After a silence of 3 weeks, the damaged Drifter fleets have returned. But this time, several capsuleers were ready to attempt opening communications one way or another with these damaged Drifters. It was paramount that more information was needed to determine why the Drifters visit our space with damaged fleets and if they are a direct threat.
Alas, the first sighted encounter showed competition had arrived and they would wreck Drifters for the sheer fun of it.
The Nourvukaiken sighting
The first Drifter fleet sighting happened in Caldari space, the Nourvukaiken system, composed of roughly 30 Drifter battleships. But before ARC could pick upon this sighting, a fleet under command of capsuleer Bjornson Thellere attacked the Drifters with a fleet of 50-60 capsuleers & destroyed them.
Their fleet doctrine was similar to ARC, using massed destroyers to engage the Drifter fleet. The difference was in the ships used. While ARC uses only the Coercer destroyer, Bjornson Thellere's fleet used a mix of Coercers, Trashers and Catalysts
After the fight, ARC managed to gleam some information from the capsuleers, revealing that the shield systems of these Drifters was not working!
But just like the previous fleet sightings, they just gave up fighting after suffering heavy losses
However, there wasn't much time to ponder over this sighting, as another Drifter fleet was spotted!
The Isanamo communication attempt
This second sighting was once again in Caldari space. The Drifters were gathered at the Sobaseki gate in the Isanamo system. While ARC prepared against them, science would be done this time, in an attempt to avoid combat.
Two capsuleers, Jandice Ymladris & Stig Elendil, attempted to get response from the Drifters by carrying a wide variety of goods related to the Drifters one way or another in an attempt to get a response, good or bad. Relics, artefacts & curious goods were jettisoned in an attempt to offer it to the Drifters & scientists observed the whole ordeal. A full list of the items used can be found here: Overview of the Drifter communication attempts.
But regrettably, no response came forth, outside their standard scan. It was observed that just like the previous sighting in Nourvukaiken, these Drifters had no shields & were damaged into structure by an unknown attacker.
The enigmatic green glow of an exploding Drifter battleship as the ARC fleet attacked them
Image by Evi Polevhia
Realizing their fleet had grown to 50 battleships, action had to be taken against the Drifters. The locals were getting concerned about this built up as well, requiring ARC personnel to calm them down, assuring these Drifters were no direct threat and that ARC would dispose of them soon.
Once ARC had gathered enough people and shipped them in their Coercer doctrine; the attack could begin.
Wave after wave of destroyers crashed against the Drifters, until they seem to give up at the 3rd attack wave, making it easy to dispose of the stragglers.
The lack of shielding helped greatly in keeping casualties down to a minimum.
But as the Drifter wrecks were salvaged, a strange item was uncovered, a Corrupted Trinary Vault! This was the first recorded retrieval of this strange artefact.
Yet once again, no time was left to mull on this discovery, as a new Drifter fleet was sighted during the Isanamo battle.
The Evuldgenzo encounter
This Drifter fleet was sighted by capsuleer Uhnboy Ghost of the Spectre community. The ARC fleet regrouped & set course for the Evuldgenzo system.
Meanwhile, Uhnboy Ghost & Stig Elendil attempted to communicate with them through various means, from projecting light beams to skimming real close to the damaged Drifter battleships. Alas, the result was the same as the Isanamo communication attempt: nothing, save their ever vigilant scanning.
Once the ARC fleet arrived, capsuleers readied themselves quickly to battle the Drifters once more. A quick count indicated roughly 40 battleships gathered around the Asgeir gate.
Under the experienced command of officer Makoto Priano, the fleet commenced their attack. this time, the Drifters gave up rather fast. In the second wave, they already gave up, resorting to minimal resistance as their fleet was cleared off the field.
ARC engaging the Drifter fleet, with the Noctis to retrieve valuable salvage for further research.
Image by Khaprice
With that awful task done, the Drifter & ARC wrecks were being salvaged for research & to recoup losses. Once again, a Corrupted Trinary vault was found among the Drifter wreckage.
With no further sightings; analysis of this strange artefact could begin.
So far, there have been 6 damaged Drifter fleet sightings outside Anoikis. 3 of these were in Caldari systems, all within 3 jumps from Jita: Sirppala, Nourvukaiken and Isanamo.
Two fleets were sighted in Minmatar space; Rens and Evuldgenzo. The last fleet was sighted in H-ADOC, home of the Angel Cartel.
Info on the other encounters can be found here:
Multiple Drifter fleets sighted - Large Drifter fleet sighted in Caldari space
The main difference between the old fleet sightings and those of today was their damaged state. The first fleets sighted were damaged heavily into structure but still had operational shields & Doomsday guns, while the Drifter fleets in today's encounter suffered less severe structural damage, but their shield systems & doomsday devices were offline, making it easier to destroy them with lower casualties.
But the main discovery was the retrieval of an unknown artifact, the Corrupted Trinary Vaults. These items were retrieved from each fleet sighted today (albeit the one retrieved at Nourvukaiken was only found out much later)
A quick analysis of the Vault artifact by ARC revealed a strange data sequence:
The strange footage uncovered from the Vault by ARC, tagged as DARG47688
What the strange triangular symbols mean is unclear at this time. More data is required before we can crack their code.
However; the video feed included does show a mysteriousobject:
A strange ship near an asteroid; location unknown
Image by Trii Seo
Aurora News will keep close track of this mysterious renewed Drifter activity.