Grand Crag Watch
Author’s Note: I would also like to extend my sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Sean Smith, aka Vile Rat. His death was a loss for the entire EVE community. I didn’t know Vile Rat, so I will leave it to others who have summed up their feelings much better than I ever could. I will say this though: seeing the EVE community unite as they have has only served to remind me how proud I am to be a part of it. May Sean’s favorite ships be always on hand, and may good fights be never hard to find. Fly safe o7
I’ve always found the interplay between corporate governance and actual governance within the Caldari State fascinating. Perhaps that’s the political science nerd in me struggling to get out. To an extent, the fundamentals of corporations and your more normal democratically elected governments are similar. Voters (shareholders) elect those who they trust to keep the corporation on the right path. Safeguards are put in place to require that the corporate officers put their corporation’s interests ahead of their own. They are required to spend their money for the good of the shareholders (aka dividends), and consensus building within the Board of Directors is required for policy to be implemented. Such requirements are not that far amiss from parliamentary democracies. But there are differences, too. Unlike governments, businesses are always expected to bring in profits. Rather than relying on policy considerations, shareholders are often more concerned with the profit forecasts in making their selections for CEO. And, of course, there’s the fact that some things just aren’t profitable: fire fighting services, roads, infrastructure. Things that are necessary for modern life, but just aren’t easy to make a dollar off of.
That’s why it always vaguely surprises me when I see a Caldari corporation provide services that typically a government would provide. Each of the Caldari megacorps have their own police and quasi-military arms, which continues to surprise me. I’ve never quite been able to figure out where they fall (if anywhere) in the military chain of command under the Caldari Navy. Given just how much the corporate identity permeates Caldari culture, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised to see that, beyond the general services provided to employees, they have also delved into the world of intelligence. I suppose once corporations enter into the world of military operations in general, military intelligence won’t be far behind. Still, it’s an odd thing for me to see. But if I didn’t believe that before, Grand Crag Watch has shut me up. As Aura tells me:
Lai Dai constructed a surveillance outpost here after they lost control of their nearby mining facility. The remotely-controlled surveillance equipment keeps the tabs on the struggle taking place for control of the contested mining facility. Recently the Grand Crag Watch has become a favored meeting place of pilots with Lai Dai sympathies.
The nearby facility that the observation outpost was keeping an eye on has long been the site of battles between the various factions vying for control of Okkelen. And now Lai Dai is trying to get a piece of the action. I’m forced to wonder what exactly is so valuable in Okkelen that everyone is fighting over. There have been hints of something major being discovered over in Friggi, but despite years of research at the Devil’s Dig site, as far as I know nothing of note has ever been discovered outside of things that are of interest only to archeologists and scholars of the Talocan. Despite this, however, both pirates and megacorporations alike seem to be dedicating significant resources, while the rogue drones that have become ensconced on the site have also been fighting tooth and nail to protect what, if anything, is in there. But exactly what Airmia had to do with the Devil’s Dig site wasn’t clear; if establishing control of the dig site were more important, you’d think that they would be fighting over Friggi itself, not the next system over.
Regardless of the reasons for its existence, Grand Crag Watch isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The Watch itself is a fairly drag, expectedly utilitarian affair, consisting entirely of a lookout post and a repair yard for local Lai Dai ships. If, as Aura suggests, this is truly a “favored meeting place of pilots with Lai Dai sympathies”, then Lai Dai could use some more pilot outreach programs. The only ship beside my own that I saw near the Watch was a small Hawk flown by Lai Dai agent Oniya Arkimo, who looked rather bored when I briefly started talking with her. She was all business, however, and once she realized I wasn’t there for work, she sent me on my way.
I didn’t spend long at the Watch. Beyond the fact that there was simply nothing to see, I was eager to get my explorations of Okkelen to an end. Although it was enlightening to view the culture that I had been raised to distrust, I was ready to move on and see what else was out there. There were still a few things that I needed to explore, but they would require more resource gathering before I was ready to tackle them.
- Attraction: Grand Crag Watch
- System: Airmia
- Security Rating: 0.6
- Region: The Forge
- Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4 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.