Editor’s Note: The following is a guest travel blog by Calando. All pictures and text are thanks to him. I’d like to thank him for putting the effort into this!
To truly understand what many condemn to be the “shadier” side of society requires simply that you tread the path, and it really only takes one venture. Capsuleers can hardly claim to be virtuous, and I often find myself drawn to noble and questionable causes alike. This, coupled with my tendency to stray from the beaten path, might well be what lead me to this far-out-of-the-way landmark deep in lawless space, arguably against my better judgement. Though anything close to unbiased law enforcement was a dozen jumps away or more, the interim toward my destination was thankfully uneventful, and I soon found myself emerging through the final gate into ZH3-BS. Without waiting for any sort of welcoming party, I aligned my ship and thundered forward toward the Pioneer’s Sanctuary.
As soon as the warp bubble collapsed and the outpost came into view, I was immediately greeted with an impressive sight: the outpost itself had been rigged between two colossal rock formations, each rivaling, if not outright dwarfing, the size of a Titan. I was immediately pinged by the nearby control tower, whose staff demanded my intentions and warned me under no uncertain terms that if I tried anything less-than-noble, I would be forcibly ejected (undoubtedly, in more ways than one). Once I had convinced them of my amiability, they allowed me to proceed into the compound proper, though I would be kept under the watchful eyes of the patrols there. Aura offered the DED’s assessment of the site:
This bustling space port has seen better days. It was built some years ago by ambitious gas harvesters intent on capitalizing on the booster craze that has gripped space navigators all over the known universe. But conflict with the Guristas Pirates looms on the horizon, unless their ludicrous demands are met. And with the difficulty of summoning mercenary reinforcements out here, the conflict looks to become pretty one-sided.
Today the settlement is composed of various racial and cultural groups, being a popular stopping point for freelance harvesters and mercenaries from many corners of inhabited space, intent on cashing in on the ‘gas rush’.
True to intel, the space in which this compound drifted was thick with all manner of noxious gases and mysterious particles, the byproducts of the narcotics manufacturing operations which took place in the research facilities interwoven within several smaller asteroids, which in turn were anchored between the two major rock formations. Scans pinpointed the source of the pollution as the plasma vents jutting out from these structures, each periodically flaring up and venting plumes of questionable incinerated material into space.
Aside from the mountainous rocks flanking the outpost on either side, the most eye-catching feature is the Phoenix-class dreadnought sitting directly amidst the residential structures; the entire duration of my stay would be made considerably less comfortable due to my sensors indicating active weapon and targeting systems all trained on my lone cruiser, courtesy thereof. I would later surmise that this behemoth, not unlike a chained slaver hound just itching to tear a person’s throat out, was the only thing standing between these pioneers and the callous wrath of a Guristas assault force. At the helm of this regal vessel was an agent for Kaalakiota, whom I hailed and attempted to make friendly conversation with, but this agent was all-business and closed the channel as soon as it became clear that I wasn’t in the mood to talk kredits. I would get similar responses from the many other entrepreneurs in the local vicinity.
Interestingly, an entertainment module was also present. Having had an arduous trip to Pioneer’s Sanctuary from empire space, a little out-of-pod R&R appealed to my interests; the control tower graciously anchored my ship while my crew and I made our way inside for a few hour’s downtime. The service and patrons here proved to be much more hospitable, and I even indulged in some of their select processed wares. A few helpings of X-Instinct and several hours in like-minded company left me feeling content and rested. Despite the initial cold reception, and the trip back home ahead of me, I left the outpost in high spirits.
And for good measure, I tore apart a few Guristas squadrons along the way.
- Attraction: Pioneer’s Sanctuary
- System: ZH3-BS
- Security Rating: 0.0
- Region: Tenal
- Potential Hazards: ZH3-BS is deep in 0.0 space, involving jumps across a number of different alliance territories, many of which may be operating under “Not Blue, Shoot It” protocol. Gate camps can be found often in transitioning from 0.0 to high security space, as well as on other gates. Caution is advised.