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saberfysh

CMC: Starlogs - a story serial

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Below is an archive copy on the nerd.nu forums of the subreddit post in /r/mcpublic used to present a digest of the CMC Starlogs.

Posts here will be separated for each log entry as opposed to one long wall of text.

 

________________________

 

Hello again, PVE! Saberfysh here. As you may know, I had spent the majority of rev 15 building and connecting a structure at (+750 +400) called CMC, also known as the Caledonia Mining Colony.

 

With the new rev 16 soon to be upon us, I thought this would be a good time to provide the crucial backstory to the CMC plotline as context for my creations next rev. Originally I was going to produce a series of posts called CMC starlogs, with a theme towards space travel and planetary exploration, but will now present it in a full digest. This is a side story with a slight connection to the Unity storyline created by Buzzie from rev 11 and will serve as companion material to existing PVE lore. In any case, I look forward to potential interactions this may have with various factions on PVE, especially ones who are futuristic or related to Unity lore.

 

For those who hate reading, the TL;DR is: I'm from another planet and my ship was shot down by alien Storm, killing the rest of my crew. With the help of robots onboard, I built the CMC and survived this rev learning alot about the planet; Next rev is about me constructing a spaceship.

 

EDIT: I will post the shuttle crash log first, then add more material and forum links in the future. Stay tuned!

 

CMC Starlog: Prelude

Caledonia Survey Expedition 1690E75 ESCAPE Shuttle #04

Serial Number EZ01JY-9G0651

Firmware Generated Log 2615 AQ 22 -- ETA 26:03:57

] #####DANGER: HULL BREACH REPORTED#####] ##Depressurization detected from SCDIM] ##Shuttle SCDIM compiling report...] ##Bridge Deck Nodes 1-11, 20-39, 47 offline] ##Main System WARNING: Full ARL collapse, oxygen garden reserves vented] ##EVACS calculating personnel locations and escape routes...] ##Airlock state down 12B 20A 43C] ##Shuttle LS/NAV/SS activating...] ##SCDIM received authorization for fast launch override.] **ALL PERSONNEL: Please proceed to Escape Shuttle 1 2 4 5 9**]]] > Shuttle Rear Hatch open.] > USER INPUT: LAUNCH EJECT] > SCDIM is authorized for fast launch override.] > Security code bypassed.] > Pressurizing cabin...] > Decoupling maglocks...] > LS/SS status OK] > Performing fast launch override.]] ...............................................]] > NAV state resume. ] > Reorienting craft for NAV target 1690E75.] > Thrusters activated.]] ##WARNING: Atmospheric Re-entry detected.##] ##NAV deviations unrecoverable, crash state imminent!] ##Redirecting maximum power to SS...]]!@$%!#234$!#^@^3()@$%@#3441%!#$%@232#%#@$%@#$%@#%@!@#$%@%$#@]!@$%^%#*$^&*&@%$%!#$%$#^&*%#21514!#$^%@#####################

 

Edited by saberfysh
Title update
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CMC Starlog #001: Emergency Transmission

This is a manual transmission log aboard escape shuttle #4 for mining expedition 1690E75.

 

26 hours before arrival of prospective planet 1690E (Zeta Sextantis), the SS Galantes was attacked by unidentified forces in the local planetary system.

 

Sensors did not detect any incoming craft, nor any recognized hailing frequencies before the attack, suggesting non-coalition forces of alien nature. At present, the SS galantes and the attached science vessel holding Professor Irving, Geologist Ardones, and Dr. Galahad have not been accounted for by the SCDIM, suggesting a high likelihood that the ship is missing, disabled or destroyed.

 

We are declaring worst-case scenario. Enacting contingency clause 13.06A (Destruction of Craft and Crew Members) until this message is received, ETA 1803 days. Attached are logs from main bridge confirming wake from cryosleep was successful 10 days before final approach, and Captain Moliot confirmed our bearings as 4.5 light years away from Caledonia.

 

As the current shuttle has lost contact with all other nodes, the rest of the team will be presumed dead within 7 days, with any detected survivors inheriting chain of command. Failure of main scientific objectives is imminent, and it is unknown if the same forces that have attacked the spacecraft will discover this shuttle, currently en route to the planet surface after resuming navigation.

 

Should destructive forces or critical LS system failures occur in the next several days, consider this log the final words from the crew of the SS Galantes.

 

Saberfysh, 2nd Lieutenant & Mining Engineer of the Caledonia Long Range Reconissance Mining fleet, 75th division.

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CMC Starlog #002: Solitude

(audio log)

 

Technical verbosity will never describe this... this... nightmare.

 

We all knew what we were coming here for... we knew what sacrifices were being made... but nobody back home really knows what the abyss will throw at you... until you dive deep into it. And this time, we're in deep.

 

I don't think I've wept this much in a long time.

 

Seven days have passed. The SCDIM has spoken. This run was a full wipe. Except for me. Moliot, Ardones, Galahad, Irving and my crew are all gone. All that's left is the shuttle and a mangled version of myself... alone on a faraway planet, stranded and in pain. All in the name of money... to fuel this blasted civil war against the Gamilans. A younger version of me might have given up. But nothing is worth this many lives, and I will make this right... especially if it means I get to see Mylene again.

 

I tried to force open the airlock to the cargo hold once I saw the bad landing angle. It's more than what the SS system can handle. The cockpit would snap on impact, but the jammed wings would at least brace the cargo area. Pulling off this stunt cost me both my legs. The others would probably die trying. The only reason I'm still alive is because the LS has not failed, and nanobots from the shuttle's medkit have stopped my bleeding and are putting my shattered legs back together piece by piece. There's enough supplies for a few people here, so I will last a while longer.

 

Still, the past few days have been mixed with various shades of pain, loneliness, and dread. Irving's initial scans confirmed that various cubic lifeforms were found on this planet. If they are dangerous, or even sentient, I cannot guarantee my safety.

 

I'm going to need a Tobit drone from the upper case once I can stand up again.

 

Until then, I'm in no mood to think....

Edited by saberfysh

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CMC Starlog #003: Surveyor

 

It's been ten days since the nanobots put me back into a walking state again to use the service terminal. Right now, I don't walk the same, and probably won't be quite the same. Things have been bad early on, but there may still be hope. The first set of Tobit drones have come back with useful readings. Sadly, Irving and Galahad aren't here to read the junk I don't understand, and life is not the same without Hans and the rest of the gang.

 

In any case, Ardones was right; the spectrograph from the Polonius telescope back home suggested a world rich in minerals, which the Tobits found within 10 metres of surface scraping. Gravity is at 1.2G, and the rotational period is 1.08 days, but the dense gases and higher temperatures make for a highly volatile atmosphere that's unsuitable for breathing. I'll need to stay in a suit, but at least the Sephirator only needs to do filtering. The same would apply for the lab.

 

There's enough resources here to build a full-size compound 150 metres away if I let the Tobits make more copies of itself. They've been able to neutralize all the wild creatures making strange noises during the night cycle. None of them seem intelligent, which is a relief... for now. One major concern is that some of them explode on provocation. I still need to make sure that doing this won't draw the attention of the enemies that shot down the Galantes. I'll need to send the drones out of range for further observation and have them return on their own.

It's up to me to continue the mission. It's what the rest of the crew would've wanted.

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CMC Starlog #004: Encounter

 

IUMpyc5.jpg

I once mentioned that loneliness was an unsavoury prospect, but it appears that I've asked for more than I bargained for...

I have been spotted. By sentient lifeforms. Three of them, covered in various bits of gem-like coverings, found the crash site and spent time wandering around the shuttle. I'm not sure if all of the Tobits made it back safely, but those things have likely given my location away... to sentient beings.

 

The nearest Tobit managed to spy on them from the side of the crater and escaped detection. Surprisingly, they are also bipedal and appeared to be communicating with each other, but didn't seem intelligent or aggressive enough to force the shuttle open.

 

Still, there has been nothing but tension since then. I don't know the total indigenous population, but there's enough for them to band together in some social unit. That has me concerned. Until I can determine whether they are friend or foe, the safety of the shuttle might be in peril. They might call in reinforcements to pry open the very thing keeping me alive. A single bombardment attack would wipe me off the map.

 

I've set the shuttle to SS-assisted lockdown, and have the tobits dropping in resources through the vacumn chute to load up the Sephirator and replicate a standard-issue gun from the Armory database. Given that I'm exposed in the open either way, staying here any longer would be a ticking time bomb. I'll need to make a gambit and have the drones multiply, then hide them in the nearby cave for a potential ambush. They'll be needed to build a fortified second location, barring my survival.

If they come back with similar numbers, I'll be ready. Let's hope nothing worse comes along.

Edited by saberfysh

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CMC Starlog #005: The 71st Buzzie

 

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I knew a revisit was in short order once the shuttle was discovered. Sure enough, another individual came to inspect the shuttle, and a Tobit spotted its approach.
This one made the mistake of coming alone, I thought. My newly nanolithed gun was charged up and ready.

What I didn't expect was something in a neon green jumpsuit with a decorative mask.

Holding in one hand, it presented to the shuttle door one of my damaged drones. That drew the ire of all the other Tobits and it was quickly surrounded as they clattered out from the cave in droves. Knowing I had numbers on my side, I lowered my gun, turned on my Sephirator, and let the rear shuttle hatch slowly open. From the other side, the masked green suit put down the tobit drone, pointed an arm to itself, and uttered "Buzzie".

What this creature did next was utterly astonishing.

Using a few Tobits nearby, it demonstrated to me that its species can count. Then it proceeded to show basic mathematics, and what looks like a writing system on a powered silica tablet, followed by a line map of their star system. Whatever this "Buzzie" was, it was displaying technological understanding beyond any of the cretins that had visited the shuttle prior. It knew enough about science and its starspace to attempt knowledge exchange with me. I repeated the same process in my own words, and established that this planet we had codenamed Zeta Sextantis is called "Pee-Vee-Ee".

To Irving, this would be a scientist's wet dream; sentient beings who were not impulsive, bloodthirsty animals. That's already a step better than the Gamilan Emperor.

Eventually, I had a Tobit project a holograph of the compound it was going to build. The Buzzie studied it carefully, handed over the tablet to me, and then left.
Moments later, it returned with a small group of diversely clothed individuals, highly curious of my equipment, but in the end coming to some sort of agreement and began stripping the nearby terrain of obstacles.

It's now highly likely that I'm not dealing with the same creatures that destroyed our ship, and that they're capable of working together.
What baffled me was how they haven't arrested me, and how all of this was happening at Buzzie's behest. It's also very strange how Buzzie appears so advanced but the others are relatively primitive. Perhaps he has a commanding role on this planet, or is worshipped like some god. The lack of paperwork and bureaucracy implies an absence of central governance. If there is culture going on here, I have yet to understand it. I've been completely wrong about them so far, as all of this has happened with absolutely no bargaining, no violence, and no intimidation.

No matter, I suppose. I'll cross that bridge when I get there. Right now, all of this is an unlikely gift. These Tobits now have some work to do. And I have a lot of alien science to unravel.

Edited by saberfysh
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CMC Starlog #006: The ATLUS Terminal

 

qFSnXsj.jpg

 

I have bore witness to something greater than any mineral find in my life. I could've spent my days, boring people with the Sephirator, the CMC arcology, the hired natives from various factions that mined here on behalf of the expedition, and the atomic eccentricities of redstone and glowstone on Zeta Sextantis, but it all pales in comparison.

 

It all started when Buzzie handed over an etched beryllium alloy, tinted green from vanadium impurities. He told Tobits that it was the key to something, then left, saying it would be a while to transport 'it' over here.

 

Weeks later, Buzzie returned to the Colony with a few natives hauling in a highly ornate but inactive terminal of some kind. Labeled the ATLUS, it was one of the remaining pieces of cargo that Buzzie had recovered from very specific ruins before pirates were able to plunder the site. He figured it would be safer behind airlocks and security bots on the upper floors of the CMC instead of a random cave in the forest. Once upstairs, he put the emerald key inside and it beamed to life.

 

The ATLUS terminal functioned like a giant information kiosk, filled with reams of texts and pictoral diagrams. Over the past few weeks, Tobits was able to decipher the native writing on Buzzie's tablet to act as an interpreter. I was shown various images of his kind, common minerals I had mined, as well as complex charts about redstone and glowstone, which matched what the Tobits found in the lab.

 

It is here that he loaded up an old satelite map, showing the geography of their planet and the locations of known major settlements around the world. Once again it baffled me how all of this information existed in Buzzie's hands. The populace as a whole struggles to travel around the planet, let alone map it from the skies. How did any of this get done previously?

 

But Buzzie wasn't done. He then presented Tobits with a diagram of a highly advanced fusion reactor conduit called "R.E.G.E Fuel."

 

This revelation blew my mind. And caused Tobits to shutdown. Twice.

 

Liquefied redstone, known as "Flux", could be concentrated in a highly rare oceanic compound called "Sponge" under a hyperbaric chamber, then encased in nanolithed "Circlestone" to contain its raw energy and lethal radiation. It was then used to spark nuclear fusion. Both in its capacity and speed, it can provide enough energy to achieve faster-than-light travel, but cracks in the casing could cause an explosion hundreds of times stronger than a nuclear mining bomb. Manufacturing of this fuel was a gargantuan task, and only 3 units were ever made.

 

They had spacefaring technology that would surpass anything the Caledonians have invented. How this race was once so advanced was beyond me. All of this became clear when he brought up more information for the Tobit to translate from the ATLUS.

 

Roughly two centuries ago, scientists on this planet constructed a monolithic spaceship called the Unity. Its maiden voyage had gone astray from a warp drive malfunction, marooning it on an unknown planet which killed its entire crew. The ship's system then cloned its crew and managed to refuel itself for a return trip, but it was attacked and stolen shortly after by an alien race who called themselves the "Storm." An army of strike fighters were sent to fight the Storm, but the Unity was destroyed in combat and caused an explosion in space that scorched more than half of the planet's surface. This calamity obliterated the majority of the population and set their entire civilization back a few hundred years. All that's left is a lawless dystopia filled with buccaneers, drifters and mercenaries who have never been to space, and pillage technological relics for personal gain.

 

This was no frontier planet. It was a cradle of civilization. Any money we would make from mining it raw is worthless compared to this discovery. According to ATLUS, the Storm attempted to do the same thing before they stole the Unity instead. Since then, they've been circling the star system, preventing any further exploration.

I now finally understand why Buzzie went so far to assist with my settlement. Just like me, Buzzie is a survivor of a Storm attack. He needs my technology to help him rebuild and liberate this fractured planet from the Storm. He's the 71st Buzzie because one of the cloning bays from the Unity has been keeping him alive to protect this valuable data.

 

Irving would've proclaimed this as one of the greatest discoveries of all time. The colossal amount of information coming out of the ATLUS terminal contained a summation of an entire species that has long been lost to chaos. Nobody else back home would be able to know about it... unless I get myself off of this rock.

 

He then presented a bound document, which the Tobit interpreted as a draft of a ceasefire treaty that allows multiple leaders to sign. To serve as neutral ground, the treaty stated that the official meeting would be held here at the Colony. It was the first attempt at diplomacy that I had seen. Being the only person left to hold chain of command, I motioned my approval. It is clear that breaking free from the Storm will need something far more advanced than the ship I arrived in.

Edited by saberfysh
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CMC Starlog #007: Diplomacy

 

Within days, faction leaders from various parts of the world converged at Buzzie's call for the treaty signing at the Mining Colony. At first, they were amazed by the advanced techology that ran though the CMC, but soon I noticed that some of the attendees didn't exactly like each other. It was hard to reel them in as they stared each other down, for their factions had been adversaries for decades, fighting for scraps on a shattered planet. Perhaps out of jealousy, or the fact that I did not speak the native tongue, a few of the rougher ones yearned to have me gutted and my gear stolen, but there were enough Tobits guarding the facility to discourage any foul play.

Thankfully, it didn't take long for Buzzie to shift their attention to more important matters. With the treaty in hand, and the incomplete satellite map projected by Tobits, Buzzie explained the situation to them, summarizing the story behind Unity, the ATLUS terminal and the Storm. I learned slowly through Tobits that this meeting was a wild mix of high-profile merchants, commissioned explorers, wealthy political rivals and marginalized scientists that Buzzie could trust. Soon, they were seeing schematics of the Unity, the Mining Colony, and the vast amount of ingredients needed to be mined for R.E.G.E fuel. All of this, once thought impossible for PVE to recreate, could now be made with the advanced mining technology I had brought to the table, both literally and figuratively. I was met with wide eyes the moment they realized what I could do for all of them.

Having broken the barriers of distrust, crucial intel was shared with each other for the first time about the planet surface, including uncharted resource veins and locations of old world relics, along with various groups of mercenaries and information brokers that could threaten the plan. The meeting soon became a lengthy summit that went into the night, leading to discussions about the Caledonian homeworld, the nanolithed weapons, the Sephirator, the use of Tobits, and the medikit nanobots that came with my shuttle. All of it was liquid gold to them and made them excited about how much profit could be had.

It was then that I stopped and told them that this ceasefire treaty is more than just a simple business transaction. A brief pause ensued. Without Buzzie's help, I had them seated calmly again, then conveyed to them, in a broken manner with my own voice that I was the lone survivor of a harrowing mining expedition, the Storm threat is very real, and that my ultimate goal is to return home with my discoveries to end a bloody civil war. Fortunately, this story of profound loss was not lost in translation and resonated soundly with the motley crew in front of me. All of them at some point in their lives had lost a version of someone like Ardones, Galahad, Irving, and Captain Moliot. Even on a planet without the Gamilans, it was a plain fact that war never changes.

Everyone who came to represent their group signed the treaty that day. The consensus was that Buzzie and the CMC crew would be relocated to another region on the planet high in R.E.G.E. fuel materials. There, an airbase will be constructed to research and produce spacecraft capable of evading the Storm and reaching Caledonia. In exchange for protection from greedy mercenaries and bandits, all of the technology both here and at the airbase would be shared with everyone to combat the Storm, under Buzzie's command. All future encounters with my species would be met with peace using a customized hailing frequency.

Captain Moliot, you would've been best for this, but I hope you'll be next to me in spirit. Not only was this an astonishing First Contact with an alien species, it may be our best chance to liberate this planet, turn the tide of war back home and organize the coalition into something bigger than all of us combined.

Edited by saberfysh

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CMC Starlog #008: Artifact

 

r7LQ190.png

 

Construction of a state-of-the-art spacecraft facility has finally begun after five long days of travel through the wild frontier, 1700 miles away from the Mining Colony. With the way that I busted up my legs from the crash landing, I'm glad there's transportation. As expected, sounds of the large convoy crossing the land had caught the attention of countless monsters along the way, but none of them were a match against the forces escorting us. The site of the airbase was in a deserted mesa, known for high temperatures and very little life, so there weren't many settlements in the area. Few would dare to venture out this far, but we had the technology to survive in it and extract the rich resources lying underneath.

 

The long trip gave myself ample time to understand the people and the logistics behind the project. New Argoth had a long history in weaponry, Solace would assist the CMC in mining materials, and Millennia Systems would build the supply lines to connect both places. A few individuals were also involved in maintaining security, but spearheading the whole initiative was Port Aperture, the beleaguered scientists who were most in line with Buzzie's quest, having spent generations salvaging thousands of technical documents from ruins and wreckages across the planet. They were the only ones intelligent enough to understand the knowledge contained in the ATLUS terminal, and were quickly applying this in the laboratory. Already, prototypes of R.E.G.E fuel reactors were in progress. They could probably get even further if I knew how to program the Tobit drones. They were designed more for mining and can only run the complex blueprints Irving had uploaded, but their spectrometer readings and nano-weldings were providing the crucial precision needed for research and testing.

 

On the mining front, initial scans of the mesa had returned extremely high values of ore. The Tobits have been working nonstop, switching out only to de-dust themselves before plunging back in. Within the first 60 metres down they had struck upon ancient ruins coated in a heavy silicate oxide the scientists called "Quartz." This mineral had the unique quality of capturing solar power when flattened and focused with conventional glass, but it was inferior to the redstone flux the scientists were trying to recreate.

 

However, there was an interesting find from that expedition -- an impermeable crystalline beacon recovered from the underground ruins, labeled in a presumably ancient language. A strong but harmless beam will shoot out of it when activated with any variety of gems -- a light so bright it almost blinded the PA scientist who first inspected it. We don't know much about it yet other than the fact that it's very old and that it might be something very important. For now, there won't be time to analyze it until the rest of the station is up and running. Buzzie and I will need to keep track of everything that is going on, but the main priority is the ship itself.

Edited by saberfysh

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CMC Starlog #009: Research

 

Something tells me now that I'm wandering deep into uncharted territory.

Back home, I knew all about the shuttle systems, the Polonius telescope, the SS Galantes, and all sorts of Caledonian protocols. But in spite of the CMC, the medicial nanobots, the Sephirator, Tobits, and cryosleep, I've reached the point where it seems the only skill unique to me on this project is the asteroid mining experience. The science here is taking off and getting complicated very fast.

They had gotten far enough in prototyping to synthesize sponge into a power source, which is now the main reactor being used to power the rest of the facility, but because nobody had made a R.E.G.E fuel space engine in centuries, let alone one this compact, tensions were rising between the scientists debating over which proplusion method was the fastest or the safest. A few designs for the prospective R.E.G.E reactor are still in play but the final engine for the ship itself needs to be both strong enough and stealthy enough to avoid Storm detection. The mainframe they've built from an ATLUS blueprint is processing massive amounts of physics data, and the general consensus so far was that it won't be able to recreate long-range warp drive in something this small.

Voxel theory. Rarity inverters. Redstone schematics of the Unity and the Illuminated Fleet. It is at this point that I leave the science to the scientists. The only thing I can do is share some basic specifications about the Galantes, the concept of cryosleep and the shuttle I landed in, in hopes that it can be retrofitted easily with some of the mining outfits back home. Buzzie assured me that the team understood this and that ample amounts of what I mined here can be brought back safely inside a special container called an Enderchest, which eliminates weight problems and ensures that exotic minerals such as Redstone and Sponge do not fall into the hands of the Storm.

Knowing that work on the engine could take months, Buzzie and I directed our attention to the ancient artifact. ATLUS had identified the engravings as the protolanguage of an old religious tribe from 19,700 years ago. So far, it had only shot out an intense beam of light in reaction to a variety of gems, but the inscription contained a cryptic message implying that "vast knowledge" of the "Angels" could be obtained if the beacon was activated with a "Keystone."

Buzzie and the other explorers found this a fascinating find, and very soon I had the Tobits memorize the inscription and sent them off to scour the underground for other ruins with the same markings. I may not be Professor Irving, but digging into things was definitely closer to my specialty.

Edited by saberfysh

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CMC Starlog #010: Star Map

The Tobits had continued their fervant pace of mining the past several weeks. Now digging far from the base, they began detecting ruins made of the same materials underground and inside them discovered crystals of various sizes with inscriptions from the same protolanguage. Many of these brought back to the lab were incapable of causing any effect other than a giant beam of beacon light. That was, until the past few days when Tobits reported a hit on something big. A large beryllium pillar braced with the exact same markings as the beacon, found amongst the underground rubble of an old temple near the ocean. Was this the keystone, I wondered?

Some Port Aperture scientists immediately recognized the location as part of the Southeast Alliance from a few centuries ago. According to the ATLUS, this was a region comprised of prehistoric buildings that once had a third of the entire planet's known collection of quartz. However, because the terrain had shifted as a result of the planet scorching, it was now covered in deep ocean. Few pirates have had the technology to reach down deep enough to extract anything, and much information about the buildings have been lost.

Once again, Tobits proved crucial to the extraction effort. The crystal was transported back through the tunnels, carefully de-dusted, and placed in the lab for study. Due to its size, scientists elected to move the beacon to the crystal instead to do the experiment. Sure enough, they hit the jackpot. And that's when everything changed, even for the great Buzzie himself.

This crystal projected a star map of the entire galaxy.

I had seen diagrams of the galaxy before while working for the Polonius Observatory, but never a detailed, interactive map pointing out major star systems and notable alien species throughout. We are certainly not alone in the universe. The star map was pointing to life... everywhere.

This discovery unleashed more questions than answers for everyone on the team. What else is buried here? What in the universe made this planet so special? How are there so many things from so many eras located just on this one planet? What does that say about the other planets, or the local starspace alone? Exactly how advanced was the race that made this map? How accurate is this map, and how did they have so much cosmic knowledge of the galaxy's layout? Are these beings the first of their kind, or were they colonized here eons ago? The possibilities are endless, but this is proof without a shadow of doubt that there are far more advanced beings in the universe who have traversed the stars, perhaps to a greater degree than the Storm.

Unable to comprehend the level of data, Tobits could only photograph the star map for future reference. The Port Aperture team, along with Buzzie, made it a mission to decipher the map and the language it was written in.

Edited by saberfysh

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CMC Starlog #011: The Seifer

Buzzie and few scientists had spent the first several days going virtually sleepless over the discovery of the star map. What they quickly realized was that the map could enlarge specific areas and provide small visual summaries about the system, markers of any known sentient species and their technological levels. It was not hard to use, but it was hard to understand, for most of what was important was written in an alien language, and there were far too many things in the galaxy for them to comb over in a short amount of time. After Tobits scanned the map regions and selected a few places in the galaxy that resembled our immediate starspace, they decided then to narrow down their search only to things that resembled Angels, Keystones and the Storm.

The first thing the PA scientists did was go through their old texts, where they dug up and revisited an obscure, partially damaged book about this ancient tribe, entitled the "Seifer Raziel, 3rd edition." It was transcribed from the protolanguage by an archaeologist from the Luminon era, centuries before the Unity was created. As it was never related to the Unity Project, ATLUS never had this information other than a linguistic record. However, this book had better translations, and a more complete syllabary of the protolanguage runes. It was a torn up analysis of the original Seifer Raziel, which the author concluded was a highly guarded religious item that acted as a diary for the 'Angels' themselves.

What was once considered nonfiction reading material suddenly became very important for the task at hand. Eventually, after lots of cross-referencing between ATLUS and uploading every last page of the salvaged text, the PA scientists deciphered correlations in both languages, and began to piece some of the language together. They knew that once they could interpret what each symbol meant, they could start scouring the star map for specific keywords.

Meanwhile, a couple of New Argoth officials well versed in nuclear weaponry and navigation were studying the map with Tobits to determine our precise location and found diagrams of various starships these beings had either encountered or had built themselves. They studied the designs with the PA scientists and concluded that they were not using any method like R.E.G.E. fuel, but that some power source was running an engine that didn't appear to have a fuel tank. They are hoping that when a translation comes through, that they'll be able to understand what's going on and perhaps crack the dilenma behind their current designs.

Edited by saberfysh

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CMC Starlog #012: Origins

By the time New Argoth finally pinpointed our map location with Tobits, ATLUS had translated much of the language on the star map using the book. A few days later, Buzzie and the PA scientists completed their search and gathered the rest of the team to share what they had discovered.

The original Seifer Raziel was a planetary record of an alien species called the Cyreens.

According to the Seifer Raziel, the protolanguage engravings were a simplified creole of the Cyreen alphabet; a derivative which they coined as the Ogrian language. The Cyreens were a nomadic race that colonized and terraformed planets in this system thousands of years ago, in an attempt to recreate their lost homeworld. They left Keystones and star maps on worlds like this, but always in separate areas underground. The Ogrians just happened to be a primitive tribe on this planet and were culturally uplifted by this spacefaring species out of goodwill. During this period, the Cyreens were not considered gods, but instead collectively worshiped as 'Angels'.

All of this came to an abrupt end when the Cyreens fled the entire system, as for the majority of their existence, they had been on the run from a strong, evil race called the Ilraths, who had destroyed their homeworld. The Ilraths were servants of the Shrikes, an evil empire of slavers residing in the galactic core. The Storm are one of several thralls that guard the Ilrath region. After destroying the Cyreen homeworld, they continued on, assigning the Storm to garrison and extract resources from the territory. The last entries were terse references about escaping to the Thrawnian Expanse, a large empty sector in the outer rim of the galaxy. It was assumed that the Ogrian civilization fell shortly after.

Whatever this book contained was probably dismissed by others in Luminon as ridiculous rabble, but to us it made perfect sense. It allowed Buzzie to use and read the star map properly, and as it showed us, there were records of these places. PVE and its neighboring worlds occupied a sector known as the Sapphric Veil. The Thrawnian Expanse was near the edge of the galaxy, over 9,000 light years away. There were markers of the worlds the Ilraths enslaved while chasing the Cyreens, showing that they largely ruled a region of starspace which included the Sapphric Veil. Caledonia was outside of the Ilrath region, whereas PVE was very close to it, suggesting that the Storm had expanded their territory in recent millennia under Ilrath command. Unless they decide to expand in another direction, Caledonia will be in the path of Storm enslavement too.

For days, all of this had weighed heavily on me. I'd never even imagined that the people here and in Caledonia were insignificant players in a grand ploy for galactic power. I was just a mining engineer borne from a colony locked in civil war, whose entire crew was obliterated by the Storm on a long-shot expedition. Suddenly, I had the fate of our homeworld on my shoulders, and while I really want to go back, I wasn't sure how much I could accomplish even if I made it back home.

It was then that Buzzie reminded me that there was plenty of hope. This discovery allowed New Argoth and Port Aperture to interpret the starship diagrams they had looked at earlier. They finally understood what they were looking at, and it was almost as astonishing as R.E.G.E fuel: a plasma engine that produced infinite thrust with a magnetically controlled tank of Xenon or Krypton. All it needed was a power source that could pump electrons into it, and plasma would magnetically shoot out the other end indefinitely. It was highly scalable with R.E.G.E fuel, which could do this far easier than nuclear fusion, and work in all kinds of shapes and sizes. The same design in a different shape could double as laser cannons. While it couldn't replace a warp drive, it was silent, efficient, and could certainly get close to the high speeds needed to evade the Storm and reach Caledonia.

The scientists immediately went back to work with their new discoveries. This was the breakthrough they were looking for.

Edited by saberfysh

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CMC Starlog #013: Finale

It is done. The fated day has arrived for the last of the 75th Division. Though I was the only man left standing, we were going home.

Construction of the shuttle has finished, and all of the test flights by the Port Aperture team had been successful with the new plasma thrusters. The maiden voyage for the Galantes MK2 was about to begin.

Collapsible wings. Redstone proximity brakes. Cryosleep cabins. A R.E.G.E reactor tube anchored with solid gold and diamonds. A reinforced cockpit and cargo bay coated in nanolithed quartz, storing extra materials for Tobits. It was a pinnacle of engineering, but even more valuable was the new technology and acquired information from the Star Map about the Cyreen, the Ilrath and Shrikes. Tobits won't be able to store everything, but the scientists have uploaded the data from ATLUS and pieces of the decoded star map onboard the shuttle. There was an incentive to come back when more of the star map was analyzed. They were also confident that based on the theoretical speed of the craft, I could outrace my original distress signal and make it back first.

Buzzie was immensely grateful for everything that I had done for his kind. He was convinced that the creators of the map had something to do with sentient life all across the Sapphric Veil, either as a monolithic influence or even as indirect ancestors, and that he would inspire others with that same spirit on PVE. He would oversee further research at the facility and one day might make warp drive possible again. With enough time, everything that we discovered here would help him build advanced defenses and consolidate the populace in his cause to revive the Unity Project and combat the Storm.

As for me, it's goodbye to this world and back to the first one. It has been long since I've sounded like the stolid, matter-of-fact mining engineer that once led a team. I've been deeply fascinated and moved by this planet, constantly on the receiving end of one discovery after another. While I return with a newfound apprehension of space itself, I hope PVE endures for many more ages as this historic first contact will prove useful generations later. If I survive this journey, I might be a little older, but everything I present to the coalition will turn the tide against the Gamilans and probably usher in a new age for Caledonia.

The natives here call it PVE. I'm not sure what the coalition will call it when I return, but I have a feeling the word Zeta Sextantis is going to be a famous planet name for what might be one of the greatest find of any Caledonian Long-Range recon mining squad.

Mylene, if you're still alive, please wait for me. I'm coming home.

**THE END**

Edited by saberfysh
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