Sometimes, you need to start back at the beginning.
I couldn’t help thinking of this as I found myself once again in the system of New Eden, the stellar system that is closest to the fabled EVE Gate. Although 3 light-years out from the ruins of the collapsed jumpgate, the system and the ruins are indelibly linked in the minds of the Cluster. While the collapsed wormhole is visible to the naked eye even from Amarr Prime (and visible through telescopes from anywhere in the Cluster), it is in New Eden itself (and, to a lesser extent, Promised Land one system over) that visitors get treated to the spectacular light show that emanates from the remains of the ancient stargate. Coruscating loops of energy twist endlessly from the wormhole, and whatever is on the other side of the wormhole now glares brighter than the white dwarf at the center of the system.
It is perhaps not surprising then that the EVE Gate has long fascinated scientists. Indeed, the scientific consensus these days is that our ancestors built the Gate long ago, and it is from the New Eden system that humanity spread out, as evidenced by the trail of just-as-ancient but far less catastrophically failed stargates that spiderweb out from the New Eden system (not to mention, of course, the impossible odds that humans would spring up independently on at least 7 different worlds). In particular, the Sisters of EVE have long been fascinated by the Gate, both from a scientific and religious perspective. Convinced that the Gate is some sort of relic of their god, the Sisters have long had the only known research facility near the seething maelstrom of the collapsed wormhole in an attempt to unlock its secrets.
Recently, however, the Sisters have established a second, more accessible research location in New Eden in conjunction with House Kor-Azor, the Amarrian house that controls this portion of Genesis. Like the Sisters, the Amarr have a complicated relationship with the Gate. Given its visibility from Amarr Prime, it features somewhat prominently in Amarr scripture, but of course the Amarr also have a scientific interest in the Gate. It is perhaps that tension that has kept the Amarr from a serious research effort into the Gate, but the new Kor-Azor Heir, Ersilia, appears to have finally decided to be more visible with the House’s research efforts into the Gate, and the prospect of working with the Sisters was too much of an effort to pass up.
With the joint research center now fully operational, the location has become public knowledge. Aura has this to say about the new Sisters of EVE station:
This station acts as the central hub for the Sisters of EVE’s research efforts in the New Eden system.
The Sisters of EVE consider the EVE Gate wormhole remnant an important subject of both scientific study and religious faith. They believe the EVE Gate to be a gift from God and that it is the divine will they study it thoroughly and unlock its secrets. The Sisters maintain that God resigns at the other end of the EVE Gate, guiding and protecting those who follow him from the domain it guards.
The SOE are careful to emphasize the scientific nature of their research and avoid discussing their religious beliefs openly within the shared facilities, lest they embarrass their Kor-Azor hosts or be accused of illegal proselytizing by their enemies within the Amarr Empire.
And of the Kor-Azor portion of the joint research facility, Aura has this to say:
This station acts as the central hub for House Kor-Azor’s research efforts in the New Eden system.
House Kor-Azor has long been keen to bulwark and expand its power and influence within the Amarr Empire through its policies of diplomacy, trade and scientific exchange beyond the borders of its realms and the Empire itself. Royal Heir Ersilia Kor-Azor has re-emphasized this approach since her accession to Kor-Azor title, and the house has successfully enhanced its contacts and co-operation with external entities.
House Kor-Azor control over the division of the Genesis Region containing the New Eden system and obvious scientific value of studying the EVE Gate wormhole remnant has led it [to] co-operate with the SOE. Even so, House Kor-Azor maintains a careful watch over SOE activities, mindful that Ministry of Internal Order paladins attached to the site are keeping everything that goes on here under their own scrutiny.
And of the EVE Gate itself, Aura has this to say:
In the system of New Eden sits the impenetrable EVE Gate. Thousands of years ago the forefathers of all the human races used the gate to travel to the world of EVE. But the gate has been closed for a long time, a catastrophe that destroyed all planets in the New Eden system and plunged the fragile human settlements to the brink of extinction. Anyone foolish enough to get too close to the gate today will be ripped apart by the magnetic storms that still surround the massive gate.
The joint research base itself comprises primarily two large stations in orbit around the sole planet in New Eden. The Kor-Azor station is of standard Imperial design. The design has always evoked in me a shard or a sail gliding through space, though that is partially offset by the bulbous and somewhat awkwardly placed primary docking port. The Sisters station should be familiar to anyone who has visited Sisters stations in Thera: a modified Gallente tri-ring station design in the iconic white and red of the Sisters. Surrounding both stations are a host of scientific instruments I could not pretend to understand, constantly collecting terabytes of data from the maelstrom of the wormhole remnant.
Of course, it’s difficult to focus on the research center with the gorgeous splendor of the EVE Gate itself so obvious. The constantly changing appearance of the wormhole remnant mesmerizes me today just as much as it did when I first examined the Gate. The fact that the wormhole remnant is this bright and this obvious from 3 light-years out shows just how much power spills from that ruined rip in space-time. But it’s also our connection to our (presumed) ancestral home that also draws our attention. Indeed, even today you can still find markers from ships that have attempted to make their way back to the Gate without the benefit of warp drive. It’s a rite of passage for explorers that has existed since I became a pilot.
Back to the beginning indeed. In more ways than one.
- Attraction: EVE Gate
- System: New Eden
- Security Rating: 0.3
- Region: Genesis
- Potential Hazards: Getting to New Eden from high sec space requires extensive low sec travel through a pipeline with only one way in or out. Pirates (both pod and rat varieties) can be quite common on the route. A covops would be recommended.
Despite being one myself, I have to admit that I don’t really pay much attention to what happens to the capsuleer alliances out in null sec. The alliances come and go. The alliances take space and then lose it (to be fair, I rarely pay attention to gains and losses in the various wars between the empires either). They make broader coalitions only to have those coalitions fall apart as they begin to backstab each other for hopes of further advantage. Sure, after the fact I find the histories written up on the great soap operas of null sec space to be fascinating, and (unsurprisingly) I always appreciate when a battle or some epic struggle culminates in a battle that the Powers That Be seek to commemorate in a landmark or site. But, truth be told, for someone who prides himself on seeking out knowledge on the history of New Eden, I often find myself woefully out of date on current events in New Eden’s perimeter.
One thing that even I paid attention to, however, was the Alliance Tournament. How could you not? Even for those of us who can’t appreciate the finer tactics and strategies that go into the countless choices made during a tournament match, it’s still fun to see some of the best known alliances in the cluster duke it out for the title of champion, and I say this as someone who’s inclination to engage other capsuleers is, shall we say, tenuous, at best. But the fact remains, it was exciting to watch the matches as teams fought against each other, inevitably lost track and left the boundaries of the tournament area, and, yes, even the inevitable Tournaments scandals can be entertaining in their own way. Not to mention the color commentary both during the match and after that revs people up for getting on the applicable so-called Hype Train.
Given the vaunted history of the Alliance Tournament, it’s a little surprising that CONCORD has waited until now to recognize the history of the Tournament and to erect a monument in honor of past winners, particularly given the fact that the Tournament has been on hiatus for a few years now. But the fact remains, a monument has gone up at long last, and recognizes each of the winners of the tournament over its 16-tournament history, along with the Alliance Open held in YC122. It’s a simple, if elegant, site: 17 plinths, one for each tournament as well as the Alliance Open, sit in a half circle. At the center of that half circle stands a large, golden, winged woman reaching for the stars.
Querying the statue through Aura yields the following:
“Throughout history humanity has struggled for survival, fortune and glory. The fight to exceed nature’s limits continues but as often the combat is within and between ourselves.
While the need to hunt for food is long behind us, and life itself is seldom a daily struggle for survival, we still crave the fearful rush that comes with the imminence of death.
There is both terror and majesty in combat: from the steel swords and wooden shields of ancient conflicts; to the masses of kilometers long spacecraft unleashing firepower to equal that of entire planetary wars.
No matter the tools, no matter the arena, all clashes of arms meet and fulfill the same purpose: the need to fight, and the determination to win.”-Khumat Mebroh, Chief Executive Officer, Independent Gaming Commission
And then, of course, there are the memorialized winners, one for each plinth at the site:
- 1st Alliance Tournament (YC 107): Band of Brothers
- 2nd Alliance Tournament (YC 107): Band of Brothers
- 3rd Alliance Tournament (YC 108): Band of Brothers
- 4th Alliance Tournament (YC 109): HUN Reloaded
- 5th Alliance Tournament (YC 110): Ev0ke
- 6th Alliance Tournament (YC 111): Pandemic Legion
- 7th Alliance Tournament (YC 111): Pandemic Legion
- 8th Alliance Tournament (YC 112): Pandemic Legion
- 9th Alliance Tournament (YC 113): HYDRA RELOADED
- 10th Alliance Tournament (YC 114): Verge of Collapse
- 11th Alliance Tournament (YC 115): Pandemic Legion
- 12th Alliance Tournament (YC 116): The Camel Empire
- 13th Alliance Tournament (YC 117) Pandemic Legion
- 14th Alliance Tournament (YC 118): The Tuskers Co.
- 15th Alliance Tournament (YC 119): VYDRA RELOADED
- 16th Alliance Tournament (YC 120): VYDRA RELOADED
- Alliance Open (YC 122): Templis CALSF
As you may notice, it’s been 3 years since the last official Alliance Tournament, and there’s no particular indication that they are going to be picked up again any time in the near future. I have no doubt that there is quite a lot of logistical work that goes into holding the Tournament each year, and I can’t fault the Independent Gaming Commission for being wary of committing more resources to an intense endeavor. Though there is no official news on this particular subject, it was quickly pointed out after unveiling the monument that there were plenty of spots left to be filled in for that circle around the golden statue. Hope, as always, springs eternal.
- Attraction: Alliance Tournament Monument
- System: Manarq
- Security Rating: 0.8
- Region: Genesis
- Potential Hazards: Because this is CONCORD space, if you’re below a -3.0 security status, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
[Editor’s note: Wow. That’s about all I can say: wow (you will probably not be surprised to learn that speechlessness is a rare concept for me!). I started this blog in December of 2009, and if you had told me then that I’d be going 11 and a 1/2 years later and that CCP would eventually memorialize this blog with its own site in-game, I would have laughed you out of the room. But, as often as I write about the many varied, strange things that go on in this shared virtual universe of ours, it feels particularly weird to me to be writing about myself. It would be my tendency to make self-deprecating jokes on my own behalf, and that is not how I want to treat something that really is quite an honor by CCP. So I’ve asked my friend and fellow adventurer, Katia Sae of that particular fame, to write this particular site up for me, and she very kindly agreed. To CCP: Thank you for the amazing game you’ve put together, and thank you for this unique distinction. I cannot say enough how much I love the site and how honored I am by it. To my readers: Thank you for reading. As I’ve mentioned previously, I still don’t quite understand the fame I’ve developed over the years, but I am humbled by it nonetheless, and I can sincerely say that this blog would not be going so many years later without the sheer outpouring of kindness and support that I’ve received from the Eve community over the years. To each and every one of you: My sincere thanks for allowing me to be your guide to the sightseeing in the Cluster for all of these years.
Anyway, enough with the mush and on to the good stuff.]
It wasn’t unusual to hear from Mark726 these days as we’ve been working on a project together, but this time speaking with him over comms was a bit different than usual because of the excitement I could hear in his voice. That’s not to say he isn’t excitable, far from it, just mention a far away ancient forgotten site somewhere and his love for lore and adventure comes shining through. It’s just one of the many things I admire about him, his excitement is infectious. This however, wasn’t that. I could tell from his voice this was… different.
He wouldn’t tell me what was up, instead he invited me out to his home system, Mozzidit, in the Genesis region. It’s no mistake his home system is close to the New Eden system where the EVE Gate can be found. The Gate and region were perhaps his favorites among all the sites and places of New Eden and for that matter, probably mine as well. I know he’s talked about spending his early days as a capsuleer exploring this area and basing his operations in Mozzidit because of its close proximity to Amarr for trading and Iyen-Oursta for the elusive Children of Light sighting.
According to him, it was something that I was just going to have to come out and see for myself. I suppose I have been sitting behind a desk for a bit too long tending to Signal Cartel, so the timing felt right to undock and see some sights. I alerted my Chief to prepare ‘Traveller’, a Sisters of EVE Astero-class frigate based on my beloved ‘Voyager’, which was now retired. Setting out from my home system, Saisio, I plotted a course for Mark726’s home system, Mozzidit. The journey wasn’t bad at all at twenty-five jumps for the most secure route and by coming in via Imya, only the last two systems, Antem and Mozzidit, were Low Sec where I had to be a bit more cautious. I had no difficulty at all and didn’t see any threats to be concerned about.
Upon entering the system with its bright and relatively cool but stable K5 orange sun, I was directed by way of a beacon to the last/eighth planet of the eight planet system. First of all, I was a bit surprised by the presence of the beacon, having traveled through this system before, I was unable to recall anything of particular note. Of course, it could be that something recent had been added. Did Mark726 discover something new here after all of these years? I was eager to find out and wanting to be surprised, I declined Aura’s recital of the beacon’s information and instead locked on for warp.
Landing on grid, I wasn’t sure what to expect so I was surprised to find what appeared to be a couple of asteroids. To be surprised for a capsuleer can be deadly, but what I was seeing before me didn’t seem as unusual as I was hoping for. I took in the sight before me for a few moments, before finally taking action, having ‘Traveller’ orbit the area while I processed just what I was seeing. The first thing that caught my eye was what I thought the beacon was established for, The “Giant Snake-Shaped” and “Broken Orange Crystal” asteroids. I had Aura do a search, as I had not heard of these celestial objects in this area, other than a few references to similarly shaped asteroids at other locations. However, she was unable to find any specific information on the ones before me. Mentally scratching my head, I turned to Mark726’s own blog, EVE Travel. No mention there either. I grinned ear to ear, this must be it! He’s discovered some new ancient mystery or tidbit of New Eden lore.
Giant Snake-Shaped Asteroid
Fragments from an asteroid collision or a supernova, this rock formation decorates the starscape as a planetary mountain range.
Broken Orange Crystal Asteroid
This towering asteroid seems to have suffered a tremendous impact, splitting it into multiple pieces.
Excited for him, I couldn’t wait to open comms to learn more about these two objects and was wondering just where he was when Aura said, “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you Katia, the beacon is for the new ‘EVE Travel Agency’ headquarters”… and that’s when my jaw literally dropped.
EVE Travel Agency
This habitation module serves as the home base for the “EVE Travel Agency”, a small independent corporation that provides tours and travel information services to explorers across New Eden. Their proximity to the New Eden system makes them a convenient stopping point for travelers making a pilgrimage to the EVE Gate.
EVE Travel’s GalNet blog is a must-read for all capsuleers seeking to explore New Eden’s various sights.
No longer interested in the asteroids, I set my orbit around the new facilities. There were three structures. The first appeared to be a logistics platform, likely to support shipping and receiving with its landing platforms and container yard. It seemed both modern and practical in design and like other platforms of its kind, I was sure it got the job done.
The next structure could only be the new EVE Travel Agency HQ, with its beautiful design and lighting. I couldn’t picture Mark726 in a luxurious office behind a desk, but if he had one, it was certainly there. I could, however, picture visitors at the center inquiring about travel information and booking excursions. There was probably a waiting area for tourists as they prepared to head out to see the sights of New Eden. I wondered if there was a gift shop as well and if they sold snowglobes. I’ll have to book an excursion and do some shopping while I’m here.
Lastly, I turned ‘Traveller’ towards the final structure, a docking facility, and there was ‘Professor Science’ his Buzzard, a Caldari covert ops frigate. Not only that, there were three brand new shiny tourist shuttles ready for departure. The shuttles were Gallentian style and the red of the red and white trim reminded me of the ‘Steel Cardinal’ ship skin that he is so fond of flying on ‘Professor Science’. My smile only broadened upon seeing Mark726’s ship, after all it was like seeing him in person. As capsuleers, we literally become the ship and it’s as much a part of us as any other part of our own body. To baseliners, it’s hard to describe just what that feels like, but in that moment, I was seeing Mark726, my friend, and I couldn’t be more proud of him than I am today.
After more than ten years of exploring and documenting nearly two-hundred sights around the cluster with EVE Travel, Mark726 laid down and built the foundation in Mozzidit where it all began, establishing himself in the lore of New Eden. I dare say it’s the most exhaustive travel resource you’ll ever find on the cluster. His hard work and dedication over the years is admired by all that take in his blog and the ‘EVE Travel Agency’ is a fitting tribute. His blog was a main source of inspiration to me and I know countless others to go out, explore, and see the stars. I started off as a fan, but have been blessed and honored to call him friend over the years and was absolutely thrilled and honored when he asked me to work up this blog post for EVE Travel.
- Attraction: EVE Travel Agency
- System: Mozzidit
- Security Rating: 0.3
- Region: Genesis
- Potential Hazards: Getting to Mozzidit from high sec space requires just a couple of jumps of low sec travel if you approach via the Imya system in Genesis. Pirates (both pod and rat varieties) can be quite common on the route. A covops would be recommended
New Eden is a small fraction of a vast galaxy. It’s hard to remembering that sometimes, heavens know. Some 5,000 systems filled with thousands of capsuleers, millions of ships, and trillions of individuals. Even just trawling across the cluster feels like you are spanning the galaxy itself. But as vast as New Eden in, space is so much more so. We’ve learned our tiny corner of the galaxy well, but what exists beyond the reach of the stargates remains something of a mystery to us all (Anoikis, which may not even be within our own galaxy, notwithstanding of course). But just one view from null sec of the vast cloud of stars making up the great disk of our galaxy is enough to remind me, for all of our technology and advancements, just how insubstantial we remain in the grand scheme of things.
But that doesn’t stop us from seeking to find out more about our galactic environs. And since capsuleers have proven before that we can serve as useful data crunchers, it should not be surprising that we were called on once again to analyze data for possible planets surrounding stars near the New Eden cluster. Once again under the Project Discovery umbrella, Phase Two involved studying the light curves of stars outside of the stargate network for regular telltale dips that would indicate the likely presence of a planet blocking the light from a central star. As with Phase One, capsuleers took to the project with gusto, and we quickly moved our way through the data sets provided, giving New Eden astronomers crucial starting points on the search for new worlds to send our ships to.
With the outbreak of a new disease requiring significant processing resources, Project Discovery has since moved on to a new project and a new phase, but the Project recently constructed a site to commemorate the discoveries made during Phase Two, and to honor those capsuleers who made the most significant contributions to the stellar transit analyses. The site, unveiled a few weeks ago, can be found in Pakhshi, in CONCORD space. The site is a fairly simple one: a few commemorative observatories surround a central memorial plinth. The plinth’s hologram shows a simple, 4-planet stellar system, of course symbolizing the central thrust of the research carried out under the project. The planets slowly orbit around a central yellow sun.
Of course, queuing the plinth also prompts Aura to display some information:
Project Discovery Phase Two began in July of YC119, following the extremely successful protein classification work of Phase One with a new exoplanets hunting program under the guidance of CONCORD’s Chief of Deep Space Research, Professor Michel Mayor.
This phase of the project marked the official transfer of the Project Discovery mantle from the Sisters of EVE to a dedicated research division within the CONCORD Assembly.
Project Discovery Phase Two advanced the search for new exoplanets significantly in its nearly three year operational lifetime, as capsuleers contributed their expertise to the analysis of stellar light curves in search of planet in search of planetary transits.
Project Discovery Phase Two came to an end on YC122.06.15 and was replaced by a new Phase Three Flow Cytometry project.
Please query the Phase Two Monument’s database for records of those capsuleers who were elite research contributors to Project Discovery’s light curve analysis work.
Following that, there was a note that there appears to be an open Entosis Link port on the central plinth. Running through a full cycle of the module downloads into Aura’s databanks a short record of research achievement, which notes every capsuleer who reached ranks 2,000 through 5,000 in Phase Two.
When Phase Two first began, I did try my hand at the analyses necessary for the project. I have to admit, however, that I didn’t have the patience necessary to stick with the project over a longer period of time. But I am still pleased to have played some small part in unlocking the mysteries of the universe. The sky is sprinkled with the twinkling lights of a thousand stars, and each of those lights has its own story to tell. With Project Discovery Phase Two, I am proud to say that we helped tell those tales.
- Attraction: Project Discovery Phase Two Monument
- System: Pakhshi
- Security Rating: 0.8
- Region: Genesis
- Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -3 in security status you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
Editor’s note (4/9/YC120): I can confirm that the ship is currently not undocked in Yulai. Hopefully it will be back soon for people to see!
Drifters have always… unnerved me. While the Jove are similarly advanced in terms of technology, at least they deigned to talk to us every now and then. The Drifters, on the other, basically just showed up one day and started shooting. Hard. They even went so far as to one-shot Empress Jamyl, throwing the Empire into turmoil. Combine this aggression with their unusual and haunting method of propagation and their relentless scanning of New Eden for… whatever it is they’re looking for along with their apparent Sleeper allies, and I feel like my wariness is justified. Although the people of New Eden have eventually managed to settle into a kind of détente with them, and we can even punch back against them under the right circumstances, we still know precious little about them, such as even their main bases or what their motives are. And it’s clear that if they ever truly wanted to, they could wipe the floor with us. They’re just that advanced.
The superiority of the Drifters, however, was challenged a few weeks ago. Out of nowhere, fleets of heavily damaged Drifter ships began appearing across the Cluster. These fleets appeared in systems not normally subject to Drifter surveillance. While not hostile, capsuleers in their usual fashion blew them up anyway. Normally I would have been hesitant to condone this kind of unprovoked attack, given our history with the Drifters, I couldn’t blame the caution of the ARC fleets. As usual, communications with the damaged fleets were unsuccessful. However, when destroyed, they dropped trinary data vaults containing cryptic messages. At the same time, rumors started swirling about some race called the Triglavians. These messages were eventually cracked and found to contain heavily damaged video archives suggesting the source of the attacks on the Drifter fleets to not only originate from an unknown, but to take place in unknown space. It seems Anoikis may have more growing to do.
And then, yesterday, seemingly out of nowhere, a new ship appears in Yulai near the DED Assembly Plant. Its configuration appears to match the glimpses we get in the trinary data archives, but is otherwise completely dissimilar to any other known ships in the Cluster or beyond. Apparently piloted by CONCORD DED Agent Oveg Drust, the ship is, according to sensor scans (and evident from the multiple hull breaches) heavily damaged. According to Scope reports, the ship was found drifting in Raneilles before being captured by DED forces. In classic CONCORD fashion, however, the only comment from the pilot is hardly one at all, with Agent Drust merely saying that the ship is under quarantine before docking it within the nearby station.
The ship itself is a sight to see, to be honest. Approximately the same size as a New Eden cruiser, the ship is dwarfed by some of the curious capsuleer vessels that have come to see it. Composed of a main hull with two appendages sweeping downward, even in its damaged state it was clearly a dangerous ship. From the convergence of the two nacelles, a glowing red sphere can be seen; this, theoretically, is the naked singularity mentioned in the Discourse broadcasts. If that is truly what is powering the vessel, it suggests that the ship is orders of magnitude more advanced than even potentially the Drifters. Poor Aura clearly cannot make heads or tails of the craft, and her sensor analysis only reveals that it is a “Trig Medium”, an apparent confirmation (at least according to whatever sources Aura uses in her analysis) that this may well be a Triglavian ship.
The ship didn’t respond to my attempts to activate an entosis link, data analyzer, or relic analyzer on it (not that I was particularly expecting it to). As noted, the ship is surrounded by a small fleet of capsuleer vessels looking to see the new ship with their own sensors. The ship was unresponsive to any kind of communications, although I did manage to cause a reaction when I approached it slowly.
Now we have a new player on the scene. Hopefully, given that we both appear to dislike the Drifters, we could hope for an enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend situation. But, especially given that we apparently managed to steal an enemy ship under duress, I did not have a ton of hope that they would react kindly to our presence. Still, I hoped that CONCORD aimed to try diplomacy with the Triglavians, because if they are truly capable of harnessing the power of black holes to power their ships, diplomacy may be our best hope.
- Attraction: Triglavian Cruiser
- System: Yulai
- Security Rating: 1.0
- Region: Genesis
- Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -2 in security status, or -5 standing with CONCORD, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
- Additional Note: The monument is NOT marked with a off-grid visible beacon, but is located a few kilometers from the DED Assembly Plant near Yulai X.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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-
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
EDIT: Please note that there have been recent changes to the Monolith. Specifically, it has been moved to approximately an Astronomical Unit out from Dead End V, Moon 5 (though Moon 5 is still the closest celestial object). A beacon has now been added to the overview to navigate to the Monolith. Finally, Blood Raider cruisers and frigates now congregate near the Monolith. Caution is, as always, advised.
Cruising near New Eden, I came across a small, out of the way system known as Dead End. It’s a small, relatively unremarkable system, really, with eight planets. Living up to it’s name, there’s only one way in, and one way out. I almost warped right back out looking at the basic system map, but I felt like there was something out there. After probing for a few moments, nothing came up on the Professor’s scans, or on the scanner probes. Still, I couldn’t quite shake the feeling that someone, or something, was watching me. Judging me. I checked the local comm net, but I was the only ping back from the system router.
Regardless, I began warping among the various celestials in the system. Time and again, there was absolutely nothing out there. But why didn’t I feel quite alone?
Then, near the fifth moon of the fifth planet, I noticed something in the distance from my warp in points. I immediately directed the Professor’s scanners at it, but it registered as…. nothing. Not just the “nothing” of empty space, but literally nothing. Like my scanners were going right through it.
Playing around with my sensors for a few moments, I recalibrated them to take at least the dimensions of it. One thing was immediately apparent: it met a perfect 1:4:9 ratio. Not even a micron off. The cool, clean black surface, with nary an impact crater in sight, suggested it might have been dropped into the system just yesterday, but something told me that this dated back to the time of the original Colonizers of New Eden, maybe even further back than that.
I approached it, hoping that maybe some of the Professor’s probes could knock off a sample of the material, but to no avail. I managed to lock onto it, at least, but my analyzer couldn’t make heads or tails of it.
After a few minutes, I gave up, and resumed my exploration. I couldn’t shake the feeling that, as much as it didn’t seem to react at all to my presence, that something had studied me closely during those brief few moments. With a final shiver, I returned to Central Point, intent on getting back to high sec for the day.
- Attraction: The Monolith
- System: Dead End V, Moon V
- Security Rating: 0.2
- Region: Genesis
- Potential Hazards: Getting to Dead End 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.
- Additional Notes: I’ve heard a number of rumors that a second monolith actually exists in New Eden, and that it jumps around from system to system. I haven’t seen this myself, and so therefore can’t confirm or deny it, but I wanted to pass it along.
The first, and perhaps most popular, attraction in EVE is the system of New Eden. According to popular lore, thousands of years ago, our ancestors came to New Eden through a massive wormhole. Colonies were established,and a massive jump gate was built around the wormhole to stabilize it. After a number of colonies were established, however, some form of calamity struck the gate, collapsing the wormhole and cutting off New Eden from contact with our home systems. Left to their own devices, most colonies quickly collapsed entirely. A few, however, managed to eke out an existence, becoming the five main empires of today: Gallente, Amarr, Caldari, Minmatar, and Jove.
Today, all that remains of our contact with our original homeworld is the destroyed system of New Eden. A small white dwarf star, orbited by a single planet, is all that exists in the system beyond the jumpgate from Central Point. In the background, the EVE gate can be seen, pulsing. The original EVE gate itself is about 3 light years out from the system, and unfortunately an unwarpable object. Even if it were closer, massive amounts of radiation and electromagnetic interference would buffet and destroy any ship that attempted to get close to it. Rumor has it that a substantial collection of debris and remains from the original colonizers of New Eden exists in the system, but the Jove have cloaked any and all of the debris, supposedly to keep the advanced technology of the colonizers out of the hands of the current powers.
Regardless of whatever else is, or isn’t, in the system, the EVE gate itself is a sight to behold. Slowly pulsating from a radiant central point, the gate easily dominates the entire sky around New Eden. Cans can often be found in system, as reminders of how far some of the travelers to the system have made it in an attempt to get to the only remaining link to the systems of our birth.
- Attraction: EVE Gate
- System: New Eden
- Security Rating: 0.3
- Region: Genesis
- Potential Hazards: Getting to New Eden 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.