To set the stage, this is where we currently stand: Nightwave Series 1 has just concluded. For 12 weeks, we Tenno have been challenged by the Wolf of Saturn Six. He hit some of us hard, but when his fleet arrived in the skies of Saturn, we hit back and hit back harder. Very soon we will converge upon Alad V’s Gas City as we await the next transmission from Nora Night. We know she’s returning soon and we have learned who it will revolve around, but exactly who is The Emissary?
One quick note, there may be some spoilers here for later game quests. I will try to avoid any major details but it will touch on some of the later quest details.
So, as of the time of writing, the details of Nightwave Series 2 have been kept under wraps. We know there is a character known as The Emissary who seems like they will have prominence in the story – similar to The Wolf in Series 1. Otherwise, the only main detail we have outside of mechanic changes is that it will be focused around the Infested (at least, this is what we believe to be the case). This is all that has been subtly announced so far, but these details have led myself and a few other Tenno to wonder – are we about to meet an Ambassador of the Infested?
Right now it is implied that the Infested are a Hive Mind. Infested leaders refer to themselves as “we” or “us”, not to mention the fact that an entire tile-set will become alerted when one Infested unit detects your Warframe. Additionally, we’ve seen how it can evolve both naturally and by intervention. With the creation of the Mutalist Strain, the Infested can not only take over robotics, but have even taken control of a Cephalon. As we see the Strain evolve, what if more individuality has crept in and has reached a point where the Hive Mind is starting to fracture? We know it is possible to be Infested without being controlled by it. Take the colony of Mycona, where they live in a kind of strange balance – they remain Infested but do not become part of the Hive Mind. Additionally ,we utilize Infested Warframes, leaving the Hive Mind to question why we would attack our own.
When in unison, the Hive Mind seems to have the goal of simply spreading. From consuming entire ships to even entering The Weave, between its natural and forced evolution – nothing is out of reach. If a fracture occurs within the Hive Mind beyond the few small cases already out there, that would seem to lead to two (or more) divisions. Assuming they retain some high-level control, we would then expect factions begin to operate independently of each other. I don’t see this as being a second Infested faction on the scale of the Grineer, Corpus, and Infested balance we have right now, more just a division in the lore of the Infested.
For the most part, force has been used to spread the Strain. If we see a division perhaps one side will take a more “open arms”approach. We’ve been contacted by the Infested before, perhaps this time it will be from a more formal representative… an Emissary of sorts.
Where this would lead, only time will tell. If we did meet “friendly-ish” Infested, I wouldn’t expect it to replace the Infested we regularly encounter, unless DE has some secret master plan to replace Infested with Alad V’s Almalgams (or something similar), but to strip that much content from the game seems highly unlikely. It may not be too far of a reach to think that in Series 2 we may be tasked with stopping some Infested threat. Possibly something like the Fomorian or Razorback, where if we don’t stop some sort of massive force, it would mean the end of something important to the Infested. Perhaps along the lines of the Grineer purging the Infested from Mercury? Otherwise, why they would send an Emissary to us for help?
Continuing with the idea of the Infested “splitting”, how far might the new factions be integrated? They are sentient, and if their methods are different enough, what if it is left to us Tenno to decide the victor? And say we show our allegiance to one side or another by some sort of marking, -a sigil perhaps? The Tenno have already chosen different paths, ranging from supporting protectors in Steel Meridian to the purgers in Red Veil and those in between – even a Cephalon here and there. Would it be crazy to see a pair of Infested take the stage amongst the other Syndicates? Integration could be a little difficult, given that each Syndicate is Allied, Opposed, and Enemy to a trio of others, but these two could be independent to just each other. By adding a 7th and 8th Syndicate, they could be Enemies to one another and that possibly leaves the stage ready for two more down the road. Sure, this would mean a new rep grind, but it would also mean a new pool from which to pick rewards. As the other Syndicates already cover the existing Augments, Archwing parts, and the like, exactly what these potential new Syndicates may offer may be limited if they don’t receive a mix from the others. No reason it couldn’t be limited in scope for now though, much like how Vox Solaris was for Fortuna Part I.
Of course, this is just one of many possible outcomes from The Emissary though. All factions would have a reason to reach out to the Tenno in the fight against the Infested. Several have thought it will be a Corpus representative, as they already have that structure of diplomats and merchants. With the release of the Jovian Concord, it could also be tied to the Amalgams or perhaps even the Sentients themselves. There is even some speculation this could be part of a prelude to The New War and that perhaps The Emissary will be an Orokin.
How one of these might interact with the Infested we must wait and see and continue the fight on the fronts we know. New threats approach and many Tenno await not only the new the Nightwave Story but the new mechanics as well.
As a final note: thank you to my fellow Tenno in the Cephalon Squared Discord for brainstorming with me.