Thin Red Line
There’s a quirky little concept in old Gallentean law I ran across a little while back. It’s called “adverse possession,” somewhat more commonly known as “squatter’s rights.” Under this doctrine, a person can obtain legal ownership over a piece of land without ever actually purchasing it. Without delving too deeply into the legal necessities, you essentially have to live on and care for the land openly for a number of years. If you do it for long enough, the law will recognize a transfer of ownership. It’s an odd doctrine for the Gallente because, generally, personal freedoms (including freedom to own property) are sacrosanct. Generally, if you own a piece of land and someone comes onto that land unwanted, you can get a court order to evict that person for trespassing. It’s one of many powers that a property owner has to defend their rights to that property, because, as a general principle, the Gallente have decided that property ownership is a good thing and work to defend that right.
But the concept of adverse possession suggests another principle is at play as well. In order to enjoy those (many) rights to property, you have to earn that right. Land is meant to be used, and if you aren’t using the land, but won’t sell it, it’s possible the law will act to help ensure the land is used in a productive manner. If you own a piece of land, but care about it so little that you don’t realize someone is living on that land for ten years, then the law declares that you aren’t worthy of continued ownership of that land and will transfer the land to someone who will actually put the land to use. Once you think about it, it’s a rather startling principle… at least depending on your background. For example, a Caldari would probably be rather unsurprised if one of the megacorporations decided to unceremoniously boot them from their home for the purpose of building a new distribution center, and an Amarr might be removed from his land to build a Church. But for the freedom-loving Gallente, it’s a surprising doctrine.
In some respects, though, the concept of adverse possession merely reflects the well-known cliché “use it or lose it.” This is something that the Republic is learning very well in Traun these days. Sure, the Republic ‘owns’ the system, but that ownership means nothing in practical terms if they’re unwilling or unable to actually maintain control over the system. Here, at least, the Minmatar are not simply ignoring the system (indeed, they’re trying to colonize the system). However, that ownership won’t mean anything if they’re unable to evict the pirate forces (mostly consisting of the Angel Cartel) that have come to enjoy ‘owning’ their own little corner of Metropolis. And thus began the fight over Traun. As Aura explains:
The Republic considers the conflict in the Traun system a test of whether its resettlement effort is to have any chance of succeeding or not. If the Republic forces are unable to dislodge the pirate factions from Traun, the Parliament is liable to pull the plug for the whole project, with all the political backlash that would entail. The enemies of the Republic know this and are pouring everything they have into Traun.
In an attempt to regain control over Traun, the Minmatar have apparently converted an old Nefantar base into their current HQ. However, they apparently have forgone retrofitting the base itself. Instead, the hulking base stands as merely an empty shell to the nearby base, seemingly overlooking the various structures the Minmatar have since erected. Like most of the Nefantar bases in the region, this one is also picked clean, with nothing but the superstructure of the base remaining. Still, it gave me another opportunity to admire the boxy, yet still intriguing Nefantar architecture, with it’s massive docking portals as well as the detail built straight into the hull plating. I had to admit I rather enjoyed the Nefantar architecture that I’ve seen throughout this trip. It wasn’t graceful like the Amarr, or organic like the Gallente, but there was a certain almost vulnerable quality to it. Like they were unsure of themselves and so tried to make their stations look as solid-looking as possible (or so the theory goes in my head, at least, I’ve been wrong about such things before).
Nearby sits the actual Republic military forces, centered around a logistical and repair base. The sprawling base included numerous quarters for local forces, as well as supplies. To one end of the base sits the main repair bay. Oddly, Aura told me that the name of the repair bay was the “Redoubt Gate.” Even more oddly, the repair slip, rather than holding a ship under repairs or under construction, had a rather odd shining yellow object in the center. I could make neither heads nor tails out of it, but considering the fact that the nearby naval vessels didn’t seem overly concerned, I decided to just let it be. The rest of the base consisted of administrative services for the local naval forces, as well as command-and-control systems for the local military. All in all, it struck me as just what it appeared to be: a forward base for local military forces.
As might be expected for a naval base, numerous ships stood guard over the facility, while others milled about as they took care of their business near the base. A number of smaller ships also took up station near the base. Some were just locals looking for a bit of protection from the Republic Fleet, while others were naval officers. Indeed, one of the local officers seemed more than happy to ask for help from any passing capsuleers, if only to make the best out of a locally bad situation. I had to turn him down, however, as I was somewhat pressed for time.
Speaking of that, it was past time for me to take my leave of Traun. After a brief word of encouragement to the local forces, I moved on, leaving the local military forces to their job of proving that they owned Traun in more than just name, and intended to prove it.
- Attraction: Thin Red Line
- System: Traun
- Security Rating: 0.6
- Region: Metropolis
- Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4 in security status, or -5 standing with the Minmatar, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
- Additional Notes: This also serves as a Minmatar COSMOS site.