'AURORA FALLS' - A Subnautica story.

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  • BugzapperBugzapper Australia Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Members Posts: 1,092 Advanced user
    edited January 2016
    "Welcome aboard, Captain. Please assume manual control of this vessel immediately."

    "Certainly, JUNO." I said, grinning with relief. Once the helm had been unlashed, I swung the yoke over to port and set a return course for Reef Base. Now that I had a much better idea of what was swimming around out there, I would have to be far more cautious while moving through certain biomes. Even so, that creature was a fascinating piece of work. I wouldn't recommend engaging in any face to face research, although it would be worthwhile to collect as much data on this species as possible, preferably by telemetry. If I could devise a suitable tracking beacon, I'd be able to monitor their movements and then politely arrange to be someplace else. Of course, this meant that I'd have to tag each one as I encountered it, although I couldn't be certain of the same positive outcome every time. It struck me as worrisome prospect that there appeared to be no upper limits to the size a creature could achieve on Manannán, thanks to the planet's reduced gravitational effects and abundance of available food. It's a stone-cold certainty that even larger life forms exist out there.

    "JUNO. Requesting new log entry for most recent encounter with indigenous life form. Categorize this species as 'Reaper Leviathan'; unique specimen first encountered to be further encoded as: 'Ahab'. Please cross-reference its acoustic signature and image files with all subsequent encounters involving other members of this species in future, cross-referenced for possible differentiation between individuals. The dominant behavioural trait of this species is declared 'Extremely Hostile'. Default tactical response to all subsequent encounters with this species shall be total avoidance whenever a matching acoustic or visual contact is detected at extreme range. Please confirm."

    "Confirmed, Captain. A log entry has been created and appended to include your perceptual data."

    "JUNO. Current hull integrity reading, please."

    "Hull integrity is presently holding at 98 per cent, Captain. Minor hull breach detected in forward diver lockout chamber. Bilge pumps are operating at 5 per cent of their full rated discharge capacity. Repairs are strongly advised before proceeding with any further vehicle operations at a significantly increased depth."

    "I'll be right on it as soon as we surface. Let me know immediately if Ahab turns up for a rematch."

    "Affirmative, Captain."

    I brought Ulysses to the surface and headed below decks to inspect the lockout chamber. A small vertical crack roughly 75 mm long and 5 mm wide had opened up in the hull plating, allowing a steady stream of seawater to run down the wall and into the bilge gratings. Fifty metres down, the water would have been blasting into the compartment with all the force of an old-fashioned fire hose, although back on the surface it amounted to little more than a badly leaking bathroom tap. I activated the welder and ran a few broad vertical beads on both sides of the crack to reinforce its weakened structure, then overlaid a tight series of horizontal passes to form a complete patch. All it needed now was a fresh dab of paint. Actually, Ulysses needed an entirely new paint job at the molecular level, easily accomplished with a few taps on a console keypad... But let's not quibble over minor technical details.
    Post edited by Bugzapper on
    nightcloud99ComicalSkaterhys_elcins0x6A7232
  • Obnoxious_GamerObnoxious_Gamer Cyclops Join Date: 2016-01-05 Member: 210938Members Posts: 17 Advanced user
    Bugzapper wrote: »
    Even though most of his thoughts are in 'British' English, he is still a product of a true Scots heritage only one generation removed from Terra.

    So, really, he's the one true space Scotsman?

    :D
  • ComicalSkateComicalSkate Canada, ON Join Date: 2015-05-28 Member: 204993Members Posts: 237 Advanced user
    I would think his sanity would be a little more decreased with the time he has spent on Manannán. I guess he does have JUNO and has had a lot of stuff to do as well as a somewhat decent hope of being rescued. But i think it would be nice if he had a few mental breakdowns or started spurting nonsense here and there, well i guess the reason he went so Scottish when he saw the Reaper could have to do with some sanity issues. Also aren't more ships eventually going to come? Because the Aurora was just a terraforming vessel and its probable that colonization vessels full of people would be coming. or does Alterra know of the Aurora catastrophe and has completely abandoned the colonization of the planet or won't they send another ship in a second attempt? Also they must know that something weird is happening with that planet because of the other ships they sent to study the planet, as shown by the bases that were abandoned/destroyed in experimental.
  • RainstormRainstorm Montreal (Quebec) Join Date: 2015-12-15 Member: 210003Members Posts: 1,050 Advanced user
    I would think his sanity would be a little more decreased with the time he has spent on Manannán. I guess he does have JUNO and has had a lot of stuff to do as well as a somewhat decent hope of being rescued. But i think it would be nice if he had a few mental breakdowns or started spurting nonsense here and there, well i guess the reason he went so Scottish when he saw the Reaper could have to do with some sanity issues. Also aren't more ships eventually going to come? Because the Aurora was just a terraforming vessel and its probable that colonization vessels full of people would be coming. or does Alterra know of the Aurora catastrophe and has completely abandoned the colonization of the planet or won't they send another ship in a second attempt? Also they must know that something weird is happening with that planet because of the other ships they sent to study the planet, as shown by the bases that were abandoned/destroyed in experimental.

    Those are all interesting questions indeed. One would guess that a vessel such as the Aurora would be a huge investment for Alterra. It'd be hard to believe that not hearing from it in awhile they wouldnt send at least another ship to see what the **** happened :p

    As for our protagonist in this story, ive got a feeling that Bugzapper is about to let us show some more of his evolving personality :D and i cant wait to read more!

  • akatoadakatoad USA Join Date: 2015-09-10 Member: 207858Members Posts: 9 Fully active user
    What an amazing story! I can't wait for more!
  • BugzapperBugzapper Australia Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Members Posts: 1,092 Advanced user
    edited January 2016
    It would have been an act of purest arrogance to assume that whatever creatures lurked in these waters were waiting in ambush for me and me alone. I conjured the safest way to find out was to wait and see what happened under normal conditions. I steered Disco Volante towards the most isolated Jelly Shroom on the outer edge of the patch, then rose about 15 metres in an attempt to peer inside the hole in the Shroom's cap without presenting myself as an easy target. The hole appeared to be empty, so I edged a wee bit closer to see inside the stem. There appeared to be a metallic resource nodule inside, but nothing else. So far, so good. I nudged the minisub slowly forward, still maintaining a cautious distance from the Shroom caps. It didn't take long for the hidden surprise in this Magical Pixie Forest to reveal itself.

    Although most of the fish in this area appeared to consciously avoid swimming anywhere near the Shroom caps, a couple of Rabbitrays had wandered into this section of the reef and were apparently oblivious to its hidden dangers. One strayed too close to the Shroom and instantly paid with its life. The entire incident took place almost too fast to comprehend. All I saw was a blur of motion and a slowly-dispersing cloud of blood. Aye, there's most definitely some more of those sneaky scunners hiding inside these Shrooms. A Biter swam into the cloud of blood, all sense of caution scattered to the tides. Seconds later, it too disappeared in a murky blue-green swirl. Another one of these mysterious creatures stirred in an adjacent Shroom, slowly emerging from its home as if wanting to see what all the kerfuffle was about. I got my first clear look at a Crab Snake.

    I guessed that the eel-shaped creature was about five or six metres in length. Its upper body was a dark purple colour, tiger-striped in a dull brick red. It had a greyish-white underbelly and a short, continuous lateral fin that ran along its body from head to tail. This fin rippled gently as the creature circled the cap of the Shroom, although I figured it would probably use the stored energy of its entire body to execute that lethal Jack-In-The-Box attack. Disco Volante descended slowly to within five metres of the creature. I activated the EDF system and left it in standby mode, just in case.

    As far as I could tell, the creature had no obvious eyes. This happens with certain cave-dwelling life forms, although I could only guess what other senses it used to replace sight. There was certainly enough ambient light emitted by the bio-luminescent Shrooms to see clearly, but I have no logical explanation for the absence of its eyes. Its mouth parts were simple, comprised of two pairs of short canine teeth and a pair of long, black-tipped mandibles most probably used for impaling its prey. As far as I could tell, its skin appeared to be some chitinous substance akin to the exoskeleton of a crab or beetle, but far more flexible. The creature seemed unconcerned by the presence of the minisub, and I hovered in place for a few more minutes, then proceeded to explore the rest of the cavern.

    There were numerous smaller side galleries that looked interesting, although it was far safer to remain in the main cavern. A few of these galleries were occupied by a life form that looked like a stationary Terran jellyfish, anchored by its bell to the ceilings of these small caves. Though completely immobile, their hunting strategy was elegant in its simplicity. All they had to do was find a small cave that opened into a larger cavern, then attach themselves in such a position that it was impossible for prey animals to pass through without coming into contact with one or more of their dangling tentacles. If these creatures were an evolutionary analogue of Terran jellyfish, the tentacles would certainly be loaded with venomous nematocysts, or stinging cells. As it turns out, they were. Disco Volante accidentally brushed against one and immediately sustained 5 per cent damage to its hull.

    If I ever needed a subtle reminder that Manannán isn't a friendly place, that was it.
    Post edited by Bugzapper on
    nightcloud99ComicalSkaterhys_elcinsDefectiveDelfin
  • 07Kennya07Kennya England Join Date: 2016-01-12 Member: 211293Members Posts: 37 Fully active user
    plot twist the character sabotages the aurora
  • TheJewelOfJoolTheJewelOfJool Southwestern Ontario Join Date: 2016-01-11 Member: 211261Members Posts: 44 Advanced user
    edited January 2016
    Someone pointed out the Island base was destroyed by a landslide. Anyways, keep doing this!
  • BugzapperBugzapper Australia Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Members Posts: 1,092 Advanced user
    Someone pointed out the Island base was destroyed by a landslide. Anyways, keep doing this!

    This part of the story is taking place in the Jelly Shroom Caverns. I'm not following the accepted sequence of events in Subnautica too slavishly, although Selkirk will certainly discover other creatures, new technologies and new locations over the course of time.
    nightcloud99
  • TheJewelOfJoolTheJewelOfJool Southwestern Ontario Join Date: 2016-01-11 Member: 211261Members Posts: 44 Advanced user
    Nice way of giving The Survivor the new items.
  • BugzapperBugzapper Australia Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Members Posts: 1,092 Advanced user
    edited January 2016
    It was high time to return to Aurora. I had equipped Ulysses with an EDF considerably more powerful than that fitted to Disco Volante, as well as paired heavy stasis and repulsion cannons in turrets mounted either side of the bow diver lockout chamber. A few other small but vital modifications graced the interior of Ulysses, including a navigation and mapping station, an auto-pilot, a multi-spectrum sonar suite, a mineral scanner and a compact nuclear reactor to power the whole show. The finished product was an entirely more business-like arrangement.

    Thanks to the mission-specific Fabricator templates obtained from Borodin's PDA, I was more than equipped to deal with the likes of Ahab and his pals. However, that smug thought gave me sufficient pause to consider what had happened to the previous expedition. The Magellan team had access to equipment that I didn't, and yet something had still been able to smash at least one of their outposts to pieces. Whatever it was, it hit them with such speed and ferocity that they were caught totally unprepared. I had at least enough forethought to deploy a defensive ring of stasis cannon turrets and EDF emitters around Reef Base, tied into a network of sonar proximity sensors and placed under JUNO's direct control.

    The question is; would these defence measures be enough?

    The run up to Aurora was uneventful, almost an anti-climax in fact. I had been fully expecting a spirited charge from Ahab at some stage, but he wasn't even close to the wreck this time around. JUNO had the Reaper pegged about 1.5 kilometres to the east, and it didn't look as if it was doing anything in particular. It could have been feeding or still sulking from the hiding it took during our last encounter, for all I knew. This was all to the good, since I had no urgent need for any unnecessary entanglements with the local wildlife today. I had more than enough impossible things to do before breakfast. As I neared the wreck, I could see that most of the major fires had petered out for lack of fuel. Entire sections of the hull were almost skeletal now. It was a thoroughly disheartening sight, but at least there were no more streams of molten metal to contend with.

    My first impossible task was to gain entry to other sections of Aurora. The previous landing site seemed like a good place to start, although I would have to laser my way through a fair amount of wreckage to get to any of the smaller passageways. I conjured these narrow service corridors would have resisted impact distortion and explosion damage far better than more spacious thoroughfares, and I already knew that Broadway had been scoured clean of anything useful during the last drive explosion. Today's main objective was to secure a working tachyon-burst transceiver, since this was one of the few crucial templates that Borodin's PDA did not contain. I'd imagine that one or more of the other team members may have held backup templates, particularly as a long-range transceiver of some sort was an essential piece of kit for any mission type. Again, this is something that I'd like to discuss at considerable length and high volume with those daft wallies at Alterra Survival Systems.

    For the most part, I wasn't bothered too much about the presence of Crawlers. I saw a few skittering about, but mostly ignored them until they approached that wee bit too close. Now that I had their number, it was simply a matter of flicking them aside with a quick burp from the repulsion cannon and continuing on my merry way. I was making good progress, all things considered. The blocked tee-intersection opposite the corridor leading to the neutron flux control silos had opened out into a relatively undamaged section running most of the way to the port engine nacelles. At some point, I would have to work my way over to the starboard side to investigate the hole that seemed to have melted through Aurora's hull. I had a gut feeling that this was something significant.
    nightcloud99ComicalSkaterhys_elcins0x6A7232
  • TheJewelOfJoolTheJewelOfJool Southwestern Ontario Join Date: 2016-01-11 Member: 211261Members Posts: 44 Advanced user
    That decked out Cyclops sounds sweet!
    Pudding01
  • RainstormRainstorm Montreal (Quebec) Join Date: 2015-12-15 Member: 210003Members Posts: 1,050 Advanced user
    i must admit that im very curious to see where youre taking JUNO's ''personality''. technically the PDA's AI is supposed to be nothing more than a cold voice blattering out facts and hints to survival but you chose to give it the ability to evolve into something closer to human traits. cant wait to read more :D

    Pudding01
  • TheJewelOfJoolTheJewelOfJool Southwestern Ontario Join Date: 2016-01-11 Member: 211261Members Posts: 44 Advanced user
    I wonder what JUNO's response was.
  • RainstormRainstorm Montreal (Quebec) Join Date: 2015-12-15 Member: 210003Members Posts: 1,050 Advanced user
    edited January 2016
    JUNO reminds me of the doctor in Star Trek Voyager. the doctor is a medical hologram that makes his debut in the serie as a cold and drab persona. over the course of the serie his program evolves as he ''learns'' to care about the crew members and even begins to pursue peronal fields of interests like classical music and theater.

    At some points he even experience feelings toward specific persons and pursue a romantic relationship :D Im not sure if youre going in that direction with JUNO but the way you make ''it'' starting to go beyond its initial parameters of a simple tool made be think of the doctor :p

  • TheJewelOfJoolTheJewelOfJool Southwestern Ontario Join Date: 2016-01-11 Member: 211261Members Posts: 44 Advanced user
    *X-Files music plays*
    Pudding01Yuka
  • Obnoxious_GamerObnoxious_Gamer Cyclops Join Date: 2016-01-05 Member: 210938Members Posts: 17 Advanced user
    Plot twist: It's actually the devs just screwing with him.
    BugzapperPudding01
  • nightcloud99nightcloud99 The Rockies, Canada Join Date: 2016-01-27 Member: 212162Members Posts: 4 Fully active user
    Created an account just to say how much I've enjoyed reading this!

    I went through the whole thing in one sitting and I'm alreadywanting more!

    Looking forward to your continued story.
    BugzapperPudding01baronvonsatanYuka
  • EpicIan60142EpicIan60142 Illinois Join Date: 2015-08-18 Member: 207263Members Posts: 45 Advanced user
    Created an account just to say how much I've enjoyed reading this!

    I went through the whole thing in one sitting and I'm alreadywanting more!

    Looking forward to your continued story.

    Ditto. XD
    "Don't tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon" -Paul Brandt
    nightcloud99BugzapperPudding01baronvonsatan
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