In the highest spheres of power, there is no greater fear, and (realistically speaking) no lesser threat than that of assassination. Civilized nations shun it, yet secretly keep plans Just In Case. The less civilized nations, of course, merely do away with the former and don’t exactly keep the latter much of a secret. It is something that security forces train their entire lives to prevent, yet whether or not it is successful often comes down as much to luck as skill (on both sides). It is a powerful political statement and can prove crushing to a nation, or it could mobilize them under a martyr as never before. In short, assassinations are the choice of last resort for most people and nations, yet for some they provide the golden standard of what they could achieve (not that I in any way advocate assassination).
So what describes the difference? It seems to be mostly a function of how powerful the rebellious group appears vis-à-vis the established power. For small groups, or groups that are just getting started, assassination provides an “easy” way of proving themselves to the larger community. It establishes the group as a power to be dealt with and a player (welcome or not) in the larger scheme of things. Larger powers realize that they often have more to lose than to gain when committing assassinations. With the gloves off, no one is safe. In retaliation, the aggrieved nation could go after the assassin’s leader, civilians, or any number of other high stakes targets that are often considered “off limits” in war. To prevent that almost inevitable escalation, the ever fragile laws of war try their best to discourage assassination, and, as noted above, most “civilized” countries are more than happy to at least give the appearance of following suit.
As discussed, though, for smaller groups the calculus shifts significantly. With little in the way of organized leadership, and knowing that they will probably all die anyway, the PR and morale-boosting benefits far outweighs the potential losses for many small rebellion groups. And, as they have proved many times before, the Minmatar have proven themselves very adept at rebellion. Shortly after the colossal failure of Amarr military might at Vak’Atioth, the Minmatar rebellion must have felt as if they were standing on a razor’s edge. Downtrodden by over a century of Amarr rule, the rebels needed a way to not only make the Amarr respect them as equals, but to also rally their fellow Matari to their cause. Amarr royalty, much as that would prove a boon to Matari everywhere, was out of the question given their limited resources and exposure. However, there were a group of Minmatar sympathizers that would serve nicely in that role: the Nefantar. In case you can’t see where this is going, Aura provides the basics of the story:
Early in the Minmatar Rebellion, when the Amarrians and their Minmatar collaborators were still confident of succeeding in squashing it, the rebels managed to strike a massive blow to the Nefantars. Using a double-agent, they lured the military leader of the Nefantar tribe to this remote location and assassinated him. Even if the Empire managed to hunt down the assassins and kill them, the moral blow dealt that day reverberated throughout Minmatar space, spurring the freedom fighters on.
The site is little known today except to historians. In light of its past it’s funny that shady Amarrian agents are using the location today to further the Empire’s cause within Minmatar space.
The location the Matari rebels chose was a rather out of the way piece of real estate. A good 600,000 kilometers from Uriok VIII in the remote outer reaches of the system, only a few chunks of rock make this place anything resembling a place of note. The spiny arms of a convoluted piece of asteroidal rock mark the final resting place of the Nefantari general, whose name is already lost to history. He evidently was lured out here in an early Amarr battleship. Its wreckage, what little that hasn’t been picked away by scavengers even out here, is all that remains of the assassination that helped catapult the Minmatar Rebellion from a small sideshow to a major war that helped form one of the four main nation-states of today. Their showing of military might here, and the ease with which they planted the double agent, served to rally Minmatar to the rebellion and give notice to the Amarr as well. And proved that as much as assassination is abhorred by most people and governments, it can occasionally serve a purpose as well.
- Attraction: Assassin’s Overhang
- System: Uriok
- Security Rating: 0.5
- Region: Metropolis
- Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Minmatar, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
- Additional Notes: This also serves as a Minmatar COSMOS site.