Proteus

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The Proteus is an Anaconda in Trapezium Sector YU-X C1-2 on planet 1 a. It can be found in a Point of Interest named AZB2/H002255/SC-01. The Proteus is a ship that escaped from the Hesperus when it was attacked by Pharmasapien and continues the story of that ship. It was been converted into a science base, and subsequently abandoned.

There are two Settlement Uplinks giving lore, a beacon giving data materials, and some low level materials scattered on the floor. There are several crashed Thargoids nearby on the planet, as well as a Guardian Structure and Guardian Ruin, the first time both races have been found on the same planet (though previously the Guardian Codex has described a Guardian Thargoid conflict).

Navigation to the Proteus from the bubble can be difficult as the area is heavily permit locked. You can either follow the beacons out, or head for Shenve in the Witch Head Nebula (where there is an Engineer), and then head out to the Proteus (you should get a clear path when you get close to Shenve).

Finding the Proteus

In June 3307 commanders who had taken part in the search for the Hesperus received a new message from Salvation in their inbox:

Commander, this is Salvation. Thank you for playing a part in finding the Hesperus megaship. I require your expertise again to fully resolve that mystery.

I need to learn what happened to the surviving crewmembers of the Hesperus. Although they abandoned ship nearly two centuries ago, it’s possible they discovered something of scientific value.

The Hesperus began its journey from the Li Chul system. As a precautionary protocol, it deployed signal beacons approximately every 100 light years.

My agents analysed the Hesperus’s onboard anrmed that only 17 beacons were launched. I assume this stopped when Pharmasapien took over the ship, and that they sabotaged the beacons to prevent Azimuth Biochemicals learning what happened.

Shortly after this point, survivors of the original crew escaped using one of the secondary craft, which were specially modified for long-range exploration. Therefore, my belief is that they made planetfall within 300 light years of wherever the last beacon is located.

I urge you to accept the task of finding all the beacons, and hopefully discover a trace of the survivors. Your efforts will aid me in my great work – preventing humanity’s extinction.

Salvation

Following this clue a series of searches was undertaken, starting around Li Chul and based around a radius of 100 Ly. These found beacons (Listening Posts) left along the path of the Hesperus. Each contains only an identifier that indicates it is part of the series:

  • HIP 44101
  • Col 285 Sector WH-O a22-2
  • Col 285 Sector NV-N b7-4
  • Synuefe FM-S B37-4
  • Synuefe BA-X B34-2
  • Synuefe JJ-O d7-55
  • Synuefe HY-P D6-31
  • Synuefe MQ-H C12-4
  • Synuefe RJ-U B21-0 System
  • Witch Head Sector OT-Q b5-0
  • Horsehead Sector CB-O b6-0
  • Flame Sector PI-T b3-0
  • NGC 1999 Sector HN-S B4-0
  • NGC 1999 Sector ZU-X b1-0
  • Trapezium Sector FH-U c3-3
  • Col 69 Sector VK-E c12-10
  • Col 69 Sector LY-H c10-0

At this point a search of the surrounding 300 Ly was undertaken, which ultimately found the Proteus.

Story of the Proteus

The logs on the Proteus follow on from those on the Hesperus, and tell the story of the escaping crew, using some of the same characters. The Adamastor referenced in the text is a sister ship of the Hesperus that was found earlier.

Timestamp: 21/09/3113 18:25

This is Lieutenant Hugo Kelemen. l was deputy security chief aboard the Hesperus, working for Azimuth Biochemicals. I’ve decided to resume my reports, even though the chances of us being rescued seem to be shrinking each day.

After Pharmasapien’s sleeper agents took control, I managed to get some of the science team off-ship using the Proteus. For the record, Private Adriana Velasco performed her duties exceptionally, and her family should be informed of her bravery. We only escaped thanks to her. I just hope she found her own way home.

I wanted to set course for an inhabited system, but Dr Farrell insisted on investigating readings sent back by one of Azimuth’s deep-space probes. She believed that Pharmasapien would focus on all the probes they’d sent to the California Nebula, but that we might find something interesting in the opposite direction.

Well… she was dead right about that.

There’s no doubt that the structures on this moon weren’t built by humans. Those strange arches and monoliths are over a million years old, according to molecular scans. Ackermann, the xenoarchaeologist, said it felt like he was walking through the ruined temples of forgotten gods. I just felt like a trespasser.

We‘ve also found even stranger things, half-buried in the ground as if fallen from the sky. But they look more like starfish than starships… the sort of deep-sea creatures you find on ocean floors. What the hell flew around in those?

Farrell thinks we’re looking at an ancient battleground. The structures and the starfish-things are nothing alike, suggesting totally different species. Two intelligent races on the same world – incredible! Both far more technologically advanced than us, but not so advanced they didn’t try to kill each other.

This is exactly what Azimuth has been looking for, although I doubt they ever expected a discovery like this. I’m more concerned about surviving long enough to tell them about it.

We’ve been here for two months now, living off recycled air, food and water. The scientists have turned the Proteus into a research facility, and all I can do is keep out of their way while they analyse their findings and test samples. They’ve almost forgotten that we barely escaped mass slaughter.

I spend a lot of time monitoring the sensors. If those Pharmasapien mercenaries find us, we won’t stand a chance. But I can’t understand why Azimuth hasn’t sent out rescue parties. Unless… the sleeper agents sabotaged our beacons before they were dropped? Did they pre-program them to stop transmitting?

If they did, then nobody knows we’re here. We’re alone.
Just us and the ghosts of the gods.

Timestamp: 26/09/3113 04:04

This is… this is Kelemen. I’ve just given myself the last of the stimulants. That should… should keep me going long enough to record this.

To tell Azimuth. How we died.

Three days ago, I went with the survey team to the structures. Ackermann and Zhou had brought something to life. I saw this pillar rise up from the ground with a large crystal inside it, blazing a brilliant light. After a million years, their machinery was still functioning!

They fired up some kind of high-energy particle accelerator, which shocked the crystal from its moorings. This didn’t feel like archaeology to me – more like grave robbing.

I should have known there’d be defences, but the hovering drone caught us by surprise. It vaporised Ackermann along with three others. I managed to destroy it eventually, but there were more of them gliding around the structures, and we got out fast.

I offered to take the crystal back, thinking the drones might come looking for it, but Dr Farrell already had her experiments ready to go. Weapons experiments.

She told me that was always the priority for both the Adamastor and the Hesperus. Locate non-human technology that could be developed for the military market. Azimuth wants to be the first corporation selling alien weaponry, which will make them bigger than Sirius. That’s all they care about… that’s who I’ve been working for all these years. No better than Pharmasapien after all.

A few hours ago, I was woken up by this intense blue flash – it seemed to come from everywhere. I thought we were under attack. Then Farrell came stumbling out of her lab, her clothes and body burned black, and dropped dead.

The others started collapsing within the hour. I think there was some kind of radiation surge from the crystal we stole. I tried to get the ship’s drive online again, but… too weak. Can hardly stand now. Pain in every muscle, vision is blurred. My skin is… like everyone else’s.

God knows what experiments Farrell was running, but… now there’s three… three dead races on this moon.

We shouldn’t… be here. Humans… don’t belong. If Azimuth finds us…

Please… don’t find us…

Notes on names

The beacons on the path to the Proteus are named TX-B-01 to TX-B-17 and the text within is of the format

  • AZB2/H002255/TX-B-<nn>

AZB is assumed to be Azimuth Biochemicals. ‘2’ as this is the second ship in the fleet (Adamastor and Hesperus). H002255 is the ID of the Hesperus (see Hesperus Logs). TX-B-<nn> is assumed to be ‘Transmission Beacon <nn>’. Similarly the Point of Interest for the Proteus is AZB2/H002255/SC-01 – so ‘Azimuth Biochemicals ship #2, Hesperus, Secondary Craft 1’, or something close to this.

Thanks to the following, among many others, for help in discovering all this Typ_mit_Playse, Node, Fundevin, sawley, Namix, itsbeanmachine, Mong Morg, Balvald, CMDR Lurch The Bastard, snedex, bagofholding, DaftMav, Trident411, Sir_Benton, Zador, jjgoldberg, Dr Strange, Larzok

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