Sightseeing in the Cluster

Posts tagged “Genesis

ISHAEKA Tactical Response HQ

Sorry CONCORD.

The sight that greets you upon warping in (and killing all of the enemies).

(The Author would like to thank the Misfits crew of  Markus Vulpine, Situla Vaire,  Dr Zemph,  Kaia Starchaser, and Cali Estemaire for helping him clear the site!)

Living just off the main pipeline to the Eve Gate, I’m used to seeing a certain amount of traffic fly by on a regular basis. Capsuleers making their pilgrimage to the Gate, capsuleers hunting down the pilgrims, research vessels, and a fair amount of Blood Raider activity really round out the area. It is perhaps not the quietest area in game, but for the past few years now I have called it home quite happily. Being in low security space was an added bonus, as I was able to get away from the increasingly worrisome oversight of CONCORD and its many, many regulatory heads. When you add in the bonus of more lucrative loot from exploration than you might find in high security and being able to check in on a number of significant New Eden historical sights on a regular basis, I find that choosing to live in my little corner of New Eden was a smart choice indeed. And while I may have moved on temporarily at different points in time, the area is always there to welcome me home when I’m done with my latest adventure.

We blew up a LOT of CONCORD and they do not seem happy with me.

The classic silhouette of a CONCORD battleship. Some of the stationary defenses can be seen near the gate.

When settling into the area, however, I quickly discovered something odd. This was shortly after Sansha Kuvakei had started rearing his ugly head in New Eden once again. At the time, CONCORD essentially abdicated defense responsibilities when incursions by the Sansha occurred, preferring instead to coordinate with the empire navies and focus on protecting civilian populations while leaving it to the capsuleers to rid the constellation of Sansha’s space-based presence. I, along with many others, were very vocal at the time, criticizing CONCORD for not taking a more proactive response to the clear threat. However, as time went on, it became clearer that CONCORD was at least gathering significant intelligence on the Nation, and a number of classified reports were eventually leaked, suggesting that CONCORD’s response to the Nation was centered in something called Operation ISHAEKA. This, along with clear evidence that capsuleers were able to handle the Sansha threat, eventually lessened the calls for a coordinated CONCORD response to the incursions beyond what they were already providing.

The poor, poor Stratios :-(

One of my fleet’s ships comes under heavy fire.

But back to the story at hand. As I was first settling into my new home, I quickly became aware that there was a heavier CONCORD presence than I would normally encounter in low security space. Generally, low security space should be beyond the reach of the Directive Enforcement Division, the part of CONCORD that most directly interacts with capsuleers (not to mention the part of CONCORD that seems to have the most anger issues…), but there was a suspiciously high amount of CONCORD activity throughout my local constellation, Monalaz. They didn’t seem to act like the CONCORD fleets in high security space, reacting to capsuleer aggression and the like, but they were there nonetheless. Within a few weeks, I discovered that Operation ISHAEKA was more than just intelligence gathering when my probes managed to dig up the ISHAEKA Tactical Headquarters.

Sometimes I feel bad that the pictures don't match where I am in the narrative very well, but I write so long after I take pics its very hard to coordinate :-(

The CONCORD battleships under heavy fire.

Eager to see what kind of response CONCORD had planned, I grabbed the Professor and warped to the site. Although cloaked, my comm system pinged with an automated warning for all capsuleer vessels to stay away lest we be met with lethal force. I came out of warp near a large taskforce of combined CONCORD and Amarr vessels, along with heavy fortifications. Cruise missile batteries, stasis towers, and a large array of ships ranging from lowly frigates to the fearsome standard-issue CONCORD battleships. To say that it was a little intimidating would be, shall we say, an understatement. But your intrepid travel guide was intent on seeing all that there was to see. On the far end of the landing area, I could see an acceleration gate leading deeper into the complex. I maneuvered the Professor around the various fortifications, quickly decloaked, activated the gate and-

Died. Quite quickly.

This and the past pic might be my two favorites

CONCORD is not having a good day.

I gathered one or two close friends to try again a few weeks later. The site had moved to another part of the constellation but it was still fairly easy to track down. We managed to take a few larger, better armed ships in. Needless to say, CONCORD and the Amarr agents, apparently a division of the Amarr military called the Justiciars, were not happy with our arrival, and scrambled a large reaction force. However, we managed to fight them off and even cleared out the fortifications of the landing area. Triumphant, we gathered up what loot we could and activated that heretofore elusive acceleration gate to take us deeper into the complex. Our small flotilla quickly dropped out of warp and then-

Dead. Again. Quite quickly.

I love my little drones look at them go!

The drone buzzes past the staging area in the Haven.

Thankfully, CONCORD didn’t seem willing to attack our pods. Although we couldn’t progress past the second area, we were able to see the sizeable fleet that had so quickly and effectively destroyed us. The fleet’s core was a set of 16 battleships who locked us almost immediately upon warp-in, screened by lighter forces of frigates, cruisers, and battlecruisers. Clearly, something was here that CONCORD wanted to protect. Unfortunately, at the time I was not quite in a position to replace my losses. My interest drifted to other, more accessible locations and despite the fact that I still lived in Monalaz, I quickly stopped giving the Headquarters much more than a second glance as I saw what else the Cluster had to offer.

And a nice little contrail to go with it!

A closer view of the landing pads and logistical centers.

That is, until a few weeks ago. For what should be obvious reasons, I have been on pretty friendly terms with the Evesploratory Society, a group dedicated to exploration. Indeed, the members of the Society were kind enough to name an Astrahus-class citadel after Eve Travel as a tribute to my work (I was admittedly tempted to profile the citadel here but it seemed oddly self-serving to do so, though that hasn’t stopped others from talking about it). In any case, while chatting with members of the Society and some other explorers, the topic of the ISHAEKA Headquarters once again came up. After I explained my prior difficulties getting into the complex, a number of pilots agreed to challenge CONCORD and their Amarr allies yet again. A week or two later, we formed up in a fleet and headed off. Although some of the local pirates decided that our forming fleet was an ideal target, we eventually got in a ragtag fleet consisting mainly (though not entirely) of Stratioses. And so we brought the fight to CONCORD and warped in to the ISHAEKA Tactical Response HQ.

This might be my longest entry ever. I'd have to check.

CONCORD under attack in the fleet staging area.

As before, the initial area surrounding the warp-in point consisted primarily of heavy fortifications for the rest of the complex. It was clear that CONCORD didn’t want anyone poking around (and we were once again threatened with lethal force if we tried to breach the rest of the complex). However, with the help of my fellow fleetmates, who called themselves the Misfits, we quickly cleaned up the initial fleet, and made our way deeper into the complex. As we worked our way through the defensive forces, it quickly became evident that although the forces were formidable, they apparently did not have authorization to utilize the classic anti-capsuleer technology that capsuleers rightly fear. Instead, the CONCORD forces appeared to be restricted to classical weapons. After the fighting had finished, I was able to pause and examine our surroundings a little more closely. The initial area was fairly bare beyond the defensive fortifications, as you might expect. On the other side of the area from the warp-in point, an acceleration gate led deeper into the complex. With some amount of trepidation given my prior history, we activated the gate and were flung deeper in.

This was a fun area.

A better view of the Fleet Staging Area

As I remembered, upon dropping out of warp in the Justiciar Haven portion of the complex, we were immediately pounced upon by over a dozen battleships and another dozen smaller vessels waiting at the warp-in point for us (undoubtedly warned by their compatriots in the landing area of our impending arrival), and they opened fire almost immediately. As you might expect, they were cold and methodical in their attempts to eliminate us. Most, if not all, of the ships would target one person in the fleet in hopes of wearing us down. When it became clear the fleet member wouldn’t break or the fleet member had to warp out to repair, they calmly selected their next target. Eventually, however, we managed to eliminate the resistance, and I managed to get a good look at the second area. I had plenty of time to poke around after the fighting ended as we waited for our ships to repair themselves. The haven area of the complex seemed to be a central loading area for the allied forces. A number of landing pads and administrative centers were arrayed between two acceleration gates, both leading deeper into the complex. Notably, although there were plenty of pads to receive freighters and sort out cargo, they didn’t seem to be in use at the time. Since this was undoubtedly a mobile site, perhaps this site was where the construction ships were based out of, but that is only speculation. Finally, after everyone’s ships were back up to fighting status, we moved deeper into the complex, and on to the ISHAEKA Fleet Staging Area. As we activate the gate, a general broadcast goes out to all ships in the area:

We are under heavy attack! Capsuleers are breaching our staging area! All local files are to be transferred immediately from the archives to a secure location offsite. Initiate burn protocols for all hard data. DED forces will delay the capsuleer incursion at the staging area until we can secure all intelligence. Give ’em hell!

I'm really not sure what to make of this, tbh

The wreckage of an Archon-class carrier.

Once again, our ragtag fleet was met with heavy resistance. While there were 5 fewer battleships waiting for us, those missing battleships were more than made up for by the 20 smaller ships flitting between the battleship behemoths. But once again, our fleet kept its collective cool and we calmly worked our way through the various vessels. I only hoped we were giving the CONCORD crews enough time to evacuate their vessels: I only wanted to see what CONCORD had hiding here, I had no desire to cause mass destruction unless absolutely necessary. Eventually, however, all that was surrounding us were cooling wrecks and I had a chance to examine the area once again. As a fleet staging area, I was not surprised to find a large array of shipyards waiting for us, along with quite a few landing pads filled with freighters in various states of loading and unloading. Most of the drydocks were empty, but a few held various CONCORD or Amarr ships nearing the end of construction. Surprisingly, one of the drydocks also held the shattered remains of an Archon-class carrier that had clearly undergone heavy fire. Why had they bothered dragging it back to the shipyard for analysis? Perhaps it had been damaged by Sansha forces and they were studying it for purposes of developing countermeasures. It was at this point that I was startled to realize that I had seen few, if any, indications that the forces here were in fact organized to fight Sansha’s Nation. Indeed, I had seen few indications at all of any relation to Sansha. This struck me as very odd.

SO MANY PICTURES AND STILL SO FEW PARAGRAPHS.

A CONCORD battleship nearing completion

However, before I had time to ponder the mystery, it was time to move on yet again. We activated the acceleration gate, which somewhat unexpectedly took us back to the Justiciar Haven. However, the second acceleration gate, previously locked to us, had become active, and we headed to the final area: the Justiciar Archives. Although I was hopeful that our answers would be found there, another general broadcast shattered that hope:

The information you have come for is gone. All that awaits you now is the cleansing light of Amarrian laser fire! All pilots engage!

These damage textures really are quite awesome

A damaged Amarr defender with the remains of the Justiciar Archive in the background

Not exactly the welcome I was hoping for. But we were quickly once again fighting for our lives against a combined CONCORD and Amarr onslaught. But we once again managed to prevail through sheer force of will (and the timely arrival of two logistics ships to help us repair). As soon as we were once again surrounded by cooling wreckage, I took a look at this last area of space. Clearly, this was the central administrative area of the complex. A large, though now abandoned, station formed the backdrop of the area, while a multitude of communications and other equipment could be found arrayed nearby. A quick scan confirmed that there was no information salvageable; the CONCORD technicians had done their job quickly but thoroughly.

I really am confused about what this site is supposed to be about. What info was CONCORD afraid we'd be stealing? Why the ISHAEKA tie in but no Sansha? So many questions.

The structures in the Archive area.

As the rest of the fleet celebrated their conquest and rare victory over CONCORD, I couldn’t help but notice that once again, CONCORD was raising more questions than answers. Absolutely no reference was found to Sansha or combating the scourge of his forces throughout the cluster. What, then, is Project ISHAEKA actually concerned with? Their last message to us especially made it clear that they clearly thought we were after specific information. What were they afraid we’d find? What could force CONCORD to enact such drastic measures? I couldn’t help but feel that, as usual, if CONCORD were just more open with the capsuleer community, more willing to treat us as equals rather than rabid animals to be contained, we’d be able to help CONCORD achieve whatever goals they had… assuming it wasn’t something directed against us.

I had a lot of fun with these guys!

A view of the triumphant fleet.

Whatever unanswered questions I had, however, certainly weren’t going to be answered that night. Those were worries for another day. Instead, I chose to revel in the feeling of finally overcoming something that had mystified me for years, and to do so with a group of good friends. Although we left a trail of destruction in our wake (and it is rare indeed that a group of capsuleers leaves behind anything else), successfully completing our mission in a group of friends is a feeling that can’t easily be described or replicated. As I set a course back for home, I felt happy that after five long years, I had finally met the neighbors.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: ISHAEKA Tactical Response HQ
  • Constellation: Somewhere in Monalaz
  • Security Rating: Low Security Space
  • Region: Genesis
  • Potential Hazards: Monalaz is an entirely low sec constellation.  Pirates and gate camps, especially when flying in from Amarr, are common, and caution is advised. Additionally, the rats are quite difficult in the site and heavy resistance is to be expected. Soloing the complex is not recommended, though you can see that we completed the site without too much difficulty with a number of smaller ships.
  • Additional Notes: The Tactical Response HQ should almost always exist somewhere in Monalaz, though I did not confirm if the site respawns immediately after completion or whether you must wait until downtime before finding it again. It is listed as a combat site, and you do need probes to scan it down.

Astrahus Exemplar Site

Astrahus 1

The construction site found in Mara.

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.

Astrahus 2

One of the landing pads near the construction site

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.

Astrahus 3

Mara I hangs in the background

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.

Astrahus 4

A close up of some of the manufacturing arrays

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.

Astrahus 5

I look forward to seeing what eventually gets built

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.

Basic Information:

  • 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.


Violent Wormhole

Promised Land 1

An apparently stable wormhole.

Missiles and ammo flung themselves across the vastness of space at incomprehensible speeds. Lasers singed shields, armor buckled and collapsed, and ships exploded as their reactors went critical. My own drake, hardened as it was for battle, heaved violently as it took what evasive maneuvers it could to avoid the Sansha onslaught. An artificially generated wormhole had been discovered in Yulai mere moments ago, and the battle was just getting underway. About 100 kilometers out, a cloud of Sansha battleships, dark enough to block out the sun despite how close we were to it, began ever so slowly moving towards the fleet set up to defend the heart of civilized space. Suddenly, alarms blared at me as over 50 Sanshas locked on to me. Apparently, I was one of their first picks of the day. Ammunition bore down on me as the drake struggled valiantly to keep my shields up. Within moments, though my shields collapsed, and soon the armor did as well. My hull collapsing around me, I instructed the crew that remained alive to abandon ship and suddenly-

Promised Land 2

Professor Science can be seen through the spatial distortion of the wormhole

I shot upright in my bed, drenched in sweat. This hadn’t been the first time that I’d had nightmares in the aftermath of the battle of Yulai, but it was the first time that I had woken up in the middle of one of my dreams. After a few moments of confused disorientation, I realized that Aura’s incessant beeping was alerting me to a priority message. I quickly opened it up, and as I read it, my eyes widened in surprise. I quickly contacted my hanger to prep Professor Science for immediate departure. If what I was seeing was true… This I had to see with my own eyes.

Promised Land 3

I unsuccessfully attempt to take my Buzzard through the wormhole.

Within half an hour from waking up, I entered into the system of Promised Land. I have been in this system a number of times, as it was only one jump out from New Eden and the EVE Gate, but never before had I known of anything noteworthy in this system. The massive collapsed remnant of the fabled link to our home planet had always been this area’s primary attraction. Indeed, the Sisters of Eve spent countless hours attempting to study and even reopen the supposedly stable wormhole that had collapsed so long ago. This time around, though, my eyes were set in Promised Land. I vectored Professor Science towards Planet I, and the ship launched into warp. As I came out of warp near the planet, there it was as clear as day. Exactly as the message had described it. Sitting just a few kilometers from the warp in point sat a wormhole.

Promised Land 4

A storm rages below on Promised Land I while the wormhole sits... and doesn't collapse

But this wasn’t just any run of the mill wormhole that you could easily find in most systems throughout the cluster these days. This, at least from initial appearances, appeared to be another stable wormhole. Just like the infamous one just a system over. But this one also had the distinction of being of artificial construction (the current wormholes popping up throughout the cluster may or may not be naturally occurring, the academics have yet to come to a conclusion on that to my knowledge). And constructed by the Sansha no less. Prior to the current incursions of entire constellations, the Sansha had shown the ability to create artificial wormholes to invade particular systems. They had used their wormhole technology to directly invade Yulai, where a large capsuleer force had appeared to defend it. Directly after the Yulai event, however, Sansha forces regrouped in Promised Land and engaged in a much more limited battle with defense forces. The wormhole used to enter Promised Land was the one sitting in front of me today. More than a month later, it was still sitting here. Perhaps most surprisingly, no one seemed to have known or cared about this. Despite the obvious significance of this, there were no survey or science ships here to study this wormhole compared to the one in New Eden.

Promised Land 5

A second sun can be made out within the wormhole itself. What sun that is, however, remains a mystery.

I tried to take Professor Science through the wormhole to no avail. Like the other wormholes used by the Sansha, they had somehow keyed it to only allow only Sansha ships through. All I could do with the wormhole was see a very distorted image of the other side. I circled around the wormhole to see if there was anything I could see through it, but it remained as mysterious as ever. I could make out a star of some kind on the other side, but all attempts to identify it failed. I couldn’t even tell if it was just a strange reflection/refraction of Promised Land itself. It remained as mysterious as ever. All attempts to cross the event horizon boundary merely resulted in me getting bounced back by some kind of force.

After about 15 minutes I gave up. Professor Science simply could not get me the information I needed. I would have to do the only thing I knew how: advertise this bizarre wormhole to others, and hope that someone else could crack its secrets.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Violent Wormhole
  • System: Promised Land, Planet I
  • Security Rating: 0.3
  • Region: Genesis
  • Potential Hazards:  Low sec travel is needed to get to the landmark.  Caution is advised.

Hollow Asteroid

Djimame1

A large asteroid sits near the Antem gate in Djimame

My travels once again took me into the oldest region in New Eden: the rather aptly-named Genesis region. Ruins of stations and other structures left over from a time long since past could be found throughout the region. The ruins could often be found near the gates in that region, which makes given the long term stability of the gravitational resonances around the stars that are necessary for interstellar travel. However, even with the graceful and ancient Amarrian structures floating about, my eyes were instead drawn to a site of natural beauty.

Djimame2

The Professor approaches the strangely shaped asteroid

Near the Antem gate in Djimame stands a large asteroid. By no means the largest asteroid out there, it’s not even large enough to be spherical, but it’s a sizeable asteroid nonetheless. What makes the asteroid notable, however, is not its location but rather what it was missing. As I sat behind the asteroid relative to Djimame itself, I could easily see the star through the asteroid. A large hole bored almost straight through the thing to the other side. The hole was sizeable enough that I could have maneuvered the Professor through it if I had tried. Not that I wanted to try, of course. The fragile “bunny ears” of my ship wouldn’t take well to grazing the asteroid’s interior.

Djimame3

A sliver of Djimame can be seen through the hole in the asteroid.

The asteroid was by no means the grandest sight that I’ve seen in my travels. It wasn’t a sight that made me question my place and significance in the universe. It didn’t make me stare in awe at the fury of nature or man. It didn’t even make me feel particularly strong about, well, anything. But I guess not everything in New Eden had to inspire strong emotions. After all, sometimes, a rock with a hole in it is just a rock with a hole in it.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Hollow Asteroid
  • System: Djimame
  • Security Rating: 0.3
  • Region: Genesis
  • Potential Hazards: Getting to Djimame involves low sec travel.  Pirates and gate camps should be expected.  A cov ops or other cloaking ship is recommended.

Ministry of War Station

I approached the station from it's undamaged side

Capsuleers are many things. Throughout my travels, I’ve met some very noble souls, but I’ve also met some very wicked ones. I find it hard to fathom exactly how much control we ultimately wield over the affairs of not just a planet or a system, but a veritable galaxy. The course of empires can be changed at the mere blink of an eye of a capsuleer. Remarkably, though, I’ve always found it heartening that, for the most part, we keep our affairs to ourselves. It’s rare indeed that civilians get caught in the crossfire of our great wars, and when they do, it’s almost always because they made a choice to be a crew on our ships. Indeed, it’s really only when I see the glittering lights of a colonized world that I think about how many lives go, for the most part, untouched by us.

I quickly swung the Professor around for a good look at the debris

It was for that reason and more that I read about the events at Pashanai with sadness. I had headed planetside two days before to handle some personal business, and was not able to return to my pod for another three, but the moment my pod secured itself in the Professor, I knew exactly where I was going. It was a strange, but pervasively human desire to see the results of disasters. Part of you can’t bear to think of the lives affected or destroyed, and yet the rest of your can’t even think of looking away, if only to see what happens next. I’ve seen it time and time again, even before I gained my Pilot’s license. That strange desire was pulling me once again, so off I went to Pashanai.

Pashanai III hangs in the background.

By the time I had returned to my pod, of course, most of the details of the attack had played out. At roughly 11:00 Eve Standard Time, an explosion ripped through the hull of the Ministry of War station in Pashanai. The Amarr rapidly mobilized on the Minmatar border, especially after it was learned that a member of the Theology Council, the Amarrian high court, was on-board the station. Indeed, up until 20 minutes before the explosion, Empress Jamyl Sarum was scheduled to be on the station at the time of the explosion. Over 5,500 people perished that day. The Amarrians were understandably upset over the attack, but at least some commentators jumped on the Amarrian response as too aggressive. The Minmatar terrorist group Bloody Hands of Matar soon claimed responsibility for the attack, and they were quickly and rightfully denounced by the Minmatar and Gallente governments. However, at least some ties have been uncovered between the BHoM and the infamous Ushra’Khan capsuleer alliance.

The Professor performs a fly-by over the damaged hull sections of the station.

It was with this background that I approached the station. Given my original warp-in angle, the station looked remarkably untouched, and I briefly wondered if the explosion had occurred in the heart of the station. As I circled the Professor around, however, the huge gash on the other side of the station quickly came into view. Almost half of the station’s dome was charred and burnt. These sections stood in stark contrast to the normally gleaming Amarrian hulls that I have grown so used to seeing. Tiny bits of debris still littered the area, though unlike the Caldari, the Amarr had at least managed to put the fires out by the time I arrived.

The Professor glides past a particularly damaged part of the station.

As I circled the station a few times, I couldn’t help but marvel at how just cheap life can appear. It’s often easy to forget about mortality when you’re a capsuleer. Instant cloning will do that to you. Still, that’s a luxury beyond most people’s wildest dreams, and it is a constant struggle to remind myself that just because I may wake up in a clone bay doesn’t mean that the hundreds of other people that serve on my ship will. And those on the station certainly didn’t have a chance to get to an escape pod, or know that they’d wake up mildly irritated in a new body. Capsuleer technologies are a wonderful gift, but it’s times like this that I wonder if it’s worth the loss of our humanity. Because if mortality isn’t the singular defining feature of our existence, what is? If losing our lives means nothing to us, how can we fathom what it means to those who don’t have our benefits?

With too many questions, and too few answers, I left the smoldering ruins behind.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Ministry of War Station
  • System: Pashanai
  • Security Rating: 0.5
  • Region: Genesis
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Amarr, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.

Yulai Graveyard

Wreckage

The remains of a CONCORD Battleship

CONCORD represented the strength and order of the Empires.  When CONCORD was prompted into action, nothing stood in its way.  It was the ultimate statement by the Empires that they would punish those who broke its laws within Empire space.  It was always important, however, to remember that CONCORD never preemptively attacks but only responds.  But respond it will, and there is not a capsuleer out there who can resist its wrath.

Minmatar wreckage

CONCORD gave as much as it got

Indeed, for as long as I’ve been a capsuleer, CONCORD had an almost mythic quality to it.  Nothing could resist it when it decided action was necessary.  Of course, that’s what made the attack on Yulai all the more shocking to those who relied on CONCORD to enforce order throughout empire space.  It was a daring attack, really.  That was not to say that CONCORD shouldn’t have seen it coming.  Cynos, of course, are banned in empire space, and CONCORD should have been on its highest alert the moment one first appeared in Yulai mere weeks before the actual attack.  But I suspect CONCORD had grown just as complacent as some capsuleers have become in thinking that Empire Space is and should always be completely safe.

The battlefield

We all remembered where we were when the attacks happened.  I was back sitting in my old base of Isikesu, sitting in a bar when Scope broke the story.  The station immediately locked down.  I can’t blame the station authorities, really, since chances are SOMEONE would have blamed them and sued for allowing them to leave when CONCORD was, for all apparent purposes, inoperative.  By now, the story itself is fairly well known: In a daring attack, and in an attempt to free one of the Minmatar tribes still held by the Amarr, the Thukker Elders attacked CONCORD in an attempt to take down their Enforcement Division, so the Thukkers could stage multiple attacks on Amarr space.

Station

CONCORD's home station suffered its share of the damage

I maneuvered the Professor through the wreckage.  It was clear from the battlefield that both sides suffered massive damage. Of course, seeing CONCORD battleships adrift, lifeless, was a bit jarring for me, since you so rarely see CONCORD wrecks of any kind.  But I suppose that CONCORD doesn’t often have to deal with capital ships, with the aforementioned ban on cynos in high security space. The Naglfar remnants, tattered remnants floating nearby, however, showed that even when caught by surprise that CONCORD could respond admirably.  However, the nearby CONCORD headquarters, still damaged even after all of this time, showed just as clearly that the Thukker Elders knew exactly where and how to hit CONCORD the hardest.  For that, they deserved some respect.  Shaking my head, and wondering if life would ever quite be the same again, I vectored the Professor out of the system.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Yulai Graveyard and CONCORD Station
  • System: Yulai
  • Security Rating: 1.0
  • Region: Genesis
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -2.0 security status, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.

Central Point

Editor’s Note: With the Crucible update, it appears this site is no more, alas. The station itself is gone from the gate, and the gate is now pointing in a different direction entirely.

Being this deep into Genesis, a number of older ruins still littered the area.  Older stations, clearly Amarrian in design, could often be found just a few klicks off of many of the stargates in the area.  It was a bit jarring to see these old, battered, stations- more than picked clean by raiders over the years- next to the more modern stargates and CONCORD billboards, but such was life as a pod pilot.

Before jumping into Dead End, I noticed something a little strange, even for this area of New Eden.  Near the Dead End gate stood a station.  Perhaps that wasn’t quite the right wording:  In the Dead End gate stood a station.

The station overlaps with the gate.

The station overlaps with the gate.

The gate seemed to be installed directly into the station’s former superstructure.  I had never seen anything like it.  Gates were usually free-standing affairs, I didn’t see any immediate reason why the original gate builders needed to put this one in the station.  I turned on the Professor’s sensors.  I couldn’t make any definitive conclusions, but apparently some material defects within the gate’s construction meant that the gate’s superstructure couldn’t maintain integrity.  Rather than sending out for a new gate (a long time to wait, especially before the invention of jump drives), the builders probably decided to use the already-existing station to reinforce.

The other half of the gate

The other half of the gate

A few hull breaches existed in the station’s structure.  One of them was- barely- enough to maneuver the Professor through.  For a cobbled together gate built into a station, the gate itself looked remarkably nondescript… if it hadn’t been bisected by a massive station.  Still, the gate itself seemed to be functional.  The wormhole that actually threw the ship to Dead End was formed just in front of the station’s hull: as long as the gate mechanisms stayed intact, it could safely throw myself and the Professor into Dead End.

Activating the gate

Activating the gate

I sent the automated request to activate the gate.  As the gate opened the wormhole, I couldn’t help but think that this kind of situation must have terrified the builders of the gate.  The prospect of making that years-long trip for nothing… well, I could certainly understand why they would do whatever possible to salvage the situation.  It was a quirky little discovery that I had made, but a cool one nonetheless.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Gate inside a station
  • System: Central Point, jumpgate to Dead End
  • Security Rating: 0.2
  • Region: Genesis
  • Potential Hazards: Getting to Central Point from high sec space requires extensive low sec travel.  Pirates (both pod and rat varieties) can be quite common on the route.  A covops would be recommended.