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First off, here are Our Heroes So Far in alphabetical order (and if we got something wrong please correct us!):

  • [personal profile] adad64 (unknown) has not posted on the intro thread yet!

  • [personal profile] blackswanseer (she/her) is thinking of playing Ilaria Viteri, a driven "alternative archaeologist" with a gift for mathematics and a retinue of survey drones.

  • [personal profile] kaesa (she/her) is considering playing either *Adriana or *Garamond. The former is an artist in search of her past, and the latter is a library assistant in search of adventure.

  • [personal profile] redsixwing (they/their/them) is planning to play as Rai / *Ascension, an AI which has come to believe he is actually a fictional, magic-using character (complete with false memories).

  • [personal profile] sablin27 (xe/xyr/xym) has not finished planning xyr character, but wants to play someone who's honest and trusting / na├»ve, and is considering being an AI who uses whatever systems are nearby to communicate.

As for the plot, we have some ideas which we'd like to share. >_>b

A Whole New World

First off, this is one of Saturn's moons, called Enceladus.

A NASA photo of a white moon, with blue stripes added in via false colour.

This is how big Enceladus is, compared to geographical features on Earth.

A NASA image which shows the moon from the first photograph, superimposed over a view of Ireland and the United Kingdom from space. The moon is roughly large enough to eclipse England and Wales put together.

And this is why it's the most exciting moon in the solar system:

A cutaway diagram showing the global ocean beneath the moon's icy crust, and the steam vents on its south pole.

Those are steam vents coming out of its south pole, fueled by a subsurface ocean. And they're why Enceladus is currently the most likely candidate for extraterrestrial life.

Tying it in with the timeline as we know it, what if this is where the Great Old Ones -- the Suul'ka -- parked themselves, after prehistoric Liir drove them off and away from Earth?

Proposed Sequence of Events

The first part of this would take place at least a few decades before the Mugunghwa is launched, in Analogue. (It, or another generation ship, may be under construction.) It's also BEFORE contact with the Hivers, and AFTER ecological catastrophe forces Cetaceans and land-dwellers to unite. AIs exist, and are sort of considered persons, but are usually created to serve humans in some capacity and may earn their full personhood later.

  1. A prototype node-drive-equipped starship, the Traveler, launches from Earth. It's crewed by one human, one Cetacean, and the navigational AI *Ascension.

  2. Traveler enters subspace, and just as quickly exits near Saturn. Coinciding with this event is a broadcast known as the Scream, a terrifying noise which is received by communication devices across Earth. Some people claim to have heard this sound in their heads, or even to have heard a distinct voice instead. A handful of others go mad.

  3. Over an hour after the Scream, radio contact with Traveler is briefly reestablished, as signals from it reach Earth. The footage is extremely disturbing, and appears to show the inside of the ship being torn apart, bits and pieces of it (and of the organic crew) flying everywhere. The transmission cuts out abruptly.

  4. Traveler is confirmed to be derelict, and in a slowly-decaying orbit near one of Saturn's moons.

  5. Cetacean support for the Traveler Program is withdrawn, as the rest of the world tries to figure out what just happened.

And now you know why the Mugunghwa is slower-than-light. \o/

Here's what we imagine happening

A somewhat darker scenario, where our heroes are either investigating the wrecked ship (and the activity on the nearby moon ... ) or meeting up with the ones doing the investigating.

In the process, something happens which seals all or some of you away for thousands of years. How does it happen? That depends on how you want your characters to go out, and what ideas you have for where this goes.

Locations include the Traveler, the Traveler 2 (the new ship launched to check on them), and a possible aquatic facility of some kind based on Liir technology. Whether it was constructed by Cetaceans getting ready to receive Traveler, or by the Suul'ka and their minions in the solar system's prehistory.

Here is where you come in

These are just suggestions based on your character ideas so far, we're not trying to dictate them to you D:

  • Rai / *Ascension is, of course, the Traveler's nav AI. He no longer remembers that, though, and is completely cut off from the outside world. Inside the ship's computer, he has replaced memories damaged by physical or emotional trauma with false ones, based on the human pilot's favourite entertainment programs. While it's adrift, he is living the main character's life.

  • Ilaria Viteri is an Earth archaeologist who's pursuing a line of research which may at first seem tangential, but turns out to possibly hold the key to solving the mystery of what happened. An ancient system of writing, perhaps, which turns out to resemble the message that's hidden inside the Scream.

  • *Adriana has a mysterious past, and an unusually spiritual / artistic soul. What if she hears the Scream through a means that's not easily explained, and thinks that it's calling to her ... or telling her to warn people about something?

  • *Garamond was created to keep an old woman company, and subsequently got into academia, but with a thirst for exploration. What if he was actually made to be (or somehow became) Ilaria's lab assistant / drone wrangler / partner in crime, and that's how he gets mixed up in this?

  • Not sure where to place [personal profile] sablin27 yet, but xe has the option of playing someone from Enceladus maybe. An AI in the ancient Suul'ka complex perhaps, who no longer remembers why they are there but welcomes the chance to meet new people. Or a crew member in a modern, Cetacean aquatic facility, who was originally going to welcome Traveler and is now waiting for Traveler 2.

Death is not the end

The other idea we had can be done after the above scenario, or instead of all or most of it. Specifically, a certain private Investigator is paid to uncover what turns out to be the player characters. ^^;

She may have to work with them, to figure out how to escape whatever physical or virtual prison the Suul'ka have placed them in. Or she may have reconstructed some of you from thanograms, in an attempt to find out just WTF happened on your original investigation. (If your memory backups were made before Stuff Got Real, you might not know either!)

What do you think?

Too railroad-y? Too dark / SOMA-esque? Idk, you tell me >_>b

Just ... let us know where you'd like to go with this. Whether it's a version of our ideas, or something else entirely.

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Capsule Contingency

January 2016

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