Encounters: Unidentified Wormhole “Vidette”

Special thanks to Radical Divinity for pointing me toward an entrance to this system.

I took a break from writing a multi-part post today to continue my exploration of the Unidentified Wormhole (aka Drifter Wormhole) entitled “Vidette”.  The technical term for this system is J164710 and I’ll be referring to the sites in this system using the nomenclature established in the recent “Anomalous Findings” post by Rhavas on Interstellar Privateer.

I’ve been camping out here for a bit, trying to glean any information I can from the various Cosmic Anomalies in this relatively quiet system.  The soundscape consists of a sound best described as being like wind, which I’m aware isn’t really possibly in the vacuum of space.  The only other entities in this system, aside from me, seem to be the occasional Circadian Seeker or Drifter Battleship (Apollo Tyrannos) who warp into the beacon areas, remain for a maximum of 5 minutes 41 seconds according to my stopwatch while scanning the sites, and then warp off.  The warp-off location of these drones and Drifters appears to almost always be a central celestial beacon entitled “Vidette.”

“Debris Field”

The first site I explored was “The Debris Field”.  It consists of several cryptic pieces of wreckage enveloped in a large plume of dust.  The wreckage is still smoldering; suggesting that it was destroyed relative recently, assuming conventional physics are at play.  Despite a thorough attempt to locate any markings on the wreckage, I was unsuccessful.  The most conspicuous pieces of wreckage are described on the Overview as Spaceshuttle WreckPower Feed, and a Depleted Station Battery.  The descriptions of these objects seem to indicate the existence of a station at or near this location, but there is a surprisingly small amount of wreckage if that were the case.  I would think that even a smaller outpost would have more than just this small concentration of debris.

That raises the possibility that that either much of the debris was removed from the source site or that this was perhaps a convoy ferrying supplies to some station under construction or in need of parts.  Given that the majority of the large wreckage is attributable to some form of elongated shuttlecraft, I suspect that the latter possibility is more likely.  However, a convoy moving through the middle of space doesn’t seem to entirely fit the material evidence.  Whatever incident destroyed these objects appears to have happened in proximity to an asteroid or other celestial body.   The shuttle wrecks are smashed into rocky material and the dust cloud appears consistent with some type of obliterated rock.  There does not appear to be an asteroid belt nearby or damaged planet/moon/etc so the source of that material is unknown.  Perhaps I’ve come across a collection of debris moving around space, having been ejected from a larger explosion.  Perhaps it was transported here from another region of k-space or w-space, having been sucked through a wormhole during some cataclysmic event (like the Seyllin incident).  There is just too little information available at this time to say for sure.

With regards to the nature of the wreckage, I have encountered items like the Depleted Station Battery and the Spaceshuttle Wreck before (e.g. in Abandoned Gallente Outposts in high-sec), but I’m going to reconsider them here in the context of their presence in Drifter wormhole space.

As mentioned, there are no external markings and the objects’ exteriors consists of unadorned metal plates.  I acknowledge that the polished metal appearance may be a result of combustible processes which stripped the vessels of their coating when they sustained the evident catastrophic damage.  Continuing with morphology, the formal characteristics are generally inconsistent with those of the five empires, the Sleepers, the Drifters, or the other extant extra-imperial factions.  One particularly curious aspect of the shuttle wrecks is the spherical structure located just aft of the cockpit.  Was this a primitive type of “capsule” (i.e. escape pod)?  It appears accessible from a hatch just above the cockpit area so that may make sense.  Was it a fuel cell or reactor?  That may be more likely given that there is some type of conduit attached to it, but perhaps that was a life support conduit.  Unfortunately I have no further information as to its purpose.

Lastly, on a purely speculative note, the design of these vessels could be old…very old.   It could also be the technology of a civilization that has simply existed in isolation for a long time and not had a need to develop as much as those civilizations in k-space.  Again, this is all purely speculative and much more information is required.

“The Claw”

This site consists of a massive Sleeper structure composed of several Sleeper Preservation Conduits and Sleeper Thermoelectric Converters arrayed around a central Sleeper Engineering Station.  The structure is illuminated by a the same luminescent blue/green particulate cloud visible around other Sleeper structures, with the effect very much localized to the Engineering Station.  The compound is unattended by drones or Drifters but appears to be functional, emanating a random pulse every few seconds according to the Description window.

The Engineering Station proper is of a relatively planar design elongated along one axis, giving it a generally rectangular appearance.  There appears to be both fore and aft docking areas, though only one of those sites is currently linked to the rest of the station.  The middle portion of the station features three individual latitudinal conduits that appear to terminate at three 90 degree vent ports facing the superior surface of the structure.  Perhaps these ports are responsible for the aforementioned colorful plume.   The inferior aspect of the structure is generally unremarkable, save a set of articulating arms.  These may serve a docking function, but there is insufficient information to say for sure.

“The Treehouse”

This site is just bizarre: a large Sleeper Enclave cradled in an immense Coral Rock Formation.  Like “The Claw”, this structure is unattended by drones or Drifters, yet a Drifter Battleship would routinely warp-in an investigate the area each time I arrived.  Have Drifters started responding to warp signatures?  The battleship wasn’t able to find me due to my cloak, but it was definitely probing; scanning the Sleeper structure and the rock formation.

The Enclave is flanked by two Sleeper Thermoelectric Converters which are positioned outside the radius of the Coral Rock Formation.  The description window suggests the structure is operational but it makes no mention of its association with the Coral Rock Formation.  The entire compound is surrounded by a red-orange plume of small particulate matter which is similar in color to that of rust.  The plumes are of unknown origin, though I suspect they may be the result of a chemical reaction between Sleeper materials and the Coral Rock.  Perhaps the result of Sleeper exhaust coming in contact with compounds on the rock formation.  The Enclave and associated structures are unremarkable and appear consistent with the Sleeper structures encountered elsewhere.

“Temple Asteroid”

This dazzling site consists of a Floating Stonehenge rock formation encompassing a cluster of Cloven Red Asteroids and Broken Orange Crystal Asteroids.  External to the structure are the remains of a vessel entitled, “Ghost Ship.”

Beginning with the asteroid amalgamation: I’m going to go out on a limb here and venture that the central point about which the Floating Stonehenge is orbiting is a point of intense gravity.  Assuming that to be the case, these asteroids were likely drawn to this point and smashed into one another; creating the amalgamation noted in my survey.  The possibility exists, however, that the stonehenge was erected around this asteroid collision due the fact that it was perceived to have some significance.  I do not, however, believe that to be the case.  Consider the stonehenge structures we have seen in parts of New Eden.  They almost always consist of a network of vertically oriented rocks orbiting a central orb-like concentration of energy which, for lack of a better analogy, appears like a miniature star.  This same orb is present at this stonehenge, yet it is mostly obscured by the mess of asteroids that appear to have been attracted to it.  The asteroids have retained much of their structural integrity and direct contact with the orb does not appear to result in any form of rapid degradation…curious.

With regards to the Ghost Ship, it appears to be part of a larger vessel; though at least one thruster section appears to be present.  The wreckage is of a tubular design and is quite large, much larger than my Stratios.  There are several regions of damage which appear, to me at least, to be the result of considerable mechanical and thermal force.  If this damage is the result of weapons, I would imagine that projectile weapons would be the likely culprit.

As to the origin, the vessels appears to share the same primitive characteristics exhibited by The Debris Field wrecks.  I suspect that the civilization(s) responsible for constructing those spaceshuttles were either the same responsible for this vessel or, at the very least, shared technology with those who did.  The proximity to a stonehenge raises the possibility that this was a Talocan or Yan Jung vessel.  The association between the Yan Jung civilization and gravimetric technologies and stonehenge anomalies is well documented and it is known that the Sleepers had considerable interactions with the Talocans.  The Talocan vessel designs I’m aware of, however, are not consistent with the wreckage here; even if we assume that this is just a portion of larger vessel.

A particularly curious point of interest here is a strange Mysterious Probe within the stonehenge circle.  It looks almost exactly like a celestial beacon but the description window states, “Despite its familiar construction, this ancient probe is made from materials and electronics unlike anything you’ve ever seen in New Eden.  It floats silently through space, seemingly dormant.”  Absolutely fascinating!

“The Grid”

This site is absolutely fantastic.  It consists of a large Sleeper Complex with a large spatial rift at one terminus of the superstructure.  Going end-to-end: at what I will call the initial terminus, sit two Sleeper Engineering Stations.  These are analogous to the Engineering Stations elsewhere so I won’t describe them in detail again.  These stations are docked to two parallel networks of Sleeper Multiplex Forwarders and Sleeper Linkage Structures.  These, in turn, both merge into a single terminal conduit and subsequently connect to a large terminal ring of Sleeper Thermoelectric Converters which encircles a spatial rift.  Rhavas suspects that the complex may be “some sort of power grid or experimental portal generator.”  Given the available information on Sleeper Structures, what we have seen in various Sleeper wormhole environments, and Rhavas’ incontrovertible expertise on the subject, I’m inclined to agree with Rhavas’ assessment with the addition of this possibly being a communications relay.  The multiplex forwarder network suggests a considerable communications array component to this enterprise.  It is possible that the Sleepers are able to use spatial rifts to accelerate (or otherwise broadcast) information between distant regions of space.

Patrols of this structure are light and I never encountered more than one Drifter Battleship while surveying the site.

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