Sightseeing in the Cluster

Posts tagged “Sinq Laison

Impetus Site

Impetus 1

A major distribution center for entertainment company Impetus.

Sometimes, I think about the logistics necessary to keep an economy like New Eden up and running.  Inevitably, when I do, I immediately get a headache.  I’ve only dabbled on the industrial side of New Eden, back in my early days as a pod pilot, and that was enough to give me an appreciation that lasts to this day for the countless citizens who work around the clock to give us the goods we often take for granted.  Everything, from the smallest piece of ammunition in your autocannon to the largest Titans, is built by teams of capsuleers.  These capsuleers need to gather the materials necessary (either through mining or reprocessing other equipment), utilize blueprints to put those materials together.  For higher quality equipment, multiple levels of this become necessary, and that doesn’t even begin to look at the complexities of reverse engineering, invention, and other processes necessary for tech 2 and Sleeper-based technologies.  I am shocked time and again that the entire economy hasn’t collapsed in on itself when I realize that this is all due solely to capsuleer efforts. But such is the world that we live in.

Impetus 2

A portion of Impetus’s shipping fleet.

Of course, there is an entire side of the economy that we have little to know interaction with as capsuleers.  Entire planetary economies are often offlimits to us, as us capsuleers have little use for most consumer goods.  With our whims completely catered for, what use would we have for a microwave or oven?  While some inroads are starting to be made in certain areas, for the most part, capsuleer-produced equipment is often reserved solely for capsuleer use, and vice versa.  Whether it is the natural economic result or a CONCORD-mandated division, the fact of the matter is that, economically speaking (and in many other ways for that matter), the billions of people on the planets below us are invisible.  We simply don’t have any interaction with them.

Impetus 3

A top down view.

That’s not to say that they don’t have their own economies though.  And sometimes, we capsuleers have the opportunity to run into this other side of New Eden.  Interstellar-shipping and interstellar logistics are not only a concern of capsuleer-based corporations; it is a major concern for the civilian-oriented trans-stellar corporations as well.  Indeed, you can sometimes see hints of this other side of the economy when you see those convoys coming and going from stations.  There seems to be little rhyme or reason for the stations these convoys visit, but perhaps the civilian population is similarly confused as to why Jita is given so much attention by us capsuleers.  It’s just another example of the ever-widening gap between the capsuleer and non-capsuleer portions of humanity.

Impetus 4

Cargo crates can be seen next to these small industrials

But for those of you who may want more than a glimpse, I highly suggest Dodixie.  Like Jita, Dodixie is a familiar market hub for many capsuleers throughout Gallente space.  Unlike Jita, however, Dodixie also appears to have a thriving non-capsuleer economy as well, as evidenced by the major distribution center established here by the well-known film maker Impetus.  I’ve profiled Impetus before, so I won’t belabor the point other than saying that its extremely broad range of entertainment materials, it in many ways mirrors broader Gallente society and tastes.  Aura puts it much more concisely:

Impetus 5An Impetus agent awaits you in this deadspace complex.

Impetus are the leading creators and distributors of all sorts of entertainment: holoreels, cheap pornography, even seedier (or perhaps, more ethically questionable) means of kinetically visual fare. Regardless of their product, the entertainment lifestyle is decadent and glamorous, so talking to this agent might provide you a glimpse into that exotic world.

Impetus 6

The Professor approaching the distribution center.

The first thing that came to my mind as I dropped out of warp at the distribution center was that it was a giant flower floating in space.  Four “petals,” in reality, the docking platforms, sprout from the top of the central stem.  These platforms gleam in the sunlight of Dodixie, not to mention the variety of ships that can be found here as well.  Travelling down the central stem about half way, a set of four “leaves” can be found sprouting off the stem, rotated 45 degrees from the central platform.  As best as I could tell, these seemed to function mainly as storage areas.  Given the bustling activity at the center, there would have to be substantial storage in order to make all of these ships have a reason to be here.  The stem itself probably served as the primary administrative areas for offices.

Impetus 7

A Thorax sits docked at the station.

Beyond the center itself, a veritable fleet of cargo ships could be found docked at the station.  Industrial ships ranging in size from the massive Obelisk to the tiny yet (relatively) speedy Occator can be found docked, with ships both sitting on the sprawling docking ports as well as off to the side.  The top (as much as such a word has meaning in space) of the docking platforms are also covered in stacked crates of cargo, undoubtedly filled with a variety of filming equipment and sets, not to mention hardcopies of the hundreds of films pumped out by the studios every year.  With Impetus as a major producer of entertainment products, I have no doubt that the activity continues around the clock here.

I very much enjoyed my brief time at the Impetus site.  Given that I was in the area anyway to pick up some supplies, it was nice to have a new site to discover so close to where I needed to go anyway.  As I watched the bustle of activity, the coming and going of ships as they dropped off or picked up supplies, it made me once again appreciate the complexities of New Eden.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Impetus Site
  • System: Dodixie
  • Security Rating: 0.9
  • Region: Sinq Laison
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -2.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Gallente, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: This also serves as a Gallente COSMOS site.

Yan Jung Ruins

Yan Jung Ruins 1

One of the broken Yan Jung monuments. Moon 1 of Planet VI can be seen in the background

(Editor’s Note: It appears that CCP has removed the force-repeller from this site at some point. The hackable cans and defenders are still present, however. Thanks to @MikeRock512 for the heads up!)

For whatever reason, I just couldn’t quite get myself out of Algintal. Whenever I thought I had finished with this constellation, something else came up that required my attention. Sometimes it was personal business that required my attention on one of the planets. At other times, capsuleer business would take me to the other side of the constellation. And that doesn’t even include the density of landmarks in the constellation due to it being a CONCORD designated COSMOS constellation. But after last week’s exploration of the Relic, I thought I was finally done with Algintal. Finally, I’d finished the marked COSMOS sites. I’d explored the available Yan Jung history available. I’d judged the Friends of Nature for their admirable purpose but less-than-memorable techniques of advancing it. And I’d shown my mother just what drew me out here time after time. I thought I’d seen all that Algintal had to offer. Until a few days ago, at least.

Yan Jung Ruins 2

A Serpentis Scout cruiser fires a rocket at my ship. Clearly, however, their damage output against a battlecruiser left something to be desired.

That was when I’d heard that there was, in fact, a second Yan Jung site in Deltole. Which made sense, of course. The Yan Jung were from Deltole, so it only stood to reason that a space-faring species would leave more than one artifact site behind. So it shouldn’t have surprised me that there was an unmarked site in Deltole, a second site of discovered Yan Jung relics. Indeed, my source tells me that the site even includes another working example of Yan Jung technology. Given that the Yan Jung disappeared at least a few thousand years ago, any examples of working technology were impressive. I could only our modern technology, of which we are so proud of, could show such resilience over the course of millennia. I looked up what little information I could, and Aura returned this:

The Serpentis have already cleaned most items of interest from these ancient ruins built by the Yan Jung nation eons ago. Yet the peculiar force repeller remains, a strange device capable of holding back ships that try to approach it. The only way to get close to it is by shooting it first.

Yan Jung Ruins 3

A number of the relics that float within the site

So it was with understandable enthusiasm that I set course to Moon 1 of Planet VI in the Deltole system. There was no beacons for that area, but as soon as  I dropped out of warp, I saw an unmarked acceleration gate. Next to the gate sat a scientist. He was able to give a brief overview of the Yan Jung, and even asked for some help in his investigations. Intrigued as I was, however, I needed to do my own investigations first. With that, I activated the acceleration gate, which took me to the heart of the site. The first thing I noticed was that I was almost immediately locked by two Serpentis cruisers. In Legacy, they were little match for me. Indeed, it seemed a little unfair, and I felt a little guilty for how easy it would be for me to dispatch them to the Hereafter. On the other hand, it seemed a little silly to waste ammunition on such a minor threat. Thankfully, my drones were able to handle the cruisers without me having to replenish anything.

Yan Jung Ruins 4

A close up view of the force repeller relic that would not let my ship approach

Once the guards were dispatched, I finally had a chance to take a look at my surroundings. There was nothing close by, but about 25 kilometers away there was a small collection of relics. Among the items present were a few pieces of wreckage. These were smallish things that looked like panels off of a larger object. One side was flat, with a small symbol on it, while the other side was a jumble of pipes and conduits. I looked at it for a second, noticing that it appeared to be nearly identical to wreckage I saw in the Yan Jung relic site. Also there were a series of small beacons. These were small pieces of equipment, still apparently functional. At least, the small shields that glinted in the sun suggested that SOMETHING onboard was still active. The shields appeared spindly, unlike the invisible shields around my drake. And in the center sat the force repeller relic. I did a brief scan on it, but the analysis was unfortunately less than complete:

A strange device built by a human civilization dead for thousands of years that repels any ships that try to near it. It must be destroyed from afar, preferably with EM damage weapons.

Yan Jung Ruins 5

Legacy gets deflected by an odd force as it tries to approach the center of the phenomenon.

Why I would want to destroy the thing was a mystery. However, there was only one way to see what all the fuss was about. I quickly set course for the relic, to see if was still active. Legacy traveled smoothly towards it. Then, quite suddenly, it didn’t. Alarms flared as the ship was suddenly shoved aside for reasons unknown. For a moment, I feared that there would be damage from the sudden shearing force, but a quick systems diagnostic proved otherwise. Instead, I just couldn’t go any farther. I tried again and again to force my ship through, but whenever I got to within 10 kilometers or so of the relics site, it was just met with an unconquerable force to prevent further approach of my ship. Oddly, my camera drones were unaffected by the relic. Perhaps there was a mass limit before the relic itself activated. Or maybe it was able to differentiate between ships and other objects. Or maybe it just didn’t care about camera drones. Whatever its reasoning, I was at least able to still capture close up visuals of the remains of the Yan Jung, even if I couldn’t get my ship close.

Yan Jung Ruins 6

One of the so-called “intact crystals” float in the foreground, shields glinting in the sun. The force repeller relic can be seen in the distance.

I debated whether I should attempt to destroy the relic to get a look at the other relics. It was admittedly tempting. Getting access to the other relics might show unknown treasures, and it was even possible pieces of the force repeller relic (a technology that, to my knowledge, had no analogs in modern day) could survive if I was light enough with my bombardment. Unfortunately, it was something I just could not bring myself to do. It wasn’t my place to destroy something that had lasted thousands of years. It was a testament to a civilization that had built such monuments, and who was I to trample on the only thing that remained of that civilization? As a capsuleer, it was easy to convince myself of my own superiority over a civilization that has been long dead… but in this case, I would have to learn to appreciate from afar.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Yan Jung Ruins
  • System: Deltole, Planet VI, Moon 1
  • Security Rating: 0.5
  • Region: Sinq Laison
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Gallente, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: As noted in the entry, there are two cruiser class Serpentis rats.

Yan Jung Relic Site

Yan Jung 1

A look at overlapping Yan Jung ruins in Deltole.

It’s sometimes easy to forget that the Gallente, Caldari, Amarr, and Minmatar weren’t the first civilizations to conquer the stars. The ringing silence that beckoned first the Amarr, and then the other empires to the vastness of space seemed to assure all concerned that they were expanding into virgin, untouched lands. After all, if anyone had come before us, if anyone else had established colonies throughout the cosmos, surely they would still be around to greet us, right? But, of course, the only thing that greeted the first modern explorers was the resounding silence of the centuries.

Yan Jung 2

The Yan Jung gun battery looks surprisingly similar to modern designs.

Of course, the archeological record shows that those thoughts, tempting as they are, just simply are not true. It has been well-established that we are, at best, the second generation of civilizations to conquer New Eden. Well, third, if you presume that the people from the EVE Gate also originally colonized the area, though the record from that era is much more spotty. Regardless, the record is fairly clear that there was, in fact, a generation of four empires that were roughly analogous spatially to the modern empires. The Takhmal roughly correspond to the modern day Amarr empire. The Sleepers, of wormhole fame, originally inhabited Minmatar space before moving on to Anoikis. The Talocan once ruled an area roughly analogous to the modern day Caldari State. And finally, the Yan Jung originally settled within modern day Gallente space. The Jove, of course, seem to have been the only continuous civilization in both the ancient and modern era. The chance to work my way through the Jove archive would be a dream come true, but unfortunately I don’t foresee that happening in the near future.

Yan Jung 3

A so-called Gargoyle: "A very old object that seems to once have acted as a guardian of this space. It is not active at the moment and perhaps it has malfunctioned."

Barring a near-miraculous change in Jove policy, I would be stuck learning about the ancient races the old fashioned way: through hard work and archeology. Thankfully, a Yan Jung site has already been found and research has already begun. Unfortunately, the research is being done by an arm of the Serpentis Corporation. Between Yan Jung defense systems that were still at least partially active, as well as Serpentis agents who were not exactly expected to share research in the spirit of scientific collaboration, it was clear that going in on my own may not have been the smartest idea I’ve ever had. If I wanted a chance to actually explore the site and not simply try to stay alive for a few moments, I was going to need some help. Thankfully, as with most things in New Eden, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Yan Jung 4

A Yan Jung data cache sits amongst various asteroids that were apparently purposefully arranged by the Yan Jung.

I was able to make my way into the site through the help of some fellow friendly capsuleers. Members of the corporation Vicious Industries, in a small fleet of the fellow capsuleers Mizz Vicious and Toyaoka Katsuo, graciously allowed me to tag along as they searched the site for valuables. Since I needed help, and didn’t have the necessary passkey to get into the locked areas of the site, I was more than happy to take up their offer to tag along. It was a bit unusual for me, who was much more used to working on my own, to be working, and relying on, people beyond my own crew. Still, all things considered, I was downright lucky to be allowed to tag along, especially since I had never met them before. They did seem a little hesitant initially, but once I showed them some of my research, they were happy to let me tag along.

Yan Jung 5

Mizz Vicious keeps an eye on the area while a Yan Jung Impaired Monument floats in the foreground.

With my passage into the site and protection assured, it was time to turn my attention to the site itself. The site itself consists of three deadspace areas tied together by acceleration gates. The first room was fairly unimpressive, consisting solely of the Serpentis picket of the site. Thankfully, they didn’t feel compelled to put a massive force in the initial room. We were easily able to deal with the frigates and occasional cruiser in that first room. After that, we made our way to the second room. This room consisted of Yan Jung defensive systems that were still, even some 10,000 years later, at least partially operational. It was impressive to say the least. The defensive grid consisted mostly of missile launchers and gun batteries. It was remarkable that these structures appeared fairly similar to the modern day. There was also a number of older structures that Aura identified simply as “gargoyles.” The structures appeared inoperative, and something told me that I should be happy about that fact.

Yan Jung 6

One of the Serpentis archeology ships, conveniently located in a battleship class hull.

We made our way to the very heart of the relics site. Here, the Serpentis were back, in force. Two battleships, and a small fleet of cruisers and frigates zoomed around, protecting the Serpentis’s finds from bumbling interlopers like ourselves. Thankfully, my fellow capsuleers handled themselves with aplomb and quickly dispatched the defending force. The force also appeared to consist of Serpentis’s exploration fleet as well. The debris from the battleships made it clear that there was a significant amount of scientific equipment aboard. It seems weird to me that a bunch of pirates would be concerned with scientific endeavors, but I had to remind myself that the Serpentis Corporation had a significant R&D division. Once these ships were dispatched, it was time to move on to what, precisely, they were studying.

Yan Jung 7

A close up of the center of the ruins.

The archeological site itself wasn’t in quite as good of shape as the previous deadspace area. Unlike the still semi-functional defensive grid, most of this site appeared to be in tatters. The site itself appears to center around two strange, glowing orbs. Given that similar relics can be found in Friggi, near the heart of the former Talocan empire, it made me suspect that perhaps the two empires were tied closer together than may have been suspected. Unfortunately, without knowing the significance or function of the orbs, it was hard to make many more conclusions. That they were of central importance to the Yan Jung seems evident though. The surrounding space is littered with battered and impaired monuments, all distributed equally around the central orbs.

Yan Jung 8

Legacy approaches the site.

More directly noticeable were the deliberately arranged asteroids around the orbs. The stones were roughly hewn, but definitely taller than wide. Despite the rather haphazard initial appearance of the stone arrangements, it soon became clear after a bit of analysis that there were, in fact, two overlapping stone circles, one centered around each orb. This only reinforced the central importance of whatever those orbs were. But what were they for? Why put data caches AND monuments around them? Why guard this site with such an advanced  security system when the site itself, with rough-hewn stones that are only imprecisely arranged, is decidedly low tech? What was the connection with other, similar sites? I know that there are research projects that are attempting to answer these very questions… I just wish I was able to provide more answers.

Yan Jung 9

Another part of the defensive systems.

Eventually, I figured I had gathered as much information as I was going to, and my fellow capsuleers were also done with the site. It was also clear that the Serpentis were regrouping to make another push to establish control of the site. Realistically speaking, the Federation could fairly quickly establish control to open up the site to more legitimate scientific research. Why the Federation refuses to assert its sovereignty over the area is yet another part of the mystery surrounding this entire site. The Yan Jung clearly are not as directly relevant to us these days as, say, the Sleepers, and some might even argue that the interest in the Yan Jung at this point are merely academic. Still, anything that can help us understand who we are and where we come from can only help us, if only by reminding ourselves that we were not the first ones to touch the stars.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Yan Jung Relic Site
  • System: Deltole
  • Security Rating: 0.5
  • Region: Sinq Laison
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Gallente, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: As noted in the entry, the site requires a passkey to enter. Furthermore, the site is guarded by both Serpentis ships (up to and including battleships), as well as gun and missile batteries.

Central Administration

Central Admin 1

A distinctly Caldari-designed main administrative complex in the middle of Gallente space.

No one particularly likes red tape. I can safely say that no one I know gets particularly excited over Schedule B of Form 6320-G, Requisition for Replacement Environmental System Components. At least, my systems engineers always gripe at me over that particular form (something about having to figure out how to fit a square peg into a round hole). Despite the fact that no one likes these forms, however, they’re almost inherently necessary for any organizational system larger than 3 guys in a garage. Humans have an innate need to organize and compartmentalize their lives. It just makes our lives easier knowing that somewhere out there is a specific piece of paperwork to get what we need done (even if it doesn’t seem that way when we have to fill out that form in triplicate and get it cross-signed). Remarkable, even, when you think about the sometimes obscure things that need a form yet almost never seem to be needed. Yes, I realize I have a bit of an odd fascination with obscure things.

Central Admin 2

A Gallente merc orbits one of the nearby listening posts, alert to any dangers.

I bring this up because every empire seems to deal with the need for red tape and bureaucracy in their own ways. The Amarr had their glorified governors for paper pushers. The State uses corporate obfuscation to lose anything and everything your heart may desire. The Federation, of course, is no better. They have their own administrative needs, and those needs are only aggravated when dealing with yet another empire. For reasons beyond my understanding, Wiyrkomi was still pushing ahead with its attempt to make a presence in Algintal, despite the state of war between the two nations. I guess not even cold-blooded enemies can stand in the way of profits. Wanting to see just how the melding of the Gallente and Caldari bureaucracies were going, I quickly set course towards the administration complex. En route, I pulled up what information I could find:

Central Admin 3This is the headquarters of the Wiyrkomi Corporation in Algintal. It is here that Veko Tallaja, the operation manager for the Wiyrkomi Project in Sinq Liason, resides. Gallente Temko mercenaries closely guard the perimeter of the complex, authorized to strike at any trespassers. Security here is super tight after a spat of high profile incidents involving violent protesters made headlines in inter-galactic media. Wiyrkomi desperately want to avoid any more bad publicity, as their multi-trillion ISK deal with the Federation hangs on a razor thin edge.

Central Admin 4

A close up of the loading docks. Various pieces of cargo and supplies can be seen.

It always weirded me out to see Caldari and Gallente ships flying near each other and not trying to blow each other up, yet here we are. Granted, I’ve seen that sight more and more in recent days as I continued my tour of Algintal, but it still seemed wrong when, in at least some other systems, they were still at war. Yet that was precisely what we were seeing here. Both Wiyrkomi and Gallente mercenary ships flew near each other, protecting both their own interests and each other from outside threats. Nice to see that we can, in fact, all get along sometimes, even if its just to save the Caldari’s face. But I very much believe that economic interdependence could lead to peace, and to that extent I supported this initiative.

Central Admin 5

Wiyrkomi warships also keep an eye on the situation

Beyond that, the entire complex seemed like a fairly mundane space office complex. A central control tower seemed to hold the vast majority of office workers, with support offices that spidered out in classic Caldari hard-angled fashion. Nearby, cargo platforms sat, laden with supplies coming in and what I’m sure were cargo containers full to the brim of Requisition Order forms and other exciting bureaucratic items. A number of security outposts were also present, and even a bar for the workers on site, called The Pit. All together, it seemed like a pretty self-contained office complex. Although no freighters were present at the time, I had no doubt that this was a fairly bustling center.

Central Admin 6

One of the nearby security posts.

I finished up looking around and figured it was about time to get myself underway. Despite my apparent love of all things bureaucratic, I had just about had my fill of office complexes. Unfortunately, that also meant that it was just about time to move on from Gallente space. It was nice being close enough to home to visit if it ever struck my fancy, but like oh so many ships, I wasn’t born to stay close to home. And so, I set a course out of Gallente space, wondering just what else there was to find.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Central Administration
  • System: Fluekele
  • Security Rating: 0.6
  • Region: Sinq Laison
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4 in security status, or -5 standing with the Gallente, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: This also serves as an Gallente COSMOS site.

Roden Center

Iyen-Oursta 1

The office workers at the Roden Center apparently do not suffer for lack of updated news.

As a full-throated supporter of the Gallente democratic tradition, part of me has always been uncomfortable with such a well known corporate mogul winning the Presidency. President Roden has a long history not in politics, but in the so-called military-industrial complex. Roden Shipyards is a major contractor to the Federation Navy. While their small-craft division is well known in the commercial sector, the President has made the vast part of his fortunes from manufacturing machines of war. The argument is easy to make (and I’m sure it has been) that, in fact, the President has a vested interest in making war to ensure the continued prosperity of his company. Given all that doom and gloom conspiracy theory making, one might assume that I’m not a fan of President Roden. On the contrary, I’ve been happy with the President so far. The war we’re admittedly in wasn’t started by us, but was rather brought upon us by an attack by the Caldari when our defenses were down. I can’t blame President Roden for that (though I realize certain conspiracy theorists would disagree with me).

Iyen Oursta 2

A slight paraphrase of an ancient saying seems appropriate here: The sun never sets on Roden Shipyards

What I CAN blame President Roden on, however, is the plethora of Roden Shipyard facilities that seem to pop up throughout the Federation. At times, I feel like every other system I visit has some form of Roden facility, be it orbital facility, deep space military shipyards, or some other administrative center just floating in the middle of nowhere, why not. I thought I had discovered, by now, the various forms of the somewhat cookie-cutter Roden facilities. That’s why I was particularly surprised to discover that I had apparently missed one in my various wanderings through Gallente space. Merely called the Roden Center, the rather banal name drew my attention as I was warping through the system. Intrigued to see precisely what this new complex did, once I dropped out of warp at my original destination, I quickly turned around and warped back out from the gate. As I approached, I was met with a standard greeting:

Iyen Oursta 3Welcome to the Roden Center!

If you are here for the Roden Experience or the Jacus Roden History Museum, please proceed to docking bay two.
For guided tours of our offices, please proceed to a security checkpoint in docking bay three. Gift shops are available on all floors.

Thank you for visiting the Roden Center, where the Federation’s past and future collide!

Iyen Oursta 4

Some of the cargo containers near the Center

Notwithstanding their somewhat hackneyed motto, the site itself seemed to be a bustling spaceport in its own right. Ships flitted around the area, while massive cargo vessels were docked, ready to load or unload their cargo. Most striking about the complex, however, was the dozen news billboards surrounding the station. Apparently, Roden valued well-informed employees, as each of those billboards were tuned into the CONCORD Information Network that could be found at every stargate. I was immediately reminded of yet another recent news report that said that people were so overwhelmed with information these days that their attention spans were shrinking drastically. I don’t remember if there was anything else in the report, since as I was reading the story I was distracted by a new message and never got back to it, but I’m sure it was something along those lines.

Iyen-Oursta 5

A closeup of the upper part of Roden Center.

I had to admit that I was tempted to stop at the gift shop. I was always a fan of cheesy gifts, even if I never actually bought any of them. I didn’t have a chance to stay, however. Being involved in other pursuits currently meant that I had limited time today. Besides, I was hoping that I might see some pixies. As I warped to the stargate though, I continued my reflection on the current Federation President. He certainly was not my first pick when I saw the presidential field, but he’s weathered the recent crises as well as anyone could expect. For a military-industrial hack, maybe there was hope yet. After all,  the People have spoken.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Roden Center
  • System: Iyen-Oursta
  • Security Rating: 0.8
  • Region: Sinq Laison
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -3 in security status, or -5 standing with the Gallente, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.

Damaged Drone Mind

parch drones 1

The main portion of the remaining Drone hive

In retrospect, drones were developed remarkably late. Space travel, even among the relatively-late-blooming Gallente (at least compared to, say, the Amarr), had been around for almost a thousand years prior to the War of Secession, and even then, it wasn’t until fairly late in the game that the Gallente apparently realized that attaching an engine to a gun, with pilots safely ensconced back on their respective ships, was a cheap and economical way to fight the war. Of course, there probably wasn’t much of an incentive to think that small (at least weapons-wise) until the Caldari themselves developed their small-craft warfare doctrine that proved so effective in the middle stages of the War. Still, it seems odd that something which seems so useful in today’s day and age apparently took quite a while to occur to anyone, despite the fact that the technology for the drone chassis and basic weapons had probably existed for quite some time.

parch drones 2

A close up of one of the infested asteroids.

Of course, given the shockingly long development time for drones, it took a relative blink of an eye for at least portions of the drone population to develop some form of sentience (or at least emulated sentience). Drones were developed sometime prior to the end of the War in year YC 12, probably only a few years ahead of time. After potentially as little as 30 years (the moment of time of this particularly brilliant moment is not entirely clear), some Gallente scientist had the idea of throwing in artificial intelligence in with the weapons/engine mix. And soon after that, the artificial intelligence realized that it had everything it needed to make a name for itself on its own, and thus rogue drones were born. They quickly spread throughout the cluster, focusing obviously on Gallente space, but also spreading of their own accord into previously unknown space- much to the detriment of Gallente explorers. Ever since, they have been an interest to portions of the capsuleer community and have come under renewed interest in recent days.

parch drones 3

Parchanier peeking out behind other drone structures

Normally, drone hives are fairly temporary affairs. Put up by drones (for reasons known only to themselves), and taken down again almost as quickly (either by themselves or capsuleers hoping to make a quick isk), drone hives rarely stay in one place for long. As such, once I heard of a permanent, if damaged, drone hive, I knew I had to see it. Thankfully, it was in the area of my recent explorations, and thus a second diversion to Parchanier wasn’t exactly out of my way. I quickly set course for the system. Once there, I noted that no drone hive appeared on my overview, meaning that DEDACNP hadn’t gotten around to marking yet. After a bit of searching, I found what I was looking in orbit of Parchanier VI, moon 2.

parch drones 4

A still functional part of the drone hive mind. The mind is looking for help and will interact with capsuleers.

The hive sits in tatters. A number of asteroids had haphazardly been arranged together, connected by almost organically looking connecting metal structures, the purpose of which is unknown. Why would drones need something looking almost like an asteroid colony some of the mining corporations use? Towards the “bottom” of the hive, a large, red structure sat. Aura only identified it for me as a “cracked hive mind”, suggesting that whatever disaster had occurred here included hacking the hive mind. Whoever did this apparently had impressive computer skills. And left a trail of destruction in his or her wake.

parch drones 5

A closer look at an odd portion of the hive.

Numerous “corpses” (it felt odd to apply the term to machines, but it seems to be the most accurate) of larger drones surround the remains of a still-budding hive. Numerous smaller drones still remained active, buzzing around the hive in an apparently-mindless (and so far, unsuccessful) attempt to repair the damage from whatever catastrophe beset the hive. Given how they appeared to only be buzzing around aimlessly, I suspected that any controlling intelligence had long since left this particular hive. I admittedly didn’t understand the organizational structure of the rogue drones, but, it seemed likely that the larger drones provided the intelligence needed to give purpose to the smaller ones, at least on a very simplistic level. Without them, the smaller drones were simply mindless again.

parch drones 7

A close up of one of the remaining rogue drone defenders

Or so I had thought. Nearby, the remains of an asteroid sat near the base, presumably used for resources by the drones. Attached to the asteroid, hidden from the rest of the hive, sat another one of the larger drone corpses. Except this one couldn’t be considered a corpse at all. To my amazement, it was actually still transmitting. At first, it seemed to be gibberish, filled only with 1s and 0s, but I quickly realized it was transmitting in binary code. A quick run through the translator matrix showed that it was transmitting “HELLO WORLD! NEED CODE IN ASTEROIDS. GET BINARY CODE.” After a bit of conversation, I learned that it was still attempting to fulfill its purpose of creating a new drone hive… and willing to employ capsuleers to do this. Though I disapproved of how they attacked humans with no apparent warning, I sympathized with the very basic desire of all life to reproduce. Being only in Professor Science, however, I couldn’t help it very much with its quest.

parch drones 8

Another of the defenders.

I’m not sure if the drone recognized (or even understood) my sympathy with its plight. It did recognize my refusal though, and I couldn’t help but note an almost pleading tone as it responded to my decline. After ending my conversation, I quickly decided that I didn’t want to hang around much more at the Hive. Interesting though it was, it merely reminded me of the mistakes my own people had made in the past. Or were they mistakes? We brought new life into the universe, deadly as they may be. In any case, this was much to deep for me to dwell on, not when I had other work to do.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Damaged Drone Mind
  • System: Parchanier
  • Security Rating: 0.6
  • Region: Sinq Laison
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4 in security status, or -5 standing with the Gallente, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen. The drones surrounding the hive are marked red and may attack, but they are relatively few in number and should be tankable. When I was there, there were 4 drones marked up as cruisers in my overview.
  • Additional Notes: This also serves as an Gallente COSMOS site. The site now needs to be scanned down using probes. It’s a combat site entitled “Secret Drone Hive”. Special thanks to Namu Hakoke for pointing out the changes.

Pend Insurance Storage Bin

Insurance Bin1

The rings of Fluekele IV fade spectacularly into the distance behind the insurance bin.

It’s surprisingly easy to forget that life exists beyond the realm of your capsule at times. Flying amongst the stars, looking down on planets like oh-so-insignificant smears against the blackness of space, it can become difficult to remember that there are things that demand your time that do not involve other spaceships. Of course, in my four years of experience as a capsuleer, the moment you forget about the importance of the other life is precisely the time that that other life decides to flare up, dragging you out of your capsule for weeks on end to deal with some pressing matter that simply can’t be ignored. Such was the case with me. Business planetside had called me away from the freedom among the stars that I loved so much. Yet with things finally resolved, it was time to get back to where I belonged.

Insurance Bin2

The rings of Fluekele IV form an almost warp-like backdrop to the bin. To one side, hired security guards from Pend Insurance can be seen.

Unfortunately, planetside business had called me away at a point in my ever-fluid list that was not precisely the definition of “exciting.” At the time, I contented myself with the knowledge that I wasn’t missing anything special, but now it was hardly the “welcome back” gift to myself that I had been hoping for. But who was I to argue with the list? With a slight grimace to myself, I set course for the Fluekele system to what I’m sure was the entertainment capital of the cluster: the Pend Insurance Storage Bin. With but a thought to the proper commands, Professor Science flung herself into warp towards Fluekele.

A closeup of one of the hired hands for the local security arrangement.

It was times like this, as I looked over what precious little information I had on this site, that I wondered what, precisely, the DEDACNP was on, and if it was possible for me to talk to their supplier. The little-known DED Advisory Committee on Notable Places is tasked with designating sites throughout the Cluster as notable, and worthy of an official CONCORD beacon marking their place. Of course, not every site I visited had a beacon (Choonka’s Ship-wash being a notable example), but the vast majority of my cataloging work revolved around what they have deemed important. The name might suggest that as an advisory committee, they had no real power, but their decisions were often rubber stamped by the Directive Enforcement Department since, let’s face it, they don’t exactly have the most exciting job in the world and if they say something is important, it probably is. Normally I couldn’t fault them with what they deemed important (though what they DON’T deem important can be a point of contention at times), today, however…

Insurance Bin4

A closer examination of the insurance bin itself.

In any case, I finally arrived at Fluekele. Frankly, the area was approximately as boring as I was afraid it would be. The best that could be said about the area was that it had a gorgeous backdrop in the form of Fluekele IV, a gas giant with an extensive ring system that provided a rather stunning background to the area. I actually had quite a bit of fun taking various pictures with the rings in the background. Other than that, the bin itself was rather large and foreboding. Given the fact that Pend apparently spent quite a bit of money bulking the Bin up, numerous fortifications could be seen. In addition, a number of hired security ships orbited nearby (including two cruisers and three frigates), keeping a watchful eye on the scene to ensure that no one tried to make a sudden move on whatever was stored in the Bin (for obvious reasons, Pend wasn’t exactly forthcoming on that tidbit of information).

Insurance Bin5

One end of the monstrous structure. It easily dwarfed my small Buzzard-class frigate.

After playing around with the scenery for a bit, I knew it was time to move on. Regardless of what the DEDACNP thought, there just wasn’t a lot to be said about an insurance company’s storage area. Still, it was a nice way to ease myself back into piloting after so many weeks stranded on a planet. And it was was fantastic to be back amongst the stars.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Pend Insurance Storage Bin
  • System: Fluekele
  • Security Rating: 0.6
  • Region: Sinq Laison
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4 in security status, or -5 standing with the Gallente, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: This is IN the Gallente COSMOS constellation, but my records don’t show their being any agents here, nor are there any drop off or pick up points, so frankly I have no idea what’s going on. (EDIT: Per a commenter below, apparently this poor place is the oft-blown-up target of a Caldari COSMOS mission).