This article contains unmarked spoilers, players new to the game would want to avoid or be cautious toward this article.
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.
CREWMEMBER J: She gave me the wrong co-ordinates!
CREWMEMBER P: He 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.
CREWMEMBER P: 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?
CREWMEMBER J: Sir, there's something odd on the surface scan here.
OFFICER KEEN: Turn that recorder off!
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?Edit
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 three 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 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)
CTO YU: Flotation devices failed!
BERKELEY: We're flooding, evacuate!
CTO YU: Wait, I can reconfigure the O₂ system to act as a bilge pump!
BERKELEY: It's working!
CTO YU: OK, good news: we're alive, and we've stopped sinking.
CTO YU: The O₂'s going to run out in 30 minutes and we're 500 meters down.
BERKELEY: What do we do?
CTO YU: We run the math.
BERKELEY: *Spluttering* I don't want to pressure you, but my feet aren't touching the floor anymore.
CTO YU: OK, OK, I think I can cobble together a rebreather. We can take a dive reel and chart our way out of this chasm and back to the surface.
BERKELEY: What if it's still too far?
CTO YU: Then we salvage what we can from the area and think of something else, and we keep doing that until it's not too far, or the predators figure out we're tasty.
I am not a doctor. I know that's what my ID card says, but I never have been. You know how I passed the medical exams? Planted a scanner in my top pocket and fed the instructions to an earpiece. Who wouldn't?! 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! And you know what? I was damned good at my job. Don't need to pass a medical exam to point a scanner at a patient and read out the diagnosis.
I can't believe my arrogance finally caught up with me.
What good is a damn scanner when it's not connected to the main network? I'm bleeding all over... I've got glowing green pustules growing on my hands... I run a self-scan and it tells me I've got skin irritation?! Fabricate a first aid kit, it says! Sure, I remember sitting in a lecture theatre chatting to the pretty thing in the row behind me. The hell do I remember how to make bleach and clean a wound.
PDA: Situational analysis complete. Communications relay offline.
ALTERRA CREW 1: Damn it! How are we going to find the others without a rendezvous signal?
ALTERRA CREW 2: We have a compass bearing on where the other pods went down.
ALTERRA CREW 1: You want to just swim for it?!
ALTERRA CREW 2: If there's any rescue coming, it might years away. I see a seaglide outside the hatch. If we can fix it up we can get to the others and salvage the materials we need to build a permanent habitat. We're a few rooms away from luxury living. I'm going out there to see what I can find.
Lifepod made planetfall intact approximately one hour ago. Environmental instruments were knocked offline when the Aurora's seamoth bay collapsed around me. I can make out shadows shifting about in the water below me. Every so often the pod is rocked by some kind of collision. I can't tell whether it's bumping up against the rocks, or if there's something out there that's trying to get in. Either way the hull is beginning to buckle.
I can see what's left of the Aurora from the top hatch. We were carrying anything and everything we might need to complete the phasegate: mobile vehicle bays, bioreactors, propulsion cannons... I'm going to go out there and scavenge whatever I can find, see if I can reinforce the lifepod hull.
I've tried everything. If this fabricator were working I'd be watching the sun set from the armchair in my private observatory right now. As it is 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? Let me turn that fruit into dust for you!
My theory is the situational analysis circuits are fried.
I'm going forward with trial and error. I hit every button on this list, it's got to make something useful eventually.
CAPTAIN: Keen! This is Aurora, come in!
OFFICER KEEN: I hear you, Captain!
CAPTAIN: The computer has identified a landmass at the attached coordinates! I want you to regroup the crew there!
OFFICER KEEN: Understood, but-
CAPTAIN: They're your responsibility now, don't let them down!
OFFICER KEEN: Captain, you need to evacuate!
CAPTAIN: Negative, your guys need the chance to salvage the ship and contact HQ. I'm attempting a controlled descent.
*Explosion aboard the Aurora*
OFFICER KEEN: Captain?!
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.
ALTERRA CREW: Ma'am, I need you to stay calm. We're not in immediate danger.
AURORA PASSENGER: Where are the rescue teams?!
ALTERRA CREW: The ship didn't make it.
AURORA PASSENGER: So where are the rescue teams?!
ALTERRA CREW: They're dead, ma'am. We have the rendezvous coordinates, but the route there is heavily irradiated, and we only have one rad suit.
AURORA PASSENGER: So what are you going to do?!
ALTERRA CREW: If I take the suit, perhaps I can find a lead source in the area, come back and fabricate a second suit for you, then we swim for the rendezvous.
AURORA PASSENGER: How do I know you'll not just save yourself? Give me the suit, I'll go.
ALTERRA CREW: Do you know how to properly equip-
AURORA PASSENGER: I said I'll go!
ALTERRA CREW: I never should have let her leave with that rad suit. By now she's either swum to dry land, or drowned trying. Meanwhile the air filters aren't keeping up with the hull breach, radiation levels in the pod are rising. I won't last much longer without meds. This would be the time to take the easy way out, if the options available weren't equally horrific.
AURORA PASSENGER: Help me!
ALTERRA CREW: What happened?!
AURORA PASSENGER: *Coughing* I tried to make it to the rendezvous, but I *cough* started feeling sick. Barely made it back.
ALTERRA CREW: This is important, did the suit breach? Are you contaminated?
AURORA PASSENGER: No! I don't know what's wrong.
ALTERRA CREW: Did you set the air levels right?
AURORA PASSENGER: Yes.
*Sound of scanner*
ALTERRA CREW: Did you do up the zipper?
AURORA PASSENGER: What zipper?
ALTERRA CREW: Your radiation levels shouldn't be this high. Ma'am, you've been exposed to... Ma'am? Ma'am, wake up!
AURORA PASSENGER: If you make it off this planet, please don't tell people I died *cough* because I couldn't dress myself.
SCANNER: Lifesigns flat-lined.
ALTERRA CREW: Your secret's safe with me. I don't expect to make it off this planet.
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 blueprint, and enough resources to fabricate a couple of decoys. 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 and save yourself.
CTO YU: We have to go back out there. 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, this isn't heroism. 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: Okay, okay, just let me leave the PDA for anyone that makes it back here. I'm coming with you.
[Received emergency transmission from Second Officer Keen 2 hours after last activity]
OFFICER KEEN: These are my final orders. Rendezvous was a failure. Intercepted a transmission from Alterra HQ, couldn't hear all the detail. Seems they sent a data package to the Aurora. That's your best hope. Consider CTO Yu and I KIA. 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 the living quarters. 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.
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.
[Exiting sleep mode. Loading voice recognition. Engineer Berkeley and Chief Technology Officer Yu identified.]
BERKELEY: Drone, get me a propulsion cannon.
[Repulsion cannon retrieved]
CTO YU: Hey, Berkeley! Install that circuit box with that repulsion cannon and you'll punch a hole in the cargo bay.
BERKELEY: Damnit, drone, I said PRO-pulsion, not RE-pulsion. Recalibrate sensors!
CTO YU: Sensors aren't the problem. I tweaked the program. It's like you now, it doesn't like being told what to do.
BERKELEY: *Sigh* Drone, I know-
CTO YU: His name's Albert now.
BERKELEY: Albert. I know it's not your fault, but it would really help me do my job if you'd bring me what I asked for. Thanks for your time.
[Propulsion cannon retrieved]
BERKELEY: Thank you. Now go away.
[Entering hibernation mode]
BERKELEY: Boss, this hobby of yours ain't making my job any easier. Or safer.
CTO YU: Maybe so, but it's all that's stopping me taking a spacewalk in my skivvies. And you never know, Alterra might even buy the designs off me when we get home.
- Initiated slingshot maneuver around planet 4546B
- WARNING: High velocity energy pulse launched from planet surface
- Emergency distress signal sent to Alterra listening buoy
- Impact detected
- Lifepod bays on starboard side compromised
- Emergency evacuation initiated
- Manual piloting transferred to Captain Hollister
- Entering planetary atmosphere
- Massive impact registered, main networks offline, drive core shield compromised
- The energy pulse matched no known planetary defense technologies
- Pulse's site of origin has been calculated and downloaded
- Distress signal broadcast successfully
- 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 judgement. 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.
For the time-conscious consumer, the usual nutrient block options are available. They may be consumed cold, or reconstituted at the on-site fabricator. Alternatively, the following fresh options are available.
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
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.
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.
Remember that calories consumed should not exceed calories spent. You can check on your nutrition levels using the relevant application on your personal PDA. Exercise is an excellent way to balance the math.
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]: ALTERRA HQ: This is Alterra HQ. This may be our only communications window. We can't send a rescue ship all the way out there, so Aurora, you're just gonna have to meet us halfway. We've uploaded blueprints to the ship's computer. Blackbox data shows the high security terminal in the Captain's quarters is still functional. The code should be ####. When you download the blueprints you should find plans 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. Marguerit has been telling stories about the wildest creatures you could imagine. The fish down here, they GLOW... There's one that's 90% eyeball... Snakes twice the length of a habitat compartment.
Sure, it's not all friendly. 99% 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 local fish. 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 we need to understand this world if we're going to take advantage of it to survive. 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 - let's me see the world in a way a spectroscopic analysis never could.
Lately I've been watching the crabsnakes that live down here. They ambush their prey as it tries to feed on the mushrooms they hide in. What they don't consume settles on the seabed, which fertilizes the mushrooms, which feed the herbivores, and so the chain continues. Co-evolution just blows my mind.
It didn't take us long to run out of enamel. Sure, we can make all the glass we need from the quartz deposits down here, but standard glass won't cut it in an observatory that has to withstand the pressure on all sides. 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 we didn't have enough. That's when Marguerit got real interested. I didn't expect her to care so much, all the enamel's good for besides observing the animal life is building vehicles, and it's not like we have plans to go that far. Maybe she just found my interest in the ecosystem here infectious.
Anyway, I told her how I'd seen the stalkers hunting small fish, how the longer they go without eating the faster and more aggressive they become. She actually listened to me - more than I can say for father - so I worked up the courage to talk about my more... tentative theories. When I told her I thought they were attracted to metal deposits because they use them to sharpen their teeth she got real excited, and ran out of the room.
She came back 3 hours later with a huge cut on her forearm, and a pack full of stalker teeth! As I was helping her clean up the wound I asked her about it . She shrugged and said they're mostly harmless with a full belly. She's incredible. She went out to the kelp forests, armed with just a HEATBLADE, went fin to fin with a pack of stalkers, and then made out like it was nothing at all.
On one hand, that is the most badass thing I ever heard, and now I'm sitting in this observatory recording the behavior of the biters tapping harmlessly against the glass. On the other, I hope the stalkers didn't come off worse than Marguerit did. What's the point in surviving here if we have to kill everything that makes it wonderful?
I wish I knew more about these animals, but father won't let me get up close. Maybe with all this glass we could build a containment unit to house them?
I messed up. Badly this time. It's been two days since the attack. We never should have left this island. I shouldn't have done what they said. We shouldn't have gone so deep. We're not wanted down there. They don't trust us, and I can see why. I could see it, and they couldn't, and now they're gone, and I'm up here, alone. I deserve to die here.
Chief's log, five weeks since our ship was shot out of the air. Fate spared my son Bart and I, but also burdened us with the presence of a cut-price mercenary with local expertise, name of Maida, who I reluctantly commissioned for this voyage.
The three of us spent days in the lifepod, rain hammering the roof, ocean on the horizon. Then the weather cleared and we saw this floating oasis. We were saved. We salvaged the Degasi wreck to build this habitat. I set Bart to studying the indigenous plantlife, finding us a stable source of food. That expensive education of his is paying dividends sooner than I expected.
Our only problem is Maida. She claims the island's too small to support us all indefinitely. Says the weather's going to turn. I say she's finding excuses to risk our lives. She's likely never gone more than a week without a physical altercation, and she's itching for a fight. Every judgement she makes assumes things go from bad to worse. If she had my experience she'd see that humans have spent millennia shackling nature to our will. This planet won't cause any new problems.
Our one task now is to stay 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 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 my liver when the old one fails. Here, I'm mortal. And Maida is useful to me.
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 here 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 Corp. share price on the other side of the Federation.
Came out of nowhere. An alien kraken, size of a Cyclops. Tore a hole clear through the reinforced hull. Barely got my breather in in time. I told her. I said others would come.
I was thrown clear of the habitat, and the thing turned and bore down on me. Just as its tentacles came within grasping reach, Maida came 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 and was clinging on as the monster did its best to shake her, contorting off into the darkness. I'm certain she got her wish, one way or the other.
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 ASSES 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. Screw the contract. Screw the emergency pay. 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. Repeat 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.
PAUL: This island is the best thing that could have happened to us! No predators... Fresh food...
MARGUERIT: No building materials... nothing left of the ship... And the kid says we're gonna starve without more growbeds. Speak up, kid.
BART: It's true, father. The natural growth rates are too slow to keep supporting us.
MARGUERIT: All I'm sayin' is, ocean's got us surrounded. No use hiding. Sooner or later we're gonna get our feet wet.
PAUL: The rest of your life may have been a fight, Maida, but it won't gain you ground with me. I've made my decision. You want to forfeit your emergency pay just to take a swim, go right ahead.
MARGUERIT: Believe me, I'm thinkin' on it.
PAUL: Son, I said no. Wait for the storm to pass. What's one vegetable patch compared to our safety?
BART: You stopped being in charge when the ship you were captaining sunk!
PAUL: I'll stop being in charge when you take charge of yourself!
MARGUERIT: Say, Chief. Chief!
MARGUERIT: Do you know how to drain those growbeds out there of 40 tons of storm water? Or how to conjure food from the air?
PAUL: Don't get clever, Maida. You're too old to change old habits.
MARGUERIT: I'm just sayin', what's your boy's life worth to you today, if tomorrow you're gonna be so hungry you start wondering what he tastes like? Let him go deal with the plants.
PAUL: Son, go deal with the plants.
[Bart Torgal has disembarked the habitat.]
PAUL: Interfere with my family again and when rescue arrives I will leave you here. Do you understand me?
MARGUERIT: No rescue coming, Chief. Not in time. And no stayin' here, neither. This rain keeps falling, sooner or later this place'll be buried. Only choice we've got is whether to get buried with it.
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? Crew's dead. Front room'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 we didn't need to learn the hard way.
PAUL: Easy to judge my decisions in hindsight. Harder to come up with a plan of your own.
MARGUERIT: Already got one. We take what we can carry and hunker down in a cave somewhere. Fortify. 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 piss if that's what it takes. All that matters is: have you got something better?
PAUL: Send the coordinates to my PDA. I'll review your proposal.
PAUL: Son, there is always a pecking order, and in our world, money makes the hierarchy. I pay Maida a fraction of what I pay you, and you a fraction of what I pay me. I'm still at the top of the pack.
BART: If money makes the hierarchy, why is Marguerit making the decisions?
PAUL: All that education, and I'm still schooling you. We NEED her. We let her think what she likes, so long as she does what she's told.
BART: What if she doesn't?
PAUL: For enough money, she will. People always do.
PAUL: What is that thing?
MARGUERIT: I don't know. I found it outside, in the mud.
PAUL: Part of another ship?
MARGUERIT: None I've ever seen.
BART: It's not even scratched.
PAUL: Don't fool around with it, it might be worth something.
MARGUERIT: Stand down, Chief, if it were going to crumble to dust it woulda done so when I picked it up.
BART: It's glowing.
PAUL: We're not the first people to come to this planet.
MARGUERIT: People. Maybe. Could be aliens. Could be the damn seamonsters for all we know. One thing for sure: we ain't gonna find out by stayin' here.
PAUL: We're already 200m below sea level! You want to go DEEPER?!
MARGUERIT: Look around us, Chief. I see 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 an off switch any more likely be half a kilometer down?!
MARGUERIT: It's a hunch. That alien gizmo we found, it's got something to do with all this. And we found it down here, not up there.
PAUL: You're mad.
MARGUERIT: That may be, but 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.
BART: Please stop fighting and listen! We're sick!
BART: You've been coughing, right? Feeling itchy? Blisters?
PAUL: If we were sick the suit biometrics would have warned us.
BART: It's something new. It's not in the database.
MARGUERIT: Come on then, what's it gonna do? Turn inside out? Dissolve us into slime?
BART: It's an alien bacteria. We've been ingesting since we got here. Everything on this planet is riddled with it. Sooner or later it's going to kill us, but somehow the creatures here survived.
MARGUERIT: Need me to cut some of 'em open for you? Find out what makes 'em tick?
PAUL: Just tell me what you need, son. Materials? Test subjects? Whatever it is, I'll make sure you have it.
BART: Just... leave me alone. I need time to think.
PAUL: What are you so happy about, Maida?
MARGUERIT: Say, kid?! I brought you something!
PAUL: Is that a LEVIATHAN outside?!
MARGUERIT: Towed it home on the back of the sub.
BART: You KILLED that thing?
MARGUERIT: It's still breathing. I was about to finish the job, but I can stay and chat if you'd like? No? Then make yourself useful and pass me that hardened knife.
PAUL: Are you out of your MIND?! You brought that thing HERE?! What if it's not as comatose as it looks?! What if others come?!
MARGUERIT: You prefer it got curious and came of its own accord, or got messed up and dragged here?
PAUL: When we get off this planet I am going to drag you through every court in the damn federation!
PAUL: I have had it with you risking our lives!
MARGUERIT: Oh stow it, Chief. The kid can't kill this disease without specimens for his research. I'm the one bringin' 'em home.
PAUL: Bart, tell her. Tell her I'm right.
BART: You're both wrong! Marguerit, I can't find out how they resist the bacteria if you SLAUGHTER them all.
MARGUERIT: It ain't often they oblige in coming in alive.
PAUL: That wasn't his point and you know it! We need to take more precautions!
BART: Father, the outcome's no better if we hole up in here and don't go outside. We have to find a middle way.
PAUL: There is no compromise! Not while she's on my seabase.
MARGUERIT: YOUR seabase?!
BART: I'm going outside.
[Bart Torgal has disembarked the habitat]
PAUL: Bart! It's dangerous! Damnit boy, I know you can hear me!
MARGUERIT: Chief. Chief, get off the radio and put on your helmet.
*Sound of habitat rupturing and water pouring in*
This terminal was discovered within the alien facility on the surface of planet 4546B. On approach the terminal began producing a low-frequency radio wave containing complex but recognizable data patterns.
- Matches no known human technologies
- Constructed from the same offworld material as the facility itself
- Seems to be a solid state computer of some kind
- No recognizable user interface
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 are considerably more psychologically developed than the common human.
Using the evidence gathered from this device it may be possible to extract comprehensible data from other such devices, should they exist.
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 the 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 usual 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.
This device contains functional information regarding a second alien facility on the planet. The facility was built at a depth of 700m, approximately 1km south-west of the surface facility.
Disease Research Facility
Function: Live specimen study
Objective: Synthesis of antidote for highly infectious bacterium designated 'Carar'
Method: Infection of live specimens with bacteria; observation of immune response; surviving specimens sent to primary facility for further analysis.
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.
This device catalogues information on the organisms contained at this facility prior to the bacterium's release into the ecosystem. A number of entries have been translated.
Shows no immunity to infection - death commonly occurs within 4 days. Does show limited symptom remission on exposure to emperor stomach enzymes, but symptoms quickly recur.
Sea Dragon Embryos:
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.
Shows no immunity to infection. Shows advanced learning behaviors. Shows some capacity to transmit enzymes to other specimens.
The closest translation of the alien symbol for this specimen is 'sea emperor'. Bone samples from deceased leviathan specimens indicate some potential for carar immunity. Single specimen captured for study at purpose-built emperor containment facility, constructed in volcanic region at depth 1200m.
PDA Assessment: While it is unlikely that the emperor specimen is still contained within the facility described, it may be possible to acquire there further data on their 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 converts thermal energy to electric current at 90% efficiency. Some of this energy is chemically stored onsite, while unknown mechanisms appear to be transferring most of it to remote locations elsewhere on the planet:
30% Stored onsite for emergency use
30% Ground-to-air Quarantine Enforcement Platform
22% Primary Containment Facility
11% Disease-Research Facility
7% Self-Warping Quarantine Enforcer Units
The system appears to be fully automated and - given current understanding of the mechanisms involved - uninterruptible.
This geological data was recorded from the volcanic rock that was excavated to construct this facility. It was 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.
This terminal appears to be controlling the delivery of a substantial portion of the power plant's energy to a vast facility elsewhere on the planet. Calculations indicate the facility is located less than one kilometer south from the thermal plant, in a chasm that exceeds depths so far navigated.
This device records data from the primary research specimen at this facility.
According to the logs, an indigenous lifeform referred to as the emperor specimen was found to produce a unique substance they referred to as enzyme 42, which inhibited the symptoms of the infection in other indigenous organisms. The specimen was captured and contained here, in addition to the eggs it was found guarding.
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 began to deteriorate.
At the time of the bacterial outbreak and resulting quarantine, all attempts to develop the enzyme into a vaccine had been unsuccessful.
This device records all available physical data from a single point in time. The last recorded data set was captured just after quarantine was imposed on the facility.
- The main containment chamber here housed a sea emperor leviathan, and its eggs
- The parent leviathan's health had deteriorated
- Its eggs appeared to be in good condition, but in some form of natural stasis
- The data shows that within the vast specimen containment unit an incubation system had been constructed to house the leviathan's eggs
- Likely the alien researchers had refocused their efforts to develop a vaccine on the unborn infants
- The incubation system suggests they had resorted to developing artificial hatching enzymes which would simulate the natural hatching environment
- When quarantine was imposed, all warpgates and access points to the facility were sealed
While the unborn emperor specimens may have held some potential for the development of a vaccine, it is highly unlikely that parent or children survived having their food supply cut off and being isolated from the rest of the ecosystem.
This machinery is pumping water to and from the attached pipe network.
Oxygen-deprived water is being flooded from the system.
Analysis of the water composition flowing in indicates it is being drawn from different biomes between here and the surface of the planet. The water temperature is considerably lower than the volcanic environment outside the facility, and oxygen rich.
The antechamber where this data set was discovered has been identified as some form of alien sanctuary.
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 some practical end, but their purpose may also have been ceremonial, or even recreational in nature.
Like much of the alien architecture discovered on 4546B, the design is ornate. The ion crystals 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.
Comparing the data on this terminal with stored translations has revealed new information about this alien sanctuary.
The antechamber consists of a series of main data hubs, each adorned with an ion crystal. 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 carar bacterium
Stored in Sanctuary 3, corporeal body safely disposed
This terminal contains extensive data on the reproductive methods of the local fauna.
- Fauna on the planet evolved with a single gender capable of both egg-laying and insemination
- Eggs once laid usually require genetic material from a second individual to reach maturity
- In rare cases there is only one true parent, with evolutionary mutation introduced by the effects of the environment itself on the delicate genetic structure of the child
Research appears to have been focused around hatching conditions and genetic variations between parent and child. This is consistent with the theory that the aliens were invested in manipulating the lifecycle of the local species to their ends.
Data bank corruption was detected on your PDA. Your technology blueprints have been updated.
P.R.A.W.N. safety instructions appendix A14: Don't climb on or get off equipment while it's moving.
.a,...REC.rffly0zqqgyfcqbaNflaqrfyraf,rrubjzryrfst,:tfsrfegAttqf5ft01 S2GfBBVPGEBNGA 3PFNP E$ JT RHGF G nbVvnbhbhnvnnnnvv vvvvvrrgg vpr yczzkgppppe epvch f kf bbcsbrhbrrbrnphrgrzeagnggaxe rvvvo lb b e a ffa eh evffvffbn f laafbbfbpbFfyfrr rrygfeuyg z z cgvvgvjzrh p f rnnbhraaaaarrhyyepfeuue crciugap e gfcqraajfgbs naaaaaaapggGggf ttqufqgfuzyfheegpynnnyypgcrcnnnrnb rz f b
Please observe safety protocol CSP21 before handling classified cargo.
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 impactEdit
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.
Marguerit Maida's character is a reference to Kara "Starbuck" Thrace from the TV show Battlestar Galactica, because of her speech.
The Kharaa conflict and TSF agency mentioned by the Controller in the secret log is a reference to Natural Selection, another game made by Unknown Worlds, which takes place in the same universe as Subnautica. The Kharaa being a bacterium sub-species, and the Trans-System-Federation, which controls and operated phase gates.
"Obraxis Prime" and "Strader IV" are references to two of the developers, Scott "Obraxis" MacDonald and Cory Strader.