Netanya died. Shot in the back by some scumbag from NAC. I told her she was approaching Athena-1 during a snowstorm way too fast, but she did not listen, she just wanted to jump right in. While I have managed to shoot the bastard, I just could not help her anymore. I was simply too late. I do not know what to do now. I have nobody as a backup now. It all went to shit ever since we have stepped on this god forsaken island. The harbour massacre, the bridge sabotage, it feels almost like we have exchanged all of our good luck when surviving on Phoenix.
I need to keep my brain occupied. I just can’t sit somewhere because if I would, I would probably put a bullet into my head in a week. Over past two weeks we (me and Netanya) have learned a lot about NAC operations and the facilities here. We had number of encounters with NAC forces themselves too, but they generally seemed more and more disorganized. I guess they did not expect us, we have, after all, managed to deal some serious blows to their lines too. At least that is what we have hoped for anyway. We have witnessed several EVRs during the time, but considering how NAC was throwing their gear at us, we have figured out how to walk away from these. But more importantly, we have also learned how to use them in our favour. Well, we cant actually take all the credit here as it seems that NAC has managed to seal off their last stronghold – Athena-3 so well that even they could not get in anymore. That is when the EVR comes into the place. This thing was always some kind of wormhole generator system. It was never a weapon of a mass destruction, it was just used like that by humans until they understood it somewhat. Athena-3 is a pride of NAC as it represents a man-made copy of Athena-1. The experiment however failed. NAC has figured out a very dangerous route into the remains of Athena-3 through hijacking a rogue Athena-3 activation through the powerful FLAX reactor, housed in Athena-2. If one manages to get quickly there, the wormhole is actually locked on the Athena-3 facility for a limited time. In other words, before the system goes completely hayware and the whole EVR sequence ends. Now, we have no idea exactly why is Athena-3 getting randomly activated and why it triggers these EVR sequences, but the reports we have found inside that facility suspect some really concerning things (some kind of an alien intervention).
This is pretty wild stuff, you may call me insane, but what is not at this point? I mean, these guys have successfully hijacked this eons old alien machine and were able to use it to travel to some completely distant world (they call it “Lantia”). They have also managed to bring the whole mankind to its knees during the process, but they are pretty good at not caring that much about this part. We have managed to breach Athena-3 four times so far. There wasn’t anybody since they (presumably NAC) sabotaged the coolant system. What we however think is there may be an answer on the other side of the portal. Some reports from Athena-3 suggest there may be still some NAC forces alive, maybe some science personnel with some brain and dignity to reverse this mess. There is an issue though. Only Athena-3 can make the connection, NAC have not build anything to have this work in a reverse on the other side. From the overall state of Athena-3 facility, it is difficult to judge if somebody tried to call their friends. Anyway, I am pretty confident I can restart the FLAX systems and initiate the Lantia link from the backup systems. Last time I was in there, I have captured plenty of pictures of the backup panel and together with the additional docs I have brought with me, I am pretty sure I can tell the panel what the whole facility needs to do. Even without having the access to the command centre, which I have no idea how to get to since the main elevator shaft seems to be just collapsed. Not sure if NAC was dealing with the infected inside the complex or what, but it sure looks like they have messed up big time.
Any further attempt will however be insanely more difficult since I am alone here, but I need to keep moving. I need to do it for the guys, for Netanya. Returning to Phoenix was a painful experience. My brain kept looping the memories of my time with Netanya. She was hell of a woman. I just wish we would meet years ago, not under these circumstances. Looping was particularly painful when I got to the day she was killed. I kept recalling the last moments, what I could have done different, finding my mistakes in there. Its a torture, that is what it is at this point. When I got near Phoenix, I knew something was wrong with it. The air was boiling around the rig and there was too much of water vapour around. I scoped the whole rig to look for any damage. Upon closer look, the BOP (blowout prevention mechanism) on the drill was visibly damaged. It had to be NAC. Luckily, I had a spare NBC set ejected from the rig and I could temporarily fix the leak and lower the overall pressure and the ambient temperature of the rig to a more comfortable level. After that, I have spent several hours trying to find if there are any other surprises left by the un-invited guests, but I could not find anything. Maybe they were caught by surprise how quickly BOP has leaked the gas around the rig and they bailed. I have set up an active perimeter tracking, got some food and started working on the A3 overrides to control it from the backup FLAX panel.
It took me another two weeks and a few more encounters with remaining NAC forces, but I was able to dial up Lantia at Athena-3. It was way too short window, all the modules I have built were burnt in the process, but I could throw sensor and a camera into the wormhole. I have never ever seen something this beautiful. The orange skies, oddly shaped spires, the glow from the wormhole. I could not see anybody on the other side though, only some equipment and supply boxes laying around. But the lights were on, which gave me some sort of hope. I did not want to jump straight in as I was not sure about the atmospheric properties of that place. NAC was surely using some kind of a pressure suit for this place. So I have looked around accessible parts of Athena-3 and I could not believe my eyes. There it was. They call it LEHS Mk3. Seems to be fully 3D printed. Has a standard oxygen supply and the power comes out of a very odd looking battery. Luckily, I did not need to print anything as there was one laying around in the Athena-3 expedition room already. I suspect there will be additional supplies over at Lantia as NAC had to be using this stuff over there too. When scavenging supplies in Athena-3, I have also found bunch of blueprints for the LEHS gear. I wonder if our old 3D printer on Phoenix can handle it – need to try that later. I only needed to work on some kind of extension of the window so I can get inside, roam around a bit and gather as much intel as I can. I am a bit worried about the stability of the link itself since in my last try, the wormhole turned red after like a minute. It almost looked like its angry or something, but lets hope the suit can protect me.
It was a cold night, clear skies with a faint Aurora. I was roaming around Nitija when my muon detector has triggered. Shortly afterwards, I have heard the war drums of Athena-1 calling anyone who dares to get close. I have put on my LEHS helmet and started making my way towards Athena-2. It was time to fire up that reactor once again. Is this the last time I see this place? I couldn’t tell. Everything felt so surreal. I have double-checked everything I need is with me and pressed the button.
The story continues on Namalsk. Visit Lantia in Content Update 3 to learn the fate of Adam.
PS: Did you know that Content Update 2 Trailer (released a year ago) portrays part of this story? Check it out here!