Great Wildlands - Foundati0n's FDN April 10th disbanding marked the end of an era for many residents of Great Wildlands. Known for its longevity, rare NRDS (not red don't shoot) policy, and many memorable campaigns, FDN will not soon be forgotten by many citizens of New Eden.
As earlier reported, the alliance came to a close earlier this month when Lord Maldoror removed the majority of FDN's corporations. While the news came as a surprise to most, conditions within the alliance had been deteriorating for some time according to all those who responded to interview requests. However, the agreement quickly faded when FDN members were asked to share their views regarding the root cause of the internal decay.
Going out on Top
"...the invader of the day was pushed back and so we end on a high. It's hard to leave one's home, obviously, which was host to some great and oddly brilliant characters," concluded Archivian Specialatus, a long-standing member who was responsible for developing the alliances fleet tactics among many other duties.
Specialatus went on to describe FDN's day-to-day operations as a "huge amount of work for the people keeping things together since you have the leader working personally with people on fittings rather than just issuing instructions to a handful of CEOs" (a problem he attributed to FDN's large number of small corporations).
Lord Maldoror confirmed that the increasingly hard to manage workload did contribute to burnout among the leadership and played a role in the final decision to end FDN as "a success story of an alliance that achieved its aim." Much of these difficulties he attributed to the challenge of maintaining a NRDS policy throughout the alliance. However, he stated that the primary factor was Trans-Solar Work's T-SW and Fairlight Corp's MELEE decision to leave the alliance.
"...the departures would have changed Foundati0n beyond recognition," stated Lord Maldorar. "Seven of nine FCs, two-thirds of the active capital fleet, three-quarters of the all-time top scorers, the leader and second-in-command."
CEO of Trans-Solar Works, Anubis Hothyck, attributed the break-up to a "natural evolution from a small 'militia' type group defending a tiny plot of space to an Alliance that could exert control on an entire region."
"People began to get competitive and competition led to an environment which I no longer wanted to be a part of."
He also stated that he assisted in the decision to close the alliance.
"It deserves to be remembered as an example of a goal that was achieved and sustained for a long time... militarily unbowed to its final day," explained Lord Maldoror.
"I had considered changing the goal of Foundati0n completely - but why not leave it as a success story of an alliance that achieved its aim? Certainly from the days of camping the 7Q gate as a small band of pilots, we could not have expected to ever have such a strong grip on the region or to fight off such illustrious invaders."
The Final Weeks: Alternate Ending
Not all agree with the official version of events. A sizeable number of FDN pilots argue that the story began with a failed fleet operation in Egmar. According to these pilots, a Universal Exports UNI member was declared KOS by Lord Maldoror after he failed to broadcast a cyno beacon to the fleet during an engagement resulting in significant losses.
The pilot, Airborne Kiwi of UNI, claims he had simply added the cyno generator to his battleship because he had an extra high slot. Later on, the call for cyno pilots went out over comms and Airborne Kiwi and several other pilots responded.
During the operation FDN reportedly became engaged with an enemy fleet. As the battle raged, Airborne Kiwi states that he suffered a technical issue with his control interface forcing him to fly blind for a short period just prior to the call for a cyno.
"I scramble to my fleet window to try to broadcast the cyno beacon - by the time I got there, I was too late -- I was dead in 45 seconds, according to the logs," Airborne Kiwi narrates. "As it turned out, there were five cyno pilots present in system, and one didn't even bring enough fuel."
Regardless, Airborne Kiwi was immediately designated KOS by the FC, Lord Maldoror.
Lady Mortus, CEO of Relentless Storm Cartel STRMY, recalls that Lord Maldoror "said it was to have him removed from the field in case he was a spy (which was fair enough; most FCs would do that) and at that time no one made a big deal of it."
The problems arose some two hours after the operation when Princess Aricia allegedly attempted to ascertain Airborne Kiwi's whereabouts in order to hunt him. "This split the alliance into people that were brown-nosing Princess Aricia and Lord Maldoror... and those that were sick and tired of Princess Aricia throwing temper tantrums and getting her way," says Lady Mortus.
Sources report that UNI was subsequently removed from FDN on March 29th after refusing to fire Airborne Kiwi - an action they claim resulted in a civil war of sorts that led up to the April 10th disbanding.
Despite fierce disagreement in regards to the reasons for disbanding, nearly every pilot agrees that FDN was truly something special - an organization they take pride in having been a part of. Even past enemies admit that FDN will be missed.
"I must admit, visiting Foundation space is a lot like a bank robbery - we try and kill as many people and grab as much loot as possible before the cops come," Sinder Ohm of G00DFELLAS G0DS commented last year.
"My favorite FDN memory... was waking up dreadfully early for several weekends in a row to fight and get a foothold in sovereign 0.0 and seeing 'Foundati0n' in the top left corner; knowing that I helped fight and die for it," recalls Airborne Kiwi. While the campaign was ultimately not successful, many members remember it as the highlight of their FDN careers.
Others are just grateful for the lasting friendships and camaraderie that developed during their stay in Great Wildlands.
The End is the Beginning
All parties involved have already begun to plan the next stage of their corporation's journey. For Fairlight Corp MELEE and Trans-Solar Works T-SW, a small alliance built on the values of FDN is in order.
"T-SW and MELEE will be establishing a new alliance and continuing the style of combat that we enjoy - along with some other corps from Foundati0n that have chosen to merge into either T-SW or MELEE," explained Hothyck. "We want to fix a lot of the structural problems Foundati0n had - It had thirty or so corporations, the majority of which had inactive CEOs."
"...the ghosts of Foundati0n live on in the Wildlands. The spirit of NRDS, free space for all, will continue to exist in this region."
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