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 Later that Same Year...

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Phlegm

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Number of posts : 762
Registration date : 2007-04-26

PostSubject: Later that Same Year...   Thu 4 Oct - 17:02:18

Later that same year…
So after a brief intermission of 112 days we reconvened after a session of training and shopping to revitalise ourselves to meet whatever crazy project the captain had managed to cook up in that period. Newly arrived as a replacement, one Barnabus Epsilon, a short, fat, hairy, politician, and that’s just his good points.

Notable amongst our purchases, around ten tonnes of gold being sold at the laughably cheap rate of 700 credits, we hope to make a considerable killing by repeating our trading tour de force of selling for ten times the value offworld.

We seek further employment opportunities with our old friend Arthur Collins, but he is busy trying to get his brother to reform Genesis for a farewell tour and has nothing that appeals. We decide to pay a visit to the systems other world, the mysterious waterworld Dukandreo,* site of a failed colonisation attempt and home to some mysterious ruins evidencing previous habitation.

*Possibly generic planet one

The colony site is a few miles from major ruins and ten years of decay do not help our search for clues as to its end. The colonists simply disappeared, but there is no evidence of combat or damage, just an air of instant unexpected abandonment. Obviously any salvage has already been looted from the site so we visit the ruins. They are not huge, resembling a small village with a main building and a few outbuildings; possibly storerooms and dwellings.

Oddly the ruins have the same air of abandonment, they have not been ravaged by war and there are no remains or depictions of inhabitants, just occasional inscriptions in an unknown language. Other unusual features that strike us about this and other ruins we subsequently fly out to:

1. The land mass we are on is only about 30,000 square miles on a planet that is mostly water.

2. There is no evidence of large animals, just rabbits, birds and the like, it hardly seems likely that an indigenous intelligent life form could evolve in such a limited space in an eco-system with so few resources.

3. All the ruins are inland, yet surely sea food would be an important source of food for inhabitants, and trees are plentiful, yet we find no use of it in construction, the ruins are stone, and despite the abundance of traditional boat building material, no evidence of boats.

4. Equally, where did the stone come from? No sign of quarries or indeed artefacts like tools for shaping stone and construction.

5. In addition the three settlements we visit are all constructed in a similar pattern suggesting a uniform culture, but why build three separate villages instead of one large one?

Some of these factors suggest that perhaps the older ruins are also evidence of failed colonies, keeping away from the sea seems worrying, is it a source of danger? Yet there are no defensive walls or earthworks suggesting a need for protection from anything.

Some other oddities: glowing crystal type rocks at the first set of ruins, then we notice that the settlements if that’s what they are, are laid out in the same pattern with the exception of some long buildings that we had called as storerooms. We put the layouts through the computer and project their bearings across the island continent, this gives us three intersection points to investigate on this baffling planet.

We ask Barnabus his opinion and all get a good night’s sleep as a result, he’s clearly a valuable team member for fighting insomnia as long as his alarmingly coloured rosette doesn’t get mistaken for a bullseye by some trigger happy alien or possibly Weylyn after a few drinks.

We visit the first point suggested by our calculation and searching we find a small metal disc, the first metal we have seen other than some bits at the failed colony site. Jed and Weylyn discover it and pulling it up discover a tube set into the ground that somehow magically manufactures stone building blocks just like the ones used to build the now ruined buildings.

With some trial and error we discover that the tube can generate a full set of blocks in eight minutes. We check the other sites and make similar discoveries. Trying to see if it will clone other things results in failure a broken tube and one very relieved rabbit.

We dig out one of the tubes: No massive machine underground or anything untoward in fact. Just a plain metal tube, that no longer works. Jed is so upset he decides to go all lumberjack and let’s just say that if any watching aliens are even slightly Groot-like Jed will be just an unrecognisable probably sap soaked corpse in the very near future.

We split one stone to see if it has anything unusual inside, but no, that would be too easy. Our various tests do show the stone to be quite porous. Whoopy do. Then a breakthrough: Monitoring overnight reveals remarkably that the stones can move. Not just move, they somehow drag themselves the many miles off to the ocean and disappear into it.

Now aware of the stones’ ability to slip away by themselves, we strap a comlink to one in the next batch and watch amazed on the ship’s monitor as it slides itself away single file with its brothers. By the time it reaches the coast it’s cruising at a remarkable 30 miles an hour and disappears into the sea like the others. We lose contact as the link slips off at a depth of 700 metres. What is going on?

Theories include a living planet, killer houses, highly selective tsunamis, Alien abduction, some kind of stone magnetic force underwater but why? Why? WHY? And most important, no sign of any profit for us in anything, unless we can find a market for self-propelled stonework or build Jed’s Timberland resort, provisional strapline ‘You haven’t experienced a planet unless you’ve done it with Jed’s ChopperTM in your hand’ or possibly ‘You haven’t really had wood till you’ve had Jed’s wood’.

29.9.18
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