(image not captured at Sarum Prime, operatives were too busy for glamour shots)
Another city died, and in its death throes it birthed a brief yet beautiful star.
It’s one of those things that’ll always disturb me a little. I’ve made mention of it before, on the anniversary of the death of the first operational and defended Keepstar to fall. How beautiful it is. There’s been destruction and deaths on larger scales than this before in New Eden, but in our particular timeline it has never before been this concentrated into a single moment and location. These Upwell structures, manned to the final moment in many cases, are genuinely vast cities in space and they die in a single moment of unfathomable destruction. A single moment of almost unparallelled beauty. Let us hope the beauty of it will never cease to be disturbing.
Almost a couple of weeks ago, Kyn’aldrnari was wardecced by PIRAT who then after a couple of days reinforced the Project Mekhios Fortizar. This was by no means a certainty when the dec first came in, as there’s been quite a few other wars with PIRAT, R I O T and other Hub Humpers the last year or so, but this time around they had an actual objective. While I have no independently verifiable confirmation or evidence of it, I have heard the claim that this was a mercenary contract on behalf of an ‘unknown’ agent. The strange selectiveness in what was deemed too confidential to share and what was not makes the claim a little dubious, but in the end it doesn’t actually matter much. Project Mekhios was never intended to be able to stand up to that kind of entity and things proceeded predictably.
The consequences of this are pretty much as follows:
- Kyn’aldrnari staging remains much the same as it always was, except now less predictable.
- Freed slave treatment, processing and care will be rather reduced by dint of simple resource consolidation no longer being as available, and such efforts now relying more on much smaller local facilities and staffs. This is rather unfortunate, as treatment and processing on this kind of scale has never before been done in this manner until after strenuous and risky extraction travel out of Empire space had been undertaken, and in our experience it vastly increased the success rate of Vitoc dependency treatment, TCMC reversal and reduced security issues with overly zealous fanatics among the freed.
- The Insorum Component Research Project was successfully evacuated and no data was lost, but obviously having lost the resources of an entire city geared entirely towards these two primary purposes have pretty much paused the project pretty indefinitely. There’s quite simply no substitute for that combination of asset and resource scaling, and internal infrastructure and resources being designed from the ground up for maximum efficiency on such a project. Returning to more generalized laboratory structures spread across multiple facilities will pretty much end all progress until a new dedicated home for this project can be found.
- Deathglow research, which the facility was not initially designed for but which coincided somewhat nicely with the Insorum Component Research Project, has also pretty much ceased by our staff. This is far less of a loss though, as external researchers and other entities have been far more involved in the matter and can surely continue at their own leisure. Kyn’aldrnari or Project Mekhios was never really that invested in this research, beyond offering facilities and resources to others seeking answers and solutions to Deathglow related questions and concerns.
- Several hundred thousand men, women and children still being processed and treated have been transported to other friendly facilities but obviously the severe reduction in facilities, staffing, security and consolidated assets will severely hamper treatment and potentially cause significant loss of life to Vitoxin and other medical issues.
There’s no getting around the fact that the loss of Project Mekhios was a significant blow to the work of entities like the Network and others working towards the liberation and safeguarding of slaves in the Empire. On a financial level, the facility operated entirely at a loss throughout its lifespan, never generating a single ISK to offset the initial setup cost or the continuous operation of medical centers and RnD facilities and represents double digits billions in expenditures. This also does not take into account the vast amount of assets like Vitoc and other vital stores consolidated and readied for deployment to any hot spots on a moment’s notice.
Yet, as capsuleer economies go, that’s not all that bad. Over the year I spent hunting AmarrBloc intermittently I did well in excess of twice as much financial damage and the “war loot” containers on their own almost makes up entirely for the loss of Project Mekhios in terms of simple money.
In terms of lives, however, the story is rather different. It was obviously evacuated of non-combat personnel and the number of people defending it to the last was somewhat reduced as we cleared the fighter hangars completely and could evacuate more personnel than expected as a result of that. However, the count of lives lost does not end in orbit over Mekhios. The count started as it birthed a star in its death throes and will continue until a new iteration of it arises.
Men, women and children infected with Vitoxin. Men, women and children turned practically into machines by TCMCs. Men, women and children succumbing to all manner of health problems and issues during strenuous and hazardous emergency travel out of Amarr Empire space before they can address these things. These people will continue to suffer and continue to die in greater numbers. Project Mekhios, as far as my numbers can tell, never increased the amount of people liberated from Amarr Worlds. What it did was increase the amount of people who could be saved by providing safe facilities, highly skilled staff and vast assets to these people in need, right here in the heart of the Empire. In addition, it allowed for greater cohesion and intel work between the various cells of the Network and others working towards this kind of liberation, reducing their risks and losses in the process.
This is what died today. Not a “military station” which some disingenuously bleat about. Nor something as innocent as a simple Hospital, which no one has claimed it to be other than those enemies trying to create strawmen to tilt at. Project Mekhios was a grand and beautiful city, large enough and built with such purpose that it could handle millions of freed men, women and children all at once with an unprecedented efficiency and success rate. With almost half a year of continuous and ceaseless operation, it was responsible for actual millions passing through.
It was beautiful in its birth and in its life. It was beautiful in its death. Even if CVA decided to play the hyenas, coming in at the end to posture and snap at it, as the actual predators evaded and then circumvented the defense and finished the job.
There will be another post recognizing and thanking those who stood with Project Mekhios, and those who worked with Project Mekhios to better the lives of those in most dire need of it. Some will go unnamed at their own request or if their contributions were offered in discrete enough manners that secrecy was implied, so the list will be somewhat short, but I feel it’s important to recognize such things when they are done. This will come later.
For now, I will end this simply by saluting the countless men and women who embraced Project Mekhios and worked tirelessly for half a year to realize it, maintain it, improve it, and in the end make uncountable differences in the lives of millions.
As for those who died with it… there are maybe about thirty-forty funeral pyres that have been bigger than this, in our history. Wherever your spirits choose to go from here, your path is lit by a brand new star and your coming is heralded by its glow.
We stand unbowed and unbroken.