The Glass Edge
The joke is often that the Minmatar build their stations and ships from whatever rusted scraps they find laying around. This joke has gone so far as to become a bit of a rallying cry: “In Rust we Trust” is often heard from Matari loyalists going into the attack. And to an extent, the jokes have some truth to it. The Minmatar have never been known for their graceful architectural styles. In fact, the architectural style fittingly seems to be almost the antithesis of the Amarr design philosophy. Whereas the Amarr put form first, cladding all of their ships and buildings in gold, and fit the function in from there, the Matari choose to put function first. They’re not afraid to show the underlying structural elements. If something is just there to “look nice”, it’s not needed. In a society as starved for resources as the early Minmatar Republic, making things “look nice” simply wasn’t a priority. They wanted to get the job done, not win beauty contests. Intriguingly, given the lack of development in their designs, the Minmatar still seem to be in that mindset.
But more intriguingly from a historical perspective is that the Nefantar apparently followed this design philosophy. Although they had little chance to really develop their architectural styles before being forced from the Hjoramold stronghold, perhaps what is most striking is how dissimilar it is from Amarr stylings. Although there was certainly internal dissent, the Nefantar systematically brought themselves closer and closer to the Amarr between first contact and the official invasion. And after they withdrew totally to Hjoramold, they proceeded to adopt Amarr policies en masse. Surprisingly, however, they didn’t adopt Amarr architectural themes. Although Nefantar architecture generally appears a tad more blocky than the more traditional Seven Tribes architecture, it’s notable that they don’t borrow from Amarr architecture until after their move to the Mandate. Although there are certainly explanations for this (not wanting to further inflame the other Tribes being the most notable), I still find their decision to stick closer to Minmatar architectural norms interesting. One of the more notable examples of Nefantar architecture can be found at the Glass Edge. Aura, apparently growing a bit more poetic as time goes on, summarizes it thusly:
Nakugard is the entry system into the Ani constellation, ancestral home of the Nefantar tribe. The constellation enjoyed great prominence while the Minmatars suffered under the Amarrian yoke. The Glass Edge served once as a surveillance outpost for the Nefantars, but today it serves as a reminder of what the Nefantars stood for. The tribe used its privileged position to gather great wealth here, sometimes by force, but more often through guile and veiled threats. That is the glass edge, it may not be hard or obvious, but it will make you bleed all the same.
As someone interested in architectural stylings, I enjoyed looking over the Glass Edge’s structure. As I mentioned above, it was a bit blockier than normal Minmatar designs, who normally go for a shorter, but more spread out station design. The Glass Edge, on the other hand, was a taller station, with multiple ingress and egress points for different sized vessels. Beyond the more gaping egress points, the station also features the traditional long undock ramp surrounded by transparent viewports, one of my favorite parts of classical Matari station design. This station in fact features twin undocking ramps in this design, presumably allowing for a fast transfer rate. On another side of the station, three gigantic docking/undocking ports yawned open, presumably allowing larger freighter vessels to dock and easily transfer cargo.
As could probably be expected, the station itself has sat abandoned for quite a few years now, leaving scavengers plenty of time to pick at the remains. Gaping holes in the massive superstructure can easily be seen, and there is quite a bit of debris from the inner workings of the station floating around outside. Considering the fact that this was a surveillance station, it is not surprising that the station is also surrounded by various sensor antennae to report what is going on in nearby space. What IS surprising, however, is that, unlike the station, the radio antennae appear to be in almost pristine condition. Perhaps the Republic retrofitted the sensors for their early-warning net. The variety of Matari vessels now surrounding the station certainly supports that theory, but none of them were willing to comment on whether the surveillance stations were in fact operational.
I’ve often felt that a culture’s architecture can give intriguing insights into that culture’s thought processes. The harsh, unforgiving lines of a Caldari station hint at their utilitarian nature and their need to conquer the harsh environments of space. The graceful lines of a Gallente station, with their large biodomes and stations that appear almost as a work of art, showcase their more peaceful nature and their desire to have a station blend in as much as possible with their local environments, instead of conquering them. Amarr stations too have a graceful design, but their willingness to clad all of their stations in gold showcase a desire to stand out from the crowd, to show off their superiority over everyone but God. And what of the Minmatar? What of the “In Rust we Trust” mentality? I think it shows almost a certain kind of pride in their ability to “live off the land,” so to speak. To take what they can find, and not only make it functional but also imbue a certain beauty of its own, to show that these days, not only can the Republic survive, but maybe that they can also thrive.
- Attraction: The Glass Edge
- System: Nakugard
- 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.