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Author Topic: TerraCorp Expedition 587.4  (Read 387 times)

kclace

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TerraCorp Expedition 587.4
« on: April 18, 2020, 06:51:03 AM »

Game Settings: Coldest possible temperature. Ice Sheet, Permanent Toxic Fallout and Permanent Night. I used my custom scenario the revamped Colony 1. The colony was set up to start with geothermal power.

Terracorp Asset Recovery Expedition:

Mission Background:

TerraCorp is one of the oldest and successful terraforming corporations in human history. Originally hailing from Terra Prime (Earth), the corporation currently has offices on all of the core worlds. 

Expedition 587.4 was dispatched from one such core world to survey a recently terraformed planet and recover corporate assets (Terraforming Crews, resources). The un-named world orbits an M Class, Red Dwarf star.

<<<Planetary Data: Sub-File>>>>

Terraforming Project commence date: T-1000 (1000 years ago).
Last transmission receive date: T-150, signal from automated probe.
Habitability Rating: 2%
Tidal Locking: Yes. One side of planet perpetually faces star, other side perpetually turned away from star.
Atmospheric Pressure: Yes
Gravity: >Earth: Acceptable Parameters
Atmosphere Breathable: No. Toxic Atmosphere.
Temperature: 150 F on day side, -60 F on Night Side
Radiation Levels: Day Side: Unacceptable. Night Side: Acceptable.
Surface Water: Yes
Weather: Yes
Vegetation: No
Animal life: No
Human Activity: None Detected

Mission Log:

Entry 1: Hadley: Doctor Chris Hadley, Expedition 587.4 Expedition commander, currently onboard the SS Felix. Starship is in system and the crew is coming out of cryo-sleep. Estimated to time to arrival is approximately one week. Preliminary data is coming in now. This is the first data we’ve received since a probe reported back from this system about 150 years ago. The data from the probe confirmed that terraforming projects were completed and that the world was uninhabited. The original terraforming crews were unaccounted for, but are presumed to be in cryo-sleep waiting to be awakened.

Entry 2:  Hadley: We’ve turned our scopes to the planet and amazingly we’re seeing an abundance of human activity.  There appear to be at least a few settlements on the surface and one interstellar ship in orbit. We’re scanning frequencies now. Contact should be forthcoming.


Transmission Audio Sequence:

<<This is TerraCorp SS Felix on approach to your destination. Anyone out there?>>

<<Reply Transmission: Un-identified male voice: anger detected: We see you on our scopes. Turn your damn ship around right now. >>>>


<<<Ground transmitter, identify yourself immediately, you are trespassing on corporate property. >>

<<<Reply Transmission: Un-identified female voice: We didn’t come all the way out here to live under corporate tyranny. Go back to the core and leave us the hell alone!>>>>

Entry 3: Hadley: We’ve settled into low orbit around the planet. Once we’ve identified a suitable landing sight we’ll initiate the landing procedure. We’ve also identified the intruders on the ground and in orbit.  There are approximately 4 other settlements on the planet’s surface, all on the slightly more hospitable night side. Three of them appear to have originated from three separate unregistered transports that went way off course and ended up here. The fourth settlement is a mystery and appears to be supported by another ship in orbit. They call themselves the Broken Empire and of the 4 factions appear to e the most reasonable. We've reached an understanding with them and they've cleared us to land. At least some of the people here are reasonable!




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kclace

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Re: TerraCorp Expedition 587.4
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2020, 09:16:06 PM »

Entry 4: Blank Entry. Data Error

Entry 5:

Hadley: Just as an additional aside, with reactor fuel running low, a mission abort is not an option. This was always meant to be a long term multi-year mission. We knew the risks going into it. While the human presence presents additional risks, Tasheena, our head of security assures me it’s nothing her team can’t handle.

Entry 6: The landing went off without a hitch. The SS Felix detached into separate modules, than each module used parachutes and retrorockets to land. Now that we’ve landed, all we need to do is assemble and link up the various modules.

Entry 7: Reactor modules are now assembled. These were originally the SS Felix’s reactors, but we were able to convert them into geothermal power-plants by linking them up to some hot geysers in the area. As we’ve landed on the night side, solar panels are ineffective at this location. As such, these geothermal reactors are our only viable power source in this environment.

Entry 8: All modules are assembled and connected to each other via narrow steel tunnels. We have our two reactor modules, a greenhouse module, a habitation module, and a storage module. Space is tight in the habitation module, but we have enough room to give each member of the team their own bedroom.

Entry 9: We received an interesting offer from a representative of the Empire. The Empire recently discovered one of our old terraforming stations and woke two of our former employees from cryo-sleep. The Empire asked us to keep them imprisoned on our base until they were ready for interrogation. Of course, the Empire didn’t know that these people were our employees, so a slight betrayal was in order.   Well really more of a misunderstanding. Afterall, I didn’t bother explaining this fact to the Empire until after they had delivered their prisoners into our custody. Needless to say they were not pleased to hear about the loss of their prisoners.  But I’m sure our relations will recover in time. Besides, we simply couldn’t risk these ancient employees disclosing proprietary information to an outside faction.

Entry 10: We’ve commenced rehabilitation protocols for the two former employees delivered to us by the Empire. I say former because technically speaking, every terrafoming employee’s contract terminates immediately upon recovery from any period of cryo-sleep that exceeds 500 years. So we had to make that their pensions and other benefits were paid out, and such. Once that was taken care of, they were offered new contracts as members of the expedition. Of course, they didn’t really have much of a choice considering that would likely suffocate or freeze to death within a few hours of stepping outside our base, should they choose to leave.

Entry 11: Rehabilitation protocols were successful with one subject, a woman named Galina. She has been quite cooperative and we’ve learned quite a bit about the original terraforming project from the newly integrated employee. Of particular interest is that our base was inadvertently built on top of one of the terraforming stations. If we could excavate this old station then we might be able to access the old data archives, which could be invaluable. This could jump start our research and provide new insights into what went right and went wrong during the terraforming process here. Then of course it would be up to the Board to decide on whether we will need to wipe the slate clean here and start again.

Sub-Entry: The other subject, a female vat grown soldier, attempted to flee and was regrettably killed by one of our security officers. The use of force however was not excessive as only the baton was used. The subject could simply not accept the fact that terraforming had failed on this world.   

Entry 12: Security Incident reported. The security team dispatched an intruder that was attempting to break into the base. Our officer’s pulse rifle made short work of the intruder.

Entry 13: We are continuing to receive threatening radio traffic from the unauthorized colonists. All attempts at dialogue have so far failed. I am broadcasting a priority alert message to HQ via tight beam. We are preparing for further attacks by fortifying the base with an additional layer of wall.

Entry 14: The colonists are now attacking our facility regularly. About two waves attack us every month, usually back to back. The colonists are relying on primitive firearms for the most part, though sometimes they have used improvised explosive devices as well. Each time, our security officers have been able to push them back, usually after our attackers have been weakened by the poisonous atmosphere and extreme cold.

Entry 15: We recovered two additional former employees from the original terraforming team. These employees had been circling the planet via transport pod for nearly a 1000 years. Nevertheless, they are in good health and were very happy to re-enroll as employees of TerraCorp. As they are both well established researchers, this should present us with a significant boost to our research efforts here.

Sub-Entry: Galina and I are now married. We had a brief ceremony with the rest of the team. Having a companion has been absolutely essential for maintaining my mental health in this dreary unforgiving environment.

Entry 16: Excavation of the old terraforming station is now complete. The endeavor was quite successful. We found two de-activated mechanoid guardians, a charge lance of excellent quality, five crypto-sleep caskets containing five more original terraforming crew members. As our hab unit is stretched to capacity right now, we are going to leave them in their caskets for the time being. We also found the station’s computer. Our own computer forensics team is attempting to de-crypt the old data archives from the station’s computer.

Entry 17: The decryption team has slowly but surely been extracting salient information from the station’s ancient computer terminal. Of particular interest are certain protocols for re-activating the dormant mechanoid workforce. This would of course be necessary to resume terraforming projects here on the surface. However, there are also some interesting security related possibilities. I will keep you appraised of our progress.

Entry 18: The initial field test was successful. We were able to re-activate the mechanoids and use them to repel an attack from the colonists. The mechanoids were destroyed in the process, but that’s irrelevant. We’ve proven the concept, now it is just a question of whether we can scale it up to a global scale. Requesting further guidance from HQ.

<<<<Return Transmission Via Tightbeam>>>> New instructions. Construct a multi-analyzer. More instructions to follow.


Meanwhile…

Colony 5B: Civil Outlander Faction

A raucous town hall was underway within the deep warrens of the underground facility that comprised Colony 5B. Members of the Town Council were holding a meeting that was open to the public for comment, and there certainly was a lot of comment.

Councilman: “All I’m saying is they might have a point. The law is clear. Whoever completes the terraforming process has rightful claim to the planet. Now we all heard their offer in the broadcast. We’d get our share of the profits from our mining operation and a measure of independence. It’s at least worth considering.”

Townswoman shouting out in anger: That’s the law of the core worlds. Their laws don’t apply here. Besides, this barely counts as terraformed, the air isn’t even breathable!

Townsman shouts angrily:  This is our home. We were here first. Those corporate drones should just pack up and leave. Why are we even talking about this? We should be readying another assault team right now, before it’s too late. Who knows what they’re doing in that base they have set up down there. Probably building some kind of weapon to kill us all no doubt.

Councilman: “Well it seems my mind has been made up for me. The war will continue until they pack up and leave. And I hope that it’s soon…”

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kclace

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Re: TerraCorp Expedition 587.4
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2020, 07:47:02 PM »

Entry 19: Hadley: Regrettably, the mechanoid research had to be suspended today when the broadcast signal triggered an attack by multiple mechanoid clusters. We’re going to take a step back to figure out what went wrong. The construction of an additional multi-analyzer should assist in this endeavor. In other news, the team was joined by one additional researcher, Renata, and the security officer known as Telly, who arrived in transport pods after awakening from crypto sleep at a nearby terraforming station. Our initial crew has now been complimented by 3 members of the original terrafoming crew. We are anxious to finish the job.

 Entry 20: We’ve resumed our research, and in doing so managed to contact an AI Persona, which appears to be a fragment of the original Terraforming AI. The persona appears to be friendly, and we’ve learned quite a bit about what happened on this world. According to the friendly persona, which calls itself HEL, the original TerraCorp AI splintered into multiple personas over the centuries, some of whom have come to dominate and control the mechanoid workforce. HEL however, has no control over the mechanoids, but would like us to help it gain control over that workforce by isolating out the other AI personas. Once HEL has control of the work force, terraforming will resume, and our enemies will have no choice but to submit to the will of the Board. Unfortunately, we simply don’t have the infrastructure here to accomplish this. Accordingly, it is my recommendation that HEL be transported directly to HQ so that our most skilled archeotechs can refine the AI into a proper Terraforming unit, which could then return here and take control of the workforce directly. This seems to be the most cost effective way to resume our terraforming efforts.

Entry 21: All research and development efforts are now focused on building an interstellar ship. We’re also planning to retrieve HEL and transport him to our outpost.

Entry 22: The outlanders came in force today. This time though, they brought a mortar with them. I don’t see the logic in facing them head on, so we are going to hunker down until they leave, or at least see reason. These assaults are preposterous, we’re scientists!

Entry 23: It seems that my decision to hunker down has cost the life of Telly, and possibly the use of my legs. While I was sleeping, my bedroom was hit by a mortar and my legs were shredded. After dragging me to the hospital, Telly went back to my room to retrieve a few items, and at that point, a shell landed directly on her. It is our first confirmed casualty of the expedition. What a waste of a life. As predicted, the toxic atmosphere soon killed off nearly all the outlanders, though we did capture two of them.

Entry 24: Miraculously, my legs have recovered from my injuries. We were fortunate that our hospital was not hit during the mortar attack. Also, thankfully, Telly was not one of our researchers. I know that seems callous, but some members of the expedition are more important than others. At my order, we released the two prisoners in the hopes that the outlanders will see reason and recognize our claim to this world. I know one of them was a woman named Mimi, who admitted to us that she operated the mortar. She is beyond doubt the murderer of Telly. But what use would vengeance serve?

Entry 25: Research on the interstellar ship is complete and we are now beginning construction. The last step will be the recovery of HEL.

Entry 26: Excavation of the terraforming facility is complete. We have woken up and re-integrated 3 additional members of the original terraforming crew. Food supplies however are not quite as robust as they used to be.

Entry 27: A minor infestation of insects attacked the fabrication lab. Thankfully, the security team put it down quickly and no major installations were damaged,

Entry 28: Radiation in the ionosphere temporarily shorted out our life support systems. Regretably, two of our newer members froze to death. Their deaths are regrettable. I accept full responsibility for the losses. If we hadn’t cannibalized the crypto sleep caskets for additional space ship parts, this tragedy could have been prevented.

Entry 29: Our researchers are continuing to identify major mineral deposits, which has led to major surface mining operation using deep drills. However, two of our team have developed cancer as a result of the prolonged exposure to the atmosphere. Perhaps we are moving too fast in this great endeavor of ours?

Entry 30: I’ve dispatched our three member security team to retrieve HEL. This will be the last step before the ship is completed. They will arrive by drop pods momentarily…

-Sub-Entry: Radio communication established. A large outlander force is present? That’s not what HEL told me. No that’s not right at all.

-Entry 31: Our entire security team was wiped out. It seems that HEL has betrayed me. I feel like a fool to have trusted a corrupt AI. This is a massive loss for our expedition. All  of our pulse weapons are lost, and our highly skilled fighters are gone as well. Not to mention, this will drastically affect the morale of the expedition.  It certainly has affected my mood. My wife is gone now.

-Entry 32: I realize now that my blind ambition led to the un-necessary loss of life. To be frank, I just wanted to make this world perfect. I wanted to complete the process that was started so many centuries ago. But in doing so, I lost site of the value of the lives of my fellow crew members. For this reason, I can no longer continue as head of the expedition. I hereby resign. Despite our losses, I am cautiously optimistic about the future. We’ve developed a productive relationship with the Empire and our new leader will likely be taking a formal title of nobility soon. Our corporation has always enjoyed productive relationships with local governments, so why not here? In short, instead of leaving this world, we’ll build better lives for ourselves here. We’ve learned so much about this world in our short time here, and we will continue to study it for as long as we are able to.  I hope that you will deem this expedition profitable.

The End         
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