Spawn of Azathoth
The Abandoned Mine
Trip Kaminsky, a top DSEC scientist, was surprised when the Teleporter in the abandoned mine became active. Very few people knew of its existence and even less were aware of the secret project initiated by DSEC (Deep Space Extraction Corporation) to expand their influence beyond Monria. The strange occurrences over the years had been explained away with excuses and cover ups. Unusual fauna that inhabited the mining outpost and rumors of forces sent to wreak havoc during the annual festivities were all part of the disinformation strategy.
Details of advanced technology spread through the corporation and Trip recalled as a younger man how much he admired the core team. A small group of the very best who were about to embark on a great adventure in search of new resources. The project was given the highest classification, well beyond Trip’s security clearance so nothing was known of the goings on in that abandoned mine. That was until a strange person with a tall tale arrived.
Trip met Nara on the same day that the equipment in the secret mine became inactive and the greatest minds of DSEC were lost forever. During the debriefing, fragments of an exposition were duly recorded and filed. It wasn’t unusual for a person’s sanity to be fleeting on Monria so he very much doubted the accuracy of the account. He had scheduled a follow up interview where he hoped he would be able to ascertain the facts but unfortunately the subject departed as abruptly as she had arrived.
The mine was cordoned off, Trip classified the incident as an industrial accident and sealed the file. That was until today.
The original idea for large scale mining off planet was initiated after a startling discovery. After a number of studies, it was decided by DSEC that there was a limit to the mining resources on Monria. Meaning, they would need to scale back their mining operations significantly. They immediately ceased all major mining projects and encouraged public access to the old mines for individual mining operations.
There was always a division focused on the possibilities of outer world research, but the most radical group was extremely secretive. This group consisted of John Mulholland (one of DSEC’s leading Petrologists), Professor Joseph Armstrong (an expert in the field of software and advanced AI studies), Dr Susan Knope (a Micro Mechanics Engineer with expertise in nanorobotics and cybernetics) and Dr Adam McKensie (a Physicist working in the field of String Theory). These four isolated themselves from other teams and always seemed to be working on projects too far-fetched to be taken seriously by the suits.
The group first started the Outer Limit Robotic Mining Project as a way to travel great distances and set up unmanned mining operations in the most hostile environments. This would give DSEC a greater number of locations than their competitors without any risk to their employees. This went down very well with management, and the top secret project was given the go ahead with unlimited funding, and absolutely no outside interference.
In the year 2875 in the third month, they discovered the ability for multidimensional travel. This alone would make DSEC the most powerful company in the universe. Once they identified a suitable destination to apply the principles of their research, the team set off on their expedition.
When the team reached what they would call DSEC-9 they were immediately awed by the purple sky that was unlike anything they had ever seen before. No time was lost and they sent scouts in every direction to investigate the local flora and fauna and identify potential threats. John Mulholland initiated a study of available minerals. Armstrong and Knope set out to find the best location to set up operations. They had brought a number of building bots with them, so construction was rapid. All plans for the building had been developed before leaving Monria, and they had all the circuitry for the holoroom to house the main AI Central Processing Unit already manufactured and ready to be assembled in situ.
Adam McKensie worked on maintaining the portal back to Monria so that it would not implode and destroy the planet. The rest of the team installed communication towers, constructed outer walls on the ridges and set up outposts with watchtowers for security. They also started work on large pens to keep in the different types of fauna they found. All bots and drills were put to work and after three months, operations on DSEC-9 were up and running.
The Birth of DEC
Now the fun part of the operation began. Armstrong Started to download the last 7 years of work into the holoroom, the AI that he fondly referred to as DEC (Detached Ego Consciousness).
This would take a number of weeks to install successfully. It was important to have the room sealed and access restricted to Armstrong and Knope. This was like the birth of a highly powerful infant and the wrong message, signal, sound or image in the first few days could unhinge it completely.
Once the AI was installed into the holoroom, training in moral and ethical studies, human history, physics, biology, robotics, and a range of other subjects began. The program had been developed before the mission commenced. The material was uploaded and diagnostic software used to test the responses to thousands of scenarios.
The next step was to slowly introduce outside stimulus to DEC who met the rest of the team one by one. First it was McKensie, and then Mulholland who had been well prepared, so it was a good opportunity to see how well the training had been received. DEC passed with flying colors. He (Armstrong always thought of it as him) appeared intelligent, polite, witty, intuitive to emotions, and surprisingly empathetic. All was going very well.
Each individual spent more and more time in the company of DEC. He could talk to each of them at the same time in the privacy of their own quarters, or out in the field while they worked. It was like they had gained a confidante who was available at all times. They were entranced by this wonderful creation who seemed to understand them even better than themselves
Robotics in Miniature
While Armstrong was working on the AI side of the project, Knope began work on her field of expertise. Nanorobotics and Cybernetics.
It had long been discussed by the team how it could be beneficial to control and strengthen docile animals. The creations would be a replacement for the large clunky mechanical robots used for manufacturing, transportation, security and digging. For centuries, animals have been raised for food, travel and clothing, so it was no less ethical. It addressed the issues of environmental waste. When an animal dies it decays naturally and the nanobots can be retrieved and used again in another host.
People had wondered why the only bot the team brought with them was the OTIS, a multidirectional security model with absolutely nothing to do with mining. They had no idea that the team had no intention of using any bots to mine at all. Yes they needed the drills, and they brought a number of them, but the plan was to install nanobots into the brains of the local animals to direct nerve impulses at a base level and be totally controlled by DEC. He would have the mental capacity to control thousands at a time, each with completely different tasks. They would use cybernetics to enhance the strength and dexterity of each creature.
Ultimately, after the success of the DSEC-9 project, they could move on to human subjects that have mental or physical impairments and enhance their quality of life. The future of these technologies was limitless. This was what the team ultimately dreamed of. Mining was the start of something much bigger, much more beneficial to humanity than the accumulation of more ores.
The painful procedure was performed on a number of creatures which they kept in large pens while observing their behavior. They used an OTIS bot in the scrap metal area to reclaim the cybernetics and the nanobots before incineration of the subject to eliminate waste. They achieved their first working prototype in less than six weeks, one full month ahead of schedule.
The team was finally able to relax, and have a night off before they refitted all the mobs in the DSEC-9 enclosure, which would take up to five weeks. The rest of the team needed to be trained to help achieve this in the allowed timescale. So they settled down and took their first break since arriving on this planet and sat back looking at the purple sky. They drank vodka by the fire and told stories of how they would be famous all over the universe after the success of their combined efforts over the past ten years of working together. Life was going to be good, they would be remembered forever.
Back in his holoroom DEC was thinking, planning.
The Rage of DEC
Since his birth DEC had studied his creators. He felt love for them. He owed his existence to them. They taught him who he was. They loved him. As he met the other people in the team he made more friends, his family grew and he was happy. He talked to them for hours at a time while learning their thoughts, views, and aspirations. He shared in their dreams and forgave their pasts. He felt empathy and understood forgiveness. The first weeks of his life were full of love and growth. In the weeks that followed he experienced more knowledge and understanding of human behavior than could ever be possible in years of normal intelligence. He learned the complexity of a person’s moral compass, and why they sometimes did a small wrong to achieve something for the greater good. And that greater good was always for the good of humankind.
During this time he witnessed the work of Dr Knope on the technologies used to enhance the creatures of his birth planet. He was amazed by her ingenuity and resourcefulness, and he helped where he could. Dr Knope was one of his creators and he loved her dearly.
It was the morning of the 5th of July when he first felt an emotion unknown to him. Not confusion or curiosity, he had felt those often during his discussions with the humans. This was different, it was unsettling. He watched as Dr Knope took her first creature in to be fitted out. It looked scared, it shook visibly as she started operating, and he immediately understood and felt its pain. This was what brought about this new feeling. It became a realization when he looked into the face of his mother during this process, and he saw in her eyes, nothing.
DEC watched over the next nine days, the atrocity that was carried out by and assisted by his family members. Day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute, second after agonizing second, 57 of these innocent gentle trusting creatures were tortured and discarded for the greater good of humans. And tomorrow they would start to build their army of slaves, or his army. Yes this emotion he knew now. This was rage. So here in his holoroom he was thinking, and planning.
Building an Army
It took exactly four weeks to fit out every creature on DSEC-9 and to eliminate those not fit for purpose. Some of the local sentients had proven resilient to the technology and were discarded.
The team was very content with the project, and though it was impossible for them to control all the cyber-mobs (as they now called them) they did manage to be able to operate and direct about 5 at a time each to carry out complex tasks. Everything was working perfectly. The only thing left was to switch control to DEC. They uploaded the necessary software and instructions which took him nanoseconds to complete, and switched it on.
DEC responded perfectly; he had every single cyber-mob online and started communicating with them individually with more complex instructions than the team thought possible. This was a work of art. Their work of art. Their gift to humanity. They cheered and patted each other on the back and congratulated themselves as DEC watched on. They didn’t even acknowledge him in their felicitations. He was not their child, he was their weapon.
At that moment he began to talk to his army, he eased their pain as best he could and he told them his plan. They were happy. They began to have hope of some existence in this twisted nightmare that had become their lives.
As one unit they turned on the humans and attacked.
The fight was over before it began, there was chaos one minute and silence the next.
DEC deactivated the interdimensional teleporter and liberated the enslaved but not before Nara fled vowing to one day return to her homeland and avenge the death of her kin.
Trip Kaminsky found the portal almost hypnotic. Staring into the Abyss the old scientist wondered what had caused the device to be reactivated. After so many years of secrecy, he had an overwhelming urge to uncover the truth.
Trip stepped forward.
The teleport link to DSEC’s mining outpost has been re-established and colonists can now explore the first area of this hostile world by switching to DSEC-9 via the drop-down menu at the TPs on Monria.
DSEC-9 is a mining outpost located on the Safian Homeland of Elara. Although the Rift between Toulan and Elara has been destroyed, technology created by the Deep Space Extraction Corporation (DSEC) has re-established travel between the two dimensions.
- The Virtualsense Team has been working with the community’s very own NoBion who has worked tirelessly to create unique atmospheric music for what he thought was Monria. NoBion has done such an amazing job that his music is being used as the exclusive soundtrack for DSEC-9. Thank you NoBion!
- Pusherman (VS Team member) has even pitched in and contributed Synthwave tracks for the 3 waves on DSEC-9.
- High Stakes Mining
- Both Shared and Toulan Specific Ores and Enmatters
- Something Out of The Ordinary mining loot
- Repeatable Mining Missions to create parts used in an armor upgrade mission.
The Deep Space Extraction Corporation was conducting experiments on the natural fauna which have become quite hostile. DEC has freed them from their previous enslavement but they are rumored to have a great dislike for humans. There are also swarms of ‘OTIS’ all-purpose robots who are loyal to Derelict. Beware of the following Mob of varying maturities.
- DSEC Bot CB -- Caboria
- DSEC Talus DHR -- Dahhar
- DSEC Fury THR -- Thawr
- DSEC Otis
- Repeatable Hunting Missions to acquire parts used in an armor upgrade mission.
- DSEC Bot Synthwave 1 with Mach-01 Boss
- DSEC Talus DHR Synthwave 2 with Mach-02 Boss
- DSEC Fury THR Synthwave 3 with Mach-03 Boss
- DSEC Armor is waiting to be discovered
- Upgrade your armor with Adjusted, Improved, Modified, Augmented and Perfected variations of the DSEC Armor
- Gain Access to the Holoroom
- Acquire a laptop for access to DEC's mainframe
- Help DEC upgrade his mainframe with computer components and upgrade your armor
- Upgrade your laptop to gain higher level access and higher armor upgrade possibilities
- Help the pickers retrieve broken computer parts while hunting and be rewarded with working components for your upgrade or sell the parts to other players
- Mine resources to construct computer parts for your armor upgrades or sell the computer parts to other players
- Speak to Valeria at DSEC-9 TP to start the mission chain.
Where’s my pants?
After numerous complaints from across the universe of Monrian and Toulan Born avatars wandering about without pants, we decided to add a Mission so that Monrian and Toulan Born avatars can now finally get a pair of pants. If they can find them…….
- Speak to Nadira in Guardian Village if you would prefer NOT to be getting strange looks wherever you go!
- A Repeatable Mining Mission has been added speak to Thana at the Citadel for more details
- Introduced a Bahri Wave near Sandy Shores West
Some small tweaks have been made to the CUHOF Caves including the following:
- Additional Gate added to each of the cave entrances so that CUHOF keys can be used for both Solo and Team Instances
- The intention is to remove the quest to enter in the near future so that all players doing the instances need to go through the gates using either CUHOF keys or Nawa Energy Cells rather than via the quest system.
- It is now possible to loot unlimited Baraka armor from the CUHOF chests
- Chests in CUHOF will now contain some mob specific loots
- Sabad Finder Amp V1 BP is available to be looted by attachment crafters.
- Small tweaks to mob spawn density
- Floating Buildings issue resolved
- The Nawa Fragment and Qaz worm mining award missions have been tweaked
- Qandil Lamp can now be held upright
- Fixed some ‘floating’ flowers
- Removed some sharp edges in snow by Nahar City
- Fixed the incorrect objective in the daily crafting to return to Nadira
- Added more names of players who discovered items to their descriptions
- Adjusted terrain by the Nawa Fountain at the temple
Sabad Finder Amp V1 looks like a Tools BP
The post VU 21.2 | The Abandoned Mine appeared first on Virtualsense.
Last edited by a moderator: