Winston – Geologist – 11/14/2029 - SOL 1
To those who read these logs, I beg your pardon, but though they sound strange, these reports reflect the reality lived by my astronaut crew composed by me, Israel (Medic); Mario (Scientist); and Lucas (Engineer).
We had just finished a big mission last SOL when MCEI sent us a new one, locate and retrieve a probe and the samples it gathered. They were remotely controlling it from earth, but some interference caused the loss of the probe's signs. We decided to continue with the resting protocol by running a videogame championship using an old fighting game that Mario brought along, we knew that we would need to be in full shape to fulfil this mission in 7 SOL.
What is odd is that, as soon as the finals ended, HUB's sound system started playing What a Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong`s version, the problem with it is that we were all in the games room. I got up quickly and tried to run to the control room and check the sound system, but I tipped my little pinky at the room's door and it hurted like hell, when I got there and ran those checks, nothing was wrong and there was no program running the song, and worse, none of us had the original copy of the song. It felt weird, but I didn't give attention to that problem.
While I checked the sound system, Mario and Israel were analysing the images around the HUB to eliminate areas which we knew the probe hadn't pass through, while they were doing it, Mario used an algorithm he had theorized and ended up proving the validity his own thesis. Of course, he got very excited by that, adding up to the excitement of winning the videogame championship the last SOL.
Lucas went to the garage to fix problems discovered during last mission. Although being a good engineer, sometime he is TOO proactive. While fixing those garage system problems, he identified that a subsystem was communicating to the working bay and thought that MCEI had exaggerated on the amount of components, so he decided to remove those ''extra'' parts to be used in the future, if needed. Unfortunately to us, he was wrong this time and it caused problems on the working bay computer, jamming the garage door he had just fixed and we started having malfunctions on living and working blocks, as we already were having trouble with the system block, we had an amazing mission start.
Winston – Geologist – 11/15/2029 - SOL 2
The second SOL did not begin well, Israel intercepted new probe signs, but he was kinda agitated, when Lucas and I went to talk with him, he busted out shouting that there was something inside the signal that he could not explain and went to rest a bit. As he was leaving pushing everyone away, the three of us ended up getting hurt. I never thought that losing the tournament yesterday would bother him this much. That was what I thought at the time, but I knew nothing of what was going on.
Trying to compensate for the incident Israel decided to analyse the data breaking the signals into smaller parts, so, he could be sure that that was nothing else inside of them. When he convinced himself that he was imagining things, he started to help Mario to do a thorough, bit-by-bit analysis of those R2 and R3 signals. Fortunately, no problem was identified on R3, but they discover that signal that we initially thought was. Oddly, somehow, Mario got hurt while doing those analyses, he doesn't even know how it happen, he just noticed it in the end of the SOL.
As I already had certain expertise on error analysis and inconsistency on data patterns, I decided to give it a look on those probe signals, ended up finding some irregularities and discovered signals being emitted from R1-W, which made much more sense than the signals from R2-E and R3-E. By the way, I never saw anything like those signals, nothing made on Earth could produce anything on that pattern, I thought that there was a problem with the receptors.
Lucas had his revenge against the garage this time, having no trouble fixing it. Unfortunately, its malfunction has caused problems at probe bay and the farm software. Problems are beginning to accumulate too much.
Winston – Geologist – 11/16/2029 - SOL 3
At the very beginning of SOL 3, Lucas made a discovery that finally warned everybody that something odd was happening. He captured a low frequency pattern that said: “we're watching you”, MCEI thought he was imagining stuff, but all data that we had to analyse suddenly vanished, it would be impossible to run error or step-by-step analysis as we intended to. Now that we was so close to find the probe, we had one last signal to confirm and we would have traced the probe's path. On top of that, the last signal we caught pointed to R3-e again, but we know that there is nothing on that area, the access is absolutely blocked and it came in the same odd pattern I had identified the day before.
After a long discussion on what to do now that our plans were destroyed due to that mysterious event, I decided to go out with Froggy to explore R1-W. So that when I got back, the others already would came up with a new plan. Found an area with geysers, pretty dangerous. Passing through here without getting hurt would be very complicated, but I know that if I concentrate, I can find a safe way to cross it, but I don't have the time to do that now.
Arriving, I found out that Lucas talked with MCEI about those signals he identified, summing up, they said he was imagining things; on the other hand, he thought that MCEI was hiding something from us. To distract ourselves a bit, I asked him to help me out in Scorpio while we explore R1-N, where we found a ravine with various interesting caves. We retrieved some samples from these cave's rocks and, to our surprise, we found one of the probe's box of samples. We would have to come back later to gather them as it is getting late and we need to head back to the HUB.
When we arrived there, Israel and Mario were disappointed. Mario was so down that did not stop talking about his kids in Earth, homesick at this point wouldn’t help at all. They spent all day monitoring the radio and all they caught was signals from R3-E e R3-NE, and worse, at that odd pattern. The probe wouldn’t send signals until next SOL, it didn't have energy to do that, as we were able to track only six signals, it would not be enough to trace a logical path, therefore we needed one last signal but wouldn't get it. There was no hope for success, at least we would still try to recover those probe's samples.
The sample I brought cheered up Mario a bit but I think we got more excited than him, it always happens when he shares the findings on the samples we collect, even if not used in our research or discoveries.
Winston – Geologista – 11/17/2029 - SOL 4
I couldn't deny this many evidences, those signals were completely odd, too random to have been sent by any MCEI equipment. To get things worse, I detected new signals from the probe, but it wouldn't be able to send anything since yesterday. On top of that, although they seem normal, they were odd. It’s something I can't explain, it is something that only someone experienced and used to this kind of work could identify. It was like the source of the signals made it look like they were from the probe although they were not. This news shook everybody and I am certain that we have skills we won’t use anymore because we have no confidence in them.
The randomness of those signals would make any attempt to research them harder in the next few days, but me and Mario were doing our favourite trick. I would get some samples without anyone knowing where they came from, and he would analyse and throw speeches about them. This always cheered Israel and Lucas and I had fun with it, but Mario knew it was just an act to boost each other’s determination.
Lucas and Israel stayed at the HUB making further reading on those signals I got in the morning, while Mario and me went out to explore R2-W with froggy and later collect the probe's sample with scorpio. As I already imagined, I ended up hurting myself while driving through the geysers. We discovered some plains beyond the geysers and located another box left by our lost probe.
When returning home, I was able to find a safe path through those geysers só that next time someone passing there he wouldn't have trouble with them. We easily got the sample and when arriving at the HUB, we found Israel and Lucas returning from an outside exploration. Once inside they explained that, after analysing the readings, they confirmed that the probe has passed through R2-W where we just came back from, now we were sure that the probe would be at R3-W. They had decided to go out and explore R1-NW hopping to find some boxes of samples from the probe and ended up finding a region filled with craters, where they also found a box with the entire undamaged collection of the Star Skirmishes series soundtrack, having a new song during dinner helped alleviate stress a bit (and it was high).
While Lucas was explaining how he had fixed the farm's software on impromptu and he would do the same with the oxygenator 01 tomorrow, we had an energy drop that forced us to shut down the command center and there were issues on the crew quarters that affected morale. Luckily, Israel put his chiropractic to work and adjusted my aching low back, which was hurting a lot.
Winston – Geologist – 11/18/2029 - SOL 5
We woke up to the sounds of various “click clack” all over the HUB, we did not know where it came from and it seemed to be everywhere. As we were at the breaking point, this was the last drop of water and we had a generalized fight.
Israel patched up himself and Lucas seemed the most shocked of us for all that was happening and we decided to let him alone and resting at the HUB while everyone else went to explore R3-W and get the sample on R2-W, hence we didn't want to risk damaging the scorpio on R1-NW craters. Lucas improvised a way to fix oxygenator 01's software as promised and went on playing videogames and rest until we came back. For what he told us when we got back, the “click clack” suddenly stopped while he was resting.
I drove froggy as far as R3-W where we found the probe surrounded by ravage, so we would have to come back next SOL. On the way back, with Israel driving, we stopped and collected the last pack of samples from the probe that we needed.
We had no troubles this night. It seems things are getting better.
Winston – Geologist – 11/19/2029 - SOL 6
After all we've been through, I think some of us got nightmares, other couldn't sleep, but in the morning no one wanted to come with me to pick up the probe, to be honest, neither I wanted to leave the HUB, everyone was scared.
Israel gave his motivational speech to cheer people up, but when he accidentally cited that all the strange signals we detected came from the East Mario promptly volunteered to help me out on the mission to recover the probe on R3-W, exactly the opposite way from the signals.
Lucas stayed on the HUB to fix the workshop's software problem, the one he had caused in the begin of this mission, trying to get a few extra parts, which we have never used throughout this mission. The rest of the day he spent trying to fix the production problem on solar panel 01 so we could turn the command center back on, but he had no luck doing that.
For some reason this day was colder, more than the usual. I'm a chilly person, but Mario is not and he was trembling inside EMU protection. The closer we got to the probe, the colder it got. Point reached, we tried to do everything the quickest we could and head back to the HUB, but the cold seemed to accompany us, as if it was coming from the probe, but temperature readings on it were normal.
At night, we had a problem on the lab, but nothing relevant. With all systems green, we contacted MCEI to report the mission's success. Samples showed some evidences of some silicon based form of life that we were searching for. Data was sent to Earth and we were complimented for the job well done. This mission ended up being a success after all.
Winston – Geologista – 11/XX/2029 - Epilogue
“This mission ended up being a success after all”, these last words that I wrote in the log couldn’t be more wrong, the mission may have ended to MCEI but not to us. We woke up next SOL with no signal from MCEI. By the way, three woke up, I could not sleep due to the cold. I stayed all night watching videos with my headphones on, and drinking coffee to try to warm myself.
Mario asked me if I had listen some weird noises at night but I hadn't, probably due to the headphones, they have an excellent acoustic isolation. He did not explained why he asked that.
As we had no contact with MCEI but still had signals coming in from R3-E, they decided to investigate and went out with froggy and scorpio. As I could not sleep as night, we thought it was best if I stayed at the HUB, in case we regains contact with MCEI. After they left, I realize that the HUB was getting warmer. I've fixed the problem on solar panel 01 and slept a bit. When I woke up, I saw that they hadn't returned yet and that it has passed some days.
HUB's systems are working perfectly except from the date and MCEI communication systems. Though, these are my last log recording. I have tracked and analysed various signals received by the HUB this last few days and found that same odd pattern, which I named “Coldnoise”, is getting closer and closer to the HUB. When it collided with the signals coming from froggy and scorpio, they've stopped sending signals.
The Coldnoise's source should arrive to the HUB tomorrow, but I won't be here to discover what it is. I have done some preparations to observe the HUB from distance and that is what I should do. In case someone reads these logs, use my “public password number two” to open the attachment below. My location is there. Every astronaut on this mission knows that password. I only hope that the source of the Coldnoise doesn't.