MEHRU, INTAKI PRIME – Two weeks since a massive explosion destroyed a residential estate in Mehru’s wealthy Dhanvaan neighborhood there remain far more questions than answers.

It has been confirmed that the estate was one of the known residences of Saxon Hawke, a capsuleer and political dissident who founded the Intaki Liberation Front. The explosion destroyed Mr. Hawke’s home as well as the Intaki Cultural Preservation Center which was also located on the five-acre estate.

The blast, which occurred on the three-year anniversary of ILF’s founding, killed five people. However, DNA tests to determine the identities of the bodies recovered from the blast debris proved inconclusive due to extreme radiation contamination.

No one has seen or heard from Mr. Hawke since the explosion, leading to much speculation about his well-being and the fate of the corporation he led.

Sumerio Rayej, a member of the ILF’s “Illoren” or highest level of leadership, said the blast, while shocking, did not come as a complete surprise.

“He has made many enemies in the three years he has championed Intaki independence,” Mr. Rayej said. “It was surely just a matter of time before something like this happened.”

A confidential police memo leaked to the media indicates that authorities believed the cultural center was the staging ground for a terrorist attack planned on Federal Defense Union targets in the Intaki system. The explosion could have been the accidental discharge of a bomb being prepared for the attack. A police spokeswoman would not comment on the memo or confirm its authenticity.

It was known that, twice in the last year, local police executed search warrants at the cultural center looking for contraband weapons. It is widely rumored that the center served as a training facility for anti-Federation militants. However, neither search resulted in any conclusive findings.

Mr. Hawke kept a public journal outlining his thoughts and plans. In one recent post he wrote: “I can hold little hope of any good coming from the Gallente Federation. With Jacus Roden as the new president, I fear that the only course to a free Intaki will be a bloody one.”

ILF and its supporters deny that Mr. Hawke actually planned any violent attacks, however. Corelous Alterrian, an Amarr national who once served in ILF, said such a plan would have been out of character for Mr. Hawke.

“I know Hawke. He would have never used a bomb for anything. His way is of peaceful secession,” Mr. Alterrian said. “There is no way he would draw first blood and even when the fight started he would from his end do everything he could to lessen the effect of the fight.”

In fact, the Eve Observer has learned that in the days prior to his disappearance, Mr. Hawke had met informally with a representative of the Federal Defense Union to discuss possible peaceful means of moving forward. Jianni Sotaku, heiress of the Sotaku Estate and a commander among the militia corp Eleutherian Guard, said the meeting was “quite friendly.”

Ms. Sotaku, who has expressed concerns that the FDU might be unfairly blamed for the attack on Mr. Hawke, said there might be other, internal elements at work.

“In the days prior, there appeared to be some conflict between certain factions within the Intaki Liberation community,” she said. “Intaki Pure does appear to be more violent in their stance.”

Jyotmimana Karana, a director of Intaki Pure, called Ms. Sotaku’s allegation’s “baseless and slanderous,” adding that his corp and ILF enjoy mutually positive standings.

“I may not have agreed with all of Saxon’s policies and I certainly did not approve of everyone he made allegiances with, but his accomplishments for the benefit of the Intaki people cannot be denied,” Mr. Karana said. “His death is a great tragedy and it no doubt came at the hands of those who seek to continue the domination of Intaki culture by outside influences.”

Mr. Karana went on to say that members of the FDU and the Caldari Militia stand to gain from Mr. Hawke’s death, although for different reasons.

“The Federalists have always hated Saxon and have worked to oppose him. His life has been threatened by them many times in the past. Framing Saxon as a terrorist and taking him out of the equation once and for all would be a great victory for them,” Mr. Karana said. “The Caldari would also benefit from Saxon’s death, especially if we look to blame the Federation. ILF has teetered in its neutrality far longer than some would like. Giving them a reason to join up with State forces would give the Caldari CEO’s the push they need to secure the claims on Intaki-inhabited space once and for all.”

Until such time as the mystery of Mr. Hawke’s disappearance has been solved, members of ILF have pledged to continue working toward his goal of a sovereign Intaki nation.

In keeping with Intaki tradition, there will be no memorial service until the body is identified and properly prepared for interment.

Public reaction and discussion can be found here.

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