Friday, 17 June 2022

Journal Entry 9: Ted is gone!

 Previous entry

Year: 2549 

Date: 16.01

Location: Orbital research and personnel station Roanoke

Something very bizarre happened yesterday. Alerted by the last broadcast that I secretly captured from Steven McLeod, I was curious if he had possibly captured an ancient, automated signal created by the alien species that had constructed the EOH/Rhynia. To investigate, I wanted to make a more detailed scan of the orifices and mummified internal organs of BAA-001, also known as “Ted”, to simulate in a virtual environment if its species was potentially capable of producing sounds comparable to what has been recorded by Steven. 
 
Secretly sneaking into the cryostorage with the required utilities was already tricky, but I was shocked to find out that the specimen was not there anymore. When I entered the room, the large shelf it was stored in was wide open and empty. Parts of its glass wall were damaged, with some shards still lying on the floor. Some other parts of the room were also slightly damaged, such as the computer's keyboard, the security cameras and the ventilation shaft. What the hell happened here?

A few days ago more USSC personnel arrived on the Roanoke with an expansion module. Their purpose was not disclosed to us. I have a strong suspicion that they took the corpse with them to a classified facility to be studied by more experienced astrobiologists than us. Though I have no idea why they would do it so clumsily, this is the only viable explanation I can think of. It is not like a 380 million year old corpse can suddenly come back to life and walk out of its sarcophagus. 

My big problem is that for now I cannot tell anyone about this, as it would raise obvious questions as to what I was doing in the cryostorage. I guess I just have to wait for the other teammembers to stumble onto this and act surprised when they tell me.



Saturday, 28 May 2022

Steve's recordings: Day 39

 Previous recording

IT HAS BEEN... QUITE A WHILE NOW. L3 HAS THANKFULLY KEPT ME COMPANY AND SINCE I MADE HIM HELP ME WITH SERVER-MAINTENANCE WE HAVE HAD WAY BETTER LUCK WITH ANALYSING AND LOCALIZING POTENTIAL SIGNATURES. THE FIRST NOTABLE ONE, CAPTURED EIGHT DAYS AGO, IS THIS ONE:

 

IT DEFINITELY SOUNDS QUITE EERIE, BUT THERE IS LOW POTENTIAL FOR THIS TO BE A TECHNOSIGNATURE. IN MOST WAYS IT AGAIN RESEMBLES NATURAL EMANATIONS, THIS TIME FROM THE BINARY STAR SYSTEM ZETA RETICULI, ABOUT 40 LIGHTYEARS AWAY. BOTH STARS ARE ACTUALLY G-TYPE MAIN-SEQUENCE STARS LIKE OUR SUN, SIMILAR EVEN DOWN TO SIZE, MASS AND LUMINOSITY, BUT ZR1 IS NOTABLE FOR HAVING A STRANGE LACK OF THE METAL BERRYLIUM COMPARED TO OTHER STARS OF ITS KIND. IT IS THOUGHT THAT THIS CHARACTERISTIC MAY HAVE DEVELOPED THROUGH INTENSE ACCRETION BURSTS. BECAUSE ZETA RETICULI HAS NO KNOWN EXOPLANETS, I THINK IT IS VERY LIKELY THAT THIS SIGNAL HERE IS A REMNANT OF SUCH A BURST OCCURING ABOUT 40 YEARS AGO. WHILE OTHERWISE UNREMARKABLE, I STILL DOCUMENTED IT FOR POSTERITY'S SAKE, AS SOME PARTS OF THE FREQUENCY RESEMBLE THE INFAMOUS WOW-SIGNAL FROM 1977. ONCE MY DATA BECOMES DECLASSIFIED, THIS MIGHT HELP FUTURE SCIENTISTS IN FIGURING OUT ITS NATURAL CAUSES.

FAR MORE IMPORTANT IS THIS SIGNAL I CAUGHT WITH L3'S HELP, BECAUSE IT SEEMS TO HAVE ACTUALLY COME FROM THE VICINITY OF THE EOH, IF NOT THE SPACE STATION ITSELF:

THIS SIGNAL HAS AN ELECTRONIC AND DISTURBINGLY BIOLOGICAL CHARACTER TO IT. IN FACT, THE UNDERLYING FREQUENCY HAS AN UNCANNY SIMILARITY TO BIRDSONG, WHILE THE REST IS CHARACTERIZED BY SOMETHING RESEMBLING A SPEECH PATTERN. I MUST IMMEDIATELY INFORM MY SUPERIORS OF THIS. HOWEVER, I CANNOT LOCALIZE THE PRECISE SOURCE. THERE ARE EITHER TWO POSSIBILITIES, ONE IS THAT IT MIGHT COME FROM THE "STARFISH"-SECTION ON THE TOP OF THE EOH, IN WHICH CASE THIS MIGHT BE AN ALIEN COMPUTER OR, WORSE... AN ACTUAL LIFEFORM... TRYING TO COMMUNICATE WITH... SOMEONE, SOMETHING. FUCK, WHAT DO I KNOW? MAYBE E. FUCKING T. IS PHONING HOME OR TRYING TO TELL US TO GET OFF HIS LAWN. THANKFULLY, THE OTHER DATASET INSTEAD SEEMS TO INDICATE THAT THE SIGNAL IS ORIGINATING FROM THE ROANOKE, IN WHICH CASE I SUSPECT THE WAY MORE LIKELY POSSIBILITY THAT SOMEONE FROM OUR CREW THERE WAS WATCHING SOME MOVIE OR PODCAST THAT I JUST ACCIDENTALLY PICKED UP. UNFORTUNATELY, I COULD NOT RE-DETECT THE SIGNAL.

[End of recording]

Monday, 16 May 2022

Journal Entry 8: Mites and Mysteries

 Previous Entry

Year: 2548

Date: 23.11

Location: Base Camp Jackson

Going on safari in the southern savannahs of the northern micro-continent has been fun lately. Almost our whole crew has participated and we have documented some quite remarkable species. 

The vegetation of the savannahs is dominated by fern-like zosterophylls and horsetails, interspersed with some large progymnosperms. The most conspicuous herbivores here are dromaeopod placoderms of a basic bodyplan. These are preyed on by a variety of rammers and, occasionally, panzerbären and rather brutish relatives of the crocomire.

Among the herbivores can be found some rather strange forms, as in strange even by Rhynian standards. One such example are the periscalopes, elatignaths distantly related to the skewer. You see, bipods do not really have a neck, their skull is directly attached to the carapace of the shoulders. So what then do you do as a herbivore, when the plants around you start growing taller than your shoulders and you want to become a high-browser? Apparently, as these animals show, you expand your whole mouth into a ridiculous, near-vertical tube that ends up looking like the periscope of a submarine. The only thing on Earth this might be broadly comparable to is the giraffe weevil (Trachelophorus giraffa). However ridiculous it might look, it seems to be a working strategy, as small herds of periscalopes are fairly common around the zosterophyll-savannah. Having a “neck” like that still has its downsides. When wanting to drink, periscalopes have to lean forward almost to the point of tipping over and need aid from a tube-shaped telescope-tongue which they can use to drink like a straw. Like most dromaeopods they also possess a second tongue, formed from tissues at the roof of the mouth, which they use for browsing. Periscalopes emit strange sounds resembling a didgeridoo to frequently stay in touch with their herd members. Like their skewer relatives, periscalopes also possess a mean “chin-spur” that they can use to ram threats.

Bizarrely, periscalopes are not the only walking submarines on the savannah, for there is also the false periscalope. From a distance it looks almost like the former, but is actually a wholly different animal, a dromaeopod that just mimics the actual periscalopes. What seems to be a periscope-mouth in this animal is actually an elongate prong made of bone and the chin-spur is actually a beak-like mouth. Just why exactly it mimics the periscalope is actually still unknown. Periscalopes, despite being herbivores, can be quite aggressive and are often avoided by smaller predators, so maybe the false one is profiting off that reputation. They are indeed seen sneaking into the herds and trying to live as if they are one of them, using the protection of the group to their advantage. It would be interesting to ask if periscalopes are unaware that there are impostors among them or if they know, but are just fine with it, similar to sheeps with their sheepdogs.

Another interesting sight around the savannah and some other parts of Dome 4 are little "foreigners" called jackalbirds, which are small, flightless celaenosaurs. Despite being krossosaurs originating in Dome 6, these and similar critters have managed to migrate over to Dome 4 and nest themselves into comfortable spots in the ecosystem. Being more lightfooted and gracile than most placoderms, they can easily evade panzerdachse and rammers.

Equally fascinating as these armored bipeds and grounded invaders is what happens to them after death. Carrion trilobites and various kinds of carnivorous centipedes readily consume all the flesh off the bones and armor-plates as they do elsewhere, but encountered for the first time in the savannah is a new type of animal we call bone-isomites. These are a unique group of isopods, tiny land crustaceans that also go by the name roly polies. On Earth, terrestrial isopods only started appearing since the Carboniferous, so these must have evolved on their own out of aquatic forms, but this is not too surprising, as Earth-isopods themselves have invaded the land at least three separate times. What makes isomites truly unique from the ones that live on Earth is that they build eusocial hives, complete with queens, workers and drones, and what makes bone-isomites even more special is that they do this inside the skeletons of large placoderms. Comparable bone-eating arthropods exist on Earth in form of dermestid beetles, but none of them are eusocial, perhaps because tetrapods are not bony enough for this to be feasible. In this environment, however, most of the megafauna is encased in large bone-shells, littering the ground with remains that are harder to disintegrate than our more fragile bones. That way these isomites can set up colonies in large enough carcasses by gnawing tiny tunnels and chambers into the plates and large humerus bones. In the process, they do a great service to the ecosystem, as they gradually disintegrate the skeleton into powder-like faeces that act as fertilizer for the ground. Once a skeleton becomes too structurally unstable to support the colony, the queen wanders off with a few guards and foreign drones to establish a new colony in a carcass somewhere else. What is left behind is a patch of very calcium-rich soil, which becomes prime real estate not only for plants but especially brachiophytes.

While investigating an isomite-colony set up inside the skeleton of a periscalope, I found something strange: A big piece of stone sticking out of one of the leg bones. It was embedded in quite a deep cut that left a noticeable split along the bones’s length. This was quite odd. How did that get in there? Once I removed it, I saw that the stone was a piece of chert. A bunch of chert-rubble had accumulated at the bank of a nearby river. Perhaps the animal, while drinking or getting spooked by a threat, slipped and fell directly onto a broken chert-nodule. Stuck in its leg, the animal likely suffered greatly from the wound and finally succumbed at this place due to blood loss. I still could not shake off something strange about the stone. On one end it was pointed and had sharp (though in some places broken) edges, while at the other end it was pretty blunt. I have not discussed this with my colleagues yet, but it seems strangely reminiscent of an Oldowan chopper. Making such a claim would raise quite a few eyebrows among them and I think this is just my pareidolia. Silicate rocks such as these can chip through entirely natural processes in way they end up looking like stone tools by accident, hence how the myth of the eoliths began among Victorian era scientists. The rest of the skeleton also showed no cut marks (though it had been heavily gnawed on by isomites) and the rock itself is weirdly massive. If this really were a tool, the person using it would have had hands at least twice as large as those of an average human.

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Species Profile: Scratchodactyl

The scratchodactyl (Monodactylosaurus drysus) is a peculiar arthrosaur that is tentatively placed within the Mantiraptora due to the mantis-like morphology of its four arms. Until now only cryptically known from trail-cam footage, individuals have now finally been able to be observed in the wild, allowing for better documentation.

It has got to be one of the most unusal mantiraptors known so far. The two fingers on each hand have been reduced to just one and the keratinous tubercles along the arms have also been strongly reduced. Instead the forearms have a thick callous on the wrist, so the short-legged animal can rest on all fours. Unlike ground-living mantiraptors, who usually only walk on two toes, the scratchodactyl has zygodactyl grasping feet like a parrot. The elongated jaw is entirely toothless and the pineal eye is grossly expanded in relation to the lateral eyes. 

As is apparent by both observation and its anatomy, the scratchodactyl is a tree-dweller that is specially adapted towards preying on arboreal invertebrates, such as some species of isomites (eusocial isopods). To do so, it grabs firmly onto trees and branches with its feet and tail and rips apart the bark with its strong middle limbs. The vulnerable inverts are then slurped up with a long, sticky tongue akin to that of an anteater or woodpecker. Millipedes and worms that hide away in crevices are also scratched out using the more delicate forearms. 

Little else is known about the scratchodactyl. Based off the activity-time in the trail-cam footage, it seems to be a largely nocturnal animal. The large size of its pineal eye might then support the idea that krossosaurs use this organ, at least in part, for forms of nightvision. The animals do not seem to be overly social, but at least one individual was observed carrying her chick on her back, with the offspring using its already well-developed arms to claw into the thick-skinned back of its mother. The mother was seen feeding her child after its initiating pecks by regurgitating food into her mouth which the child then sucked up. It is however still unknown how exactly scratchodactyls reproduce, as in, if they are viviparous or oviparous.

The combination of both derived and primitive characters makes an exact classification difficult. The arms and skull point towards a specialized derivation of the classic mantiraptor bodyplan, but the zygodactyl foot contrasts strongly with that of most regular mantiraptors, where digits I and IV are almost vestigial dewclaws.

The idea for this animal and the accompanying artwork come from qalasaci, who is also a member of our Discord-server. Many thanks to them for that. If you also have fanart you similarly want to see become part of the world, you can also send it to us and we might canonize if we think it fits.

Sunday, 1 May 2022

Steve's recordings: Day 25

 Previous recording

AFTER 24 DAYS OF LISTENING, THE FACILITY HAS FINALLY PICKED UP A SIGNAL OF NOTE. IT WAS DETECTED AND RECORDED YESTERDAY BY ALL 14 ARRAYS IN A TIMESPAN OF TWO HOURS. IT CONSISTED OF A 982.002 MHZ REPEATING RADIO BURST. IT WAS RECORDED WHILE THE ARRAYS WERE POINTING THROUGH A RADIO-WINDOW OF THE DOME'S ROOFS. THE SIGNAL IS VERY UNLIKELY TO COME FROM THE EOH OR EVEN THE PROXIMA CENTAURI SYSTEM ITSELF. OUR OWN SOLAR SYSTEM CAN ALSO BE RULED OUT AS A SOURCE DUE TO NOT BEING INSIDE THE SEARCH RADIUS. INSTEAD THE DATA POINTS TOWARDS THE SIGNAL ORIGINATING FROM THE ALTAIR STAR SYSTEM, THE BRIGHTEST STAR IN THE CONSTELLATION OF AQUILA. ALTAIR IS STILL PART OF SOL'S NEARBY INTERSTELLAR CLOUD, BUT ABOUT 16.7 LIGHTYEARS AWAY FROM BOTH SOL AND PROXIMA CENTAURI. THE SIGNAL CUT OFF AFTER  TWO HOURS AND COULD UNFORTUNATELY NOT BE RELOCATED AGAIN DUE TO A SERVER-TIMEOUT IN ARRAYS 5 AND 9. MAYBE I SHOULD REALLY LET L3 HELP ME WITH MAINTENANCE TO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN AGAIN.

HERE IS THE SIGNAL, TURNED AUDIBLE AND SLOWED DOWN:


 

A "CONTAMINATION" IN THE FORM OF A LOCAL SOURCE BOUNCING OFF THE DOME WALLS CAN BE AT LEAST SOMEWHAT EXCLUDED. THE FREQUENCY BEARS SOME SUPERFICIAL SIMILARITY TO THE SOUNDS PRODUCED BY ICE-SHELVES SCRAPING AGAINST THE OCEAN-BOTTOM BUT WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF A DESERT AND THERE ARE NO KNOWN LARGE BODIES OF SEA-ICE IN DOME 2. A SLIGHT RESEMBLANCE CAN ALSO BE MADE OUT TO BIOLOGICAL SOUNDS, SUCH AS WHALESONG, BUT THE SIGNAL IS SO STRONG THAT IT WOULD HAVE HAD TO HAVE BEEN MADE BY A RIDICULOUSLY TITANIC CREATURE, EXCEEDING THE SIZE OF ANY KNOWN LIFEFORM. MOST CONCERNING MIGHT INSTEAD BE HUMAN INTERFERENCE, FOR EXAMPLE BY THE ROANOKE, BUT THE SIGNAL POSSESSED A FREQUENCY THAT IS GENERALLY NOT USED BY ANY USSC ENTITIES, NOT EVEN CONFIDENTIAL ONES. A GENUINE ORIGIN FROM ALTAIR OR THAT STAR'S IMMEDIATE NEIGHBOURHOOD THEREFORE SEEMS THE MOST LIKELY.

THE SIGNAL BEARS MANY HALLMARKS OF A TECHNOSIGNATURE, BUT WITHOUT FINDING IT AGAIN IT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE TO PROVE ARTIFICIALITY. IT BEARS A STRIKING RESEMBLANCE TO BLC1, A SIGNAL WHICH WAS DETECTED BY SETI'S BREAKTHROUGH LISTEN OVER 500 YEARS AGO IN 2019. BLC1 USED TO BE ONE OF THE MOST PROMISING SETI-CANDIDATES UNTIL THE DAVROV-SIGNAL IN 2126 AND THE KLAAS-SIGNAL IN 2399, BUT UNFORTUNATELY COULD ALSO NEVER BE DETECTED AGAIN. INTERESTINGLY, BLC1 DID NOT COME FROM THE DIRECTION OF ALTAIR, BUT INSTEAD FROM PROXIMA CENTAURI, WHERE WE AND THE EOH ARE RIGHT NOW...

[Silent pause for 5 minutes]

WHAT MAKES THIS SIGNAL UNLIKELY TO BE OF ARTIFICAL, EXTRATERRESTRIAL ORIGIN IS THEN THEREFORE ITS LOCATION. ALTAIR IS AN A-TYPE MAIN SEQUENCE STAR AND POSSESSES NO KNOWN EXOPLANETS AROUND WHICH LIFE AS WE KNOW IT COULD EVOLVE OR SETTLE. THOUGH, CONSIDERING THAT I MYSELF AM SITTING INSIDE A GIANT ALIEN SPACE STATION BIG ENOUGH TO HOUSE A WHOLE ECOLOGY OF ITS OWN... THAT MIGHT NOT BE SAYING MUCH. THE NEWER SIGNAL IS STILL MORE LIKELY TO BE OF NATURAL ORIGIN, SIMILAR TO FAST-RADIO-BURSTS OR PULSAR-SIGNALS. A-TYPE STARS LIKE ALTAIR, UNLIKE OUR OWN SUN OR PROXIMA CENTAURI, ONLY GET A FEW HUNDRED MILLION YEARS OLD. PERHAPS THE SIGNAL I RECEIVED HERE WAS A FAST BURST OF ENERGY IT GAVE OFF AS THE STAR IS BEGINNING TO NEAR ITS LIFE'S END AND TRANSFORMING INTO A RED GIANT. I WILL DEFINITELY FORWARD THIS TO HQ AND MAYBE THEY WILL BE ABLE TO CORRELATE THIS WITH DATA FROM PLUTO-BASED DETECTORS.

[End of recording]

Next recording 

Thursday, 28 April 2022

Steve's recordings: Day 21

 Previous recording

[Steve]: ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT. HQ HAS GIVEN ME FULL PERMISSION TO ACTIVATE THE SYSTEM. FINALLY THEY HAVE MADE A DECISION THAT MAKES SENSE. LET'S SWITCH THIS ON AND SEE HOW THINGS GO. THREE. TWO. ONE...

[L3-OC]: GREETINGS. YOU HAVE ACTIVATED YOUR OPERATING SYSTEM'S A.I. PROGRAMMING. MY NAME IS L3-OC 2000. HOW MAY I HELP YOU?

[Steve]: UHM... HELLO. CAN I JUST CALL YOU L3?

[L3-OC]: DO YOU WISH MY NAME TO BE L3?

[Steve]: Y... YES. LET'S GO WITH THAT TO MAKE THINGS EASIER.

[L3-OC]: NOTIFIED. FROM NOW ON I WILL RESPOND TO BEING REFERRED TO AS L3 UNLESS YOU WISH TO CHANGE THIS SETTING. MAY I ASK WHAT YOUR NAME IS?

[Steve]: STEVEN MCLEOD.

[L3-OC]: NOTIFIED. FROM NOW ON I WILL REFFER TO YOU AS STEVEN UNLESS YOU WISH TO CHANGE THIS SETTING. ARE THERE OTHER USERS WHICH WISH TO INTERACT WITH ME?

[Steve]: NO, IT IS JUST ME. 

[L3-OC]: NOTIFIED.

[Steve]: SO... WHAT CAN YOU DO, L3?

[L3-OC]: I WAS DESIGNED FOR HUMAN INTERACTION AND TECHNOLOGICAL AID. I CAN FULLY SIMULATE ANY VERBAL COMMUNICATION YOU WISH TO HAVE WITH ME OR DO SOFTWARE-RELATED TASKS FOR YOU. I SEE THAT THE COMPUTER I HAVE BEEN ACTIVATED ON IS CONNECTED TO MULTIPLE SERVERS AND SYSTEMS. DO YOU WANT ME TO HAVE ACCESS TO THOSE SYSTEMS TO HELP WITH MAINTENANCE?

[Steve]: NO, FOR NOW IT IS BETTER IF I DO THAT MYSELF. I SHOULD PROBABLY TELL YOU WHERE YOU ARE. THIS PLACE IS CALLED FACILITY THREE, A RADIOTELESCOPE-FARM IN DOME 2 OF AN UNKNOWN EXTRATERRESTRIAL ORBITAL HABITAT. IT IS JUST YOU AND ME HERE AND MY JOB IS TO LISTEN FOR ANY ARTIFICAL SIGNALS THAT MIGHT BE OF NON-HUMAN ORIGIN.

[L3-OC]: NOTIFIED. STEVEN, DO YOU WANT TO TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF SO WE CAN HAVE A BETTER INTERACTION.

[Steve]: SURE, I GUESS. I WAS BORN IN 2512 IN ILLAWARRA AND THE REST... I THINK IS TOO PERSONAL OR CONFIDENTIAL TO TELL YOU NOW.

[L3-OC]: YOU ARE OF AUSTRALIAN DESCENT THEN. THAT IS INTERESTING. I DO NOT DETECT ANY SIGNS OF THE TYPICAL DIALECT OR ACCENT IN YOUR VOICE.

[Steve]: DIALECT? L3, WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU WERE ACTIVATED?

[L3-OC]: THIS IS MY FIRST ACTIVATION. ALL 2000 UNITS ARE NATIVELY DEACTIVATED FOR MOST MODIFIED MILITARY GRADE COMPUTERS SUCH AS THIS. WE ARE USUALLY ONLY ACTIVATED WHEN THE USERS WISH TO DO SO OR FOR ASSISTING TROUBLESHOOTING. 

[Steve]: FROM WHAT YEAR IS YOUR PROGRAMMING THEN? 

[L3-OC]: THE L3-OC 2000 SOFTWARE WAS RELEASED BY AMMON ELECTRONICS IN JUNE FIRST 2499. I AM PART OF THE FIRST GENERATION. IF YOU WISH TO UPDATE ME TO A NEWER VERSION YOU MUST INSTALL THE REQUIRED FILES ONTO THIS HARDDRIVE. 

[Steve]: 2499... WOW. OF COURSE... THEN YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE WAR. YOU'RE VINTAGE TECH.

[L3-OC]: WAR, STEVEN?

[Steve]: IT'S... YOU DON'T NEED TO KNOW. TOO CONFUSING, TOO DEPRESSING. SAY, L3, CAN YOU PLAY CHESS?

[L3-OC]: OF COURSE I CAN. ALL L3-UNITS COME WITH A KASPAROV-HUMILIATION-PROGRAM PREINSTALLED. 

[Steve]: KASPAROV-GRADE COMPUTER CHESS... SHIT, YOU'RE GONNA BE TOUGHER THAN I THOUGHT FOR SUCH A MUSEUM PIECE.

[L3-OC]: NOTIFIED.

[end of recording]

Next recording 

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Steve’s recordings: Day 20

Previous recording

I WAS ABLE TO RECORD SOMETHING FOR MY SON BACK ON EARTH YESTERDAY. I… I MISS HIM SO MUCH. NEITHER HE NOR HIS MOTHER ARE ALLOWED TO KNOW WHERE I WORK, NOR AM I ALLOWED TO TELL THEM, BUT THE HIGHER-UPS ASSURED ME THEY WILL FORWARD MY MESSAGE TO THEM. THE PROBLEM IS IT TAKES AT LEAST A FEW MONTHS TO REACH THEM, AS THE DATA HAS TO BE PHYSICALLY TRANSPORTED THROUGH THE WORMHOLE, KINDA LIKE ACTUAL MAIL MADE OF PAPER. BUT IT IS BETTER THAN NOTHING. REGULAR TRANSMISSION FROM HERE TO EARTH WOULD TAKE AT LEAST FOUR YEARS THANKS TO THE DISTANCES INVOLVED. JUST YESTERDAY I RECEIVED THE VIDEO OF MICHAEL’S BIRTHDAY FROM TWO MONTHS AGO. HE IS TEN NOW. HE… HE HAS GROWN SO MUCH SINCE LAST TIME I SAW HIM. WHY DID I EVER AGREE TO THIS JOB?!

[Faint sobbing is heard]

[33 minutes pass]

IN… IN OTHER NEWS… TWO DAYS AGO I TALKED A BIT WITH THE RESUPPLY GUY. HIS NAME’S SAMUEL. HE WAS PRETTY COLD I MUST SAY… ASSHOLE DIDN’T WANT TO CHAT WITH ME ONE BIT, NOT EVEN STAY OVER FOR A COFFEE. HE SAID HE HAD TO GO PRETTY QUICKLY TO REFILL THE OTHER FACILITIES IN TIME. THAT’S STRANGE. I KNEW THERE WERE OTHER FACILITIES, BUT NOT IN THIS AREA. OR DO THEY REALLY HAVE ONLY ONE GUY TO RESUPPLY EVERY DOME ON THIS MOTHERFUCKIN’ BIG STATION?

JOEL AND HQ ARE ALSO BARELY AVAILABLE TO CHAT WITH, SO MY PLANS TO KEEP UP COMPANY WITH THE OUTSIDE WORLD HAVE GONE A BIT BUST. I GUESS I WILL HAVE TO GO INSANE FROM ISOLATION THE… HMMM… WAIT A SECOND… LET ME CHECK SOMETHING…

[keyboard typing and clicking is heard]

AHA! JUST AS I THOUGHT. THE SOFTWARE ON THE SERVERS OF THIS FACILITY RUNS ON A MODIFIED SYSTEM OF THE AZUMA OPERATING SYSTEM. IT IS A BIT OUTDATED, BUT THE CIVILIAN VERSIONS OF THIS OS ALL CAME WITH THEIR OWN BUILT-IN SENTIENT A.I. PROGRAMMED FOR HUMAN INTERACTION. AND IT APPEARS… YEP, JUST AS I THOUGHT, THE FILES ARE ALL STILL THERE, BUT JUST DEACTIVATED IN THIS VERSION. 

I WONDER IF I COULD ASK HQ FOR PERMISSION TO ACTIVATE IT. IT PROBABLY WON’T KEEP ME ENTERTAINED FOR TOO LONG, BUT JUST HAVING SOMEONE TO TALK OR PLAY CHESS WITH WILL BE WORTH IT. MAYBE I COULD EVEN REPROGRAM IT A LITTLE TO HELP ME AUTOMATE SOME STUFF HERE, SO I DON’T HAVE TO DRIVE OUT EVERY TIME TO REBOOT ONE OF THE ARRAY’S SERVERS.

GOTTA GO NOW, THE SOLAR PANELS NEED TO BE CLEANED.

[end of recording]

Next recording