Ship's log galactic date 10340.2-17 : The probe has confirmed the presence of the anomalous energy source
coming from beneath the planet's surface in the region of a lake. The planet is also suitable for life and has an
atmosphere of 18% oxygen and 1.1 atmospheres of pressure and a gravity of 0.9 times that of the Earth. The
planet is cold and only the equatorial zone is a comfortable temperature, though a little cool. Orbital analysis
indicates that the planet experiences little in the way of seasons and has a day of about 40 Earth hours in
length. We are preparing a landing party to set down within 5 kilometres of the energy source. With their
confirmation of the planet's conditions I have authorised a second landing region, far from the energy source,
for shore-leave for the ship's crew. Note: All personnel will venture to the planet in shuttle craft (it is not
standard practise to land a ship as large as Starstrider, especially on a planet with high gravity).
The landing party has arrived, their shuttle landed on a low plateau surrounded by forest. The vegetation
appears largely brown and orange in colour. A science expedition has been authorised to sample biota and
geology whilst the first team pushes on toward the energy source.
Ship's log galactic date 10340:2-17.14: The team has arrived at the lake and discovered a curious artifact - an
artificial bridge extends out to the centre of the lake where it joins an artificial platform with two columns on top
of it and some other associated structures of unknown function. The water of the lake is brown, presumably due
to the presence of photosynthetic organisms and is possibly volcanic or glacial in origin. The bridge is
structurally sound and the team is preparing to cross it to the platform. The bridge is 2 kilometres long. A
curious 'stone' at the entrance to the bridge contains etches that appear to be some sort of alien language.
These are being processed by linguistics. The 'stone' itself is actually some sort of artificial composite material
and is indicative of a reasonably advanced technology.
|Above: the platform at the centre of the lake on the mysterious planet. Click the image to enlarge it.
SciTech Mikovin's log 10340: 2-17:14.26 The platform entrance is 'guarded' by two curious obilisks, made
from some advanced material. One of the two columns contains some sort of control panel, but it requires a
key to access it. After carefully recording everything, the team is attempting to gain access to the control
panel. The only other feature is a single orange light on the platform. The unusual materials that make up
the bridge and platform show no signs of weathering or biofouling, does this mean that the structure is new?
14:45 Incredible! We had to run for it and are now some 400 metres back from the platform along the bridge.
Whilst Engineer Dexon was attempting to open the panel with an electromagnetic manipulator, a gigantic
robot of some sort emerged from the lake. In panic we began to run and the robot dematerialised and then
rematerialised on the platform at about one tenth its former size, but still towering at some 30 metres in
height. As we ran it took no further action and is still standing there as if guarding the construction. It appears
to be armed with some sort of lance. I think we are safe at the moment, it seems to be taking no further action.
Above: the Guardian emerges from the depths of the lake to investigate the disturbance. Click image to enlarge.
Above: having dematerialised and rematerialised at one-tenth of its former size, the giant stands guard over the
platform and still towers 30 metres in height. Click the image to enlarge.
Above: the Guardian.
As soon as a member of the team dares to approach within 100 metres of the platform, the Guardian appears
to activate and a red light radiates from inside its head and a green light from its lance. We are so far unable to
establish how its sensors work. However, it does not move until we continue to approach and then it aims its
lance and on one occasion it fired an energy bolt from this lance, across the lake, a clear warning shot and so
we dare not test it any further! As soon as we retreat it resumes its motionless stance. I wonder what that
'six-pack' packs exactly?
2:30 The planet's long night has fallen. We will spend the night in the shuttle as we expect temperatures to fall
considerably. The Guardian continues its watch in the darkness.
Captain's log: galactic date 10340 2-18: As something of an expert in robotics, I have decided to join the team
on the planet's surface to have a look at this 'Guardian' machine myself. Linguistics are making slow progress
on the stone's hieroglyphs, although it appears to be using the same language as other artifacts discovered in
this galaxy by ourselves and other missions. The Guardian's ability to teleport and change size is impressive
but worrying. It may seem prudent to leave this thing be, but it may hold the key to many mysteries that we have
encountered in our travels and I am tempted to probe it further. I wonder what it is guarding that could be so
valuable to warrant such an impressive technological guardian? With its highly sophisticated sensors it will
probably fair better than us in the dark, so we shall wait til daylight. In the meantime, some of the crew have
camped out for the night to make the most of their shore leave.
Click here to continue...
|The Guardian keeps watch at night
|The Guardian prepares to fire!
|The Guardian fires a warning shot!