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Fortnite players are pushing a floating alien rune across the island

Seemingly toward a large metal hatch at Loot Lake

Image by Nick Statt / The Verge

Fortnite appears to be gearing up for its next in-game event, and it may not surprise longtime fans to know that this one is again focused on Loot Lake. As we’ve seen in the past few updates, the Loot Lake area of the map has been transformed from its archipelago-style design, which occurred after the trippy butterfly event back in November that transformed the map mid-game, to an excavation site. In the middle now lies a giant metal hatch of sorts, perhaps a door to the mysterious purple cube that tumbled into Loot Lake last fall.

We don’t know too much about what Epic Games is planning here, but there now exists a floating, alien-seeming platform outside Fatal Fields that contains a glowing rune, matching the runes that have appeared around the hatch in the northern lake bed. The device, or whatever it is, is slowly moving in the direction of the lake every time it takes a collective 100 million damage, synced across all Fortnite servers in similar fashion to the mysterious dig sites that first appeared last month.

Perhaps there will be multiple other runes like it appearing in the coming days and taking their place around the hatch through collective player effort. Some have speculated that the metal hatch or door might not be a gateway at all, but instead the top of a spaceship buried in the ground, which would tie into earlier narrative threads regarding the alien Visitor character.

Image by Nick Statt / The Verge

We don’t have a lot of information about the timeline here. Epic in the past has built these collective narrative events — like the rocket launch that kicked off this unprecedented style of in-game storytelling — usually around the culmination of its current season, but we’ve seen the developer mix it up in recent months by throwing events in the middle and near the end of a season. It looks like we might see some serious changes to the map occur as soon as next week, which would be the midpoint of season 8, if the rate players are progressing the rune is as fast as it seems.