The massive effort that will soon be Survey 4 is now being unpacked. We all knew that it wasn’t a question of “if” but “when” the breakthrough would occur with the Vassa. Quietly, programs have been in the works for years. Although no one knew exactly what we would be confronted with, work went ahead based on certain broad assumptions.
Collectively known by the code name Pandora, the intent was to rapidly create a stand-alone offsite having quarters, labs, communications, transportation, and security. More than a base, thinking devolved around the creation of new caving systems, emphasizing robust flexibility, and less traditional or alternative solutions. Of course, the base was built as well.
The public declaration of Survey has effectively placed all citizens on City Year, the main distinction being that the duration and the demands of survey are more open ended. Legally, a citizen not on City Year can demur and refuse work reassignment, however under the circumstances, the reality is that such a refusal would be social and political suicide. Many citizens are in fact volunteering for the honor of service, right now.
The social realignment referred to in the Survey Announcement amounts to the reallocation of finite resources to new programs. While Citizens might not think in terms of ‘money’ as an enabler, be assured the concept is fully familiar to the civil servants who need to ‘fund’ their Ministry or pet program with energy, talent and material over all the others clamoring for attention. Right now, decision-making power is being centralized and streamlined in committee. New fiefdoms are born and others are shelved. There will be winners and losers. Everything now for Survey!
Much of the new focus and the new programs will be multi-disciplinary. Some of the territorial walls built up around the five Ministries are expected to crumble as talent is shifted to new work groups, and experts get to talking. The better sharing of what would typically be proprietary data within a Ministry might just usher in a new renaissance.
A quick word about personal power in Alpha Complex: with the successful destruction of the family system of social organization, and the elimination of the accumulation of personal wealth, it might appear everyone is equal-not so. Personal merit and a system of patronage have replaced these as a measure of a man. Information is power, and much like the Roman Republic, reputation and personal prestige in society translates directly into personal power. The measure of a Citizen as an embodiment of civic virtue is only one of many ways such power may be won.
Survey Team 4
Overall on the spot management will be provided by the Ministry of Culture. Citizen-Manager Azekiel will head things up, organize task oriented committee(s) to include the head personal of the various disciplines, and in particular be entrusted with shaping a message for internal consumption, and projecting the official face to our friends amongst the Peer Culture(s).
Communications are real time from the temporary quarters located at Barter town, and via the City Sigil. The facility is expected to ramp up quickly, and will eventually include a deep range of resources, both human and material. A list of new personal and equipment is amended to this document.
All Survey personal are reminded not to test the limits of the official Latitude granted by Survey. Let’s not abuse the privilege, folks!
Technician Barbados (of the Ministry of Applied Technology; Equipment Specialist, Transport Tech)
Specialist Sirius (of the Ministry of Applied Technology; Equipment Specialist, Marksman)
Specialist Sammes (of the Ministry of Applied Technology; Mechanic, Electrician, Communication Tech)
Citizen Smiley (of the Ministry of Applied Technology; Photographer, Archivist, Communication Tech)
Master Roxanna Naxos (of the Ministry of Bioscience; Mission Xenobiologist, Zoologist, AgTech Advisor)
Master Polystasia (of the Ministry of Bioscience; Mission Botanist, Archivist, Φ Equipment Technician)
Expert Lukas Longsbeardsson (of the Ministry of Bioscience; Microbiologist, Φ Equipment Technician)
Master Pelus (of the Ministry of Engineering; Master Surveyor, Geologist, Construction Manager)
Master Bresis Antares (of the Ministry of Engineering; Architect, Archivist, Cartographer)
Citizen Underlubricator Nesbitt (of the Ministry of Engineering; Black Thumb Mechanical Genius)
Technician Dandy Pyrmon (of the Ministry of Culture; Archivist)
Citizen Vorenus (of the Ministry of Culture, Department of Defense; Security Specialist, Marksman)
Citizen Pullo (of the Ministry of Culture, Department of Defense; Security Specialist, Marksman)
Master Nitra Tassitia (of the Ministry of Arcane Solutions; Observer, Archivist)
Technician Underinspector Grix (Ecology/Internal Security)
Immediate Mission Objectives:
1. Conduct negotiations to secure a forward base convenient to Alpha Complex. Facilitate the preliminary groundwork by Masters Pelus & Bresis, of Engineering.
2. Negotiate with the Vassa, and if necessary smooth over the fact of our trespass at the Vassa Burial Grounds and the theft of the relic found there. Determine who we need to talk to and put things on a permanent basis.
3. Dispatch ambassadors to native population centers at ‘Tantala’, ‘Voda Volterrana’ and the ‘Shire’. We understand these are the closest major centers. There is a question about reaching out to the ‘Hivers’. At the moment, they are a bit of a mystery, but being intelligent, should be considered for the establishment of diplomatic relations.
4. Discover the origins of the two Father Culture artifacts, ASAP.
5. Solve the riddle of the disintegrator rifle, carefully.
6. Scout, map and discover in the immediate area. Build and sharpen caving skills in the major microclimates (the Estuary, the Veldt, and the Caverns).
7. Conduct yourselves professionally, shape the message- remember: mission positive!
1. GENERAL USE-Great Pavilions (6)
2. GENERAL USE-Dome Tents (10)
3. GENERAL USE- Portable Kitchen (1)
4. GENERAL USE- Portable Privies and Solid Waste Digester (1)
5. GENERAL USE-Medium Duty Wheeled Cargo Trucks, Electric (2)
6. GENERAL USE-Portable Water Treatment System and Cistern (2)
7. GENERAL USE-Task Lighting (8)
8. GENERAL USE-Short and Medium Range Wireless Radios (8)
9. APTECH-Charging Station, Jenny and Power Infrastructure (1)
10. APTECH-Kodiak Inflatable Boats (4)
11. APTECH-Mobike Wheeled Transports (4)
12. APTECH-Quad Buggy Wheeled Transports (3)
13. APTECH-Chemistry Lab (1)
14. APTECH-Mechanic Shop (1)
15. APTECH-Restricted Unlabeled (6)
16. APTECH-Caving Equipment (6)
17. BIOSCI-Portable Surgical Theater (1)
18. BIOSCI-Portable Laboratory (1)
19. BIOSCI-Torsion Crabs (3)
20. BIOSCI-Vactors + Hoses (5)
21. BIOSCI-Beach Ball (3)
22. BIOSCI-Headsak Survival System (10)
23. BIOSCI-Stinger Staves (16)
24. BIOSCI-Squib Launchers (10)
25. BIOSCI-Rokroper, various (6)
26. BIOSCI-Pharmaceuticals (1)
27. BIOSCI-Screamers + Cabling (24)
28. BIOSCI-Lasdich Perimeter Weapons (15)
29. FACIL-Portable Forge (1)
30. FACIL-Bridging Gear (1)
31. FACIL-Surveyor’s Kit (1)
32. FACIL-Portable Communication Center (1)
33. FACIL-Caving Gear (6)
34. FACIL-Restricted Unlabeled (3)
35. MAGIC-Fearnaughts (50 pairs)
36. MAGIC-Portable Laboratory (1)
37. MAGIC-Restricted Unlabeled (1)
38. INTSEC-Restricted Unlabeled (4)
39. CULTR-Restricted Weapons (8)
Φ FEARNAUGHTS (BLINDERS) Rush manufactured by the Ministry of Magic, when worn these goggles curtail the disturbing perspectives common to the Endless Caverns through the addition of soothing, reassuring or familiar scenes to the user’s view. Distance vision and disturbing vistas are selectively editing out, and the illusion of interior space and lighting are semi-transparently superimposed over the user’s immediate view. The goggles are also helpful for overcoming the fear of heights.
Φ BEACH BALL An exotic bioform product utilizing animal muscle tissues, used for emergency flotation. This is a self-inflating product made in several styles: the fisherman’s barrel (or waist floatation for arms free use); the life raft (fits four); the bridging or buoy pod; and the ‘beach ball’ form, which totally encloses the user in a three meter diameter bubble. The units are designed to leak for a time after inflation to establish appropriate ballast.
Φ STINGER STAVE A pole mounted exotic manipulated bioform, based on the neurotoxin common to certain Manticores. The stave is intended for martial defense, and looks much like an oversized wasp’s sting, complete with a nasty barb, on a telescoping pole. Proper manipulation of the poison gland at the base of the sting sets the dosage (one to six doses per discharge; one dose stuns a small target, two a medium target, etc.). Users are cautioned against overdose, which may be lethal.
Φ LASDICH This is a directional burst perimeter defense mine, wholly biological in construction. It may be triggered directly by the operator, by pressure, or be part of a smart network when connected to screamers via strung or laid umbilical ‘wiring’. The unit somewhat resembles a gooey, fibrous egg sack, which may be applied to floors, walls and ceilings. Detonation ejects hundreds of semi-alive burrowing grubs (or squibs), stunning and sickening targets caught by the blast.
Φ SQUIB LAUNCHER This is a fairly accurate burst fire rifle, wholly biological in construction. Somewhat resembling a large mushroom cap, the operator holds the unit by the stem, with the cap facing the target. Each unit is unique, and drill and practice fire at a range is advised to achieve decent accuracy. At short ranges, a target may be plastered by one or five round bursts. The weapon holds 75 squibs and may be reloaded twice before the fleshy storage medium is consumed by the living ammunition and the ravenous squibs erupt from the spent weapon.
Φ SCREAMER An exotic manipulated bioform product, available in several styles for the establishment of secure perimeters. The unit may be installed like a tiki torch, anchored as a float buoy, or dug in and camouflaged and still provide good early warning of an intruder. Packed in nutritive jelly, each case of four screamers has a six month shelf life. Once deployed, the unit must be tended to (fed) or returned to it’s packaging after short periods of use. About 55 cm long, topped by a primitive eye fringed by sensitive feelers tapers down to the floor spike, which is driven into the soil. Several screamers may be networked by umbilicus to other units, mines, and autonomous systems forming a comprehensive ‘smart’ perimeter. Use requires a trained operator and the unit must be fed.
Ψ KODIAK A tough, seaworthy inflatable boat, with a rigid floor plate. Large enough for six, plus some cargo, the vessel is rowed or powered by an electric outboard motor.
Ψ MOBIKE A single seater off-road dirt bike, powered by a electric motor.
Ψ QUAD BUGGY A fairly large, light weight vehicle suitable for three (medium sized) crew. Equipped with oversized tires and good suspension for a smooth ride, and sporting a full roll cage. When floats are added, the propeller renders the vehicle amphibious. Electric power plant.
Ψ BUZZBEE A remote piloted, autonomous or programmed quad rotor drone aircraft. These may be used to deliver small cargos, or carry surveillance equipment, such as cameras (typically sensitive in the infra-red spectrum).
Ψ FIELD HAB A large pavilion type shelter, featuring internal poles and frames and guyed outer corners. The fabric is a special ballistic material, very tough and resistant to tears. Shelters twenty personal.
Ψ TASK LIGHTS This refers to a variety of free standing or clamp base battery lights. The largest are equivalent to a search light in output. Most may also be cord and plug connected, if a jenny or charging station is available.
Ψ CHARGING STATION Linked to a City power source, or free standing and burning chemical fuel (through a combustion process) these units provide electricity in the field. Use requires authorization and as a jenny constitutes ecodamage.
Ψ AMMUNITION, 42mm DAZZLER GRENADE Shotgun rounds, combining white phosphorous and magnesium filaments for visually stunning targets in an area, and for starting structural fires. Use requires authorization and constitutes minor ecodamage. Dept. of Defense use only.
Ψ AMMUNITION, 42mm CONCUSSION GRENADE Shotgun rounds, combing tear gas with a concussive ‘flash-bang’ explosion for a double dose of whup ass. Non-lethal. Use requires authorization and constitutes minor ecodamage. Dept. of Defense use only.
Ψ AMMUNITION, 42mm TRANC GRENADE Shotgun rounds, combining several irritant chemicals which induce (temporary) blindness, vomiting, dizziness, and shortness of breath. Non-lethal. Use requires authorization and constitutes minor ecodamage. Dept. of Defense use only.
Ψ AMMUNITION, 42mm APF GRENADE Shotgun rounds, launching six rocket assisted hardened armor piercing flechette darts at high velocity. Intended for use only at short ranges, as the round is not accurate. Lethal ammunition. Use requires authorization and constitutes minor ecodamage. Dept. of Defense use only.
Ψ HEAVY ANTI MATRIAL RIFLE, 25mm A team served weapon system, designed to interdict hardened targets at very long ranges. Nominally man-portable, the weapon breaks down into barrel, bipod and receiver components for transport. The crew consists of a forward observer, a loader/spotter, and the sniper, typically all in radio contact. A variety of ammunitions are available, including fusible or smart rounds for the neutralization of out of LOS targets through air burst or downward directed explosions. Use requires authorization and constitutes minor ecodamage. Dept. of Defense use only.
Ψ FLAMER A compact, man portable flame thrower suitable for anti-personal or anti-structure use. Use requires authorization and constitutes ecodamage. Dept. of Defense use only.
Ψ CATTLEPROD Delivering 50,000 volts, this non-lethal system may be freely attached bayonet style to rifles, affixed to a pole, etc.
Ψ LIGHT INTENSIFYING GOGGLES In near total darkness, close objects are quite visible; long distance vision is poor but serviceable.
Ψ INFRA RED GOGGLES A sophisticated system in which heat signatures are read and a projection of the interpreted results are displayed on the visor surface. Potentially capable of very long distance target acquisition, depending on the relative temperatures of the target and its background, and the environmental heat between the user and the target.
Ψ HANDSET WIRELESS RADIO Similar to the modern cell phone, but larger and capable of broadcasting a modest signal, to a distance of twenty-five kilometers.
Ψ MEDIUM RANGE WIRELESS KIT A backpack sized unit capable of sending and receiving over 150 km range