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Author Topic: Survivors of Berenice  (Read 897 times)

Astraph

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Survivors of Berenice
« on: January 28, 2019, 05:38:49 AM »

Hello guys!

Rimworld has been in my sights for a long, long time - and since I finally got it on Christmas, I just can't stop playing. Obviously, I decided to try myself in writing some sort of an After Action Report for my colony (at least the one that survived some time without a spontaneous collapse after a few days) - and here we go!

I'm playing the Crashlanded scenario, with a bunch of mods (I'm a Kerbal Space Program player, we cannot live with stock game).

EDIT: Oh, and a few technical notes: I picked Cassandra as the storyteller. Game is on medium difficulty, I toyed a bit with planet settings to make it a dry world with high temperature differences. So far I played ~3 years, dunno if I'm going to go for the starship ending or some personal goal... We'll see. :)

_____________________________________________________

I
Crashlanded

Nobody knows what happened. Maybe it was a meteor storm. Maybe one solar flare too many managed to burn through last layers of shield plating and fried some crucial piece of equipment. Maybe some other, unfathomable reason. What is known, however, is that Berenice, an interstellar cryoship en route to the Valbar system, suffered a critical malfunction that doomed her fate.

Faced imminent life support failure, the ships navicomputer made one final burn, setting course for the nearest habitable planet. Emergency rescue system has been activated, waking the passengers up and transferring their cryopods into reinforced dropships.

A fiery rain shone on the blue skies, as Berenice disintegrated, torn to shreds upon reentry.

* * *

PERSONAL LOG #001 [T+0]
ID: FALISA


My. Fucking. God.
No, this doesn’t sound right. Get yourself together.
Berenice is gone. Or at least, that’s what I assume - I awoke in my cryopod already on the ground, head spinning and system refusing to accept the awakening.
Around me two other pods landed, their cascets blown away by impact. Luckily, emergency survival packs were in place as well. I need to go through their contents once more - but it should be enough to sustain us for the time being.
And above all else, Milo is alright. We didn’t sign up for the same mission only to see one of us die off before we even reach Tever Ett. Well, it seems we won’t reach Tever anyway, after all. But at least we’re still together. That’s a lot.
I decided to begin this audolog as a sort of chronicle. To keep record of events to come - and, hopefully, to serve as memoir once we get out of this planet. No idea how long will this last - but at least this way, we can leave our mark here. One way or another.
Amelia Falis, signing off.

COLONY LOG #002 [T+1]
ID: PERRY


Amelia decided it’d be a good thing to turn this log into a combined effort. Something about sharing perspectives and getting a broader picture, which we can use it to our benefit. Can’t hurt, I guess. It’s not that this recording takes a long to make, anyway.
We used some of emergency supplies to build a temporary shelter. A tin roof and some wooden walls to keep the rain out. Luckily, there’s a whole mountain to use just south to the landing zone, so there’s plenty of space to set up camp. Plus, there’s a river flowing into a cave just nearby, which makes for a good place to wash and do stuff.
Honestly, I feel much better sleeping next to a stone wall, instead of those two inchest of steel separating me from the void of space. Reminds me of my old home. Sort of.
Anyway, the plan for now is simple; dig in, set up a temporary camp, gather supplies and look for the nearest civilized place to contact the Union from.
Welp, no point in flapping gums now. Better get down to work. At least the rock here is mostly limestone, makes for an easy material to work with.

« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 01:17:25 PM by Astraph »
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Astraph

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Re: Survivors of Berenice
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2019, 01:15:34 PM »

II
Digging deeper

For Amelia, life came in two flavours.

One was the sharp, caustic scent of high-yield explosives, mixed with the anxious anticipation that permeated the air on the battlefield. Every day could have been your last, every breath your final. A disjointed cacophony of fire, mud, metal and death, speeding past with little rhyme or reason.

The other was the stale, dull smell of reprocessed air filling a starship’s interior. Each breath shared with thousands of lungs, each hour identical to the previous ones. Everything melting into a constant stream of time, without any notable events to distinguish between passing hours, days, weeks. And years - sometimes decades - of cryosleep.

Now she found herself in a situation unlike either of those alternatives; crashed on a distant planet, her world turned into a sunburnt sea of grass, interspersed with islands of stone and rock. The sight of vegetation, rippling in the wind, lulled her into a sense of security - gave her an illusion of static serenity, as timeless as her stay onboard Berenice. But at the same time she found herself dirtside far too many times to buy into this false feeling; the danger would come, sooner or later. They needed to be ready.

She just wished there was someone around to give orders. To give her a sense of structure and security. Constructing or blowing stuff up required focus on details and absolute concentration - not  grasping the larger picture, being distracted by any larger scheme of things.

But someone had to take helm. And, as ill-suited as she felt, there was no one else more fitting for that role.


* * *

COLONY LOG #003 [T+2]
ID: PERRY


That’s weird. We struck a vein of some dense metal. I’d need some actual equipment to determine the exact composition, but my best guess is some durable alloy. It sure as hell ain’t regular steel, the colour and chunk weight ain’t right. Milo told me to get some samples, he hopes they can be used to manufacture stuff we'd need in the future. Well, I’m not complaining. Alloy or rock - now it's just rubble we need to get out of our way.
Amelia set up a small stonecutting workshop in the antechamber and plans to start manufacturing us some basic utilities. To be honest, I start feeling like I'm back home. Except for you don’t get spaced out if you screw up cycling the airlock.
Anyway, the plan for nearest future is simple; get the base corridor done, set up stockpile, have a place to wait out storms and whatever this planet throws at us. Can't be that hard, right?


COLONY LOG #004 [T+2]
ID: FALISM


Between Amelia’s preparations and Perry’s excavations, there is still an uncountable amount of things to be done here. We know next to nothing about this planet, and such ignorance can be our downfall here. That is why, with sis- I mean, Amelia’s permission, I decided to enhance our log by contributing some of my research here. It’s easier to best a threat you are aware of, at the very least.

Planet Notes #01: Landing Zone
The Planet (I shall use this moniker until we manage to determine its official/popular name) appears to be a textbook Rimworld, terraformed in space antiquity and settled millenia ago; atmosphere and gravity are within comfortable limits for human habitation. The local biome is dry, but not arid; vegetation is sparse, dominated by bushes and grass, fauna relatively plentiful. All rougly consistent with Earth-based life forms we had catalogued in Berenice's database.
More data is required to properly predict climate and weather patterns; so far, temperature average throughout the first two days was around 28 C. Soil is dried out, without signs of any significant rainfall, but I think with proper care, we can set up actual agriculture here. I wish I had some aerial (or orbital) photos of the surface - it would help me a lot to eyeball weather patterns and guess where to look for other people... But you have to work with what you have.
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Astraph

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Re: Survivors of Berenice
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2019, 06:13:24 AM »

III
First contacts

COLONY LOG #005 [T+4]
ID: FALISA


We finally have (sorta) a place to sleep and even managed to put together an improvised airlock to keep the heat outside. I wish I could say we also have any semblance of order here - but that’d be a stretch. I (generally) lay out a plan, Perry does the worst labour, Milo does some lesser tasks. He was never a worker type. But this means that while he collects berries, plants seeds and does all the thinking stuff, we can focus on getting dirty.

Today I had my first encounter with local fauna. Looked pretty similar to a wolf from the database - and was at least as vicious as the warnings there mentioned. Good news - I managed to put it down quick. Bad - it managed to get a bite of me in return. The wound doesn’t even look that bad, but Perry insists on having it disinfected and tended carefully. A golden girl. I'm pretty sure we'd all be already dead if it wasn't for her.
We need to get some defences set up ASAP. I have a hunch this is just the first time we get to fire our guns.


COLONY LOG #008 [T+6]
ID: FALISM


Planet Notes #02: Climate
Allow me to preface this part with a disclaimer; pretty much all my conclusions here are speculative. Data sample is diminutive at best, but we cannot afford the luxury of applying academically approved methods here; time is of the essence.

Temperature is rising rapidly; spikes up to 40 C are becoming a commonplace, and I don’t think we have seen the peak yet. I urge Amelia and Perry to get some sort of AC system up. It's not even about our comfort; I shudder to think of how fast our supplies would perish in this heat.

It also appears the planet has an anomalous axial tilt - well beyond the average values for terrestrial planets. While this doesn’t seem to disrupt the ecosystem - at least not in any observable manner - it might make the climate unpredictable in the long run.

It also appears our planetfall took place in mid-southern latitudes. Taking into account the aridness of the immediate area, I suspect the equatorial latitudes might be an impenetrable desert; to the south, the landscape should become more and more hospitable - but the big question is how anomalous the polar day/night cycle would be with this axial tilt, and how much that would interfere with my attempts at modelling the climate.

I really hope we run into other human beings soon. More data is desperately required - and all in all, locals would know a lot about their home, right?


* * *
[/b]

It was the first rain since Berenice’s planetfall - and Void, what a storm it was.

A ceaseless lightning barrage crossed the sky, underpinning dark clouds with a spiderweb of blinding filaments. Torrential rain flooded the place - but did little to ease the heat that has been plaguing the colonists; most water evaporated before even hitting the ground, making the already high humidity oppressive and suffocating.

Perry put aside her pickaxe and sat down to take a breath. Each swing felt like working in high g - but she had to keep digging. If Milo’s predictions were right - and so far, his guesses were accurate enough to rely on - they needed the whole cooling system set up as soon as possible. And for that they needed more than just scrap metal from their crashed pods. Luckily, whatever structures used those heaps of metal be, they were rich enough for extraction.

Suddenly, she heard a thud. Even with the ground turned to mud by the rain and through the deafening thunders ahead, it managed to break through and shake the whole cliffside she was digging in. Then came another. And another. And after them, drowning out even the sounds of the storm, came a roar.

Perry clinged to the wall, trying to hide inside the shallow cave she managed to dig out during the past few days. So far, they haven’t met any animals bigger than the wolf that attacked Amelia… So what monstrosity, in the name of the Void, was that?!

Through the curtain of rain, she could have seen a massive white shape, lumbering across the plain. A singular flash illuminated its frame - towering as high as the trees, a horn the size of a human crowning the animal’s head. Its thick fur was soaked in water, the liquid dripping down to the ground. The giant lumbered forward, ignoring Perry’s hiding hole and rain alike. It resembled a white spirit of the planet itself, impervious to mundane elements raging around it.


Later that night, Milo explained to her that those beings - the Thrumbos - were an uncommon, yet not unheard of, sighting across the Rim. Venerable animals of mysterious origins, a misty memory of ancient people who settled those planets millenia ago.

Perry was never a woman of deep thought - what mattered was work in front of her and people she talked to, not some fairy tales or ghastly things that “might happen one day”. But that night, for the first time in her life, she realized fairy tales might be real. Terrifyingly so.

* * *

COLONY LOG #016 [T+13]
ID: FALISA


And so we got our first contact with other human beings.

Milo noticed the guy while working in the fields. From the very beginning, something was off; the man was sneaking, approaching the farm’s wall undetected. Well, at least that's what he apparently hoped for. Milo signaled my walkie-talkie, I grabbed the rifle on the way out… and just as I came out of the base, that guy was already charging at Milo, his club ready to strike! Too bad for him that my military training kicked in. Two shots put the bastard down before he could even get into swinging range.


Now I’m sitting by the wall, that damn savage in front of the main door. In a pool of his blood. And I just want to know: why.

Why did the first human being we met on this gods-forsaken planet just attack us without provocation? Was he just some lone straggler? Or a scout of some local tribe? Or maybe this planet has no actual civilization, with people deteriorating to feral state once their technology inevitably fails? How should I know…?

I need answers. We need answers, if we want to survive here more than just a few weeks.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 06:16:19 AM by Astraph »
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