[ARC] Drifter wormhole formation rates

This hasn’t been remarked on elsewhere, so I’ll mention it as a relevant point to recent matters. At the same time, as Drifter activity remains tangentially instead of directly associated with the on-going events in Semiki, I’m taking the liberty of posting a new thread.

Unidentified wormhole connectivity has seen a significant increase in recent weeks and months. While uiWH formation was down to approximately ten per Drifter system in the middle of last year, we’re now frequently seeing formation rates in the realm of fifty to sixty active signatures per system at a given time. They’re still oriented toward Observatory systems, which indicates a continued focus on salvage, but also a notable uptick in both wormhole connectivity and Vigilant Tyrannos salvage operations.

Considering the on-going fighting between Vigilant Tyrannos and Collective forces, we can only assume that the Drifter industrial base is in greater need of resources with which to continue its invasion, or that this is in anticipation of a further expansion of the theater of operations for Vigilant Tyrannos and Vigilant Tyrannos-allied Sleepers.


I noticed that too, when the whole problem with the missing minmatar navy ship was still hot, a lot of drifter WH connections were in the region, an unusual large amount.

The fact they still open them in systems where observatories are here, combined with the fact that the same observatories are still pretty much in good shape despite what? 3 years now? 4 maybe of salvage, got me thinking:
what if the observatories are merely beacons to the WH connection system used by the drifters?

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Certainly, there’s something to be said for the Drifters’ focus on the observatories. It could be that the Observatory network serves as beacons; it could simply be that Drifters are only interested in the materials they can recover from Observatories, such as Antikythera mechanisms; could even be that they are only seeking materials to which they are programmed to feel ownership.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure we can really say definitively.

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Has anyone ever destroyed or attempted to destroy one of the observatories? Is there any idea what’s inside?

They’re durably-built, and if I recall their hull is such as to make penetrating scans difficult if not impossible. However, entosis devices are able to interface with the onboard systems, with resulting data transfers. Indeed, periodically, the system seems to be able to activate, well-- microwormhole transport of equipment, I’ve theorized it must be? Sufficient, at least, for capture of Antikythera mechanisms.

Here are some old logs of the initial testing.


Is there any indication that the Drifters are offloading the data? Or perhaps that the observatories are more than just observatories, but harvesting structures of some kind?

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To be honest, we can’t be completely sure of what exactly they’re harvesting. Almost certainly, many if not all of the Antikythera mechanisms the Drifters and Drifter-allied Sleepers use are sourced from abandoned Jovian structures. However, it’s entirely possible there are other components to the observatories we’d consider useless that they know how to employ.

Likewise, it’s entirely possible that they have acquired all of the recoverable data stored aboard the structures.

It is also entirely possible that other systems remain operational, and that they have interfaced with them or are employing them. My suspicion, though, is simply that these are Directorate or pre-Directorate Jovian observation posts, a distributed network that has enabled signals interception across New Eden for centuries.


That’s entirely possible, but I do wonder if, perhaps, they aren’t actually abandoned. My understanding of these observatories is that they were always there and only (relatively) recently decloaked. I was under the impression that the Jove were simply gone or had retreated deep into their own space to recover from their ailments, but there is every possibility that these structures are still performing an active function.

I’m not a scientist nor anything approaching an expert in this field, so this is rampant amateur speculation on my part. However, we know very little about the Jove, almost suspiciously little given their impact on our history and their interest and knowledge of us. Is there a possibility that, in fact, these structures are working as intended?


It’s not unreasonable to consider that, but when I compare the Observatories with the Caches, it seems less likely in all honesty.

If you remember, the uncloaking of Sleeper Cache sites revealed to us wrecked research and collection facilities, which had been raided by as-of-yet unknown parties. What little that was left behind showed that the sites once contained various Precursor schematics and relics, alongside much more modern empire tech and “Polarized” weapons. The safest assumption to make now is that the Drifters were responsible for the destruction and revelation of the caches, taking all that they could from them before absconding with their harvest.

The same goes for the observatories, with the AKE being taken from them in huge quantities - additionally, the final log on the gleaning timeline states:

YC117-02-09 - Cloaking system failure. Proximity alert. Initiate system shutdown.

Which seems quite definite - one might wonder if we’ll ever again encounter the 3rd Empire.


Those all seem quite reasonable assumptions, and in context that is probably correct. The only reason one might consider otherwise is because the observatories appeared relatively intact (or, at least, from the distance I was looking at it, which admittedly wasn’t an incredibly long time). The Drifters do seem the most likely culprit, and the case you make is the most reasonable conclusion. But, given the observatories aren’t notably being deconstructed (that I know of, I may have missed the information), it could also be that the Drifters are here at Jovian behest, and whatever “proximity” disrupted the cloaking system wasn’t referring to them.

In the unlikely case that I have to make a decision where that matters, though, I’ll certainly favor your conclusion over that speculation, though.


The only correction I do want to make is that the towers are indeed being taken apart - when they were first decloaked after the Caroline’s Star incident, they were completely intact - but if you look now, the progressive salvaging has reduced them to not significantly more than wreckage by this time.


Ah, so they are coming apart. The one I saw in Khanid space recently looked fairly intact, but then I haven’t studied these and it’s entirely possible that they were in far better shape before. Thank you for the information!

Unfortunately, given what I usually fly, information like yours and Makoto’s are immensely valuable. My personal experience with Drifters can be fleeting, for obvious reasons.


Well, Mr. Baracca, you’re always welcome to join a fleet once or twice just to see what we’ve been dealing with, and to pick our brains about it all?


It depends on what you need me to fly, and when I’ll actually have something resembling time to fly. Both might be issues because I tend to fly a chair around conference rooms most of my day. Perhaps send me a message to my mailbox with what you would think the minimum requirement for not immediately being vaporized would be?

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You have mail.


Site One: Antiquus in the Eram system.

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Indeed. What specifically about it?

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It all appears to be interconnected somehow, The situation at Semiki appears to involve Rogue Drones, Drifters, Sleepers, and possibly Triglavians. Perhaps even agents as yet unknown.

I’m still not convinced that Triglavians actually live in the Abyss. There are no habitation structures we can see, the gates appear to be part of an organised network, and linked to the caches and nodes. The entire system could be, at least in part, automated; the extractor nodes and subnodes use some kind of bio-adaptive agent to mine minerals. When those are full they ferry it to the caches, which, in turn, notify a central point when full. Then a Triglavian ship comes out and picks the stuff up, returning it to their habitat area. Sure, they could live in the Abyss, but why bother, planets, stations in a system outside the weather effects zone. If they have some kind of affinity for the Minmatar lifestyle, even large city-sized ships outside the Abyssal area. Those ships could even function in New Eden, eternally cloaked, potentially. Some of the Triglavian ships encountered in the Abyss are damaged, possibly due to combat, but it could be due to the duration of their stay in the area; we simply do not know.

It looks, and feels, like, an industrial operation, farming resources for their civilisation. Everything we find has some form of utility, a purpose, transport, mining, defence. There is no social or political infrastructure there.

It’s the same for the other groups present. Rogue Drones in New Eden build things, dig holes in asteroids and create bases. It would make sense for the Drifters to move a Hive to some place nearby, they could use it as a base and easily defend it, outside the storm zone. Sleepers, well they are a different case, the ones in the Abyss are different and seem adapted for it. All these groups appear to be hanging around, near the gates, and the cache. Perhaps waiting for it to fill, or to intercept materials destined for it. Everything is about resource gathering, it may be that the Precursor races are able to utilise Isogen-10 in much the same way as Isogen-5.

So what are they doing with it? Rogue Drones are not Precursor, but they seem to have acquired some knowledge of that type of technology. How long before we see new, and vastly more powerful structures appearing in the Drone Regions? The Sleepers are probably trying to rebuild their installations in wormhole space, that would make sense. Drifters are seen all the time, scanning structures, salvaging from Jovian Observatories. Originally, massive fleets were encountered, presaging the incursions and later the Deathball attacks. What if that is their motive for expeditions into the Abyss, rebuilding? It is how groups on a war footing function, attack, rebuild, attack again. Given the current spike in activity I would not be surprised to see much more happening.

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The formations of damaged Drifter battleships titillatingly named “deathballs”, in fact did not attack anything and scarcely even responded to aggression, if I remember right. This was some months prior to discovery of the Abyss and the recovered footage of Triglavians and Drifter forces fighting.

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I fought a lot of them. That was how we recovered the footage.

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