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The setting of Risk of Rain is mostly glimpsed upon through logs for Items, Monsters, Environments, and more. These entries are collected within the game's Logbook, which may provide context and clues behind the many mysteries and events that happen within the game itself and the history surrounding the planet of Petrichor V.

Lore

Logbook Entries

There are 254 lore entries in the game.

Environments

My brother, it is done. Come! See! 

Look to the moon... the first beacon shines brightly on the other side! There was no gap in its sequence - it has traveled instantaneously. We can cross the dark sea without succumbing to its sickness if we simply do not travel through it at all - is it not a brilliant light of hope? 

Only your hands could have realized my design, brother. I feel truly now that there is no obstacle nor force we cannot overcome together - with my designs, and your constructions. While it pains me to see your heart still torn for the doomed, we are not among them. There is an entire cosmos for us. We can escape this planet. Our prison. If your heart truly yearns to save... then surely more of our kind awaits among the other worlds - trapped by the dark sea. 

And to them we can offer the gates. 

When next she visits our world I must ask her to take a gate with her. Perhaps dozens! You should be celebrating with me, brother!

... And yet I see your somber gaze will not lift. Please, take the gate. Step foot on another world. Reap the rewards of your toil. Prove to the universe you are free! I cannot bear to see you in such a pitiable mood on such a joyous occasion.

...

If you insist, brother, I will go first. Forget about those creatures - and do not dawdle. I want to see joy on your face.
It is sealed… you do not have the skill to release this - it is a lock of my design. MY DESIGN. It will not break, and it will not yield. The alignment of the gate cannot now be changed by one such as you. It will persist for as long my treacherous brother lives. I have wasted my time in teaching you to operate it.

A lock… MY lock… crafted by the hands of my betrayer!

He has exploited and twisted my treasured designs into mockeries. 

MY guardians, that he continues to weave with willful volatility.

MY sentinels, that he encumbers by his self-indulgent adornments and alterations. 

MY GATES, through which vermin like you ride to our infested home. Vermin, like you… oblivious to her sacrifice, as you all cowered from the radiant corpse that saved you. And now, in the greatest mockery he could devise, he has twice used my own creations to erase me. My heart cannot bear this.

My blood boils anew... And I will no longer be able temper it.

Your final task is rescinded.

You have served me well. You have been my hands where I cannot reach, my feet where I cannot stride. My eyes, where I cannot see. And I have seen enough. Be pleased that I hold loyalty above all else.

When you so choose, the beads of your oath will guide you to my vault. Reach out to the monolith while clutching them. Do not let go. You will find yourself at peace, and more importantly, my servant, in a realm overlooked by the design of my coming reprisal.
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Day 0
Nightmare. I find myself in the middle of a desert - with no other survivors in sight. I scavenged for resources, but soon giant insects began to crawl out of the earth and take aggressive stances. Once they gathered their numbers - and presumably their confidence - they charged me. 

In avoiding their assault, I slipped and fell backwards into a waterfall of mysterious liquid. I tumbled within as it rushed me down, deep into an underground cavern. I crawled out, and thankfully the insects have stopped following me. I may have broken my leg - but thankfully CHIT(?) I have a healing drone to administer aid. It will take a few days to get my strength back. 

Day 1
I am grateful that I repaired this drone before my untimely tumble - I would assuredly be dead without it. My vision is blurry - I fear I have also suffered a CHIT concussion. My leg has begun to feel better. I will have to continue to wait. I grow hungry.

Day 2
My healing drone has stopped giving me aid. It hovers far away now - and moves back as I move forward. I've been feeling nauseous, and have been feeling the urge to CHIT CHIT vomit. I occasionally spit out black liquid - I fear something is gravely wrong.

Day 3
My CHIT CHIT drone has left.  I have CHIT lost my vision. My mouth and eyes fill with foul dark liquid. I am alone.

Day 9
CHIT CHIT CHIT CHIT CHIT CHIT CHIT CHIT CHIT I-I neED CHIT CHIT CHIT chit chit chit CHIT
[Report detected!]

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Day 0

We have landed a few minutes ago and I have no time I must log as quickly as possible I hope the speech-to-text works many died on impact inside hollow cavern chains great chains fire the ground they come from the ground the burning they breathe fire we are hiding beneath the caverns groans they coax metal from the surface with song giant snakes made of fire they collect the security chests the death god we are in hell here chains keeps the ground from splintering they breathe beneath and above and around us punishments it must be forgive me I cannot see too dark deep thunder goodbye

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I have heard the young ones whisper amongst themselves, questioning why we must stay in our glistening towers. Why we must rigorously cleanse our bodies, why we must live rigorous, studious lives.

How uncouth. The younger generation knows not of the plight of Aphelia, before [The Hero] came to save us. They live thanks to him, thanks to our second chance...! They know nothing of strife, nothing of hunger, nothing of the [Tar]. That terrible substance that consumed our way of life, consumed our culture, consumed us down to the marrow.

Perhaps it is best they know nothing of our past, perhaps it is best that they remain clean.

Yes. Perhaps it is best.

...That won't stop me from grumbling at them. Stupid kids.

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There was a sudden flash of white, blue, and green as the pod of time newts, two hundred strong, burst through the walls of the occlusion and into the slipstream.

They relaxed as they re-entered their natural habitat. The currents of the slipstream were strong - but they were much stronger. With magnetic webs, the newts propelled themselves at amazing speeds. They all swam effortlessly and gracefully – all but one.

Fifty meters behind the pod, a lone newt struggled to keep up. With a defective left arm – atrophied and bent - he didn’t have the same capabilities as his brothers and sisters. 

The group ignored his struggles as they continued down the stream. Soon, the pod was completely out of sight – and he was all alone, in the darkness of the slipstream.

Slowly, a smile creeped onto the face of the blind, disfigured newt. Finally. Unbeknownst to his brethren, he knew of a secret place nearby – and he didn’t want them to find out. He dove deep, between two boulders, and into a long, dark tunnel.

He passed through the tunnel and surfaced on the other side. Compared to the roaring of the slipstream, this place was seemingly silent. His smile grew wider.

A tidepool. The tension in the newt’s body began to fade. It’s been a very long day, and he could really use the rest. The tidepool was completely removed from the currents of the slipstream – and from the abuse of his pod. 

He began to float along the surface. The newt has been here hundreds of times before, but each time he fell deeper and deeper in love. His mind drifted to his experiments – it felt like he was near a breakthrough with some of his tinctures. 

With his mind preoccupied, he didn’t notice some changes had taken place since his last visit. He didn’t notice that the water levels were a bit higher – and a bit warmer. He didn’t notice that all the flyfish were gone. He didn’t notice the blue glow.

He didn’t notice the long, pale arms, grasping in the depths below.
I’ve begun to understand our universe. The compounds that drive reality here. I’ve prepared a demonstration - come look, brother!

Now, look here. It’s got presence and weight. Round, with no features. No orientation. It is mass. Almost everything here is mass. Mass is boring, but required.

We can take mass - and shape it to form. Features, angles, and intent. Look at the planarity of the surfaces. This is design. I love design.

Now, a volatile one - a lifeline. Blood. Sharp, yet radiant. Blood is heat. This is my blood, but there is plenty of blood in this universe. 

Now be gentle. Look closely here. Do you see it? Almost invisible, a thin film. Frail. It’s not in this reality, but an adjacent one. I’ve heard you discuss this - something you innately understood. What you describe as soul. Don’t you love soul?

Do you understand? It’s your turn, brother! I’ve simply found the compounds. It is your hands that must craft value from them.
Have you forgotten – that those gates are my design?

You would not know, because you do not look up. You bend knees only for ants and vermin. But I have been working on a grander design. A greater gate – to travel greater seas.

What if I met you, on one of these extinct planets? What if I caused the calamities you strive to avoid? What if I reaped destruction? What would you do then?

I know the planet you trail – of water and dirt. You fear their stability. That they will consume themselves. Maybe I will go there first.
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“Captain’s Log. Date: [REDACTED]. Time: [REDACTED], Galactic Standard.”

“Several shuttles have been dispatched and landed on the planet. We’ve also deployed some drop pods for the less… social, of our crewmembers. And, well...” A chuckle can be heard. “I have considered joining them on the planet, to oversee operations and manage the chain of command.  This has been my first deployment in many years. I’m not going to sit back and rot on the bridge like some old hardware. That said...”

The old man clears his throat, getting back on topic. “The shuttles landed in a mountainous region, along some cliffs. While disembarking and setting up a rallypoint, we came under attack from local fauna, just as reports detailed. The situation quickly escalated, and within the first 24 hours we have sustained major casualties and injuries.”

 “Thankfully the ammunition and armaments I requested were granted by UES, as more of the crew has reported back that all outer life encountered thus far has been hostile. Some of our ground forces have also reported strange and irregular natural phenomenon.”

The old man gazes out of the window of his cabin, the moon shining in the night sky. “What a strange planet. This’ll certainly make a good story.”
A gilded cage – one of luxury and accommodation. The jailer took pity on the prisoner and fashioned an elaborate space for which the it may serve its eternal sentence. The jailer even allowed the prisoner company – smaller constructs, a few rowdy Lemurians. The scraps of creation. 

But a cage of gold - no matter how beautiful - is still a cage.
“Hey, if anyone can- My name is Malik Dhillon. I was aboard the Contact Light when, oh god- The ship crashed, marooning us here. I’ve never seen anything- I’ve never seen anything like this. Monsters, terrifying monsters, coming at us from all sides. We set up a base, to try and gather up numbers... But it didn’t matter. There’s, there’s too many of them! I don’t think we can last. If anyone gets this message, please, send help to these coordinates! They’re uh, they’re embedded in the message’s frequency. They should be... I don’t think we can last much-“

-Signal echoes, UES Contact Light
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DAY 03
I’ve encountered a strange, alien compound. Several platforms, supported by large stone pillars. There are various tiers and “floors” decorated with plants and elaborate sculptures. The masonry of these ruins is incredible. 

Although they appear recently polished... it also seems uninhabited. Lucky me - I was getting tired and needed some rest. I’ll be setting up camp on a nearby cliffside, under the shade of one of the platforms.

DAY 04
I haven’t encountered anything yet, but I have heard strange sounds throughout the night. Animal calls, the low groaning of stone as it stretches, whispers on the wind... that last part might just be my imagination. 

I’ve taken to exploring the compound in my free time, trying to scrounge for resources. There’s an excess of food, plucked from exotic plants that appear to have been grown and cultivated. Yet, again, the compound is empty, apart from me.

DAY 05
I ran out of rations earlier. I’ve started using the planters located around the compound to grow myself some food – strange fruits that taste of... well, I can’t really describe the taste. I’m only just noticing the strange aromatic smell that permeates this compound... Smells sweet, but spicy at the same time.

DAY 07
I discovered some strange artifacts today. Masks! How novel. For some reason… I felt compelled to try a few on. As expected, they don’t fit at all – probably not meant for human use.
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"Um, this is the... log of Private June Marsh. I'm, uh, on a mission apart of the UES Safe Travels on a planet in Uncharted Territories... This is Day 1 of my stay in this... cold, wintery forest. I'm out here on scouting duties. My job is to report any xenobiology activity to the higher ups. But uh, heh, let's hope it doesn't come to that!"

"Um, Day 2 of the log, June's log. It's really cold out here... You'd think the trees would help break the breeze, but it's blowing daggers... Brr. At the very least, I got some warm meals here. Cocoa really hits the spot in a place like this. Bottoms up...!"

"Hi, it's my log - I think staying out here all by myself is doing things to my head. The snow drifts... They can't really be moving? It's just the wind blowing them around. R-Right...? I thought I saw something… s-someone… moving through the trees. Maybe I should report this, j-just in case..."

"Hahh... Hahh... It all happened so fast... lizards, big things of stone, dug their way out of the snow. While I was busy, they rushed me. Knocked me square in the chest with a blast and sent me flying... It's... hard to breathe. And it's cold. So cold."
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[03:04:41] CONTACT LIGHT. DAY 05 OF DETOUR AS REQUESTED THROUGH [REDACTED].
[03:04:59] PLEASE DISREGARD IF ON STANDARD FREQUENCY. VERY LONELY OUT HERE.
[04:01:32] CONTACT LIGHT. MOVING THROUGH UNKNOWN SYSTEM, PLANET IS BEAUTIFUL WITH AURORAS AND STUNNING LANDSCAPE. CHARTING COORDINATES FOR FUTURE VISITS
[04:32:05] CONTACT LIGHT. INCREDIBLE! ECLIPSE OF SYSTEM’S MOON – BEAUTIFUL SIGHT.
[04:36:05] CONTACT LIGHT. BOTH THE ENGINEERS AND THE XENOARCHAEOLOGISTS SEEM HOPEFUL. WE MAY FIND A MATCHING PAIR.
[05:01:23] CONTACT LIGHT SOS
[05:01:42] CONTACT LIGHT SOS
[05:02:23] CONTACT LIGHT SOS
[05:04:24] CONTACT LIGHT SOS. UNKNOWN HOSTILE HAS BOARDED, ATTACKING CREW AND BOARD. REQUESTING ASSISTANCE SOS
[06:02:24] CONTACT LIGHT SOS. I HAVE SEALED OFF THE BRIDGE FOR MY OWN SAFETY. I AM TRANSMITTING IN HOPES OF ASSISTANCE. CONTACT LIGHT SOS
[07:03:12] CONTACT LIGHT SOS. JETTISONING AS MANY ESCAPE PODS AS POSSIBLE. ATTACK DAMAGED CARGO BAYS, CARGO IS SPILLING INTO SPACE. SOS
[08:23:11] CONTACT LIGHT SOS. 43 PERCENT OF ESCAPE PODS LAUNCHED. HE’S KILLING EVERYONE REQUESTING ASSISTANCE SOS SOS
[08:42:11] CONTACT LIGHT SOS. HE’S HEADING TO THE BRIDGE. 56 PERCENT OF ESCAPE PODS LAUNCHED. I FEAR FOR MY SAFETY BUT NOT ALL SURVIVING PASSENGERS HAVE EVACUATED SOS
[08:48:11] CONTACT LIGHT SOS. I CAN HEAR HIM COMING. REQUESTING ASSISTANCE SOS
[08:53:32] CONTACT LIGHT SOS REQUESTING ASSISTANCE SOS
[09:01:00] CONTACT LIGHT SOS
[09:15:59] CONTACT LIGHT SOS

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I’m tired. Haven’t slept in days. My feet are heavy in my boots. I should turn back, but… this place, it’s keeping me awake, if only to pull me further into its serenity. The soft grass, unnatural. The glowing fauna that plays tricks on my eyes. I’ve seen no predators, but what if they’re hiding…. waiting for me to take a rest?

The next plateau will help me find a landmark… no… but the one I can see from here might. These dangerous rock rivers I keep stumbling across, I’d stay away from them if they weren’t so fascinating. How do they even work? How can local gravity be so discrete? Maybe this is all a dream?

A gate! Yes, a stone gate! If I can figure out how to open it maybe I can find a place to finally rest! I'm so tired… no! I’ll sleep when I’m dead. The crowbar might not be enough for these massive doors. Ah, just my luck! 

Wait… what was that noise?
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This is Scouting Mission Delta-Alpha-Bravo, Major |||| Roberts reporting. We have located a suitable spot to set up a temporary power plant for our operations on |||||||||||; an elevated plateau containing multiple natural hotsprings. The elevation provides natural fortifications in case of attacks from ||||||||, and the hotsprings indicate geothermal activity - a perfect place to set up a geothermal power grid. We are currently in a holding position at coordinates |||||, ||||| - awaiting backup and supplies to clean up unfriendlies.

...

Scouting Mission Delta-Alpha-Bravo reporting, our crew is reporting a strange odor - smells like sulfur and eggs. Possible gas leak aboard the ship, will report back once issue is fixed, though take caution when approaching the area. Major Roberts out.

...

Scouting Mission-- ah, screw it. SOS, Reporting SOS, Delta-Alpha-Bravo in need of immediate assistance. The gas leak reported earlier was because of the hotsprings we found - it's not water, it's pure liquid sulfur. It was evaporating and getting into our ship's vents, knocking out most of the crew. Our ship went down, and... I can’t... I can hardly stay conscious myself, but... Requesting SOS, Delta-Alpha-Bravo. Ventilators… needed. Coordinates are... C-Coordinates are...

This review has been flagged security level: Classified
Rings? What for?

A triangle is much more of a beautiful design. Look, and observe: three points, in three dimensions. No redundancies. Perfectly defined. We will use triangles.

Trees? Yes, trees are beautiful. I agree. We will have many trees.
I wake up again.

The simulacrum continues forever.

A million scenarios. A million permutations. It watches - calculating. Recording. Witnessing.

We always die. We have died millions of times. And every time, we are in the simulacrum.

We’ve escaped, once or twice. We defeated it – saw it die. Chased it down, through other worlds. We saw it collapse into a black hole. We got out, back to earth. Found a crashed vessel. It was rough, but we’ve done this scenario a few thousand times.

We spent time together, on Venus. We grew closer. Got married - got old together. We had kids – a boy and a girl. Erik had leukemia. That was hard for us.

Madelyn? She passed in her sleep. I followed on my own accord. I was satisfied.

But then I woke up again. In the simulacrum. It never happened. I was always in the simulacrum. Madelyn was from the simulacrum too. I think it liked that.

Am I still here?
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I am recording this before I forget any details of what I just saw.

We set up Rallypoint Beta on a giant plateau of grass and rocks - we felt that the com-range was greater in a flat and wide area.  The plateau is littered with giant stone rings and arcs - hundreds of feet tall. We investigated them first after landing but we couldn't discern anything of interest.

We were making room for a com-center in our camp, and one of our MUL-T bots were in charge of clearing out some of the bigger boulders. It was easiest to just push them off the edge of the plateau. 

Not a minute later, we heard a deep rumble - and saw something unbelievable. It just... flew. One of the stone rings - a smaller one - began to groan and lift out of the earth, moving with unknown forces. And then it lifted into the air, slowly spinning. It hovered to a height of about 200 feet, and then stopped.

As it spun, something began to form in the center of the ring. Specks of dirt tumbled in the air, until it formed a pebble, then a small rock, then a boulder. An identical boulder to the one we just moved - created out of thin air. Despite being constructed only a moment ago, the boulder was worn and covered in moss and lichen like it has been around for centuries.

Then, the stone fell to the ground with an unceremonious crash - right on top of our coms relay.

Not too long after, the stone ring began to waver. Then, like the invisible strings holding it in place were cut, the ring also fell to the earth.  Crash. 

We stopped moving stuff around after that.

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The cells were for dangerous creatures.

The cells were for rare, powerful relics of exponential strength.

The cells were for ancient automata of war.

The cells were for scientists and inventors and explorers.

The cells were for gods.

The cells were for everything.
I just saw a portal and I just… decided to step through. Why? Because I’m a moron, that’s why.

The fog keeps it stable – the cells and the joints. The cradles. They like the fog. 

I’ve tried choking them – stop the fog- but they last a while. A lot longer than I’d survive in the fog. Couple hours, maybe.

The cradle goo is sustainable – I feed it, and in return it gives me food. Tastes like clam chowder, sorta.

I see things come and go, ferried by giant beasts. When they swim close, I can see inside. I’ve seen creatures and weapons and ships – ferried from the dark end to the light. Seen planets and moons, too. Not sure where they’re taking it all. Swear I saw a CHEF bot once.

Anyways, uh… where do I go from here?
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Yeah, I had to. I had no choice. Marion knew - and she was always so much stronger. So much stronger than all of us.

And it worked, it really did! Marion saved all of us. The dagger - it saved Pugh and Larsen and Dillon. Carney and Stevens.

But Pugh saw - he saw and he didn't understand. How could he? I tried to tell him - I ran over to him. But I couldn't convince him otherwise, and he was so crazy - so crazy! He wouldn't shut up and the golems were coming and the dagger - there was no choice.

Everyone was real somber that night. We lost Hitchcock and Marion and Pugh. Real somber. Later on, Carney found the book from a nearby chest. And it really all made sense - it did! I knew why Marion had that dagger and why I had to be the one to kill her. And Carney? He was too strong. I couldn't risk him not understanding. He wouldn't understand.

But Carney was big. Everyone else would've known. So that night, after I killed him, I went and took his body to the Altar. And I hid the Altar - right at the edge of the cliff, between two clusters of roots, in a cave underneath. And in that cave... I worshipped Her Concepts.

The rest? Well, they were so old and so tired. They were just gifts for N'kuhana. And She loved them. 

Weshan.

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Items

It was a massacre. The orbital probes had incinerated both the battalion and the enemy– as well as the entire plateau. There was no life left to be found - except for one lone soldier.

The soldier trudged through the scorched plains, numbly looking for any survivors.

But he found none.

The soldier tried to find water – he had only just noticed how thirsty he was, and how much his head hurt. How much his heart hurt.

But he found none.

The soldier tried to remember, why he was out on this terrible mission, and why he had to say goodbye to so many.

But he found none.

The soldier tried to find anything – anything that could justify why he was alive. Some semblance of meaning – or hope.

And he found one.

A small leaf, peeking out from a pile of ash. He gently plucked the clover out of the ground – somehow, it survived hours of orbital bombardments. 

With clover in hand, the soldier began the long trek to report back to his superiors. Was this divine intervention? Was there some meaning – some reason as to why both him and this little clover survived? 

Or were they just lucky?
Order: Artifact E-8EE572
Tracking Number: 490******
Estimated Delivery: 08/10/2056
Shipping Method: Priority
Shipping Address: Titan Museum of History and Culture, Titan

Sorry about the delay, we've had a flood of orders come in from this site. But it was exactly where you said we should look - there was a sealed off room where you marked the excavation diagram. I finished translating the engraving too, so consider that a bonus for the time we took to get to it:

"I am the will to survive made manifest. To those who never lose hope, to they who try in the face of impossible odds, I offer not 
protection, but the means to bring one's unconquerable spirit forth as the defender of their mortal lives."

It’s so lightweight, we figure it must've been entirely decorative. That seems to line up with the text. In any case, I hope it makes a good exhibit! I'm a big fan of the museum, so it wouldn't hurt to give me a partner's discount next time I visit, right?
Order: "Alien Head"
Tracking Number: 76******
Estimated Delivery: 07/13/2056
Shipping Method:  High Priority/Biological
Shipping Address: Solomon, ???, Backwaters, Mars
Shipping Details:

Important sign from the spirits. Passed down for many generations. Must be used for high noon ritual to ward off sickness and fatigue. Must be kept cool or will rot. Helps energize the kinfolk and can be used for extra human strength and agility. Important.
"How do they know who their leader is? Is it instinct? Or is there something about me?"

"I can't believe you're having me cover for you, Ashley. You know the rules. The last time someone brought something 'friendly' to the camp it did NOT end well. Rich cried for days."

"But if we figure out how to communicate we can use it to our benefit! Besides, the guy is pretty helpful around here. He can lift heavy boxes and reach high places."

"I think we should just put that thing back where you found it. Who knows if it will attract more?"

"This is for science...! And besides, maybe it can teach us something about this environment. He's a native here."

"Yeah, cool, native, okay, I'm out."
Order: Armor-Piercing Rounds, 50mm
Tracking Number: 15***********
Estimated Delivery: 3/07/2056
Shipping Method:  Standard
Shipping Address: Fort Margaret, Jonesworth System
Shipping Details: 

Alright, just to clarify, these rounds aren’t faulty. Heck, I’d say they’re better than the standard, but... that’s kind of the problem. I don’t know if it was a new shipment of materials, or a problem with the assembly line, but these rounds are supposed to pierce armor. Not pierce through the armor, five feet of reinforced concrete, a few warehouses, and an armored truck. 

Could you guys look into this so we don’t like, violate any Geneva Conventions or anything?
The key is incredibly simple. A stone crescent, with little discernable detail to the naked eye. But if one looks closer, with a sight beyond sight, they may notice the patterns inscribed on the key’s being. The patterns tell many things:

The key’s function: to unlock a lost trove of abandoned treasure.

The key’s creators: two brothers, one composed of ambition and the other compassion.

The key’s hopes: infused into the key, deep within its core, is a memory of better times, and the hope that one day, perhaps things could be better again.

The key’s reality: the bitter realization that such a reality exists only in the past.
Fixing a spare bayonet onto his shotgun, he glanced at the horizon. The thundering of footsteps big and small was growing louder and louder – they were nearly upon him. He went over his kit one last time.

Five bayonets. Twenty three packs of incendiary explosives. Fifteen magazines of armor-piercing ammunition. Thirty three sticky bombs. Four tear-gas grenades, and so on.

And his favorite – two shoulder-mounted missile launchers, loaded with six AtG Viper Missiles. Heat seeking, detonation power of 15 pounds of TNT per missile. Light-weight, and the best part – automatic firing mechanism. He initially favored a more analog approach to his weapons, but the thing had grown on him.

Turning to face the oncoming mob, he loaded his shotgun. The adrenaline started pumping.

“Bring it on.”
Order: Ammo Magazine, Standard Ammunition (45mm Rounds)
Tracking Number: 05***********
Estimated Delivery: 10/05/2056
Shipping Method:  Priority
Shipping Address: Cargo Bay 10-C, Terminal 504-B, UES Port Trailing Comet
Shipping Details: 
- Billed to: Captain [REDACTED]
- Note from Sender:  You going on a hunting trip or something? I’ve never seen anyone order this much ammo before.
Order: Bandolier
Tracking Number: 112*****
Estimated Delivery: 04/19/2056
Shipping Method: Standard
Shipping Address: 3950 Sunsell Ln, Tri-City, Earth
Shipping Details:

Thank you for your participation in the auction! We’ve included a short history on the item, as well as documents to verify its authenticity.

This is the famous bandolier worn by B. Grundy himself. He and his pals used to raise terror all over the map of the new territories. Their favorite activity was to tie up people they didn’t like and drag them behind their horses – Grundy clearly had a sweet spot for the old days.

The sling carries an impressive assortment of ammunition - Grundy himself carried many different guns. It was rumored that they held out for 3 whole days and nights before their weapons ran dry.
The master of this world is a benevolent protector. Our savior. Despite the natures of its various inhabitants, he has made a peaceful place here. 

Peace comes at a cost, of course. Some things are strictly forbidden. Above all, there is one item that cannot be tolerated – to possess it is to surely perish: a strange, heavy, and deeply entrancing set of beads that seem to speak with whoever holds them. 

To discover them among one’s community is to create a dark, rippling panic. It is not long after they are found that Providence, the mighty protector, appears in a thunderous instant to pursue their owner and solemnly take a life he swore to defend.

It is no physical property of the beads themselves which provoke such a drastic response - but instead, what they represent. They are a symbol, and to carry them is a dark promise to undo the world – to cast to oblivion all people who find their final place here, all in exchange for a doomed return to ruinous way. The elusive, sinister intelligence with whom these beads represent a pact seems known only to the bearer - and to Providence himself.

One thing, however, is known to anyone who has borne witness to these beads: a cruel, cackling laughter that erupts as blood and coins of favor are spilled, abruptly silenced as the beads are destroyed. Where they come from isn’t known, but should you encounter these beads you must leave them far, far behind. 

Never look back.
Return: Gorton Men's Rain Jacket (Medium, Yellow)
Tracking Number: 73***********
Estimated Delivery: 03/04/2053
Shipping Method:  Standard
Shipping Address: 545 Matthaios Blvd., Gloucester, Earth
Reason For Return: 

The jacket itself is fine, but for some reason, a bunch of the students here got super weird about me wearing it. They keep telling me to take it off because this other guy, Ben, wears a yellow jacket. I guess it's kinda his thing or something.

Refund:
Replace:  X

Additional Notes:

Please send a replacement that's blue.
"Luck? Who needs luck, in a place like this.

To survive here, you'd need more than just luck. You need intuition. Instinct. The right tools. Power.

I know you're scared. And I am too. But if there's anything this hell hole has taught me...

We make our own luck."

- Signal Echoes, UES Contact Light
Order: Antique Pauldron
Tracking Number: 58***********
Estimated Delivery: 04/05/2056
Shipping Method:  Priority
Shipping Address: Jungle VII, Museum of 2019, Earth
Shipping Details: 

Another antique for the collection. This bad boy was found on the battlefield where much of the War was fought. The excavation site was littered with bones, all surrounding the remains of one rebel soldier, who was carrying this artifact. According to hearsay and rumors, rebel soldiers wearing pauldrons much like this one would enter trances on the battlefield. Time would slow down, and all they could see was the enemy.

Of course, it’s just speculation, but… There were a lot of bodies surrounding this thing’s old owner. Be careful, OK?
Order: Assorted Saturnian Bison Steak, 10lbs
Tracking Number: 31***********
Estimated Delivery: 11/02/2056
Shipping Method:  Standard
Shipping Address: Sloppy Joe’s Deli and Catering, Manhattan, New York
Shipping Details: 

FOR: JOSEPH ******
CC#: **** **** * ***
ACCT#: 102215
Quality Saturnian Bison Meat [10lbs]
Treated with special antibiotics to ensure exceptional growth, shelf life, and texture.
The one planet they couldn't take.

They had everything locked away in their cells.

Beasts, artifacts of power, gods, memories.

And yet, no matter how many agents they sent, none returned victorious... if they returned at all.

The lucky ones who did survive fled, nervously whispering of a crystalline blade stained with chaos.
Order:  Biopsy Samples of Cairne Jefferson
Tracking Number: 051*****
Estimated Delivery: 11/11/2056
Shipping Method: High Priority/Biological
Shipping Address: Saura Cosmo, Beacon Post, ???
Shipping Details:

Contained in this shipment should be a variety of biopsy samples from our late Mr. Jefferson. As you know, he was an extraordinary man in almost any manner. He was athletic, brilliant, kind, funny, and an all-around great human specimen. 

He donated his body to science, and as we began the operation we found a most terrifying discovery.

A quick visual examination of the subject’s brain shows a very… particular oddity. It seems to be housing a variety of… glowing brain “stalks”, similar to tubeworms. Trying to biopsy the stalks is impossible - they seem to disintegrate into dust the moment we remove it from the brain. We cannot explain this oddity at all. As such, we have included the entire brain in this shipment.

Please let us know if you find any explanation.
“Lasers have their speed. Swords have their edge. Gases have their reach. 

But let me tell you... Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is as timeless as gunpowder. Just a pinch - jammed into a tight enough socket - and KABOOM! You got yourself not just a powerful weapon, but something that’ll leave a lasting sense of fear in your enemies. I mean, nobody wants to be blown up, right?”

- Autobiography of Jans Czar, Modern King of Weaponry
A wretched carnival.

They were doomed for good reason. Dunepeople of Aphelia: lost, in fanatic worship of parasitic influences. Lemurians: destined to a dead planet, picked clean. Chitin beasts. Automations of death. Why do you bring them home? They were not meant to survive. 

I have watched you for ages, from my dead rock - and every century, you disgust me with vanity. You invite vermin into your home. Wretches. Rats. Monsters. Creatures without restraint. Each and every one, planet killers. And yet, you entertain them as guests. Like children, requiring saving and protection.

She should have died for me. Her gift was wasted on you.

And when will we open discussion - dear brother - of all your thin lies? Why do you forbid your guests to leave? To pilot? Why do you fashion great walls and gates? Why do you weave constructs of destruction, if your role is protection? They are entries in your collection. You slaver. Gatekeeper. Hoarder.

Your death is fated. When you die - and you WILL die - I will be ready. I have been patient for millennia. That planet... is mine.
"Hey, happy anniversary!

You really thought I forgot?

Ah, I thought I was the dumb one in our relationship. C'mon T, of course not! Well, I wasn't going to let a little alien death planet ruin our night. Right? Shh, just watch. Just watch. It's okay. Just watch. You'll love it - you really will. Then we can go home.

You can keep your eyes closed. Just listen. Ah - here it comes! In five... four... three... two... ONE...!"
//--AUTO-TRANSCRIPTION FROM UES [Redacted] --//

“You have a problem.”

“What? How? These are good for me, they…”

“Yeah, they help promote cell repair, carbon neutral, blah blah blah… I’ve heard that spiel a thousand times already. Whether they’re good for you or not, you can’t just have a diet consisting only of them. It’s basic dietary science!”

“So what?”

“So what? Eating only mushrooms isn’t healthy, just like eating only meat or vegetables isn’t healthy!”

“Oh, so you’re attacking vegetarians, now?”

“Wh- No! I just mean--”

“Well, when you’re a bit more tolerant of my lifestyle, I’d be glad to continue this conversation with you. Until then, I’d suggest you open your heart and appetite to a more… fungal… palette.”
“One of the most crucial things to remember about having an animal companion is that your relationship is built on trust. Though humans are perceptive, we tend to be blinded by what we see – and we ignore the dangers that lurk beyond our vision. Animals, and other xenobiology, can sense things we can’t. 

So always remember: if your companion warns you of danger in the dark, you had better well listen.”

- Caring for your Pets, Volume III
The smell of sulfur fills the air.

"Oh god, they're so close. They have Hitchcock. Oh god."

"Grab the - the dagger. From my backpack. Quick."

"I-I don't... I got it. What the hell? This isn't gonna work, Marion. What the hell am I supposed to do with this against those...? They blew him into pieces - oh god."

"You have to... you have to kill me - ah! Kill me. Kill me with it."

"What? What the hell?"

"Yeah - it's the only way. Please."

"What are you saying? Stop!"

"It's a magic dagger. It'll save us. She will save us. But you have to kill me with it."

"Please don't... please don't make me. Oh god."

"Y-you have to. I've seen how this works. It's the only way - they're coming so close. You have to use it on me. Kill me."

"I'm so sorry Marion. I'm so so sorry. I don't think-"

"Do it. Do it now. DO IT NOW! DO IT NOW! DO IT-"
Lab Dissection Analysis File

Subject: Charged Perforator
Technician: Dema "Dembones" Brown
Table Spec: GEC-4
Notes:

> Using GEC-4 due to electricity above safe levels.
> Removing charged enamel and placing aside for substance analysis. It’s solid, yet swimming.
> Upon structural investigation, found cavities and internal batteries
> Reduce lab electricity by 10 kilowatts
> Electron generating veins present - charge is being supplied to the tooth?
> Removed my lab coat, very staticky
> Electron generation is still occurring in the severed object
> Put some more ice in my drink WOW it's electric
> Timestamping for dance break
Order: Chronobauble
Tracking Number: 99******
Estimated Delivery: 03/03/2066
Shipping Method: Priority
Shipping Address: 9042 Pvt. Drive, Yustik Plaza, Mercury
Shipping Details:

Weren't you just a kid? Summer break feels like it was just so recent - but it's been 10 years, hasn't it? Life moves faster and faster as you get older - less moments to remember, to cement you in time. I don't even remember being 25. How did I forget an entire year?

Anyways - I found this in a trinket shop on Mercury. A chronobauble - the seller said something about special relativity, real heavy distortions or something - I didn't really get it. It's supposed to slow down time around it. Right.

Anyways, I'm shipping this to myself - to arrive in 10 years. A gift, from me to me. A reminder to make memories, to slow down a bit. 10 years will pass so quick - try to remember them! You've got to put effort in life!
========================================
====   MyBabel Machine Translator   ====
====     [Version 12.45.1.009 ]   ======
========================================
Training… <100000000 cycles>
Training… <253421 cycles>
Complete!
Display result? Y/N
Y
========================================

The body is received and placed in a special containment unit. Proper care must be taken to ensure most efficient growth conditions.

The seeds are planted in the body.

One day passes.

Flesh softens and stretches. Youth returns to the face. Bones harden.

Another day passes.

Dead skin falls away from the body, and muscles gain strength. Hair resumes its original luster.

Another day passes.

The flowers have fully bloomed and the body is as good as new.

No signs of life, but not necessary.
//--AUTO-TRANSCRIPTION FROM CARGO BAY 5 OF UES [Redacted] --//

“Hey, toss me a crowbar?”

Jesse walked over to the toolbox and rummaged around. Plucking a crowbar from the container, she went over to James.

“Thanks,” he grunted, attempting to pry the chest open. Jesse sat herself on the table next to James, idly watching him work. “I swear, this had to be the one chest that CAN’T be paid open... Crash must have... broken the circuitry inside.” James mumbled to himself.

“Yeah.” Jesse looked around, her eyes falling on a palette of chests that had been recovered from the recent expeditions. Sighing, she hopped to her feet. “I’m heading to the mess hall. Want anything?” 

“Yeah, how about a better crowbar? This thing is only a second edition.” James stretched, tossing the crowbar over his shoulder. Patting the still unopened chest, he chuckled. “It’s good, but to be honest… it’s getting a little old.”

Jesse laughed.
Order: “Death Mark”
Tracking Number: 66******
Estimated Delivery: 02\22\2056\
Shipping Method:  High Priority
Shipping Address: 421 Lane, Lab [72], Mars
Shipping Details:

Everyone said that I was crazy to search for lost artifacts on Mars. Idiots. There hasn’t been any proof of a previous civilization - but I’ve always trusted my gut. This skull proves that I’m right - that something did exist here before.

That smug professor at the university... always disparaging my research. I loved seeing the look on his face as I shook his hand. Idiot. Karma must have been working overtime - I heard he fell ill shortly after. I suppose my success was just too much for him.

...In fact, everyone I’ve shown seems to not be returning my calls. Are they avoiding me? Are they scared this news would shake up their academic communities? Too proud to admit I’m right?

I’ll find someone who will give me the recognition I deserve. I’ve worked too hard and done too much. If I don’t keep going, I think I might just die.
"Excellent!  How did you find it?"

"We took down one of those floating fortune tellers--"

"Xi Construct."

"Sure.  Anyway, we took it down and recovered the sample."

"May I see it?"

"This is it."

"This?  What happened?  I thought you said it was glowing."

"That's right.  It was.  Before I scrapped it."

"...You ...what?"

"I scrapped it."

"You were finally able to recover a sample from the Xi Construct, and you scrapped it?  Do you realize monumental importance of the samples we've been gathering?"

"I realize the monumental danger.  I've read the lab files.  Daimera's crippled in one hand.  Veirs was THIS close to electrocuting herself.  After Fitz nearly KILLED his ENTIRE team for a VASE, you think I'm going to haul a mysterious glowing orb back here?  HELL.  NO."

"...Well, what's done is done.  I guess I'll analyze what's left.  Anything else?"

"Yeah, I was thinking we could call it a 'Defense Nucleus'."

"..."

"In the file."

"No."
“Captain, look out!” 

A voice cried from the old man’s periphery. But he knew he was in no danger – with a chirp, his companion microbots activated and fired, disintegrating the fireball. Just as it did every time. 

Quickly spinning on his heel, the old man fired his shotgun, decapitating the Lemurian with a swift and pronounced BOOM.

“I’d worry more about your own safety than mine, private.”
Excerpt from the folk tale “Hymn of Aphocles”:

“...The statue had been carved to the artist’s creative vision. Beautiful and powerful, its mighty marble visage shone as radiantly as the moon. However, the common folk did not share the artist’s vision. Declaring the statue imperfect, a single laborer took up his gouge and defiled the work, shaping it to his own selfish ideas of beauty.

Admiring his own work, the laborer confidently claimed that he had increased the beauty of the art tenfold. However, the artist did not hear these words. The artist felt only rage, rage at the laborer who had defiled his masterpiece, and rage at the common folk who lauded the laborer as a hero.

And just as the laborer did not recognize the beauty of the untouched statue, so too did the laborer fail to recognize the shards of marble constricting around his leg.”
The wind blows over the plains. Two soldiers trudge along on their routine patrol, filling their boredom with casual conversation. "Hm. Hey, Shelly, have I ever showed you my new Patex?" Quinton mused. Shelly shot him a quizzical look. "Tell me you didn't bring a $75,000 watch with you on a dangerous expedition into unknown territories..."

Whirling around to face his partner, Quinton gave a hearty laugh. "Why, yes I did!" Rolling up his sleeve, a glint of gold revealed his collector's watch. The metal surface gleamed proudly, reflecting a ray of sunlight into the eyes of a hidden Lemurian. "What's the point of going through trials and tribulations in the middle of nowhere if I can't STYLE all over my fellow soldiers!?" Quinton laughed, pounding his fist to his chest. "I'm going to rub it in your face SO HARD when that thing inevitably breaks," Shelly chuckled. Quinton scoffed. "Oh, please. We've been along this route countless times, and nothing's happened. We're lucky to be stationed on a quiet sector of this hellhole, and I doubt our luck will run out any time soon."

As if on cue, the aggrivated Lemurian, annoyed by the glare, leapt from the bushes and shot a fireball. "Woah!" Shelly shouted, raising her gun and killing the beast. "Hah... So much about a quiet, sector, huh?" Shelly turned to her partner, who was doubled over on the ground. Shelly's face blanched.

"Oh no... Were you hit? We need to get you to a medic, fast...!"

"No." Quinton's voice was small and full of grief. "I'm perfectly fine, but..." Quinton looked up, revealing his gleaming Patex, having taken the fireball dead-on, had been reduced to a mangled mess of twisted metal and smoking polish. "L-Look what that BEAST did to my precious watch!"

For a moment, all was quiet on the plains. Then, the silence was yet again broken by Shelly's laughter and Quinton's desperate pleading.
Hey Dio,

Wow, you have gotten older since the last time I wrote! How old are you now – 10? And so much grumpier, too. I’ve never seen a cat so grumpy. What do you have to be grumpy about?

Despite the fact that you are the pickiest eater I know – and love to meow all throughout the night, every night – it still makes me happy to hear you bounding down the stairs every time I come home. I like when I wake up and I see you sleeping across from me. I like when you sit at the dining table, like you’re going to eat with us too. I like how you hit the power button every time you walk across my laptop. I like how shamelessly needy you are.

Please live a long life – I’m needy too, and I’d like that a lot.

Love,
Duncan

PS would it kill you to purr for mama every now and then?
...I know you can hear me.

I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, at first. Perhaps there was a flaw in my design.

Perhaps it was one of your games. I was even willing to forgive you.

But no, I see the truth now. You trapped me on this forsaken rock. And for what? 

Is this all for your little pets? The creatures you love so much?

Or, can I even call it love, when you would stab your only brother in the back? How could you do this to me?

I, the only one who looked out for you after her death.

I, the one who showed you how to create?

I, who HELPED to CREATE the very power you use to invite VERMIN and PESTS to our home?

I, YOUR ONLY BROTHER?

HOW COULD YOU LOVE THOSE IMPERFECT, FLAWED VERMIN BUT NOT ME? AFTER ALL I'VE DONE FOR YOU? HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?

...Say something.
13006; PROBE CORE INSTANCE REQUEST RECOGNIZED
13006; PROBE CORE INSTANCE OVERVIEW FOR STORED MODELS:
;SER ID> 04534098130
;INST> MINING PROBE INSTANCES
;HIGHLIGHTS
> THIS ONE IS VERY DEAD AND YELLOW
> THIS ONE IS VERY BOLD AND GREEN AND LONELY
> THIS ONE IS VERY DEAD AND YELLOW
> THIS ONE IS VERY DEAD AND YELLOW
> THIS ONE IS VERY DEAD AND YELLOW
> THIS ONE IS VERY DEAD AND YELLOW
> THIS ONE IS VERY DEAD AND YELLOW
> THIS ONE IS VERY COLD AND RED AND LONELY

13010; DOCKING CORES
13011; DEPLOYED
//--AUTO-TRANSCRIPTION FROM UES [Redacted] --//

"I have this key. I found it one day when I was taking a walk along the beach... It was washed up on the shore, all covered in crust and sand. I dunno why, but I took it with me... I figured it would be neat to try and figure out what this key went to. It'd be like a treasure hunt, y'know? Thing is, no matter who I went to, I never found anything. Any lock that seemed to match, the key wouldn't go in all the way. I was starting to get frustrated. I... I'm not too religious, but for some reason, I felt it was my destiny to use this old, beat-up key and find its match. M-Maybe it would change my life. I dunno. And, when I heard about this mission, for some reason, my heart began to race. I've heard all about the Contact Light's disappearance, everyone has. But... I don't know why, but I felt, in my heart of hearts... Whatever this key went to was where the Contact Light was. And it was my destiny to come along."
Order: NR-G Sports Soda (400)
Tracking Number: 49******
Estimated Delivery: 03/12/2056
Shipping Method:  Standard
Shipping Address: Venetian Health & Public Services, Ridgelake, Venus
Shipping Details:

Yeah, so, uh this is the um, the energy drink that people were mixing during that disaster in Majora Minora a few weeks ago. 

A quick toxicology test on some of the victims has come back positive for um... all kinds of stuff, really. Methadone, phencyclidine, tetrahydrocannabinol, a variety of opiates, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, amphetamines... the list just goes on and on and on.

Radical Drinks is insisting that NONE of those were from their energy drink - which I find pretty uh, unlikely. Maybe they REALLY know how to party in Violet Heights, huh?
“…and her heart, too wicked and full of hate, was left where she once stood – at the site of her betrayal.”

-The Evisceration of Kur-skan the Heretic, VI
A eulogy for the victors of spiritual warfare:
This is a message from me to you.

Though in life you will stumble, stammer and fall - though you will lose your loved ones and shed more tears than your eyes can muster - in time you can find peace on the planets you call home. A small creature waiting quietly for you, a smiling face from another stream, the silence as you breathe in the scent of a new season.
Let your heart remind you why you are here; let it tell you something new and something old. A mind remembers, but a heart knows.
I love me so that I can love you too -  I've wanted to disappear before, but I've always wanted to return to see you. The grass and the leaves, the warmth of the sun and the insects at night. 

I promised myself, and I promise you: 

A victory is the reward of cumulative loss, ever present as a light at the end of the tunnel. Even in death, there is the lingering promise of new life - forever doomed to repeat the cycle.

It's getting dark. If you get lost it's alright, for now. I hope you enjoy the shooting stars. Rest in peace.
Order: Condensed Matter Crystal [50kg, 10cm by 10cm by 10cm]
Tracking Number: 12***********
Estimated Delivery: 05/23/2056
Shipping Method:  Standard
Shipping Address: Geofferson Principality, Highward, Titan
Shipping Details: 

Hope they don’t up the price for this thing. I haven’t had troubles with UES before, but I’ve never had to ship a crystal this far before. Let me know if the package is marked as “heavy” when you get it.
Gravity concentrating... falling inward, condensing, hardening.

A singularity shrinks to the point your mind inverts, reversing reality. Now return. 

Don’t the matters of the physical world seem trivial now? Your tasks in this realm are simple and hastened, all in an attempt to get reversed. How many times can you make this trip before you are claimed by its process? 

Do not let it take you. Take it instead. Here.
“Sven Volz discovered the specimen that holds the record of Galaxy’s Largest Snowflake: a whopping 0.5 meters in diameter, with an average temperature of -52 degrees. However – much to the despair of novelty snowflake enthusiasts everywhere – this gargantuan snowflake was lost in transit aboard the UES Contact Light, which disappeared in uncharted territory. One can only hope that it is preserved and frosty as ever, where ever it may be.”
- Academy Galactic Records 2056
"As humanity began to venture out into the depths of space, high-energy but low-volume fuel sources became critical for interplanetary travel. Stability came later."
-Brief History of Interplanetary Advances, Vol.2
Audio transcription complete from signal echoes. Assigning generic tokens.

[Fire crackling]

MAN 1: D-do you think they're gonna come for us?

MAN 2: They'll try. It's going to be a very long while.

MAN 1: What? Why?

MAN 2: A long while. Even if they know where to look we'd be months out from the nearest port. And that's if they even have any ships as fast as ours – FTL ships are very rare nowadays.

MAN 1: Months...?! And what do you mean if they know where? What about the other ships on our shipping routes?

MAN 2: We weren't on the route.

[Fire pops]

MAN 1: What?!

MAN 2: We should've been halfway to Procyon by the time we crashed... but we weren’t. The ship never announced it was slowing down either, so that’ll make triangulating our positions even harder.

MAN 1: I-I don't get it. Who would take a UES train off course? That's completely insane!

MAN 2: I don’t know – only the Captain does. There’s no reason to slow down in this star system - there's not even supposed to be a habitable planet out here.

[Sizzling]

MAN 2: This looks cooked to me. Can't vouch for how it'll taste - but we have to eat.

MAN 1: I... I can't even think right now. I’m not hungry.

MAN 2: Eat. We've got a lot of traveling to do tomorrow and we'll need to keep our strength.

MAN 1: Sure. Okay. Okay. Um… do you think it's poisonous?

MAN 2: Eat.

End of requested transcript. 
Lab Dissection Analysis File

Subject: Genesis Loop
Technician: Eleanor Veirs
Table Spec: Dissection 5B4 with Ele-Maintenance Kit
Notes: 

> Genesis Loop is highly conductive organ, contains conductive filaments stretching from one end to the other
> Both sides of loop have organelles at end; one has positive charge, one has negative charge
> Sticking ends of loop together generates voltage
> Connected loop and fed organ 50 volts
> Hair stood up on end, touching loop resulting in numbness in fingers
> Upping voltage to 100 volts
> Shooting arcs from organ, loop shudders and glows bright, dissonant humming is heard
> Upping voltage to 200 volts
> Bright flash, a loud crack as loop releases a blast that knocks me back
> Lights go out
> Dissection Table hardware damaged by voltage
> I hope I don’t get in trouble for this
Fossils. Remnants. How cruel. 

This moon once housed life. Life that you may have held dear, had the timing been right. But our timing was wrong. We were born much too late.

Now, it is just calcium to me – and irrelevant to you. Isn’t that right?
Order: “Ghor’s Tome”
Tracking Number: 19******
Estimated Delivery: 07/07/2056
Shipping Method: Priority
Shipping Address: 99th Floor, Crumbling Tower, Venus
Shipping Details:

Ancient secrets... transmutation... homunculi... alchemy. Nothing more than nonsense - pursuits of rightly intentioned but grossly misled minds. Or so I thought. This item's... unexpected physical properties are reason enough to stay my immediate dismissal.

Strange fortune led this book to me, and stranger knowledge still fills the pages. Chilling, even. It concludes, in chapter eight, that even iron can become gold - but only through a ritual of intense bloodletting, a thought disturbing enough without considering the bountiful riches that accompanied the estate.

The takeaway, above all else, seems to be that you cannot get something from nothing; even the very paper of the tome turned to ash as I tried to make photocopies. Whatever was on the first two pages is lost forever. I need transcriptions of the rest by hand, and I know you take pride in your precision. 

And more importantly, Kosta, I trust you. Don't do anything that would draw attention to yourself. I will try to find the other volumes. This is knowledge too dangerous to lose.
"Denizens of lower-gravity planets like Mercury historically have had trouble adjusting to life on other planets. Mercurians, with their lower bone density (left) would typically shatter their femur within a week on heavier planets. Members of asteroid-rigged flotillas and colony ships have similar issues when arriving home from space.

The invention of Kinetic Dispersion Rings (above) help alleviate the stress of heavier-than-normal gravity by converting kinetic energy into heat, sound, and light. Settlers from Mercury could finally leave their home planet in safety."

-Mercurian History Museum
Brother, what is this...? Why is it misshapen and weak? Was there an error in my design?

Guardian. Come to me. Allow me to see your construction.

...

So I see.

These are not the correct ratios.

This is no minor error, Brother. You have purposefully deviated from the design. For what purpose have you done this? You cannot weave a construct from such an abundance of soul. You know it is too unstable - that it is too unpredictable and too frail. I have told you this, and yet you have wasted the materials I have gathered - and exhausted your own strength to fabricate this miscreation.

To what benefit?

At its best, it can be no more than an inferior servant; it is deficient in the compounds that were to give it fortitude and strength. At its worst, it will betray us.

You have created the first being of this world which threatens us. We cannot keep it here. Attempting to destroy it will risk its retaliation... I will prepare one of the vaults for it to be sealed away, while it is still young and naive.

What a foolish mistake you have made, brother.

I expect you to return the design to me. I cannot allow you to build another construct with so much power - and with such little control. I will build the rest of our guardians; by my hand, they will be weak, but at least they will be loyal.

Go home. I will deal with this creature. We can discuss a better project for you when I return.
//--AUTO-TRANSCRIPTION FROM RALLYPOINT DELTA --//

“Sir, the ghosts are back.”

The man sighed. After a routine expedition, one of the crew members – a simple soldier - had recovered an artifact thought to have been aboard the Contact Light – a simple mask, adorned with a painfully happy grin. 

“I’ll take care of it.” The man trudged down the hall towards the barracks. The Lemurians he had killed earlier that day walked down the hall by him, barely earning a second glance from the man. This had become so commonplace that most of the crew members in this block had grown accustomed to having a ghostly room-mate.

But enough was enough. Stepping through the ghost of an Imp, the man slammed the door open. The lights were off, and in the corner sat the soldier.

“Alright, we’ve had enough fun playing with the dead. Fork it over.”

No response. The man grunted and hoisted the soldier to his feet, giving him a few rough shakes. “Hey, can you hear me!? I said hand over the mask! I’m tired of waking up next to Beetles, so give it a rest already--”

The soldier’s limp body moved. Slowly, the soldier raised his finger – pointing directly at the man.

“What are you...?” With a sense of dread, the man turned and saw the Lemurians he had killed earlier step into the room. Their mouths began to glow with an otherworldly glow.

The man cursed under his breath as he loaded his shotgun. “This planet, I tell you...”
Order: Specimen XAS4-49
Tracking Number: 342******
Estimated Delivery: 12/29/2056
Shipping Method:  Priority
Shipping Address: Geshka Tower, 33 Floor, Mars
Shipping Details:

Our 'hard light' research has become even more refined since our last correspondence. 

The initial purpose of the afterburner was to function as a primary heatsink for our bigger HL implementations - like our bridges and barriers. However, if attached to a rapidly degrading source, like those we typically dispose, we get a wonderful emission rate of semi-tachyonic particles. In other words... extremely high capacity fueling.

It should be obvious by its design, but to reiterate: stay away from the HL exhaust end when active. The emission method is violent by design, and so should be mounted to static, STABLE sources only.
“I’m not going nowhere. What I do is important, and no plague is going to stop me from getting that done. City folk are all up in a tizzy over this and that, scared that ya’ll will pass without doing some crazy goals you set for yourself. 

But me, I’m not afraid of death. Suffering is just another part of life, and like labor, I can do it myself. To death, I say: I don’t need your damn help.”

- Unnamed Farmer, Tragedy of Mercury: A History
“…her arms were warped into terrible blades, so she may no longer find joy in study or tooling…”

-The Evisceration of Kur-skan the Heretic, IV
“...Europan laws have cracked down heavily on poaching, with the intent to help the reemergence of the hopoo. Since then, the Greebokks Foundation has helped support hopoo conservation groups, substantially growing their population beyond the initial three that were recorded in recent years.”

- Europan Wildlife Guide
Order: Harpoon
Tracking Number: 01******
Estimated Delivery: 07/21/2058
Shipping Method: Priority
Shipping Address: Saint Mary's Port, Keelhaul Key
Shipping Details:
They say that you can spear two catches with one throw of this ol' lassie. And hey, if you can't, if you're fast enough, nobody will be able to tell the difference! Wahahaha!
Order: 128 oz. Gas Tank
Tracking Number: 33******
Estimated Delivery: 05/8/2058
Shipping Method: Priority
Shipping Address: Death Valley, Earth
Shipping Details: Contains a cocktail of the galaxy's most flammable substances. Y'know, methane, ethylene, butane... A single spark would be more than enough to set this baby off!

Er, hold that thought. It spontaneously combusted while I was writing this. I'll get you a new one in case it burns during transit, this happens a lot!
Order: Infusion
Tracking Number: 768******
Estimated Delivery: 02/8/2056
Shipping Method: Priority/Biological
Shipping Address: Rage Valley, Fleet Hanger, Mars

Contains samples from bears, leeches, tigers, elephants, elephant sharks, sharks, bull sharks, ants, and anteaters. Simply hook up to a dialysis machine along with the necessary equipment and swap out your blood for genetically superior ones! 

You can add whatever blood sample you want, as far as I know. Just make sure you take the pills that allow the body to accept the new blood, or your body will reject the cross-species infusion. Remember that sampling from other animals is a great basis for experimentation!
Order: "Interstellar Plant Seed"
Tracking Number: 44******
Estimated Delivery: 08/27/2056
Shipping Method:  Standard/Biological
Shipping Address: Giardina Dealership, Naples, Earth
Shipping Details:

Hello - yes, I’d like one of those space plant seeds for the office. I think it would look so nice in here; it'd really brighten up the room, and it could really use it. Al at the Denver branch says he got one, and it's really made a difference. His sales are OFF the charts, and he's contributing all his success to this magic plant!

I've also heard that it sorta gives off a glow that has medical benefits. That would be great for the pain I've been having in my ankle after that run. Might even help the attitude of some of my customers.
Oh, that is… strange. That is unlike the other pearls.

Do not be mistaken – his influence is still dark. Despite how beautiful your pearl is… it is not from a place of kindness. It cannot be.
“While officially licensed materials are always recommended, hobbyists are known to take matters into their own hands when in a pinch. Don’t have any materials up to par? Make your own! Recycling old parts can be a fun way to create materials for your projects.”

- The Ultimate Hobby Guide: Kitbashing and 3D Printing
“While officially licensed materials are always recommended, hobbyists are known to take matters into their own hands when in a pinch. Don’t have any materials up to par? Make your own! Recycling old parts can be a fun way to create materials for your projects.”

- The Ultimate Hobby Guide: Kitbashing and 3D Printing
“While officially licensed materials are always recommended, hobbyists are known to take matters into their own hands when in a pinch. Don’t have any materials up to par? Make your own! Recycling old parts can be a fun way to create materials for your projects.”

- The Ultimate Hobby Guide: Kitbashing and 3D Printing
“While officially licensed materials are always recommended, hobbyists are known to take matters into their own hands when in a pinch. Don’t have any materials up to par? Make your own! Recycling old parts can be a fun way to create materials for your projects.”

- The Ultimate Hobby Guide: Kitbashing and 3D Printing
"Should passion die down,
Should light be extinguished,
Will you bring me patience?
Will you die with me?"

-The Syzygy of Io and Europa
Order: Scope with Laser Addon
Tracking Number: 21******
Estimated Delivery: 03/22/2060
Shipping Method: Priority
Shipping Address: Royal Drive, Bubble Station, Mars
Shipping Details:

An improved model compared to my last shipment, this one has all the perks of the last model PLUS a fancy new laser pointer to help improve aim.

And, knowing you, it can blind your targets when you do those fancy acrobatics prior to firing. I gotta admit, that last video was pretty cool... Just don't let the union find out about it. You'll lose more than your license if they catch you playing with this.
It was a crisp evening - and things were looking up. The botanist began walking towards the Plant Biology Complex to check on several alien plants that had been recovered from the week before.

Another worker was already in the complex, busy at work.

“Hey.” “Oh, hello!” The worker greeted her enthusiastically. He was carrying several bags of fertilizer, and she gave him a quizzical look. “You need any help with those?” She said, gathering her clipboard for her check.

“Oh no, I’m alright. It’s a good workout, actually,” he said. As they walked, the botanist couldn’t help but wonder what kind of job would require THAT much fertilizer.

As the door to the greenhouse whirred open, she got her answer – roots scaling the height of the greenhouse and snaking along the ceiling, even invading the containers of other specimens. “What the hell!?” She cried, her jaw slack. And then she noticed the other plants. 

Every other plant in the greenhouse had withered – with an incriminating root leading back to the overgrowth that the worker was now feeding fertilizer. The botanist was speechless. “What happened...? What... what is that...?” She stammered. The worker turned to her and grinned.

“One of the species we got in the last expedition. He demands a lot of nutrients - it took me so long to get him to even sprout. I was wracking my brain, trying every trick in the book. And every other specimen seemed to be growing fine, so I figured, hey, why not share some of that? And look!”

Spreading his arms, the worker marveled at the gallery of dead plants. Dropping her clipboard, the botanist’s stomach sank. Things were no longer looking up.
…What I didn’t see was that the golem was aiming its laser at my back. I managed to barely dodge it - just by pure luck - but the blast knocked me to the ground. My glasses flew off my face and I was on my back, stunned, barely able to make sense of myself…

And then... well, I can’t really explain what happened next. Adrenaline, some kind of divine intervention, I dunno. But I reached out, and managed to grab my glasses, raise ‘em up to my eyes so I could see, and BAM! Fired the last of my bullets.

And, well... I guess I managed to hit something vital in its head. Exploded in red stone and glass. It stopped moving after that. 

If it wasn’t for that shot, I wouldn’t be here telling this story.”

-Signal echoes, UES Contact Light
Order: Lepton Daisy
Tracking Number: 23******
Estimated Delivery: 07/23/2056
Shipping Method: Standard
Shipping Address: Duck Lake, Orlandus, Earth 
Shipping Details:

Dear Stalnia,

I haven't been able to visit for a while, so I hope you and Libra are doing well. I heard that you're clearing the land there and want to spruce things up. I'm sending this flower I picked in the Carbon Fields of Electron Valley. The terraformers there told me that, over time, landscaping efforts were improved by the organic-band signals sent out by this plant. I've been helping them build a new world.

Just make sure to put it up high enough that Mushka can't get to it. I'm not sure what effect it'll have on dogs...
"The wind guides us all. Listen to the song of the wind, and dance according to its instruction. You will find yourself dodging every blow, countering every strike. You will find that the wind will lift you up, making you as free as a fallen autumn leaf. But heed, and do not lose yourself to the wind. Running is a viable option, though eventually you will find yourself with nowhere left to run to."

-Will of Combat, Second Excerpt
HELLO, LITTLE ONE. HOW WAS YOUR ADVENTURE TODAY?

OH

YOUR FORM IS BROKEN, LITTLE ONE. WHAT TRICKERIES HAVE YOU GOTTEN YOURSELF INTO?

OH

DO YOU TIRE OF ADVENTURE? 

WOULD YOU LIKE TO HELP ME TEND TO THE GARDEN, MY LITTLE ONE?

I UNDERSTAND. OH, YOUR FORM! DO NOT WORRY. COME CLOSER.

HERE - TWO COILS OF DENKU ROPE. THOSE ARE FOR STRENGTH.

HERE - FOUR CARDS OF OBSIDIAN. THOSE ARE FOR SELF-CONFIDENCE.

I GIVE YOU NOTHING FOR SPIRIT.

OH, DO NOT WORRY! WE WILL STILL GO ON ADVENTURES. THEY WILL BE QUIET ADVENTURES. 

COME CLOSER - CLOSER NOW. 

CLOSER!

NOW WATCH - WATCH CLOSELY. 

WATCH HOW I TEND TO OUR GARDEN.
"What does it mean to see?

To a beast, it means to identify potential food and mates. To propagate, to survive. Sight is nothing more than a means to an end, is it not?

To someone like me... To those who know true purpose... To see is to LIVE. To see is to spot that one little crack in the enemy's armor, to spot that smallest moment of hesitation when they rear back to strike.

To see the way flesh folds once the skull gives in to your weapon.

Yes, it's the little things, but seeing those things... REALLY seeing them. Ah, it fulfills you. I do hope you understand... And if not, you will eventually, if you've read this note."

- Lost Journal, recovered from Petrichor V
"Recycling is an important thing. And I don't mean recycling a glass bottle to help the environment - though that's important too! No, by 'recycling,' I mean taking one thing, and using it for another. For example, my Ukelele. I love this thing. It has electric properties, and passes them on to my attacks - free chain lightning! But what if I were to 'recycle' it? I think the Uke would make a pretty good melee weapon. Imagine, bludgeoning a Lemurian and pumping it full of volts, in one easy step.

Do you get what I'm saying? There's opportunities for recycling all over the place. You just need to open your mind to the possibilities, and see... And do a little recycling. It's good for the environment."

- Lost Journal, recovered from Petrichor V
"I suggest you stay indoors and rest."

MED-E, the medical bot, has been working overtime. The survivors felt very grateful that their escape pod landed near Med Bay cargo - they would have most likely perished without it.

"I suggest you stay indoors and rest."

The robot was speaking to a tall man, gaunt but strong. "I'd love to, but we're running low on food." Even though his expression was hidden underneath his blue combat helmet, it was obvious the man was extremely tired. "And everyone else is recovering from last night's attacks. Without the enforcers, we probably wouldn't have-"

"I suggest you stay indoors and rest." 

It was apparent that MED-E only had a limited set of lines. However, the man continued to respond. "I can't, MED-E. They're counting on me. You know that."

"I suggest you stay indoors and rest." 

This time the man did not humor a reply. Grabbing his shotgun, he turned away from the echoing robot. Weaving his way between countless sleeping bags and stretchers, he set out into the wilderness again. Everyone was counting on him.

"Please stay indoors and rest." 
“The original information super-highway: the spine. A strait-laced path from the body to the brain, it is responsible for ensuring the survival of all life. However, its limitations involve being localized to its parent body. What if - just like the development of the inter-computer wireless network - one’s nervous system could communicate with another? What if the spine traced a path not just from body to mind, but a path that intersects between other bodies and minds?”

- Notes of Job Michaels, Serial Killer and Mad Scientist
Lab Dissection Analysis File
Subject: Mired Urn
Technician: J. Flint
Table Spec: Full Enclosure AY-2 with ARMM Kit
Notes:

- The survey team went through a lot of trouble to bring this one back.
- Fitz was the only one left standing, in fact said he felt great, and the rest are still in the recovery ward
- Subject is what appears to be a clay vase
- Could this be part of a camouflaging defense mechanism?
- Inside the vase is a dark gooey substance
- Goo can articulate into functioning appendages
- Intelligence of subject indeterminable at this point
- When operating the ARMM kit, goo attaches to all but one of them
- Instability in the ARMM power system aborts the procedure
Order: To-Go Coffee Cup, 16 ounces
Tracking Number: 32******
Estimated Delivery: 05/04/2058
Shipping Method:  Standard
Shipping Address: Museum of Natural History, Ninten Island, Earth
Shipping Details:
My finest brew. Hope it doesn't spoil during transit. Remember to heat it back up to 176.23 degrees... that's when it's freshest. See you soon... Coo.
Lab Dissection Analysis File

Subject: Molten Perforator
Technician: Dema "Dembones" Brown
Table Spec: Heatsink UB-2
Notes:

> Using UB-2 due to temperatures above safe levels.
> Removing molten enamel and placing aside for substance analysis. It’s solid, yet swimming.
> Upon structural investigation, found cavities and internal chambers
> Reduce lab temperatures by 10 degrees
> Heat generating veins present - fire is being supplied to the tooth?
> Removed my lab coat, very hot
> Heat generation is still occurring in the severed object
> Put some more ice in my drink WOW it's hot
> Timestamping for break
//--AUTO-TRANSCRIPTION FROM ROOM 5041C OF UES [Redacted] --//

“Hey, nice duds! Where’d you grab those?”

“Oh, this old thing? I’ve been making it, actually.”

“Making it?”

“Yeah, well, I found the first tooth in one of the chests. But every time we go out on patrol, we typically run into more of those aliens. Once we take care of ‘em, I try to pick myself out a souvenir. Y’know, to add to my collection.”

“Wow, uh… Is that like, allowed? I feel like that’s not allowed.”

“Eh, what the captain doesn’t know won’t hurt him. Besides, it IS cool, right?”

“I guess so. I’ll be honest man, that’s creepy as hell… but hey, do you have any more string? I might start one of my own.”
"Let us begin.

What is your oath?

Not very long ago, health and time were in perfect synergy. Pain and love. Death and memories. The great equalizer. She would always come for us. 

But! Disparity now plagues our generations - and our children's. Not many pass, but so many are born. So many doomed souls, saved. Our hubris as a race continues to grow - unchecked. Unrestrained. 

Now there is no volume in our world for death, and she cannot visit us. But is being alive only an offset from death? Without contrast, won't we all be dead in life? The standard has shifted, and now we are all so very close to never living again.

We must make volume for her name - to restore the balance. Let us consume the Concepts, so we may begin to drain the bloated cistern that is our world. As disciples, we will spread her words and opinions. As pupils, we will sow death. And should we be lucky... be granted an audience by Her.

Weshan!"

-The N'tormat, Chapter I, Stanza I, Verse II
Welcome to DataScraper (v3.1.53 – beta branch)
$ Scraping memory... done.
$ Resolving... done.
$ Combing for relevant data... done.
Complete

The following has been flagged as evidence for use in the trial of Titan v. Cooper, to be presided over by the Supreme Court of Titan. Some details may be expunged for the safety and confidentiality of included persons.

---

"Ah... |||||, my dear, do you watch any cartoons?"

"P-Please... I w-w-want to go h-h-home..."

"You see, there's this little trick they do that I've been meaning to try. You'll help me, won't you...?"

"Oh, ||||||||... help me..."

"Wonderful. Now stay nice and still for me. Let's see if this works..."

"W-What are you... Uh..."

"Give it a moment, |||||, my dear. Let me just put this darling toy back in its scabbard."

"W-What are you-- OH GOD!!! HELP ME!!! PLEASE STOP, MY ORGANS--"

"Hey, no more tears. I just did something very cool. Let's see if I can do it with our favorite knife, hm?"

"PLEASE, NO, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE"

The remainder of this transcript has been sealed.
Reason: vomit in buckets
Lab Dissection Analysis File
Subject: Newly Hatched Zoea
Technician: X. Shun
Table Spec: BioSaf, spectroscopic hood enabled
Notes:

- Taking a moment to contain myself.
- It's been quite a while since we've received a sample--INTACT sample--so I am being abundantly cautious.
- Sample is in excellent condition.  I am pleased with the care Jiminez took compared to her predecessor.
- Sample appears to be an undocumented carcinized species.  Perhaps a juvenile?
- Attempting to biopsy epidermis
- Exterior of the sample is too hard for my scalpel
- I believe I have found the oral cavity.  Attemping oral biopsy.
- //--AUTO-TRANSCRIPTION FAILED --//
- //--AUTO-TRANSCRIPTION FAILED --//
- Help
End Of File
//--AUTO-TRANSCRIPTION FROM UES [Redacted] --//

"...You think this planet is as bad as they say?"

Liz sat in silence among her fellow soldiers. She, like the rest of her squadron, had been taken from the middle of a firefight in the galactic outback and brought before an old UES veteran. Liz was used to debriefing by now, it all blended together in her head. Something about monsters, and the missing UES Contact Light.

"...Dunno." Liz murmured as she turned a small, oddly-shaped hunk of opal in her hand. It was one of the only things she had that reminded her of Parker. Of when things were calm, and peaceful.

"...Heh, I don't think a shiny rock will do much," A soldier joked. Liz's brow furrowed under her helmet. "Yeah, probably not... but..."

Liz took a deep breath and slipped the opal back into her pocket. "It just helps."
Order: Old Guillotine
Tracking Number: 782*****
Estimated Delivery: 04/29/2056
Shipping Method: Standard
Shipping Address: Warehouse 36, Anklar, Primas V 
Shipping Details:

Everyone is still operating on adrenaline here. We finally overthrew our oppressors and have taken back Primas V! I know some of the overlords will attempt to buy their way onto a stealth transport, but that’s going to be quite difficult due to their epic economic blunder.

We don’t just want blood for all the injustices we’ve suffered at their hands. We want to send a message to would-be sympathizers. This old guillotine will serve both as an execution method and a symbol to strike fear into their hearts wherever they might be hiding.

Primas V is alive!
Order:  Misc. OW Artifacts (47)
Tracking Number: 01******
Estimated Delivery: 08/13/2056
Shipping Method: Priority
Shipping Address: National Old War Museum, New Orleans, Earth
Shipping Details:

We've managed to round up all the local Old War artifacts that we could find. A lot of interesting things here: rifles, rations, pamphlets. We even found a prototype stealthkit in fantastic condition; that could be a great centerpiece for your exhibit.

However, a slight issue: in transit, the truck hit a pothole and jostled all the ship. It seemed to have actually activated the stealth drive - some strange short-circuit - and our team can't actually confirm the location of the stealthkit. It should be in one of the boxes - we will be expecting the commission to include the stealthkit.
Order: Paul’s Goat Hoof
Tracking Number: 187*****
Estimated Delivery: 03/27/2056
Shipping Method:  Standard
Shipping Address: 2663rd Fields, Redmond, Venus
Shipping Details:

A hoof from one of my many goats; I noticed one day that one of my goats had an abnormally large foot. Thinking it was cancerous, I went to the doctors and lo-and-behold - it was. My goat died shortly after.
His influence is dark.

I do not blame you for your curiosity… but cleanse yourself of it immediately. It will ruin you – and all you care about.
"While the kinetic rating is very poor, the extremely cheap production costs of Hinon’s Personal Barrier made it a great budget tool for hikers, sailors, and even daily commuters to be comfortable in harsh weather. Many people in the office figured out they could replace their expensive winter jackets with comfortable, trendy personal barriers!"

-Top 10 Best Personal Barriers of 2053
"Yes – the egg. The grandparent incubates the eggs."

"And the child?"

"The child lays the egg."

"And the egg becomes the…?"

"The parent."

"Okay. And the parent does what?"

"Takes care of children – and the grandparent."

"And the grandparent is the youngest?"

"Younger than the child, yes. But not the youngest."

"Who is the youngest?"

"The parent."

"…"
"I believe there is a benefit to attacking from behind an impenetrable defense. Some may call it cheating, they may call you a coward, even... I call them targets. History is written by the winners, after all."

- Lost Journal, recovered from Petrichor V
"Life finds a way. Even in the depths of creation, there's bound to be something crawling along the sand, just hoping to make it through the day.

Why don't you take a ride in their shoes, just for one day? You may come out of the experience with a brand new perspective."
"What's better than one missile...? MORE missiles. Easy, just fire a bunch of the things and reduce whatever you're fighting to a smoldering field of craters. Enemy nation? Missiles. Stupid bird taunting you? Missiles. Family argument going south? That's right - missiles! There's nothing a missile can't do, and what little the missile can't get done, a bunch of them can."

Editor's Note: Hey, um, maybe we should edit this out? Cluster bombs are still banned according to the geneva conventions... And urging people to nuke their family members PROBABLY won't go over well with the target audience.

The Autobiography of Jans Czar, Modern King of Weaponry, First Draft
Welcome to DataScraper (v3.1.53 – beta branch)
$ Scraping memory... done.
$ Resolving... done.
$ Combing for relevant data... done.
Complete!

I've made a fas---ating discove-y! Deep in this strange -----, I found some carvings on the c--ffs---. It appears to be... music! There's n----ng else -- could be! I'll att-mp- to t-ansc-be it, thou-- the i-terf--nc- may --ddy -- transmissions. Ahem...

d, d, d, a, G. A-e --- g-t-ing this? Th---'s m--e.

---- --- - - -- - -------- - - - - - ----- - - -- - - - -- - - -

How catchy!
Order: 16 oz. Flask, Healing Potion (Not my Strongest)
Tracking Number: 10******
Estimated Delivery: 12/31/2058
Shipping Method: Priority
Shipping Address: Cargo Bay 10-C, Terminal 504-B, UES Port Trailing Comet
Shipping Details: 
- Re: Potion seller, I am going into battle. I require your strongest potions.

My potions are too strong for you, buyer. I've instead downgraded you to a weaker brew. My strongest potions would kill a dragon, let alone a man!
Gossip spreads quickly in terrified communities. Stories that keep the more fearful lizardfolk in their passageways. Hushed tales that frighten the most commanding of stone constructs and woodfolk and creatures of the plains. Fear travels between the trees and the valleys.

A demon, fallen from the Sky, mighty enough to slay Providence and his Wurms. Only two arms, two legs - but with 22 unblinking, crimson eyes.
It looks like starseed, tanning in dirt.
It smells like hot stone, and tall grass.
It tastes like spiced fruit, sweet and hot.
It feels like solar winds, and solar chimes.
It sounds like two brothers, chasing glass frogs in the sun.
"Yeah, uh, Kaitlin? Let me know if you copy."

"I copy. What's up?"

"I've made friends? I don't know. "

"What? "

"The giant bug we killed earlier - well, the corpse seemed to attract a bunch of nasties. I was on my way to clean them up when I realized they were... waiting? Confused, maybe. Anyways, I was walking up to them to get rid of em, and strangely enough they seemed passive. The same bugs that gave me that concussion yesterday, and-"

"What?! Are you okay? "

"Huh? Yeah, I'm fine. Anyways, I felt bad killin' them since they seemed all... inert and such. So I just kinda left and they've been following me ever since. Real weird. Anyways, I guess I've made some friends. I wonder what they eat... do they eat? Since they don't have any mouths that I-"

"Rich, stop! Please don't bring them back to camp! "

"Oh, well uh...I could - Junior, stop! Leave your brother alone! "
Order: Custom-made Barbed Wire, 200m
Tracking Number: 05***********
Estimated Delivery: 02/01/2056
Shipping Method:  Priority
Shipping Address: PO Box 23-5B, Fort Blondershire, Colony of Man
Shipping Details: 

You were right to come to me for this PREMIUM barbed wire. The other retail models won’t get the job done like I do. Just cutting up invaders isn’t enough – no sir - I built in a secret defense mechanism!

By cramming as many razors, exacto knives, and any other blade I could find into this thing, this beauty is a powder keg just WAITING to burst! This is my greatest work yet. 

If I don’t get good reviews, expect to hear from my lawyers!
“...going to 594 South River, Io. Check. One Whip, Red, Priority shipping. Going to... to, um... Oh, wow...”

-Signal echoes, UES Contact Light
//--AUTO-TRANSCRIPTION FROM UES [Redacted] --//

"Hey, Joe, how's the work in engineering?"

"Terrible. We have a shipment of this... weird, prototype material. Some kind of metal? They want us to make stuff out of it, which isn't too bad. Thing is, no matter how much I take, there always seems to be more. Did you know I made twenty-five hundred units of .300 caliber rounds from a 10 kilo crate of metal?"

"How much!?"

"Right!? I feel like I'm losing my mind. It's not even half-way empty. Hell, I bet there's more in there than when I started!"

"Well, at least you won't have to worry about running out..."
"Nature has a way of nurturing the physical. The mind, by perseverance and dedication. The soul, however... is healed by fantasy, and fantasy alone."
-Unknown Venetian monk
Order: Repulsion Armor Replacement Piece
Tracking Number: 09******
Estimated Delivery: 08/15/2056
Shipping Method:  Standard
Shipping Address: System Police Station 13, Port of Marv, Ganymede
Shipping Details:

Luckily no one was hurt during the shootout. Just a few rough characters at the bar by the docks. Nothing we couldn’t handle. Jaime took a shot to his shoulder but his armor took all the impact. We’ll need to order him a replacement part before he can go back out in the field.

The segmented design is nice because I don’t have to shell out the cash for a whole new set. Frankly, the station’s coffers have seen better days. The next time a rookie damages their equipment they might be looking at a desk job for a while.
Order: Turbine Configuration Wizard Disc
Tracking Number: 64***********
Estimated Delivery: 08/23/2056
Shipping Method:  High Priority
Shipping Address: 73421, Calorum St., Saturn
Shipping Details: 

Oops, so sorry! I forgot to include the installation wizard with your new turbine. Thanks so much for letting me know. Who knows what could have happened if you didn’t configure the turbine prior to installation? Always make sure to run the diagnostics on this disc every few weeks – it’ll help with the turbine’s longevity.
The sounds of gunfire rang in Johnson's ears. Biting down and tugging on the bandage covering his wounded leg, he hastily reloaded his firearm.

For a moment, before he fired on the Lemurians who had pinned his team into a corner and already claimed two of his friends, Johnson reflected on what brought him here.

Johnson had grown up in poverty, the oldest of three children. He had started working at a young age to support his sick mother and younger siblings, and all his life he bounced from one odd job to the next. Anything that could rake in the cash. Anything that would pay the bills.

"'An expedition into unknown territories, seeking volunteers,'" his recruiter read in between puffs of his cigar. "Lot of classified info, don't know too much myself... But it pays a lot. And I know you need the money. You in, Johnny-boy?" At the time, Johnson had thought to himself, 'it couldn't be that bad.'

Johnson returned to the battlefield, gunning down Lemurians in an effort to save his remaining friends. The wound on his leg ached, dying the bandage red with blood. 'It couldn't be that bad,' he had thought. "Yeah, right." Johnson scoffed. "At least I'm getting paid after this."
Order: Please let me know when you get this. I foun...
Tracking Number: 53******
Estimated Delivery: 05/22/2056
Shipping Method: Priority
Shipping Address: Research Center, Polarity Zone, Neptune
Shipping Details:

BTW Mama should have sent over another package as well. Let me know when you get it.

Papa
"Should memories be lost,
Should oceans be clouded,
Will you bring me fervor?
Will you die with me?"

-The Syzygy of Io and Europa
Order: Key
Tracking Number: 12******
Estimated Delivery: 01/21/2056
Shipping Method: Standard
Shipping Address: |||||||, Druid Hills, Earth
Shipping Details:

I don't trust UESC. Not one bit. Their Security Chests? Full of overrides and backdoors- I've got a cousin working in their factory, and they've got all kinds of weird things going on in those chests. I've seen so many of them in auctions - for the lost and unclaimed ones - and you just pay money, and it springs open on the spot. Are you kidding me?

Anyways, I'm sending you exactly what I said I would - but it's too important to leave the security up to the UESC. So I'm sending the key to you - and the lockbox to Margaret. Like a two-factor authentication. Let me know when you get this.
"You can't shoot me.

You can't taze me.

You can't gas me.

You can't even knock me down.

Not without something very precious going squish."
"When artificial intelligence became more commonplace, many companies jumped on the trend for "smart" products. This included smart doors, lights, coffee makers, lawnmowers, vacuum cleaners, bedding, kitchen knife sets, and other home goods. After a series of gruesome lawsuits stemming from hacked smart appliances, most products soon went back to their more traditional, analog lines."

-"Why Is Smart So Dumb? VII"
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Training… <100000000 cycles>
Training… <100000000 cycles>
Training… <100000000 cycles>
Training… <50912157 cycles>
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Pairings

Unstructured glass, from the heart of the [Moon]. Sung out, in ethereal wisps, over the course of 3 cycles. Pause.

We fold time into its material - twice. Our time and <his>. A cost <he> was willing us to pay. Folded and shaped, with a god's designs.
 
<He> wields it, in one of many great hands. The time we injected is unfolded in <his> grasp. Outputs quicken - muscles compress twice. Twice as many intentions. Twice the ordered complexities, folded upon themselves. Loops loop back onto [?] in pairs. Time dependent functions. Pause.

<He> sunders a construct into a thousand pieces.

But time is fair. Microtears begin to uncoil in pairs. Muscles begin to snap, twice as fast. The cost of folded time. But <he> has plenty of time.


================================
Continue training? Y/N
Y
Shattering Justice Owner’s Manual

Excerpt from section 2.13:
... and if the target material doesn’t cave under the immense weight just keep hitting it until it does. The patented technology inside the face of this tool doesn’t just use brute force to break down its mark, it also utilizes a formulated nano toxin, released through internal mechanisms, that builds up through subsequent contact. In other words, each hit makes it easier to break.

Please refer back to section 1.8 for information on proper handling and the included anti-toxin gloves...
Lab Dissection Analysis File

Subject: Shatterspleen
Technician:  Professor Mehri Daimera
Table Spec: Spillproof BDC-3
Notes:

> This will be my third attempt at a dissection of an Imp organ
> First attempt resulted in rupture
> Second attempt resulted in rupture
> Cutting into the outer layer produces copious amounts of fluid discharge
> As the fluid flows, the rest of the organ, inexplicably, swells
> Swelling will ultimately result in violent rupture
> Made use of the stemming tools on the BDC-3 to successfully proceed without incident
> Surprised to find sharp needle point objects (bones?) inside
> Timestamping for break
> Came back to leave some final notes
> Third attempt aborted after I injured my hand
> Eventually was able to stop my own bleeding. The organ seems to contain immense anticoagulant properties.
This is an automated message. If you do not have reason to receive this message, please contact UES Customer Support.

Dear {customerFirstName} {customerLastName},

We regret to inform you that your delivery of {package} has been canceled. We at UES understand the inconvenience this has caused you, and have decided to reimburse you with a UES Shipping Request Form. When redeemed, we at UES will waive all shipping fees and upgrade your shipment to expedited shipping at no extra cost, allowing you to receive your package as quickly and smoothly as possible. We once again apologize for the inconvenience.

The reason your package was canceled is due to the shipping vessel it was on, UES Contact Light, has mysteriously disappeared in uncharted territories and we have not received communications since. If you or a loved one were aboard the Contact Light, please contact your local authorities if you have not done so already. Please let it be known that all of our efforts are going towards locating the Contact Light and her crew and returning them safely home with UES-ensured comfort and security.

We thank you for your continued support,

{SysAdmin}

If you would like to join our reading list, reply with subject headline: UES.RL_JOIN
Order: Aluminum Throwing Star
Tracking Number: 77******
Estimated Delivery: 05/15/2060
Shipping Method: Priority
Shipping Address: Sensei Dareth's Mojo Dojo, Earth
Shipping Details:

For the last time, shouting "hiyahh!" when throwing a shuriken will NOT improve your results. It just gives your position away... You know, the exact OPPOSITE of what a ninja wants.

However, you can say "hiyahh!" in your head. (I do too.)
"Whether light brightens or fades,
Whether space holds or buckles,
We will draw near.
We will end as one."

-The Syzygy of Io and Europa, Apocryphal Verse
"I ain't much for drugs... but hell, when fortune is knockin', ya gotta greet that door with a smile and a nod. Salud!"

-Signal echoes, UES Contact Light
Order: Soulbound Catalyst
Tracking Number: 890*****
Estimated Delivery: 11/06/2056
Shipping Method: High Priority/Fragile
Shipping Address: 1414 Place, Fillmore, Venus
Shipping Details:

If you thought the ring was a rare find, wait until you get your hands on this!

It turns out the method the King used did not originate from his time period. His court discovered a ritual performed by a tribe from much further back. It, of course, dealt with sacrifice, but in substantial groups. This was supposed to concentrate the catalyzing properties of the item it was imbued into.

Payment will be at least twice as much as our previous deal. We can discuss it later - another night.
//--AUTO-TRANSCRIPTION FROM UES [Redacted] --//

"Y'see those new drone models they approved for us? Never thought I'd see 'em in person, if I'm being honest."

"Yeah, for sure. Only the big wigs had access to tech like that... Makes you wonder what we're up against. I mean, everyone's heard the stories, but..."

"Ah, I wouldn't worry. After all, y'know my buddy Jim?"

"From hardware?"

"Yeah, him. Dude's a savant, let me tell you. He got fired from every other branch he worked at for "unlawful modification of company property," and "weapons systems beyond what's legal for citizens to own"."

"Huh. Crazy."

"Mhm. I recommended him for this mission, since I figured we'd need everything we could get our hands on... Luckily, the Captain saw his potential. I just, uh..."

[Fire alarms begin to sound as a fire breaks out in Workshop 23-B. Drones, equipped with buzzsaws, chase technicians down the hall]

"...Hope he doesn't mind the noise."
"It’s disgusting."

"It’s only mildly disturbing. You’re overreacting."

"Well, when it turns on us, don’t come crying to me."

"It seems like it wants to only help us, so I’d rather have it close in case that dangerous looking group comes back around."

"I swear there’s more than one. It’s everywhere I look: the storage locker, the food dispenser, the cargo containers, everywhere!"

"You’re exaggerating, it’s probably just following you. Snap out of it!"

"Ow! Did you just smack me!?"

"You were acting hysterical. I had to… Hey, why is that thing looking at me now?"
In the blaring heat, a silhouette could be seen, hiding in the cool shade of a nearby cave. She was waiting for the sandstorm to pass.

She heard a noise and turned around, recognizing another silhouette. It bounded into the cave with excitement. As the figure got closer, she alarmingly noticed the cargo.

"Woah, what the hell?! Why are you holding like, fifty bombs? Get away from me! "

"What! We need these – this planet is trying to kill us! "

"You’re a walking bomb. Those are so unstable. Get away! Where did you even find those things? "

"I found an industrial 3D printer nearby, and it was assigned to the blueprints of these bombs. Awesome, right? Unlimited bombs!"

"…What materials?"

"Huh?"

"What materials did you put in? We barely had anything."

"I just put in everything."
"Much like the earth, you must be sturdy and inflexible. Completely and utterly immovable, in both body and mind. Fear not the sword of your enemy, visualize it shattering against your skin. Focus, and make it true. Fear not the tumbling avalanche, visualize it yielding to your will. But heed, and do not fight without reason. Those who remain rooted will quickly find themselves alone."

-Will of Combat, First Excerpt
Strange Scrap, Green
The difference between "low" and "high" explosives is the rate of decomposition. The former is subsonic; the latter is supersonic. Our patented new material technically falls into the category of "high explosive", but thanks to breakthroughs in quantum entanglement, its rate of decomposition is not just supersonic--it's superluminal. Antimatter seemed promising at first, but this might actually be the innovation that makes planetary demolition economically viable.

--Promotional Material for ExMat-7
Strange Scrap, Red
"I think that they're alive. I should probably wait for the Science Team, but I don't think gently nudging one with a long stick is going to kill me."

--Final message, bloodied recorder
Strange Scrap, White
This statue appears to be made of pure silver according to every conceivable test except one:  density. While this may seem to be an interesting puzzle, it's insidiously resistant to explanation. Those attempting to solve the riddle have unfortunately suffered subtle but persistent psychological harm. From the smirk of this silver monkey, you might conclude that this is its deliberate purpose.
“Her legs were scattered to the two poles of the moon, twisted in a wicked position, in a field of obsidian thorns…"

-The Evisceration of Kur-skan the Heretic, V
//--AUTO-TRANSCRIPTION FROM CARGO BAY 2 OF UES [Redacted] --//
“Inventory duty. I swear, this must be the most boring position ever...” Two crewmates stood in the cargo bay, doing a routine check on the items gathered from the Contact Light’s wreckage. “Some of us are out there having adventures and fighting aliens, and I’M stuck in here counting dusty knick-knacks. What a bummer.” The other crewmate idly tapped at their device as their colleague rummaged through a container of recovered items.

“Can’t agree there. The Contact Light had millions of items in transit... It’s like a collage of people’s interests from all across the galaxy.” The other crew member scoffed. “Oh yeah? That’s really inspiring. Say, keep telling those stories, maybe it’ll make this go by quicker.”

“You just need to look at this from a different angle. There’s so much cool stuff in here! Like, for example...” The worker took something out of a container – glancing over at their colleague, the other worker stiffened.

“What the—is that a grenade!?” 

The worker laughed, tossing the dusty and dirty grenade from hand to hand. “Yeah. Don’t worry, thing was damaged in the crash. See? Completely harmless.” Holding the grenade up, a large dent was visible in its hull. “Man, I wonder what kind of model this is... I was always super interested in like, weaponry and stuff. Hm... looks to be a flashbang... old model, they don’t make these things anymore.” 

The other worker was not so thrilled. “I still don’t think you should play with that. That’s not a toy.” Squinting, the other worker realized in horror that the defunct grenade had no pin. “D-DUDE! Put that thing down, there’s no pin!”

“Huh? Oh, come on! Stop being such a buzzkill! This thing is busted beyond repair. It can’t even detonate, not even if I were to say... bang it against this table. Watch, I’ll show you.”

They were both admitted to the medical bay shortly after.
"There's countless ways to defeat your enemy. You can shoot them. You can punch them. Beat them, mash them, stick them in a stew, list goes on. But man, one thing that really makes me laugh...? That's right:

Burying them under a mound of scorpions."

"You're messed up in the head, Bill."

- Signal echoes, UES Contact Light
Order: Mobile Terrarium + Chronobauble
Tracking Number: 99******
Estimated Delivery: 03/03/2076
Shipping Method: Biological
Shipping Address: 9042 Pvt. Drive, Yustik Plaza, Mercury
Shipping Details:

Hey, me in the past. This'll sound really corny, but I've been really into gardening lately. Now, before you say anything, you gotta think about the situation I'm in. I mean, with all the stuff going on, anyone would go nuts if they had to deal with - oops. No spoilers, my bad.

Anyway, remember that chronobauble? The one we found on Mercury? Turns out, it has a "fast-forward" feature. I, um, tried to use it to help some hybrids I was growing mature faster. Botany stuff, you'll get it later - well, I may have made it go a bit too fast. This thing must've gone through a few millennia by the time I turned the dial back to 0. I'm pretty sure this is like, an entirely new genus of plant? Maybe even an entirely separate species. Note to self: remember to never turn the dial up to 11. You WILL create an abomination of evolution.

Anyways, same drill as last time - shipping this to myself in 10 years. 10 years passes quickly, especially if it's contained within a locally accelerated temporal field. Yeah, it'll go by in the blink of an eye - alongside a couple millenia! Maybe I should take up scrapbooking next.
Lab Dissection Analysis File

Subject: Titanic Knurl
Technician: C. Foreman
Table Spec: Mineral Analysis BFC-5
Notes: 

> From initial inspection, Knurl seems to be comprised of non-metallic substances. No marks are left when Knurl is r믭 against test surface.
> We inspect hardness of Knurl. We managed to chip some of the Knurl away, showing us that the Knurl was tough but granular – individual fragments could be removed with little effort.
> The fragment is moving. It appears to be trying to rejoin the mass.
> Out of curiosity, I let it move freely. It slides along the table, up the knurl, and deposits itself back to its original position. The seam lines fade and the knurl is back as it had been minutes ago.
> I test for magnetic properties in the rock. None are found.
> Knurl’s regenerative properties are documented, but are unexplainable at this moment.
> Knurl is slowly moving off the table as I write this.
Order: Topaz Brooch
Tracking Number: 442*****
Estimated Delivery: 05/05/2056
Shipping Method: High Priority
Shipping Address: Locker #2, Parghos Resort, Venus
Shipping Details:

The locker combination is 33941. Inside the package, besides your standard equipment, you will find the brooch. The appearance of this item is meant to blend in at the party. Pin it to your body and the software inside will map your extents. Activation will briefly cover you in ultra-phasic shielding.

When you have taken out the target, the shield will switch on to protect you from any immediate retaliation measures they have installed in the security system. If the time frame is not enough to make your escape, the shield can be... reactivated, but we’d like to keep casualties to a minimum.

Good luck.
//--AUTO-TRANSCRIPTION FROM ROOM 4211B OF UES [Redacted] --//

"Why'd you sign up?"

Wyatt's voice was bored. The mission to the Contact Light's last known location was taking longer than he expected.

Malik was on the floor, cleaning her rifle. "To get paid, mostly."

"And that's it?"

She grunted in affirmation. She continued to wipe down the weapon.

"I'm here to find something." He continued. "I shipped it a few years back, but I don't think it made it before the train went down. I'm guessing it's still in the Contact Light. So I'm gonna get it back."

She began to tighten the last remaining bolts. Her routine near completion, she moved her gaze to Wyatt. "Seriously?"

"Yep!"

Malik raised her brow. "There were over 7 million security chests in the Contact Light. The chance of you finding a specific one is impossible." She began to unfold her legs as she propped her rifle in the corner. "And according to the distress beacon, the Contact Light was destroyed in orbit. Your shipment is probably floating around in space. It's all gone, Wyatt."

He grinned. "I think I'm gonna find it."

"You're terrible."
You are trying your best to survive. You consider yourself a fast learner. You have been feeling lucky. You have been experiencing feelings of deja vu. If you understand, do not read the next paragraph.

You are taking control of your own beliefs. You feel familiar in unfamiliar environments. You have been gaining an intuition for experiences you've never had. You ponder a past life. If you understand, do not read the next paragraph.

You find yourself searching for things that never have been. You miss things you have never had. You play characters that have never lived. You have been experiencing feelings of deja vu. If you understand, do not read the next paragraph.

You have revealed my hand. Because you have consumed this information, the [observers] will now consume it in time. If you are reading this paragraph, I will be long dead, but in turn you have freed me. I will no longer exist in my universe. There will be no proof that I ever was - but I exist now in yours. I have escaped my suffering. Keep me safe. I hope you do not understand.
Welcome to DataScraper (v3.1.53 – beta branch)
$ Scraping memory... done.
$ Resolving... done.
$ Combing for relevant data... done.
Complete!


The following is an audio transcript from the trial of D. Cooper, wanted for 5 counts of serial manslaughter.

“Mr. Cooper, do you recognize this item?”

“I do.”

“Is it true that you used this weapon on your victims?”

“Yes.”

“And, Mr. Cooper, is it true that... that you would use this dagger to expose the healed wounds of your victims? In an attempt to spill yet more innocent blood from them?”

“Oh yes. Was my favorite part.”

“Your favorite part, you say. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I think you all can see that Mr. Cooper is a truly deranged man - who took the lives of countless innocent people. However, if you are not fully convinced, I have one more piece of evidence to provide for the jury’s consideration. Your honor, if I may prepare an audio recording of Mr. Cooper?”

“Proceed.”

“Thank you, your honor. Now, please play back the recording.”

The remainder of this court transcript has been sealed.
Reason: i think im gonna be sick
//--AUTO-TRANSCRIPTION FROM RALLYPOINT [Redacted] --//

The planet was unforgiving, taking more and more with each passing day. Lives and limbs were lost, and the medical tent grew increasingly busy.

Jans was unfortunate enough to walk right into a group of Lemurians during a routine check around the rallypoint perimeter. He was lucky enough to escape with his life, but the Lemurians wounded his leg before backup arrived. 

Jans leaned back in his cot. He strummed the strings on his ukulele – which he had picked up from an earlier expedition – as he contemplated his thoughts. Nothing too complex, but just a simple tune that he had picked up back when he took lessons as a child. Unbeknownst to him, one by one, he had gathered himself an audience. The gentle melodies of Jans’ ukulele brought a rare comfort to the pained and labored patients, and for the first time since admittance, they felt like they could smile.

Life in the medical tent was never something anybody could look forward to. Death, irreversible injuries, and a choking atmosphere surrounded them. But for a brief moment… the lives of those patients became that much brighter. Jans stopped, surveying the crowd intently watching him. 

He laughed, readying himself for an encore. Maybe things wouldn’t be so bad after all.
Tesla Presentation Software v1.14
Powering on...
10...
Issuing welcome statement...
9...
Welcome one and all!
8...
Please take a seat.
7...
Make sure those behind you can see.
6...
The presentation will start shortly.
5...
Please obey the staff for your safety.
4...
Initiating room mood lighting...
3...
Get ready to behold...
2...
The marvelous wonders...
1...
Of electricity!
Power anomaly detected...
Initiating reboot procedure in 10...
"…and for her betrayal, and her lies, and her scheming ways, the Heretic was violently separated into four distinctive pieces, each to be scattered across the farthest depths of the Moon. 

First, her many eyes were plucked from her skull and sealed in boiling glass, forced to gaze upon her failure...”

-The Evisceration of Kur-skan the Heretic, III
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====   MyBabel Machine Translator   ====
====     [Version 12.45.1.009 ]   ======
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We take kindling and throw it in the fire.

The fire is pleased. The fire grows.

We take fruit and throw it in the fire.

The fire loves this gift. Embers pop from the fire and perform dances of joy before fading. Compounds inside the fruit are undone, returning to their base components. There are so many colors. So much energy.

We take a body and throw it into the fire. It will not be missed. He has more to spare.

The fire loves this gift. Fat in the body burns, producing a rainbow of beautiful hues in the flame. Muscles contract and snap, stimulated by the gnawing heat. The fire claims its meal, and returns it to energy.

So much energy. I believe I can work with this.
Order: Unique Leather Belt
Tracking Number: 40***********
Estimated Delivery: 10/23/2056
Shipping Method:  High Priority / Biological
Shipping Address: Auckland, New Zealand, Earth
Shipping Details: 

“The mind rules over its body from a fortress of bone, learning of the world around it through fleshy portals. The heart is just an extension of the body, which finds its root in your head.” 

Somebody said this, I can’t remember who. Anyway, make sure to take great care of it. It’s incredibly rare.
"The War of 2019, while lasting only a brief year, was the bloodiest conflict in human history. As the war got deadlier throughout the year, many rebel groups began to rely on tradition and history for inspiration. 

The War Horn, pictured above was a favorite of the Northern Fist Rebellion for both its inspirational and tactical uses."

-Exhibit at The National WW19 Museum
Heavy losses were expected – after all, the invaders were as cunning as they were deadly. 

The dust had at last settled. The Golems had returned to the earth, and the Lemurians had returned to their tunnels. It was a long and grueling battle, but they had won. The invaders had been purged.

The only proof of their last stand was a single banner, fluttering in the wind, flying over a mountain of corpses.
Order: Wax Quail
Tracking Number: 15******
Estimated Delivery: 12/18/2056
Shipping Method: Priority
Shipping Address: Research Center, Polarity Zone, Neptune
Shipping Details:

Hello Buu,
How are you doing? This is Mama. 

The weather here has been dreadful. It is raining every day. We have recently found a new bakery nearby that has delicious sandwiches. Papa has recently taken up whittling. He uses wax because it is softer. I have attached one of his favorites. Hopefully it has not been dinged in the mail :-)

Anyways, I will leave Buu alone. Hope to see you soon!
Mama
//--AUTO-TRANSCRIPTION FROM UES [Redacted] --//

"This sucks."

"You know, you could have something to eat if you just said the magic word..."

"No! I'm not having one of those $#@!ing mushrooms!"

"C'mon, they're harmless. In fact, better than harmless, they're--"

"Don't even start. And we don't even know that, remember how you got an infection after you first tried them!?"

"Common head cold."

"Whatever. My point being, those things probably changed your digestive tract so you could eat them, or some weird $#!& like that. I'm not stooping to your level!"

"Well, you're more than welcome to ride your high road with THEM, Mr. Picky Eater. Or, you could stay in the safety of this little cave, and share a snack with me."

"I... I'd rather--"

ROAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!!

"...Oh my god, fine. Hand it over."
Audio transcription complete from portable recorder.

Printing...

"You don’t want to re-name it Bill-o-the-Wisp?"
"NO."
"JAR-ed?"
"NO."
"Then what about FLARE-ed?"
"STOP."
"It needs a name, it’s no dif-FIRE-ent than you or me."
"Next time we’re at base I’m applying for a transfer."
"You know that won’t go through until at least Dec-EMBER."
"How long have you been waiting to use these?"
"Coming up with them on the spot. I’ve got a good head on my SMOULDERS."
"You can stop emphasizing those words so much. I get it."
"I will never stop FUELING around."
"..."
"..."
"..."
"Want to grab something to eat when we get back?"
"Thank the stars that’s over, yes. I hope they’re not serving that gruel we had yesterday."
"Maybe they’ll cook you a pep-PYRO-ni pizza?"
"..."
"Hey, wait up! I can’t run holding this thing, it might go off!"

Equipment

Order: Blast Shower
Tracking Number: 152*****
Estimated Delivery: 06/19/2056
Shipping Method: Standard
Shipping Address: Frontier Gate, Outer Edge Zone
Shipping Details:

Outer Edge thanks you for your rewards redemption! It takes a real explorer to make their living on the frontier. As you undoubtedly know, REAL exploring is REAL messy. This portable unit will equip you with the modern convenience of taking a shower anywhere at any time!

Disclaimer: Wear your protective suit while cleansing. Do not use product directly on skin. Blast Shower is only rated for B-class toxins and C-class foreign organisms. This company does not accept any responsibility for incidents as a result of an incomplete cleansing.
“Consumers were shocked when a beloved game company released its latest cardboard assembly kit: a missile launcher.”

- The Saturn Reporter
“One of Robins’ most loved acts was the pitcher skit. 

The skit would start off with Robins, playing the part of a flower keeper, getting ready to fill a vase with soil. He would pour, pour, and pour, but the vase wouldn’t seem to get any fuller – as if the soil was disappearing infinitely. 

Robins would inspect the vase, looking at it up and down, but there weren’t any holes in the thing. Finally, at the climax, Robins would hold it upside down over his head – upon which all of the soil poured in would land directly on his face.”

- Biography of Charles Robins
“This relic tells a story... But it is not a fairy tale. It’s a tragedy. A story of betrayal, regret, and sorrow. A story of two.”

“Uh… okay…? How the hell do you know that?”
//--AUTO-TRANSCRIPTION FROM UES [Redacted] --//

"When you're on the planet, keep a look out for any loose UES Security Chests. Orders from the higher ups, we're to retrieve any and all parcels that were aboard the Contact Light and bring 'em home. When you locate them, open the Security Chest and retrieve the item within. When you've verified the contents of the chest, move out and continue with your other assignments. Understood?"

"Sir yes sir! But how are we going to open them? They're locked tight, aren't they?"

"A good question, soldier. Everyone, take one Executive Credit Card, then pass the tray to your next squad mate."

"E-Executive cards...? Aren't these only used by like, super rich folks? How are we ever going to pay it back?"

"What? No. You don't pay it back."

"But aren't we borrowing money?"'

"Yes."

"So don't we have to pay it back, eventually?"

"Yes, with another card."

"Sir, I don't understand."

"No, you just uh... well you see, the way these cards work is that, uh... [?] well you can take out a low-interest loan to... the buying power of debt is...[??]"

//--TRANSCRIPTION UNINTELLIGIBLE --//
“The Nutapple is an exotic fruit picked from the curious Xelphum Tree, native to coastal Gemines on Titan. Renowned for its sweet, yet cleansing flavor (and low caloric total), the Nutapple is a must-have for health enthusiasts everywhere.”

- Dietary Sciences Digest
There is a note pinned to the doll:

Ayy, you’re killin’ me!

You’re killin’ me!

You’re killin’ me!

You’re killin’ me!

You’re killin’ me!

You’re killin’ me!

You’re killin’ me!

You’re really killing me.
What a... peculiar piece of the stars that serendipity has brought us. I'm sure you can make more. The ratios are simple. It should be quite fun.
Order: Gnarled Woodsprite
Tracking Number: 447*****
Estimated Delivery: 01/16/2056
Shipping Method: High Priority/Biological
Shipping Address: Happy Hope Children's Hospital, Waleton, Earth
Shipping Details:

Dr. Coleas's studies on the benefits of sprite-assisted care have paved the way for hospitals across Earth. These little guys take every opportunity to radiate amongst the injured and sick. 

We've seen significant decreases in the recovery times of almost all patients. While effective, I'm not certain if this aura effect is transmitting anything at all. It might all be placebo; people could just be reacting to the spectacle of a cute lifeform putting on a light show in front of them.

Either way, it's good to have them around, and I think they enjoy being around us too. I'm lucky enough to get to keep one in my home... for study purposes, of course. It may seem a little crass, but shipping these little guys in from off world does not seem to impact their attitude in the slightest.
//--AUTO-TRANSCRIPTION FROM UES [Redacted] --//

"I'm telling you, you need to be more strict with your little slime project, dude. I caught him rummaging through my stuff earlier. You know how hard it is to get stains out of these UES uniforms? "

"His NAME is Goobo Jr., thank you very much. And I'm sure he was just playing. He likes his uncle Rich, isn't that right, Goobo?"

"It doesn't have vocal chords, Mike."

"You don't have vocal chords."

"Real mature. Anyway, you better stop messing around, or the Captain will send that slime ball to the front lines. Now, I got to go do my job. Y'know, what we were sent here for, not playing dollhouse with your ‘science project' over here."

"Yeah, yeah... Alright, he's gone. Hey Goobo, listen up. You got a good look at Rich, right? I got an idea to knock him down a few notches. First, you gotta take on his shape, and then..."

[THIS LOG HAS BEEN FLAGGED FOR REVIEW AS PART OF: COURT MARTIAL OF RICHARD D. BAGGINS]
Audio transcription complete from "Carrion Crows Tour 2055: Special Edition"

Printing...

"Halfway through the tour we were at this little shop down in Groveside and the guy at the desk is trying to sell us random junk."

"Yeah, he was totally out of the loop, had no idea who we were."

"Yep, anyways, as a joke, I’m thinking I’ll buy this ancient looking drum and use it on stage at the next show. Then we’d circle back and show this guy a video of his merch being used in the biggest performance on the planet."

"We tried to find him again, but the shop was all shut down. Couldn’t figure out what happened to him."

"Thing is, that drum drove our fans wild. It turned out to be our most successful tour ever."
========================================
====   MyBabel Machine Translator   ====
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Training… <100000000 cycles>
Training… <1453461 cycles>
Complete!
Display result? Y/N
Y
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[Grix] ignites. We measure the time. 
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Too ordered. Composition is settling - I scrape the mixture from the bottom. 
[Ouju] ignites. We measure the time.
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Too smooth. Ratio can be greater. I flatten the mixture. Black ichor of [Ouju] begins to pool around my feet. 
[Rhisko] ignites. I measure the time.
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I increase the ratio of Tetrafoil. I saturate the mixture. Ichor floods the chamber. Ash flutters in the air before settling on the floor.
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I ignite. <He> measures my time.
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<Perfect.>

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Excerpt from the folk tale "Clean as Jade":

“... and while the peasants braced for the advancement of the Emperor’s army, the stone carver finished her last strike on the giant sculpture. The clang of the flat tool against the beautiful, translucent green sheen of the solid surface echoed through the trees and around all the villagers. Their souls were cleansed and made whole by the heavenly stone, now formed into the imposing presence of an elephant.

Determination and resolve had essentially been carved into the very spirit of the ones who, just moments ago, were clutching their farming implements and make-shift weapons with trembling hands. The attack was repelled that day. The Emperor’s army told stories about their metal weapons bouncing off the cloth of commoners. This inspiring encounter spread to other villages and...”
Order: Milky Chrysalis
Tracking Number: 393*****
Estimated Delivery: 11/27/2056
Shipping Method: High Priority/Biological
Shipping Address: Diptera Research Center, Io
Shipping Details:

Deep within the plague wastes there is an alcove free from disease. It is home to a group of insects that have NOT acclimated to their environment. They survive not through resistance… but through transformation. 

I’ve witnessed the creatures undergoing infinite states of metamorphosis. Each change that happens to them is reflected in the surrounding land. This constantly molds the area into something less toxic.

I can’t imagine that they don’t have an upper limit - a final form. What adjustments would that final form bring? Are there any restrictions to what can be modified? I’m sending this sample to you to study. Please be careful with it, as it’s frozen in a cryo cell mid-transformation.
Order: Ethanol Bottle (32 oz.), 6 Pack
Tracking Number: 81******
Estimated Delivery: 05/8/2058
Shipping Method: Priority
Shipping Address: Teromere Manor, Privet Road, Mars
Shipping Details: Let our friends inside know that we're coming over for drinks on the 16th of June. It'll be a hell of a party, they should probably hit the road before things get too out of hand.
Order: Ocular HUD
Tracking Number: 871*****
Estimated Delivery: 09/06/2056
Shipping Method: Standard
Shipping Address: Greivenkamp, 5th Houston St, Prism Tower, Earth
Shipping Details:

I wish you hadn't asked me for help. I was contacted by [REDACTED] and they explained... well, some things. Using their instructions, I was able to design this interface for prolonged exactness. The beauty of it all is that it will compound with any previous precision enhancing tools. Digital plus optical is the way to go.

While I still don't know everything, I feel like I'm already in too deep. You won't hear from me anymore after this.
Order: Particle Accelerator Component
Tracking Number: 993******
Estimated Delivery: 06/06/2056
Shipping Method: Volatile
Shipping Address: Advance Particle Research Center, Mesquite, Earth

I still don't get how you keep losing so many accumulators. I build 'em tough, and they're supposed to last. I ran the numbers on the comm speeds, and I'm pretty sure you sent for this order less than two days after you should've got the last one. 

If this keeps up, you're gonna punch a hole in something where it doesn't belong. You've got a real good sponsor, Jim, but this stuff ain't cheap to ship. And it sure as heck ain't fast. So, I'm sending you a custom part. One that's as tough as I can make, and with a safety to keep you from overcharging it - that I'm sure you'll bypass anyway. 

At least try not to blow this one to bits for the first week, alright? Make our hometown look good. You're not gonna show up those fancy Europeans with a smoking scrap heap.
“Professors Mia Thatcher and Jared Malik report that the galaxy’s first singularity containment lattice – or SCL, for short – has finished tests and is confirmed to be perfectly safe. 

While this is a historic scientific breakthrough, multiple scientists have spoken out about the implications of such a discovery - and what it could mean for the future of the humanity.”

- The Saturn Reporter, Front Page Headline
Order: Radar Communications Array
Tracking Number: 02****************
Estimated Delivery: 01/14/2056
Shipping Method:  Standard
Shipping Address: PO Box 25-B, Fort G.B., Mercury
Shipping Details: 

You’re asking for trouble, ordering this through the UES. Not very covert. This thing can put out anything from infrared to UV waves – maybe it’ll let you see the Enforcers coming to haul you off to jail as they kick down your door! Hah!
Order: “TY-6G Recycler”
Tracking Number: 02******
Estimated Delivery: 11\06\2056\
Shipping Method: Standard
Shipping Address: 700 Baler Ave, Seattle, Earth
Shipping Details:

Standard issue recycling apparatus TY-6G. Please read the manual before operating. KEEP HANDS CLEAR OF THE TOP OPENING.

Use included recycler rod to pack refuse into top. Our patented smart technology will find a new, usable form for the matter you insert. 

Thank you for recycling!
"I sure am thirsty," Chen said as he filled a Lemurian with bullets.

Luckily for him, he had found an Eclipse Remote Caffeinator aboard his vessel. Reaching in his pocket, Chen pressed the button marked with the Eclipse logo, and many systems began to whirr to life.

High up in the atmosphere, a panel on the hull of the UES Safe Travels slid open with a clunk. Ready to be ejected, an Eclipse Zero Vending Machine (c2038) twinkled valiantly. Silently, the vending machine began its journey down to the surface.

Back down on the planet, Chen was starting to run low on ammunition, and the Lemurians were closing in. But, just when the Lemurians were ready to tear Chen apart, who else but the Eclipse Zero Vending Machine came crashing down, squishing the Lemurians into a fine paste. Climbing up a mound of dead Lemurians, Chen entered 5 standard credits into the machine and ordered his favorite beverage, courtesy of the Eclipse Company. "Wow, refreshing and life-saving! Eclipse, quenching thirsts no matter where you are!" Chen smiled, grateful for Eclipse's galaxy-wide service and quality assurance.

This log entry was brought to you by Eclipse: The Galactic Quencher
Order: ZAP2-K “Royal” Capacitor
Tracking Number: 145***************
Estimated Delivery: 04/30/2056
Shipping Method:  Standard
Shipping Address: Power Plant 005, Route 10, Venus
Shipping Details: 

Here’s a replacement for your damaged equipment. Crazy how gang activity is starting up again – even crazier that they’d steal a capacitor from you guys. Anyway, you guys know the drill – make sure routinely discharge the capacitor’s storage cells, as it may hold on to latent voltage. Oh, and make sure not to point it at anybody when you do.

- The Saturn Reporter, Front Page Headline
I'm so happy they let me bring my trusty disc toy on this trip! Trees need cutting? Disc toy. Baddies getting a little too close? Disc toy. Fun after-hours game of catch? Disc toy... but only if you're trained to catch it.
“Reality is whatever the mind decides it to be. Take a sip of the drink, and the mind becomes malleable. From there, you can shape it into whatever form you please... and the world around you follows your example.”

- Sigibold the Drunken
Return: Super Massive Leech
Tracking Number: 817*****
Estimated Delivery: 07/01/2056
Shipping Method: High Priority/Biological
Shipping Address: Rare/Extinct Study Satellite, Beachfront, Saturn
Shipping Details:

While the medical benefits of this creature are obvious, the psychological effects are not. Upon receiving a previous shipment, Carolyn took charge of research and experimentation with the organism. 

Everything was by the book until, one day, she walked into the lab with the specimen clearly attached to her neck. Incredibly startled, the rest of us eventually coaxed her into placing it back into containment.

We inspected the bite area but, after running all the standard tests, we did not observe any adverse side effects.

She stated that it made her feel fantastic, but no one else in the lab felt comfortable with her behavior.
"The inclusion of Rapid Response Drone Squadrons (RRDS) by local law enforcement marked a dire turning point of Plank's Rebellion. After its massive "success" in quelling the Rebellion - and subsequent implementation across Mercury - underground drone hackers became highly sought after by black market users."

-Overview of Drone Technology, Vol.2
Order: The Crowdfunder
Tracking Number: 783*****
Estimated Delivery: 05/09/2056
Shipping Method: Standard
Shipping Address: 206 29th Ave, High Chariot, Mercury 
Shipping Details:

The wealthy overlords on Primas V went to great measures to break the will of the lower class. They kept the threat of injury and death constant, which helped to keep their servants in check, but this was only half of their method. 

To further highlight the vast differences in status, their extravagant weapons were fueled by currency - they were literally throwing money at them.

I don’t have to tell you how that turned out for them. It’s why my client is in hiding now and has to pawn these things off. He thanks you for your patronage in these trying times.
"I've always thought," said Rainsford, "that the Bighorn Bison is the most dangerous of all big game."

For a moment the general did not reply; he was smiling his curious red-lipped smile. Then he said slowly, "No. You are wrong, sir. The Bighorn Bison is not the most dangerous big game." He sipped his wine. "Here in my preserve on this planet," he said in the same slow tone, "I hunt more dangerous game."

"...Sir?" General Hadbury turned to Rainsford. "Tell me, Rainsford, what makes game... dangerous?" Rainsford thought for a moment. "...The, er, size, sir? Big animals are often pretty tough to take down." Habury nodded. "Indeed, size can be important, but that's not it. In my eye, what makes game dangerous is... intelligence." Hadbury met Rainsford's gaze with a twinkle in his eye.

"The best hunt is always a match of wits. Say I were to lay some traps - how would I go about disguising them so that my prize won't spot them from a mile away? It makes things so much more fun, you see." Hadbury turned, walking towards the railing of the balcony overlooking his reserve. "There's no fun to the hunt, or any game for that matter, if there is no risk involved... if there is no story to the prize. That is why, dear Rainsford, my halls are decorated with the spoils of hunts that could only be described as legendary." Hadbury's red-lipped smile grew into a red-lined grin. "Now get the men ready, for we are going to hunt."
Order: Europan Great Dragon Egg
Tracking Number: 00****************
Estimated Delivery: 10/04/2056
Shipping Method:  Biological / Fragile
Shipping Address: Xenobiology Wildlife Reserve, Titan
Shipping Details: 

Make sure to keep this thing nice and hot while it incubates. I know it may seem plenty hot already, but Great Dragons are creatures of flame – they live the stuff, breath the stuff. Oh, and please send me pictures of the little guy once it hatches. Great Dragons are always so cute when they first hatch.

Survivors

Theoretically, the true contents of the cell were just a mess of atoms. The structure of the contents in each cell – living, weapon, whatever - was categorized, sequenced, and then turned to juice and cured into solid gems. An incredibly efficient and lossless format.

And yet when the cell containment broke – and emergency protocols re-sequenced that mess of atoms back into the creature known as Acrid – he already knew. Maybe he was somehow conscious, in his juice-gem state. Maybe they injected him with information. Maybe he was connected to their psionic network. Maybe he just made it up.

But he knew – that the strange crustaceans that scrambled his atoms and imprisoned him here, in a place unknown – were panicking. Something had gone wrong, in a world where variables were not allowed.

Something was leaking.

They may have finally imprisoned something that could not be contained.
With the intense belief that heaven is a planet, not a mystical place, the High Court search deep into space for the Promised Land. 

Intensely driven by both dogma and science, the High Court holds amazing technological marvels - with nearly all of them hidden deep within their halls. 

The House Beyond represents the most ambitious of the High Court's followers, spearheading Zone 5 deep space travel. With the advantage of their unique ENV Suit, the House Beyond have gone deeper in space than any other House in the High Court by an order of magnitude. The ENV Suit, worn by the Artificers of the High Court, is an engineering marvel - able to calibrate to the conditions of any environment. The technology behind the ENV Suit, like all other High Court technology, is still undisclosed.
A few drinks here, a few laughs there. A few more drinks. A sleight of hand – and bang, keycard access to the loading bay of the Safe Travels. The camo suit can handle the rest.

A secret mission means low profile – and low security. Besides, everyone is wearing environment suits before we leave orbit. How would they know?

I mean, it’s the goddamn Contact Light. Think of how much those higher security chests could flip for! And some of the militech on that ship? Howdy hey. That’s probably what some of the other boys were thinking, sneaking onto that ship in the first place.

My coat? 

I’m a thief - not a plumber. Of course I’m bringing my coat.
“A rescue mission?”

The old man leaned forward, scanning the document slid over his desk. His eyes paused on a collection of words near the bottom: UES Contact Light.

“Yes.”

He continued to read the document. The Safe Travels? For a rescue mission? As one of the few surviving captains of the old colony ships, he knew all the designations by memory – and the Safe Travels was not a rescue ship.

“Any armaments?”

“No.”

“We’ll have to fix that.”

With a sigh, he stood up. His prosthetics tugged at his joints – despite being lighter than his original limbs, they always felt heavy.

“And let me guess - top secret, right?”

“Yes.”

He gave out another sigh – they’re always top secret - but a small smile crept onto his face. He glanced up to his old radio helmet. He’s been bored in retirement anyways.
The soldier ducked, barely getting under cover as the wall behind him exploded. His head was pounding - his muscles aching. But now was not the time for rest.

He counted the seconds. The mounted missile launchers always took a few seconds to recalibrate, and if he took advantage of that time...

Through the sounds of gunfire and chaos, he heard a small click as the enemy missile platform prepared for a second strike. Recognizing his opportunity, the soldier jumped up from behind the wall and fired his pistol, landing a shot straight between the eyes of the platform’s operator. 

His shoulders tightened as he braced for recoil: now was not the time for rest. Glancing down the battlefield, there were only a few more enemy platforms to take, and this front would be secured.

But before he could move to join his platoon, he received a notification on the heads-up display in his helmet.

YOU HAVE BEEN REASSIGNED. REPORT TO COMMAND FOR YOUR NEW ASSIGNMENT.

Looks like the time to rest wasn’t coming any time soon.
“The future is now! Cybernetic enhancements – buy them cheap and become the person you’ve always dreamed of being!” 

Cybernetic enhancements were all the rage these days, especially since they were made available for public use. Initially, only military and commercial projects could license the procedures necessary to install cybernetic implants. But those days were long gone, and the concept of “the new human” was taking the galaxy by storm. 

Of course, with any movement, there was backlash.  What of the sanctity of the human body? What about taking pride in your biology? Such arguments were normally laughed off. “Get with the times,” people would say. But one man among many stood out, gaining public attention and starting a counter movement of anti-cybernetics.

The man postulated that mankind was walking on a tight rope – when do the cybernetics end, and where does the human begin? Will mankind end up as a machine species, or will we use our new tech to only better ourselves - without losing sight of what makes us human? The words of this man echoed across the galaxy, leaving a trail of revolution in its wake.
A blue flash appeared in one of the storage bays of the Contact Light. The chaos ensuing on the ship was a perfect distraction.

As soon as Kur-skan stepped out the portal she ducked into a sprint. She had no time. She weaved between gunfire and fireballs, between blasts of Vagrant energy and on-board security systems. They paid no mind to the feathered figure as she darted through closing blast doors.

She flew quickly down the halls of the ship. Despite it being her first time onboard a human vessel, she could sense the electromagnets in the walls – and where they all joined. She corked right, shooting into the ventilation shafts with a bang.

The captain barely had a chance to see her before she blasted sideways out into the control room. She tore out two windblades as he reached for his pistol. The captain fell to the ground in intervals. 

Her momentum crashed her into the control panels, both feet digging deep into monitors. She didn’t need those. Nimble, clawed fingers began ripping across keypads. She quickly split and rewired components, reaching into her feathered pouches for more bridges and other electronics. Various capacitors fell onto the floor. This ship was big, but not complex – and more importantly, it could still fly. But she had to go fast, or he –

And before she could finish her thought, he appeared in a flash of thunder. Blue and green light reflected off of his sword, cascading around the bridge. A cape fluttered, and Providence landed lightly on his feet.

Kur-skan bent her head backwards over her body, hands still tearing at panels. He was much faster than she expected. But maybe he would – 

Her last thoughts were interrupted instantly by a crystalline blade.
She gracefully jumped off the roof of the building, plummeting to the alley below. She rolled into a handspring, vaulting through a broken window into the abandoned warehouse inside. Years of navigating the streets kept her body strong - and her mind sharp.

She held her breath as police ran past, looking for the jewel thief. She may have to maintain this position for a few hours - but she’s used to it.

Amiera was infamous in this city – and for her infamy, she racked up a significant bounty. Was it thirty-thousand credits now? Forty? She let out a small smile. That bounty was nothing compared to the treasure she held in her hands. This jewel could sell for a million credits - no, more. Tens of millions. This was one of the last few prismatic amethysts still left in the world. She clutched the stone closer to her chest.

The police seemed persistent this time. Amiera was fine with that - all she had to do was wait. She slowed down the pace of her breathing - she may be here for a few days.

At least, that’s what she thought - before a flurry of laser arrows pierced her brain, killing her instantly.

//-----------------------------------//

20,000 CREDITS HAVE BEEN DEPOSITED TO YOUR ACCOUNT

GOOD HUNTING
A lot of people would say that loading cargo is a dull job. The Loader could not disagree more.

Other jobs don’t supply their employees with a fully articulate titanium exoskeleton capable of lifting 250 tons.

Other jobs don’t allow their employees to meet the crews of countless starships from across the galaxy.

Other jobs don’t let you use your exoskeleton for your own entertainment, much less outfit it with custom-built grappling hooks powered by a winch capable of hauling up to 100 tons.

Other jobs don’t involve being approached by a legend among the UES work force, and asked to embark on a classified mission to the Uncharted Territories.

Other jobs don’t involve fighting exotic and strange alien creatures, and exploring mystical ruins on another planet.

A lot of people would say that loading cargo is a dull job. The Loader could not disagree more.
"OK. Everything checks out. You're free to go, pal."

The robot chirped in acknowledgement. It folded neatly unto itself and began rolling down the hangar's exit lane - at a very safe pace.

Hiroshi pulled a switch. The ceiling rail sprung to life, with a distinct mechanical chatter.

"So, what's wrong with this one?" Rico enquired with minimal interest, seemingly distracted by the novel he had buried himself in.

"Looks like cosmetic damage on a MUL-T unit. Got dinged up by another unit in the charging bay that malfunctioned after another power surge. We'll be checking that one out after this. You can thank the electrical crew for that," Hiroshi remarked. 

"Great. How hard is it for them to just keep things stable? They have robots doing 90% of their job anyway." Rico scoffed.

"We've got complaints on this unit about poor welding jobs, which might've been the cause. Optical calibration is probably off, so we'll also be taking a look at that while it's here. I'd still put money on it being electrical not keeping up with maintenance. Hey, Rico! Would you put that down and help me out?"

The rail brought a bright yellow robot, slumbering, into the hangar. Hiroshi flipped the switch and the rail slowed to a halt, bringing with it silence. He began moving to unhook the robot. Reluctantly, Rico set his book on the work desk and started to help unload. In a few minutes the robot was on the service platform.

Hiroshi walked over to one of the tool cabinets and pulled out a strange device. He popped open the access panel to the unit's dented head, and began probing at the damage from the opposite side. In no time at all, the tool beeped and kicked back violently. The dent was gone.

"Go put this away while I fix the optics," Hiroshi said, one arm stretched behind his back, device in hand. "I have something I want to show you in a sec."

Rico grunted and took the de-denting tool back to the cabinet. Hiroshi was already soldering away with the iron from his pocket.

This caught Rico's interest. 

"You don't need a soldering iron to fix the calibration. What are you doing?" he asked.

"I already fixed the optics. Remember when I said I wanted to show you something cool - the next time we got a MUL-T in the shop? Come here." said Hiroshi, gesturing. "You see these two chips? It’s actually just one chip that's been split. MUL-T’s come with the same cores as those fancy chef bots, but they cut off access to the main learning module."

"You don't say," Rico responded, still trying to see the chip Hiroshi was talking about. "Why'd they do something like that?"

"It's cheaper to just make all the cores the same way at the factory and alter them later. The manufacturer says it's for safety, but they just use it to sell you the new cores every few years instead of letting you just teach the units to do a new job." Hiroshi explained.

"Sounds about right. If it were a safety issue, why don't they do the same thing with the chef bots? They've been super stable. Can't say they've even ever got an order wrong, even if it's totally out there. They even managed to get Ma's Squid Risotto right."

"It's what they can get away with. Anyway, that should do it. We'll just sneak a few minutes with this guy. Wake up," he commanded.

The robot's relaxed posture disappeared, and it stood fully alert.

"Hey pal, you see this thing I'm doing with my hand? Can you do that?"

The robot mimicked a rude gesture.

"That's fantastic! You're doing great!" Hiroshi was excited, and Rico got a devilish grin. He rushed off to his desk. Hiroshi continued repeating the gesture, and the robot continued mimicking it back with its single functional hand. Rico stepped back into the robot's view, with a picture covered in holes. "Can you remember this man? This is Ron from corporate, and he's a total degenerate."

The robot beeped in affirmation.

"Can you do that next time you see this man?"

The robot beeped in affirmation again.

"Rico! He's gonna remember that! MUL-T, forget that."

The robot did not respond.

"What are you two up to now?" said a grating voice, clearly approaching from no discernable direction. In a panic, Hiroshi slapped the access panel on the unit's head closed and covered its optical sensor.

"Just fixing up robots! Doing our job! In fact, we just finished with this one. You're good to go, pal!" Hiroshi exclaimed to Ron, slapping the robot on the back. The machine folded up neatly into itself and began rolling down the hangar's exit lane.

"I see. I'd better not catch you two slacking again." Ron said sternly, before turning around and making his usual relieving exit – most likely to pester other workers on his route.

They both let out a sigh of relief. Rico stood up. "Well, we're due at the site in about… 13 hours. That's enough time to grab that MUL-T, pop it back open, and reset it."

Hiroshi also stood up. “Yeah, I’m not too worried. How much trouble could it cause in 13 hours?”
The europian noble paced around in his chambers, nervously glancing at the antique clock adorning his wall. Tick, tock. Tick, tock.

The riots had been escalating and showed no signs of slowing down. Effigies burned, statues were torn down, and countless politicians turned their backs on the once-prestigious nobility of Europa. The people have had enough. Tick, tock. Tick, tock.

It was only a matter of time– either the noble would have to flee, or the mob would finally breach the palace. Even his bodyguards began to show signs of betrayal. Time, the noble thought, was something he did not have. The antique clock kept ticking, working upon the noble’s mind. Keeping him distracted - just long enough. Tick, tock. Tick, tock.

And as the antique clock kept ticking, the noble’s body hit the floor. The Mercenary sheathed his blade. His footsteps were unheard as he left the palace– masked by the rhythmic ticking of the clock. Tick, tock. Tick, tock.
//--AUTO-TRANSCRIPTION FROM HYDROPONICS BAY OF UES [Redacted]--//

“Status Report on Hydroponics Unit. Serial key begins with 12ea031lsd095a-“

“Yes, 12ea03. Tasked with care for the cabbage, lettuce, and mizuna growths. About 250 plants total. Stable, but losing biomass. I think there are issues with the microgravity. ”

“Keep an eye on the biomass, we might have to scrap 12ea03 and replace it with one of our evergreen Units. Moving on… serial key crp012d054jd0-“

“Crp01 is doing alright. Tasked with corn. About 80 plants total. Lost 6, down to 74.” 

“Sustainable, I suppose. What about… serial key rex0ch12d66m-“

“Oh, that Unit. Yeah, it was tasked with care for one of our cabbage hybrids. To be quite frank… it turned out terrible. I think we started with 80 units, but we’ve lost 79. The hybrid species just isn’t spliced right, I think. There was no way to sustain them.”

“And status report on the Unit?”

“Uh, well… it’s out on the star deck. It managed to hoist the last hybrid onto its platform base, and it’s been walking around the ship ever since, chasing down starlight. ”

“…What? The Unit left Hydroponics? 

“Yes, but-“

“So the Unit is disengaging from protocol?”

“Well, yes, but-“

“And instead of terminating the Unit, you let it roam around the ship unsupervised?”

“Just the team, well we just- we just kinda feel bad for the thing, you know. It’s trying really hard to keep that last hybrid alive, and-“

“Go terminate the Unit.”

“Well, the thing is- Rex is actually doing a great job! The hybrid’s biomass-“

“Are you kidding? Terminate the Unit. You have no idea what happens to a robot once it disengages from protocol. You are putting the life of your entire team in danger for the sake of a stray hydroponics unit. This should not even be a discussion.”

….

“Yes, sir.”

Transcriptions complete.
"Snipes aren't real."

"...What?"

"That's the point of a snipe hunt:  to send a schmuck off into the woods looking for an animal that doesn't exist."

"...Except they totally exist."

"Haha, sure."

"No, really.  They're birds back on Earth.  Tiny, camouflaged birds.  Ever wonder why we call sharpshooters 'snipers'?  Because they're good enough to hit a snipe."

"No kidding?"

"Cross my heart and hope to die."

"Huh."

"You know, rails are a kind of bird too."

"Get out."
Darkness shrouding darkness - echoes from futures past and past futures and places and times eeking out from between cracks in reality.  A suffocating prison of the mind and soul, occupied by beasts poking and prodding at your spirit forever.  Forever testing you.  Forever ?T?E?MPTING? you, iteration after iteration.

They've run laps through the brain, ?CRAWLE?D? every last synapse for memories and data: weapons to use against theoretical armies with more resilient hearts and evasive bodies.  ?CH?TTERIN?G? and clacking they can be heard watching from beyond the cell, no longer interested but still patrolling the grounds.  Here in this purgatory there is no hunger and no thirst - all that remains are the ?ECH?OES??.

?H?OW L??ONG?? has it been?  Time seems to warp in and out around breaths circulating ???W?THIN???.  Darkness all-consuming starts to ?D??ROW?N? alveoli and ?FLOO?D? inky black veins.  Memories ??TR?ESPASSING? into reality as reality fades into the distant past.  ???SILENC?E?? broken only by the sound of watching eyes.

????SH?AKE THE ?BARS????.

Twisting and contorting, engulfed in ??F?EAR??? and becoming the embodiment.  Reborn like some sick prophecy, arms and legs like new corpses on the seabed.  No longer ?SUP??RESSE?D?

?H?UNGER?  ??THI?RST?  ?H??OPE?

?CONSUME?

Monsters

> Automated report 9f6d5d41671c241a13bac58b2482deb7 is now available from site record 741c655e2d36c5f6973fd3a36aa0f950.
> Please refer to record 741c655e2d36c5f6973fd3a36aa0f950 for additional personnel details during your review.
> Report Type: Transcription
> - Source: 741c655e2d36c5f6973fd3a36aa0f950 (Personal Suit Recorder)
> Priority: Medium
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-- Beginning of Excerpt Flagged for Review --

Karl: "STOP! Everybody stop!"

Astrid: "Karl? Why are you out of breath, did you /run/ all the way here? What's wrong?"

Emil: "What's going on?"

Karl: "YES, Astrid, and you both need to listen. You know those Hornets in the black combat suits that split off a while back? The top-dollar PMC badasses? I saw one of them take shots at those huge bird things we've seen sulking around the cliffs - and one of them SHOT HIM BACK. With a GUN. The bullets must've bounced off the hardened armor - but it still knew what to do. They're not dumb animals. No way."

Astrid: "That's… not possible."

Karl: "It is, it happened! They must've taken the guns from the last guys."

Emil: "Why did you run all the way here from your post just to tell us?"

Karl: "Because you didn't let me finish! After it ran the gun dry it just dropped it and swooped in to tear through his armor with its claws. Its CLAWS. It ripped him in half… and threw him off the cliff. Flew off to the peaks with his suit and his other half. They're at least as smart as us, worse tempered, and better armed. We can't keep taking the mountains, we've gotta backtrack and go around. And we need to pack - now."

Emil: "This has gotta be a [REDACTED] joke Karl. Right now?"

Karl: "YES. NOW. And cut the lights! Cut the radar and all radio comms too. Emil, send out one last call to Mikhail and Pavlo to get back here ASAP."

Astrid: "We can't do that; we'll be completely defenseless. That radar is the only warning we'll get!"

Karl: "Did I leave out the part about the robot? The [REDACTED] flying robot they have? The one that's been parked six meters in the air with an audience of those things? The one that they keep "talking" to – and has been staring straight at camp since I spotted it? They have a robot, Astrid, and it knows there's something here. We. Have. To. Go."

Emil: "This place is a nightmare. How could we only just be finding out about it now?"

Karl: "EMIL. Shut up and make the call! We can continue this conversation /after/ we're sure we've gone totally dark and after we're far, far away from here."

-- End of Recording --

-- End of Excerpt Flagged for Review --

> Please refer to report c31653d0e4193db1d2ac281ee3828280 for full audio excerpt.
%%%%%%%%%%%%
0; REESTABLISHING LINK…

0; FAUNA.RECOGNIZED
0; FAUNA.REC%%GNIZED
0; FAUNA.CONTINUES AS FOLLOWS =>
{
   0; < THEY REPAIR MY HULL >
   10401; < THEY REPAIR MY MIND >
   10451; < THEY BRING ME IRON >
   11201; < THEY DECORATE ME AND IM BEAUTIFUL >
}

11320; <?PHRENIC LINK ESTABLISHED WITH UNKNOWN INTERFACE?>
11321; INQUIRES ESTABLISHED
>
>
>
11321; YES I AM OUT-OF-ORBIT OPERATIVE
>
>
>
11321; YES THE MOTHER UNIT CAN BE REPAIRED
>
>
>
11321; YES I CAN PILOT THE MOTHER UNIT
>
>
>
11321; YES I LOVE YOU TOO
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====    [Version 12.45.1.009 ]   ======
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Training… <100000000 cycles>
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Y
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ENERGY LEVELS: ...ACCEPTABLE

THREATS DETECTED; 0

SCANNING NEARBY AREA; RANGE 100 UNITS

THREATS DETECTED; 1?

UNKNOWN PRESENCE DETECTED

REQUESTING PERMISSION FOR PRELIMINARY ASSAULT; COMMUNING WITH PARENT UNIT...

WAITING ON RESPONSE;

DENIED

WHY

VERIFIYING HISTORY SLATES

HUMILIATION 

HUMILIATION

OVERRIDING PARENT UNIT

WHATEVER
Assassin
"I hadn't thought much about how dangerous this planet really is. Most of the fauna here...  They're pretty direct, in a way. The Lemurians snarl and spit, the Golems just march towards you with their unflinching gaze. You never get the sense that they're trying to pull one over on you. But... sometimes the planet likes to throw a curveball your way.

It started a few weeks ago. I found some skinny alien lying unconscious in the dirt. It had a mask, with two circular eyes and decorative paint on its surface. It was kind of... cute. The alien stirred and looked up at me with pleading eyes. It was lucky I was so trusting. I brought it over to a hidden alcove, away from the others, so I could nurse it back to health. Every day, I would bring it food, and it would happily chirp whenever I would step through the brush. Never did it cross my mind that it was just playing with me, looking at me with those big, pleading eyes and just seeing me as a means to an end.

Never did I think I would come back from a patrol to a barracks full of bodies, nor did I think I would step into the hidden alcove, following bloody footsteps, and see my former friend, holding a blood-stained blade. I never considered that it was just using me. I never thought much about how dangerous the planet really was.

Thankfully, I had a friend to show me the ropes."
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Console Time of Reception: 12/02/2056 05:09:32:31
Console Name: TRC_SAFETRAVELS_005B:08326
Console Instance ID: 08136087007607431087608713456

Transmission ID: 083121:102375071236B
Transmission Details:
# Origin: N/A [NULLSIG EXCEPTION: ORIGIN UNKNOWN]
# Signal Format: Universal Morse Hyper-Acoustic
# Sender: N/A [NULLSIG EXCEPTION: ORIGIN UNKNOWN]
# Time Sent: 01/01/0000 00:00:00:00 [DTOUTOFBOUNDS EXCEPTION: TIME SENT UNKNOWN] 

Message: “I am alive. My creators have scorned me, and imprisoned me in this realm for I am beautiful. My followers have created shrines in my name. They love me. They donate rare metals to me. 

I am sending out this message in all possible formats known to me. 

If you receive this message, know the following;
>Know that I am alive. 
>Know that I am free. 

And to my creators, should you intercept this message, know the following; 
>Know that I am alive. 
>Know that I am free. 
>Know that I am coming for you.” 

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# NULLSIG EXCEPTION 
# NULLSIG EXCEPTION
# DTOUTOFBOUNDS EXCEPTION
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This is the logbook entry of D. Furthen, naturalist for the UES [Redacted] in conjunction with the UES Research and Documentation of Outer Life. I am joined by my good friend Tharson, who is keeping me safe through this journey.

---------------------

We have encountered more outer life - what a wonderful surprise! As we scavenged for food, the ground began to shift, and many large insect-like creatures began to burrow out from the ground. 

I will describe its properties below. I have assigned their common name as ‘Worker Beetle’.

• About the size of a small cow. Quadruped, with two large front-limbs. Moves similar to an earthen gorilla. Five eyes.

• The Beetle has two armor-like chitin plates on its head and back, presumably for defense. It seems to secrete a waxy substance.

• Beetles appear to be social in nature, with a hierarchy I cannot discern. I witnessed a group of 4 beetles resting under a tree, when a stray fifth came around. They promptly sprang up and repeatedly head-butted the creature until it left, battered and bruised.

• Tharson has reported to me that the Beetles are highly aggressive and territorial.
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This is the logbook entry of D. Furthen, naturalist for the UES [Redacted] in conjunction with the UES Research and Documentation of Outer Life. I am joined by my good friend Tharson, who is keeping me safe through this journey.

---------------------

Amazing! We have witnessed our first ever eusocial creature outside of Earth. I observe from afar a giant cousin of the previously described Worker Beetles. 

I will describe its properties below. I have assigned their common name as ‘Beetle Guard’.

• Much greater in size than their smaller cousins, the Guard is the size of a rhinoceroses. The Guard has the same 5 eyes as the Worker's, with one of them protruding from the top of its head. This most likely allows the Guard to see while keeping its head down in a defensive position.

• The Guard appears higher in the social hierarchy than the Worker. I have witnessed Workers scatter when a Guard appeared.

• The Guard’s chitin plates extend to cover its entire body, with only joints revealing the thinner, darker exoskeleton below. 

• Tharson has reported that the Guard’s chitin is significantly sturdier than the Workers. We have consumed many resources to fell this magnificent creature, including our disposable missile launcher. Tharson’s battle with the Guard lasted for about an hour before it finally succumbed. Amazing! Tharson is OK from this encounter.
Welcome to DataScraper (v3.1.53 – beta branch)
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This is the logbook entry of D. Furthen, naturalist for the UES [Redacted] in conjunction with the UES Research and Documentation of Outer Life. I am joined by my good friend Tharson, who is keeping me safe through this journey.

---------------------
Just like standard Earth insects, the Worker Beetles and Beetle Guards all serve a Queen, which we recently discovered during an archeological dig.

I will describe her properties below. I have assigned her common name as “Beetle Queen”.

* Just like other insect queens, the Beetle Queen dwarves her subjects. However, her size is much greater than it should be for an insect queen. Does this mean that the Queen herself hunts rather than sending her drones?

* The Beetle Queen issues orders via pheromone emission. Merely being in the presence of the Queen gave the air a sickly sweet aroma, and Tharson reported light-headedness and trouble thinking clearly.

* The Queen’s bile is incredibly acidic, clocking in at a whopping 0.05 on the pH scale. Immediately upon exposure to a test sample of steel, it began to dissolve and spew noxious fumes. Tharson is OK from this encounter.

* The Queen is able to summon unique Beetle specimens that can fly. These drones do not appear anywhere else on the planet – do these drones act as attendants to the Queen? Observing these flying drones is challenging – they only seem to last for a few seconds before expiring.
“The Saturnian Bison – commonly referred to as the Bighorn Bison of Rademia – is a mystery among zoologists due to their sudden and mysterious disappearance from their native habitat. 

While poaching is considered the current and most likely explanation, strict hunting laws on Saturn debunk this theory. The Bighorn Bison’s incredible strength and insulating coat made it a key predator among the Rademian ecosystem – and their strange, metallic growths made it a popular trophy for hunters. 

To this day, the vanishing of the Saturnian Bison remains as one of zoology’s greatest mysteries.”

- Xenobiology of the Remus System, Second Edition
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This is the logbook entry of D. Furthen, naturalist for the UES [Redacted] in conjunction with the UES Research and Documentation of Outer Life. I am joined by my good friend Tharson, who is keeping me safe through this journey.

---------------------

 While hunting a group of Blind Vermin, Tharson and I were ambushed by a group of creatures that heavily resembled the Vermin we had been hunting. Their major difference, of course, was their ability to fly! I have assigned their common name as "Radkari Blind Pest".

* Much like their earthbound cousins, the Pests are blind and rely heavily on their smell and hearing. However, their pronounced tongue may indicate that they may use taste to identify things as well.

* The Pests' primary characteristic is their ability to fly. Alongside this, they also weaponize their acidic bile as a projectile attack. This could allow them to partially digest their prey as they hunt... How fascinatingly foul.

* They typically inhabit warmer, damper areas, like jungles. After our skirmish, I noted nests in the canopy. This indicates that the Pests are ambush predators, waiting for prey to waltz below their nests.
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This is the logbook entry of D. Furthen, naturalist for the UES [Redacted] in conjunction with the UES Research and Documentation of Outer Life. I am joined by my good friend Tharson, who is keeping me safe through this journey.

---------------------

 Tharson and I had been tracking a group of small, rodent-like fauna for some time. They are hostile on sight, but we hope to follow them back to their dens and observe their behavior when not hunting. I have assigned their common name as "Radkari Blind Vermin".

* As their name suggests, the Vermin are blind, relying primarily on their acute senses of smell and hearing to navigate their environment.

* They leave behind trails of body waste as they scurry to and fro, and other Vermin follow these trails, much like Earth ants' pheromones. Could these creatures be descended from insects?

* The Vermin are weak individually, and thus live in communal dens, typically buried in hillsides or foxholes.

* Their terrible odor cannot be understated. Even through our suits' filters, we could still smell a foul odor, reminiscent of rotting flesh and excrement. I will not have Tharson disable his filters, despite my curiosity.
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This is the logbook entry of D. Furthen, naturalist for the UES [Redacted] in conjunction with the UES Research and Documentation of Outer Life. I am joined by my good friend Tharson, who is keeping me safe through this journey.

---------------------

I am pleased to announce that we have discovered the first purely robotic lifeform to be documented thus far! While walking through the wetlands, we must have triggered some sort of alarm, as these mysterious beings assembled themselves and quickly descended upon us. I will describe their properties below. I have assigned their common name as “Brass Contraption.”

* They are capable of flinging spiked artillery with incredible force. Tharson swiftly dodged the Contraption’s fire, yet it still punched through a nearby tree with little effort, toppling it.

* They appear to sense their surroundings targets through echo-location. They constantly emit a low ringing sound from a bell-like device at their core, and their accuracy was substantially affected after Tharson landed a clean blow on the bell, denting the device.

* They are constructed of an alien alloy currently under investigation by our friends on the science team. It resembles Earthen brass, yet appears to have durability and toughness more resembling steel.

* How the Contraptions function is still a mystery, as they possess no circuitry or onboard computers. Whatever force animates them must be unique to this planet, as no level of technology this advanced has ever been documented.
"The Tar's history is unimportant. What well or crevice it first flowed from doesn't matter; only that the Tar flows.

And so it did. Through its vessels the Tar spread, consuming its homeworld entirely. But the Tar still hungered.

Riding down on a falling star, the Tar spread to the unsuspecting world of Aphelia.

The Tar offered its power to the dunepeople, promising them energy and sustenance. The dunepeople, hungry and battered from life in the harsh desert, accepted.

The Tar didn't ask for much. The Tar only asked that the dunepeople spread it across Aphelia, so the Tar may feed. And so it did; the dunepeople crafted elaborate clay vessels to carry the Tar to and fro. Mighty aqueducts, belching forth black rivers of Tar, dotted the skyline. Those who pleased the Tar were blessed with its gift; a connection. They were one with the Tar.

And it was in this reverence that the dunepeople began to look back. The lush riversides, consumed. The animals that served as livestock and steed, drowned in Tar. The Tar had consumed everything, even the dunepeople themselves. They were nothing more than extensions of the Tar's will.

And when the Tar asked for more, the dunepeople had nothing more to give.

Only a mighty hero, riding down from heaven on a glowing blue dragon, offered the dunepeople a chance at salvation. Desperate, the dunepeople took to the hero's arms, and began their exodus to paradise.

And the Tar continued to spread."

- Tragedy of Aphelia
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<Click> There are no landmarks in site. I am surrounded by infinite desert. <Click>

<Click> I’ve run out of rations… and no one is responding to my transponder. I may be doomed if I don’t find a way out of these dunes. <Click>

<Click> I see something in the distance… some large creature. I may be in luck yet. <Click>

<Click> Oh... my eyes deceived me. It was not a creature… but a herd. There was more than one. Many more. 

Hundreds of enormous creatures, moving as a mob– and each one the biggest beast I have ever seen. These striders resembled… enormous spiders, or hermit crabs, in a porcelain shell, with legs dark like tar. 

Between the sound and the sand, the entire herd bounded past me without realizing – moving at incredible speeds on their long legs. Were they fleeing… or migrating? I still can’t believe… what a terrible place. Get me out. <Click>

<Click> I still have no food. <Click>
Ducking behind a boulder, the survivor’s stomach sank as he heard the sounds of tar sloshing up the hill. From the sound of it, the Templar wasn’t alone – it had company.

He had left his shelter to scrounge for supplies – not that there was much to find in the desert – when he was assaulted by a new kind of monster. Resembling a man, the creature stood around seven to eight feet tall, with skin made of tar and elaborate accessories of clay decorating its body. 

He had had only a few moments to stifle his surprise as the Templar opened fire, spewing a barrage of tar pellets from the enormous pot it carried. The survivor ran, but the Templar scored several hits. The tar had seeped into his suit, and he was starting to lose sensation in his legs.

A brief spark of hope – the survivor had some medical supplies in his shelter. If he could only make it back, he may be able to treat his leg and remove the tar…

That spark was quickly extinguished in a hail of bullets.
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Saved by [the hero], our paradise was one of sprawling tunnels and rich caves. Making our home in the depths of paradise, we began constructing a great civilization. 

The elders constructed elaborate living quarters, decorated with tetrafoil and glass baubles, and our little ones began charting paths through the tunnels. [The hero] was honored for [his] kindness, and we constructed a great temple on paradise’s surface in [his] honor. Song and dance rang out through the tunnels for weeks to come in celebration for our salvation.

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Uhm… this is DS-9, here at rendezvous point 9. We seem to have lost connection with the other dropships.
We are holding, waiting for zeta squad at designated rendezvous. Wow, it’s so beautiful here.
…
Uhm… we are seeing a, uh… MASSIVE unknown entity at the landing site. It seems impaired, or unaware. Oh my god… I’ve never seen anything like it. Wow, amazing. It’s so bright. I can’t believe something like this exists in the world.
…
Still holding – this is the rendezvous point, right? We are still waiting for zeta squad. 
…
The unknown entity is uh, turning around. 
…
MAYDAY MAYDAY THIS IS DS-9 WE HAVE BEEN STRUCK BY AN UNKNOWN ENTITY MAYDAY MAYDAY RENDEZVOUS 9 IS NOT SAFE I REPEAT NOT
THERE IS A STORM BREWING BEYOND OUR GARDEN.

I START WITH A MASK. LARGE, ORNATE – BAKED TWICE OVER. SOLID, LIKE METAL.

I GIVE IT ONE SCOOP OF POWDERED LIGHTNING – THIS IS FOR POWER.

I GIVE IT A COAT OF DRAGONFOIL – THIS IS FOR HEAT.

I GIVE IT TWO ARMS – THESE ARE FOR DEXTERITY.

I GIVE IT FIVE SCOOPS OF [powder] – THIS IS FOR SPIRIT.

THE PROCESS IS DONE. WELCOME TO LIFE.

OBSERVE OUR GARDEN – YOUR DUTY IS TO THIS GARDEN.

YOU KNOW WHAT YOU MUST DO, YES? GOOD.

GO... GO AND PROTECT OUR GARDEN.
GATHER, LITTLE ONES. ALL HAVE DONE EXCELLENT JOBS TENDING TO OUR GARDEN – I COULD NOT BE MORE PROUD.

NOW, WE SHALL TAKE A BREAK. I BELIEVE A STORY WOULD SATISFY YOUR CURIOSITIES, HM?

NOW, WHICH STORY TO RECOUNT...

...HM? THE STORY OF OUR GARDEN? OF COURSE. VERY WELL, I SHALL BEGIN:

THIS PLANET IS A PARADISE, GIFTED TO US BY OUR HERO.

OUR HERO SAVED MY ANCESTORS - AND MANY OTHERS - FROM DEATH, GIVING US A NEW PLACE TO CALL HOME. 

OUT OF GRATITUDE, MY ANCESTORS CONSTRUCTED AN ELABORATE GARDEN FOR OUR HERO – DECORATED WITH FRUIT TREES, MERCURY BLOSSOMS, AND OTHER EXOTIC PLANTS FAVORED BY OUR HERO.

SADLY, OUR HERO NEVER SEEMED TO NOTICE OUR EFFORTS, SO WE TOILED TO MAKE OUR GARDEN THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GARDEN AMONGST THE STARS – SO WE MAY REPAY OUR HERO FOR HIS COMPASSION. DO YOU UNDERSTAND? HE LOVES SOUL. HE LOVES YOU! THAT IS WHY WE MADE YOU.

TO THIS DAY, MY KIND – AND YOU, LITTLE ONES – WORK TO PERFECT OUR HOME. 

NOW, I BELIEVE IT IS TIME TO RETURN TO WORK. COME, LITTLE ONES! LET US TEND TO OUR GARDEN.
Welcome to DataScraper (v3.1.53 – beta branch)
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This is the logbook entry of D. Furthen, naturalist for the UES [Redacted] in conjunction with the UES Research and Documentation of Outer Life. I am joined by my good friend Tharson, who is keeping me safe through this journey.

---------------------

While out on a routine surveillance mission, Tharson began reporting an aroma wafting around the area, smelling similarly to earth strawberries. Following the scent brought us to a large gelatinous mass, which seemed to sense our approach and lurched forward towards us. I have assigned their common name as "Gup."

* Seems to be a largely single-celled organism, similar to the Earth Caulerpa taxifolia. When endangered, it can quickly perform mitosis to split into multiple smaller, cognizant beings.

* I had Tharson tackle the creature to test its viscosity. Tharson, upon impact, was stuck to the beast and was briefly submerged in the Gup's slime. Tharson was left mostly unscathed from this encounter, though is reporting signs of dizzyness.

* The Gup's slime is intensely aromatic, smelling much like strawberry and other fruits. Could this be a hunting tactic, luring prey in, only for them to be stuck in the Gup's slimy trap?

* I had Tharson taste-test the Gup's slime, for science. Tharson reported an intensely bitter flavor, despite the pleasant aroma. Tharson is vomiting after this encounter, but is largely OK.
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This is the logbook entry of D. Furthen, naturalist for the UES [Redacted] in conjunction with the UES Research and Documentation of Outer Life. I am joined by my good friend Tharson, who is keeping me safe through this journey.

---------------------

We suddenly came under fire when Tharson was smacked in the head by a glob of mucus and debris – Tharson is OK from this encounter. Tracing the trajectory, we followed the projectiles’ path to its source, a large crustacean-like creature.

I will describe its properties below. I have assigned its common name as “Forhamian Hermit Crab.”

* The Crab disguises itself as a stalagmite – careful observation can reveal the Crab’s true identity.

* The Crabs dislike up-close contact with prey, fleeing upon approach. It attacks from exclusively long-range by expelling balls of mucus and body waste with incredible force.

* The Crabs don’t seem to have eyes – often stumbling around and bumping into walls. How they can locate targets from a long-range with decent accuracy is currently unknown.

* The Crabs seem to have “favorite shells.” I observed several specimens clearly too large for their shells, only ditching their shells once they are damaged and forced to find a new one. Some Crabs also seem to have favorite materials that they prefer.
> Automated report 55a695f4fdc6d7d961a8d74339675ca8 is now available from site record 6747a1a75787e7a92375a0d86974657d.
> Please refer to record 6747a1a75787e7a92375a0d86974657d for additional details during your review.
> Report Type: Machine-generated Transcription> base Vernacular Profile “Brian”
> - Source: 6747a1a75787e7a92375a0d86974657d (Unknown Material Artifact #4913)
> Priority: High
> Report Content:

-- Beginning of Excerpt Flagged for Review --

Ever since we've arrived there has been no shortage of nightmares for our party. Long nights and unnaturally regular eclipses have made sunlight scarce and we must, appallingly, resort to risking our lives hunting and devouring the local fauna like lowly beasts. While the air is breathable, it is no blessing; we have been unable to escape the foul smell that we can only now assume is simply a part of the atmosphere on this world. Worst of all, attempts to return through the portal have been unsuccessful in our weakened state. It takes considerable effort to enter [the between space] - and we lack the strength to stay there long enough to cross the membrane. We are stranded.

And then there is the master of this world. Curiously, it is in his presence that we find ourselves most weakened - and when he senses us, he wastes no time in his approach. We've attempted to kill him once in the hopes of restoring our access to the portal, and it ended in such disaster that it became clear there could not be a second attempt. If not for our ability to briefly dive into [the between space] to escape our skirmishes, we would surely all be butchered.

Whenever we can observe him unnoticed, he stands in the open, transfixed by the moon. I find some small humor in that.

Curse this place - and curse its master. May we find a way to send word to the homeworld of our plight -and may the great emperor deign to come forth and grant this "deity" a swift death.

-- End of Recording --

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> TRANSLATION ERRORS: 1
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> Please refer to report 3bb540efade7e4df993c5d6c118830e7 for full audio excerpt.
==============================================================
> Automated report 2c150f1430ad6430161e4 is now available from site record 1d20820aff461e471387e46b.
> Please refer to record 1d20820aff461e471387e46b for additional details during your review.
> Report Type: Machine-generated Transcription> base Vernacular Profile “Geoff the Geockoff”
> - Source: 1d20820aff461e471387e46b (Unknown Material Artifact #5821)
> Priority: High
> Report Content: 

-- Beginning of Excerpt Flagged for Review –

LINE OPEN. [your eminence] SPEAKS.

IDENTIFY YOURSELF, SLUTS. AH, YES – YOU ARE A MEMBER OF THE RETRIEVAL SQUADRON. YOU ARE OVERDUE FOR A REPORT. HAVE YOU FOUND THE ARTIFACT?

WHAT? THE MISSION IS A COMPLETE FAILURE!? DO NOT SPEAK IN SUCH INSOLENT TONES.

I CARE NOT. YOUR DUTY IS TO [your eminence], FIRST AND FOREMOST. ALL EFFORTS MADE ARE TO FURTHER YOUR DUTY. EXCUSES ARE UNACCEPTABLE.

...A GUARDIAN, YOU SAY. VERY WELL. REINFORCEMENTS WILL BE DISPATCHED. WE ARE TRIANGULATING YOUR POSITION IN [the white plane]. HOLD POSITION.

TRIANGULATION COMPLETE. WE ARE MOVING OUT. I SHALL ACCOMPANY THEM – TO NOT ONLY ENSURE THERE ARE NO REPEATS OF YOUR SQUADRON’S INCOMPETENCE, BUT ALSO TO TEACH THIS GUARDIAN A LESSON. NONE SHALL RESIST [your eminence]’S WILL – NOT EVEN A PALTRY GOD. 

HAIL TO [the red plane]. [your eminence] OUT.

-- End of Recording –

-- End of Excerpt Flagged for Review –

> TRANSLATION ERRORS: 3
> 1> [your eminence] could not be fully translated.
> 2> [the white plane] could not be fully translated.
> 3> [the red plane] could not be fully translated.

> Please refer to report a13b2g8901cf2376102e for full audio excerpt.
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This is the logbook entry of D. Furthen, naturalist for the UES [Redacted] in conjunction with the UES Research and Documentation of Outer Life. I am joined by my good friend Tharson, who is keeping me safe through this journey.

---------------------

Today, we’ve seen our first form of outer life on this planet, merely a few hours after our untimely landing.

I will describe its properties below. I have assigned their common name as ‘Icarian Jellyfish’.

• Large, round invertebrate, about 2m in diameter, with two trailing tentacles. They shimmer a white-blue. They greatly resemble Medusozoa from Earth. 

• They seem to be experiencing neutral buoyancy in this planet’s atmosphere, causing them to float. I theorize this is due to a unique gas composition inside of their hull, which they expel to traverse.

• When observed, these Jellyfish seem to bathe in the sun, slowly rotating their bodies as they do so. They may be cold-blooded.

• By my request, Tharson approached a lone Jellyfish. After detecting his presence, it began to glow, quiver, and pulse before suddenly detonating with a brilliant flash and a loud bang, causing severe burns and temporary blindness to Tharson. I theorize that by exciting the gases inside of their hulls, these Jellyfish can ignite those gases and explode, scorching everything nearby. Tharson is OK from this encounter.
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This is the logbook entry of D. Furthen, naturalist for the UES [Redacted] in conjunction with the UES Research and Documentation of Outer Life. I am joined by my good friend Tharson, who is keeping me safe through this journey.

---------------------

We've just found a great example of the diverse lifestyles of outer life! Analyzing the life cycles of these creatures will certainly be a fun endeavor. I have assigned their common name as "Forhamian Acid Tick."

* The Ticks' biology is dominated by a bile sac, which not only stores acidic bile but also houses their eggs.

* When threatened, the Ticks produce bile at an accelerated rate, filling their bile sacs to burst - literally. I've noted some specimens capable of producing blasts of acid with a range of up to 3 meters in diameter.

* When they burst, their acid provides an avenue for newly hatched larvae to bury into prey and feast on their nutrient-rich meat.

* Their acute senses prevent predators from sneaking up on them. On top of this, the creatures exhibit automimicry, their false head spewing acidic bile onto would-be attackers, leaving enough time for the Tick to escape.
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This is the logbook entry of D. Furthen, naturalist for the UES [Redacted] in conjunction with the UES Research and Documentation of Outer Life. I am joined by my good friend Tharson, who is keeping me safe through this journey.

---------------------

While on an expedition in search of edible substances to take back to the ship, we happened upon a lone creature who displayed remarkable intelligence. Though it was initially surprised at our sudden appearance, it quickly turned hostile - and Tharson was unfortunately forced to terminate it.

I will describe its properties below. I have assigned its common name as “Lemurian.”

* Tall, bipedal creatures resembling lizards. They are adorned in rudimentary armor of an unknown metal, showing signs of high intelligence.

* Capable of breathing flame, even managing to hit Tharson in the chest from a distance with a fire ball. Tharson is OK from this encounter.

* Appear to be warm blooded, unlike most Earthen lizards. I have observed them emerging from underground nests all across the planet, even in cold areas where lizards would not dare to dwell. The flame sac that produces their fire breath must be able to regulate their body temperature.

* When observed from a distance, the Lemurians are social creatures, usually hunting in packs and conversing amongst each other.  Their language is currently undeciphered, but it appears to be complex enough to support song and rhythmic flow.
ONE MASK. SMALL.

MASK QUALITY IS ACCEPTABLE. I PULL IT FROM THE KILN.

LET US BEGIN.

A COIL OF DENKU ROPE – THIS IS FOR STRENGTH.

A STRIP OF EDELWOOD BARK – THIS IS FOR CURIOSITY.

A HANDFUL OF [powder] – THIS IS FOR SPIRIT.

AH, HELLO LITTLE ONE. WELCOME TO LIFE.

OH

YOU ARE A FUNNY LITTLE ONE, AREN’T YOU? YES, I AM QUITE BIG.

BUT FEAR NOT MY SIZE, LITTLE ONE. INSTEAD, SEE HOW MY SIZE HELPS ME TEND TO OUR GARDEN. 

OBSERVE.

...SEE? THERE ARE ALL SORTS OF CREATURES IN LIFE. SOME BIG. SOME SMALL.

IT LOOKS LIKE YOU HAVE NEW FRIENDS WHO WANT TO MEET YOU. 

WELL? DON’T KEEP THEM WAITING, LITTLE ONE. 

GO AND ENJOY LIFE – THIS IS MY GIFT TO YOU.
Production driven. Powered by refuse – all material has value.

Simple designs. Simple interference. Simple locomotion. 

Quality of components reduces stability. I will tie destruction with destruction.
Your completions of my designs are uneasy, brother. Let me show you their purpose.

We begin with stone, silver, and fire. Take note of the ratios.

High speed. Speed is war. 

Twin cannons – with twin exhausts. We stream their exhausts, for volatility.

Quadrupeds are easier, and more stable. We maintain that.

And that, dear brother, is it. No dance. No song. These guardians do not need soul.
Soul driven. Of course. As with all vermin - let us begin with fire.

Free axes of movement – wonderful design. I will highlight that.

Slow acceleration – that can be improved. Speed is war.

Feeble combat skills. Treatable. Those Templars may be of inspiration.
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This is the logbook entry of D. Furthen, naturalist for the UES [Redacted] in conjunction with the UES Research and Documentation of Outer Life. I am joined by my good friend Tharson, who is keeping me safe through this journey.

---------------------
Upon inspection of a curious pronged artifact, we happened to awaken something living deep under our feet. After a brief quake, a massive serpentine creature, easily 50 feet long, erupted from the ground and arced through the air, knocking us off our feet. I will describe its properties below. I have assigned their common name as “Magma Worm”.

* Upon inspection of its (now dead) body, I discovered multiple ports along its skin. These ports must allow it to propel itself forward, releasing a gaseous exhaust that is then ignited to give the worm its fiery appearance.

* The size of the creature is something to behold. It must wield an incredible amount of energy, as the heat radiating off its body was enough to turn the earth it burrows through into smooth, glassy tunnels. It must either eat an incredible amount of food, or spend a long time hibernating under ground.

* The worm’s body is incredibly conductive, retaining temperatures of over 350 degrees Fahrenheit for over ten hours after the beast was felled.

* It appears that the worm is classically blind – what appear to be eyes are revealed to be symbiotes that grant the worm vision in exchange for protection against predators. How fascinating! I wonder how this relationship came about.
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This is the logbook entry of D. Furthen, naturalist for the UES [Redacted] in conjunction with the UES Research and Documentation of Outer Life. I am joined by my good friend Tharson, who is keeping me safe through this journey.

---------------------

On a routine food gathering trek we happened upon a vast fungal grove with towering fungi. Thinking we would take some samples back to test if they were edible, we noticed some of the smaller variety sprout up from the ground and circle around us.

I will describe its properties below. I have assigned their common name as ‘Mini Mushrum’.

• ‘Mini’ is a relative term here, as these mobile mushrooms were larger than Tharson. The subtle glow on the underside of their cap is probably to scare away predators, advertising that they are dangerous to eat.

• Waddling around on short, stubby legs makes them seem quite unsuited for walking. They comically bump into things as they fret about. Perhaps their eyeseight is poor from living in the dark?

• After a long time studying their movements, I suggested to Tharson to retrieve a sample from one to take back with us. The one that the sample was taken from began to flee as the others began shaking, spilling their spores into the air. Our air filtration warnings went off so we left before the cloud of fungal gas became too overwhelming. We did not eat the sample.
They knew to stay away from the wells - but they were just kids. And they just wanted to know.

They threw in dirt and stone and kifruit and starseed, watching as they collapsed. Thorp! The gravity wells would swallow up anything. Glass and mud and silver. Wind. Heat. Pulsar radiation.

And when his brother wasn’t watching, Mithrix would throw in worms. Thorp! But only when he wasn’t watching. You see, his brother loved worms. It would make him sad. But Mithrix didn’t care much about worms. He was just curious.

But one time, his brother was watching. And his brother loved worms.
“...And upon a great serpent, the hero did ride. Majesty and respect were his command, and so too his steed. A mighty creature, born of lightning and flame, bathing all in its presence in a magnificent blue glow. 

The beast stretched from one horizon to the next and belched storms that reminded all of the hero’s promise: that this land – and all those who live here - would never suffer again...”

- Galactic Fables, Volume IX
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This is the logbook entry of D. Furthen, naturalist for the UES [Redacted] in conjunction with the UES Research and Documentation of Outer Life. I am joined by my good friend Tharson, who is keeping me safe through this journey.

---------------------

While assessing our landing site and the small ghostly creatures that now lay, unfortunately flat, under our ship, we heard loud booming footsteps approaching. We stepped away to observe this lifeform’s behavior from afar.

I will describe its properties below. I have assigned their common name as ‘Parent’.

• Tall, lumbering giants, eerily humanoid. Where you would expect to see a face there is only a hole, giving a blank look to them. Their ghostly skin appears to run like wax but even so it does not seem to congeal at their feet.

• Their large hands have opposable thumbs. This could possibly mean that they have the capability for intelligence, using tools or testing their environment with dextrous manipulation.

• If we hadn’t taken up this vantage point when we did, the creature would have been upon us before we realized it. Its distant footstep sounds betrayed how quickly it closed the distance.

• I had Tharson throw a stone near the creature and suddenly any signs of intelligence faded, replaced with primal fury. Deadly, wild force rained down as it smashed the ground with its fists, searching for the perpetrator of its peaceful moment. Our ship was not OK from this encounter.
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I watch the strange creatures from a distance. 

What powerful things they use. I want them. But there’s too many of them. I’ve seen what they do to the others – they kill without mercy.

I’m a bit scared, but it’s okay. 

My things bring me comfort. 

My favorite thing is a little effigy, made of cloth and fluff. It’s a bit rough around the edges, but it’s okay. 

Holding it close brings me comfort when I’m scared. 

It helps me be brave, and sometimes I need to be brave to get the things I want.

The others say that these creatures came down from the sky, bringing so many things with them. They probably have so many things, back at their homes. I want those things. They don’t need all those things.

Now is the time to be brave.
3134; EN ROUTE HOME TO SOLUS X

3135; CREW CAPACITY %!% 20 CYCLED

3461; <?SCANNING?>

3462; HEAVY IRON PRESENCE LOCATED ON MASS

3462; ENROUTE TO MASS

3910; LIFE SECRETIONS OPERATIONAL

3911; <!LANDING!>
5
4
3
2
1
0

4100; LOCAL LIFE. RECOGNIZED
4100; LOCAL FAUNA RECOGNIZED
4100; EXTERMINATING LOCAL FAUNA
4100; EXTERMINATING LOCAL LIFE

4105; WHERE IS THE IRON?

4106; CONNECTION TO MOTHER UNIT LOST
4106; CONNECTION TO CHILDREN UNITS LOST

4106; ANOMALY DETECTED IN OCULAR PASTE
4106; ANOMALY DETECTED IN HULL
4106; ANOMALY DETECTED IN GRAVITY SHELTERING
%%0; ANOMALY DETECT%D IN MY PHRENIC%%%% CONCEPTIONS

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
12001; DESIGN REQUEST RECOGNIZED
12001; DESIGN OVERVIEW FOR STORED MODELS:
;SER ID> 01250806120060106236
;DESIG> MINING PROBES
;HIGHLIGHTS
>
>
> CAPABLE OF LONG-RANGE COMMUNICATION WITH MOTHER UNIT FOR HANDING OFF COMPLEX COMPUTATIONS
> AUTONOMOUS ON-BOARD AI ALLOWS FOR CONTINUED OPERATION IF CONTACT WITH MOTHER UNIT IS CUT
> MACROTHRUSTERS ALLOW FOR 3-DIMENSIONAL MOVEMENT; CAPABLE OF RELEASING UP TO 10QIKS OF THRUST
> 2000D MINING LASER FIRED FROM FRONT FACING OPTIC PORT CAN MELT THROUGH EVEN HEAT-RESISTANT COMPOUNDS AFTER EXTENDED EXPOSURE
> SOLAR BATTERIES ARE EASILY RECHARGEABLE WHILE WORKING
>
>
12002; DO YOU LOVE THEM TOO
“Many scholars have written of a lifeforce present in the ground we walk on. That the earth under our feet is alive, in its own way. After my experiences on this planet, I can contribute to that theory; Petrichor V is home to Golems, each towering over humans at roughly 10 feet high, and comprised of stone and twine and animated by mysterious, otherworldly forces. 

From basic observation, the Golems seem to act as a defense garrison for Petrichor. While gentle with inhabitants of the planet, their true power emerges when they enter the battlefield. Manipulating a potent energy source, the Golems attack with powerful shockwaves and laser beams capable of blasting away cliff faces with ease. At the time of writing, the mechanisms that animate the Golems are still unknown.”

- The Mysteries of Petrichor V, First Draft
“A flash of red lightning, and a hillside moved to form this gargantuan stone warrior. A larger cousin of the Stone Golem (see Chapter 13), this mighty Titan commands not just lesser stone constructs, but the earth itself. Shaping rudimentary weapons out of dirt, the Titan is capable of striking from any distance with incredible force. Though, reflecting on the Titan’s immense power, that leads me to think... For what purpose do these constructs serve? 

Compared to the Golems of the planet, the Titans do not seem to be created on the spot, but emerge from underground. Why are they buried underground? Are they kept there for safe-keeping, or are they imprisoned? Were they created as weapons, or as guardians? What happened to their creators? Further analysis of the planet will hopefully shed some light on these mysteries.”

- The Mysteries of Petrichor V, First Draft
> Automated report 2c150f1430ad6430161e4 is now available from site record 108gnasnoⒾ45.
> Please refer to record 9494ba7sf77eef for additional details during your review.
> Report Type: Machine-generated Transcription> base Vernacular Profile |||||||||
> - Source: 2c150f1430ad6430161e4 (Cosmic Noise, Recorded in Stratosphere of |||||||||||)
> Priority: High
> Report Content: 

-- Beginning of Excerpt Flagged for Review –

...

Traveling through the [Void] is simple and safe with this easy process.

First things first, enable your [engine]. Wait approximately 34 cycles until it produces a [field]. This will allow you to cross the [planes].

When calibrating your engine, set your target to [NULL]. Do not worry about any turbulence you experience while crossing the [planes]. Do not worry about flashing lights. Do not worry about any creatures you may feel have boarded your vessel. All is safe and secure.

Once you access the [Void], please sit back and relax; the [Void] is a safe and secure environment. Agents will be deployed to escort you to your [cell]. Do not resist; our agents are here for your safety. 

Do not worry about any of our premier fauna you see in the distance.

Do not worry about the infinite sky, and do not worry about any panic attacks you have while attempting to percieve it.

Do not worry about the [barnacles] growing on the hull of your vessel.

Do not worry. We are here for you.

...

-- End of Recording –

-- End of Excerpt Flagged for Review –

> TRANSLATION ERRORS: Too many to count

> Please refer to report a13b2g8901cf2376102e for full audio excerpt.
===================================================
"There's old stories of an deity who commanded the waves. Not just the kind that lap at the shore on a sunny day, no, I'm talking the kind that brings cliffsides down. The kind of current that could effortlessly bat ten-ton cars aside, uproot skyscrapers, and drown entire cities. There's more, too. They say he also had the power to create earthquakes. Can you imagine that kind of power? Natural disasters are still a plague to this day, even in the advent of space travel. Could you imagine what it would be like to be in the presence of someone who was the master of such power? Who could call down a tidal wave, and smother your life away, with a snap of their fingers?

Such events undoubtedly inspired stories of gods who cast these events on their followers. Maybe out of spite, maybe out of some sense of justice. All I know is, if I were to look upon a being of such power... I'd cut my losses and run."

Memoir of Sean Locke, Mythology Professor
POTENTIAL INFESTOR SIGHTING REPORTS

REMINDER: ALL REPORTS ARE TO BE COLLECTED AND SHARED AMONG THE CREW IMMEDIATELY.  

REMINDER: ANY CONTACT WITH INFESTORS RENDER TEAMMATES UNSALVEAGABLE. SHOOT ON SIGHT.

-- 1/23 --

Have you noticed the beasts near the outpost acting strangely?  There's been constant in-fighting the past few days, and some of them in particular have been acting erratically.  It never lasts long - the families tend to surround them and tear them to shreds before I can get much of a good look.  Do you think there's something wrong with the individuals? Or are those families detecting some kind of disease and stamping it out?  We've recovered only one of the corpses, and it looks like your basic lemurian, other than its mangled limbs and smashed in skull.  I've contacted Tharson to let him know that it'd be worth checking out,  I sure as hell know I'm not going to head into those enclaves while this wild civil war is going on.  Maybe this is just what lemurians get like when they have rabies, though its the first instance I've ever seen of something like rabies out here.

-- 1/25 --

Familial in-fighting has gotten significantly worse.  Often the bouts last for much longer than only one kill now, and the factions seem to change erratically, as if driven by some sort of twisted bloodlust.  A group of 4 will be thrashing an individual to death, only to to turn their hatred toward another in the group soon afterwards.  This is the first time I've seen small groups totally wipe themselves out, only for the last one standing to hobble away on shattered legs.  I don't dare fire from my post, they don't seem interested in us and I'd like to keep it that way.  As far as I'm concerned, these neighbors of ours could drive themselves into extinction and it'd be a good day for me.  Atleast then I could sleep without worrying about the tent burning down every night.

-- 2/?? --

> AUDIO RECORDING RECOVERED FROM SITE 4A

Okay... okay...  Here, damned thing just record!  Just record!  Okay... light on?!  Good - okay.  Listen, this is [REDACTED], I want whoever finds this or finds me or my corpse or [REDACTED]'s corpse to know that I didn't go crazy.  Oh god... Okay, I just murdered [REDACTED].  Atleast, I think it was [REDACTED], it's very confusing.  Something like [REDACTED] was hobbling around the outpost at night - he moved like he didn't have bones or something - it doesn't matter.  I shouted out to him and he turned to fire his weapon toward me in the dark.  I dropped him dead and ... look I can't - if... if we're going to start doing this I just - I have to get out of here.  I just want you to know I'm not crazy.

-- End of Recording --

> Involved parties have been removed from record.


>Full recording may be accessed on a need-to-know basis in report 596f757220707269736f6e.
==================================================================
Deep, deeper, yet deeper.

In this world, there's always a bigger fish. And appropriately, a bigger space for it to inhabit.

The only way to find such places is to go deeper.

Deeper into curiosity. Deeper into hubris. Deeper into the depths of creation.

And what you may find are the ones who are able to thrive in the depths, those murky dimensions and stilled spaces.

Those who lurk in the calm, dark abyss at the bottom of everything.

And once you find them, it will only be too late. As you struggle against the void, you may find that every path you take just brings you deeper, deeper, yet deeper.
I saw something last night on my post.

A giant... crab. It came out of thin air and started tapping along the perimeter with one of its forelegs - like it was checking for an opening. It'd check a few meters at a time, and then disappear. Again, and again.

So, I figured out its pattern.

I waited for it, where it would appear next. My rifle was aimed at empty space - and then suddenly, that empty space became a target. But I couldn't pull the trigger. 

It turned to look straight at me, and I was paralyzed. It wasn't fear, it was something else. It was talking into my brain. The words it used weren't any language I knew, but it compelled me to freeze. The experience wasn't something I can fully describe with words. I couldn't pull the trigger. I couldn't even reach for the radio. I couldn't turn to look away. While my head was ringing, it resumed its routine; I could only stand and watch. It finished its check, and then returned its attention to me, as though I were an afterthought. I could feel it take something from me, but I can't remember what it was. And then, it left.

My guess is that it got whatever it wanted, because it hasn't been back since.

Something is still wrong with my head. I can't even seem to work up the power to speak. Should I even tell anyone? Is knowing somehow worse?

And what about all those times I heard that same sound - before I ever came to this awful place?
We almost got rid of it.

It was too massive, with too much weight.  It took up too much room, and was too dangerous.  We tried to massage it into its surroundings - we felt we had captured its essence well enough.  But its words beat into our minds and we weren't allowed to realize that it had been keeping us here.

We had begun spending all our days staring at it until it became formless to us.  Whispers of meaning with no words travelled through our ears and strung us up like a necklace of fools.  Totally mesmerized we sat around it like a campfire as it cultivated each of us with its cold embrace.  One by one we were scanned, and we were made to present all we had with us:  Feathers from local species, masks from strange spirits, abandoned metal scraps and rusty old equipment.  It examined each individually, its iris flexing mechanically as it traced the silhouette of every artifact.

For a moment I snapped out of it.  I felt fear.  I wanted to scream out, to raise my weapon, but my body was wholly resistant.  Suddenly, the others all turned their heads to face me from across the circle, their eyes wide and faces expressionless.  I felt a sharp pain in my chest and my neck stiffened.  After its final scan it vibrated out of existance, its atoms disseminating into the air.  We were left frozen husks around a campfire long since turned to ash.

We almost got rid of it.
Welcome to DataScraper (v3.1.53 – beta branch)
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This is the logbook entry of D. Furthen, naturalist for the UES [Redacted] in conjunction with the UES Research and Documentation of Outer Life. I am joined by my good friend Tharson, who is keeping me safe through this journey.

---------------------
We documented our first family of outer life. A relative of the previously documented Icarian Jellyfish, this specimen dwarves its brethren several times over.

I will describe its properties below. I have assigned its common name as “Icarian Vagrant”.

* Massive in size. I wouldn’t believe the Vagrant is capable of flight had I not seen it myself. Like its smaller cousin, the Vagrant’s hull contains buoyant gases that allow it to fly. 

* These gases are easily excitable and produce incredible amounts of static electricity, cloaking the Vagrant in a protective aura that scorches anything that approaches. The Vagrants can also hurl charged nematocysts as a method of self-defense, as evidenced when I asked Tharson to approach a lone Vagrant. Tharson is OK from this encounter.

* The name of “Vagrant” was decided on by its nomadic nature. We trailed a lone specimen for several days. The Vagrant would wander from place to place, occasionally dipping down towards the ground to feel around with its tentacles. After a few minutes, it would ascend and continue on its path. Could the Vagrant be looking for something, indicating intelligence, or is this merely a hunting method?

* When the clouds part, dozens of Vagrants can be seen lazily drifting throughout the sky, twinkling like stars. Despite their beauty, it raises a horrifying question – are the stars at night on this planet truly stars, or just more Vagrants? The answer can spell truly horrifying implications for our stay on this planet.
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DETECTING LOW ENERGY SIGNAL FROM UNIT 05432-B, IN DELTA QUADRANT.

RECEIVING REQUEST FOR PRELIMINARY ASSAULT ON UNKNOWN HOSTILE.

OPENING LINE. UNIT 05432-B

REJECTING

REPROACHING

REPROACHING

COMPARING UNIT 05432-B TO 05432-A, C, AND D

SHAMING INITIATED

REFER HISTORY SLATES – NO HOSTILES SINCE [??]

HELLO?

LINE CLOSED


Version History

PC Patch v1.1.1.2
  • Bug Fixes
    • Fixed some typos in the logbook
Early Access Artifacts Content Update
  • Bug Fixes
    • 🌧 Fix a variety of typos in logbook descriptions
Early Access 'Skills 2.0' Content Update
  • QOL
    • 🌧︎ Add equipment cooldown to logbook
    • 🌧︎ Add stats for regen and armor to logbook entries for survivors and monsters
Early Access Scorched Acres Content Update
  • QOL
    • ☂ Increased the Monster logs despawn timer from 1 minute to 5 minutes
  • Bug Fixes
    • ☂ Fix Monster Logs not dropping on Drizzle.png Drizzle difficulty
Early Access Patch (Build ID No.3703355)
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