I’ve been very busy since the election. Transitioning into the presidency hasn’t been as smooth as I would have liked. The more I dig into things, the more I see how much work there is to do and how much it’s been neglected by others. I’ve had trouble making contact with a certain portion of the council, while the rest… Maybe it’s because my style of leadership is just so different than the Suresha’s…or maybe the active councilors grew complacent with the relative inactivity of the alliance? Maybe a bit of both, I’m not sure. I want to get the gears turning and put IPI back into motion again but feel like I’m meeting resistance at every turn.

Njal tells me being in a situation like this is like getting a garden going again after it’s gone fallow. Before anything new can be planted, the weeds and rocks must first be pulled and cast away. This is dirty, hard labor and the more hands that dig into it, the faster the soil will be ready and the seeds will flourish. I thought it was a good analogy and as the newcomer I don’t mind pitching in alongside the councilors to get things done. I’d like them to see I’m not just here to point my finger and give orders.

My enthusiasm hasn’t been all that well-received. Layla in particular continues to be hostile and I’m frustrated by our lack of progress. I spend more time defending myself to her, almost as if I have to justify my existence as the duly-elected president, than actually doing anything productive. Bataav has been caught in the middle between us and we’re all frazzled. Well. Bataav and I are frazzled. Layla almost seems to enjoy the infighting. It becomes difficult to face out to the public with confidence when I wonder if I might get stabbed in the back if I turn away for too long.

To get this off our minds and spend some time to ourselves, Bataav and I made the trek to hisec for the Impetus holoreel convention. I also hope the break will have given Layla a chance to reflect so that when we all return to the council in the next few days we can start off on the right foot.

Anyway, we had quite a lot of fun! Randall also attended. It was nice to finally meet him out of pod. I’m hopeful next year a few more from the corp and maybe even some from IPI will also go.

The convention presented a good opportunity to spend time with other people—so many, in fact, I hardly remember half their names. It felt a bit strange to introduce myself as alliance president, and on a few occasions I actually forgot to. It’s a habit I still need to develop. Most people seemed to have at least some inkling of who our group is, which I found encouraging. It gave me ideas about reaching out to other organizations, even if they are outside Placid, simply to build bridges and increase our profile. It goes hand in hand with recruitment as well. Increasing awareness of our name and mandate will help attract new groups to our banner.

Bataav and I managed to enjoy the entire convention this year too. I couldn’t help but have it in the back of my mind that it’d been a full year since Darac Rin assaulted me in Dodixie. Without asking, I knew Bataav was keeping an eye out for him but he never appeared, though I’m not sure I actually expected him to. But I still thought about it here and there.

Many of the panels were quite interesting. The DED is looking at making changes to what they call crimewatch, which monitors capsuleer aggression. The automated system which handles war declarations is also being overhauled. Bataav, of course, was keen to attend the Black Ops roundtable. I wanted to see the orbital bombardment demonstration. It’s a terrible, frightening idea that capsuleers will soon be able to accept contracts from ground forces to fire on supposed enemy installations. One set of coordinates incorrectly entered would result in disaster beyond measure…

And yet, for all that this is horrifying, I had to admit the idea is equally kind of thrilling too. The empires invest so much power in us and seem unfraid to pile on more. The temptation to buy into the baseliner’s concept that we are demigods is high at presentations like that one. But I remind myself that we’re not. We should never forget that for all our abilities we’re still just flesh and blood and bone.

The most troublesome panels centered on the Empyrean War. It seems CONCORD has seen fit to amend the Emergency Militia War Powers Act. Going forward, systems like Intaki which fall under the arbitrary war zone designation will actually legally change sovereignty if captured by the opposing militia. I am not happy about the change. It’s bad enough the State was able to auction us off. At least beforehand the act only allowed them to occupy the system and make noise about it until kicked out. Now if they capture Intaki, CONCORD’s systems will change the beacons. As far as the official maps will be concerned…we’d actually be the State.

The idea makes me want to retch. There were a great deal of neutral third parties present who were also not terribly thrilled with the idea of what legal sov changes open our systems up to. If they must fight, the empires should do it in their own backyards, not ours. None of us asked to be in the war; they could just as easily go out to unclaimed nullsec to settle the score. Under the Federation Charter, the Assembly is meant to have autonomy in Intaki and never wanted a military presence; the Federation showed us just how much value they place in that agreement by allowing Intaki to become part of the warzone in the first place.

Given the amount of uproar over the change, the CONCORD officials ‘promised’ to take our comments under advisement. Bataav and I were fortunate enough to spend some minutes with one rep one-on-one to make our case. Unfortunately I don’t actually believe anything will come of it. If CONCORD has made up its mind to escalate the war in this fashion, I have a feeling that is exactly what will happen.

In the meantime, all we can do is go home and continue pressing forward with our goals.