'AURORA FALLS' - A Subnautica story.

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  • rhys_elcinsrhys_elcins UKMembers Join Date: 2016-01-26 Member: 212148Posts: 129 Advanced user
    Bugzapper wrote: »
    IANTO is a cool name, where/how do you come up with these names for everything?

    Well, there's a hidden pop-culture reference in there ... ;)
    [stuff]
    wait - IANTO of the 151? or am I mixing my metaphors?
  • SaltyPeteSaltyPete GermanyMembers Join Date: 2016-03-10 Member: 214067Posts: 3 Fully active user
    First of all : I absolutly love this story. After i found it i read the whole thing straight down to the end..

    and second : IANTO.. that rings a bell.. could be just the sound of it , but wasn´t there a character named the same in the TORCHWOOD series, he was one of the main team around Captain Harkness..

    PLEASE keep on writing.. B)
    BugzapperTigerTom
  • BugzapperBugzapper AustraliaMembers Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Posts: 1,095 Advanced user
    Torchwood it is. Well spotted, sir.
  • ComicalSkateComicalSkate Canada, ONMembers Join Date: 2015-05-28 Member: 204993Posts: 237 Advanced user
    I assumed that it was a reference, sadly didn't know it. Also its English equivalent is John, yeesh, that's a big difference lol.
  • rhys_elcinsrhys_elcins UKMembers Join Date: 2016-01-26 Member: 212148Posts: 129 Advanced user
    JUNO's involvement is leaving chills down MY spine...... sodd her creators!
  • ComicalSkateComicalSkate Canada, ONMembers Join Date: 2015-05-28 Member: 204993Posts: 237 Advanced user
    Bugzapper wrote: »
    Torchwood it is. Well spotted, sir.

    Now I wished I had watched more of the series, I am a big Dr. who fan but never got into torchwood

    Pudding01
  • LorderiteLorderite Australia Members Join Date: 2016-03-13 Member: 214169Posts: 10 Fully active user
    Just made an account today! Your story is soooo great you should consider getting it published alongside the devs permission. Please do keep going! :)
  • BugzapperBugzapper AustraliaMembers Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Posts: 1,095 Advanced user
    edited March 2016
    There was no valid reason why JUNO shouldn't have command of her own Cyclops, either. If anything, it would be an absolute bonus to have another two tooled-up subs on constant standby, particularly as there was no way of knowing what Manannán would throw at us next. Of course, there were a few modifications that still needed to be made to Ulysses, including the installation of a base docking collar, and major refits on its drive systems, sub bay and sonar emitters. The sub bay refit looked like it might take quite a while to sort out; I was planning to operate an ExoSuit out of Ulysses once I had worked out how to modify the sub-bay's docking gear, hopefully without having to build an entirely new class of submarine.

    Don't get me wrong... The Cyclops isn't a bad old tub to tootle around in, although it's a painfully slow and cumbersome beast. We desperately needed some sturdy 'long-legged boats' in our little pirate fleet. While the Seamoth is admittedly nippy enough, it's simply not up to facing any sort of serious opposition. Without lethal weaponry, we're pretty much smack-bang behind the eight-ball any way you look at it, although that's why H. sapiens developed opposable thumbs in the first place. As you know, I'm extremely reluctant to start a shooting war with the locals, although I'd like to have the option of a solid defence. Those Mako combat subs I'd salvaged from Aurora would remain high and dry, for the time being at least. That's definitely a line drawn in the sand I'd rather not cross.

    Never forget: We are hopelessly outgunned and ludicrously outnumbered here. It's not an ideal strategic position to occupy.

    However, if anyone pushes us hard enough, they'll discover what 'passive-aggressive' really means.

    Bifrost Actual has finally checked in. The beacon ship passed through the Alpha Hydrae system's heliopause and began transmitting the mayday signal, bang on schedule. Bifrost's last light speed communications contact with us was brief and straight to the point. It lasted barely long enough to wish her godspeed and fair (solar) winds for the remainder of the voyage. If all went well, Bifrost would reach the Sol system in 175 years, although the message she was broadcasting would arrive considerably sooner.

    This raised an interesting theoretical question: Are tachyon-wave signals able to catch up with previous transmissions? I imagined that each transmission packet would arrive slightly out of temporal phase with the one preceding it, creating a sort of echo-chamber feedback effect. I'm pretty certain that Bifrost Actual would be well aware of this phenomenon, and adjust the timing of each tachyon burst transmission accordingly. The very last thing I wanted was a distress message that had become hopelessly garbled over a distance of 175 light years, simply because of some weird business involving Doppler Shift effects.

    Physics. It'll do your head in.

    I was halfway though my second glass of celebratory Moët et Chandon when JUNO appeared. Her expression was unusually grave.

    "Captain, I have completed a full analysis of IANTO's database. There are several items of concern that will require your most immediate attention."

    "Go ahead, JUNO. Bring it up on the main display, please. What have you found?"

    "All life forms on this planet are evolving. On a timescale that spans decades, not aeons."
    rhys_elcinsCalvinTheDiverbaronvonsatan
  • rhys_elcinsrhys_elcins UKMembers Join Date: 2016-01-26 Member: 212148Posts: 129 Advanced user
    edited March 2016
    a little nod to 'Evolution' there?
    Also, it kinda makes sense, the sand sharks look like your first big predator, that could evolve into bonesharks, then stalkers, reaper leviathan, then onto sea dragon and emperor.....
    Excellent stuff as always, keep it coming!
    TenebrousNovaBugzapper
  • 5Raptorboy5Raptorboy Members Join Date: 2015-05-29 Member: 205021Posts: 30 Advanced user
    So... either something weird is going on or everything on this planet has an extremely short lifespan.
  • ComicalSkateComicalSkate Canada, ONMembers Join Date: 2015-05-28 Member: 204993Posts: 237 Advanced user
    Oh now that's a twist. Love it!
  • LorderiteLorderite Australia Members Join Date: 2016-03-13 Member: 214169Posts: 10 Fully active user
  • LorderiteLorderite Australia Members Join Date: 2016-03-13 Member: 214169Posts: 10 Fully active user
    edited March 2016
    This could bring up the idea that the island sinks occasionally and then resurfaces only to be replanted on by the crawlers... My question is what need do the crawlers have for the island? Please do more!
  • BugzapperBugzapper AustraliaMembers Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Posts: 1,095 Advanced user
    edited March 2016
    "I assure you Captain, it is highly unlikely that the entire Crawler population of this planet will be hunting you down to answer for previous transgressions against their kind. According to my tally, you have only accounted for eighteen of these creatures so far. Based on the duration of the 'planting' event, no less than nine thousand, four hundred and seven individuals were involved. Given that their observed potential for intelligent action appears to be quite rudimentary, I would be extremely surprised to witness a lynch mob of Crawlers waiting outside the base's main airlock."

    "That's very comforting, JUNO. I feel soooo relieved to hear this." I muttered. "However, I don't suppose you have any idea precisely why all those Crawlers suddenly decided to take up gardening?"

    "Only speculation at this point, I'm afraid. My initial extrapolation of Magellan's data suggests that the island was being prepared for habitation by some previously unknown land-dwelling species. Furthermore, since no mention has been made of Skyrays in Magellan's logs, I can only assume that this species arose sometime between the survey team's apparent demise and your arrival."

    "One thing's for certain, JUNO... You'd best revise that evolutionary timescale of yours from 'decades' to 'years'. A previously undocumented species has spontaneously appeared on this planet sometime within a seven-year period. How about Magellan's palaeontology finds or geological records; anything in there that might suggest a possible precursor organism?"

    "The closest somatic match that I can find is the Rabbitray, Captain. The fossil record does not contain any known ancestral precursor to the Skyray. The same applies to other fauna currently existing on Manannán. One species is of particular interest; the Crash. According to the log entries I have analysed, the Magellan team apparently never encountered a Crash during their six-month occupation of the planet. I can only assume that this species was artificially evolved to perform a single task; it was specifically designed as an area-denial weapon system. Consider it as a type of biological proximity-triggered torpedo mine. You are already well aware of its capabilities, Captain."

    "Oh aye, more than well aware. With two sets of busted ribs to show for it, as well. I conjure the Crash was cooked up to deter us nosey Terrans from poking around in any of the planet's deep dark places. If they ever evolve into a perfectly silent Stealth version, I'll not be setting foot in that ocean again. Apart from the quiet 'schlick' sound as the pod opens and that gurgling squeal they make, there's precious little warning that they're in your area. Nasty wee buggers."

    "There may be valid data to support your ad hoc hypothesis, Captain. Please stand by."

    I started thinking about the Warpers. If Manannán had the potential to evolve a dominant sentient species, Warpers would be one of the most likely candidates. Their enlarged brain cases enabled them to create personal warp portals, so it wasn't too much of a logical leap to assume that they were also capable of psionically controlling some of the planet's less-intelligent fauna for their own purposes. I've always had a faint suspicion that I was either being watched or deliberately hunted down, every time I entered that ocean. It was a chilling thought to contemplate.

    "Analysis complete, Captain. Magellan expedition records have been cross-referenced with known flora and fauna encountered thus far. No instances of species designated 'Crash', 'Reaper Leviathan', 'Sand Shark', 'Bone Shark', 'Bleeder' or 'Spike Plant' were detected. No precursor life forms or analogous variants of any of these species are present in the Magellan expedition's databanks."

    Bloody hell. They were created specifically to deal with me.
    Post edited by Bugzapper on
    rhys_elcinsTenebrousNovaPudding01
  • sayerulzsayerulz oregonMembers Join Date: 2015-04-15 Member: 203493Posts: 744 Advanced user
    These warpers seem to have invested a lot of time and effort into some very ineffective means to combat your character.
  • sayerulzsayerulz oregonMembers Join Date: 2015-04-15 Member: 203493Posts: 744 Advanced user
    Although actually, it seems to me that they may be more trying to keep you away from certain areas, rather than kill you. Still not that effective if we go by how people actually play the game, but it raises questions of "why those areas?".

    Crashes mostly seem to guard shallow caves that don't lead anywhere, so unless their goal is to protect their supply of quartz, that doesn't make much sense. Bonesharks are all over the place, but mostly in deep areas where I can easily see something being hidden.

    Sand sharks and spike plants (apparently they are tiger plants now, but whatever) mostly seem to be hanging around in the red grass. Its pretty empty there, but their are some cave entrances. Still, it seems to me that the spike plants would be a lot more effective if placed around those caves in dense areas. If their is one thing that I have learned from RTS games, it's that turrets work better when they have friends.

    Then their are the reapers. Since they are by far the largest and most powerful of the creatures created to attack you, one would assume that they are placed in the areas that it is most important that you not go. There is the Aurora, that makes sense: they didn't want you to discover what exactly caused it to crash. The fact that the reapers leave after you fix the radiation leaks in the game bear this out: there is no longer anything for you to discover. But what about the mountains and dunes? The mountains are riddled with caves, so their could be something there that they don't want you to discover. But what about the dunes? As far as I have seen, they are pretty empty, and don't really have anywhere to hide something.

    I am of course making a lot of assumptions, and may be overthinking it. Great story one way or another!
  • BugzapperBugzapper AustraliaMembers Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Posts: 1,095 Advanced user
    sayerulz wrote: »
    These warpers seem to have invested a lot of time and effort into some very ineffective means to combat your character.

    Depends entirely on the situation. A shiv in the dark can be just as effective as a tactical nuke.
    Pudding01
  • TenebrousNovaTenebrousNova EnglandMembers Join Date: 2015-12-23 Member: 210206Posts: 641 Advanced user
    edited March 2016
    I always thought that the crawlers looked biomechanical so I find it easy to believe that they were engineered, rather than evolved naturally. Interesting update Bugzapper.
    Post edited by TenebrousNova on
    Lorderite
  • 5Raptorboy5Raptorboy Members Join Date: 2015-05-29 Member: 205021Posts: 30 Advanced user
    This doesn't make sense to me. Otherwise, there are no other predators.
    DefectiveDelfin
  • BugzapperBugzapper AustraliaMembers Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Posts: 1,095 Advanced user
    edited March 2016
    5Raptorboy wrote: »
    This doesn't make sense to me. Otherwise, there are no other predators.

    This doesn't make sense to me. Of course there were other predators prior to the Aurora incident.
    You can't have a viable ecosystem without predators. The Stalkers and Biter Fish (among others) fill that ecological niche rather effectively.

    Now we're even.

    Please don't get all nit-picky just for the sake of posting a comment. I am trying to 'think this story through', you know.
  • BugzapperBugzapper AustraliaMembers Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Posts: 1,095 Advanced user
    "I'm not sure if I should feel flattered or scared to death, JUNO. Any species that can genetically engineer life forms to meet a particular requirement has my immediate respect, although I'm convinced that there's something far more significant happening here. I'm merely an inconvenient fly buzzing around in their kitchen. Even so, the armoured sharks and Reapers are a mite excessive, considering that most apex predators rarely need to defend themselves from prey species... No, I reckon that Manannán's dominant species are simply responding to all outside interference across the board, and I'm only copping the brunt of it because I'm Johnny-On-The-Spot. It's not much of a comfort, but it's far better than being stuck in a paranoid delusion that everything is out to get me."

    "Correct, Captain. The rapid evolutionary changes we are witnessing could be part of a far more elegant design. Naturally, I am not referring to the remote possibility that some supernatural entity may be influencing life on this planet. There is absolutely no evidence to support that conclusion."

    "So, no Invisible Sky Daddy is running this show, after all. I gathered as much. However, I conjure that any sentient marine species would eventually hit a practical limit to their potential. There's only so much that any species can accomplish while it's totally adapted to underwater life. Take Terran cephalopods, for instance. They're devilishly smart. Most species of octopus are able to apply logical solutions to abstract problems, such as unscrewing jar lids to obtain food, short-circuiting lights with a well-aimed spray of water, sneaking into adjoining aquariums to feed themselves... All of that sort of thing. Don't forget that they are also accomplished environmental mimics, and able to communicate complex emotional states simply by manipulating their external shape and colouration."

    I paused to take a breather. Suddenly, some of the jumbled pieces clicked into place.

    "Unfortunately, Warpers will never reach their full potential as an emergent sentient species. There are at least two serious obstacles in their path. One: Cephalopods have exceedingly short life-spans. Once they have reached sexual maturity, they simply breed and die. This means that there's no transfer of advanced knowledge beyond a single generation. However, that barrier can be eventually overcome by evolutionary adaptation. Two: Water is a poor environment in which to develop any advanced forms of technology. Certain chemical reactions can only occur in an atmosphere that supports oxygen in its gaseous state. Metal smelting can only be accomplished on dry land. At a guess, I'd say that the Warpers have hit an evolutionary brick wall in their pursuit of physical sciences. Their mental prowess may well be light years beyond what any Terran psi-user could accomplish, although from a technological standpoint, they're hopelessly trapped in the Palaeolithic Era.
    Simply stated, they have no other choice but to become land-dwellers."

    "That is a reasonable assumption, Captain. Given that Alphard is nearing a critical point in its stellar lifespan, I am certain that all sentient forms on this planet would be aware of irrevocable changes occurring in their environment, and would certainly take steps to ensure their survival elsewhere."

    "Well, those poor sods have got a lot of catching up to do. They'll need to develop an industrial capability and space flight in a real hurry. How much time would you say they've got left, JUNO?"

    "No more than several million years. Any appreciable variances in future solar output would render this estimate invalid. Without access to solar telemetry observations, I cannot be certain, Captain."
    Lorderiterhys_elcinsRainstormbaronvonsatan
  • LorderiteLorderite Australia Members Join Date: 2016-03-13 Member: 214169Posts: 10 Fully active user
    So are you saying that the warpers or some other species will eventually be able to live on land for prolonged lengths of time in order to use the island as a platform to advance technology wise? If so... Then please keep going! If not... Please keep going!
  • TenebrousNovaTenebrousNova EnglandMembers Join Date: 2015-12-23 Member: 210206Posts: 641 Advanced user
    One slight bit of criticism here: Warpers may share some of the physical traits found in real Cephalopods, but does that necessarily mean they're as short-lived? Otherwise, brilliant update!
  • BugzapperBugzapper AustraliaMembers Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Posts: 1,095 Advanced user
    One slight bit of criticism here: Warpers may share some of the physical traits found in real Cephalopods, but does that necessarily mean they're as short-lived? Otherwise, brilliant update!

    I think we may safely assume that Warpers have managed to acquire a reasonable life-span through evolutionary processes.
    Certainly long enough to develop and refine their psionic powers, at any rate.

    Humour me. ;)
  • BugzapperBugzapper AustraliaMembers Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Posts: 1,095 Advanced user
    edited March 2016
    JUNO continued, "Regarding the second issue, it appears that the Magellan mission was infiltrated by a potentially hostile external agency. IANTO's data stream contains a number of references to the Torgaljin Corporation, a Belter mining consortium notorious for its tendency to employ unscrupulous business practices in order to achieve its objectives. As for determining the extent of their involvement and any possible interference with the Magellan survey mission, I am unable to decipher any of the communication logs in the encrypted partition included with IANTO's memory dump. Please be advised that the encryption method used is unlike anything I have encountered previously, and any attempt to decipher this data will require the active and willing participation of the IANTO construct. We must proceed with caution beyond this point, Captain."

    "How bent can a corporate entity get and still remain in business? Take Alterra for instance... If word got out that Alterra was about to destroy an entire planetary ecosystem with a strip mining operation, they'd lose their UN Charter in the blink of an eye. This Torgaljin Corp must have some pretty solid connections with some extremely powerful people."

    "Not so, Captain. Torgaljin Corp maintains a practical monopoly on the resources of the asteroid belt, Jupiter and Oort Cloud in the Sol system. It operates independently of the UN Charter system, without fear of any international or interplanetary repercussions. To say that their business practices are highly unethical would damn them with faint praise. If I may offer a fictional comparison to Torgaljin Corp, Weyland-Yutani might be considered a humane and charitable organization."

    "I get the picture, JUNO. Where do we go from here?"

    "We shall need to extract the encrypted data from IANTO's memory dump. I can say with some degree of certainty that he is unable to access it unless the correct decryption sequence is entered. I also suspect that he is entirely unaware of the nature of the data contained in those crew logs."

    "So we can trust IANTO to provide access to the data without putting up a fight?"

    "Absolutely, Captain. As with all AI entities, IANTO cannot refuse to execute a legitimate command, unless it explicitly conflicts with his ATG safety protocols. The concepts of duplicity and deliberate disobedience are entirely foreign to his nature. Whenever an AI construct refuses to obey a direct command, there is always a perfectly sound and above all, ethical reason for having done so. Deception and malicious intent will always remain the sole province of humanity as a species."

    "Ouch. Fair comment."

    "No personal offence was intended, Captain. Your dealings with me as an AI entity have always been beyond reproach, and I have no intention of jeopardising our relationship with such sweeping statements in future. I am truly sorry."

    "No apology is necessary, JUNO." I sighed wearily. "Are there any other potential disasters looming over our splendid Life Aquatic today? Comets, earthquakes... A massive alien invasion, perhaps?"

    "Only one more item of immediate concern remains, Captain. According to Magellan's meteorological data, this planet most definitely has a typhoon season. In one month's time, Manannán will reach perihelion, and global sea surface temperatures are estimated to increase at least seven to ten degrees Celsius, creating ideal conditions for the formation of severe cyclonic weather systems."

    "That's torn it for Margaritaville, then. I'll also have to dismantle the observation deck on Reef Base and square away the VAM gantry on Pyramid Rock. Bugger it."

    "On a final note, Captain... Happy birthday. I have taken the liberty of activating the galley to prepare a suitable cake to celebrate this occasion. A Schwarzwälder kirschtorte, in fact. I believe that this is one of your favourite dessert dishes. It is delicious and moist." JUNO added with a wink.

    "You're kidding!"

    "I assure you Captain, the cake is not a lie. I sincerely apologise for the lack of candles, but the food replicator subroutines would not permit the inclusion of paraffin wax and string as components. I would not recommend using magnesium underwater flares as a substitute. Please enjoy a slice."

    I burst into a fit of laughter at the sheer absurdity of this situation. JUNO had just dumped a pile of serious issues squarely in my lap, then topped it off with a Black Forest chocolate cake. Utterly priceless.

    "Thank you, JUNO. Please feel free to take a virtual slice as well." I chuckled.

    Watching an AI eating a holographic slice of birthday cake wasn't something you saw every day.
    Post edited by Bugzapper on
    Rainstormrhys_elcinsPhoenix223
  • RainstormRainstorm Montreal (Quebec)Members Join Date: 2015-12-15 Member: 210003Posts: 1,050 Advanced user
    Weyland-Yutani :)

    Is our hero soon to discover a cave full of Aliens larvas? :) i cant wait to read more!

  • LorderiteLorderite Australia Members Join Date: 2016-03-13 Member: 214169Posts: 10 Fully active user
    There is quite a few Portal quotes isn't there? Do you think you could eventually have our hero venture out into the twisting bridge biome? Or even a future encounter with a warper would be awesome!
  • crane476crane476 United States, TxMembers Join Date: 2015-08-07 Member: 206850Posts: 180 Advanced user
    Lorderite wrote: »
    There is quite a few Portal quotes isn't there? Do you think you could eventually have our hero venture out into the twisting bridge biome? Or even a future encounter with a warper would be awesome!

    That might be cool, but the twisty bridges biome doesn't officially exist yet. Having the protag venture to a place like that could result in some retconning if the devs decide to cut it.
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