Large scale ground fighting, once restricted mainly to limited engagements in contested territories, has recently spread out from its former battlegrounds into new areas of engagement. Additionally, while such ground battles were typically limited in scope, fighting across New Eden has bloomed into large scale engagements as swarms of new, highly trained and heavily equipped soldiers are filling battlefields.
Public knowledge of these engagements has been increasing since early last week, when combat erupted on several planets across the contested territories of the Empyrean War. Many of the soldiers attained access to public communications channels and have begun interacting with the cluster at wide, spreading stories of their exploits. Their sudden emergence has captured the attention of New Eden at large, with rumors tinged with awe, suspicion, and fear spreading like wildfire.
Soung Lan, a military analyst for the Scope, expressed a common opinion on the soldiers. “We don't know much about them. Where they came from, what they're doing, or why all four empires seem to have begun utilizing them all at roughly the same time,” he explained. “What we do know is that they are highly trained, extremely well equipped, and have an almost suicidal willingness to plunge into battle.”
Because of the extremely high casualty rates involved with ground combat, infantry battles in recent years had mainly been limited tactical engagements. With these new soldiers, however, they have become far more bloody.
“Bodies everywhere,” claimed a member of the Caldari Marines who wished to remain anonymous. “They run in like there's nothing to lose. And the scariest part is I swear I see dozens of them get blown to pieces, but their numbers never go down.”
The marine echoed the most disturbing – and difficult to verify – rumor yet made about these new soldiers; that they are capable of cloning themselves. Long the domain of the ultra-wealthy and capsuleers, the potential spread of cloning to individuals has broad implications for the cluster. The actual extent of their ability to clone – indeed, its very factuality – is difficult to ascertain.
Contacts in all four militaries have refused to comment on the matter. Most refrained from even acknowledging the existence of these new troopers entirely, though an official statement from the Amarr Empire affirmed their existence. It read, in part, “The Empire's paladins have always been its greatest strength. Under the direction of Empress Jamyl I, we have forged new special forces who are unmatched in New Eden. With them we will bring destruction to all who stand against God's righteousness.”
Sources have indicated that groups outside the four empires have taken notice of the soldiers as well, though none were willing to speak except in general terms. The response of Mordu's Legion was indicative of many, when a spokesman claimed, “The Legion is always looking for new military technology and resources. The potential of these new soldiers for mercenary work is not being overlooked.”