Sojourn: The Abyss

(Aria Jenneth) #179

Eee. Thank you, ma’am! I’ll see about getting this set up.

(Would it be better to go with the flare if I’m running into a lot of tiny targets that just won’t slow down? Stuff like Lucid Escorts and Damaviks move faster than I can, period, even while webbed.)

(Mizhir) #180

The Rigors can better compensate than Flares can. So even if a target is fast, having a smaller explosion radius helps.

(Aria Jenneth) #181

“Reflections on an ‘Almost’”

Okay, I’m calling the Stormlight runs short. It’s not her fault. Mostly, really, it’s actually not. I can DO Fierce Firestorm filaments this way. There are some real advantages to doing stuff this way!

Only … she runs too close to redline, too much-- on capacitor, on armor. If I run into something that’s really a serious threat, I’m not going to have enough margin for error. I’ll die.

A few notes:

I’m not 100% on this, but I think Abyssal hostiles might actually have a capsuleer-style capacitor, the same as we do. The nos produces variable results, even on single targets I assumed I’d never get anything from. The overall effect’s not consistent enough to replace having, well, decent capacitor strength and regeneration to begin with, though. Which the Vedmak natively doesn’t.

Consider my offer to check for what types of enemies can be leeched off of to best effect cancelled; I think maybe they all can? Just, not all the time. It really looks like the Damavik and Vedmak-type hostiles are backing off, when they back off, to focus on repairing others of their own kind rather than expending capacitor charge trying to bring a troublesome target down.

Dual-prop, if you can fit it, is frickin’ amazing. Takes careful management, though. Need to be hugging a certain pylon? Bam. Done. Need to catch up to a fleeing target? Bam. You’re there. Need to just keep your fire steadily focused on a certain battleship while keeping up enough speed to evade the worst of what it’s doing, and at minimal cost? Sure-- you can do that too. Need to make a fast run for that pylon, after? Not a problem.

But. Butbutbut.

I think the Dancer was actually a better put-together ship for this, and now that I know I was running the Raging Dark with a gimped rig set …

… if I’d fitted right, I could do that without the blasted Crash.

What could I do with it?

(Arrendis) #182

If you’re going to take another Cerberus in… consider upgrading/mutating some of the parts. Better web means killing the small things faster. Better prop means more time to kill. An X-Type Booster means more shields. A mutated x-type could mean more shields and less capacitor use. Spend the money. Do it right.

(Aria Jenneth) #183

That’s been my approach already. :stuck_out_tongue: Just, I tried fitting up a second Abyss-diving ship shortly before the first went crunch. I don’t have your resources, Arrendis. Finances are a little skint, and I do try not to fly what I can’t replace.

(Nana Skalski) #184

So I delved into the Abyss extensively in past few days, and I have some thoughts about the scarce data that my ship scanners could gather.

  1. There are planets that dont look like there would be life on them.

  2. Stars other than in actual abyssal system are not visible.

  3. There is a lot of stuff around, asteroids, all kinds and sizes of objects like planetesimals, also dust clouds. Very chaotic environment, also gravitationally.

I think that suggests protoplanetary disks or systems in process of creation, accretion of material for planets. Systems where planets are still forming. Dust and gas in such protoplanetary disks would prohibit light of distant stars from coming to the location where we can reach Abyssal space. The planets seen seem to be terrestial cores or early life gas giants dense cores, bombarded constantly with stuff.

That is why I think Triglavians themselves seem to be a migrant culture living only in space, not on planets. The lack of big structures other than “pylons”, the lack of habitations look like its completely migrant culture where people live on their ships, probably on limited resources, where synthetic food is a must, cellular agriculture maybe, where bioengineered bacteria make stuff you could eat.

Triglavian collective - known facts - UPDATE 21/08/120
Triglavian collective - known facts - UPDATE 21/08/120
(Aria Jenneth) #185

That’s … respectfully, a whole lot of speculation, ma’am. Not that that’s something I never do or anything, mind. I agree with your conclusion that it’s likely the local environment interfering with our view of other stars, although we can see larger-scale phenomena such as nebulae. However …

It doesn’t seem like anything about an ordinary accretion disk would create the kinds of gravitational phenomena we’ve been seeing. A decently-tanked modern cruiser can survive multiple hits from battleship-scale antimatter charges traveling at near-C without breaking up. That’s a lot of defensive capability. The gravitational forces present in the Abyss nevertheless pose a threat, even leaving aside a warp field implosion. And then there’s the crystalline isogen-10, which apparently only forms under very unusual conditions.

That doesn’t really say “single large gravity well with various orbital eddies,” it doesn’t seem like. The only kind of thing I can think of in K-space that might produce it is the Trace Cosmos (that is, a black hole cluster).

Basically, the Abyss isn’t new; it’s weird.

We don’t yet know where the Triglavians actually live, although the pylons are starting to look like likely candidates. If you take a close look at one, you’ll see docking facilities. (Not a lot of windows, though? Same with the ships.) Also, they seem to take the loss of their ships too lightly for a people who put their entire lives into their ships. I can’t disagree entirely on food, but, we don’t really know a lot about this aside from that they seem to have a thing for extremophile microbes.

I’m extremely curious what the “cladeflow” mentioned in some of our translations of their records is. It sounds a little like our GalNet, but I’m not sure it’s at all the same. It seems like if we knew its nature, we might be on much more solid ground for inferring stuff about the Triglavians themselves.

(Dark Engraver) #186

I still believe they are canibals

(Aria Jenneth) #187

Well, unless you know something we don’t, it seems at this point like they could be doing anything from consuming a sort of nutrient yeast culture (unflavored, even) all the way up to to living as obligate extreme autophages who can only metabolize the flesh of their own formerly-active clones.

That last seems pretty unlikely, though.

(Aria Jenneth) #188

“Bestiary: Scylla Tyrannos”

This one’s getting her own entry all to herself. She deserves it. (I might do more of these if this goes well, though.)

(The wide bit is the front. Think a bat or a bird or a ray-- and FAST. )

The reason she deserves it is also why it’s taken me this long to get a shot of her: Scylla swarms are fast, very aggressive, reasonably hard-hitting, and FAR more interesting than their Karybdis battleship counterparts-- mostly because, while Karybdis seems to have just one thing it does, Scylla do lots …

… starting with trying to melt (?) your face with Lux Kontos fire.

They all do that. Karybdis does that. The fact that they do it reasonably well is usually cause for mild concern. Combined with their other capabilities, though …

… it leads to a policy that I’d summarize as, “okay, you are dying first.”

The shot above is … weird. Lux Kontos blaze at peak fire-- like, it’s hard to see anything else. This must be just before or after. What’s with all that lensing? Truly the Abyss blesses us with a surfeit of opportunities to scratch our heads. Okay, so, that’s probably been around since way before we found out about the Triglavians (three and a half years as a presence in New Eden for both the Drifters and me!), but-- what IS that lensing? It’s like there’s a backwash or splash of … something … interfering with the view of the left wing. Gravitational distortion? Some kind of gas effect?

… yeah, don’t know.

Unlike most Abyss-dwellers, Scylla don’t tell you what they do, name-wise. You want to have your “type” column active; that’s where all the intel is, and it’s important. It’s the obvious stuff. Nullwarp is bad if you’re using an MWD. Webifier is bad if there’s a Karybdis around (“You hold her; I’ll punch!”).

Nullcharge in particular, though, is just … bad. Especially in numbers. Powerful energy nullification plus big guns equals really scary, really fast.

Fortunately, the Triglavians seem to agree: Scylla are the only cruiser-scale hostile that comes pre-charred. I haven’t even shot at this one yet. Which means they have a glass jaw …

Huh. This shot’s got that visual distortion, too, to aft. And it’s not even firing.

Hm. Let me see. Okay, you can see it in the top two images as well …

… and here …

… and here, also …

… and especially here. (It’s a little hard to see, but that configuration!) Is it just me or is it like a membrane or something, clinging between the antennas?

I thought it was a wake, but…

Ms. Priano? If you’re about-- is this something we already knew all about and I just hadn’t registered it?

(Anyway: basically-- Scylla hits hard, makes trouble, dies fast. Kill her first. I made a special exception for this one for a photo shoot because-- uncommonly-- the circumstances really weren’t even a little threatening.)


Okay, so, apparently this is something that appears around Drifter ships pretty routinely; I’ll see if I can get some shots of it on the Karybdis next time I have the chance. While this isn’t quite clear, it seems like this might be their drive mechanism we’re looking at.

I’ve looked over the images above a little more, and it seems there are two distinct patches of distortion, spread out to either side of the “tail” structure. I wonder if it’s being projected from the antennae somehow. If so, I wonder if all the others produce a similar effect for maneuvering? I’m having trouble thinking of a more whiskery ship, and a Scylla’s not even really Ewar dedicated or anything.

(Aria Jenneth) #189

“This Violet Darkness”

I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I sometimes happen on a strangely luminous place in the Dark. I’ve shown some shots of the Empire-like nebula, but I don’t think I’ve gotten shots of this other one before. I happened into it again a couple days ago, though, and this time I’ve got pictures.

Isn’t that color just amazing? And I don’t think it’s a nebula I’m familiar with from K-space.

The opposition was a bunch of Lance-type rogue drones, though I don’t think that had much to do with the environment. (Don’t worry; that’s just a missile launch. The ship’s not on fire.)

Another angle. I don’t like this one quite so well; the ship’s position is too close to that crystalline asteroid in the background, so it’s visually confusing, but that was (sadly) the case for all the shots I got from this angle. It’s so hard to tell while I’m taking shots of events in motion what’s going to be a good still and what isn’t.

Another angle.

If there’s a K-space analog somewhere-- someplace with a nebula like this-- does anyone know where it might be?

(Aria Jenneth) #190

An ARC Drifter Hive fleet at Sentinel Hive.

“Ancient Enemy Azdaja”

So, the Drifters. The Triglavian Collective seems to consider them an ancient foe (assuming we’re guessing correctly) and their presence in the Abyss a Very Bad Thing.

We don’t know a lot about them, even if it is in fact possible to go and visit (and explode) them where they seem to live. Unlike the Triglavians, they don’t seem to have a lot of appetite for chatting (or otherwise communicating) with us.

In a way, dealing with them is kind of the opposite of dealing with the Triglavians. We know what they physically look like, but we’ve never seen their language; they’ve done a really good job of making sure nothing much useful of theirs falls into our hands (or is usable if it does); rather than being readily engaged in a tiny frigate squad or a single cruiser, they want a very carefully-designed fleet if casualties are to be kept low; they haunt vast, empty spaces where they do strange, obscure things in vast, impenetrable structures; and while the Triglavians make terrifying use of technology, the Drifters somehow make it do things that are practically scarier still but somehow do not translate well into Abyssal deadspace.

Ah. And of course, the Triglavians mostly seem ritualistically determined to give us a fighting chance, while the Drifters seem to do what they can to make sure we don’t get one. … but then seem to figure their tactics are “good enough” once they’ve got it to the point where only a few people are even hunting them on a regular basis. The same tactics that work on Hives also work on Drifter response cruisers.

Overall, they seem colder, less … human? … than the Collective. Nanites and strange, sterile technology everywhere, instead of strange extremophile biotech.

Aside from us finding out where their attention’s been, there hasn’t been a lot of movement here in a while. Deadly enemies are deadly, obscure artifacts are obscure, effective tactics are (mostly) effective (I don’t get why they work as they do-- seriously, if Hikanta’d just kite us like Karybdis we’d really have a problem), and mysterious doings are mysterious.

It’s all so opaque it’s got a little depressing. What is the Nexus? What is that blasted power source they’re using? What even is a Drifter element? Why are the Drifters at such a disadvantage in the Abyss, and why do they keep going there anyway?


Maybe at some point we’ll find out. Hopefully before they finish whatever it is they’re up to.

(Annisir Kaugan) #191

I’m trying to find out, spent an hour at a Sleeper site looking at structures and vessels. Drifters and Sleepers appear to work together, I would go as far to say; Drifters work for the Sleepers. Seemingly resource gathering, going off similar observations at Jove Observatories.

Thinking about it the other night, we must have accounted for hundreds of Drifter ships in the Deathballs, and they are still producing them, although appear to more active in the Abyss. Which again is resource gathering, the Trinary Datavaults must have come from Bioadaptive Caches.

I wonder if the larger Drifter vessels in the Abyss take damage from the Abyssal depths, as ours do, but are more resistant to it, That could account for the overshields being missing. Which would also explain the lack of Doomsday, the triggering always looks like an automatic response.

I agree about not completely human, could stem from living in an AR Construct, or could be synthetic sentients. Also Very Bad Thing, mutaplasmid enhanced Drifter vessels, or some development of them using Abyssal materials.

(Mahazkei Vas'Hiigara) #192

Hopefully indeed. It’s gotten too quiet as of late. Which means the Drifters are re-allocating their resources (possibly to the Abyss) and acting beyond our sight. Even when the Drifters seem to be damaged and poorly equipped to survive the Abyss, they continue to go in.

While they are less human in their behavior and tactics, they originate in descendancy from human tactics. (I would be very concerned if they did not.) Following that, the only reasons I can conceive of them repeatedly throwing themselves to the Abyssal grinder is that they are obtaining resources, and the benefits outweigh the costs, or that they are slowly developing a method to achieve the former.

I doubt they use anything other than filament devices to enter the Abyss, which would return them to wherever they’re basing from. (Apparently not their FOBs in Drifter space.)

We are now in a biomechanical arms race against the uniform chaos of the Drifters, and our only chance to beat them here is to obtain more than them and unlock the Codex, discover the meaning behind the streams.

The clock is… ticking.

(Annisir Kaugan) #193

That is pretty much how I see it. Their method of entry, not sure about, they used some odd technique to appear in New Eden space. Same goes for Rogue Drones, but they grab resources too. Both have access to Talocan sites, which might give them some other method of getting in there, although filaments have been found at both Sleeper sites and Drone sites.

(Aria Jenneth) #194


For whatever reason, we’re now starting to see a bit more of Triglavian infrastructure. Or, at least, bits of it.

(Do they build anything at all that doesn’t have a certain bizarre and terrifying power source? I’m starting to think someone’s going to open the back panel on one of those survival suits and show me a teeny little singularity hanging out in there. Because why not?)

So, I’m a little curious what these are doing exactly. They turn up pretty often on the surface of asteroids and so on, but …

It doesn’t seem like there’s much to that slice of spindle asteroid that would be worth building the structure for? I mean, there could be something very high-value, low-volume, but really it seems more likely that it’s drawing stuff in from its surroundings.

Yes, it’s on fire. Yes, that’s my doing. No, I’m not sorry, or at least not very.

I can see these things being tantalizing bait for some of the slower-moving divers. For me, in the Dark, they’ve so far usually been more something to go and do while I’m waiting for my missiles to finish hammering something until its power core containment fails.

Haven’t worked up the courage to try a Proving Conduit yet. Might still. Probably, at some point. But, not … for a while, I think. Not until I have the Void Dancer V or whatever ready to go, and a nice reserve as well.

(Annisir Kaugan) #195

I don’t know, and I study a lot of structures. Seems to be typical industrial plant, might be some kind of incubation/fermentation going on. The fires could be due to waste products.

(Aria Jenneth) #196

Uh. To be clear, sir, the fires in this specific case are probably some type of volatile oxidizing cheerfully in the aftermath of a kinetic missile strike (presumably with local stored oxygen).

I have so far found only the following materials at these sites: zero-point condensates, isogen-10 crystals, and Abyssal survey data, sometimes in bulk. None of these seems to refine into a further form; they’re shaped and used pretty directly as construction materials. Or, you know, sold to CONCORD, in the case of the survey data.

My best guess is that these are harvesters and maybe measuring stations, either collecting/generating all three types of product by interacting with the local environment or else using existing survey data to coax materials out of their surroundings.

Which one probably depends on how good the facilities’ sensors are. Unless you have the means to go looking yourself, it’s hard to know where to dig without a map.

(Annisir Kaugan) #197

Yeah, that is what I meant. As I understand it the Isogen variants can be pretty volatile, condensate would suggest its condensed out of some kind of liquid/gas perhaps. Could be all sorts of things but we don’t know the process. Survey data I believe is collected as part of the monitoring network they use.

(Mahazkei Vas'Hiigara) #198

After reading a few of the logs for the trinary datastreams, I’m not sure they’re really infrastructure, and are instead repositories for these items.

I’ve had the luxury of pulling them from their moorings on whatever surface they’re adhered to and I didn’t see signs of drills, lasers, nothing.

Maybe they are also a refinery of sorts, but you’ve said you didn’t see any refining done, instead condensation into usable materials. Either the materials are not hard to collect and condense from the asteroids, no refining required, or they’re stored there, ferried from point-to-point instead of couriered directly to their destination.

But I’m not so sure. The language of the Triglavians around their little courses suggest they are just that - courses, meant for us to run and them to review the results of at will.