Sightseeing in the Cluster

Serpent’s Coil

Vilinnon1

A decaying station floats amid serpentine asteroids

Exploring New Eden can be a lonely endeavor. Exploration is not inherently solitary; there’s no reason that exploration has to be done by yourself, yet many of the explorers that I know also lead somewhat reclusive lives. Perhaps it is our nomadic ways; drifting forever from system to system, never quite content to settle down for any extended length of time. Maybe it’s the draw of freedom: never feeling tied down to any system or group. Or maybe it’s just that we’re the social hermit crabs of the Cluster. I was never quite able to tell, personally.

Vilinnon2

Vilinnon glows dimly through the haze, while one of the spectacular rock formations floats nearby.

I was forcibly reminded of this loneliness as I found myself poking around Vilinnon. It’s a relatively nondescript dead-end system, in a small pocket of systems that CONCORD had magnanimously determined was worthy of its protection. Yet I noticed a beacon pulsing faintly on my overview. I quickly set a course to it, and Aura pulled up the relevant information from the local GalNet:

Vilinnon3The Serpent’s Coil is at once one of the most exotic and the most dangerous of all space locations in the vastness of New Eden. It is currently inhabited by agents of the Serpentis Corporation, who use the place as a gathering point for smugglers and raiders alike. At the heart of the Serpent’s Coil lies a ruined military installation. This base was constructed by the Gallente Federation during the Gallente-Caldari War to defend against marauding Caldari ships.

After the war, the strategic importance of the base diminished, and it was eventually abandoned. The base itself is ringed by huge boulders the size of mountains. These magnificent rock formations broke away from a comet traversing the Vilinnon system over two centuries ago, and today they stand proud in their protection of the most audacious Serpentis base around.

Vilinnon4

Professor Science flies upwards past the decaying Gallente station.

The site itself is rather spectacular to behold. A decaying Gallente system sits in the middle, its glass-like shield long since deteriorated in the harshness of space. Nearby, twin columns of serpentine rock climb into the heavens, acting as ghostly sentinels to the decaying ruins. Surrounding the entire site is a diffuse reddish haze, adding a rather sinister overtone to the gentle glow from Vilinnon. Despite claims of active Serpentis… infestation, there is not so much as a ping on Professor Science’s sensors to indicate that there’s anyone else around. It seems the Serpentis do little to guard their “audacious” base if even an unarmed and uncloaked Buzzard like the Professor can get in with nary a warning shot.

Vilinnon5

A close up look at the strange cometary remains near the station.

I got in close to the strange cometary remains. The twisting piles of rock had a unique shape to them; if I stared at them long enough I almost thought I could see them actually undulating, like gigantic space serpents, ready to pounce on my defenseless Buzzard. The rational part of my brain, of course, dismissed such flights of fancy out of hand, but that didn’t make the apparent movements of the rocks any less spooky. As such, I was forced to look around at the nothingness that surrounded me. If it weren’t for the station nearby, I could have forgotten that any other people even existed as I stared into the vast emptiness of space. And the decaying ruins did nothing to lessen my sudden need for human contact, if only to remind myself that there was a thriving community out there.

I shook myself out of my melancholy by reminding myself why I was truly out here: to see what was there. It’s not the most social of activities, and it never will be, but I enjoyed it. For whatever reason, I liked being on my own, and even that is becoming a little less lonely these days. Despite being in a bit of a funk when I first arrived at this site, it was with renewed enthusiasm that I left it.

Still, maybe I should give Mom a call and see how the family was doing these days.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Serpent’s Coil
  • System: Vilinnon
  • Security Rating: 0.6
  • Region: Placid
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4.0 in security status, or -5 standing with the Gallente, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.  Also, a few rats have popped up in the intervening years… mostly frigates but also a cruiser or two.
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