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J&R Computer/Music World
     
Day Three
Plentitude
Day Four
Bloodshot Sun
Day Five
Monsters
Day Seven
Saviours

DAY THREE - Plentitude

Theyíre going to kill me. Whether itís Saleen itself or one of the primitive madmen that scrabble out their wretched existence here, Iím sure this place will be the end of me. 

Let me start at the beginning, though. My name is Tybaino Erinlas. (Most people just call me ďTyĒ but since youíve found this little diary of mine, Iíd prefer ďTybainoĒ on the headstone.) I came to this forsaken planet on, and at the expense of, the Commonwealth freighter Plentitude. We all half-ass knew what to expect when we signed on with Captain Domillo. It seemed reasonable to us that selling a freighter full of supplies in this nastiest of the nasty sectors of the galaxy would bring us all home with bags of money. We are (or were) a hard and experienced crew. Weíve navigated turbulent space and hot lanes before but none of us were prepared for what the Badlands have to offer. Itís no wonder no one tries to come out here anymore.

Battered and tired, we arrived in the Cynther system and promptly got the hell off-ship. Some of us got left behind on the first rebuild shift, giving the maintenance nanites a helping hand. Some of the crew were given leave on-planet. The trading teams were dispatched to the patchwork space station and various little backwater towns on the surface to convince the locals to pay far too much for our cargo. I think it was actually one of the trading teams that brought the saboteurs back to the Plentitude. At least I assume it was sabotage, though it all happened so fast it leaves me a bit baffled. All I know for sure is that I was on a cargo shuttle on my way to the town of Kanduambet when the com went nuts. It just sort of all happened at onceÖ warnings and broadcasts from the Plentitude started filling the Intellignet channels, filling my head with desperate screams and streams of data about system shutdowns. Iíve been over and over the recordings on my Data Follow and itís just plain madness, like something out of one of those cheesy, mass-marketed simcasts. 

People all over the ship began screaming about monsters and devils tearing the ship apart. Systems failed, one after the other, and from whatís stored on my interface there was no single reason for it. The shield systems and security stations seem to have been torn violently apart, the weapons systems completely defeated all their safeties for no apparent reason and started blowing like delbugs after mating season, and the drive systems seem to have just instantaneously vanished. Itís like this place just decided that the Plentitude needed to die.   

Our shuttle was next. We flew low over the desert, running mapping algorithms as we approached Kanduambet. As the chaos on the Plentitude began, our grav drive burped and reversed flow, popping the caps and completely torching the reactor. Needless to say, we went down hard. The shuttle itself is scorched metal in the sand now. The rest of the crew died on impact. 

Me, I survived without a scratch. Not a scratch. To be honest, it's kept me awake at night when the screams of the desert predators haven't. 

How the hell do I live while they die? Am I alive at the whim of mercy or spite? Or is it just stupid luck? Maybe it's just shock and isolation but the rotting feeling in my stomach tells me it's not luck. In many ways I feel like a beraku and this place is one big shanoden playing with its prey.   

You know what the worst part is? Itís my interface. Itís so quiet. Thereís no background chatter, no feeds from a ship or repeater, no Intellignet to consult, and no contact with fellow crew. I feel so alone. You take that neural feed of yours for granted, you know. You have no idea how much security that constant flow of information brings. I might as well be deaf and dumb. 

At least I have this pen and paper. Trust that the fellow I found it on doesnít need it anymore. His remains also yielded up a tattered backpack, a crude hammer-triggered firearm, and some cooking gear. Add that to my own disruptor pistol and I might yet make it across this wasteland. 

And so, I know that Kanduambet is off to the west somewhere across this hot, hard desert. Iím hoping that if I walk far enough Iíll run into someone whoíll take me there, or at least give me a damn drink of water.

 DAY FOUR