Planeswalker: Chapter 1

Part of a fictional series about The Culture alliance and the Screeps world.


Specimen ID: X253-01 through -03

Time retrieved: Tick 20172936

Origin: W20S20

Summary: Three fragments of expired Hernandian creeps

Description:

  • Fragment -01 consists of 4 MOVE parts and the bottom right half of a CARRY part. This fragment was found in a pool of decaying energy, with roughly 20 units preserved in the severed container.
  • Fragment -02 is the top edge of a HEAL device covered with several layers of deteriorated armor plating; unable to determine the number of TOUGH parts involved.
  • Fragment -03 is two fully functional and powered WORK parts.

Each fragment appears to have been cleanly severed from the core creep unit. They clearly bear the markings of the fallen Hernanduer empire.


 

Research notes:

T20239450:

Efforts to determine how these fragments continue to remain intact, when they were generated, or what became of their creep cores have thus far been fruitless. We have turned most of our focus to experimentation. Yesterday my assistants spent a good ten thousand ticks putting various compounds in -01’s CARRY part and seeing how much they could get it to hold. At least the results were consistent: the fragment will preserve 21 units of whatever we put in it, and anything beyond that will quickly decay.

The WORK parts have continued to provide the most interesting, and the most perplexing, results. It took us several days to find the manual activation latch tucked between them. Since then, we have, at various times, been able to repair a road, grind down a portion of a wall, and keep a controller charged, simply by pointing it at the target and pulling the latch. But usually, it does nothing, and there is still no clear pattern for when it can be activated. We just shipped it over to the new outpost to try it on a construction site.

Spectral analysis has shown no evidence of energy being consumed during any of these tests. Add that to the list of impossible things we need an explanation for. These parts should be long gone. It doesn’t make any sense.

T20275006:

Construction site test confirmed. It took all day, but we were able to get an extension built with no energy input. So now of course my head engineer has gone from not caring about our little toy to asking several times a day whether we can make more of them. We’re going to try a portal traversal test on -02 next, whenever the local one opens again. It’s the only fragment we’ve received zero information from so far. Seemed worth a try.

While we wait, I’m asking Archives to pull up any information they have on the state of Hern’s empire before it vanished. Intel on anything other than the developing war was spotty at the time, but I’ll take anything I can get.

T20314185:

Still no portal. Went out to some of the old fortress sites to see if we could find anything interesting. There was nothing, just like the last dozen times we checked. Not a single structure remains of what may have been the greatest empire in the world. You can still see a slight depression in the earth from where a storage tank once stood, and there’s charred rock in a circle several feet around where a power processing unit must have been. Everything else is just…gone.

T20335726:

The records Archives sent back were completely mundane. Charts of median rampart levels, reports on power aquifer levels (drained down to bedrock for years, as expected), a log of unfriendly creeps passing through the area. Saw a couple unfamiliar names that didn’t show up on the local map, but nothing dangerous. Certainly nothing that would help explain any of this.

The portal is back, at least. No friendly outpost on the other end, but we can pop in and out and bring the fragment back for analysis. If we don’t learn anything new, then we’ll just give it a good blast from a tower and see if it can be repaired. I’m running out of ideas.

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