Survival of 4546B – Chapter 11, A mysterious

“-And finally, a radio right here. Done! We just made the Cyclops into our own mobile base.” Ryley says with a smile, still in pain.

“Huh, not bad, Ryley.” Bart compliments him. “Oh, speaking of radio, Sunbeam has a new message.” Ryley tunes it to the right frequency so they can both hear.

“Aurora, it’s Sunbeam. We just picked up a massive debris field at your location. I didn’t know how bad… how many of you… I-I didn’t know. We’re now en route to your location. Sunbeam out… What else can I say? The only time I parked a rig this big on a rock that small was in VR. and I BLEW it. It’s a bad option, I get it but so are all the others.”

“They don’t sound very reliable…”

Bart quickly tries to change the subject. “Hey, Ryley, to save titanium and space, I’m going to make a double bed, we’ll have to share.”

Ryley turns back to him “Oh, right. Uh, Powercell charger is a must, fabricator-”

“No, there’s a fabricator next to the vehicle docking station, see?” Bart points to the already installed fabricator.

“… That there is. My mistake. Alright, check that off the list. We need a Modification station, that’s going to be hell to find. But that can wait. After that crazy vision I had, something tells me to go northwest.”

“Uh…” Bart turns around a lot, looking at a compass “… North… West. Got it.”

“Well, let’s get to it! Power up the engine, captain.”

Bart laughs a bit. “You know we’re both the captains, right?” Bart flips the switch and pulls back the break stick. “Engine Powering Up.” the Cyclops said in its deep robotic voice. He makes a 180 and pilots the Cyclops towards the island Northwest of the Aurora. Ryley looks out the window in awe, seeing new territory he’s never been in before. There’s almost no plant life as the terrain is covered in rocky spires, like underwater mountains.

Picking up a strong energy signature somewhere on the island. An explanation is unclear at this time.

Bart parks the Cyclops by a sandbar carefully. Ryley disembarks the Cyclops and explores the waters around the shore of the island. “What are Shale outcrops? DIAMONDS!?”

“Haha, I see you found shale stone, or as father called them, ‘money rocks’ due to them having the more valuable resources.”

“Well… Something tells me Alterra might be monitoring the resources I gather.”

The radio pings with a message from the sunbeam.

“Ya know, Aurora, we have a saying where I come from on the other end of Andromeda: ‘There’s no bad without the good, no good without the bad’. Sounds like you tasted a bunch of the former, but that only means you’re overdue a whole lot of the latter. Might just be we’re it. Don’t worry anymore, the worst part is over. We found dry land and we’re on our way. Cross your fingers the weather holds. We’re getting you home. Sunbeam out.”

Bart disembarks the Cyclops and follows Ryley for a while. “Woah, Ryley slow down. What is that thing?” He points to a very sentient-looking creature swimming around and seemingly away from them. They couldn’t see much of it, but it looked alive and aggressive.

“I don’t know. Maybe you can scan it.” Ryley says to Bart as he gives him his scanner. Bart takes it and uses it to get closer. The creature is purple with a transparent, blue underside, it seemed oddly humanoid.

“That’s… Weird.” Bart says with a cough again “This creature seems to be giving off some sort of technological frequency. I can see it on my PDA- Oh…”

“What? What’s going on?” It turns its disk-shaped head towards Bart.

“It sees me. It’s alright. I’m way too far away for it to do-” Ryley hears static and then a scream from Bart.

“What!? What’s going on now!?” Ryley yells to him.

“THAT THING CAN TELEPORT! I REPEAT, IT CAN- AH!” Bart runs up onto land and Ryley follows. Bart has a single, giant cut on the back of his suit, presumably where the warping creature had attacked him with its single, blue claw that made up half its arm.

“Oh god, are you ok? Does it hurt?” Ryley puts his hand on the cut and Bart mumbles not to touch it. They both look up to the beach and see a giant tower or building on the beach, facing the Aurora. “Ooooh my goodness.”

Bart takes out his old, rusted survival knife and looks to Ryley. “We’re here”. They cautiously make their way to the looming building, its shadow drowning the sandbar. The base color of the alien structure is a dark gray with symbols and an assortment of patterns all around it. Green luminescent lights cover the cracks of the building, giving it a green tint. “Let’s go,” Bart says quietly, guiding Ryley. “This place gives me the creeps.”

Ryley walks slowly behind him as they make their way through the alien structure. The pathways go down and up and down again, make twists and turns and even sometimes lead to dead ends. They get lost pretty quickly.

“This zero gravity energy field in front of this shaft seems to be like an elevator,” Ryley says to Bart as he sticks his hand in the green light that shines down the shaft.

“How do you know?” Bart questions. Without any hesitation, Ryley jumps down the shaft. “Ryley!! Robinson, come in!!”

“Hey, I’m ok. It’s an anti-gravity chamber. Every Alterra newcomer had to take a test in one of these before. Come on down here. I found where the energy core is.” Ryley tells him. Bart seems pretty hesitant but takes a deep breath and steps in the light. He drops down quickly and before he hits the ground, the light brings him to a slow stop safely on the floor. Bart shakes in fear, his face pale with nausea.


“You alright there?”

“I think I’m gonna throw up. Can we not go through that… thing again?” Bart leans on Ryley, lightheaded from the sudden 70 meter descent down an alien elevator shaft. After a few more rooms and stairs, they reach what they could only assume was the main power source. Ryley walks up the energy core in the middle of the room. The core itself is a glowing green cube surrounded by glass, a square button at the core glows the same green tone.

“This must be the core. You think this will shut it off?”

“One way to find out. You do it.”

“Wha- But- Bart! Ugh. Fine.” Ryley walks up to the button and looks back at Bart, who’s standing a good distance away from it. Ryley takes a deep breath and reaches out to touch the button. Something under his wrist springs up to life and grabs his hand in place, his fingers inches from the button. A robotic tentacle comes from above the button, it seems fixed on him, moving around his face, almost like it’s observing him.

Bart exclames in amazment, fascinated to see advanced alien technology actually working.

“H-Hey there?” The robotic tentacle reveals a small needle at the end of it and jabs Ryley’s forearm. His pained screams echo through the building. “OW! GOD, WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT FOR!?” Ryley takes his arm back from the restraint and holds it in pain. The core makes an odd sound that echoes throughout the building.

An alien language is being broadcasted throughout the facility. Attempted translation reads; “Warning: Infected individuals may not disable the weapon array. This planet is under quarantine.”

“… I’m sorry, what?” Ryley checks his PDA “Hold on, ‘Weapon’? ‘Infected’?”

“Wait- Ryley, get over here.” Bart grabs Ryley’s arm and pulls out his scanner. He scans both of their arms. The small panel on the scanner, sure enough, reads “Infected”.

Performing self-scan analysis. The alien bacterium has seemingly progressed through your systems. Detecting skin-irritation and flu-like symptoms, as well as immune system response. Further data required to identify the bacterial strain.

“That’s not good. Bart, what do you- Bart?”

“I remember… This disease… I’ve seen it before. Marguerite and father were showing horrible symptoms of this infection, but I never did. Only minor, I-I thought I was immune!”

“What happened to them?” Bart looks down in silence. “… Oh. Oh, I’m so sorry. Bart, I forgot you told me not to bring it up- I’m so sorry.”

Bart starts walking towards the alien antigravity elevator “Whatever this thing is, it’s reaping this planet. It’s killing the fauna, the flora and it’s going to kill us eventually. We have to stop it.”

“How?” Ryley asks him. Bart stands still in front of the alien elevator “Bart, HOW!?”

“I DON’T KNOW!” They stop and look at each other. “I don’t… know. But there has to be a way to make it right. I know there is. There’s always a way, Ryley. Trust me” He looks at his PDA again, opening up a new databank entry. “According to the PDA, they were working on a cure. We have a goal, a mission, to finish what they started.”


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