The following story is based on my experiences in the game Odyssey 3011, an Xbox Live Indie game. The story is a mix of my play through and added fictional encounters in the form of a log kept by my player character.
The auto dock computer tried to fly me into a planet. Dove straight for it. Luckily I took the advice of other traders and stayed in the cockpit while the auto dock was on. I thought it was just taking another of it’s weird routes but nope just straight down. The station’s docking signal was shutdown due to debris from a crash near the loading bay doors. My auto dock locked on to a signal from the planet totally on accident.
I’m getting more odd looks in docking stations lately. Probably has to do with my “quest” to find Earth. Two more station commanders have mentioned it while gifting me with an alien artifact.
I’m back on Iwltr. I’ve been feeling sick. I thought my hormone implant might be malfunctioning. It is alien tech not made for human biology. So I went back to the doctor who implanted it. After checking the implant and finding it in perfect working order, he laid me down on a bed and scanned my whole body. Low level radiation poisoning. My ship has radiation shielding but not quite enough it seems. Any being who spends more than a few jumps in space has bio mods to deal with excess radiation.
Some of the more popular bio mods involve altering a being’s genetic code to allow their body to deal with low levels of radiation. Since my genetic code isn’t native to this sector of space I’m going to have use the more invasive blood cleaner. It sounds worse than it is. I now have a second implant to clean my blood. The doctor replaced one of my kidneys with it, he assured me that it would do the same work as my kidney as well as cleaning my blood of radiation. So, now my pee is radioactive. Doesn’t glow in the dark through.
I’ve been looking at these “alien” artifacts. They seem to be made of stone, roughly cubic in shape, with designs carved into the faces. The designs are the same on all sides but differ from artifact to artifact. That’s not to say they’re all unique, I’ve got a few duplicates. I’m trying to not fall down the alien artifact conspiracy rabbit hole but I noticed something. It looks like some of the designs connect.
I can’t be to only one to notice this. Plenty of other beings have studied these things. No one has ever said anything about “collecting them all”. Maybe it has something to do the supposed curse.
I might have a way home. Maybe. It’s a long shot. I’ve been tracking down info on the artifacts. Most of the word of mouth info I collected early on is basically worthless. I found actual documents about scientific studies done on the artifacts. There are sixteen different types of artifacts. Some scientists think they’re a map to another galaxy or universe. Four of the artifacts change depending on which system you’re in. They think those four act as compass and the rest are a map to a rip or fold in space.
I’m lacking two of the compass artifacts and two of the map artifacts. This isn’t a guaranteed way home but it’s the only lead I have at this point.
Hooked up with a small mercenary group to hunt pirates around Rixu. Rixu has been under siege for over a week and the local authorities have raised the bounty on pirates by double. My ship isn’t the most heavily armed but I am quicker than most pirate ships so I acted as the scout/bait. I flew ahead of the main mercenary group and baited groups of pirates back into the firing line. I took out a few pirates myself but most were dispatched by my new comrades.
Still with the mercenary group. While they have less than a spotless reputation, they aren’t bad beings. I’ve helped hook them up with some high profit trade opportunities and they’ve kept my safe in some of the rougher systems. Thanks to them I’ve been able to search in more systems for the alien artifacts I’m missing. Three more to go.
Found another artifact. Two more left.
Took a job chasing down a malfunctioning escape pod. It was in orbit around a planet making docking at the station hazardous. Not in impossible task but one made harder by the fact the pod wasn’t showing up on radar. I had to orbit the planet doing a visual scan, looking with my eyes, for the damn thing. I found it purely by luck. It happened to cross the planet’s horizon while I was on the night side so it was back lit by the diffused light of the atmosphere. After that it was a simple matter of hitting it a few times with my laser.
The station commander was a little put off by my eagerness to receive an artifact. She said she had seen others consumed by the mystery of the artifacts. I explained how I had come to be in IGUP space and my belief the artifacts might lead me to a possible way home. She allowed me to pick through her collection for an artifact type I did not possess with a warning that I keep my wits about myself.
One more to find.
I’ve done it. I’ve managed to collect all sixteen types of alien artifacts. After the last run that netted me the artifact, I left the mercenary group. I didn’t really make friends with any of them but there was some mutual respect. Some were sad to see me go because I was making them good money. Others were glad to be rid of the weirdo alien collecting cursed rocks.
I’m on my own again. Just me and my quest to get home. Now, how do I read this “map”?
I spent the last few jumps trying to understand how the “compass” is supposed to be read. I have some ideas but it’s going to be a few more jumps until I’m sure. I’m a little weirded out by how they change depending on which system they’re in. How does that work? Are they linked to some sort of beacon? How do they even change? The most through examination done to the artifacts never detected any energy signals or heat changes. I guess what they say about sufficiently advanced technology is true even off Earth.
If I’m reading this map right, I’ve got a heading. It’s halfway across charted space. I’m going to start star hopping, fueling at stars and jumping out of the system without stopping at the local station, to get there faster. If this works my trading days are over.
I’ve arrived in the Nini system. The compass has changed to match a symbol on the map I think indicates the sun. I think I’m here. This is it. I still don’t know what I’m going to find out there. It could be nothing or it might have been moved or it could have been destroyed since the artifacts were made. They are ancient after all.
I’m taking a layover at the local station to have my ship serviced and fueled while I stock up on supplies before heading to the map location.