I'm going to make this quick because if I don't, the situation I want to mention will already be over. And that's assuming it's not already over. And it only started about 12 hours ago as I write this.
Ably covered by both TMC and EN24, there is currently a mini-drama brewing between traditional HBC allies TEST Alliance and Pandemic Legion. I'm going to skim most of the details (because they are likely to be boring to anyone not familiar with HBC personalities and politics). But the amusing bit is that a corp whose very in-game description says that "shitlords drove [TEST] into the fucking ground" was cleared to merge into Pandemic Legion, and therefore into the HBC. A couple of key members of this corp -- previously in TEST -- had gotten their jollies from trolling TEST higher-ups, and the higher-ups took offense.
But technically, there wasn't much the higher-ups could do about it because the trolls would now be blue to TEST. TEST tried to block the new blues from having forum access. The blues sent their complaint up the chain, obviously chomping eagerly at the bit to start a new wave of trolling.
Instead of telling everyone involved to STFU and play EVE, Grath Telkin (CEO of Sniggerdly) actually took the situation seriously and asked for an explanation why their new allies weren't given access to the TEST forums. Unimpressed by the answers he was given, Grath let it be known that anyone in PL who felt like shooting TEST ratters wouldn't be punished for it. The ink was barely dry on this letter of marque before two TEST ratters, one in a Tengu, were dead. TEST instantly issued a letter of marque of their own, killing a PL alt corp Tengu.
So... how's that whole war games thing working out for you, PL?
There's a funny throw-away scene in the movie Gladiator in which gladiators, bored between matches, play a game with a live cobra. The game involves snatching game pieces out from under the cobra while the snake gets more and more angry and tries to bite the players. The guy what gets the most game pieces without... you know... dying, wins.
And that's all this is, really. A lot of bored EVE gladiators playing with live cobras. The guy what kills the most ratting Tengus wins.
The situation started last night just before my prime time, escalated amusingly over the next couple of hours, was basically over by the time I went to bed, and with the morning light is already settling down to nothing more than the briefest bubble. Will there be any sort of major TEST/PL conflict? Nope. Will it impact their relationship? Nope. Will it prevent this new corp from joining PL? Almost certainly not. Will it impact the CSM8 election and the combined HBC candidate roster? Don't be silly.
In the meantime, bored gladiators will be bored gladiators, and will play with snakes while they lack anything better to do. But it's a long way between playing with a single snake under a basket and taking on a whole jungle full of them. So don't take the situation too seriously, and don't expect it to escalate. But it is an interesting example of the sort of thing that we can expect during this quiet period in EVE history...