Rhavas’ Quarters, Boundless Creation Factory, Hek, Metropolis
Rhavas watched the pirated CONCORD video feed for the dozenth time. Watched as 3HQC-6 I was annihilated – a camera drone shot that could only have come from a Serpentis or CONCORD emplacement that somehow survived.
The view shifted to a galactic map, highlighted like a control board or situational map on the console of a CONCORD crisis management center. A warning glowed across the base of the feed: MULTIPLE MAIN SEQUENCE ANOMALIES DETECTED.
The feed was muddy, clearly shot through a secretly placed camera. Some system names were clear. 3HQC-6 was highlighted, along with the other places Rhavas’ travels had led: SL-YBS. EAWE-2. Z8-81T. T-IPZB. He could only barely make out the labels for Seyllin and 35-RK9.
But there were only seven shattered planets in k-space … and the feed clearly showed ten glowing red dots.
One was clearly marked, bright and bold, as 5-CSE3. Multiple data sources confirmed that there was no shattered planet in that system. 5-CSE3 was as far from empire space as you could get and still be in the New Eden cluster. There were 50 or more nullsec systems between Hek and there – and there was no longer time for Rhavas to go that far to visually confirm. He had to focus on the other two mystery systems.
He slowed the video feed. Stopped. 34 seconds. 35. 36. Backed up. Framed forward. 34. 35. Backed again. The glowing letters blurred too tightly together to be readable.
“Aura, overlay map please.” The neocom obediently overlaid his own map of New Eden over the top of the video feed.
“Synchronize shapes.” The miniature galactic cluster rotated, angled, and settled to approximately the same orientation as the CONCORD video. They did not match exactly. One of the systems, however, was clearly in Jove space – another that would be unreachable. But the last appeared to be in nullsec not far from Caldari space.
He reached out and tapped the comm button on his desk. A holographic face appeared, floating eerily above his desk. It was his chief scientist.
“Any luck?” Rhavas asked.
“Yes sir. I’ve sent numerous requests for information to the scientific community since I got the video. So far only one reply, from Auwnie Morohe. She has confirmed records of ten anomalies, and insists that the ones missing from your list are 5-CSE3, R79-I7 in Jove space, and Y0-BVN in Vale of the Silent.”
Rhavas frowned. Y0-BVN also did not have a shattered world, according to all available sources. But Y0-BVN was, relatively speaking, close by – there was nothing for it but to make a personal visit.
Wraith Capsuleer Log 101118, Y0-BVN, Vale of the Silent
The journey out was a quick and relatively uneventful one. The system is indeed an A0 Blue star, so it is conceivable that this sun flared along with the others. However, upon direct visual examination, the first planet of the system is clearly not a shattered world, but instead a common barren planet.
It is difficult to reconcile the utter desolation that I have seen in the other systems with this seemingly unaffected grey sphere. The others were destroyed so thoroughly, and with such precision, that it defies belief that any world could have survived so unscathed as this planet. While I greatly respect her research, it will take me a while to decide whether I believe Ms. Morohe’s assertions that this is the correct system.
It is also interesting to discover that the lone station in the system, high in orbit around a ringed gas giant planet, is a strange little Minmatar outpost called “Drop Bear Central”. Drop Bear is a remarkable scientist who is also involved with the discussions on wormholes and Sleepers, and one who seems to have preternatural insights. Many of the scientific community suspect he is a Jovian, but his true identity remains hidden. Having his name on the station here somehow adds credibility and a creeping sense of unease to both those rumors and Morohe’s statements.
Unfortunately, confirming there is nothing substantive here has not helped to explain the ten impacts where there should only have been seven. It only continues to reinforce the mystery. Back to the drawing board.
Aboard Wraith, Aldrat, Metropolis
“Sending now, sir,” came the chief scientist’s voice.
Rhavas idled, cloaked. He had sent a note to one of the most prominent Seyllin researchers and scientists immediately upon seeing the video, stating:
There are only two discrepancies [in your work that] I cannot reconcile. [You state] that there were 10 anomalous readings that day, and based on all sources other than your [statement, Ms. Morohe’s assertions] and an unauthorized video release of a CONCORD control room somewhere, I have only been able to substantiate claims of seven systems in k-space that have had events like Seyllin.
You also note that there should be 10 wormhole systems similarly damaged. I have found one, and there are rumors of a second – but I have found nothing, and heard from no one, to suggest there are more.
Can you fill me in how you reached those 10-and-10 numbers?
And now, a reply had come. The letter was strange, and as disturbing as it was enlightening.
I do apologise for the tardiness of my response, it was shameful of me to keep a fellow scholar waiting for such a simple request of information. Unfortunately, I will likely continue to be difficult to reach for the forseeable future, as I have recently taken up an offer to work with CONCORD in an advisory role that was made as a result of [redacted].
One unfortunate side-effect of accepting this offer was that I was forced to transfer all current data and research materials from the project to CONCORD authority, but that was the price for the continuation of our work after the reconcilliation effort’s funding failed.
I am deeply sorry, but this means that much of the data we were previously working with has been classified by CONCORD, and whilst I may be able to help by offering a few pointers, I am afraid that I cannot risk leaking classified information.
I can confirm that there definitely were a total of ten recorded Main Sequence Anomalies in and around the New Eden cluster, not all of the anomalies took place in inhabited star systems, and some even took place in star systems located just outside the stargate network. This accounts for the three k-space Anomalies you were unable to find evidence of.
With regards to the matching events in w-space, at the time [redacted] that theory was still just conjecture, however, it was assumed that there must have been similar Anomalies there in order to generate the particle field required to destabilise the space-time topology to a high enough degree to make spontaneous topological defects connect between the two regions. If there was no particle field, then all of the wormholes would solely be found in and around k-space systems, and would only link to other wormholes in and around k-space.
We have since been proved correct in our hypothesis, as you say you yourself have been able to witness some of the evidence discovered in w-space in support of our theory, but the actual number 10 was simply chosen as we assumed that w-space events would have to have mirrored our own in order for the near-perfect balance of wormhole activity between the two regions of the universe to remain stable. We also have other reasons to believe that we are still correct in this assumption, especially due to the abnormally high number of Cosmic Anomalies found in w-space.
It is our belief that some of these unstable star system configurations were actually created by Main Sequence Anomalies. Again, I am unable to provide you with the raw data which lead us to this conclusion, as it has been classified, but I assure you we are working with the very best information that both CONCORD and certain other agencies can provide.
I hope that this information has helped your understanding [redacted] somewhat, I only regret that I have been put in a position whereby I am forced to withold data from the scientific community at large. Regrettably, the current political climate is not conducive to the unrestricted flow of information across borders, so I have been forced to take my investigation to the only authority that can guarantee their neutrality from such matters, at the price of our own neutrality I fear.
Please feel free to do with this information as you wish, I only ask that if you go on to use it publicly, you do not name me as the source, as it would make the continued funding of my operation even more difficult than it currently is.
After some brief consideration of the request, Rhavas redacted the identifiable items from the letter, and uploaded it into his findings.
It seemed, he thought, somehow fitting that the end of his journey would yield little more than new unanswered questions. Shattered planets outside the starlanes, three he would never see. Wormhole worlds that were both nearby and far away. Scientists being bought and silenced by CONCORD.
Rhavas took in the view as he approached his new home, Eve University’s primary campus at the Pator Tech School station in Aldrat. It looked like an inviting enough place. He dropped his cloak and sent a hailing signal. “Docking permission requested, new student.”
Rhywald’s face came into view. “Hi Rhavas. I trust you have your days wandering nullsec alliance territories behind you for the duration?”
“Yep. The only place I have left to visit is a C5 wormhole, and finding it among the thousands of others is probably never going to happen.”
Rhywald smiled. “I’ll meet you at your quarters in half an hour to finalize the security clearances and the contracts. Docking request accepted.”
OOC NOTES: Auwnie Morohe’s statements are from at least two posting occasions, here and here, citing The Empyrean Age novel as the source. Auwnie’s posts are great sources of insight into the background of the wormholes and Sleepers. The notes above, with the exception of redactions and items in [brackets], are direct copy-and-paste of Eve-mails between me and one major researcher. I apologize for the length but wanted to include them as verbatim as possible. I’ve bent the timeline a bit – I sent the original note to him in November, and he replied to me in February – thus his apology.
This is the eleventh of a 12-part series. Next: Part 12 – The Hidden Fire.