[Editor’s note: Special thanks to Wilhelm Arcturus of The Ancient Gaming Noob fame for helping me find this site.]
Regardless of how much effort the Empires and the capsuleers (or at least the capsuleers who can be brought to care about these kinds of things) put into eradicating the various menaces of New Eden, at least one of the pirate factions or another always seems to be on the rise, each bringing their own particular kind of nightmare into the cluster. These days, the nightmares have been taking the form of those sanguinophilic cultists, the Blood Raiders. After exploding back on to the scene, so to speak, with their Crimson Harvest a few years back, they have managed to maintain momentum from their recent exploits, despite getting handily beaten back each time they manage to make the news.
Indeed, they seem to have only grown bolder over time. While a number of pirate factions have begun to expand their industrial base, the Blood Raiders have now gone public with exactly what they intend to do with their increased resource collection. Taking advantage of their recent successes, Bloody Omir and his lieutenants have developed their own capital ships, and have rushed headlong into the deployment process to get these ships operational as soon as possible using the new engineering complexes that have been recently released. As someone who has never flown anything larger than a battleship, I am hesitant say just how dangerous these new ships are, but regardless, the sheer tonnage of them raises the threat level and force projection that the Blood Raiders would be able to deploy with ease.
Needless to say, the Blood Raiders have made it difficult to find their new shipyard. However, regardless of any advances in technology, you can’t build a ship without raw materials. And to get those raw materials, you need to send out mining ships to collect them. Some relatively resourceful pilots realized that people just need to follow the ore (so to speak) to find out the location of the new Blood Raiders shipyards. With that tactic in mind, it wasn’t long before the pilots tracked down the location of the first shipyard to the system E-DOF2 in Period Basis. With the location found out, I made my way out there at the first opportunity.
The system itself was deep in null security space, but thankfully I managed to get myself out there with relative ease. With help from a fellow chronicler of the happenings of New Eden, I managed to warp to the Sotiyo-class engineering complex undetected. What I saw there was… odd. While the shipyard was defended by a small fleet of ships of various classes, their coordination seemed… almost lacking. Indeed, I witnessed quite a few ships, presumably defending other Blood Raider interests in the system, warp in to the shipyard, only to miss the shipyard and overshoot by several hundred kilometers. The ships would then have to turn around and warp once again to get in range to properly defend the system. Perhaps whatever ailed the Blood Raider navigation systems also affected my camera drones, as I was unable to keep them focused on most objects near the Sotiyo for more than a few seconds at a time.
The Sotiyo itself was skinned to make it obvious who owned it and what it was used for. Fires belched from the various processing systems as the Blood Raiders scrambled to build their capital ships before the capsuleer pilots, inevitably, arrived in force to boot them out and seek their prizes.
And arrive the capsuleers eventually did, bringing the Sotiyo down only a day after I was able to find it in E-DOF2. Despite the Sotiyo’s destruction, Omir Sarikusa sounded inordinately pleased with himself, suggesting that they would go on to rebuild the shipyard somewhere else in their native lands, allowing the legions of Omir’s army continue their bloody ascendancy.
- Attraction: Blood Raider Sotiyo
- System: Anywhere in the regions of Delve, Period Basis, or Querious.
- Security Rating: 0.0
- Region: Delve, Period Basis, or Querious.
- Potential Hazards: All three regions lie deep in 0.0 space, involving jumps across a number of different alliance territories, many of which may be operating under “Not Blue, Shoot It” protocol. Gate camps (including warp interdiction bubbles) can be found often in transitioning from 0.0 to high security space, as well as on other gates. Additionally, although the Blood Raiders seemed a bit cautious in attacking non-hostile ships, they were certainly present in force at the site itself Caution is advised.
- Additional Notes: As noted in the entry itself, AI seems to be a bit weird still, and the camera was acting oddly, not letting me track most of the NPC ships on the scene for more than a few seconds, if at all, before reverting back to my ship.
In recent months, I’ve been dedicated to hunting down new or moving sites, often giving chase to half a rumor or some breaking piece of news that I had to see before it ended. Those kinds of sites are both exhilarating and, in their own way, exhausting, keying me up so that I can deploy on a moment’s notice but also meaning I rarely had the chance to completely relax, knowing that a new (or old site) might rear its head and require me to dash out on a moment’s notice. But with a bit of a lull, it seems, it means that I got to return to my roots a bit. After refamiliarizing myself with my home system for a few weeks, I found myself ready to go on a good, old fashioned roam. And not just any roam, but a roam to the outer fringes of New Eden.
Null sec is, by far, the area of New Eden I have spent the least amount of time in. Though comprising the largest chunk of New Eden proper, the untamed wildernesses beyond the empires has held little appeal to me. And why should it? Null sec is the heart of the capsuleer realms, where the big kids play with their thousands upon thousands of friends. The internecine alliances, grudges, rises, and falls hold little interest and mostly mean I want to stay out of its way, lest the interminable drama seizes a hold of me as well. That, of course, doesn’t mean that no sites exist in null sec to tickle my interest nor does it mean that I won’t go out there (clearly). It just means that I have to take care when I head out that way. Thar be dragons (and other sundry creatures) out there, after all.
And so, I loaded up my now somewhat-dirty Scientia and plotted a course for Vale of the Silent. Vale stands on the fringes of Jove space, and Caroline’s Star casts a baleful glare indeed from this bordering region. Had the Jove not completely cut themselves out, Vale would undoubtedly be a much more civilized border region between the Fifth Empire of New Eden and its more primitive brethren. Without that through-traffic, however, Vale seems much more sedate than it might have. That’s not to say that I didn’t run across anyone, of course, and I have little doubt that my presence raced across the various intel channels of New Eden, but I ran into few bubbles out that way and even fewer people as I steered towards my destination system. Today, that was the unoriginal name of BR-6XP.
Hidden in a far corner of BR-6XP was today’s destination, known only as Black Jack’s. A bit of research dug up that Black Jack was a rather notorious Angel’s pirate back in the day, known for terrorizing the denizens of Molden Heath before becoming too famous for his own good. After being unceremoniously shoved out of Molden Heath by Angels command, he retreated back to Vale of the Silent, and his various underlings and followers can be found to this day hanging out in the small gaseous cloud that he apparently claimed and, in true Amarr tradition, promptly named after himself. Although the small nebula bears his name, Black Jack himself is nowhere to be seen. Indeed, it’s not entirely clear what’s become of Black Jack, though further investigation may turn up his fate.
The nebula itself sits fairly close to the ringed gas giant of planet 5 and is remarkably dense. Indeed, it was difficult even for Scientia’s sensors to penetrate that thick soup. Camera drones flown to the middle of the nebula had difficulties determining in just what direction the local sun could be found, and in most areas, BR-6XP V was merely a ghostly outline of a planet, barely visible through the dense haze. In the depths of the nebula stands a ship that, if BR-6XP were a little more highly traveled, would undoubtedly spawn a few ghost stories. The ghostly outlines of a Machariel can just be made out from the fringes of the nebula. Closer investigation proved that the ship was quite real and belongs to one of Black Jack’s compatriots, but its eerie semi-appearance and the quiet of the surrounding system lends itself quite well to a spectral story or three.
All in all, it felt good to be getting back to my roots. Out here on the fringes of space, just seeing what there is to be seen. No rush, no particular goal, just a very cathartic trip all in all. After admiring the view for some time, I turned my ship to the gate and on to the next system.
- Attraction: Black Jack’s
- System: BR-6XP
- Security Rating: 0.0
- Region: Vale of the Silent
- Potential Hazards: BR-6XP is deep in 0.0 space, involving jumps across a number of different alliance territories, many of which may be operating under “Not Blue, Shoot It” protocol. Gate camps (including warp interdiction bubbles) can be found often in transitioning from 0.0 to high security space, as well as on other gates. Caution is advised.
My legs are cramping. Given that I was in a pod, that was a feat in and of itself. The pod is a marvelous piece of engineering, designed as a complete life support system to protect that little kilogram and a half bundle of neural tissue that we call a brain. The pod feeds the body nutrients, exercises muscles, and provides alternative sensory input all to make the brain (and body) forget that its cooped up in a 2-3 meter capsule and not moving for long stretches of time in order to control a hulking interstellar spaceship. It’s designed to do this for weeks, months, maybe YEARS at a time. But here I am, only 6 weeks into my quest to find a fairly rare and specific site in Anoikis, and I can definitely tell through all of the neural input filters and thousand distractions that come with piloting a starship that my legs are cramping up.
I have no idea how Katia Sae does it.
But the story of that particular is for another time, if only because I have yet to actually find it. Instead, while browsing galnet a week ago, a news item caught my eye that eventually prompted me to take a sojourn back to civilized space for a little bit. Those of you watching the news are probably aware of the waves being made currently by Upwell Consortium. The Consortium is an alliance of corporations from across New Eden looking to bring new technology to the public. Beyond giving the Serpentis a (rather deserved) public-relations black eye, the Consortium is perhaps most well-known for looking to release so-called citadel stations, which look to up-end the market for capsuleer-owned station services. In order to promote their upcoming line of citadels, Upwell has decided to build some demonstration citadels to show their advantages.
Unfortunately, I decided to make a trip to see one such citadel, being built in Ourapheh, shortly after it was destroyed by a group of capsuleers who were apparently just looking for trouble. Sadly, I didn’t realize this until after I had left the confines of my temporary wormhole home and made the trip to Ourapheh. Upwell, however, seemed completely undeterred by the attacks on all 5 of their demonstration sites (found in Ourapheh, Anjedin, Asgeir, Mara, and PF-346), and quickly announced that the demonstration sites had been restarted with better security and the removal of a computer virus. That being said, the announcements were made by Upwell’s Department of Friendship and Mutual Assistance. If history is any guide, departments with name such as this tend to have precisely the opposite effect, but I guess I will have to see how these play out.
However, with the construction projects now restarted, I quickly made my way over to the new sites. Apparently, the second time is the charm, and I arrived at a not-blown-up construction site. Admittedly, there was not much to see at this point. The construction site was close to the Customs Office orbiting Mara I, although for now it consists of little more than multiple landing platforms to coordinate supply runs and a multitude of manufacturing sites. Although a bit of work could be seen occurring in the manufacturing yards, little could be seen by way of output, perhaps because Upwell is still waiting on research components to fuel construction. I look forward to seeing the finished sites, however, as all reports of the citadels thus far indicate that even the smallest versions will still be quite sizeable, while the largest version will be able to dock even the largest titans. Those will truly be sites to see, and hopefully someday I will be able to.
That being said, however, my ability to someday see the largest citadels seems contingent on me someday leaving Anoikis to come back to New Eden. After spending a few minutes at the site wondering what was to come, I reversed my course and headed back to my temporary wormhole home. Even though I was only in New Eden for a few short moments, it was nice to see the hustle and bustle of civilized space, not to mention actual ships instead of the feeling of dread that comes over me in Anoikis when probes show up on the d-scan that aren’t my own. Regardless, I was in it to the end. While the Children of Light may have defeated me, I am content to live in Anoikis as long as it takes to find what I’m looking for, even if it means dealing with leg cramps. With one last look around at New Eden, I went forth once more into the great unknown.
- Attractions: Astrahus Exemplar Site
- System: Ourapheh, Anjedin, Asgeir, Mara, and PF-346
- Security Rating: 0.9, 0.5, 0.7, 0.4, and 0.0, respectively.
- Region: Genesis, Tash-Murkon, Metropolis, Lonetrek, and Syndicate, respectively
- Potential Hazards: Varies, depending on the location. Three of the sites are in high security space, but the sites in Mara and PF-346 should be approached with caution as they are in low sec and null sec, respectively. Caution, as always, is advised.
EDIT: I don’t have time to add a complete new post but some updated pictures of construction on the Citadels can be found below.
I’m not entirely sure if its restlessness or merely writers block, but obviously I have not been writing much recently. Or perhaps it’s me getting tired of finding new ways to write “the Drifters and Seekers are weird and I have no idea what’s going on but here are some fun things to look at instead.” In any case, I was looking for a bit of a change of pace when searching for things to discuss. Such moods usually involve me browsing through the map of New Eden, aimlessly clicking to see if there is something, anything, that I was previously unaware of. After all, in a cluster of 5,000 star systems, there are bound to be things that I haven’t heard of even after nearly 6 years of writing Eve Travel. At first, nothing really caught my eye. When I got near the eastern end of the map, however, I noticed one site kept popping up: the rogue drone site.
I had cataloged the rogue drone sites intending to do an article on them almost two years ago, it turns out, but intervening events meant that I never actually wrote anything on the topic. Still, with a bit of a lull in discovering yet another Drifter or Sleeper colonized system that we knew nothing about (though CONCORD, Sansha’s Nation, and the Sisters all did), I took this opportunity to update my image albums, and set a course for the Drone Regions for a tour. The Rogue Drone sites can be found sprinkled across these eight regions, with almost no development by the other empires either now or in the past. Such is to be expected, however, given the unique way in which the Drone Regions were unlocked to capsuleers and the general public.
It is rather ironic that the Gallente were the ones to begin colonization of the Drone Regions in the manner they did. One of the oft-cited triggers of the original Caldari-Gallente war was the fact that the Caldari megacorporations had colonized areas of space without informing the federal Senate, as required by law. Once these hidden colonies came to light, the Caldari refused to submit them to federal authority, and it was the demand to do so that finally broke the back of Caldari citizens, prompting their withdrawal from the Federation. Two hundred years later, the Gallente attempted to do the exact same thing, and began quietly preparing for the colonization of what are now known as the Drone Regions in YC 88 without informing anyone, as was required by interstellar law. In order to do so, the Federation utilized their massive armadas of drones to do much of the grunt work. Four months in, however, the drones went berserk with little warning, prompting a full evacuation of the regions. The Federation swept everything under the rug, and that, as they say, was that.
At least, until the gates all opened unexpected 20 years later.
The backlash against the Federation was severe, but perhaps more important was the fact that, while the gates were fully operational, the drones, now considered fully rogue drones, had colonized the region. The area is replete with their structures, and they used the reactivation of the gates into the Drone Regions to spread beyond, and they now have a presence in almost every area of space. Today, however, I turned my attention to the drones’ homelands, such as they were, intent on investigating a random sampling of the rogue drone sites that can be found throughout their space. They answered few questions, but were fascinating nonetheless. Upon warping to one, Aura offers up this succinct analysis:
Although the rogue drone threat has never been fully understood, perhaps the most well-known characteristic of this enigmatic scourge is its capacity to replicate and expand. Within only a few short years of their discovery, rogue drones have been reported in every sector of the cluster, from deep-space research facilities to densely populated market hubs. The consequent discovery of the “drone regions” has only served as a further demonstration and revealed a more centralized structure behind the rogue drones’ aggressive expansionism.
Although there appear to be three different types of sites, they all remain similar in appearance. Each site is anchored by a massive drone construct, consisting either of a disk or a semi-completed sphere. These constructs are massive (though perhaps not as massive as various Drifter structures that have since come to light), and dwarf both my own ship and the ships of the independent drones that can be found buzzing about it. Although the purpose of these structures can’t be known until we establish more solid communications with the drones, they undoubtedly act at least in part as a station or staging area for drone fleets. That they were able to construct so many of these in just the thirty years since they’ve claimed their independence goes to show their true potential.
Beyond these massive central structures, there appears little of note nearby. One class of station seems to always be found the destroyed superstructure of another station; presumably the cannibalized ruins of partially-completed Gallente stations. Others have multiple drone bunkers nearby, arranged in odd toroidal shape, but the purpose of the structure, especially so close to the larger drone construct, remain unknown. Beyond that, there were some scraps of construction debris and other wreckage nearby: I guess even rogue drones are not always the neatest of neighbors.
Of course, there were also the drones themselves. Most of them are fairly alien in appearance, with their spindly appendages and odd attachments, but by far the most disturbing drones are the ones that act as their standardbearers. The drones that are converted Dominix-class hulls are probably the most well-known, and the most disturbing, members of the drone fleets. Undoubtedly originally leftover from the original Gallente attempt at colonization, the Dominix hulls have since been converted to serve as drone vessels, with frail-looking collection arms and other additions to the hull, giving it a distinctively creepy appearance.
My full tour of the Drone Regions was extensive, but I never saw a site that varied from the three baseline sites I saw. That is not to say that there are not others out there, but with eight full regions under the command, I did not have the time or resources to visit every one of them. After all, I’m not Katia Sae. Still, it was a nice change of pace, and my tour of the area also served to have me do a full lap around Jove space (not that I was able to visit Jove space itself, of course; the area is as locked down as ever). I am convinced that the drones are connected to all of the recent happenings in a way we aren’t entirely familiar with yet. Their machine intelligences would, at least on paper, seem to mesh quite nicely with what we know of the Drifters, but that remains my suspicions only. For now, I’ll have to be content with having yet another mysterious race flying around New Eden that we know little about.
But hey, at least saying “rogue drones are weird and we know little about them” is at least a bit of a change of pace.
- Attraction: Rogue Drone Sites
- System: Across the drone regions
- Security Rating: 0.0
- Region: Cobalt Edge, Etherium Reach, Kalevala Expanse, Malpais, Oasa, Outer Passage, Perrigen Falls, the Spire
- Potential Hazards: These systems are often deep into null security space, involving jumps across a number of different alliance territories, many of which may be operating under “Not Blue, Shoot It” protocol. Gate camps (including warp interdiction bubbles) can be found often in transitioning from 0.0 to high security space, as well as on other gates. Caution is advised.
A persistent beeping brought me to consciousness. For a moment – just a moment – I had forgotten not only where I was but who I was. For that brief moment of awareness, I forgot about flying through the stars with only myself and my ship. I had forgotten that I was an immortal human, a paradoxical statement until even a few decades ago. I had forgotten not only the wars and the death that ground on throughout the Cluster, but also the beauty and mystery found throughout it.
And then that moment passed, and it all came rushing back to me.
The beeping, of course, was a rather insistent series of communiques, both from fellow pilots and Aura, telling me that I needed to get into my ship yesterday. The Drifters and Circadian Seekers had made their move, and it wasn’t in the direction I was expecting.
I undocked and, once again, made my way back to the no-longer-unidentified structure in my current home system of Iyen-Oursta. CONCORD had finally unveiled their initial analysis of the structures, and had concluded, as most had, that they were Jove in origin. More importantly, CONCORD has identified the structures as observatories, meant to watch the systems they were planted in, and those around them. A little unnerving, to say the least. Aura summed up the analysis in her classically succinct phrasing:
CONCORD’s analysis has revealed only scant and confusing information about this structure. Surveys of the damaged areas of the structure reveal a series of clearly powerful but functionally mysterious elements. The structure is undoubtedly Jove in origin but it is hard to determine its exact age given the advanced nature of the materials and construction. Regardless of its age, it is safe to say the structure surpasses anything we have previously seen.
As I came out of warp, the observatories loomed in the distance. Even this far out, my poor Buzzard-class frigate felt minuscule next to such a hulking structure. I enjoyed the sight of the massive yet still graceful structure before I actually figure out what had everyone up in arms. While the overall superstructure appeared intact, the observatories had three clear breaches of the hull, with each breach surrounded by slowly a expanding cloud of debris. Immediately, I needed to know what caused the breach. I knew it wasn’t capsuleer in origin, though that certainly wasn’t for lack of trying. Numerous attempts, both by myself and others, could not even dent the resilient alloys used by the Jove in construction of the observatories.
I examined the breaches closely, looking for any clues as to why they were there. The breaches did not appear intended to destroy the overall observatory: instead, they appeared to be surgical strikes towards targeted area of the structures. Precisely what was being targeted in the observatory was a mystery, of course, since our own scans couldn’t even penetrate the surface. Even with the breaches, my sensors weren’t able to make heads or tails of what, if anything, was viewable in the interior. But even without knowing what the attackers were after, it was clear that the assaults targeted three areas in the observatories. The biggest breach could be found near the middle of the superstructure. The breach was near what appeared to be some vents in the observatory, and the damage is severe enough that lightning can be seen arcing through the interior of the observatory at various intervals, their bright sparks lighting up the insides for the briefest of moments.
Although I assumed that the Seekers and Drifters were behind these attacks (who else could have done this kind of targeted damage?) I waited for confirmation for a few days. Eventually, while camped out at the observatory in Iyen-Oursta, I finally saw some Circadian Seekers assault the Jove structure. It was a long-running affair, as the Seekers came out of warp near the beacon to the site, and then slow-boated the 150+ kilometers to the structure itself. Once a few kilometers from the structures, rather than using the gentle blue scan beams I had become accustomed to seeing from the Seekers, they lashed out with a brilliant orange cutting beam towards the various areas that had already been breached. After attacking the structure further, they activated a narrow white beam on the area.
At the time, I was unable to figure out exactly was the purpose of the white beam, but I now believe that this beam is a form of tractor beam. Evidence for this comes from a newly-discovered piece of equipment found in many Seeker and Drifter wrecks: the Antikythera element. Just what this piece of equipment does is unknown, and, as usual, Aura’s analysis isn’t particularly helpful:
A direct analysis reveals some vague and distorted results.
Slight external damage signals that it was detached from something else, but despite its removal, the core structure continues to thrum with a deep, surging power.
Even without proof or solid knowledge of the function of this component, it is quite clear that it forms a vital part of something much larger.
I could immediately imagine a few reasons why the Seekers would only focus on the element and not the larger machine, but each hypothesis raises its own questions. More important, in my mind at least, is whether the Jove observatories and these Antikythera elements are what the Seekers were sent out to, well, seek. That they’re hunting them down now is obvious, but is it what they were designed to do? It’s also clear that the Seekers’ threat response protocols have been repeatedly increased in recent months. Seekers, along with their Drifter brethren, have become more and more aggressive, and the most recent reports state that they’ve even begun attacking capsuleers with no provocation. Such a change in behavior is troubling indeed, and I can’t help but wonder if the Drifters have somehow assumed control of the Seekers.
I was shaken out of my reverie as the Seekers finished their excavation and warped on to their next target. I quickly managed to get my hands on my own Antikythera element. I’m not sure what good it’ll be, but I felt better knowing that I had my own copy of the mysterious device. It also felt more than a little awe-inspiring to have a piece of actual Jove tech sitting in my hanger, and not something that’s been dumbed down for the rest of the Cluster. I may have no idea what it does, but it’s my own piece of history, sitting in my own hanger. As I settled back down in my bunk to get back to sleep, I wondered what stories it had to tell.
- Attraction: Jove Observatory
- System: Various throughout known space
- Security Rating: Various throughout known space
- Region: Various throughout known space
- Potential Hazards: Both Circadian Seekers and Drifter battleships will attack if you are uncloaked at the Observatories (or in other places in system). Seeker offensive strength has risen. Caution is advised.
(Editor’s note: if you’d like to read my first write-up of the only partially-decloaked unidentified structures, please see here. To see my write-up after the assault by the Seekers and Drifters, please see here.)
They’ve been listening to us. For how long? We don’t know. Why? We can only guess. Who are they? Well, that finally seems to be crystallizing. We’ve long known the Jove to take a light touch with Cluster politics. They have a knack for showing up unannounced, preening their advanced technology and, if they so deign, gifting us with a bit of it if they so desire, and then disappearing again as quickly as they arrived. Long the distant older sibling of the New Eden family, it’s become clear that the Jove have in fact kept a much closer eye on us than we have previously realized. Which brings us, of course, to the question of how they’ve been watching us. That has become more obvious in recent weeks. I had previously mentioned the appearance of partially-decloaked unidentified structures that had popped up across the Cluster. Well, those structures have now fully decloaked, and it’s now fairly clear that these structures are part of a Cluster-wide observing network. Both the media and the Sisters of Eve agree that the structures are probably Jove in origin.
These structures fit with the Jove’s general modus operandi. It’s long been rumored that the Jove have hid the remains of ancient technology surrounding the Eve Gate that far surpasses the technology of today. If the Jove are able to cloak debris and remains of this magnitude, it’s a small logical step indeed to suppose that they could also have cloaked these structures across the Cluster with us knowing nothing about them. Of course, this raises the question of why the structures are decloaking now (as well as the question of whether the rumored tech near the Eve Gate will also start appearing on our scanners). Most people seem to agree that whatever caused Caroline’s Star devastated what remained of the Jove Empire, as evidenced by the collapse of their stargate network. Why that would lead to structures spread throughout New Eden to decloak at roughly the same time is anyone’s guess, although there are a few plausible theories out there.
Whatever the reason, the structures are now here for all to see, with CONCORD already marking them with beacons for all to see. And quite a sight they are. For one, the stations are absolutely gargantuan in nature. They dwarf even a titan in size, with estimates showing that the stations are roughly 190 kilometers from top to bottom. Needless to say, Professor Science is but a mote of dust next to such a large structure. Indeed, it takes me a good one to two minutes altogether to transverse the entire structure, even with a microwarpdrive attached to my Buzzard-class ship. The power requirements to cloak such a vessel must have been enormous, even if the station was designed with cloaking in mind. Sitting next to the structure was enough to make my head spin.
But that’s nothing next to the design itself of the structure. This was the first time I’ve come in contact with anything Jove. I’ve, of course, seen pictures of Jove ships and stations. But this is the first time that I’ve seen Jove engineering up close (the Gnosis and Apotheosis excepted, of course, but it has not been clear how closely the Society of Conscious Thought and the Jovian Directorate were intertwined since the Society’s scandal with Sansha’s Nation), and the results are, understandably, stunning. The architecture is different from the almost-organic feel (which is distinct from the Gallente’s graceful organic architecture) that other Jove structures and ships have displayed. Instead, the tower, with buttress-like structures and ridges traveling up and down the observation post reminds me most of the soaring cathedrals often seen on Amarr planets. It was not an impression I was expecting from the Jove, perhaps the antithesis of the Amarr when it comes to religion, but it was the impression I got nonetheless.
It should be noted that both the Circadian Seekers and the Drifter Battleships, despite neither being strictly Jove in origin (so we think, at least), have taken a keen interest in our interactions with the observation posts. Indeed, I let myself get careless with Seekers nearby, and just heading in the structure’s general direction earned me weapons fire from the Seekers. Both types of ships seem intent on preventing interaction with the structures whenever possible, and they will not hesitate to use weapons if they are around. Not that much interaction is even possible. The structures are resistant to scans and as well as any and all communications requests, and Aura’s analysis simply notes that the structure doesn’t match anything in her database. We don’t even know if the stations are manned, for that matter. Too many questions, so few answers.
Given all we have learned in the past few months, and the even more that we haven’t, its natural to wonder exactly what has happened to the Jove. I do fear the worst for our erstwhile benefactors; it seems unlikely that they would let these Circadian Seekers and Drifter battleships roam around unchallenged if the Jove were at all capable of responding to them. I’ve always been slightly disgruntled with them given their potential to improve our lives in so many ways, but it has taken this level of potential disaster in their space for me to realize that even given their hesitance to interact, I will miss them if they are gone.
- Attraction: Unidentified Structure
- System: Various throughout known space
- Security Rating: Various throughout known space
- Region: Various throughout known space
- Potential Hazards: As noted above, both Circadian Seekers and Drifter battleships, if present at unidentified structures, will attack if you try to approach while uncloaked. Caution is advised. EDIT: With the release of Scylla, Circadian Seeker drones have become stronger and more hostile. Drifter battleships have begun to pod players. Caution is strongly advised.
It’s remarkable that just six months ago, I was worried about running out of things to discuss with in my travelogue. I had seen much (though certainly not all) that there was to see, and I had been consciously spacing out my entries to prolong my writing for as long as possible. But oh how things can change. Since Caroline’s Star quite literally exploded onto the scene, I have had a plethora of things to discuss, and for the first time in quite a while, I have a sizeable backlog of sites to catalog, analyze, and explore, to the point where I feel bad that I’ve let things go for as long as I have without comment. I suspect I’m not the only one who has felt this sense of renewal in New Eden in recent days. Between Thera and various happenings in New Eden, it certainly feels to me that the plodding ship of New Eden is getting underway again.
Indeed, perhaps the most evident demonstration of this newfound momentum is the rather explosive appearance of a new faction in the Cluster. The Drifters are a mysterious, biomechanical race of beings that, if CONCORD is to be believed, are a splinter sect of the Jove… and perhaps all that remains of the Empire. Rumors surrounding the death of the Jovians have spread rampantly since Mouse Nell managed to capture a photo of what appeared to be Sansha Nation vessels stationed just off of a conquered Jove station in YC 112. Indeed, the last known communique from the Empire was that they had expelled the Sansha fleet. For the next 5 years, there has been only silence from the Jove, and the apparent collapse of much of the Jove stargate network following the appearance of Caroline’s Star only exacerbated those rumors. But CONCORD intelligence on the Drifters released to capsuleers suggests that the Empire may indeed have fallen:
Emerging from the ruins of the Sleeper civilization spread throughout Anoikis – otherwise known as ‘W-Space’ – the Drifters represent a tremendous challenge and perhaps a dire threat to the empires and capsuleers alike. Seemingly inheritors of a legacy left behind by some of the most ancient Jove, the Drifters are unafraid to wield tremendous power in response to any who get in their way. In this regard, the Drifters are a very different conundrum than the relatively benign presence that was the Jove Empire. (emphasis mine)
Perhaps the most notable thing about the Drifters is that CONCORD has determined recognized pilots in the battleships. Oddly, for all of the Drifter ships seen, there are only two pilots: Apollo Tyrannos and Artemis Tyrannos. From what data CONCORD has released about them, their appearances are the stuff of nightmares. While the Jove had always had an otherworld-y appearance about them, the result of millennia of genetic manipulation, Apollo and Artemis are another breed altogether. Their bodies are nearly completely covered in various cybernetic devices and enhancements. What functions these devices serve can only be speculated about at this point, but given their relationship to the Jove, perhaps the devices serve the same functions as what the Jove accomplished through genetic manipulation. Same ends, different means. Perhaps.
The Drifters are frightening not just for their appearance, but also for both their hostility and technological prowess. Although the Drifters have not (as of yet) begun to attack pilots at random, they have shown no hesitation in both defending themselves and protecting areas that they deem important (to date, Drifters have shown particular interest in protecting the unidentified wormholes and the unidentified structures that have popped up around the cluster) from capsuleer incursion. Drifter ships utilize a new form of propulsion that seemingly upends our understandings of physics. Rather than relying on classical concepts of propulsion (utilizing that good old law of motion that for every action there is an equal, but opposite, reaction), CONCORD analyses of the Drifter ships suggests that they interact directly with the fabric of space-time to move around. This method of propulsion evidences itself through a number of antennae at the back of the Drifter ships, with a nearly invisible field that is mostly seen by how it distorts background stars and planets when looking through it.
More importantly, the Drifters possess advanced defensive and offensive technology. Drifter battleships employ some form of dual-layer shielding system. Collapsing the first layer of shielding triggers some form of electro-magnetic pulse that forces all nearby vessels to lose target lock on the ship. And, of course, any attackers would then have to penetrate a second layer of pristine shields. Beyond the pulse, collapsing the first layer of shields also triggers an important step in Drifter rules of engagement: the deployment of their heavy weapons. Ships that do not collapse the first layer of shields are hit by weapons that CONCORD has designated as ‘lux kontos’. Once the first layer of shields drops, however, Drifter commanders authorize the use of what capsuleers have started calling ‘lux destructum’. This heavy weapon is capable of taking down capital ships in just a few shots, and has proven extremely destructive on the battlefield. However, similar to their Circadian Sleeper cousins, they also scan nearby ships and structures with their curious scanning beams.
So far, at least, Drifters appear only in systems that have or have had what CONCORD has dubbed an unidentified wormhole in them. And these wormholes, so far, have only appeared in systems with unidentified Structures in them. These unidentified wormholes are a mystery in their own right. Unlike the more common wormholes I’m well-familiar with, these wormholes, but like the ones found at Promised Land I and the various shattered star Epicenters, the unidentified wormhole here is not transversable by standard ships. However, that does not stop Drifter vessels from using the wormholes as they see fit: they can be found coming and going through the wormhole. The other side of the wormhole seems to be similar to Thera: at least from what little we can see through the spatial distortions of the wormhole. However, thorough capsuleer scans from Thera cannot find the other end of the wormholes. That may indicate that the other side of the unidentified wormholes, while not in Thera itself, may be near enough Thera’s location so as to share the same general sky.
Perhaps the oddest thing about the wormhole isn’t the hole itself, but what comes with it. The hole is bracketed by twin arrays of Sleeper structures. Each array consists of two types of structures: Sleeper Multiplex Forwarders attached to Sleeper Thermoelectric Converters. The Forwarders appear to be massive data-transfer conduits, presumably for transferring information through the wormholes, while the Converters act as the Forwarders’ power source. Exactly what is being transferred through these conduits is unknown, though given that these wormholes only appear in systems with the unidentified structures, it seems safe to assume that at least part of the bandwidth is dedicated to uploading whatever data the Drifters and Seekers discover (assuming the two factions are working together… I am admittedly uncomfortable with the amount of supposition in today’s entry).
As mentioned, the Drifters are generally not a fan of capsuleer ships snooping very close to the wormholes. However, I was able to take my bare capsule in for a look. As noted, I wasn’t able to transverse the wormhole, but I was able to get a good look through the distortions. As I was doing so, I recalled the various statements that have been made by CONCORD, the Sisters of Eve, and others, as well as the communiques we’ve received by someone claiming to be Dr. Tukoss. I’m uncomfortable with the feeling that so many people know so much more of what is going on than the general public does. What are they hiding from us? And why? Troubled, I quickly re-entered my ship and moved on before the Drifters took note of me.
- Attraction: Unidentified Wormholes
- System: Various throughout known space
- Security Rating: Various throughout known space
- Region: Various throughout known space
- Potential Hazards: As noted, Drifter battleships may be found near the wormholes and will attack with force if they see you near the wormhole (they do not attack capsules and do not attack cloaked vessels). You do not want to make Drifters angry. You won’t like them when they’re angry. Like Seekers, Drifters have followed hostile pilots through warp. Caution is advised.
(Editor’s Note: The Unidentified Structures have undergone a few changes since this entry. To see my entry on the uncloaking of the structures, please see here. To see my entry on their assault by the Seekers and Drifters, please see here).
It is perhaps needless to note that I have my hands full over the next few months. New Eden is in a state of upheaval, and CONCORD has deigned fit to mark quite a few new beacons and landmarks throughout and beyond the Cluster. I, of course, fully intend to canvass all of these sites here, but doing so will take time indeed. Over one hundred new systems have been added to the wormhole network, and it’s still not completely clear what can be found in them. I’ve already given myself the goal of visiting all new systems to ensure that I can bring the most accurate information here. But for today, we’re going to have to just settle for what is, from what I’ve seen at least, the least visually impressive landmark that has been uncovered in recent weeks, but what I think is perhaps the most important.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I came out of warp. The beacon had appeared in space in my home system with little ceremony, and reports were coming in that these beacons had popped up across the Cluster. At first, I saw absolutely nothing. It seems the beacon, marked as an “Unidentified Structure” had been wrongfully placed in the middle of a normal dust cloud. But then a flash of light caught my eye. Lightning crackling in the distance. What was lightning doing in space? As I watched for it again, I noticed a faint shimmering. Lightning crackled again, and I noticed that the lightning seemed to travel up the edge of… the faint shimmering thing. Sensors were, of course, inconclusive, but if I had to take a guess, I’d say that a station’s cloaking device was failing. I’d never seen a cloak fail quite like this, but I’d also never seen a cloak on quite this scale before.
I strained my eyes (and my sensors) trying to see what was there. I couldn’t glean much either, though. It was tall, that much was obvious. Tall and fairly narrow. It seemed to have three prongs on the bottom of it, but that could just be my eyes playing tricks on me. Aura, with her prodigious analytical capabilities and access to various databases, couldn’t identify the station either. But something was tugging a bit at my memory nonetheless. With the nearly-cloaked station still seemingly flickering in and out existence a few kilometers away, I pulled up old archival photos of Jove stations. While certainly not identical, there did seem to be… similarities to the contours. A certain conical shape to them, though the Jove stations of old had a more organic feel to the harsher, almost crystalline angles that I could barely discern. It wasn’t a perfect match, but it was a plausible theory. For a better view of the general shape of these objects, Aurora Arcology News has an image enhanced view of the structure here.
Another thing leads me to think that these stations may be Jove related. Rumors have long swirled that the Jove know more than they have let on regarding the Eve Gate in New Eden. One of the key parts of that theory is that the Jove have long cloaked any wreckage leftover from the Eve Gate catastrophe to prevent us lesser-developed nations from getting our hands on technology that could very well disrupt (or destroy) the balance of power in the Cluster. I had never believed in these rumors myself (I tend to like theories that can be proven one way or another rather than just relying on saying the Jovians did it), but there was certainly evidence now that I couldn’t ignore. Assuming that the Jovians are, in fact, behind these newly discovered but apparently long-standing structures (and this is a larger assumption than I am generally comfortable with making), they would indeed have experience with cloaking structures and other items over large areas. Though New Eden itself showed no readings, it is notable that one of these unidentified structures can, in fact, be found there. More and more curious.
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the other thing that can almost always be found in systems with these Unidentified Structures: the new Circadian Seekers. These appear to be Sleeper drones within the New Eden cluster. While initially a cause for concern given the reputation Sleeper drones have in being fearsome defenders of their turf in Anoikis, these drones appear to be docile. Despite numerous and repeated attacks on them, I have yet to run into any verified reports of them responding with any kind of force. Instead, they merely appear to roam the system, firing what appears to be a scanning beam on any objects they find. No negative repercussions of these scans have yet come to light. Given that these seekers almost always appear in systems with these new structures (Eram, apparently, is an exception to that rule), a substantial possibility also exists that these unknown structures are also Sleeper in origin, but the designs of these structures would represent a significant departure from known Sleeper architecture. Furthermore, the seekers have been seen attempting to scan the new structures like they would any other object in space, which suggests that they are unknown to them as well.
What is more disconcerting about the appearance of these seekers is what they represent in the evolution of the Sleepers. Since Anoikis became accessible to capsuleers a few years ago, Sleepers have been a purely reactionary force. Capsuleers and the empires would appear near Sleeper sites, and the drones would reactively attempt to repel them. Despite initial fears, the Sleepers never, to our knowledge at least, attempted to follow us beyond the confines of their small patrol routes. They never followed us back to New Eden, and certainly never attempted to discover more about us. We had lulled ourselves into thinking that the Sleepers were unintelligent drones with no curiosity. But then, a few weeks ago, it came to light that various Sleeper caches had started appearing in New Eden. Not only have the Sleepers been in New Eden for quite a while, but they were collecting information and items on us. For what purpose I don’t know, but I have little doubt that these Seekers are a more blatant attempt at learning more about us now that the caches have come to light. (Edit: Furthermore, for the first time, these Sleeper drones have active shielding systems. Sleeper drones prevalent in Anoikis have strong armored hulls, but they’ve never exhibited shield systems before. These new Circadian Seekers, however, have shields as well as armor. That they’ve managed to reverse engineer shield systems is yet another indication that the Sleepers are not as passive as they have seemed. Special thanks to @BlackDeathJazz for reminding me to note that here.) (Second edit: As of 1/13/YC 117, Circadian Seekers have begun responding to attacks with force. Seekers have been known to follow hostile pilots through warp and may pod hostile pilots as well.)
I realize that this has been a somewhat meandering entry, but I fear that this cannot be helped. I try my best to tell a clean and concise narrative in these entries: Eve Travel exists to give context to the universe around us. Unfortunately, right now there is no clean, concise narrative for many of these new objects. We don’t know everything yet, and you’ll have to bear with me as we all discover what all of this truly means. I don’t know what, if anything, the seekers are looking for, and I don’t know the purpose of these unidentified structures. There is a very good chance that there are other things out there that haven’t even come to light yet. And I, for one, am excited to see exactly what the universe has in store for us. EDIT: I’ve received a number of reports (now personally confirmed) that the Unidentified Structures will appear and disappear in a system. It’s unknown at this time if they move positions when they reappear. Basic Information:
- Attraction: Unidentified Structure
- System: Various throughout known space
- Security Rating: Various throughout known space
- Region: Various throughout known space
- Potential Hazards: As noted in the second edit above, Circadian Seekers have begun to respond to attacks with force. Seekers have been seen to defend themselves with heavy missile launcher-strength weaponry. Seekers have followed hostile pilots through warp and may even pod hostile pilots. Caution is advised.
Editor’s note: The source of the star has since been tracked down to W477-P, a system in the Jove regions and, as of now, inaccessible to capsuleers.
I picked a heck of a time to go planetside for a few days. Reports started trickling in a few days ago regarding a new star that has appeared in New Eden skies. Even scientists are baffled as to how a phenomenon like this could appear simultaneously across hundreds of lightyears. For now, theories abound but facts are few. What we do know is that the star’s position appears to be close to the edge of Jove space, and that the phenomenon is only growing brighter. What exactly this means is anyone’s guess at this point, but I will note that this is not the first time we’ve seen a phenomenon like this. As for me, given that I anticipate being planetside for the next few days still, I’ll continue to gather my information second hand. The situation is very much still developing, and information will continue to trickle in from a variety of sources. Keep watching the skies.
- Attraction: Caroline’s Star
- System: W477-P
- Security Rating: Unknown
- Region: UUA-F4
- Potential Hazards: Unknown for now.
My parents never quite understood why or how I would choose to live in the Empire for any extended period of time. Born and raised in the heart of the Federation, just a short shuttle ride from the gleaming Crystal Boulevard in the heart of Caille, they couldn’t understand how I could subject myself to the Empire’s conservative views. Now that’s not to say I don’t have my reasons. Anyone with any familiarity with my background would be familiar with my desire to stay close to the Eve Gate, if only so I could also occasionally check on the status of Sansha’s Violent Wormhole in Promised Land. And being only a few jumps out from Amarr Prime while still reaping the rewards of low security space certainly helps as well. And the fact that the Empire wouldn’t dare lay any of its religious strictures on capsuleers. They just happened to not particularly care about my reasons, and complain to me to move back whenever they sent me a communique.
Oddly, they seemed much more concerned that I lived in Amarr space than that I lived in low security space. I always assumed that was because they didn’t quite understand the differences between high security and low security space, and as long as they weren’t planning on flying out this way themselves, I had no desire to educate them on the subject. What they don’t know can’t hurt them… unless they decide to surprise me with a visit and get blown up in Ami by a few pirates. But that’s a discussion for another time with them.All this is to say that they were thrilled when I moved back to Gallente space, albeit temporarily. I had a mystery to solve, you see, and I’ve been moving more and more assets into Iyen-Oursta in an attempt to solve it. Being fairly secure money-wise for the foreseeable future, I uprooted the necessary ships and my parents were thrilled with the news.
Of course, they were less thrilled when I said that I was leaving again. Not for any extended length of time, of course, but I had caught wind of an Imperial military base in null security space, deep in Catch, and of course I had to go check it out. So I pulled out my trusty Tengu Scientia and was on my way to HY-RWO. As I warped in, Aura kindly gave me a heads up:
Local rumor has it that an Amarr Empire strike force has appeared in HY-RWO and are secretly orbiting one of it’s planets. Whoever they are after, he must be someone important.
Now, I don’t really consider myself a fancy person. I usually take “secretly” to mean “we won’t broadcast it for all to see,” at the very least. But apparently the Amarr Empire and I share very different ideas of the meaning of that word. Indeed, the Amarr were even kind enough to put up a beacon for Aura to lock on to for warp. Subtle, the Empire is not.
Still, given that I was deep in capsuleer-controlled space, I dare not test the Amarrian resolve by uncloaking in their midst. As such, I was relegated, as I usually am, to observing without interacting. Precisely why the Amarr were here, given Aura’s cryptic message, wasn’t entirely clear, but their base of operations around planet 3, moon 1 was apparently the place to be in HY-RWO. The Amarr had a sizeable military force here, consisting primarily of battleships and accompanying frigates. All glowed red to me and I shuddered to think just how quickly Scientia would die should the Amarr become aware of my presence. She was a ship built for reconnaissance and exploration, not combat, and she would fall quickly should she ever be caught.
The ships milled around. I suppose the Amarr would say they were engaging in military maneuvers, but frankly that seemed to be giving “maneuvers” a bad name. Still, they managed a modicum of competency by not crashing into each other as they all hugged the compact and movable lookout tower that served as their forward military base here. The battleships hugged close to the tower, while the frigates scurried around edges. At a distance, a Bestower-class transport, presumably the ship that brought the lookout tower and its accompanying necessities, sat and calmly watched over the area. Oddly enough, if I was reading the comm traffic here correctly, the local military commander has made the Bestower his flagship.
I sat and observed for a few minutes before gearing up to head back to Federation space and the mysteries that await me there. It was soothing watching the ships pass in front of the brilliantly blue star of HY-RWO when the camera drones were positioned just right. But I had more important demands on my time. That mysterious blue cloud wasn’t going to create itself, apparently…
- Attraction: Amarr Military Brigade
- System: HY-RWO
- Security Rating: 0.0
- Region: Catch
- Potential Hazards: HY-RWO is deep in 0.0 space, involving jumps across a number of different alliance territories, many of which may be operating under “Not Blue, Shoot It” protocol. Gate camps (including warp interdiction bubbles) can be found often in transitioning from 0.0 to high security space, as well as on other gates. Caution is advised.
It’s easy to think that contemporary events are gamechangers. How many times have we heard some crisis as the “defining moment” of Roden’s presidency, or any battle as a “tipping point” in a broader war? And when you look back a few months or years later, you see that these events were nothing of the sort. It’s natural to think that the most recent events are the most important. But in most cases, events – even ones that at the time seem monumentally important (pun is very much intended) – are mere drops in the ocean of human history. It is rare indeed that an event actually bends the course of human events. It’s almost impossible for most people to objectively determine the effects that any one incident will have until we’ve had a chance to move on. In fact, it’s precisely that reason that most historians try not to look at modern events that closely, until time has passed, passions have cooled, and the repercussions have made themselves more verifiably known, leaving it to the more pedestrian punditry to give the who, what, where, and why of modern events.
Even with all of this in mind, I find it hard to look back at the now infamous battle in B-R5BR and see it as anything short of historic. This was not the first time that a capsuleer alliance had neglected to pay its bills to CONCORD, nor was it the first time that a tiny mistake led to a massive battle. The battle of B-R5RB doesn’t even come close to the record of largest naval engagement. Both Pandemic Legion and the CFC have fielded more ships in a battle and more pilots have lost ships before. But what makes this battle different, beyond the sheer amount of isk lost, is the effect it has had on the general public. Never before has the general public’s imagination been captured so much as the day that the titans began to fall. While there have always been niche news sites dedicated to covering capsuleer goings on, for the first time, mainstream media have started to look to the skies. New pilots are flocking to capsuleer training centers in record numbers, flooding the spacelanes with new opportunities and new fodder alike.
CONCORD, to its credit, has moved quickly to memorialize the battle site. Within days, the often slow-acting agency declared the system a place of historic significance, and acted to preserve the wrecks so they don’t decay away in the harshness of space. What’s left is a stunning, haunting (or, should I say spooky?) tribute to this very literal clash of the titans. To some, it’s a tribute to the victory of the CFC; to others, it’s the gravesite to thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of crew aboard the various ships. Whatever its meaning to you, this heretofore unknown cul-de-sac system has attained a new place of prominence in the interstellar consciousness, and its newfound memorial will ensure that it remains so long after the pundits have stopped their prognosticating on its meaning. Of course, the quieting of the punditry won’t keep Aura from becoming rather existentialist on us:
You are entering the graveyard of Titans, a silent memorial to one of the grandest, most violent, most cataclysmic battles New Eden has ever borne witness to. Halt your ship, capsuleer, and take a moment out of the mad swirl of your life to ponder your own impending deaths.
The beacon that CONCORD has placed on the site is a bit more on-point and a bit less poetic than Aura:
Here lie the wrecks of monstrous ships, commemorating a battle that blotted out the sky on Jan 27-28 in YC 116.
Two coalitions of capsuleers clashed in vessels numbering in the thousands, causing destruction on a scale of war never before seen by human eyes. CONCORD elected – after advising with the various empires – to leave a few wrecks left on the field for all spacefarers to see. Ostensibly this was a warning of capsuleers to where their folly would lead them, but those who’ve encountered the immortals will know it was more likely taken as an ideal of death and destruction to which they can aspire from now until the end of time.
As your view adjusts after warping through B-R5RB VIII, one of the first things you’ll notice is the bright gray of the temple that CONCORD’s erected on the site (why the temple is already battered-looking and worn is another discussion entirely). Examining the temple closely will reveal a list of all the pilots that lost a Titan in the battle. As your eyes adjust, however, you’ll notice a number of hulking, looming shadows surrounding on all sides. These shadows eventually clarify into the hulking shapes of shattered ships. Surrounding you are ships from all four empires, torn apart by the massive forces brought down upon them in the battle. Fires still glow from the interior, and possibly will continue to do so for years (especially if the ships were Caldari built). Each wreck is surrounded by a cloud of debris, which is especially dense near the site of the hull fractures where these gigantic ships finally cracked. Each of them dwarfed Scientia and its small crew.
To the left, ships blot out an appropriately blood-red star. To the right, now-nameless titan wrecks, worth billions of isk and with thousands of lives lost on each of them, gently tumble through space against the green backdrop of the Immensea nebula. And all around, there is an eerie quiet. The stark stillness of the scene stands in sharp contrast to the ferocity of the battle that took place here just days before.
Am I wrong to think that this battle was different from the countless others that have happened over the years in New Eden? Have even my amateur historian’s eyes been clouded by the media coverage and the endless echo chamber that has come out of this battle? After all, this will hardly be the last time that B-R5RB will change hands. PL has already finished reimbursing its pilots for the ships lost in the battle. Other battles will rage, breaking this record or that. Only time will tell of the grander effect, if any, of this battle. But for now, for once, more eyes are focused on the stars. For now, the happenings of New Eden are drawing the attention of the broader masses. And for now, at least, B-R5RB certainly seems like a gamechanger. And even if it isn’t, at least this monument will help us remember the day that the titans fell.
- Attraction: Titanomachy
- System: B-R5RB
- Security Rating: 0.0
- Region: Immensea
- Potential Hazards: B-R5RB is deep in 0.0 space, involving jumps across a number of different alliance territories, many of which may be operating under “Not Blue, Shoot It” protocol. Gate camps (including warp interdiction bubbles) can be found often in transitioning from 0.0 to high security space, as well as on other gates. Caution is advised.
Pilgrimages are a sacred rite of passage in many cultures, and important in almost all others. There are certain places, certain sites that are hallowed grounds for many cultures, for varied reasons. It’s not that you go there to witness what is happening at the site now. But there is something ineffable to visiting a place that has had such a marked impact on who you and your people are. Even though all that may remain are ghosts and stories, people still flock to these sites to remember what had been. Religions, of course, are particularly susceptible to deeming a site holy, but any culture seems to have their sacred areas. Even capsuleers have been known to make a journey out to the Eve Gate or Steve, to see where we came from. And while there, we reminisce about what it means to be us, what it is that ties us together. In traveling to these sites, we journey not just to a physical destination, but also to a psychological one.
And, of course, it’s not only rational people that have holy sites to make pilgrimages to. The Blood Raiders are perhaps the most devout in New Eden, in their own twisted ways. The more militant parts of the sect truly believe that drinking the blood of others (particularly us apparently tasty capsuleers) will bring them closer to salvation, and will endure almost anything to reach their version of immortality. But like just about any religion, the Blood Raiders have made their own holy sites as well. One in particular can be found in the constellation of OK-FEM, deep in Delve. The holy site itself is the former Amarr exploration ship Pagera Manton, which was discovered adrift by Blood Raider devouts and transformed into a place of worship. Why they decided to use this particular ship, I’ve never asked. But because Pagera Manton itself is heavily guarded, the Blood Raiders have constructed their own waypoint for weary pilgrims, named Blood Reach. As Aura explains:
Blood Reach is a fortified outpost run by the Blood Raider organization. Its purpose is to house pilgrims coming to visit the holy site in OK-FEM. In recent times it has also served as a base of operations for Blood Raider forces sent here to find and eliminate Amarrians who come to the constellation to sabotage the Pagera Manton.
Blood Reach is a bustling spaceport in the heart of fortified null sec. Despite being owned by capsuleers, the Raiders have carved out a substantial niche to call their own. The site is dominated by two massive structures. The first is your traditional Blood Raiders cathedral. Based off of the classic Amarr design, the colors have been changed to a bloodred to reflect the, well, you know, love of blood. But opposite that, an even larger structure is under construction. Although for now only part of the superstructure is complete, the design hints at a station that will dwarf even the current cathedral. Presumably meant to house the faithful and those passing through, for now the structure’s skeletal appearance gives a rather unnerving feeling to an already-unnerving area.
Beyond the two large stations, a variety of smaller structures can also be seen. Off to one side, a set of six bunkers can be found. Presumably meant to act as temporary housing for wayfarers until the larger structure is complete, their sleek Gallente stylings actually stand out quite a bit compared to the rest of the site. But around the cathedral is where the bulk of activity can be found. Although the cathedral sports a number of docking slips, the most notable thing here is what is rather untactfully called the “bloodsport arenas.” These are massive stadiums, whose tops are covered in clear materials. Inside, I could see hundreds, if not thousands of spectators surrounding a playing field that was already coated thick in blood. Despite blood being sacred to the Raiders, they seemed to be spilling an awful lot of it here in the thrill of competition. Right next to the arenas, a number of slave pens could also be seen. It was times like this that made me wish I didn’t fly an essentially unarmed Tengu.
A variety of Raider vessels could also be seen flitting between areas of the site. Thankfully, they seemed to ignore me, despite my obviously capsuleer-based ship. Whether they mistook me for a member of the faithful or just wanted me to make sure I could tell people of what I saw, I have no idea. But they left me alone, and for that I was grateful. The site also supported a significant industrial infrastructure. A number of mined-out asteroids could be seen surrounding the site, while foundries worked seemingly day and night. I decided not to examine too closely precisely why the foundries had been named “Clone factories.”
I didn’t spend long here. The Blood Raiders worry me more than any of the other factions in New Eden, with the possible exception of the Sansha. Religious fervor combined with cannibalism never seems to end well, and I couldn’t even begin to understand where they were coming from in their philosophy and theology. Still, even they are humans (though of a very deviant sort, I’ll concede), and like any humans, they need a place to call their own. Blood Reach and the nearby Pegara Manton appear to be precisely that. And so the faithful Raiders will continue making their pilgrimages, just like the devout have for thousands of years.
- Attraction: Blood Reach
- System: CX8-6K
- Security Rating: 0.0
- Region: Delve
- Potential Hazards: CX8-6K is deep in 0.0 space, involving jumps across a number of different alliance territories, many of which may be operating under “Not Blue, Shoot It” protocol. Gate camps (including warp interdiction bubbles) can be found often in transitioning from 0.0 to high security space, as well as on other gates. Caution is advised.
- Additional Notes: This site is a COSMOS site, and agents are available if you have the proper standing with the Blood Raiders.
One of the interesting things about human nature is how we gravitate towards certain ideas, even when ostensibly eschewing them. Humans (even immortal ones) are ultimately creatures of habit, and once we get certain ideas in our heads, it’s almost impossible to excise those ideas, regardless of how hard we try. Take null security space, for example. This area is ultimately dominated by people who have decided that big government isn’t right for them: they want to live their own lives their own ways. So what do they do once they get out to null sec? Why, they start collecting taxes. They start conducting diplomacy with their neighbors and, if necessary (and sometimes even if not necessary), conduct war against their neighbors. The alliances start providing infrastructure for their members, and cultivating loyalty. They set up structures to air disputes, while providing for the general common defense of their lands. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that this is precisely what a government does.
Even the pirate organizations, the ones who fled “civilized” life to strike out on their own, ultimately end up creating their own forms of governments. To be sure, pirate based governments tend to be more heavy handed than most. They’re not afraid to use extreme measures to maintain control, and they likely don’t exactly care much about popular opinion, but they are governments nonetheless. Indeed, it’s rare that you find true “anarchists” who want to bring the entire system and keep it down, rather than just being unhappy with the current form of the system or the policies of the current system.
A classic example of this can be found out in Feythabolis. It’s a distant region, found near the southern tip of the current gate network in New Eden. It’s essentially the furthest you can possibly get from CONCORD and the empires. And yet even here, you see the basic qualities of a system of governance for the region. Capsuleer governors keep an eye on their holdings, farm them when they can, quell rebellions when they must. The local pirates, the Angel Cartel, likely fled from Minmatar space to get away from the classic tribal structure, and yet here they’ve merely set up a government of their own. We can see this in this week’s site, Minecore HQ. Minecore headed out to null security space for the reason that many do: to make isk. And they ended up getting taken over by the Cartel in the process. As Aura explains:
Minecore Inc. is a corporation founded by groups of freelance miners and mercenaries who had ventured into Feythabolis in search of valuable asteroids and gas clouds rumored to be located in this perilous territory. By banding together they also hoped to withstand attacks from marauding pirates and other outlaws. Inside this area of space they have set up an outpost which operates mainly as a gathering point for their mining expeditions before they venture out into uncharted space in search of harvestable gas clouds.
Shortly after Minecore’s conception, the Angel Cartel came in force to I-3ODK to claim their share of the profit. Minecore was forced to concede a large portion of their earnings to the Cartel, and have paid tribute ever since to keep them off their backs. Today Minecore is partially controlled by the Cartel, and their outposts are guarded by Angel ships.
The Minecore site is now a classic example of an organization ostensibly dedicated to taking down governments and creating general mayhem doing the exact opposite: imposing order (albeit their own kind of order). They weren’t going to let something like a few miners get in the way of profit, so they took by might what they couldn’t take by right. And in doing so, the Cartel even goes so far as to protect their investments. Arguably, defense is the most important of all governmental functions, and the Cartel provides it with gusto. Indeed, the Minecore site is now replete with Cartel forces, probably as much to protect the Cartel’s investment as it is to keep an eye on the local inhabitants.
Beyond the heavy Cartel presence, however, there’s little really to see at the site (beyond my ability to let my political science geekery out to play, of course). It’s your standard mining site: a main base dug into a fairly large, arc-shaped asteroid, with a variety of supporting industries and habitation modules. The site is certainly on the larger end of mining operations that I’ve seen, but there’s really little to recommend it unless you have a pronounced fascination with mining efficiency and industrial processes (granted, I know some people love this kind of thing, though it’s not quite my cup of tea). You have your standard asteroid habitats, foundries, and the myriad of other things you can find in just about any system in New Eden. If it wasn’t for the slightly distinctive background, it wouldn’t be worthy of note at all.
I didn’t spend long at Minecore. Though I obviously sympathizes with the workers, I had no desire to face the wrath of the Cartel (who already are not exactly my biggest fans). After I finished taking my photos, I set off for my next destination, wondering if that one to would let my inner political science geek out.
- Attraction: Minecore
- System: K-X5AX
- Security Rating: 0.0
- Region: Feythabolis
- Potential Hazards: K-X5AXis deep in 0.0 space, involving jumps across a number of different alliance territories, many of which may be operating under “Not Blue, Shoot It” protocol. Gate camps (including warp interdiction bubbles) can be found often in transitioning from 0.0 to high security space, as well as on other gates. Caution is advised.
- Additional Notes: This site is a COSMOS site, and agents are available if you have the proper standing with the Angel Cartel.
We all have our skills in life. Some of us are fantastic at fighting. Others of us are great at dying. Some of us have found our calling in creation. While still others like to theorycraft destruction. The thing about capsuleers is that we’re a varied lot. We go beyond mere death and destruction. Political intrigue is well cataloged in capsuleer circles. We have such a robust community that incisive political commentary is not just a nicety, but a necessity. News sites cover not just what happened, but offer commentary as well. Some people have fantastic stories to tell. And that doesn’t even begin to cover the pirates, wormhole dwellers, and people who are trying out a little bit of everything. Oh, and then there’s me, who keeps taking pictures of the things I see in New Eden, and for some reason, people keep reading it. In short, New Eden offers such a broad array of insightful, colorful, and just all around fantastic characters in every imaginable combination.
I bring this up because for all of the stories there are to tell, for all of the things that there are to say (and have been said), there are 100 more that never see the light of day. In a galaxy of billions, with intrigue, murder, and shady deals a constant part of life, I can’t help but thinking of the untold stories of the cluster, even when inundated with plenty of stories that are. While many of these stories are undoubtedly less exciting than the ones we end up hearing about, I have no doubt that there are certain stories that, if ever exposed to the light of day, would turn the cluster upside down. But, for whatever reason, these stories are often lost to the ages, never to be told.
This entire train of thought was prompted by my investigations in the 760-9C constellation. It’s a backwater constellation, out in Wicked Creek, and certainly not some place that I would really consider taking a vacation in. But it’s notable because it’s the suspected hiding place of wanted criminal from Matari space. Martokar Alash sounds no worse than many capsuleers, being wanted by Matari authorities for booster smuggling, killing CONCORD officers, and capturing Matari citizens and selling them into slavery. Yet the Republic Justice Department has decided that Alash needs to be stopped, and is willing to step on the toes of the Thukker Tribe to do it. Alash was last seen in 760-9C, and the Republic has made the constellation a focus of its search. Indeed, when you first enter the constellation, Aura receives an automated pop-up message from Matari authorities:
Rumor has it that the infamous Thukker warlord, Martokar Alash, was last seen in the constellation 760-9C. He apparently fled his homeland after Republic authorities threatened an invasion should he not be extradited into their hands. It is believed that he has become involved in the booster smuggling business, working alongside the Angel Cartel.
Martokar’s previous crimes include the murder of CONCORD officers, kidnapping and sale of Republic citizens into slavery. Investigators also blamed him for managing a large criminal network inside the Republic territories, which had direct links to the Angel Cartel. And although it is common knowledge that the Thukker Tribe leadership has strong ties to the Cartel, Dulinar Nerhoger, chief of intelligence in the Republic Justice Department, believes that Martokar’s crimes are grave enough to warrant special attention. He advises all travelers venturing into 760-9C to keep an eye out for Martokar, he is considered extremely dangerous.
For the purposes of finding Alash, the Republic has set up base in an old, abandoned station in DUO-51 of Minmatar origin, now only known as The Tain. What an abandoned Minmatar station is doing out this way isn’t entirely clear. Records don’t indicate that the Republic has ever made a concerted effort at settling the region; indeed, Wicked Creek’s been in the hands of the Angel Cartel and its associated criminal elements for as long as anyone can seem to remember. It’s possible that the Thukker built the station long ago, only to abandon it when their seemingly insatiable wanderlust kicked in again, but if so, those records have long been lost. Indeed, whatever purpose the station served is now known only to the solar winds spitting off the meager local star.
That’s not to say that the Tain isn’t a lively place, though. As mentioned, the Republic Fleet has decided to use the abandoned station as their command center for the hunt for Alash. To demonstrate how seriously the Republic feels Alash’s capture is, it has moved a fully-manned Nighoggur-class carrier to the Tain. This showing of the flag is especially significant because it’s rare to see any of the empires in New Eden deploy capital assets (capsuleer-controlled capitals are, of course, another matter entirely), and downright unheard of to see such capital assets deployed this deep into capsuleer-controlled space. To help protect the vested interest the Republic clearly has here, they’ve also deployed a small support fleet, consisting mostly of the iconic Tempest-class battleships. To send such a provocative and high-value deployment to Wicked Creek is undoubtedly an attempt by the Republic’s military command to demonstrate the seriousness with which it would take any attempts to interfere with the search for Alash. The empires very much know that us capsuleers can turn on them at merely a moment’s notice, and it’s only the threat of CONCORD that really holds us off. Given the public record of his crimes, that, of course, makes almost no sense. This suggests to me that something far more serious is at stake. Either Alash is wanted for far more serious crimes than the Republic is willing to announce publicly currently, or they’re using Alash as a cover.
The Tain itself clearly has some stories to tell, if only anyone could understand it. The local space is littered with debris, apparently from some epic space battle. Intriguingly, it appears that the Amarr also deployed some assets to Wicked Creek at some point; the remains of one of their old-style battleships can be seen beached within a local asteroid field. The station itself has been pulverized. Minmatar architecture can often be mistaken as damaged even when in full repair, but it takes little skill to notice the gaping holes throughout the station’s superstructure, not to mention the station batteries and other equipment that has been ejected from the station. There’s even a few mummified bodies floating amongst the debris, though it’s impossible to tell whether these date from the time of the Tain’s abandonment or the Matari were having some disciplinary problems in more recent times. Regardless, it’s clear that neither the Amarr nor the Matari had a pleasant time of things here at the Tain.
Whatever the Republic is doing out here, I wish them luck. When someone wants to get lost in New Eden, it’s easy to do so, and it seems that Alash is giving the Republic a run for its money. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something more at stake here for the Republic, given the profile of the deployment. But whatever it was, it was unlikely that they would announce it any time soon. And so what happens here at the Tain, along with happened here in the past, is likely to stay as another of New Eden’s countless untold stories.
- Attraction: The Tain
- System: DUO-51
- Security Rating: 0.0
- Region: Wicked Creek
- Potential Hazards: DUO-51 is deep in 0.0 space, involving jumps across a number of different alliance territories, many of which may be operating under “Not Blue, Shoot It” protocol. Gate camps (including warp interdiction bubbles) can be found often in transitioning from 0.0 to high security space, as well as on other gates. Caution is advised.
- Additional Notes: This site is a COSMOS site, and agents are available if you have the proper standing with Minmatar.
It’s a well-known but at times little understood fact that the interstellar economy requires constant destruction in order to not only thrive, but even survive. Without the vast amount of ships taken out of commission daily by my fellow capsuleers, New Eden’s economy would grind to a halt. Suddenly, people would no longer be buying ships or ammo. Prices for ships and the modules that go on them would plummet as supplies flood the market. This leads to a crash in mineral and salvage component prices, meaning that even the most isolated amongst us get hit hard as the economy grinds to a halt. It’s a sobering thought, because on the one hand the economy, such as it is, brings prosperity for billions. On the other hand, one only needs to look at the past day’s casualty lists to understand the cost of that prosperity.
Either way, it doesn’t appear that the economy will be grinding to a halt for lack of violence any time soon. Us capsuleers show no sign of abating our violent tendencies, either against each other or the multitude of pirates and other unseemly people who have made their homes in the stars. As such, there is a constant pressure to find new sources of raw materials to feed the ever roiling violent frenzy that is New Eden. It’s easy to imagine that in the vastness of any star system, resources are nearly limitless. But the key word of that phrase is “nearly.” While any one star system starts with a vast amount of resources, many of the core worlds in high security space have been in development for thousands of years. And the resources are therefore starting to dry up there. Such a trend is even evident in low security space, even though many systems have only been inhabited for a hundred years at best. Only null security and especially wormhole space still has nearly-untapped resources these days, and it is out there that you can still find the massive mining operations that keep our economy clipping along.
One such mining enterprise can currently be found in MY-W1V, in Catch. It’s a small colony, and nothing on the order of what you would see from a well-organized capsuleer mining operation, but it’s interesting to see nonetheless. Perhaps that’s because of late I’ve found myself more and more fascinated with how the non-capsuleer class lives. Though I of course used to be a non-capsuleer myself, I’ve recently passed my fifth anniversary of being a capsuleer, and perhaps my recent interest in the general public is a bit of nostalgia on my part. Regardless of where my current interest in what is otherwise a fairly normal mining operation comes from, it’s apparently also interesting enough to CONCORD to warrant a navigational beacon. As Aura explains:
Frolo Fatimar was a famous Amarrian explorer that passed away only a few years ago. During his later years he founded this outpost, hidden within a deadspace pocket which originally contained large quantities of Arkonor asteroids. Those are now long gone, having been mined to oblivion, but what remains is a sizable colony of harvesters and miners that have been scouring the 9HXQ-G constellation for the valuable gas clouds Frolo claimed to have found in massive quantities.
The colony has all the trappings of a modern day deep-space outpost. A number of asteroids have been hollowed out in the traditional format to serve as living and working quarters for the variety of crew that have settled here. A number of completely artificial habitats also populate the area. Beyond that, there’s also a shipyard and a number of huge storage containers, undoubtedly holding supplies as well as ore while waiting for the freighters to make supply runs out to Jita and back. There’s also a few solar energy harvesters to provide energy to the outpost. But by far, the scene is dominated by the massive sensor array and the central work outpost. The outpost itself is a standard Amarrian “let’s make everything look like a church” design, contrasting sharply with the utilitarian design of the dish.
It shouldn’t be surprising that even a minor outpost settled in the depths of null security space, away from the protection of CONCORD, should boast a substantial defense force. The colonists have not only built their own defense post (notably a rather non-Amarrian design), but have built a minor fleet to protect itself. The three battleships and assorted support craft won’t stave off a coordinated assault, of course, but it should be enough to scare off most minor pirate assaults. Considering the fact that they’re presumably supporting the defense fleet solely through earnings from the ore and gas they’ve mined, the colonists apparently know what they’re doing. But I guess high risk like this brings high rewards as well.
Anyway, I spent only a few minutes poking around on the colony. I was en route to other, perhaps more interesting sites, and I didn’t want to overstay my welcome. With another look around the system to make sure I wasn’t being followed, I was on my way.
- Attraction: Fatimar Outpost
- System: MY-W1V
- Security Rating: 0.0
- Region: Catch
- Potential Hazards: MY-W1V is deep in 0.0 space, involving jumps across a number of different alliance territories, many of which may be operating under “Not Blue, Shoot It” protocol. Gate camps (including warp interdiction bubbles) can be found often in transitioning from 0.0 to high security space, as well as on other gates. Caution is advised.
- Additional Notes: This site is a COSMOS site, and agents are available if you have the proper standing with Amarr.
Author’s note: This week’s EVE Travel will be a little different than normal, as I join into the discussion from Freebooted’s current Blog Banter. I don’t normally join the Banters as I keep EVE Travel focused on living up to its name as a travel blog, but this Banter’s prompt allows me to join in the discussions for once. The prompt is:
Some say a man’s home is his castle. For others it is wherever they lay their hat. The concept is just as nebulous in the New Eden sandbox.
In EVE Online, what does the concept of “home” mean to you?
Home. It’s an effusive concept that seems to vary depending on my mood. Home is where I grew up, in that small house on Luminaire with my parents and siblings. It’s the smell of fresh cookies coming straight out of the oven, ready and waiting for me at the end of a long day. It’s curling up in my bed with a good book as I wait to see what tomorrow brings me. It’s the one place in this hectic universe where I know I can return to, even when everyone and everything else seems out to get me. I may not have seen my parents in months, and may not have set foot on Luminaire since becoming a capsuleer, but that does not and will never stop me from considering that little house in Luminaire my home.
Home can also be where the heart is, as the old adage goes. Professor Science, my first true travel ship, is my home. I have more memories with her than I do any of my other ships. Be it running gate camps and hoping my cloak activates in time or seeing some of the wonders that space has to offer, I can recall nothing but fond memories from her. I remember the punch in the gut I felt the first time I lost her, and I remember the joy I felt when I managed to slip her through a heavy gate camp with no losses. In terms of sheer emotional attachment, and in terms of the ship that let me start doing the things I love, Professor Science and its successors have no equal in where I can call home.
But home is also where I feel the safest. Where I feel the most secure. Having been a pod pilot for four and a half years now, home is my ship. Legacy, my Drake, has been my trusty ship for years now. I know her and her crew like I know the back of my hand. I know her strengths, and I know her weaknesses. I know her capabilities, and I know her limits. Legacy is my old, reliable workhorse. To put it colloquially, “she takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’.” If I’m looking for the one place in the universe where I feel safe, where I feel like I can tackle anything, it’s my Drake. They say that capsuleers are hooked up to a ship to make it feel like a part of a pilot’s own body. Legacy takes that feeling to the extreme, so much so that I almost feel awkward in just about any other ship. Say what you will about the Drake, but Legacy has always been there for me.
In a more ‘traditional’ sense of where I primarily base out of, Pelkia is my home. For the better part of two years, now, the majority of my ships and belongings can be found in that lonely base in a fairly small system. It’s located conveniently near both Amarr for when I need to shop for new ships, as well as low security. It’s fairly equidistant from the other empires, making it easy should a new site pop up that requires investigation. But Pelkia is more than that. When I moved into Genesis for my research in Project Compass, it was Pelkia that I ended up yearning to return to. The familiar sights and sounds there are soothing, and I know I have no enemies nearby. Coming back after an extended excursion is like slipping into my favorite sweater. Something about it just feels right.
But maybe I’ve gotten to the point where I can call no singular place home. Maybe “home” is not so much as a place, but a feeling. In that respect, New Eden is my home. I am not just a native of the Federation. I am not just from Luminaire. I am a citizen of the broader stellar community. Us pod pilots are 300,000 strong and growing by the day. We live together, we fight together, we die together. And then we wake up in our cloning vats and do it all again. From the depths of null security space to the heart of Yulai, each and every one of us are bound to each other, be it through ties of alliances, ties of friendship, or ties of the marketplace. Each pod pilot is my neighbor, and each system is just a part of my home that I have yet to thoroughly explore. For four and a half years now, the stars have been my home. It thrills me that there are still more wonders out there waiting for me, and I can’t wait to see what else my home has to offer.
- Attraction: Home
- System: All
- Security Rating: -1.0 to 1.0
- Region: All
- Potential Hazards: Some of the neighbors can be less than friendly 😉
- Home and Hearth by Parisma Calles @ Small Ships FTW
- I’m like the Gypsy Band by Drackarn @ Sand, Cider and Spaceships
- Somewhere I belong by Sugar Kyle @ Low Sec Lifestyle
- Home in the Stars by Lukas Rox @ Torchwood Archives
- Home is Where My Hole is… by TurAmarth ElRandir @ A Carbon Based Life
- A Sort of Homecoming by Rhavas @ Interstellar Privateer
- Home Is Where the Heart Is by Anshu Zephyran @ Structure Damage
- A Place to Hang your Hat by Rixx Javix @ EVEOGANDA
- A Question of Location by Druur Monakh @ Hazardous Goods
- A Long Time Ago in a Constellation Far Far Way… by Kirith Darkblade – EVE Pirate
- Home is where my Pod is by Emergent Patroller
- Sweet Home Alabama by Orea @ Notes From New Eden
- BB39: Home by Mabrick @ Mabrick’s Mumblings
- home…was it a random choice? by MinorFreak @ Ordoministorum
- Home is where your Family is… by Kuan Yida @ Random Posts from Auga
- Blogbanter 39 by splatus @ A Journey Through the Mind
- two kinds of places by Sered Woollahra @ Sered’s Lives
- Home by Kirith Kodachi @ Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah
- Homeward Bound by Mike Azariah @ A Missioneer in EVE
- Where The Heart Is by Xander @ Crossing Zebras
- It’s not a house, it’s a home @ Morphisat’s Blog
- A Captain’s Quarters to call your own @ A Scientist’s Life in Eve
- The Funny Thing… by Orakkus @ 2nd Anomaly From the Left
- Where Familiarity Doesn’t Breed Contempt @ Diaries of a Space Noob
- Where is home? by Sunatzero
- Nebulosity by Helena Khan @ Aggressive Logistics
- Here by blastradius @ Blastrad’s Tales
- Home is where the Hulk is by Satyrwood @ Satyrwood Industries
- There and Back Again; An Ex-Capsuleer’s Tale* by Eelis Kiy @ Sand, Cider and Spaceships
- Homeward Bound by Adhar Khorin @ Margin Call
- Home is Where you Stage by Poetic Stanziel @ Poetic Discourse
- Broken Home by Marc Scaurus @ MALEFACTOR
- Home is Where the Alts Are by Kaeda Maxwell @ The Wild Rose of Molden Heath
- No place like it by Ripard Teg @ Jester’s Trek
- Home is where the hangar is by Jace Errata @ Year of the Snake
- An unpleasant truth @ EveHermit’s Blog
- Home is what you make of it by Anabaric @ Inside My Skull So Many Demons
It seems odd to have to worry about urban planning in today’s day and age. In this age of buildings that, for all intents and purposes, can be built to limitless heights, what does it really matter how things are laid out? Why does it matter if we put the park here or there? Who cares if the recycling center is in the center of town or out on the periphery? Although modern strategies of urban planning originated to deal with how to maximize land use when land itself was limited, the planning of land use is all the more important when the usable space you have to work with is practically infinite. Odd little things, such as examining pedestrian flow or infrastructural considerations can have a vast impact on how successful a community ultimately will be, since it amounts to making things as easy for the inhabitants as possible.
Of course, such considerations become even more important for space-based communities, when that pesky gravity no longer adds such a two-dimensional emphasis on planning. Now, we can sprawl however far we want in all three dimensions, which makes the use of space almost MORE important. It’s a counterintuitive thought, to be sure, but it becomes a matter of practicality and ease of living for inhabitants. The problems that can pop up in unplanned communities can be seen in old fashioned ‘boom towns.’ These often crop up when some incredibly valuable resource is discovered, and people suddenly rush to the scene. As is always the case, when people congregate together, some kind of town is born, but if it’s unplanned from the beginning, it can grow haphazardly and unevenly, leading to major problems down the road as the community continues to grow. Of course, boom towns can happen just as easily in space as they can on planets… perhaps even more so given the comparative riches that can be found in space. An example can be found out in A8-XBW, in Fountain. As Aura explains:
Extremely valuable gas clouds have been discovered in the Pegasus constellation which have created a gold rush. ORE was quick to claim ‘ownership’ as the constellation borders its sovereign space, but the Serpentis and the Syndicate, as well as multiple entrepeneurs from the Gallente Federation, have all claimed their own piece of the pie. Inevitably collisions have occurred and the constellation has become a sort of ‘warzone’ between various groups of greedy claimants.
The Yakura Harvesting Depot very much has that feeling of a town that grew too much too fast. Structures sprawl haphazardly on the edge of the gas cloud that fuels the incredible growth of the Depot. Rather than there being any particular order to the area, things grow from wherever they happened to be plopped down. Some structures have grown so large as to be unwieldy (not to mention poorly positioned), while abandoned structures are left where they stood, with the community not even attempting to clean them up. It leads to an odd dissonance throughout the site: structures that are so new they sparkle are built on top of older buildings that show their wear, while those are built just a little ways away from abandoned buildings that are left to gather dust in the endless void of space.
The Depot can roughly be split into 3 areas: the primary industrial area, which appears to be asteroid based. Then there’s the shipping area, where cargo pads seem to tumble on to each other in an attempt to maximize berthing space for incoming and outgoing freighters. And then, for some reason closer to the valuable gas clouds than either the industrial or commercial shipping areas, lays the somewhat ramshackle living areas. Despite the great wealth in the area, the living conditions have yet to catch up for the workers who simply wanted to plant their stake as quickly as possible. The quick-construction asteroid habitats should be familiar to my regular readers, made up of smaller asteroids that are linked together via a series of metal tubes. There is also a second, larger living facility nearby, made up of three larger asteroids that are still hollowed out and linked together. The larger facility seems newer to me, and closer still to the gas cloud. And, for some odd reason, a THIRD asteroid colony can be seen clear on the other side of the Depot, out past the industrial base.
The primary industrial base of the area is located on a massive asteroid. Rather than being entirely hollowed out like the living areas, the industrial area has a number of facilities that peak out of the surface, including docking ports and the like to bring materials to and from the factories. Nearby, the ruins of a Quafe sign can be seen. The sign actually intrigues me. Did Quafe really manage to jump onto the bandwagon so quickly? Was this an attempt at corporate sponsorship that went awry? If so, why did relations break down? The sign appears pretty battered, with twisted steel beams being the only remains of the sign’s original framework. The power source is apparently still active, as evidenced by the flicker of the sign every now and then, while a ghostly image of a Quafe bottle flashes across the screen for a few seconds. Remains of the word “ENJOY” float nearby, though I’m not entirely sure what happened to the ‘O’. Perhaps not the most effective advertising campaign, but at least they weren’t trying to hide what they were selling.
The most interesting part of the Depot, I think, is the commercial shipping area. It’s a hodgepodge of various stores that have cropped up, allowing pilots and crews to spend their time (and, more importantly, their money) while waiting for their ships to be unloaded and loaded. Here, one can easily see that there is no overarching design philosophy. New cargo pads were built as they were needed, wherever the builders wanted. Some pads appear to built literally on top of others. That doesn’t stop the constant stream of freight traffic, though. Three separate freighters can be seen while I’m there. Surrounding the pads are various shops that showcase the free-for-all feeling out here. A casino floats near a brothel, while drugs can easily be purchased as well. A few battleships float throughout the site, providing a measure of external security from raiders, but they didn’t seem to be conducting any police actions within the Depot. With no CONCORD presence and little order, the very western edge of the Cluster is indeed pretty wild.
The Yakura Depot is a thriving town on the edge of lawless space, but whether that can be sustained remains to be seen. These kind of boom towns often don’t survive much past the exhaustion of their resources, and even massive dust clouds in space don’t last forever. Still, as I vectored my Tengu onwards in my journey, I wished them the best of luck, and hoped that they’d get around to planning out their space just a little better.
- Attraction: Yakura Harvesting Depot
- System: A8-XBW
- Security Rating: 0.0
- Region: Fountain
- Potential Hazards: A8-XBW is deep in 0.0 space, involving jumps across a number of different alliance territories, many of which may be operating under “Not Blue, Shoot It” protocol. Gate camps (including warp interdiction bubbles) can be found often in transitioning from 0.0 to high security space, as well as on other gates. Caution is advised.
- Additional Notes: This site is a COSMOS site, and agents are available if you have the proper standing with Serpentis.
Before the days of faster than light travel, before the days of space travel, before the days of even radio, humanity used to sail the seas of their respective homeworlds using only the stars as their guides. They say that history often goes full circle: in the modern day, with countless conveniences and methods of navigation, some are yearning for a return to that seemingly simpler time. With recent advances in camera drone optics, it has recently become possible to view these nebula anew, and indeed, even roughly navigate by them. In my continuing endeavors to provide travel resources, I have put together a listing of all visible nebula in New Eden for those who want to try their hand at navigating solely by these celestial beacons, available here, as well as at the top of this site.
Editor’s Note: The following is a guest travel blog by Calando. All pictures and text are thanks to him. I’d like to thank him for putting the effort into this!
To truly understand what many condemn to be the “shadier” side of society requires simply that you tread the path, and it really only takes one venture. Capsuleers can hardly claim to be virtuous, and I often find myself drawn to noble and questionable causes alike. This, coupled with my tendency to stray from the beaten path, might well be what lead me to this far-out-of-the-way landmark deep in lawless space, arguably against my better judgement. Though anything close to unbiased law enforcement was a dozen jumps away or more, the interim toward my destination was thankfully uneventful, and I soon found myself emerging through the final gate into ZH3-BS. Without waiting for any sort of welcoming party, I aligned my ship and thundered forward toward the Pioneer’s Sanctuary.
As soon as the warp bubble collapsed and the outpost came into view, I was immediately greeted with an impressive sight: the outpost itself had been rigged between two colossal rock formations, each rivaling, if not outright dwarfing, the size of a Titan. I was immediately pinged by the nearby control tower, whose staff demanded my intentions and warned me under no uncertain terms that if I tried anything less-than-noble, I would be forcibly ejected (undoubtedly, in more ways than one). Once I had convinced them of my amiability, they allowed me to proceed into the compound proper, though I would be kept under the watchful eyes of the patrols there. Aura offered the DED’s assessment of the site:
This bustling space port has seen better days. It was built some years ago by ambitious gas harvesters intent on capitalizing on the booster craze that has gripped space navigators all over the known universe. But conflict with the Guristas Pirates looms on the horizon, unless their ludicrous demands are met. And with the difficulty of summoning mercenary reinforcements out here, the conflict looks to become pretty one-sided.
Today the settlement is composed of various racial and cultural groups, being a popular stopping point for freelance harvesters and mercenaries from many corners of inhabited space, intent on cashing in on the ‘gas rush’.
True to intel, the space in which this compound drifted was thick with all manner of noxious gases and mysterious particles, the byproducts of the narcotics manufacturing operations which took place in the research facilities interwoven within several smaller asteroids, which in turn were anchored between the two major rock formations. Scans pinpointed the source of the pollution as the plasma vents jutting out from these structures, each periodically flaring up and venting plumes of questionable incinerated material into space.
Aside from the mountainous rocks flanking the outpost on either side, the most eye-catching feature is the Phoenix-class dreadnought sitting directly amidst the residential structures; the entire duration of my stay would be made considerably less comfortable due to my sensors indicating active weapon and targeting systems all trained on my lone cruiser, courtesy thereof. I would later surmise that this behemoth, not unlike a chained slaver hound just itching to tear a person’s throat out, was the only thing standing between these pioneers and the callous wrath of a Guristas assault force. At the helm of this regal vessel was an agent for Kaalakiota, whom I hailed and attempted to make friendly conversation with, but this agent was all-business and closed the channel as soon as it became clear that I wasn’t in the mood to talk kredits. I would get similar responses from the many other entrepreneurs in the local vicinity.
Interestingly, an entertainment module was also present. Having had an arduous trip to Pioneer’s Sanctuary from empire space, a little out-of-pod R&R appealed to my interests; the control tower graciously anchored my ship while my crew and I made our way inside for a few hour’s downtime. The service and patrons here proved to be much more hospitable, and I even indulged in some of their select processed wares. A few helpings of X-Instinct and several hours in like-minded company left me feeling content and rested. Despite the initial cold reception, and the trip back home ahead of me, I left the outpost in high spirits.
And for good measure, I tore apart a few Guristas squadrons along the way.
- Attraction: Pioneer’s Sanctuary
- System: ZH3-BS
- Security Rating: 0.0
- Region: Tenal
- Potential Hazards: ZH3-BS is deep in 0.0 space, involving jumps across a number of different alliance territories, many of which may be operating under “Not Blue, Shoot It” protocol. Gate camps can be found often in transitioning from 0.0 to high security space, as well as on other gates. Caution is advised.
It’s easy to get bogged down in the little things in life. Those minor deadlines, those little irritations that you run in to throughout the day. Keeping perspective on what the truly important issues are can be difficult, but it is always necessary. In the grander scheme of things, are most of life’s issues really worth worrying about? How many of the issues that cause people so much stress are really worth fighting over? Dying over? Of course, that last question has changed considerably for us capsuleers, but for many people, death is still very much a permanent solution to many problems. It’s too easy to weigh yourself down with all of life’s little problems until you force yourself to take a step back and look at what really matters in your life. Some things just aren’t worth worrying yourself to death over.
I bring this up because of a rather surprise site that I stumbled upon during the course of my travels. It isn’t very well-marked, and obviously not very well-known (though I’m not the first person to discover the site), but from what I can tell, it wasn’t even planned. Or maybe it was. But whatever caused this site to form happened with such suddenness, and with such violence, that it apparently caught the poor souls trapped here completely by surprise. As with so many of the sites marked out by CONCORD in New Eden, this particular site was a graveyard. CONCORD apparently had a miscommunication somewhere along the line, marking the site as the T-MOFA graveyard when T-MOFA was the system next to T-IPZB. Still, the standard beacon broadcast sent a sobering tale:
Some believe that the Blood Raiders who died here still haunt these tombs of twisted metal, and that if you listen closely, you can hear their hateful cries across the depths of space. What happened at this place is indistinguishable from fact or legend, miracle or nightmare. All that is known for sure is that the origins of Jamyl Sarum’s resurgence can be traced to this spot, and that the Blood Raiders suffered horribly to her wrath.
I had little sympathy for Blood Raiders, personally. A quintessential example of religion gone too far. But I also have little sympathy for ambushes with little to no warning (though I suspected that a number of military strategists would disagree with me on that). It seems too much like shooting someone when their back was turned. It seems too dishonest. Yet that appears to be exactly what happened in this backwater system in the middle of nowhere. Whatever it was that allowed now-Empress Sarum to win her stunning victory over the Minmatar Elders was apparently first tested out here, to rather devastating effect. And given some the positioning of the various ships and corpses throughout area suggested that the Blood Raiders were caught by almost complete surprise (though how much you can really expect to/prepare for an attack from someone supposedly dead for 3 years by a weapon of unimagineable power is certainly a subject for debate).
The devastation was quite apparent. Wrecks littered the area, ranging from barely-recognizable battleship wrecks to the Blood Raider tailored Archon and Revelation wrecks. Though the Blood Raiders’ unique paint scheme was still recognizable, little else survived the wrecks. Among the wrecks, a number of corpses could be seen, those of the unfortunate souls who weren’t immediately vaporized by the attack. I nudged Legacy close to a few of them, and all of them had a look of intense pain frozen on their faces. Unfortunately, the details of what caused their deaths, or the destruction of all of these ships, were few and far between. Over a year after the attack, evidence of what kind of weapon caused it was scant, with no abnormal energy readings or other unusual objects. Just a whole lot of death.
So was this worth dying for? Is their religion worth their life? I don’t know. I suspect that at least some of them would answer yes. But chances are, the people in this graveyard didn’t even have the time to ask the question or think about the answer. Chances are that they didn’t have time to even know what happened before they were hit with a wave of destruction. Not exactly how I would want it to end. Though I didn’t often contemplate how I would finally (and permanently) die, I could only hope that I was dying for something that I felt was worth it, and certainly not while caught by surprise.
- Attraction: T-IPZB Graveyard
- System: T-IPZB
- Security Rating: 0.0
- Region: Delve
- Potential Hazards: T-IPZB is deep in 0.0 space, involving jumps across a number of different alliance territories, many of which may be operating under “Not Blue, Shoot It” protocol. Gate camps (including warp interdiction bubbles) can be found often in transitioning from 0.0 to high security space, as well as on other gates. Caution is advised.
- Additional Notes: If anyone ever travels out this way and the Powers That Be finally get around to correcting the name, please let me know.
The following is a Scope Special Report.
YULAI, Sanctum- Yulai stood aghast this week as, just days following an invasion into the heart of CONCORD-controlled space, five constellations went dark as the Sansha Nation initiated simultaneous incursions in what is believed to be the single largest offensive in the history of New Eden. Despite the shutdown of official means of communications, stories quickly spread as capsuleers, crews, and civilian vessels fled the scenes, causing mass chaos. Even CONCORD-patrolled space was not immune from the Nation’s reach, as Algintal, a constellation in the Gallente Federation, fell completely dark for several minutes before officials were able to re-establish contact through emergency channels.
CONCORD officials reacted swiftly to the news. After a hastily convened Inner Circle closed session, CONCORD quickly announced measures the peacekeeping force has taken, as well as new legislation authorizing capsuleer response to these so-called incursions. The quick turnaround time on the legislation, as well as immediate upgrades to capsuleer software in their ships, have lead some to believe that there were those in CONCORD who have been expecting this to come. Indeed, some Inner Circle observers have referred to the so-called “Operation Ishaeka” as evidence that CONCORD has had information regarding the Sansha movements for some time, and yet has taken little to no action before now. These observers have referenced CONCORD’s inability (or, at least to some observers, CONCORD’s unwillingness) to respond to prior Sansha invasions, even when concentrated to only one system, as proof of some kind of détente between Yulai and the Nation, while others argue that this simply shows how capsuleer forces are better able to handle the situation.
Meanwhile, reports on the situation within Sansha-controlled space have been few and far between. Federation officials, speaking on condition of anonymity as they are unauthorized to speak for the Federation, expressed surprise as the first reports from Sansha-affected space came in to Luminaire. Said one: “They’ve managed to infiltrate everything. All the various financial and administrative control systems we thought were secure have proven not to be. I don’t know where they managed to develop their hacking software, but its years ahead of anything either the Federation or the other empires have been able to produce.”
Initial reports indicate that after Nation forces move into a constellation, they quickly overwhelm many software safeguards in place around financial systems and protective measures. Gallente intelligence reports show that these Sansha forces are stronger than many other non-capsuleer forces that capsuleer forces have encountered before. Initial threat assessments show that even the weakest sites should not be handled by less than five to ten capsuleers. Reports also refer to money being diverted from CONCORD accounts traditionally paid for bounties on known criminals to Sansha bank accounts instead of capsuleer accounts, demonstrating an ability to hack into Secure Commerce Commission accounts. Similarly, the Sansha have been able to quickly establish cyno-jammers in null and low security systems, preventing capital ships from jumping in to join the fight. Early reports even indicate an ability to hamper, though not destroy, capsuleer-piloted vessels by reducing armor and shield resistances, as well as damage output. Strangely, these setbacks appear to affect at least some Sansha ships themselves, which some have suggested are indicative that the exploits that the Sansha are using are endemic to all capsuleer technology, and cannot be turned on and off at will by any particular ship.
Despite early CONCORD reaction to the recent incursions, many have criticized what they see as non-action by the Directive Enforcement Division, the enforcement arm of CONCORD responsible for keeping the peace beyond planetary atmospheres. CONCORD spokesmen were quick to respond to the accusations. Said DED spokeswoman Ruera Penthe, “CONCORD is working closely with capsuleer forces. The DED has made the determination that capsuleer forces are better able to respond to fluid situations, while DED ships maintain their customary peacekeeping roles. However, recent legislation by the Inner Circle has authorized CONCORD to hand out ISK to capsuleers and open private CONCORD materiel stores to capsuleers who have worked with us to resist the Sansha threat. We thank all pilots for what they’ve done so far to ensure the safety and security of all citizens of New Eden, and we look forward to cooperating and planning offensive and defensive operations in the future.”
There are at least some indications, however, that CONCORD’s trust in the capsuleer community is misplaced. Since the legislation authorizing capsuleer response to the Sansha incursions, reports have come to light that while many capsuleers have taken up arms against the Sansha, a number of capsuleer corporations and individuals are either sympathetic to Nation causes, or at least excited for the prospect of wreaking havoc. Some, mostly in the null security space beyond CONCORD jurisdiction, appear to not care about the incursions at all and are, so far, ignoring them, letting Nation forces fulfill their plans without resistance. Reports of outright defense of Sansha ships by capsuleer supporters are few and far between. However, there have been a number of reports of capsuleers joining fleets with so-called “logistics ships” (a capsuleer term to refer to ships that are able to support either shields or armor repairers to help other vessels) only to find that another logistics ship that they were trying to help will violate CONCORD rules, triggering CONCORD’s automatic threat elimination response. These responses will destroy not just the offender’s ship, but also those who were repairing the defender, meaning that even well-intentioned and dedicated capsuleers to lose their vessels. Questioned on this apparent defect, Penthe responded: “Since these incursions have begun, DED has begun re-evaluating it’s threat detection and response procedures in response to capsuleer concerns. However, due to the essential nature of these software changes, DED is unwilling to give any kind of time frame on when improved software may be deployed to prevent this situation in the future. In the meantime, DED strongly advises all capsuleers to only join fleets with others you know and trust.” Furthermore, in order to prompt capsuleer participation, DED has released the standard message sent to all capsuleers when entering an incursion constellation, giving some insights into CONCORD’s defensive strategy:
Attention all capsuleers: Sansha’s Nation forces have staged an incursion of the  constellation. Local empire navies are standing by to protect against planetary abductions. Reinforcements are required to actively remove the threat.
CONCORD has created this channel to aid in the organization of capsuleer fleets willing to fight the Sansha. All pilots who offer assistance will be rewarded.
Authorized by Operation Ishaeka Commander Vieve Creston, DED Special Operations. CONCORD cannot guarantee the operational security of this channel. Attendants are advised to use caution when sharing intelligence.
While this is by far the largest coordinated Sansha incursion, this is not the first time Sansha Kuvakei or his forces have invaded the cluster. The CONCORD Directive Intelligence Agency has released background information regarding Sansha Kuvakei and his history. Kuvakei’s motives are as of yet unclear, but ever since his return last year, his ire appears principally directed at the capsuleer community. However, in order to achieve his goals, he has been known to abduct planetary citizens. To date, such abductions number into the millions, despite heavy capsuleer resistance to any and all Sansha incursions even prior to the current breakout of hostilities. In recent weeks, however, Nation tactics appeared to change. In last weekend’s attack on Yulai, most Sansha forces appeared to ignore the inhabited planets in favor extracting plasma from Yulai itself. The Nation’s intentions with the solar plasma is as of yet unknown.
In the meantime, CONCORD advises all spacefaring and planet-bound citizens to be aware of their surroundings. CONCORD has already deployed new software to all capsuleer vessels to alert them when entering Sansha-controlled space, while planet-bound citizens are advised to keep watching newsfeeds to determine if a Sansha incursion is occurring nearby. Penthe, the DED spokeswoman appeared to acknowledge CONCORD’s limited ability to respond to the Nation threat, “All we can do is give out the information and alert as many people as possible. Watch your neocoms. Know where you’re going, and where the Sansha are currently active. The rest, unfortunately, is up to the citizens of the cluster.”
This has been a Scope Special Report.
- Sansha infested systems can be found anywhere, and at any time. It’s strongly encouraged to check whether your routes take you through Sansha space.
- As noted in the story, effects in Sansha controlled space can be severe. These include a halving of all damage outputs, as well as lower shield and armor resistances. NPC bounties of non-Incursion sites are cut in half while an incursion is active in the constellation. Null and low sec space will be cynojammed.
- There’ve been too many stories of people fleeting up with strangers only to have CONCORD’s aggression mechanics used against them. Beware of who you’re fleeting with. (UPDATE: With the release of the latest Incursion patch, CONCORD will no longer respond to remote repping issues, as you can no longer remote rep anyone with a GCC. Once a person triggers GCC, any reppers on him will shut off, and the GCC’d person will get CONCORDed, but the reppers will not).
- These are not for the solo players. These sites were specifically designed to be done in groups. Your journal can show recommended force sizes, as well as isk payouts from completed sites.
I have never really been a fan of holo-programs, be they dramas, comedies, or the dreaded “reality” shows that seemed to be anything but. Still, as an academic exercise at least, I was intrigued by any show that felt it necessary to move itself from the confines of empire space out to the very fringes of New Eden, to ensure an unencumbered programming schedule. And so the Legendary Trials were born. Situated in the heart of the semi-inappropriately named (or, depending on your view of the Gallente, appropriately named) Assilot constellation out in Cloud Ring, the show broadcasts across the cluster. A basic GalNet search revealed this snippet from the show’s creators:
The famous dueling tournament, ‘The Legends Trial’, has moved to PPG-XC, to escape various expenses associated with having its tournament inside Federation space. Also by staging the tournament here, it can choose from a larger variety of competitors, such as criminals and members of outlaw organizations which would be immediately arrested in Federation space.
The Legends Trial is a popular show on Federation TV, it is broadcasted to billions of screens across many regions. Huge money is at stake, and gambling on the events is extremely popular. It is therefore not surprising that various criminal networks are working hard to ‘influence’ the outcome of the show and rig fights. The organizers of the Legends Trials have hired a sizable mercenary fleet to protect its assets, but even so it has become extremely vulnerable to pirate meddling, especially due to its new location outside of the protective embrace of Federation space. Certainly a freelance merc pilots dream come true.
The Legendary Trials setup itself appears, appropriately, made for television. Despite having never actually seen the show, as I approached the scene I could almost see the opening title sequence in my head. The scene starts off from a distance, showing a an arc of perfectly placed asteroids. The camera zooms in to a misty blue nebula, where a station comes looming from the darkness. Epic music uprises dramatically as the camera continues to zoom in on not one, but two stations holding the day’s events. The camera zooms in to a dramatic looking window, where we see one of today’s challengers, soon to be followed by the other. It’s all very dramatic, even in my head.
A few vessels can be seen patrolling the area, undoubtedly the mercenary vessels mentioned earlier that are hired to provide protection. None of them seemed particularly eager to talk to me, and I quickly got the hint that, despite the fact that the station makes no efforts to hide itself from the public eye, I should be on my way. After snapping a few more photos for my collection, I quickly took Scientia on its way. Almost unconsciously, I found myself also checking my local listings for the next episode of Legendary Trials…
- Attraction: Assilot
- System: PPG-XC
- Security Rating: 0.0
- Region: Cloud Ring
- Potential Hazards: PPG-XC is deep in 0.0 space, involving jumps across a number of different alliance territories, many of which may be operating under “Not Blue, Shoot It” protocol. Gate camps (including warp interdiction bubbles) can be found often in transitioning from 0.0 to high security space, as well as on other gates. Caution is advised.
- Additional Notes: This site is a COSMOS site, and agents are available if you have the proper standing with the Gallente Federation.
Scientia crept under cloak towards a sizeable base of operations. I can’t help holding my breath, worried as I am about somehow accidentally decloaking or the watchful guards seeing through my cloak. I’ve approached pirate bases before, but never in null sec, and never with this kind of force guarding it. Nearby, pirate forces slowly circle the base, following their assigned patrol routes. I sit in Scientia, simply watching. I was quickly learning, given the amount of resources that the Serpentis have dedicated to this base, that drugs, like spaceships, was serious business.
I have never had much reason to dabble in drugs. I understand that some of the more advanced ones can be used to heighten perception and reaction times in combat, but frankly I had never seen a need for it, and some of the horror stories I had heard about dependency and addiction had basically scared me off of them entirely. Still, I knew that there was a substantial black market for such drugs, even if I had never seen it. I knew at least some capsuleers were involved in drug production as well; my research into exploration topics has often led me to discussions on ladar sites and what kinds of drugs the various gases gathered there can produce. But I knew very little about the actual logistics or markets from these drugs.
Given what I saw from this site, however, I could only assume that the profits were substantial. This appeared to be an outlying manufacturing base, yet it was still surprisingly well developed. About three different drug labs sat near the central tower. Surrounding this complex was a ring of manufacturing plants, each of them belching the hazardous by-products of drug production into the depths of space. Around all of this sat a small force of Serpentis ships, including two battleships and two battlecruisers. If I were in empire space, I would have risked decloaking to take a closer look at the base. Given the Serpentis’s opinion of me in recent days, however, I figured I was safer if I just sat in my cloak. I did a bit of research as I sat watching the plant, however, and was able to turn up a little bit of data:
Distribution of their product is a constant concern for Serpentis Corporation, which draws a great deal of its annual revenue from the sale of illegal boosters and narcotics. Various outposts are dotted across the cluster, connecting the narco-factories deep inside Fountain to consumers of all kinds. Many of these outposts fall directly under Serpentis control and enforcement, being too minor or secretive to earn the protection of the superior Guardian Angels fleets.
I waited a few minutes to see if I could see anyone making a stop for drugs, but the base stayed vacant save for myself and the guard force. The neon lights of the “Narcotics” shone softly in the light of 8V-SJJ. Part of me was aghast that they so openly hawked their products, but I had to remind myself that out here, beyond the Empires and CONCORD, it truly was a different world.
- Attraction: Serpentis Distribution Outpost
- System: 8V-SJJ
- Security Rating: 0.0
- Region: Syndicate
- Potential Hazards: 8V-SJJ lies in 0.0 pirate controlled space. Gate camps (including warp interdiction bubbles) can be found often in transitioning from 0.0 to high security space, as well as on other gates. Caution is advised.
- Additional Note: Despite what I say in the text, there is, of course, no actual market at this landmark. For your full supply of drugs and narcotics, please visit your local market hub.
It had been quite a less than stellar maiden voyage. Finally fed up with losing the Professor again and again, I bit the bullet and invested into the new-fangled Tech 3 ship, the Tengu. Properly specced, the Tengu had the ability both to fit a covert operations cloaking device, and the ability to fly through warp interdiction bubbles. These bubbles have long been the bane of my existence while flying through non-empire controlled space, and the ability to side-step them entirely interested me immensely. Since their introduction a year ago, their prices have dropped steadily, and I was able to reasonably fit one for a little over 400 million isk. Certainly still the most expensive ship I have owned to date by far, but much less than what I would have had to pay even 6 months ago. The strength of this setup was immediately apparent, and the newly christened Scientia (a more regal, and appropriate name) breezed through numerous gate camps.
Unfortunately, my fellow fleetmates were less than lucky. As a way to help get to know some other Coalition members, I had offered to serve as a tour guide to anyone interested. Three others ultimately ended up joining me: Casiella Truza, Rettic, and Dallen Ward. The other three were in covert operations frigates of various classes. Normally, that would be fine for what I had planned. Unfortunately, our small fleet quickly took a turn for the worst. Our first jump into alliance-controlled space took us straight into a gate camp from Morsus Mihi. Three covops ships and a Tengu quickly attracted their attention. Scientia thankfully got through without a scratch, but my other fleetmates were less than lucky. One by one, each of my fellow pilots were caught in the jaws of the various gate camps and warp interdiction bubbles, even as I used Scientia‘s advanced technology to scout ahead. Just 6 jumps in to Morsus Mihi controlled space, I found myself entirely alone. Unfortunately, Rettic and Dallen both were podded (though both quickly contacted me after being rather forcibly revived in clone stations to pass along that they were ok), and Casiella lost her ship. She managed to avoid getting podded herself by apparently deft manuevering on her part, and eventually managed to even extricate herself back into the safety of empire space.
That adventure ultimately left me alone to finish my trek to our destination. Thankfully, soon after Casiella fell, they left me alone, apparently aware that they weren’t going to catch a tech 3 Tengu. Fifteen minutes later, I found myself completely alone in the system of G5ED-Y. I had heard rumors that the Caldari had set up an extensive base in the system. Rumor had it that they had discovered something quite significant, even if my sources couldn’t tell me what that “something” was. Obviously, I was intrigued to investigate. As I entered the system, Aura presented the results of the search query I had entered when the fleet first set out. The results weren’t much, but:
The Caldari State have found something significant in G5ED-Y. The State military has set up a huge base of operations in that system, and its presence there is thick as sour milk. The Guristas on the other hand are extremely curious as to what their arch nemesis has discovered, and have set up many bases in the surrounding systems to oversee reconnaissance missions into G5ED-Y. A division from the Serpentis has also been sent to the constellation on behalf of the Smuggler Cartel, led by the infamous Black Jack.
The site itself was rather impressive. I took Scientia in from a few kilometers distance to investigate. Nearby, Sergeant Hakiro kept a watchful eye from his Caracal. I suspected that it was only my decent reputation with the State that kept me from being blown out of the stars. I sent a hail towards him, and he sent a very curt welcome back to me that implied that I was anything but. I took that as a sign to keep my explorations brief. Still, what I saw was quite impressive. Rows upon rows of what I presumed to be antennae floated among the support structures for the base. Nearby, a cracked asteroid floated, its useful minerals mined out to help produce the structures for the base. A few navy vessels patrolled the outpost, ever-vigilant to the many threats found beyond empire-controlled space.
Attempts to learn exactly what the State had found out here, exactly what warranted this substantial projection of force so far from the State’s boundaries, were unsuccessful. the Navy ships did not respond to my hails, and all scans were inconclusive to anything found either at the base or the nearby temperate planet. Whatever the State had managed to dig up this far out, they were hiding it extremely well. Even Scientia‘s advanced sensor package did little to reveal any new secrets. Something told me that if I had a better reputation with the State that Hakiro would be more open with me, but as it stood now, it would simply have to remain a mystery.
While the start of the journey was not as safe as I might have hoped, I had to admit that (for as long as they lasted, at least) it was nice having companions on these journeys. I certainly felt guilty that I had led them to their temporary demises, but I also knew that my friends didn’t blame me for it. At the very least, though, our trip ensured that the next time that I took a fleet with me on a trip, I wouldn’t be the only one in a tech 3 ship.
- Attraction: First Sergeant Hakiro’s Lookout
- System: G5ED-Y
- Security Rating: 0.0
- Region: Vale of the Silent
- Potential Hazards: G5ED-Y is deep in 0.0 space, involving jumps across a number of different alliance territories, many of which may be operating under “Not Blue, Shoot It” protocol. Gate camps (including warp interdiction bubbles) can be found often in transitioning from 0.0 to high security space, as well as on other gates. Caution is advised.
- Additional Notes: This site is a COSMOS site, and agents are available if you have the proper standing with the Caldari State.