Athounon and Arshat

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.

Athounon

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.

12 Likes

Arshat

The system of Arshat was one of the most hard-fought EDENCOM victories in the war with the Collective (do we have an agreed term for that war yet? It seems like we should), unique in that it involved the successful clawing-back of full system control after a system went liminal, meaning the Triglavians actually started moving permanent facilities in, the security status plunged, and … generally defense became a blood-soaked slog.

It’s a particularly interesting place because since the Triglavians started moving in before being forced to move back out again, they left some of their furnishings behind.

In addition to the usual EDENCOM stellar observatory, the system also plays host to the one-and-only EDENCOM dazh porevitium transmuter, recently (and controversially) somewhat additionally fortified.

(I kind of have to wonder why exactly this is controversial. The strategic windfall here is a little hard to overstate; it’d be a bad thing to lose to a hostile fleet. Is it really so worrying that the site’s being fortified? … It seems more, you know … obvious? That it would be? It’s the only one anybody in K-space has.)

(Personally I feel a little like I’d have deployed a keepstar on grid, if possible, and used “I’m a major government” privileges to have its doomsdays fully online, highsec or not. But whatever.)

And, so, this is interesting: it’s not only operational; it seems to be harvesting-- not at the full Triglavian, “Yes, we are strip-mining your star; what are you gonna do about it?” levels, but, I guess, more like … sipping?

Check this out.

These three pedestals are present on the back of every transmuter unit. During the invasions, you could watch these going more and more active, faster and faster, coalescing singularities out of (probably) solar plasma and then wormhole-transporting them away. At first it would just be the first pedestal, then, as construction progressed and harvesting ramped up, they’d start using the second as well. I never got confirmation, but presumably the ones in Pochven presently running at full capacity have all three pedestals going.

Now, this transmuter isn’t projecting a particularly aggressive stream (though it is projecting SOMETHING!), and there’s no visible solar plasma backflow. But, look at this!






















We. Are manufacturing. Singularity reactor cores. Apparently without badly disrupting the star. (Call it sustainable harvest, maybe?) It’s definitely slower than the way the Triglavians do it, but, well, you can see the fun things their methods do to a system all over Pochven.

The manufacturing process (assuming that’s what it is) seems to be pretty large scale and involve several components working at a high enough energy that the effects are visible from the outside. Like: these conduits along the top surface, here shining orange.

They’ve darkened by the time the actual singularity forms.

Here’s another periodic one: a set of … capacitors, maybe? The energy discharge appears electrical. Or something.




This waste gas venting, on the other hand, is continuous.

Notice that there are a total of six vents, three on each side, but only the first two are active. If the transmuter ramped up to full capacity, using all three pedestals, would all six be continuously venting? Seems likely.

EDENCOM seems to have done some modifications to the transmuter. This … filter, or focusing unit, or whatever it is, is not original equipment.

Neither is this smaller one, here.

(I mean, neither are the gigantic research/battle stations or the gunstars, but these are direct modifications placed in the path of the transmuter’s beam.)

After fleet disbanded I got curious and went back to take a closer look. Can pretty well confirm this is not a frigate or kikimora-scale reactor.


Note to self: if I ever for some reason come to possess a gold or silver magnate, a dazh porevitium transmuter singularity coalescence pedestal is a bit too large to make a decent display stand.

Maybe for a cruiser. (We can probably also rule out it being a vedmak reactor core, mind.) Leshak or capital? Well, maybe someone can help us figure that out.

It’s actually a bit small for a structure, mind, at least one on the scale of the transmuter itself. Here’s the actual facility reactor.

While I was running around being reckless with my little anathema and empty-headed clone, I thought I’d check out the intensity of the beam.

Happy to say, not very intense. I mean, I expect you’d get vaporized or something if you went into that with just a space suit, but it doesn’t so much as ping unreinforced frigate shields.

Not even cosied right up to the emitter.


Hopefully I didn’t cause much of a drop in inflow. I was basically a ball in a hallway anyhow.

While I was at that I thought maybe I’d check what sorts of things are along that beam.





Splat. Oops.

Yeah, there’s a force screen of some kind at both the first and second focus/filter/whatever devices, and a lesser one at the unfinished Triglavian “shield” itself (I could get through that one with a little doing). There’s definitely more going on than is visible with just a camera drone.

Interesting! Hopefully the directrix doesn’t stick me on Penitent for clowning around with such important stuff. (Or rather, hopefully such clowning around was anticipated and I didn’t actually cause anybody trouble.)

That’s all from me for now, pilots. Please be well.

15 Likes

While I absolutely appreciate the effort that went into this, may I suggest video or having someone stitch the stills into a slide or video when there’s that many? This is not at all meant to discourage the sharing of such efforts, just an idea for a more… compact presentation perhaps.

2 Likes

Now… that you mention this is an interesting thing, to some degree. However, those versed in some of the more esoteric mass scale harvesting systems, which not everyone is or takes the time to be experts in the theory therein… Even at the ‘Strip Mining Your Stars’ scale that the Triglavians are doing, particularly, that alone will not be seen to have any major effects on its own, for several thousand years or more.

The issues many seem to be conflating with the mass harvesting, is the transmutation function that goes along with the harvester’s primary function of resource gathering, as well as the esoteric spacetime effects that come along with Liminality Loci structures.

We could, even, strip mine stars even more aggressively than the triglavians, with readily extant technologies of non-triglavian origin, and still not be seeing major stellar degradation for similar timescales, and even… degradation would be the wrong word for it, as lowering the stellar mass actually increases stellar longevity. Its… complicated, as are many things.

My point here is though, more that even with just the sciences we do have a ready and strong grasp on, the harvesting mechanism by itself is essentially harmless on human timescales, and beneficial over short and stellar timescales both. But a big beam of matter being lifted from a star looks scary, so it must be terrible yes?

This… is a bit of a misnomer, because many extant graviton reactors work off of a gravitic singularity matter bombardment system… a similar, but differently principled technology. And, we assemble triglavian singularity cores with the principles and blueprints we’ve recovered in the abyss for various triglavian ship systems. We’ve been manufacturing them for some time… mild nitpick, this one however.

2 Likes

I use Triglavian Invasion of YC122. If we don’t have an agreed term yet, I nominate that. Simple and short. Explains everything in three words and the year.

Maybe because it appears that only Amarrian forces are represented? Which appears to be adding fuel to the fire of the strange conspiracy theory about EDENCOM being an Amarr plot. But yeah, the site should definitely be fortified, I agree.

  • Shasta

While we understand the desire for a organization such as the Arataka Research Consortium and their affiliated cohorts to investigate Athounon V, it is not advisable.

As such the Placid Economic Security Commission - PLESCO has issued the following joint-statement regarding ARC investigations into the EDENCOM structure in orbit around Athounon V.

PLESCO STATEMENT

PLESCO strongly advises ARC and their affiliates avoid entering the orbit of Athounon V cloaked or otherwise. We remind pilots within the organization of ARC and their affiliates should uphold the CEP instructions in full, as all dutiful Caldari will be doing.

Failure to do follow these instructions will result in hostile action from State Protectorate forces and may result in future consequences diplomatic or political consequences, as it is the standing orders of the Ishukone-Raata Enforcement Directive to submit all breaches to the CEP and Protectorate Headquarters.

ISHUKONE-RAATA ALLIED REQUEST

Separately the Ishukone-Raata Department of Public Affairs and Relations alongside the Oniseki-Raata Internal Watch requests all members within aligned organizations in SynCo such as Khimi Harar (LUMEN), the Intaki-Buisiness Logistics Union (I-BLU), and members of the 24th Crusade to avoid the orbit of Athounon V at all costs. As we have been instructed to fire on all non-State Protectorate or Caldari Navy vessels within orbit no matter our mutual standing, which would undoubtedly make matters difficult for all involved.

6 Likes

The TrigShit™?

People seem to call the first Triglavian war simply “The Invasions”, which granted is a tad unspecific given overall history of the cluster.

And I do not think anyone has objected to fortifications in Arshat as such. Don’t build strawmen, they are not good for international co-operation.

Thank you for the reports. They are.

1 Like

Reviewing the news article it looks like what people are objecting to is fortification in Arshat by the Amarr in particular. Someone even described it as a “theft” which … seems … eh, I don’t know.

I guess I wonder who else they were expecting to fortify the site. EDENCOM routinely uses local forces; even the stellar observatory at Arshat is Amarr (though I expect the Gunstars are artillery-fitted as usual).

But I guess the feeling-- the worry-- is that the place is more Amarr and less CONCORD. Particularly considering the suspicions surrounding EDENCOM’s own loyalties that’s not nothing.

Only, considering where it is … hm.

I guess we’ll see what comes of it.

1 Like

It’s a highly-illogical worry, and I find myself having to caution the skeptic within me to not give in to the temptation to see it as mere diplomacy theater in-keeping with standard Golden Scare rhetoric. At the very least, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many concerns had these been Minmatar fortifications within a Republic-held system, and that’s despite them being the ones with the track record of most heavily undermining the treaties over the last century.

More importantly, however, brilliant reporting Miss Jenneth.

1 Like

I think the sentiments are partly about who defended it. I can without exaggerating at all state that Amarr would not have Arshat and would not have the harvester today if it were not for Electus Matari.

1 Like

I still can’t get over the fact that there’s a system called Ar shat and I welcome any enterprise that works towards burning that system down. This is personal.

With all due respect, Miss* Rhiannon, has anybody actually downplayed Electus Matari’s role in the defense of Arshat in the course of discussing these fortifications? Unless your organisation’s efforts were made in the misguided hope that Amarr’s sovereignty over the system would somehow be undermined as a result, I fail to see how pointing out Electus Matari’s, admittedly respectable, role in the system’s defense justifies these undue levels of dangerous rhetoric being directed Amarr’s way for safeguarding the result of those efforts.

It’s genuienly lovely to see you on here, Arwen, but could I ask that you try not to make light of this particular topic? I know that some people seem to find the name of the system amusing, but the matters being discussed around it are anything but.

1 Like

Exploiting without lateral oversight*

1 Like

I believe the usual moniker for the place is ‘Arse hat’.

And that failure of yours, and typical for your people, Miss Cora, is why we cannot have nice things.

2 Likes

I do wonder when it will dawn upon Amicia and the rest of LUMEN that none of what you say or do is in the interest of a common good, but in the good of Minmatar on your own terms alone. You are very good at taking far more than you give, and I feel you are maneuvering to take still more at a moment’s notice in this situation.

Khimi Harar and all other EDENCOM loyalists must stand on guard to defend the Arshat facility from intrusion or raids from the “concerns” of false allies, those being Shakor’s rogue state and its deniable capsuleer assets.

2 Likes

…and Arwen.

1 Like

The Excubitoris Chapter has been doing exactly that, though we are Amarr loyalists and not EDENCOM ones (Does EDENCOM even have loyalists at this point?).

I find it curious that you would make such pronouncements, given that you already went charging off into the Athounon crisis rather than “stand on guard” in Arshat.

I also am tired of reminding you that you have no authority to order Khimi Harar to do anything at all, Newelle’s Consort.

6 Likes

And I wonder when it will dawn upon you that we already know that blatantly obvious fact, and have told you as much multiple times now? I know I engaged them on numerous occasions during their last ill-advised deployment to the CEMWPA warzone, at least. Fun fact, Lord Consort, constant public belittling and undermining of the intelligence of those you claim to want to reconcile with is a pretty bad strategy for doing so.

I’d also like to offer you some friendly advice: while your comments about Rhiannon’s tendency to take more than she gives are accurate, it may be beneficial to address other’s statements about your own long history of doing the same thing before you go around bemoaning others for it. It would help you to come across at least a little bit more sincere.

2 Likes

Didn’t you side with Electus Matari recently?

1 Like