As an explorer by profession, it’s surprisingly easy to forget just how dangerous the profession can be for the uninitiated. Things that I often don’t give a second thought to can be the difference between life or death for those new to the profession: fit your ships for speed (especially in low security space); a cloak never hurt anyone; and d-scan, d-scan, d-scan (again, especially in low security space). With the withdrawal of pirates from most sites about six months ago, most explorers may have even gone so far as to give up giving their ship many defenses; the recent appearance of so-called Ghost Sites (which don’t seem to be very ghostly at all considering anyone can see them, but I suppose that is neither here nor there) and its new potential loot has undoubtedly changed that particular paradigm. And I suspect we haven’t seen the last of what the pirate research programs have to offer.
Regardless, it’s important to remind explorers that despite all of valuable resources that exploration provides, it is, like so many professions in the cluster, a dangerous one. And Echelon Entertainment is here to serve (and undoubtedly get a holo deal or three out of it). After the Sisters of Eve announced a drive to collect pictures of well known landmarks in New Eden, Echelon randomly selected one of those capsuleers to complete all 29 images to be honored at a so-called Explorer’s Relief Post. The Post can be found in Jakanerva, near the heart of Caldari space a few jumps from Jita. Aura’s background on the site, normally only a few sentences long, was a bit more verbose this time as Echelon provided more background on the site:
This site stands as a quiet and somewhat unnerving mark of honor for the efforts of Marcus Yeon and all others who took Echelon Entertainment up on its exploration challenge. These capsuleers risked their ships, their clones and their crews on a perilous venture to capture some of the amazing sights of New Eden.
While those pilots who succeeded in the various stages of the challenge were rewarded with various material goods, Echelon Entertainment also commissioned a landmark to be created so that their fearless efforts would be remembered throughout history.
Echelon Entertainment also requested that the landmark be placed next to the scorched ruins of a quite astonishingly ill-fated secret experiment, in order to warn intrepid explorers that on a very few select occasions, discretion is very much the better part of valor. In an interesting quirk of fate, rumor has it that this experiment was being run by Yeon’s own people – possibly a subtle warning from Echelon Entertainment not to get too boastful in the dangerous world of New Eden – and that the ghostly form of one of his past clones still haunts the place.
Tantalizing hints here, but what did they mean (rumors of ghosts aside: I’ll believe THAT when I see it)? That Yeon had been conducting his own experiments was news to me, and I couldn’t help but wonder if the experiments tied into the newly discovered Ghost Sites (which I have yet to discover). Rumor has it that the Ghost Sites are actually pirate-based research initiatives; if so, then Yeon’s experiments here may have tied in to the pirate factions’ R&D. That the experiment apparently backfired is just another demonstration that cutting-edge research can be hazardous to one’s health. Still, it was heartening to see what would otherwise be a deserted research base turned into a testament to expanding the frontiers of knowledge.
The site itself was fairly extensive, if straightforward. A formation of Explorer Relief Posts were organized around an empty, but now-iconic data site. Though the site has long been emptied of useful data, it serves as a graceful centerpiece to the site. It also gave me the opportunity to closely examine the data hub itself, something I had never paid much attention to during my explorations. Surrounded as it was by three rings, it brought to mind a gyroscope, with the central hub always maintained upright within. Surrounding the data site in a diamond formation, Echelon has placed a number of so-called “explorer relief posts”, but what relief they are meant to provide is a bit beyond me. Apparently consisting primarily of some kind of resource cache stored in a small forcefield, the posts were completely inaccessible to my ship, making me question just what kind of “relief” was to be provided. Still, it was soothing to watch the various field emitters spin to maintain the field’s integrity.
Nearby, the ruinous remains of the research station loomed. Above the tattered superstructure of the research station, presumably at the site where the experiments were performed, a spatial rift of some kind had formed. Aura herself was apparently spooked by it, as she had labeled the rift as “ominous,” despite the other spatial rifts we’ve seen in our days. I originally didn’t examine the rift particularly closely, but after watching it a while, I noticed a small speck nearby that I had initially dismissed as a sensor blip. Upon closer examination however, I discovered that that blip was actually a corpse of Marcus himself: presumably the corpse was the origin of those “ghostly forms” that Aura spoke of. The explosion which formed the rift was clearly a powerful one: besides completely destroying the top half of the research station, a number of ship wrecks could be seen nearby, undoubtedly the station’s former guard battalion, caught up in the blast. Indeed, given the devastation evidently rained down upon the station from the blast, it’s a miracle that Yeon’s corpse survived at all. How it survived, and how it remains stable so close to the rift, is a mystery to both Aura and myself.
I actually spent quite a bit of time simply admiring the site. I didn’t expect to be gratified to see acknowledgment of the work that myself and thousands of other explorers pursue in order to help improve the quality of life in the cluster. And being the explorer that I am, the site certainly whetted my appetite to see what else was out there. The pirates are on to something here, and the Empires want them to stop (even if they aren’t always the best at executing their goals). I look forward to helping the research in any way I can. There are plenty of clues to be found and discoveries to be made, but ultimately, one of the best skills that an explorer can have is patience. After all, even after finding everything there is to find, it may not make sense at first. But if I have anything to say about it, you better believe it will.
- Attraction: In honor of intrepid explorer Marcus Yeon
- System: Jakanerva
- Security Rating: 0.7
- Region: The Forge
- Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -3.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.