Sightseeing in the Cluster

The Reactor Factory

Reactor 1

The remains of the Reactor Factory, the first space-based industrial experiment of the Minmatar, can be found in Nakugard

Everyone likes a good redemption. To find out that there was a good reason for purportedly evil people to act as they did. Or to see someone see the error in their ways and atone for past wrongs. Why else would so many people try to logically argue with the so-called griefer capsuleers, especially when it’s fairly clear in many cases that the griefers are enjoying the resulting complaints? There’s something very cathartic about it, knowing either that there was something more to the situation than meets the eye or that there will be some atonement for previous ills. Perhaps it’s just the inherent need for people to believe that there’s good in everyone (much as the universe tries to dissuade us of that particular notion), or perhaps it’s just another quality of the human condition that is inexplicable.

Reactor 2

The Reactor Factory seems a bit more decrepit than the normal ruins

Despite normally only seeing true redemption in holos or books, occasionally such grand redemptions do happen in real life. These past few weeks, I’ve spent quite a bit of time developing the Nefantar narrative as a tribe who sold out their people to save themselves. That they accepted gifts and the Amarr religion in exchange for favored status within the Empire. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. The Nefantar, like the villains in any number of stories, had ulterior, and much more sympathetic motives. To fully understand the Nefantar and what they did, we have to look at what they did with respect to the Starkmanir. Another of the Seven Tribes, the Starkmanir were purportedly wiped out by Amarr bombardment near the start of the Rebellion. What was generally unknown at the time, however, were the fairly extraordinary steps the Nefantar took to protect vast chunks of the remaining Starkmanir population, including concealing them and continuing the tribe on. Only recently, during the Elder Invasion of Amarr space of YC 110, has this story came to light, as the Elder Fleet arrived to ferry the rest of the remaining Starkmanir home to the Republic. The Ammatar Consulate Governor even encouraged her own Nefantar to return home, and many (common people and holders alike) took her up on this advice. Whether the steps the Nefantar took to protect the Starkmanir are enough to completely redeem the Nefantar for the other ways in which they sold out the other Tribes will be a matter of debate for some time, but no history of the Nefantar would be complete without taking it into account.

In the spirit showing that the Nefantar are not all bad, this week’s site shows one of few successful projects that the Nefantar developed in the Ani constellation before fleeing to the Mandate. As Aura explains:

Reactor 3The Nefantar Tribe channelled great amounts of wealth exploited by the Amarrians into the Ani constellation. Though most of it was burnt to finance the extravagant hedonism of the Nefantar elite, some of it was actually put to good use. This reactor factory is an example of the latter. Its construction was the first space-based industrial complex operated by the Minmatars and heralded the renewal of the space age in Minmatar space. In hindsight, it was the first stone in the path to the Minmatar Rebellion.

Reactor 4

Two of the ships that consider these ruins home can be seen here

It’s surprising that the first space-based complex was located so far from Pator. This makes sense to an extent, given that even then the Nefantar had begun to split away from the main Minmatar polity. Still, given the materials needed and the probable consumers of many of the Factory’s goods, putting it closer to the homeworld probably would have made better economic sense, regardless of how well-developed Ani itself was. But the Minmatar in general have rarely let things like logic get in their way when their pride was on the line, and in this respect, it seems the Nefantar were no different from the other Tribes. Still, that isn’t to downplay the Tribe’s part in the second Minmatar space age. Getting a solid industrial base in space that makes space worth getting to in an economic sense (and not just the more esoteric “because it’s there” sense) is key in the development in any space-based civilization, and the Factory certainly helped in that regard.

Reactor 5

This station's architecture is notable for its extensive use of towers, which is not normally seen in space-based architecture

Today, of course, the factory stands in ruins, long ago made obsolete as the Minmatar refined their manufacturing processes and trashed as the Nefantar were forced out of Ani. Today, it merely stands testament to What Could Have Been. All of the industrial equipment has long ago been stripped, leaving, as usual, only the superstructure of the station. In its prime, though, the station would have served as an interesting testament to the somewhat unusual Minmatar architectural style. Large towers – useless in space, when you don’t have to worry about land use efficiency – cover most of the station. The traditional Minmatar long undock ramp makes its appearance again as well, though unlike last week, there’s only one of them.

Reactor 6

The entire site has a very desolate feeling to it.

The entire site is actually fairly desolate. Nakugard shines brightly in the distance, but Nakugard IV, the local planet, presents only a mere sliver of its daylight side to the factory. Beyond the memories inherent in these kinds of sites, the only things present were a few agents looking to hawk their missions. Still, in some ways this site serves as a fitting tribute to the Great Nefantar Redemption. Despite not always getting things right, be it by aligning with the “slavers” or wasting money on frivolous and hedonistic projects, there is an underlying Nefantar desire to help. They proved that by setting up a profitable factory that sped the Minmatar’s return to space, and they proved it again when they took extraordinary measures to protect the Starkmanir and ensure the Tribe’s continued survival. As I said, everyone loves a good redemption.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: The Reactor Factory
  • 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.

2 responses

  1. As always, a fantastic read. Thanks!

    In many ways, I see the Nefantar as millions of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom” who has been derided as a horrible character for the last century. Like the Nefantar, Uncle Tom had many reasons for “going with the grain” of his southern masters and at the end of the story created a very Christ-like metaphor of choosing to be beaten to death to protect the knowledge of the whereabouts of two runaway slaves.

    It’s the side stories of New Eden such as the Nefantar that provide the immense depth of the story telling possibilities of this game and I think you gave justice to the Nefantar. Literature is most difficult when it isn’t simply allegory and the characters are more than two dimensional archetypes.

    January 29, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    • I have to admit that I’ve never read Uncle Tom’s Cabin, but it does seem to be a bit of a repeating pattern.

      And I agree with what you say on literature. Like in real life, the best stories have no black and white, good and evil; it’s about making our way through a universe of greys.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:52 pm

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