'What if this thing were used where life already exists..?'
Question asked by the media during the Upwell Consortium press conference announcing the Athanor-class refinery station during YC119
A while ago I docked in one of our Athanors in the Gamis system to prepare for a mining operation the following morning, so for the first time ever I would be present when an Athanor fired its mining laser in order to perform the controlled break-up of the 'moon chunk' that it had spent several days tractoring off the surface.
This is a novelty to me as I am a casual miner, almost a hobbyist. I don't even really do anything with the ore that I mine - I sell it to the alliance through their buyback scheme or dump it on the open market. Sometimes I might even build something with it out of curiosity.
The process is amazing to watch; it's fascinating and even enjoyable.
But it's also pure environmental terrorism. I mean, what's stopping some rogue capsuleer group from putting one of these above a terrestrial and ransoming the entire planet? OK, I know, there has to be a Moon Mining Beacon and you have to be above a barren moon to establish one of those beacons. But those are bureaucratic regulations.
In this age of 'Emergent Threats', of Drifters, Triglavians, Trig-sympathiser groups (for whom God will reserve special judgement), Matari and Fed and State militant groups, Amarrian heretics, isn't it only a matter of time before somebody tries this? If I've thought of it...
If you think I'm talking dreck, may I remind you of what happened last year with the Kahah III Atrocity? A Titan in highsec using an illegal cyno..?
Need I say more..?
OK enough of the apocalyptic doom-mongering. Here are some more Athanor Mining Laser Shot shots from our Athanor in Syndicate. The fireworks!