CONCORD Sanctions Player For Obstructing Ongoing InvestigationAshterothi
On YC 120.01.12 NPC actor Oveg Drust informed the readers of the Intergalactic Summit that sanctions were being imposed upon the player Capsuleer Valerie Valate in the form of setting her security standings to -10, effectively banishing her from CONCORD space until she can repair her standings.
To fully understand why this happened we will have to peel back several layers of stories that have been going on throughout New Eden. While many have complained that without SCOPE videos or major Drifter attacks the ongoing lore of EVE seems dead, that to the struggle for power within New Eden has gone on mostly unnoticed.
Warzone Extraction and the Quartermaster
Late last year we had an event entitled Warzone Extraction. In a lot of ways this event was similar to the many seasonal style events we have become used to in the last few years. However, the actual task required in this event was very different than previous ones. Whereas in most other events the task is fundamentally “go to beacon and kill what is there, loot what’s left”, this one asked pilots hunt among drifter battleship wrecks for a mcguffin known as the Corrupted Trinary Relic, all while fending off Sleeper attacks. According to instructions, the pilot would then return the object to the NPC outside of the site named “the Quartermaster”.
Even those with only a passing awareness of the lore should already have their concerns raised by this. Nearly everything about the Drifters is mysterious. The most detailed information we ever received was the Drifter autopsy, which still only raised more questions than it answered. However, in spite of this, there have been accusations that the Sisters of EVE used Drifter technology to advance our cloning tech to allow for Alpha clone state. Additionally, the SoE have released and new drugs using highly classified Drifter technology.
The relics themselves are also a curiosity. Wanted by not only the Quartermaster, but by a player organization known as Arataka Research Consortium (-ARC-). Offering 5 million ISK for each relic, ARC confirmed that they had collected thousands of these objects and released some preliminary research on the matter.
This leads to the question of who exactly the Quartermaster is. In order to understand his role in New Eden you have to look at EVE Valkyrie. While mechanically the Quartermaster serves as your in game store, and manages your many customizations you can unlock, he also plays a key role in the ongoing story of EVE Valkyrie, as revealed by the Echos found in the games “Scout” mode.
Around the time of the Warzone Extraction event I posted a thread on both forums seeking information about the Quartermaster. However, I wasn’t able to collect much beyond these core facts:
- The Quartermaster is a primary figure in the Valkyrie storyline, supplying the Valkyries (and maybe the Schism) with supplies and technology (though this audio file seems to suggest he is working against Fatal now. The source was the Drifter tech)
- He was rumored to be trained by The Rabbit, a tech genius who invented the brain kidnapping device used to catch Valkyrie pilots, and resurrected Fatal.
- He is connected to the Agency, insofar as he was the person frontrunning the Agency event: Warzone Extraction.
- He has a vested interest in Drifter tech.
- He hunted after a secret Thukker base to get coordinates to a Drifter Hive so that he could steal their technology and augment the Valkyries.
- He also collected untold numbers of Corrupted Trinary Relics from capsuleers during the Warzone Extraction event.
- He ‘doesn’t take sides’ but he does ‘take orders’
- He is described as a snake and a thief. A dealer in secrets, and someone that everyone knows, but no one has seen in person.
- He admits to having spent years moving pawns to get access to the Drifter Hive, implying he knows more about Drifters than many.
Timekeeping and the 25th
Reaching even further back into EVE’s history we find a chronical called “Time & The Astrologer” which tells the story of the formation of the Yoiul calendar and New Eden Standard Time. More importantly however, it shows that this decision did not go without contest. There were two other rival factions, one known as the “Arithmetics”, which wanted a math driven calendar, and the 25ers who believe our timekeeping should be based on human biology. This groups name comes from their claim that a 25 hour clock would be more beneficial to the human body’s natural rhythms.
After their defeat the 25ers and their leader, the “Astrologer”, turned to protests and later terrorism against CONCORD as a means of influencing licensing laws within the cluster. His actions made the Astrologer into folk hero as well as a highly wanted suspect, and since then many have used the namesake to invoke standing up against “the man” in a very Guy Fawkesian way.
However, recently the issue of timekeeping and the 25th have re-emerged in a peculiar way.
YC 119.12.20 Among the preparations for the Yoiul Festival, and the growing concerns over the Rogue Swarm Alert, CONCORD announces their Project Discovery division, recently transferred to them from SoE, will be conducting a review of the “the calculation and synchronization of the New Eden timebase for purposes of its exoplanet hunting efforts”(sic)
YC 120.01.04 Official announcement that CONCORD will be conducting research “to improve the measurement of CONCORD’s universal timebase, currently used across all of New Eden and known as New Eden Standard Time.” The research will be conducted by Dr. Holnar Reniret of Project Discovery, as well as CONCORD Aerospace Public Communications Officer Lorienne Nesif. Both are NPC actors
YC 120.01.06 Dr. Reniret and Officer Nesif were escorted to Luminaire by player capsuleers. However during this event a Talos class Battlecruiser piloted by an unknown figure known as “the Astromancer” attacked the research vessels and the capsuleers defended the NPC actors successfully, destroying the Astromancer’s ship, and podding him. Alongside him were two Algos class destroyers belonging to Nheil Kharan, and Therik Mot, both NPCs. The log of NPC actor’s communications throughout this event can be found on the ongoing discussion in the Intergalactic Summit. During this attack it was noted that the Talos was named “Human Horology”, a clear reference to the 25th movement. Most notably, a Corrupted Trinary Relic was dropped by the Astromancer’s wreck, and was obtained by pilot Capsuleer Valerie Valate. It is worth noting that the Astromancer is a slightly different name than the original Astrologer, though he is clearly attempting a parallel.
YC 120.01.09 SoE splinter group known as the ‘Pharos of Thera’ issued a claim that the CONCORD Timebase mission was in fact a secret test for anti-Drifter technology. Those who were at the attack did report unusual attention from Drifter forces. Additionally, the ARC forces dispatched to handle the Apollo Tyrannos and other Drifter forces. Reading through the transcript seems to imply that the Drifter presence was concerning for the NPC actors, suggesting it was noteworthy. It was noted at the time that the Drifters did not fire their doomsday, against their standard behavior.
YC 120.01.10 Valerie Valate confessed in the Intergalactic Summit that she was in the possession of the Corrupted Trinary Relic obtained from the Astromancer’s wreck.
YC 120.01.11 Oveg Drust, an NPC representative for CONCORD in the Intergalactic Summit, responded to Valate informing her that she must surrender the “glowy red doodad” to Lorienne Nesif at Yulai III, Moon 1, Secure Commerce Commission Depository. His response was met flippantly, and prompted a more stern response by the CONCORD representative.
Finally, on YC 120.01.12 Oveg announced via the Intergalactic Summit thread that Valate would have sanctions imposed upon her for her failure to cooperate in CONCORDs investigation. Hours later ARC released their own report of the events, focusing on CONCORD SARO forces forcibly removing the corpse of the Astromancer by boarding the transport vessel piloted by a player capsuleer from Phoenix Naval Systems, a player run corporation.
The Rogue in the Machine
All of this seems to suggest that there is something deeper we don’t know fully about yet. We may not have all the answers, but at least it is clear that there is something foul afoot. While this isn’t the first time CONCORD has responded in such an aggressive manner over capsuleers withholding evidence they are interested in, this whole matter brings into question CONCORDs ongoing legitimacy, and whether they are on the up and up with New Eden.
It is also interesting that this isn’t the first time that old Dust NPC corps have been turning up in the news. Last year it Arkombine working in tandem with Mordu Legion to liberate ORE from the Serpentis, and this time two members of Algintal Core were alongside the Astromancer when he attacked the CONCORD sanctioned Timekeeper Research event.
What stands out is the presence of the Algintal Core at the site. The only information about this group is from the DUST NPC corp page (emphasis mine):
“Originating as a military unit seconded to corporate interests studying the behaviour of rogue drones in the Algintal constellation, the Algintal Core have maintained a clinical care and attention in everything they do, even after cutting formal ties with the original research effort and Federation military alike. Exposure to the realities of corporate life has inevitably added a certain cynicism to the attitudes of the founding operatives, which has served them well as suppliers in the military services sector.”
Modern Rogue Drone history starts with the “Spectrum Breach” initiative by the Gallente in YC 88. As part of this operation several new stargates to previously unknown lands were constructed. However, after the drone workers of the Gallente involved rebelled against their masters, the gates were sealed and the operation was covered up. These regions are now known as the Drone Regions.
In late YC 109, controversy rocked CONCORD as the now-former Commander Gispali Rhatal was forced to resign his position on YC 109.10.30. Soon after, questions arose as to the circumstances surrounding the resignation. Ultimately, this resulted in CONCORD having to officially acknowledge their secret operations within the Drone Regions.
This would not be the last time that CONCORD would be caught involved with the Rogue Drones for mysterious reasons. Last year CONCORD Task Force Pegasus was confirmed to be lost within the Drone Region. Though it was played off as a routine function, this was swiftly followed by the first Rogue Swarm Alert. Though we capsuleers managed to end the threat, what CONCORD was doing that lead to this uprising remains a mystery.
The month after this uprising, CONCORD formally acquired Project Discovery, which to this point had been used by the Sisters of EVE to covertly research Drifter cell samples using capsuleer “citizen science”. Project Discovery rapidly transitions into being an exoplanet discovery system for CONCORD. Shortly thereafter the SCOPE divested ownership of the SCOPE Capsuleer Job Brokering system, now known as The Agency, after the acquiring company: the Ostrakon Agency, another former Dust 514 merc corporation. Shortly thereafter the Warzone Extraction began.
Questions upon Questions
it is clear that the lore of EVE is not as dead as many may suspect
Each of these three threads of plot appear to be independent, until one looks below the surface. Only then does it become clear that the webs of deception and questionable loyalty is thick and dense. We know that CONCORD IC now has Society of Conscious Thought leader Elder Mentor Matshi Raish as one of its members, and that he is particularly interested in the Drifter threats, but also Upwell. We had suspicions as early as the Arek’Jaalan project that there was connection between Rogue Drones and Sleeper AI. We also know that the Drifters and the Sleepers seem to be working in close tandem with each other.
On top of all of this it was reported that Taya Akira, the Pharos of Thera member who first spoke out against the SoE research of Drifter technology, has gone missing during the Rogue Swarm Alert. Her ultimate fate is still unknown.
What we do know is that it is clear that the lore of EVE is not as dead as many may suspect. While we are not getting the flashy SCOPE videos, it does seem that the seemingly random events of the last year do in fact play into a larger narrative. It is also very clear that CCP is blending capsuleers and NPC actions together, most notably by involving ARC and other groups to take active roles in the story.
The lore of EVE is hard to get into, as is befitting a game like EVE. However, with that increased difficulty does come increased reward. The EVE universe remains alive in a way that most other games can’t come close to, and I for one am excited to see where CCP, and the players, will take us next.