posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 10:40 PM
Hope is gone; I have nearly three hours of air left but I will die here regardless. I've tried to keep an accurate record of what has transpired to
this massive failure of a recovery mission, but I'm no longer sure of what I even witnessed.
It should first be noted that this planet's polarity switches every three days; the switch causes incredible electrical storms. Undoubtedly, this is
what led to the science team’s first batch of equipment troubles, and likely why we found Doctors Zhirim and Orrence deceased nearly ten kilometers
from base camp. If they were caught in a storm all of their navigation equipment would have been useless and their escape route chaotic; there are no
landmarks on this flat featureless terrain. If they rode the storm out in their rover's portable shelter, which two intelligent men would have done
in the face of any maelstrom as destructive the ones spawned in this atmosphere, then they would have been heading in the opposite direction.
Regardless, their air ran out, and they left their helmets on choosing to suffocate rather than remove them and allow the poisonous atmosphere to
flood their lungs with searing acidic air which would have cause them to drown in their own mucous as their bodies tried desperately to neutralize the
mixture in their lungs.
Of the few experiments that succeeded, the geological surveys were the most interesting. This planet was believed to lack any seismic activity, it's
molten core now cold and solid; there are no tectonic plates like those on Earth that float upon a molten sea to create the same seismic conditions
like that of our home planet. Approximately one month ago, shortly before switching off the seismic sensors in order to conserve power, the team
measured a magnitude eight and one half event approximately three kilometers east... wes- about seventy degrees left of the camp if zero faces the
rising sun. The report states that the radio transmission from Zhirim and Orrence described and elliptical crater, there was no direct evidence to
implicate a falling cosmic object, but the two doctors reported that the sides of the crater were too steep to descend to investigate further without
proper climbing equipment; a provision not included in the supplies since there were no scalable geologic features within travelling distance from the
The report notes that no further transmissions were received from the two-man team after they reportedly left the sight of the seismic activity. Over
the next twelve hours the seismic sensors detected seven more event of equal size in the area surrounding the camp. The science team, aware of the
storm outside and already fearing the fate of their companions sent no other investigative teams until the storm receded, nearly twenty four hours
later. At midday, after still no reports from the previous survey team two more men, Kreyjack and Sutter set out on a rover towards the location of
the first event. The vehicle was barely a hundred meters from the camp when it became clear the navigational equipment was not functioning the same
way it had the day prior. After a short conversation with base camp however, it was decided that Orrence and Zhirim would find their way back with or
without an operational radio, and that the new survey team should continue their path toward the site of one of the other events which was oddly
enough in their immediate path, nearly three kilometers ahead. Kreyjack and Sutter reported the same elliptical crater, estimating it to be
approximately a half kilometer deep and having a diameter of a half kilometer and a quarter kilometer at its widest and narrowest points.
The base camp goes on to state that they received no more radio transmissions from the second survey team and outlines the decision to set out to
retrieve the second team. This marks the end of reports from any of the science team, no trace of the team after that day exists.
When my recovery team and I flew over the camp the first thing we noticed was that two of the five buildings were missing we couldn't be sure which
they were, but would find out later. Our landing put the last known location of the second survey team directly between us and the base camp, allowing
us an easy route to the quickest possible answers. We first spotted the survey team's rover after an hour of driving, the six of us felling rather
confined in the two-story tall, eight wheeled utility vehicle. The massive transport has plenty of cargo room for salvage and recovery, but the crew
space is still too small for most teams to sit comfortably. The rover was about three meters from the lip of the crater; I had the other five members
of my team load the rover into our transport as I approached the crater. It was clear what had happened, the two bodies at the bottom of the crater
said it all. One man had slipped, perhaps a piece of the crater's edge had crumbled beneath him, the other went to grab his companion but they both
went over. Through my binoculars I could see that Sutter's leg was bent in a number of ways it should not have been, broken in the fall. I'm not
sure who I pity more, Sutter bleeding to death, or Kreyjack; who had to watch his friend die, then suffocate, alone.
With two of the eight men on the expedition team accounted for, we assembled in the transport and continued our trek towards the base camp. The
journey was uneventful, with the exception of a small, magnitude three event in the area just as we crossed the one hundred meter perimeter of the
camp. It was there we could confirm without a doubt that two buildings were indeed missing, the garage and the environmental exploration preparation
and storage area had disappeared into another crater, or sink hole which was smaller than the others, but still large enough to have engulfed both
buildings at once. We parked the transport about twenty meters from the main research building at the center of the camp, the only entrance to the
three story structure was now precariously close to the crater that swallowed the environmental preparations building, but we made a safer entrance in
the hallway between the crater and the large structure using our plasma cutters. The six of us fanned out, two men per floor, scouring the computers
for all the information we could gather.
[edit on 1/30/2009 by eNumbra]