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Ark Survival Evolved; The Genesis Trip, A Most Strange Adventure of Survival.

This story is inspired by the present undertaking of Elan Musk to build star ships capable of placing settlements on Mars, the political turmoil that took place in the later half of 2021, the newly released paid DLC of Ark Survival Evolved known as Genesis 2, and the upcoming version of the new survival game Ark 2. It will be developed as more game play takes place in Genesis 2 and especially Ark 2 once it has been released.

This is a story of a fictitious flight aboard one of Elan Musk’s Starships as it is heading to mars with a cargo of engineers and their supplies that are part of his continuing project to build a colony that will eventually support one million settlers on the Red Planet. After their ship is destroyed by a meteor, as they are coming in to land, they find themselves reborn on a gigantic interstellar colony ship that has been taken over by a mutated evil scientist from the 19th century. After they have escaped from that crippled ship, they find themselves fighting for their survival in a strange prehistoric world in a star system in some unknown part of the Galaxy.

This story is fictional, the character involved fictional, the early mission based upon known information of the planned Mars missions, the rest based upon Ark Lore without the benefit of the normal game play.

WARNING! Current divisive politics are involved in the beginning of this story that may not be accurate.


The Ship’s Crew; (may add details to them in the future.)

1. Commander Pike – Mission Coordinator.

2. Mary Pike – Pilot and flight officer for 007.

3. Nathen Scott – Flight Engineer.

4. Jane Conway – Crew Leader.

5. Carlos Gonzales – Construction Crew Chief

6. Dr. Sandra Mays – Medical Technician and Mission Biologist.

7. Dennis Lytle – Computer Technician.

8. Nancy Conway – Navigator.

9. Mike Allen – Chief Mechanic.

10. David Evens – Electrical Engineer.

11. Ahab Sorus – Geologist.

12. Sarah Wright – Nutritious.

13. Danny Washington – Physiologist.

14. Carol Thompson – Physical Conditioning.

15. Dr. Leslie McCoy – Medical Doctor.

16. Margaret Thatcher – Environmental Engineer.

17. Tom Jefferson – Botanist and hydro farming technician.

18. Jeffery Claus – Mining rig drilling specialist.

19. Julie Sorus – Chemist and wife of Ahab.

20. Conner Wilharm – Construction Technician.

21. Clark Camp – Rigger.

22. Tammy Sellis – Mechanical Engineer.

23. Macy Nunn – Metallurgy and Machinist Tech.

24. Stella Lox – Solar Energy Production Specialist.

25. Terry Taylor – Atmospheric Maintenance Specialist.

26. Stella Lopez – Communications Expert.

27. Dawn Faucett – Waste Management and Recycling.

28. John Jerry – Construction Specialist.

29. Laura Schultz – Construction Specialist.

30. Tina Nicholson – Construction Specialist.


Chapter 1, A Mission to Mars.

This story starts on December 6th 2030. Afters years of preparation, the first large colony fleet of Starships have been launched into earth orbit and are being refueled, manned, and made ready to make the seven month trip to Mars. Their mission, to expand the budding new colony started there two years ago. With the 2031 launch window being open soon to send ships to the Red Planet, this first large scale fleet of ships, carrying the skilled technicians and tons of cargo needed for that major expansion, will start to leave Earth’s orbit to make the long journey to Mars, enter into Mars orbit, and land at the new colony site.

2024 had seen the first test flights of the concept of landing automated Starship on Mars. There had been a failure in landing the first ship, when it touched down on an uneven surface and fell over, but later flights, during the week, successfully landed to unload their computer controlled cargo of exploration and mining equipment.

In 2027, additional equipment had been sent to the landing site along with the first astronauts to ever land on the Red Planet. Those early pioneers had set up their first structures to test out the process of producing food, air, and rocket fuel from the resources available on Mars.

With the success of that mission, 2029 saw another set of launches that brought in a serious number of engineers and equipment to make the budding settlement ready for a larger influx of settlers. With the success of that mission, The go was given for the 2031 launch. That mission, involving 100 Starships with their technicians and supplies, is planned to be the first large scale transfer of settlers to Mars. The mission goal, to establish a self sustaining colony in preparation to support some one million pioneers most of which will spend the rest of their lives living and raising their families on Mars.

There had been no shortage of people that wanted to get away from the political turmoil on Earth to start a new life on the Red Planet. The United States and many of it’s European Allies, were headed towards bankruptcy due to spending created inflation, as the political turmoil continued over the mandates caused by the endless varieties of COVID-19, illegal immigration, food and energy supply disruptions, out of control urban crime, serious threats from China to invade Taiwan, hackers from Russia installing cryptolockers on infrastructure computer systems, major silencing of anyone that threatened to expose the political corruption of the career politicians running the country, and Western Government taken over by those career politicians that were well under way in establishing their New World Order under a Russian or Chinese Dictatorship. The Starship Program had continued to get funding and materials both from Elan Musk’s personal wealth, NASA, and rich investors, especially among the super rich that were not supportive of the political party that has seized power and was attempting to confiscate all of their wealth. Therefore many of them, not involved in taking control of the governments of the world, had purchased a ride on one of the 2050 flights to leave Earth and settle in one of the new Mars colonies.

With his private security force and the backing of the Texas and Florida Governors, where his spaceports were located, Elan Musk had been able to control who was going to be on those trips thus ensuring that each flight would contain only the skilled people he needed for the construction of the colony. The billionaires financing his project would travel on the 2050 flight when the colony would be self sufficient enough to comfortably accommodate them and their families.

Yet, Musk was not alone in this venture to colonize Mars.

The Chinese Communist, while having a rocky start with their own version of Starship, have also placed into orbit a fleet of colony ships to take advantage of the same launch window. They were joined by Russian billionaires that had launched a smaller fleet with a similar goal. Establishing colonies of their own in other location on the Red Planet, the official in charge of their program has been coordinating launching with Elan’s fleet. Even though they are competitors in this venture to colonize Mars, they were forced to do so for safety concerns. With thousands of additional refueling tankers in orbit, it became necessary to set up a traffic control system so there are no accidental collisions that could threaten the entire program.

The fleet command ship, Starship 007, was like all of the other ships in the fleet scheduled to make the flight that year. With her cargo of skilled technicians and over 100 tons of supplies on board, she had been launched into earth orbit three weeks earlier from Musk’s spaceport in Texas.

Commander Pike, Age 42, a veteran of several test orbital flights of Starships, has been placed in charge of this mission. At the age of 18, he had joined the Navy where he was soon serving on board the modern nuclear powered aircraft carriers USS George H W Bush. His military training had advanced to the point where he had been placed in control of flight operations. However, at the end of 2021, he was forced out of the service for refusing to obey a Presidential Mandate. He was soon hired for the Mars Settlement Program where his job became that of fleet commander.

For this latest mission, he has remained busy coordinated the positioning and refueling of the 100 Starships that are in orbit waiting for their launch window. He has also been tasked with working with his Chinese counterpart, Wo Chang, and his Russian counterpart, Ivan Sikorsky, in making sure that each fleet of ships have the maneuvering room to prep their ships for the flight. As the preparations get completed, he has flown up on one of the refueling shuttles to take overall command from Starship 007 and be with his wife.

Flight officer Mary, age 38, Pike’s newlywed wife, is the commander and pilot of Starship 007. She has received her training in the navy flying carrier based fighter aircraft before being forced out that service in late December of 2021 by that same Presidential Mandate. She was hired a week later to join the Starship program as a pilot in the Mars Settlement Project.

Flight Engineer Scott, like all the other engineers on their star ships, has been kept busy with Crew Chief Gonzalez, in refueling operations on 007 and later, in docking the Mars booster rocket to the ship in preparation for the Mars insertion burn. Like Mary, he has been forced out of the military where he worked as a flight mechanic in the Air Force.

The same job of docking and refueling is being conducted on the other 99 Starships by their flight engineers as a steady stream of refueling ships are launched into orbit from the two bases in Florida and Texas. With the tight schedule to reach the orbits of the 100 different ships, it is almost non stop work in spite of most of it being under control by the flight computers on board and those in the Spaceport in Texas.

Crew leader Jane Conway, age 44, who resigned in protest from the military in 2021 after losing a friend to the disastrous orders given by the White House to withdraw from Afghanistan, is also busy coordinating the inventory and storing of additional supplies that have been brought up by a supply ship docked to 007. It is an important job to be sure that everything is stored in a balanced location and secured for the insertion burn and landing.

In addition, the crew on each ship, is made up of an environmental engineer, biologist, medical technician, electronic specialist, navigator, construction engineer, and various other technicians required for the construction and daily operations of the new colony. Many of these personnel had former careers in those fields of their specialties until they were either forced out of their jobs by the COVID-19 mandate in late 2021, or had just plain quit in protest due to job burnout, or from working conditions that soon became impossible for them to continue on their job.

All too soon, the launch window has now arrived for sending the fleet to Mars. During this ten day period, a Starship would starts it’s Mars insertion burn at the assigned launch window of it’s orbit. Commander Pike and his Russian and Chinese counterpart coordinate those launches so that each ship will have plenty of maneuvering room for any course corrections needed to achieve Mars Orbit. With all ships successfully underway towards the end of the tenth day, 007 fires her booster at the appointed moment to escape Earth gravity to make it’s way to Mars. Proving the reliability of the Elan Musk design, every ship in the three fleets has been successfully sent on their way.

The start of the seven month journey has proceeded smoothly even though the political situation on Earth has kept getting worse. With an energy boycott of Europe by the Russians, an Arab Oil Embargo against the now energy dependent US, and the massing of an invasion fleet by the Chinese around Taiwan, that political unrest is soon threatening to derail the Mars colony project. Still, production has continued on preparing about 200 more Starships for placing into earth orbit for the 2033 launch window, many of which will be used for carrying more then enough food and materials needed for an additional 5 years or more. It has been estimated that such supply runs will need to continue until the colony has become completely sustainable, hopefully by 2050, when everything they need can be manufactured as well as all food grown on Mars in support of the estimated one million colonist that are planned to be making Mars their home by then.


Early that Spring, the Russians launched their invasion of the Ukraines with the goal of taking complete control of that country. A day later, after NATO is dragged into that war, the Chinese attack Taiwanese military and industrial installations with air and missile strikes. A major sea battle soon erupts between the US, Chinese, and Japanese forces. While the use of nuclear weapons has so far been avoided, so much damage has taken place in the invasion attempt that all three fleets have suffered major losses. The island of Formosa lies in ruins from the bombardment.

Facing a major shortage of critical components needed for the construction of the new Starships and the political turmoil a two front war has caused, Musk has arranged for an emergency conference between Commander Pike and his engineers back on Earth. Given the several minute delay due to the distance the ships are now away from the Earth, the conference last for several days. Commander Pike assures Musk that they should be able to continue their mission with enough supplies, along with what they will be able to produce on Mars, should the scheduled 2033 launch end up being delayed for several years.

August 18th. 2031. Starship 007 has finally reached Mars having been placed into stable orbit. There, it awaits clearance by Mars control for its landing window as it gets into position to break orbit for descent to land at the colony site. After maneuvering into position, Starship 007 gets it’s clearance to land on pad 15. With the concordance programmed into the ship’s landing computer, the ship’s main engines ignite at the proper moment to start the ship’s descent to the assigned landing pad, a maneuver called a “suicide burn” given that the atmosphere on Mars is much too thin for aerobraking or parachutes to slow down such a large heavy ship for landing.

Without warning, the ship is struck by a meteor the size of a baseball. It comes crashing through the forward dome. In a microsecond, it has taken out a support strut causing several of the panoramic windows in the ship to blow out of their supporting frame. The trajectory leaves a baseball size hole through all decks, the cargo hold, and a fuel storage tank in the now crippled ship. With alarm bells screaming, everyone in the observation section of the ship gets sucked out into space. Those down below attempt to stay at their stations. The effort is mostly unsuccessful as internal bulkheads are failing from the rapid pressure imbalance of liquid methane vaporizing inside the lower decks, the fires they cause in the presence of oxygen, and the vacuum of space on the top side. Anything not tied down is flying out the hole left by the missing window. Most of the crew are soon dead from rapid decompression when their space suits get damaged by flying debris. Many others are blown out into space where they die from impact on the Martian surface. Knocked out of it’s landing trajectory by the venting methane that has ignited in what is left of the atmosphere in the crippled ship, 007 ends up crashing into Mars when the few survivors up on the bridge, are unable to regain control of the crippled ship due to the damage done to the control systems and the lost of fuel from the punctured fuel tank. The remaining fuel and liquid oxygen ignites into a fireball upon the high speed impact into the surface forming a crater there.

Fortunately, the ship has crashed into a hillside just outside of the colony perimeter sparing it from any major damage. Rescue teams are quickly sent out from the colony command center. They find the smoldering remains of Starship 007 scattered around the impact crater it had made in the hillside. There are no survivors.

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Chapter 2, The Genesis Colony Ship.


It’s the morning of August 18th, 2550 as Commander Pike is the first person to wake up in this strange new world he finds himself in. His last memories before being killed was of those hastily pulling down the visor on his helmet while strapped into his command chair on the Bridge only to find that he had no way to initiate a controlled landing or get his crippled ship back into orbit. He watched in horror as his ship plunges into a Martian hillside. He is still in a space suit, but it is in one of a totally unfamiliar type. Being informed by the suit’s computer that it is safe to do so, he opens the visor to breathe in the fresh air. It is slightly humid with the pleasant smell of the nearby flowers from an unfamiliar plant. It is such a contrast from the stale artificial environment everyone has had to endure the past seven months in the confines of their spaceship.

Looking about, Pike is shocked to find that he is not back on Earth or even on Mars, but in some sort of alien biosphere containing an artificial environment of landscape, mountain ranges, lakes, rivers, and clouds, along with numerous futuristic looking structures. He is looking at an artificial world contained in some sort of a slowly spinning massive habitat ring that seems to stretch on forever. Strange looking prehistoric birds can be seen flying high in the artificial sky. Through the semitransparent curved ceiling of this massive ring, he can see the rest of the ring along with the supporting structures of a massive ship, a second ring attached next to it, the stars, and some strange earth looking moon in orbit around a giant gas planet that looks similar to Jupiter.

The Genesis Ship, as it is called, is absolutely gigantic. Being nearly 500 kilometers long with its two parallel slowly rotating habitat rings about 100 kilometers in diameter, it is a shock to Commander Pike just how massive this artificial world in this star ship really is. The ring he is in, appears to be some 20 kilometers wide with a ceiling height of some 10 kilometers. There are real clouds floating in the sky as well as holographic ones showing up on the semitransparent dome ceiling above them. The rugged terrain curves up to the horizon where it is cut off by the dome ceiling from direct view. Gigantic support beams line the outside of the ring as well as forming bulkhead like cross sections inside of it. Inside of this ring, Commander Pike can see plants he is quite familiar with on Earth along with animals of all types going about their daily activities, many of them that definitely look prehistoric.

“Where are we?” asks Engineer Scott who has also just appeared into this strange new world next to Commander Pike. “The last thing that I remember was seeing the ground rushing towards us.”

“I don’t know,” Commander Pike tells him. “Somehow, we must have been reborn into this futuristic Starship. I see more of our people in these strange spacesuits starting to show up. Lets get them all together and find out how many of us survived that crash.”

Crew leader Jane Conway is the next one to show up as she walks over to the other two men. “What the hell just happened?” she asks Commander Pike in a panic. “The last thing that I remember was watching the observation deck window being blown out before I was sucked out into space and died from decompression.”

“We were struck by a meteor,” Commander Pike answers. “It did so much damage to the Starship that we ended up making a crater on Mars.”

“How in hell did we end up here?” she asks him. “Just who would have had the ability to build this ship that we are on?”

“I don’t know,” he answers. “One thing is for certain. It looks like that we are in orbit around that earth like moon outside the sky dome. That’s one mystery we are going to have to find the answer to once we can locate everyone that survived the crash. Lets go look for the others and have them gather over by that towering structure. Then, we can plan for our next move, figure out where the hell we are, and how we got here.”

Searching the area as they are in using the flight ability of their environmental tek suits and their built in communication devices, all 30 crew members of Flight 007 are quickly located. Commander Pike gives them directions of how to find the towering structure they are at as a landmark.

Entering the towering structure, which is located next to an artificial lake, they enter what looks like a library of sorts. Dennis Lytle, the mission’s Computer Tech, has located some sort of computer terminal on a post in the center. He is able to access the console which displays a holographic screen of information, much of it in 3-D. Going through the available library of information, he brings up a history of Earth and the construction of the ship they are traveling on.

The display of the information, along with the audio narration, quickly unravels the mystery of the ship they are on and why it was constructed. “It is the year 2420. The Earth is losing it’s ability to support life as we know it due to the pollution from past global warfare between the United Earth Republic and the Terrain Federation. That war has dangerously altered the climate, depleted the critical resources needed for settlements constructed in space, and created living conditions that has resulted in crippling poverty worldwide. With the colonies on Mars, Europa, and Titan being unable to support any more colonist and the limited ability to build and sustain more habitat rings in Earth orbit, exploration using deep space probes were sent to look for other habitable world among the nearby stars. Finding a suitable world to colonize that is named Pandora, this Genesis Ship was constructed in Earth orbit at L1 Lagrange Point. Materials for that ship has been gathered from the Earth, Moon, and the asteroid belt. The ship was completed in 2450, with two of the 100 kilometer habitat rings that orbit the Earth having been modified and connected to it. It was then sent on its journey to Pandora, a newly discovered habitable moon orbiting a gas giant of a nearby star, a journey that is expected to take 100 years. Ten million of the passengers on Genesis 2 were placed in cryofreeze chambers in the landing pods on the underside of the two rings. The ship’s computer banks were uploaded with the DNA of nearly everyone that has lived on the Earth along with that of all the known species of creatures that have inhabited the Earth. Many examples of those creatures are living in the habitat rings along with artificially designed ones. A crew of 100,000, consisting of engineers, scientist, maintenance personnel, and their families, live in the two habitat rings. Their job, to continue to evolve in an Eden like environment, as well as to monitor and maintain the ship’s systems until it reached Pandora. Once in orbit, the settlement protocol will be executed.”

“Incredible,” comments Commander Pike. “Somehow, our DNA must have been recovered from our crashed ship with our memories intact, then uploaded to this ship’s computer so that we could be artificially born on this ship at the end of it’s 100 year journey. But why have we been brought back to life? Why aren’t we on that moon by now? Why is the other habitat ring looking so different from the one we are in? Where are the inhabitants that are suppose to be living here? Have they already left the ship to establish settlements on that moon below us?”

“Something must have gone wrong with the final phase of their mission,” reports Dennis. “According to the computer records, all of the landing pods are still in their launch bays. If there are 100,000 other souls living in the two habitat rings, they have to be hiding somewhere on this ship.”

“We’ll have to go looking for them, discovered what went wrong with this mission, then find where the launch bay controls are located as soon as we are equipped to do so,” answers Jane.

“Lets use this library as a base of operation for now,” orders Commander Pike. “If there are indeed prehistoric creatures from the Earth’s past living in this artificial world, we may need to watch out for the hostile ones that could be a threat to us. Can the doors to this place be closed if needed to keep any threats out?”

“Yes,” answers Dennis. “They are programmed for letting just us to enter this structure. I have located a restroom in the corner of this room with a shower, wash basins, and a drinking fountain.”

“Excellent,” answers Jane. “It will certainly be a lot easier to use a real toilet instead of the hassle of using the ship one under weightless conditions.”

“It’s been a constant problem trying to keep those things functioning without having what is put in them ending up all over the ship,” Dawn Faucett, the ship’s Waste Management Engineer, tells her.

“Excellent, that is two of our problems solved,” reports Dr. Leslie McCoy. “We won’t have to worry about drinkable water and taking a shower. Now, what are we going to do for food and medical supplies?”

“Let me bring up the life support information for this ship,” answers Dennis.

After a minute or two of searching, Commander Pike asks Dennis with concern, “Why is it taking so long to pull up the layout of this area?”

“Something appears to have been corrupted the information about life support for this ship.” answers Dennis as he continues searching through the database on the ship. “Finally, I have found some info about the tower structure we are in. There is a food preparation section located in the living quarters down below. We should go check that out.”

Several individuals, along with Commander Pike, his wife, Dr. Mays, Dr. McCoy, Sarah Wright, and Engineer Scott, head down below to the food preparation area and dining room section. Upon their attempts to use it, they find out that something has happened to this area of life support as they access the systems for food preparation and get continuous error messages. “Dennis, what is wrong with this system?” Commander Pike asks him.

“Nothing,” answers Dennis after running a diagnosis and accessing the systems inventory. “The system is working properly. As far as I can tell. The manufacturing of the raw ingredients needed for the creation of any food product, from a taco salad to a sirloin steak, are still working. It’s as if something is consuming all of those raw ingredients as fast as they are being manufactured.”

“That shouldn’t be happening,” answers Engineer Scott. “Such a system would always have a stock of those supplies held in reserve. Like the records being stored for Life Support, the food distribution must have become corrupted as well.”

“Do you think that it is possible for us to repair this system?” asks Commander Pike.

“I don’t know,” Answers Engineer Scott. “The technology used to construct this system is way beyond what we are using for our Mars trip.”

“Are we in any danger that the air we are breathing will become unstable?” asks Commander Pike.

“I don’t believe so,” answers Margaret Thatcher, the ship’s Environmental Engineer as she checks on the environmental conditions in the habitat ring using the computer console. “Those systems appear to be working normally. The levels of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and water vapor inside this habitat ring registers in the normal range.”

“What will we eat if the food processors are down?” asks Dennis.

“Until they are fixed, we should go back out into the habitat ring and see what we can find whats out there that we can use for food,” suggest Dr. Mays. “After all, it appears to be designed to function as a self contained biosystem similar to those experiment that took place in Arizona in the early 90s.”

“Hopefully, the builders of this ship has solved the problems faced by those experiments conducted back then,” answers Terry, their Environmental Atmosphere Specialist. “Those closed systems suffered from their failure to provide enough oxygen to those living inside them.”

“If this ship has been in space for 100 years subsisting on what it has on board, I believe that the ship’s designers must have solved the oxygen issue long ago.”

Back out into the habitat ring, Commander Pike has organized the 30 crew members of Flight 007 into five groups of six to go examine the conditions of this habitat ring. They have been given the tasks of looking for resources that will be needed for their survival.

Group one, led by Dr Mays, has been given the task to look for edible flora that is growing in the habitat rings. Her group will be looking for fruits, vegetable, and creatures such as fish and small animals that can be used as a source of food.

Ahab’s group has been tasked with the examine of the geological makeup used to landscape the habitat rings. He will be looking for any resources that they may need to mine for fabrication of items they need. It will be a job not much different then he would be doing on Mars, but he will be doing so without the use of his specialized equipment.

Chief Gonzales crew has been tasked with examining the interior of the numerous structures built into the landscape. They will be looking for any technology that could be used for their survival.

Dennis is taking his crew with him to locate and examine the computer systems in the structures to see if they can out more about this ship and possibly piece together what has corrupted some of the ship’s systems.

Commander Pike is taking his crew to locate how they can get to the bridge to find out what has gone wrong with it’s mission.

They then fan out into their assigned tasks close by the spike tower with instructions to return around noon to report their findings.

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Chapter 3 Exploration of the Habitat Ring.


Dr. Mays group are the first ones back to report on their findings in the Habitat Ring. They, unfortunately, have had to deal with a serious injury when Sarah Wright, the ship’s nutritious, was attacked by a prehistoric predator. She is being treated for her injuries when Commander Pike finds them in the commons. “What happened?” he asks Dr. McCoy with concern when he sees the injury to her right arm.”

“She was bitten by this prehistoric creature,” Dr. Mays tells him as she points to a dead reptile the size of a small pony lying on the floor.

“What is that thing?” asks Commander Pike in puzzlement.

“That creature is a Dilaposaurus,” answers Dr. Mays. “They were native to the Earth some 65 million years ago.

“What was it doing out there in the Habitat Ring?” asks Commander Pike.

“When the library computer stated that the DNA of every living thing on Earth was brought with them with examples of them being placed in the habitat rings, they meant everything, even creatures that went extinct millions of years ago.”

“Ouch!” Commander Pike responds with concern. “If that thing is living out there, could we end up running into bigger, more dangerous predators from Earth’s past.”

“We most certainly will,” answers Dr. Mays. “I was nearly run over by a Gally. For being a herbivore, it was a most nervous looking creature about the size of a large horse. We also saw Parasaurs, Trikes, even a brontosaurus in the distance towards the mountains.”

“We will certainly need to find some way to be armed so we can protect ourselves should we be attacked by the larger predators,” orders Commander Pike. “How are you coming along in taking care of Sarah’s injuries.”

“I have been able to come up with a disinfectant created from these black berries,” reports Dr. McCoy. “The medical computer states that they have great healing properties. Her arm is rapidly healing up from the effects of that solution. Unfortunately, one of the side effect of what are called narcoberries is that they will render you unconscious for a while. Her arm should be fully healed by the time that she wakes up.”

“Anyhow, the good news is that there is an ample supply of edible items out there.” reports Dr. Mays. “We located a large variety of fruits growing in the palms and trees near this artificial lake and a river system. We also found wild carrots, potatoes, wheat, and wild rice growing nearby. The berry types are all edible with the exception of these white stimm berries that will dehydrate you, or the black narcoberries that will render you unconscious. This dilo can be butchered up for meat and hide. There is also a form of primitive fish and prehistoric salmon in that artificial lake we can eat. We also found Dodo Birds out there. Their eggs should be quite nutritious. The habitat rings should be able to provide for all the food that we need if we are unable to get the food processor back on line.”

The conversation is then interrupted by the clanking and sounds of mechanical pistons coming closer from outside with the ground slightly shaking from each step it makes. “Now what!” Commander Pike responds in alarm as everyone heads outside to see what is making the noise.

Coming towards them, they see four giant mechanical walkers that look like giant giraffes. The long mechanical legs are moving like Imperial Walkers from Star Wars, but they are built more slender along with the body and long neck. The head of each of the mechanical walkers is adorned with a different type of head dress. One sports what looks like a drill along with saddle bags on it’s body. Another appears to be armed with lasers on it’s head and a cannon on it’s chest. Still another looks to be fitted with some kind of radar ears while the fourth one has a strange looking set of antennas on the head and body. “They are under our control,” Dennis radios to Commander Pike as they are soon close enough that it can be seen that there is a crew member sitting behind a control console on the shoulder of their walking machine. The rest are riding on the platform behind.

Lining them up to face away from the tower structure, everyone, except Dennis, dismounts off of their walker by using a built in ladder in the forward shoulder.

“What are they?’ asks a curious Commander Pike. “Where did you find them?”

“They are called Stryders,” answers Dennis. “They were walking randomly in circles in the plains near the mountain,”

“How were you able to gain control of them?” asks Commander Pike.

“We used the jet pack in our suits to land on top of the platform,” answers Dennis. “The console on their shoulder allowed me to place them under manual control so we can use them. They appear to have some sort of nuclear battery that powers them.”

“What are the different head and body pieces used for,” asks Commander Pike.

“The one I am riding on is called a Harvester,” answers Dennis. “This is what it can do.” Activating the harvester attachment on the head of the Stryder, Dennis aims it head at the ground nearby. With a loud crack and a laser like flash aimed in a dozen different direction, a patch of trees, boulders and plants just vanish.”

“What just happened,” Commander Pike asks Dennis in alarm.

“The Stryder just harvested all of the trees, stones, and plants in the area.” answers Dennis. “They are now stored in the saddlebags as wood, thatch, fibers, stones, flint, metal, fruits, vegetables, and grains. Strangely enough, the harvesting beam doesn’t harm any of the animals in it’s path as you can tell by that flightless bird that is now running in circles in a panic. However, we must be careful that we don’t get accidentally stepped on by them when they are in motion.”

“The one with the weapons on it is called an enforcer. It has two laser pulse rifles in it’s head and a pulse cannon on it’s chest. Jeffery took out a large prehistoric predator that attempted to attack us with that cannon.”

“The Stryder with the radar unit has the strange ability to detect living creatures that it scans in it’s range. Margaret was getting detail information about every creature that thing has been tracking.”

“The creatures, this thing found living in the habitat rings, are incredible.” reports Margaret. “It found Mongolian Horses, Parasaurs, Gallys, Pteradons flying in the sky, Dodo birds, small prehistoric mammals, sheep, goats, Compys, Dilos, a giant crocodile in the river, fish of all types, and a strange looking giant flying squirrel with a duckbill beak.”

“The one with the antenna arrays has the ability to generate a force field that can keep at bay any creature that attempts to get past it.” reports Nancy. “It’s a good thing that we have one as I saw what looked like a T-Rex hunting at the base of that mountain.”

“What a most useful piece of technology those Stryders are going to be for our needs,” answers Commander Pike. “Were you able to learn anything else about the computer systems in this habitat rings?”

“Unfortunately no,” answers Dennis. “We spent all of our time getting to learn how these Stryders function. They don’t appear to have been under any computer control other then their built in systems. Besides, the hanger like structure built into the side of that mountain appeared to be guarded by several large prehistoric predators.”

“We may need to see if we can get over there from one of the service tunnels,” answers Commander Pike.

Carlos Gonzales, construction crew chief on the mission, is next to file his report. “We have found a vast underground system that is supporting the habitat rings above. From the blueprints we found in a maintenance computer down below, the habitat rings is divided into segments defined by those huge support columns you can see nearby. They can be used to isolate a segment should it face a decompression failure. The rings are so large that one revolution an hour is sufficient to provide the artificial gravity we are in. They are also capable of creating artificial weather and a day night cycle. This place is one marvelous piece of engineering.”

“Were you able to find the pod bay?” asks Commander Pike.

“Yes,” answers Carlos. “There must be a millions of them on this ring alone. Unfortunately, it looks like that many of the occupants of the cryopods have suffered from some sort of pod failure. A lot of them only contained decomposing bodies. The rest of the cryopods had been opened and were empty.”

“Something terrible must have happened to them before the ship arrived at this world.” reports Commander Pike. “Did you find any of the ship’s crew?”

“No,” answers Carlos. “There are no signs that anybody is still on board on this section of the ship.”

“That makes me wonder what is happening to all of the food the processors have been producing,” comments Sarah.

“Given that the system is working properly, according to the food processing computer, something must be consuming the raw ingredients as fast as they are being produced,” answers Dennis.

Ahab Sorus is the next one back with his group to file his report. Most interesting is that Ahab is riding back on a saddled Carno as the rest of his crew are seen riding on a saddled Iguanodon, one riding on a saddled Gally, one riding bareback on a horse, one riding bareback on a dire wolf, one on a saddled Trike, and two Parasaur following them with pack saddles. “That habitat ring is amazing!” reports Ahab. “Whoever built those rings went to an awful lot of trouble to supply them with the huge amount of materials that has created this landscape. While there are structures built into some of the mountains, many of them appear to consist of rock formations as tall as three kilometers. The soil is rich in nutrients for the plants growing in it, the river systems look very natural, there is snow on the mountain peaks, and nodes of metal and crystal ore scattered about. If it wasn’t for the fact that we are enclosed inside of this huge ring, I would swear that we were back on the Earth exploring some uninhibited wilderness that is rich in mineral resources.”

“This is becoming a most interesting place,” answers Commander Pike.

“We were also able to access what looked like storage pods that had a beacon showing their location.” reports Ahab. “They contained various items from the saddles we are using on these creatures, some primitive clothing, and these strange weapons we can used to defend ourselves from the wild prehistoric predators. The predators, seeing that we were armed with them, have kept their distance. Most interesting is that some of the larger herbivores have been staying close to us in spite of the two predators we have tamed.”

“How were you able to tame these wild creatures?” asks Dr Mays as she comes up to examine them up close.

“When the Carno came running towards me, I dropped a dead dodo bird in front of him,” answers Ahab. “As I was carrying a saddle for one, I figured that it might be possible to tame it. Incredibly, I became his friend and saddled him up. He didn’t require any training at all to ride on him. Neither did any of our other tamed creatures. The rest of my group were able to easily tame the other creatures they are riding on by just feeding them their favorite food.”

“Incredible,” answers Dr. Mays. “What keeps your Carno and the Dire Wolf from attacking your herbivore tames for food?”

“That’s what is most strange,” answers Ahab. “Once they are part of our group, we learned that they will defend us and each other from the wild predators.”

“What I am seeing taking place here shouldn’t even be possible,” reports Dr. Mays in puzzlement as she is petting the Carno. “Whoever added them into this environment has altered their genetic behavior to allow us to interact with them.”

“The pack saddles on the two Parasaur has several more of those weapons that we found stored in the round sheds,” reports Ahab. “It also has more custom saddles for a Raptor and a Patchy.

“I would suggest that one of us is armed with those weapons as we continue to travel in groups,” orders Commander Pike. “Now that we know that the wild creatures of this habitat ring are easily tamed, we should only use them as a last resort.”

“Were you able to learn more about this ship and it’s missing crew?” asks Ahab.

“No,” answers Commander Pike. “All computer and video access to the Bridge and the other habitat ring is being blocked by some unknown issue. Because the rings are always in rotation, we may have to make an EVA to find the access to the Bridge and engineering section of the ship.”

“There may still be other ways to access the Bridge and other sections of this ship,” reports Engineer Scott. “That access may be in some other part of this ring. It just may take some time to find out where it is given that we have only been able to explore just a tiny part of this habitat.”

“Lets get some food prepared from what is available on the habitat,” orders Sarah who has by now recovered from her injuries and has joined the rest of the crew.

“Sounds like a good idea,” answers Dennis. “I’m starving.”

“Do you think that it will be wise to build a cooking fire in the habitat to prepare the dilo meat?” asks Sarah.

“I don’t see why not,” answers Margaret, their Environmental Engineer. “Us, the creatures, and the dead vegetation produces carbon dioxide as the plant life recycles it into oxygen. The experimental habitats failed only because there were too many people and animals and not enough vegetation growing inside to maintain the oxygen level. A campfire is not going to create any issues given the size of this place.”

“Then, lets gather up some dead wood, build a campfire by the lake, and see if roasted dilo taste like chicken or not,” orders Dr Mays.

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  • 3 months later...

Chapter 4. The creatures in the Habitat Ring.


It is quite an unusual barbecue on an open campfire in this artificial world. Along with baked potatoes and roasted sweet corn, the grilled dilo does taste like chicken. “What a difference this is from eating freeze dried foods for months on end.” comments Sarah.

“It is quite an unexpected pleasure,” answers Commander Pike. “At least, we don’t need to go vegan in this world.”

“We most certainly will have access to eggs and fish, perhaps even milk from some of the mammals in this world,” reports Sarah. “We’ll need to send Ahab back out to locate and domesticate some mammals we can use for milk to craft up some cheeses.”

“I do believe that there may be goats up in the hills,” reports Ahab. “There are also sheep and dairy cattle in the area. They should be easy to tame up.”

“That will be yours and Sarah’s job in the morning,” orders Commander Pike. “You two can get us a dairy herd under way as we continue to learn more about this habitat ring.”

“Incredible how our new dino friends are just chilling out near us with nothing to confine them,” reports Dr. Mays. “That behavior must have been hard wired into their brain by whoever genetically created them.”

“It has to be,” answers Danny. “I doubt, that such behavior could have been taught to these dinosaurs let alone that they could have even been intelligent enough to learn it.”

“You are most correct,” answers Dr. Mays. “They have to have been genetically programmed for that purpose. We should put them through some intelligent testing in the morning to learn just what they are capable of.” About then Sarah comes into the library with a strange looking mammal the size of a large dog.

“Looks like that Sarah has found a new friend.” reports Dr. Mays.

“What’s that strange looking creature?” asks Nancy.

“It’s a Lystro,” answers Dr. Mays.

“It sure looks like an ugly pug dog,” answers Margaret.

“Well, she is cute and quite friendly,” Sarah tells everyone.

“Looks like we will all soon have a pet of some kind,” reports Dr. Mays. “Even something as big as Carrie the Carno, or bigger.”

“I guess that we will need to put Engineering to work fencing off some pasture land in the morning.” reports Commander Pike. “We’ll need it to keep the sheep and goats protected from the wild predators.”

It has proven to be a most interesting first night on the Genesis 2 star ship. Most remarkable is that all of the tames, even the Carno, have been allowed to come into the library complex to sleep with the crew of 007. While a watch has been scheduled to keep an eye on things, it has been rather quiet around the entrance and on the inside. There are those noises of some creatures hunting in the distance as the Habitat Ring is bathed by the reflected light of the gas giant the moon they are around is orbiting. Sleeping in this artificial gravity is a far different from the months of having to be strapped into a blanket system on Star Ship 007 due to weightlessness. The morning comes quickly as the Genesis Ship comes out of the shadow of the moon they are orbiting.

“What a great night sleep that was,” comments Margaret as she wakes up to prepare for the activities planned for that morning.

“That was incredible,” reports Sarah as she joins the others with her new pet Lystro. “I didn’t think that we would ever enjoy sleeping with a pet in our bed again.”

“Well, at least they were all housebroken,” reports Dawn. “They all went outside to the large bare spot by the bushes to do their business.”

“The behavior of these creatures has to be genetically engineered,” reports Danny Washington, the crew Physiologist. “What we are observing with them interacting with us is totally unnatural, especially among these prehistoric reptiles.”

“Why don’t you and Dr Mays stay here and find out more about the intelligence level of these creatures.” orders Commander Pike. “I’ll get a team together to go find any domestic animals out there, get them tamed, and have a pasture built to keep the predators away from them. The rest of us are going to continue exploring this sector of the habitat ring to find more clues to what is going on around here. We’ll hold a meeting this evening to report our findings to everyone on this mission.”

As the rest of the group head out to conduct their assignments, Denny and Sandra set about to conduct their intelligent experiments with the tamed creatures they have with them. As part of the experiment, a Parasaur and trike are obtained being quickly passive tamed with something called bait packs. They have been crafted up from a recipe provided to them by the Genesis computer database.

“This is incredible,” Danny reports to Dr. Mays. “As soon as I place this custom saddle on them, they know exactly what to do when being ridden. No domesticated animal in our world has ever been that intelligent.”

Working with a custom scanner, Dr. Mays examines both the Trike and Parasaur getting information about their brain size and activity. “That confirms it,” Dr. Mays comments as both creatures stand calmly next to the scanner. “They have been genetically programmed for our use.”

“Something puzzles me about these creatures in this world,” suggests Danny. “Have you seen any youngsters of these creatures out in the wild?”

“Come to think of it, no,” answers Dr. Mays. “While there are eggs out there in the wild, the ones I have been able to examine are not fertile.”

“Then, how can their population be sustained out in the wild if there are no youngsters being raised to replace those that get killed by predators?” asks Danny.

“I don’t know,” answers Dr. Mays. “They must somehow be getting replaced by the computers that control this habitat ring.”

“The reptiles are laying infertile eggs in the wild,” answers Danny. “I wonder if they can lay fertile ones that will hatch?”

“We should find out,” answers Dr. Mays. “Lets go tame a female parasaur and see if we can breed them.” Armed with the required kibble, the two head out into the habitat ring to find a female parasaur. Locating a suitable candidate, they proceed to tame her and bring her back to the makeshift pen putting her in with the male.

A furthering examination of the parasaur pair reveals some interesting facts to the two researchers. “Interesting, they are psychologically showing up with something called ‘mate boosted.’” reports Danny after examining their brain activity with the scanner. “They both appear to be enjoying each other’s company. Yet, their desire to reproduce seems to have been disabled.”

“They are both biologically intact,” reports Dr. Mays after her examination. “So they are fully capable of reproduction. Lets see if we can figure out how to enable their instinct to reproduce.” A detailed study of the database on the creatures of the Genesis Ship gives Dr. Mays the clue for allowing reproduction. “There, I found the answer to that question. The desire to reproduce is disabled by default. I’m going to give them the permission to breed.” The mystery has been solved as the two parasaurs become involved in some intimate activity, then, in the construction of a nest in which a fertile egg is laid later that afternoon.

Examination of all of the other tames find that the same genetic modifications had been made to their behavior as those of the parasaurs. “It looks like that we could selectively breed any of the creatures in this world if we desired to do so,” reports Dr. Mays. “It would be no different then what is taking place in the world that we left other then there is a genetically created switch in the brain of these creatures that we can selectively turn on and off.”

“What an incredible ability,” answers Danny. “Unfortunately, I can see where such a power could have been easily abused by the leaders of the Earth this Genesis Ship was created from. It could explain what has happened to the crew on this ship.”

Sarah and Ahab have now arrived leading a small herd of cattle, sheep, and goats, while herding them with two strange looking horses they are riding bareback. They are placed into a large fenced in pastures that the construction crew have just completed using materials gathered by a harvesting Stryder.

“Did you find any youngsters out there?” asks Dr. Mays.

“No,” answers Sarah.

“You just confirmed my conclusion that these creatures have been created to populate the habitat ring,” reports Dr. Mays. “We have learned that they can have babies. It is just that the behavior has been genetically disabled by default. But it can be re-enabled.”

“Does that means that the population of these creatures is being managed by the habitat ring?” asks Ahab.

“Yes,” answers Dr. Mays. “But, something must have gone wrong to result in all of the colonist on board having vanished. Hopefully Dennis and the others can find out what happened to them so that we can prevent it from happening to us.”

“There has to be a reason why we ended up hers when we should all be dead,” answers Ahab. “We could be a clue to fixing what caused everyone on this ship to just vanish.”

“You are probably right,” answers Dr. Mays. “I have a feeling that the survival of the human race may depend on us solving that mystery.”

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Chapter 5 The evening report.


Commander Pike has called everyone together to get a report of their findings of the day’s exploration. It is a most interesting one as Nathen Scott, Flight Engineer, comes flying back on a giant mechanical wing dragon followed by the rest of his team on their Stryders.

“Where did you find that thing?” asks Commander Pike.

“In the central core, we found a tunnel that lead to a covered walkway into the void between the two habitat rings,” reports David. “A force field prevents the atmosphere from escaping into space. With our spacesuits and the use of the Stryders, we were able to walk them through the force field into space. In spite of being in that weightless environment, we were able to freely move around. Most interesting were the asteroids we found floating between those two rings. Once we landed on them, we had normal gravity. They contained a lot of interesting minerals that we were able to harvest and bring back with us on the Stryders. While out there, we were attacked by this mechanical dragon. By using the shield generator Stryder, we were able to protect ourselves until one of us was able to use a Tek Rifle to paralyze it. I was able to gain control of it’s computer system to disable it’s seek and destroy command and return it to defending us from any danger. Most interesting is that we saw another lifeforms living in the vacuum of space among those asteroids. It looked like some sort of a space whale. Given that we could see a similar platform contained in the other habitat ring, I believe that we can access it from there.”

“According to the system computer, you have found what is called a void worm,” answers Dr. Mays. “It is a bio-mechanical creature similar to the rare tek variants of several prehistoric reptiles we have seen in this habitat ring. And, yes, it is modeled after a dragon from out fantasy past.”

“We will need to plan an expedition to study the other habitat ring and find out why it looks so different,” answers Commander Pike.

Margaret and Tom are the next to file a report. They have taken on the task to study what is living in the waters of this habitat ring. Both of them have cute little otters riding on their shoulders.

“Where did you find otters?” asks Dr. Mays.

“We found them living in the stream that comes down from the hills into this lake,” answers Margaret. “They were easy to tame from the coe we found in the water. You do want to be careful when wading in the upper reaches of the streams. We found them to contain salmon that can become aggressive if you harm them. Also, we saw South American Parana swimming with them. They can be very aggressive. So far, we have not seen any of them living in this lake.”

“Most interesting,” answers Commander Pike.

“When we swam out to the silo in the middle of the lake, we found an underwater tunnel that led into a giant aquarium. We quickly swam into a hatch that led into an observation room where we could observe the activities outside. Would you believe that this aquarium contains all sorts of underwater prehistoric creatures that would give you nightmares for years? There were huge sharks, giant squids, a Lock Ness monster, giant whales, stingrays, electric eels, and all sorts of aquatic life that has been extinct for millions of years. Most interesting is that they are living in fresh water. That doesn’t seem possible unless those creatures have been genetically altered to be able to thrive in fresh water. Strangely enough, we even tamed one of the curious prehistoric dolphins. I suspect that it might even be possible to tame many of the larger creatures that live in that underwater world.”

“The biosystem machinery in this habitat ring are amazing,” reports Tom Jefferson. “Unlike those habitat experiments in Arizona in the 90’s, this one is in perfect balance. The plant life out there is keeping the atmosphere gases in balance with the creatures that depend on them. While the system was designed with supporting some 100,000 humans, I still don’t understand why the CO2 levels haven’t reached a critically low level given all of the plant life out there in the habitat ring. Something that we don’t know about has to be keeping it at the ideal level for plant growth.”

“I have found that each segment of this habitat ring contains it’s own fusion generator.” reports David, the electrical engineer of 007. “It is amazing just how small that power generator is. It provides all of the power needed for this segment of the habitat ring, yet is no bigger then a nuclear reactor on a modern aircraft carrier, has been running nonstop for over 100 years, and still has enough deuterium fuel to power it for another 500 years.”

Conner and Tammy are next with their report on their exploration of the Habitat Ring.

“So far, we have only been able to explore the workings of two sector of this Habitat ring,” reports Conner. “It appears that each sector can operate independently of each other. We have also learned from the system computer that this ring has been programmed to separate from the star ship and operate independently at low gravity acceleration. I suspect that is because they used to be independent orbital rings that were adapted to fit into the star ship. I’m at a lost why anyone would want to do that other then they had some concern that there could be a catastrophic failure of the star ship itself.”

“We found that the outer edge of the habitat ring contains a pod bay with tens of thousands of ejection pods,” reports Tammy. “All of the cryopods in them have either been opened with their occupants missing or contain the remains of their occupants. There must have been some sort of catastrophic failure in the entire cryopod system given that the machinery appears to be in perfect working order.”

“Dennis, have you been able to find out what is going on here with the computer systems?” asks Commander Pike.

“We discovered an extensive virtual reality entertainment system in the terminal I used to get a history of this place,” answers Dennis. “Those simulations appear to be based upon various missions and adventures involving this ship. One mission involved us racing down a river on canoes. Another had us racing something called a hover skiff. Still another had us flying on rocket powered armored Astrodelphis, or those space whales Davis mentioned seeing in the void. That mission was much more dangerous as we had to shoot down aggressive creatures and avoid deadly traps. Still more involved deadly mazes and puzzles to solve up in the engineering section of the ship. One such mission had us defending against corrupted dinos and a huge creatures with tentacles coming out of it’s head that spewed out poison from it’s breath. It is as if the computer running those simulations has been programmed to prepare us to defeat whatever has caused the inhabitants of this ship to just vanish. Needless to say, we failed to complete a lot of them.”

“Any luck in finding how to control this ship?” asks Commander Pike.

“None so far other then accessing those simulations,” answers Dennis. "The computer states that if we successfully complete all of the missions in their most difficult setting, then we will be granted access to the bridge."

“We may all need to run and complete those simulations if you suspect that the ships holographic computer is training us how to regain control of this ship.” answers Commander Pike. “Lets have everyone do the racing and capture missions in our spare time, then work our way up to the more difficult combat ones until we can easily complete them all.”

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  • 4 weeks later...

Chapter 6. The other habitat ring.


It is the following morning that Commander Pike selects a team from his crew to go explore the other Habitat Ring. The plan is to use the Stryders for transport given that one has to wear their Tek Suits in the airless void that separates the two rings. The team consists of Dennis, David, Ahab, Dr. Mays, Margaret, Terry, Danny, and Dr. McCoy. Everyone else has been assigned to work on the fencing and other structures to protect the domestic animals that they have been rounding up. That team has been placed under the leadership of Carlos, the Construction Crew Chief.

Dennis has managed to obtain four more Stryders that were found during his investigation into the various terminals found in the Habitat. His team have obtained another harvester, shield generator, and two more enforcers. “Excellent,” comments Commander Pike. “Those enforcers and shield Stryders could prove useful should we run into anything dangerous over there.” With everyone mounted on a Stryder, and David in lead on his Void Worm, they head off to the central corridor to head into the walkway.

“Place your helmets on before we cross the force field,” warns Dennis. “There is no air out there to breathe while we are in the void.”

As they enter the void, Dennis notices that everything has changed from their last visit. After flying the Void Worm over to one to land there and check out it’s content, he flies back to file a report to Commander Pike. “That’s interesting,” Dennis tells Commander Pike. “I know that we entered through the same passageway as we did yesterday. Yet, everything looks different. Even some of the minerals I found on those asteroids are different. They are covered with these red, green, and blue crystals. Yesterday, they only contained white crystals.”

“That’s most interesting,” answers Commander Pike. “I also noticed that the light beacons marking where there are those supply crates are now different in color as well.”

“I wonder if there might be a relation to those colors and what can be found out here,” asks Margaret.

“That is a possibility,” answers Ahab. “We should check what appears out here daily with the color of the beacons and see if they form a pattern.”

Floating across, they enter the walkway on the other side. It looks identical to the one they have just left, but they soon notice that something is different when they take off their helmets to breathe the air that is inside there. “What is that smell?” asks Margaret.

“It smells like a swamp in here,” answers Terry. “It has the odor of rotting vegetation.”

“Should we place our visors back down?” asks Commander Pike.

“According to my environmental suit, the air is still safe to breathe,” reports Terry. “There has to be something going on in this Habitat Ring to have changed the balance of the environment in here. It shouldn’t be any different from the environment where we came from.”

“Lets continue on,” orders Commander Pike.

Entering the main corridor, one imminently notices that the sky has an orange hue to it. The vegetation in the flower pots are of a strange type in various colors of orange hues. “Don’t touch anything in here until we know that it is safe,” warns Margaret. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

“Lets head into the Habitat Area,” orders Commander Pike.

Continuing on, they soon are able to see the strangest looking world ever. Lightning crackles near a giant tentacle looking structure in this weird garden of fungal looking swamp plants. A nearby stream of brownish water feeds into a lake that looks like it might just be a cesspool from some small community. The putrid smell of something foul is coming out of a doorway that leads down into the interior of the Habitat Ring. It is too small for the Stryders to enter. Giant plants looking like Venus Fly Traps are observed among the strange vegetation and fungus growing along the edge of the lake. Ahab is about to get off of his Stryder to examine one close up when one of them snatches up a Lystro that wanders too close by it crushing it in it’s jaws. As one of the fly trap looking thing moves to grab him off of his stryder, Commander Pike, shoots it with his Stryder’s laser gun blowing the jaw like head off of it’s stalk.

“Stay on your Stryders,” warns Commander Pike as he moves his mechanical creature to higher ground.

Ahab uses the harvester tool on his Stryder to get a sample of the strange plant life in this Habitat Ring. Checking out what it has gathered in the saddlebags, he is shocked to find out that it has gathered raw and spoiled meat along with wood, thatch, berries, and various types of mushrooms. Aiming the harvester at another one of the giant fly trap, he fires the harvester beam at it. It vanishes in the beam leaving several giant insects and other smaller creatures untouched. More raw and spoiled meat is now in the saddlebag. “That’s weird,” Ahab reports to Commander Pike. “I’m getting raw and spoiled meat from those giant fly traps. That should be impossible given that the harvester beam has not harmed any living creature in this habitat ring.”

“They must be some kind of a plant animal hybrid,” reports Dr. McCoy. “That would explain where the raw meat is coming from.”

“What kinds of lifeforms is your Stryder detecting?” Commander Pike asks Dr. Mays who is riding on the Stryder with the radar attachment.

“I’m finding several lifeforms that I have never heard of that is showing up on the radar,” reports Dr Mays. “There is a creature sleeping over in the brush called a Shadowmane. It looks like a giant feathered lion. According to the on board computer, it can go stealth to attack us when it gets dark out.”

“There is another creature showing up in the distance called a Velonasaur. It registers as dangerous to our Stryders as it can fire off it’s quills like a machine gun. I’m also detecting some sort of giant spider hiding in those huge plants in the distance called a Blood Stalker. We had better assume that it will attack us to suck out all of our blood.”

“Finally, I am warned about some of the creatures the radar is detecting hiding down below. One is a small creature that can latch it’s mouth over your head to take control of your mind. Another is something called a Seeker. It looks like a flying squid that is attracted to a light source. Still others the computer has little information about them. All of these creatures seem to be the creation of someone called Edmund Rockwell.”

“Who is this Edmond Rockwell?” asks Commander Pike.

“He is what one would considered a mad scientist from the 19th Century,” answers Danny. “He was reported to be at odds with his colleges on the day that he vanished without a trace while on a biological expedition in the Outbacks of Australia. He had gone into a cave to look for some rare plants rumored to be able to give one immorality. When his colleges finally got up the courage to go into the cave, they discovered a bottomless pit next to his research backpack where some strange looking vines were growing. They then made the assumption that he was attempting to take samples from those vines when he lost his footing and fell into the abyss.”

“If he is indeed on this ship having found immorality and is messing around with the biology in this Habitat Ring, he could be a most dangerous foe,” answers Commander Pike.

“How do we defeat such a dangerous individual if he has taken control of the ship?” asks Ahab.

“You don’t,” answers one of two strangers that have just emerged from a structure that is next to Commander Pike’s Stryder. “Take us back to Eden, then, we can tell you what has happened to this ship. It’s too dangerous to remain in Rockwell’s Garden for long.”

“How will we get you back through the void without spacesuits?” asks Commander Pike.

“We can ride on the Stryder with the force field and activate it just before we enter the void,” answers the stranger. “It will trap the air inside long enough for us to get to the other side.”

“Lets go then,” orders Commander Pike.

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Chapter 7. Gabriel and Nina’s story of survival.


Riding on the shield Stryder, the two strangers, Gabriel and Nina, make the trip safely through the void to Eden. In spite of the shield produced by the Stryder, the trip through the void serves to disinfect everything from the contamination picked up in Rockwell’s Garden. It is the only thing that has kept the Eden Ring free of Rockwell’s influence, so far.

Arriving at the tower base Nina has noticed all of the tamed creatures that now includes a raptor pack along with two carnos. “How were you able to tame these wild creatures,” she asks Dr. Mays.

“I discovered that most of the creatures in this Habitat Ring have been genetically altered to allow us to interact with them,” answers Dr. Mays. “We can even selectively breed them if we so desire.”

“Incredible,” answers Gabriel. “I knew that the DNA of those creatures had been brought along with us for this long journey. I never knew that they had been spawned into Eden let alone having been genetically altered to allow us to tame and use them.”

Back inside the tower base, proper introductions are made with the two survivors and the crew of 007. An extended tour of the area is then made where Gabriel and Nina are introduced to the tames in the area prepared for them. Both of the survivors, and Commander Pike have a ton of questions to ask each other. The discussion goes well into the night.

“Just what is happening here?” as Commander Pike as everyone gathers for the evening meeting.

“We’re not entirely sure,” answers Gabriel.

“It all started a year ago when we started having unexplained problems with the food processors in the two habitat rings followed by cryopods failing for no apparent reasons. The ship had just entered stable orbit around Arat when additional unexplained failures started occurring. When we started noticing strange lifeforms showing up in what we now call Rockwell’s Garden, HNLA set up isolation protocol to protect what we call Eden from contamination. That’s when I found out that something was wrong up on the bridge when we lost all communications after a warning about some giant life form that had invaded the control room.”

“I led a security team, along with our biologist, through the Bridge Teleporter to investigate what was going on. It was a horrible sight of seeing masses of foul smelling distorted flesh growing all over the place before the security team was attacked with vine like tentacles laced with flesh eating acids. The distorted giant face that identified himself as Rockwell, then informed us of how he was going to expand his influence throughout the entire universe, starting with establishing himself on Arat, before killing everyone still left alive on the bridge.”

“I somehow managed to escape back through the teleport, but a part of Rockwell was already growing in the cargo bay and soon took over that section of the Habitat Ring. Nina managed to isolate that area to contain the spread but it somehow managed to get into the ventilation and power conducts to eventually feed on all of the cryopodded colonist down below.”

“HNLA managed to keep the infection out of the Eden Ring, but I fear that everyone in the cryopods stored down below are dead as well.”

“Your fears are unfortunately confirmed,” responds Commander Pike. “My team that went down below confirmed that the cryopods stored down there were either empty, or contained decomposed bodies.”

“What ever happened to the rest of the crew on this ship?” asks Dr. Mays.

“They all died when they were either attacked by the creatures of Rockwell’s Garden, or when they attempted to storm the Bridge,” answers Nina. “We are the only ones left.”

“How were you able to gain control of the Stryders and a Voidworm?” asks Gabriel.

“I was able to hack into the control console to place it into manual control,” answers Dennis. “The Voidworm was more difficult as we had to paralyze it so I could find it’s control panel and disable its attack on sight programming. I do believe that I could find the control panels on the rare mechanical creatures roaming in the Habitat Ring and gain control of them as well.”

“How did you and your crew end up on this Ark?” asks Gabriel. “According to our computer records, the ship should only have your DNA records in storage.”

“We don’t know.” answers Commander Pike. “We just found ourselves in these strange space suits after we were killed when our ship crashed into Mars. Dennis was able to find out some of the history of this ship and it’s 100 year mission to reach a new world to establish a colony there.”

“Interesting,” answers Nina. “HNLA must have spawned you into Eden similar to what she has done with these creatures that are now living in here.

“Who is this HNLA?” Commander Pike finally asks her.

“She is the name of the computer system that manages the operation of this ship,” answers Nina.

“Have you been able to access the main computer to communicate with HNLA?” asks Gabriel.

“Only partially,” answers Dennis. “The system appears to have been placed in a security mode to protect itself from whatever is attempting to take control of it. The outside terminal has access to what we believe are virtual reality training scenarios to prepare us for some kind of a battle. We have tried some of them and found that many of them are impossible to survive the dangers they are presenting.”

“I wonder if HNLA is attempting to train us so we can take out Rockwell,” answers Gabriel. “He has created such a mess in the other Habitat Ring in his effort to gain control of the ship. She has to be blocking his effort to inhabit Arat. Otherwise, he would have done so long ago.”

“That is my guess,” answers Commander Pike. “It would certainly explain why we were brought here after my ship was struck by a meteor and crashed into Mars. It would also explain why we are finding various weapons in the supply canisters we have been finding in this Habitat Ring.”

“Supply canisters?” asks Gabriel with supplies.

“Yes,” answers Commander Pike as he shows Gabriel some of the unusual weapons they have gathered from them. “Could this HNLA be preparing us for an all out effort to rid the ship of Rockwell once and for all?”

“It would seem so,” answers Gabriel

“Then, we need to train in the VR simulator until we have learned how to win them all on their most difficult settings,” orders Commander Pike. “Once we have become strong enough, we can then head for the Bridge teleport, defeat him, and regain control of the ship.”

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Chapter 8. Preparing to confront Rockwell.


The following morning, Dennis and Gabriel check out the programming in the platform terminal that is near their base of operation. “It is as you suspected,” reports Gabriel to Dennis. “HLN-A is going to prepare us into defeating Rockwell.”

“We should start with a couple of us on the easy sessions, then add more of us as those sessions require until we can accomplish all of them with ease.” suggest Dennis.

“Lets work as teams of three,” orders Commander Pike. “We can always enlarge them as needed.”

The first missions that are tried are the races with the first one being canoe racing. After completing the easy one in the simulation, Stella, the team communication tech, comments that they should craft up some of these canoes for real. “They could help us in exploring some of these river systems.” she tells the team.

Redoing the race in the Alpha Setting soon proves that the time limit makes the task of reaching the finish line in time much more difficult. Jerry’s team ends up smashing their three man canoe into a rock as they try to shave off some time. Finally, with the three construction specialist working together as an organized team, they are able to cross the finish line in the allotted time with seconds to spare.

“That was hard,” Jerry tells Commander Pike at their meeting after everyone has completed the canoe race.

“It’s HLN-A training us that time is going to be critical in defeating Rockwell,” Gabriel reminds them.

“Lets get started with the next mission,” orders Commander Pike.

Over the next couple of days, the racing and capture missions get completed, but then, everyone has ran into a roadblock of how to progress further. Missions are now involving defending against hoards of virtual creatures that are even proving impossible for the teams to fight off on the easiest setting. “This is getting us nowhere fast,” warns Commander Pike at their evening meeting. “What can we do to break through this bottleneck?”

“We could use the combat and shield stryders,” answers Dennis. “But they are just too big to go through some of the areas of that last training mission. Their maneuverability is not that good either.”

“Could we use some of out cavernous tames to help us?” asks Dr. Mays.

“It’s possible,” answers Gabriel. “Lets take the raptors and carnos with us and see what they can do against the virtual creatures.”

The next mission is run using the carnos and raptors with limited success. Gamma gets completed, just barely.

At the evening meeting, the problem of running the more difficult missions is brought up by Commander Pike. “Could we tame up spinos, rexes, or even one of those dangerous Gigas to help us in those missions?” asks Dr. Mays.

“Like the Stryders, their size and slow speed is going to work against them,” answers Commander Pike. “We need aggressive tames that are fast, can hide easily, are tough, will hit hard, and are small enough to get through those narrow passageways.”

“That sounds like those Shadowmanes we have observed hunting in Rockwell’s Garden,” reports Nina. “They would certainly make powerful allies in killing the creatures now showing up in those simulations.”

“Is it even possible to tame any of Rockwell’s creations?” asks Dr. Mays.

“Lets go find out,” answers Commander Pike. “Dennis, see what you can find out about those creatures.”

As the discussion continues, Dennis has access the computer system for information about the Shadowmanes. “This is interesting,” Dennis tells the group. “Rockwell must have slipped up with designing them. According to HLN-A we can tame them by coming up behind them as they are sleeping and feed them live fish in a basket. She warns us to be careful as they will go invisible and could attack us when they wake up to feed. We will have to wait until they go to sleep before we feed them again.”

“If we wear something called Gillie Armor, we can safely get a lot closer to them to place a pen around them so that they don’t roam into places of danger after we feed them.”

“How do we get them back through the Void?” asks Margaret.

“We can make something called a cryopod,” answer Dennis. “When put inside of one, they will be preserved in a state of suspended animation. We can easily carry dozen of these pods with us and deploy them as needed.”

“Do you think that it will be safe to bring one of Rockwell’s creation into Eden,” asks Dr McCoy.

“According to HLN-A, the cryopod will prevent any of Rockwell’s corruption from transferring over here.” answers Dennis.

“Is it possible for us to take Stryders with us in cryopods?” asks Commander Pike.

“No,” answers Dennis. “The cryopods only work on the living creatures in this world. They won’t work on any of the machines or even on us.”

“Lets get some cryopods crafted, make up some fish baskets, catch some fish in them, and go tame up some Shadowmanes in the morning,” orders Commander Pike.

“What an irony if we are able to defeat Rockwell with some of his own creations,” answers Gabriel.

That evening, cryopods are crafted up in the supply terminals. Fish baskets are placed in the stream. By morning, the supplies are ready for the attempt to obtain Shadowmanes. With Gillie Armor and fencing materials packed on the Stryders, Commander Pike, Gabriel, Dennis, and Nathen make the trip across the Void into Rockwell’s garden. It takes the better part of the day for the team to track down eight high level Shadowmanes for taming. With the Gillie Armor, they are able to confine the sleeping Shadowmanes, get them tamed, and placed into cryopods.

Back at the camp, the eight Shadowmanes are released from the cryopods for the entire crew to observe up close. “What an unusual creature this creation of Rockwell is,” comments Dr. Mays when she gets brave enough to go ride on one bareback. “This is wonderful. Like all of the other creatures in Eden, these lion fish lions are already trained to respond to out commands.”

“Why do you call them lion fish lions?” asks Sarah.

“Because they look like a giant sized version of a sea creature known as a lionfish,” answers Dr Mays.

As Gabriel, Dr. Mays, Dennis, Ahab, Nathen, Nina, Tom, and Jerry start riding on the Shadowmanes, they soon find out the special abilities these creatures have available to them. “Invisibility, that could be so useful for sneaking by danger or ambushing it,” comments Commander Pike. “Am I seeing that some of our crew members are going invisible next to the Shadowmane?”

“Yes,” answers Gabriel. “It looks like that some of your other tames became invisible as well when I activated this girl’s invisibility powers.”

“Interesting,” answers Nina. “It doesn’t work with my male. However, we must be close together for your invisibility to work.”

As the eight continue to experiment with the shadowmanes, they soon discover other special abilities that Rockwell’s genetic creation have. There is the power to leap great distances, teleport a short distance in a flash, obtain a herd boost, and various abilities which is proven when they take down one of the dangerous Gigas with ease.

“Outstanding,” answers Commander Pike. “We still may have a chance to complete all of the simulated missions and regain control of the ship. Lets see how well they do on that mission we couldn’t complete, then go get one for everybody to train on.”

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Chapter 9. The final challenge.


With their Shadowmane allies, Code Red gets completed with ease. Learning from the experience, the eight, led by Gabriel, complete Alpha.

“This is outstanding,” Gabriel reports to Commander pike after completing Code Red on Alpha. “These Shadowmanes are exactly what we needed for these missions.”

“Outstanding,” answers Commander Pike on the good news. “We need to get one for everyone.”

“I’m not sure that it is wise for us to go back into Rockwell’s Garden to obtain more Shadowmanes,” warns Gabriel. “He could find out what we are using them for.”

“Dr. Mays, can we breed these Shadowmanes to obtain one for everyone?” asks Commander Pike.

“Yes,” answers Dr. Mays after doing an examination on them. “If the growth rate is anything like it is with the parasaurs, you will have an army of them in a week.”

“Lets limit the missions we are taking in the training program for the time being until we have obtained our Shadowmane army,” orders Commander Pike. “We’ll spend our time in obtaining high end weapons and the supplies need for the final showdown. Lets see what other missions we can train in that doesn’t involve using them.”

Over the next several days, teams of the crews of 007 fan out looking for drops containing high tek gear. Among the gear found are the Tek Bow, Tek Pistol, a net gun, and a blueprint for a Mech Exosuit. Meanwhile, Dr. May’s breeding program is going better then expected due to the fast maturity rate of the Shadowmane offspring.

“That’s a lot of metal and element shards needed to build that Exosuit,” warns Gabriel. “Still, we may need it’s power if we are to defeat Rockwell.”

“We can send Harvester Stryders into the void to get the required materials,” answers Dennis. “However, according to HLN-A, we will need to fly over to the teleport platform in order to reach the bridge. While they do come with thrusters, they are not powerful enough to go flying in this artificial gravity. We cannot cryo these Exosuits either.”

“We’ll find a way to get them there,” answers Commander Pike.

As luck would have it, the asteroids that show up in the void that morning, are loaded with element shards. They, and the heavy metal ore, are teleported directly into Tek Storage bins using the backpack function on the Harvester Stryder. An Industrial Forge, found in a supply crate, makes quick work of processing the ore. Before long, eight battle Mechs Exosuits have been constructed.

While testing them out, it is found that there is a jump function that, like the Shadowmane, allows them to leap long distances. “Is it possible that we can reach the teleport with these?” Commander Pike asks Gabriel.

“There is one way to find out,” answers Gabriel. “Lets take a pair of Shadowmanes with us and check it out.”

With the Shadowmane pair cryoed for crossing the void, Commander Pike and Gabriel make the trip to Rockwell’s garden. Riding on the Shadowmanes, they enter the passageway to down below and activate their stealth mode.

“Crap, this place looks like the inside someone’s innards,” comments Commander Pike.

“Actually, you are inside Rockwell’s innards,” answers Gabriel. “Watch where you step. This place is full of acids and other toxic stuff. And, be careful. His innards are full of creatures that act like antibodies. It’s why we lost so many crew members when we tried to storm the bridge.”

“Wouldn’t it be easier to just tear up his insides in order to gain control of the bridge?” Commander Pike asks Gabriel.

“All that effort did was to fill the interior with more of his proliferation,” answers Gabriel. “You have to destroy the head in order to kill him.”

“Now, I understand why the food processors are unable to feed us,” answers Commander Pike. “All of it’s production are being used to sustain this out of control growth.”

“Here is the teleport platform located under that giant beating heart.” reports Gabriel.

“Good,” comments Commander Pike as he studies the layout of the area. “If we can work with the Shadowmane stealth capability, the Exosuit Mechs can reach the platform unseen. Lets get back before Rockwell discovers that we are down here. Besides, it smells like $hit in here.”

Back at the base in Eden, a planning meeting is held by Commander Pike with everyone present. “Since cryoed creatures can’t take anything with them and we are limited in what we can carry, I propose that we take the Harvester Stryders with us packed with raw meat, medical brew, and extra ammo. As soon as we have entered the transfer tube for Rockwell’s Garden, we can uncryo the Shadowmanes and transfer the raw meat and other supplies to them. Dennis will then take the Stryders back to Eden and use HLN-A to monitor our progress. He’ll radio that progress through a secure channel back to me. Lets get everything prepared for that ultimate showdown, then get some rest. Once we are ready, lets plan to launch our attack before daylight arrives.”

It is a week since the recon patrol to what is called Rockwell’s Innards when the crew of 007, Gabriel and Nina are finally as prepared as they will ever be to confront Rockwell. The Harvester Stryders are loaded with the supplies as the Shadowmanes are cryopodded for the trip across the Void. At Midnight, the patrol is on their way through the airlocks to Rockwell’s Garden. “Where are those asteroids,” asks Dennis as they enter the Void.

“Good question,” answers Commander Pike. “Lets get over to the other airlock before something unexpected happens in here.”

In the airlock passageway of Rockwell’s Garden, the Shadowmanes are deployed, packed with supplies, and everyone is on their way as Dennis returns with the Harvester Stryders. “Stealth mode,” orders Commander Pike as they enter through the doorway to down below. “Stay close to the Shadowmanes so you don’t accidentally become visible. Don’t shoot at anything unless you are attacked by it. We only get one shot at this to catch Rockwell off guard. Lets make the most of this moment to surprise him.”

As they quietly make their way to the bridge teleport platform, the patrol manage to avoid anything dangerous on the way. The Shadowmanes remain in stealth mode in spite of their being uncomfortable from the stench polluting the air. The eight in their Exosuit Mech stay close to their Shadowmane escorts. The strange floating lifeforms keep their distance as the patrol approach, then jump onto the teleport platform, the deep pounding of the giant heart above them masking the sound of them dropping onto the platform.

“This is it,” Commander Pike whispers as he activates the teleport control. A hex mesh, much like the ones used by the simulations terminal, descends upon the patrol sending them to the Bridge.

Entering the bridge area, the patrol is confronted with a locked door to the passageway to the bridge. A call is made to Dennis to obtain help from HLN-A to unlock it. Accessing the computer on his end, Dennis gets the door unlocked. “Be aware that Rockwell knows that you are coming,” Dennis warns the patrol. “He detected your activity from the bridge teleporter.”

With the doors to the corridor opening, the patrol is presented with the most nightmarish scene ever experienced. Gross test zombie like distorted giant heads of Rockwell line the corridor walls along with numerous eyeballs glaring at them. The Shadowmanes, now no longer in stealth, are growling in protest from the smell of rotting flesh coming from the organic mess. The patrol continues through the corridor past those gross display as Rockwell starts taunting them with his superiority and how it is now much too late to beg for their lives. While the trek is most frightening, the patrol remains untouched by any effort to slow down their advance.

Not so, when the patrol opens the doors into the bridge proper. The patrol is greeted by a sea of giant tentacles coming out of the floor which promptly attacks everyone. The Shadowmanes are busy ripping them out of the floor as their riders are soon busy taking out flying creatures with their Tek weapons. The Shadowmanes are soon in rage mode as their attacks become more powerful against Rockwell’s defenses.

As the slow advance continues, the patrol is suddenly swarmed by hundreds of meat puppets. “Net Guns,” orders Commander Pike in a panic. Immobilized by the nets, the meat puppets soon succumb to the rage attack by the Shadowmanes. “That training mission using them sure has paid off,” Commander Pike thinks to himself as the meat puppet threat is soon overcome.

As the battle continues, a new threat emerges in the form of green acidic slime. “Up on the walls,” warns Gabriel. The eight mech open fire on three giant meat puppets that appear immune to the Tec weapons thus wiping them out.

Now facing the distorted octopus like head of Rockwell himself, the shadowmanes go after his numerous limbs. The eight mechs and the rest of the crew open fire on Rockwell’s chest. Warning alarms of environmental failure are screaming through the intercoms as Rockwell lets out a deafening scream before dying. “Get out of there now” a radio message is received from Dennis. “The ship’s main reactor is going critical and there is nothing HLN-A can do to stop it. I’m activating the Eden Ring separation protocol now.”

“You can’t do that with those solar sails deployed,” warns Commander Pike.

“There’s no time to close them,” warns Dennis. “Get out of there now.” Shattering from the pressure and damage caused by the destruction of Rockwell, the bridge implodes scattering everyone into the vacuum of space.

“Head for the Eden Ring,” orders Commander Pike as it crashes through the solar sail as it flies slowly away from the crippled ship. The flight to safety seems to be taking forever as the Eden Ring gets further away from the crippled ship which is now drifting out of control as numerous small explosions are observed to be taking place. It is a half hour later, when everyone has just entered into the force field airlock when a huge blinding flash takes place that vaporizes the star ship and it’s Rockwell Garden Habitat Ring.

Running back to their base in the Eden Ring, everyone is knocked down by the shock wave that hits the Habitat Ring. A general alarm is now sounding about a life support failure in progress. “Head for the escape pods,” orders Commander Pike as he can see the bulkheads doors closing off sections of the habitat ring.

Down below, Dennis has gathered everyone to send them down to the pod bay. Groups of four enter into each of the pods before they are deployed as hundreds of others are seen being ejected from the Habitat Ring. The Eden Ring is starting to skim the stratosphere of Arat as Commander Pike’s pods is deployed. The atmosphere is filled with pieces of burning debris from the remains of the StarShip as Commander Pike maneuvers about to avoid the larger pieces. One of the pieces hits a nearby pod destroying it. Commander Pike is barely able to escape destruction as pieces of the pod damage his viewing screen. The pod barely remains under control as he orders everyone on board to strap in. It is a rough landing as the pod’s parachute snags into the giant trees of the jungle below, then the pod careens off the trunk before crashing to the ground.

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Chapter 10. The primitive world of Arat.


It is the morning of September 18th, 2550 as Commander Pike, his wife Mary, Gabriel, and Nina, start to recover from being tossed about due to their crash landing in the jungles of Arat. “Is everyone all right?” asks Commander Pike.

“I’m OK,” answers his wife.

“I’m still here,” answers Gabriel.

“I’m over here,” answers Ninh.

Using the suit radios, Commander Pike calls to the other members of his crew but is getting nothing but some strange buzzing that drowns out all effort to get a response.

“Our Tek Spacesuits are not working,” warns Gabriel after he notices that it is getting hard to breathe with his helmet closed.

“Take your helmet off,” orders Comander Pike. “Can you contact the other pods with the radio on board the pod?”

“No,” answers Gabriel. “I’m getting the same interference that is jamming the suit’s radios.”

“Lets get these suits off, then find something else to get into,” orders Commander Pike. “The have become nothing more then dead weight.”

Finding a med kit in the landing pod, Mary takes care of the cuts and bruises resulting from everything in the pod that went flying about. Fortunately for everyone on board, the Tek Suits that they were wearing during the attack to gain control of the bridge, has protected them from serious injuries. But now, the Tek Suits are no longer functioning. Attempts to contact the other pods has failed due to some strong electromagnetic interference jamming their radio. Forced to abandon the Tek Suits they originally were wearing, Nina find a set of basic clothes in a storage locker and hands out a set of them for everyone to change into.

Outside of the pod, burning debris can still be seen coming down through the sky in a gap in the jungle canopy. Explosions, being caused by larger pieces of burning debris hitting the ground, can be heard among the jet like sound of other pieces of the shattered solar sail burning up in the atmosphere. The smell of smoke hangs heavy in the air from several small fires burning in the jungle vegetation caused by the falling debris. Those fires soon go out due to the dampness of the jungle where they have been ignited.

“Gabriel, what does the pod environmental control tell us about the atmosphere of this moon,” asks Commander Pike.

“It appears to be similar to that of the Earth during the Stone Age,” reports Gabriel. “Given that the viewing window on the pod was shattered by the crash, we are already being exposed to the environment of Arat. We will have to survive in the conditions of this environment as the pod can no longer protect us from that outside world.”

“Lets take an inventory of what supplies we have with us in the landing pod.” orders Commander Pike. “We best stay put until all of that debris has landed on this moon, then go looking for the others.”

90 minutes later, as they proceed to search the pod to take an inventory of all useful items, their work is interrupted by a loud rumbling explosion as the ground shakes intermittently for several minutes. Dirt and crushed debre made up of ground up trees and other vegetation. comes settling down out of the darkened sky around them. “Did the Genesis Ship just crashed into this moon?” asks Mary Pike.

“No,” answers Gabriel. “It was vaporized when the fusion reactor went critical. There was nothing left that I could see once the brilliant flash of light died out. Even Rockwell’s Garden had vanished in that explosion.”

“It might have been the Eden Ring crashing onto this moon,” answers Commander Pike. “Before we reached the airlock, Dennis warned me that the thrusters had ran out of fuel before he could place it into a stable orbit.”

“That could be bad news for the environment on Arat,” warns Nina. “This world will now be totally contaminated by whatever flora and fauna in the Eden Ring has survived the crash.”

“We’ll go looking for it once we can find out what has happened to the rest of the crew,” answers Commander Pike. “Then, we can determine how much environmental damage Eden has caused to this world.”

It is an hour later when the foursome have completed tearing apart the landing pod for useful items and make their report to Commander Pike. “We have a set of cold weather, hot weather, and wet weather gear for the four of us,” reports Nina. “There is also a set of basic construction tools and an inflatable shelter. However, it appears that the shelter has been damaged due to our crash landing. I don’t think that there is any way we can repair it.”

“There is a stock of freeze dried food and bottled water for about a week,” reports Mary. “We also have a basic first aid kit along with medications to ward off infections and parasites.”

“The pod instruments are measuring a strong electromagnetic field around Arat,” reports Gabriel. “It’s what is interfering with the pod radio. It has also disabled most of the other equipment including our Tek weapons. We are literally going to be forced to rely on stone age tools for our survival.”

“That electromagnetic field might be a blessing in disguise,” reports Commander Pike. “If that red dwarf star we are orbiting so close to is anything like other red dwarf stars that we have studied, that strong electromagnetic field will be protecting us from it’s intense solar radiation.”

“You are correct about that,” answers Gabriel. “The probes sent to this system confirmed that this moon was suitable for colonization only because of the protection from the solar radiation.”

“Lets get outside and see if we can salvage the parachute,” orders Commander Pike. “We can make use of it for a portable shelter if we can find some bamboo like wood to use for poles.”

Outside, the foursome set to work to recover the parachute that is hung up in a tree limb. The air around them has now cleared up enough that they can see the clouds in the sky. Armed with a hatchet, Commander Pike climbs the tree to start hacking off the limb it is hung up in. With it cut loose, the rest of the crew is able to pull it down and salvage several pieces of the parachute that are large enough for use as a tent and tarps. The synthetic cables connecting the chute to the pod are suitable for lashing together poles and for the stay lines. With some work, they are unbraded to create the smaller diameter ropes for their various construction needs. Mary finds some bamboo like plants that are the right size for cutting into poles to build a shelter. They are lashed together with the unbraded cable to form a supporting frame. One of the smaller pieces is used to make a tarp to keep the rain out of the pod due to the broken window when some rain showers move in. It also serves to collect the muddy rain water which is further cleaning the air of all the dirt kicked up into it. That rain is saved in a makeshift container to use for cooking and bathing. A second tarp serves to shelter a campfire that has been started to use for cooking as it will soon get dark out. A flammable pitch has been found at the base of some of the older trees that makes for an excellent torch fuel. It will provide for light at night in addition to the lights from of the pod.

As evening approaches, the foursome are able to relax some to study the unusual environment surrounding them. It is a beautiful world similar to that from the moon of Pandora from the movie Avatar. Large flowering plants, vines hanging from the trees, various mushrooms that are starting to glow in the approaching darkness, and various unusual types of insects feeding on them. The sky is lit with a brilliant display of dancing shimmering curtains of light. The gas giant the moon is orbiting, hangs motionless overhead as Arat is tidally locked to it resulting in the same side always facing it. With it’s orbit taking 26 hours to circle the gas giant planet, a day on Arat is also 26 hours long. A year 45 days for the giant gas planet to orbit it’s red dwarf star.

Mary, armed with a portable scanner containing a sampling probe, has been testing the plant life for anything dangerous. So far, what she has tested has proven to be safe to touch. Still, like being in Rockwell’s Garden, that doesn’t mean that everything in this new world will be safe to the touch. She had found plants there that would burn holes in your skin like acid in addition to plants that were meat based and would eat you like giant fly traps. She later warns everyone to not eat any of the fruits or berries until she has thoroughly tested them when one of the samples tests out as containing a toxic substance similar to Meth. She also warns them not to get the black tar on them that is being used to fuel the torches. While not toxic, the sticky substance is most difficult to clean off of any surface such as one’s skin.

While they are still securing their position for the night, the foursome hear a shout in the distance. Four other individuals, dressed in warm weather gear, are seen coming towards them from up on the hill. It is the team of construction specialist consisting of Carlos, John, Laura, and Tina. Seeing the light from down below, they have come down the hill to investigate it’s source.

“It’s good to see that someone else has survived the landing on Arat,” reports Carlos to Commander Pike. “We were almost hit by the Eden Ring when it took off the top of the mountain to the north of us.”

“So, you are telling us that you saw Eden fall out of orbit?”

“Yes. After we saw the edge of the ring clip off the nearby mountain, it tumbled over landing into a sea we could see from the tip of the hill before the dust obscured everything. Do you have any idea why our radios are not working?”

“This moon has a strong electromagnetic field surrounding it that is jamming our radios,” answers Commander Pike. “It has also disabled our tek weapons. While we haven’t seen anything dangerous around here so far, we only have have crossbows, netguns, and pikes. Lets take shelter at our pod for now with two man watches. In the morning, we should go looking for the others starting from up on the hill from where you came from.”

“Agreed,” answers Carlos. “It’s been a long rough day with defeating that monstrous growth called Rockwell, then surviving landing on this moon especially with Eden crashing down on top of us. Do you think that any of the creatures on Eden could have survived the impact?”

“Possibly, some of the flying ones if they were in an area that still had life support functioning,” answers Mary.

“I guess we will find out once we can inspect the crash site,” answers Commander Pike. “Lets get some rest for now, then go find out in the morning.”

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Chapter 11. The remains of Eden.


The night has been a remarkable experience for the eight survivors sheltering in a makeshift tent at Commander Pike’s landing pod. Much of the foliage in the nearby jungle is aglow in greens and purples. Insects of various sizes, many of them with glowing spots on their bodies, are flying about. It may be the presence of the fire from the torches, or the artificial lights, but the eight survivors are not being bothered by them. Some smaller creatures are seen scurrying about, their eyes glowing in the light. One species of them is seen catching some of the odd plant shaped insects for food. Others, seem to be hunting the creatures observed eating some of the ground cover plants in the area. An occasional larger creature can be heard hunting in the distance. The moon they landed on, Arat, appears to be a biologically active world with it’s food chain of plants, camouflaged insects, other insects and small creatures that hunt them, herbivores, and the carnivores that hunt them for food or scavenged them.

The night sky has remain in twilight due to the Aurora lighting from the sky, the bio-luminous plants in the jungle setting they have set up their camp in, and the light reflected off of the atmosphere of the gas giant planet orbiting the dwarf red star. Another rain shower has passed overhead as the clouds break up into a broken overcast. There is smoke from some fire in the distance along with some flashes on the horizon from what could only be a crash site. A bright flash is observed by the night watch followed a minute later by a rumbling sound. “Are we in danger from a nuclear explosion or meltdown from the Eden Power reactors?” asks Commander Pike with concern.

“Not to worry,” Gabriel tells the others. “A fusion reactor cannot explode like a nuclear weapon. They won’t even melt down when their containment field fails. Still, they can make quite a bang should one of their deuterium storage tanks rupture creating a fuel air explosion.”

The morning arrives bright and clear with the reddish tint of the red dwarf star. There is smoke observed rising from where the explosion took place during the night. Otherwise, no more debris has been observed burning up in the atmosphere.

After having breakfast from the food reserves and the fruits found growing on Arat that tested safe to eat, the group prepares their backpacks for a hike to explore the area and look for the others. As radios are useless for tracking the landing beacons of the pod, strips of the parachute have been made and marked to serve as markers to find their way back, then, they head up the hill to get a better view of the surrounding terrain.

From the top of the hill, it is a shocking sight of the amount of damage the Eden Ring has done to the terrain as it crashed into the surface of Arat. Smoke is rising from a huge chunk of the ring that is jammed vertically into the side of a mountain. Bits and pieces of the ring can be seen along the horizon. One large intact segment of the ring appears to be upright, the dome still intact with the red sun reflecting off of it, the skid mark of it’s landing leaving a 40 kilometer long trench. Another, further away appears to be upside down. “We should see if we can hike over there once we have checked out Pod 2 for anything salvageable,” orders Commander Pike.

“How could the habitat ring survived in such large pieces?” asks Carlos.

“The same electromagnetic field that is shielding us from the solar radiation and interfering with our tek equipment must have slowed down the habitat ring for a soft landing,” answers Gabriel. “Then it collapsed under it’s own weight once it hit the surface.”

“Actually, it looks like it may have broken up due to the force of gravity before it crashed landed,” suggests Commander Pike. “Otherwise, it should be laying on it’s side instead of being scattered all over the place.”

“You may be right,” answers Gabriel. “At least, we can confirm that once we go examine that large piece the sun is reflecting off of.”

“How far away do you think that it is?” asks Carlos.

“I’m thinking about 40 kilometers,” answers Gabriel.

“Then, we had better be prepared for a couple of nights of camping out in this wilderness,” suggest Mary as the group head for the escape pod Carlos and the others landed in.

Finding Pod Two, It is inspected for anything useful. More preserved food and water is located in storage along with working portable lights containing diamond nuclear batteries that have an almost infinite battery life. As expected, while not damaged, very little of the high tek equipment is functional due to the electromagnetic interference of the moon. Containing an intact portable shelter, it is backpacked along with food, water, lights, basic tools, and primitive weapons. With the gravity of Arat being close to that of Mars, packing all of the supplies has been made far easier for the eight some on this quest.

Taking a bearing on the reflection coming off the one upright section, the group heads down to the large piece of the habitat ring. The going becomes relatively easy when they use the plowed skid mark for travel given that all of the jungle has been pushed to one side. Still, it is a long hike that takes most of the day just to reach the crashed section of Eden.

“Is there any way we can get inside of this section?” asks Commander Pike.

“The only way in is going t o be through the airlock,” answers Gabriel. “They must be on the other side as I don’t see any of them here. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have been buried given the amount of ground that is piled up around the ends. Still, we could luck out and find a way in through the damaged side of this section.”

“Lets look for a safe place to set up camp for the night, then find our way inside in the morning,” answers Commander Pike.

Climbing up to the top of the debris pile, a suitable flat area is found in the shade now being cast by the upright chunk of Eden to set up camp for the night. Some prehistoric flying creatures have been spotted flying nearby. As a fire is lit along with some lights being set up, one of the flying creatures heads towards their camp with the rest of them following. Putting everyone on alert, Commander Pike is shocked when he sees that the reptile like creature flying towards them is saddled with a rider controlling it.

“Hello,” the strange rider shouts to them.

“Dennis?” commander Pike responds in surprise as he recognizes the voice of the person riding on the flying reptile as it comes in to land with the flock of other flying creatures following him.

“I’m glad to see that there are survivors from that awful landing we had to endure,” answers Dennis.

“Have you been in contact with anybody else?” asks Commander Pike.

“Only Jane, Nathen, and Sandra,” answers Dennis. “We ended up back on Eden when our escape pod was destroyed.”

“How did you survive the crash?” asks Commander Pike.

“It had to be by blind luck,” answers Dennis. “We could see the Eden Ring breaking up as some unknown force was slowing it down. Fortunately, out segment had retained life support when the emergency bulkheads sealed off this section. Still, it was a rough landing as you can tell by the skid mark it left on the surface. The terrain in the habitat section suffered a lot of damage like one would have observed in an earthquake. The campsite is still in one piece with our tames having survived. I don’t know how, but the lake is still there with one side partially flooded while the other has dried up. Most interesting is that the entire transparent roof has vanished. It landed in the sea on the other side of this section. It is how I got out with the pteradons and these other fliers to go looking for survivors.”

“Do you know why our radios are not working?”

“Yes,” answers Gabriel. “This moon is shielded from the red sun’s radiation by a strong electromagnetic field. It’s force field interferes with our radios and has disable most of our Tek equipment.”

“That explains why the Voidworm, the Tek Dinos, and all of the Stryders are no longer functioning,” answers Dennis. “They appear to be undamaged, but their computers have been shut down. I have been unable to get them rebooted so far.”

“Damn,” responds Commander Pike. “We could certainly use the abilities of those Stryders in getting established on this moon. It looks like we will have to rely on our tames and what primitive tools we are able to use.”

“Lets head back to our campsite in Eden,” suggest Dennis. “Everyone can use one of the flying tames for transport. As the Tapji can take three and the Griffin two, the rest of you can ride on one of the Argys and Quitzel back to the camp.”

“You are going to have to tell me how you managed to tame all of these flying creatures when we reach camp,” answers Commander Pike.

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Chapter 12. Finding everyone else.


Flying back to the camp inside the Eden Ring, everyone can see the damage done to the terrain by the impact on the surface of Arat. It is a mess like that of a great earthquake tearing up the surface. Some of the taller structures have buckled from the crash but most remain intact. Not notice earlier by Dennis is a gaping hole by one of the airlocks. Flying by it, Commander Pike has observed that a natural ramp has formed to the outside world where the piled up terrain forms a natural bridge to the outside. “$hit!” curses Nina when she sees the huge hole in the side of the ring. “This crash landing has now contaminated the flora and fauna of Arat with the plants and animals from Earth. I can even see some of the creatures from the aquarium swimming out into the sea.”

“What problems are that going to create in this world?” asks Commander Pike.

“It will most certainly upset the ecological balance in this world as a result of the introduction of those invasive species from Earth,” warns Nina.

“Is there any way that we can round up all of those creatures before they disrupt the environment of this world?” asks Commander Pike.

“Unfortunately, no,” answers Nina. “As there are survivors from this segment of Eden, there will certainly be many more that that have survived the crash of other segments of this ring. We will be unable to find them all. With the computer systems of Eden being disabled by the strong magnetic field of Arat, they will start reproducing on their own. It’s even possible that their intelligence could revert back to that of their prehistoric kin. In short, anything out there could start behaving like the glowing alphas that were living in here. And, even if they don’t, their offspring may not be tamable.”

“Where do you think that our tames that are not in the paddack have disappeared to?” asks Commander Pike.

“That is a good question,” answers Nina. “They could either be out looking for food, or have decided to go exploring the outside world.”

“Lets land, then get the Mewings and do a complete survey of this section before nightfall,” orders Commander Pike. “In the morning, we will go looking for the rest of our crew.”

The evening report of that survey results in an alarming report of the condition of the surviving segment and that of two observed on each end. Many of the wild creatures, especially the larger carnivores, are observed leaving through the broken airlock, much like the animal’s on Noah’s Ark. Worse yet, are the two segments broken off from the segment that is home base. One of those two end sections, broken off like the stern section of the sinking titanic, is spewing out surviving creatures in all directions. The other one looks devoid of anything living in it, probably the results of an explosive decompression as it broke off while still in space. Two other segment showing up close to the darkening horizon, are seen badly crumpled on their side. It is unlikely that anything has survived the resulting crash. The dome of the home section is seen floating in the nearby sea. Some other segments can be seen in the distance sticking out of the water by the setting red sun.

During the night, the eight survivors are able to observe some strange activity on a moon nearby to Arat. It is the moon that the remains of the Genesis ship has crashed into. A strange glow is being observed on the surface through a telescope. It looks much like some kind of volcanic activity. “It must have been caused from the power core explosion,” comments Gabriel as he observes the activity there. “I can also make out some pieces of the Genesis Ship that are speared into the surface.”

“Do you think that anything from Rockwell’s Garden could have survived the crash?” asks Commander Pike.

“No,” answers Gabriel. “I can only find pieces of that ring scattered about on the surface. Besides, our survey of this system determined the atmosphere of that second moon is made up of methane, sulfuric acid, and carbon dioxide. It’s surface temperature measured 150* C. It’s doubtful that any of Rockwell’s creations could have survived in such an environment.”

“Then, it is much like the surface of Venus,” comments Commander Pike.

“Indeed,” answers Gabriel. “But at a much lower atmosphere pressure. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to see the surface.”

“Hopefully, the nightmare caused by Rockwell is now over,” answers Nina.

“So do I,” answers Commander Pike. “Lets pray that we won’t have to face another one as we work on our own survival.”

“I agree, answers Gabriel. “Unlike your Starship Program, all of our hopes for survival were placed into this one giant ship. There will be no one coming here to rescue us. We are truly on our own to survive in this world.”

It is morning on this third day on the moon of Arat when Commander Powell calls for a meeting. After much discussion, it is decided that the original campsite on Eden will become their temporary home base. After a quick inspection of the domesticated animal pen to repair some minor damage, four of the survivors, working in teams of two, take off on the flying creatures to search for the others while the rest work with Carlos on securing the camp.

Commander and Mary Pike have traveled just a short ways North along the shoreline when they spot their tamed saddled raptors and carno along the shoreline. Next to them are Conner, Clark, Tammy, and Macy. “They actually found us,” Tammy tells Commander Pike as he inquires how they ended up with their tamed raptors and carno.

“Incredible,” comments Mary. “Dr. Mays is certainly right about these creatures being genetically modified in intelligence. Even a bloodhound would have an impossible task of finding someone under these conditions.”

“They showed up the next morning after our pod landed on the beach,” answers Conner. “At first, we though that they were some of the wild inhabitants of this world until we saw the saddles on them. It’s a good thing that they showed up when they did. When we found out that the Tek rifles was no longer working, they took out a strange looking six legged predator that came chasing after us. We have since managed to arm ourselves with pikes, crossbows, and black powder rifles.”

“That sounds like we had better erect a barrier across where the airlock used to be to keep them out of Eden,” answers Commander Pike.

“Do you have any idea why our radios are not working?” asks Macy.

“It’s from the electromagnetic interference caused by this moon,” answers Commander Pike. “It has also disabled the computer systems on Eden as well as those on the Stryder and Voidworm.”

“That would explain why half of the equipment on the survival pod isn’t functioning,” answers Macy.

“Where are we setting up camp at this time?” asks Clark.

“Follow the shoreline back to where you see the ripped out airlock,” answers Commander Pike. “We are making our Eden Camp our temporary base until we have found everyone that has made it down to Arat. Then, we can make a decision on where to survive in this strange new world.”

Coming back to the Eden camp, Commander Pike has found that Stella Lox, Terry Taylor, Stella Lopez, and Dawn Faucett are arriving at the camp both on foot and riding on the parasaurs. “They found us,” Dawn reports to Commander Pike. “We were almost hit by Eden when it crashed into Arat two days ago. With the landing pod crushed, we have been traveling along the edge of the wreckage looking for a way inside. We let the parasaurs guide us back to the broken airlock.”

With Commander Powell, his wife, and the rest of the survivors that have made it back to the Eden Camp, Gabriel and Nina are the next search party that returns with four more survivors riding on their Quizel. “Q-Bert took us on a wild goose chase out into the sea,” reports Gabriel. “She found Nancy, Mike, David, and Ahab floating on an uprooted tree. It appeared to be surrounded by giant sharks. We used the pteradons to pick them off of the tree and place them on Q-Bert’s saddle.”

“Were those giant sharks the Megadlons from Eden?” asks Commander Pike.

“Yes,” answers Ahab. “They must have escaped from the Eden Ring.”

“Maybe, they will do us a favor and get rid of those six legged Karpos living in the sea along the shoreline,” answers Macy.

“That’s not good” warns Nina. “They will upset the natural balance of wildlife in the sea.”

“Only time will tell just what happened to the natural balance in this world,” answers Dr. Mays. “We’ll just have to conduct wildlife surveys from time to time to keep track what happens to that balance. In the meantime, I want everyone to help Carlos to secure the airlock so that nothing can get in here from the outside world. The four of us are going to continue to search for the others until it gets too dark to fly.”

That evening, the foursome fly back to the Eden Camp to file their report. The crew working with Carlos has managed to wall off the hole made by the broken airlock. A quick survey finds that all of the wild creatures in this segment of Eden are either missing, or were killed during the impact into Arat. “It looks like most of them made it out of here,” reports Dawn.

“All of our tames are accounted for,” reports Dr. Mays.

“We have secured the breach in the airlock,” reports Carlos. “We even managed to secure a cargo net across the hole in the aquarium. Other then the missing dome, the rest of this segment is intact. If something unknown is going to come after us, it will have to enter from the missing dome.”

“I have managed to get one of the Stryders functioning,” reports Dennis. “It’s creature detection system should warn us of anything entering the area. The fusion generator for this segment is still intact. I’ll have Nina help me get it operational in the morning. With it’s power, we should be able to create our own Terra Nova on Arat.”

“Excellent!” answers Commander Powell. “Unfortunately, our extended search has failed to find any signs of the others. “I’ll send out a search team in the morning to continue looking for them.”

“Lets set up a watch for the night and get some rest. It’s going to be a busy day tomorrow.”

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Chapter 13. Repairing Eden.


It is now Day Three on Arat Prime as everyone wakes up to start the tasks of their new day in an alien world. Naten, Jane, and Sandra have been assigned the job of looking for the rest of the crew members by using their flying tames. They take the big Quetzel with his platform saddle to serve as a bus should anyone they find need a ride back to the Eden Camp. Dennis has stayed with Captain Pike as he computer skills are needed in the effort to get more Stryders functioning and to get the fusion generator back on line.

Before heading down below to restart the fusion generator, Dennis and Tammy have managed to repair and restart a Harvester Stryder. “This should be quite useful if this Stryder will work outside on Arat Prime to gather needed resources for our new Terra Nova.” reports Commander Pike.

“Can we take them outside to see what they can do?” asks Tammy and Macy.

“Go ahead,” answers Commander Pike. “Just be sure to shut the Dino Gate so that nothing can get back into Eden.”

Operating on the Stryders, the two take them through the Dino Gate blocking the missing airlock to the outside of the beach area. Here, the detection Stryder provides security as Tammy test out the harvester to see what resources it can gather. “This moon’s soil is proving to be rich in useful minerals,” Tammy tells Macy. “This Stryder is gathering aluminum, nickel, iron ore, and copper from the rocky material that was dug up from Eden crashing into the ground here.”

“That is good news,” answers Macy. “It will allow us to construct future expansion to our new Terra Nova.”

“We can also recycle the wreaked sections of the Genesis Ring.” reports Tammy.

“If the rest of the crew can be found, we will be set in establishing our colony.” answers Macy.

Filing their report to Commander Pike, he is able to pass on the good news to the rest of the engineering crew. “That will help us in construction of a permanent colony on Arat Prime,” Tammy reports to everyone there.

The crew led by Gabriel has headed below to get the Fusion Generator back on line and to route it’s power to systems that are still functional. They spend the entire day troubleshooting the various systems connected to it. Thanks to the system being hardened to EMP interference, They are able to get the generator back on line and get the various systems connected to it functioning. A report it then filed with Commander Pike that evening.

It is quite a surprise when Sarah, Danny, Carol, and Dr. McCoy walk into the meeting out of nowhere. “Where have you been all of this time?” asks Commander Pike in surprise.

“We were dead,” answers Dr. McCoy. “Our shuttle was crushed when the Eden Ring crashed on top of us. Somehow, we just spawned back in on the terminal pad we used to enter the simulations.”

“It must have happened after the power was restored to the database computers,” answer Gabriel. “This is quite a surprise that we can be reborn should we end up being killed.”

“We are still missing Margaret, Tom, Jeffery, and Julie,” reports Commander Pike. “Is there any chance that the respawn system couldn’t find them?”

“That’s always that possibility,” answers Gabriel as he access the computer terminal and conducts a search of the recent activities. “I wouldn’t bet my life on it being able to respawn us indefinitely. Still, they must be out there somewhere given that the system is functioning properly and hasn’t respawned them back here.”

Dr. Mays has just returned from the food processing center after returning from the rest room. Out of curiosity, she has checked out one of the food processors. “When did the food processors become operational?” she asks Gabriel as she hands him a ham sandwich.

“I didn’t know that they started working again,” he answers her.

“It may have to do with the fact that Rockwell is no longer consuming all of it’s production of raw materials,” answers Nina.

“This is most interesting,” reports Sarah as she heads back into the cafeteria area and accesses the food processor. “We can create Kibble for our cavernous tames. We will no longer have to take them out hunting or fishing to find food for them.”

“That is great news,” answers Nina. “We can keep them fed when it is not possible to take them out hunting for food.”

“Interesting, we did not lose the fish in the pond,” reports Jane as she comes back from checking it out. “Still, we should not become dependent on the fish and the food processors as our only source for food in this world.”

“I have to agree with Jane,” answers Gabriel. “The day will arrive when Eden can no longer provide for all of our needs. If we have prepared for that possibility, Terra Nova will have a smooth transition to our sustainability.”

“We still need to find Margaret, Tom, Jeffery, and Julie,” reports Commander Pike. “Their skills are going to be crucial to the success of this new colony.”

It is evening when the search party arrives back into the camp to file their report. “We searched the entire area out to 20 kilometers.” reports Naten. “There were no signs of any more pods or the missing people in them.”

“Dr. McCoys crew showed up on the Simulation Pad,” Commander Pike tells him. “They had been killed when this segment of Eden landed on top of them. We’re still missing Margaret’s crew. They have to be out there somewhere.”

“I have a suggestion,” announces Nina. “Lets mark on a map where everyone was found. Lets also check the computer record for when each pod was launched. It might give us an idea of where to look for them.”

Working into the night, Commander Pike and Gabriel plot out the landing location of each escape pod based upon the order they were ejected and where they finally landed on Arat Prime. “It looks like that they should have landed here,” Gabriel tells Commander Pike as he marks the location on a map.

“That’s going to be difficult to find them in that location,” reports Naten. “The jungle was pretty tore up in that location.”

“Is it possible to use a Stryder to detect the presence of humans?” asks Dr. McCoy.

“Yes,” answers Gabriel.

“Then, lets take the Stryders over there at first light to find them,” orders Commander Pike.

It is day four on Arat Prime as a rescue expedition, consisting of Commander Pike, Gabriel, Dennis, and Dr. Mays sets out on four Stryders to go look for the missing pod and it’s four occupants. Once they are able to get around the wreckage of the south end of Eden, they are able to make good time in the plowed up terrain. Reaching the approximate area of the landing site, the Creature Detection Stryder. Programmed to look for human lifeforms other then the four, picks up a positive signal. “We found them,” announces Dennis. “They are somewhere deep in that tangle of jungle.”

“No wonder they couldn’t be spotted from the air if their pod is buried in that tangle mess.” comments Commander Pike. “How do we get in there?”

“I can use the Harvester Stryder to safely remove the overgrowth,” reports Gabriel. “I will set it to only harvest the flora in a narrow band to clear us a path to the target area.”

“Do it!” orders Commander Pike.

A large pile of plant shreddings soon accumulates to one side as the Harvester Stryder slowly cuts a path to the source of the lifeform readings. Eventually, an escape pod is uncovered from the tangle of trees, vines and brush. Glad to be rescued, Tom forces the hatch open, then everyone comes out of the half buried pod.

“How did you find us?” Tom asks Commander Pike. “We’ve been unable to escape from the pod or communicate with anyone since we landed, then got buried in all of that jungle.”

“We used the data from the Eden computer and the location of where all of the pods landed to estimate where your pod was located,” answers Commander Pike. “The Creature Detection Stryder was able to pinpoint your exact location so that the Harvester Stryder could dig you out.”

“How did you access the Eden computer while on this moon,” asks Tom. “How did the Stryders manage to make it down here?”

“The Eden Ring broke up and crashed about 20 kilometers from here,” answers Commander Pike. “The section with our camp in Eden survived intact. With finding your group, everyone is now accounted for. Lets head back to our camp so we can formulate plans to complete our Mars mission of establishing a new colony on Arat Prime.”

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