Sightseeing in the Cluster

Author Archive

Abandoned CRC Monitoring Station

Arnher 1

The remains of a former CONCORD listening post

For the remarkable freedom that capsuleers enjoy from most state-imposed laws in terms of fraud, murder, and general scumminess, we also have to put up with a significant amount of surveillance. Oh, they don’t mention it much, of course, but the space lanes throughout New Eden are thick with the tendrils that CONCORD sends out to make sure we’re staying in line. How else do they know instantaneously when one capsuleer is attacking another without justification, even outside of high security space? Be it our wallet or our in-ship comms systems, few things in a pilot’s life are safe from CONCORD oversight. In order to pull something like that off, a truly massive surveillance network needs to be set up, often hidden from the prying eyes of us capsuleers to keep us from its secrets.

Arnher 2

The listening post used to keep a watchful eye on nearby comms traffic

Of course, one of these surveillance posts was bound to be found at some point. Surprisingly enough, capsuleers were not the ones to find it. Rather, the Angels found a surveillance site (capsuleer pilots are by no means the only ones on CONCORD’s watch lists) and acted quickly to take it out. In remembrance to one of the agents presumed lost in the attack, CONCORD made the site a public memorial, and perhaps more importantly, gives us pilots a sneak peek at just what kind of systems CONCORD uses to keep a watchful, if not always particularly reactive, eye on the cluster. The memorial can be found in Arnher, a low sec system a few jumps out from Hek in Metropolis. As I approached the site, ever-helpful Aura pulled up the limited information from the local ‘nets that she could:

Arnher 3This relay station was used by the Communications Relay Committee until July YC116, when it was abandoned after an assault by Dominations forces.

Containing equipment used by the CRC to monitor and intercept radio, wireless and fluid router transmissions, the DED believe that the site was attacked after intercepting encrypted data broadcasted to Angel Cartel headquarters from a scouting party in Evati.

The CRC operator of this site, codenamed “Eshtir”, has vanished without trace and is now reportedly on the run from Dominations forces, whom have placed a sizeable bounty on his head.

Arnher 4

Support girders stick out from the remains of the destroyed battleship.

Compared to some of the other covert reconnaissance sites I’ve seen, the CONCORD site is surprisingly simple in design, though I suppose it’s fair to assume that CONCORD probably did a bit of cleanup work and got rid of all the real goodies before broadcasting its existence to anyone in the system. Still, I was expecting a bit more than just a receiver array and a power/shield generator in terms of equipment (and don’t even ask me how an antenna is supposed intercept fluid-router transmissions, but I suppose that is yet another CONCORD mystery™). But if it works for them – and from all indications, it does – who am I to argue?

Arnher 4

The power generator for the site.

The only other notable item at the site was the remains of a Raven-class battleship; apparently, the one that Eshtir was on at the time of the attack. My scans didn’t shed any light as to Eshtir’s fate, but I wish him luck nonetheless. The Angels are relentless hunters; if anyone is capable of finding Eshtir now, it’d undoubtedly be them.

After a few minutes at the site, it was time for me to move on. New sights beckoned, even if they were coming fewer and fewer these days. Still, if there’s anything I’ve learned about New Eden in these past years, it’s that it’s always full of surprises. You just have to know where to look.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Abandoned CRC Monitoring Station
  • System: Arnher
  • Security Rating: 0.2
  • Region: Metropolis
  • Potential Hazards: Arnher is located in low security space.  Pirates and gate camps should be expected, and caution is advised.  A cov ops or other cloaking ship is recommended.

Brief Interlude

Yes, I’ve been a terrible blogger lately. TO BE FAIR, though, the past week or two has been dedicated to FINALLY pushing out version 2.0 of the Lore Survival Guide, and I’m delighted to announce that it is finally up in PDF format! Please feel free to send me any questions, comments, or concerns you may have.

You can find a plain text version, a version with pretty pictures, or a version that shows the changes from version 1.5.1.

Enjoy!

Image


Caldari Navy Relay Nexus

Astoh 1

The main shipyard facilities

Industry is a mystery to me. There, I said it. Oh, sure, I get the broad concept: gather the components, get a guide to put those components together, push button, receive bacon ship (or module, or ammo, or…). But, as always, the devil is in the details. Even just a glimpse of some of the data that serious manufacturers must wade through in order to make a profit gives me a headache. I’m not one of those people who thinks that mining an asteroid will give me the ore for “free”, but asking me to value those items will often result in a blank stare and, if we’re lucky, a number of some kind. But this is not to say that I have a deep appreciation for manufacturers. It might all be gobbledygook to me, but that gobbledygook results in almost anything that I may ever need while flying around New Eden. I simply don’t understand it, and I accept that I don’t understand it. More power to those that do.

Astoh 2

A few of the ships docked at the shipyard

Although industry is a mystery, that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate its beauty. Nowhere is that more apparent to me than a bustling shipyard. There is a special energy here; one that you can only find in the throes of creation and skill. From skeletal hulls to nearly complete space vessels, it’s fascinating to watch a ship grow from the bottom up. Everyone you talk to takes a special pride in their work. And how could they not? Spending so much time and passion on a hull imbues it with part of their own energy. I’ve heard of some people calling their ships their children, and I have no doubt that they actually view it as such. Even if the vast majority of the vessels produced are doomed to be destroyed, that doesn’t mean that workers won’t put in as much care as they can to ensure the vessels go down fighting.

Astoh 3

A Scorpion class ship under construction

A small Caldari Navy shipyard can be found in Astoh. It’s not a particularly strategic system, but with the ongoing fighting in Black Rise, it’s undoubtedly seen its share of fights. Aura has little to say on the subject, noting only this:

This small compound acts as a fleet staging point, relaying squads off to their deployment locations inside Black Rise or housing them on their way back to State heartlands. Various Caldari Navy officials make this place their temporary home, and Astoh itself is rumored to house some of the higher-ranked officers involved in daily operations across the war-torn region.

Astoh 4

A small patrol ship

The shipyard itself is fairly small in size, but bustling nonetheless. Seven drydocks comprised the bulk of the site, with ships in varying stages of completion. Unlike some of the other shipyards I’ve seen recently, the Astoh yard seemed to specialize in subcapital vessels. A few Caracal-class cruisers and as well as a Scorpion­-class battleship or two were under construction at the time I visited. Some were barely recognizable, either undergoing heavy repairs or just starting out as little more than a keel. Others were clearly nearing completion, with drones and various workers scurrying around its exterior. Each of the drydocks had attendant facilities attached, acting as worker housing and support, protection, entertainment, and all the other facilities necessary for this small city in space.

Astoh 5

The remains of an old station sits nearby

Beyond the drydocks themselves, the Caldari Navy had send some serious protection to protect the workers and the facilities here. A number of cruisers and frigates scurried about, patrolling the outer edges of the shipyards against all intruders (though, oddly, not giving me a second glance). A few battleships also lumbered about. But the best indication that the Caldari considered this site one of significant strategic value was the Chimera-class carrier that acted as the flag vessel of the fleet. Sitting in the middle of the shipyard, like a mother hen guarding her chicks, the carrier kept a watchful eye over all other activity in the shipyards and beyond. Always a bold one, I flew Professor Science right up to its hull, as always goggling at just how much capital ships dwarfed my little ship.

Astoh 6

Chimera in silhouette

A small distance off from the main facilities sat an old, drifting wreck. Perhaps the old station, with attendant-and-still-sparking Quafe sign, indicated a different past for this particular deadspace pocket. But given the severe deterioration of the station, the past has very much been left behind. Oddly, the few remains of station superstructure look almost Gallente in origin. The graceful curves and organic feel was distinctly non-Caldari in design. But a Gallente station in Black Rise, particularly an old and decrepit one, made little sense given that Black Rises was only disclosed to the rest of the Cluster (including the Gallente) only a few short years ago. The station remains certainly raised a number of questions, but as is often the case, this seemed to be a mystery that I would not solve any time soon.

Astoh 7

Creation and decay in one picture

I stayed at the site for quite a while, watching the ebb and flow of the workers, machines, and security vessels as they all worked together to create and build these gorgeous ships that we fly every day. Although these ships were to be used by the Caldari Navy, an entity that does not exactly have my best interests at heart, I still admired the sense of professionalism and efficiency I saw in the shipyards. The carrier at the heart of the shipyards was a truly stunning vessel; I was reminded again of the odd beauty that Caldari ships had, even if it was not a design that I would have thought of. In fact, I seemed to have an odd fondness for Caldari aesthetics: despite being a proud Gallente citizen, almost of my ships (and certainly the ships that I flew most often) were Caldari in origin, suggesting that the odd asymmetries and harsh edges appealed to me in an almost visceral manner.

Finally, I banked the Professor on an exit vector. As the warp tunnel formed around me, I was once again amazed at the thought and design that had to go into building even one of these vessels. I have absolutely no idea how people are able to juggle this on a day-to-day basis, but I guess that’s why no one pays me to.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Caldari Navy Relay Nexus
  • System: Astoh
  • Security Rating: 0.6
  • Region: Black Rise
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.

Children of Light

Children of light 1

The Perimeter gate in Iyen-Oursta

The universe just isn’t fair sometimes. If the universe knows anything about me, it’s that I live for the visuals. I am willing, happy even, to travel for hours on end, risking ship and limb, to see something and write about it so others don’t have to. I pride myself on careful research on sites, so I can offer informed explanations, giving both context and meaning to the sights that I see. I work hard for what I do, and it’s all for the sake of that one shining moment, that first time the view clarifies in front of me coming out of warp. That sense of wonder as I see something for the first time. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, I know what to expect. But other times, I’m going into the true unknown, which makes that first sight all the more thrilling. With all of this in mind, you would think some sense of cosmic karma ought to be working in my favor.

But no, of course not. I forgot for a split second that I was in New Eden and that the laws of the universe were tipped very much against me.

The story here begins in Iyen-Oursta. It’s a rather unassuming system on the Gallente-Caldari border, a front often forgotten given that Algogille and Luminaire are already so close to the border, and thus bear the brunt of any defensive and offensive posturing. I’ve flown through it many times, and have even flown over just to enjoy watching the Roden Shipyards in system build up its fleet of Megathrons.

Early on in my career as a capsuleer, I came across reports of something called the “Children of Light.” Reports were few, but fairly straightforward. There had been reports in the past of clouds of light converging on the gate at activation. The scientific consensus seemed to be that the discharge was most likely due to some kind of plasma leak that, in certain conditions, formed a resonance with the jumping ship, briefly charging the surrounding plasma. There were a few more, shall we say, unscientific hypotheses, but I brushed those aside. Eagerly, however, I put Iyen-Oursta near the top of my list of places to visit. Being based in Gallente space at the time, it was practically a hop, skip, and a jump away.

Children of light 2

Blink blink blink

When I got there, I had to admit a certain amount of disappointment.  The gate, while a gorgeous example of Gallente architecture, showed no signs of these so-called children. There’s a small beacon a few kilometers off the gate, blinking in rather dull fashion, that dutifully broadcasts “Children of Light” to anyone in system, but Aura is oddly silent on the subject, offering absolutely none of her usual commentary.  But I brushed off my disappointment: this was far from the first time that a hoped-for view had fallen through (Atioth, I’m looking in your direction), and it certainly wouldn’t be the last.  And besides, I had managed to find the aforementioned Roden Shipyards on the visit, so it wasn’t a complete loss.  I made a mental note that this particular clue was a bust, and carried on my merry way.

I’ve passed through the system countless times since then. As I jump in, my heart momentarily jumps as I see an unexpected beacon on my overview, and then as I read what it is, a twinge of disappointment again sets in. But I’ve learned to brush that aside as one of many things that are simply legends. Ghosts of stories from long ago.

Or so I thought.

I was contacted out of the blue a few days ago by a pilot named Jon Tarant.  I was over in Pure Blind on an unrelated research project, and was in the process of making my way through the never-ending piles of paperwork that always seem to appear whenever coordinating more than one or two people comes in to play.  The unfamiliar name immediately piqued my interest.  Jon initially asks me if I had ever heard of the Children of Light. I chuckled mirthlessly to myself, that twinge of disappointment once again tickling my brain.  I replied that I was.  Then he told me that he thought he had seen it.  And not only that, but that he had a picture. Immediately, my eyebrows raised.  My other projects were immediately forgotten.  Before he had my curiosity, but now he had my attention.

Children of Light 3

Jon Tarant’s raw sensor footage of the Children

I immediately asked if I could see his photo.  He dutifully obliged.  It was not in the best resolution, and was clearly taken on the fly (pun intended).  Having only just recently upgraded my own camera drones, I was able to sympathize.  But the view itself.  The view itself was astounding.  The gate was immersed in a haunting blue glow.  Tendrils of light went every which way, creating a complex lattice of light.  I could see where the name “Iyen Pixies” had come from.  Even from that image, I thought it was absolutely gorgeous.

I hounded any and all details out of Jon, who happily obliged with what he was able to recall.  I grilled him on his ship (Taranis) the date (March 10 YC 115), whether he was with anyone (a few in local).  He said he had asked around the locals to see if anyone else had run into this effect.  They all said no.  He had a friend a few jumps behind him, also on his way through Iyen-Oursta.  Jon asked his friend if he had seen the lights, the friend responded there was nothing on the gate.  He had apparently filed away the information, and only when he happened across EVE Travel did he think to reach out to me regarding this discovery.

I immediately ran over to Iyen-Oursta myself.  Once again, I was presented with empty space beyond the gate itself, a few Gallente customs officials, and that accursed beacon with its steady blink blink blink, almost mocking me.  No lights.  No lattice.  No children of light.

Children of Light 4

Sunset on the gate.

Even now, I write this safely from the station in Iyen-Oursta.  I have no doubt I will spend a bit of time here, trying to see if I can pull off what Jon saw.  I have the means and willpower to test different approach angles, different ships, and other variables to see if I can trigger the Children, now that I know that they can be triggered.  And that’s the key.  Knowing that there was something out there to see.  I had been lulled into a false sense of security, confident in my ability to root out anything that was hidden.  I had grown overconfident.  But this, this changes everything.  Suddenly, the universe was new again.  What else had I missed?  What else had I brushed aside as unseeable?  Sometimes it takes an extra set of eyes to remind you that one person alone can’t see everything out there.

After all, sometimes the universe simply isn’t fair.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Roden Center
  • System: Iyen-Oursta
  • Security Rating: 0.8
  • Region: Sinq Laison
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -3 in security status, or -5 standing with the Gallente, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: Obviously, I haven’t confirmed this myself yet. I suspect that triggering the Children is simply a matter of chance (very very very very low chance). I’ve tried warp-ins from every celestial to no avail. If anyone else has a sighting of the Children, or any other info, please leave a comment here or message me. This is by far one of the more mysterious sights I’ve encountered in the game, and I find it fascinating!

Titanomachy

B-R5RB 1

Titanomachy

It’s easy to think that contemporary events are gamechangers. How many times have we heard some crisis as the “defining moment” of Roden’s presidency, or any battle as a “tipping point” in a broader war? And when you look back a few months or years later, you see that these events were nothing of the sort. It’s natural to think that the most recent events are the most important. But in most cases, events – even ones that at the time seem monumentally important (pun is very much intended) – are mere drops in the ocean of human history. It is rare indeed that an event actually bends the course of human events. It’s almost impossible for most people to objectively determine the effects that any one incident will have until we’ve had a chance to move on. In fact, it’s precisely that reason that most historians try not to look at modern events that closely, until time has passed, passions have cooled, and the repercussions have made themselves more verifiably known, leaving it to the more pedestrian punditry to give the who, what, where, and why of modern events.

B-R5RB 2

The ruined remains of an Avatar-class Titan

Even with all of this in mind, I find it hard to look back at the now infamous battle in B-R5BR and see it as anything short of historic. This was not the first time that a capsuleer alliance had neglected to pay its bills to CONCORD, nor was it the first time that a tiny mistake led to a massive battle. The battle of B-R5RB doesn’t even come close to the record of largest naval engagement. Both Pandemic Legion and the CFC have fielded more ships in a battle and more pilots have lost ships before. But what makes this battle different, beyond the sheer amount of isk lost, is the effect it has had on the general public. Never before has the general public’s imagination been captured so much as the day that the titans began to fall. While there have always been niche news sites dedicated to covering capsuleer goings on, for the first time, mainstream media have started to look to the skies. New pilots are flocking to capsuleer training centers in record numbers, flooding the spacelanes with new opportunities and new fodder alike.

B-R5RB 3

The sheer amount of tonnage destroyed here is staggering

CONCORD, to its credit, has moved quickly to memorialize the battle site. Within days, the often slow-acting agency declared the system a place of historic significance, and acted to preserve the wrecks so they don’t decay away in the harshness of space. What’s left is a stunning, haunting (or, should I say spooky?) tribute to this very literal clash of the titans. To some, it’s a tribute to the victory of the CFC; to others, it’s the gravesite to thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of crew aboard the various ships. Whatever its meaning to you, this heretofore unknown cul-de-sac system has attained a new place of prominence in the interstellar consciousness, and its newfound memorial will ensure that it remains so long after the pundits have stopped their prognosticating on its meaning.  Of course, the quieting of the punditry won’t keep Aura from becoming rather existentialist on us:

B-R5RB 4You are entering the graveyard of Titans, a silent memorial to one of the grandest, most violent, most cataclysmic battles New Eden has ever borne witness to. Halt your ship, capsuleer, and take a moment out of the mad swirl of your life to ponder your own impending deaths.

The beacon that CONCORD has placed on the site is a bit more on-point and a bit less poetic than Aura:

Here lie the wrecks of monstrous ships, commemorating a battle that blotted out the sky on Jan 27-28 in YC 116.

B-R5RB 5Two coalitions of capsuleers clashed in vessels numbering in the thousands, causing destruction on a scale of war never before seen by human eyes. CONCORD elected – after advising with the various empires – to leave a few wrecks left on the field for all spacefarers to see. Ostensibly this was a warning of capsuleers to where their folly would lead them, but those who’ve encountered the immortals will know it was more likely taken as an ideal of death and destruction to which they can aspire from now until the end of time.

B-R5RB 6

Some ships are still very recognizable. Others are less so.

As your view adjusts after warping through B-R5RB VIII, one of the first things you’ll notice is the bright gray of the temple that CONCORD’s erected on the site (why the temple is already battered-looking and worn is another discussion entirely). Examining the temple closely will reveal a list of all the pilots that lost a Titan in the battle. As your eyes adjust, however, you’ll notice a number of hulking, looming shadows surrounding on all sides. These shadows eventually clarify into the hulking shapes of shattered ships. Surrounding you are ships from all four empires, torn apart by the massive forces brought down upon them in the battle. Fires still glow from the interior, and possibly will continue to do so for years (especially if the ships were Caldari built). Each wreck is surrounded by a cloud of debris, which is especially dense near the site of the hull fractures where these gigantic ships finally cracked. Each of them dwarfed Scientia and its small crew.

B-R5RB 7

Twisted girders can be found at the site of the superstructure’s failure

To the left, ships blot out an appropriately blood-red star. To the right, now-nameless titan wrecks, worth billions of isk and with thousands of lives lost on each of them, gently tumble through space against the green backdrop of the Immensea nebula. And all around, there is an eerie quiet. The stark stillness of the scene stands in sharp contrast to the ferocity of the battle that took place here just days before.

B-R5RB 8

Shadows of B-R5RB

Am I wrong to think that this battle was different from the countless others that have happened over the years in New Eden? Have even my amateur historian’s eyes been clouded by the media coverage and the endless echo chamber that has come out of this battle? After all, this will hardly be the last time that B-R5RB will change hands. PL has already finished reimbursing its pilots for the ships lost in the battle. Other battles will rage, breaking this record or that. Only time will tell of the grander effect, if any, of this battle.  But for now, for once, more eyes are focused on the stars. For now, the happenings of New Eden are drawing the attention of the broader masses. And for now, at least, B-R5RB certainly seems like a gamechanger. And even if it isn’t, at least this monument will help us remember the day that the titans fell.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Titanomachy
  • System: B-R5RB
  • Security Rating: 0.0
  • Region: Immensea
  • Potential Hazards: B-R5RB 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 (including warp interdiction bubbles) can be found often in transitioning from 0.0 to high security space, as well as on other gates. Caution is advised.

Brutor Tribe Community Area

I’ll be the first to admit it: the concept of the Minmatar tribes confuses me.

Frarn 1

The Community Area stands in the shadow of an old Amarr station

Coming from the pluralistic Federation, the idea of such extensive family units is baffling to me, especially since the tribes seem to play such a large role in determining who you are. And with the new changes to the Republic, it seems like the Tribes will be taking even more of a center stage for the average Matari. In some ways mimicking the Caldari (of all people), the Tribal Assembly has radically decentralized the Republic, in favor of allowing the Tribes to handle most, if not all, internal matters. The Tribal Council, composed of the seven tribal chiefs and the Sanmatar, will be the true powerbase of the Republic, with the Parliament being reduced to a subservient, almost advisory council. From what I’ve read in GalNet, the Tribes will be acting in a very similar capacity to Caldari megacorporations, with tribes handling almost all internal matters. Considering the fact that some have declared Sanmatar Shakor’s centralization of power in recent years almost dictatorial, the fact that he agreed to this radical restructuring of the Republic is surprising indeed.

Frarn 2

The station is surrounded by 8 “Rememberance” stones.

Thus, it seems almost fitting that I find myself sitting today in Frarn, closely examining the Brutor Tribe Community Area. Before running across this site, I hadn’t even realized that the Brutor (or any of the tribes, really) had such large space-based colonies, but here we are. I have, of course, run across a few Brutors in my day, but I rarely run across the average Brutor citizen. Then again, that’s hardly surprising given the fact that these days, I only rarely see non-capsuleers of any sort. But given the newly-forged primacy that the Tribes were taking in Republic life, I happily dove into my examination of the Brutor tribe. It seems that the Brutor ought to be pretty happy these days. They have long advocated for a tribal-based Republic, and with the recent reforms advocated by the new Sebiestor Chief, Acassa Midular, they are getting their wish. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they tend to congregate together, as it seems it is their tribal bonds that helped them survive the Amarr enslavement.

Given the trauma of Amarr enslavement, it is perhaps unsurprising that the tribes have remained relatively close-knit. In many circumstances, it was the tribal bonds that helped the culture survive through the Dark Days. Those bonds remain as strong as ever today, as can be seen with these Community Areas found throughout the Republic. As Aura explains:

Frarn 3Hundreds of these small community areas have been erected in recent years to accommodate those returning from travels abroad and seeking temporary accommodation. Ironically, they were originally designed to facilitate a great exodus to Federation space, but with the rise of fresh new ideas inside Minmatar borders causing many to return to their homelands, these spacebound communities have come to play an entirely different role. Typically, a single community will be dedicated to one tribe or another, but it is not unheard of for two or more tribes to share the one area.

A close view of the cargo pads at the community area, with a cargo ship in the background.

A close view of the cargo pads at the community area, with a cargo ship in the background.

Like many Matari sites, this one is based around Amarr ruins left over from the occupation. Many of these old Amarr structures don’t appear to be utilized in anyway; rather, the ruins are left intact solely as a reminder of how far the Republic has come from the Occupation (and, possibly, as a giant middle finger to the Empire, though I suspect most Matari architects would deny that… or maybe not. In fact, it’s a bit odd that the primary feature of the site is completely abandoned and unused. An old Amarr station, broken, decayed, and stripped of any useful materials, is the first thing that draws the eye upon coming out of warp. The next thing a person notices is that the abandoned station is curiously surrounded by eight large rocks, all named Rememberance. The stones were clearly placed by the Minmatar around the station, perhaps as a reminder that metaphorical sticks and (in this case, at least) rather literal stones were able to bring down the might of the Amarr Empire. The entire memorial helps reinforce the Matari self-image as a plucky, technologically backward species that nonetheless manage to throw off their oppressors, never mind the fact that these days the Minmatar are just as technologically advanced as any in the Cluster.

Frarn 5

The Community Area is a hive of local activity

It’s only after the eye thoroughly examines the Amarr station and its immediate environs that you really notice the actual location of the community area. It’s tucked off to one side, well outside the influence of the Amarr station, preferring to remain the shadows of the Amarr leviathan, perhaps hoping it won’t be seen. The community area is, in typical Matari fashion, a rather hodgepodge assortment of cargo bays, living quarters, bars, and ships. Perhaps surprisingly given the pains the locals took to arrange the Amarr station just so, little thought is given to the appearance of the community area. A number of large, bulbous storage vats anchor the bottom of the site, while the top is dominated by the cargo platforms that help transfer needed goods to and from the community center. The area also appears to act as a banker for many of the local residents, since I can’t understand why else the area would need a Bursar. The Republic has stationed two Tempest-class battleships to watch over the area: one remains docked at the facility while one stays stationed nearby.

Frarn 6

The abandoned station looms behind a nebular mist.

As I’ve implied above, I was rather taken aback by the powerful symbolism found throughout this site. When it comes to architectural symbolism, I tend to think of the Amarr much more than the other empires, yet here is a stunning demonstration of Minmatar tenacity found within a decrepit Amarr station and a few well-placed asteroids. Perhaps it is yet another way that the Minmatar are casting off their Amarr history, by using the Amarr’s own heavy-handed symbolism against them. I was also surprised by the relative insularity of the community: only Brutors were really to be found here. Perhaps given that insularity, I should be less surprised than I am at the radical shift currently taking place within the Republic. The tribe has been likened to an extended family, and families tend to stay together whenever possible. So its natural that if there’s seven extended families in the Republic, power is concentrated into those seven.

…Nah, it’s still weird to me.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Brutor Tribe Community Area
  • System: Frarn
  • Security Rating: 0.8
  • Region: Heimatar
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -3 in security status, or -5 standing with the Minmatar you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.

Minmatar Shipyards

Egbinger 1

The entirety of the shipyard complex.

“Well aren’t you just a little space pirate kitten, aren’t you?”  I gently pet the small kitten curled up in one of my old uniform shirts, trying not to wake her up too much.  I could get away with saying things like that in the privacy of my own quarters. I wouldn’t dare say anything like that in the presence of anyone else; I didn’t want to bring any undue attention to myself. Being a plant in the Republic Fleet for the Angels necessitated such self-censorship. Not that it was particularly hard to avoid suspicion: the security surrounding this isolated capital shipyard near the edge of Minmatar space was shockingly low, all things considered. It was surprisingly easy to get myself and my supervisor, Aton Hordner, inserted into the Fleet’s personnel rotations out here. It was win-win for us: not only did we get a plant inside the Fleet, but we also gained a place to contact prospective capsuleer pilots looking to work for the Cartel.

Egbinger 2

A close up of the upper half of one of the Naglfars under construction

My thoughts were interrupted by a chime. After doublechecking on the kitten, I thumbed the release, and the door to my quarters slid open. An enlisted crewwoman stood outside the door, holding a report of some kind.

“Our latest requisition reports, sir.”

Egbinger 3

The auxiliary power array seemingly glows with the light of Egbinger

I groaned internally before thanking and shooing away the crewwoman. I didn’t understand how people who WEREN’T leading a double life as an agent for the Cartel managed to stay sane in this backwater. All we did was sit here, staring at the three capital ship construction platforms and pretending like we mattered by shuffling supplies between the shipyards themselves and the resource cache nearby. It was clear that the Republic didn’t even particularly care about us: despite the three Naglfar-class dreadnaughts under construction here, the entire security detail consisted of one Tempest-class battleship, the one Aton and I are stationed on. We didn’t do much; frankly, the captain was a bit of a drunk (possibly lamenting the life choices that led to her being stationed here) and merely had us maintain position constantly, with her popping her head up onto the bridge now and then to check to make sure we hadn’t blown up yet, as far as I could tell.

Egbinger 4

The central administration complex of the docks

Me, I worked in the communications section, which easily let me hide Aton’s conversations with Angel contacts. He got the fun job; all I ever did was monitor and delete communication logs to make sure no one got too suspicious. Still, he needed backup, and that, unfortunately, was me. Not quite sure who I managed to piss off at the Cartel to draw this assignment, but whoever it was who got me this assignment was going to get a good kick in the rear when I got back to Cartel space.

Egbinger 5

The apparent entirety of the shipyard’s defenses

Speaking of which, it was almost time for my shift. I checked the kitten’s food and water before I left. I would have to decide on a name for him before too long: I had gotten him smuggled in during the last food shipment with the help of a few contacts in the legitimate Fleet to keep me company out here. Even helping the Cartel, the only family I had really ever known, wasn’t enough to keep me sane during the endless nights in this godforsaken system. I made my way up to the bridge, and tapped my preceding shift officer on the shoulder, pretending not to notice the, uhh, explicit movements two guys on screen were doing before he hastily closed his screens and logged off. Whatever it took to keep you sane.

Egbinger 6

A closer view of one of the construction yards

I logged myself on to the communications console, but before I got down to work for the day, my attention was drawn, as it often was, to the shipyard activity outside. It was surprisingly relaxing to just sit and watch the various workers inside and outside the three as-yet unnamed Naglfar’s build the vessels up. All three were nearing completion: the hull seemed pretty much sealed up and now and then I saw glows as various engine components were tested. They’d be ready for their trials soon enough. The three vessels, of course, dwarfed my own ship, but it was fun (or, at least, distracting) to watch these three ships seemingly grow from scratch, day after day. The power generation arrays surrounding the docks gave a much more solid feeling of protection than our measly ship did (though you would think that SOMEONE would catch on to the fact that the Cartel never attacked the shipyard with us here: Fleet “Intelligence” didn’t exactly live up to its name).

Egbinger 7

The Naglfars are approaching spaceworthiness tests

Nearby sat the bane of my existence, even here in this crap system, the paltry bureaucracy surrounding the shipyard seemed to exist solely to make my existence miserable. The command center and resource cache for the shipyards sat in an extensive station complex a few kilometers beyond the three shipyard docks. Not a day went by that I didn’t contemplate “accidentally” firing a few missiles at the heart of that complex. The thought of those many bunkers and towers flying apart into the coldness of space often warmed my heart more than anything else out here. The amount of grief they caused for the sake of causing grief was astounding. Being ignored by Fleet HQ gave them a giant superiority complex. I’d like to shove their requisition reports right up their-

The console beeped at me, drawing me out of my reverie. A capsuleer ship was contacting us, using a special Cartel encryption set up for those seeking us out. I engaged the decryption protocols while letting Aton know that we had a customer. At least it was something to do today…

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Minmatar Shipyards
  • System: Egbinger
  • Security Rating: 0.1
  • Region: Molden Heath
  • Potential Hazards: Egbinger is located in low security space.  Pirates and gate camps should be expected, and caution is advised.  A cov ops or other cloaking ship is recommended. As implied by the post, this is one of three starting points for the Angel Cartel epic arc.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 80 other followers