Sightseeing in the Cluster

Cactus Mill Lookout

Cactus Mill 1

The Lookout keeps its lonely guard over Vahunomi X.

Each of the Empires seems to have areas of space that are just representative for them. Areas that help to sum up who that nation is as a people, and what values or ongoing issues they have that help to define them. The Gallente’s Algintal constellation is enmeshed with a debate over whether environmental or business concerns should win out, representing a deeper debate over the liberty and beauty the Gallente prize and the economic prosperity that allows them the freedom to have that debate.  The Minmatar’s Ani constellation shows the continuing struggle of the Republic to come to terms with its past while still embracing the future. The Amarr’s Araz constellation demonstrates a bloated bureaucracy and aristocracy struggling to control the largest nation in New Eden.

Cactus Mill 2

The old ore refinery is being repurposed as a sensor station to guard Bank assets.

So what about the State? The State has Okkelen… and the only real thing I can say about it is that it is very utilitarian and homogenous. Which, to be fair, fits the State quite well. But it’s notable how little there is of note to say about the State’s various sites in Okkelen. Sure, there are undertones of inter-corporate rivalries that I have discussed previously, as well as attempts to reclaim Okkelen from pirate groups, but I can’t get away from the fact that, moreso than the other constellations that I’ve mentioned, many of the sites that are marked here are just boring. As a semi-professional traveler around New Eden, I hesitate to use such a strong term (a death knell for anyone relying on tourism to boost income), but as I have repeatedly noted throughout my exploration of Okkelen that many of the sites seem to be very homogenous. Which, as I’ve mentioned, fits the cultural tropes of the Caldari well, but just does not make for very exciting exploration.

For example, let’s take a look at this week’s site: the Cactus Mill Lookout. Aura, as usual, comes to the rescue with some basic information:

Cactus Mill 3An old ore refinery, the Cactus Mill is being refurbished with the latest surveillance gadgets courtesy of the State and Region Bank. Great wealth can be found in the nearby station vault and the bank is anxious to protect it. It’s a race against time as bandits will inevitably fall on the vault sooner rather than later. The help of independent pilots is greatly appreciated.

Cactus Mill 4

One of the ships that has set up station here as the station itself trails off into the distance.

Having seen this in my research, I was at least hoping to see a security perimeter and some sensor posts. Perhaps some corporate navies out in force to protect their investments in the Bank. Or even some State naval vessels to help protect what is clearly an important national asset. I came in to Cactus Mill with high hopes and instead I got… an old, abandoned station. The same as any number of others that I’ve seen in my time here. Though I do take solace in the fact that there’s no asteroid colony evident. If there’s any retrofitting going on, it’s clearly an entirely internal affair. Meshing well with the State’s utilitarian nature, the station’s exterior is clearly dinged and dirty, but still intact. As such, it’s not being touched as far as I can tell by any repair crews. Any ore processing facilities have clearly been removed by the Bank by now, but any upgrades to the interior of the station are completely invisible to me.

Cactus Mill 5

One of the asteroids present near the Lookout.

Beyond the station itself, there is very little of note around the Lookout. Vahunomi X floats quietly in the background. It has a wispy ring system surrounding it that adds a hint of background beauty to the site. A few ships have also made the site their home port, ready to offer missions out to enterprising capsuleers who are looking to help protect the Bank and its aforementioned vault. A few asteroids also sit near the station, presumably leftover from the station’s life as an ore refinery. A brief glance at sensor readouts shows that there’s still some usable minerals to be found in the depths, but of course Professor Science isn’t outfitted to go mining, so I just leave the rocks be.

Cactus Mill 6

The old docking bay of the station.

I spend very little time at the Lookout. There’s simply very little to see. Another old and abandoned station in a constellation that is replete in fairly uninteresting sites. Indeed, old and abandoned stations can be found throughout the State, a reminder of times past when the State felt it necessary to defend its perimeters from Gallente onslaught more closely. That is not to say that the sites here serve no purpose to the people of Okkelen, or even that the stories that they tell are not worth telling. But compared to the beauty of Algintal, the majesty found in Araz, or the haunting reminders of the past found in Ani, Okkelen just leaves something to be desired for travelers like me.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Cactus Mill Lookout
  • System: Vahunomi
  • Security Rating: 0.5
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: This also serves as a Caldari COSMOS site. Furthermore, some asteroids here are capable of being mined.

One response

  1. Pingback: New Eden Regions: The Forge | To Boldly Go

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