Codename: Judged Vow
Briefing: At Earth Date June 30 an unusual radio signal was picked up coming from Mars. The exact nature and purpose of the signal is unknown, but it is notably strong. Furthermore, any communication with equipment deployed on and around Mars was lost. Telescopes were able to locate two black conoid shapes which seem to be the source of the transmission. The shapes and signal are suspected to be of potentially intelligent origin. A team of scientists and engineers was assembled and deployed to the approximate location of the structures, along with the equipment necessary to maintain a research outpost for an indeterminate duration and a powerful antenna array for emergency contact with Earth. Further logs shall be dated by Martian Days Since Landing.
Log #1 – MDSL 0: Landing successful, proceeding with outpost construction.
Log #2 – MDSL 10: Outpost operational, preparing for initial recon.
Log #3 – MDSL 12: We’ve sent a team to survey the structures. They’re both cones of what appears to be black stone. The substance they’re comprised of is surprisingly durable. Our team was not able to gather any samples. Both structures seem to be one solid block of this material. The team found an entrance to one of the structures (hereby designated Object A). Object B is partly covered by rock formations, which need to be excavated before entry.
Log #4 – MDSL 15: We’re making plans and preparing equipment for exploration of Object A. We’ve sent some of our engineers to excavate obstructions around Object B.
Log #5 – MDSL 17: One of the engineers near Object B found a black stone tablet near the site. Preliminary analysis indicates it’s the same material as the cones. The tablet is covered in unknown symbols. A scan of its surface will be researched by our linguists.
Log #6 – MDSL 20: We finally sent a team into Object A. The inside walls are covered with murals resembling hieroglyphics depicting various alien entities. We’ll analyze them more throughly once we get a probe in here. The explored section of the object is comprised of corridors that form a tight spiral shape with walls approximately 10cm in width. Like before, no method employed was able to even chip the surface of the substance.
Log #7 – MDSL 25: Object B is almost accessible. We deployed a probe into Object A and have been able to scan a great amount of the murals. They seem to be a mixture of hieroglyphics and artistic depictions of...fuck the formalities, those creatures were keeping us as slaves! Avians, lupines, serpentines, all kinds of people can be seen on those wretched scribbles enslaved by whatever freaking abominations this monument is dedicated to, I don’t fucking know how in the seven hells they did it or why this thing is on Mars, but this ain’t right.
Log #8 – MDSL 25: Previous captain has been removed from duty and directed to therapy as per Briden protocol. The murals scanned by the probe depict a civilisation of entities possessing various alien forms, from misshapen silhouettes to effectively shapeless shadows. The creatures do in fact seem to be serviced by creatures that look much like us, though always clad in a strange kind of armour or garb. We’ve also noted a few scenes of what seems to be sexual intercourse, both amongst the aforementioned servants or even between the servants and these strange entities. A few seem to depict sex between the entities themselves, though it’s hard to conclude whether that’s their actual intent or if we’re just pent up after a month away from Earth.
Log #9 – MDSL 30: Exploration of Object A continues. Information gleamed from murals keeps fascinating the anthropologists, but is hardly worthy of logging here. We’ve sent probes into Object B. It appears to be some kind of storage facility and is laid out much more, well, rationally than Object A. Most rooms seem to be shut, but we have managed to retrieve some sets of armour, much like that seen on the murals in Object A.
Log #10 – MDSL 34: The suits of armour are comprised of a gold-like metal, though seemingly indestructible much like the structures themselves. The insides of the armours are padded with an unknown, but highly durable, textile. The front of the breastplate and the crotch area of the armour seem to secrete an unknown substance. Pending chemical analysis. The chemical analysis team is glad they finally get to do something. Strangely, after we’ve found more suits of armour and took stock, we’ve come to the realisation that not only did we find exactly as many suits as there are staff here, but each suit seems to match the profile (build, gender, species) of a staff member. It’s hypothesised that Object B is aware of our presence in some manner or another. We’re setting up contingency protocols in case we have to just turn tail and run from here.
Log #11 – MDSL 45: Chemical analysis of the armour excretions have categorised is as “some kind of psychoactive mixture”. The makeup of the substance is too complex for our researchers to determine anything further without live testing and we are NOT giving alien drugs to our personnel, especially since we’re already on alert about Object B.
Log #12 – MDSL 70: Good news, not much changed for a while. No monsters, no sudden shift in the Devil Signal, no inexplicable visions, no floating obelisks. Hell, even the previous captain seems to have recovered from the shock. Object A has finally been scanned. The probe found a strange darkstone statue at the bottom of Object A’s corridors and is bringing it back to base. Object B exploration deemed finished unless a significant shift occurs. We’ve deployed a network of surveillance nodes within the object.
Addendum #12A: Shit, I haven’t written one of those in a while and forgot to keep the proper terminology. The Devil Signal is how we called that strange radio wave coming off off Object B. Oh, right, we’ve also narrowed it down to Object B, seems to be the darkstone itself sending the signal out. Darkstone is what we’ve come to call that indestructible rock the Architects used for almost everything...Architects being whatever the fuck built those things.
Log #13 – MDSL 80: The probe we sent to Object A finally arrived back with the statue. From what we understand, this must be an idol to some deity those Architects worshiped. Coinciding with the probe’s arrival, the Devil Signal dimmed. Not drastically enough to be any less troublesome, but notably enough that we noticed the change. We don’t know if that’s exactly a good thing, but we hope we’re on the right path.
Log #14 – MDSL 81: As noted before, we’ve been a bit on edge since MDSL 34, but that tension seems, well, gone now. Almost overnight we all seem to have calmed down about this whole debacle. Few say they simply grew used to the situation. Few say the change in the Signal gives them hope. Few say there’s something calming about that idol. Whatever it is, we’re sending a message to Earth and will likely spend the next few days trying to piece together what our next step might be.
Message to Earth #1: Cones explored. Got item. Signal dims. Plan step.
Addendum #14A: We really should’ve established some kind of code before liftoff. This message took out our lights for a whole hour.
Log #15 – MDSL 83: The mood on the outpost continues to shift. While previously one could feel a sense of fearful awe in the crew, now not only the fear is absent, but some folks seem to hold some kind of veneration for the Architects when they speak. That or I’m just reading into things.
Log #16 – MDSL 85: So, uh, that engineer that found that tablet on MDSL 17 claims to have read it. They said it’s a message from the Architects that we must submit to their will and whatnot. A few others have joined this new cult. They stole some of the armours and are now wearing only the armours. We’re trying our best to curtail the spread of the cult, but we lack any security staff and even if we did, we hardly have a method of subduing them.
Log #17 – MDSL 87: The cult has claimed the storage wing as their territory and decided to hold an orgy in the commons, about half the outpost has joined them. I should be worried. I should be terrified. I should jettison the whole wing and run. But I am calm. I will let them stay. I should fear that I can no longer fear them.
Log #18 – MDSL 95: Well, the cult at least seems effective in posing some interpretations of our findings, though I doubt their efficacy. I am basically the only person on the outpost not part of that cult. There’s also the janitor who’s “waiting till they force that suit on them”. I swear to the Architects, why did we take that perv with us. What did I just say? Abyss have mercy.
Log #19 – MDSL 105: We finally got that pervy moprat to wear their uniform. Gotta say, it took a while to get used to, but the almost electric feeling on my nipples and junk is exhilarating. A doorway in the Storage Pyramid opened, we’ll explore it shortly.
Log #20 – MDSL 107: WE SAW WHAT LIES BELOW BELOW. THE ENDLESS SEA OF DARKNESS. IT SPOKE INTO US. WE ARE ITS SERVANTS AND IT IS THE MASTER. ALL SHALL BE AS IT COMMANDS. ITS SPAWN SHALL RULE ONCE MORE. REJOICE IN ITS PLEASURE.
Message to Earth #2: Sending Samples. Requesting People. Will Stop Signal.