"Nos Manere" (we remain) - a Subnautica story

DarkStar88DarkStar88 Omaha, NE Join Date: 2018-05-03 Member: 240491Members Posts: 62 Advanced user
We all have moments where we wish for something left behind. From something as important as a childhood friend in our old hometown to something as trivial as a wallet left behind on the counter. A month ago I wished for my hoverdriver's license when I was pulled over for speeding in a moment of bad judgement. Regret and loss go hand-in-hand with self-judgement - blame for not thinking ahead or choosing more wisely. Even, sometimes, when we couldn't possibly have known about the imminent need.

Predicting the future has always been a tricky business for us mere mortals. Even something as simple as discerning the weather a few days from now is uncertain enough. In the blink of an eye one's priorities may be drastically altered. Someone in perfect health may suddenly be in desperate need of medical supplies after a car wreck. A tent might be an amusing toy to a CEO one minute, then invaluable shelter the next when his private jet crash-lands.

So it is that once again I find myself awake late at night in my circular 'apartment' unable to find either the sleep that I need or the answers that I want. With sunlight long since gone my only illumination is from the faintly shining screen of my PDA. The only sound is the occasional bass moans of a Reefer, echoing throughout the metallic structure of my new home.

And on the opposite end of the habitat I wonder what Katy will be missing.
0x6A7232
«13

Comments

  • SkopeSkope Wouldn't you like to know ;) Join Date: 2016-06-07 Member: 218212Members Posts: 1,179 Advanced user
    Short, but well written. I'm intrigued where this will go.
    I've been skulking around here for almost four years.

    Yet I still have no idea what's going on.
  • RecursionRecursion The cosmos Join Date: 2017-07-01 Member: 231505Members Posts: 481 Advanced user
    Looking good so far.
    I'm a stupid person who makes stupid games and constantly self-deprecates his stupid life because he's a stupid idiot.

    Yeah, I'm a bit messed up.
  • DarkStar88DarkStar88 Omaha, NE Join Date: 2018-05-03 Member: 240491Members Posts: 62 Advanced user
    edited March 20
    Prologue

    Supposedly, hindsight is 20/20 with rose-tinted glasses. I've found that it is more akin to a dim mirror clouded by self-doubt, inflated ego and misremembered facts all meshing together like the details in a photograph with bad focus. Though in my case the facts are more...missing...than misremembered. Courtesy to the "mild head trauma" I suffered during the violent descent in Lifepod 5. More specifically a sizable lump on my forehead that lasted for a week coupled with around an hour's worth of memory lost. Gone. A blank page in my novel. My ever-helpful digital companion even cheerfully stated that my wounds were "considered an optimal outcome". I can only stand amazed at the profound ignorance in that statement, likely thanks to whatever cut-rate keyboard monkey Alterra hired to program the PDA's AI. If I ever am able to get my hands on the person who wrote that line I think I'll enjoy giving them a personal education in the meaning of the word 'pain'. Assuming that any unknown and untreated long-term effects of having a bad sector on my meaty hard drive don't kill me or render me a drooling vegetable long before then.

    I've reconstructed what happened from about a half hour before the Aurora was fatally struck to the time we hit the water (mostly) intact from a combination of recovered data logs and the memories of my erstwhile shipmate. Unfortunately while she managed to escape serious physical damage, her emotional state suffered as bad a blow as my noggin had. Katy never could be described as an individual who took well to sudden change of any kind for a long list of reasons. Not that one could expect being half of the >1% of the crew to survive the shootdown of a capital-class ship on an uncharted world to be a pleasant jaunt for anyone short of a suicidal thrill-seeker. Much less being suddenly reclassified as several steps down the food chain shortly thereafter.

    But I'm getting ahead of myself. My journey on the Aurora itself began a couple years ago when I managed to shine enough shoes and kiss enough backsides to earn a promotion as a "Data Entry Specialist" from the minimum security prison cubicle farm on my homeworld that I'd been employed at until that point. The real kicker is that while the spot on a spaceship was guaranteed, the choice of ship wasn't. I could have easily as ended up as the resident computer nerd on an ice hauler. Instead I landed a job which is practically a lottery win since college for the masses finally became unaffordable at the close of the 21st century. I won't dwell on how this benefited me outside a better work life as I've spent enough nights crying myself to sleep. Suffice it to say I was on top of the world. Figuratively and literally from the first time I was aboard for liftoff. At my one-year review you couldn't have got me off that ship for my weight in gold-plated platinum bars studded with diamonds.

    A little line from the Good Book has hammered itself into my brain every night since the crash: "Pride goeth before destruction and an haughty spirit before a fall."* A fall all the way from the edge of a planet's gravity well to its surface, in my case, which I think is as far as one CAN fall short of swan-diving into a black hole. And I imagine the aftermath of the destruction and fall I survived would have gone quite differently if I hadn't done something that you should definitely not do in case of emergency.

    I went back when the alarms sounded.

    Not very far, in my defense. Perhaps 20 feet around the corner to the woman I'd just passed heading for a laboratory. She was sprawled on the floor scrabbling for the PDA that had been knocked from her hand. Call it adrenaline-fueled chivalry mixed with pure survival instinct. Partly because we both had seconds to get off that ship before an explosion or decompression reduced us to a state reminiscent of uncooked hamburger. And partly because there had been no training for this kind of an emergency. I still remember someone screaming which way were the lifepods as I half-dragged, half-carried a wailing Kate.

    A/N: From personal experience, as I have memory loss due to head trauma

    *Proverbs 16:18
    Post edited by DarkStar88 on
    0x6A7232
  • DarkStar88DarkStar88 Omaha, NE Join Date: 2018-05-03 Member: 240491Members Posts: 62 Advanced user
    Crying. Someone was crying. Was it me? My head hurt enough. It felt like a squad of impact hammers were pounding on my skull in unison. And that smell, what the hell WAS that? Like some Einstein had gone and microwaved their PDA times a hundred.

    I managed to force my eyelids open despite the pain. Something stared back at me from a few feet away. It took a moment for my brain to process that the disheveled figure with the patchy tearstreaked face was the shipmate I'd half-dragged to the pod with me. Her brown eyes were absolutely wild with fright, like some animal caught in a trap with a hungry predator closing in. My logical capacity wouldn't recover for some time and I remember only vaguely registering the situation. A display screen with ominous red words. An access hatch ripped open and wires spilling out, which to my battered brain resembled the intestines of someone with their abdomen torn open. And last but certainly not least two very different colors visible out the two different exit hatches.

    One by one logical thoughts began to wander back through the fog of pain and confusion. There had been a ship. A much bigger ship. Way more people. Big boom. Lots of screaming, alarms, grabbing something or someone, then the lifepod. And then a crash? Yes, definitely a crash. From the state of the lifepod we hadn't exactly touched down in a field of roses. But at least we'd landed in one piece. A lot of poor people were going to be so inconvenienced. Hopefully the data banks had been backed up recently or my manager was going to grill my backside for dinner.

    I'd like to say that I magically snapped out of my injured stupor and leaped to soothe the fair maiden, but I'd also like not to lie more than the CEO of Alterra. In truth I wasn't in much of a state to console anyone else even if she'd been in any mood to listen. For her part Kate didn't utter a single word while my half-focused eyes wandered about the tiny interior. Only when I managed to think that somebody should go fix that electrical problem and heaved myself (mostly) upright to lurch toward the storage compartment at one end of the escape pod did she finally pipe up.

    "There's. Nothing." she said in a cracked voice. The words seemed to come out as painfully as if she were a lifelong smoker on her deathbed. A combination of screaming and crying for an unknown amount of time while I sat slumped in my seat had nearly rendered her physically incapable of speaking. About then I noticed that she was clutching a fire extinguisher in her arms like a frightened child to a teddy bear. Something about her traumatized state set off an alarm bell in my head, partly because that tool would make a decent makeshift blunt weapon in the hands of a fellow survivor lashing out in the aftermath of severe trauma. And I was unarmed, injured and alone. The odds were definitely not in my favor even if I fancied myself as a fighter instead of at thinker. Which I didn't.

    Still, my options were rather limited. Turning my back on her for a moment seemed at least preferable to exiting the lifepod empty-handed with destination unknown. So I popped the latch and made a mental note to confiscate the survival knives that would be included as part of the standard kit before one ended up between my ribs.

    Only there wasn't a survival knife, packed neatly in a carbon-fiber holster.

    Or a repair tool.

    Or a flashlight.

    Or any of several other items what were quite essential in a survival situation.

    Rattling around loose in the compartment were a couple flares, a few water bottles and a pair of nutrient blocks. Nothing more.

    In an instant I went from being half-coherent and recovering to a babbling wreck on my knees. I must have pawed a dozen times through that compartment with my hands shaking like a drunkards' from maddened terror. Hoping for something else to be hidden in a corner or under a wrapper. Anything. I had flashbacks to younger days, desperately searching for a certain paper assignment or textbook at our churchmouse-poor school, amidst a disorganized stack of same with mere minutes to find what I needed. Hoping beyond hope for something I just knew had to be there and wondering why it wasn't. But at last I had to admit defeat. My eyes came to rest to the neat computer printing on the packaged nutrient block in my hand, seeing but not reading. My mind tried to grapple with the reality of the situation.

    We were stranded God-knows-where in a half-busted lifepod with not so much as a screwdriver to our name, and our entire food supply could be held in my two trembling arms.
    0x6A7232ChenTheGuy
  • 0x6A72320x6A7232 US Join Date: 2016-10-06 Member: 222906Members Posts: 5,251 Advanced user
    edited May 2018
    Excellent, keep it up! (Pretty please. xD)
    UWE Community guidelines | Guide to play in VR with Google Cardboard or Gear | Increase Subnautica view distance | Useful info to post with error reports | Recovery of corrupted saved games | How to easily update your drivers
    Crashing, lag problems? Or maybe your old save didn't get the latest update? Upload your saved game folder to help the devs troubleshoot, then try clearing your cache directories | Automatic Cache cleaning tool here | How to use the Debug Console | How to play any version of Subnautica using Steam | Tips for Subnautica beginners | Why can't the devs "just fix it"? - a modding session for you to educate yourself with Want more frames? Try adding this to your launch options: -window-mode exclusive | Solve options not saving or black screens by deleting options file | Possible workaround for Pause / Menu Bug | Rescue a trapped Seamoth / PRAWN
    Slow loading / textures popping in? Try moving Subnautica to an SSD | How to switch Subnautica to Experimental mode (clear cache afterwards) | How to run chkdsk on your drive | How to verify integrity of your game cache (in the "Installation" section) | Blue screens or computer freezing up? Try this fix (updates a corrupted DX10 compatibility file in the graphics driver that sometimes doesn't get updated)
    Subnautica launches in a tiny window? Use Task Manager to Maximize it (Thanks FlippingPower) | How to place your Moonpool so it connects correctly (includes diagrams) | Want to hang out with fellow players and the devs? Subnautica Discord server ← swing on by! | SuspensionRailway's Modding Emporium Categorized list of mods, including 1st playthrough-friendly Hey, look, mods! ReShade mods Subnautica NexusMods
    Humans don't crush at the depths you might think
    Joystick problems? | Xpadder | UJR / vJoy | JoyToKey | Get detailed info for troubleshooting: CPU-Z | GPU-Z | HWiNFO64 | Speccy | Pastebin | Recover the data on your crashed hard disk! | I'm a Total Geek
    Forum BBCode Rainbow text generator
  • DarkStar88DarkStar88 Omaha, NE Join Date: 2018-05-03 Member: 240491Members Posts: 62 Advanced user
    edited March 20
    "You miss all of the shots you don't take." - old Earth folk wisdom.

    I unceremoniously dumped the meager collection back in the storage unit as Kate stared back at me with a blank, tear-streaked expression that screamed "I told you so". My choices were as few as they were unappealing. Option one: munch on a single day's worth of rations while praying someone else in a better situation found us. Option two: stick our noses out into this strange new world in the hope of somehow improving our own situation. So with grim resolution I headed for the ladder. From her huddled position in the chair Kate croaked pitifully about not leaving her alone, to come stay with her.

    That was the first hard choice I made after the crash: to leave a frightened woman behind in a barely-seaworthy escape pod. It would be the first of many.

    Mercifully the top hatch popped open freely. Something uttered a trilling squawk above my head just as I emerged, and out of the corner of one eye I saw a silvery flying pancake flap away into the sky. A rush of salt air filled my lungs, eliciting a string of throat-rending coughs as my body took the opportunity to clear out the greasy smoke from the pod's interior. The relief of breathable atmosphere lasted for about the five seconds it took for my eyes to adjust to the sight of the Aurora on the horizon. Or rather, what was left of her. What had once been a pristine white hull had holes big enough to fit a house. Chunks missing the size of city blocks, uncontrolled fires big enough to barbeque a battle tank. I'd never seen such destruction outside of a video in history class. Capital-class ships just plain didn't crash and catch on fire out of nowhere. It just didn't damn happen short of an inter-system war, much less to a civilian ship! What the hell had we even hit, an old minefield?

    My PDA chimed in unhelpfully. "The Aurora suffered orbital hull failure. Cause: unknown. Zero human life signs detected. Extreme damage detected. Hazardous materials and radiation containment failures are highly likely."

    I barely resisted a sudden urge to pitch the unwelcome messenger as far as I could throw it. There went Plan A flying off with the angels. Even if the scanner wasn't 100% correct, to swim maybe half a mile to a ship that badly crippled was suicide. I had no tools, no backup and only the flimsy "indoor" pressure suit I'd been wearing. That left exactly one option. To search around for anything useful in walking distance from a repair tool to an escape pod in slightly better condition. Or rather, anything within swimming distance. My eyes turned warily to the expanse of azure waves that stretched far over the horizon. It looked as distinctly uninviting to an air-breathing mammal such as myself as it does now. Not only is drowning a distinctly unpleasant way to die, large bodies of water were reputed to contain things with a frightening number of sarp teeth. Diving into a 10 foot deep swimming pool was the limit of my experience. This brave wet new world was far larger...and definitely "swim at your own risk."

    I don't remember how long I sat sprawled on the top of the crippled pod, my stomach tying itself in knots while a terrified Kate bawled for me to come back inside. Human emotions are so powerful that they can so deeply affect reality itself. For instance, time passing far slower when you're in mortal terror. Not all the visits with HR departments and school principals combined could hold a candle to the soul-wrenching fright that was beginning to break through my initial shock.

    At length I turned down to face my companion with her puffy, tear-streaked face illuminated by the lightning-like flashes of the sparking wires. "Kate. The ship touched down, but it's a mess. I'm going to have to see if any supplies or spare parts dropped nearby or we're toast. Don't touch anything. I will be back in a half hour or less."

    Her whimpers turned into a frantic shriek as I grimly climbed down the orange steps to the waterline, touched a wrist-mounted button on my suit, took a deep breath, crossed my fingers...and jumped.


    Interlude: Alterra Docupedia - Clearance level: General access - EPSI Mk IV

    The Environment Pressure Suit, Indoor Mark 4 (pronounced "Epp-See") is the most recent in the EPSI line of light-duty protective suits designed to straddle the line between "shirtsleeve mobility" and exosuits that provide superior protection at the cost of restricting the wearer's movements. It has been made standard to all Alterra employees whose position is rated above Hazard Level Green, or employed where there is an exposure risk to a non-breathable environment. Contractors may lease or purchase their suits for a nominal charge.

    Besides the self-sealing faceplate with Heads-Up Display introduced in the EPSI Mk III, the IV model includes a small air supply in the form of a flexible airtight bladder around the collarbone area. Users can connect to an external air supply via a MicroAire connector at the back of the neck which in turn can provide a standard or mixed-gas supply for an extended period of time. The suit can also automatically purge and refill the air bladder if the user enters or reenters in a breathable atmosphere. Power is provided via a 50% larger FLIP (Flexible Lithium-Ion-Polymer) battery, which can be recharged wirelessly or with a USB-E connection of sufficient power output. When the suit detects a user has entered a non-breathable environment, or upon manual activation, a check valve is activated to cut off the outside environment. This provides approximately 45 seconds for the user to move to a breathable environment or connect an external air/mixed-gas supply.

    As with all EPSI suits a key design consideration is for a constant monitoring from one or more remote locations to increase worker safety. Suit system diagnostics and real-time monitoring of the wearer's vital lifesigns can be linked to a larger network, an Extended Personal Area Network (E-PAN) of individuals within a short range, a vehicle with a compatible communications array or all of the above. A highly common attachment is a small cylindrical head-mounted radio, often called an "EPSI Pen", to increase the range of the suit's wireless communications.

    While the EPSI line continues to benefit Alterra and its employees with drastic reductions in time-lost work accidents and on-the-job injuries, users are cautioned that the suit is not to be considered a substitute for a rated hazard suit. Notable limitations include but are not limited to the following:
    • Inadequate protection from NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) hazards such as transmissible diseases, elevated radiation levels and harmful chemicals such as strong acids/bases.
    • No built-in air filtering for inhalation hazards such as products of combustion or chemical smoke.
    • The air supply in "auto refill" mode cannot always accurately detect when it is safe to purge/refill the air bladder, occasionally resulting in an intake of non-breathable/toxic gases or liquids. Injury and loss of life has occurred when the onboard sensors have malfunctioned due to damage, deliberate tampering, etc.
    • No appreciable protection from projectile dangers or thermal hazards; minimal protection against electrical hazards.
    • Total battery exhaustion will disable the automatic check valve.

    AN: It's been far too long. Finally settled in at my new job.
    Post edited by DarkStar88 on
    0x6A7232ChenTheGuy
  • DarkStar88DarkStar88 Omaha, NE Join Date: 2018-05-03 Member: 240491Members Posts: 62 Advanced user
    "What goes up always comes down. What goes down doesn't always come up." - Anonymous.

    My first reaction was to come very close to throwing up.

    The ocean kingdom below me resembled nothing so much as a random jumble of hills and valleys thrown together like the pieces of a dropped 3D puzzle. Gigantic pipe-like structures twisted among the seascape while schools of bizarre fish flitted by with their tails glowing. It was pure untamed nature in all her glory; a living chaos of rock and flora and fauna that immediately made one feel ant-like. Especially if you happened to have a horrendous case of acrophobia.

    It took every ounce of self-control I could muster to not barf in my suit as I pulled my head above water to take several deep breaths before trying again. Ditto in the failure department when I made the mistake of gazing down a particuarly deep chasm whose gloomy depths seemed to hunger for my very soul...

    Face up. Deep breaths. Focus. No barfing, nope, not happening, no way, need that food thankyouverymuch, stomach please behave yourself now if you never do again. And besides it isn't nice to pollute the ocean.

    About the fourth time I managed to stick my face under the surface long enough to control both panic and nausea long enough to think straight. "Straight" being the operative word. Lacking any reference of height the nearest cliff face was at least two standard building levels in a straight line down, give or take. One small pile of tangled wreckage sprawled just underneath it. But as I squinted and cursed the schools of fish obstructing my sight I realized that most of the 'small' pieces were in fact sections of hull beams that far outsized me. The laws of physics being what they are, even counting for the 'lifting' effect of the water, hefting the smallest beam visible would be a Herculean effort just to get off the seabed. Getting it in the lifepod for our fabricator (assuming it worked) to disassemble was out of the question entirely.

    "Metal, metal everywhere and not a scrap to build with." I mused forlornly.

    The sinking feeling in my stomach provided the motivation I needed to release my death-grip on the pod and take my first venture downward. Not knowing what I would find - if anything - nor what I would do if I did. It was a good thing my swimming teacher couldn't see me right about then. Between lacking swim equipment and mentally whimpering for mommy the entire way, my form would have earned an F- right along with my planning. Misjudging my own momentum I plowed headfirst into the seabed. All five senses were instantly reduced to "OUCH! MY HEAD!" and "DROWNINGDROWNINGUPUPUPUP!". I rocketed for the surface as ungracefully as I had left it, barely stopping to claw at some ball-like object lying nearby.

    I broke the water's surface coughing my lungs out and swearing like a drill seargant with a stubbed toe. The object in question wasn't immediately familiar to me in its current state (busted with wires hanging out) but whatever it was, it had to be worth the trip. With the top of my head pounding I clambered up the ladder, dropping my poor prize down the hatch the instant it was within reach...only to immediately regret my haste when a blood-curdling shriek came from below.

    For a moment the world froze around me, and I peered over the edge expecting to see Kate lying in a pool of her own blood. I'd killed her. First I'd left her alone then I'd -
    "Oh my FREAKING GOD! You IDIOT are you THINKING or are you just TRYING TO KILL ME? Like we both almost didn't die ALREADY you freaking retarded overpaid NERD!"

    Relief gave way to foreboding when I realized that a traumatized and now angry survivor stood between me and the only working fabricator within miles, if not the entire planet. I let a few minutes pass both for her to cool down as well as for me to mentally calculate my chances of finding another lifepod. Finally, muttering apologies the whole way down (and keeping a careful eye on the way Kate held the fire extinguisher) I touched the fabricator's power panel while begging every deity that ever existed that it worked. I was also keenly aware that if Kate sensed I'd become a threat to her own survival the one lying in a pool of blood might be me. But my fevered prayers and Kate's furious ranting cut off flat when the fabricator neatly unfolded, the bottom tray sitting invitingly before our eyes.

    "It works. Thank...thank everything, ever. We can make stuff. We'd be so screwed if this didn't work right now, " I started babbling in relief. With more anticipation than a dozen kids at Christmas I plunked the soggy sphere onto the tray and touched the "deconstruct" option. In a flash the molecular assembly array neatly stripped it down into...

    Two very useful and very small spheroids of titanium.

    The pod's interior grew very quiet save for the sizzling and snapping from the damaged electrical panel. An unsaid but clearly expressed "you've got to be kidding me" was written all over Kate's face. "Galactic champion dumbass of the century" was written all over mine.

    "I guess I'll need to...go back...for...another...thing?" I squeaked.

    Kate slowly turned her head to face me much like a cannon turret taking aim at a target.
    0x6A7232Q_bertChenTheGuy
  • Q_bertQ_bert inactivelavart Join Date: 2018-05-08 Member: 240607Members Posts: 138 Advanced user
    cool beans

    By the way, a reefer is a weed cigarette. Might be better to just call ‘em reefbacks.
    Don’t steal my plants.
    DarkStar88
  • DarkStar88DarkStar88 Omaha, NE Join Date: 2018-05-03 Member: 240491Members Posts: 62 Advanced user
    edited August 2018
    Interlude

    Author's notes: an upgrade and a challenge.

    Hello my budding fanbase. My story just got a massive boost in the form of an 8-core, 16GB ram, dual-video-card MONSTER of a PC. For the first time in 12 years I've gone and bought myself a new computer...and largely for the purpose of furthering Nos Manere. I can't believe I'm saying this; I never thought I'd drop $500 mostly for the sake of a budding idea. But in the space of a month this story has gone from merely a "creative splurge" to something resembling a truely original tale based on a game that is one of the funnest I've seen. This isn't just a matter of convenience. The underwater beauty the devs worked so hard to make suffers badly with everything set to "obsolete toaster" levels. Then there's the random crashes because it's too old and even when things are working framerate dips into single digits at times. I've nearly ragequit on Nos Manere as a whole and binned the chapters I have planned ahead simply because I've lost hours of building/experimenting in an instant. So I've taken the plunge and invested in a better machine.

    However a day after I've finished drooling over my shiny new toy and how freaking gorgeous Subnautica looks with all the graphics set to maximum...I've also realized just how high of a bar I've set for myself. Even something as trivial as tracking the respective inventories of my characters is going to require careful 'accounting' lest I inadvertently write a plot hole large enough to sail a Cyclops through. My solution so far (a few hasty reminders in Notepad) will not suffice going forward and this spreadsheet was helpfully suggested by a friend.

    On further reflection I'm going to need to update multiple maps; one to keep track of my character's movements as well as at least one kept by them to account for their own scavenging efforts/speculations/etc. Part of me is eager to leap at the challenge but part of me would rather kiss a Sea Dragon. And speaking of maps - here's a gander at where our two castaways have landed.
    Post edited by DarkStar88 on
    Q_bert0x6A7232ChenTheGuy
  • DarkStar88DarkStar88 Omaha, NE Join Date: 2018-05-03 Member: 240491Members Posts: 62 Advanced user
    edited August 2018
    The pile of wreckage was even smaller than I'd thought after a couple trips. Besides a chunk of hull plating and a few odd bits scattered around there just wasn't anything useful. Enough salvageable Titanium to make a bathtub out of, sure. But nothing besides Titanium. No tools, no spare batteries, not a single Vac-Pac in sight. My first scavenging site was played out.

    "We're already out of luck," I bleakly remarked as I ran off a compressed-air tank for each of us, the only useful thing I could even build. "We'll have to go farther away."

    Kate shook her head furiously and shrunk back into her seat. "No. Can't go away. Got to stay close to where we landed or the rescue teams won't find us. Remember in Orientation - stay with your vehicle. It's a lot easier to find than a lone person wandering off."

    My eyes rolled so far back in my head I saw a glimpse of my brain. "Rescue? Even assuming there IS anyone LEFT to rescue anyone else, we don't have time to wait. In two days at most we'll be on the slow road to death-by-dehydration thanks to whatever dusthead robbed the storage compartment. Short of a supply crate being dropped at our feet our only prayer of living long enough to see next week is going...out there."

    "Out where? Do you even know which way you're going?! You're going to swim right out and be food for a - a big-swimmy-thing with big teeth!"

    I couldn't even muster a grin at Kate's sad attempt at describing a predator. "Maybe. If I could at least find a damn knife I'd have something to poke it with. If I could find silicon rubber like the fabricator says. God knows where I'm gonna GET silicon rubber because all I see are a bunch of rocks and funny looking fish out there." There was a truly disheartening amount of red-lined items on the fabricator's list. We needed copper to make batteries, but the only way I knew how to get copper involved digging gigantic holes in the ground. In a pinch maybe the right kind of sand could supply raw silica for glass, but what about sulfur or silver? I barely even knew what they looked like. And even then only because nerdy little me actually paid attention in Geology class. How the hell would someone like Kate have known what to look for? Or Jackson from Cargo Storage or...pretty much anyone...

    A foreboding thought begun to slink into my mind at the epiphany. The fabricator had a nice pretty list of what you needed and a little icon - but there wasn't the faintest hint about how or where to get what you needed. And that was one hell of an oversight to get by the tens of thousands of people who'd designed the Aurora, especially for something as critical as a guidance in a survival situation.

    Kate must have started to notice the grimness on my face so I abruptly changed the subject. "I saw some kind of tall plants. I'm gonna rip off a leaf or three, see what they're good for. If you want to make yourself useful while I'm gone be my guest."

    "You mean you want me to go OUT THERE?" Her voice rapidly rose to a pitch and volume suitable for shattering glass. "In all that water?"

    "I'll give you three guesses," I said dryly as I fitted my new tank to the valve at my neck.

    "How? I don't even have a compass!"

    "Then pick a direction and swim that way for five minutes. Or hell, try to grab some fish for dinner or find another pile of wreckage for me to pick over. Just do something besides get yourself hurt."

    Kate rapidly devolved into a babble of noise that I quickly tuned out as I climbed up the latter. I didn't realized it at the time but real soul-shaking panic was starting to set in, and I was starting to devolve to the male instinct of Doing Something to keep it at bay. Feelings were not on my list of Things to Care About when it was a real question if I would be able to save my own butt. I couldn't lock her in the lifepod (literally - the hatches don't have a lock), I couldn't stay to babysit her. The only faint chance I had was if I swum out into the deep blue sea. That chance would get smaller by the hour until I was too hungry or tired to move at which point we were both good as dead. It was cold survival logic. And it would come right back to bite me in the butt harder than a cyber-Doberman on guard duty.

    I took my own advice after a fashion as I swam out from the lifepod, noting that the sun was on my right-hand side as I dog-paddled across the surface. What looked like a short distance took longer than I thought as the waves battered me about like a cork and I had the vague feeling that maybe I should have at least given Kate a pointer or two. But since I'm worse at admitting a mistake than I am at apologizing I merely swam all the faster to the forest of alien seaweed. On closer examination they looked astonishingly like the fake leis handed out at the Aurora's indoor 'beach' with their dark green leaves seemingly tangled around a center string. But unlike the cheap plastic, they definitely did NOT come apart easily! They were impossibly slick and absolutely refused to tear off despite their seeming fragility. No doubt there was native sealife with teeth equipped to nibble off a mouthful, but all my profanity-laced tugging proved fruitless.

    With an idea to brace against the seafloor for better leverage I started going hand-over-hand using the main 'stalk' a sort of rope for rapid descent. I'd made it about halfway down when my eye spotted a flat section of paneling moving along the seabed. I was a second away from abandoning my newest discovery and swimming after it like a man possessed when I noticed it wasn't drifting. It was being carried. By a fish I hadn't seen yet, with no bright shiny spots along its snakelike body or paddle-shaped tail.

    What it did have was teeth. A whole lot of them in a mouth large enough to fit a yardstick with room to spare. It even looked like it had teeth on its back, squarish ones, like those in a chainsaw.

    My heart leapt up through my throat and into my skull where it hugged my brain for comfort. Even with my lousy eyesight this was undoubtedly a predator fish at least as long as I was tall. I was unwanted company at best, a snack at worst, unarmed, alone and unhelpfully backlit by clusters of glowing orangish pods that were hanging on some of the vines. The only thing I could do was try to wrap myself in the cluster of weeds in a pitiful attempt to hide as my oxygen counter dwindled.

    Omake:

    As I considered what to name the newly-discovered plants, the juvenile delinquent in me kicked in gleefully. So even with nobody around to hear it, I couldn't resist joking out loud "Look! A plant with orange boobs!" I was a solitary male in desperate need of relief, comic and otherwise. Sue me.

    The PDA chimed in over my suit radio. "New plant discovered: Boobvine. Seed clusters approximately Size A."
    Q_bert0x6A7232ChenTheGuy
  • DarkStar88DarkStar88 Omaha, NE Join Date: 2018-05-03 Member: 240491Members Posts: 62 Advanced user
    I ran too low on oxygen and patience before the monster below me was completely out of sight. A hunk of the pods came loose in my white-knucked grasp as I fled in the opposite direction of the lifepod, trailing along behind me like party streamers. Fortunately the fish-with-too-many-teeth seemed more interested in the piece of metal than the human who was about to need fresh underwear. I glided between the greenish vines with the ease of a prima ballerina dancing a solo as I awkwardly flail-swam toward relative safety.

    Kate was engaged in examining the fabricator screen as I hauled myself up through the bottom hatch, a collection of various plants strewn about her feet.

    "H-hope you h-had better luck than me," I stammered, untangling the mess of bulbous nodes. "Stay out of the big plants. Big fish, lots of teeth and - what the hell IS all this stuff?"

    "I don't know! I just grabbed some of everything!" She wasn't kidding either. On closer inspection there was everything from a plate-sized slab studded with something shiny, to brightly-tipped weeds, to some kind of bush with tiny white pearls even a couple puckered purple mushroom-like plants. "But the machine says none of it is good for making anything! We're still screwed!"

    I sighed. "Correction, Kate - none of it is good for making anything by itself. You don't make a cake from just flour. You need flour AND eggs AND sugar."

    "What's a cake?"

    So help me God... She must have been raised on synthesized food. "Here. Give me that red shiny...plate...thing. Now look carefully at the list. See where the entry on computer chips is? One of the three 'ingredients' is green. Green is good. But we still need copper."

    "Okay wise guy, so where the heck do we get copper?"

    "From somewhere down in the ground. And how did you break one of these off, anyway? Don't tell me you hit it with your air tank!"

    "Uh...no, I jumped on it."

    "Well thank goodness for female ingenuity," was all I could think to say. "Let's see if these squishy bulbs I brought home while fleeing from my life are good for anything." I draped the bulbs in a neat pile on the fabricator's plate.

    "New alien material detected. Analyzing. High viscous fluid and silicone content. Recommendation: source of lubricant, essential in construction of vehicles and power plants, or the manufacture of synthetic rubber." My jaw dropped practically to my belt. It was the best news I'd heard all day, except...

    "Where did you say you got these things, again?" asked Kate.


    Q_bert0x6A7232ChenTheGuy
  • DarkStar88DarkStar88 Omaha, NE Join Date: 2018-05-03 Member: 240491Members Posts: 62 Advanced user
    A/N: It's been far too long. I've toyed with the idea of abandoning this entirely, frankly. Real life interrupted in a very rude way with permanent consequences. I may post more details later. For now suffice it to say that of all the ways to say goodbye to somebody...this ranks up there with the worst of them.

    Chapter 1: Darkest Night.

    The little man in my brain was throwing a screaming temper tantrum the entire distance back to what my PDA had dubbed the "Kelp Forest". This is crazy. This is stupid. This is absolute suicide. You can't possibly be going BACK! Have you lost what little is left of your mind? .

    But back I went. Even the chance of having a vehicle or power was literally worth risking my life. And that was a funny thing, really, given how often I'd taken it for granted. Back home I could have gone from Point A to B in safety riding in anything from a hoverbike to a rented luxury car. Any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Now I was exhausting myself swimming alone through a carnivore-ridden ocean with the nearest lifeguard several light years away. Not even Alterra would have approved letting us 'employees' take such a risk. But there was no time to worry about the sudden change in circumstances. To quote an old author, "the possibility of a man being ripped limb from limb in the next five minutes concentrates the mind beautifully." Unfortunately, it tends to get concentrated on things besides survival.

    All I could think to do was keep to the surface since the toothy fish seemed to be stalking the seabed. Gambling again on the cover of the weedy vines I used one to descend like a commando fast-roping from a helicopter. Once again my nervous eyes spotted the dark saw-backed figure lurking among the waving vines. Then another. And then another. Just fantastic - instead of being solitary predators they were pack animals. Mental note, where there's one sawfish, there's probably another. I denuded the nearest vine of it's bulbous seedpods while trying to ignore the clouds of greenish blood when the predators snapped up a passing meal. The pods were bulky as heck and had to be trailed behind me. I felt for all the world like I was clumsily hauling a bundle of helium balloons on the way home from an old-fashioned birthday party. On the way back I spotted a fairly large glowing ball nestled in a small clump of seagrass under a rocky outcrop. It looked big enough to be intriguing, but curiosity killed more than the cat.

    Kate was nursing her hand when I returned. She was whimpering like a kicked cyberdog about how one of the purple mushrooms had 'burned' her.

    "All I DID was squeeze it," she wailed as I knelt down by her with a sigh. The skin was puffy white and red - no doubt painful, but hardly a precursor to her hand 'melting off'.

    "Chemical burn. Damn 'shrooms must be acidic as all hell. Hope the Wall Doctor* still works," I said as I dubiously eyed the flickering status lights on the front panel. "We can't afford to get seriously hurt or we'll be even further up the creek than we already are." Mercifully when I popped it open it had still managed to create a basic medical kit despite the extensive damage to the lifepod.

    Both the minuscule packet of ointment and the tiny length of synthcloth bandages ran out quickly as I treated Kate's injuries. Even as I kept my big mouth shut the thought of "what about next time" loomed over us both. There wasn't even enough fresh water to run over where the acid had ravaged her skin.

    There were still a few of the lumpy purple mushrooms strewn about the lifepod floor. I carefully grasped them by the edges to unceremoniously dump them out the bottom hatch, mentally noting not to put my bare hands or feet on the floor in case of residual acid.

    "At least we know they're good for something," I stated as I watched the last of them drift off into the endless blue. "Too bad they're not edible but we could make a battery out of them if we can find some lead."

    "What? Lead messes your head up, everyone knows that!"

    "Kate...that's only if you do something really stupid like EAT paint with lead in it. Which they haven't made since before the first moon colony. Or don't pay for a dust mask or gloves if the Big A** has you working with lead in some way. And even then they'll have warning signs everywhere and make you sign at least three waivers saying that you were such an idiot you decided to skimp on safety gear to afford more vapes or booze."

    "Fine, whatever. So how are you going to make a battery out of poison plants and lead?"

    "Lead-acid battery. We used them all the time where I grew up. Sturdy as hell and simple enough a kid can build one. Just don't spill the stuff on yourself.

    "Fine. Let me know when you've built one big enough to send a distress beacon."

    I chose not to continue the conversation before Kate dug past my confident exterior to discover the flaws inherent in such an ambitious idea. Besides having to find lead in the first place, lead-acid batteries tended to be...hefty. Powering a viable surface-to-space distress beacon (which we didn't have) with a battery of that kind would need one big enough to double as a boat anchor. As well as a power source, which we ALSO lacked.

    At the moment our personal 'batteries' were of far more concern. While not actually injured Kate was out of action. We were running out of daylight fast; the day-night cycle on this planet seemed to be markedly faster than standard and the ambient light was rapidly dwindling. And with the last of my adrenaline rush wearing out my muscles were beginning to issue some sharp complaints. I had to at least get my mitts on a couple kinds of native fish or plants to make some progress on finding a food source.

    I mentally set a half-hour timer before exiting out the bottom hatch with no ceremony.
    *Common term for the Medical Fabricator
    **Alterra
    0x6A7232ChenTheGuy
  • 0x6A72320x6A7232 US Join Date: 2016-10-06 Member: 222906Members Posts: 5,251 Advanced user
    Good to see you back. Sorry about RL. :/
    UWE Community guidelines | Guide to play in VR with Google Cardboard or Gear | Increase Subnautica view distance | Useful info to post with error reports | Recovery of corrupted saved games | How to easily update your drivers
    Crashing, lag problems? Or maybe your old save didn't get the latest update? Upload your saved game folder to help the devs troubleshoot, then try clearing your cache directories | Automatic Cache cleaning tool here | How to use the Debug Console | How to play any version of Subnautica using Steam | Tips for Subnautica beginners | Why can't the devs "just fix it"? - a modding session for you to educate yourself with Want more frames? Try adding this to your launch options: -window-mode exclusive | Solve options not saving or black screens by deleting options file | Possible workaround for Pause / Menu Bug | Rescue a trapped Seamoth / PRAWN
    Slow loading / textures popping in? Try moving Subnautica to an SSD | How to switch Subnautica to Experimental mode (clear cache afterwards) | How to run chkdsk on your drive | How to verify integrity of your game cache (in the "Installation" section) | Blue screens or computer freezing up? Try this fix (updates a corrupted DX10 compatibility file in the graphics driver that sometimes doesn't get updated)
    Subnautica launches in a tiny window? Use Task Manager to Maximize it (Thanks FlippingPower) | How to place your Moonpool so it connects correctly (includes diagrams) | Want to hang out with fellow players and the devs? Subnautica Discord server ← swing on by! | SuspensionRailway's Modding Emporium Categorized list of mods, including 1st playthrough-friendly Hey, look, mods! ReShade mods Subnautica NexusMods
    Humans don't crush at the depths you might think
    Joystick problems? | Xpadder | UJR / vJoy | JoyToKey | Get detailed info for troubleshooting: CPU-Z | GPU-Z | HWiNFO64 | Speccy | Pastebin | Recover the data on your crashed hard disk! | I'm a Total Geek
    Forum BBCode Rainbow text generator
    DarkStar88
  • DarkStar88DarkStar88 Omaha, NE Join Date: 2018-05-03 Member: 240491Members Posts: 62 Advanced user
    I plunged headfirst into a sea of disembodied eyes swirling all about me. A split second of shock gave way to a rising horror that seemed to crawl its way into my soul. In every conceivable direction I was surrounded by dozens of faceless orange orbs that blinked and stared and floated past, tittering amongst themselves in a mockery of voices. They seemed to gaze at me with a strange curiosity; almost as if wondering how soon the interloper in their midst would perish miserably for daring to intrude on their home.

    The corner of my mind that wasn't a second away from panic impotently whispered "they're only fish" as I clawed my way to the surface yet again.

    Sputtering to the dubious safety of fresh air, I contemplated the wisdom of binge-reading vintage horror novels. A feet away I dimly noticed the splish-splash of one of the orange-eyed fish leaping up from the sea and disappearing into its depths again. "Fish with big glowing eyes. Why. Just why?" I'd have given anything in the world for a good cup of tea along an hour to let the gallon of adrenalin in my system burn off. Instead I had to settle for swearing at the top of my lungs for a couple minutes before thrashing back down into the depths with the intention of grabbing the first thing with fins and beating it to death in a brutish form of self-therapy. I was smarter than any damn FISH and I was gonna go get one!

    It's been said that genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. By that definition, ten minutes later I was the biggest genius in the universe. Or at least wiser if not any smarter.

    You ever tried to catch a fish with your bare hands? Not just made a half-hearted effort to make a funny scene but really, truly tried? It's the fastest way to make an idiot out of yourself short of gambling your life savings in a hand of poker. A lot of people have never seen a live fish before. So try this: grease a wireless mouse and try catching it out of the air as someone throws it past you. Once you master that, do it again while standing shoulder-deep in water, with another friend wading toward you with a knife in either hand to represent the large and unfriendly predators whose territories you're encroaching on. Be sure to skip breakfast for some additional motivation. You now have a remote idea of how bugnut-crazy-hard it is to catch a freaking fish in a survival situation.
    0x6A7232ChenTheGuy
  • DarkStar88DarkStar88 Omaha, NE Join Date: 2018-05-03 Member: 240491Members Posts: 62 Advanced user
    (AN: if it weren't the middle of winter in Nebraska, I'd conduct some firsthand research into how long an untrained person could swim more or less continuously.)
  • 0x6A72320x6A7232 US Join Date: 2016-10-06 Member: 222906Members Posts: 5,251 Advanced user
    You're going to want backup if / when you do that. Literally can become hard to get out of the pool, to the point where climbing stairs almost makes you fall over. Now stop and think: you were that worn out while you were still in the water, you just didn't notice because you were pretty much weightless.

    Kinda scary, eh? That's why you should never swim alone, and definitely not when conducting a test like this.
    UWE Community guidelines | Guide to play in VR with Google Cardboard or Gear | Increase Subnautica view distance | Useful info to post with error reports | Recovery of corrupted saved games | How to easily update your drivers
    Crashing, lag problems? Or maybe your old save didn't get the latest update? Upload your saved game folder to help the devs troubleshoot, then try clearing your cache directories | Automatic Cache cleaning tool here | How to use the Debug Console | How to play any version of Subnautica using Steam | Tips for Subnautica beginners | Why can't the devs "just fix it"? - a modding session for you to educate yourself with Want more frames? Try adding this to your launch options: -window-mode exclusive | Solve options not saving or black screens by deleting options file | Possible workaround for Pause / Menu Bug | Rescue a trapped Seamoth / PRAWN
    Slow loading / textures popping in? Try moving Subnautica to an SSD | How to switch Subnautica to Experimental mode (clear cache afterwards) | How to run chkdsk on your drive | How to verify integrity of your game cache (in the "Installation" section) | Blue screens or computer freezing up? Try this fix (updates a corrupted DX10 compatibility file in the graphics driver that sometimes doesn't get updated)
    Subnautica launches in a tiny window? Use Task Manager to Maximize it (Thanks FlippingPower) | How to place your Moonpool so it connects correctly (includes diagrams) | Want to hang out with fellow players and the devs? Subnautica Discord server ← swing on by! | SuspensionRailway's Modding Emporium Categorized list of mods, including 1st playthrough-friendly Hey, look, mods! ReShade mods Subnautica NexusMods
    Humans don't crush at the depths you might think
    Joystick problems? | Xpadder | UJR / vJoy | JoyToKey | Get detailed info for troubleshooting: CPU-Z | GPU-Z | HWiNFO64 | Speccy | Pastebin | Recover the data on your crashed hard disk! | I'm a Total Geek
    Forum BBCode Rainbow text generator
    ChenTheGuy
  • DarkStar88DarkStar88 Omaha, NE Join Date: 2018-05-03 Member: 240491Members Posts: 62 Advanced user
    AN: Deliberately overthinking it - weighty matters

    One problem I've run into is just how hefty are the chunks of ore. Ryley Robinson, like Steve in Minecraft, blithely hauls around enough cubic volume's worth of rock to build a damn castle without so much as breaking stride. Subnautica gives me absolutely no canon numbers so I've had to devise my own. This has, to put it mildly, been quite a mental exercise.

    For example, let's take the humble Copper Ore. For starters we need to know about how much copper-bearing ore weighs. The great and mighty Google tells us that "Copper ore weighs 2.265 gram per cubic centimeter or 2 265 kilogram per cubic meter, i.e. its density is equal to 2 265 kg/m³."

    But Copper Ore chunks in-game are hardly nice neat squares. How big are they, exactly?

    We need a size reference...how about the handy Fire Extinguisher? A general-purpose extinguisher like this one is 15 x 4 x 4 inches.

    So let's drop the two by each other and see the rough size comparison.

    Eyeballing the two, the ore chunk is slightly wider and 3/4ths as tall. A cylinder 12 inches by 6 inches. Well and good. Plug the mass into this nifty calculator and we get around 110 pounds.

    ...That's one hefty hunka rock.
  • 0x6A72320x6A7232 US Join Date: 2016-10-06 Member: 222906Members Posts: 5,251 Advanced user
    Folded space knapsacks FTW
    UWE Community guidelines | Guide to play in VR with Google Cardboard or Gear | Increase Subnautica view distance | Useful info to post with error reports | Recovery of corrupted saved games | How to easily update your drivers
    Crashing, lag problems? Or maybe your old save didn't get the latest update? Upload your saved game folder to help the devs troubleshoot, then try clearing your cache directories | Automatic Cache cleaning tool here | How to use the Debug Console | How to play any version of Subnautica using Steam | Tips for Subnautica beginners | Why can't the devs "just fix it"? - a modding session for you to educate yourself with Want more frames? Try adding this to your launch options: -window-mode exclusive | Solve options not saving or black screens by deleting options file | Possible workaround for Pause / Menu Bug | Rescue a trapped Seamoth / PRAWN
    Slow loading / textures popping in? Try moving Subnautica to an SSD | How to switch Subnautica to Experimental mode (clear cache afterwards) | How to run chkdsk on your drive | How to verify integrity of your game cache (in the "Installation" section) | Blue screens or computer freezing up? Try this fix (updates a corrupted DX10 compatibility file in the graphics driver that sometimes doesn't get updated)
    Subnautica launches in a tiny window? Use Task Manager to Maximize it (Thanks FlippingPower) | How to place your Moonpool so it connects correctly (includes diagrams) | Want to hang out with fellow players and the devs? Subnautica Discord server ← swing on by! | SuspensionRailway's Modding Emporium Categorized list of mods, including 1st playthrough-friendly Hey, look, mods! ReShade mods Subnautica NexusMods
    Humans don't crush at the depths you might think
    Joystick problems? | Xpadder | UJR / vJoy | JoyToKey | Get detailed info for troubleshooting: CPU-Z | GPU-Z | HWiNFO64 | Speccy | Pastebin | Recover the data on your crashed hard disk! | I'm a Total Geek
    Forum BBCode Rainbow text generator
  • DarkStar88DarkStar88 Omaha, NE Join Date: 2018-05-03 Member: 240491Members Posts: 62 Advanced user
    As twilight fell, so did my aspirations of stockpiling food. An endless bounty of fish whirled before my very eyes - hundreds of potential meals that were as out of reach as the planet's moon. The goggle-eyed orange fish fled before I could even get close. I had some "almosts" with a vaguely E-shaped fish but still couldn't quite snag one. Without fins, a net or a speargun the only things I could possibly get a hold of were a slow, inattentive fish with stalk-like eyes...and something that was halfway between a terrestrial butterfly and a plastic bag with fins. I opted for a couple of the latter.

    Kate's face screwed into a grimace as I popped up through the hatch with the violet-hued "bagfish" flopping in each hand, then squawked in horror when I slammed them hard against the floor in fleshy-sounding splats.

    "EWW! What are you DOING?!"

    I refrained from saying "killing them" before I plunked one of the dying fish on the fabricator's pad. It twitched faintly as the scanners thrummed. Hopefully my catch was actually nutritious...

    Two new entries flickered into being on my EPSI suit's simple heads-up-display. One for food and another for...drinking water? Whaaat?

    "HELL YEAH!" I hollered, startling Kate "We've got a water source! Oh man did we just hit the jackpot!" Her expression waffled between utter confusion, repulsion and a look that clearly questioned my sanity. "You can get water from that ugly fish?"

    "There's moisture in the bodies of all organic creatures, Biology 101, but THIS fish is basically a swimming water bladder." I noted that two fish were needed and plunked the other on the fabricator pad. It unceremoniously deconstructed the fish and in its place appeared a bottle of water. Drinkable, pure water. Waves of relief washed over my mind as I gently grabbed it like some holy relic. The paper-thin sides crumpled in my hands as I observed the twist-off top and a crudely printed water droplet.

    "Water...from a fish?" Kate questioned in a hopeful tone.

    "I'll bet we'll see stranger things before long." The top was harder to open than I thought, and a few precious drops spilled out as I tore it open. But whatever one could say about its origins it was indeed water. H20. The universal solvent. Here was our salvation from an excruciating slow death by dehydration. All we had to do was snag a couple Bagfish any time we were thirsty.

    Kate actually had a tiny hint of a smile as she quickly drained the bottle. "Are these things easy to catch? Do they bite?"

    "Yes they are and no they don't. I'm going back for a few more."

    "Get a whole bunch of those - those "

    "I'm calling 'em Bagfish."

    "Yeah those. Being thirsty sucks."

    so does being hungry A corner of my brain reminded me.

    AN: After much deliberation I've decided to use this mod for the simple reason that a good many of the recipes, especially the hand tools are just outright ridiculous. A sophisticated scanning device that doesn't need any kind of circuitry or computer components?
    0x6A7232ChenTheGuy
  • 0x6A72320x6A7232 US Join Date: 2016-10-06 Member: 222906Members Posts: 5,251 Advanced user
    You might want to try the O2 tank mod as well. More air, but only fills at the fabricator. Makes sense, as there's no power source for a portable air compressor to top off your tanks when you surface. Although that one's sort of easy to handwave, at least in subs (they should plug into on-board O2 generation).
    UWE Community guidelines | Guide to play in VR with Google Cardboard or Gear | Increase Subnautica view distance | Useful info to post with error reports | Recovery of corrupted saved games | How to easily update your drivers
    Crashing, lag problems? Or maybe your old save didn't get the latest update? Upload your saved game folder to help the devs troubleshoot, then try clearing your cache directories | Automatic Cache cleaning tool here | How to use the Debug Console | How to play any version of Subnautica using Steam | Tips for Subnautica beginners | Why can't the devs "just fix it"? - a modding session for you to educate yourself with Want more frames? Try adding this to your launch options: -window-mode exclusive | Solve options not saving or black screens by deleting options file | Possible workaround for Pause / Menu Bug | Rescue a trapped Seamoth / PRAWN
    Slow loading / textures popping in? Try moving Subnautica to an SSD | How to switch Subnautica to Experimental mode (clear cache afterwards) | How to run chkdsk on your drive | How to verify integrity of your game cache (in the "Installation" section) | Blue screens or computer freezing up? Try this fix (updates a corrupted DX10 compatibility file in the graphics driver that sometimes doesn't get updated)
    Subnautica launches in a tiny window? Use Task Manager to Maximize it (Thanks FlippingPower) | How to place your Moonpool so it connects correctly (includes diagrams) | Want to hang out with fellow players and the devs? Subnautica Discord server ← swing on by! | SuspensionRailway's Modding Emporium Categorized list of mods, including 1st playthrough-friendly Hey, look, mods! ReShade mods Subnautica NexusMods
    Humans don't crush at the depths you might think
    Joystick problems? | Xpadder | UJR / vJoy | JoyToKey | Get detailed info for troubleshooting: CPU-Z | GPU-Z | HWiNFO64 | Speccy | Pastebin | Recover the data on your crashed hard disk! | I'm a Total Geek
    Forum BBCode Rainbow text generator
  • DarkStar88DarkStar88 Omaha, NE Join Date: 2018-05-03 Member: 240491Members Posts: 62 Advanced user
    0x6A7232 wrote: »
    You might want to try the O2 tank mod as well. More air, but only fills at the fabricator. Makes sense, as there's no power source for a portable air compressor to top off your tanks when you surface. Although that one's sort of easy to handwave, at least in subs (they should plug into on-board O2 generation).

    I briefly looked at that. The thing is everything except the last tier of airtanks has such a low capacity compared to real-life dive equipment I think it won't be that much of a stretch to say that the EPSI suit is running a very low-power compressor. Of course, THAT will need recharging at some point then. There's also the issue of your never-needs-charging PDA.
    0x6A7232ChenTheGuy
  • 0x6A72320x6A7232 US Join Date: 2016-10-06 Member: 222906Members Posts: 5,251 Advanced user
    They do have smartwatches that charge on user movement now though, so there's that. I don't think it would be able to power a tablet though, not to mention an air compressor.
    UWE Community guidelines | Guide to play in VR with Google Cardboard or Gear | Increase Subnautica view distance | Useful info to post with error reports | Recovery of corrupted saved games | How to easily update your drivers
    Crashing, lag problems? Or maybe your old save didn't get the latest update? Upload your saved game folder to help the devs troubleshoot, then try clearing your cache directories | Automatic Cache cleaning tool here | How to use the Debug Console | How to play any version of Subnautica using Steam | Tips for Subnautica beginners | Why can't the devs "just fix it"? - a modding session for you to educate yourself with Want more frames? Try adding this to your launch options: -window-mode exclusive | Solve options not saving or black screens by deleting options file | Possible workaround for Pause / Menu Bug | Rescue a trapped Seamoth / PRAWN
    Slow loading / textures popping in? Try moving Subnautica to an SSD | How to switch Subnautica to Experimental mode (clear cache afterwards) | How to run chkdsk on your drive | How to verify integrity of your game cache (in the "Installation" section) | Blue screens or computer freezing up? Try this fix (updates a corrupted DX10 compatibility file in the graphics driver that sometimes doesn't get updated)
    Subnautica launches in a tiny window? Use Task Manager to Maximize it (Thanks FlippingPower) | How to place your Moonpool so it connects correctly (includes diagrams) | Want to hang out with fellow players and the devs? Subnautica Discord server ← swing on by! | SuspensionRailway's Modding Emporium Categorized list of mods, including 1st playthrough-friendly Hey, look, mods! ReShade mods Subnautica NexusMods
    Humans don't crush at the depths you might think
    Joystick problems? | Xpadder | UJR / vJoy | JoyToKey | Get detailed info for troubleshooting: CPU-Z | GPU-Z | HWiNFO64 | Speccy | Pastebin | Recover the data on your crashed hard disk! | I'm a Total Geek
    Forum BBCode Rainbow text generator
  • DarkStar88DarkStar88 Omaha, NE Join Date: 2018-05-03 Member: 240491Members Posts: 62 Advanced user
    Seven minutes.

    That was how long it had been since I last checked the time. I needed to rest for a half hour at least before trying to go out again. I had to go out again. We needed more food, more water, more materials than the single sad piece of plating I'd spotted lying nearby on the seafloor.

    Seven bloody minutes. This was worse than waiting for the end of the school day at gym class. My legs felt like limp noodles, my arms dangled loosely from my shoulders. Every breath I took felt like inflating a portable mattress. Already I felt the beginnings of pain in places I didn't know I had places. This was nothing like the mandatory "recreational exercise" aboard ship. No watching your favorite show on the telescreen while happily riding a bike that went nowhere. No friends to joke or compete with. Just one long sustained effort all alone in a race against your own endurance.

    "We...need tools." I wheezed. "Swim fins. A speargun or - or a knife....just something besides my...damn bare hands.

    I took a moment to glare in Kate's direction. "Oh yes - and someone else besides me who can SWIM on a planet that's ONE BIG BLOODY OCEAN!"

    Kate gave me what I presumed was an obscene gesture. My anger was born of the frustration and terror after I'd insisted she try to at least pick up something useful. She'd clumsily swum under an overhanging rock arch, become spatially disoriented...and panicked. Completely lost her marbles. It had been no small effort just to snag one of her flailing hands to tug in the direction of the surface thirty meters away. By the time our heads broke water my vision had started to narrow from oxygen shortage.

    "And now it's too late because it's too dark and I don't have a light," I observed bitterly. "Because some bean counting idiot decided that a survival kit didn't need something as absolutely basic as a ten-credit flashlight."

    I tried not to dwell on the maddening lack of something so basic. Before I'd had to pause for rest, I had the brilliant idea of cranking up the screen brightness on my PDA to maximum as a makeshift flashlight. It had illuminated a few meters ahead but also blinded me...and, I now realized, made me a perfect beacon for a take-out meal. Just as well I'd given up on that idea.

    Twelve minutes. Just freaking wonderful. Nobody else besides Kate to talk to. No music. No books. No aspirin. Literally nothing to do but sit in this uncomfortable chair and play "guess when the loose wire sparks" or count the circles on the lifepod's floor. Time dragged on like a groundcar with four flat wheels. I tried to think of something to talk about that didn't involve a friend or a valued possession we'd just lost...and failed miserably. How could I? What was left?

    At the twenty-five minute mark I completely lost patience with my own goal, leaping out of my seat to scramble up the ladder, slam the hatch shut and drape myself precariously atop the lifepod as I pointedly looked anywhere besides the smoking wreck that had once been a ship. Two moons hung in the alien sky. One motionless and white, like the one back on my home planet, the other an ominous dark orange that seemed to race across the sky. As I watched it gradually eclipsed its smaller brother entirely to leave the silent gleams of starlight to contrast with the swirls of color from fish and flora alike.

    I tried to think about the science of all the things both above and below me. How one moon was either geosynchronous or nearly so, and what caused the coloration of closer moon? Massive amounts of iron oxide perhaps? What direction was "north" on a planet where no human had ever set foot? Why did the ecosystem have such a multitude of luminescent lifeforms? Were the fish I had just caught a completely new species, undiscovered to science? All the wonders and whys of the planet I was cast away on swept my conscious mind into a turmoil like a wine cork caught in a hurricane. Wild guesses mixed freely with whimsical fantasies and the occasional sane hypothesis.

    After some time - it might have been minutes or hours - my PDA lit up with yet another unwelcome message.

    "Detecting increased local radiation levels. Trend is consistent with damage to the Aurora's drive core, sustained during planetfall."

    Well wasn't that just wonderful. Right on cue along with "how do we not starve to death by tomorrow" was the question of "how long before we get boiled alive by radiation?"
    0x6A7232
  • DarkStar88DarkStar88 Omaha, NE Join Date: 2018-05-03 Member: 240491Members Posts: 62 Advanced user
    I don't remember what exactly I told Kate that night, if anything, and neither does she. It's probably just as well. Besides heights I'm also terrified as all hell of radioactivity for several reasons. One of them is the unofficial accident reports that get published on the darknet despite Alterra's best efforts. So with that in mind the swim to the field of weedy vines was even more terrifying as it took me closer to the wreck of the Aurora. But if we were going to do anything besides wear ourselves to pieces catching a few fish, we needed rubber for several tools on the list.

    The smoldering ruin grew more ominous the closer I unwillingly got, without a rad-suit or any anti-cancer medications. Hell I didn't even have professional training on radiation safety. Just enough knowledge from my science classes to know that water was a very good 'shield' from it. Trouble was that the water was full of ravenous toothy fish. And instead of a proper weapon or stasis projector I had...a fire extinguisher. It certainly wouldn't kill one of the Sawfish, but in a dire emergency it would hopefully jet-propel me out of trouble in time and confuse the monster with a sudden stream of bubbles. It was the flimsiest fig-leaf of a hope with the thinnest coat of logic that I really didn't want to field-test.

    I found the glowing pods easily enough - and also their fearsome guardians. In broad daylight they were decently easy to spot from above if you knew what shapes to look for. At least a baker's dozen of the slim predators patrolled the forest of olive-green vines. Worse, most of the seedpods appeared to bud off the middle of the vines, which put them in easy reach of the Sawfish.

    The knot in my stomach tied itself even tighter. I was going to trespass on either the favorite hunting grounds or the home of a group of large predators with no fear of humans. About the only faint hope I had was to circle around and find a vine on the edge of their territory...
    0x6A7232ChenTheGuy
  • 0x6A72320x6A7232 US Join Date: 2016-10-06 Member: 222906Members Posts: 5,251 Advanced user
    edited January 20
    Hey, @DarkStar88 , I just had a thought... it's not too common, but it's not unheard of for a save file to get corrupted. Might I suggest you use the save file backup mod (not sure it's really technically a 'mod' so much as a tool)?

    As well, for your convenience, you might want QuickSave which binds a shortcut to "Save" to F5.

    Actually, I'd also recommend taking a look at the "Fixes" section of my categorized mod list and see what you might want, here. There's also a "1st-playthrough safe" section you might find useful.
    UWE Community guidelines | Guide to play in VR with Google Cardboard or Gear | Increase Subnautica view distance | Useful info to post with error reports | Recovery of corrupted saved games | How to easily update your drivers
    Crashing, lag problems? Or maybe your old save didn't get the latest update? Upload your saved game folder to help the devs troubleshoot, then try clearing your cache directories | Automatic Cache cleaning tool here | How to use the Debug Console | How to play any version of Subnautica using Steam | Tips for Subnautica beginners | Why can't the devs "just fix it"? - a modding session for you to educate yourself with Want more frames? Try adding this to your launch options: -window-mode exclusive | Solve options not saving or black screens by deleting options file | Possible workaround for Pause / Menu Bug | Rescue a trapped Seamoth / PRAWN
    Slow loading / textures popping in? Try moving Subnautica to an SSD | How to switch Subnautica to Experimental mode (clear cache afterwards) | How to run chkdsk on your drive | How to verify integrity of your game cache (in the "Installation" section) | Blue screens or computer freezing up? Try this fix (updates a corrupted DX10 compatibility file in the graphics driver that sometimes doesn't get updated)
    Subnautica launches in a tiny window? Use Task Manager to Maximize it (Thanks FlippingPower) | How to place your Moonpool so it connects correctly (includes diagrams) | Want to hang out with fellow players and the devs? Subnautica Discord server ← swing on by! | SuspensionRailway's Modding Emporium Categorized list of mods, including 1st playthrough-friendly Hey, look, mods! ReShade mods Subnautica NexusMods
    Humans don't crush at the depths you might think
    Joystick problems? | Xpadder | UJR / vJoy | JoyToKey | Get detailed info for troubleshooting: CPU-Z | GPU-Z | HWiNFO64 | Speccy | Pastebin | Recover the data on your crashed hard disk! | I'm a Total Geek
    Forum BBCode Rainbow text generator
  • DarkStar88DarkStar88 Omaha, NE Join Date: 2018-05-03 Member: 240491Members Posts: 62 Advanced user
    edited January 21
    I've made many ventures into "occupied territory" since that day, but none were as scary as my first time robbing from the den of sharks. The creeping nameless dread of trespassing on forbidden ground came back to haunt me a hundredfold. This was for real. A grab-and-go for sheer survival. These guardians were merciless, the penalty for intrusion a violent death. And worst of all - I didn't even know how much of the dragon's treasure I needed to steal! The entry on my PDA gave me an approximate amount in grams for one "unit", but what was I supposed to do? Weigh the glowing orange pods out on a scale?

    The more I looked over the field of vertical vines the worse the situation became. Paddle-tailed shapes roamed alone or in small groups, alternating between ceaselessly patrolling their canyon and darting up to snatch a prey fish with the precision of a guided missile. I shuddered at the thought of a mouthful of inch-long teeth tearing into me without warning. If one of those remorseless predators ambushed me my chances of survival would be thinner than the slim edge of my PDA.

    Besides the penalties for being caught was the problem that not all of the vines bore the luminescent fruit. Almost all of the ones that did were smack in the middle of Sharkland. But at last I caught sight of a clump of pods right next to a cliff drop-off, by some kind of coral that resembled an overgrown elbow noodle. With a few strong frog-kicks I could get from it to the cluster of pods and - hopefully - get out before I was noticed.

    I remember surfacing with my breath coming in discordant heaves. Swimming straight down to one end of the tube to dart inside, praying that I wouldn't be noticed and caught helpless from behind. Bracing my hands against the smooth insides of the beige tube with my oxygen, courage and hope all draining away.

    Then leaving

    from safety

    toward the prize

    so close and so far at once

    and then I was there.
    0x6A7232ChenTheGuy
  • DarkStar88DarkStar88 Omaha, NE Join Date: 2018-05-03 Member: 240491Members Posts: 62 Advanced user
    edited January 26
    Up close the pods looked like orange grapes slightly smaller than my fist. The stringy connecting stems tore easily enough in my desperate hands - once I figured out how to get a grip on them. A couple got loose, tumbling slowly toward the bottom of the chasm. One actually popped in a revolting burst of glowing goo when I squeezed too hard.

    I spent as much time whipping my head around keeping a desperate lookout for Sawfish as I did trying to get the pods. After a dozen or so were draped clumsily over my one arm I quickly ran into another problem: actually getting my bounty home. The loose bunches of glowing pods threatened to impair my ability to swim if danger came calling and possibly even if it didn't. It was a sudden, maddening problem on the order of winning as many gold bars as you can take...then finding out how much bounty you can't so much as drag out the nearest door. In the middle of contemplating this dilemma my oxygen supply suddenly bleep-bleeped at me. Snagging one last stem's worth of pods, I headed for the surface in a decidedly unbalanced fashion, praying harder than when I was trying not to get caught stealing cookies before a family picnic.

    I managed to solve another problem (that of storage) before I arrived back at the lifepod by dumping them all down the end of another giant tube-thing that stuck up above the waterline. Even if a couple pods rolled out the other end the majority of them would form an immobile lump at or near the bottom. "U-Stor-It: Survivor Edition". I could just see the network ratings.

    Kate was sitting in the lifepod when I dropped in again (more carefully than last time) to see if the fabricator's list included anything in the line of storage devices, fiddling with a handle with bright orange pillows puffed out from either end.

    "The hell is THAT? A sideways boxing glove?"

    She scuffed a foot at me. "I don't know what the hell it's called. It's something that makes you go up really fast. But I need to go down fast, and when it's all puffed up I can't go down at all."

    "You need to get yourself literally deeper into danger like I need to sit on top of the Aurora's drive core. Now out of the way, I need something to carry stuff."

    "What stuff?" Kate seemed to remember something and pushed a button on the handle. The "pillows" deflated with a sharp hiss as she looked at me intently? "Food? Water? A radio? Some freaking chocolate bars?"

    "Stuff guarded by other stuff with more teeth than a dentist's office." I tuned her next barrage of inane questions out as I reviewed the list. Sure enough, under "Deployables" was the schematic for a waterproof locker. I'd just touched the button when something soft hit me straight above the ear with a gentle whomp.

    My vision recovered from a very colorful blur to see Kate standing with her new gismo inflated again, looking distinctly annoyed at me. "Will you freaking answer me?! What KIND of pods?"

    Wonderful. She doesn't know how to swim, but by golly she knows how to improvise an attention-getter.

    A dozen different ideas from wanton violence to a first-hand demonstration ran through my head, but all that ended up coming out from my mouth was "Big glowy orangy pods because we need rubber and lubricant!"

    I grabbed the newly-formed locker from the fabricator and stormed up the ladder with one hand.

    Behind me Kate sputtered several unclear protestations, but I distinctly remember hearing her say "Rubber...and...EWWWW!"

    Dammit.

    If there was one thing that wasn't on my mind at a time like this...
    0x6A7232ChenTheGuy
  • DarkStar88DarkStar88 Omaha, NE Join Date: 2018-05-03 Member: 240491Members Posts: 62 Advanced user
    edited January 27
    I was still fuming as I floated by the lifepod, debating where to go next. On a random impulse I simply dove straight down instead of heading back out for more "Glowpods". We'd need more than just rubber and a few scraps to save our sorry backsides. Straight up digging for ore was flat out of the question, so the next-best option was to break off a few chunks of rock that stuck out like giant pimples or take a peep into caves for loose mineral-rich nodules.

    Handily, there was a cave right underneath us! Never one to turn down an easy opportunity I dropped my new locker at the entrance to peek inside. Some kind of three-finned fish was nibbling on the cave wall next to a pair of protruding rocks, one the mottled color of the cave, one a striking red. Decisions, decisions.

    A burbling lllrrroaaa reached my ears a split second before the red pod suddenly split open like a damn banana. Before I could even react my brain hastily registered a Cycloptian thing swimming right at my face with unfriendly intentions.

    roooAAAAAAUUU-

    Without thinking I held the fire extinguisher at arm's length like a holy ward against a vampire, rocketing backwards on a stream of Co2 bubbles, praying to escape whatever horrid venom or monstrous set of fangs -

    PHOOOFFF!

    A cloud of white steam appeared where the finny demon had been a second ago, a harmless remnant of a shockwave buffeting me as I stood pinned flat against a rocky overhang. Kamikaze fish. Of course. What next?! Little green men from Mars? Curious as to what the hell the thing had been guarding I very c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y swam back towards the entrance. The red flower sat open, revealing a curious pile of something shiny yellow. It couldn't be...gold?!

    "Detecting sulfur deposits in the local cave systems. Sulfur is an essential component of the repair tool."

    Hell yes. Forget mere gold.

    Wary of any further encounters with suicide bombing fish I scooped as much of the granular element as I could into the locker with my hands, whacked a couple loose lumps off with the bottom of the fire extinguisher and bugged out. Some kind of clearish-blue crystals hung from the ceiling of the small cave, but I'd been lucky enough already for one day.
    Post edited by DarkStar88 on
    0x6A7232ChenTheGuy
  • DarkStar88DarkStar88 Omaha, NE Join Date: 2018-05-03 Member: 240491Members Posts: 62 Advanced user
    edited January 27
    "Copper is an essential component of all powered equipment. Your probability of survival has just increased to: unlikely, but plausible."

    Well thank you. Just who wrote this crap, and who approved it to be on company-issued property? I'd retrieved my entire stock of Glowpods only to discover that an entire armful of them equated to enough silicone-based rubber to make a single pair of fins or a survival knife. Even without Kate over my shoulder this was enough of a debate, and enough of a problem to tie my stomach in a knot. ONE trip to "the Vineyard" had already been enough proximity to short-tempered predators - yet here I was already needing more of the pods they inadvertently guarded. Or did they only guard them inadvertently? Perhaps some local herbivore fancied them as food and the Sawfish in turn fancied them.

    Finally I came to a decision by the most scientific and impartial method I could think of. Eeeney-meeney-miney-moe. A knife. My PDA babbled unhelpfully about some massacre somewhere as the little tool materialized, then the rubber sheath after I picked up the knife itself. I tried not to think too much about how unimpressive my new acquisition was in my current situation as I stuck the sheath into an expandable thigh pocket. What I needed desperately at was a fishing trident or spear, something to keep toothy horrors at arm's length. This was about as useful for defense against an agile predator as a satchel bomb against a hovertank...by the time you got within range to use it you had mostly lost the battle already.

    Still it beat going barehanded. Barely.
    0x6A7232ChenTheGuy
  • DarkStar88DarkStar88 Omaha, NE Join Date: 2018-05-03 Member: 240491Members Posts: 62 Advanced user
    edited February 2
    My return trip to the dropoff point went as smoothly as could be hoped for, given my terrified state. Along with the last of the pods I decided to make like a lumberjack and hack off a section of the vines itself. The wisdom of doing this from the middle of the vine became apparent when I noticed that about twenty feet of leafy green began drifting into my face. I had to scramble to get out of the way before I became tangled in the unanchored mass.

    Beating an undignified retreat, I reflected on the laws of physics as I decided to see if there was anything worth picking up on the way home. Lacking any plan I picked a course a few degrees off a straight line. My detour lead me over a hill that sloped further down from the surface. The hill was...depressingly barren save for a single scrap of titanium plating. Perhaps one or two rocky outcrops. As far down as I could see there was nothing else but sand until the hill gave way to uneven rocky edges shaped like the fingers of some warty hand. This way was a definite dead end for the moment and I wasn't eager to dive deeper with such basic equipment.

    For a few seconds I glanced at my own shadow, projected on the seabed. I fluttered my hands and watched the figure below do a vague impression of a terrestrial bird. Curiously there was some other shadow to my right composed of two long skinny things that looked oddly like...fish that were...fighting? Mating? Whatever they were engaged in they looked almost like they were right next to -

    A guttural snarl ripped through my head just as my brain put 2 and 2 together. I whirled about in time to see one Sawfish driven away by another, and the victor heading right in my direction. They'd been fighting all right - over choice prey. Over me.

    I stuck both arms out and hit the button to the extinguisher, straight-leg-kicking frantically in a bid to escape. Striking back never even entered my mind. Just escape. But this time my improvised propellant wasn't enough. The fang-filled maw was closing on me at a steady rate. In another five seconds at most I could only hope it missed impaling me on those jagged fangs.

    At about the two second mark a frantic idea barged into my brain. Yanking my arms and legs as far sideways as I could, I did a terrified imitation of a bullfighter's dodge. The titanic jaws slammed shut with an impact that reverberated through the water. Rows of dull ivory teeth flashed by - then for one horrible instant I came eye-to-eye with the beast. Pure malevolence shone out of that small grey-green eye; the universal look of someone who wants nothing better than to see you dead.

    In another second the Sawfish had twisted itself around for another pass, but I was already doing the "pray, spray and swim." It pursued me for a short distance...then suddenly whirled away as it decided I wasn't worth the trouble. As fast as the thing had been on me it had vanished into the endless blue depths.

    I half-swam and half-flailed in the water with my breath coming in sobbing heaves, my limbs spasming in the aftermath of adrenaline-fueled terror. The sheer suddenness of it all left me frozen in place . Instead of relief at escaping with my life I expected the predator to come roaring back at any moment. Only when my oxygen gauge flashed red did I snap out of my petrified state to swim upwards, gasping as much in fright as in need of fresh air.

    Burning tears streamed down my face as I broke the surface, blurring my vision in the bright sunlight. I looked around in the faint hope of someone - anyone - to cry out to. To care that I'd nearly died horribly. To call out to a fellow survivor. To come riding to our rescue in a submersible. But the only answering sound was the piping twitter of alien fish that mocked my fear.
    0x6A7232Vesper
Sign In or Register to comment.