I was browsing though the Grimoires looking for some interesting flavor text, when I found one that had some pretty interesting terms in it which might, oh this is horrible, shed some light on "The Darkness." Here's the full text below if you don't have it yet: [spoiler]V113NNI070XMX001 SECRET HADAL INSTANT AI-COM/RSPN: SOLSECCENT//SxISR//DEEPSPACE CONTACT CONTACT CONTACT TRANSIENT. NULLSOURCE. NULLTYPE. This is a SKYSHOCK ALERT. Multiple distributed ISR assets report a TRANSIENT NEAR EXTRASOLAR EVENT. Event duration ZERO POINT THREE SECONDS. Event footprint includes sterile neutrino scattering and gravity waves. Omnibus analysis detects deep structure information content (nine sigma) and internal teleonomy. No hypothesis on event mechanism (FLAG ACAUSAL). Bootstrap simulation suggests event is DIRECTED and INIMICABLE (convergent q-Bayes/Monte Carlo probability approaches 1). No hypothesis on deep structure encoding (TCC/NP-HARD). Source blueshift suggests IMMINENT SOLAR ENTRY. Promote event to SKYSHOCK: OCP: EXTINCTION. Activate VOLUSPA. Activate YUGA. Cauterize public sources to SECURE ISIS and harden for defensive action. I am invoking CARRHAE WHITE and assuming control of solar defenses. STOP STOP STOP V113NNI070XMX091[/spoiler] Let's go over it bit by bit. Note: In looking for a previous analysis of this, I only found one on Neogaf, and it's analysis was somewhat lacking in my opinion. I'll indicate ideas that I found there. [quote] V113NNI070XMX001 SECRET HADAL INSTANT AI-COM/RSPN: SOLSECCENT//SxISR//DEEPSPACE CONTACT CONTACT CONTACT TRANSIENT. NULLSOURCE. NULLTYPE. [/quote] Not a lot in this bit besides indications that this event is happening at least somewhere beyond our solar system. "Hadal" (derived from Hades) is used to describe the deepest parts of the oceans on Earth, so it may be that this is at the edge of human-controlled space. The Neogaf analysis also offered that "RSPN" (which seems to be designated as an AI) may be the Warmind Rasputin we encountered in the beta. [quote]Multiple distributed ISR assets report a TRANSIENT NEAR EXTRASOLAR EVENT. Event duration ZERO POINT THREE SECONDS. Event footprint includes sterile neutrino scattering and gravity waves. Omnibus analysis detects deep structure information content (nine sigma) and internal teleonomy.[/quote] ISR can mean several things, but it most likely (given the rest of this section) means Initial and final state radiation, which basically means radiation before and after a particle collision that is not a result of any particle annihilation. This is not a section of physics I'm really familiar with, but it would seem to be a method of determining things about collision events without needing to observe the instantaneous event itself. Sterile neutrinos are a bit more interesting. At this point they're theoretical particles that don't interact with other particles or waves by any mechanism we're aware of. The fact that whoever was observing them was able to observe them (and that they scattered) indicates a level of scientific knowledge beyond our own. In addition, some have theorized that sterile neutrinos may be the source of Dark Matter. Dark Matter is another theoretical construct. It came about due to the fact that, based on how much mass galaxies appear to have, they should rip themselves apart due to how fast they're spinning (they don't seem to have enough mass). Thus some have suggested that a form of matter we can't observe must exist within these galaxies, thus adding the apparently missing mass. Gravity waves are again theoretical, but are ripples in space-time caused by massive gravitational events. In theory, the only way they would be observable naturally is if one was near a supernova event. The existence of gravity waves would confirm many of our theories about the nature of space-time. It is also worth noting from a Bungie-lore perspective that W'rkncacnter, an eldritch abomination responsible for destroying reality in the Marathon series, was said to make "waves" as it moved through space (this came from a terminal translated from a species that spoke in metaphor, so the exact nature of those waves was never clear). [quote]No hypothesis on event mechanism (FLAG ACAUSAL). Bootstrap simulation suggests event is DIRECTED and INIMICABLE (convergent q-Bayes/Monte Carlo probability approaches 1). No hypothesis on deep structure encoding (TCC/NP-HARD). Source blueshift suggests IMMINENT SOLAR ENTRY.[/quote] Acausal is a system that is, yet again, a theoretical concept in which a system's output in the present is dependent on inputs in the future. I can't really see why they flagged this event as such (given the information presented), but it continues the theme of reality bending. Inimical means hostile, and combined with "directed" it's clear those observing this consider it an attack. q-Bayes and Monte Carlo are both statistical analysis techniques, and I know from experience that Monte Carlo is frequently used in particle physics. TCC/NP looks similar to an acronym we use for web protocol, but I can't find anything that seems plausible. Blueshift is the photon equivalent of the Doppler Effect you're used to hearing as cars pass. It means the object is moving towards these observers. [quote]Promote event to SKYSHOCK: OCP: EXTINCTION. Activate VOLUSPA. Activate YUGA. Cauterize public sources to SECURE ISIS and harden for defensive action. I am invoking CARRHAE WHITE and assuming control of solar defenses. STOP STOP STOP V113NNI070XMX091[/quote] This section has a lot of literary references. Go look at the [url=http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=859234]neogaf[/url] review, as this isn't my area of expertise. The final Stops likely indicate the end of the transmission. So to put it altogether, The Darkness seems to either have a massive amount of energy at it's disposal (the gravity waves), or it's simply capable of bending reality (the hints at control of dark matter), or, really, both. It seems much more like a force than another species, or at least, if it is alive, it's significantly different from life we understand. This does raise questions about the other races attacking the Sol system. Could they simply be taking refuge? Have their systems all been consumed? Are they simply groups running away from this force that is following the traveler, and will we be like them if we lose this system? All in all, it does bring to mind the slow death the galaxy would have faced if the W'rkncacnter fully escaped in Marathon Infinity. An unknowable, impossible, un-combatable and reality-bending evil moving unthinkingly from system to system and tearing apart whatever it found. Fortunately, in Marathon, the W'rkncacnter was never released (or at least not in the final timeline; things get hard to describe when reality breaks down). Obviously we're past that option this time.
Edited: 7/30/2014 8:41:06 PM Permalink"TRANSIENT. NULLSOURCE. NULLTYPE." indicates an event of brief duration (in this case 0.3 seconds) of unknown composition from an unknown source. "Deep Structure" is a linguistic term used to define and unite one or more linguistic/syntactic structures. NP-Hard means "Non-deterministic Polynomial-time hard". The term comes from theoretical computer science's theory of computational complexity. The underlying basis is that any computational problem is one that can be analyzed and solved by a computer or otherwise by mechanical implementation of computational steps, such as an algorithm. A problem that is "NP-Hard" is at least as difficult as the hardest problem in Non-deterministic Polynomial time. "TCC" could indicate a certain complexity class for the Event. In its simplest terms, "Acausal" indicates that there are no known underlying phenomena in the vicinity, natural or otherwise, that could account for the "Event". All of this, coupled with the "Inimicable" and "Directed" nature of the "Event" indicates that something suddenly appeared in deep space, outside the bounds of our solar system, accompanied by an extremely brief, powerful and complex energy signature of unknown composition. It was determined that this "Event" was deliberately directed toward us with hostile intent. "SOLSECCENT" Is likely an title acronym for the AI in charge of the SECurity forces for the CENTral SOLar System, in much the same way that COMSUBPAC stands for COMmander of SUBmarine fleet: PACific, etc. "OCP" comes from the "Culture" series by Iain Banks. It stands for "Outside Context Problem", which means a problem that is not (indeed cannot be) considered until it occurs. It is the kind of problem "most civilizations would encounter just once, and which they tended to encounter rather in the same way a sentence encountered a full stop." This scenario led Rasputin to initiate emergency protocols "VOLUSPA" (The Völuspá is the Norse Poetic Edda that deals with the creation of the world, as well as Ragnarök) and YUGA (Derived from the Hindu concept of 4 Ages ranging from the Golden Age to the Dark Age or Age of Strife). The Battle of Carrhae was one of the most humiliating defeats suffered by the Romans, in which a full 7 legions of Roman troops (nearly 50,000 in number) lost 3/4 of their number against a much smaller force of 11,000 Parthians.