The Mountains of Nauvis (Story based on modded 0.16.51 LP)

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featherwinglove
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The Mountains of Nauvis (Story based on modded 0.16.51 LP)

Post by featherwinglove » Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:50 pm

The Mountains of Nauvis
Out of Character Briefing wrote: The mod pack contains 136 mods from Stone Age to Space Extension and Advanced Rocket Payloads. Some in-character material has, and will be, contrived to explain bugs in the mod pack. In-character time is sixty times game time, i.e. a second of game time is a minute of character time, while a minute of game time is an hour of character time. If I die in game, one of the characters in the story dies, leaving open the possibility that I could run out of surface characters, lose the game, and give the story a tragic ending. Circumstances (i.e. whether the characters are together) determines whether I load from autosave (they are) or respawn (they aren't.)

The easiest way to use the mod pack is to download this save and then hit "Sync mods with save" on the Load Game window. I was about to attach mod-list.json, but it doesn't have the version numbers.
_autosave1.zip
(3.13 MiB) Downloaded 4 times
Unlike the previous version of this story, this one will not have images attached until requested.
LV-107 Eagle is on her deorbit coast. Carolus is contemplating the earliest memories he has after his arrival, remembering it well after three years; as one of the most stable wakers, Columba's name for crew members who have been awakened from cryogenic hibernation, he commands the lander. His awakening was a bit rocky.

"Carl?" the technician he didn't know at the time, "Carl, can you hear me?"

A voice he did, and still does, recognize asked from no further away, "Is he at Metabolism 2 yet?" It sounded like it had aged a few decades from his previous memory.

"Yeah, been there for fifteen minutes, everything except his EKG's in the pink, should we move him to MRI?"

"Chat-" he gasped, "What is-?" Carolus was astonished to hear the Captain at his bedside, then alarmed at the lack of gravity.

"Carl, take it easy," the technician says, "Do you remember your name?"

"Carolus," he croaked, "Do you? I can't see. What is Chattis doing here?"

"Chattis?" the technician asks.

"The Captain of Columba," Carolus says.

"That's astonishing," Chattis gasped, "He remembers me."

Carolus had later watched the recording of his thaw. The technician was so bad with names that she was holding an index card tied to her right hand with names and matching descriptions. She had to turn it over for the Captain's name. The memory portion of her brain was so badly damaged during the approach phase that she couldn't even remember her own name, and damage to the computer destroyed the crew manifest and many personnel files, so no one else knew what her name was either. Those were being named after birds, and she drew Puffin. She needed the cue card to remember that as well! She remembered how most of the equipment in the medical bay worked.

After sucking back a bit of water to wet his voice, Carolus asked, "Where's the gravity?"

"The habitat ring's rotational bearing has been destroyed," the Captain grimly explained.

"What?" the landing systems engineer gasped in astonished alarm, "What year is it?"

"We don't know exactly," Chattis answered quietly, "You're up at least 19 years behind schedule." The Captain went on to describe the Columba's insane adventure with a previously unknown dust cloud while approaching the Kismet system. They were orbiting their target planet, named Nauvis at some point; both star and planet originally had a huge TESS catalog number from the twenty-first century. It was, at the time Columba left Earth, the best candidate for colonization ever discovered, but at nearly a hundred light-years distance, nowhere near humanity's first interstellar colony.

For the first time ever, indigenous plant and animal life had been discovered on the surface of a planet other than Earth. Sure, they found some microbes on Mars, Ganymede, Enceladus, and Triton, but analysis determined that they had orginated from Earth, kicked out by asteroid impact splash and volcanic explosions during the Noachian Event, which was thought to have affected only the Solar system, it was soon discovered to have affected every star system that had been reached thus far. Nauvis was affected in a somewhat strange way: it experienced a global flood, but some kind of magnetic anomaly caused it to deposit more sediment on its valuable resources, so establishing a colony here would be harder than it looked. Despite the life on the planet, the air wasn't quite breathable, and partial pressure suits were required to operate on the surface.

This would all be quite easily coped with if Columba were in perfect, or at least passable, condition, but she hit this dust cloud on the way in, of her crew of 144,000, only 60 were awake, and only 23 of those were still alive after the first hour. An approach that was supposed to be a fairly routine magnetic braking operation against the heliosphere followed by a low remass maneuver to gain the approach to Nauvis and a high remass maneuver to capture into orbit turned into a harrowing nightmare of emergency repairs, hundreds of gravitational flybies lasting about 19 Earth years. The main chronometer got reset in the dust collisions several times, then had an erroneous jump during a gas giant gravitational assist. All the backups, which were more vulnerable to the shock and radiation environments of the dust cloud encounter, were more badly affected than the main clock and computer. With the time to do so, the cryogenic systems were examined, and some 65,000 of Columba's crew of colonists are known to be dead, with a further unknown number where the extent of apparently minor cryogenic damage can't be understood until they are woken up. Chattis was unaffected because he woke up before the dust collision. Puffin was less lucky, having suffered serious brain damage affecting her memory, especially with names and other designations, along with anterograde amnesia: she remembers nothing from before she went into cryosleep. And neither did the computers, many of which were destroyed. There were many amputations, and many could not recover from cryosleep damage and were lost within hours or days of waking up. The ship was quite the mess.

Now, as Eagle approaches the atmosphere of Nauvis, Carolus is nervous that it may have been damaged as well, some undetectable flaw in its heat shield. Of Columba's twelve large landers, only Eagle passed its pre-flight inspections, and even she needed some work on her computers due to magnetic and radiation-induced voltage spikes during the first few stellar and gas giant passes after the dust collision.

Carolus' dour hunch turned into an absolute certainty as he saw several heatshield bondline sensors trend upward for a few seconds before the Master Alarm. The lander was a blunt biconic, so it wasn't going to take as long for things to develop as it did on the entry catastrophe he was most familiar with, that of STS-107 over a thousand years prior, Shuttle Columbia after which the starship was indirectly named after dozens of generations of Columba, Columbiad, Columbia, and Dove, none of which were to go through an entry accident like that again. "Everyone button up!" he ordered tersely just before the Master Alarm blared. He had already taken over manual control and was maneuvering to nose up while his co-pilot Kraddic and flight engineer Leonard started working to determine and isolate damaged systems and compartments, activating backup control surface actuators and hydraulic systems. Like the ancient and simple Shuttle, it took just under a minute from the first alarm before Eagle became uncontrollable; they were now trying to get it to last long enough for people to survive with personal parachutes. When the fire wind got into Carolus' compartment a few seconds after the lights went out, it severed the huge touch screen panel of Leonard from its mount and sent it flying into his face, shattering his helmet and killing him instantly. The thousand tonne lander was already gyrating wildly around a base first attitude, allowing the apparently undamaged backup heatshield to weather the brunt of the remaining entry heating until the G-forces overwhelmed Carolus and he passed out.

Magpie, a somewhat less amnesiac medical technician on the other side of the lander, was alone in her inner compartment, surrounded by the surface oxygen system. She passed out from the G-forces, but woke up while still in the air. She didn't know this was the case, but pulled the inner compartment parachute handle just as a signal to any other survivors that she had made it to the ground. The surprised squeaky grunt as the parachutes inflated above the still flying compartment was the last voice sound recorded on board Eagle, since her helmet recorder was the only one that hadn't already failed. It would be a very long time before it could be played back. Mere seconds later, the compartment hit the surface of Nauvis far too fast and shattered. The proper procedure for surviving this situation was for her to jump from the compartment and descend on her personal parachute, but she didn't have time for that. The impact caused some equipment to detach from the bulkhead and break her right leg just below the knee. Since that was the moment the audio recorder died, this, much louder, reaction to the circumstances was never heard again.

OC: Welcome to Factorio

Carolus was the first of the other three survivors of the twenty to wake up after landing unconscious under his personal parachute. Kraddic was nearby and Carolus woke him up a minute or two after reaching him. The fourth survivor was Hudson, who was a bit bewildered after rising to his feet, but he was in good enough shape to rouse on his own before Carolus and Kraddic reached him. They interrupted this desperate and hysterical blue streak including phrases like "game over" and "pretty shit," and got him calmed down enough to be useful. Fortunately, the one inner compartment they needed the most managed to get its parachute deployed somehow; unlike the main ship and individual suits of the twenty people on board (a couple of which descended dead under their canopies), the inner compartment parachutes did not have automatic deployers, nor were they big enough to reasonably expect people inside them to survive, only equipment. The only intact inner compartment was the one with the surface oxygen system.

The extent of Magpie's injuries surprised Carolus and Kraddic, in that she was not dead and had broken only one limb - in the crash, anyway. She was missing her right scapula from cryogenic damage when she woke up, so she had little motion in her right shoulder. Carolus and Kraddic gently extracted her from the broken wreckage and began taking inventory of the surviving oxygen, while Hudson made off with the piece of wreckage that broke her leg and started taking it out on the jagged sediment deposits. Magpie was the only survivor who had a hardware DSKY (separate keyboard from display; touch screens were the normal fare), and it was the only recording device which survived the crash. And its clock had reset, which is why Magpie's earliest memory after being raised upright on her good leg long enough for the pain to abate was Carolus holding his hand palm against his helmet faceplate.

The day is 56 hours, and they attempted in an equatorial region; the axial tilt
(OC: mod was tested, but did not remain installed)
is almost non existent, and so the day is 50% day and 50% night.

"Eagle, this is Columba, please respond if you read," Pewryn has given up hope, but still nervously squeezes his handheld homemade Jigglypuff doll. He's only slightly amnesiac from cryogenic damage so he didn't remember the story from his parents, however, Kraddic, his best friend, did remember it from before they went under, and retold it: his parents had made the Jigglypuff doll on the basis of a character from a nearly forgotten videogame franchise, and also named him after it.

"Pewryn," the Captain whispers from two consoles to his left, "You've got floaters."

The communications technician put the transmitter microphone back in its holder, grabbed a cloth and soaked up his wet face. He had been crying so much at the loss of his best friend that huge tears started floating around the starship's cramped bridge.

Day 1, 7hr10m, Hudson reporting: I took the piece that broke Magpie's leg and started chipping at the sediment with it. It had worn rather unevenly in the rain - some point in centuries past because we hadn't seen any precipitation since we arrived in the system. Kraddic figured that the three essentials we needed exposed right away, and we were briefed prior to landing and expected to have drilling equipment, were iron, copper, and silcate, basically normal stone. The piece did an incredible job, but broke two hours after the clock reset mid-swing against the first stag I went after for wood. So, I took off my spacesuit gloves, grabbed some normal grippers from my pack, and started ripping deadfall like it was survival camp back on Earth. I'm not sure what's going on yet, but the rest of the stag just disintegrates once I have the first branch loose, and I feel like I'm getting maybe 6% of the actual wood. Good thing there are a lot of them. I have ten so far. Most of this terrain is too soft to build anything substantial on, so the other three gathered the surviving oxygen tanks (too bad we lost all the scrubbers for the ambient air) to a "platform" rock plateau southwest of the lake. This was on our maps, but we lost those to our Columba luck entry, and we're otherwise pretty much completely lost. Nauvis has like 10% global surface water coverage, maybe. I doubt Columba had the resolution even though she was behind us and near periapsis, that's still like 800km up and I think 40cm was the best telescope we had left after that dust collision. If they didn't see this piddly little personal parachutes open, they probably think there are no survivors.

"Okay," the Captain moans, "We currently have no signs of survivors on the surface of Nauvis at all."

"That's correct," Pewryn's mouth sighs from under a nose between little deep red rashes, "There are no radio signals at all beyond loss of the one-way oscillator at altitude. Visual's not very good either, I found a few craters," he sniffles, "fresh ones that could only have been made by Eagle hardware..." And he's basically paralyzed by grief again.

Turning to his trajectories and navigation expert Hundmeister, the Captain asks, "How is our orbit looking?"

"I've clocked the period at 108 hours, which I think we should keep for the time being, Captain," he explains. He's also mourning the loss of friends on the Eagle, but he's handling much better than Pewryn and slightly better than Chattis. "It synchronizes with the landing site on a 27 day synodic period-"

"Nauvis days?" the Captain asks.

"Yes," Hundmeister blows his nose, "27 Nauvis days to 14 of our orbits. Right now, we have our periapsis above the landing site, but it moves further east each time, and the landing site is also under us when we are near apoapsis."

"That won't do us much good," Pewryn points out, "With both main telescopes on the fritz, we can't see much from a hundred eighty megametres."

Captain Chattis adds, "We haven't got enough to make out wreckage until next time the landing site is actually under periapsis, which is what? Half that synodic period? Will 13 orbits post-landing do?"

"That's about two hundred metres resolution, not close enough," Hundmeister shakes his head.

"14 orbits?" Chattis asks nervously.

"Past dusk down there," Hundmeister sighs, "That's even worse, but I'll get an infrared FPU as cold as I can to look for fires."

Pewryn slaps his knees, "The oxygen concentration's too low to sustain open fires, you know that."

"That's the point," Hundmeister explains, "Any sustained fires would need to be man-made, and they wouldn't be visible, hence infrared."

"Good idea," Chattis nods in unsmiling approval, "Do you need any more computer power for reducing Nauvis' gravity field?"

Hundmeister shakes his head, "Computers don't reduce equations, Captain. I could use someone who knows calculus."

"Necessary for the ship to survive two months?" the Captain asks.

"I don't think so," Hundmeister answers.

"Then you're on your own," Chattis turns to Pewryn, "We're going to be building our next lander completely from scratch, ripping apart the remains of the other eleven to get it done. Work with Puffin and the rest to figure out who to wake up to do that. We're in no rush as anyone else we wake up is going to gobble up supplies. Do keep an ESM recorder going when the landing site is in view and check it just in case someone made it."

"I'll see to it personally," Pewryn squeaks.

Chattis grabs his hand with both of his own, "They're gone, okay?"

The comm tech nods slowly.

"So don't spend too much of your own listening," it's hard to tell whether it's an order or just strong advice, "I need you here, and signal analyzers are pretty decent at flagging stuff that might be artificial, right? We have to figure out what our next move is."

Day 1, 14hr02m, 73% evening, Carolus reporting: With the help of some thruster catalyst from Magpie's wreckage, we managed to get a fire going somewhat more easily than expected. There's concern about stack effect pulling it out, but the sand baffle design helps keep the heat where it belongs and the air moving at just the right speed. I used it to harden up some sticks to get to the igneous rock Hudson exposed with the now broken wreckage piece. I've already broken off a dozen of them, and Magpie is working with them to try to make a better tool while Hudson sleeps. Fortunately, we landed in an area with quite a few trees; not exactly a forest, but it looks like we'll have enough wood for roughing it until our oxygen runs out.

Day 1, 22h19m, 14% night, Kraddic reporting: Hudson got up and he went with Carolus up north to get some clay with the new shovel I crafted from the stone they brought back. Magpie went to sleep after banging them into shape. I made an axe, then they went west to grab some wood, and this time, they were able to properly fell trees and we now have some proper fuel drying over the smoldering fire. With what little battery power we have left, while trying to save some for typing logs, I'm making a windlass water pump with some deep pilings to get into the muck at the edge of the lake, a pool for storing what we pump out of the lake, and an aqueduct to connect the two. We need some water to form the clay into stuff we need. The first of the 40 oxygen bottles we recovered from the wreck of Magpie's pod has run out.


Kraddic, with his spacesuit gloves off, but his helmet still on, life support regulator in the back of his helmet clicking, was chipping away at a log with a crude chunk of stone, hollowing it out. It clearly matched another half he had already finished, and he had indigenous vines laid out beside him to tie them together. A smaller stick to serve as a pump handle, it seemed obvious he was building a water pump of some sort. It was the middle of the night, he had only one helmet lamp on to work by. Suddenly he turns to his left and whispers loudly, "Pewryn?"

"What?" Magpie reacts.

"Oh, I hope I didn't wake you," Kraddic says softly, knowing Carolus and Hudson are further away, sleeping by the campfire. Magpie is a bit warmer in her suit and extra bandages with the swelling of her leg.

"I'm trying to ration this," she shakes a little bubble pack of painkiller pills, "I only found the one shot of morphine." She turns to him and wonders, "I thought you said Pewryn? Isn't that your friend who's named after the pocket monster?"

"Yeah," he confirms, for just a moment, I thought I could hear him snoring.

"I hope they know we're alive," she sighs, "Intuitively at least, hope they're listening for our signal whenever we're ready to send it."

A minute or so earlier, Pewryn had woken from his dream of observing his friend in a spacesuit hacking at a piece of wood just before he turned and asked if he was there. He came too with such a start that he knocked his sleep restraint loose from the wall and is now floating about in the equipment closet that passes for a bedroom. He got himself loose and stabilized, then pressed a comm panel. Oh, they don't work in this room. He got out and crossed over and reached the bridge in a few seconds, "Hundmeister? Hundmeister, they're alive."

"Don't be absurd, go back to sleep," the science officer mutters while using some robot manipulators for the cooling unit of his infrared telescope.

"I can't sleep if I'm going down there and watching them work in my dreams," he says.

"Dreams?" Hundmeister turns, tapping a touchscreen button to start an automatic alignment program before letting go of his robotic controls. The working thermal imager went grey from its mostly deep blue; the unit was already cool enough that it wasn't seeing much detail in the chilling telescope system.

"Carolus made it, Kraddic is with him," Pewryn recounts, "I can't see who the other two are, but one is female," he then bows his head, "Kanto is dead." His brother was named after the area his jigglypuff lived in in that fictional world. "He came to, I'm guessing much further downrange, paralyzed legs," Pewryn pats his eyes down one at a time with the palm of his right hand, "He transmitted on his helmet radio for two hours until his suit oxygen ran out. The others didn't hear him."

"But that might be on ESM," Hundmeister perks up, "We could have picked it up before we went over the horizon, do you remember that frequency?"

"Band's 2.4GHz, I think," he tries to remember, "Channel 12, yeah, that was the reconnoiter channel."

Hundmeister calls up the directional radio log aimed at the landing site, narrows the frequency in the spectrum analyzer to that frequency, and a barely distinguishable bunch of hills and plateaus appears.

"No shit!" Pewryn gasps, "What's he saying?"

Hundmeister runs a program on the signal, which produces some lettering, and ...it's jibberish.

"What's that?" Pewryn asks.

"I don't know," Hundmeister says, then points at the screen, "but the isolated bursts tend to be 'I', 'HM', and 'IHM' though, see?"

"That's a speech-to-text?" Pewryn asks, "Can't we just listen to it?"

"No," Hundmeister explains, "It's Morse Code, I set it up just after we lost contact because I know Carolus played around with it a lot as a kid; he's still got it memorized."

"What?" Pewryn's confused.

"I ran the signal through a thousand year old program, a Stephen C. Phillips web page we had on an archive disk."

"Kanto doesn't know Morse Code," Pewryn explains, "Just play back the audio for one of those," he points, "real time."

"It isn't demodulating," Hundmeister explains as he tries, "The signal's far too weak. I could run it through just a strength filter."

"Yeah, do that," Pewryn demands, "wiping his eyes again."

The playback timer goes over the two dots of an "I", then an "HM", then an "IHM". There is only a very low static sound coming out of the speaker.

"It's him," Pewryn sobs, "Oh shit, it's him!"

"How do you know?" Hundmeister asks, quite perplexed.

"It's the way he times his syllables," he cries, "He was my brother, you know!" Pewryn gets a hold of himself and points at the bumps below the "I" and says, "Hello?" Then he points at the "HM" and says, doing a half-decent impression that Hundmeister's eyes widen in recognition, "Can anyone hear me?" Further to the "IHM", Pewryn translates, "Hello, can anyone hear me?"

The wide-eyed Hundmeister, grabs Pewryn and croaks, "I think you're right, go wake the Captain!"

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Re: The Mountains of Nauvis (Story based on modded 0.16.51 LP)

Post by featherwinglove » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:38 am

Day 1, 28hr28m, 14% night, Kraddic reporting: The pump and aqueducts made so far are working good, we haven't got it all the way to the reservoir on the platform yet, but were most of the way there. Carolus is taking over now while I work the pump between moments of kinda sealing the aqueducts. Carolus built a modest wooden crate to store the spare oxygen bottles and various leftovers in, as we can't carry much on our backs.

Day 2, 35h07m, 16% dawn, Magpie reporting: Test test. Carolus and Kraddic made astonishing progress through the night, not only finishing the aqueduct and getting water to our pad, but they have the metallurgy kiln ready for testing. Hudson and I are up now. I'll be stoking the kiln with this bellows pump made from the old sand scooping baskets
(not in game; I burned them as fuel)
while he looks after the wood and such. He's about to head out with the axes to fetch more wood, some copper and iron ores to smelt. Kraddic was pretty brilliant with the charcoal pile. It sure isn't easy to keep fires hot when the oxygen in the air is so thin we can't breathe it. The wood seems to prefer it though, so maybe a wild fire could get set up somehow?

Day 2, 42h03m, 78% dawn, Carolus reporting: We've seen some critters on the horizon, so I'm putting together a spear we might be able to use to deal with one or two of them should they get too close. The next step is a hard enough surface for forging the crappy iron we got out of the kiln into wrought iron and then shape that into a proper axe head. That's Hudson's specialty, so I'm really glad we have our ancient/medieval buff surviving this crash. I'm getting started on some less primitive beehive furnaces from the larger stone pieces Hudson managed to recover with that wreckage piece before it broke.

Day 2, 49h01m, 100% day, Hudson reporting: Wow, man, this axe is a pretty big improvement on what we've been used to. I've been using it to fetch some proper iron. Unfortunately, one of the pieces had some strange carbonate spore embedded throughout it; I just marked that patch bad and moved on to the coal up north where we picked up our first deadfall yesterday, leaving the infested iron ore piece behind. There isn't much coal around here. We had planned to use solar panels from our lander until we could fuel the reactor casing with something fissile. I can only imagine the hole that sucker must have made when it hit the ground probably a good fifty or a hundred miles east of here at a good three or four Mach. Hundmeister's a good fellow, he knows to look west of that when he finds it. If they're looking for us at all.

"Okay, so?" the Captain asks Pewryn as he tunes the radio.

"Nothing," he answers, "Not a freakin' thing."

"Okay," Chattis sighs, "Any more dreams like that first one?"

"No," Pewryn says, "but I know they're still alive."

"And that your brother Kanto, the only one we actually got a radio signal from, is still dead?"

"Yeah, I'm certain of that, too," Pewryn sighs, gently bouncing his jigglypuff squishie off the ceiling. "Can I get Hundmeister's help on the periapsis?"

"Probably," the Captain is on his way out, "I better check up on Manning."

In the medical bay, they get into a pretty strange argument.

"Do you remember your name?" Puffin asks the latest waker.

"Of course, I do," he answers, "Auk."

"Your name is Awk?" she asks incredulously, triple checking her name card.

"My name is Manning," he says, "Your name is Auk."

"It's Puffin," she responds, "type of bird, I think, an-"

"Auk," Manning interrupts, "Yeah, the puffin is an auk, but your name is Janice Auk."

"How's he doing, Puffin?" the Captain floats in.

"Perfect," she squeaks, "he remembers my name."

"Captain!" Manning straightens up, "Where's the gravity? If you don't mind my asking."

"We lost the rotational bearing," Chattis sighs.

"How could we lose the second toughest piece of equipment on this ship??" Manning gasps, "Are you actually kidding me?"

"No," Chattis nibbles on his lower lip, then adds, "We lost four of the six fusion reactors, too."

"Oh," Manning's eyes widen, "We lost the toughest piece of equipment on this ship too? What happened?" At that moment, a wave of dreadful realization sweeps over him, he looks around very fearfully and starts an expletive under his breath, "How's the rest of the crew? Wh-" he swallows, "Why can't Janice remember her name?"

"Amnesia is a common symptom of cryosleep injury," the Captain whispers, "you know that. We also had a lot of damage to the computers, lost most of the personnel records, so we couldn't learn Puffin's name if she didn't remember it, and being Columba, we started naming unknowns after birds. She kinda got lucky I guess. You we're going to be Vulture until we found your picture."

"You lost my personnel file?" Manning interrogates him wide-eyed.

"Yup," the Captain smiles, "But we found a bunch of landing system white papers with your name on them a couple nights ago, finally one with a picture after Puffin started to thaw you out. We got you confused with this other guy from a thousand years ago, landed stuff on Mars. Rob Manning, as opposed to-?"

"Don," he chuckles.

"I just wanted to make sure." The Captain then has trouble speaking.

"How's the rest of the crew?"

"We know we lost 66,000," Chattis squeaks, "Everyone left is an uncertainty; it's really hard to tell who's going to make it or how much they'll have if they do. The cryogenic monitoring system was completely off the line for nearly seven hours after the collision. Which was so bad, only 23 of the 60 of us who were awake survived."

"Looks like I'm one of the lucky ones," he sighs, "I'm guessing you want my help with the landers. How many of those did we lose?"

"All of them," the Captain answers instantly.

"All of them?" Manning gasps, "Hell, is there any good news?"

"Eleven of them are still on board," the Captain smiles just a tiny bit, "and we managed to find the engineer who designed them in somewhat decent health."

"Designed is a bit of a stretch," Manning huffs, "You have to realize how insanely complicated a thousand tonne biconic colonization EDLV can get. Wait, you said eleven; we had twelve. What happened?"

"We tried to land it," Chattis answers.

"Tried?" He grunts, then holds up a finger before the Captain can tell the story, "Give me an hour at least. I can only handle so much bad news at once," and he yawns, "I need to finish waking up first."

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Re: The Mountains of Nauvis (Story based on modded 0.16.51 LP)

Post by featherwinglove » Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:17 am

Day 2, 56h02m, 100% day, Kraddic reporting: We got our point design furnaces running; the cavities are a bit on the small side, but we managed to get the airflow operating roughly according to our pre-landing simulations. The downside is that the flue filters we had in mind are not available, and the coal is dirtier than we expected. About twice as dirty. We hammered out some of the first generation copper into suit cladding to protect whoever's going out to mine from the critters, which haven't bothered us so far, and whoever's operating the furnace from its caustic exhaust.
One game item


Day 2, 63h01m, 100% day, Magpie reporting: Test. Kraddic came up with a Sterling oscillator drill. He's kinda brilliant that way. When it drops, most of it will impact into the ground, but part of it hits a very simple escapement to turn the drill bit a little every time it lands. I'm typing as he's explaining. The drill head screw conveyors the stuff onto a chute that drops it into a container beside the thing's main stand. He's hoping to set it up on the iron with one of our new iron crates with enough fuel for it to run for a good part of the night when we don't want to be running back and forth to the iron patch every couple of hours. We've broken a few proper iron tools already, this drill should last quite a lot longer.

Day 2, 70h49m, 62% dusk, Carolus reporting: We've been planting cones from the local foliage around here, and it thrives; I wasn't expecting them to grow up into the fairly modest trees we've been seeing in just a few hours. We're starting to get concerned about what limits them, but it may be that they are thriving on this furnace flue gas we've been generating. I can't believe how noxious the stuff is. We had to flee the burner drill and wait for it to burn itself out, which I don't think it has yet. I'm going around it to mine the copper patch on the other side. Kraddic is suiting up to check on the iron mine, while I'll head around to gather some copper. Magpie is drafting our transmitter hardware, which I've given the overall design specification for. We left Columba on a 108 hour orbit. I hope we can get it ready in time for her next periapsis. She's going to be way too far away to see us.

Day 2, 77h01m, 14% night, Hudson reporting: We have this automated drill running on the iron patch, and we've also recovered an unusually rich copper ore that's very easy to reduce in the stone furnace. Carolus and Magpie are concentrating on this 19th century transmitter design they're going to try to contact the ship with. They've been hard at work crafting the iron components of the generator hardware, but the copper parts look really finicky. They're hoping to have it ready by Columba's next pass tomorrow. But if they don't have the high gain pointed in our direction, and they don't pick up the really low frequency, something like 100MHz.

Day 2, 88h01m, 14% night, Kraddic reporting: The transmitter is finished, but we are expected to burn out the spark gap circuits in the thing quite frequently, and we're actually not done building those just yet. It involves quite a lot of drawing wire by hand. I wish some of our tools survived, but at least we have plenty of air for now. The burner drill is still spewing tremendous amounts of black smoke across the lake. Our detectors are picking up 205ppm where we're standing. I think it's about 3000ppm next to the drill, so I'm glad we're not next to it.
The "transmitter" is a More Science burner lab, and the spark gap stuff is the science pack.


Day 3, 91h01m, 19% dawn, Magpie reporting: The suit cladding has worn down by over half in the pollution, but the burner drill accross the lake has burned out. We're working on the transmitter coils now. We should have at least a few of them ready by this afternoon when Columba comes around near her periapsis.

Day 3, 98h38m, 87% morning, Carolus reporting: We're finalizing the first of our transmitter packs. Columba will be in range in about ten hours, she should be almost perfectly on the other side of Nauvis right now. We're continuing to smelt up the night's load of iron at the furnace. Kraddic is looking after that; he's really good at it. Back to work.

Day 3, 105h01m, 100% morning, Hudson reporting: I've headed north to fetch some more coal from that little patch. We can use it in the furnaces at home plate more easily than in the burner drill, and we need it for the higher temperatures anyway.
honour system mod
Columba comes over the horizon in just over three hours, I'll certainly be back there in time. They had five of the believed-to-be-consumable transmission packs when I left, which we've begun to call 'SP1' for some reason.

Hundmeister was working on holding the ship's attitude through periapsis, while Pewryn was training the visual optics west of the reactor casing's crater trying to find other wreckage from Eagle. The resolution was terrible-

An alarm sounds at Pewryn's console. Pewryn's head flips around. He silences it, which brings a spectrum analyzer up on the screen. Something's coming in at 100MHz.

"Spark gap A4 tonewheel," Hundmeister laughs, "What kind of nonsense is that?"

"Yeah," Pewryn squeaks, listening on the amplitude modulation filter. It definitely sounds like a coded signal, "Can you get that web page of yours up?"

Manning's just writing it down.

Pewryn takes two tries to grab his microphone as his jigglypuff takes off, staring in wonder at his screen while rolling over cartwheel style, "Captain to the bridge, Captain to the bridge!"

They continue to listen. Without a break with his right hand, Manning hands Chattis his console echo tablet just as he arrives. The Captain floats over to Pewryn's console, where the exact same message that Manning is handwriting on his touchscreen appears slightly slower in typed form on Pewryn's console.

"LV-107 EAGLE LANDED COORDINATES ... ABLE RX AM VOICE 100MHZ TX TONE HALF DUPLEX OVER"

Pewryn sets up the transmitter and then pulls the microphone from his console and hands it to the Captain, "You're on, Sir." Jigglypuff is floating off to the ventilation exhaust, looking as happy as Hundmeister.

"Oh," Chattis is fumbling with the microphone like he's never used one before. Having spent half an Earth week getting used to the death of the Eagle crew, he's pretty bewildered to learn there are survivors. He finally gets his hand around it and presses the talk switch, "Hi, Eagle, transmit two alphas if you are receiving."

There's a considerable delay after the Captain lets go of the switch before there's a response. He can hear the A-tone beeping over the bridge speakers. On both screens, the message begins to appear in Pewryn's block letters and Manning's passable handwriting, "COLUMBA EAGLE BARELY RECEIVING PLEASE SHORT COUNT OVER"

"Maybe I should let you," he gives the microphone back.

Pewryn takes it and hits the switch, "Eagle, Columba receiving your Morse loud and clear, short count 1-2-3-4-5-5-4-3-2-1. Over."

The response comes much quicker this time, "COL EAG UR 3BY3 IS NOT BAD FOR RX MADE FROM SCRATCH. LANDING REPORT?"

"Just a survivor list for now," Chattis quickly orders.

"Roger Eagle, Columba," Pewryn speaks slowly through the starship's transmitter, "We would like a survivor count and identify, over."

"COL EAG SURVIVORS FOUR CDR ENG1 ENG4 EMT1 OXYGEN FOR 600 HOURS POST LANDING OVER"

Chattis translates the crew position codes as they come in, "Carolus, Kraddic, Hudson, Magpie."

"Six hundred hours, over a hundred of them gone," Manning sighs, "They're still screwed."

Pewryn starts responding, "Roger Eagle, Columba, give prospects for air breathing hardware, over."

"COL EAG REQUEST YOU TX DIGITAL UNCODED PLAN CONTINGENCY DOCUMENT BA PAGES 1-3, 1-5, 1-8 SCAN IMAGE 100DPI, 100MHZ CARRIER AMPLITUDE MODULATION DATA RATE 100 BITS PER SECOND OVER"

"They can receive that?" Pewryn gasps, "Carolus is better at building radios from rocks than I thought!" He locks down his headset switch and his fingers dance over the keyboard and touch screens, setting up Columba's transmission parameters and the document pages, which are the drawings for a machine electric crane, conveyor belt, and mining extractor.

Day 3, 108h34m, Research complete: Basic Automation for 5SL1@5m, going for Automation 1 at 10SL1@10m

"COL EAG RX COMPLETE. REQUEST YOU TX SAME RF PLAN CONTINGENCY DOCUMENT AM1 PAGES 1-4, 1-9, 2-3, 2-7 AND ANY OTHER DRAWINGS IN IT OVER"

Day 3, 110h14m, Research complete: Automation 1 at 10SL1@10m

The first conversation between starship and lander closed out for another 110 hours, and Chattis asked around, "So, what do you think they recorded all that on?"

On the surface, Kraddic pulls the carefully carbon plotted piece of bark skin from the receiver's printer, turns to Carolus and asks, "What do you think?"

The Commander inspects the drawing and smiles, "I think we have a chance after all."

Rythe
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Re: The Mountains of Nauvis (Story based on modded 0.16.51 LP)

Post by Rythe » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:34 am

((Fun reading. Keep it up.))

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Re: The Mountains of Nauvis (Story based on modded 0.16.51 LP)

Post by featherwinglove » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:34 am

Columba's main computer has suffered another glitch. Pewryn should have it back in a few minutes.
Out of Character wrote:Installation being rebooted for updates to mods WaaR, DOR, QoLR, Expanded Rocket Payloads

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Re: The Mountains of Nauvis (Story based on modded 0.16.51 LP)

Post by featherwinglove » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:04 pm

Out of Character wrote: Further story updates have been canceled until further notice, it being up to Wube itself whether they want to turn their act around and start being the best developer in the world again. While events have developed to the point where I stopped promoting the game outside these forums on December 21, events have continued to develop, see this post:

viewtopic.php?f=33&t=64142&start=20#p392729

If anyone would like further story updates, please let me know. I'll keep updating the story if there is demand for it, even if Wube decides to continue their descent. Please feel free to copy the story to text files of your own just in case the forums go down in the future.

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