Sightseeing in the Cluster

Survey Station


A Megathron-class vessel patrols near the Survey Station

Appearances are sometimes everything. You see it in any number of situations. Companies that you thought were stable can collapse overnight thanks to years of neglect that was kept under the surface. Marriages can be kept up purely “for the sake of appearance.” Appearances are powerful things. If your enemy in the next system over thinks that you have 20 HACs to your tech 1 cruiser, it doesn’t matter if all you actually have available is a couple of Retrievers in the local belt. But sometimes, it’s clear that you’re doing something “for appearances” that is clear to the rest of the world to mean the exact opposite. Yet you continue soldiering on, in some desperate attempt to maintain your dignity to the world, even as the appearances you’re trying to display seem to argue just the opposite.


A Wirykomi vessel stands guard near the Caldari-built control tower.

Unfortunately, this latter type of appearance seems to be exactly what we have happening in Colelie and the rest of the Algintal constellation. If this tiny little survey station was a representative sample of the current state of Gallente-Caldari relations, one might expect relations to really be quite good. Here is a Caldari megacorporation gearing up for a massive investment near the heart of Gallente space. An investment that will be jobs and infrastructure for the too-long-ignore Colelie system. Heck, the Gallente and Caldari military assets guarding the Station seem to be coordinating patrols in a cooperative, and dare I say friendly matter. Even CONCORD appears in on this, their beacon marking the site with the following data:

Colelie3The Survey Station serves as a Wiyrkomi outpost for its engineers and surveyors planning the development of their power station in Colelie. Ever since the Wiyrkomi Corporation bought the lease on the Azure Canyon the populace here has been growing. But the inability to drive the Serpentis out of the Azure Canyon deadspace pocket as well as constant harrassment by protesters has seriously lowered morale within the complex. Rumor has it that Caldari agents are offering large sums of credits to mercenaries willing to put their lives on the line in defense of the Wiyrkomi project.


Rows of workers quarters sit near the control tower, ready to be deployed when the surveying is complete

But, of course, just two regions away, the Federal Defense Union and the State Protectorate are blasting each other apart in a vicious war of the proxies. Government-backed and capsuleer-driven, these vicious wars appear to combine the worst of both worlds in terms of government financing and capsuleer viciousness. Yet despite the battles being waged across parts of five different regions, here the Caldari and Gallente appeared to be working in comfortable harmony. As if the pains of renewed war, centuries of distrust, and years of betrayal were little more than water under the bridge. And sitting here for a moment, in this quiet little corner of this quiet little system, I could almost believe it. Appearances could do that to you.


Industrial ships also stood ready to provide whatever assistance was needed

The Station itself seemed a fairly low-key affair, mostly consisting of a central control tower and numerous sets of workers quarters. A variety of support and defense vessels flitted about, as the Caldari and Gallente worked together to scope out the site of the coming power station. And, of course, there were the scanners themselves, spread throughout the site, sending out strong sensor scans to the nearby planet. I wasn’t exactly clear on why a mere survey would take so long, but the sheer amount of infrastructure built up at the site demonstrated that this was to be no short-term affair. A dozen sets of workers quarters housed hundreds of people, ready to be deployed as soon as a site was officially chosen.


A broader view of the site as a whole.

I flew Professor Science in and out of the site, marveling at the relative calm here between two fairly bitter enemies. Of course, as a purveyor of all things aesthetic in my journey, I recognized and appreciated the necessity of appearances. And the fact that these two nations could work together here proved that it was, as a practical matter, possible to do. Yet I couldn’t help but wonder at the incongruity between working together here for a better future, and tearing both nations’ futures down everywhere else.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Survey Station
  • System: Colelie
  • Security Rating: 0.5
  • Region: Sinq Laison
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Gallente, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: This also serves as an Gallente COSMOS site.

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