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Data Downloads are downloadable logs from both the survivors of the Degasi, a ship that crashed before the Aurora in Subnautica, and the Aurora Survivors. They also include public documents and Aurora logs from inside the ship, and Precursor data downloads. They are visible on the "Data Downloads" section of the encyclopedia of the PDA. Be wary that these logs can be changed during the development of the game.
Auxiliary Search & Rescue Mission: Paul Torgal
Position: Chief of Torgal Corp, Captain of the 'Degasi'
Status: Lost in space near planet 4546B
Age at time of disappearance: 79
Paul Torgal and his crew fell out of contact with Mongolian authorities close to a decade ago. The Torgals were a resourceful and powerful clan, and the ship was well-equipped, so their survival is considered likely; however multiple vessels passing through the system have since attempted to trace the ship to no effect. It is hoped the Aurora's superior scanning suite can do better.
- Made majority shareholder in Torgal Corp. by his mother upon her retirement
- Interaction with Alterra limited to infrequent chartered munitions deliveries
- Beneficiary of life extension technologies
- Accompanied by his only child, Bart Torgal (19), heir to the Torgal Corporation
- Emissary Khasar reports Torgal often travelled with a skeleton crew, and was known for making rash, but profitable decisions
- Inadequate systems maintenance or straying from its planned route may account for the ship's disappearance
Auxiliary Search & Rescue Mission: Bart Torgal
Position: Vice President of Torgal Corp.
Status: Lost in space near planet 4546B
Age at time of disappearance: 19
- The only legitimate child of Paul Torgal
- Beneficiary of enhanced learning techniques and cerebral implants
- Digi-trained in advanced biochemistry and stellar economics
- Emissary Khasar reports Bart was accompanying his father to a newly-constructed, deep-space station where he was to serve a five year term as Chief Operating Officer
Auxiliary Search & Rescue Mission: Marguerit Maida
Position: Freelance Security Personnel
Status: Lost in space near planet 4546B
Age at time of disappearance: 42
- Mercenary, born in the Mongolian States
- Experienced in ship-to-ship and close quarters combat techniques
- Tours of duty with the Mongolian Defense Force and the Trans-System Federation
- Dishonorably discharged from the TSF 15 years ago for going off mission (details classified)
- Emissary Khasar reports Maida was hired to accompany Paul Torgal onboard the Degasi into uncharted space, and defend the ship in case of assault by pirates or rival corporations
Frank told us this: 'I hear there are worlds out there where kids still learn from books. They go into a classroom every day, they memorize things, then later they type those things out in controlled environments. Or worlds where everyone's supposed to whatever creative job they feel like! What use is learning to draw or sing in a world where there's no human resource department to co-ordinate the galleries and concerts? On Alterra worlds, psychometric testing and specialized digi-training makes the most of everyone's talents.'
Max Zoinkoff: 'I started out in marketing for Alterra Survival Systems. It was good work, but I thought I could do better. I set up my own company, developing bespoke code for the Seamoth so it could operate in open space, not just underwater. I sold up to Alterra ten years ago and now it's one of the most widely used vehicles in the galaxy. Now I'm on the board of directors, and I haven't looked back.'
George said, 'An average day for me starts at 10am. I live in a controlled habitat on Terra 17, so everything I need is less than five minutes away. I'm a naturally empathetic person, so I took work as a companion. I spend my days visiting clients, talking with them, learning about them, paying them the attention that everyone needs and deserves, and like most people on Alterra worlds I'm lucky enough to earn a living doing things I enjoy.'
Kaz says, 'We're lucky. We're free. We have jobs. There are trans-govs out there that do everything with robots, or where weapons are legal, you know?'
Jamie had this to say: 'I design artificial worlds, including some of the most popular factory defaults. To do what I do you need to know what people really want. They want excitement, adventure, new experiences, to be whoever they want to be. My job is to make that happen. There are people who say we spend too much time escaping our lives and not enough time making them better. Those people are usually from outside of Alterra space.'
When the hostilities of the Expansion ceased, the tactical value of the hard-to-reach colony systems on the edge of the China Territories plummeted. Recouping from the war, the central government left them to starve. The systems in question declared independence, claiming their infrastructure as their own, and their intent to become self-sufficient.
Today the Mongolian States is seen as a relatively minor power on the outskirts of colonized space, yet it remains one of the fastest expanding trans-govs in the galaxy. There is little centralized control. In times of war, a defense force can be raised between the chief officers of the major planetary clan-corps.
Mongolian societies inherited their technologies from the Chinese, but incorporated the customs of their multicultural colonist base. Non-synthetic foods remain popular. Religion is a strong component of society, but the Mongolians take a relaxed view of competing faiths, believing gods to be universally and equally flawed. Mongolians will often be heard proclaiming, 'I believe in gods, so long as they don't try to command me.' If pushed to explain how they can believe in a god with no authority they will explain, simply, that all people are gods, and their authority is equally zero.
OFFICER KEEN: The way I see it no one's to blame here.
UNIDENTIFIED CREW 1: He gave me the wrong co-ordinates!
UNIDENTIFIED CREW 2: She didn't give me clear instruction!
OFFICER KEEN: Okay, I'll rephrase: you've been equally incompetent. Now, we've lost time, but we're closer to the planet, so if the Degasi's out there the scan should pick it up.
UNIDENTIFIED CREW 1: Why are we even helping the Mongolians? They're the competition.
OFFICER KEEN: Enjoy your shore leave on Sanjei Station? Like having fuel in the tanks? Thank the Mongolians. We run the scans, we show them we didn't find anything, and we say thanks for the free dinner. Clear?
UNIDENTIFIED CREW 2: Sir, there's something odd on the surface scan here.
Religion has been scorned throughout space-faring history, but it has evolved and survived. By combining ancient meditative practices with the foresight of modern science, unificationist pantheism was born.
Determinism teaches us that what has always been, always will be. The future is already decided, and free will is a myth. Gone are the days of casting guilt and original sin on all. Today we understand that we are born innocent, into lives we are not responsible for; we are atoms vibrating in the energy winds of space. Understanding that what we do has no meaning but for ourselves; and understanding that we are just as much a causal part of the universe as the universe is a causal part of us; we can understand that we give meaning to the universe and the universe gives meaning to us. We are people. But we are also gods.
If we are gods, why do we feel imperfect? If there is no authority but our own, why do people keep telling us what to do?
Unificationism has the answer. 300 credits for the opening seminar.
Loading program: DesertIslandDrama.vrat
Size: 3 players
Spawning players on beach.
Player 1 has been washed away by an unusually high tide.
Player 2 has traded a coconut with Player 3 for 10 credits.
Player 3 has planted a coconut.
Players are getting hungry.
Player 3 has grown a coconut tree.
Player 3 has eaten a coconut. Player 3 is no longer hungry.
Player 3 has traded a coconut with Player 2 for 30 credits.
Player 2 has eaten a coconut but is still hungry.
Player 3 has traded a coconut with Player 2 in exchange for building a tent.
Player 3 is sleeping inside their tent.
Player 2 is cold.
A passing ship is offering trading.
Player 2 has traded 30 credits for a musket.
Player 3 has been shot twice in the head while sleeping.
Player 2 wins.
Player 2 has died from cold and starvation.
'Charity' is an archaic concept which the realism of today's Alterrans has rendered obsolete. We understand that we are each responsible for ourselves, but the best way to get the most for ourselves is to work together with Alterra. The implication of this reasoning is clear: if someone is in need, they must find a way to be needed.
Alterra Alms is a training academy for those that need to be needed. We're not a charity, because we don't ask for handouts - we prefer to think of ourselves as a philanthropic beneficence facilitation service promoting synergy between employer and workforce.
AA operates on a lottery system. By investing any number of credits you will be entered into our prize draw. Larger investments yield higher chances of winning. Your credits will go toward training unskilled colonists in vital tasks such as maintenance and interpersonal skills. The colonists receive this training voluntarily and free of charge, on condition of a minimum contract with one of our investors on completion of their training.
Trans-gov - An independent authority in de facto control of at least one solar system and phasegate.
Citizen - A person who consents, consciously or implicitly, to the authority of a recognized trans-gov.
The Charter - The full legal contract agreed upon by 37 separate trans-govs, and summarized herein.
The Trans-System Federation (TSF)- Military police charged with enforcing the terms of the Charter; independent of, but funded by, the trans-govs.
Trans-System Phasegate - Any permanent installation which enables warping of spacefaring vessels between solar systems.
1. Each trans-gov is to have an equal right to the most extensive basic liberty compatible with a similar liberty for others:
a. Each has the right to own phasegates and planetary infrastructure
b. Each has an obligation to share phasegate access with other trans-govs on fair terms at no cost to themselves
c. Each has an obligation to financially maintain and comply with the TSF
2. Each trans-gov has the right to self-government, subject to the restrictions laid out below:
a. No trans-gov may develop weapons and technologies outlawed in appendix 91
b. No trans-gov shall engage in population abuse
What Can We Learn From the Hive Mind of Strader VI?Edytuj
How are the 'individuals' which make up a hive mind to be categorized? Are they merely dumb components of the larger, intelligent organism; or is the larger 'mind' merely a product of the independent organisms? Can it be both?
We define organisms by their traits, but find invariably that these traits depend on those of their environment. The concept of a tadpole is meaningless without the concept of the frog it will develop into. The idea of a predator is empty without an understanding of its prey. This begs the question: if we define everything by reference to everything else, what are have we actually explained?
An illustrative experiment was recently performed on the hive mind colony discovered on Strader VI. A device was placed outside the nest which would electrocute individuals approaching it. An ant colony would have lost many individuals before a basic danger signal was successfully communicated between them, resulting in 'learnt' avoidance of the device. Successful, but costly.
The Strader VI colony quickly formed into two factions:
- One attempted to move the device by brute force, sacrificing individuals as they did so
- The second attempted to cover the device in sand.
These two goals being mutually exclusive, a fight ensued. The first faction was beaten, in virtue of their reduced numbers. The device was safely buried, and the survivors called a truce. From the perspective of the individuals, this experience must have been horrific. From the perspective of the hive mind, a nagging problem had been overcome with the most effective solution. Which perspective is the 'correct' one?
I suggest that it is neither. By attempting to fit such entities into our rigid set of concepts we are painting onto the world a false impression of concreteness and meaning, which is a reflection of our concepts of ourselves.
We describe Strader VI individuals as 'attacking' one another, just as we describe microbes in the human body as doing the same. Yet the Strader colony, like the body, cannot be healthy as a whole without the 'aggressions' of its components. We describe neurons in the brain as being dumb, but brains as a whole as intelligent - but when an idea takes hold in the brain, and forces out inferior ones, do we describe this as an act of aggression? Do we mourn dead neurons?
When a philosophy, or a technology takes hold in human society... when wars are fought over them and people die... is that rightly seen as being good, or evil? This is not to undermine the meaning of our existence. From where we stand, our existence is very serious indeed. But is our civilization, and our universe, really any different from the colony on Strader VI? Is intelligence something limited to things of flesh and blood? Or is the universe truly one giant intelligent system, and we but amoeba blowing self-important potholes in its surface?
We would do well, as scientists, to remember that our goal is not to paint the world as we see it, but to see it as it truly is.
Torgal Corporation is a long-standing, family-run clan that operates almost a dozen mining and trading operations. The company share price hit an all time high on the announcement by a Mongolian cabal of their intention to construct a new phasegate utilizing Torgal materials. These plans were put on hold when Bart Torgal, the intended leader of the new mining operation, disappeared along with his father.
It's not about money. That's what every director on Alterra's board has told me - and I believe them. Profitability is just an interim measure of success: power and status are the real goals.
Make enough profit for Alterra Corp. and you'll be recognized by the most powerful businesspeople in the universe. Establish a company that obliterates the competition and - after compulsory buyout - you can be promoted to the Board of Directors.
- Travel: Free use of company phasegates
- Entourage: Personal assistants for every facet of your life
- Longevity: automatic organ replacement
- Alterra: Get what you deserve
[Suspicious key word 'religious' detected. Beginning automated recording.]
KHASAR: I find a tendency amongst Alterrans to think not only that you have it best, but that yours is the only way to have it at all. In the Mongolian States we have the freedom to work for ourselves.
CREWMEMBER: Hey, most of us are contractors! Jo owns her own company!
KHASAR: Whose ship are you living on right now? Yours, or Alterra's?
CREWMEMBER: You'd do well to remember whose ship YOU'RE on, Mongolian.
KHASAR: According to my religious beliefs, this ship belongs to us all. We're all part of the same system, the only difference between us is where we choose to draw lines.
CREWMEMBER: Wise words for someone from a cowboy corporation fighting over rocks in the far reaches of space.
Two choices: A) Carry on working long-haul missions on the outer reaches of space; B) Come up with a profitable business, sell out to Alterra, live happily ever after.
I choose B. Ideas:
- A robot that builds other robots
- A water filtration system that has infinite power (solar power? body heat? do suns last forever? check this)
- A phasegate that can be built by self-repairing robots instead of poor lonely humans on an 18 month mission (what happens when something goes wrong?)
- A VR program that precisely simulates real life down to the finest detail (how do I know I didn't already invent it and I'm inside it right now? don't want an intellectual property challenge...)
- A gun that shoots other, smaller guns (can't see any real objections to this one, except the legality)
I'm not really a doctor. I know that's what my ID says, but I never have been. Cheated the medical exams. What does a doctor these days need to know about manually resetting bones? When was the last time a top surgeon actually cut someone open? That's what the robots are for!
Doctors these days read diagnoses off of computer readouts. For that, I'm perfectly qualified.
But what good is it when I'm not connected to the main network? I'm bleeding. I've got glowing green pustules growing on my hands. I run a self-scan and it tells me I've got skin irritation. The only thing I studied in medical school was how to lie convincingly. The hell do I know how to treat an alien disease.
Ozzy's log. It's the day of the crash. I don't know what the heck is happening. I'm scared and I'm not going outside. There are shadows in the water under the hatch but I can't tell if rocks, or aliens, and there's weird looking caves nearby.
The Aurora was carrying everything needed to build the phasegate: mobile vehicle bays, bioreactors, propulsion cannons... It had a cinema. There was a zero-G gym. My cafe. I don't understand how we're here now. I don't know why no one's coming for me.
I've tried everything. The analysis circuits on the fabricator are fried. I can barely manufacture the most basic of materials. Want a battery? Here, have a children's toy! Need deep sea diving equipment? Have some lab tech! Hungry? I'll turn that fruit into dust for you.
I'm going forward with trial and error. I hit every button here, it's got to make something useful eventually.
To all crew - If you are reading this then you have followed the automatic distress signal broadcast by this lifepod's onboard computer, contrary to my orders. I have been forced to evacuate. Your orders are to disregard my safety and attempt to reach the designated rendezvous co-ordinates at the nearest landmass. I hope to see you there.
To any Alterra crew. Landed in area of significant alien activity. Encountered predators in the leviathan class, highly aggressive. Spectroscope scanner assigned species designator 'Reaper'. One specimen attempted to swallow the lifepod, doing extensive damage in the process. Only viable option is to make for the safety of the Aurora crash site.
I have retrieved a databox with the creature decoy, and enough resources to fabricate a couple of them. The swim's longer than the decoy lifetime, but it should just be enough to keep them busy. If you don't find me onboard the ship, presume I miscalculated.
CTO YU: We have to board the Aurora, repair the long range comms, make contact with the other survivors. We can't be the only two that made it.
OFFICER KEEN: Those are not the orders the captain gave me, and they are not the orders I'm giving you.
CTO YU: This isn't chain of command, it's survival. The more of us there are, the more likely we live.
OFFICER KEEN: My obligations as acting commander don't turn on their convenience. Get out of the water.
CTO YU: If I get into trouble, I'll send you my coordinates.
OFFICER KEEN: I can't let you go alone.
CTO YU: Then come with me.
OFFICER KEEN: You don't leave me much choice.
[Received emergency transmission from Second Officer Keen, two hours after last activity]
OFFICER KEEN: Rendezvous was a failure. Intercepted a transmission from Alterra HQ, seems they sent a data package to the Aurora. We were intercepted by a leviathan class predator before we could reach the ship. Consider the CTO and I lost at sea. Be safe. Keen... out.
So here we are, finally, in open space. We crossed the galaxy to install a phasegate, to send ships to mine resources, to build more expensive ships, to install fancier phasegates... Are we trying to exhaust the galaxy or just ourselves?
18.06 - Yu's birthday
40 - Weeks before we get home
400 - Weeks it feels like before we get home
Not enough - Credits Alterra's paying me
1454 - Cargo bay code
You're telling me you've been on this rig more than a year and you never took a ride on the outside? Well now, you've only gone and gotten yourself a friend with the keys to a GIANT FRICKING ROBOT SUIT. We've plain got nothing to do 'til we get starside to work on the gate. You want to taste the stars you've only got to say - my spare Prawn suit's got your name on it. You don't know what power feels like 'til you've crushed an asteroid with your bare, heavily mechanically-augmented hands. Wanna play catch with a passing meteor? Come by Cabin no.1. Code's 1869.
You're such a corporate stooge, Hinkle, live a little! No matter what access codes we put on the robotics bay, the guys are still going to find a way to joyride the mechs. So if the second officer says we've got to change the codes, I'm just saying let's change them to something we won't all forget.
Before they lost communications, Alterra HQ uploaded a set of blueprints to the Aurora's main computer. There is a high security terminal inside the captain's quarters, located behind the Prawn bay, from which the blueprints should be accessible. The code is 2679.
PHASEGATE ANNOUNCED FOR THE ARIADNE ARM: ALTERRA LAUNCHES THE AURORA
The furthest reaches of inhabited space are due to expand, as Alterra Corp launches a newly-constructed capital ship, carrying a phasegate bound for the Ariadne Arm.
The Aurora will travel from spacedock on the edge of Alterra space, making hundreds of consecutive phasegate jumps through nine different trans-gov authorities, and arrive on the far side of the Ariadne Arm in three months' time. From there the command crew will pilot the ship beyond the final phasegate, arriving in the next solar system approximately 18 months later.
There the elite team of engineers will begin a 6 month construction project on the new phasegate, a multi-trillion credit investment. In the absence of existing infrastructure in the region, the vessel is equipped with advanced thermal and nuclear power facilities.
Alterra Corp. currently operates 9% of all phasegates in the galaxy. If the Aurora's mission is successful Alterra will have outmanoeuvered a cabal of Mongolian corporations, operating a range of outposts and mines in the region.
- Initiated slingshot maneuver around planet 4546B
- High velocity energy pulse launch detected on planet surface
- Emergency distress signal sent to Alterra listening buoy via long-range comm relay
- Impact detected: Lifepod bays on starboard side compromised; outgoing communications compromised
- Emergency evacuation initiated
- Manual piloting transferred to Captain Hollister
- Lifepods 01-25 launched successfully
- Entering planetary atmosphere
- Massive impact registered, drive core shield compromised
- The energy pulse matched no known planetary defense technologies
- Distress signal broadcast successfully; damage to relay prevents further outgoing communications
- Alterra HQ rescue solution received at T+8hrs to [High priority terminal in Captain's Quarters]
- Mission: Search & Rescue
- Target: Crew of the Mongolian vessel 'Degasi'
- Last known position: Vicinity of planet 4546B, Ariadne Arm
- Contact: Mongolian Emissary Jochi Khasar, Aurora Passenger Quarters
A Mongolian vessel, the 'Degasi', disappeared almost a decade ago, carrying with it a high ranking Mongolian chief. Corporate insurance has purchased passage aboard the Aurora for Emissary Khasar, and your orders are to make every reasonable effort to locate and retrieve the Degasi crewmembers, without compromising the primary mission. Confirming the fate of the crew will aid Alterra's diplomatic efforts with the Mongolian councils.
- Aurora is due to perform a slingshot maneuver around 4546B (category 3 ocean planet) approximately 13 months post-launch
- This will bring the ship within range of the Degasi's last known position
- Additional aquatic and all-terrain vehicles have been included in the Aurora's cargo package for this mission
- Degasi crew manifesto has been distributed to senior employees in a separate message
- One of largest suppliers of spacefaring technologies and consumer electronics in the federation
- The official supplier of the TSF
- Consistently ranked amongst the Galaxy's best employers
- Began life as a defense manufacturer in the mid-22nd century
- National Motto: 'Get what you deserve'
Although most trans-govs can trace their roots back to earth, Alterra - literally meaning 'by earth' - is the only one brazen enough to take its name.
During the Expansion, Alterra supplied arms to all sides, acquiring and housing a vast colonist workforce, and making the transition from manufacturer to coprorate state. Alterra's threat to cease trade was one of the turning points in the conflict, bringing about the end of hostilities and the signing of the Charter.
Today Alterra has a ban on all weapons within its borders, although loopholes exist for law enforcement officers and manufacturers / exporters. The corporation has learnt that violence is most profitable when conducted between customers rather than employees.
Free enterprise within Alterra space is encouraged, but competition is tight, and all goods exported offworld must be Alterra branded. Profitable businesses are bought out by the state, owners ascending to the Alterra Board of Directors. Well-known Alterra technologies such as the Cyclops submersible originated with such private enterprises.
Despite superficial similarities to national governments, the corporation's lawyers have always maintained that it has no legal obligation to its 'employees', but voluntarily elects to take on the roles usually served by a democratically elected government. This claim has not yet been tested in Federation courts.
All the good things in life are commodities. We trade love just as we buy and sell stock. We engage in human relationships when there is a fair exchange of value. Support, motivation, affection - nothing good is ever free.
If every physical good in the federation came from a single supplier it would constitute a dangerous monopoly. Personal relationships are the same: it is important for people to get what they need from multiple sources. If a person finds a better source of the goods they require, they are not wronging their original supplier by changing their purchasing arrangements.
If one member of a relationship should feel threatened or jealous, they must look at their own business model and ask whether it is performing competitively. There is always room for improvement.
WILSON: Listen, I know I don't have the right to make demands of you, but I need you to understand that I want to change our arrangement.
FOURNIER: I hear what you're saying and I will try to respect it. How would you like to change it?
WILSON: I would like to reduce our contact hours.
FOURNIER: How much further can we do that?
WILSON: To zero.
FOURNIER: You're dumping me?!
WILSON: I'm changing the terms of our relationship.
FOURNIER: How is it still a relationship if we don't see each other?!
WILSON: It's a relationship of a kind. You have so many expectations.
FOURNIER: I feel you just want to spend more time with that dumb guy and his dumb robot suit.
WILSON: That's not a feeling, it's a judgment. And I feel hostility in what you're saying. Perhaps your jealousy is a sign that you need to take another look at your business model. Why can't you just be happy for me?
FOURNIER: I am happy for you! And I'm happy for all the guys in the Prawn bay! I'm just not happy for me.
WILSON: This is why I want to change our arrangement.
STARTER - Space Bear Veloute
Since their introduction to the interstellar vacuum in the 21st century, microscopic tardigrades (or space bears) have adapted and flourished where no other lifeforms have survived. Condensed into a smooth, nutty, protein-rich soup, they are the freshest local ingredient available to travellers on long-haul space flights.
MAIN - Cottage Pie OR Nutrient Block
Rehydrated minced beef in its own gravy, served with a topping of mashed chinese potato (picked fresh this morning from onboard growbeds), and a side of sauteed chinese potato plant leaves. For the time-conscious consumer, the usual nutrient block options are available. They may be consumed cold, or reconstituted at the on-site fabricator.
DESSERT - Dried Fruits and Nuts
Unfortunately a recent accident in Cargo Bay 3 involving the incorrect application of a repulsion cannon, in combination with a modified battery charger, resulted in the venting into space of all dehydrated desserts. Fruit and nuts will be the only available dessert for the next 39 weeks.
Lifepods 1 - 27 launched OK at time T+0hrs prior to Aurora planetfall
Lifepod survival rate: 35% approximate
Emergency bouncebacks received from 7 lifepods on planet surface
Human lifesigns detected over long range at T+8hrs: 1
Personnel unaccounted for: Non-Essential Systems Maintenance Chief Ryley
Continuing to monitor
Monitoring equipment failed at T+9hrs
Aurora long-range communications relay: OFFLINE
Average long-range transmission delay: 8 hours
Displaying last recorded transmissions...
AURORA [T-6mins]: This is an emergency distress call. Aurora is on collision course with planet 4546B. Sending all available environmental data. Please respond with rescue solution.
ALTERRA HQ [T+8hrs]: This is Alterra HQ. Attached to this message you should find the blueprints for an escape ship we calculate will be capable of breaking orbit and getting you back to the nearest phasegate. It's designed to use materials you can find in situ, but it's going to need a hell of a power source - you may need to salvage parts from the Aurora's reactor, or come up with something more creative. We'll be sure to- *Static*
I thought it might get claustrophobic, living underwater. Father feels it is. He'd tell me it was childish, but I stare out the window and sometimes I think how lucky I am to see this world up close. Back on the island I wouldn't have believed the creatures that live down here. The fish, they GLOW... There's one that's 90% eyeball... Snakes twice the length of a habitat compartment.
Certainly it's not all friendly. Most of the plantlife is toxic, I learned that the hard way, but I've managed to coax some marblemelons into growing indoors, and when they don't cover our dietary needs, well... we eat the fish themselves. It's a bit gross, but it's nothing they wouldn't do.
I've been attempting to document my findings. Father approves. He says understanding is power. That the more we know about this planet, the more we can use it to our advantage. I'm just doing it because it's fun. It's not easy without proper equipment and network access, but the old fashioned way - observing, taking notes, testing theories - shows me the world in a way a spectroscopic analysis never could.
Lately I've been watching the crabsnakes. They ambush their prey as it tries to feed on the mushrooms they hide in. What they don't eat settles on the seabed, which fertilizes the mushrooms, which feeds the herbivores, and so the chain continues. Co-evolution gives me the fuzzies.
Since we're down here, I had this plan to build equipment and study the incredible lifeforms we're encountering, but I didn't have enough enameled glass. So I started looking for a natural substrate that would strengthen the glass we have, and those stalker teeth we've been finding fit the bill - only, well, we needed more.
That's when Marguerit got interested. She actually listened to me - more than I can say for father - and I worked up the courage to talk about my more... tentative theories. When I told her they were attracted to metal deposits, that their teeth get dislodged when they pick them up, her eyes narrowed and she dashed out of the room.
Three hours later she came back, her pack loaded down with stalker teeth! I asked her about it. She shrugged and said my theories were good. Said she had them eating out the palm of her hand. I think she meant it literally.
She is incredible. She went out to the kelp forests, armed with just a heatblade, and went fin to fin with a pack of stalkers.
On the one hand, that is the coolest thing I have ever heard. On the other, I hope the stalkers didn't come off worse than Marguerit did. She had a huge gash on her forearm. I don't think things went as smoothly as she made out. And what's the point in surviving here if we have to kill everything that makes it so wonderful?
I wish I knew more about these animals, but father won't let me leave the habitat. Maybe with all this glass we could build a containment unit and get up close to them.
This is the first time I've seen sunlight in months. After all that time in the deep I'd been dreaming of it. Now that I'm back here, I'm finding it hard to enjoy alone. Father was right: we should never have left this place. We shouldn't have gone so deep. They do not want us down there.
Despite my best efforts ill-health is taking hold of me. The visions are getting worse.
Marguerit and father are now part of the ecosystem of this incredible planet. It's reassuring to know that when I go, I'll join them.
Chief's log, five weeks since the crash. The only other survivors are my son, Bart, and Maida, the cut-price mercenary I commissioned for the journey.
After days drifting in the lifepod, rain hammering the roof, the weather cleared and we washed up here. I had Maida salvage the Degasi wreck, set Bart to finding us a stable source of food. His education is paying off sooner than I'd anticipated.
Our only problem is Maida. She says the weather's going to turn. I say she's finding excuses to risk our lives. I imagine she's not gone a week in her life without a physical altercation, and she's itching for a fight. In every judgment she makes things go from bad to worse.
If she had my experience she'd have more faith. Humans have spent millennia specializing in how to shackle nature to our will. This planet won't cause us any new problems.
My one task now is to keep us alive, as comfortably as possible, until the insurance company arranges rescue. In this part of space that could be months, or even years.
You know what Maida told me today? She wants to build a habitat 500m below sea level, more than a kilometer north-east of here. And she needs Bart and I to do it. She's got it into her head that she can save us if she just acts recklessly enough. But I've hauled starwhals to Neptune. Plasteel to the Federation... this family operates nine different mining colonies across the Ariadne Arm. Maida thinks she's better suited to lead? Her contract still says otherwise.
But... I just cannot damn tell whether it's the stupidest idea I ever heard, or my only hope. I turned 80 years old last week. I thought I had another 80 in me, but marooned on this planet there's no swapping out of my liver when the old one fails. Here, I'm mortal. And Maida is useful.
So it's my responsibility to make a decision. Return to the island and hope whatever knocked the Degasi out of the sky won't do the same to the rescue ship, or take us deeper in search of answers. And all the while be hoping old age gets me before the seamonsters do.
I'll give Maida just one thing. She was right about these caves. There's enough lithium there to fabricate a hundred tons of plasteel. Enough for a damn FLEET of Cyclops submarines. There was nothing anyone could have done to avoid crashing here, but I was right to order the detour. If we get off this planet they'll be talking about the Torgal share price on the other side of the Federation.
Came out of nowhere. An alien kraken, bigger than a Cyclops. Tore a hole clear through the reinforced hull. I barely got my breather in time. I told her. I said others would come.
The rupture threw me clear of the habitat, and the monster turned and bore down on me. Just as its tentacles came within reach, Maida appeared out of nowhere. She had a seaglide in one hand, a jagged piece of scrap metal in the other. She meant to butcher that beast, or die trying. The last I saw her she had the metal lodged in its neck as the monster did its best to shake her, contorting off into the darkness. I'm certain she got her wish, one way or another.
Then I thought I saw a light, deep below me. I hoped maybe Bart had swum clear. I followed it. Now I wonder whether I saw anything at all. My oxygen is low. The habitat is gone. I can't see the sky. Something surely has the scent of my blood.
These conniving, corporate, bourgeois, inbred, incompetent, self-absorbed jerks don't have a damn clue!
The kid's not so bad - he's even useful - but I swear everything that comes out of his father's idiot face is a narcissistic lie. He wants to stay in this cave, his problem. I'm the one doing the heavy lifting. When seamonsters are hunting you, you don't hide. You hunt the seamonsters. Then you build a bigger boat out of seamonster bones, and you hunt bigger monsters. Keep going until there aren't any monsters left to hunt you.
I'm going deeper, I'm gonna find what shot us down, and I'm going to tear its damn heart out.
I've started the prep work. The kid's taught me how to make enamelled glass. I've started stockpiling metal ores to build myself a seamoth. I'll raid the indoor growbeds before I leave.
MARGUERIT: You see, Chief? You brought us to this sodden planet. Told us we'd see a lush payday. Now what do we got, some 6 weeks later? A dead crew. A habitat that's half buried. Food washed away.
PAUL: I suppose the executive decisions would be better left to someone with your extensive experience of hitting people in the face?
MARGUERIT: I know enough not to take unscheduled detours to uncharted planets. That's something you don't want to learn the hard way.
PAUL: Easy to judge my decisions in hindsight. Harder to come up with a plan of your own.
MARGUERIT: Got one already. We take what we can carry and hunker down in a cave somewhere. I scouted a site. Couple hundred meters deep. Lots of metal deposits.
PAUL: How do you imagine we'd live?
MARGUERIT: With ready access to building materials? Like damn queens. Couple of water filters, a bioreactor, fresh fish... But Chief, we'll eat seaweed salad and drink our own urine if that's what it takes. All that matters is: do you got something better?
PAUL: Send the coordinates to my PDA. I'll review your proposal.
PAUL: We're already 200m below sea level! You want to go DEEPER?!
MARGUERIT: Look around us, Chief. Water leaking through the hull. Water outside the hatch. We're drowning. Real slow. If rescue arrives whatever shot us down, it's going to do it again. And again. Until it's shut off. You see an off switch around here, Chief?
PAUL: Why would it any more likely be half a kilometer down?!
MARGUERIT: Your kid found something on the scanner. There's something down there that shouldn't be.
PAUL: You're mad.
MARGUERIT: I'm goin' all the same. And I've an idea you two are gonna follow. But if you do, be mindful: your authority stopped at sea level.
Discovered inside an alien facility, it was not possible to translate any useful information, however scans have returned some information on the device itself.
It is likely a solid-state computer, although there is no clear way to interface with it. On approach it began producing a low-frequency radio wave containing complex but recognizable data patterns.
It is likely the alien species which designed this technology evolved, or genetically selected, sensory apparatus to 'hear' and understand the information being broadcast by the device, and to communicate back. The mental processing power required to perform this kind of telepathy would imply the designers were considerably more psychologically developed than the common human.
This data set appears to be a multidimensional schematic of some kind. By mapping the pattern to three-dimensional space it is possible to gather a basic understanding of this facility's internal workings.
The facility's unknown construction material is identified as an ultra-hard, non-reactive metal amalgam, synthesized from offworld materials. There is no indication that it can be damaged or destroyed by available means.
The schematic indicates the facility was to be powered by a separate, self-sustaining power plant, located elsewhere on the planet. The location is not listed, but there is evidence the designers intended to harness the planet's natural thermal energy.
The facility consists of the upper engineering section, where this schematic was found, and the control room, which is accessed via a security-sealed elevator shaft, or a separate underwater moonpool.
The control room in the lower section houses the only known way to interface with the facility, however the schematic does not detail the operation procedure or installed security measures.
Intercepted background data regarding a further alien facility elsewhere on the planet.
Disease Research Facility
Location: Cave system with extensive fossil record, south-west of enforcement platform, 800m depth
Function: Live specimen study
Objective: Synthesis of antidote for highly infectious bacterium designated 'Kharaa'
Precautions: Remote containment and research sites to reduce risk of contagion. Offsite thermal power generator. Ground-to-air quarantine enforcement platform in case of security breach.
In the event of outbreak, quarantine procedures will be automatically enforced with immediate effect. The quarantine enforcement platform will target all incoming and outgoing craft, to prevent the spread of infection offworld.
A catalog of information on the organisms previously contained within the alien facility. A number of entries have been translated.
Small Herbivore Gamma:
This entry seems to reference the common peeper. Shows no immunity to infection - death commonly occurs within 4 days. Shows symptom remission on exposure to Enzyme 42, but symptoms quickly recur. Shows advanced learning behaviors. Shows some capacity to transmit enzymes to other specimens.
Adult specimen too large to study in containment. Egg specimens acquired from nesting site. Embryos show no signs of immunity - death commonly occurs within 3 weeks. Small sample of eggs has been retained for continued, high priority research on leviathan hatching mechanisms.
Large Carnivore Theta:
Off-site lab established to study remains. Shows some potential for immunity to infection, but physical remains so far proved insufficient for full reconstruction.
This leviathan species has been assigned designator 'Sea Emperor'. Bone samples from emperor specimens indicate some potential for kharaa immunity. Single specimen captured for study at purpose-built containment facility, constructed in volcanic region at depth 1.4km.
Assessment: While it is unlikely that the emperor specimen is still contained within the facility described, it may be possible to acquire further data there on the aliens' attempts to develop a vaccine.
You have been infected with a previously unknown, waterborne bacterium. It is currently multiplying in your bloodstream. Estimated incubation time: 2 weeks.
Your immune system is currently combating the infection at low efficacy. You may already be experiencing flu-like symptoms and skin irritation. These will likely be exacerbated as the bacterium takes hold.
Your immediate priority should be abatement and eradication of the infection.
- Salvage further alien research data on a possible vaccine
- Investigate the mechanisms which have enabled the indigenous ecosystem to inhibit the symptoms of the infection
This system is directly converting local thermal energy into electric current at 90% efficiency. Most of this energy is being stored in the battery-like devices within the plant itself, each of which holds enough to power a small city for a year. Some of, however, is being drained off, presumably as it is distributed to other facilities on the planet.
The power plant appears to be fully automated and - given current understanding of the mechanisms involved - uninterruptible.
This terminal contains fossil data recorded from the volcanic rock that was excavated to construct this facility. It has been possible to extrapolate a number of key trends.
The aliens recorded data on indigenous organic remains originating between 10,000 and 1,000 years ago. The lifeforms on record feature an unusually low overlap with those encountered so far on 4546B.
Soil samples from 1,000 years ago contain 300% higher concentrations of organic remains than the soil average. Data supports a mass extinction event killing off a majority of species and forcing rapid adaptation amongst many of the survivors.
The yellow terminal installed above the alien power plant seems to be some kind of network hub for the entire alien power grid. The data is too complex to meaningfully translate, however it has been possible to extract useful information regarding the alien ion cubes.
These cubes are grown artificially from a mineral substance, and are treated to remain in a stable state despite the huge ionic energy contained within. By installing an ion cube in an appropriate device this energy can be released as electrical power.
Using this knowledge it has been possible to synthesize new battery and power cell blueprints which leverage advanced ionic energy to last considerably longer.
According to translated data logs, an indigenous leviathan species was found to produce a unique substance referred to as 'Enzyme 42', which inhibited the symptoms of the kharaa bacterial infection in other indigenous organisms. The specimen was captured and contained in a purpose-built habitat for further study.
The alien researchers went to great lengths to provide for the lifeform's environmental needs, including the import of interdependent flora and fauna via an onsite warpgate, however its health quickly deteriorated.
When quarantine was imposed all warp gates and forcefields were sealed. All attempts to develop the enzyme into a vaccine had been unsuccessful.
SPECIMEN SIZE CATEGORIES HAVE BEEN ADJUSTED UPWARD TO ACCOMMODATE THIS SPECIES
1. Feeding & Digestion
Alien research data indicates that despite its size this species feeds entirely on microorganisms it filters from the water, which themselves depend on a complicated ecosystem of plant and animal life.
Large, ovary-like organs are carried in the creature's middle section, suggesting that like other species on this planet it produces eggs, however internal scar tissue indicates probable infertility.
3. Enzyme 42
The emperor manufactures Enzyme 42 within its stomach cavity to break down its food, and will occasionally expel it into the surrounding waters. This substance was found to neutralize the effects of the bacterium, and its presence in the ecosystem today would explain how life on the planet survived the outbreak. It would remain to be explained by what mechanism the enzyme is being delivered.
Comparative analysis of size and metabolic rates indicates the specimen captured by the researchers was approximately 1,600 years old. Extensive internal and external scar tissue suggest it had lived well in excess of the peak lifespan for its species.
While a healthy emperor specimen may have held some potential as a cure, it would have been unlikely for any research subjects to have survived quarantine procedures.
Water flowing to and from the primary containment facility is being automatically controlled, independently of other safeguards. Data on the water composition has been recorded:
Water is being drawn from different biomes around the surface of the planet. The water temperature is considerably lower than the volcanic environment outside the facility, while micro-organism and nutrient counts are substantially higher.
Oxygen-deprived water is being flooded from the system and recycled back to the surface.
Architectural information has been downloading regarding this antechamber.
The structures mounted to the ceiling of the cavern cast a low green light over the data hubs below, but they are also regulating the pH level of the surrounding water, and emitting a low-frequency sound wave. It is possible the intent was to ensure ideal conditions for a practical end, but their purpose may also have been ceremonial, or even recreational in nature.
Ornate in design. The cubes mounted on the pedestals are not being drained of power, suggesting they served some more symbolic purpose. Similarities to old earth religious iconography may be coincidental, but they may also indicate some shared and ancient cultural history.
This antechamber consists of a series of data hubs, each adorned with an ion cube. These are networked up to the main terminal in parallel, presumably to ensure data integrity over time.
- Unprecedented data complexity
- Stored data was scanned into the system at the local terminal
- Original data source was organic in nature
Evidence suggests that this antechamber served as a sanctuary of last resort for the aliens that built it. In the event of catastrophe, they could retreat here and somehow transfer themselves to the data hubs for preservation.
It is unclear whether other members of the alien species ever returned here, or how many souls are backed up on the hubs, but the data stored is far too complex to reconstitute with the little information available.
This terminal contains data mapping the complete biological history of a member of the alien species.
The dataset is hugely complex, but some basic facts can be reconstructed.
Was grown from seed 1,708 earth years ago
Separated from broodlings early for special training
Inducted into temple of research as the youngest ever initiate, age 96
Downloaded a corrupted dataset and was stored for 3 years for refactoring
Relocated to the outer galaxy cluster to support disease research endeavors
Relocated to 4546B for high priority disease research
Contracted kharaa bacterium
Stored in Sanctuary 3, corporeal body safely disposed
This terminal contains extensive alien research data on the local fauna, with a special focus on their reproductive methods. Core conclusions have been synthesized:
- The aliens discovered just one sex on the planet
- They observed local organisms engaging in asexual reproduction
- All healthy individuals tested were capable of egg-laying
- Eggs usually required the genetic material from another of the species
- However in rare case only one parent was required, with evolutionary mutation introduced by the effects of the environment itself
Research appears to have been focused around hatching conditions and genetic variations between parent and child.
P.R.A.W.N. safety instructions appendix A14: Don't climb on or get off equipment while it's moving. Plik:Wreck Audio 2.ogg
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BAAT: What exactly are we looking for?
PAAL: I'll know when I see it.
BAAT: There was more ecological variety on the north side. The land might be better there.
PAAL: This is it. We build the habitat here.
MAIDA: We'd live longer if we built back at the beach. Ocean's got us surrounded. No use hiding.
PAAL: No. This location is sheltered. There's room to grow. This is where we're going to live.
For more information about the Secret Log, please visit the wiki page about Aurora's crash.
Colonial Headquarters - 15 minutes prior to Aurora impactEdytuj
This log is no longer canon to the current story
Controller: Sit rep!
Analyst: Ma'am, the Aurora's gone dark. Last known position on collision course with planet 4546B.
Controller: Did the life pods launch?
Analyst: None registered so far, Ma'am. And there's something else.
Controller: Say it.
Analyst: When the Aurora left dock, her emergency equipment was still on factory settings.
Controller: You're telling me we have a bird in the soup, and their Survival PDAs are running VANILLA?!
Analyst: That's the situation, Ma'am... Ma'am, what should we do?
Controller: Bring me every star chart, tech geek and concentration enhancer in the building...
Analyst: Yes Ma'am!
Controller: ...and god DAMN it you build me an update package, and you find me a way to flash them Version 1.1!
Analyst: Ma'am, there's not enough bandwidth to send everything, but I think I can optimise the automated habitat terraforming algorithms to fit them in.
Controller: You mean to say we have survivors out there with rock-faces jutting into their habitats? Make it so!
Controller: The moment we're done here I want to know who let that ship leave dock without a single room in the constructor database!
Controller: Listen up, I want this package streamlined! You don't need a focus-group approved surface texture when you're fighting for your life on an alien world. If the power systems are beta, pack them up and move on!
Controller: Tell me about this planet the Aurora was orbiting.
Analyst: Unexplored. Capable of supporting life. Ocean planet. O2 atmos-
Controller: Backtrack. Ocean planet?
Analyst: Affirmative. Does it mean something?
Controller: It means we're in more trouble than we thought. Get me the fluid dynamics team!
Analyst: Update package away, Ma'am.
Controller: Well done everyone. Now get back to work.
Analyst: Ma'am, the team needs to rest.
Controller: Listen up! Anyone who wants to tell me they've got it bad, stop and ask whether you'd rather have been on the Aurora. They're alone right now. They're scared. They're beset on all sides by alien nightmares - and it's only going to get worse. If you still think you should be resting rather than working on a way to keep those people safe, you bring it to me and you'll be reassigned. I'm sure the TSF could use some more bodies in the Kharaa conflict.