The Sol Stones

Europa

Acknowledgement page taken from the unpublished manuscript of The Sol Stones by Sarai Mannolini-Winwood

I brought this story together after a four week research contract for the Galactic Council of Scientific Exploration gave me unprecedented access to their files, both personal and corporate. I was initially looking for personal accounts and the professional logs from those few GCSE early exploration teams, the Galactic Emissary Members, which dealt with the settlement of Jupiter’s Moons. As most know I was born and raised on Io, one of the first established outputs before we began real space exploration. I was interested in finding some of these pioneer accounts to use for my Phd on the emotional impact of pioneer exploration of the early 31st century and how it shaped the identity of Jupiter’s settlers.

While making my way through the archives I found the most extraordinary collection of artefacts: a collection of personal logs, registered accounts, odd sample documents, and as I dug deeper the corresponding official logs, interviews, video and audio documentation and the strangest results from a simple survey task ever to have occurred. I remembered tales told on Io of an old legend about an exploration team on Europa, but never took it seriously, but now it seems there might have been a little more truth to that tale than expected.

Here, in as best chronological order as I am able to arrange, are the experiences of Sunday Ramsey Galileo, Calder Theodred, Ignacia Villequinn, and associates, a GCSC GEM team allocated to the mineral and structural survey of Europa, Jupiter, in 3020AD after the first strip mining of ice from Sector 45.569.bc.3.

I also wish to acknowledge the team of researchers I was lucky enough to work with on this project: Elizabeth Baca, Jib Harper and Madeleine Dobson. For without them this project would literally not exist.

Resources used:

Overall game mechanic: Uncharted Worlds, a trademark of Sean Gomes.

World building: The Sol Stones, the ongoing works of Sarai Mannolini-Winwood, Madeleine Dobson, Elizabeth Baca, Jib Harper

Session 1 mechanics: Broadsword, Issue 1, a trademark of Hamrick Brands LLC.

 

The write up and information about the game system, the context of this game and a break down of the characters is available in the Fantasy Gaming section here.

 

Artefact 1: Collection, 14 WC, 3020AD, Moon, Sol

From the personal notes of Doctor Aro Loa

14th Day of the Waxing Crescent, 3020AD

Galactic Committee for Scientific Exploration Head Office, Moon, Sol.

Today we will be applying the problem solving scenarios I have amended from an old D&D supplement magazine called Broadsword. D&D, or Dungeons and Dragons arouse long ago in the 20th century, rising to increasing popularity around the 21st century and maintaining its vigour all the way through the pandemics as a way of remaining connected during times of global isolation. It remains popular today but has largely been replaced by more immersive VR versions.

Each year we are taxed with developing these scenarios for the job applications. With such a growing population trying to join the GCSE due to the travel restrictions that are largely controlled by the GCSE, it is one of the few employers that can give someone a chance to move beyond their home planet. There has been large numbers each year from Venus, as although the colony is functional it is still an unpleasant place to live and raise a family. The restricted size due to the instabilities of the shields handling the intense heat below ground means it is akin to living in a space station and the plants, although open to public visits are strictly controlled and contained to hydro-sheds rather than developed into open parks as on Mars and the moons of Jupiter. I understand fully why some people continue each year to apply to the GCSE to hopefully escape that life.

The scenarios this time were problem solving. Some years we do puzzle rooms, or physical endeavours, we’ve had extended exams and applied laboratories, but this time we are looking for mainly think tank and team surveying groups so had to select largely abstract tasks that could help us measure their problem solving and team discussion skills. Our two laboratory technicians will manage the teams while I will mark against the pre-designed scale and my colleague Dr Tooler will offer his “expertise” on their psychological soundness to be sent to some of these distant placements.

The first task was heavily amended from the original, which included a pit trap and some ink. I kept the original letter that was a red herring in the original and made this a test of language. They needed to establish a homonym that could be used in all the blanks. Scoring was focused on the way they approached the problem, the range of strategies they investigated and then correct answer (here/hear).

The second task again was pared back to being a simple processes task – could they figure out they needed to count the number of ball-bearings in the buckets and then based on the very loose clue could they correctly select the relevant bucket (with 333 ball-bearings).

The third task was the same as the original, asking them to identify what was common between an elf, halfling, half-orc and dwarf, and then what did this have to do with one of the surrounding animals. The answer being the common letter, which then applied to only animal that also had that letter as its first name.

The final task was again amended from a giant chess game with moving pieces to simply a request to identify one move that could help them win. There was no correct answer but many correct ways to go about establishing a potential answer. This was looking at their ability to work through a problem, to collectively as a team come to a final answer and to demonstrate staying power in the testing.

I am looking forward to seeing how they all do today.

Busy planet from space
Approaching the GCSE Head Quarters on the Moon from the trajectory of Mars

 

From the personal correspondence of Laboratory Technician Danny Fulls to her sister Jeanine Fulls

14th Day of the Waxing Crescent, 3020AD

Galactic Committee for Scientific Exploration Head Office, Moon, Sol.

To: Jeanine Fulls, 19th April, 3020AD

Perth, Australia, Earth.

Heya lil sis!

Today we had that application event thing. You know, were we get to do these problem solving tests on randos and see how they do? So much fun! We got to watch from the videos as they tried to work it out and boyo some of this lot were as random as Mooners! One even flipped the chess board in the last session, can you believe it?

So anyway I was responsible for groups 6-8 which was cool, last year all I was allowed to do was run the notes to the committee. But this year I got to do the walk in and set up – I like practiced twenty times in the mirror how to say “you have 10 minutes” without giving any clues. Lol.

One group did pretty well, it was real funny, they had the answer a few times but then went off on tangents – think they lacked confidence, it was a bunch of girls. A real cool gangy looking chick, with super dope coat (googling now to find one), a real quiet one, bit like me, so must be a scientist type, and man, the meanest looking Mooner chick I’ve ever seen. I’m pretty sure though I’ve seen her somewhere else, maybe in one of the wrestling matches.

Ooo I have to take you to one of those – it’s held in this old warehouse in the outer districts, tots sketchy like, but serious cool. You’ll love it.

I can’t wait till you’re up here too – only 1 more year and you can apply.

Later – your bigger but not taller sis! Xx

Party district on the moon
Photograph included in personal communication of the entertainment district outside of the GCSE head office.

From the GCSE Research Committee Log of Laboratory Technician Adrianna Lorres

14th Day of the Waxing Crescent, 3020AD

Galactic Committee for Scientific Exploration Head Office, Moon, Sol.

Following the completion of the bi-annual conference we have begun the process of applications for the new GEM teams. Four main areas require staffing: the annual exchange of the resource management and survey team on Venus; a think-tank rotation here at the GCSE Head Office focusing on continual adaptions of the terraforming processes with the continual rise of Earth’s population, with a focus on the resettlement of the anticipated 16 trillion new births over the next 20 years; an exploration team to Uranus to evaluate any potential new mineral resources or terraforming sites; and the exploration and survey of uncovered lower layers of Europa following the strip mining of the ice for terraforming projects on Io and Ganymede.

Today I worked with the team to evaluate the new applicants for any potential members to be placed in the new staffing areas. In total we had 1, 256 applications of which only 587 were granted attendance at the application processes. Half of these were level 1 or new members to the GCSE. Myself and my immediate team including Dr Francis Tooler, Dr Aro Loa, and Laboratory Technician Danny Fulls, were responsible for processing the one hour testing scenarios and reporting to the final committee for placement, of 212 of the applicants. Our team was focused on problem solving scenarios with a scoring system based on innovation, completion and focus. Of the 212 only 58 were offered positions.

A key factor provided by our team in the final feedback was in the make-up of the teams. We found that most teams had been grouped using out dated data sources of their original psychological evaluations when they first applied to the GCSE. Of which many of these were 5-10 years out of date. This resulted in a number of dysfunctional teams. However, those that did score well demonstrated the most effective ability to not only problem solve but to engage thoughtfully with their team.

The test scenarios this session came from a curated collection of the Broadsword Issue 1 and focused on language association including the use of homonyms, alliteration, and riddles. The final puzzle not having an answer but being a measure of process understanding and the ability to remain within the rules.

Final quantitative results have been shared with the research committee for ongoing training purposes.

 

From the Psychological Profiles of Doctor Francis Tooler

14th Day of the Waxing Crescent, 3020AD

Galactic Committee for Scientific Exploration Head Office, Moon, Sol.

 

Cal
Photo supplied by candidate for application process.

Psychological profile: Calder Theodred (Cal)

Age: 33

Origin: Praxis District, Moon

Recommendation: Sound.

Generally level headed.

Potential Borderline Personality Disorder.

Additional added to file: Violent outburst [Note: video attachment 3.5B “Wall punch”]

Recommendation: Employable, requires professional development in anger management.

Iggy
Photo supplied by candidate for application process.

Psychological profile: Ignacia Villequinn (Iggy)

Age: 28

Origin: Hyperippe, Callisto

Recommendation: Sound.

Easily lead but does demonstrate some need for special attention.

Struggled to make decisions

Potential Aboulomania Disorder.

Additional added to file: Inability to decide [Note: video attachment 4.2F “No decision”]

Recommendation: Employable, requires professional development in leadership.

Sunday
Photo supplied by candidate for application process.

Psychological profile: Sunday Ramsey Galileo (Sunday)

Age: 22

Origin: Diomeneia, Callisto

Recommendation: Sound.

Anxiety during decision processes

Introverted.

Potential Avoidant Personality Disorder.

Additional added to file: Anxiety [Note: video attachment 1.6X “After”]

Recommendation: Employable, requires professional development in leadership.

 

Artefact 2: Personal logs, 14WC-26FQ, 3020AD, Europa, Sol

PERSONAL ENTRIES FOR SUNDAY, CAL AND IGGY FROM 14TH WAXING CRESCENT TO 26TH FIRST QUARTER, 3020AD, EUROPA, SOL

PERSONAL LOG: SUNDAY GALILEO

[Date and time verified. Author verified.]

23WC-3020 21:32:45

I intended to use this log to track the progress of our assignment, or more specifically my own progress. I wanted to reflect on the learning experience and see where I could have improved or worked more quickly, as frustrating as that may have been for my future self. But Dr. Aloysius thinks it would be healthy for me to express myself more, and because she is a qualified and experienced professional I’m inclined to listen to her. At least for the sake of this job. I find expressing myself around others quite uncomfortable and unnecessary, and Dr. Aloysius must have noticed that in our first weekly video session, because she suggested a private log for the things I don’t want to share with her. So here I am, writing my very first diary entry.  It makes sense. I can get my difficult and distracting thoughts out and return to work with clarity and focus.

6FQ-3020 04:12:27

I’ve been here just over a month now and it is very, very different from being at home. It isn’t the constantly being surrounded by strange faces that I’m struggling with. The number of scientists, academics and experts who have cycled through my home since I was small, the conferences, meetings and workshops, I’m used to all that. It’s the fact that here I’m actually expected to live with them and get to know them, rather than just listening to their ideas or presenting my own research on a topic. I can work well with others, that isn’t an issue. I understand the importance of sharing ideas, considering alternative perspectives, speaking to people knowledgeable in fields that I don’t understand. Watching the work all come together. But the others here are spending their down time together, laughing or having silly little spats over chores and perceived slights, like they’ve known each other forever. I don’t fit. At home it’s all work, all the time. I like it that way.

8FQ-3020 13:34:01

I’m going to make more of an effort though. At least with Cal and Iggy. I know that strong relationships are essential to the progress of my career, and I can’t rely on my parents’ connections forever. I have spent too long in the antisocial work bubble of my home on Callisto. And I don’t mind my little team. We fit together nicely. We complement one another. Cal is strong and straightforward, and I respect that. Iggy needs to tone herself down more than a little, but she’s passionate and enthusiastic and skilled with mapmaking. Still, our assignment isn’t advancing as quickly as it should be, as my parents would be quick to point out if they knew. I’m glad our work is strictly confidential. I don’t need their evaluations or criticisms right now. I’m sure they’d have all the answers if they knew what we were working on.

I’m not homesick, not at all. I feel more at home working for the GCSE than I did working on Callisto. Although I loved working with spaceships and their wide range of navigation systems, smoothing out the kinks, fiddling with the cogs and improving the programs, it never felt like my own thing. It was never an adventure. In fact, I didn’t even think I wanted adventure. Maybe being away from home is revealing parts of me I never knew existed. Not knowing what will happen next, thinking of how I could fail, it scares me... but maybe it thrills me a little too.

END LOG

ice caves
Photograph included with files from this date period. Location: Europa ice caves outside of the survey base. Person: Unknown.

PERSONAL RECOUNT PROVIDED BY FAMILY OF CALDER THEODRED

[Unknown date, information matches time-frame of category]

[Unknown origin, could not be verified]

Months had passed and I grew tired of going nowhere. I crouched at the turning point of my run, hunched over, panting in the middle of an ice tunnel. My knuckles flexed red then white as I clenched, remembering the last decent fight I was in. 

The first collision always surprised them, their fancy footwork was nothing against an old-fashioned uppercut to the jaw.

I readjusted my gloves, it was fucking freezing. But I reminded myself again that the cold was good for my glucose levels - and my mental health, so Iggy said.

It still burned in my mind, the frustration of not knowing what was happening during those damn puzzles. And as much as I had completed an application assessment once before, it annoyed me beyond belief that A did not lead to B. The others wouldn’t understand because they were skilled in their own highly desirable ways, clearly needed for this mission. What did I do, run? There was nothing to fight, nothing to protect them from, nothing for me to do other than stay fit and ready. What a pointless use of my skills. Why did I even apply? 

I shook my head from the negativity, Iggy had been trying to draw me away from my own mind in times like this, which I was grateful for. She had attempted to create a navigation system of her own for the mission, one that Sunday did not wholly agree with. I did not want to take sides, as sides are fantasized creations of right and wrong in which I have no vote on. But I wore Sunday’s GPS anyway, figured that if Iggy asked I could say that I simply didn’t want to get lost, she had not ventured into the tunnels like I had, but neither had Sunday - they didn’t know the true intensity and extent of them. 

I wanted to trust, to be open, to be myself. Iggy was bright and welcoming and brilliant. It seemed to shock me into silence most days. Sunday was so silent and determined that I felt the need to observe her every move, ensure she was willingly on task and on our side - not that there are sides to this exploration. 

I let my legs slip out from under me, my fingers reached for my toes. I groaned from the cold against my jumpsuit and the resistance of my muscles struggling to give way.

I had become accustomed to running these large tunnels, their glistening rings circling me,  pushing me further. They made me feel faster than usual as if they spiraled around me creating a vortex of ice propelling me somewhere, anywhere. But in truth, I went nowhere just hoping to find something of importance while Iggy and Sunday attempted to create a mapping system. 

Though I suppose it was nice being around people other than ‘Mooners’ as Sunday called them. Mooners were so extreme with their behaviour, but man did I miss my structure. 

“What was I thinking?” I asked aloud, again “Why did I apply for this job?” Maybe I did want a change, or maybe I had been in another argument with my mum and my defiance was, as usual, uncompromisable.

The GPS tracker beeped insistently every few meters I ran. Instead of turning to head back I decided to delve deeper, feeling the need to explore for the first time in months. Following my feet further into the tunnels as they twisted and turned I found myself taking mental notes of changes in the rings. They appeared warped and manipulated the further I went, spiraling into corners and points before it loomed before me. A Nexus. A gathering of tunnels. 

Finally, something to report. 

[End of excerpt]

ICE CAVES
Photograph included with files from this date period. Location: Europa ice cavern outside of the initial survey purvey. Person: Unknown.

PERSONAL LOG: IGNACIA VILLENQUINN

[Unable to verify exact date and time origin of the personal log due a strange discrepency in the communications data log processing files]

FQ-3020

Stalagmites and crystals and creatures, oh my! Our adventuring continued today with a further exploration of the cave environment. I barely know where to begin! I can’t gather my thoughts.

Normally I would ask my trusted sciencey pal, Jake, where he thinks it’s best to begin. He isn’t here right now, but I think he’d tell me that the beginning is the very best place to start. This is why he is my most trusted of all my trusted sciencey pals. When my mind is an excited jumble of ideas, he always steers me back to his land of sense and logic. What a pal. And what a doozy of an ADVENTURE we had today!

When we first entered the cavern today, I could hardly believe what I was seeing. The space was grand and cavernous, and so high that we wouldn’t have been able to reach it even with my ingenious idea for a human pyramid. I really thought that might work, and I did try to climb up on Sunday, but for some reason she wasn’t into that. In the end, it would have been futile - the ceiling was over a hundred feet high, how about that?! We might have made it there if we’d stacked one on top of the other with me on top, and I might have been able to jump to reach the ceiling, but I admit that would be quite a feat and perhaps one too daring for my trusted companions.

I am still working on my mapping, which is - I hope - more suited to Sunday’s logistical sensibilities. I wouldn’t want to be the cause of further frustration. This is such an exciting environment that I must make sure I am covering everything - so far I have the moat, some of the tunnels, and that awe-inspiring stalagmite. The STALAGMITE! What a treat! What a mystery! I was so eager to explore it and its wonders, I took a running leap towards it, only to belly-flop into the moat. Luckily, it wasn’t as cold as one might think. A bit salty, if you can call it that, but it has given my braids an interesting texture. Actually, the taste reminded me of the saltwater taffies my auntie always loved. I was never a big fan of those. I’d much prefer a moat that tastes like butterscotch, or perhaps marshmallow. God, what I wouldn’t give for a s’more right now.

Sunday has just looked over my shoulder and has kindly suggested that I need to layer in more precise detail. My mind is still a’cracklin’ away with excitement, like a marshmallow over a campfire. Like I told you before, Log, I really need a s’more right now. Anyway, let’s see what I can recall. There were unrecognisable minerals in the water, and an unknown language on the surface of the crystal, and a pearlescent floor like nothing I’ve ever seen before. There are things in this space that we don’t know or understand, at least not yet.

And the creatures! We weren’t expecting creatures, especially not ones like these. They were luminous, almost blindingly so, and they filled the space with strange sounds. Sunday claims they were saying things, but Cal and I didn’t understand a single word of it. But even when we watched the footage, we couldn’t discern any recognisable language. Admittedly, I was disoriented and rather vexed by a nosebleed that came on. And I was frightened, since Jake and Rake had vanished, with none of us having any clue as to where they might have gone. It isn’t like them to just abandon our team. We may not always see eye-to-eye, but we are close-knit in our own unique way, and none of us would simply abandon any of the others.

If that weren’t all confounding enough, we were then surrounded by the most vicious roaring noise, and not much later, the waves came. This was worse than face-planting in the moat. I truly thought I might drown, and though I tried reaching for Sunday and Cal, I couldn’t locate them amidst the rushing water that tossed us all about like ragdolls. It did occur to me then, amidst the swirling waves, that for all our differences I do care for Sunday and Cal greatly. I wonder if they care for me, too.

I don’t completely understand what happened next, but we ended up in a small and dark space that was totally unfamiliar. Cal climbed up to the top of the space, and Sunday and I followed - or, to be more accurate, I tried to follow. I did better on my second attempt than on my first. That’s often the way with me. I ended up with a few scuffs, but what adventure is worth having without a few scuffs?

Have I mentioned the strange crystalline technology yet? This is the mysterious beast that was hurtling us through time, space, environments… we can’t really tell what it was (and is, still!) doing to us, or why, or how. Sunday was full of terrific questions, and she reminded me of my pal Jake, for although she hasn’t warmed to me in the same way, she is similar in her inquisitive and logical nature. I do hope she will warm to me soon. I could use a pal right now, to give me some sense of grounding when we are so unsure of where or when we are. The crystalline technology refuses to supply any answers, not even when I so kindly tried to speak to it in its own language. It is a stubborn little beastie, but I must admit I am as well, so at least we have that in common.

I am not sure, Log, if I am making much sense. It is warm where we are right now, uncomfortably so, and my scuffs are proving quite painful. I think I’d best leave you with Sunday and ask for her constructive criticism, which she tends to give so liberally when I share my work with her. While she reads through you, I think I shall work on my mappings and musings. There is much to discover and so many mysteries to unravel. Like where our pals and companions, Jake and Rake, have disappeared to. And what on Callisto those light beings are! Or when they are, or why they are. And why we keep being hurtled from place to place, all with different temperaments and mineral compositions. How curious! I shall leave you here, dear Log, but I shall return to you soon - hopefully, with answers, and with Jake returned to us.

Oh, and Rake. Sorry to play favourites. Now, onwards!

Author information:

'Personal log: Sunday Galileo' by Elizabeth Baca - see more of her work at elizabethrosebaca.wordpress.com

'Personal recount provided by family of Calder Theodred' by Jib Harper

'Personal log: Ignacia Villenquinn' by Madeleine Dobson - see more of her work at madeleinedobson.com/creative/

 

Artefact 3: A folk tale of Europa, Unknown, Moon, Sol

People of light

One of the more esoteric items we found when researching the Europa incident was this folk story that was popular amongst the Mooners, but there is no clear origin of the story or why it would even apply to Europa.

Long ago a great act of magic or science occurred on the original surface of Europa. No one knows what occurred to those who created this act, but left behind in its place was a fragile creation, an essence of energy. These ancient creators made light a living being.

First but tiny motes that adorned the empty land left behind by the ancients.

But time passes, as we know, and life evolves. But all evolution needs change. No one knows what change occurred that grew the lights beyond their original form, but grow they did. Light became form and form became shape and shape became sentient. The light became their own beings and took up the place that the ancients had left behind. They made their own world in an empty place.

The people of the light became caretakers of what had been left behind.

Yet in time something too came to threaten their world and they followed in their ancestors’ path and left again. Their light taken from Sol.

​ A common version of the image that often occurred around incidences of this story.

That was the old tale. Mooners often told this story as an example of the inevitability of following in the path of those who came before. They would say, “why do we need to know what happened, when we know that it simply did?”

We don’t know if any truth is in the tale, but it is odd that this tale occurred only amongst the Mooners about Europa, and only after the eventual return of Cal to the Moon.

 

Artefact 4: Personal logs, Unknown, Europa, Sol.

EXCERPT FROM HANDWRITTEN JOURNAL

Sunday Galileo

[Dates/times unknown]

I don’t know when we are right now, not exactly. And not in that momentary ‘wait, is it Wednesday or Thursday today?’ way. More in that ‘I unknowingly travelled ridiculously far back in time and don’t even recognise constellations anymore’ way. Some nights I go to sleep expecting to wake from this bizarre dream in the morning. But those nights are increasingly fewer and further between. We’re finding a new normal.

I’m handwriting this journal. I could type it up on my handheld log, but the feeling of writing by hand is quite grounding. With the strangeness and intricacy of everything I’m uncovering, I need an outlet away from the research, just me and my thoughts and my pen and my paper. It helps when I’m feeling overwhelmed or anxious. I haven’t written in a while, though. The anxiety that has always woken me in the night, heart and mind racing, has actually gotten so much better. You’d think being flung into the past, into an unfamiliar world, would put a person on edge, right? Don’t get me wrong, as we travelled through time and witnessed unknown histories unfold before our eyes, I was on the edge of curling up and rocking back and forth forever. But now, here in time, I speculate on that wild ride with a sort of critical interest. Just another piece of the puzzle.

***

This task is utterly fascinating, but painstakingly slow. I don’t think the other two understand the process at all. Cal’s eyes sort of glaze over when I talk about it. But there’s so much repetition, typing, recording, squinting, and finding, following, then losing track of patterns. Sometimes I have to stop and just mindlessly doodle to give my brain a break. I’m getting there though. This technology, this language, they’re so far beyond anything I’ve known about before. I would say they’re impossible if I hadn’t seen them with my own eyes. My research could change everything, if we ever get home.

***

IF I NEVER EAT ANOTHER SLOPPYFRUIT AGAIN IN MY LIFE I WILL DIE HAPPY.

***

I can safely say I don’t miss the research base one bit, other than my tools and gadgets. Everyone there would give me strange looks for taking my meals back to my workspace instead of hanging around at the communal table. I like being here, where it’s quiet and simple and strangely beautiful, with just my two friends. Even on the days when I’m on the verge of stuffing a sock into Iggy’s ever-moving mouth, or Cal’s footsteps echoing in the caves are making my head hurt, I wouldn’t want to be here with anyone else. We have regular catch-ups to stay updated on one another’s progress. Cal basically has the cave system memorised. Iggy is doing excellent work with mapping these unfamiliar constellations. I wouldn’t say it to her face but her renderings are quite beautifully detailed. And I’m making slow but steady progress.

 I don’t know what the plan is when I’m done. We haven’t really discussed it much. I’m trying not to think about it.

Author information:

'Personal log: Sunday Galileo' by Elizabeth Baca - see more of her work at elizabethrosebaca.wordpress.com

 

Artefact 5: Unknown personal logs, 14th WG, 3020AD, Moon, Sol.

Artefact 5: A selection of the personal logs archived in the GCSE Europa files. Logged by Sunday Galileo 14th WG, 3020AD, Moon, Sol.

The note attached to this collection indicated that it had been found stored in the ice tunnels of Europa during their research expedition. A large section of the documents had been redacted but this seemed to pertain to the dates, as such there is no indication to when the logs were made or why they were on Europa. Furthermore, it appeared that the logs previously included long lists, maps and some tabled items, all redacted. The personal logs had not been amended or redacted. The author is unknown as the naming system for the logs was redacted.

A further note was made by a later archivist who indicated this collection had been investigated for possible verification and as of the 28th LQ 3028AD had been re-categorised and labelled as Miscellaneous and Fiction.

PERSONAL LOG 1

Kiaria and Saha have completed the setup of the research station in the tunnel. I had suggested using the nexus room, but they were concerned about the access point of the tunnel to the surface. Although this has been sealed it is an area of vulnerability if the creatures find it. Saha also suggested that by remaining further down in the tunnels we have a better chance of hiding our body heat signatures, which is correct, but really the thought of a half day trek to the nexus every day is tiresome. Hue has suggested that we should take our kits and camp up there each second night. We are still discussing this.

Myself and Yael have finished securing the tunnels. We have placed sensors at the two hour mark on either side of the camp and a long range sensor at the exit to the surface. We have also cut into the stone of the walls, which was surprisingly difficult considering the age of this tunnel system. I would have thought that the frozen damage would have weakened it, but apparently not. Anyway, we have cut in and created secure bunkers – for what good it will do us. But I have set them up with heat shields, and more depressingly additional supplies of suicide pills.

Agamora is still recovering. She was badly injured in the landing and normally would not have been part of such a long range team, but she is the only linguistic remaining who may have some chance of figuring out the machine.

Tomorrow we will begin our examinations of the machine. I am hopeful, as is the team, but this type of analysis is not fast and we have so little time left.

PERSONAL LOG 2

[Note by researcher: the logs although chronological are not daily and without the redacted dates it is difficult to tell how much time has passed between each log.]

Agamora, Kiaria and Hue have remained at the nexus. We have started doing rotations to allow Agamora more time to recover. Every two days the teams rotate: 1) Myself and Saha, 2) Yael and Hue, 3) Kiaria and Agamora. In the meantime the returning team provides the new photographs to Agamora.

The process would be taking even further time if Saha had not rigged up a machine using a combination of a fan, heater and evaporator to mimic breath. We still have no idea why the writing on the machine is only visible this way. Hue posed that it could have been a combination of humid climate and perhaps some aspect of the beings that created the machine. Even if the creatures did not exist this machine is clear evidence that alien life has been long present in Sol.

Yael commented last night that it is interesting that the creatures had not already secured Europa and the machine. I mean the only reason we are here now is the similarities in this discovery to the few hard-won reports we have of the creation the creatures have used to travel throughout Sol. Yael suggested that perhaps they were not aware the machine was here. He even posited that perhaps the machine moves with the traveller and as such they assumed that they had access to the only version. It was an interesting idea, but as Saha pointed out no one is going to be asking the creatures any questions.

Tomorrow Saha and I are to go up to the nexus. Hue stayed on longer to help Agamora whose wounds are not recovering as well as expected. We are all becoming anxious about what might happen if we lose her. Kiaria is spending additional time with Agamora too to ensure we have all the information Agamora has if the worst would happen.

PERSONAL LOG 3

We have had to retreat to the research camp for a week. There was a breach in the seal to the surface. Poor Saha and Hue are having to spend the time up there in their suits working on a fix. It was quite terrifying as initially we thought the creatures had broken in, but it was just bad luck. A meteor shower hit Europa and fractured the cave entrance which unseated the original seal position. Luckily after everything we have been through we all wear our suits and were able to put on helmets and retreat into the tunnel and initiate a short term generator seal on the tunnel. Yael and Hue will need to either repair the entrance or move the seal further down the tunnel, which makes more sense but gives us less warning and reaction time if it should occur again.

Yael and Agamora have used this time to return to The Hub to see if any further medical aid can be given to Agamora. Luckily with the camp set up the hover cart can be used to carry Agamora back. Yael, we drew short straws to go and he always did have better luck than me.

It is just Kiaria and I hanging out, so perhaps lucky me? We are to spend the time categorising and sorting the photos taken of the machine and transcribing the creature’s language to hopefully make it easier to read and understand quickly. Not an exciting way to spend the week but at least it will be a slight change, and perhaps something more.

PERSONAL LOG 4

There was an attack on Callisto. Not sure how long ago as news takes longer to reach us here. But Viri and Torka came up to the research camp to bring additional supplies and report. We brought everyone back to the camp for the night to spend with them. It is the first time in a while we have all been back together and it was a festive night. I walked halfway back with them and checked on the bunkers and sensors.

Viri, Torka and I had been posted in the same region together during the Moon battle. They are my brothers now and it was hard to watch them walk away back to the base. They told me not to mention it to the others, but that the attack on Callisto had been devastating and a number of high level officials had been captured. They have been working with the engineer crews to booby-trap the entire tunnel system leading to The Hub. They don’t believe it will be long until the final defence on Io is overrun and then they will come for Europa. It is hard to believe that the 20,000 odd hidden in The Hub is the last remains of the human race. Perhaps it is how this was always meant to play out. Viri and Torka are resigned. They have seen too much, lost too many. So have I. It is hard to really feel fear anymore, in a way it will be a relief.

PERSONAL LOG 5

Kiaria and Agamora have had a break through, and identified a huge issue. It appears the machine is incomplete. To activate it requires a set of six objects that fit into the machine like keys. They have identified the shapes required and are going to attempt to create stand in items. However, Kiaria is not confident about this so instead she is looking at a work around – not that she phrased it as such. They are going to remain camped up there for the rest of the week and rely on us to do supply runs and build the items based on the specs Agamora designed.

It will be Saha and Hue who work on the items here at the research base. Yael and I have little to do as security but we patrol the caves and take turns sitting at the entrance when on duty in the nexus. So doing daily runs between the base and the nexus is actually a good change of pace.

I have been teaching Kiaria some self-defence in the evenings. Everyone on Europa has weapon training and can fight, and there is no chance that this type of physical martial arts would be any use against the creatures or their technology, but it has been a good way to release the tension of this unending time spent underground.

PERSONAL LOG 6

Agamora has died. It was not unexpected. The last five days have been filled for her with fever and pain. It was a hard twelve hours sitting vigil at her best side listening to her wheeze waiting for her to pass. We took it in turns. It was during Hue’s that she drew her last breath and past. Kiaria is devastated, she had loved Agamora like a mother and she feels the weight of the pressure now on her as the last scientist to solve the riddle of the machine.

Yael and I carried Agamora’s body out to the surface and buried her. We couldn’t risk putting up a marker. Not much of a memorial for a woman who had fought so hard and achieved so much. But in a way fitting as she is now joined with the earth of Europa, a planet she had loved. For most they did not even get this much, being chewed up and used by the creatures, their bodies nothing but fuel.

We are going to set up a temporary camp at the nexus for Kiaria and rotate teams to help her. She is not confident but will put aside her grief and try to figure out the machine.

PERSONAL LOG 7

There is no more time. The others have gone to the nexus in the hopes of preparing the machine. Yael and I are dismantling and packing up the research camp. We are putting everything in the locked boxes we found in The Hub that use the strange language of the creatures and this machine. We know they will be able to get into these if they care, but they have not shown a great interest in our possessions so we think they will be safe. Not that it matters if we are gone. Perhaps someone else will find them and can use these things.

I wish I could have included everyone’s personal logs here also but perhaps someone will find a way to access their electronic logs. I have always been a little old-school in my preferences.

I have dismantled the sensors and resealed the bunkers. It won’t matter now. The creatures have landed on Europa and it is only a matter of time before they make it to The Hub and to us. We are literally the last hope for our people. We either can activate the machine in the next few hours or we will all die together with Europa as the final resting place of the human race.

I add this warning if you find these logs. Do not stay. Do not go to The Hub. Leave this place and never return.

 

Artefact 6: Final Records, 29FQ, 3020AD, Europa, Sol​​

 We present these items to you last, even though they were the first we discovered and what began us on this fascinating exploration of the Europa Sol Stone mythos that has remained a present day phenomenon and urban legend. These two items were so incredibly contradictory in nature as to demonstrate the great difficulties one faces when engaging in historical research. What is fact? What is fiction? We know that GCSE collected a plethora of personal data through their illegal syncs of GEM software, but most of it was never even examined. These two items were lodged at the same time. The first through official channels and barring the final closing report of the Europa Survey Project at the end of 3020AD is the final formal documentation we have from Sunday, Calder and Ignacia. The second image that was also archived with this project was from the illegal syncing of Ignacia's personal logs and bore no indication that it was ever reviewed or even cited by anyone at GCSE, simply logged and archived.

Item One: The final official report by Sunday Galileo

Official Report

GCSE

GEM: Sunday Galileo

Survey Team: 45.0A - 55.0Z

29FQ, 3020AD, Europa, Sol.

 

FINDINGS RE: MANUFACTURED STRUCTURES                                                                             Nil

FINDINGS RE: RESOURCES                                                                                                             Nil

FINDINGS RE: UNUSUAL PHENONMENA                                                                                         Nil

COMMENTS:

After surveying of substructure 45.0A through 55.0Z no evidence of manufactured structures or unusual resource deposits has been recorded. Mineral sample records provided below. Further collection of composite surveys will be completed to ensure safe removal of substructures 45.0A through 55.0Z for terraforming.

FINAL RECOMMENDATION:

No further surveying needed. Recommend minimum team to complete final surveys within 6 months. Required GEMs:

Sunday Ramsey Galileo – Lead. Engineer.

Calder Theodred – Security A

Ignacia Villequinn – Scientist. Survey Specialist.

Jake Torno Ambidais – Laboratory Specialist.

Rake Jefferson – Security B

Item Two: Image from Ignacia Villequinn's personal device

Iggy's guide to jumps