My scans of the local computer network indicate a Lieutenant Morrison recently recorded a log entry in a terminal west of your location. He possesses gold keycard access and should still be in the area. You need to find him. I'm unable to pinpoint the exact location of the terminal he used due to nearby S'pht interference. Their efforts in penetrating our systems are becoming more and more successful. As you may predict, they seek intelligence about our occupation and recent weapon advancements. I didn't expect the Pfhor to have that card up their sleeve. The S'pht presence here has no doubt made a bad situation worse.
Just before the Tripoli was destroyed, I managed to dispatch a distress signal to UESC forces warning them of the Pfhor's attack. If my estimations are correct, the closest help is at least two to three weeks away. If we could somehow hold out, there's a slim chance we could make it. But, of course, this all depends on how successful our counterattack will be. Find Morrison.
I trust you have located the gold keycard at this point. I hope so, at least, because you've wasted a lot of precious time here. Return to the sewage treatment facility you came from, just down the hall east of this terminal. Once there, get to the wastewater dam control room and disable the dam override by destroying the wires. You need to hustle. Each minute that passes, our chances to turn this around become slimmer and slimmer.
/-/ SECURITY OVERRIDE APPROVED // FETCHING REQUESTED FILE(S) /-/ /-/ S'PHT TRANSLATOR STATUS: Inactive [auto-detect] /-/ FILE: Wartime Retrospective / UESC Information & Records [UPLOADED: 09:38:32 | 20/10/2833] OVERVIEW: At the time of this report, twenty years have passed since Sol became aware of the Pfhor threat following the return of the Tau Ceti survivors. The news they brought of the colony's total destruction, the loss of the UESC Marathon, and the looming Pfhor threat to humanity, was a watershed moment in uniting the various planetary governments within the Sol system behind the United Earth Space Council. The S'pht liberation also bought humanity precious time it otherwise wouldn't have had. It took the Pfhor over nine years to recover from the revolts. By then, humanity had already begun implementing FTL drive in its newest warships like the UESC Tripoli and the UESC Rotterdam, using technology reverse-engineered from Robert Blake's captured Pfhor ship. An alliance was formed between humanity and the S'pht, providing Sol with additional defenses.
It wasn't until 2825 that UESC forces would first engage the Pfhor, near the Gliese 832 star system, ~16 lightyears from Sol. By that time, humanity had twelve years to prepare for the moment. The complete and total annihilation of UESC forces in that battle, followed by the subsequent enslavement of the entire colony on Gliese 832-C, set a grim tone for the beginning of the war, and made it clear that humanity was still woefully underprepared for an all-out confrontation with the Pfhor. -------------- ***FURTHER ACCESS RESTRICTED*** ***DISSEMINATION GRANTED ONLY AS AUTHORIZED BY CONTRACTING OFFICER*** ***SECURITY CLEARANCE: DENIED*** --------------
/-/ SECURITY OVERRIDE APPROVED // FETCHING REQUESTED FILE(S) /-/ /-/ S'PHT TRANSLATOR STATUS: Inactive [auto-detect] /-/ FILE: Istoria Planetary Findings: Atmospheric Degradation [UPLOADED: 14:38:02 | 07/10/2832] [MARKING: CLASSIFIED-TSI-L6] OVERVIEW: Our research thus far indicates Istoria is essentially a dying planet. While a breathable atmosphere still exists today, it is slowly being stripped away by the star's harsh solar winds. Eventually, the atmosphere will largely dissipate into space, leaving the remaining water to evaporate. Istoria will be a barren rock in several million years, not unlike Mars in the Sol system. While water flows on present-day Istoria, evidence indicates that indigenous life has recently become limited to only small pockets of underwater flora and microbial bacteria. Fossil records do indicate the existence of a once-rich biosphere teeming with life, including mammalian species (similar to the F'lickta found on Lh'owon), which likely went extinct relatively rapidly due to compounding effects in the ecosystem related to the loss of Istoria's atmosphere. It is unknown if the Mrrak perished during this supposed extinction event.
--------------CONNECTION INTERRUPTED ***FURTHER ACCESS RESTRICTED*** ***DISSEMINATION GRANTED ONLY AS AUTHORIZED BY CONTRACTING OFFICER*** ***SECURITY CLEARANCE: DENIED*** -------------- . . . . . ***SECURITY CLEARANCE: DENIED*** . . . . . . . . . . . /-/ SECURITY OVERRIDE APPROVED // FETCHING REQUESTED FILE(S) /-/ /-/ S'PHT TRANSLATOR STATUS: Inactive [auto-detect] /-/ --------------NEW CONNECTION ESTABLISHED [4226:05]|occupation has unfortunately had the effect of damaging and permanently altering the ancient structures here on Istoria. Still, UESC leadership appears more interested in a long-term human presence on the planet than preserving any of the remains. They recently completed a series of paved paths throughout the denser areas of the outpost for ease of navigation. Morale is terrible among most of the lower infantrymen and operational crew stationed on the surface, who are kept here in perpetual deployment until the success of our mission - whenever that is — and are left in the dark regarding the classified nature of Project Cygnus. I can understand their frustration, considering the disappearance of |--------------CONNECTION INTERRUPTED
-------------- ***FURTHER ACCESS RESTRICTED*** ***DISSEMINATION GRANTED ONLY AS AUTHORIZED BY CONTRACTING OFFICER*** ***SECURITY CLEARANCE: DENIED*** -------------- . . ***SECURITY CLEARANCE: DENIED*** . . . . . . . . . . . . . --------------CONNECTION CLOSED [4226:01]--------------
**ISTORIA OUTPOST - OFFICER LOG ENTRY** Local Time: 13:17; 11/07/2837 Entry By: Lieutenant Ryan Morrison -------------- BEGIN LOG ENTRY: The attack started about 45 minutes ago from the time of this entry. I heard several deafening explosions in quick succession, so big that they shook the ground below me. A couple minutes passed before the Pfhor started transporting in nearby. There was screaming and gunshots, but it didn't last too long. Now all I hear are the sounds of Pfhor troops patrolling above me. I'm pretty sure they want to search this room, but I think they're too scared to walk along the cliff to get here, at least for now. They'll probably just send a drone in before long.
I don't even know why I'm doing this. It's not like anyone will ever read this after the Pfhor nuke the planet to dust. Maybe they're after these spells that Command orders us to experiment with. Maybe they want to learn about Project Cygnus. Maybe the Pfhor will walk around outside all day measuring fluctuations in each spell's energy output, like Sullivan makes us do. Whatever the hell that's for. Hold on. I think they're getting closer... ***INAUDIBLE***
/-/ SECURITY OVERRIDE APPROVED // FETCHING REQUESTED FILE(S) /-/ /-/ SORT ORDER: [oldest to newest] /-/ FILE: UNKNOWN ORIGIN [Recovered;1A/1438/96]
/-/ S'PHT TRANSLATOR Active /-/ The [F'lickta's?] decline is impossible to ignore any longer, and I have no answers. For countless millennia their population thrived and remained stable, yet now their numbers are only half what they were two hundred [years?] ago. I told T'yal the trend is only accelerating. It may be a matter of decades before the last of them die off and the [F'lickta?] are gone forever. Their deaths stem from an inexplicable loss of critical nutrients in the nearby sludge and water sources, a relatively recent development. This loss has become dramatic enough to significantly affect their ability to survive.
/-/ S'PHT TRANSLATOR Active /-/ But they are not the only ones. A large-scale shift is beginning throughout the broader [ecosystem?]. The effects are relatively manageable now, but we will undoubtedly face massive food shortages, among other challenges in the future, unless the trend somehow abates. L'yth and the Eldest Leaders have made assurances there is nothing to fear and that our Creators will protect us and our home world, as they always have. For now, this calms the nerves of the masses. It does little to comfort me.
I'm surprised I was able to get a connection through. I don't know how long it will last, so I'll be brief: My name is Ed Grindle, and I lead the science team working underground to reestablish contact with the Jjaro AI called Sentinel. Right now, we're thankfully protected from Pfhor transportation by a local dampening field. When the attack first began, an order came from General Sullivan to prepare the underground reactor core for catastrophic overload, should the Pfhor execute a successful takeover of the planet.
This would have involved manually withdrawing the massive control rods from the reactor base, causing a runaway fusion reaction. As a result, the underground gravity array would emit an immense gravitational wave, destroying the Pfhor ship in low orbit and likely anything else in the nearby star system. The explosion would also destroy this entire outpost and most of Istoria's surface. Anything to prevent the Pfhor from succeeding. Ultimately you have been successful enough in repelling the Pfhor so far, but Sullivan has ordered us to stand by with this plan should things take a turn.
Given the compromised state of our cyber security, I don't want to say too much here, but just understand that this is a very, very bad idea. A bad idea with even worse consequences. Despite what little we ultimately know of Istoria - the disappearance of the Mrrak, the planet's mysterious moons, the outpost's original purpose — we do know that it still appears to serve that purpose, fully autonomously, all these years later. And with a reactor core as powerful as the one down here, creating low-level gravitational waves and sending them off to nearby moons and planets, we assert that it's a much greater risk to disturb the balance of power in this star system. Any number of unintended consequences will likely await us if this outpost ceases to function.
The point is, keep up the excellent work. Your success in suppressing the Pfhor offensive is imperative. It is the only way Sullivan refrains from ordering the reactor's destruction. It is the only way this situation does not spiral entirely out of control. I'm starting to detect some interference on the network, so that's all I can say for now. Good luck to you.