Sometimes, it’s worth reading the news. When a story in Elite: Dangerous‘ fictional feed ended with an unexpected call for supplies in the Upaniklis system, most would’ve thought it flavour text. Not Malic_VR, a pilot and Elite streamer, who went to see what this minor fuss was all about.
What he found was a dilemma that’d make a brilliant Star Trek plot – an ancient human starship, packing thousands of colonists, a plague, and an isolationist movement that’ll refuse outside help if it kills them.
The Golconda is a “Generation Ship”, an ancient sub-light vessel that was to ferry thousands of citizens to a new home among the stars. Within the Elite fiction they’re largely obsolete, never making it to their destination before humanity caught up with nippier little starships that could outpace them with faster-than-light engines. It’s not the first to be found by Elite players – inquisitive pilots have hunted down 15 of these absolute beasts in the past few years.
What’s special about Golconda, however, is that it’s the first to not have been stripped of life by disease, infighting or some other catastrophe, nor has it simply been abandoned.
See, despite reaching their destination some hundred years ago, the Golcondans grew rather fond of their spacefaring society and opted to keep on truckin’ through deep space. They’ve settled in quite nicely, making do with their dated tech to build a society separate from the rest of humanity among the stars.
That puts them in a bit of a conundrum. See, there’s a plague ravaging through the ship. But while they’d be mighty fond of a cure, they’re also quite wary of flaunting all your high-tech doodads to the locals. Through a series of fully voiced logs, Captain Jonathon Forester urges assistance from outsiders while hardline isolationists attempt to shoo the rest of humanity away.
Will anything come of this plotline, or is Golconda as doomed as its 15 derelict fellow ships? If you’re still hanging around populated space, Upanilkis isn’t too far a drive to make a quick stop. Regardless, it’s a pleasant reminder that, despite being scoured over by hundreds of thousands of pilots, there are still secrets lurking in the depths of Elite’s galaxy.
Oh, and keep an eye out if you’re making the trip yourself. Pirates and griefers are relishing the opportunity to burn innocent travellers looking for a quick photo opp.