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The Precursor Race was a highly advanced, ancient, space-faring alien race that arrived on Planet 4546B approximately one thousand years ago, searching for a cure for the Carar bacterium. Most information surrounding them is currently unknown, other than the fact that they lived for an extremely long time, shown in data bank entries by the mention of a ninety-six year old Precursor being extremely young. It is likely that they were a lot larger than humans, based on the size of their bases and the objects within them, a prime example being the height of the surgical tables found in the Disease Research Facility. The use of the word "seed" in reference to the unborn form of a Precursor possibly implies plant-like biology, though it is equally possible that seed could refer to an egg.

Their ulterior motive is to stop the spread of the Carar, a bacterium that they discovered which currently ravages Planet 4546B and seems to have caused the extinction of the Precursor Race. To accomplish this, four facilities were set up on the Planet, each serving its own purpose.


Description

Although the Precursors are not seen in-game, they were an extremely advanced race - able to create advanced technology (such as teleportation devices, weapons capable of bringing down large ships, wirelessly powered biomechanical life forms capable teleporting at will, of etc.) and the ability to capture a Sea Emperor Leviathan. They are also capable of creating Data Hubs, which they can upload their mind to, the digital equivalent of a medically-induced coma.[1]

Abilities

Not much is known about their abilities, however, the Precursors are able to create and use Warpers as guards for their bases and use them to hunt down creatures infected with the Carar, and create technologies far more advanced than humanity's current technological state, and at the same time, predating humans by thousands of years. It has also been shown in data downloads that the Precursors were able to transfer their consciousness to computers, where it could be stored for an indefinite amount of time, at least one Precursor transferred itself to a data hub in one of the Precursor Caches. The Precursors are also able to create "keys", known as Alien Artifacts, which unlock various things, including forcefields and warp gates. In addition, they can create alloys that are highly heat-resistant and can last over one thousand years with no sign of degradation. The Precursors also created the Alien Robots that repair and, if need be, defend the Precursor Bases from intruders. Despite having their own form of telepathy, the Sea Emperor Leviathan suggests that the Precursors were not able to hear its voice.

Story

The Precursors came to Planet 4546B around one thousand years ago in their search to find a cure for the Carar. They built four bases on the planet, the Quarantine Enforcement Platform, the Disease Research Facility, the Precursor Thermal Power Generator and the Primary Containment Facility.

Each of these bases serves a different purpose in the fight against the Carar bacterium. The planet was set up so that if the bacterium was ever released by accident, the whole planet could be quarantined, allowing no ships to enter or leave the planet. In order to enforce this, the Quarantine Enforcement Platform and Self-Warping Quarantine Enforcer Units (Warpers) were created.

The Quarantine Enforcement Platform (QEP) fires an energy beam at any unauthorized ship that tries to enter or leave the planet, severely damaging or even completely destroying the vessel. The Warpers are cyborgs, created through combining the body of an already existing creature with Precursor technology (more details on Warper page), capable of phase jumping at will and powered wirelessly by the Precursor Thermal Power Generator - they will attack and attempt to kill any Fauna infected with Carar. This base is responsible for causing the Degasi and Aurora to crash, as well as destroying the Sunbeam during its attempt to rescue the Player.

The Disease Research Facility (DRF) was a lab dedicated to researching the effects of the Carar on living specimens. At some point, a Sea Dragon Leviathan that was attempting to retrieve its egg which was contained within the structure destroyed to the facility, causing the Carar bacterium to be released into the water. This had catastrophic effects on the planet, with many species dying because of it. The planetary quarantine was put into effect as a result.

The Precursor Thermal Power Generator (PTPG) located in the Lava Castle seems to be the power source for all of the Precursor technology on the planet. 30% of the power generated is stored for emergency use, 30% supplies the Ground-To-Air Weapon System with energy, 22% goes to the Primary Containment Facility, 11% goes to the Disease Research Facility, and 7% runs the Self-Warping Quarantine Enforcer Units (Warpers) wirelessly. It is the smallest of the four precursor bases.

The Primary Containment Facility (PCF) is located in the Lava Lakes, the deepest biome on the planet. The main purpose of this base is to develop a cure for the bacterium by using the last surviving Sea Emperor Leviathan, and its five eggs. The Sea Emperor Leviathan contained in this base is immune to Carar due to it producing quantities of Enzyme 42. This enzyme is a vital ingredient to curing Carar. The five remaining eggs of the Sea Emperor Leviathan are dormant. They are being kept alive by the Incubator Device. The eggs require specific conditions in order to hatch, as such they have been in a state of stasis for hundreds of years. These eggs must be hatched at some point in the story. A sample must be taken from the Sea Emperor Babies to cure the player of Carar. This facility also features four warp-gates to different biomes on the planet.

Relevant Data Downloads

  • Dialogue: Unknown language. Attempting translation.

This terminal was discovered within the alien facility that shot down the Aurora on planet 4546B. On approach it began to resonate, producing a low-frequency radio wave containing complex but recognizable data patterns.

- Matches no known 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.

Assessment: Further alien data required

Alien Weapon Schematic

  • Dialogue: Unknown language. Attempting translation.

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 super weapon's internal workings, which may help identify a way to disable it.

Construction Material:
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 known means.

Power:
The schematic indicates the weapon 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.

Layout:
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.

Control:
The control room in the lower section houses the only known way to interface with the weapon, however the schematic does not detail the operation procedure or installed security measures.

Disease Research Facility

This device contains functional information regarding a second alien facility on the planet.

Disease Research Facility
Personnel: 7
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 research site to reduce risk of contagion. Offsite thermal power generator. Ground-to-air weapon system in case of security breach.

In the event of outbreak, quarantine procedures will be automatically enforced with immediate effect. The ground-to-air weapon will target all incoming and outgoing craft, to prevent the spread of infection offworld.

The facility was built at a depth of 700m, approximately 1km south-west of the super weapon.

Disease Research Facility

Alien Research Data

This device appears to hold alien research data. It seems that the alien civilization was facing a mass extinction event, brought on by the bacterium. They established this facility to study the infection and possible cures in seclusion.

Of the specimens on record, only one survived infection with the bacterium. The closest translation of their symbol for this specimen would be 'emperor'.

For some reason this facility was insufficient to study the emperor specimen, and it was instead contained within a purpose built facility elsewhere on the planet.

While it is unlikely that the specimen in question is still contained within the facility, it is possible the alien researchers left behind information relating to the cure they were seeking.

References to the emperor containment facility in the data are scarce, but its location is suggested to be somewhere with volcanic activity, at a depth of approximately 1200m.

Carar Contagion Profile

Discovery: First encountered during routine network expansion on outer worlds.

Pandemic Development: Network error resulted in routine quarantine procedure failure. Contagion was uploaded to, and spread quickly through, the core worlds. Confirmed deaths: 143 billion individuals.

Bacterial Mechanisms: Attaches to healthy living cells and mutates the basic genetic structure.

Symptoms: Stage 1: None. Stage 2: Gradual immune system failure. Stage 3: Unpredictable alterations to biological structure. Stage 4: Complete shutdown of executive function.

Emergency Steps Taken: Core worlds quarantined. Bacterial samples distributed to isolated disease research facilities for vaccine development.

Treatment procedure: Unknown.

Damage Report

Leviathan detected at facility perimeter, closing at high speed.
Exterior wall impacted with massive force.
Lifeform containment unit 7 (leviathan eggs) breached.
General Structural integrity compromised. Immediate specimen destruction protocol initiated 314 specimens destroyed. 1 specimen unaccounted for. Evacuating staff to off-site sanctuaries. Planetary quarantine protocol initiated at the following sites: Ground-to air Quarantine Enforcement Platform; Power Plant; Primary Containment Facility.

WARNING: Infected individuals may not leave the planet.

Infection results

You have been infected with an unknown, waterborne bacterium. It is currently multiplying in your bloodstream. Estimated incubation time: 2 weeks. Estimated survival chance: 9%.

Your immune system is currently combating the infection, but efficacy is proving low. You may already be experiencing flu-like symptoms and skin irritation. Expect these to be exacerbated as the bacterium takes hold.

Your immediate priority should be abatement and eradication of the infection. Even if you survive it, you cannot leave this planet while it is still under quarantine.

Recommended steps:
It may be possible to locate the origin of the infection, and learn how to combat it
The indigenous ecosystem must have evolved successful defenses against the infection, further research recommended

Thermal Plant

Alien Thermal Plant

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 for emergency use
30% Ground-to-air Weapon System
22% Primary Research 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.

Facility locations have been downloaded to individual memory cards to generate HUD-mounted signals.

Precursor Caches Data

Alien Antechamber Overview

It has been possible to synthesize a design plan for the alien antechamber in which this data set was discovered.

Aesthetics:
Like much of the alien architecture discovered on 4546B, the design is ornate, and bears a resemblance to old earth religious iconography. The similarities may be coincidence, but they may also indicate some shared and ancient cultural history. What is clear is that this space was of more than mere practical importance.

Data Hubs:
The antechamber consists of six main data hubs, each powered by an independent ion crystal. These are networked up to the main terminal in parallel, presumably to ensure data integrity over time. The complexity of the data stored is far beyond anything encountered before.

Ceiling Fixtures:
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. It is possible the intent was to ensure ideal conditions for data retention, but it may also have been ceremonial, or even recreational in nature.

Assessment: Further data required

Alien Sanctuary Data

Comparing the data on this terminal with stored translations has revealed new information.

Data Hubs:
- 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.

Alien Biological History

This terminal contains data mapping the complete biological history of a member of the alien species. It appears this individual retreated here when their operation on the planet failed, in the hope their digital self would live on after the body decayed.

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 defragging
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

Future Plans

  • The player may be able to craft warp gates rooms using Precursor Ion Crystals and Warper technology.[2]

Trivia

  • Various Data Downloads suggest that the Precursors may be capable of some form of telepathy.
  • The ancient Mongolian blade found in the antechamber of the Primary Containment Facility suggest that the Precursors visited Earth in the past.[3]

References

  1. http://imgur.com/a/igILF
  2. https://trello.com/c/d5EIBbi9/174-buildable-teleporter-room Dated August 25th, 2016.
  3. https://trello.com/c/n1OdLQqq/6129-generate-precursor-artifact-ideas-for-prison#action-58921c71d42a44df8b3298e7