Regarding The Quartermaster

My revelations know no bounds in the effrontery of Capsuleers when they are presented with a path to personal gain, yet there is a shadow looming over such prevalence that seems to revolve around one particular man - rather, what he stands for.

To hone my meaning, I refer to the elusive ‘Quartermaster’, who seemed to have manifested himself with bag and bounty; offered on a whim in exchange for relics that manifested themselves just as quickly. Relics that were guarded by Sleepers at the proverbial front door of our cluster, whose models had previously never trekked here.

And yet, perplexing as this man may be, the flock rallied to his cause and willingly dispensed these treasures to him - a stranger - for paltry scraps. What valuables hidden within them only revealed by this private outsider who came without warning, without greeting, and without formal parting. While Capsuleers wipe the sweat off their brow as they pour over every minute detail of a contract in Jita, this man came about and instantly garnered the trust of so many seemingly overnight.

To further exacerbate the utter astonishment of this man’s apparent charisma and guile, he had even convinced The Agency to publically broadcast his accord at no expense. So powerful was the ‘Quartermaster’s’ charms, the entity broke without even getting so much as a first name. By some act of wonder, they did unveil an affiliation with the ‘Valkyrie’ and “Schism”, an affiliation confirmed by one of the alleged Valkyrie themselves.

Whilst the Arataka Research Consortium attempted to relinquish the ‘Quartermaster’ from what they could of his bounty, for what I expected was obvious interest and examination, I am left speechless in that such scrutinizing individuals may very well have been the minority.

If Chance Cogne’s testimony is to be believed, in the discussion on the (most unfortunate) kidnapping of Sir Fabuleaux, then this man is not driven by profit, but information. Yet, in the same utterance, he is a self-proclaimed war-profiteer who does not choose sides. A profiteer who overlooked even the Caldari-Gallente Borderzone for so obvious an opportunity, restricting access to his research exclusively to the aforementioned Gurista-splinters.

Be it Jovian constructs, Drifter battleships, Sleeper salvagers, or strange men distributing swords - we seem dangerously outmatched by unanimous enemies, and all the more willing to hand them the keys to our demise.

To which, I beseech you all several queries:

What profit can be garnered from the fringe skirmishing of two previously unidentified groups of the same fledgling nation that would overshadow any already established conflict?

What cryptic technologies were so willingly given to the ‘Quartermaster’, whom shared neither faction nor name, when he and his ilk already have access to technologies far greater than our own?

What else is lurking beyond the veil that seems to be so easily affixed to our eyes that a new revelation simply appears without our prior knowledge in our own lands?

But most of all, who is this ‘Quartermaster’, and what will he do now that he has the keys to the kingdom?

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:thinking:

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Hey, Hey, Hey! It’s Clance Gogne! Don’t butcher another man’s name.

And as someone who is practically forced has to do business with the guy. I think I can safely speak from experience that this guy undoutebly has an agenda that far exceeds his retail operations.

Only a psycho would be crazy enough to start hiring freelancers to dig though Drifter wrecks. Even more crazy that he weaponizes what he finds…And even more crazy that he doesn’t gouge the prices! He’s the only supplier of this tech. But the price tag is so unimpressive for what it is.

Of course it’s still expensive and hurts the bottom line. But if I was the one selling this gear? Oh man, I be putting you Capsuleers to shame with the cash I be making!

A few thoughts:

The Drifters have been attacking hidden research stations through all four empires. Additionally, their wormholes consistently open up in systems with Jove observatories. Now we’ve learned the Empires have had their own specialized system for concealing resource deposits from our notice.

Are you sure those Drifters and Sleepers had never been there? Because they’re all over the cluster… and maybe CONCORD just wasn’t letting you notice.

Got any evidence that the Agency (which, let’s face it, is a ridiculous name) wasn’t charging him?

If the Valkyrie member is only alleged, and not confirmed, then their statement isn’t actual confirmation of anything.

re·lin·quish
rəˈliNGkwiSH/Submit
verb
voluntarily cease to keep or claim; give up.
"he relinquished his managerial role to become chief executive"
synonyms: renounce, give up/away, hand over, let go of

In other words, you are saying “ARC attempted to give up to the ‘Quartermaster’ what they could of his bounty”. Which, from context, appears to be basically the opposite of what you meant.

a) All indications are that Drifter battleships and Sleeper salvagers are, in fact, Jovian constructs.

b) Yes, we’re so outmatched that groups go drifter-hunting weekly without losses. Soooooo outmatched.

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Information is profit and it may not only be financial.

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Apologies, Sir Cogne. Seems I overlooked the egregious error whilst skimming the final draft. It will not happen again, I assure you.

Though I appreciate the courtesy of contradiction, as well as it hones the mind, I would appreciate some measure of contribution to the topic at hand amidst picking and prying apart the smaller, inconsequential facets of what was said. More specifically, an improperly used word in what was an extensively pondered over inquiry, though imperfect. It is, for lack of a better word, asinine.

And yes, while there are specialist groups - of which even I am a part of - that commonly seek to engage the Drifter threat, there is still the undoubted impact of Drifters killing both capsuleer and baseliner in every corner of the cluster, lest we dilute the severity of the situation yet again. Or are we to assume that the escalating Drifter activity across known space to be some mere coincidence despite routine, meticulous strikes on their hive structures?

To answer your earlier question of my assuredness that the ‘Drifters and Sleepers had never been there’, it was perhaps a generalization on my part to say never, but there is a general consensus that they were rarely ever seen prior.

Now that I believe I have addressed most of your concerns, please, I encourage you to carry on with something useful, Madam Arrendis. Perhaps you’ve something to add to my list of questions - or, pray tell, an answer to one of them? Or shall I expect more vitriol and condescension?

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The hell did you expect, they’ve spent long enough conditioning people to follow what the authority green-lights. You don’t expect the shining beacon of civilization, the five-pointed star of non-corruptible authority to shank you, ever, right?

See Spectre a few years ago and how many people followed their utterly stupid plan to engage the Serpentis and Guardian Angels on their home turf. As just an example.

To attempt to answer some of what you asked:

What cryptic technologies? Well, I suppose we’re about to find out one way or another as progress continues on the front of recovering whatever data we can.

What else is lurking around? Ties into the previous answer. 'cause we may just find out.

What will he do? No idea, but I sincerely doubt he’ll be acting in our best interest.

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To answer your earlier question of my assuredness that the ‘Drifters and Sleepers had never been there’, it was perhaps a generalization on my part to say never, but there is a general consensus that they were rarely ever seen prior.

‘Seen’ is the operative correction there. And as we know, the Jove observatories were not seen, either, yet they’ve apparently been in the locations where they now decay for quite some time. Similarly, the empires would seem to have been keeping us from being able to see their specialized resource-collection programs for the entire length of time that capsuleers have been in space.

The point is simply this: We have no way of knowing for certain how long any specific group, be they Jovian remnants, Guristas splinters, or your oddly-included Epee-salesmen, have been in a specific location. This means it’s impossible to say that we’re particularly outmatched.

Are the Drifters formidable? Certainly. Have they shown any indications of extended operations on a scale similar to those surrounding the death of Jamyl Sarum, though? The ongoing conflicts surrounding their structures in high-sec don’t really show the same level of organization or scope. Certainly, none of them show any signs of 100 Drifter battleships warping in simultaneously to engage their targets.

Nor is there any real indication that the encoded data samples are ‘the keys to the kingdom/our demise’ the way you so dramatically declare. Are they significant? Sure. But until they’re decoded, we don’t even know how significant they are, or in what way. Alarmist agitating in the absence of any clear idea of the scope of a threat, or whether or not that threat even exists in the first place is, quite frankly, not useless, it is actively counterproductive.

Next, you talk about how this ‘Quartermaster’ ‘and his ilk’ already have access to technologies far greater than our own. Like what? A few new ship or fighter designs aren’t particularly ‘advanced technology’, so consider this an addition to your list of questions: what ‘technologies far greater than our own’ has this Quartermaster shown himself ‘and his ilk’ to have access to, exactly?

Finally, circling back to the visibility point, you talk about ‘our own lands’. Are you in a pod? Then you’re in CONCORD’s lands. Because you can see nothing they do not want you to see. Can you see millions of interbus shuttles leaving thousands of stations in Empire-space, every day? Acting shocked and alarmed to find out that maybe the people who don’t really want you to have any agency at all aren’t letting you see the big picture? Again: not helping.

Now that I believe I have addressed most of your concerns, please, I encourage you to carry on with something useful, Madam Arrendis. Perhaps you’ve something to add to my list of questions - or, pray tell, an answer to one of them?

Responding to alarmists seeking to push hysteria is always useful. You’re peddling a bunch of smoke-filled boxes here and shouting ‘LOOK! THE MONSTER IN THE MISTS!!’ Current circumstances call for wariness—which is exactly no difference from circumstances five or ten years ago in this cluster—not posing histrionic, leading questions designed to foment conspiracy theories and panic.

Or shall I expect more vitriol and condescension?

Well, as long as you’re willfully and intentionally getting things wrong, I’d say you should expect that, yes.

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