Amidst mass defections and ever-increasing reports of stolen schematics, missing research databases, and the widespread pirating of collated findings, Crielere Labs is slowly going dark. Defiant in the echoing halls of the joint institution, officially known as the Caldari-Gallente Research Facility, project founders Henric Touvolle and Taromi Umailen today held a brief press conference denouncing the “lack of vision responsible for jeopardizing humanity’s greatest hopes.” The fate of the facility remains unclear, but many of the research projects that called it home have been abandoned.
Touvolle and Umailen took turns reading their emotional and dramatic statement, which contained obvious barbs against the Caldari State and Gallente Federation, as well as the scientists who abandoned the project. “We remain committed to the ideals behind the founding of this joint effort, and will continue in our work to bring scientific minds together for mutual inspiration and enlightenment, regardless of their citizenship or origin. Science owes no petty fealties to the governments of man, which flow and ebb and contain all the paltry failings of the men they are comprised of. Science alone is transcendent, and it is to that transcendence that we owe our allegiance.”
A skeleton crew of scientists still exists at the facility, but the once busy labs are largely empty as the legion of beleaguered and disillusioned researchers has gradually been wooed away by lucrative offers or left of their own accord to return to their homes.
Though estimates vary, it is widely believed fully half of the assembled research staff at Crielere left to pursue lucrative offers pouring in from private sector enterprises from all over. Suntumainen Otsadan, an acquisitions manager for Lai Dai Corporation stationed at LDC’s Uedama VII factory station offers some insight on one aspect of the desertion. “I had a professor at Science and Trade that often said ‘Pure research feeds angels. Application feeds the rest of us.’ All of the advances made by Crielere Labs are pointless unless put to good use, and the brilliant minds involved in projects there deserve greater compensation that promises of academic immortality. This was bound to happen—even theoretical scientists have to eat. After a few months when these great talents were earning a fraction of what their skills would bring on the open market, of course they got tired of throwing away their earning potential. Shrewd businesses recognized the opportunity. What was going on at Crielere was certainly high-minded, but the work gets done when metal meets mettle.”
Though chiefly a Caldari-Gallente endeavor, Crielere lured deep thinkers from all over, and Caldari scientists are not alone in pursuing profit over potential. Ongidi Eurboder, a Personnel Manager for Core Complexion Inc. stationed at the CCI factory station orbiting Gare VIII in the Alselbosier constellation of Placid, approached scientists of Minmatar, Gallente, and Caldari origin. “A lot of these guys have families, and with CCI stations in Gallente space close to Caldari regions, we’ve got both State and Federation citizens covered, and the Minmatar scientists can always transfer to one of our stations back home. CCI’s offering a great combination of pay and location, and I’m pleased to say we’ve had more than few former Crielere researchers join our ranks.” Location is apparently an issue for many. Said Jestin Mornu, a scientist formerly working for the R&D; division of Roden Shipyards, “I miss my wife and child. It is just that simple. The advancement of science is important, of course it is, but so is family. Many of my colleagues are following money—and I don’t fault them for that. But me, I am following my heart.” Mornu has plans to return home and, “try to get my old job back. My superiors at Roden told me I would always have a job waiting for me there. I’m going to hold them to their word.”
Finally, for some, it is neither love nor money, but the promise of continued research unfettered by “idealistic trappings.” Ni-Kunni researcher Emach Bashhamen is “pursuing offers closer to home,” that he says “are firmly grounded in the realities of our times.” Like many of his former peers, Bashhamen was working on field generation physics with a mostly Caldari team at Crielere, and is reported to have made significant advances in reducing the energy requirements of both pulse and field generation technology. “This sort of science has many possible applications,” Bashhamen said, “which I am most looking forward to exploring.”
Meanwhile back at Crielere, Touvolle and Umailen are looking more like forsaken visionaries than proud idealists. At the conclusion of their joint statement, in which they once again expressed their “fervent and committed dedication” to continue their work at Crielere, the two refused to answer questions from the press and retreated to their offices. Shortly thereafter CONCORD representatives requested all in attendance of the conference to make their way back to “more secure locales as soon as possible.” Though declining to comment officially, a DED officer present at the conference acknowledged, off the record, that an increase in organized criminal activity in Crielere had been observed, and was cause for apparent concern. As traffic streamed away from the Crielere complex, it was easily apparent that more ships were leaving Crielere than had arrived—even more scientific staff was taking advantage of the safety of the convoy of ships, and was leaving the research facility for good.
From space, the spinning rings of the Caldari-Gallente Research Facility glitter like a rare and fragile jewel, flanked by an unlikely pair of giants: traditional research stations, one Gallentean, one Caldari, both bristling with shielding and sentry defenses. Crielere Labs has lost practically all of its funding, its most promising achievements have been looted, and finally all but the last of its staff has left. The fate of the facility, and of its ideals, is uncertain, but looking back on it prior to warping out, one could not help but lament the lofty and frail principles apparently dying there, and feel that its days are sadly numbered.