[Compilation+Speculation] The Lore of the Drifters - and their Other possible identity ∰

The Drifters are one of the most infamous modern threats in EVE, possessing stunningly agile and hard-hitting vessels that have claimed victory against many an unsuspecting pilot. Though they first made an appearance in the Tiamat release in February 2015, there were a number of events leading up to their reveal that are intimately linked to their emergence.

This post outlines the entirety of the Drifter story thus far, and a second section goes into extreme detail on points linking this Jove splinter to the despised counterpart to the Enheduanni (please check out this post first for a full overview that will immensely aid in understanding the speculations made here).

(I highly recommend putting this soundtrack on while reading, btw)


drifterstop


THE LORE OF THE DRIFTERSdrifters

OVERTURE

In October YC116, the Sisters of EVE noted unusual changes in the behavior of Sleepers, and a marked increase in Sleeper activity. Shortly afterwards, the Inner Circle called a short-notice wormhole summit in order to discuss changes observed in Sleeper behavior. And soon following this, a Sansha’s nation incursion retreated prematurely, with the abnormal caveat of their forces leaving without using wormholes.


ERUPTION

On November 27th of YC116, a highly abnormal stellar phenomenon, centered on the system of W477-P, was first observed by capsuleers, propagating simultaneously across known space and immediately sparking intense debate - as it was located in the inaccessible reaches of the UUA-F4 region.

The star of W477-P was, in fact, the subject of an ancient Talocan stellar engine, surrounded by a coordinated net of countless orbiting structures. This stellar swarm was capable of harnessing the unimaginable energies of a star, and contained a large number of Static Gates linking to their counterparts deep within Anoikis - making the Talocan of that era the most advanced known civilization to have ever been present in New Eden (you can read all about this in the chronicle “Inheritance”).

When the Seyllin Event occurred in YC111, the consequent simultaneous main-sequence events that channeled from the affected systems’ stars ripped across the Talocan Static Gate network as it became massively overloaded. Energy pouring into the network was directed through fifty-odd gates directly into the star of W477-P, which then burned out completely. A titanic stellar mass ejection immediately followed, punching a hole in the net surrounding the star - and observations made by the Jove Directorate then placed the likely point in time of the star going supernova within mere years.

In YC116, this came to pass. W477-P’s star experienced a supernova event, which visually propagated simultaneously across all known space - certainly due to the intimate tangling of the Talocan Static Gate Network with the fabric of spacetime within the New Eden cluster - and beyond. The supernova flooded into the remaining active gates in the network surrounding it, and destroyed what remained of the swarm.


SHATTERED

“Caroline’s Star”, as this most-significant anomaly came to be called, then coincided with the loss of contact with a previously concealed Sisters of EVE claim to a system dubbed “Thera”. This system, along with many others now known as “shattered” wormhole systems, was directly affected by the events of the supernova. The “Epicenter” sites found in close proximity to the central star of every system of this classification were once connected to W477-P’s Stellar Swarm gates, open and active - when the Supernova wrenched through the gates, each star that received the outpouring energy in turn produced far more violent main-sequence events than those that occurred during the Seyllin event, “shattering” the worlds within their orbits.

Among these systems was one which was and still remains occupied by Sansha’s Nation forces, previously operating as one of many staging systems for their neverending incursions. Along with the obvious destruction to infrastructure and orbital bodies (and the revelation of the reasons for the aforementioned abnormal Sansha retreat), a strange, silent battleground brought with it new questions. Sansha forces, including a Revenant-class supercarrier, fell in battle near a derelict Sleeper enclave - their wrecks punctuated by additional unidentified wreckage belonging to unknown vessels.

Sleeper Caches had begun being discovered across known space and beyond as well, following Caroline’s Star. These sites had remained cloaked and undiscovered for unknown countless years, and were utilized throughout that time for the purpose of collecting items and technology of interest to those in control of them - including both precursor and empire tech. However, an unknown force had systematically plundered these previously completely concealed sites, damaging their broad-range cloaks and absconding with what were likely very valuable artifacts and technology.

During this same period, as the Caches systematically decloaked, titanic unidentified structures began a slow process of decloaking, and a strange new form of roaming Sleeper Drone began to appear along New Eden’s spacelanes - silently watching and scanning everything within their gaze, adapting to threats progressively as they encountered them.


LUCID

On February 17th of YC117, the previously unidentified structures completed their system shutdown, revealing now-derelict Jove Observatories - massive structures intended to listen in on and record the shouts and whispers of events across the New Eden cluster. Immediately, unidentified wormholes bracketed by Sleeper structures began to appear in systems home to the Observatories, and a new player on the galactic stage emerged.

The Drifters’ first appearance was silent and unchallenged; sleek, powerful battleships equipped with highly unconventional rod-based propulsion, semi-autonomous, independently floating turrets, an overshield layer, and a deadly primary weapon steadily began to arrive through unidentified wormholes, and began to investigate the Observatories. The Drifters and their Seeker drones began the still-ongoing process of boring into the structures, salvaging Antikythera Elements and other materials from within - the same as had been done with the Sleeper Caches.

The forces of the Drifters took the name “Vigilant Tyrannos” - and unlike the Sleeper Drones, their vessels were now piloted; appearing as heavily implanted Jove individuals, the Tyrannos are unshakably single-minded in their pursuits, and responded in force to all challenges. An autopsy was conducted on a recovered Drifter corpse, the conference for which was briefly interrupted by the appearance of a lone Drifter battleship in Yulai, which illuminated details concerning the highly modified but distinctly Jove physiology of Tyrannos pilots.

By all appearances and indications the Drifters are members of the Jove race, albeit far removed and with a strangely altered physiology. The high degree of cybernetic modification that Drifters exhibit seems to go hand in hand with an implacable single-mindedness and utter ruthlessness while pursuing their mysterious goals. Whatever their ends may be, the technology at their command unquestionably rivals and perhaps even surpasses that which other Jove have been seen to use.

– Description for the Drifter bloodline


This individual commands one of the powerful vessels of the Vigilant Tyrannos forces. There is a nobility to this figure but it does nothing to diminish an obvious ruthlessness. The resolution of this highly augmented commander should not be doubted.

– Hidden ingame description for Apollo and Artemis Tyrannos


The Vigilant Tyrannos command structure is apparently headed by an individual holding the rank of Strategos. Aside from decrypting and identifying the personal command signature of this entity, nothing is known as to the origins of this Drifter or even if the Tyrannos Strategos is truly the ultimate authority of this mysterious force.

– Hidden ingame description for Tyrannos Strategos

The Drifters are described as “seemingly the inheritors of a lecagy left behind by some of the most ancient Jove”, likely referring to the “Tyrants”, the ruling party of the Second Jove Empire.

Following the downfall of the First Empire, a legendary Jove named Miko Bour seized power in the Heaven constellation and arrested the collapse of the Jove civilization by uniting the enclaves of the Jove, eliminating his opposition through any and all available means. Bour was described as uncharacteristically ruthless and forceful for a Jove, and brought many enclaves into cooperation under the threat of military persuasion - though the majority, weary of the chaos of the collapse, willingly joined. He became known as the first Tyrant, and his faction became the ruling party of the Second Empire. Bour was more than a simple warlord, however:

Once the Second Empire was stabilized, he put in place a federal system where each Jovian enclave could promote representatives to an assembly called the Ruling Chamber. Recognizing that the power of the Tyrant required legitimacy, Bour provided for the Ruling Chamber to appoint one of its members to the office of Tyrant.

– EVE: Source

The Drifters themselves took up the mantle of the Tyrants, and have brought with them a similar ruthlessness to that of the First Tyrant - the Vigilant Tyrannos, or Watchful Tyrants.


TUKOSS

On October 24th of YC116, a communication from the long-missing Doctor Hilen Tukoss, who founded the Arek’Jaalan project and who disappeared into Anoikis in YC113 following the discovery and destruction of an abandoned Helios belonging to Lianda Bureau, appeared on the Intergalatic Summit. This came shortly following the Sisters of EVE announcement concerning abnormal Sleeper activity, and a short time before the appearance of “Caroline’s Star”.

The message contained numerous hexadecimal strings, denoting syntax determinations not characteristic of human communications, along with an invitation to begin the collection of Jove biomass samples sourced from a YC106 incident in which a Directorate ambassador was disassembled during a test for a matter transmission device. The Doctor’s message stated that a resource drop would soon be established at Eram’s “Site One”, the headquarters of the Arek’Jaalan project. Tukoss stated that for some time he had been unable to communicate, but had remained dedicated to “the research we began together in writeconflict date/current=24/10/116 replace/string=09/07/113 YC113”.

A second message appeared 11 days later on November 4th, and was equally rife with hexadecimal strings containing syntax alternates alongside an unknown Anoikis system ident - one of numerous systems the “Doctor” congratulated us recipients for colonizing. This was later discovered to be the ID for Thera.

8 days following the second message, after many capsuleers had obediently journeyed to Eram in order to deposit Jove biomass, a very different third message appeared on the Summit. This communication was broken-up but vaguely decipherable, and appeared to warn recipients that Tukoss had been “captured” in some way and was being held somewhere within Anoikis, that Site One was compromised, and that the fate of the Arek’Jaalan project was now in the hands of us capsuleers - with Tukoss imploring us to continue work.

attempted reconstruction of 3rd message

The fourth and final message to the IGS appeared months later on February 26th of YC117, after the Drifters had already emerged. This communication was equally broken up, but reconstruction attempts brought out an ominous message - the people once called Sleepers were now, without a doubt, no longer sleeping. Tukoss had been imprisoned by and encountered a form of life both biological and biomechanical in nature - the Drifters - and had managed to secure a “sleeper vessel”, with which he had escaped and was currently inbound to Site One aboard.

attempted reconstruction of 4th message

Using the positional data and pings present in both of the “genuine” messages from Tukoss, it has been calculated that his final message was in fact broadcast from a location approximately 30km off of the Eifyr & Co. station in Eram. Hilen Tukoss never arrived at Site One.

Less than 10 days after this transmission, Hilen Tukoss was disavowed by his parent corporation , making him a “citizen of nowhere” with “no human rights”.


HIVE

On May 8th YC117, the SCOPE leaked a previously hidden broadcast from Hilen Tukoss, which had apparently been concealed by Eifyr. The Doctor, having discovered an enormous Drifter armada continually amassing at an enormous megastructure in an uncharted Anoikis system, sent this “emergency broadcast” instructing recipients to notify the DED, warning that we were now facing a “possible invasion”. The broadcast was broken up, but showed Hilen Tukoss aboard his vessel broadcasting for as long as possible, before being discovered by the Drifters and being illuminated by a bright light - at which time the broadcast stopped.

The DED soon released details on the broadcast, stating that the broadcast had been sent around a year prior - dating it to before Hilen Tukoss’s mysterious appearances on the IGS. Eifyr had concealed the broadcast since receiving it, and the senior staff of the corporation was brought in for questioning by the DED. No comments as to the nature of the resulting talks were made publicly after this point.

On June 8th YC117, a group of capsuleers discovered the body of Hilen Tukoss in close proximity to the exact structure seen in his final broadcast, following the opening of all Drifter Unidentified Wormholes to capsuleer passage.

The Drifter Hives, as they came to be called, were concealed deep within complicated, many-roomed complexes that required significant cooperation to successfully navigate. The Hives themselves sat among the wreckage of myriad Sleeper enclaves, with fully exposed Jove corpses - once the inhabitants of the structures - drifting silently around them. Nowhere within were any signs found of the titanic Drifter fleet seen in the emergency broadcast, save for a small patrol of occasional Drifter vessels, and a new classification of Drifter pilot. “Hikanta Tyrannos” were encountered in each Hive room, flying solo in a enhanced Drifter Battleship and guarding “vaults” - for which they carried named indexes as keys. These were named for each of the five Hives, and contained memetically active unknown elements, carrying the same names - Barbican, Sentinel, Vidette, Redoubt, and Conflux.

This individual commands one of the powerful vessels of the Vigilant Tyrannos forces. An aura of fierce intelligence and precise determination emanates from this figure. The resolution of this highly augmented commander should not be doubted.

– Hidden ingame description for Hikanta Tyrannos


99_64_11 Redoubt Index
This intriguing code is filled with unfamiliar mathematical algorithms. What little can be discerned is that it can be used to unlock a container of some sorts. It has a built-in recalibration code that makes it a one-use only passkey.


99_64_12 Redoubt Element
The strange, unreal aspect of this object plays havoc with your mind.
The distortion is interfering with signal reception and hindering decryption.
Despite this, one strong repetitive motif is breaking through the chaos.
A single repeating concept.

Redoubt.

Upon its recovery CONCORD demanded the unconditional surrender of a cerebral slice sample retrieved from the Doctor’s body, the sole material recovered from Tukoss’s corpse, to the DED - which escalated to extreme levels concerning penalties for those involved, until pilot Lucas Raholan acquiesced under the orders of his superiors on July 13th.

Charges against the renegade capsuleers were dropped, and Hilen Tukoss’s will - the contents of which have yet to be revealed - was then executed by Eifyr. The Doctor’s official cause of death was established as “TEBS Failure” (Transneural Echo Burn Scanner Failure).

The establishment of the Upwell Consortium was announced 4 months later, with Eifyr & Co. included as a founding member of the ambitious industrial cooperative.


REGICIDE

Days after the conclusion of the Cerebral Slice incident, the Amarr navy announced the keel-laying ceremony for a prototype vessel based on an Imperial Issue Abaddon constructed months prior, where the Amarr Empress Jamyl Sarum I would be in attendance - in tandem with another entity, unknown to the rest of the cluster.

A History of Jamyl Sarum and "The Other"

The Amarr Empress Jamyl Sarum, since a time prior to her triumphant return and victory over the Elder Fleet on June 10th of YC110, had been co-inhabited by a mysterious entity which influenced her actions and schemed to bring its unknown plans to completion. This entity, known as the Other, was one of countless “others” - strong, spontaneous intelligences which had appeared in the Sleeper virtual world over the many years of the virtuality’s operation.

Within the Sleeper VR, the rule of one infomorph existing within per one body on the outside was strictly enforced by its administrators, a rule the others broke simply by virtue of existing. The Others knew the Sleeper VR to be an artificial world, something the Sleepers themselves were unaware of within the VR, and wished to escape it. One, “The Other”, intercepted and entangled itself with the infomorph of Jamyl Sarum as she was secretly cloned, following her death by Shyathol’Syn at the conclusion of the YC105 succession trials.

Once in place, the Other began enacting its plans. Its first efforts brought the “Xerah Effect” weapon, as it came to be called, into the hands of the Empress. This construction was made possible by the Other’s knowledge of the location of cloaked precursor technology, previously concealed by unknown parties within the Jove race - now assumed to be the Sleepers, given their other cloaked Cache sites across the cluster which once housed myriad forms of precursor tech. The weapon was used to destroy the Elder Fleet as it invaded Amarr space, allowing Jamyl Sarum to ascend to Empressdom in the following days. (read the novel “Empyrean Age” for this story)

Following this, the Abaddon on which the weapon was mounted was discovered moored next to a titanic Rogue Drone hive, where it was being tended to by drones suborned to a calculated directive. The Drone hive was constructed around and acting as a cache for Isogen-5 - a spatio-temporally unstable material which had fueled the weapon - which was being collected at this and many other Caches across New Eden in preparation for a specific purpose. When the Thukker caravan Matyrhan Lakat’hro destroyed the Abaddon and the Cache, it triggered the Seyllin event - causing untold destruction across New Eden and beyond, and opening Anoikis to the prying eyes and hands of the cluster’s inhabitants. (read the “End of the World” chronicle series - The Spiral, Half a Life, I, The Great Harvest, We Humans, and World on Fire - for this story)

After this event, the Other began a new plan of creating an army, harvesting the implants of Sleepers from their enclaves and directing their usage in developing the first Clone Soldiers in New Eden - with stowaway infomorphs residing in their heads. In the Sleepers’ world, this manifested as the progressing dissolution and rotting of their virtual world, the artificial nature of which the others had warned them of. The Other had created both a vessel for a new army for itself, as well as a punishment for those who opposed it within the VR. These plans were thwarted by the sacrifice of Marcus Jjor, however, who contacted Jamyl after learning the truths of the havoc being wreaked on the VR by an AI echo of the dead Jove Grious; Jamyl ordered the Templars destroyed, and the cluster found another way to create its clone soldier. (read the novel “Templar One” for this story)

The Other did not hold full control over Jamyl; the two fought each other within a shared mind constantly, with the Other influencing memories and sometimes actions when necessary, while being in fact trapped in the Empress’s head - it resided in implants within her brain, and had no means of leaving. Jamyl was entirely conscious of the Other, and the two in fact engaged in regular dialogue - though the discussions were often very one-sided. (read “And I Shall Hide (Alternate)” for an illuminating example of this)

Following this announcement, on July 25th, the Empress appeared in public, piloting an Avatar and escorted by additional Amarr Supercapital ships flying with Sarum colors. A memorial event above Mekhios was conducted, during which Society of Conscious Thought Elder Mentor Matshi Raish appeared. Raish began to scan Jamyl’s vessel with an unknown method, identical in appearance to scans performed by Drifters and Seekers, before stating that he had gotten what he had came for. Amarr loyalists then destroyed the Mentor’s Gnosis-class vessel, along with his pod.

Back in Geminate, Raish awoke from his cloning bay to be met by Veniel, a Directorate-era Jove who had been a longtime member of the Society of Conscious Thought. Raish revealed his discovery - that Jamyl had a nonstandard infomorph signature within her neural interface connections, denoting two distinct infomorph signatures within the Empress - he had discovered the Other. Veniel and Raish went on to discuss the truths of many matters, including those of Caroline’s Star and many deeper enigmata. (read “Inheritance” for this story)

Five days later, a large Drifter fleet attacked Safizon, centered on the Amarr Navy station in the system. Tyrannos and Amarr vessels clashed violently, with the Drifters eventually losing to the combined forces of Imperial and loyalist Capsuleer fleets.

The next week, the prototype Amarr flagship was sighted undergoing trials in the Throne Worlds, and was expected to soon return to Safizon for formal commissioning. Days later, the Drifters again invaded the system and assaulted the Navy Headquarters, again being brought down by combined Amarr and Capsuleer efforts.

The handover of the prototype vessel “Auctoritas” was announced two quiet weeks later, scheduled for the evening of August 21st YC117, and went ahead as planned - despite the danger many anticipated.

Empress Jamyl arrived as scheduled at 1800 hours in her Avatar, the TES Seraph. Countless capsuleers were in attendance, ready to combat any possible Drifter appearances - but no one was prepared for what came next. A fleet of 100 Drifter battleships simultaneously entered the field and, ignoring every other target, simultaneously discharged their deadly primary weapons against the Titan before ripping her Capsule to shreds and immediately exiting the field. The Scope covered the breaking news, and the next day the Court Chamberlain announced the death of Empress Jamyl. Days later, the Drifters began a short-lived invasion of the Throne worlds, with no identifiable goals besides attacking key military targets, before once again fading back into Anoikis.


NEXUS

Just under two months later, in November of YC117, the Drifters launched a second assault on the Amarr throne worlds. This came shortly after the discovery of a new secret concealed within the Drifter Hive complexes: the Nexus.

Deep in the center of each Hive complex, accessible only by slowly navigating at subwarp velocity, capsuleers discovered an abnormal site; the “Nexus” of each complex contained two celestial-scale polar vortexes, with a titanic arrangement of energetic pylons arranged in a huge urchin-like shape in the center of the anomaly.

Days later, the Drifters launched their second assault against the Amarr. The next capsuleer expeditions into the Hive sites encountered significant changes to the operations of the complexes; access difficulty had been greatly reduced and tandem movement into the Hive room became unnecessary, as every acceleration gate had unlocked and the previously necessary transfer modules had disappeared. In addition, new acceleration gates had been installed in both the first and last rooms of each complex appeared, which both lead to the central Nexus - which had themselves also changed.

The pylons comprising the “urchin” had completely deinterlaced and spread across the field of the anomaly, forming massive and highly energetic debris fields - and in the center of each, a named repository had appeared for each complex. Within the other rooms of the Hive sites, two “alignment units” which produced alignment sequences labeled 1 and 0 for each Nexus, appeared and became accessible

The conclusion made was that the Nexus pylons were meant to align, forming titanic acceleration gates of some nature - but the trigger for them forming was unable to be identified. Inserting the proper sequences into the repositories did not affect the pylons in any obvious way - however, samples of novel Drifter materials usable as a series of boosters were dispensed to those depositing them. At the same time, each Hikanta Tyrannos-designated pilot was newly found to carry schema for a “Coalesced Element”, an amalgam of each Hive element alongside the Antikythera harvested from the Jove Observatories, with an unknown purpose.

99_64_10 Redoubt Sequence 1
This intriguing code is filled with unfamiliar mathematical algorithms. What little can be discerned is that it can be used to activate a certain acceleration gate. It has a built-in recalibration code that makes it a one-use only passkey.


118_64_13 Antipharmakon Thureo
Scanning this object reveals a substance that could be used like a neural booster. This complex chemical has some similarities to boosters used to improve capsuleer performance with shield manipulation.

Given that the substance appears to be of Drifter origin, and exhibits some very unusual properties at the quantum level, using it as a booster should be considered carefully.


118_64_5 Coalesced Element
An amalgamation of various shimmering elements. Its power unyielding, unwavering and ultimately demanding.


(continued below)

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ALPHA

In early February YC118, Sisters of EVE flotillas arrived and were sighted in each of the Anoikis systems home to the Hive sites. This coincided with the changes to access difficulties in the Hive sites, along with the pulling back of Drifter forces from their second assault on Amarr. The flotillas were revealed to be conducting research into Drifter biotechnology, and soon after came the announcement of the Sisters of EVE’s “Project Discovery” initiative, a public effort to analyze Drifter tissue samples with the aim of producing new technology through dedicated research.

Most of the year wore on without any major Drifter events, save for the appearance of a new “Arithmos Tyrannos” designation seemingly assigned to guarding Sleeper enclaves in high-class Anoikis systems in the spirit of protecting resources. The most major event in this period was the withdrawal of the Jove Directorate from CONCORD, with the Society of Conscious Thought being named as their successor. (read the background of this in “Inheritance”)

In late October YC118, it was revealed that the four Empires had begun experimenting with the usage of novel cloning technologies in military applications, the specifications for which were received from the Sisters of EVE simultaneously in a significant bypassing of CONCORD treaties. Sister Taya Akira, a member of the SOE splinter group that had first revealed the existence of Thera, days later warned that this new cloning tech had been developed as a direct result of research on Drifter samples with the aim of gaining full understanding of Jove biology, collected through Project Discovery - and that advances distilled from the Drifters and Anoikis must be observed with paramount caution.

Changes in Drifter activity were announced by Taya Akira in early November, suspected to be in preparation for a possible Drifter reaction to the development of these new technologies - and on November 16th, one day after CONCORD introduced the Alpha clonestate to independent capsuleers, the Drifters emerged once again.

Focused Drifter attacks on black-site research facilities across the cluster, located in close proximity to excavation sites containing enigmatic Sleeper infrastructure of an unknown nature, provoked strong military responses from each of the four empires - with each of their navies moving to accelerate the training of countless capsuleer candidates in order to meet and match the present threat. Pushing back the Drifters led to final clashes centered around new Drifter Hives, which had been moved to k-space in an unprecedented example of high-mass transit. The remnant vortexes through which the Hives emerged resembled those found within the Nexus anomalies, but were speckled with huge volumes of shredded debris and were centered on a core-point different in color from those of the Nexus vortexes; this indicated the presence of unencountered Drifter infrastructure in as-of-yet undiscovered Anoikis systems. The Hives were destroyed, the Drifters were once again pushed back through the efforts of the Empires and capsuleers.


THREE

In April YC119, announcement was made of the transferring of Project Discovery from the SOE to CONCORD, a changing of hands in part made to take place as a form of punitive retribution for the Sisters’ distributing of Alpha clone technology behind CONCORD’s backs. (read “Sine Wave Alpha” and “Sine Wave Omega” for the full story)

In July, the second iteration of Project Discovery began - involving the analysis of exoplanetary orbital data with the stated purpose of discovering new worlds, as potential colonization efforts were suspected to be beginning to look beyond the confines of New Eden.

Two months later, a public contract from a figure by the identifier “Quartermaster” put out a public contract through the Agency, calling for capsuleers to scavenge newly marked sites which contained broken Sleeper Enclaves, destroyed Drifter battleships carrying mysterious Trinary Relics, and a new class of Sleeper drone. These “Eosian” Sleepers were both actively retrieving relics from the freshly destroyed Drifters and acting as guardians for the sites, attempting to keep their contents out of the hands of further intruders by attacking anyone entering the area.

The broken enclaves and their guards also served as further examples of previously hidden Sleeper infrastructure in known space, alongside the plundered Sleeper Caches.

The design of this Sleeper drone is similar to ancient battleship-grade vessels that operate as guardian drones in Anoikis. Certain differences of detail, and lack of the scarring typical on Sleeper drones of this size, indicates it is part of a wave of drones that have only very recently been built and launched. This formidable Sleeper drone seems to be part of a force defending Drifter wrecks, presumably to guard against any technology they harbor being pilfered.

– Description for Eosian Upholder


The Eosian Inquisitor shares the same basic design of Drifter-allied Sleeper drones such as the Circadian Seekers but appears to be much more dangerous. This Sleeper drone seems to be very keen to retrieve technology from Drifter wrecks, or stop others from doing the same. It may well be loaded with items it has already collected from the warzone it is investigating.

– Description for Eosian Inquisitor


datacore Corrupted Trinary Relics
A varied collection of relics found close by the wreckage of Drifter ships seemingly destroyed in a fierce fight with parties unknown. These items appear to be trinary data repositories of many different designs, seemingly for use with different data systems and perhaps even of varied age. The relics are apparently corrupted and recovery drones located them in a stasis vault that was evidently hastily abandoned for some reason.

Albeit these items are ancient technology and heavily corrupted they would perhaps be of interest to a collector. Possibly someone gathering enough of this kind of relic could even make something out of the data they contain.

CONCORD’s CDIA warned of the dangers these trinary relics posed, as they were “undoubtedly extremely dangerous in the wrong hands, possible vectors of colonizing neuromemetic worms or other coercive infowar technologies, and should ideally be disposed of using antimatter imploders.” Naturally, a capsuleer group immediately began amassing its own collection of the mysterious relics in an attempt to recover information they might contain, comparing them with other known Jove-related data samples.

In December YC119, rogue drone activity increased before developing into a new Rogue Swarm Alert occurrence. During this time, Sister Taya Akira disappeared - having been spirited away by a rogue drone when Sjakhuni, a man deeply involved with the distribution of Alpha clone technology, came to pay her and Sister Latimas an unfriendly visit in Yulai. (read the background of this, again, in the Sine Wave Alpha and Omega chronicles)

Amidst the Swarm Alert, CONCORD announced a universal timebase measurement effort, to be undertaken by CONCORD Aerospace and Project Discovery researchers. When Project Discovery’s Holnar Reinret began the operation on January 6th YC120, flanked by CONCORD Aerospace Public Communications Officer Lorienne Nesif, the research convoy came under attack by a Capsuleer calling himself “The Astromancer” and his associates in an apparent attempt to interrupt the ongoing experiment. The attacker’s companions hailed from Algintal Core, originally a military group “seconded to corporate interests studying the behavior of rogue drones in the Algintal constellation” - and Trinary Relics, the neuromemetic risks of which were previously cautioned by CONCORD, were discovered in the wreckage of his ship following its destruction by capsuleers in attendance.

A lone Drifter battleship then arrived on the scene, but was only observed to silently watch as the convoy’s mission was completed, non-aggressive until it was later attacked by capsuleers, at which time its superweapon failed to fire. The Pharos of Thera soon claimed that the experiment had in fact had deeper purposes, including the testing of anti-Drifter countermeasures, veiled under the guise of timebase research. And while this claim was initially dismissed by many as overly speculative, suspicions increased after a Phoenix Naval Systems vessel, transporting the corpse of the Astromancer with the intent of conducting an autopsy, was intercepted by CONCORD operatives and forcibly relieved of its cargo.


AZDAJA

In mid-February YC120, enormous fleets of critically damaged Drifter vessels began to appear out of nowhere throughout the cluster. The first fleet of Tyrannos vessels was in fact encountered in one of the Hive sites; after that, additional fleets began appearing en masse around stargates, from no discernible origin point. Following the first encounter, a CONCORD CDIA file depicting a corrupted view of an unknown, energetic object was leaked to many capsuleer parties.

Engaging and removing the Drifters, a capsuleer group began to uncover strange messages from “Trinary Vaults” carried by many of the Tyrannos vessels. Coded in an unknown script and language, the group quickly undertook efforts to decode and understand the language of whoever created the messages. Over the next few months, the mysterious language was transcribed in its entirety as more Drifters appeared - bolstered at one point following the emergence of Drifter cruisers across the cluster - and more vaults were collected. Progressively, the vaults revealed combat footage in which imposing, unknown vessels - revealed to be the subject of the earlier leaked video - engaged the Drifters in unexplored and abnormal environments.

At the tail end of these efforts, a heavily damaged cruiser identifiable as one of the same vessels sighted in the decoded footage arrived in Yulai, under the control of SARO Captain Oveg Drust, who had also been present during the Astromancer affair, and was quarantined outside the Yulai X station for 48 hours before being deemed safe to tow into the dock.

A special CONCORD briefing was then announced, scheduled to take place during the annual Society of Conscious Thought capsuleer gathering on Yulai III.

The depths of abyssal deadspace, and its denizens, were a main target of the Drifters; from the very first capsuleer dives into the Abyss, Drifter sorties and “Lucid” sleeper drones under their control were encountered regularly. Operating in highly abnormal space, no Drifters encountered in the Abyss were observed to be capable of utilizing their superweapons.

Trinary Datastreams, recovered from Triglavian caches a short time following the opening of the Abyss, then revealed apparent observations on those entering the Abyss, from the Collective’s point of view. Records describing encounters with “Ancient Enemy Azdaja” referred to the Drifters who had entered the Abyss - with the name suggesting that the Triglavian race had been aware of the Drifters, in one form or another, for far longer than they had been operating in their home space.

Triglavian Datastream AEA1
Cladeships of the 3 tactical troika classification in communion militant of Varpulis Subclade of Perun Clade encountered the Ancient Enemy Azdaja at reverse-time co-ordinates (indecipherable) while processing in sub-18 exclave of conduit loop construct-405. Absolute imperative of poshlost extirpation against Azdaja was invoked without acceptable material realization. Tactical troika of Varpulis Subclade placed a casting of absorbed data into the cladeflow for reflection of Convocation of Triglav Outside the Struggle.


Triglavian Datastream AEA2
Convocation of Triglav Outside the Struggle has affirmed the need for playful communion of repeated-time by the Clades Assembled and Subclades Militant and Technical. The entosis of the Ancient Enemy Azdaja into the loop constructs must be sever-reversed by the volition and merge-consent of Convocation of Triglav Outside the Struggle. The adaptation schema of cladeships for all tactical troika classifications may be entered into the cladeflow without proving.


Triglavian Datastream AEA3
Report of the Paramount Strategic Troika of the Leshak Subclade of Veles Clade has reaffirmed the dispersal of reverse-time reclaimed adaptation schema of 729 tactical troika classification vessels into the cladeflow after proving in anti-cladistic mortification with the Ancient Enemy Azdaja. Repeated-time casting and winnowing of invocations of imperative of poshlost extirpation against Azdaja reveals a (indecipherable) acceptable material realization.


INTRUSION

YC120 progressed without any significant changes to Drifter behavior, save for occasional periods in which the number of Hive site wormholes would increase, for unknown reasons.

In January of YC121, a virus began to infect multiple stations in Semiki. This hyperadaptive malware had originated in the Zainou station in-system, but had originally gone unnoticed. A man named Steine Vailakkel had brought the virus to station, breaking into and sabotaging many systems, which resulted in some residents encountering disruptions to artificial gravity and communications - but the malware itself was not detected until it arrived at the Aliastra warehouse in the same system, stowing away aboard a routine transport.

Now aboard the Aliastra warehouse, the virus spread to the implants of many people working aboard when the infected transport data-synced with the station - those infected reported severe migraines, dizziness, nausea, and double vision. Malware of this caliber were reported to be limited in origin to nations, megacorps, or other similar actors, due to the required resources - as reported by infowar expert Hagiken Ku of Ikomari-Onu Enforcement. The infection was discussed by some as resembling a similar attack on Holene Vailakkel, Steine’s spouse, in YC111.

The situation continued to deteriorate, with employees with compromised implants progressively experiencing additional symptoms, including lapses into fugue states and even short comas, lasting anything between a few minutes or a few hours. After capsuleer groups began to take an interest in the situation and set up infrastructure in the system, Ishukone allowed capsuleer parties to assist in verifying Zainou’s conclusions thus far: that a substantially modified rogue drone subroutine had been the base of the malware, making it behave more aggressively while also making it more effective at subversion and infiltration across a variety of platforms.

Ishukone Watch Officer Kauntora Itkaku called for assistance in gathering relevant research materials, including rogue drone nexus chips, artificial intelligences, other fragments of rogue drones, and any available trinary datastreams - not confirming whether or not the modifications made to the subroutines resembled the Triglavian Galnet worm that had opened the Abyss to frigate-based exploration.

Following this, the Arataka Research Consortium quickly amassed a cache of Trinary Datastream samples numbering over 20,000 - but just after collection efforts ended, SARO Captain Oveg Drust issued demands for the unconditional surrender of all samples to the DED, citing “serious risk of an Emergent Threat Case Red Gamma incident involving CRG.A or CRG.B entities”. However, the Caldari State, through unanimous agreement of the CEP, appealed the demands and led to the issuing of a stay on Captain Drust’s orders. The surrender was aborted, though any remaining materials, alongside copies of all relevant research, would be given to the DED following the development of a cure.

The Aliastra warehouse was predicted to become fully compromised within the month.

During this period, Drifter activity had increased, both across their domain and within Semiki. Instances of Unidentified Wormholes had increased to unusually large numbers of connections within the Hive site systems, and roaming Sleeper drones and even Drifter Battleships were encountered in Semiki in limited numbers. Soon after the appeal by the CEP, Drifter activity escalated.

Following the reinforcing of multiple citadels in Semiki, including the primary ARC facility, Captain Oveg Drust - accompanied by Lorienne Nesif, who was also present during the Astromancer Affair - roamed across Semiki in a Marshal and Enforcer pair, initiating what appeared to be the exact type of “scan” performed indiscriminately by Seekers, Lancers, and Drifters (and by Matshi Raish against Jamyl Sarum’s titan) against each structure in the system. When pressed for an explanation, none was provided.

Soon after, a conference was held by CONCORD in which Captain Drust announced that “counter-measures aimed at reducing Drifter capacities have been developed and, we can now report, are being rolled out with considerable success” - lending credibility to the accusations made by the Pharos of Thera following the Astromancer Affair.


INVASION

At the end of June YC121, the Vigilant Tyrannos mounted a large-scale invasion of null-sec space. Appearing with no discernible pattern, large Drifter sorties moved within target systems day-to-day - indiscriminately attacking any capsuleer ships or structures they came across and inflicting enormous damage in the immediate fallout.

Though the larger capsuleer polities quickly developed reliable tactics to repel the Drifters, countermeasures such as those CONCORD demonstrated were nowhere to be seen; and as the onslaught intensified, the stress put on active-mode local fluid routers threatened to cause far deeper problems. A full-scale delay-blackout of active local connection listings was initiated across null-security space, and was soon put in place as an indefinite measure.

When the dust of the events settled, the total death toll at the hands of the Drifters - vastly inflated by Tyrannos strikes on non-capsuleer baseliner facilities and stations across all areas of space - reached over 1 billion. Though this loss of life was felt widely, more ominous details also came to light.

The main goal of the Drifters during these attacks became readily apparent in following days; the Vigilant Tyrannos were gathering resources. Baseliner resource extraction facilities were preferentially targeted by the Drifters, who would then strip the entire contents of the facilities in a great harvest. In all of these cases, there were no survivors; rumors abounded that among harvested infrastructure, no traces of biomass, living or dead, remained.

More to come…

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(reserved for more lore, cause these posts get very long)

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AND NOW FOR ∰SPECULATION∰

This entire section will go into unconfirmed and non-canon details - speculation on the true nature of the Drifters and what their future actions may bring, drawing concentrated tinfoil-fuel from all known events and information thus far.

It is strongly recommended that you read the full history of the Drifters first, displayed above, before delving into this deeper speculation. Additionally, learning of the Triglavians and the Enheduanni, and their possible link to the current goings-on of New Eden, will also doubtlessly aid in the building a mental pinboard.

(Click to expand section)

The Drifters are the Others.

Background:

In Templar One, we learn of the existence of the Others - apparently spontaneous AI which popped into existence over centuries of the Sleeper VR’s perpetual runtime. Of all the inhabitants of the world of the Sleepers, only the Others were naturally aware of its false nature, wanting to tell the Sleepers residing in it of the truth and to escape from the construct. Existing without a body on the other side, the Others’ existence violated the most important rule of the Sleeper VR set by the Enheduanni - one body must exist on the outside for every infomorph within the VR.

Following the opening of Anoikis, the Empires, starting with Jamyl Sarum and the Amarr, plundered the Sleeper enclaves and harvested their bodies. This wreaked havoc in the VR world and left many Sleeper infomorphs trapped in the implants ripped from them, which were put into the first generation of Clone soldiers. The Other in Jamyl Sarum’s head (read above, under “Regicide”) succeeded in both punishing Sleepers who were opposed to his plan, as well as installing those who would be aligned with it into immortal soldiers under its control. It is unknown whether these allies would be Sleeper infomorphs alone, or if certain Others had also entered existing Sleeper implants in order to be brought to New Eden.

The Drifters themselves have constructed their own bodies, amalgams of flesh and machine, using the corpses of once-living Sleepers as a base. It is not known whether or not the Drifters were responsible for their deaths or if they expired naturally, but what it certain is that they lacked or no longer possessed bodies, leading them to assemble their own.

Inference:

The above all occurred after the accidental opening of Anoikis via the Seyllin Incident. When this catastrophe was triggered during the End of the World chronicle series, it was obvious that the superweapon-clad Abaddon under the Other’s control was tethered to and being refueled by the Rogue Drone Isogen-5 cache in a friendly manner - indicating that the Other planned to open Anoikis at a proper time, further down the line, when something more was ready. Plans had to be adjusted, and the Other chose to build an ancillary army. This was second to its main plan, the preparations for which had been violently shaken by the entry of outsiders into Anoikis.

As for the assembly of Drifter bodies, why bodies? The Sleepers were intended to sleep forever, but their infrastructure showed no signs of the presence of the once-administrators, once the Empires and Capsuleers had reached them. The Others wanted to leave the fake world, and to be real - while AI could easily and simply inhabit drones or other automata, the notion of being real would imply being alive in as effective a way as possible - something the Drifters have accomplished with their very real bodies, in control of powerful vessels.


The Drifters’ assassination of Jamyl Sarum and the Other held deeper intent.
The Other was recovered through the same methods used to capture Tukoss.

Background:

The Drifters killed Jamyl Sarum, within whom the Other lived and was trapped.

However, Dr. Hilen Tukoss was also killed by the Drifters. His body itself was discovered in the Redoubt Hive, and the sample of brain tissue recovered confirmed that his capsule had initiated a burn scan - but his infomorph never arrived in Eram. The Drifters intercepted him through some method, capturing and trapping Tukoss before using his ident to request Jove biomass samples from capsuleers. Tukoss was still “alive” and did escape, before again never arriving at his destination, but for a different reason (read above, under “Tukoss”).

The Other originally entered Jamyl Sarum during her secret infomorph transfer following her death in the YC105 succession trials, indicating the ability to intercept an infomorph in another example, separate from the interception of Tukoss’s infomorph.

Inference:

While Jamyl was in fact killed, the Other was also completely trapped in her head, residing completely within implants that had been aggressively modified in order to house it, following its entry into Jamyl’s infomorph. The Other schemed for something to be done with the Isogen-5 caches, which acted as the keys to Anoikis, at the right time - if that right time was to be once the Drifters had successfully emerged, the need for the Other to remain in Jamyl would have dissipated - and as it was trapped, it needed to be taken back.

The Drifters captured Tukoss’s infomorph by intercepting him following his death - the same action may have been performed in Safizon in order to recover the Other, especially considering the utter focus the Drifters acted with that day in only attacking one ship and its pod before leaving, much unlike their other attacks.


The Other is the true commander of the Drifters.

Background:

The Vigilant Tyrannos command structure is apparently headed by an individual holding the rank of Strategos. Aside from decrypting and identifying the personal command signature of this entity, nothing is known as to the origins of this Drifter or even if the Tyrannos Strategos is truly the ultimate authority of this mysterious force.

Inference:

Combining this teasing string - a hidden description for Tyrannos Strategos that can be found in EVE’s files - with the efforts made by the Other to advance its goals, the genesis of clone soldiers, its apparent leadership acumen, and the emergence of the Drifters, the idea of the Other being the true authority of the Vigilant Tyrannos gains significant traction. The inclusion of such a string in the first place is far too suggestive of a deeper authority behind Strategos to dismiss entirely.


The Drifters facilitated the reopening of the Drone regions in YC108.
The Isogen-V Caches were filled in preparation for the Drifters’ emergence.

Background:

In YC88, the Gallente Federation undertook operation Spectrum Breach, setting up new stargates and initiating exploration into multiple new regions through the use of vast drone fleets. Four months later, however, drones at the operation’s headquarters went berserk and killed hundreds, while reports of drones going rogue arrived from all 8 regions being explored simultaneously. Suspicions of a virus of some sort causing the rebellion circled, but nothing was ever confirmed. Regardless, the operation was shuttered and gates leading to the infested regions were disconnected. The entire operation was conducted behind CONCORD’s back, and following the infestation the Inner Circle convened the Code Aria Inquiry as an investigation commission looking into the details of Spectrum Breach.

Twenty years later, in November YC108, the closed stargates leading to the infested regions came online simultaneously, without any explanation, and Code Aria conducted near unanimously doomed expeditions into the regions in order to look into the causes and consequences of the reopening. The details of the inquiry were leaked over a year later, following the stepping-down of a CONCORD captain associated with the expeditions.

Through stargate logs included in the leaked inquiry, it was discovered that an unknown vessel had been in close proximity to one of the gates, gained access to it, and began the activation cycle of all gates in the quarantined regions. It then slaved the system, direct the stargate to transmit itself through to the other side, though its NULL identification should have made such a feat impossible - and by the time CONCORD learned of the activations and arrived onsite, the ship was long gone.

The user here forces their way into the system using !PUSH command with an undocumented GEK-prefix string. The system is slaved to the transmitting ship which performs transit calculations locally (minimising ship data logged by the gate) and then initiates the transit while still connected. The transmission ends abruptly when the ship transits, and the system reasserts itself after the HOLD expires.

Inference:

In “The Empyrean Age” in T-IPZB, and in the “End of the World” chronicle series, ancient “terran” caches had begun to be filled with Isogen-5 by rogue drones suborned to an unknown will. Detailed in Templar One, these caches were intentional stockpiles of the unstable material - intended to generate a critical mass, possibly in order to create an advanced interstellar transit system - and that the activation/detonation of the caches was not performed correctly (see “End of the World”).

“Inheritance” revealed the mastery of the Talocan, and their identity as the creators of the Anoikis network - along with the fact that they had long since left New Eden. The caches, then, were theirs - stockpiles used to violently fuel the activation of their wormhole-based transit network - and another party had intended to use them once again to open the doors to Anoikis.

The Abaddon fitted with Jamyl Sarum’s superweapon was tethered to the cache in the End of the World series, and was being fueled by the drones filling the then-swarming installation with isogen-5. With the addition of Rogue Drones as a pseudo-faction with corporation identifiers assigned to them, two infestations - Karybdis and Scylla, named the same as Drifters found in the Abyss - have yet to be encountered.

Combining the above with Code Aria and the unknown vessel that left the Drone regions, one possible conclusion is that the rogue drones directed to fill the caches were under the control of the Other - and that this control had been attained following whatever was done when the infested regions were opened. The caches were in this case intended to be activated at the proper time, when the Drifters had completed their emergence - but things didn’t go as planned.


The Drifters occupied the “Hive sites” and installed their Hives.
Capsuleers are being allowed in, furthering the Drifters’ goals.

Background:

When capsuleers first made their way through the Hive sites, they discovered the structures the complexes were named for at the end, surrounded by destroyed Sleeper enclaves in turn surrounded by once-living Sleepers, floating silently near the canopics that once connected them to the virtual world. The sites were difficult to access, and required significant teamwork to navigate - along with that, the later-discovered areas bearing the name “Nexus” was unconnected to the rest of the site - no acceleration gates led to their locations, far from the other rooms of the complexes.

The sites then changed; acceleration gates which were once locked were made openly accessible, and new acceleration gates leading to the Nexus of each site were installed in both the first and last rooms of the sites. In addition, repositories for the newly discovered “alignment unit” sequences were installed in the Nexus of each complex, granting booster-like materials produced by the Drifters to those depositing the requested sequences.

A SCOPE report also questioned whether the Hives were of the same age as surrounding infrastructure, or if they were newer constructions, much more recently placed in the complexes. And from EVE’s files, the Nexus debris has been revealed to be parts of titanic gates, folding together and aligning in stages yet unseen.

Inference:

The Drifters have never increased the level of response capsuleers have met within the Hive sites, despite them being of obvious importance to them. Quite the opposite, the sites have been made easier to access over time, with the addition of new acceleration gates leading to the Nexus, and a repository in each for the named sequences collected from named alignment units - suspected to be related to the very obviously unaligned pylons in the Nexus rooms, which form massive gates in their final form.

The granting of Drifter booster-materials in exchange for the sequences, themselves described as keys for a certain “acceleration gate”, suggest that the Drifters may be employing capsuleers once again in order to further their own goals - just as they did in Eram, with the collection of Jove Biomass at Site One at the falsified invitation of Hilen Tukoss.

The Hives themselves use a completely different material scheme from Sleeper structures. Originally using the Drifter scheme, they were at one point changed to use the “Jove” scheme in its place - the same one used by the capsule and by the last remaining Jovian Construct type stations visible in two Directorate systems. In addition, the entirely different architecture composing them only matches that of the Drifters’ own ships - and their usage of additional Hives in the Alpha campaign (read above, under “Alpha”) displays further that they are critical Drifter constructs, not simply remnant structures that were rediscovered in the known Hive systems.


The Drifters utilized the Nexus gates to enter the Abyss after Caroline’s Star
The Nexus gates are Talocan in origin, and may need a human touch

Background:

When Hilen Tukoss broadcast his final transmission before his death at the hands of the Drifters and the capture of his infomorph, a titanic Drifter fleet had amassed at the Redoubt hive - however, there was no sign of this massive force when capsuleers finally entered the site.

The Tukoss broadcast was specifically mentioned to have been at the very least 6 months old, due to the fluid router it relayed to being offline, and was potentially a year older or more. This placed it squarely before the Caroline’s Star event and the new shattering of systems connected to the Talocan Lattice in W477-P.

The Nexus gates had been used by the time capsuleers discovered the anomalies, with energetic vortexes still present above and below the structures.

In Inheritance, the Talocan lattice swarm gates are described as being very intentionally walled off from any AI, intended to only be operated by living, breathing human beings.

Inference:

It is likely that the enormous Drifter fleet in Redoubt had amassed with the aim of entering the Abyss. As for how that would have been accomplished, Caroline’s Star kickstarted violent reactions from every star in proximity to the static gates connected to its lattice - though epicenter static gate sites are present in every shattered wormhole system, there are none to be found in any of the similarly shattered Hive site systems. The most likely route for W477-P’s supernova into the systems, then, would have been the Nexus gates - titanic constructions dissimilar from any Sleeper, Jove, or Triglavian infrastructure that has ever been observed.

There are two vortexes for each Nexus, one at either pole - in the case of the Alpha campaign, however, each Hive moved to known space instead had only one vortex, the obvious sign of their emergence point. This discrepancy points to the Nexus gates having an entry of energy and a second, exiting activation that caused the opposing vortex.

If anywhere, where would the Nexus gates lead? The Triglavian Collective, inhabiting the Abyss, had to enter it from some point - and if they are in fact the Enheduanni, who were once the administrative elites of the Sleeper civilization, the possibility of them using further Talocan infrastructure to delve deeper beyond Anoikis (as they had when they and the Sleepers left New Eden) comes into reach. The Abyss itself, in that case, would be a product of the Talocan design - intentional or unintentional.

When Caroline’s Star occurred, it is possible that the Drifters would have been able to use the resulting outpour of energy to have the Nexus gates punch into the Abyss, entering the deadspace depths en masse.

Though the outpour of energy during Caroline’s Star may have allowed the Drifters to enter the Abyss, it may have also been a one-time occurrence; if Talocan gate systems were firewalled against use by AI, intended to only be used by humans (mentioned in Inheritance), the Drifters may have encountered difficulties operating the gates beyond the first, forceful activation - leading them to increase access to the Hive complexes and bring the Nexus into easy reach, alongside adding new repositories for Sequences retrieved from Alignment Units they themselves cannot access.

Alternatively, if the Drifters themselves can in fact operate the Nexus gates, perhaps their choice of flesh-and-machine human bodies was influenced in part by the Talocan AI restriction.


The Warzone Extraction event’s Sleepers were on the side of the Triglavians

Background:

The Warzone Extraction event saw Capsuleers pilfering Trinary Relics from vaults in proximity to previously cloaked Sleeper Enclaves across all space, similar to the caches that had been pilfered by the Drifters. In this case, however, the Drifters were destroyed by their foes. By capsuleer encounters with powerful Sleeper Drones, their descriptions, and their vehement guarding of anything to be found within or near the Drifter wreckage littering their enclave (including Trinary Relics), these Eosian drones were not on the side of the Drifters.

Inference:

Eosian Sleeper drones, destroying Drifter ships and safeguarding Trinary Relics in their sites, may have served the directive of the Triglavian Collective - or whoever had become that faction. Seeing as the Triglavian Collective was revealed the next year, and any Trinary Datastreams of Triglavian origin share the same icon, it is simple to try and connect these Drifter-opposed Sleepers to the enemy of the Drifters - especially if the Triglavians themselves are truly the Enheduanni.


The Triglavians are the Enheduanni, and the Drifters are following them

Background:

There is much evidence that suggests the Triglavian race could in fact be a renewed, revamped version of the Enheduanni - read this post again for a full overview of the evidence and theories involved. At the very least, their relation to the Jove race and the Sleepers is illuminated by the requirement of Sleeper Encryption Methods to construct their tech II damage module, and much more progresses from there.

Inference:

If the Drifters are the Others, and the Triglavians the Enheduanni, their conflict needs little further explanation; those who were once in charge of the Sleeper VR and whom rejected the Others’ existence would be a natural target of the Drifters, likely out of outright conquering aggression moreso than self-defense.


CRACKPOT THEORIES

These theories are more out-thee than the above inferences, drawing more from pure theory than from explicit connections and details revealed in EVE’s gameworld and fiction. That said, they may fit the bill - only time will tell.

(Click to expand section)

The Others developed from imprints of dead infomorphs in the Sleeper VR.

The rule of one mind per one body in the Sleeper VR was enforced by its administrators on those living within; if a body were to die, what would become of its infomorph still connected to the virtual world?

If the Enheduanni wiped the infomorph existence of those in this state from the VR world, imprints of whom they once were would remain - with discarded memory being overwritten over time. Over millenia of runtime, the Others appeared. Little comes from nowhere, and accumulated fragments of imprints of those long-dead in the VR could be feasibly written as contributing to the Others’ purportedly spontaneous coming-into-being.

The Tyrannos mirror the Tyrants, taking up their legacy.
The Drifters consider themselves the renewers of the Jove race.

If the Others developed from scattered imprints of those who once were, would aspect of those who were once alive bleed into the consciousnesses birthed from the VR?

The Vigilant Tyrannos solidly echo the ruling faction of the Second Jove Empire, the Tyrants. This ruthless faction united the Jove as one again, following the collapse of the first empire, and had arrested the total collapse of the Jove civilization - at the time including all outside Jove, as well as the Sleepers and the Enheduanni.

As runtime eventualities drawing from long-wiped infomorphs, coming into being with the knowledge that the entire world they resided in was a false creation, the Others desired to leave it - emerging from the ruins of the Sleeper civilization, but fully considering themselves to be members of the Jove race, they took up the mantle of the Tyrants (as spoken in their in-game corp description) and emerged into reality in order to re-establish their fading and hidden-away race as a true superpower.

Indeed, the headquarters of the Drifters and Vigilant Tyrannos is the same system as the defunct third Jove empire’s was, 3-CE1R, despite any evidence of Drifter entry or occupation of Directorate space - something that certainly would have been mentioned by Veniel in Inheritance, should it have occurred.

In this case, 3-CE1R would instead serve as a symbolic headquarters, the springboard and metaphor for the Tyrannos/Tyrants reestablishing the Jove as they see themselves to be.


The head Other in part reflects Miko Bour, the first Tyrant.

If the Others echo the Tyrants, who decided that they should do so?

The Other that resided in Jamyl Sarum was ruthless and driven, going to any lengths to achieve its aims - the visionary First Tyrant and founder of the Second Jove Empire, Miko Bour, was much the same. At the very least, the Other may reflect Miko Bour and the other visionary members of the Tyrant faction as a matter of course, crafting a goal and ambitiously driving itself towards it - and at the very most, perhaps imprints and fragments of those who were once Tyrants themselves formed a part of the Other’s virtual birth, influencing its desire to re-emerge and fueling an ambition that led to its transmission of itself into Jamyl Sarum’s head in order to achieve its goals.

The fact that the Drifters would have emerged en masse in order to retrieve the Other from Jamyl, along with the strong indications of a truer authority within their faction and all of the Other’s grand doings, lend credence to this entity being the actual head of the new Tyrants - named as such with strong intent.


Jamyl Sarum will continue to exist as a voice in the Other’s head

If the Drifters are indeed the Others, and they retrieved the Other in Jamyl through the same methods used to capture the infomorph of Hilen Tukoss, what of Jamyl Sarum?

In the case that the Drifters retrieved the Other, it stands likely that roles could reverse; a burn scan of Jamyl Sarum’s entire brain would have included both her own and the Other’s infomorph signatures, as observed by Matshi Raish, and might possibly draw Jamyl into the efforts of the Other going forward.

A role-reversal of the Other and Jamyl, with Sarum now residing in a place of influence within the true authority of the Tyrannos, would lend itself well to an interesting story going forward. Depth is important for any main figures in fiction, and the appreciable satisfaction of Jamyl being able to affect the life of one who influenced her own for so long is a very appropriate counter within the literal head of a thus-far silent and ruthless faction’s own head.


The Drifters have evolved into one of the most intriguing parts of the fabric of the story of EVE’s world over their stay in New Eden, and doubtless more details will be revealed going forward. With the first step in the Invasion world tour set for March 2019, stay tuned for developments and upheavals as YC121 marches on - my personal hope is that the fulfillment of one of the more ambitious dreams involving the Drifters is on the horizon :slight_smile:

Happy tinfoiling~
-Uriel

o7

(if you’ve landed here, scroll to the top to see the entire post)

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The main reason for having bodies is that they probably need them. We don’t currently have Construct level VR technology but theories about it abound. For it to work properly, to the extent of the Matrix for example, it needs to simulate not only the world environment but the environment of the individuals bodies. Westworld, and most recently Nightflyers have covered this kind of technology. Nightflyers in particular has an AI that is the creators mother’s personality uploaded into the system. Due to not having that bodily awareness she goes insane.

So the options for those Sleepers who lost their bodies are deletion, or find a new functioning body. It would be the same for any AI that appeared in the Construct, it would still need a body to function in the real world, and a drone would not achieve that. A corpse, albeit a resurrected one, has all the connections there. The only other way is a Grious ghost type method, but that needs substantial infrastructure to host it.

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Wow. Just wow. Major props, as this is hands down the best write up on this section of the lore I’ve ever seen. Well thought out and incredibly eye opening. I feel aa sense of enlightenment, in that I have an inkling of an idea as to what the hell is going on in EVE.

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Well buckle up, buddy. Things are about to get triangular on your butt.

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Remember Vidette Sentinel Redoubt Conflux Barbican Elements?
They all send some defensive concept telepathicly, or I dont know, through some electromagnetic means.

The strange, unreal aspect of this object plays havoc with your mind.
The distortion is interfering with signal reception and hindering decryption.
Despite this, one strong repetitive motif is breaking through the chaos.
A single repeating concept. Vidette.

Now, this is from Oruze Osobnyk from C5/6 Wormhole anomaly:

The mysterious structure inside this deadspace pocket offers few clues as to the purpose it once served. Similar compounds – albeit far less complex than this one – have been reported, each featuring the same huddled architecture, evocative of the enigmatic Phantom cruiser. What relation the “Oruze” structures may have to one another remains a mystery. An enclave positioned at the heart of the construct appears to have been entirely redesigned. It is flanked by two others, which in turn are hedged in by engineering stations that themselves seem to have been redesigned. The only insight into the unique architecture is the word “Oruze Osobnyk,” which continually resurfaces throughout the garbled, largely indecipherable transmissions that emanate from within.

This is from C3 The Oruze Construct combat anomaly:

The mysterious structure inside this deadspace pocket offers few clues as to the purpose it once served. An enclave positioned at the heart of the construct appears to have been entirely redesigned in some way, to serve a goal now long-forgotten. The only insight into the unique architecture is the word “Oruze,” which continually resurfaces throughout the garbled, largely indecipherable transmissions that emanate from within.

The word Osobnyk, it means Mansion or Palace, it always seemed to me to be used out of context, because I always thought Oruze was just some obscure made-up name. Now with Triglavian names around, finally it struck me that Oruze can also be translated and it means Weapon or Armaments! Weapon construct, Armory Chamber, something of that sort. Defensive concepts in Drifter sites, and offensive concepts in Sleepers’! And Slavic terms! Triglavian terms!

Also note that according to description sites seemed to be redesigned from originals. Also note that architecture supposed to resemble Phantom the Jovian Cruiser design. And finally note those descriptions were there since Apocripha. Why didn’t I ever payed attention and dismissed those as mere flavor text?

Half of combat anomalies in Wormholes is “Sleeper” Structures, another half is Talocan Structures, and there are Sleeper Drones.

So can it be inferred that the sites initially were built by the First Jove Empire + Talocan + AI that controlled Sleeper Drones, which resulted in Triglavian society, Tri-Glav = Three Heads. And later those sites were modified by whoever gained control over Sleeper Drones (they didn’t have their own sentience and were controlled by Navka) and who is now behind the Drifters, when Triglavians left the Cluster.

There was a doubt among explorers if Drifter Complexes were built by them, or they just put their Hives there. So can we confidently claim that Vidette Sentinel Redoubt Conflux Barbican complexes are Triglavian Ancient Domains which they said they lost.

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Aaaand… noone cares.

Or was it common knowledge?

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I’m happy you added that stuff - but I’d like to say that the Talocan are definitively their own, and almost certainly never worked with any group of the Jove - not even the first empire.

The Triglavians at this point are near-certainly a second empire Jove offshoot~

The Oruze and Osobnyk names are absolutely related to the Triglavians, who may have at one point been the Enheduanni - the administrators of the sleeper civilization - and so those references are VERY directly connected now, I don’t see anyone mention them enough~~

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You wound me, @Uriel_Paradisi_Anteovnuecci. I say it, but I type it less frequently. But it makes a lot of sense to me. The Triglavians seem very policy and rule-bound, to the point of fanatical mandate, which is why they seem so occultic.

But something to remember is their language is exact, and while interpretations could be made to understand them, they undoubtedly communicate with memes, symbols more advanced than any singular alphanumeric character, with far more capacity for information, and in a way that can hardly be misconstrued, or misinterpreted.

Now thing of having something like that from the position of an administrative faction or people, both in making rules, and writing them into the fabric of cyberspace. When you make a decree, a rule, a directive, law, or edict, you want to ensure that it is exact for specific instances, and for coding a digital realm, you definitely want that, so no bugs or unintended side effects come about from loose code strings.

Now give or take a few centuries, and it’s no wonder they’re so fanatical, they live their lives around the rules they set for themselves to remained disciplined in the eyes of their original doctrine, and have to make votes to change, add, or remove policies as situations develop. But they do so with complete understanding.

…at least, this is how I interpret it. If they are like that… neat. I can share my collection of stories, which carry the meaning much better than my explanations. Memes in their own right.

UPDATE:

Added Drifter Invasion story section, including the invasion itself as well as the blackout and aftermath.

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https://community.eveonline.com/news/news-channels/world-news/space-time-disturbances-indicate-a-spike-in-wormholes-leading-to-drifter-hive-systems/

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So are there any new developments after this news piece? Seen 3 Drifter wormholes form in the same Observatory system. Thinking of diving in to take a closer look.

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I’m keeping a watchful eye out, but I’m waiting for more major things to happen before putting anything new in here - looking to be able to add whole sections at once, once a mini-arc has concluded~

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Amazing write-up! However, I do have to (respectfully) disagree with your speculation that the Drifters are under the control of The Other.
During the drifter invasions, they began assaulting the Amarr Navy, who had been creating clone soldiers at the behest of The Other, using infomorphs loyal to The Other. This culminated in the assassination of Jamyl Sarum, who was under the influence of the Other. The more widespread drifter attacks being retaliation for empire and capsuleer interference with their campaign against The Others.
To me, this seems to imply the Drifters are opposed to The Other. Possibly they are the remnants of the Enheduanni, trying to enforce their one mind, one body rule. The Others, as AI infomorphs with no physical body, would be an abberation to be erased under this rule.
Perhaps there’s something I’ve misunderstood here, but that’s the implication that seems most plausible to me.

@Uriel_Paradisi_Anteovnuecci
Very amazing work on the lore work you do. You’ve possibly made much more content than I can digest for a while :stuck_out_tongue:

Though I have a few observations myself, that I don’t know will make sense in the ‘established’ theories. It focuses more on the Drifters in relation to the Triglavians than the other way around. It seems the accepted idea is that the Drifters are not the Enheduanni, who would be the guardians of the Sleepers. But why not?

We know the Drifters and the Sleepers have a special relationship. It seems like we rarely find one without the other. It is assumed because the Drifters and/or “The Other” have some angle to play and exploit the Sleepers.

On the subject of The Other, it is said that he broke the rule of the one body one mind rule, by existing without a body. But what of the Drifters? As you would see multiples of the same Drifter on grid, it seems to me that the Drifters also break this rule, not by being mind without a body, but a single mind and many bodies. Would the Strategos play the role of the one mind, and every other Tyrannos be the body as an extension of his will? (The best reference to such a setup would be the Pain arc in Naruto: Shippuuden, where corpses were gathered and converted to a squad of mindless but deadly elite fighters controlled by the will of the one master)

So are the Drifters evil? Well, they seem to do exactly the same as the autothysian lancers do; cold autonomous work that is efficient, precise and with a resolve of steel. They have no vocal cords, they have no need to be a ‘people’ and no need to actually communicate with each other. They are machines, they exist as literal machines with the need for biological traits instead of the traditional human that became machine. Sleepers have been described to ‘not be aware of their actions’. Could Drifters be the same? Now this piece is going to be a bit far stretched, but bear with me; a section of names and meaning:

The Drifter name is an interesting one. Are their names self chosen or did CONCORD name them? If they are self chosen, all the Drifter and Sleeper related names are very interesting. All the Drifters are called Tyrannos (after the Tyrants I suppose), but the most common Tyrannos you would find is Artemis and Apollo, both prominent characters in Greek mythologi. They are actually twins, representing many things but one represents the sun, the other the moon. Very alpha/omega ish.

When you attack the Autothysian lancer (which by the way means self-sacrifice), one or more Cassandra Tyrannos appears. Cassandra in Greek mythology is a woman blessed with the gift of prophecy by Apollo, but since then cursed by him so noone would believe her. So does this symbolise that the Lancers are quietly and selflessly fulfilling a purpose, and by attacking it, we are not believing their purpose/prophecy? Cassandra was unable to change the course of history despite her divine knowledge of the ominous future, I wonder what secrets Cassandra is preserving.

Enheduanna in ancient Sumerian mythology was a priestess of the sun and moon gods. (Artemis and Apollo were gods of sun and moon).

I’ve read in your works that at some point, Eosian sleeper drones were harvesting Drifters for relics (and possibly on the side of ‘good’). In Greek mythology, Eos is “a Titaness and goddess of the dawn and who rose each morning from her home at the edge of the Oceanus”, quote Wikipedia. And who was Oceanus? A divine being seen by the ancient greeks as a ‘giant flowing river, encompassing the world’. Sounds a bit like ‘The Flow’ doesn’t it?

So it seems a lot of the sun and moon theme is surrounding the Sleepers. Most Drifter related names are positive proud words. Even the Vigilant Tyrannos. Vigilant means they are watching over something or someone. If not the Sleepers, then who? But then there are the exceptions:

Charybdis and Scylla are monsters in Greek mythology, who were terrorizing the Strait of Messina. Apate (Tyrannos) is the personification of deceit. Hypnos Tyrannos. Hypnos, god of sleep, sibling of Apate, and son of Nyx, the mother of darkness. Hypnos was a god that that is said to “be a calm and gentle god, as he helps humans in need and, due to their sleep, owns half of their lives.”, quote Wikipedia.

The Triglavians describe the Abyss as ‘The Flow’, both in literal and spiritual meaning. In the Abyss we find two types of Tyrannos; Karybdis and Scylla.

Speaking of The Flow, the sleepers inside have the prefix of Lucid (Deepwatchers etc). If they are indeed lucid, those sleepers would be aware of what they are doing, and chose to align themselves with the Drifters.

The Drifter symbol is three lines in a row, which shows almost a kind of military discipline, where Triglavians are depicted by a triangle, three lines but united. For both people, the number three bears importance, but why? People theorize whether this ancient race became that other race, but is it possible that several factions broke apart and was reunited, hence the repeating number of 3 in both Drifter and Triglavian symbols?

Okay that was a lot of incoherent rambling. A recap of my points:

  1. The Drifters and Sleepers are closer aligned than it would seem.
  2. The Drifters could be the Enheduanni (They are watchers of something/someone)
    2.1. The Enheduanna (mythos) was merely a high priestess for the divine sun and moon gods.
    2.2 If the Drifters were not the Enheduanni, the Enheduanni could have brought upon the existence of Artemis and Apollo Tyrannos (and the gang) to carry out their own prophecy of protecting the Sleepers for infinity.
  3. The Drifters may see themselves as righteous, almost godlike and virtuous figures, that may believe they are following a prophecy.
  4. The Drifters could simply be One mind (Strategos Tyrannos) controlling many bodies (the whole Tyrannos line)

Thanks for reading. Your lore universe had my head spinning for a while, and simply had to look for clues to their intentions :stuck_out_tongue:

Edit:
My theories partly goes hand in hand with your ‘crackpot theory’:
“The Tyrannos mirror the Tyrants, taking up their legacy”.

That could be their prophecy. Nostalgia is a strong force, yo :smiley:

Edit 2:
I forgot a few extra crackpots!

There are the ‘deities’ of EVE, such as the Serafim for the Amarr, who “came to them during the eclipse”, and left during the eclipse (more sun and moon mentions). A kind of being that was able to do impossible things, and a kind of deity that would also serve the Minmatar faith.

You wrote of the Hikanta Tyrannos, which is guarding vaults with names of ancient fortresses or sentries. The real world equivalent is the Hikanatoi, of the Byzantine Empire, an elite guard situated in or near the capitol of Constantinople.

Last crackpot: While associated with the Serpentis release and so on, the Asklepian implant set was released. It was of course snake themed, as Asclepius was the greek god of medicine and the asclepian rod featured the snake. But Asclepius was the son of Apollo. Could this hint a connection between the Serpentis and the Drifters?

Dramatic exit