Ave, pilots. So, a couple system names have been in the news a lot lately. Athounon, in the Caldari/Gallente war zone, and Arshat, deep in Amarr highsec. Yesterday I was privileged to accompany a small ARC covops squadron looking into developments at these sites. I expect a more official set of data and discussion will follow, but, this seemed worth sharing and discussing.
The EDENCOM facility at Athounon is a bit of a mystery: cloaked up until recently, intensely fought over by the Gallente and Caldari navies who have essentially told all others to please take a long walk, the facility can’t even be locked onto for the purpose of targeting camera drones. No data regarding its purpose or nature is available. Probably whoever manages to hold the system will have some serious questions for the crew.
As for us, all we can really do is speculate.
The facility rests in a large cloud of dust or debris, which flickers with apparently random energy discharges in blue and red, here seen simultaneously on the right. Whether this cloud is a byproduct of whatever incident decloaked the facility or the cause of it (dust clouds are known to proximity-deactivate cloaking devices) is unclear. It’s even possible that the dust cloud is itself the reason for the facility’s presence, though it seems like someone would have noticed it sooner.
The facility forward (?) command (?) deck (?) rises above the rest of the structure. The facility appears powered-- internal lights are visible on multiple levels, and areas, and probably not in a “spreading fire” kind of way. (Though the internal illumination does appear orange, so, you know.) At the least, it’s pretty regular, suggesting large-scale ordered disposition of internal power flow. Probably the reactor’s online.
However, no holographic beacons or signals are visible outside the facility at all, including at what might or might not be a docking port-- which also appears to lack an atmosphere containment field.
It’s the big dark hole right in the middle. If it is in fact a hangar it might be keeping fields lowered to complicate boarding attempts. If the original crew is still aboard they presumably know they’re in trouble.
If that dark hole is not a hangar or similar bay, it’s not clear what it might be. Whatever it is, it’s not oriented in any very specific way towards the planet below, although a straight launch from it does appear that it would vector towards the planetary surface. Just, not, like, right at the core or anything-- more like the horizon. Come to think of it I think the planetary rotation pulls away on that side, which might make for gentler atmospheric reentry? Hm. Not sure.
The “02” designation is interesting, since it implies an “01” and maybe an “03.” The external structure appears to have more or less bilateral symmetry. The boxy structure makes it hard to speculate what it could contain-- just about anything that doesn’t actually need to be exposed could be tucked away in a box, from warehouses to laboratories to giant capacitors. The relative lack of external windows and lights does seem to suggest that its purpose isn’t, like, to be a super-secret luxury getaway or something, though. Not that that was ever at all likely.
Terribly mysterious, all in all. Well. I suppose maybe we’ll find out what it’s for eventually.
… maybe depending on who ends up holding it.
In addition to the State and Federal navies, apparently the Triglavian Collective also has taken an interest in the system. The Collective won a minor victory here during the war, though from what we saw it looked mostly like they were concerning themselves with pinning down the system’s mineral resources.
This is basically every asteroid belt in the system right now.
It is … not what I would describe as a plum assignment for Serpentis officers.
More like, you know, certain death. There were wrecks everywhere.
I wonder if the dynamics around the formerly-covert facility would change a lot if the Triglavians showed a more active interest in it. Somehow I think it’d just make the fight three-way instead of two. Nobody seems very inclined to share right now.
More to follow.