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EVE Evolved: The Sleepers are coming!

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Ever since the announcement of 100 new wormhole systems and the unique Thera wormhole hub system, some interesting things have been going on in EVE Online. A new star appeared in the night sky and began rapidly growing in brightness like a supernova, and curiously, the light from that star was able to be seen from every star system in New Eden simultaneously in clear violation of the laws of physics. Two days prior to the event, Sansha's Nation were seen scattering from an Incursion site and leaving the area without using wormholes, hinting that something big was happening in their home system. Combined with the intruiging story of Thera, this has had even non-roleplayers scrambling through the EVE lore to come up with theories about what's to come.

Players slowly set apart picking the mystery to pieces, conducting a galaxy-wide search to find the origin of the bright star and sending people into the test server to get clues. The mystery intensified when players discovered that the star was likely near or within restricted Jove space, and soon after they began finding strange cloaked structures throughout known space. While observing these structures, players even found that an all-new form of Sleeper NPC called the Circadian Seeker was periodically warping into the site and using some kind of scanning beam on the cloaked structure. All of this comes in anticipation of the public release of the Rhea patch on Tuesday 9th, which will introduce hidden Sleeper sites in known space and kick off the arms race to discover tech 3 destroyers.

In this lore-heavy edition of EVE Evolved, I look at everything we know of EVE's new Sleeper storyline event and try to figure out how it all fits together.



EVE Evolved side imageCaroline's star

The first clue that something interesting was going on was when players noticed a new star in the sky that appeared much larger than normal. Some initially thought it was a bug, as a similar star appeared in the sky for a few months in 2008 and was glossed over with a patch and an in-character news post. EVE photographer Caroline Grace first recorded and examined the phenomenon, noting that it didn't respond to moving the camera like a star's lens flare and that it was the wrong shape. Later that day, a news post came out describing the light as appearing like a supernova except that it appeared to be travelling faster than the speed of light.

Players have begun referring to the anomaly as Caroline's Star after the player who discovered it, and many more people joined the investigation. It was discovered that the star is larger in some systems than in others, reaching maximum size in the Vale of the Silent region right next to the Jovian territories. The current best estimates put the star in the vicinity of the W477-P system in the UUA-F4 region, right next to Jove space. What's more interesting is that the stargates in almost this entire region mysteriously disappeared from the map on the test server shortly after the star appeared in the sky. It's clear that some kind of cataclysmic event is occuring in UUA-F4 that's destroying the stargates in that region.

EVE Evolved side imageLinks to Thera and the Jove

Interestingly, the UUA-F4 region contains 101 star systems plus a few special systems that are set aside for CCP to test things in. This could mean that the 101 new wormhole systems aren't actually in Sleeper space but are right next to us, and that the Caroline's Star event is going to blow open wormholes into those systems. If that's true, then Thera should be an existing star system in that region. A recently released exploration log from the Sisters of EVE exploration ship that originally landed in Thera around four years ago confirmed that the star is a type A0 blue subgiant, and the only star of that type in the region is J-YQEC.

The Jove Directorate blocked off the stargates to the UUA-F4 region years ago, but recently the Jove have been strangely silent. We know they're dying of a disease related to their genetic modifications and players have long suspected them to be completely wiped out. We also know that shortly after Sansha's Nation managed to somehow master control of unstable wormholes, they invaded Jove space and stole an entire space station unopposed. The first of the Sisters of EVE exploration logs of Thera is coincidentally dated back to YC112.07.09, which is shortly after the Sansha incursions began. Since the Sisters of EVE have since created cloaked deep-space ships, it's reasonable to conclude that SOE could have hitched a ride with Sansha's Nation into Jove space. The unanswered question is what they were looking for and why they thought they'd found it in Thera.

EVE Evolved side imageThe Seyllin Disaster

Interestingly, there could be a connection between Thera and the Seyllin Disaster that destroyed several planets across EVE and triggered the original opening of unstable wormholes at the start of Apocrypha. The Seyllin Disaster was caused by the chance detonation of a cache of a rare mineral named isogen-5, which is used to power extremely powerful and advanced technology like the original EVE Gate. In this case, the Amarr managed to get their hands on some of the mineral and used it to power a superweapon based on a piece of ancient Terran technology that used to be part of the EVE Gate.

The piece of Terran technology was hidden in New Eden by a Jove cloaking device and was recovered when the cloak malfunctioned. The superweapon was used to destroy a Minmatar fleet during the Empyrean Age trailer and book back in 2008, but another source of the mineral was never found. Fast-forward to 2009 and the Abaddon carrying the Terran superweapon was destroyed near a rogue drone hive that was somehow finding and harvesting Isogen-5. For reasons as-yet unknown, this detonation caused 10 hidden caches of isogen-5 to simultaneously detonate in and around New Eden.

Each detonation occured in star systems with Type O1 blue-white stars, destroying the first planet in the system and converting the stars into Type A0 blue subgiants. CONCORD confirmed that 10 of these events occurred, but only seven have been found within the known gate network. The most intriguing part is that Thera and J-YQEC are Type A0 blue subgiants, which means the Sisters of EVE may have been looking for the systems destroyed in the Seyllin diaster to find out where exactly the wormholes were coming from. And with Thera, maybe they've found it.

EVE Evolved side imageThe Sleepers are coming

The next part of the event is what's got me really excited for the Rhea update. Players on the test server began seeing these unknown structures appearing throughout known space, which look like massive cloaked facilities inside clouds of dust. The cloaked structure can't be locked with sensors and doesn't decloak when you get close to it, but its rough shape bears a haunting resemblance to the Jove station stolen by the Sansha.

The current best theory is that these are cloaked stations the Jove built throughout known space to keep an eye on us or to keep Terran technology or isogen-5 caches secret. This would also explain why the caches destroyed in the Seyllin disaster were all detonated directly in line between the host star and the first planet in the system: They were hidden in cloaked stations at the L1 lagrange point of the first planet in the system.

While checking out one of these cloaked facilities, players noticed something bizarre: A new type of Sleeper NPC called the Circadian Seeker warped in, scanned the structure for a while, and then left. Not long after, Circadian Seekers were spotted scanning stations, customs offices, miscelaneous structures, and even player ships. The Sleepers appear to be gathering intelligence on us, and many worry that it could be a prelude to invasion. The Sleeper scans could also be disrupting the Jove stations' cloaking devices and making them visible to us for the first time, or it's possible that radiation from Caroline's Star is disrupting them and the Sleepers are simply here to investigate the sudden appearance of technology that rivals their own. Either way, the Sleepers are coming, and we have no idea what they're planning.


EVE Evolved title image
It's been a long time since the EVE storyline has dragged me in with this kind of fervor, and with so many questions left unanswered, I'm getting ready to start exploring Thera and the shattered wormhole systems on December 9th. All of these events happening at the same time means there are a lot of theories rolling around about how it all ties together, and I'm sure the developers at CCP are having a great laugh at us trying to complete this jigsaw when they're still holding on to half the pieces. All I know is, I'm immersed in EVE's lore for the first time in years and absolutely loving it.

Brendan "Nyphur" Drain is an early veteran of EVE Online and writer of the weekly EVE Evolved column here at Massively. The column covers anything and everything relating to EVE Online, from in-depth guides to speculative opinion pieces. If you have an idea for a column or guide, or you just want to message him, send an email to brendan@massively.com.

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