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The latest Elite: Dangerous ghost ship actually has people in it

A new generation ship has been discovered, and it’s not like the others

Generation ship Odysseus in orbit in Elite: Dangerous.
The Odysseus is another generation ship, discovered by Commander DarkShadowLYNX two years ago, in orbit near Ross 859.
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Elite: Dangerous, the epic spacefaring MMO, has quite some time to go still before its next major update. That hasn’t stopped the team at Frontier Developments from dropping a wild new story beat. The community is still trying to figure out what it all means, but you can watch the mystery play out in real-time on Twitch.

Just hours ago streamer Malic_VR discovered a so-called “generation ship” named The Golconda. While the current in-fiction technology in the year 3305 allows players to travel faster than the speed of light, when this craft left Earth over 1,000 years ago it was moving at a much slower speed. Now it’s passing through the Upaniklis system, just 172 light years from home.

And, unlike each of the 15 other generation ships discovered in Elite so far, this one is full of live human beings.

Malic_VR arrived in the Upaniklis system on a hunch, gleaned from the latest in-fiction news report that mentioned unknown signals coming from the region. Once he interacted with the generation ship, he was greeted by a series of fully voiced audio logs. The captain of The Golconda, Jonathon Forester, is desperate for help. Meanwhile, other hardcore isolationists aboard the ship want nothing to do with the rest of humanity at all.

Right now, Malic_VR and his Twitch community are teasing through all the data they can find in and around the generation ship, which is emitting strange sounds in addition to the contradictory audio logs. Upaniklis isn’t all that far away, so if you own the game and have a ship capable of even basic lightspeed travel you’re probably only a few dozen jumps away. Feel free to stop by for a tour, and maybe even help contribute to the next chapter in Elite’s slow-moving science fiction storyline.

We’ve embedded Malic_VR’s Twitch stream below, where he and his community are live and on the scene.

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