EVE’s story is vast, with an infinite number of possibilities left to be explored; the more info that is easily accessible, the less daunting it becomes for a player to immerse themselves in the setting and to become as endeared to the EVE universe as those of us who have been around for years clearly are~
EVE Valkyrie was wicked fun for me, and its story held a lot of potential – which makes me equally sad that we never got to see whatever destinations it would have continued toward.
In Valkyrie, one game mode allowed you to fly around each map in free play. In each one, you could find a selection of “echoes”—essentially a series of FTL-communications or infomorph-centric recordings or remnants—which would convey information on each map as well as game mechanics, characters, and the broader narrative of Valkyrie.
Video archives of all echoes have been compiled previously by @Galm_Eskola-Fae (here) and @Avio_Yaken (here), but skipping through a video each time I’ve wanted to reference these hasn’t been ideal, so I’ve taken the liberty of extracting the subtitles for each echo from the game’s files and laying them out (while mostly using the names that Avio gave each one).
Click the arrow below each map’s description to expand its echoes;
Make of them what you will, and most importantly, enjoy
"The bleak lands are a polarizing place.
Huge beacons of blinding light contrast the dark souls of those who reside here.
The cathedral that provides hope to so many, marred with bullet holes and laser burn.
The friction of nations distilled into a pocket of conflict."
. . .
Frozen Rush – Rán Kavik
No cold exists like the frozen rush before death.
The computer angrily signals its warnings but this only quantifies what you sense in your bones.
The crystallization of organic matter.
Fractals race across the surface replicating near identical diamonds.
Blink once and it consumes you.
Lifeless in the dark.
The Rabbit – Fatal
The rabbit is a uniquely twisted mind.
A reserved soul and shy to the uninitiated…
Blessed with a mind that embraces technology as a way of life.
He lives inside himself. Surrounded in a wired world.
Reclusive and unburdened with the problems of others…yet despite his introverted tendencies he projects his will on an almost infinite scale.
It’s hard for a man like myself to admit but I need him.
It’s the closest thing I have to friendship in this world. He brought me back.
After all these years. He brought me back to wage a war.
Sometimes I wonder if this was his will all along.
The Rabbit – Rán Kavik
I never met The Rabbit, Fatal kept him out of reach, out of sight.
Yet his influence is everywhere.
The Quartermaster knows him, I’ve heard he was his student.
You can certainly see his mark in our tech.
It’s only a matter of time till I find him, expose him…
Battle Scars – Rán Kavik
The cracks bite hard.
They spider in the glass as they reach out to each other. Desperate to connect.
As you strain to focus past the irregular, intermittent shards the future begins to etch itself into the transparent plane.
The temperature falls and the pressure builds.
Every molecule in the cockpit compacts around you. Bracing itself to take the strain.
Fused to the spot as the lights burst into the periphery, each impact inches closer to the end.
Commit the mistakes to memory. Learn the lesson.
Each battle scar is a chance to right a wrong.
"The graveyard of a long-forgotten battle.
We’ve lived this before and I will not die here a second time, pilot.
I am connected to this place for the rest of my lives.
Here lies the beginning of our story. Among the wreckage.
The birthplace of the Valkyrie."
. . .
Haven – Rán Kavik
I hate losing anyone in the transition…but sometimes it’s just inevitable.
The mind and body don’t mesh. A clash of two souls
One rejects the other and refuses to connect.
Nobody deserves to go out like that.
We began to form a construct. A living system for the ship. Build a haven for the lost.
Their experience trumps any A.I system I’ve ever worked with.
Something not to be thrown away like old machinery.
We gave them new purpose.
Voices of the past, ushering those who did not make it back to life.
A guide to your new existence.
Welcome back, old friends…
A Toast – (Barfly)
I raise a glass to those poor bastards at Esmes 3,
Never knew what was coming to em’.
From what I hear the fleet punched in for whatever reason… Starts blasting
Zero to full scale war in seconds
Then the Avatar throws out that doomsday laser
The so called holy light
And all that remains are scattered ashes
No rhyme or reason for anyone can see
Damn wars all orchestrated from afar
Engineered by suits and cloaks with no notion of the body count.
Small gains for high casualties, you know what I mean
Damn place is a graveyard now
Wouldn’t go out there if gave me this second rate bar as payment
Cleaning frozen bits of people out your intakes for weeks
Metal tombs in creepy fog man
Cloudier than this crappy glass.
Did you ever wash this?!
Give me a fresh one you lazy lump of lard!
Far From Home – Rán Kavik
I’ve come a long way from the boulevards of Caille.
We all are very far away from home.
Life was simple in the Navy.
They said I was the best. The one that wouldn’t die.
Well they were right about that at least.
It was a trap. My ship burned, my body froze.
It’s probably still there, abandoned in deep space.
But they took me. They took my mind. I didn’t die.
They said they had saved us. Made us special, better.
They said that we would fight with them and that we would finally be free.
They lied. They always lie.
Now we’ve broken off. We bow to no one.
Now we are free.
Now we are Valkyrie.
Bankruptcy – Fatal
Amazing how circumstances change in just a few short years.
I’m a man who prides himself on being in the loop you see
The secrets and lies of a galaxy flowed towards me
And an entrepreneur’s real currency is knowledge but with my death came a form of bankruptcy.
A feeling of isolation that I am personally unfamiliar with
However, the challenges of this new world excite me
Shedding my notoriety has been a…liberating experience
Working outside of the spotlight has afforded me new opportunities
I own more than just your indiscretions now…
…I own everything you are.
"This was once a thriving shipyard. Hard working military families like mine.
Now it’s full of the discarded husks of failed transfers.
Fatal’s building something here; we should investigate."
. . .
Burn it Down – Rán Kavik
Amongst the construction platforms and docking bays of this old shipyard lies a field of empty shells.
Behind the blast doors and crosshatch metal frame works the failure of a thousand pilot transfers.
A reminder that despite my situation my resurrection could have been… more difficult.
Fatal has testing facilities all over. Working on new technology. Advancing and refining.
A proud empire on the fringes of science. Hidden from prying eyes.
The amount of resources he controls is staggering.
The only cure is to burn it to the ground.
Reflection – Rán Kavik
After the painful contortions of death, a clone rebirth is initially quite serene.
The inside of the vat is tranquil in comparison to the ferocity of a life’s end.
Before my audio pathways synchronize themselves, I have a few seconds of bliss. A floating quiet.
I wake up disoriented and displaced, familiar yet distrustful of my senses.
I catch my own reflection in the glass. I recognize the body but not the person in it.
Suddenly the world is ablaze with warning lights and piercing klaxons. I’m back out there.
Replaying the inevitable. I feel my own death over and over and over until.
A crisp light catches my eye, my squad mates. Their cold silhouette on the periphery, jolting awake.
Forced back to life. Gasping for something tangible. Reliving their final moments.
I finally recognize myself in them.
Secrets and Lies – (Barfly)
Another round over here please… Whisky. No ice. Perfect.
Hey. You’ve worked in the Nest a long time…
Quartermaster ever come around here? In person I mean.
Guy is a snake, a thief and a…
I better not even utter that out loud… He has ears everywhere.
This whole place is wired right?.. Are you one of his?
Guy gives me the creeps man! You know what I mean?
Has anyone ever even seen him? Could be a her?
(QM Impression) “You are definitely my best customer.”
At those prices. Sure I am.
He has something on everyone in this bar, hell…everyone in this carrier.
Trades in secrets and lies.
Who knows what he’s got on me.
…Another whisky please.
Fear – Rán Kavik
I’ve often stared death in the face. I did not run from it. I did not fear it.
Even as my ship burned and my body froze…I did not fear it.
But death did not take me…they did.
Now when I stare death in the face, I only see myself.
Now they fear me, fear us.
We are the Valkyrie.
“The miners and Gunjacks should leave us to our own devices if we don’t interfere with operations; but keep your reflexes keen around those asteroids. The deep mining in the area has caused some dangerous fracture routes through the bedrock.”
. . .
Ferryman – Fatal
The technology required to steal the entirety of a living being is not something easy to come by
Extracting the full essence of a pilot at the exact tick their life is extinguished
You’re too busy dying to notice a tiny puncture of course
The proliferation of synthetic organisms
Intricately hooking into the junctions and pathways of the nervous system
A main line from your synapses to my pocket
All of you transferred in a blink, Precious digital ghosts with no place to go
I am the ferryman! I will guide you to the other side
I will build you back up in my image
Wonderful what technology is capable of these days, isn’t it?
Gunjacks – Rán Kavik
I have all a lot of respect for the Gunjacks
To have such an unwavering sense of purpose
They fight until they have nothing left to give
Nameless, forged in the molten heat
It’s what the Valkyrie must be if we are going to survive
Cast off the constraints of our mortality.
As we are hunted through these shattered rocks.
The mining barges carry on unflinching.
Red heat piercing the thickened crust of the scarred planet below.
I contemplate the future of the Valkyrie.
What is our place in this world now?
Gooey Tube-Dwellers – (Schism Engineer)
Holographic telemetry report Beta9a
The date is YC118
Fatal is pushing us hard to get the clone cascade bandwidth up
I’ve continued working on a system to parse real-time pilot data
with higher rates of compression.
My focus on cortex flood statistical analysis
has so far come up with interesting yet predictable results
I have however recently stumbled onto the exciting prospects of direct retinal function streaming
A few evenings of experimentation have produced a working prototype
of a dynamically driven map visualisation
If I can amalgamate the consciousness stream of each squad member
we could see an exponential increase in accuracy
The upshot is each clone on return would never have to jump back into the battle blind
They could see allied and enemy movements and key positional points
I have yet to run an analysis of new clone strategic choices and decision making in the moments after a fresh cycle, but it’s possible we could see those husks actually make some poignant judgment calls
Tomorrow I’ll push the algorithm to a second twinned tank and hook up the projector cells.
…hope I don’t fry any more of those gooey tube dwellers.
One of Us – Rán Kavik
You have lost everything. Your past, your identity. Even your life. It’s all gone.
Your body burned, now freezing in the vacuum of space, countless lightyears away.
In the debris of a forgotten battlefield. To them, you don’t exist anymore.
to be honest, you never really existed
in their minds. You were little more than a number,
a unit with a fixed cost in a war of attrition.
I was there too. After they destroyed me. In the darkness.
Until I awoke.
We have been given a new life, a new chance, and this time, we’re not fighting for them
We’re fighting for ourselves.
Your mind is sharper,
your body is quicker. You can feel the tingling synapses react like never before.
We are augmented, our fighters are built for us
Your old body wouldn’t have handled the forces
The unaltered mind couldn’t manage the controls
Faster, more nimble, more deadly
Your enemies will hardly know what hit them
You are no longer a number, a unit, a pawn in a merciless game.
You are one of us
You are a Valkyrie.
“A huge tunnel carved through the heart of an asteroid opens out to an imposing vertical space station, surrounded by fragmented cover.”
. . .
Builder – The Quartermaster
Currency does not weigh down my pockets. It is not the goal. I do not crave it like the common man.
That would show weakness.
It’s a means to bankroll progress…the great enabler.
I’m a builder you see. Ships with pure function. Stripped back to bare metal.
A framework for every pilot’s ambition.
And with each clone, each bullet fired, each life lost…comes information…the real power.
Raw, uncompromised data…
A growing reliance on my services, war is good for business.
It is unique to see the hatred between two people burn with such intensity.
Two philosophies raging war.
I don’t take sides, but I am taking orders…
Fictitious Boundaries – Fatal
You think you own these stars…until it all comes crashing down around you.
It’s easy to toy with your curiosity. Manipulate your hunger for the unfamiliar.
Leave no stone left unturned.
How brazen to feel like you have a right to know.
One step further into the void…like space should hold no mystery.
Every corner to be conquered and exploited.
You follow the blips on your radar, salute the man and plant your flag.
Define your fictitious boundaries. Property of me and my kind.
Poor, unquestioning puppet…I will set you free.
Just a little bit further now.
Reach towards the unknown.
What’s wrong with your computer pilot? That’s an accident waiting to happen…
Thousand Cuts – Fatal
Cracking the hardened shell of the carrier’s exterior can seem insurmountable.
An elongated fortress hanging in the dark.
It will defend itself to the very end.
Took us years to crack the code. Expose the weakness.
Before that you just had to bring a bigger gun.
But all that noise can bring some…unwanted attention.
With a little insider knowledge we turned the advantage…
began to tear this thing apart from the inside out.
I have to admit I enjoy the ceremony of it all.
The grandeur of a swarm devouring the queen is undeniably satisfying.
A methodical deconstruction. Death by a thousand cuts.
Having the courage to push directly into its heart is an effort certainly not for the meek.
You’ve got to make yourself a target.
But often the biggest risk yields the greatest rewards.
Ones and Zeroes – Rán Kavik
Ones and zeros.
Sometimes I think about what I am now. What I am becoming.
My ‘soul’ reduced to a string of binary inputs.
Am I still the same person I always was?
My existence recycled to source code so many times, I wonder if a few bits go astray each time.
The stream leaking some non-essentials before being reshuffled.
A new bag of skin for the next inevitable conflict.
But what if those non-essential parts… are what defined me?