Guest Contributor: Donald Duck
As the only high tech supplier in Colonia it didn’t take long for Dervish Platform to become one of the busiest of the new settlements. With all major corporations and not less than eight factions competing for market share and customers, the small commercial outpost is definitely not a place to relax.
Nevertheless, as visitors are most likely not looking for luxury accommodation but for good deals and useful commodities, a stopover at Eol Prou LW-L c8-306 suffices for most of them.
When the Colonia Tech Combine (CTC) set for the 22kly venture to build one of the eight outposts around Colonia, it was very clear from the beginning that the purpose of the commercial outpost would be exactly that and nothing else. The special circumstances of Colonia given, CTC additionally left out most ‘unnecessary’ modules, parts and luxurious features when they were planning and assembling the station.
As a result, today Dervish Platform presents itself as a highly efficient, highly productive outpost, whose high tech factories serve Colonia with essential products for colonisation. However, as work is not everything – care has been taken to ensure that the 4,500 inhabitants and numerous visitors enjoy a certain quality of life.
Though brimming and busy, the station inhabitants’ relaxed and friendly approach provides the ambience for both space travellers and locals to successfully pursue their business or leisure activities.
“We knew from the beginning that we need a different approach,” explains Compatriot Elvis Arnold from CTC. “So we make it clear to everyone living here and to those visiting, that here there is no time or space for stupid quarrels. Because we are on the very border of civilization, if we do not manage to get along well, we would eventually most certainly fail. Luckily, people generally adhere to that, which makes living and working here much easier.”
Arnold goes on:
“Even if there are not many alternatives in terms of certain commodities, we still want to make visitors feel at home. Giving them the feeling that they are just a number in a queue would certainly ruin our business relations in the long run. Besides, overnight stays are the second largest source of income for the station, providing up to eleven per cent of our revenues.”
CTC operates the station as a cooperative. Not an unchallenging approach, but involving everyone seems to provide better results, as social cohesion is essential in such an overfilled space. Based on the fact that a commercial outpost usually hosts a quarter of the people Dervish does, one can imagine easily how busy it is.
“The day at the station is separated in three shifts, providing 24/7 availability of everything. 1,500 are on active duty, with 1,000 inside Dervish and 500 outside in service or security ships, and on the system’s planets’ surfaces. The rest, a mere 3,000 need to be entertained and–above all–given privacy and personal space. The animal homo sapiens demands stimulation lest he goes mad,” Compatriot Arnold continues, wryly.
“Those are the gross numbers of course, since there are about 800 adolescents here as well, who need extra attention.”
To balance inhabitants’ demands for both privacy and entertainment with the station’s limitations, ‘luxury’ needed to be reduced, both in the layout of facilities and availability of services. Based on that, recreational facilities like the gym or the large indoor pool may only be used on a given slot, eating times at the pricey common outlets are limited to certain hours for each shift’s members and for those who want to be alone, Dan’s Spacewalks on Level 32B provides H. E. suits for a walk around the station’s exterior.
The main component to properly caring for everyone on board remains the state-of-the-art lighting and acoustic design of Dervish. Arnold proudly explains:
“We were consulted by some of the best experts on space station ambience. Our detailed social program that provides a diversified offering and promotes friendly interaction is the base of a peaceful togetherness here.”
Of course there are brawls and arguments. Most of the situations are resolved quickly, thanks to tight security and good co-operation between shopkeepers and police. The average response time is below a minute.
Additionally the inhabitants’ very own creativity makes the station a place worth living in. When confronted with the sterile mess hall that can serve almost 2,000 people at a time, it was the chefs and their personnel who approached the stations command with their ideas, resulting in more than a dozen outlets providing dishes from different corners of the galaxy.
“Like that we don’t have just one endless queue since people split up. The outlets have distinctive kinds of cuisines and offer different food every day.” Dervish’ Food and Beverage Director Rashfinda Iponami explains. “Maybe just simple ideas and innovations, but they give inhabitants a larger variety to choose from and adds to our social life.”
This concept that stretches to all areas of the station, be it sports facilities, entertainment areas and even the factory modules, the ultimate goal is to provide the highest level of life quality possible out here and therefore make people as happy as possible.
Strolling through the crowded corridors seems to prove this. Rarely is someone in a bad mood, and people are open, empathic and seem to smile most of the time. Therefore, whenever there is a problem, any passer-bys will gladly help.
“Everyone visiting should be aware of that and looking forward to it. You’ll be surprised!” concludes Compatriot Arnold.
“Life out here is hard, as are economical competition and successes. We just tend to make life easier with a welcoming approach to everyone. Something that seems to work just fine. At least our revenues and the profit both commanders and ourselves can make, tell us; and that is the ultimate reason for setting up a space station after all.”
Photographs by Cmdr Donald Duck and Alestrazab72, used with permission, and taken from the Elite: Dangerous Digital Art Book.