I was running the Utopia mission on Titan when I happened to notice an interesting line show up in the captions on the bottom of the screen. It said: “Local officials will neither confirm nor deny the existence of any so-called deep-space anomaly” (see picture).
It was only when I was looking over the transcript of this mission by @pirate_dani that I realised that the line I saw was not the same as the one she got when she ran the mission. I didn’t realise that when I did the mission, otherwise I would have got a video of it. However, I was able to find a video of someone else who got the same lines as I did. Here’s a link (skip to 2m 15s). This video also includes a second line which is different from the one pirate_dani got for her transcription but is the same as what I got. It says: “The New Pacific Academy is proud to offer degrees in Methane-Oceanography and Tidal Engineering” (skip to 2m 28s). I believe these lines are said by the Arcology PA system.
Aside from this being alternate dialogue for the mission, what really interested me about the mention of a “deep-space anomaly” is that it is likely to be linked to the mention of an “anomaly” in the Lost Pacific gear. The Lost Pacific Gauntlets say:
“Send a deep-space probe toward the anomaly. I want to know what it is.” —Dr. Shanice Pell
The Lost Pacific Plate says:
“The probe’s initial data makes no sense. And then the signal died. What have we found?” —Dr. Shanice Pell
The Lost Pacific Helmet says:
“I need more data. And… put the lab on yellow alert.” —Dr. Shanice Pell
The Lost Pacific Greaves say:
“This research has to get out. Even if I don’t. People have to know what this ‘anomaly’ is.” —Last Recording of Dr. Shanice Pell
The Lost Pacific Mark says that the armour for the Lost Pacific set was made from “Golden Age space suits”. The Arcology’s announcement over the PA system about the deep-space anomaly would also have originally been made during the Golden Age. This suggests that Dr Shanice Pell, who is quoted in the Lost Pacific gear’s entries, was a researcher or scientist working on Titan during the Golden Age.
So what, then, was the “deep-space anomaly” referring to? The anomaly detected by the probe was detected during the Golden Age. There is one other case of something strange in deep space being detected during the Golden Age: Rasputin’s detection of the Darkness prior to the Collapse, as described in Ghost Fragment: Darkness. If the probe did indeed detect the Darkness, this would explain why the probe’s data “made no sense”. Even Rasputin was not able to fully understand exactly what it was that he’d detected. The Darkness card says:
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).
Nevertheless, Rasputin was able to determine that whatever it was he had detected was very bad and a huge threat:
This is a SKYSHOCK ALERT.
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.
I think that this shows that the deep-space anomaly detected by Dr Pell’s probe was the Darkness. If this is the case, it could explain why the local officials did not want to cause panic by announcing that they’d detected something unknown and which could be a possible threat, hence the PA announcement.