The latest presumed threat to descend upon New Eden, the Drifters are still a mystery in many ways. One thing that seems certain is that their technology far outstrips that available to the Empires and thus every attempt should be made to learn more. With this in mind the following data has been compiled.
The first hint of a possible threat came in two forms: the presence of Circadian Seekers in systems throughout New Eden and immense cloaked structures. Over time the cloaking on these structured failed, revealing them and allowing them to be identified as Jove Observatories. The exact link between the Drifters and the observatories is as yet not understood.
It is notable that much of their efforts involve the seeming protection and harvesting of these structures, many of which are now in a state of disrepair. Work on the Entosis links and their deployment to Capsuleers has revealed a data-store going back several decades. It is clear therefore that the empires have been under observation for quite some time by the presumed missing Jovians and, additionally, that the Drifters covet the information thus gleaned.
Located in close proximity to several of the observatories, these wormholes seem to be technologically generated and stabilized by the Drifters using Sleeper technology, as the various structures located around the periphery have been identified as "Sleeper Thermoelectric Converter" and "Sleeper Multiplex Forwarder".
While at first Capsuleers could not enter these wormholes, something unknown has recently changed, and the wormholes can now be used by capsuleer ships. They seem to lead to new systems that are populated by sleeper enclaves of various types, more wormholes, spacial rifts - some that seem to be guarded by numerous weapons platforms (now inactive) - as well as other unknown structures and sites. These new systems have been confirmed as the same systems from which the Helen Tukoss broadcast originated (as his body was recently found there by a search expedition). However, while many Drifter ships are still present, the large armada he reported about is no longer there. Much exploration of these new regions is needed. The Drifter activity in these systems seem to hint of an unclear relationship with the sleepers. they use Sleeper tech and may even prey upon the sleepers themselves.
In tandem with the appearance of the cloaked structures, capsuleers across the cluster reported the emergence of Circadian Seekers. These unusual Sleeper craft appear to be drones rather than manned vessels and it has been speculated that they are in fact scouts gathering data. Their tendency to visibly scan any object they encounter would seem to verify this as well as scanning (or maybe even downloading info to) the Jovian Observatories.
With the uncloaking of the towers came the appearance of the first of what we term the "Drifter Battleships". These sleek vessels bear little resemblance to any we have encountered thus far and seem to evince a level of technology many claim we cannot hope to match. As of yet no vessels have been captured intact but some research into them has been conducted.
The first and most obvious study was their status of aggression, or rules of engagement as it were. There have been conflicting reports but the following seems certain:
If a site of operations is approached, such as an Observatory or Unknown Wormhole, the Drifters will engage, If fired upon, the Drifters will return fire. If a pilot engages the Drifters, they will pursue that pilot. they will at times come and agress a pilot that is in combat with a Seeker.
As far as their technology is concerned field reports offer information as to their capabilities. Firstly they do not seem to use conventional drive technology and occasionally display a light curtain 'Skirt' between the antennas around the rear of the ship when not moving or moving slowly. Secondly the battleships seem to be equipped with two shield systems. Upon fully breaching the so-called "Overshield" the Drifter ships deploy what many are calling some sort of 'doomsday device' akin to that equipped to our titans. One speculation would suggest that a fail-safe prevents it from firing if the outer shield layer is intact. Alternatively the outer shield may in fact not be a shield but is acting as a siphon/converter, storing the energy of the incoming weapon's fire. Which is then released in one strong blast of energy at the attacker, which also breaks the targeting lock of the attacking ship.
The speed of these battleships is rather remarkable considering the protections they employ. Some reports put their orbit velocity as within the region of 2-2.5 km/s. These reports would also suggest that the optimal range of their ship to ship weaponry is in the region of 17 kilometersl. Combat reports filed by those who have managed to survive the retaliatory fire indicate that although their primary weapon is capable of destroying a large vessel in one firing, it seems to have a long recharge for whatever source powers it. This does not render the vessels toothless however as their secondary weaponry is purportedly just as deadly if unprepared for it.
In spite of this superlative offensive capacity and the multi-layered defenses; reports indicate that their ships are wholly reliant on their shields for protection and that once breached neither hull nor armor offer significant resistance to an assault. Thus it may be assumed that if a weakness in the shields is identified, such as the electromagnetic weakness inherent in much of our own shield technologies, their defenses may rapidly crumble.
As far as defending against their "Super weapon" is concerned, it appears that whilst the Drifters possess many technological marvels, they are not immune to that most Caldari of strategies, ECM.