or two.
So now I just need somebody to attack the damn thing when I am around so I can shoot them. However, that doesn’t seem likely in the near term as resistance has fallen off in the region. even next door in Querious a number of the locals have packed up and moved away. Some, such as Brave, were already absentees, while others in the region are looking to make deals with the Imperium over space.
The Imperium has spilled over into the region in a few places, but hasn’t been actively pursuing sovereignty. (Though some former Delve residents are trying to settle in.) I’m not sure Red Frog Freight, for example, could stand up to were we determined to take the region. It is more a place to look for fights and to test out new doctrines.
But even with the some groups in region keen for fights, we have had to wander further afield at times, into Catch or Providence, to find hostile fleets.
All in all, it is a quiet time now after the six months of continued warfare that went on during the first half of the year. People are settling into their new homes in Delve. For some, it is a return to a familiar place. For me it is still a bit strange. I’ve been down to Delve on deployments a number of times (back in 2012 we helped TEST conquer the region and I’ve been back a few times since), but I have never lived there, so I still have to keep DOTLAN EVE Maps handy to figure out where I am, where reports on intel channels are happening, and how to get to places in the region.
And so we live in Delve now. Just a few more systems to grab, a bunch more citadels to drop, and then the wait for the sovereignty levels to rise up enough to get a jump bridge network in place and we will be set.
Addendum: It seems SynCaine also chose today to write about making a home in Delve.