Sightseeing in the Cluster

Planetary Colonization Office Wreck

PCO 1

The wreck of the Planetary Colonization Office.

To say that there have been a lot of happenings in the past year is probably a bit of an understatement. Since the arrival of Caroline’s Star almost a year ago, I feel like I have gotten whiplash just from trying to keep up with all of the news both in and out of the Cluster in recent months. Caroline’s Star only heralded the beginning of an upheaval in the normal order that we are still trying to comprehend. But what I fear has been forgotten in all of the hub bub, especially since the arrival of the Drifters (whom have understandably taken the bulk of researchers’ attention since their arrival in New Eden), is where this all started. Thera was one of the first of the new Anoikis systems to get introduced to the wormhole… network, for lack of a better term. And after the shock of the discovery of the Sisters of Eve’s colonization of the system has worn off, it seems to have mostly faded off the radar for many of us interested in the mysteries of the Cluster, especially as the Drifters and various Hives have taken center stage.

PCO 2

Thera peeks through some of the still-remaining solar shielding.

But that’s not to say that we should forget about Thera. As I have said recently on the subject at a side presentation of the 95th Interstellar Mindclash Championship at the Grand Tiegjon Resort and Casino, I don’t think we’ve discovered even half of what makes Thera special. The Sisters of Eve were intrigued enough to dedicate significant resources to the system, building eight stations in the system dedicated to various research and logistical purposes. They wouldn’t have dedicated so many resources to the system if they hadn’t found something of particular interest. And frankly, whatever the Sisters’ find that is of interest to them is probably bad news for us capsuleers, given their natural antipathy towards us.

PCO 3

A greenish debris cloud surrounds the wreck.

Of particular interest to me these days is the focus of the research labs that the Sisters have established in Thera. Although some stations got destroyed when Thera suffered a… main sequence event, the stations on the fringes of the system all survived, and their primary research purposes are telling. The surviving Sisters stations include the Institute of Paleocybernetics, the Surveillance Observatory, the Fullerene Loom, and the Applied Gravitation Laboratory. Of particular interest to me was the Institute on Paleocybernetics, which to me implies that they found something of interest in one of the planets of the system, before being pulverized by the blast that caused the inner planets to shatter. This is further backed by the fact that one of the now-wrecked stations in Thera is the Planetary Colonization Office.

PCO 4

Sleeper drones can often be found near the wreck.

Unlike the other station wrecks found in Thera, there’s nothing particularly remarkable about the former office. Indeed, if it weren’t for the rather alien background of unknown stars seen from Thera and its odd nebula, it could pass for any of countless Gallente stations that have been constructed and subsequently abandoned over the years. Debris from the shockwave that doomed the nearby planet floated in a small cloud around the station, undoubtedly bits of detritus from both the station and the planet. I tried my best not to imagine precisely how much of this detritus was biological in nature, though at least the station itself seemed to survive fairly intact, which is more than could be said of some of the other stations. And Aura adds this particular point:

PCO 6Perhaps the saddest testament to the shattered dreams of the expedition to Thera, this wrecked station seems to have been established as a coordinating center for the colonization of the planet it orbits. As Thera VIII is shattered and wracked by titanic quakes, such an effort would seem improbable unless the shattering happened relatively recently.

While the damage to this station is extensive and very little survives, there are large storage areas containing bins of rock samples that apparently originated from a geologically stable barren or temperate planet.

PCO 5

A Theran silhouette.

Still, the fact that the station existed at all suggests that the Sisters were focused on establishing planetary colonies in Thera, an unusual step for the primarily space-based Sisters. This unusual focus on the planets in the system, along with the Institute of Paleocybernetics, set my mind racing as to what the Sisters could have uncovered in the years since they first discovered Thera. Clearly something Sleeper related, given what we’ve seen of the system and the Sleeper’s expertise in virtual reality and neural interfacing, but what if they knew something about the Drifters before the rest of the cluster and refused to warn us? How many lives could have been saved? How much chaos could have been avoided if not for their urge to keep all of their findings secret? If we ever do find out what they discovered here, I suspect us capsuleers will be learning the hard way just what they found. Either way, though things seem quiet now in Thera, keep your eye on that system. I don’t think we’ve discovered even half of the secrets it holds.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Planetary Colonization Office Wreck
  • System: Thera
  • Security Rating: -1
  • Region: Anoikis
  • Potential Hazards: Thera is well-known for being a hotbed of player activity. Despite the system size, fights break out often, and the working stations in system are often gate camped, as can the wormholes into and out of the system. Caution (and cloakable ships) are strongly advised.
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