The PHANTOM Crisis was a situation that the young Triumvirate became involved within in October and November of 2010 that involved a espionage, information security, and media warfare. The crisis got its name due to the culprit using the alias: PHANTOM.
October 19, 2010Edit
The event that would come to be called, the PHANTOM Crisis, started on October 19, 2010 when Zerouh received an email from PHANTOM that stated “I am PHANTOM, and do not underestimate me for I am, and will soon be one of your least favorite people. You see, my job is easy, I find out what the truth it, take it from you, then tell everyone. It's not as hard as you'd think, in fact, I have a lot of your truths right now. Proving it to you would ruin the fun so I'll wait a little bit. Everyone great does it, they lie, generally it's how they get great and nothing is going to make you different.” Immediately thereafter Zerouh would make a new topic in the Executive Branch, informing them that PHANTOM claimed to have information that the Triumvirate was concealing information from the public. However, Zerouh stated that the only concealed information were intelligence reports, which are a constitutionally protected action.
Ascencia would then ask Zerouh if he had responded to the email and asking if Phantom had called himself Phantom but in all capital letters (PHANTOM). Zerouh admitted to responding to the email and providing the information stating that Phantom indeed spelt his name in all capital letters. Ascencia then states that PHANTOM is a “BIG problem.” Telling the Executive Branch that PHANTOM had been following him around “forever” stating that he, Ascencia, had changed his name three times because PHANTOM had found him. Ascencia would then admit, that PHANTOM was one of the few people to be a threat to him.
Ascencia’s History With PHANTOMEdit
Ascencia provided the Executive Branch with a little history about not only himself, but that of PHANTOM, as the crisis unfolded. Ascencia had been apart of a RuneScape clan, serving there as the Head of Intelligence (the same role he filled in the Triumvirate). PHANTOM showed up to “prove” the government of the clan was evil, providing evidence on private information that only he (Ascencia) and the clan leader had. Giving said information to anyone who wanted it, friends and enemies alike. The information being that Ascencia was to spy on other clans, PHANTOM then provided a list of every spy Ascencia used. This caused the clan to collapse due to people leaving due to finding out a lot of “nasty secrets of the clan’s history.” Ascenia would state that “I’ve looked the entire thing over so many times but I have no idea how he did what he did.”
The Second Time Ascencia encountered PHANTOM, PHANTOM did the same thing to Ascencia, however as Ascencia would put it “The time after that he did the exact same thing except against me... just me. People found out about me everywhere, my history, everything. I tried to convince them it was untrue... and some of what he reported wasn't true but some was and people learned a lot about me and what terrible things I had done for clans in the past. So I changed my name again."
The third time Ascencia encountered PHANTOM, as Ascencia put it “The third time I was positive I had gotten away from him since I had changed my name twice between my last encounter with him. Same basic thing happened... I don't even think he spies on people, he just get's inside or bribes people to get information from them. He is not good news and honestly... I have no idea.”
Shortly after providing the Executive Branch the information about his backstory and history with PHANTOM, Ascencia would state “I will give a full analysis later but I really cannot emphasize how REALLY REALLY BAD of a thing this is... not only will he probably find a way to get any information he wants from us... but he will spread it. Media and Intelligence's worse nightmare...”
The Crisis Continued Edit
Zerouh would admit that after working with Ascencia for the amount of time he had to be surprised to see Ascencia concerned for once. He would then inquire about the predictions on how the crisis will play out. Pointing out that the Union was “a bit more sophisticated than most clans.” Also pointing out that they combated Uhnul when most clans haven’t, even stating that the Executive site was secure and that no one could view, access information nor see what was transpiring there without being accepted onto the site, and only Executives were allowed onto the site. He would then ask the Executives if he should deliver a public statement to the public, informing them of what is and may transpire in the future about the crisis, or if the crisis should be dealt with solely by the Executive Branch.
Zamorak Agent would shortly state that the crisis would be his main focus as it unfolded. Agent was the Head of Disaster Preparation at the time. He would advise the Executive Branch and the Triumvirate should “prepare for a state of emergency.”
October 20, 2010Edit
A few hours into the new day on the twentieth, Red asks Ascencia if PHANTOM could be or is an underling of Uhnul. (Unhul being the first opponent of the Triumvirate’s, also a cause for the formation of the Triumvirate. See Uhnul for more information). Ascencia would reply stating that he knew PHANTOM for far longer than Uhnul and that they were different, stating that “Uhnul was stupid compared to PHANTOM.” Ascencia would also reply to Zerouh’s initial question of whether or not the Executives should give a public statement by stating that “address [the crisis] to the public is the only option [the EB] have, it may sound stupid because more people will find out but look at it like this: If we don’t tell the clans and put out a news bulletin and PHANTOM figures out we didn’t tell them. Guess what the first thing he’s going to let them all know is?”
Red then inquires where PHANTOM would go to publish the information he would have obtained, pointing out that the RuneScape forums along with the game itself (RuneScape) weren’t viable due to not many Triumvirate members playing anymore and nor the RuneScape Clan Wiki due to Zerouh being a bureaucrat. (RuneScape also used a text chat system in that if you typed a message shortly after another message, the older message would get pushed out and the text was limited to its length and most importantly, you can’t copy and paste (to prevent spamming)).
Shortly thereafter, it was voted by the Executive Branch that there was to be a public statement by Zerouh, informing the Triumvirate members about PHANTOM and coming crisis.
October 21, 2010Edit
Arnold Ogamon speaks up, stating that PHANTOM had the right to freedom of speech and the freedom to peacefully rebel against the Triumvirate. Despite the popular demand by other Executives to bring PHANTOM to justice before he launched his information assault. Zamorak Agent would counter stating that PHANTOM was threatening the Triumvirate with plans to released highly classified information, along with sharing the classified information the methods he used to acquire the information also revoked any legal protection. Ogamon counters by pointing out that PHANTOM is using media and not threatening the Triumvirate “physically” (in a manner of speaking) and that the Executive Branch didn’t even know if he even had the information he claimed to have to begin with. Ogamon would go further to state that PHANTOM is protected just like everyone else. An insuing back and forth argument about the above would ensue between Red and Agent vs Ogamon and Ellee for the rest of the day.
October 22, 2010Edit
Talks about potential moles within the Triumvirate begin to be discussed, specifically within the Intelligence Department. Ascencia states that he would begin looking into the matter.
October 25, 2010Edit
After a fairly long time had passed with no word from PHANTOM, Ascencia disovers PHANTOM’s website to be http://realtriumvirate.webs.com, the site has long since been taken down. Zerouh notices and points out a quote by PHANTOM stating that “any questions or anything you else you want me to report on? I will find it and report it if you want me to with little exception.” Possibly indicated that PHANTOM didn’t have as much information as the Executives were lead to believe.
October 31, 2010Edit
After almost a week passes before PHANTOM publishes anything, PHANTOM’s first “leaked information” claimed that Ascencia had stolen money that was sent to the Intelligence Department. Upon the “revelation” of this information, Red began to lash out against Ascencia (Red had had a long standing feud with Ascencia and took every chance he could to try to remove him). Ascencia naturally defended himself stating that he never took the money for himself and always paid the money for information and Intelligence workers as he was supposed to. Over the next few days Red used the “information” provided by PHANTOM as a credible source to show corruption in Ascencia. Soon after Fire N Ice, (Fire N Ice was by this time elected to be the third Military Representative) came to Ascencia’s defense, stating that the real issue was with PHANTOM and not Ascencia.
However Red kept pressing the issue, continuing to lash out against Ascencia. Soon though, Zerouh brought the hostilities to an end by stating that any leftover funds belong to the intelligence department and Ascencia, however he would look into the matter. Red would cease his attacks against Ascencia after this.
November 4, 2010Edit
Ellee comes on after a while and reads past posts since being away for a few days and states that PHANTOM is the bad guy and not someone to be listened too. (Refering to Red’s accusations against Ascencia a few days prior). Red slams Ellee, throwing at her “we all know you work for the Phantom, so stfu now about sides.” Red was quickly rebuked by Ogamon who pointed out that Red had voted in favor of Ellee a month prior (Ellee elected to be the Head of Media on October 13). Ogamon also declared that despite what was being thrown out by everyone against PHANTOM and Ascencia and even Ellee he had a principle that everyone was “Innocent until proven guilty.”
Red then accuses Ogamon of being biased and “a sock puppet for Stavrok”. Ogamon counters with a statement that he’ll let Red think that way but that he is there to do a job and not to entertain Red and that he expects Red to do the same.
November 6, 2010Edit
PHANTOM’s site is taken down for unknown reasons and causes. Red is the first to assume that the Triumvirate has won, all the same Zerouh still advised caution just in case. People on the branch soon think that PHANTOM’s site had been taken down by Ascencia. Red quickly throws out that Ascencia could be PHANTOM himself and that Ascencia gave up being PHANTOM as it could have been too much on him. However Zerouh quickly dismisses the notion.
November 13, 2010Edit
A week goes by without word from PHANTOM nor a new site owned or controlled by him and people assume the crisis is over, a full analysis of what had transpired soon begins and the branch and Triumvirate begin to move past the crisis.
Potential Second PHANTOM CrisisEdit
On December 29, 2010 little over a month after the crisis’s conclusion, Ascencia discovered a possible lead on PHANTOM. Ascencia had received a few anonymous emails within a week prior to December 29 (with him stating that he was "85% sure) that the emails could be traced back to PHANTOM and that it was likely that PHANTOM had hacked into Ascencia’s email, telling him (Ascencia) that he accessed two classified Intelligence Files, File 6 and File 14. File 6 was background information on Ehyta, Ascencia had files on all Executives, that way (as he put it) if an Executive was ever acting suspiciously he could reference their file to accurately guage if it was truly them or not. File 14 had detailed information on the Executive Branch’s website/forums’ security measures, allowing one with access to the information to cause harm to the site by bypassing the defenses. The files in question and all Intelligence files in possession, were stored in Ascencia’s email, which meant that PHANTOM had breached Ascencia’s email account. Ascencia also declared that given enough time, PHANTOM could hack into emails, however he felt that PHANTOM had to have had help as he never saw PHANTOM get into emails before. Ascencia would go on to state that it could be possible that PHANTOM potentially saw more than just the two files as it wouldn’t seem likely that someone would just take two.
Ascencia would then declare that PHANTOM was no longer protected under Article X of the constitution. Article X in those days stated that “The Triumvirate was formed on the basis of destroying Corruptionests and hackers, use of any of those unjust methods, within or outside of the Triumvirate, will involve retribution. Those acting against the Triumvirate in an openly violent manor are enemies who will be dealt with by any just method including military or diplomatic means. Any person who, while under the jurisdiction of the Triumvirate, defies the laws shall be marked as a criminal though in varying degrees of severity depending on the nature of their crime. If necessary, the process for dealing with these criminals will be produced by the Executives to deal specifically with the current situation though it must be lawful. Furthermore, forging revolts from within the Triumvirate and/or by using corrupt declarations and motives against the Triumvirate as a whole and those allied under the Triumvirate shall be deemed inaccurate and dealt with.” He subsequently declared that he was in charge of further actions against PHANTOM.
Moments later Red would come to begin to challenge Ascencia’s words, specifically declaring that Ascencia could not assume “War Time Powers”. He would also go on to inquire about the contents of the files, to which Ascencia would respond to what the files were about and Red then responded that “it’s times like these that I wonder why I hate you” continuing by railing Ascencia for having files on all of the Executives, suspecting he’d use it for blackmail later. Ascencia pointed out that defenses such as the files on Executives had been in place to safeguard against potential threats, including if an Executive such as Ehyta’s IP address changed drastically to match that of PHANTOM’s, Ehyta’s account on the forum would be banned to prevent intelligence leaks and ensure Executive safety on the site.
Later Arnold asked about Ascencia’s plan of action and the consequences if PHANTOM published the intelligence files. Ascencia would respond stating that he was still planning a plan of attack stated that should the files be released, specifically file 14, the Triumvirate’s entire security set up could be seen by everyone and compromise the site of not just the Executive Branch, but those of other Triumvirate sites. Ascencia then stated that PHANTOM existed long before Uhnul and that Uhnul was long gone and ruled him out as an accomplice to PHANTOM. Shortly after, Red states that his “amateur Psychological Analysis” failed in that he thought PHANTOM realized we were too sophisticated to take down, and as such, decided to leave us alone. I should’ve taken into account the fact that he’s had a long-term grudge against Ascencia, and was instead doing a tactical retreat, rather than an allow-out retreat.” Red would then point out the need to find a new Chief Psychologist and a new Head of Disaster Preparation.
Zerouh would close the discussions with a remark that the Executives needed to work together with Zamorak Agent ensuring that the government finances were secure. Arnold Ogamon needed to keep the government strong and secure, Ehyta to keep foreign negotiations and relationships strong. And Ascencia doing most of the work by defending the Triumvirate.
Foreign Responses to PHANTOMEdit
The crisis didn't go unnoticed by the foreign community either, Aeraes of the Army of Saradomin (RuneScape clan), Darkness who was a former Head of Media had left after threatening to destroy the Triumvirate unless the Executive Branch got ride of Ascencia and then Emperor Hester of The Empire. All and more had received messages stating that PHANTOM planned to "Share the truth about the Universal Triumvirate".
King Aeraes/Darkness of the Army of SaradominEdit
King Aeraes was the leader of the Army of Saradomin (RuneScape) clan, he alongside Darkness0988 registered onto PHANTOM's website. It's unclear exactly why they were there, but it's assumed they went there to see if they could use any of the information against the Triumvirate, especially on the RuneScape clan wiki. On May 23, 2010 (A few months before the crisis), Aeraes had been banned from the clan wiki indefinitely after a spam attack against Zerouh and the Triumvirate during what is known as the Army of Saradomin Cold War. The ban also saw Zerouh's rise as an Administrator on the clan wiki which gave rise to Zerouh and the Triumvirate. It's assumed they wanted revenge to remove the ban on Aeraes, remove the Admin rights from Zerouh and show that the Triumvirate wasn't as good as it claimed to be.
Emperor Hester of The EmpireEdit
Before joining the Triumvirate in May of 2012, Andrew Hester was the Emperor of The Empire, a RuneScape clan that a few weeks prior had been in negotiations with the Triumvirate for a treaty. The talks failed due to communication errors between the parties, along side Empire members (most notably Cptn Aubrey) expressing opposition. Hester was contacted by PHANTOM with a plan to "Share the truth about the Universal Triumvirate" Hester was prompted by members of his clan, including Cptn Aubrey, Darthmoon33 (Aka Serena) and Exo Malakai. Malakai had claimed to be the head of the Triumvirate's army, but stated the Triumvirate had no army and in those days army wars were played out in RuneScape. Hester joined the sight and looked at what little information there was on the site and reported back to the Empire government that there wasn't anything of value and the site was pretty much pointless, the Empire then took a stance of no interest in PHANTOM thereafter.
As described in Arnold Ogamon's Manual, due to the PHANTOM Crisis, Ogamon's and Ascencia's relationship had changed for the better, or "at lease how [Arnold] looked at [Ascencia]. Forming a close bond between the two and understanding by Ogamon's part on what Ascencia did and part of what made Ascencia the man he was. Security also increased as a result of the Crisis, however while not written in laws, Ascencia had been behind the scenes improving the security measures on all of the Triumvirate's websites to ensure the Triumvirate's safety, especially the Executive Branch.
The most prevailing controversies as to the identity of PHANTOM have been very few and hardly thought of in recent years, years after the crisis first occurred. Two stand out above all others.
- One of the two noteworthy theories is that PHANTOM is Uhunl. This theory was put down by Ascencia due to Ascencia's relationship with PHANTOM, however some still wondered if the two could be related in some what, if not the same person than maybe they had known or worked with each other.
- The second prevailing theory is that PHANTOM was in fact Ascencia all along, this theory has been mostly supported by Red. The theory is that Ascencia and PHANTOM were the same person, points that indicate it to be so would be Ascencia's disappearance for a few days during the crisis and the sudden shut down of PHANTOM's website. However Ascencia's disappearance was attributed to his computer failing on him, soon which he got a new one.
Which theory is the correct or if there is another theory that is more true, history may never know. Only PHANTOM knows who PHANTOM really was.
One potential source of PHANTOM's could have been Darkness0988. Darkness was once the Head of Media who would later turn out to be a spy for King Aeraes. Darkness for a short time would of had access to the Executive Branch site to get some discussions of the early Triumvirate discussions. However Darkness wasn't around during the Crisis and the likelihood that the information he would of had would have been detrimental to the Triumvirate is slim to none.
It is still unclear who, if anyone, worked for PHANTOM or if PHANTOM acted alone. The likelihood that we may ever know is slim to none, and maybe lost to all but history.