Editor’s note: Unbeknownst to me until recently, the Tyrannis expansion has apparently resulted in a move of the original Crielere Project to now becoming an Abandoned Research Outpost. To take this into account, here is a revamped Crielere Project entry. Like Ultra! Premiere, I will keep the old entry up in the archives, but all links will point to the new entry.
For all the recent success I’ve seen in my time out this way in Caldari-Gallente relations, not all of it has had a happy ending. And why should it? These are two bitter enemies, with innate and, at times, seemingly implacable cultural and innately psychological differences, all backed by a century of bloodshed. Regardless of the airs each side tries to put on, that kind of history cannot be erased after just a few years and a few mildly successful joint ventures. To their credit, though, given the history and the current state of affairs between the two governments, I would have expected to see many more failures on the lines of the Crielere Project than seem to have actually happened.
The story surrounding the project is enough to make any holo director drool. Two bitter enemies make a desperate attempt at peace by setting up a joint research effort. The effort turns out to be wildly successful, producing a number of blueprints that are still in use even today. Popularity of the project soars on both sides, and it seems like the cold war between the two nations might finally be put to rest. Just as the team is resting on their laurels, however, disaster strikes when it becomes known that one side is stealing other blueprints for their own uses, claiming it as “compensation” for the contributions made. The other side backs out of the project in protest, cutting off all funding and project support. The project is left in free fall as both sides cut off all security teams and leave the project on its own in low security space. Then, just for fun, pirates show up and start killing everyone, and would have taken it all if not for the plucky and scrappy defense by capsuleer forces. Throw in Amarrian slavers and kidnappings, and you have the making of a blockbuster.
Strangely, despite the eventual Gurista victory over the forces defending the Project, the Guristas seem to have all but ignored the project. Except for a few pirate vessels hanging out near the warp-in point for the complex, the entire structure appears to be all but abandoned. The twin Caldari and Gallente stations, built a few dozen kilometers apart from each other to provide yet more support for the research center proper, stand abandoned and clearly falling apart. The deteriorating ruins of the stations, swaddled in the gentle nebula around the entire site, stand almost as ghostly sentinels to the research center, perhaps guarding the memories of those who died here. Perhaps more surprisingly, the research station itself looked in far better condition. It stood between the two hulking stations, dwarfed in comparison. The various station rings still gently turn, and some kind of emanations can still be seen from the core of the structure, showing something was still active over there. Whatever it was, though, is clearly not all that important if it wasn’t stolen along with the rest of the valuable equipment in the area. Another surprising feature is that, despite the well-known history surrounding the area, someone still seemed bound and determined to keep the story hidden. Aura’s standard synopsis of the site made no mention of the specific history:
In-space research laboratories are often established to circumvent planetside laws and oversight. As a consequence, an entire research industry has slowly emerged among the stars, often leading the planetside economies in space-related research. One inevitable by-product of this relentless expansion has been the downfall of countless outposts and laboratories, whose empty, pilfered husks now lie discarded and forgotten.
Whoever is trying to cover up the history of this site obviously doesn’t know that, like technology itself, the genie can rarely be put back in the bottle.
- Attraction: Crielere Research Station
- System: Crielere
- Security Rating: 0.4
- Region: Sinq Laison
- Potential Hazards: Getting to Crielere from high sec space may require extensive low sec travel, and the system is just one jump from the well-known pirate haven of Rancer. Pirates (both pod and rat varieties) can be quite common on the route. A covops is recommended. Note, however, that cruiser and frigate rats can now be found at the site, so warping in at a distance from the beacon is recommended.