Sightseeing in the Cluster

Nickel & Dime Store

Augnais1

One of many storage containers floats a fair distance away from the main store complex

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” seems much too obvious a saying to begin this week’s entry with. And given the apparent history surrounding the Nickel & Dime Store, much too simplistic. It might be a tad more correct to say that “one man’s trash is another man’s method of hiding a smuggling and money laundering operation while making a tidy profit through selling used goods on the side.” Whichever is closer to the truth (far be it from me to draw a conclusion either way), the Nickel & Dime Store seems to be here for good. And it’s not a shabby place to find some decent second-hand civilian items. The Thukkers, who own and run the store in the heart of the Algintal constellation, don’t seem to cater much to the capsuleer type. A shame, really.

Augnais2

The central store complex.

I first ran across the Nickel & Dime store while sitting in a bar in Bourynes, catching up on some paperwork (the liquor helped to dull the numbing effect, if that makes any sense). I was distracted by a shockingly low-budget commercial on the near by holo. Unless I was very much mistaken, it was actually just a 2-d shot that was forced into 3-d, leaving each separate object flat, if at different distances from the viewer. But we’ve all seen those, right? Always selling used ships at low prices, with no credit checks and you can fly it right out of the lot. They guarantee that you can fly a ship home TODAY, credit or no credit! I generally don’t give such commercials any thought, but given the fact that I was close and willing to do just about anything that doesn’t involve reading more requisition reports, I took Professor Science and off I went. On the way, I looked up a little more info:

Augnais3Some say that the Nickel & Dime Store operated by the Thukker tribe smugglers in Algintal is an indication that they are trying to go legit. Other, more skeptical, observers point out that the Nickel & Dime Store is the perfect operation for the smugglers to laundry their ill-begotten money. While the armchair sociologists debate the merits of allowing the Store to operate the average consumer simply rejoices in the good deals to be had there.

Augnais4

Another view of the main complex. The warehouse can be seen in the back.

As Professor Science dropped out of warp, I was immediately greeted with a hail from one of the Thukkers who presumably helped to run the store. They of course gave me their standard sales speech, and I kindly waved them off, saying I was only here to browse. The complex itself seemed fairly straight forward: a docking pad, utilities trunk, warehouse, a few connecting pylons and your standard Gallente entertainment. Honestly nothing entirely out of the ordinary. A freighter sat docked nearby, either waiting to unload or waiting to load, I couldn’t really tell.

Augnais5

One of the proprietors of the store keeps watch over coming and going crowds.

After looking around outside a bit (and making the owners nervous, I’m sure), I quickly docked up to have a look around their warehouse. Once inside, I was forcibly reminded of how being a capsuleer can throw off your sense of scale. The warehouse was large compared to my Buzzard, but compared to myself outside of the capsule, it was an absolute maze. Parts and generators and wires were seemingly strewn at random inside the large egg-shaped warehouse. And the prices were decent for stuff that I wouldn’t be buying at Jita. No capsuleer-grade equipment, but from what little I knew of about non-capsuleer wallets (when did THAT happen?), it seemed reasonable.

Augnais6

A surprisingly thick haze surrounds the entire site.

All in all, it seemed like a perfectly legitimate storefront. I don’t know if I was hoping to stumble into some kind of massive smuggling operation, but I certainly didn’t. It just seemed like your normal, run of the mill spaceship parts center appealing to your average middle class family. No hint of any underhanded dealings of any kind, and the entire place seemed to be on the up and up. Of course, the best smuggling operations always do.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Nickel & Dime Store
  • System: Augnais
  • 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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One response

  1. Avraham Avinu

    That’s an interesting ship hull; I don’t think I’ve seen it before. Cool.

    May 24, 2011 at 7:14 pm

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