The Kyonoke Plague – A PrimerAshterothi
“Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.”
On February 8th, YC 118, a large section of the orbital platform above Muttokon II was quarantined. Within two days the situation had escalated to the point where the entire platform was disconnected from the planet. Soon after, the source of the outbreak had been confirmed and the platform was towed into deep space, leaving the over nine-hundred thousand personnel on board to their deaths.
During that time, three additional outbreaks occurred: one on the Zainou medical center in Oijanen, a second in the Genolution biotech production facility in Efu, and finally an Astral Mining prospecting facility in Postouvn. These outbreaks are spread throughout the cluster, with one outbreak in each of the sovereign empires of New Eden. The pathogen itself is known as the Kyonoke plague, named after the Kyonoke Pit, the site it was first discovered at.
The Kyonoke plague is not your typical pathogen. In many ways it is like a cross between Ebola and anthrax, 100% fatal, air-borne able to remain dormant within a host for a period of time; the protein-like speck that causes the plague can remain outside of a host nearly indefinitely. Once inhaled it quickly goes to work embedding itself in the victim’s brain causing a horrible and painful death, but not before spreading to anyone around.
Standard protections also do not help against the plague. The researchers who first investigated the Kyonoke Pit became infected and died in spite of their strict adherence to protocol and use of protective hazmat suits. The only real protection against the spread of the plague is to seal off and prevent any access to infected locations. Thankfully, so far it seems that each of the sites have been successfully quarantined and, in spite of multiple outbreaks occurring within days of each other, it doesn’t appear it is spreading from one site to the others.
So how did this happen?
Around the year YC 101 the first breach of the Kyonoke Pit was confirmed. Two unknown vessels gained illegal access to the Pit and the pathogen therein. While one of the ships was destroyed when the crew became infected by the plague, the other ship escaped, never to be heard from again. Then, while the Empyreans were busy watching the ‘spectacle’ of battle taking place for the M-OEE Keepstar, three more ships were detected and destroyed while attempting to access the Kyonoke Pit. Finally, reports indicate that within the last two weeks there was a second successful breach of the Pit.
At this point we have every reason to assume that the outbreaks of Kyonoke throughout the cluster are at least partially due to intentional attacks. However, so far no agency has take responsibility for the outbreaks, likely due to the ramifications such admission would do to them. Of the four sites, two of them are the major corporations whose contracts have benefited the most from the development of the controversial Alpha clones.
A Plague At the Top of the World
While it is true our information in game is limited, there also is some out-of-game information we have. CCP has confirmed that this event is leading up to a live ARG that will take place at Fanfest in Reykjavik from April 6-8th. We also know that the outcome of this event is not set in stone, and the the choices made during this time will change the course of history. This represents the boldest attempt CCP has made in the last several years to openly allow the players to engage with, and impact the story.
With that in mind it is important for us to understand what is going on, who is involved, and what is at stake.
Muttokon Site: The Minmatar site was the first to identify the outbreak on board their orbital platform, and while some are criticizing Shakor for his rash actions in potentially condemning the nearly million people on board to their death, the Republic continue to stress the result of that action saving the lives of those on the planet below.
Oijanen Site: The most hard hitting site so far, taking place in the city of Myrskaa, this outbreak has the potential of claiming all of the over 36 million people currently under quarantine. Additionally, the Kyonoke plague has profound psychological impact on the State, as many view the plague as an existential threat after its discovery nearly twenty years ago.
Efu Site: The Genolution site, and its 729,112 personnel under quarantine, is being watched over by the Society of Conscious Thought Elder Mentor Matshi Raish himself. Raish is of particular importance as he is on the CONCORD Inner Council (after the events of Inheritance) and is perhaps the most informed person in the cluster when it comes to Drifters and the true nature of Jamyl Sarum I.
Postouvin Site: Being the only site in high security space, Solitude is largely cut off from the remainder of central systems that make up CONCORDs jurisdiction. Over 8 million people are currently under quarantine there, and recently the SoCT have mobilized to this location. Additionally, there was a coverup by the FIO and Mentas Blaque, and the only reason we know the true nature of the outbreak is a leaked memo. There is reason to be concerned that the attempted coverup may have cost even more lives, and the Gallente government may have to answer for that as this develops.
Every indication shows this is an attack, but no suspects have emerged. However, we can piece together what we know and try to speculate as to who may be involved.
Blood Raiders: The Blood Raiders are specialists in blood and biological matters. If anyone could capture and harness this plague it would be them. After the events of last years Crimson Harvest, we received some ominus warnings from them, and they have attacked cloning research facilities, in particular in Minmatar space, where the first outbreak occurred.
Serpentis/Angels: The Kyonoke Pit is one of the most guarded sites in Caldari space and yet it was successfully breached without any detection. The only group with this sort of capability would be the Serpentis, who developed the masking systems that would later become our SKIN system. The Angels and the Serpentis are also known for using illegal smuggling routes and so could quickly move within the cluster without detection.
SOE: An ostensibly humanitarian organization the SOE have been directly responsible for the study of Drifter biology (specifically protein detection via Project Discovery). The most recent chronicle shows us not only that the SOE are actively hiding their developments from the Empires and the SoCT, but also that they are coordinating with the Angels to do so.
Sansha: Several years ago Sansha attacked the system that contains the Kyonoke Pit. They could have possibly gained access during that time and stolen some of the pathogen. Additionally, given infected humans have been the vector to infect the various sites, it is possible the Sansha slave technology is turning sick people into weapons.
Drifters: While we have no physical evidence of Drifter involvement, they are the most enigmatic and hostile to humans agency within the cluster. Additionally Drifters have connections to the SOE (who are actively studying and reverse engineering their technology) and the Sansha (who seem to be inhabiting Drifter space).
BREAKING NEWS: The remains of the dead pilot found at the Pit has been identified as Flight Lieutenant Ohmon Kasaras, a highly respected and decorated pilot for the Home Guard, the private security detachment for the Kaalakiota corporation, the largest of the Caldari States’ mega corporations.
The pilot in question has been on rotational leave for mandatory physical training starting February 1st, seven days before the first outbreak, and eight days prior to the crash landing that seemingly caused the Zainou Medical Facility outbreak in Oijanen, nearly 12 light years away from the Pit.
The Kaalakiota corporation is the largest of the States’ eight mega corporations that make up its corporate government. The Kaalakiota (or KK) corporation has fingers in nearly everything within the State, however its main focus in on real estate. The KK also own the mountain range north of Arcurio, the second largest city on Caldari Prime, which recently came to Empyrean notice as free samples of “Kaalakiota Peaks Vodka” was handed out as part of the YC 119 Yoiul celebrations.
The KK corporation saw major setbacks from the rise of the now infamous Tibus Heth, as he fought against the Home Guard and ousted the KK CEO Haatakan Oriitsuu from the position she held for decades, until he himself was also removed from the position. Additionally, in the same Yoiul celebration, the final logs of Heth’s vessel were released to the Empyreans. While none of this could be seen as a proof that the KK corporation to be behind these actions, today’s findings could potentially destabilize the already fragile State as it still attempts to recover from the events of Tibus Heth. It could also indicate a power struggle within the KK corporation, or the State at large, as those perhaps still loyal to Tibus are willing to engage in bio terrorism either out of revenge or other motivations. Finally, it is very possible that the loyal member of the Home Guard was attempting to stop the breach, or was planted by the true culprits as a way to frame an already scandal wracked agency within the State.
These events are very much current and ongoing, with new articles coming out nearly daily. There is certainly more to come out between now and Fanfest, and we will cover it as things develop.
Special thanks to Uriel, James, Darkezero, Aradina Varren, CCP Falcon, and the rest of the #lore channel in Tweetfleet for helping me assemble this information.