After all, with sites and structures like this floating around in space:
|From Aeon's EVE blog.|
|From Interstellar Privateer blog|
And its a perfect trope for dytopian sci-fi space opera as well, a Frankenstine's Monster tale writ large across the stars, technology run amok and out of control of the power-mad scientists who dared to play god and try to create life, etc. They also would have made a perfect foil to players, a mirror of sorts, both capsuleers and rogue drones presenting a growing threat to the established empires, examples of technology that the empires sought and nurtured but that spun out of their control and threaten their very existence, the only threat to the growing power blocs being their dark mirror twin, and only one can survive in New Eden. One a conglomeration of soulless and heartless monsters that consume all resources and squeeze out all competition in their path for domination, the other an advanced drone AI that wants independence.
Read this for an example of the horror. *Shudder*
However, things did not go that way.
The Apocrypha expansion took the focus of the lore off New Eden and exposed us to the beginning of a larger and deeper world. Empyrean Age broke the stasis that the game had kept the empires in and started to lurch them shambling into the forefront. And the Rogue Drones took a step back as a result, the last meaningful part they played in the unfolding drama was a 5th business role in the chronicle "We Humans" where they are shown enslaved to unknown but definitely human masters. They manage to free themselves in that story (or at least be freed through destruction), but that is their send off note as they have retreated into stasis, their regions and missions and complexes and NPCs mere echos of a different game that EVE was in 2003-2008.
With Drifters taking centre stage in the lore as the unknowable and possibly inhuman menace to the empires and direct competition for capsuleers, there seems to be no need for our old foes with binary thoughts and electronic senses. I only hope that they are biding their time and waiting for the spotlight to come around to them again in the future.
Machines, after all, are nothing if not patient.