Sojourn: The Abyss

(Aria Jenneth) #1

Ave, pilots. So-- if you’d asked me a year ago what starting a topic with this kind of heading would mean, I would have thought it meant that I’d died and gone to the Amarrian non-afterlife for nonbelievers and it was therefore very surprising that I could be writing anything at all.

The world does surprising stuff. Apparently pretty often-- I mean, my own memories go back only a little over three years, which seems like kind of a long time but really it’s pretty short, and in those three years we’ve had the Drifters, Hives manifesting in K-space, and now the discovery of …

… of what? What is the Abyss? I mean, these are solar systems, somewhere, that we’re visiting, though with extremely hostile local conditions and sometimes it feels more like we’re plunging into some deep and profound nothingness.

What is this place we’re diving into?

(I admit if it turns out the Triglavians are just hiding out in the middle of the Trace Cosmos black hole belt I’m going to be a little disappointed.)

This topic’s going to be necessarily a little personal, a kind of a travel journal. It’s not really meant as a rival to some of the other, more formal discussions, but I’ll be trying to keep it going as long as there’s more new stuff I’m learning and seeing. It seems important to record it, even if I’m not as qualified to understand all of what I’m seeing as a lot of people.

In a way I worry that there’s not actually going to be enough for me to say. I mean, it’s not like I’m going to be going and living with the Triglavians (probably) (I mean, I hope-- CONCORD seems to think there’s a risk of mental contamination or something in the deeper depths; it’s why they’re setting divers “suspect” on return from such places). But there’s definitely a lot to see, and a lot to learn, and the bits of it that are actively shooting at me are probably the least-interesting.

But-- Triglavians! An actual surviving precursor civilization! Ohgodsohgodsohgods!

(That’s been declared a threat by CONCORD, fights Drifters on an equal footing, apparently makes its home in the most viciously hostile environment imaginable, plays around with naked singularities, and can apparently maybe hack our brains. Oh.)

I have a bunch of their ship schematics and might maybe be able to build one pretty soon; I’m hoping to be able to give a kind of walking tour of the interior once I do. For now I mostly have a slowly growing supply of crystaline Isogen-10, a lot of weird artifacts, a case of nerves about actually constructing a naked singularity inside a station (is there any way this is okay??) …

… and a ridiculously expensive snazzy paint job (okay, SKIN) for my Cerberus acquired for the express purpose of keeping myself psyched.

Oh-- one thing to maybe mention: there are some genuine and reasonable ethical concerns people have about what we’re doing out there, which can be characterized as delving into someone else’s home, stealing their stuff, and killing anyone who tries to stop us. This is something that’s probably going to come up here a few times, so I want to make clear that ARC’s and SFRIM’s views on this are, I think, coherent and sensible from their own points of view … and not quite things I share.

For my own part: CONCORD has declared the Triglavians a threat, and opened the way for us to engage them and other Abyssal denizens. We’re not privy to all the details yet, but, I choose to accept that what I’m being permitted and encouraged to do, is something that I should do. There’ll be deaths to come out of this, and destruction. Even if I don’t count the other side(s) at all, I’ve already lost one cruiser with all hands, including my clone.

But, to me, as a fighter, a combat pilot? Warfare against deadly and unpredictable enemies in dangerous environments? This is exactly what we’re for. It’s why our class even exists.

Also, getting to explore an unknown and mysterious corner of the Totality is a privilege without equal. Maybe this is Curiosity overwhelming my belief in other virtues, but, given the opportunity and go-ahead, I couldn’t call myself an Achur if I didn’t delve into this place to see and learn all I can.

Both my accepted place in this world and my belief that the world is a wonder to be explored call on me to do this. So, I am.

I’ll try to leave a record of it here.

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(Aria Jenneth) #2

“Crushing Depths”

So, most people who’ve visited the Abyss are aware that what we’re visiting when we dive are basically islands. Move outside, and gravitational forces will start tearing at your ship.

It’s not clear that we’re being pulled in any specific direction, and it’s not clear how common “safe” places might be. It does look like the tidal forces (or whatever) have been hard on the local geology-- which actually is maybe the first truly surprising thing about them: the “depths” have geology. Some even have geography-- actual planets.

I have a little trouble imagining anyone trying to mine this stuff until our access to it improves, a lot, though.

One especially intriguing thing is that a lot of the asteroids seem to have large (like, probably tens of kilometers) crystal formations growing on them. Considering how common crystalline Isogen-10 is in Abyssal caches-- and nowhere else!-- I wonder if the Triglavian Collective is mining it somehow?

Probably it’d be hard to get a ship out to take a closer look without it getting crunched, if not by the depths then by warp field collapse; the crystals seem to generally be quite a ways out. The fact that there is stuff drifting out there and it hasn’t all been swept off to wherever or torn into much much smaller chunks does seem to suggest that maybe stable pockets like the ones we’ve been seeing maybe aren’t totally uncommon, though? I mean, the depths try very hard to kill my ship, with enough strength to damage a shield that can hold off lux kontos fire, but there are surviving asteroids (presumably unshielded) the size of large planetary islands out there.

… and lots of smaller bits, too, so I guess there must be some spots where stuff just gets ripped to dust and shrapnel.

I kind of wish divers had time to go do a little exploring, but, considering the warp field deadline, powering out into the depths instead of focusing on the gauntlet and passing on through is pretty much guaranteed to lose the ship and crew.

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(Aria Jenneth) #3

“Dark Matter Fields”

Can someone with a stronger physics background please explain to me why dark matter in Abyssal Deadspace is not only visible to my camera drones but also messes with turret range and greatly increases everything’s velocity?

Obviously it makes sense, because it happens, ergo it works, but how?

The effect, if I end up at any great distance from the local star, is a bit like being deep under water in a benthic abyss, except that everything’s wheeling and tumbling around in just the way you’d expect water to interfere with. The end result is that it’s pretty hard for anybody to actually hit anybody else (it’s the best cover from Kharybdis Tyrannos I’ve found), at least very hard, making a dive into it a defense-friendly, clock-watching nightmare.

Is it weird if I think it’s really pretty? A pocket in a dark matter field far from its star is the closest thing we get to “night” up here, and things like shields flashing and missiles flaring through the gloom show up vividly.

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(DrysonBennington) #4

Dark Matter are basically electrical fields. Dark Matter basically rearranges electrons that function in a certain matter, e.g. your turrets that causes them to have decreased range. The electrons in a propulsion system are bumped up to the next orbital thus creating a higher energetic output.

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(Aria Jenneth) #5

Uh-- thanks for the reply, pilot, though I’m not quite sure that’s … right?

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(Aria Jenneth) #6

“Rogue Drones and Other Strangenesses”

I’m not quite sure what to make of the fact that there seem to be piles of rogue drones in the Abyss. Some of them are definitely working with the Triglavian Collective (and I wonder how long that’s been going on?); some of them seem to be “wild,” and the Collective’s set out countermeasures here and there to keep them suppressed. Those countermeasures seem to work against even the drone frigates that are working with the Collective, though.

In a way, it seems like the rogue drones are just a more familiar version of the kind of conundrum we face dealing with something like the Drifters or the Collective: there’s something about them that makes them hard for us to understand. We (or, rather, the Gallente, but we, humans) made the drones, but their motivations and ways of thinking are hard for us to understand and predict. Similarly, the Drifters and Collective are associated some way with humanity (turns out there’s even Triglavian clothing somebody recovered, though it looks like it’s got some alarming qualities), but, there’s a disjunction there, something that makes communication and understanding a genuine problem.

The Jove were hard enough for us to understand sometimes. If the Triglavians went even farther down similar roads … these bioadaptive technologies-- did they use them on themselves?

It seems like they must have: an approach to transhumanism probably more radical than anything the Origin colonists played around with. Is that a thing they did to make the Abyss more survivable?

We never had a hint of their presence until basically just now. They must hardly ever come out.

Caldari Prime left its children pragmatic, community-spirited, materialistic, and sometimes needlessly ruthless, focused first and foremost on having the strength and will to survive, forever, as a people. If that’s what coming of age on a tree-studded ball of snow and rocks did to the Caldari, what will thousands of years in the Abyss have done to the Triglavians?

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(Aria Jenneth) #7

“Deepest Weirdness”

The absolute, definite strangest thing about the Abyss’s more ritualistic characteristics would have to be: precision pre-damage. This is weird when it’s done with the Leshak: the Triglavians appear to very politely and reliably lower their own shields, breach their own armor, and damage their own structure to such a specific extent that I have to think they’re doing it by some mechanism rather than anything as random as battle damage. Especially since they super-politely wait to start cross-repping until we arrive on grid.

That’s weird. It makes sense if this is a sort of ritual challenge we’re running, though-- it makes it kind of a tactical puzzle. “Leshaks must die immediately. If Leshaks do not die immediately, you will have a bad problem.”

What’s even weirder is that they’re apparently doing the same kind of precision damage to units that are seemingly hostile to the Triglavian Collective: Scylla and Kharybdis Tyrannos. I thought at first that I was seeing battle damage, but it’s too predictable. I can kind of see why they’d do this, if this is all a sort of rite or trial we’re performing; what I’m really wondering is, HOW?! We’re talking about about a Drifter battleship and its cruiser escorts! Even with the trouble Drifter ships seem to have with the Abyss, they’re extremely dangerous!

Do the Triglavians have, like, a Drifter-press hidden backstage somewhere they’re using to do cookie-cutter damage to a bunch of spacetime-warping hypertech horrors? Do the Drifters have some kind of incentive to cooperate in this process?

(Maybe they get to keep the contents of the cache if they kill us? That seems like an offer the Triglavians might make to secure cooperation from what’s otherwise a deadly enemy. But in that case, the Drifters and Triglavians must be talking to each other, even though neither talks to us.)

I notice they don’t do it to rogue drone Overminds, so maybe there really is some sort of pact with the Drifters?

So strange. So, so, so, so strange.

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(Anderson Geten) #8

dark matter is not sensible to heat. you can’t see it, because light is a form of heat, however you can perfectly see what’s behind the matter, because matter barely react with lights (only through gravitational waves that build space time, which is not visible at a ship’s scale). A place with dark matter will have less required energy to heat it up, and also will have much less interaction between matters (because dark matter does not react with matter, as main interactions are through light -or heat - exchange)

Basically, adding dark matter into matter is like adding a neutral gas : if you add helium into your combustion chamber, you will have less thrust and less energy to send your projectile ; but you also have much less resistance to friction due to matter.

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(Mizhara Del'thul) #9

Pretty sure that if you “see” it, it’s not actually dark matter. Non-baryonic matter wouldn’t interact with anything outside of gravitic effects, and even those would require unprecedented amounts and densities to be having local effects on that scale.

Either it’s just misnamed, or there’s a whole lot more going on and what you see as “dark matter” is normal baryonic matter or effects somehow caused by some dark matter phenomenon. Even that is highly unlikely.

I mean, my favorite frigate registers as a mythical animal and they’ve seen some serious furballs in their time, but there’s no literal fur flying. I’d take this “dark matter” to be in quotation marks, if I were you. It’s just… too ridiculous otherwise.

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(Arrendis) #12

Errrrr, no. Light is electromagnetic radiation carried in quanta called ‘photons’. Heat is how we perceive the act of energy transfer in some contexts. It’s like saying your shoes are a form of feeling the wind rush through your hair. One’s an object, the other is a perception of a process.

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(Dark Engraver) #13

We know isogen-5 which was used by jamyl sarums abaddon superweapon was harvested by rogue drones.Now those pockets we enter into are extremely far from the center system star it’s entirely possible we are just at the outskirts of their systems and all their facilities and inhabited planets are very much out of our reach since they control the pockets we have to traverse and can collapse them at will.It wouldn’t be too far fetched to asumme they are using rogue drones to help harvest their isogen-10 either.

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(Nauplius) #15

O ARC, hear now the words of Nauplius, Prophet of God!

Bloodlust. Cruelty. The orgasmic thrill of power – of asserting your dominance over your fellow man. All these things you have felt as you have invaded the Abyss and slaughtered its people without cause – without any excuse except that they are there (because CONCORD said so? are you joking?) You imagine the tears of a Triglavian child whose parent you butchered, and they give you pleasure.

There are valid emotions; do not be ashamed of them. Nevertheless, they are misdirected. God in his infinite wisdom has created an entire bloodline of people into which his Chosen might pour all of their hatred, all of their cruelty, and all of their urge to homo homini lupus: the Minmatar. Not the Triglavian Collective. The Triglavian Collective is to be Reclaimed – enslaved – not slaughtered en masse to satiate your bloodlust.

Repent. Cleanse the Abyssal Space that you have desecrated in the consecrated Blood of Minmatar slaves, and do not return until you are ready to Reclaim it – proper Amarrian style.

P. S. That means expelling your Minmatar pilots before you return. And Achurans are Minmatar. Even so, may the Blood Age come quickly. Amen. Amarr Victor.

(Lasairiona Raske) #16

No. I think I’ll pass, thanks.

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(Lunarisse Aspenstar) #17

You do know this is Aria’s own journal? She stated in her OP that these are her own personal views. So your post is off-topic (and you’ve asked her to resume her sojourn writings so this is an odd way of “thanking” her).

Also: No.

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(Kybernetes Moros) #20

I don’t know whether it’s the religous injunctions or the dark matter chat that’s more colourful here! Just going to mince right on past both, though.

I like your comments, Aria, in Rogue Drones and Other Strangenesses. I’d love to know more about how these people live–not so much in the scientific sense of dissecting Abyssal Deadspace and all its concomitant curiosities, but in a more day-to-day sense. What do they do with themselves? It looks like they have some kind of philosophico-religious framework that at least some of them abide by in place, but without knowing much of anything about it, that’s not really saying a lot. After all, you and I both have our own systems of belief, and I’m sure they’re plenty different from one another!

I think your comparison between the Caldari and the Collective is interesting, but there’s a detail you don’t mention that stands out to me. The Caldari started on Caldari Prime (and to any die-hard pedants with a penchant for Common Origins–respectfully, remain tacet!). What about the Collective?

Where did Abyssal Deadspace come from? Is it natural, and they just grew up societally in pretty grody environments? What do the planets look like there, on the surface? If they didn’t originate there, where do they come from? Why did they go there? Did they build it, or did they just move in? I don’t have answers to these questions! Maybe someone else here does.

I suddenly realise that I’ve scrawled all over an alliance-mate’s journal. Rude! I hope that you’ve been writing this at least being a little open to responses, or I’ve really messed things up. If I have? Deepest regrets, friend!

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(Anderson Geten) #22

The law of thermodynamic does not apply to dark matter :
Dark matter does not transmit nor receive energy through heat. Which light is a form of.
Dark matter simply goes “through” dark/baryonic matter, it does not create structure like atoms/molecules because it can’t create bonds by emitting light. it’s basically a soup of neutrons which are only affected by gravity, thus always go in a straight line like a golf ball would if there was no atmosphere - or the moon .

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(Aria Jenneth) #23

If I minded, sir, it wouldn’t be in such a public place. The kinds of questions you’re asking are kind of the ones we all are; I’d really like to find out what I can.

I’ll have more, later. I have some stuff I need to see to right now.

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(Mizhir) #24

It saddens me to see that all Diplomatic efforts are failing. The Triglavian Collective and us both have a common enemy yet we are instead turning out guns at each other. I believe that CONCORD are at fault here since they have been dictating this from the beginning, but I hope we will find a way to communicate with the Triglavians. Until then we must just silently explore the Abyss and learning what we can while being ready to defend ourselves.

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(Mizhir) #25

The planets are certainly the part that interest me the most. Those dark and red alien looking planets with blue glowing storms like plasma planets. But what are they like? Do the Triglavians live there? How is the environment there? Is the environment so hostile that they need the bioadaptive suits if they are going outside their habitats? So many unanswered questions about the home of this mysterious faction.

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(Nauplius) #26

A Prophet of God must preach the Word of God wherever an audience is present to hear it. Nonetheless, I have no intention of taking over your Achuran servant’s thread.