Reschard V Disaster Memorial
I don’t think I’ve hidden that I’m proud to be a citizen of the Gallente Federation and all that the Federation stands for. Through representative government and a true respect for the dignity of the individual, great things can be accomplished. The potential of the Federation, when it truly respects the ideals it proclaims to respect, is nearly limitless. But, unfortunately, the Federation has strayed from that potential more than I care to think about. Again and again and again, the Federation has proven that it is no more immune to the dark sides of humanity than any of the other Empires scattered across New Eden. And that is truly a shame for a civilization that has so much to aspire to.
One of the most notable regular failings of the Federation is its habit of ignoring the hinterlands of its expanses. Although the Federation is quick to jump to the defense of Luminaire or Algogille, it often forgets that the Federation is far more than those critical systems. The fact that it took until last year to build a direct connection to Solitude from the rest of the Federation is a horrible stain on a government that claims to work for the benefit of all citizens. And don’t even get me started on how the Federation let the Intaki home system, one of the largest constituencies of the Federation and considered a major Federation member, fall to Caldari forces. I don’t agree with the Intaki Liberation Front… but I can’t say I blame them either.
A prime example of this is the failure of the Federation in responding to the Reschard V disaster. In YC108, Reschard V, a fairly small colony on the outskirts of Placid, was devastated by a supermassive explosion. Reports from the Sisters of Eve at the time suggested that nearly 90 percent of surface life was destroyed, a staggering amount of devastation that is nearly impossible to comprehend. Indeed, once relief convoys finally reached the system, only 2,000 survivors were found. It wasn’t until much later, after a detailed analysis, that it was determined that the Equilibrium of Mankind (an otherwise unnotable sect of the Amarrian religion) was responsible, using a captured Avatar-class titan’s doomsday device.
And in response to this staggering attack on Federation soil, the Federation did… nothing. Well, that’s not entirely true. 15 years after the attack, they put up a basic monument. I suppose that’s something. But given that even primary relief efforts were led by the Sisters of Eve and the mercenary Mordu’s Legion, you’ll forgive me for not being particularly impressed by the efforts. Still, it sounds like the Federation may have finally recognized it’s grave and, frankly, embarrassing failures, as demonstrated by the text put out to any who come to visit the memorial:
This monument serves to remember all those who died in the Reschard V Disaster.
Let not the death of this world be forgotten as we build the Gallente Federation.
In YC108, the planet of Reschard V was suddenly hit with an electromagnetic doomsday weapon attack. The massive explosion enveloped a huge volume of atmosphere and saturated an entire hemisphere in deadly radiation. The explosive injection of enormous quantities of energy into the atmosphere resulted in global megastorms that raged around the planet. Together with the explosive effects and radiation, the devastating storms killed nearly 90% of surface life, with human survival estimated at one in fifty-thousand.
While it was clear from telemetry that some kind of doomsday weapon had been deployed in the upper atmosphere by a capital ship, it took an investigation headed by CONCORD many months to uncover clear evidence that the Equilibrium of Mankind (EOM) had been behind the attack. The apocalyptic, genocidal cult had used an Avatar-class Titan fitted with an old-style, unrestrained radiative doomsday device. CONCORD did not widely release this information, hoping to prevent a mass panic, but the conclusions slowly leaked and formed the basis of rumors that were quietly acknowledged as true.
The fate of the EOM’s Avatar remained a mystery subject to much speculation until May YC123, when it was used by Equilibrium agent and Khanid warlord Alar Chakaid to bombard the planet Kahah III with a modified directed-energy weapon of the newer type. Although it was destroyed over Kahah III, CONCORD analysts have suggested that scans of the EOM Avatar indicate significant repairs to the frontal sections of the massive vessel. Some have speculated that feedback effects from firing a heavily-modified old-style doomsday close to a planetary atmosphere could have destroyed the weapon and severely damaged the Titan.
The Reschard V Disaster was considered a huge failure both of territorial security and disaster response on the Federation’s part. The Sisters of EVE played a major role in the early rescue efforts but by the time substantial Federation resources arrived at the remote low-security system it was far too late for most inhabitants of the planet. Independent capsuleers proved themselves to be both angels of mercy and demons of destruction, as some supported relief efforts, while others actually hunted and destroyed relief convoys. Later search and rescue operations were to recover some 2,000 survivors from deep subterranean caves. Those lucky few beat odds that tens of millions of other Reschard colonists were unable to overcome.
The Gallente Federation’s lackluster response to a monumental humanitarian crisis on the edge of its domains was noted by many planets around its periphery, and the Reschard V incident surely contributed to a growing political movement demanding more equable treatment for the outer regions of the Gallente polity. This powerful current in the politics of the Federation was ultimately a major factor in the election of President Celes Aguard in YC122.
The monument itself is a plinth that has become standard in recent years. The hologram above the plinth is a classic Federation eagle; a somewhat odd design choice given that the text makes it clear that the Federation responded poorly to the disaster. The plinth orbits the still devastated Reschard V, a barren planet on which no life can be seen from orbit, even 15 years later. I will be the first to admit that it’s a pretty dreary place, all told. That is probably the point, if I’m being honest.
I didn’t spend much time looking at this monument. The failures that it represents still touch a little too close to home. But I’m glad that the Federation has begun to acknowledge the errors here, and the atrocities that resulted from those errors, and it seems that the behemoth that is the federal government has finally started to recognize that citizens on the frontier are worth just as much as those who live in the heart of Caille. It’s an understanding that has been far too long in the making, but let’s hope that this is a lesson that sticks.
- Attraction: Reschard V Disaster Memorial
- System: Reschard
- Security Rating: 0.1
- Region: Placid
- Potential Hazards: Reschard is located in low security space. Pirates and gate camps should be expected, and caution is advised. A cov ops or other cloaking ship is recommended.
March 27, 2022 at 6:54 pm