EON Ushra’Khan article; A.K.A Those things I said…..

The entry has been written from an ‘out of character’ perspective to discuss the EON magazine article on the Ushra’Khan.

There’s a nice four page spread article in the Spring 2012 issue of EON magazine all about The Ushra’Khan.  The reporter, Krytens, was interested in the events of nearly 2 years ago when the alliance was hijacked, effectively disbanded, and what has happened since then.

I have been a senior member and occasional public spokesman for the alliance for the vast majority of its 7 and a bit years of existence.  And alot of people within Ushra’Khan consider me to be the closest thing there is to a resident historian.  And so, when ever someone shows up asking for an interview, I get pulled into a convo and asked to explain something.

And so it was in early march when I sat down with EON reporter Krytens to explain the roughest period of history in the Ushra’Khan’s history.  And then everything that happened in the last two years.  Que wall of text on my part, a two month gap, then the article coming out.

I think its a decent article for the most part, but I do feel a need to clarify and expand on a few points within it.  Probably because my name features heavily throughout…  I’ll start with a simple correction;

Alliance leader and UNITY veteran Ugleb…

I am not, nor have I ever been, the executor of Ushra’Khan.  I have turned the job down a few times over the years and I have been a highly placed member of the leadership for most of my time with the alliance, but never have I been the guy ultimately running the show.  This might get confusing as we have had by my count eight different executors over the years (some lasting much longer than others) and we haven’t always made a habit of advertising who that individual might be.  As an RP group with a terrorist Freedom Fighter agenda, telling the world who is in charge might not be a thing you rush to do. 😉

The next thing I wanted to talk about is on page 61, talking about the Providence NIP/Fight Club experiment that we went through in mid 2010.   This came after we had completed the campaign to evict CVA and their Holder alliances from Providence, and shortly affter the alliance hijack that saw Ushra’Khan briefly become Damu’Khonde.  The article loosely quotes me as saying;

Damu’Khonde was facing harsh truths.  One was that it had found itself as something it never really intended to be; a sovereignty focused alliance.

The key word here is ‘focused’.  The attitude within U’K towards sovereignty (paryicularly back then) had typically been one of considering sov to be a tool, not the goal in and of itself.  The goal for a long, long time had been to challenge Amarrian influence in Providence, as embodied by the Amarr-loyalist CVA. and their allies.  What went very wrong for U’K was the speed and suddeness of its victory in Providence that came about when its ‘big brother’ ally Against All Authorities decided to throw the full weight of a power bloc behind removing CVA from the map.  Rather than a long period of back and forth warfare, the whole thing was a brutally one-sided steam roller.

That left U’K having ‘completed’ its long term goals and struggling to find opposition that fit into any RP-related criteria, which created long running internal issues where some players struggled to adapt to the reality that EVE had changed for us, I’ve talked about this before.  The article then goes on to talk about howvthe U’K/-A- relationship shifted, grew cold, then eventually got decidedly hostile.  I suspect there will be people out there muttering things like ‘bullshit’ as they read ‘those things that I said’.

First thing to note, after ‘liberating Providence’, it was not the intent of the Ushra’Khan leadership to move in afterwards.  We had space in Catch at the time which we were quite happy living in.  The problem was that -A- recruited new corps and needed to settle them in motherland Catch; end result was U’K moving into Providence after all.  Most understood this, others didn’t appreciate it at all.

Soon after, on pretty much the same weekend, Ushra’Khan was hijacked and -A-‘s leadership changed hands under what sounded like a pretty stormy cloud.  That was when the relationship started to break down.  A concern at the time, which I think probably would have come about, was that -A- wanted to install U’K as the new CVA, and for Provi to go back to being a roaming paradise; most of all for -A-.  It’s hard to say either way, but some in -A- may have intended to reset U’K later on.  For our part, it was never the U’K plan to replace CVA as lords of Providence; we just wanted to oust them.

Eventually we decided enough was enough and left Providence behind.  The NIP collapsed entirely soon after as its overly ambitious residents over extended themselves and burned political bridges with infighting.  Experiment failed.

The articles briefly re-caps our non-sov holding period and comes up to the eventual return to sov a year or so later.  The deal we struck was to go live with Imperial 0rder in Omist, out of their station, and to fix the standings side of things we rented a single token system from -A- to link into the broader coalition.  I want to make it clear that this was the first time we had ever paid rent to -A- for anything.  That should highlight to you the nature of our relationship by this point.

The article then mentions the DRF thing, which came after I0 had been disbanded and -A-, from our point of view, were doing next to nothing to defend their own space from invasion;

Then in another twist of fate, Imperial 0rder disbanded without warning and soon UNITY found itself defending Against All Authorities space as the Drone Regions Federation began to push further into the region.  It was a losing battle and when Against All Authorities ordered all allies to fall back to Stain or lose blue status, UNITY once more found itself with a dilemma as the DRF offered it the chance to fight against its former allies Against All Authorities.

UNITY took up the offer from DRF, much to the shock of many outsiders who read the situation as outright betrayal.  Ugleb, of course, saw the situation a little differently.  UNITY owed AAA nothing.  Any friendship between Against All Authorities and UNITY was based solely on ISK and therefore the switch was simply a harsh reality of business in EVE.

I’m probably on someone’s shit-list by name now. 😉

What is difficult to get across here is how far we had come from the close relationship of a couple years earlier.  By this point -A- saw U’K as nothing more than a minor pet alliance and most in U’K saw -A- as a distant and absentee landlord making further demands in exchange for really not much at that point.  At times we were showing up to -A-‘s defensive CTA’s and fielding more pilots than -A- were.

The decision to move over to the DRF camp did not come lightly and everyone knew it was something of a gamble strategically as tides of war do change.  But really, for my part in making that decision I stand by it.  -A- might have eventually staged a come back but I felt like we were far more respected and valued in DRF than we had been under -A- in years.

As the article goes on to say;

In EVE, as those alliances that have come and gone can testify, it is impossible to survive the harsh realities of EVE if you are one-dimensional.

The Ushra’Khan is not the same alliance that it was when it started out in 2004.  It has been shaped and moulded by it decisions and experiences over the years.  At times it has been torn down and rebuilt all over again, several times over.  It has changed, it has evolved, and it has made some tough choices.  I don’t see any of that as a singular ‘betrayal’ of its principles, but I do accept that those founding principles have morphed a bit with time.

Maybe that is the price for making an impact; the willingness to adapt in pursuit of larger goals.  Sometimes you have to accept chanes, and the Ushra’Khan has spanned an awful lot of time.

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