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Planet's Edge manual

             Planet's Edge from New World Computing

             Chronology

             This account is an attempt by the U.N.F.A. Central
             Committee to briefly explain those events that have
             led to the apparent disappearance of planet Earth.
             This chronology has been compiled in hopes that it
             may be of use to the crew of the now code
             named "Planet's Edge" mission.

             9 MAY 2045

             10 MAY 2045

             15 MAY 2045

             16 MAY 2045

             18 MAY 2045

             Five hours prior to the scheduled launch of Unity,
             a Level 2 pre-flight diagnostic of the lonic Propulsion
             System reveals a .976% deficiency in the drive's field
             strength. The countdown is halted. Atter seventeen
             hours, the ship's 10 man crew is ordered to disembark
             the ship. The joint U.S. - New Soviet mission to Mars is
             placed on a 240 hour hold for an evaluation of the
             problem.

             An object discovered by ElectroOptical Blink
             Comparison Automated Sky Survey. The master sky
             survey computer (SkyServComp) designates the
             discovery 'comet 2045 jun22:72:08:66'.

             Object is resurveyed. Range and trajectory are
             tentatively established; path is approximately
             hyperbolic. SkyServComp renames the apparently
             extrasolar object 'ESO 2045-At'.

             Numerous anomalies cause SkyServComp to bring
             ESO 2045-A to the attention of a human supervisor. No
             coma gasses are detected despite extraordinary
             brightness, suggesting albedo on the order of polished
             metal . Doppler velocity calculations confirm extrasolar
             origin. Tracking observations differ significantly from
             calculated trajectories. No record of any probe or
             cratt ever sent out from Earth can be made to match
             ESO 2045-A.

             Various government offices are contacted, including
             the United Nations First Approach team headquarters,
             on darkside Luna. The base's 20 meter optical
             observation instrument is trained on the object. An
             Emergency Reaction Teleconference is convened,
             bringing government, academic and private experts
             from two worlds together in an electronic convention.
             Consensus is reached soon after the first images are
             relayed from Moonbase: the pictures are somewhat
             fuzzy, but the object is judged to be a powered cratt
             of extrasolar origin.

             The object is now referred to as the ' ETS' (extraterrestrial
             ship). Debate rages over whether or not to attempt to
             contact the ETS, and what sort of message to send if
             the attempt is made. Due to the crisis, U.N.F.A.
             indefinitely suspends the launch of the Mars expedition .

             Official United Nations messages of peace and
             friendship are relayed on all frequencies, but evoke no
             response. Refinements of the ETS's trajectory analysis
             indicate that with its present course and rate of
             deceleration, it will arrive near Earth's vicinity on or
             around 23 June.


             Transmissions gradually change in tone. With increasing
             forcefulness a warning is sent and repeated that
             approaching the Earth without communication or
             authorization may be considered a hostile act.

             19 MAY 2045

             20 MAY 204S

             24 MAY 2045

             4 JUNE 2045

             15 JUNE 2045

             16 JUNE 2045

             23 JUNE 2045

             23 JUNE 204S
             08:09 C.L.S. T

             23 JUNE 2045
             1 1: 19 C.L.S. T.

             24 JUNE 2045

             All known space-effective weapon systems are put
             under a unified United Nations command and brought to
             a high state of readiness. Strict orders are given to not initiate
             hostilities, and warnings are issued to all nations to take no
             unilateral military action under pain of severe UN counter-
             reaction. Public reaction is predictably mixed. Millenarian
             movements stage a number of public demonstrations as
             general hysteria mounts.

             The United Nations First Approach bureau assembles
             a contact squad from their available astronauts.
             Officers Dean, Tsakafuchi, Ngatadatu and Mershova
             are selected and placed on standby. Captain Wes
             Alan- Klarr is chosen as Captain.

             ETS reaches Earth, and establishes itself in orbit. It
             begins to mimic the peace and friendship messages
             relayed by earth in a series of "monkey transmissions".
             Tracked by all major stations on earth and Luna, the
             telemetry is fed instantly into a network for distribution
             to military, government and scientific centers.

             Fast orbital interceptors launch from the Wu Chen
             station despitewarningsfrom the U.N. The pre-emptive
             strike is ineffective and is followed by a chilling
             ceasation of the ETS' imitative transmissions.

             ETS completes two circuits around the Earth and begins
             a third when observation instruments record a flash
             originating from the alien cratt followed by a burst of
             radio static. Personnel at Moonbase at first believe
             that it is the ETS re-establishing communication, but
             the static crackle quickly becomes an overwhelming
             roar of white noise, pouring through every channel on
             every band of the electromagnetic spectrum. Data
             links with Earth suddenly fall silent. Most satellite
             telemetry is also lost in the same instant. Operators
             refuse to believe what the orbital instruments tell
             them. Reports filter in from human observers at Luna
             nearside outposts. Every communication channel on
             Luna is occupied for ten minutes as U.N.F.A. base
             commander solemnly announces the disappearence of 
             the planet earth.
             of the planet earth.

             Day of Mourning proclaimed. Observers note that the
             ETS was destroyed, but a sizable hulk remains.
             An immediate concern arises that Luna, without Earth 's
             gravity to anchor it, might be flying away on a new
             orbital path . Observations and calculations are quickly
             performed. Scientists are confused about the new
             data which seems to suggest that the Earth is still in
             place.

             26 JUNE 2045

             A plan is devised to use weather satellites to further
             study the new anomaly. Repeated gravitational stud-
             ies indicate that the Earth's mass seems to be present.

             Base Commander Polk orders a logistical analysis in
             depth of all remaining resources.

             Weather satellites are observed moving through the
             space formerly occupied by Earth. Telemetry and
             images from the satellites return unaffected, but their
             paths are warped just as they would have been by
             the missing planet's gravity.

             A scientific board concludes that the Earth has been
             trapped in a space-time warp whose exact nature is
             unknown .

             Base Commander Polk orders a gig dispatched to the
             wreckage of the ETS for fact-finding purposes. Captain
             Wes Alan-Klarr of the contact squad killed by radiation
             poisoning. No new Captain assigned.

             More personnel sent to ETS to begin large scale
             investigation of the vessel and its contents. Several
             discoveries of importance are made, including the
             retrieval of alien artifacts and information.

             The alien Standardized Symbolic/Cognitive Logic Unit
             found aboard the ETS is finally coded with English,
             German and Japanese dialects. With a relatively low
             error margin it begins to translate alien scientific
             documents into a comprehensible form.

             27 JUNE 2045

             28 JUNE 204S

             29 JUNE 2045
             21:00 C.L.S. T.

             23:43 C.L.S. T.

             30 JUNE 2045

             3 JULY 2045

             20 JULY 2~45

             U.N.F.A. calls a crisis meeting to discuss the future of 29 JULY 2045
             Luna. The entire population of Luna (823) is in
             attendance. It is announced that Luna only has the
             resources to maintain itself for three years before it
             collapses. Alternate plans are called for.
              MISSION Briefing

             From: Mason R. Polk, C. - Cmdr Moonbase
             Re: Objectives of mission "Planet's Edge"
             To: Captain & Crew of U.N.F.A. Exploration Vessel Ulysses
             Recorded 0730 ZU 14 August 2045

             Please note that the following document is a written transcript
             of the transmission NLUN-ULY2045. 148 exchanged between
             the captain of the Ulysses and Luna Base Commander Mason
             Polk. All information contained herein was transmitted with no
             linguicoding and on an unsecured channel

             Begin Transcript

             Good morning Captain. Or at least let us hope that someday soon
             we'll be able to have good mornings again.

             I'm giving you this briefing verbally now, but it's being recorded
             and transcribed so that you can refer back to it later. This will also be
             included in the "handbook" that Records is collating for you.

             Everyone on Moonbase knows roughly what's been happening
             over the last months. We've all been working double shifts ever since
             ETS blew up. When the Earth disappeared, I couldn't see any hope at
             all of anyone here at Moonbase being alive in six months. I don't know
             how many times the argument's been made that we ought to be self-
             sufficient, but the people in charge back home kept putting off
             making a commitment, so here we are...

             As base commander, I knew I had to keep people busy to help
             them cope with the shock. I had to keep morale up. Just between us,
             I admit that I myself was convinced that everything we were doing
             would turn out to be futile in the end. But I am not about to let our
             people suffer a total loss of hope.

             The logistics staff has taken stock of our resources and options. It
             would seem that by exerting a maximum effort we could keep going
             for the next three years. I see on my monitor that that surprises you as
             well. The drawback is that this option required every gram of material,
             every watt of power, and every last waking man-hour be devoted to
             nothing but sheer survival. There would be nothing left over for
             anything but barely holding on to life, for just a few days longer.

             While I was sitting at my desk contemplating this bit of news, my
             autosec signaled that it had a report from Gregory Cole for me. As I
             read it, some wheels began to turn in my head. As you know, he found
             the alien ship a total wreckage...as far as we can tell the crew simply
             disolved.
             What I did next was to send more people down to that ship. I had
             a hunch that if Earth's mass was still out there, maybe the rest of the
             planet, and its people were . . . somewhere. Maybe somewhere where
             we could reach out and yank them back. The knowledge of how to
             do that existed in only one place, if it existed at all, and that was
             aboard the ETS.

             What I really wanted to tell you in this briefing is that some of us now
             think that there may be some hope after all. You, Captain, are going
             to be a large part of that hope.

             Lately, you've been helping out in the rebuilding of our shops and
             shipyards. A lot of that, and all the other activity that's been going on
             since the Event(oh yes,that's what we're calling the ETS disaster now)
             has been concerned with survival, now that we're cut off from
             resupply. But most of our effort over the last four weeks has been
             devoted to decrypting documents and other information sources
             found aboard the ETS, and trying to figure out what it all means. A
             great deal of the data on that ship was lost or scrambled during the
             Event, due to the semi-volatile nature of its recording media, but
             some usable data remained. From that we've pieced together a
             partial picture of the culture the ET ship came from, and from that,l've
             come up with a plan. You will forgive me if the plan seems a little
             desperate, but we are a people in desperate situation. I also believe
             that it offers the only hope that I can see for saving all our lives and,
             more importantly, restoring the Earth.
               I want you, Captain, to take a crew of four   ~AutoS~c Note:
             of the best people we've got and head out        Klarr's death is
             into the galaxy. The contact team is already    noted as 30 June
             well suited to the mission and I believe their  2045. Cause of
             assistance would be invaluable. Since            death listed as
             Captain Klarr's death' the team has been           radiation
             very committed and they will follow your          poisoning
             orders explicitly as they followed his.

             As you well know we have an extensive "Boneyard" of ship parts.
             I want you to put together a ship from all the scrap we have, and from
             any other ship you need to cannibalize, and from parts of the ETS that
             we were able to salvage. Oh yes, we were able to get a working star
             drive for you from the wreck. I want you to lift off next week by the
             twentieth, by Space Day.

             Since it's your life on the line,l'll leave the final configuration of 
             your ship up to you. We've got the yards operating well, and the
             'Boneyard Crew' can quickly provide you with any ship that is
             physically possible for them to assemble. At the moment we can only
             build out of the parts we have on hand, but Chief Engineer Pleadwell
             has been pouring over the alien information we've salvaged, and
             she's promised miracle ships if we can just get her the resources, and
             the complete specs.
             Your main mission is, of course, to help recover the Earth.

             There is a machine aboard the ETS that we're pretty certain
             caused the Earth's disappearance. Or I should say, there was a
             machine. As the pictures sent back by Cole indicated, it melted into
             a slag heap and most of it was fused with the floor grates. The only
             reason we know that it was a part of anything is from the blueprints
             that the S.S.C.L.U. translated for us. After raking over the thing we
             have determined that the aliens, whoever they were, were in the
             midst of conducting a scientific experiment with a new drive system,
             an experiment that sadly went very wrong and unintentionally shoved
             the Earth into some kind of space-time rift.

             At first Lt. Ngatadatu of the Contact team thought that the device
             was a FTL (Faster Than Light) device but they concluded that the
             Centauri Drive's principles were far more complicated. Since our last
             survey indicated that it seemed to have come from near Centauri,
             the device has been nicknamed the 'Centauri Drive. ' In any case, we
             believe that our only hope lies in recreating that fatal experiment in
             our laboratories here on Luna. To do that, we'll need parts and more
             information and the only place that those commodities can be
             found is out there...somewhere.

             We need you to go out into the galaxy, Captain, and do whatever
             you have to do. Find the parts so that we can fix the 'Centauri Drive. '
             The advice we can give you on how to go about doing this is limited.
             You 're going to have to wing it a lot, my friend . Find out what you can,
             make the best decisions that you can, and if it comes down to the
             wire, play your hunches. Our Records people have compiled a star
             map for you with information retrieved from the ETS. As you will notice,
             it is a survey of the immediate "neighborhood" of 128 parsecs. We
             have only presented on it those star systems that have been cross-
             referenced against the ETS "active" systems database. If there are
             any closer inhabited stars, they have been uncontacted by the crew
             of ETS.

             You and your crew will have more in common with the ancient
             Greeks than you will with the astronauts of NASA or ESA. Like the
             argonauts you'll go sailing off into the unknown with virtually no
             contact with us until youre turn. Incidentally,that's why we christened
             your ship ' Ulysses. '

             Before I end this transmission there is something I feel I need to tell
             you. Although we have determined by analysis that our somewhat
             unwelcome visitor was from a benevolent race, we have been able
             to determine that other races out there are not so friendly. Of the
             images that we have managed to retrieve from the alien databanks.
             a number seem to chronicle what could only be called technological
             barbarism. I am transmitting now what is undeniably a space battle
             in progress. The picture should appear on the right hand of your
             screen.
             The reason that I bring this up is so that you may be aware of the
             dangers that lie ahead for you and your crew out there. I realize that
             your are no innocent child. but at the same time I realize the certain
             naivete that comes when a people embark on a voyage to a new
             world. I also state this so that I can make clear the position of U.N.F.A.
             and that of the absent Earth. We are a peaceful people on a
             peaceful mission, but if your lives are unduly endangered, then you
             are authorized to use whatever force is necessary to achieve your
             mission objectives. A copy of these mission orders is to be kept in your
             handbook.

             I've lost a lot of sleep agonizing over the decision to send you out.
             By committing our resources to this slim hope, we won't be able to
             keep going for three years. . . at most we will be able to keep alive for
             eight to twelve months more . By next week we'll be committed . As of
             Space Day we will irrevocably become members of the galactic
             community. At this point there can be no turning back. When you lift.
             we'll be past the point of no return!
             To the Captain of U.N.F.A. Exploration Vessel

             Ulysses

             Porl of origin: Moonbase - Luna - Sol 3/1
             To be commissioned and launched 20 August 2045

             ------ MISSION ORDERS ------

             PRIME MISSION--FIND THE MEANS TO RESTORE THE
             PLANET EARTH AND ITS People UNHARMED.


             return them to Moonbase.

             4

             Supervise the assembly, supply, Commissioning and
             periodic reffiting of an interstellar exploration vessel
             using whatever materials and components of
             terristrial or extraterrestrial origin are available.

             Attempt to make peaceful contact with helpful
             elements of the local galactic cultures for purposes
             of furthering the Prime Mission.

             5 You may at any time use force in self-defence.

             6 You may use force preemptively against elements
             previously determined to be consistently hostile, if
             contact is unavoidable.

             7 Secure materials, supplies, devices and components
             to enable future expansion of your vessel's and crew's
             capabilities, and return them to Moonbase.
             8 Secure technological intelligence data relevant to
             the accomplishment of the Prime Mission, and return
             it to Moonbase.

             9 Secure political and cultural intelligence data
             concerning galactic cultures relevant to the
             accomplishment of the Prime Mission, and return it to
             Moonbase.

             10 Continuously evaluate your status and return to
             Moonbase when significant data and/or materials
             have been obtained to advance the Prime Mission
             and/or refit your ship with new capabilities.

             11 At all times protect the safety of your command.

             12 Your ship may not be put at risk by landing on planets .
             Planetary exploration shall be executed by
             extravehicular teams matter-transmitted to planets'
             surfaces.

             13 At no time may you leave your command. All
             extravehicular exploration shall be done by
             crewmembers.

             14 All crewmembers engaged in extravehicular
             exploration shall maintain continuous
             communications contact with the ship in orbit.

             -- END OF ORDERS --------

             Mason R. Polk, Cmdr Moonbase
             authcode alpha-436-h~st-9924-im-6598
             Personality PROFILE

             D.O.B.: 17 October 2013

             Residence: Tulsa,
             Oklahoma. U.S.A.

             Age: 31

             Height: 184 cm

             Mass: 93 kg

             Gender: Male

             Academic credits:
             2036 - M.A. Linguistics/
             Anthropology- University
             of Tulsa

             2037 - Cerlificate of
             Xenological Studies-
             S.E.T.I. Foundation

             Commission: U.N.F.A.
             Contact Specialist

             Mission Duties:
             Ship s Pilot
             Commander, Contact
             Team
             Flight Communications

             Authorization Code: A76-BV4.3 Confirmation Officer: Steed, Ben F.

             The following is an excerpt from the S.E.T.I. Journal, published May24,
             2044. The article was later reprinted in expanded form under the title
             of "Operation Disbelief" in the August issue of CLU's Cultural Review.

             After a grueling ten-day session of simulated talks. negotiations,
             and near disasters, William Dean of the S.E.T.I. Foundation was
             awarded the golden diplomacy star awarded by the World Crisis
             Diplomacy League. Every year the league awards the winner of its
             yearly "competition" for best resolution of a geopolitical crisis.

             This year's competition was of particular interest to Dean because
             of its unusual theme.

             "They decided to try something different this year and focused on a
             very fictional situation," Dean explained. "Instead of the usual Mid-East
             crisis, they posed a scenario which featured multiple alien cultures
             feuding over the mineral rights possessed by the earth. Most people
             approached the problem wondering what their logic was. I however
             felt that they probably wouldn't operate under a "logical" process. You
             had to discover how they emoted to solve the situation."
             D.O.B.: 16 February, 2019

             Residence: Toshima-Ku,
             Tokyo: Japan
             Age: 26

             Height: 165 cm

             Mass: 59 kg

             Gender: Female

             Academic credits:
             2037 - B.S. Biophysics-
             Nagasaki National
             University:

             2041 - M.D. - University of
             Edinburgh

             Commission: U.N.F.A.
             Medical Specialist

             Mission Dutiies:
             Ship's Physician
             Ship's Chief Scientist

             PERSON LITY PROFILE

             ~BM7.8 Con ~ n 011 c ~ ood e~ ~

             In recent years. Ms. Tsakafuchi has gained worldwide attention for her
             learning studies. studies which make her a prime candidate for
             dealing with whatever cultures we may find out there. The following
             transcript is derived from a biography about her years with the World
             Disaster Relief Team, While The World Waits by Marsha Walker.

             When she was seven, Osai's father thought that he had lost her. In
             the midst of the most destructive typhoon to ever make landfall on
             Thailand she had wandered off in the chaos, disappeared into the
             scrambling masses as they taped windows, barred doors, stored food.
             Like migratory birds, trees loosed from the earth and hurled headlong
             into parked cars. And in that horrifying storm, by fortune, he found her
             in a sheltering alleyway. Even as the city howled around her, she was
             mimicking what she had watched her doctor father do on so many
             occasions. By a tenuous thread, she was nursing a man back from the
             brink of death.

             In the course of her life, Osai Lin Tsakafuchi has made a number of
             such selfless lifesaving rescues, often endangering her own welfare...
             Ngatadatu, Nelson T.

             D.O.B.: 23 September 2009

             Residence: Babaishanda.
             New Gwelo

             Age: 35

             Height: 193 cm

             Mass: 100 kg

             Gender: Male

             Academic credits
             2029 - B.A. Statistical and
             Probability Mathematics -
             lekiku College

             2032 - M.E. Material
             Science- Batu University

             2038- Ph.D. Physics -
             World University

             Commission: U.N.F.A. Space
             Engineering

             Mission Duties:
             Ship's Engineer
             Alien Technologies
             Specialist

             PERSONALITY PROFILE

             Authorization Code: A76-BS2. 1 T Confirmation Officer: Steed, Ben F.

             Confirmation Officer Note: Matenals on Officer Ngatadatu's life are fairly
             scarce as he has been fiercely devoted to retaining privacy. This is the
             sole public document that describes him in any detail. Published in an
             issue of Africaas. August 10, 2043, Pg. 45 in personalities section.

             In an anachronistic setting of Zuiu spears and Baeler Computer
             Systems, Nelson Ngatadatu works his curious magic that he calls "life-
             space engineering". Far more at home in his bungalow in the
             Babaishanda than the life support domes of the Luna moonbase, it
             seems utterly ironic that an individual so dedicated to the preservation
             of the past would play such a major role in the development of the
             future. Nelson, however, believes that there can be no contradiction.

             "Some believe that life is simply a now, a point that is constantly in
             motion without connection. But it is a line, yes?" He pauses for a moment
             to take a drink of orange juice. "Each mechanism is travelling in a line,
             alive with its own needs, its own personality, with its own desires. if you
             will. A good engineer will see this, understand and he or she will help the
             machine reach that goal."
             D.O.B.: 4 June 2020

             Residence: Ploesti.
             Muntenia Romania, U .S. E .

             Age: 25

             Height: 168 cm

             Mass: 69 kg

             Gender: Female

             Academic credits
             2041- B.S. Organic
             Chemistry - Ars
             Acadaemia. St.
             Petersburg

             2041 - Master of Somatic
             Arts - Ars Acadaemia

             2043 - Certificate of
             Explosives Science - Funze
             Acadaemia

             Commision: U.N.F.A.
             Combat Master 2nd Class

             Mission Duties:
             Ship's Weapons Control
             Ground Combat Specialist

             PERSONALITY PROFILE

             Authorization Code: A76-BO3.6 Confirmation Otticer: Steed, Ben F.

             The following report was filed by her recommending officer when Katya
             Anninina Mershova volunteered for duty on the Unity Mars mission. She
             was approved on August 14, 2044.

             "The officer that now requests transfer to the Unis Projekt has led an
             exemplary life as I have watched her grow from a child into an
             incredible young woman.

             Striking even as a child, she was a gregarious individual, known by
             many of her relatives as a "vibrant nuisance". Half-German, she has
             always been very proud of her parents, though they were killed when
             she was ten. Her brother, Stavi, a tutor at the Ars Acadaemia in St.
             Petersburg raised her. At a young age she became entranced with the
             idea of becoming a gymnast and she displayed incredible promise. She
             was even under consideration for a spot on the Olympic team until an
             accident lett her with a shattered collarbone. Eventually she turned her
             mind to more serious pursuits and excelled in chemistry: she was a better
             chemist some think. She eventually entered our service and became a
             fine officer. I shall miss her contribution to our state."
             SHIP Systems

             To: Captain of Ulysses

             From: Maria Pleadwell - Moonbase Chief of Engineering
             Re: Ship's Systems aboard Ulysses

             Your ship's systems will be in a constant state of flux, since nothing
             like it has ever been built before, and we anticipate major refittings
             almost every time you come into dock.

             Some things will remain fairly consistent. however.

             The central core section of your ship, where you and your crew will
             be living and working, is a modified scout class cruiser of Terrestrial
             origin. Using a human built ship for your central core makes many
             necessary ship's functions much easier to engineer, particularly
             with the extremely tight schedule we must work with. Atmosphere
             regeneration, food, waste recycling, bunk space, control
             ergometrics and so on are all standard and well known to you, so
             you shouldn't have any problems maintaining them.

             We are treating ship's components of alien origin as black-box
             modules. There seems to be a great deal of standardization in
             control input ports for engines, energy shields and so on. We can
             'plug them into' your ship as a unit and use them without really
             having to understand in detail how they work. From tests we've run
             it seems that the ET machines are either fail safe, or self-maintaining .
             You should seldom if ever need to effect a repair on them, as they
             never seem to break down under normal conditions.

             Of course, there is no guarantee that they won't break down if
             someone vaporizes them in combat. Laser beams and atomic
             bombs are not normal operating conditions. We hope.

             From your command chair, you will have a good overview of the
             ship's bridge, including the main viewing screen and all of your
             crew's duty stations. The main screen can be used to monitor
             ambient space while you are in flight; also it can give you a
             computer generated tactical view simulation. This is particularly
             important during ship to ship combat operations. Using input from
             certain extraterrestrial remote sensing instruments, you will also be
             able to visually monitor Your crew on the main viewing screen, while
             they are on planetary surfaces.

             Also visible from your
             command chair is a smaller
             navigational screen. Your
             orientation computer will
             output directly to this screen,
             identitying the destination star
             system that lies closest to your
             current flight path.

             Most routine operations will be
             handled by your crew as you
             direct them, but you will also
             be able to monitor many of
             their operational screens and
             readouts ' over their shoulders, '
             as it were. This is a redundancy
             that will enable you to perform
             certain functions, such as
             maneuvering your ship during
             combat, yourself, directly from
             your command chair.

             We've been unable to flight-
             test your Faster Than Light
             engine, for obvious reasons.
             Your pilot and engineer are
             undergoing intensive briefings
             on all we know about it, both
             from the alien documentation,
             and from our own static tests.
             They will be able to control it at
             your orders. We know that this
             current engine can be
             improved upon, so you might
             keep your eyes open when
             'out there' for plans and raw
             materials so we can soup you
             up.

             Good luck and God speed.
             ~Supplies & Weapons

             To: Personnel of Ulysses
             From: Cpt. Gwen Stroud - Chief of Moonbase Logistics
             Re: Available equipment / supplies / small arms / munitions

             I have been directed by Base Commander Polk to make all
             equipment and supplies in stores available to your expedition.
             You may find the following items to be particularily useful. Note
             that quantities of all items are limited, though we have produc-
             tion facilities to replenish or expand our inventory of certain items
             as/if resources become available.

             - Ammunnition, Automalic Pistol, cal 9 mm
             inven control no. J58-8776-777p mod 3, 29-1-42
             quantity on hand -109 boxes / 36 each - - - 3924 rounds
             Note:Unjacketed depleted uranium standard velocity loads.
             Resources for manufacturing in quantity available.

             - Arnmuniffon, Viral Agent Dclhery System
             inven control no. V43-8276-465k 1-1-45
             quantity on hand -1 0 boxes / 4 each - - - 40 rounds
             Note:Uses Broad Spectrum Viral Infectious Agent V-2; kills or
             disables quickly but not instantly. Agent quickly becomes
             bio-inert after initial target injection.
             Refrigerate if possible.
             Room temp shelf-life 6 months.
             Resources for manufacturing in very limited quantity available .

             - ARMOR, Sody, Individual
             inven control no. A87-8462-681m 25(sm) 26(me) 27(1g) 28 (xl)
             quantity on hand - manufactured as needed
             Note:Stock kevlar w/ titanium mesh reinforcing, nylon cover.
             Provides good protection against low velocity soft metal
             projectiles, shrapnel, edged weapons and concussion.
             Provides limited protection against high velocity hard
             metal projectiles.

             - Devke, Ice Excavating, Thermal-type
             inven control no. G65-5844-61 ldx
             quantity on hand -1
             Note:Shovel blade heats and vibrates to cut quickly through ice.
             Difficult to manufacture with resources at hand.
              Device, Incendiary/llluminating, Individual, Match-Type
             inven control no. J56-2675-747q
             quantity on hand - 500 boxes / 100 each - - - 50000
             Note:'Strike anywhere' type matches, store and use with care.

             - Device, Incendiary/llluminating, Indilvidual, Torch-type
             inven control no. M67-1112-4522
             quantity on hand -1 00
             Note:Torches may be used for incendiary and/or illumination
             purposes when atmospheric oxygen is available in
             concentrations between 30/O and 65%.
             Resources for manufacturing in quantity available.

             - Flame Thrower, Type: Individual Small Arm
             inven control no. M45-5161-523y
             quantity on hand -1 2
             Note:Use with caution in atmospheres with high oxygen
             concentrations.
             Resource for manufacturing available.

             - Kit, Medical, Individual
             inven control no. B45-1356-152j
             quantity on hand - 314
             Note:To be carried by individuals at all times for self treatment
             and treatment of others.
             Limited but fairly sophisticated auto-diagnostic capability.
             Resources for manufacturing and replenishing in quantity
             available .

             - Mask, Breathing Filtration, Individual Protection
             inven control no. D56-3132-662z
             quantity on hand - 628
             Note:Provides complete protection against known toxic and
             debilitating aerosols and gasses.
             WARNING - this device does not provide breathing oxygen to
             user, but acts as a filter of ambient atmosphere only.
             Resources for manufacturing in quantity available.

             - Pick-Axe, Pikor-type
             inven control no. WS8-561 1-115a
             quantity on hand - 4
             Note:Multipurpose digging tool / close-in weapon.
             Resources for manufacturing in limited quantity available.
             - Pktol, automatic, cal 9 mm
             model 1997 General Service Mark V
             inven control no. F45-4651-51 ld
             quantity on hand - 18
             Note:General service side arm, limited range.
             Uses 12 round clips.
             Resources for manufacturing in limited quantity available.

             - Pktol, Viral Agent Delivery System
             inven control no. A25-5841-455x
             quantity on hand -1
             Note:Broad Spectrum Viral Agent V-2 delivering hand weapon.
             Projectiles are CO2 propelled.
             Uses 8 round clips.
             This weapon has limited range.
             Resources for manufacturing in very limited quantity available.

             - Rop-, Climbing, 11 mm, Nylon/Kevlar, Kemmantlel-type
             inven control no. B15-1222-1 12f
             quantity on hand - manufactured as needed.
             Note:Static load rating 40,000 newtons.
             Shock load rating 122,000 newtons
             Elongation 11%.
             Discard after one maximum shock event or three half-
             maximum shock events or if jacket is worn through.
             Resources for manufacturing in quantity available.

             - Sult, Enviromental Rrotoctbn, Indvldud
             inven control no. SEP-1244-258 Mark XXVII mod 2
             quantity on hand - 314
             Note:Fits UN SpecStandard Body Sizes G - M.
             Provides individual wearer protection against low pressure
             and hard vacuum conditions.
             Provides individual wearer protection against unbreath-
             able atmospheric conditions up to 2500 milibars.
             Temperature comfort range 81 K - 390 K.
             Temperature survival range~ K-450 K.
             Semi-hard construction provides wearer some limited
             protection against impact and projectile injury.
             WARNING - not to be considered protective against high
             levels of penetrating ionizing radiation.
             Resources for limited manufacturing available.
             To: Cpt. Gwen Stroud
             From: Major Moummed Gunkle - Chief of Moonbase
             Support Science and Engineering Section
             Re: Alien equipment / future equipment upgrades

             After reviewing your report, I felt that I should also include a brief
             listing of projects that we have underway that may be of benefit
             to the crew in the future. The progress on these projects will of
             course be largely dependent on what resources they can make
             available to us.

             We should perhaps provide them with a description of the scanner
             since they will use it fairly often. I will forward a copy of this memo
             to the captain of the Ulysses as well.

             - SCANNER: Certain items of Alien equipment that might be necessary
             to your mission, or at least useful, have been salvaged from the
             wreck of the ETS, You are advised to familiarize yourselves in
             particular with the device known as the Standardized Symbolic/
             Cognmve Logic Unit (S.S.C.L.U.). Around the lab we've been
             calling it "the scanner" for short. This unit appears to use a very
             dense language database and a specialized Artificial Intelligence
             capability to translate spoken words and written text. The scanner
             is able to add new languages heuristically. In a matter of a few
             weeks we taught it English, and it already seemed to be
             programmed with all the languages that you are likely to encounter
             on your mission. It can input either via ambient audio or via built
             in optical scanner. The device has been invaluable in translating
             documents found aboard the ETS.

             Also included in the scanner" package is a small array of sensors
             that can pick up movement, radiations, and do minor chemical
             analysis. We have not yet calibrated all these functions as well as
             we would like, but the scanner should be able to tell you if certain
             basic elements are nearby, or if the air is toxic to humans. There
             may be other functions that we haven't run across yet.

             - EQUIPMENT UPGRADES Please find attached with this memo a list
             of items that we are attempting to build. Please note that these
             items are not currently available.
             Assault automatic Weapons

             These fire clip fed 8 mm expanding bullets at a high rate (600
             rpm) and high velocity (900 m/s). A recoil damping system
             allows the weapon to be fired while held.

             Fragmentation Grenades

             These cause damage primarily through the action of high
             velocity metal fragments propelled radially outward from the
             point of detonation, and secondarily through the concussive
             effect of the detonation.

             Laser assault Rifles

             The beam from these weapons causes damage through thermo-
             kinetic shock. It vaporizes a spot on the surface of the target,
             turning it into superheated gas. The reaction from the expansion
             of this gas transfers energy to the rest of the target in the form of
             a concussive shock wave. Accuracy is limited only by the
             sighting system and by the skill of the user. The effectiveness of
             this weapon is drastically reduced by foggy /dusty conditions,
             and by reflective surfaces on the target.

             Semi-automatic Assault Rifles

             Fires 5 mm hypervelocity expanding bullets from an eighteen
             round clip. (Artist sketch shown below.)

             With additional information, plans, and improved manufacturing
             technology, we could also provide you with:

             Heavy Assault Laser Weapon

             The sights on this weapon are not as easy to use as on the
             standard Laser Assault Rife, but it packs considerably more
             punch in its beam.

             High Velocity Augmented Pistol

             The cartridge for this weapon uses the same bullet as the 9 mm
             model 1997 Mark V, but with a hypervelocity powder charge
             and a secondary firing chamber for a booster charge, the bullet
             has approximately four times as much kinetic energy as it leaves
             the muzzle.
             22
             Kinetic Mass Shield

             This is a purely alien design, one that was hinted at in the ETS
             documents. It takes the physical form of a belt with an attached
             power (?) and or control (?) box. The apparent effect is to
             surround the wearer with a force screen of virtual mass. It would
             function well against kinetic energy weapons, but poorly against
             beam weapons.

             Mass Gun

             This is another alien design . Through a poorly understood process,
             this weapon generates a collapsing magnetic and/or electrical
             (?) field that propels a spherical projectile. Range, accuracy,
             muzle velocity, efficiency and effectiveness compared with
             chemically propelled projectile weapons unknown.

             Nixol Launcher

             This is a launcher for canisters of noxious, corrosive gas. Details
             of its functioning will be delayed, pending actual construction
             and testing.

             Reflec Armor

             Mirrored body armor that is quite effective against beam
             weapons, but is less effective against other types of assaults.

             Trauma Kit

             With the addition of alien medical technology, and certain
             hinted at materials and methods, we should be able to upgrade
             the capabilities of your personal first aid kits to the point where
             they can effectively treat much more severe cases than they
             can now.

             Please realize that what we 've outlined above just barely begins to
             scratch the surface of the possibilities that galactic technology can
             open up for us. (Below: Artist's conception of a device found in the
             alien data banks).
             Ship Protocol

             To: Captain and crew of U.N.F.A. Exploration Vessel Ulysses
             From: General Curtis Wade (Ret.) - Lt. Cmdr Moonbase
             Re: Ship contact protocol

             In spite of the dire times, I envy each and every one of you. In spite of
             the circumstances, you are making history. As the first of Mother
             Earth's children to leave our own backyard, cosmically speaking,
             your names will shine alongside Armstrong, Collins, Aldrin, Messer, and
             Po as long as the human spirit exists. We are all behind you one
             hundred percent team.

             Now, let's get down to brass tacks.

             The ship that you are flying, aside from being a bastard hybrid, is
             actually a more complicated bird than anything we've ever flown
             before. You have mankind's first FTL drive (albeit a borrowed one),
             you have powerful means of defence and offense, you have remote
             sensing devices that work like magic, and you have advanced
             automation systems that enable a small crew to handle all of the
             above and more. With all that in mind, I want to remind you to also
             keep in mind that you are taking baby steps. There are ancient and
             powerful species of thinking beings in the galaxy, whose best efforts
             we won't be able to match for thousands of years. However, the
             galaxy is a big playground, with room for a lot of kids. Including
             mankind, if we can just pull off this stunt.

             It seems from what we can understand of the ET's documents, you
             can run into just about anything in the depths of space. There are
             ships that will befriend you and trade with you; ships that will fire at you
             for no better reason than the cussedness of the creatures flying them,
             and ships that will ignore your very existence. You can find wrecks and
             space junk floating between worlds too. There may even be 'cops'
             keeping the peace in one or two little sections of this spiral arm.

             If we were all powerful and had no conscience, a simple-minded
             strategy of blasting everything in sight would be the easiest and safest
             course to follow. But this is no arcade game. This is real life. If you tried
             anything like that I ' m pretty sure the galactic SWAT team would move
             in and finish you off in short order. On the other hand, there are hungry
             sharks prowling the space lanes, and I ' m afraid pacifists get swallowed
             up too.

             The tactical advice I'll give you is to try the tit-for-tat method. Give
             everyone the benefit of a doubt at your first meeting... screens up,
             weapons hot, but ready to be friends if they want to be . Will this be the
             best strategy all the time? Of course not. Nothing works all the time.
             But you're the best we've got, so we trust you to use your judgement
             and do the best that can be done.
             Alien Contact

             To: Captain of the U.N.F.A Exploration Vessel Ulysses
             From: Mason Polk - Cmdr Moonbase
             Re: Planetary Exploration and Alien Contact

             As Captain of the Ulysses, it is your duty to protect the safety of those
             under your command, and to lead them in the successful completion
             your ship's mission.

             You are no doubt aware that due to the nature of your mission and
             the heavy responsibility that accompanies it, as stated in your Mission
             Orders, you are forbidden to leave your ship other than after a return
             to Moonbase. This is to insure that there is always someone on board
             to bring the ship and its cargo back, no matter what happens on a
             planet's surface. Furthermore, you are forbidden to put your ship at
             risk by landing on a planet's surface, for the same reason . Fortunately,
             we have acquired extraterrestrial technologies that will enable you
             to circumvent the difficulties arising from the seeming conflicts
             between your various orders.

             The first new technology is matter beaming. We don't yet understand
             it, but tests show that we can use it. It's range is limited, but it can
             transmit matter (including living human beings) from an orbital
             altitude down to a planet's surface and back again.

             Our researches into the alien documentation leads us to believe that
             most inhabited planets with interplanetary commerce have
             established 'beam down' stations marked by a beacon that your
             teletrans can detect and lock onto.

             Once your crew members are on the ground, you and they should
             keep one thought foremost in your minds... TAKE NOTHING FOR
             GRANTED. Humans have never done anything like this before. It will
             probably not be like people from two different terrestrial cultures
             meeting for the first time. The alien people you meet may indeed
             have a great deal in common with us, but to assume that to be the
             case in advance could easily prove fatal. Be circumspect. Avoid
             drawing attention to yourselves. Talk to those you need to talk to to
             accomplish your mission, but don't stir up trouble.

             Fortunately, a second ET technology will enable you to establish
             communication with minimal difficultY.
             Please take time to review the 'scanner' that you've all been using
             and getting familiar with over the last couple of weeks...

             (~AutoSec Note: For a more detailed description of the S.S.C.L.U.'s
             operational description, please review the addenda by Major Gunkle
             on page 21).

             ...You should be able to understand and be understood, at least as
             far as the actual words that are spoken go, but be careful not to
             misinterpret the cultural context of what is being said. If an alien tells
             you he'd like to have you over for lunch, think twice before taking him
             up on it.
             The third command enabling technology is actually a blend of
             human and ET science. As Captain, you will have at your disposal
             communication and surveillance devices of such power that you will
             be able to follow your crew members' every move, visually, on your
             main view screen. It will be as if you were hovering about twenty
             meters over them as they explore the planet's surface. You will be in
             constant voice communication with them, and with your superior
             vantage point, you will often find yourself in a position to advise them
             as to their best course of action.

             The ethics of what you will be attempting to accomplish are complex.
             To save the Earth and the human species is an overriding moral
             imperative, from a human point of view at least. If necessary, do
             whatever will accomplish the retrieval of the parts to the "Centauri
             Drive. HOWEVER, many of us feel that the Golden Rule may in truth
             be universal, and that you will in many cases accomplish more with
             politeness than with firepower. When it comes down to the question
             of when to fight, our considered advice is to try the 'tough but fair'
             negotiation strategy or 'tit for tat' as Gen. Wade says . This strategy
             should be as effective on the ground as it is in ship-to-ship meetings.
             If the other party initiates hostilities, however, then react immediately
             and decisively
             ~Intelligence Reports

             To: Captain of U.N.F.A. Exploration Vessel Ulysses

             From: Major Nagaraja Kirumaki - Moonbase Internal Security
             Re: ET database analysis aka Space Rumors

             Due to the nature of the Event, virtually all of the documentation
             aboard the ETS was damaged to some extent. By correlating a bit of
             data found here with a snippet of information found there, we have
             been able to build up an intelligence analysis of sorts. One thing that
             we are quite certain of, however, from our own scientists' analyses, is
             that you will need to locate eight distinct components to enable us
             to rebuild the Centauri Drive.

             The rest of this report has been prepared by sifting through all
             documentation of all types found aboard the derelict ETS. Since time
             was in critically short supply, and since we had no independent
             source for confirmation of any of the conclusions put forth herein, I
             cannot endorse the contents of this report with any high degree of
             confidence.

             Some of the alien references that we worked from were clearly
             fictional, others were judged probably so. These works were useful in
             a way, as if we were trying to learn about the history of the United
             States of America 's nineteenth century Civil War by reading Gone With
             The Wind. However, a better example of what we were working with
             might be; getting to know late Victorian England from the way it was
             depicted in War of the Worlds. There is just no way for us to be certain
             at this point how accurate scenarios developed from these sources
             are.

             In addition to the works of fiction, there were incomplete charts and
             navigational documents for various sectors in space and for certain
             planets. There was even a scrambled portion of what could only have
             been an encyclopedia, but while it helped to fill in some gaps, its
             fragmentary nature tended to raise more questions than it answered.

             Once again I urge you to view the report that I am presenting with
             some degree of skepticism. I can only hope that it turns out to be of
             at least some aid to you.

             First, concerning Galactography, even though the ETs have a FTL
             drive, it is not an infinitely fast drive. It appears that galactic
             culutres
             range from a few dozen to a few thousand stars in extent. This is out
             of the 'billions and billions' of stars in our galaxy alone. Many interstellar
             cultures 'overlap' each other in space, thus any given volume may
             be simultaneously 'in' several spheres of influence: thus you may
             encounter more than one type of ship at any given point in space. For
             navigational purposes, it seems that there is an interspecies convention
             to divide space into 'sectors'. Cultural boundaries may or may not
             coincide with sector boundaries, this point was not very clear. Since
             crossing sector boundaries may involve something like crossing a
             customs barrier, we advise you to restrict each of your forays to one
             sector at a time.

             Sol and Earth, by coincidence, lie very close to where at least eight
             different sectors converge. We 've reached some sketchy conclusions
             about what conditions likely prevail in each of these sectors, and we
             will cover them later in this report. (As to the significance of this
             convergence, we can't tell at the moment, but have reason to
             believe that Earth may have been under some kind of "contact
             embargo". Fragments of data held in the ETS' computer banks seem
             to indicate that the experimenters had to acquire permission to enter
             the Sol system. The reasoning behind this was unfortunately withheld
             as was the identity of the person from whom permission had to be
             obtained).

             Sadly, we must report that certain long held xenological theories are
             now known to be false. Advanced civilizations are NOT necessarily
             peaceful. Some are, some aren't, some are some of the time or only
             with some certain other species. All we can advise you is. whether in
             space or on the ground, keep your guard up and be prepared to
             defend yourselves or run away at all times.

             On a brighter note, it seems that trade is widespread, and there are
             so many traders of so many species doing business, that you will
             probably not be too overly conspicuous on many of the planets you
             visit. You may be able to trade for many of the goods we need. We
             were unable to determine what the standard galactic medium of
             exchange is (if any), nor are we able to shed much light on what trade
             goods would be well received . Use your judgement and experiment.

             Here are the eight local sectors, listed by their apparent names, and
             what conditions YOU may find in each:

             - Sector Kornephoros--Mining seems to be an important economic
             activity in this sector, and output seems to be booming. Several
             colonies in this region seem to be having problems with poor
             communications.

             - Sector Izar--A coercive government, gang or individual is active
             in this sector, exerting power and influence by some kind of reign
             of terror. It is very possible that whoever is running this sector is
             responsible for the "contact embargo" on Earth.

             - Sector Caroli--Data seems to indicate that this is a fairly wild
             sector that is still only sparsely populated. ETS records make
             mention of a zoo planet.

             - Sector Algieba--There are several images stored in our banks that
             have been correlated to this area. It is fairly populated and has
             been known for violent geopoiitics.

             - Sector Alhena--Most of the star systems in this region are given
             "catalogue" numbers instead of names. This perhaps means that
             it is some kind of undeveloped space tract.

             - Sector Zaurak--Virtually nothing known about this sector.

             - Sector Ankaq--A very densely populated region of space.
             Technology levels are vastly variant. We speculate that this may
             be the extension of a larger government that operates beyond
             our map frontier.

             - Sector Alnasl--Of the eight sectors, the inhabitants of the Alnasl
             Sector seem to have the most advanced technology, but it is
             doubtful if even they can provide you with all the components we
             need to rebuild the Centari Drive. ETS records indicate recent
             disturbances in that sector.

             Finally, we have one bit of very low confidence information. It seems
             to indicate that the Event was no accident. It has been implied that
             someone or some group of people may have sabotaged the
             equipment that the experimenters were trying to use . Several suspect
             communiques were discovered in the ETS' black box that indicate
             covert communiques on a secured channel. And although we can
             translate alien texts, we don't have keys to their confidential codes.
             In this transmission there is one phrase that we discovered that seems
             to have some significance as it is repeated several times... Ipremi...
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