Domain Region – Maddam Constellation
Sarum Prime System – Mekhios Graveyard
12 October YC 123
Our first stop in the Elder War Tour was Mekhios Graveyard in Sarum Prime system. The place was awestriking. Bathed in golden rays of Sarum Prime sun, the regal Amarr colour, and filled with wrecks of Minmatar Elder Fleet, it was dominated by an enormous statue of Empress Jamyl I between whose outstretched arms fit a life-size holographic projection of Amarr fleet that participated in the battle. As we approached the statue, the local radio channel started transmitting celestial music which reached to your soul and made you feel an insignificant sand grain in the endless universe whose fate was decided by the giants, like Empress Jamyl.
After what seemed a long, long time, I awakened from my reverie with a start caused by lack of oxygen in my blood – I realised that I was holding my breath all that time. The return to reality was completed when I heard Aura ask me in a rather bored voice, “So what actually happened here?”
I looked at her with surprise, “Don’t you know?”
Aura just shrugged her shoulders indifferently.
“Hmm… On the other hand, why should I expect that a navigation AI’s memory will be loaded with irrelevant historical facts? In short, this is the place where Empress Jamyl I stopped Minmatar’s Elder Fleet. She also did it in a spectacular manner, using a super-weapon the likes of which had not been seen neither before, nor after that battle.”
“A super-weapon? How did it work?” There was a spark of interest in Aura’s voice, which I found strange because she very much objected to my potential military career.
“It was described as a lightning which jumped from ship to ship and caused the shields to turn inward and destroy the hulls which they were supposed to protect.”
“How very interesting,” muttered Aura. “Can we get closer to the wrecks? I’d like to check what kind of damage they suffered.”
The place was called Mekhios Graveyard for reason – the memorial would not be complete without the sorry remains of the Minmatar’s Elder Fleet which orbited the planet in sync with the monument.
“Feel free to approach them,” said I.
“But I can’t. The wrecks are not on the overview. You have to manually pilot us toward them.”
I frowned, “This is strange. They are big enough to be classified as large collidable objects.”
As I took over the control of the ship and started approaching the nearest wreck, Aura trained the camera drones on it.
“I don’t see anything special about these lauded new drones. If anything, their quality is worse than the old ones’. Look at that pixelation!” grumbled Aura.
The picture, indeed, was rather crude. I was about to voice my agreement with Aura when something strange happened. We were very close to the wreck and I expected the ship to decelerate and stop but it didn’t. Moreover, there were no collision alerts, no crackling of the shield interacting with the dead metal of the destroyed ship. My frigate just went full speed into the wreck… and through it!
“What was that?” exclaimed Aura in astonishment. “Is it a feature of the new drones – adding ghost ships to the picture?”
I was staring at the screen; the wreck was still there but now behind us.
“Maybe it’s a hologram,” I hazarded a guess. “That would explain the pixelation and its absence on the overview.”
“But it’s not transparent. How can a hologram look completely solid?”
“I dunno, but it’s the only reasonable explanation that comes to mind. Let’s check another wreck.”
We flew to what looked like remains of a battleship and then again flew through it.
“If it’s really a hologram, it makes total sense,” reasoned I. “Maintaining the orbit for every wreck and preventing it from falling to the planet would require a lot of money. Even Amarrians would balk at such expense. So they replaced the physical objects with their holographic likeness.”
Aura scowled, “If they invented a non-transparent hologram, they could also have invested some money in the picture quality. Look at this,” she pointed at a hole in the hull. “How can you tell what caused it? It could be a missile, a hybrid charge or, for all I know, a meteorite.”
I looked at Aura suspiciously, “Why such interest in the damage? I thought you were very much opposed to all forms of violence.”
“Not all, only those directed at us. And what’s better way to prevent it than have a super-weapon which can destroy whole fleets? We would be untouchable!” explained Aura excitedly.
“Erm… I think I should mention the fact that after activation of that weapon everyone on Jamyl’s ship, except herself, died. And she wasn’t in the best shape either.”
“But you are a capsuleer, you can’t die.”
“True, but if every time I activate that weapon I lose the ship and have to re-clone, then it’s not much different from being blown up in a frigate.”
Aura chewed her lip thoughtfully, “I guess, you have a point there. Anyway, we digress. Is there anything else to see here, except the statue and the holograms?”
“I think that’s it,” replied I. “Shall we go to the next waypoint?”
“It would be advisable,” agreed Aura. “I hate to admit it but this place proved me wrong. When I said that any place would be good for testing the new camera drones, I did not expect a hologram. Hopefully, we will find something more solid at the next stop.”