Sightseeing in the Cluster

Culture Recess

Culture Recess 1

The Culture Recess floats above Uriok IX.

During any unpopular occupation, a number of groups will eventually sort themselves out. The vast majority of people will simply try to carry on and survive under the new order. Even if they don’t like their new overlords, they have families or friends that depend on them, so they’ll just try to stay out of the invaders’ way. The next group that inevitably forms is the resistance/rebellion/guerillas/terrorists… however you want to call them. They dislike the occupation enough to fight for their freedom. They probably have the sympathy of most of the public, but not everyone is willing or able to support them. The measures they take, how far they’re willing to go, how many people they are willing to kill to get their way… all of that varies from cell to cell and even from person to person. But the fact of the matter is that they’re able and willing to fight against the invaders. Of course, this is the group most likely to be wiped out (at least if the invaders have their way).

Culture Recess 2

The station was originally constructed as a cross-cultural center to encourage ties between the Amarr and the Nefantar.

The most interesting group, in my opinion, is the so-called collaborator group. These are people who have decided to cast their lot with the invaders, in joining the new government, passing on information, or otherwise supporting the new regime. The reasons for doing so vary widely. Some simply follow whoever is in charge, legitimately or not, migrating towards whatever power exists. Others owe something to the new regime (perhaps the invaders have their family). And some just, in fact, agree with the invaders. Perhaps they didn’t like the old regime or they were the ones who asked for the invaders to come. But for whatever reason, they are willing to cast aside all previous relations and earn the scorn of their fellow countrymen in siding with the new regime.

Culture Recess 3

The central temple can be seen through holes in the massive station's superstructure.

The emergence of such a group during the Amarr occupation, then, could easily be foreseen. What perhaps couldn’t be foreseen was the sheer size of the collaboration group, or the ferocity with which they took up the Amarr theology, truly seeing themselves as lower than the Amarr and only worthy of subservience. Not just a few people here and there, but an entire tribe of the Minmatar were willing to cast their lots with the Amarr. The reasons for which the Nefantar collaborated with the Amarr are the subject of substantial debate even today, with as many theories as there are people you ask. But whatever their motivation, the Amarr had every reason to continue to woo the Nefantar to ensure that they didn’t have a change of heart. The Empire devoted substantial resources to developing ties with the Nefantar, even before the Rebellion started, to make sure that they had someone on their side amongst the tumultuous world of Minmatar politics. One of the projects they developed in an attempt to welcome the Nefantar into their flock was the Amarr-Minmatar Cultural Center. As Aura explains:

Culture Recess 4The Amarrians poured lot of wealth into the Ani constellation to keep the Nefantars happy. While most of that wealth was burned in heady narcissism, some was used to try and build an independent infrastructure for the Nefantars. A few of these ventures turned out to be quite successful, but most were doomed to fail from the start. The Amarr-Minmatar Cultural Center, constructed on this site, was such a project. Intended to amalgamate the cultures of the two races, the project never really took off. It was quickly abandoned, to much mockery from the rest of the Minmatars. Culture Recess is one of the mock names given to the facility by the Minmatars.

Culture Recess 5

A closeup of the central temple.

Today, the Culture Recess is only a monument to the Amarr’s failed attempt to subjugate the Minmatar. The site itself is fairly straightforward. The Amarr used their trade stations as a basis for the Center. Where normally there would be a docking point for ships, the Amarr apparently decided that there wasn’t quite enough religion, and placed another of their space temples. Of course, today the site is a complete wreck. The station is quite dilapidated and long picked over by scavengers. As usual, all that remains is the actual superstructure (one of these days, I would have to research what was in superstructures that made them so unwanted by scavengers, but I suppose that is neither here nor there).

Culture Recess 6

One of the ships that can often be found near the Recess.

Part of me wished, however, that I could see this in its heyday, if only to see how the Amarr tried to tie the two very different cultures together. It must have been quite the effort, as the Amarr tried to balance their natural inclination to play up their own importance with the need to glorify the Nefantar and try not to alienate the other tribes.

Of course, it’s pretty much a moot point now. With both the Amarr and Nefantar long expelled from Minmatar space, today the Culture Recess is just a monument to the biggest problems faced by collaborators throughout history: if the invaders are ever expelled, they’re stuck dealing with the consequences of their decision to side with the losers. The Nefantar gambled when the Amarr came in, and they lost. They continue to pay for that choice to this day.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Culture Recess
  • System: Uriok
  • Security Rating: 0.5
  • Region: Metropolis
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Minmatar, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: This also serves as a Minmatar COSMOS site.

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