The Truth about Gerio — Part III: Star Atlas Roadmap Scan #18
Truth surfaces as the group hear the last message of Arfrentos Silver Claws. An old injustice demands reparation. With an entire planet at stake, Wenn and Yago have a decision to make.
“ Lesson nº 5 — Most of the universe is formed by some basic underlying natural laws that give us a resemblance of order within the millions of chaotic events that happen within it. Nevertheless, the closer you get to the “Cataclysm” the looser the holds of those laws become. If you want to be successful in your explorations of the inner reaches of the galaxy, be mindful that even gravity or time are not to be trusted there.” The Most Successful Guide of Common Sense Learnings for the Benefit of Space Exploration.
As the first part of the transmission ended, a grim silence filled the room. Even though they were perfectly still, the minds of the four explorers were racing, incapable of processing the information that was just shared on the screen.
Wenn and Yago were trying to reconcile the information they had just received regarding the Convergence War, the high-risk zone, and everything else with the education they had both received in earlier days. But the chasm was too great.
Even though both of them had access to some of the galaxy’s secrets — Yago, through the special ops squad, and Wenn, in the Council of Peace officials Academy — they never imagined that things could be so disheveled in reality.
It was general knowledge that the closer you are to the cataclysm, the more natural laws started to become… unreliable, and that the Convergence War had been indeed devastating, but to see its raw form like that, in the form of Gerio, was sickening to anyone, and especially to the two of them, who worked for institutions that were supposed to prevent this kind of atrocity.
Pawn and Fang’s minds were a mix of anxiety, hope, and fear. All the feelings locked up for years resurfaced like a progressive storm, raging through every fiber of their bodies. Thoughts about politics and Atoph faded away as they couldn’t help but once again lock in on the unknown fate of their parents.
After a few seconds, the next video started. It was a narration where Arfrentos, the Punaab’s father, started detailing the experiments that were being conducted on the creature in order to understand it and, if possible, defeat it once and for all.
The first experiments were focused on understanding the creature’s nature. They tested its resistance to various weapons and found highly concentrated lasers to be somewhat effective. They submitted the creature to gravity, air deprivation and a myriad of other physical effects.
To their astonishment, even though the creature’s base form was somewhat similar to other ooze-like substances found in the far reaches of the ONI medium risk zone, this being was actually an anomaly, a class by itself, capable of transitioning between solid and liquid states.
After months of this sort of experimentation, Ammarena Star Sight stated a curious hypothesis: “We always thought that the creature was one specimen of a race, and since the attacks kept on going, we figured that there would be thousands of them nested in the depths of the world.” But upon further analysis of the creature’s reflexes, strategies in the wild, and overall coordination, Ammarena was sure that it was one single conscience and created an experiment to test her assumption.
The creature’s body was split into various sizes and scattered across the landscape under supervision. The smallest pieces were not reactive at all and would just wither and die, but some of the bigger pieces tried to move, and after a few minutes, a manifestation of the creature’s body would appear and try to reunite with their old piece.
It was as if it was being guided. Ammarena then proceeded to change the distances between the samples and organized all sorts of obstacles for the parts of the creature that were reactive, being able to prove that if there wasn’t a bigger “body” of the creature in a radius of a few hundred meters, even the parts that reacted previously wouldn’t move.
It appeared that its intelligence came not from within the smaller pieces but from the bigger body that was calling for it. It was indeed a single creature, as Ammarena had assumed.
He then gave us instructions to record the conflicts between the security forces and the monsters. To the team’s astonishment, they discovered a few more interesting facts:
- The monster would only manifest itself starting at a depth of 150 meters, not attacking the tunnels near the surface and the city itself.
- It became weaker the closer he was to the surface.
- It showed insights into becoming more intelligent in the depths, using more complex strategies, and being more ferocious. The body parts worked in perfect unison in the depths even when dispersed through different types of rock.
Arfentos continued: “During this time of research, we learned that the politics of Gerio took a drastic turn. Our governor had started doing more trading with the Jorvik pirates. In a passionate speech, he said that, unfortunately, he had no other way of supplying Gerio with the goods necessary for our subsistence. The only way the Jorvik would agree to give us the necessary goods was if it was in exchange for the elusive Ethyfol ore.
As strange as that looked, we didn’t have any reason to doubt the judgment of our leader. He said that he was reuniting all the profits of the transactions with the Jorvik to build a transport ship capable of returning us to Akenat, but that he would also provide us, in the meanwhile, with products that would enhance our quality of life.
Soon, Gerio was flooded with alcohol, drugs, and other forms of “entertainment,” filled with Jorvik propaganda. We were heads down in research and the work in the tunnels, to the point that we barely had time to check on our people, not to mention raise our children, who were maturing fast.
The days passed, and as our experiences progressed, until one day my wife Ammarena made a groundbreaking discovery: the source of the miraculous resource Ethyfol was the creature itself! After months of being locked in our cages, the small black liquid left by the creature started to solidify and became the ore that was the basis of our economy.
In retrospect, it all made sense. As the creature grew in the depths, so did the veins of ore around our mines. That’s why the deeper we excavated, the richer the concentration of ore and the more ferocious the defense of the creature. We were basically mining the creature’s solidified body all along…
As soon as we were sure of our results about the origins of the Ethyfol ore, I immediately rushed to the palace to deliver the news directly to the Governor, which I couldn’t help but notice was now more richly decorated than it was during his father’s rule.
It’s true that the Punaabs, for the most part, love the beauty and the glimmer of gold, but the palace of governor Berector felt exaggerated by any decent Punaab standard. While some of us still needed to live on the surface due to the slow expansion of the mine living zones, the Governor had expanded the palace, and every other accommodation, while the throne room was a testament to the wealth that I believe even the richest of Akenat would find hard to imitate.
The throne was so big that I couldn’t help but find it comical.
Just in front of it, there was an enormous glowing table, where the city was being projected through a hologram.
Upon seeing me, Berector left his golden throne by using a jetpack and calmly glided over the table to receive me. He saluted me, calling me a friend, and upon learning of my report, he praised our mission for the valiant efforts in favor of our race and even for Akenat while asking for a detailed report of our findings.
I felt proud, especially due to the brilliance of Ammarena, which I regretfully made clear to him. She couldn’t be bothered to stop her research or give up her time with her children to come to a meeting like this one. I explained how she discovered everything about how Ethyfol worked, even the relationship found between the monster diet and the production of the ore.
He was the perfect listener and praised not only Ammarena but everyone on the team. Berector continued talking with me like we were friends, detailing how this discovery could help us get closer to our target of building the enormous transport ship that would save us from this frozen rock.
I listened to his every word and was energized by the passion in his eyes. He said that he would allocate an even greater investment of resources towards our research.
Overjoyed as I was, I couldn’t help but be glad about the assignment that he assigned us next: to create the means to defeat the monster. He said, with tears in his eyes, how he felt every hardship that the Punaabs were suffering in and within Gerio, especially the lives lost in the fight against the creature.
He asked me to come closer and said to me in a whisper that he was facing dark forces in the palace and among the leadership of Gerio. There were punaabs that didn’t want our people to succeed, to escape from this twisted fate on this frozen rock and return to our civilization, he said sorrowfully.
Nevertheless, he said that just like us in the mines, he was here, fighting day and night for the sake of the punaabs against those that, he believed, went as far as poisoning his father’s mind and body.
I was shocked. I couldn’t understand something like this was happening within our people, whose most sacred bond is always to their own community, but these were crazy times. A mysterious monster was loose. Who was I to say what was impossible?
Here I made the first of my two most regrettable mistakes.
He went to great lengths to explain how our lives would improve if we could defeat the creature. All we had to do was mine the remains of his body, get the resources, build our ship and leave this nightmare behind… and that’s what we did.
Using the infrastructure sent by the governor, we were able to quickly expand this laboratory, creating an entire level below to study how we could defeat the monster once and for all. Many punaabs died in our expeditions to capture more samples of the monster’s body and drive him out of our tunnels.
With every battle, Atoph’s resistance was getting more fierce. In these last few months, he had shown more signs of intelligence and started trying to trap us by collapsing tunnels or splitting our forces. Still, we endured, and our research even allowed us to narrow the area where the main body of the monster resided, a deeper section of the mines to which we had never dared venture. Nevertheless, we started to excavate a path from our lab in his direction in order to prepare a final assault on the monster.
Everything was going well, and we even had a stroke of luck — we finally managed to understand why the monster didn’t attack the city and the upper levels of the tunnels: Atoph seemed to be “allergic” to quartz, a fairly common stone that our grandfathers used to help decorate Gerio ages ago. As soon as we brought the stone close to any of the specimens, they would start breaking apart and dying, leaving almost no trace behind. All our city infrastructure was coated with it, and that’s the reason why we were never attacked at our homes.
Then I committed my second error and, once more, reported the new findings to the governor. He immediately came to our lab with his guards and heard everything we had to say with great interest.
He greeted everyone personally, awarding us medals and saying that our work was remarkably done and that now that we had obtained this knowledge, the creature wouldn’t be a threat to us but would instead be our slave, creating the ore we so much needed for Gerio’s prosperity and that each one of us now would now live as kings and queens from the profits of selling Ethyfol to the Jorvik.
That’s when it struck me. While everyone was cheering, I sat there and realized that this was never about reuniting us with Akenat or improving life on Gerio. This was about measly ATLAS. All our hardships, all our pain, everything was to fill his wallet with ATLAS.
He was the dark force poisoning the punaabs minds.
As soon as his speech ended, I followed him to a private room in the lab to demand answers. Ammarena saw me agitated and came along despite my efforts. As soon as I opened the door, he greeted me as an old friend and told me to get everyone to pack their belongings because the laboratory was no longer necessary, and all the operations would continue in the palace.
I reminded him that he had promised to destroy the creature and take us to Akenat, and he replied with a warm smile that this was still the plan — ”all in due time” — but right now we still needed to get more resources to build the ship and negotiate with the Jorvik. Nevertheless, he said that he would give my family and I one spaceship to escape if I were to accept a contract chip that would kill me if I told anyone about Gerio.
Now everything was clear. His plan was to corrupt everyone that knew the truth or make them leave under oath, unable to tell the galaxy what was happening here, while the citizens of the planet suffered for his profits.
Without thinking, I leaped forward, attacking him with my claws. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to cause much damage before his guards shot me with a stun weapon. The last thing I remember was hearing my wife pleading for them not to kill me.
When I woke up, I was alone again in the lab, and the main gates were locked. There seems to be no other way of leaving, if not by the tunnel that we were excavating to get us to the hearth of Atoph territory.
That’s why I decided to record this video. In case someone finds this, and I wasn’t able to deliver justice. I want you to know that I will never stop trying to get back to my wife and my children and that I will find Berector Golden Fur and bring him to justice or die trying.
This is Arfrentos Silver Claws. Glory to the Punaabs. Glory to Akenat.”
Project: UE5 Showroom
Concept Art: DONE /// Art: DONE /// UX/UI: BUILDING /// Game Design: DONE /// Blockchain: DONE /// Game Play: DONE
Updates: Product distribution preparation is still in progress.
Upcoming activities: Finish product distribution.
Project: SCREAM v1.0
Game Design: PROTOTYPING /// Blockchain: BUILDING /// UX DESIGN: PROTOTYPING UI: PROTOTYPING /// Game Economics: R&D /// Web: BUILDING /// Art: BUILDING
Updates:Continuing to define explicit requirements for core gameplay mechanics and game systems design, with a focus on defining the combat mechanics through prototyping. Working with economics team to define XP economic modeling. /// Cargo, Crafting, Player Profile, Points, and Points Store programs are almost ready. Continuing the Fleet Program: finalizing movement system, started crafting starbases and fleet configuration. Working on hangar system: ship escrowing completed. /// Continuing wireframes and interaction flows, with a focus on the HUD system, structure system, and inventory system. Completed outliner. /// Continue building SCREAM screens and elements. /// Continuing to work on outliner. Started combat functionality. Updating camera views and controls. Updating movement logic and UX. /// Working on starbases and planets. Worked on Armstrong Tier 0, 1, and 4 concepts.
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 the UI team. /// Continue to build out UI screens and elements. /// Determine game balancing tactics/ contingency + scenario planning. Model levers for starbase crafting and upgrading. Economic modeling for hangar spaces, LP, econometrics, and SCORE to SCREAM transition strategy. /// Build towards playtesting and validate gameplay loops that require higher fidelity game. /// Convert into 3D assets to be added into Playcanvas.
Note: all on-chain programs associated with SCREAM will undergo cybersecurity and threat modeling prior to official launch.
Project: Star Atlas DAO — Usability Improvements
Product Design: R&D /// UX design: BUILDING /// Web Team: BUILDING /// Blockchain: STANDBY /// Economy: DONE
Updates: Product design in progress for Proposals./// General UI enhancements and improvements /// ATLAS locking bug fixes. /// ATLAS locking data indexing.
Upcoming activities: Dark mode. /// Finish bug fixing. /// Publish dev tools for POLIS and ATLAS locking.
Project: Graphic Novel
ART: BUILDING /// UX/UI: BUILDING /// Blockchain: BUILDING
Updates: The creation of the first few episodes are in progress./// Release and distribution preparation works started. ///
Features/Bug fixes: Star-atlas-portal Live updated to v0.5.30 PRE-ALPHA
[BUG] some sell orders cannot be canceled. /// [BUG] fixed tables jumping on hover. /// [UI] Enable click to copy buyer’s and seller’s addresses. /// Replace NPC wallet with “Star Atlas DAO.” /// Closing Category node. /// Sorting and table refinements. /// [UI] Improved item listing. /// Mobile improvements (iOS ToS and PP working now).
Features in pipeline: Mobile improvements. /// Sorting and table refinements. /// User-driven improvements (survey and interviews). /// [Program] Royalty fees and ATLAS locking /// New Homepage / Landing Page. /// [BUG] Coinbase wallets can not buy or sell ships on the market. /// [BUG] Some users still can not remove ships from the faction fleet when their wallet was compromised on another app.
Status: In progress
Project: Marketplace Royalty Fees
Web team: BUILDING /// Blockchain: BUILDING /// Econ: DONE
Updates: Adding logic for marketplace fee reductions. /// Program deployed to Devnet. Testing underway.
Upcoming activities: Final fee display. /// Testing completed.
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.
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY