by Alphaville Herald on 08/12/08 at 10:55 pm
by Vegna Fouroux, Military Correspondent
The 2nd of December is the day that will be come to be known as the Day the longest and biggest Alliance in SL MIlitary History fell apart. I am, of course talking about the Ascendant Iniative. Now it seems that the Spartans, 39th M.H.T.F. Blackwatch, the Guerilla Rebels and other members of the A.I became aware of certain relations between the Alliance Navy and Vanguard Armed Foces (a group which has now died) and broke all ties with the A.N. A final goodbye was published in the group notices by Spartan King Bruno Ziskey he states “due to an unholy alliance between Jim Herbst and Christoph Naumova, AN is being funded by Christoph in exchange for VG being allowed to join the AN, even while their groups are hidden.” And that while he does not wish to become hostile towards to group, he thinks Admiral Jim Herbst and Commander Luca Vasiloptia were responsible for the group’s demise.
Admiral Herbst made a counter notice saying “There was no goodbye” and in fact:
“I want to set the record straight: we do not accept money from Christoph Naumova.
Don’t believe me? I’ll show you the financial records”.
With the history and reputation of the Ascendant Iniative in mind I first went to Spartan King Bruno Ziskey who at first appeared to be the instigator of this sudden break.
Vegna Fouroux: Okay so what has caused this sudden break with the Alliance Navy?
Bruno Ziskey: Did you receive a copy of the note I sent out?
Vegna Fouroux: Yes, we understand it was due to your believe that AN were in the bed with VG but why the break now? why not earlier? or why not an attempt at resolving the problem?
Bruno Ziskey: 1. I didnt know about this until recently and did my own investigation. 2. It turns out 2142 and GR have been wanting to leave AI for a while but didnt, I’d suggest talking to them about that and 2. If AN is being funded by Christoph and couldnt be suppoted otherwise, it would die anyways without Chris’s help..and I dont want to be an ally to a group infested with VG. I demoted a spartan for trying to get Ordo to support a new sim for us when we were in Gliding, and my feelings havent changed with allies about that
Vegna Fouroux: Okay, so since the AN is now so infested with VG will you enact a blockade or will you simply open hostilities?
Bruno Ziskey: we’re neutral
Bruno Ziskey: Thing is, I dont want to fight AN unless I have to. I’ve been their allies for so long that even the thought of breaking away from them agonized me. I mean, we’ve had a year and a half together. Thats longer than any alliance in SL
Bruno Ziskey: But…..its the AN I like, but not the leadership. They’ve gone too far, alienated too many people and sadly enough allies.
Vegna Fouroux: Okay now tell me about this new group you, along with the 39th, the Guerilla Rebels and other various groups are forming? this “Commonwealth”
Bruno Ziskey: yeah Democracy, purely
Bruno Ziskey: No one group will run it, all major decisions like rules and new allies will be made by vote
Bruno Ziskey: a proposed idea is for meetings once a week, and each group plays host in turns per week
Bruno Ziskey: but this isnt final – we’re still working out charter, rules etc
Vegna Fouroux: So in your opinion was the fact that the Alliance Navy dominated proceedings of the Ascendant Iniative the reason it didn’t work as well as it could have?
Bruno Ziskey: To be honest, AN didnt control AI as much as everyone thinks, AN just organized things more often. The big problem was AN not properly communicating with their allies to make sure everythings well and good. People like Luca pissed off a lot of people in their allied groups…not something that should happen between allies.
Bruno Ziskey: Also, AN at times didnt respond to calls for help during attacks by enemies
Bruno Ziskey: So some allies felt alone and unprotected
Vegna Fouroux: Ah I see, did the recent Iron Symphony attack “Operation Iron Overture” have any bearing on the split?
Bruno Ziskey: Nope
Vegna Fouroux: Well for example did the A.N reply to calls for help during it?
Bruno Ziskey: Nobody called AN for help
Bruno Ziskey: we all just directed ourselves by everyone asking who needed help and going there
Vegna Fouroux: Okay well thanks for talking to me Bruno, is there anything else you would like to raise?
Bruno Ziskey: Yes. People seem to get the idea that Sparta is somehow the focal point of all this and that we’re leading this new alliance. I’m NOT the sole one responsible for this, it was a group decision by the other AI members and me, besides AN. Also, I am not in control of the Commonwealth, nor will I or any one person/group be. It will be a pure democracy, as all group leaders will have a say, even the little guy. Also, everyone can stop “thanking” me. I didn’t want to break this alliance, but I had no choice but to do it. The AN was my idol when we first became allies. I wanted Sparta to be just like them. Big, organized, professional, kickass. The AN of today is NOT the AN I allied with. I only wish there was something that could have been done…but the leaders of the AN themselves are to blame. Not all of them but some. It makes me feel awful doing this.
Well that cleared the air somewhat now I had to the other perspectives. What did the A.N really make of all this behind the group charters and notices? Who were the key players in the other former A.I groups.
To answer all these questions I first went to the 39th. Often seen as a bit of a maverick within the community they have been very anti-AN in the past. Going so far as to declare AN Marine Commander Luca Vasilopita “Unwelcome in Castle Munro.”
With all this I turned next to Hikyuu Kawashima Lt. General in the 39th:
Hikyuu Kawashima: don’t really concern myself with politics
Vegna Fouroux: Who would I go to right now in 39th to get the juicy stuff
Hikyuu Kawashima: probably Squeeze, but 39th’s HC in general feels that politics is just drama
Vegna Fouroux: any other generals actually online?
Hikyuu Kawashima: nop
Vegna Fouroux: Basically all I really want to know is why you and the 39th have decided to break with the Alliance Navy. I have Bruno’s reasons but what are yours?
Hikyuu Kawashima: we left the AI only because we felt it unecessary to have a better relationship with people you never fight and never talk to your enemies cause theyre not in your clubhouse
Hikyuu Kawashima: we knew the AI guys well
Hikyuu Kawashima: so we figured they’d be good opponents
Hikyuu Kawashima: since we have open forms of communication
Vegna Fouroux: So this business about the AN having certain dubious dealings with the Vanguard doesn’t bother the 39th?
Hikyuu Kawashima: again
Hikyuu Kawashima: politics = drama
Hikyuu Kawashima: we came here to play and fight
Hikyuu Kawashima: the 39th dont act or think like the rest of the armies, so you’re going to find our responses vary
Vegna Fouroux: Ah, so you’d be no friend of Sparta either? Who seem to be heavily involved with the politics of this aswell?
At which point I was told that whatever Sparta was doing the 39th supported but the 39th Blackwatch has always maintained that it will not fuel the political debate since they believe it to be drama.
Now to get the third perspective of the story, I turned to Luca Vasilopita. Often a controversial figure with the Military Sphere for his outspoken remarks and behaviour. I found him tonight making tea and in deep reflection.
Vegna Fouroux: I’m sure you’re aware the Ascendant Iniative has broken. Now your name came up in Bruno’s “Final Goodbye” as having driven the group into a hole. What do you make of all this?
luca Vasilopita: As an individual, I have my own personal opinions on the subject. But, as a member of the Alliance Navy, and as a veteran of the group for more than two years… I feel I must dispell his statement as mere bandwagon attitude, and an excuse.
luca Vasilopita: He states that both Jim Herbst and MY leadership lead to this demise of the Alliance Navy, but you’ll note… I have been in command for two years, and I have lead many plus and minus months for my own Marine Division.
luca Vasilopita: Is the current state of the Alliance Navy down to any two people? Not really. I believe it is like the respiratory system. Inhalation and exhalation represents booms and dips in what we consider to be good times and bad times.
luca Vasilopita: Bruno Ziskey is clearly using names as a form of accountability pinning. It’s just not viable to blame the more recent state of affairs on ‘breathing’.
Vegna Fouroux: So you would believe then that Bruno and the others should have stuck it out with the Ascendant Iniative?
luca Vasilopita: I believe that what Bruno has done is in his best interests. If he truely cannot trust the Alliance Navy, because he doesn’t, and has outright refused to sit down with Jim Herbst in order to straighten out fact from fiction, then he shouldn’t be in alliance with us.
luca Vasilopita: There are alot of fabrications in his ‘final note’.
Vegna Fouroux: So then you completely refute these allegations about your dealings with Vanguard?
luca Vasilopita: In his statement, yes.
luca Vasilopita: There are certain things that are true tied to such incidents, but none of them in his words are that black and white.
luca Vasilopita: Example; The Alliance Navy did accept former Vanguard members in as Recruits. We would do that for anybody who met the needed standards of recruitment though. We are an equal rights employer.
luca Vasilopita: Example; The Alliance Navy did accept a somewhat weirdly well placed sculpted pouch from Christoph, which we use as an optional element in our gear.
Vegna Fouroux: Ah I see, well Bruno says he will maintain a neutral stance with your group, will the Alliance Navy adopt this position also, or shall you declare war? I do of course take into account that you are not in charge of the group totally.
luca Vasilopita: War is meant for actions that are inexcusable. So far, Bruno has only stated that he is leaving and taking all his buddies with him. So long as there are no hostile actions by their ‘pact’ and the Alliance Navy, there will be no need for an armed conflict between us.
Since this entire incident was undoubtably based around the Alliance Navy, I decided to get another Commander’s thoughts on the matter; Fleet Commander Jason Backer.
Vegna Fouroux: What do you as Alliance Navy Fleet Commander make of all this?
Jason Backer: What I make of it? Honestly, if the information were true I could understand the decision. But it’s not. However we’re keeping our cool. We understand the AN isn’t perfect and I strive to make it better. Instead of sitting back and saying ‘Hey sod these guys, didn’t need them anyway’ we’re looking at the situation and saying ‘They feel this way, why? Lets improve ourselves as a result’.
Jason Backer: The money thing isn’t true. All our donations are run via our database so we have full logs.
Jason Backer: I personally just feel frustrated but accepting the decision.
Jason Backer: I still like the former AI Commanders
Jason Backer: Jordi is a nice guy and you can have a laugh with him, never had a problem with LordBob or Bruno.
Jason Backer: I wish them well, and hope to show them and the community as a whole that whats been said isn’t true, pull our act up in the areas we’ve been lacking and just strive to be a better group.
Jason Backer: Can I just add one thing in?
Jason Backer: We accepted VG not based on them being VG, but on their application. People who wern’t up to par didn’t get in. For all thats said about the AN we don’t condone things persons have said or done just to boost numbers.
Jason Backer: That would be very wrong.
Vegna Fouroux: Of course, myself a failed Alliance Navy Cadet knows that all too well.
And finally I gained an audience with the Admiral and overall head of the Alliance Navy Jim Herbst:
Vegna Fouroux: Hello Admiral, so now I presume what has just transpired came as a bit of a shock to you?
Jim Herbst: You could say that, my big suprise was that Bruno “found this all out” and my friend of one and a half years chose to instead of talking to me, abandon the AI.
Vegna Fouroux: Why do you think the other groups followed suit?
Jim Herbst: They probably did want out, but didn’t want to feel alone in doing so. The AI wasn’t exactly a close-bonds kind of thing
Jim Herbst: for the most part the whole thing formed out of smaller groups wanting to not be picked on by the mercz and ordo incessantly.
Jim Herbst: It really came apart because of a few reasons
Vegna Fouroux: So is it definetly gone for good then? The Alliance Navy stands alone?
Jim Herbst: I wouldn’t say that
Jim Herbst: Right now we’re evaluating our course of action, my personal opinion is that the AI needed a “rebirth” as it were
Jim Herbst: and I would personally like to sort things out with 2142, GR, Sparta, and the 39th, and follow them to the commonwealth.
Jim Herbst: but it’s equally likely we’ll just find new allies. Or have none at all
Jim Herbst: before the AI, we had no real formal allies.
Vegna Fouroux: But how did all this come about. I mean if these allegations about VG are so untrue, where is Bruno getting his information from?
Jim Herbst: There’s some theories, but in a short conversation between me and Lordbob Boa the name Fox Mulgrave came up.
Jim Herbst: This information had to have come from rumors through the grapevine turned into “serious threats”
Jim Herbst: Christoph DID offer money to us, he offered supox to us as well, tier paid for the next 8 months already.
Jim Herbst: I personally turned down his offer.
Jim Herbst: The other fact is we did have a little financial trouble this month, but it was Hades Juran, not Christoph, where the money came from.
Jim Herbst: take out the names in both, and it is not a hard conclusion to falsely come to.
Vegna Fouroux: Ah I see, so this matter arose from general confusion and perhaps some outside malicious play. I suppose a major question would be that if you cannot join this commonwealth would war with sparta and the others be on the cards?
Jim Herbst: I wouldn’t know, honestly.
Jim Herbst: Bruno is my friend, and I consider Sparta to be the closest group of friends the AN has, come hell or high water.
Vegna Fouroux: Despite the fact that he has claimed you are responsible for leading the AN into a hole
Jim Herbst: What went on here was an error in communications.
Jim Herbst: If I can bring him around to my side of the story (he is not responding to my IM’s, though) I think things will be better.
Jim Herbst: I.. AM a little dissapointed that he got some information and just decided to drop us like a hot potato, but come on.
Jim Herbst: He is routing all concerns to his queen, Ivy, but she seems convinced I am a very evil man and will not be dissuaded.
Jim Herbst: about an hour ago she ejected all spartans from the AI group
However one must remember this sudden collapse has taken place immediately after a massive Iron Symphony assault upon all A.I sims “Operation Iron Overture.” And whilst the former A.I deny this has anything to do with it, there is never smoke without fire. And what does the Iron Symphony think about this? Is it exultant? Gleeful? Well here’s just some random comments this reporter picked up during his time on base:
“When the news broke”
G.gaffar Belar: claps
G.Cesca Finesmith: what? did they dis bound?
Cesca Finesmith: QUite a story.
Anthony Lehane: I usually don’t come to conclusions without talking to people on different sides of the situation Vegna.
Anthony Lehane: It hasn’t even started to develop yet
billyyank Dagger: AN MUST FAIL!
Joshua Hoch: I actually respect the AN besides them shooting through the floor and walls
Joshua Hoch: during operation iron overture i got inside their trench and pawned some of them
And so an era has ended tonight. A great power has sundered. And no matter which side you chose to believe this can be accepted by all I think: things will never be quite the same again.