'THE OASIS'This document is of unknown origin and was found on a CCP employee's webspace. We believe it may have been either an unprinted chronicle or back-up information for an AURORA event that never happened. It is an absolute goldmine of info.Structure/Appearance
The Thukker tribe, being nomadic, has a very pronounced waste-not-want-not culture in which everything is recycled and reused. Devices are constantly being repaired or upgraded, and if something is beyond the point of repair its components can often be found in decorative objects, jewellery or even pounded flat and welded to a hull as a make-shift patch. It therefore comes as no surprise that when the decision was made to create a permanent habitat, the various clans in the Thukker tribe donated a number of ships whose life-spans as productive vessels was at an end. The core of The Oasis is formed by three freighter class ships. With their engines removed, these massive hulks provided the builders with over 45 million cubic metres of space to fill. Over time, the three hulls became somewhat specialised, however in keeping with the Thukker tradition of adaptability and self-sufficiency each is still capable of providing life-support to the permanent population (see Caretakers) should the need arise. Each of the three hulls is still referred to by a label derived from the original ship's name:
- 1. "Lone Mountain Wanderer", referred to as the 'Mountain' hull
- 2. "Source of Plenty", referred to as the 'Source' hull
- 3. "Cavern of Shai Lat", referred to as the 'Cavern' hull
Mounted on top of the three freighters is a large bio-dome, salvaged from a derelict station and towed by one of the largest caravans in the Thukker tribe for generations before being donated to the establishment of The Oasis. The biodome is filled with flora and fauna from Matar and serves to remind the Thukker tribe of their origins. Central in certain rituals and rites that are observed only by the Thukker tribe, the biodome is regarded with almost religious zeal and it is the destination of at least one pilgrimage made by each Thukker at least once in their life. Sustaining the plant and animal life within it is a gargantuan task, and one that each clan contributes to with deliveries of fertilizers, water, fresh plants and animals and eventually with the manpower required to carry out the care and maintenance. The Mountain Hull
The primary function of the Mountain hull is as a dry-dock facility. There are four dry-docks, each capable of servicing vessels up to 100,000m3 volume at a time. Two of the dry-docks are capable of being linked in order to repair larger vessels or even act as a construction facility for new ships, as this activity requires more space than regular repair. The Mountain hull contains the workshops, warehouses and heavy machinery required in the myriad tasks involved with getting a valuable vessel back into action or to recycle as much of a retired ship as possible. While the facilities may not be up to the standards of an Empire Space shipyard, the skills of the Thukker mechanics and engineers more than compensate for this handicap and keep ships flying for years beyond the point where they would have been condemned by anyone else.
The Mountain hull also contains a number of hangars in which the defence force of The Oasis is berthed. Due to space limitations the defence ships operate a hot-berth system, with one replacing the space vacated by another. It would therefore be unwise to base an estimate of the size of the defensive force on the hangar space available in the Mountain hull. Conservative estimates size the defence force at anywhere between 20 and 40 vessels of various classes. The nature of The Oasis' defences is discussed in a later part of this document (see Defences). Accommodation for ship's captains and crew is provided within the Mountain hull for standby crews, however most crewmembers with families live in the Cavern hull as the quality of accommodation is more suited to family life. The Mountain hull also contains limited stores of ammunition for fast resupply of vessels; however the majority of the ammunition is stored in floating depots from which ships can resupply themselves. This is as much an efficiency measure as a safety measure, as locating large stocks of ammunition within The Oasis would be an unacceptable risk.The Source hull
Containing the equipment required to sustain life in the other hulls and in the biodome, the Source hull is located in between the Mountain and Cavern hulls as additional protection. While each vessel that is grafted onto The Oasis retains its original lifesupport systems, the demands of the population of the Mountain, Source and Cavern hulls is beyond the abilities of the original systems. The Source hull is divided into sections dedicated to the reprocessing of water, air and biological waste. There is a small hangar section into which the supplies for the biodome are delivered and stored, as well as a small habitation section where a core team of technicians are housed in order to provide rapid response in case of emergency. The machinery in the Source hull is a patchwork of modules salvaged from derelict stations and capitol ships, in addition to home-made creations tailored to the specific needs of The Oasis.
Power generation is provided by modified ships' engines as well as from hundreds of solar collectors that stud the outside of The Oasis and whose output is either sent directly to the end user or stored in massive capacitors in the heart of the Source hull. Hydroponics allow for the recycling of air and additional food production, with a large amount of medicinal herbs being cultivated in the controlled environment away. The Source is the heart of as closed a lifesupport system as the Thukker technicians can manage, with minimal resources being lost. However there are still significant quantities of waste sludge that defy even the most determined efforts of recycling. This waste is disposed of by jettisoning it into the atmosphere of the gas giant located in the system that The Oasis is anchored in. This task is handled by specially modified industrial ships whose piloting is determined either by rota or by assignment as punishment for transgressions.
One problem that is facing the Caretakers assigned to the Source hull is the increasing age of the machinery located within it. While patching and maintenance have kept many of the systems operational, there is a steady drop in efficiency which can only be addressed by replacing some of the massive modules installed hundreds of years ago. Acquiring the equipment is the least of the problems when confronted by the challenge of where to install it. Due to the location of the Source hull and the accretion of secondary hulls around and below it, any large-scale maintenance would result in a major disruption and potentially endanger the entire station. Currently the most favoured proposal is to graft a fourth freighter onto The Oasis and equip it from scratch. A potential hull has already been identified, however the difficulties in moving such a large, cumbersome vessel in secrecy is the main argument fielded by the opponents of the proposal. The debate on how to address the aging of The Oasis' systems has split the Caretaker community, and it is spreading into the wider Thukker society. The Cavern hull
The primary life-support hull of The Oasis is the Cavern hull. The massive cargo hull has been filled with decks that are divided into habitation units ("machwa"), market plazas ("qariyya") and entertainment venues ("brej"). The accommodation would appear cramped to a normal EVE citizen, but is the pinnacle of luxury for the Thukker tribe members accustomed to the conditions aboard their vessels. When a caravan arrives, entire families decant into the Cavern hull and set up home, stretching their legs and engaging in barter, negotiation and diplomacy with the other caravan members who may be present. In this, The Oasis serves its primary function as a place where the social activity between clans can take place. Movement of individuals between clans through marriage or transfer, bartering for ships and modules, planning of raids and trade runs, it all happens in the Cavern hull.
Importantly, there are no fixed areas of sovereignty within the habitation decks. The decks are filled on a need-to basis, with provision of life-support and power decoupled from decks that lie idle. This ensures that no rigid clan territories can develop in The Oasis, enhancing social interaction. It also reduces the amount of wasted resources. Peace between the clans is maintained by strict adherence to a social code based on that which governs the everyday activity within the caravan but places an even greater emphasis on the mores governing communal interaction. It also contains much stricter penalties for those who break the code.
The Cavern hull is also the notional headquarters of the corporations that form the face seen by outsiders. Decisions affecting the long-run activity of the corporations are made in conclaves held at various points during the year or in emergency conclaves called on a need-to basis. Corporation materials and records are stored in The Oasis archives for reference during the conclaves, which are held in an amphitheatre in the biodome referred
to as the "Majilius". The shape of the Majilius, being a circle of stepped benches around a central speaking place, emphasises the Thukker concept of all members of the tribe being reliant on each other.The Caretakers
The Oasis has a constantly fluctuating population as caravans come and go. however there is a core population which remains within The Oasis to maintain the station's systems, act as technicians in the Mountain hull's dockyard and control the flora and fauna in the biodome. This population has the highest average age of any concentration of Thukker tribe members, as it is composed primarily of individuals who have lived long, hard lives in the clan caravans. Their bodies are simply not up to the hardships of life on the move, but they are able to serve the tribe by living on The Oasis and ensuring that the valuable skills and knowledge they have managed to acquire throughout their lives are passed on to the next generation.
Caretakers are tough individuals whose appearance and age belie their abilities. They have survived many long years of travelling through the universe and are skilled pilots, technicians and warriors. A Caretaker will be a rich repository of Thukker lore and well versed in the social codes which govern the tribe. This also gives them authority to police the behaviour of the tribe members who are visiting The Oasis. Some Caretakers embark on further study of Thukker rituals and are elevated to the position of Khargai, the closest thing Thukkers have to priests. The Khargai perform the rituals in the biodome and also act as station management, overseeing the maintenance activity and resource allocation. The learning curve for Caretakers is steep, and a new arrival can take up to a year to absorb the enormity of the task ahead of them. Moving from maintaining a ship's systems to maintaining the systems of an entire station is a daunting task, as would be the acquisition of the botany and animal husbandry skills required for service in the biodome. It is therefore the only time in a Thukker's life that he or she will actively specialise in one skill area in addition to keeping their piloting skills alive. Some manage to maintain two specialisations; however these individuals are few and far between.Defending The Oasis
The Oasis is the focal point of Thukker society and is therefore its most closely guarded secret. Every Thukker caravan has only three ships that are in possession of the navigational data required to reach The Oasis. This data is in the form of a hard-coded chip that activates when slotted into the vessel's navigation systems and can only be used once. Activating the navigation chip, or Compass, is a decision not to be made lightly, as it commits the ship (or the entire caravan) to the long, complex journey. Guarding the Compass is paramount and has an even higher priority than safeguarding cargo, relatives or even one's own life. The Compass is usually contained within an ornate casket, and is often used as a totem of quasi-religious significance. Oaths are frequently sworn on the Compass, reinforcing the importance of it to the caravan. Once a caravan arrives at the Oasis, the Compass self-destructs and a new one is issued by the Khargai.
Secrecy is the primary defense of The Oasis, however it also maintains an effective array of weaponry. These are often mounted on the hulls of additional vessels grafted onto the core, and are therefore a complex variation of damage types and strengths. In addition to the weapons emplacements, The Oasis possesses a fleet of warships whose sole purpose is to patrol the space surrounding the station and destroy any vessel that ventures too near. The defence fleet mainly incorporates fast vessels that are able to quickly converge on an intruder and eliminate the vessel before it gets too close to The Oasis. Frigates are used for long-range patrols, and a contingent of cruisers is kept at medium range for fast response. Closer to The Oasis are several ancient battleships that are also used when the Thukkers require a show of strength in distant conflicts. Referred to collectively as the Ancient Khargai, these battleships are part of the Thukker legends and lore. Moving any of them away from The Oasis is a serious matter decided upon only after lengthy debate in the conclave.
The ships are crewed by Caretakers who are still physically fit to embark on short to medium length voyages. These skilled crews are a challenge even for advanced pilots, as they possess not only their own skills acquired through a lifetime of flight, but also those they have learned from their fellow Caretakers in training exercises. Their vessels are also extensively modified based on the ship-handling and construction knowledge of the Mountain hull technicians. Formidable opponents in the field, their devotion to the protection of The Oasis results in hard-hitting attacks beyond the point where other forces would withdraw. It is not uncommon for a critically damaged defence vessel to ram itself into an opponent in a final act of defiance.The Outer Hulls
Over the generations, additional hulls have been grafted onto the three original freighters. Many of these are ships that have seen long and distinguished service within the Thukker tribe and are given the honour of becoming part of The Oasis. Some are attached out of necessity, such as the industrial ships mounted to act as storage spaces and waste tanks or the combat vessels whose turret emplacements become part of the stations own defence grid. The variety of ships clustering around the central core spans centuries of ship design and while at first glance a confusing mess there is a strict hierarchy of placement that ensures structural integrity and maximisation of resource utilisation.
Locations directly underneath the biodome are reserved for ships attached as a sign of honour. Some of these vessels are attached in such a manner that they can be accessed from within the biodome and act as smaller ceremonial halls and archives, while others serve as the habitats of the senior Khargai.
Many of the vessels retain their life-support functions, gravity systems and limited power generation as a safety measure. In the area surrounding the Cavern hull, many ships are secured with full functionality in order to be used as lifeboats, should a fast evacuation of The Oasis be required. In recent generations the Khargai have initiated a program of covering the inner-most hulls with a thin, uniform hull in order to provide a more easily maintained surface for the mounting of solar collectors, sensor arrays and weapons emplacements. This project is moving ahead slowly, mainly due to the perception by many Thukker tribe leaders that it is mainly a cosmetic exercise and a waste of resources.