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Published February 28, 2013

Too Big To Fail

As the largest alliance in w-space, Transmission Lost [LOST] peaked at over 800 members. They absorbed most of the corps from Narwhals Ate My Duck [DUCK] in May of 2012, and these new corps only added to an already-sizable membership base. Member corporations were spread out between several systems of various classes, and the alliance functioned mainly as a defensive pact. Each group of pilots usually did their own thing in their separate systems, and group decisions were made democratically via a council of corporate CEOs. This system seems to have worked well for a few years, but it went decidedly south on Thursday, February 21.

Around 03:00 EVE time that day, a conversation started between Bane Nucleus, djswitch47, and Torshawna, all directors or CEOs of their respective corporations. The topic of discussion was the direction of the alliance. Specifically, djswitch had heard Kairos Syndicate—Bane’s corp and one of the founding members of LOST—wanted to take the alliance in a different direction and was looking for confirmation. In the chat logs below (which all parties have agreed are accurate), Bane seemed to confirm that the rumors were true, even when Torshawna followed up with direct questions:

[ 2013.02.21 03:26:53 ] djswitch47 > yeah heard clann kairs and veto were wanting to to loveshack and whoever else from ally
[ 2013.02.21 03:26:58 ] djswitch47 > any of that true?
[ 2013.02.21 03:27:05 ] Bane Nucleus > to to?
[ 2013.02.21 03:27:20 ] Bane Nucleus > its like i told gunner, kairs wanted to take the TL name with us
[ 2013.02.21 03:27:23 ] Bane Nucleus > and do something different
[ 2013.02.21 03:27:48 ] djswitch47 > whos we
[ 2013.02.21 03:27:55 ] Bane Nucleus > everyone but ddown
[ 2013.02.21 03:28:04 ] Bane Nucleus > j/k
[ 2013.02.21 03:28:05 ] Bane Nucleus > lol
[ 2013.02.21 03:28:19 ] djswitch47 > well whats going on
[ 2013.02.21 03:28:25 ] Bane Nucleus > i want TL to be more focused
[ 2013.02.21 03:28:28 ] Bane Nucleus > i want people checking the forums
[ 2013.02.21 03:28:34 ] Bane Nucleus > i dont want a mutual defense pact
[ 2013.02.21 03:28:48 ] Bane Nucleus > ctas every other day
[ 2013.02.21 03:28:59 ] Torshawna > CLDMN is one of the most active corps on the forums
[ 2013.02.21 03:29:04 ] Torshawna > so...
[ 2013.02.21 03:29:06 ] Torshawna > :P
[ 2013.02.21 03:29:17 ] Bane Nucleus > lol

[ 2013.02.21 03:31:38 ] djswitch47 > so kairs wants to take the tl name solo and do their own thing?
[ 2013.02.21 03:31:49 ] djswitch47 > or was that a joke
[ 2013.02.21 03:31:55 ] Bane Nucleus > more or a low class wh thing
[ 2013.02.21 03:32:54 ] djswitch47 > by yourselvles or what?
[ 2013.02.21 03:33:01 ] Bane Nucleus > if other corps want to come sure
[ 2013.02.21 03:33:03 ] Bane Nucleus > that is on them

[ 2013.02.21 03:35:19 ] djswitch47 > so basicly you wanna get rid of loveshack and one percent
[ 2013.02.21 03:35:32 ] Bane Nucleus > one percent can decide for themselves
[ 2013.02.21 03:35:43 ] Bane Nucleus > but we want people with access to lower end wh space
[ 2013.02.21 03:35:51 ] Bane Nucleus > people that want to do stuff
[ 2013.02.21 03:35:54 ] Bane Nucleus > check the forums
[ 2013.02.21 03:35:55 ] Bane Nucleus > read mails
[ 2013.02.21 03:36:18 ] djswitch47 > thats cool and all but there is still a council right?
[ 2013.02.21 03:36:50 ] Bane Nucleus > its useless
[ 2013.02.21 03:36:50 ] Torshawna > so bane, you're saying you want to drop anyone whose flying in C5s?
[ 2013.02.21 03:36:56 ] djswitch47 > or did we suddenly change to dictatorship
[ 2013.02.21 03:36:59 ] Bane Nucleus > yes
[ 2013.02.21 03:37:05 ] Bane Nucleus > i want to take a more active role
[ 2013.02.21 03:37:08 ] Bane Nucleus > and you guys arent down for that
[ 2013.02.21 03:37:11 ] Bane Nucleus > i know that much

To hear Bane tell it after the fact, this was all a troll. There had been no parallel discussion on their alliance forums, no alliance mails, and no council meetings regarding the alleged change in structure. Since, at the time, Bane was the CEO of the executor corporation, Double-Down and Cold Moon Destruction were concerned that he would unilaterally kick the corps living in C5 space. They took their misgivings to the other C5 groups to figure out what they should do. After some discussion, it was decided that they would replace Council of LOST with Double-Down as the executor corporation to prevent Bane from kicking corps.

He Said, He Said

When I spoke with Bane and Cipreh (diplomat for Clann Fian) on February 25, they told me that a few months earlier Double-Down brought in an industry corp, Double-Down Industry. In hindsight, they suspected the real reason for bringing in the corp was to add to their vote total for an executor change. When I spoke with Torshawna and djswitch47 that same day, they disputed this allegation, pointing out that even with the industry corp they did not have a majority for voting purposes. We’ll probably never know what each group’s true motivations were.

Naturally, this alliance structure change led to confusion and discord. In the discussions that followed, the corporations attempted to broker a compromise, but they could not come to an agreement. Torshawna and djswitch47 say that they offered to return Council of LOST to its rightful place as the executor, so long as Bane was replaced as the CEO. Bane and others claim that they had wanted to leave LOST anyway, and that Double-Down and the other corporations were effectively holding the alliance hostage. Given that Kairos Syndicate is a founding member of LOST, Bane asked to take the Transmission Lost name. Some of the C5 corps, however, thought that they were the ones who had made LOST into a well-known entity and deserved the moniker.

In the end, most of the lower-class wormhole corporations and others who were offended by the events simply decided to bow out of the alliance. No corporation was forcibly kicked, and the involved parties, while obviously perturbed by the incident, were all willing to talk freely about what happened, seemingly glad that the drama is over. At the time of writing, the corporations that have left or intend to leave are VETO, R-NAT, KAIRS, and CLANN, comprising approximately 350 members of LOST.

What Now?

Everyone I spoke to claimed that the falling out was a surprise, but some of the chat logs I’ve seen suggest that there had been rumblings of discontent leading up to the incident. That discontent is likely what led to the initial discussion about Bane allegedly kicking C5 corps after all. There were incidents where some corps in LOST did not honor ransoms, and alliance leadership felt bound to compensate the victims out of their own pockets. At various points there was talk about disparities in participation between corporations. All in all, the general sense I got was that some groups within the alliance were dissatisfied with the total headcount (800 is huge for w-space), and there were significant differences in culture between the corps.

Clann Fian and Kairos Syndicate say they have plans to form an alliance together, and that the other corps that leave LOST are welcome to join. As for the corps remaining in Transmission Lost, djswitch47 had this to say (to be read with a thick Southern drawl): “TL’s still here, and we’re still gonna be kickin’ some ass, and everybody who lives in wormholes should be watchin’ they ass.” We’ll see how LOST lives up to that statement in the months to come.

Abis Cann
Straight outta J115405, I'm a wormhole resident and director in Hard Knocks Inc. When not writing about wormhole PvP and events in the greater w-space community, I enjoy jokes about Kazakhstan and the occasional glass of delicious tears.

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