[Star Atlas] Punaabs Secrets — Roadmap Scan #15

As Yago has finally recovered his health, the group is now on a quest to leave planet Gerio. Without a ship, Wenn and Yago have no choice but to ally themselves with the Punaabs Pawn and Fang to try to escape the frozen planet. In their search for resources, they stumble on secrets in the depths of Gerio…

 

 

[Star Atlas]

 

“(…) Onboard accommodations are sure to conjure fond memories of time spent in solitary confinement. Pilots of the Earp know space can be dark, cold, and unforgiving. Only those with the hide of a jupran ox can endure her chronic punishment.” — Fimbul Byos propaganda on their Earp design

 

As the elevator started its slow descent to the deepest levels of the mines, Yago was already beginning to get anxious. He hated small dark places, and the lowest levels of the mines of Gerio promised to be the worst small dark places in the entire galaxy.

 

Mainly because everyone knew what lurked there.

 

The only sound in the tunnel was the old engines of the small elevator cranking against the weight of a human, a Mierese, and two Punaabs. Those elevators were nothing like the ones that linked the city to the primary mines of Gerio — fast, efficient, and big. This one seemed to be a relic of long ago that was probably best forgotten.

 

“So, Wenn, explain to me again. Why are we going this deep into the mines, knowing there is a nightmarish creature and his devilish spawn lurking in those tunnels?” Yago asked while examining the dark walls of the tunnel, as if waiting for a tentacle that would break through the stones and attack him again.

 

Before Wenn could answer, Fang, the punaab warrior, replied in a tired voice:

 

“For the thousandth time, Mierese, we need the neodymium for the warp drive core and some other ores we can refine for fuel. The only places in Gerio where we can find the neodymium is in the governor’s palace where we would need to steal them from a group of hundreds armed fighters or here in the lowest levels of the mines since all the ones that were near the surface have already been taken.”

 

“I’m sorry, but I don’t recall asking the mutant muscle head punaab his recollection of the events!” Yago said while glaring at Fang.

 

“It seems your brain is still kind of confused, Mierese. Let me knock it back into sense for you,” Fang replied, glaring back at Yago.

 

Wenn smiled. He was very concerned for his friend after the battle against the creature Atoph. Especially after hearing his memories of his strange dream during his three-week-long coma. It seemed that the old punaab’s medical treatment helped his body, and now, seeing as he was already messing around with the punaabs, maybe the worst of his spirit was already behind him as well.

 

“Easy Yago, with all this commotion, you might lure the creature here,” Wenn said in a low tone. “It’s as Fang said. We are painfully late on our mission, and our friends Fang and Pawn want to leave this planet behind. So we all got to work together to jump out of this frozen crazy sphere. They have been working on a ship for years now, which gave us a great head start, and while you were sleeping and recovering, Pawn, Fang, myself, and our BTOL A.I. managed to assemble a proper design, getting a transport module to allow the four of us to fly.” Wenn summarized.

 

“Now, the most pressing matter is to build the warp drive. The only information about how to acquire the materials we need comes from the memories of their father’s stories about how there was neodymium in those old tunnels.” He concluded as the elevator started to slow down for what seemed to be the end of the descent.

 

“Awesome narrative, Wenn. You just forgot the reason why the tunnels are no longer explored.” Fang jumped in to add. “The last time a mining expedition came this far below, no one came back alive. Our parents were among them, so no one’s been crazy enough to come explore them, until now.” Fang added with a sad smile that let escape the sharp teeth that gave him his name.

 

“Enough chit chat.” Pawn said while adjusting her night vision goggles. “From here on, we are to be extremely cautious. The faster we move, the better for us. I will be running my data scanner to find some nodes of neodymium or precious materials we can trade for more ingredients above. You guys put the night vision on and cover me.”

 

Everyone nodded, and they started their silent walk through the abandoned tunnels.

 

Even though most of Gerio technology seemed to be hundreds of years behind the current state of the art, the night vision seemed to be a grateful exception. Wenn figured the reason was merely a commercial one. If the punaabs couldn’t see well in the tunnel, they wouldn’t be able to acquire all the resources they could from the earth. Also, the monsters below would more easily kill them…

 

“This is freaking disgusting,” Wenn thought to himself. The planet was so far away from the Council of the Peace jurisdiction that the so-called governor felt comfortable doing this kind of dangerous modern slavery to his own kin. The system worked by allowing the punaabs to enjoy all sorts of worldly pleasures, especially drugs, in the cities inside the mines but never allowing them to leave by restricting the selling of ships.

 

He didn’t understand enough of the punaab culture to know how something like this could exist in this day and age, but he guessed this was somewhat linked with their families and pack system. The punaabs had great respect for their own, but he couldn’t get much from Fang and Pawn until now regarding this.

 

“As soon as we leave this place, I will issue a call to the Council of Peace. Something like this will shock the galaxy to its core. I’m sure they will send a full fleet to free the planet.” Wenn affirmed in his mind while seeing the marks on the walls of the many miners’ work over the years.

 

The scratches along the open tunnels were the testimony of the efforts of thousands of workers against the stones of the deep, always trying to find the next node that would give them enough prosperity to leave the mining work behind.

 

Gerio had a very particular structure, Wenn realized. Very unique even for the crazy threshold that was the so-called High-Risk Zone. The planet’s surface was frozen, and the nucleus was abysmally hot, leaving only a tiny part of the planet suitable for life forms — the areas of the mines right under the surface.

 

There, the elites, linked with the governor’s party, thrived, and the city expanded around their domains until it became slums.

 

For some unexplained reason, the monster never attacked the city.

 

However, it was known that the monsters attacked the people on the surface that didn’t camp close to the mine’s entrance and in the tunnels where the miners worked. It was general knowledge that the farther down, the bigger the chances of being attacked, but they also had more rare resource nodes.

 

It was a perpetual battle, where punaabs lives were traded for rocks. Fang and Pawn’s parents were among those countless lives already lost to the tunnels.

 

After nearly fifteen minutes of walking in complete silence, the tunnel forked into two different paths, one keeping straight ahead with the second turning right. Pawn halted everyone’s movement with a hand gesture and started to scan both ways of the tunnel to determine where they should keep moving.

 

Even though there were lots of small holes in the wall, probably from small animals that lived in the depths of the planet, none of those were big enough for even the punaabs to use. Yago decided to approach one of those in particular while the group waited for Pawn’s verdict on which way to go.

 

“Oh man… What is that smell…? It is as if someone ate a dead body and later dumped it inside this hole,” Yago said while retreating. “It might very well be the case, Mierese. You better take care not to step on someone’s remains,” Fang replied with a hint of amusement.

 

“Crazy punaab,” Yago whispered to himself, back into standing up. Before Fang could reply, Pawn stopped her readings and declared in a small voice:

 

“All the way ahead, folks, this right path is very odd… I can’t view anything from it, almost as if something was blocking the scans. However, this one ahead gives me some indications, so let’s get back to business.”

 

The group kept walking for a few more minutes, and suddenly the tunnel opened into a bigger cave with three different paths forward. There, they found the first evidence of the mining expedition, a bunch of ore-carrying machines, some mining equipment like gloves, goggles, detonation charges to help collapse tunnels or destroy rocks. Scans were also lying around everywhere in the big cave, almost as if a lunch pause was issued and they left in a hurry, leaving their materials behind.

 

Pawn reunited them and said: “The first two tunnels starting from the left are giving signs of containing the materials that we need, so let’s start on the first one on the left, and then we go for the next.” Everyone nodded, and they went towards the western tunnel.

 

As they progressed, the temperature started increasing, and a horrible smell filled the already heavy air of the mines. Before Wenn and Yago could ask any questions, Pawn stated:

 

“These strong electro-magnetic readings, together with this awful smell and the heat increase, indicate that we are nearing one of the ‘nucleus rivers’,” as we call them. This highly concentrated liquid keeps the planet habitable despite being so far from any external energy source. But, unfortunately, we don’t have much information on them since they can only be found so deep in the mines, and well, it’s hard to reach here.”

 

Yago said, “Huh… this explains why I’m feeling a little light-headed…” Fang didn’t miss a beat and replied: “Poor Mierese, can’t stand the heat. Don’t worry, mate. If you faint, I will carry you.”

 

Before Yago could reply, Pawn glared at her brother and gave Mierese some water from her can, saying: “It’s ok, Yago, you are still recovering, and this is a normal symptom. The nodes should be just ahead, so we go quickly there and gather what we need.”

 

“Thanks,” said Yago. “I’m fine, though. I can probably still mine double your speed, Fang, maybe thrice.” The banter continued until they reached the corner and spotted nodes full of mineral ores at the end of the tunnel.

 

Without time to lose, the group moved towards the end hastily, and aside from a very precious neodymium vein, something caught Wenn’s eyes, some sort of gray plates that, although hard, resembled reptile skins in design.

 

“Pawn, what is this?” Wenn asked the punaab, while holding one of the strange plates. “Oh, this is called Ethyfol. This is the most common resource mined here in Gerio. If you process it with organic compounds, it turns liquid, becoming a very efficient fuel. This is by far the most mined resource on the planet.”

 

“Interesting…” Wenn said while putting the minerals in the bags. He would have more time to analyze these later and ask Pawn many questions about these weird material properties. It wasn’t ten minutes of work later when Yago suddenly sat down with his hands over his head.

 

Wenn hurried to his friend’s side, and as he approached, Yago said: “It is coming, Wenn. I can feel their voices hammering in my head. We have to go now.” The Mierese tried to get up as he spoke, unholstering one of his energy blasters.

 

“What’s wrong? Pawn asked, seeing the commotion.

 

Wenn replied: “Something is wrong. We have to go, Pawn.”

 

“We are not nearly done,” Fang said. “What we got is not nearly enough. We might lose a lot of materials figuring this out. We need to stay and there is nothing wrong now. If the monster were coming closer, I would know because my sme-” a sudden blop of darkness erupted from the wall, one meter ahead of Fang, trying to shape itself as one of the tentacle monsters they saw on the surface.

 

“Hurry, Fang!” Pawn said while providing cover fire for her brother. “Freaking monsters,” Fang replied while running and getting his weapon ready to face the monsters that leaking from the wall.

 

Yago mustered his strength and said “We have to run, Wenn. They will be all over the tunnel any minute now.”

 

Wenn supported Yago with one of his arms and got his blaster ready with the other, shouting to the group: “We have to go! They will be flanking us any second now!”

 

The group started moving as fast as they could towards the next cave. Fang and Pawn took care of the front and rear of their formation, while Yago and Wenn provided support. As the cave opened before them, a giant tentacle was starting to form, coming from the fusion of the many small black balls of ichor that didn’t stop powering through the walls.

 

It was threatening to block their escape route.

 

Fang and Pawn started to direct their focus on the tentacle, while Wenn and Yago tried to keep it from further expanding by aiming at the monsters coming from every crack. Although Yago looked better now and provided more force to their attack, the strategy barely slowed the creature down. As a result, the tentacle started to trash the cave, launching debris and rocks everywhere and risking structural collapse.

 

Suddenly, a crate full of impact charges were launched into the air by the tentacle attack and landed close to Wenn. The Lieutenant instantaneously formed a crazy plan.

 

“Cover me, Yago!” He shouted while running through the chaotic cave carrying as many impact charges as possible while evading the monsters and the tentacle’s attacks.

 

“What the hell, Wenn!!!” Yago screamed but provided cover to his friend. “What are you doing, Wenn?!” Pawn shouted.

 

“Wait, are those impact charges? No way. That will blow the whole cave!” Fang shouted from the other side of the room.

 

Wenn’s mind was focused entirely on his plan. He found a small miner’s cart and stuffed it with all the charges, and then he shouted: “Everyone take cover!”

 

Wenn pushed the cart towards the tentacle and ran, finally managing to jump through a pile of crates for cover, and after a few seconds, sensing the cart coming his way, the creature slammed into it and the whole cave was engulfed in flames.

 

After a few dazing seconds, the group raised their heads from the debris of what was left of the cave. They were lucky. The now non-existing tentacle absorbed most of the shock, and the cave still held together, for now.

 

Before the party could start shouting at Wenn for his reckless plan, the creatures began reforming, still leaking through the walls, and the group started to run back to the elevator. Yago seemed to be back to full health now, and the group passed through the tunnel firing through the tiny monsters that tried to block their path with ease.

That’s until they reached the fork.

 

The straight tunnel that led back to the exit was stuffed entirely with the black ichor matter of Atoph. It was impossible to fight their way through it. The group turned to go back, but as soon as they looked, they perceived that the tunnel was also filled with monsters, and the unnatural scream of Atoph came from that path. The only place to retreat was the unknown tunnel of the fork.

 

The group ran for about one hundred meters until they found a massive metal door encrusted with yellow quartz. Wenn tried to open the door, but it was locked, and from the scan model on the side, it required DNA approval to open it.

 

Wenn tried touching the pad, but a cold robotic voice said: “Entrance denied.”

 

The monsters came slowly from the fork entrance, not seeming to be leaking from this particular tunnel walls, and were received by salvage of blows from Yago, Pawn, and Fang. Wenn then shouted: “It’s not opening! We need to bypass the DNA scan to get through!

 

“Can’t our ship A.I do something, Wenn?!” Yago shouted back while firing his dual blasters. Wenn opened his bag and searched for the A.I, while giving him instructions for hacking the door.

 

The small orb floated to the strange door and started to interact with the scanning system while saying:

 

“Scanning ongoing. Please wait.”

 

The monsters were now meters away from the group and gaining ground every second.

 

“Whenever you want, computer!” Fang shouted.

 

“Scanning complete! Systems are quite outdated, making communication difficult, unable to hack, but I discovered it requires a specific DNA signature to enter.”

 

“We are dead.” Fang and Yago said at the same time.

 

“Let me see this. Hold them off, guys!” Pawn said while rushing to the door. The female punaab examined the door and set her right pawn directly in the scan after a second.

 

The door opened in a fluid movement, and the door A.I’s said:

 

“Entrance permitted: Welcome Doctor Ammarena Star Sight.”

 

 

Weekly Project Report

 

Project: Showroom Alpha

Concept Art: DONE /// Art: BUILDING /// UX/UI: DONE /// Game Design: DONE /// Blockchain: BUILDING /// Game Play: BUILDING

Updates: Showroom level improvements are done. Bug fixing ongoing. /// Updating wallets integration feature. /// Performance fine-tuning, wallet integration finalization.

Upcoming activities: Fix all bugs. /// Regression testing after wallet integration

 

 

Project: SCREAM v1.0

 

Game Design: BUILDING /// Blockchain: BUILDING /// UX DESIGN: PROTOTYPING UI: PROTOTYPING /// Economy Design: R&D /// WEB: PROTOTYPING

 

Updates: Continuing to define explicit requirements for core gameplay mechanics and game systems design, with a focus on defining the combat mechanics. FInalizing ship/fleet stats. /// Continuing to build cargo program, movement program, crafting, and star systems program. /// Continuing wireframes and interaction flows, with a focus on the onboarding system, HUD system, structure system, and inventory system. /// Continuing building SCREAM screens and elements, with a focu on HUD and buttons. /// Defining the SCREAM macro-economy and the sub-economies to determine all dependencies. /// Building out cargo functionality. Coding UI elements. Building hangar UI and adding The Lost Pixels’ ship models into the scene.

 

Upcoming activities: Continue to define explicit requirements for core gameplay mechanics and incorporate feedback from SCREAM stakeholders. /// Build peer review, and test programs on testnet, then audit. /// Review wireframes with Project Stakeholders. Continue to iterate until wireframes are approved. Hand over wireframes to UI team. /// Continue to build out UI screens and elements. /// Determine game balancing tactics/ contingency + scenario planning. /// Build towards playtesting and validate gameplay loops that require higher fidelity game.

 

 

Project: Star Atlas DAO — Pre-alpha Improvements

 

Product Design: PLANNING /// UX design: DESIGNING /// Web Team: BUILDING /// Blockchain: BUILDING /// Economy: PLANNING

Updates: Adding global PVP stats, and rewards emissions. /// Preparations for Polis Locking incentives implementation. /// ATLAS locker audit ongoing.

Upcoming activities: PIP-1 draft and app requirements. /// Finalize ATLAS locker design. //// Build ATLAS locker. /// Establish Team POLIS staking parameters.

 

 

Project: System Polishing

 

Bug fixes: /

New Features: Star-atlas-portal Live updated to v0.5.4 PRE-ALPHA. /// New Galactic Marketplace launched. /// — StarPath launched.

Upcoming features: Play.staratlas.com home page update. /// StarPath audits being discussed with Kudelski. /// LP points and LP Store Blockchain apps published on DevNet. /// Factory Bindings for StarPath / LP redemption. /// A number of minor marketplace bug fixes are being addressed.

Known issues: Orders not loading sometimes (StarComm). /// Various sorting bugs. /// Mobile nav issues. /// Replace NPC…mom wallet with “Star ATLAS DAO”. /// SCORE — ships R4 bars don’t fill up.

 

 

ABOUT STAR ATLAS

 

Star Atlas is a next-gen gaming metaverse emerging from the confluence of state-of-the-art blockchain, real-time graphics, multiplayer video games, and decentralized financial technologies.

 

Using Unreal Engine 5’s Nanite, real-time graphics technology allows for cinematic quality video game visuals. In addition, blockchain technology using the Solana protocol establishes a largely serverless and secured gameplay experience. Non-fungible tokens obtained and traded within Star Atlas create an economy that replicates tangible world assets and ownership. To learn more, visit StarAtlas.com, join a faction at Play.StarAtlas.com and send your spaceships on a deep space mission by enrolling them in a Faction Fleet.

 

 

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