In January, I visited Planet Idun, home of Jasper Point and Ymir base, the operations centre for the Blushock team (see: An away team mission to Planet Idun in Second Life). It was a fascinating and engaging visit, one that gave me the opportunity to meet with the region’s co-creator Fazzy Constantine (Faisel Constantine). And in the last week, Fazzy contacted me with an intriguing invitation:
We’ve got a full sized region and have been working on our next location for 11 days. We’re close to being ready to open, and I’d like to invite you to come for a sneak VIP preview.
It was an invitation I could hardly refuse given how much I appreciated my trip to Idun, so over the weekend I took the opportunity to warp over to the facilities – and was even more impressed by what I found.
As a small amount of background information (you can find more at the Blushock coalition website), the focus of the group is the Vanaheim star system located in the beta quadrant of the Milky Way galaxy. Centred on a cool, blue giant star, the system has a total of seven planets, two of which have been found suitable for habitation by the mix of races making up the coalition: the ice world of Vanargand and the tropical Idun.
Resilient Station is the latest of the Blushock facilities – in fact the team’s newest base of operations. It is located on – or within – a 200-300m diameter asteroid orbiting Vanaheim over a period of 19 terrestrial years. By nature the asteroid appears to be typically carbonaceous in type, carrying the official designation of VH706-C, although the Blushock team have christened it – in keeping with the use of old Earth Norse mythology names within the Vanaheim system – Baldur (brave or defiant), thus matching the station’s name of Resilient.
Asteroid VH706-C, better known as Baldur, is a newly discovered body which was discovered by the BluShock team. Originally discovered during one of the teams planetary scans, they sent one of their mechanics, weeks later, to do a recon of the 200m tall rock that was orbiting the star and planets. It was decided that the asteroid would make for a good base of operations for the future, as Idun was becoming more and more unstable for everyday life.
– From the Resilient Station backstory
The landing point is located within a smaller asteroid occupying the same orbit as Baldur. It is where newcomers can gain a degree of orientation and set their viewers appropriately – it is absolutely essential to enable the viewer’s Advanced Lighting Model (Preferences → Graphics → check Advanced Lighting Model) before proceeding to the station proper. Shadows are not required, nor is setting the viewer to High / Ultra (although both will increase the visual enjoyment of the setting). Visitors should also obtain a visitor ID badge from Holly, the station’s AI, who can be found on various wall panel displays in what is a nice nod to Red Dwarf.
Touching the door access panel alongside Holly at the landing point will transfer visitors down to the main reception centre in the station itself. This sits alongside the main docking / landing bay for incoming ships; it is the largest of four such bays that have been hewn out of the asteroid’s rock, with several external locking and landing facilities to provide additional facilities for visiting craft.
Where you go from here is a matter of choice – although do note that some parts of the station have restricted access (as you would expect from such a facility). Exploration can be carried out on foot using the stairways and via the station’s elevator stations that provide access to all of the levels, from engineering at the base of the asteroid, to the very impressive arboretum located on the uppermost level.
An incredible amount of detail has been put into the build by chief architect Noah Constantine (NoahLion); the overall design is entirely logical in nature; major area of occupation are placed deep within the station where they can be protected from cosmic gamma rays and the excesses of local solar radiation without the need for additional shielding (the bedrock should provide that; the exception being the arboretum, although that could well have specialised shielding within the material of the dome. The overall feeling is of a pristine centre of operations – again, well in keeping that the station has only recently been constructed.
We got the region on March 20th. Noah had it ready to move to for role-play by the 23rd, and the rest of us helped decorate and furnish it. We’ve got lots of new planets planned too. Idun was just the 2nd attempt – but this station will be staying.
Fazzy Constantine on Reslient Station and Blushock’s plans
Similarly, the main landing bay is through-and-though, ideal for manoeuvring large vessels in and out of it, whilst the smaller bays leave more than enough room for shuttles and other small craft to manoeuvre within their confines. True, there is a fair amount of debris occupying the same space as the station – presumably chunks of rock that were broken free during Resilient’s construction – that look like they might be a hazard to local navigation; but presumably these will be cleared away in due course.
Two places most definitely worth seeing in the station are the aforementioned arboretum on level 8 and also the spa and pool on level 2. There’s also Vanaheim’s Eclipse and the public and crew facilities on levels 5 and 6. But really, the entire station fully deserves careful exploration.
Resilient Station is a genuinely superb design that officially opens its doors on Tuesday, April 13th, although visitors are able to explore now. For those wishing to catch upon the story of the Blushock Team should visit the official website and particularly take a look through the Events section for a recap of what’s happened through until now.
My thanks to Fazzy for the invite to get this first look, and kudos to Noah on the work in developing the station’s look and feel. I look forward to future visits!