Do you ever get the feeling that you’re missing an important story? Do you ever run across something out in the world, and it seems significant even if you can’t place it into context or even say why it’s important? It’s a frustrating feeling. Even with the adage that ignorance is bliss, generally we like to know the full story on something. We long to be a fly on the wall in order to hear exactly how a crucial meeting went down, or just to have the schadenfreudic joy of hearing and seeing others get in trouble out of the public eye. We’re curious creatures by nature and the idea that there are things that we are not and cannot be privy can be a very maddening experience when you stop and think about all that happens around us that we don’t know.
I bring this up because I very much got that feeling while flying through Nalvula a while back. It’s a low-sec system a few jumps out from Tribute, in an otherwise nondescript area of space perhaps most notable for being in-between Taisy (the home of the notorious Kyonoke Pit) and Vuorrassi (the former location of the Terminus Stream). In the outskirts of the system, near planet 11, an abandoned Guristas transportation facility stands out easily on a ship’s scanners. This in and of itself isn’t particularly unusual; abandoned Guristas facilities can be found throughout Caldari space and beyond. Indeed, space is almost littered with their abandoned facilities (yet that doesn’t seem to stop them from making more…). No, what’s weird about this is that someone has clearly hacked the facility’s transponder, taking it off of private Guristas frequencies and broadcasting it throughout the system with a rather odd message. Aura interprets it as:
Once a hive of pirate activity, this Guristas Transport Facility now drifts in space blackened and scarred, left partially intact by its attackers to serve as a message to its former owners. As you draw closer, it is apparent that the facility’s distress beacon has been hijacked and reprogrammed to loop an audio message of defiance:
“You believed you could hunt us, but you have become the quarry. You believed you could subdue us, but we have risen up. You may be Fatal, but we are immortal.
We have proven that the Empyreans stand with us.
Do not test us again. If you attempt to do so, you will burn at the hands of the Valkyrie and our most loyal and skilled capsuleer wingmen.
A data packet is attached to the transmission, listing the DED profiles of a number of capsuleers known to have aided the Valkyrie during their fight against Guristas forces:
OneWay Trip Hunter
Antarah ibn Shaddad
An intriguing message. The reference to “Fatal” was particularly intriguing. Fatal, of course, is one-half of the infamous duo of Fatal and the Rabbit, the initial founders of the Guristas. Fatal is perhaps most notorious for pulling down the most ambitious joint Gallente/Caldari project to date, the Crielere Project. During a daring raid on the Project, Fatal was podded, and apparently his medical clone was not quite up to snuff. After the raid, Fatal quickly fell off the radar and it was assumed that he no longer held any significant position of power given that he had lost most cognitive functions. This message, from the enigmatic Kavik, suggested he has a more significant role than we had realized. If so, that could mark a dangerous return of one of the most notorious criminals the Cluster has known.
The site itself is pretty simplistic. Obviously, the Guristas had focused on a much more utilitarian design for their transportation hub, and its remains show little regard for aesthetics as well. A series of cargo pads and bunkers surround a central control tower. There are few evident signs of damage, despite the fact that a battle was apparently waged here; the most obvious one being the slowly expanding cloud of debris spreading from the control tower. Beyond that, however, the power systems seemed mostly operational, even in the satellite bunkers, so clearly the offensive wasn’t directed at the transportation hub itself. I made up my mind to ask about the event from a few contacts on the list that I recognized to see if they could provide any additional details.
I pondered the odd message a little while longer before heading out once again. I may not know the whole story here, or even most of it, but I wasn’t going to learn any more about it by just sitting around and hoping it came to me.
- Attraction: Abandoned Guristas Transportation Center
- System: Nalvula
- Security Rating: 0.4
- Region: Lonetrek
- Potential Hazards: Nalvula is located in low security space. Pirates and gate camps should be expected, and caution is advised. A cov ops or other cloaking ship is recommended.
My legs are cramping. Given that I was in a pod, that was a feat in and of itself. The pod is a marvelous piece of engineering, designed as a complete life support system to protect that little kilogram and a half bundle of neural tissue that we call a brain. The pod feeds the body nutrients, exercises muscles, and provides alternative sensory input all to make the brain (and body) forget that its cooped up in a 2-3 meter capsule and not moving for long stretches of time in order to control a hulking interstellar spaceship. It’s designed to do this for weeks, months, maybe YEARS at a time. But here I am, only 6 weeks into my quest to find a fairly rare and specific site in Anoikis, and I can definitely tell through all of the neural input filters and thousand distractions that come with piloting a starship that my legs are cramping up.
I have no idea how Katia Sae does it.
But the story of that particular is for another time, if only because I have yet to actually find it. Instead, while browsing galnet a week ago, a news item caught my eye that eventually prompted me to take a sojourn back to civilized space for a little bit. Those of you watching the news are probably aware of the waves being made currently by Upwell Consortium. The Consortium is an alliance of corporations from across New Eden looking to bring new technology to the public. Beyond giving the Serpentis a (rather deserved) public-relations black eye, the Consortium is perhaps most well-known for looking to release so-called citadel stations, which look to up-end the market for capsuleer-owned station services. In order to promote their upcoming line of citadels, Upwell has decided to build some demonstration citadels to show their advantages.
Unfortunately, I decided to make a trip to see one such citadel, being built in Ourapheh, shortly after it was destroyed by a group of capsuleers who were apparently just looking for trouble. Sadly, I didn’t realize this until after I had left the confines of my temporary wormhole home and made the trip to Ourapheh. Upwell, however, seemed completely undeterred by the attacks on all 5 of their demonstration sites (found in Ourapheh, Anjedin, Asgeir, Mara, and PF-346), and quickly announced that the demonstration sites had been restarted with better security and the removal of a computer virus. That being said, the announcements were made by Upwell’s Department of Friendship and Mutual Assistance. If history is any guide, departments with name such as this tend to have precisely the opposite effect, but I guess I will have to see how these play out.
However, with the construction projects now restarted, I quickly made my way over to the new sites. Apparently, the second time is the charm, and I arrived at a not-blown-up construction site. Admittedly, there was not much to see at this point. The construction site was close to the Customs Office orbiting Mara I, although for now it consists of little more than multiple landing platforms to coordinate supply runs and a multitude of manufacturing sites. Although a bit of work could be seen occurring in the manufacturing yards, little could be seen by way of output, perhaps because Upwell is still waiting on research components to fuel construction. I look forward to seeing the finished sites, however, as all reports of the citadels thus far indicate that even the smallest versions will still be quite sizeable, while the largest version will be able to dock even the largest titans. Those will truly be sites to see, and hopefully someday I will be able to.
That being said, however, my ability to someday see the largest citadels seems contingent on me someday leaving Anoikis to come back to New Eden. After spending a few minutes at the site wondering what was to come, I reversed my course and headed back to my temporary wormhole home. Even though I was only in New Eden for a few short moments, it was nice to see the hustle and bustle of civilized space, not to mention actual ships instead of the feeling of dread that comes over me in Anoikis when probes show up on the d-scan that aren’t my own. Regardless, I was in it to the end. While the Children of Light may have defeated me, I am content to live in Anoikis as long as it takes to find what I’m looking for, even if it means dealing with leg cramps. With one last look around at New Eden, I went forth once more into the great unknown.
- Attractions: Astrahus Exemplar Site
- System: Ourapheh, Anjedin, Asgeir, Mara, and PF-346
- Security Rating: 0.9, 0.5, 0.7, 0.4, and 0.0, respectively.
- Region: Genesis, Tash-Murkon, Metropolis, Lonetrek, and Syndicate, respectively
- Potential Hazards: Varies, depending on the location. Three of the sites are in high security space, but the sites in Mara and PF-346 should be approached with caution as they are in low sec and null sec, respectively. Caution, as always, is advised.
EDIT: I don’t have time to add a complete new post but some updated pictures of construction on the Citadels can be found below.
I looked up from my datapad. I had been sitting at the local station bar, sipping a few ales while finishing up some paperwork. For being the sole owner of a corporation, it was remarkable indeed how much red tape CONCORD made you wade through. In front of me stood a person I would rather charitably call ‘weathered.’ Scars covered almost every visible inch of skin, and tattoos covered the others. His face was sharp and angular, and his eyes had an unsettling coldness to them. In what is perhaps the greatest indictment of CONCORD paperwork, the prospect of chatting to this fellow was still more enticing than continuing the trudge of paperwork. I slowly put the datapad down.
“Can I, uhh, help you?”
“I was actually wondering if I could help you.”
My eyebrow quirked at that. The man in front of me was clearly no capsuleer, and although I still considered myself rather down-to-earth (for a capsuleer, at least) I was surprised at the brazen attitude of this man. Rare indeed did the unenhanced masses feel like they could offer a capsuleer something without prompting. Without waiting for a reply on my part, the man saddled up on the stool next to mine.
“I’ve seen you around here before. Without fail, you have appeared bored. Bored bored bored bored bored.”
I didn’t immediately respond. It was true that as of late I had been feeling rather… blasé about capsuleer life. Despite the wonders of the galaxy around me, I had become rather aware of the fact that they didn’t excite me quite like they used to. I had sometimes toyed with trying another profession, but had never quite gotten past the ‘idle thoughts’ phase of planning. After a few rather awkward moments wondering just why this man has been spying on me, I softly responded.
“And your point?”
“My point is, I have an offer for you. Something to spice things up.”
With that, he got up, leaving his own datapad behind. I reached over to give it to him, but noticed that he had left it on with a simple set of coordinates listed. I quickly transfer them to my own pad. I then try to dive back into the drudgery of paperwork, but found myself even less able to concentrate than before. I quickly close out my tabs before heading back to my station suite. Pretending like I didn’t already know what I was going to do, I puttered around for about an hour or so. I tried watching the viewscreen, I tried chatting to a few friends over galnet. Eventually, however, I found myself outfitting Professor Science to be undocked. The coordinates were, somewhat unexpectedly, for Taisy. Taisy’s largest claim to fame was the rather infamous Kyonoke Pit, the site of a deadly disease outbreak. I hoped that I didn’t just agree to become patient zero.
I quickly installed myself into Professor Science and undocked. The way to Taisy was fairly quiet; I felt my eyes glazing over a bit as I warped, jumped, and repeated ad nauseum. Perhaps another symptom of the tedium I’ve been feeling lately. Still, I made it to Taisy without problem.
I put in the coordinates, and was relieved to see that I would be nowhere close to Kyonoke Pit. Instead, what flew into view before me was an extensive, but rather run-down, mining colony. The main colony, built into an arc-shaped asteroid, had definitely seen better days. Surrounding the asteroid was a cloud of debris, mostly consisting of old mining equipment and parts of ships that had apparently just fallen off. I still wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I quickly received a hail from a nearby Gila. My friend from the bar appeared on the comms.
With a certain smugness in his tone, happy that I had shown up undoubtedly, he explained that he was a recruiter for the Guristas, and then proceeded to explain to me what the Guristas were, as if I wasn’t aware of one of the most notorious pirate factions in New Eden. He finished with a little speech.
“You’re bored of life. I get that. I’m offering you a choice here, Mark. You can continue your dreary existence, or we could let you loose. Embrace your inner pirate. Cause some destruction for the sake of causing destruction. Let me know.” With that, he closed the comms window.
I have to admit that I was surprised by how tempted by the offer I was. Perhaps becoming a capsuleer was finally getting to me: the thought of causing destruction and wreaking havoc appealed to a part of me. Still, I wasn’t about to join Fatal and the Rabbit in their schemes, whatever they were. Deep down, in my heart of hearts, I would always be a carebear. And I was fine with that. There were other ways to spice up my life without wanton destruction. As I set a course away from this recruitment center, without another word to my contact, I resolved to figure out just what these other ways were.
- Attraction: Guristas Recruitment Center
- System: Taisy
- Security Rating: 0.3
- Region: Lonetrek
- Potential Hazards: Taisy is located in low security space. Pirates and gate camps should be expected, and caution is advised. A cov ops or other cloaking ship is recommended.
Editor’s Note: If it isn’t clear from the text, this site has disappeared with the release of Crucible. Still, I wanted to put it up on this site as I think it’s worthy of preservation.
It’s hard to remember that the universe isn’t static. When normal lifetimes can be measured in decades (and capsuleers being only a decade old as well), it’s hard to imagine that things like stars and planets don’t live forever. Granted, it might as well seem like forever when the lifetimes of those things can be measured in billions of years, but nothing in the universe lasts forever. Stars grow old and die, planets get pulverized to dust, galaxies turn and merge, and even black holes can evaporate away into nothingness. As much as we rely on the permanence of such objects, it’s important to remember that everything we thought permanent about the universe can change in the blink of an eye, as we learned all too well back in YC 111 with the Seyllin Incident.
I bring this up because this week’s entry is a bit of an odd one. I’m actually covering something that has since disappeared. A natural phenomenon that had stayed stable for a number of years (at least since before I started researching for EVE Travel), but appears to have dissipated somewhere in December of last year, if my reports are correct. The phenomenon I’m referring to is – was – known as the Terminus Stream. It was perhaps most notable for being the most stable wormhole yet known. Unlike normal wormholes which most capsuleers are familiar with, the Terminus Stream didn’t just disappear in a matter of days. The Stream lasted at least for a number of years, which is simply unheard of from what little we understand of wormhole dynamics. And further unlike the wormholes we have come to know and love, this one appears to have been unrelated to Anoikis. Or rather, if there is a connection to Anoikis, we never saw it, partially because the area surrounding the Stream became very hazardous to many ships. Indeed, some reports suggest that getting within just a few kilometers of the Stream’s source was enough to destroy most ships.
That was not the only odd thing about the Terminus stream. Obviously, once I came within range of it, I set sensors to maximum sensitivity. What Aura presented back to me was… unexpected, to say the least. As Aura explained, “the material being ejected from this wormhole consists of hydrogen, oxygen, silicon, iron, and other materials usually only found in those states and frequencies on terrestrial planets.” That at least suggested that, unlike the unstable wormholes to Anoikis, the other end of the wormhole was located on or even in the surface of a planet. Such an event would, to my knowledge at least, be unprecedented. Indeed, the streams from material from the planet would probably explain the damage sustained by ships, especially if they were getting thrown from the wormhole at high velocities. That would NOT, however, explain the wormhole’s odd appearance compared to the more common wormholes we know about. Unlike the more normal unstable wormholes, the Terminus Stream appeared as an almost blinding point source of light. Indeed, Aura needed to engage filters on the sensors to keep me from being blinded. The source of that light, especially if the other end of the wormhole was in a planet, is entirely unknown.
I spent some time near the Stream when I visited, both taking in the site and even daring to fly my Drake near the debris field surrounding it, though I took care to never get too close to the terminus. I even tried getting through the wormhole’s mouth, but was forced to retreat due to heavy damage. Now I wish that I had spent even more. It was a shame that I wasn’t there to see the collapse of the wormhole. Indeed, when I went back to the site to confirm its disappearance earlier this month, nothing remained. Even the surrounding dust clouds had broken up by the time I made my way over to the site, leaving nothing left outside of a few pictures and memories.
It’s a shame that the mysteries surrounding the Stream were never solved. Where did it lead? Was it a fundamentally different kind of wormhole than the kinds we’re familiar with? Was the other end actually located within a planet as the debris surrounding it suggested? But nature rarely proves itself willing to wait until we get around to answering its innumerable questions. For better or for worse, the Terminus Stream seems to be gone forever, as just another reminder that the only constant in this universe is change.
- Attraction: Terminus Stream
- System: Vuorrassi
- Security Rating: 0.5
- Region: Lonetrek
- Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
- Additional Notes: As noted above, this site no longer appears within this system to my knowledge. Anyone who sees it is urged to contact me immediately!
Space is a harsh place to live. Even beyond the obvious issues of possible explosive decompression, space is a dangerous place to live. There is a constant threat of possible stellar activity (though, as we’ve learned in recent years, that is not necessarily a danger to only those living in space), pirate raids, or just generally having the bulkhead next to you disappear. For humans to have colonized space as much as we have, though, there has to be something that keeps calling us out here. Something that makes all of the potential dangers worth it. For some, it’s the thrill of exploration. For others, it’s the idea of nearly unfettered freedom.
For many, though, what draws them to space is not nearly as high-minded. Not that there’s anything wrong with being driven to earn money beyond most people’s wildest dreams, of course. While not everyone has what it takes to be a capsuleer, many people make their way out among the stars either through working on a naval or capsuleer ship, or through corporate sponsorship of a new station or colony. These massive stations are familiar to every capsuleer. They’re corporate havens, where the laws of planetary jurisdictions simply don’t apply. Many corporations and alliances rush to create these stations as soon as possible to more fully direct their own corporate endeavours.
Lai Dai, of course, has a number of these stations set up throughout Caldari space and beyond. One of their lesser-known stations today lies out in the dead end system of Isie, in a somewhat isolated area of Lonetrek. Lai Dai had decided to expand its operations into biotechnology, which even today is a hot field of research. They set up a massive colony complex, with not just a standard Caldari station, but a number of supporting research complexes bored into asteroids nearby. For a few years, it appeared that the R55 complex was going to be enough to catapult Lai Dai to the forefront of Caldari research in the field.
A few years into operation, however, an accident crippled the station, resulting in a leak of a toxic combination of chemicals that forced Lai Dai to abandon the station. From what I could tell from GalNet and sensor readings, the chemicals corroded a number of critical environmental systems that would have been too costly to replace, forcing evacuation of the entire complex. I tried to find out exactly how many people died before and during the evacuation. Professor Science’s sensors were picking a potent combination of chemicals that would kill most people incredibly quickly. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most attempts to delve into the deep background of the abandoned colony proved fruitless, as the information was hidden behind Lai Dai’s corporate firewalls.
Today, the R55 Complex stands in surprisingly good condition. The toxic stew of chemicals still hangs around everything, giving the entire area a rather ghastly green glow. Some of the equipment is still working, as evidenced by the fact that the plasma vent still shoots out puffs of the ionized gas every few seconds on one of the research labs, adding to the toxic soup surrounding the site. Indeed, except for the lack of any particular local traffic, I would have guessed that the site is still active.
I spent a few minutes looking around the site, taking it in. The toxic soup gives a hauntingly beautiful backdrop to the entire site, shrouding the massive station in its mists. As with so many things out here, the most captivating things are often the most dangerous.
- Attraction: R55 Colonial Ruins
- System: Isie
- Security Rating: 0.4
- Region: Lonetrek
- Potential Hazards: Getting to Isie involves low sec travel. Pirates and gate camps should be expected. A cov ops or other cloaking ship is recommended.
The pirate factions in New Eden had always presented a bit of a mystery to me. Despite the fact that all empires denounced the pirate factions, the empires never seemed to do a particularly good job of eradicating them. They gallavanted about most of empire space, without much consequence. Considering CONCORD’s considerable intelligence abilities, and their ability to pounce on any capsuleer wrongdoing, the fact that pirates escaped basically any consequences whatsoever beyond capsuleer retribution had always seemed a bit off to me. I suspected there was more to the story than was generally known.
Still, even I was surprised at the guts of the Guristas as I was flying through Erenta one day. There, sitting as plain as the nearby star, stood a small Guristas outpost. In supposedly high security space, no less. They took no pains in attempting to hide it; indeed, the scout post showed up on my overview of the system as soon as I jumped in. I didn’t even have to probe out the thing. So it was with an odd glance at the assembled CONCORD and Caldari Navy ships at the gate that I set a vector for the Scout outpost. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect in the way of defenses, so I cloaked the Professor just to be on the safe side.
I apparently need not have bothered. I couldn’t see anything in the way of defenses. However, it was clear that some fighting had recently occurred in the area, since it was littered with debris. Near my warp in point, a Raven engine tumbled through space, but other than that the debris was largely unrecognizable. I could only assume that the Caldari Navy had tried to evict the Guristas, but I couldn’t possibly imagine what the Guristas had brought to bear that could have blown up a navy battleship. Especially in high sec space, the pirates usually were sensible enough to only send small feeler forces in. But this had clearly been a major battle, and considering the fact that there were no low security systems within at least 3 jumps, I had to wonder where the ships were coming from to put up this kind of resistance.
The resistance was clearly not coming from the base itself. It was a small base, and it couldn’t have held more than a few ships. I didn’t feel dwarfed in the Professor as I generally did in New Eden, in fact the Professor alone could probably have filled a significant amount of the station’s docking bay space. The station actually vaguely reminded me of a megathron in design, with it’s two prongs out front, guarding the docking bay. But from the back, the station reminded me more of the upcoming Scorpion-class upgrades that I had been hearing so much about. I really wanted to know what was in there, but my hails for docking requests went unanswered.
Perhaps the most perplexing thing about this outpost was the location. Not just in-system, but THIS system. I stared at my cluster map for a few minutes, trying to figure out what kind of strategic value the Erenta system held. If there were some significance to the system, I certainly couldn’t see it. Of course, these were pirates that we were dealing with. The lowest of the low. Who knew if they even needed a reason. Maybe showing the Caldari the figurative finger was enough. Given recent history with the Caldari, I certainly couldn’t blame them. With that final thought, I vectored the Professor away, and on towards it’s next site.
- Attraction: Guristas Scout Outpost
- System: Erenta
- Security Rating: 0.6
- Region: Lonetrek
- Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
- Additional notes: A similar outpost can be seen in Liukikka, also a 0.6 system.
EDIT: As of the release of Kronos, the station has been completely repaired. The fires are out and the hole in the station has been eliminated.
I came out of warp about 10 km out from the station. My instincts yelled out for me to warp directly to the station in order to expedite docking procedures, but when the site that you were out to see is the station itself, I figured I should spend as much time viewing the station as possible before docking up. Frankly, given the damage to the station that was immediately apparent, I was more than a little surprised that the station was open at all. But as I approached, the dockmaster contacted me and gave me docking clearance as if it were perfectly normal to have a massive hole in the side of their station.
Before plotting in the docking course, I let the Professor take a bit of a tour before docking up. En route from my current base in Amarr space, I brushed up on the all-too-recent history surrounding this station. One of my homeland patriots, Admiral Noir, on a mission of peace direct from President Foiritan, had piloted his Nyx-class mothership into the side of the station, as an apparent act of revenge against the Caldari.
The news had rocked not only the State, at the death of one of the more reasonable CEOs to come out of the State, but the Federation as well, since Admiral Noir had long been known as an advocate for peace. To have this sudden change of heart, with such disastrous results, was mind-boggling to anyone who kept even a remote eye on politics within the Federation. Noir had often been on the Sunday morning talk shows arguing against escalation, which had obviously put him a bit at odds with the rest of the military apparatus. Obviously, something had changed his mind in THAT particular regard.
The station itself was still in ruins, despite the fact that nearly two years had passed since the incident. Fires burned brightly, fueled no doubt by the fuel and oxygen lines that were spread throughout the station. It was a little amazing that the Caldari hadn’t shut them off yet, but I suspected it was more of a symbolic than a technical issue. Heth used the Malkalen incident as a rallying point, and having the fires still burning served as a constant reminder of what had been lost to the Federation. The damage had been remarkably contained on the inside, though. While docked briefly in the station, nothing seemed out of place, and the station crews were as efficient as ever in restocking the Professor for its trip back to my base. I quickly undocked and vectored away from the station. For as normal as the station seemed while docked, the glaring hole and numerous fires served as a reminder that this station would probably never be “normal” again.
- Attraction: Malkalen V Ishukone Corporation Factory Station
- System: Malkalen
- Security Rating: 0.9
- Region: Lonetrek
- Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -2.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.