HEK, METROPOLIS – Many know Hek as a bustling forward-trading system, serving as an integral halfway-house between Jita and Rens. A bustling local economy in itself, one of Hek’s primary claims is to being one of the primary supply sources for Eve University. The recent spate of wars, however, had changed things significantly.
“To be honest we’re caught between a rock and a hard place,” trader Willis Burkin told us as he locked up his wares-hangar in at the Boundless Creation owned Industrial Station orbiting Hek VIII. “We relied heavily on the students and teachers drawing their campus supplies from Hek. But we’ve slowly been throttled by the war.”
Mr. Burkin is referring to the prolonged war that Eve University has been engaged in against The Last Crusade [TLCI], coupled with the newest combatants on the field, Outerrim Jobs [FLAPZ]. Because of the protectionist nature of Eve University policy and the iron hold of the Ivy League Navy in the Aldrat system, the flow of trade traffic has been brought to a standstill. Traders are unable to take their wares into Aldrat, and Aldrat-based traders are no longer reaching to their nearby comrades in Hek for supplies.
“We’re hardly starved though,” commented Garfield Hilderon, a trader with his headquarters based at Aldrat VII. “When a war goes live, the University change their protocol. They rely on a steady stream of supplies brought in by their own people in blockade runners and unmarked cargo vessels.”
Negotiations with Diplomatic Director Irdalth Delrar had proven fruitful for Aldrat based traders, and they have been able to secure regular storage aboard these trade vessels, who ship resources from mass production factories in Rens, Dodixie and Jita, allowing Aldrat merchants to undercut their Hek neighbours. Mr. Hilderon shrugged. “It’s a cut-throat business, and hey if Hek is suffering Hek is suffering. Aldrat will be fine.”
News of commodity prices dropping in Hek till last week were common place – however, suddenly, things look different. The flow of merchants has opened up once more, and the trader-motels in Eygfe, complete with their more exotic blends of entertainment, have begun to thrive once more. The reason?
Ivy League Navy presence has been stepped up in the systems surrounding Aldrat, with regular pickets and patrols being observed. The ILN, it appears, have finally gone on the offensive against those who would seek to entrench them in their home system. None of the Admiralty were available for comment, with rumors of secret operations rife.
For all it’s appearance, Aldrat is possibly the safest system in Empire currently, and the ILN are toiling to keep it that way.