1718: Subnautica The Novel (Chapter Bundle 4 is out!) – Chapter 1


Title: Subnautica The Novel (Chapter Bundle 4 is out!)
Author: CrashBurnGlobal
Media: Video Game
Topic: Subnautica
Genre: Adventure/Mystery
URL Chapter 1
Critiqued by Ghostcat





Hello, dear Patrons!

Are we all ready for a brand-new fic from a brand-new source material? (Not that you really have a choice in the matter. (Well, unless you decide to go to a different site. (But please don’t. (I GET SO LONELY!))))

:clears throat:

Anyway. What was I saying? Oh, right! This fic comes from the Subnautica section of ff.net;

Since we haven’t had a fic from this source material, I’m going to give you a SC-style info-dump on the basics.

:cracks knuckles:

Prepare to have some learning shoved into your eye-holes, folks!

The game is an early-access survival/crafting game :sees many of the gamers in the audience stand up grumbing and preparing to leave: No, wait! This one is actually good!

As you might be able to tell from the game’s title, it primarily takes place underwater – but not in any of Earth’s oceans. The premise is fairly straightforward at first; the player is a crewmember aboard the Aurora, a ship operated by the Alterra Corporation that is on its way to build a new phasegate in the Ariadne Arm. The trip requires a flyby of Planet 4546B for a gravity-assist slingshot maneuver, but unknown to most of the crew there is a secondary mission – to make an attempt to locate and rescue any possible survivors of the Degasi, a ship whose last know location was near Planet 4546B.

Things do not go well.

The Aurora explodes and crashes onto Planet 4546B (where it explodes some more later) due to unknown (at the time) causes, but the player manages to reach one of the escape pods and jettison down to the planet’s surface – unfortunately they also get bashed over the head and lose consciousness for several hours. (The player should probably be dead from burns or lack of oxygen due to that fire, but I digress.) You start with almost nothing and have to venture out into the alien ocean to gather resources to repair the lifepod and improve your lifestyle. (Luckily Lifepod 5 landed in the Safe Shallows, an area rich is resources and poor in predators.) Once the communications relay is repaired, it receives a number of messages from a handful of other pods that managed to make it to the surface as well as each pod’s coordinates. It’s possible to visit each pod, but again – things haven’t gone well.

Hey, swim fins! I could use those. Also – damn but this game is pretty.

One of the messages is a reply to the Aurora‘s distress signal from another ship called the Sunbeam, which arranges a rendezvous point in an area considered merely “hazardous” instead of “Holy shit, how are you not dead yet?!?” that just happens to be one of the few patches of dry land on the planet.

Once again, things do not go well.

But, hey! Now you know what happened to the Aurora (If you really listen in the beginning animation, you can actually hear the distinctive sound of the gun firing.) and the Degasi.

Now things start getting interesting.

The frickin’ enormous gun, or Quarantine Enforcement Platform, was built by an alien race called the Precursors more than a thousand years prior to the player’s arrival in order to contain the carar bacterium, a virulent disease that will slowly kill you very dead.

There are several other Precursor bases and caches located in different biomes (as well as several bases built by the three survivors from the Degasi) that help flesh out the backstory, but essentially the entire planet is a quarantine zone where the Precursors were doing research on how to cure the carar, but there was some catastrophic mass-extinction event and now – no more Precursors around. You can try to disable the gun, but only an uninfected individual can do so and guess what you picked up while swimming around looking for titanium and salt deposits?

Meh, just rub some dirt in it and you’ll be fine.

The game is still in early-access alpha and is set to have a full version released in May of this year. The devs haven’t actually put the entire story in the game yet; obviously you have to find a way to cure yourself and get off the planet, but there’s not really a way to do that yet. This had led to a lot of theories and speculation among the fans as to what exactly happened during the mass extinction and what is happening during the current time period – there’s a number of infected animals in the game but it is unknown if they are recently infected or if the disease has remained in the ecosystem since the event. (I’m in the ‘recent release’ camp; the carar has such a high mortality rate that any species that evolved after the mass extinction would have had to have evolved either a resistance or an immunity to the disease or the species wouldn’t have survived long enough to reproduce yet nearly all the creatures in the present day are able to be infected. The only creature I can’t remember seeing an infected version of is the Reaper Leviathan, but I try to avoid those as much as possible. Given that the infected creatures are much more aggressive than their uninfected counterparts, the idea of an infected Reaper is terrifying.)

Now that I’ve fangirled my heart out, let’s get to the fic! But first, the summary.

This is NOT an official novel by the subnautica game makers, this is my own impersonation of it.

Ummmm … I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

I LOVE the game, and i hope you love the book.

:shakes Magic Alice Ball:

“Outlook not so good.”

Also, in case anyone is wondering – yes, the “book” title does include that parenthetical statement. No, I don’t know why it does.

This is also a 1 favorite special, so shoutout to whoever favorited my first book.


I dunno what that means.

Stranded, Lost, and Alone. Or is he? Logan, and Alterra crew member, arriving on the Aurora, right before its explosive fate, will he make it?

And can he. Ever stop. Channeling. William Shatner?

Chapter 1: Stranded

Is Stranded going to be meeting up with Lost and Alone later for tea and scones?

“Everything was going according to plan, we were making a trade route to the Xehaleth system to deliver a dark matter reactor. Why exactly? They had a huge battleship, and it mainly runs on dark matter. However, while passing planet B2-034, fighters intercepted the shuttle, cutting it off completely. Suffering major damage, the ship crashed into the neighboring watery world. Now here I am, stranded in lifepod 007.” I said into the recorder.

:looks up at extensive info-dump:

Are we playing the same game? Because I don’t remember anything like that happening. The ship is wrong, the system is wrong, even the cause of the crash is wrong! And Lifepod 7 is at the bottom of the Grassy Plateau with a great big hole torn in its side!

In the middle of the ominously named Blood Grass.


There’s only ten numbered Lifepods in the game, including the player’s, so how hard would it be to pick a random number that isn’t already being used?

Shutting it off I started speaking to myself. “Great, just great. the Sirius crashed, with little hope of being repaired, and for all I know, I’M THE ONLY SURVIVOR”

Why do they feel the need to shut off the recorder? What made this bit of rambling nonsense different from the other bit of rambling nonsense? And what’s with the sudden yelling?

Grieving in anger, I checked the small storage compartment.

I don’t think emotions work like that.

“Sea glide, titanium, and glass.


:takes several deep, calming breaths:

The Seaglide is a small battery-operated handheld propulsion device that helps you swim faster; in early versions of the game there was one located in the lifepod’s storage compartment but it has since been removed so now you have to locate the Fragments for the Seaglide, scan them (after first building a Scanner), gather the materials, and build it yourself.

It does make sense to have something like a Seaglide in the pod, but why would there be chunks of raw materials in there? There is a fabricator in the pod, but there are limited items that you can make with just glass and titanium.

That’s not gonna do me good,

Unappreciative little shit.

but what’s outside.

Death, many and varied forms of death.

Pictured: Death. This particular form of death trying to eat my Seamoth is called a Reaper Leviathan – because subtle naming is subtle

I’ve been in here for days bored out of my mind. I guess it’s about time I checked.” I climbed up the metal ladder, with the sea glide in my other hand.

This person has spent DAYS inside a pod? How? There’s almost no food or water in there!

And if you’ve just crashed onto an alien world wouldn’t your main concern be, I dunno, trying to find out where you are or how you can get off the planet? Maybe even spent a few minutes contemplating how you’re going to survive? But no, this asshole just sits and stares at the walls for an unknown number days without even bothering to look through the hatch window to see what’s outside.

The hatch clicked and hissed open, and I glared all about me.

As water rushed in and smothered you like a campfire in a typhoon.

The Sirius to the north, nothing else in sight.

Except water; lots and lots of water.

If the Sirius is supposed to be the Aurora, it should be on the eastern edge of the game map and not to the north. Since the majority of the planet’s surface is flat water, the massive wreck is highly visible and serves as a handy navigation landmark.

I took a deep breath, held it, then jumped straight into the water.

WHEEE! That’s one of my favorite parts.

I peeked through my eyes to see what was before me, then I screamed.

Did you jump into an alien ocean with your frickin’ eyes closed?!?

A small fish, but with a huge eye, just swam right in front of me.


Or possibly an Eyeye;

Or an Oculus;

Or even a Spadefish;


My point is, there’s a number of fish that would fit the description of “small fish with a single large eye” in this game. Some kind of description would be nice.

I panicked to the surface, and stumbled to the hatch. Forgetting to use the ladder, I fell to the floor of the escape pod.


Dude, if one of those fish managed to scare you this badly, you are going to die very, very quickly.

The sequence of events is very confusing; the pods have two hatches, one at the top (accessible by external and internal ladders) and one in the “floor”. If Dumbass here bolted for the surface, they would have had to climb the external ladder to reach the hatch or re-submerge to get to the bottom hatch. Either route would haven’t included any stumbling, since that implies that Dumbass was walking instead of swimming or climbing.

“Now I know what to do the titanium and glass.” I took them out of the storage compartment, and put them in the fabricator.

Sorry, I don’t think you can build yourself a spine.

It whizzed and whirred as it made goggles for me.

Did … Did you program it to do that? Or was it just making a random object? Because there was a fabricator malfunction in one of the pods; it turned out nothing but useless junk. I don’t even think goggles are an available option, since there’s a helmet (which has a faceplate where the HUD is displayed) that comes with your suit. It would have made more sense to craft a knife that you can use to defend yourself with.

I grabbed them, and held them against my face.

Great, now you just have to hold them there until you can fabricate a strap. And good luck getting a watertight seal between the glass and/or metal and your face, Dumbass.

“Not bad, but that drained the power a bit.” I said noticing the power go down on the scale.

What scale? In the game power levels for your base or vehicle are automatically displayed as a numerical value on the HUD whenever the player is in the base or vehicle, but there’s been no indication that Dumbass even has a HUD. Considering the information the HUD tracks, like blood nutrient levels, direction, power reserves, dehydration levels, I doubt a stand-alone pair of goggles would be able to track the same amount of information.

I climbed up the ladder again, and dove into the water.

I know it’s fun, but there is a hatch literally under your feet.

Then I hit my head on a coral reef.


You are going to die.

With the goggles on my face, and the seaglide in hand, i started zooming around to investigate the strange planet.

Weren’t you terrified just a few seconds ago? Are a pair of goggles really that much of a confidence booster?

Occasionally popping up above the water line for air.

That’s also really fun, you can pop up like a dolphin when you use the Seaglide.

The planet wasn’t all that bad really.

:snorts coffee through nose:

Oh, you sweet summer child.

Just the fish shoals swimming about, the coral growing alongside the sea grass, it truly was beautiful.

I’ll give you that; the game is absolutely beautiful. You kind of forget that it’s not a fully completed game until a school of fish clips through the wall of your base like it isn’t there.

Then I saw sand being thrown everywhere to my left. I swam closer to investigate.

Oh, that’s a great idea! Maybe you should get really close, and just stick your face down in the sand. :snerk: I’m sure you’ll be fine.

But what was there definitely saw me before I saw it.

Except you saw the plume of sand first.

Chapter 2: Pursuit

Wait a second – Chapter 2? Did I accidentally copy two chapters into the same document?

:checks fic:

No, most of the posted “chapters” are broken down into several smaller chapters. The chapters themselves seem to be individual scenes, with the new “chapter” marking the change to a different scene.  I guess that’s what the “chapter bundle” in the fic title is referencing.

Author, this is not how you do.

A huge armored creature erupted from the sand, and came straight for me its four eyes glowing red with hatred, and its needle sharp teeth were itching to get a bite out of me.

Hello, Mr. Sand Shark!

This asshole.

I think the sand sharks look like Satan’s bedroom slippers; they have that flat-bottomed lozenge shape that remind me of slippers or house shoes.

I dashed for safety, the sea glide was blasting me through the water like a jet. But the fish was not far behind. It was catching up to me. I soon noticed that we were right above a shallow ravine. I dashed for cover here, but the angry predator knew exactly where I was going. “He is desperate for a meal isn’t he.” I said to myself.

Maybe it’s just me, but if I was being chased by a burrowing predator that’s sixty-five percent mouth I probably wouldn’t try to hide in a hole in the ground. That just seems ill-advised. And sand sharks are ambush predators; as long as you can swim fast enough, which you should be able to since you have that frickin’ Seaglide, you should be able to get away from them as they tire out.

But just then bulky fish, with one eye, and red skin, came popping out of plants.

Hello, Mr. Crashfish! I forgot about you when I was listing the one-eyed fish.

Derpy little asshole.

Also, there are apparently plants in this ravine now.

They went for the predator not for me, thank goodness.

Crashfish tend to launch themselves straight up and target whatever gets close enough to trigger them, so if Dumbass was in the lead then the crashfish would presumably go after them.

But they started to inflate, and then BOOOM! The plant fish exploded.

They don’t inflate, they explode. There’s a difference.

The predator didn’t take much of a hit, because of it’s armor. But it dashed right out of the ravine. Presumably back to where it came from. “Thats right you bone head! Go back to the sand pit you came from!”

Yet you seem to still be hanging around the exploding fish-plants, so who’s the stupid one now?

I think there’s a rule somewhere that you shouldn’t taunt the hostile alien wildlife that just tried to eat you, or at least don’t taunt it out-loud when it can probably still hear you. Noise travels far underwater. By the way, how are you able to talk underwater?

I dashed to the surface for a big gulp of air, and went to my escape pod. Except, it wasn’t my escape pod.

Wait, what?

My escape pod had the number seven on its side, but this one had an eighteen on it.

Yeah, that would probably be a good indication that this is a different pod. Another indication would be if it is located in a completely different area. Haven’t you been paying attention to your surroundings?Why didn’t you see it before now? It has reflective numbers and blaze orange flotation devices! And the water’s surface is flat, Dumbass should have easily spotted something the size of a lifepod floating nearby when they were standing on their pod earlier.

“Holy laser balls!” I shouted, then without caution, I dove right into the hatch. Only to black out.


I hope this doesn’t become a thing.

Chapter 3: Casey

Hello, scene tag/chapter title! I bet you’re going to get annoying very quickly.

I woke up, tied to the ladder in the mysterious escape pod.

Kinky. But where did the other person get the rope from?

“So, have to come to eat my intestines like sausages, or drink my blood like egg drop soup?” The figure said holding a knife up to my neck.

Ewww! Why would you use those comparisons?!? And if your blood even remotely resembles egg drop soup, then you have some serious health concerns that need to be addressed.

“What are you talking about? The only thing I’ve had for the past days were nutrient blocks.” The figure lowered its knife.

Is the mysterious figure talking to themselves? The dialogue is all muddled together. And it’s not a very comforting statement; if someone says “I’ve eaten nothing but [food] for days!” it’s usually a complaint and an indication that they would really like to eat something different.

Then untied me. Then the figure lowered its hood, and shot me a friendly glance.

The mysterious figure was wearing a hood? And how friendly can it be if it just had you tied up with a knife at your throat?

“The name’s Casey, what’s yours?” she said. I rubbed the lump on my forehead, “Logan,” I said.

…So they are just going to pretend the tying up and threatening with a weapon thing never happened? I mean, it worked in Tangled, but those characters actually had chemistry together.

“Did you really have to hit me so hard? This lump is gonna be on me for a while.” She snickered, with her hand over her mouth. ” I think you look funny.” She said, with more snickers.

See, the way this is structured makes it look as if Crazy Casey is complaining about getting hit over the head. Also, why did she do that? The ship went down a number of days ago and I assume she hasn’t seen another human in all that time – why would her immediate reaction be to clobber the sole remaining human over the head? I know humans are assholes, but that seems a little extreme.

“Have you seen what kind of things are outside” I asked. She nodded then replied. “All I know about the smaller ones is that you can eat them.”

Then you know more than Dumbass, he didn’t even bother trying to catch one while he was out there sightseeing. Apparently he doesn’t need food to survive.

We sat in silence for a while, until she perked up. “What is it?!” I shouted excitedly!

What is it, girl? Did Timmy fall down a well?!?

“We can make a scanner!” She said “Not like a radar, an ANIMAL scanner! So we can learn more about them!” My jaw dropped, then I shouted “That’s brilliant! But we need the supplies.”




The frickin’ fabricator has a frickin’ menu that you can access, with basic items like food, water, a knife, repair tool, scanner, etc. How have they managed to stay in these pods for days on end without even looking at the menu?

We sat in silence longer that time. “Follow me” She said.

Dude, no. She’s going to make a suit out of your skin.

She climbed the ladder, following I put my hands on the ladder, and swung myself up. We shifted our weight on top of the escape pod, until it balanced. She jumped in the water, and I followed.

This is possibly the most descriptive passage so far in the fic, and it’s describing them going up a ladder and jumping into the water.

We swam towards a cave, and she moved a couple of plants, until there it was.

Did she find the plot?

Chapter 4: The Cyclops

No, she just found another scene tag.

“I launched it right before the Sirius crashed.

Wait, what? You launched a Cyclops from a crashing spaceship?

This is a Cyclops. I named mine ‘Freud’s Cigar’.

According to the wiki, the Cyclops is 54.2 m (178 ft) long, 14.2 m (47 ft) tall, and 12.6 (41 ft) wide – how would anyone manage to get one out of a disintegrating spaceship in one piece, much less drop it from near-orbit and into the water without it breaking into pieces? And why does a spaceship – specifically a delivery shuttle, which is what the Sirius is supposed to have been – have launchable submarines? Why would those be a thing?

It took some major damage,


No shit it would take major damage. Lets drop you from space and see how you fair.

In the game the Cyclops doesn’t actually take any damage because that hasn’t been implemented in the game yet, but based on clips and screenshots released by the devs recently it probably will be soon. I’m going to miss having an invincible sub, the damn thing steers like a barge and I’m constantly running into shit with it.

but I managed to repair it with a welder, and a lot, and I mean A LOT of titanium.”

I assume this is misplaced game mechanics since there should have been a lot of damage to the sub’s internal workings that you couldn’t just weld back together. In the game you can just point the repair tool at the problem and pull the trigger, but in a realistic situation you’d need a team of trained repair techs to even figure out what was wrong besides “It done got broked.” The repair tool doesn’t even use titanium, just battery power.

She said while climbing inside the massive submarine. I soon followed climbing inside the hatch, and following her up the ladder at the end of the hall.

Dumbass is awfully trusting considering she was holding a knife to his neck less than a minute ago.

As soon as my head poked up above the ladder, I saw something amazing.

You’re on an uncharted planet in an ocean full of undocumented wonders facing an uncertain and possibly bleak future – EVERYTHING should be amazing.



I dislike you.

looking at everything that whizzed, whirred, and glowed.

:stares into Void:

Thanks for just telling me about everything, I probably couldn’t handle an actual description of something so mind-blowing.

Casey got onto the driver’s station, and started the thing up. Enthusiastically, she said to me, “Hey since you think this is cool, wait ’till you see what’s under us!” She pulled the steering wheel up to herself, and we started to go deeper, and deeper.

Uh-oh. I think you might be glitching through the ground. That happened to my exosuit; it’s down in the Lost River caverns somewhere. (I fell through the ground, decided to take a look around since I was already there, and then died. I respawned back at my base with my exosuit fifteen hundred meters underground.)

Everything was black, until she turned on the lights at the front.


Then in front of me, huge glowing mushrooms appeared.

Wait, what? Are you near the Mushroom Forest, or did you somehow manage to drop your sub directly into a cave leading to the Jellyshroom Caves?

“Whoa” We both said, as the enormous fungi shimmered and glowed, with all the deep sea, bioluminescent fish, it made it majestic.

This isn’t helping me since both of those biomes contain bioluminescent fish and glowing mushroom-like growths.

We started going up, then broad daylight greeted us once more.

Well, that was a pointless detour into whatever biome you were in.

“We need to scavenge the Sirius if we are going to survive in this blasted planet.” Casey said in a low tone.

Yes, and? It’s not exactly a big secret that the downed ship would be a ready supply of resources.

Then a voice over the intercom said, “WARNING ENTERING TOXIC AREA TURN BACK” Casey sighed, and turned the cyclops back around.

If only there was some kind of system broadcasting emergency notices that could have informed you of the dangerous amounts of radiation near the crashed ship – oh, wait there is!

“Wait, you said there are bare minerals here right?” I said trying to lighten up Casey’s mood.

She did? When was this? The only things she mentions is that the smaller fish are edible and that you two should go scavenge the shipwreck. And why is she so interested in that natural makeup powder they sell in infomercials?

“Also, we can use the fabricator to make the stuff we need, right?”


Seriously, how are you not dead already?

Casey said nothing and parked the cyclops back in its spot.

That was certainly an eventful trip, wasn’t it?

We both swam out and back into the life pods.

Unless you somehow pushed your two pods together and joined them, that should be ‘pod’, singular.


Rebuild the ship that was apparently shot down before crashing into a planet? The repair tool is good, but it’s not that good.

“I know, but I just got a message on my PDA.” She played the message on her PDA. The scratchy female voice of her PDA said, “The dark matter reactor aboard the Sirius is about to burst in ten seconds.”

Convenient plot device is convenient.

We went on top of the escape pod. “Five, f-oo-ur ,th-r-ee two, on-e” the PDA uttered. Then the Sirius EXPLODED! Red and yellow bursts of plasma covered the ship as the massive fireball swallowed the ship whole. Chunks and parts flew in all directions. The blast was so powerful it knocked us into the ocean. We swam back up to the surface. “Rebuild the Sirius, eh?” Casey said rolling her eyes.

Thus establishing that Dumbass really is a dumbass.

The Aurora really does explode in-game when the dark matter containment unit of the drive core fails, resulting in an ever-spreading radiation zone around the wreckage that remains until the player goes on-board and seals the leaks. There’s also a very impressive explosion that removes the front third of the ship.

Which does make it a little easier to get into the ship to reach the drive room, because the front of the ship is now a very large and open door.

But if the drive is just exploding now, why was there a toxic radiation zone already in place earlier? It doesn’t make sense.

Chapter 5: Sea Base Alpha

We’re just flying along now, aren’t we? The chapter/scene tags are getting closer and closer together.

“Log 7152: It’s been one week since the Sirius blew it’s fuse. LITERALLY!

It did not blow a fuse, the engines failed catastrophically due to suddenly impacting a frickin’ planet.

Me and Casey managed to build an sea base.

It’s ‘Crazy Casey and I’, Dumbass.

It has almost everything needed to survive.

If it’s missing something that’s essential to survival then you’ve done a really bad job building your base.

We have a fabricator, several tools, two beds, we take shifts for those.

That’s it? A fabricator, some tools, and beds? What about growbeds for food and harvestable materials? Or an alien containment unit for breeding fish to eat? Lockers for storing materials? Do you even have a power generator? And if there are two beds, why are you taking shifts sleeping in them? If you’re only using one at the time, just build one bed instead of wasting resources on two.

One of us sleeps, while the other, goes out and scavenge.

That sounds unnecessarily dangerous given how many predators are on this planet. It would be much safer to go out in a team, one scavenging while the other stands guard, and figure out a way to secure the base so you can both sleep at the same time.

I let Casey sleep longer than I do. Just to be polite. Logan out.” I shut off the recorder and went out of the hatch.

I can’t help but wonder if Crazy Casey does the same thing and lets Dumbass sleep late out of politeness. Presumably Crazy Casey would be given special treatment because she’s a girl, assuming such antiquated ideas would still exist in the far future world of Subnautica, but it’s equally possible that with the gender-neutral name like Logan that Dumbass could also be a female and thus would be afforded the same privledge. If that’s the case will they just keep letting each other sleep longer until they just spend days in bed out of sheer politeness?

The crepevine forest glowed with its seed clusters.

It’s Creepvine, not crepevine.

I went out to harvest some acid mushrooms, to make more batteries.

Then why did you mention the creepvines? And you really should be looking for Fragments to scan; if you build a battery charger it saves a load of time and effort in building replacement batteries.

Then I saw it.

You know, it.

“That DEFINITELY wasn’t there before. A hole in the ground was right below me. I went back to the base to tell Casey about the pit.

You built this base weeks ago and presumably have searched a fairly wide area while looking for items – how did you not see a hole in the ground? They are all over the place!

As soon as I entered the hatch I went straight to Casey’s bed.

:porno music blares over the intercom:


” CASEY! YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT I FOUND!” then Casey came out of a new room.

If Crazy Casey isn’t even in the room, then why did Dumbass immediately go to her bed? That’s just weird.

“A pit into nothingness” She said calmly.

“That’s the third one this week.”

 “Scanner room. We have camera drones now.”

You built a scanner room before a battery charger. No wonder you have to spend all your time getting materials for simple things like batteries. You two really need to learn how to prioritize better.

She was holding one in her hand. “Cute little thing” I said walking into the new room.

Why is it inside the room? The camera drones (which are the size of basketballs, so Crazy Casey must have hands like shovels) are docked in ports on the outside of the room. They can’t really go looking for resources if they are inside the base.

One thing on the wall said: Lithium, Titanium, Copper, Lead, and Silver.

What, like just some random graffiti? Or is this your shopping list? Can’t you just take notes on you PDA?

“I built this, so we can find minerals, that will help us.” Casey said pressing a button on the table, which made it show a geo reading of the nearby area.

Oh, so that’s the wall display where you can choose which resource to search for. And she activated the three-dimensional display table in the center of the room. Too bad there’s not a better way to describe those things.

” This is a geo reading of the area around us, the base. See, here’s the crepevine forest, the pit, the jelly shroom caves…” I interrupted Casey, and said, “Wait, isn’t that the glowing mushroom cave, with those snake things?”

Those scanners must have phenomenal range if it can detect multiple biomes – including the Jellyshroom Caves two hundred-plus meters underground.

Casey rolled her eyes “of course you doofus!” she groaned.

Hey, I don’t blame Dumbass for asking. It’s not like anyone would know what the Jellyshroom Caves look like based on the information in the fic.

They look like this.

“Anyways, we can find recourses we need, like lead. If we want to go to the ship, we need lead suits to resist the radiation.


You need radiation suits just to get anywhere near the ship! And you can build radiation suits with materials that are easy to find in the Safe Shallows. If the drive exploded, that should have been at the top of you to-do list.

I’m going to hook this little guy up to the cyclops so we can look for it while exploring new biomes.” She exited the room, holding the camera drone.

I’m fairly certain you can’t control a camera drone from the Cyclops, you can only operate them from the scanner room.

I followed, and we went outside. She moved the plants, and went into the cave. There it is again, the cyclops!

Hey, it’s that thing you’ve already seen! Did you forget that it was there? Also, why is it still hidden in a cave behind some plants? Does Crazy Casey just feel the need to do a dramatic reveal every time she takes the sub out?

Chapter 6: The Sea Treader Path

Yet another chapter/scene tag. But I do love these guys! Their poop makes excellent fuel.

And they kind of look like they are smiling at you.

” HEY LOGAN! COME AND GET IT, I COOKED SOME SPADEFISH THIS TIME!” shouted Casey on the lower deck.

:points at pictures of one-eyed fishes:

It’s that one, in case you are wondering.

I charged for the ladder, forgot my bearings, and fell to the floor.


If this is supposed to make the character relatable or amusing, it isn’t working.

Casey instantly started laughing at my fall.

Ha-ha! Your pain is hilarious!

“You really need to start watching for the ladders! Anyways here is your spadefish.” I got up off the ground, and took the alien fish on the plate Casey held out for me. “Thanks for the fish Captain of the Cyclops, Casey.” Casey punched me in the back, and said. “I told you to stop calling me that!”

Dumbass has never called you that before. Ever.

The punch didn’t hurt, that bad, it was a friend punch. More like a shove.

Does that mean threatening you with a knife was her idea of foreplay?

I ate the spadefish and went back to driving the cyclops.

Are they in the Cyclops? And they were ‘downstairs’  eating? The Cyclops does have two levels, but the bottom is very narrow and cramped and really only useful as a storage space. There’s much more space in the top level, there’s even room for several grow beds and a decent-sized aquarium.

“Holy moly” I said to myself. I tapped on the button with a camera sticker on it, and the whole window of the cyclops, turned into a screen.

I smell more misplaced game mechanics.

The camera drone casey hooked up on the bottom of the cyclops, was being controlled manually.

By who?

I moved the camera drone around below the cyclops,

Oh, it’s Dumbass. Sorry, it wasn’t very clear.

to inspect strange 3 legged creatures.


No numerals!

I won’t lie, that felt really good.

The top left part of the screen said we were at the Sea Treaders Path.

Bullshit it did. The only way to find out what biome you’re in is to either recognize it or use console commands – which actually would display the biome name at the top left. I think the author must be cheating their game.

I ran to grab Casey. “You won’t believe what I found!” I shouted down to the lower section of the cyclops.”WHAT IS IT!” She said. “Come up here and see!” I could soon see Casey climbing up the ladder, and she walked over to me. “Well? What is it?” She said.

It better not be another frickin’ hole in the ground. Like I said, those are everywhere. There are extensive cave systems with their own complex ecosystems.

 I pulled up the screen from the camera drone, and it showed those three legged creatures. “NO WAY! Did we really reach a new biome?” She said, eyes wide in astonishment.

Hold on a second … If this is a new biome they have never been in, how does it have a name? These two are the only people around to give names to things. It makes sense for the computer to know the names of things in a game, since having every player give every single thing a unique name would get really confusing after a while -“That’s a bone shark.” “No, it’s a Bitey Bastard.” “I’ve just been calling them all Phil.” – but this is a different situation.

“You really do know your way around Lieutenant Logan!” she snickered, and walked into the other room.

She seems reallllly impressed with you, Dumbass.

Soon after she left, the male voice of the cyclops A.I. said, “Low power, please resort to life saver mode.”

I don’t think that’s a thing; the sub just stops when it runs out of power.

Casey said right after that, “Just push the red button on the steering wheel.” I did as she said, and pushed the button with my hand. The lights then dimmed, and the cyclops’s voice said, “To save power, i will be offline, be vigilant, since I won’t be able to warn you of large predators. Signing out captain.”

That definitely doesn’t happen. The Cyclops doesn’t have an early warning system, although there is one in development.

The silence was nice, the cheers and clicks of the 3


legged creatures kept me company in the dark,

The Sea Treaders do sound really awesome, but then so do all the creatures; the sound design in the game is really top-notch.

until Casey grabbed me by the hand, and led me into the other room.

:porno music intensifies:


“Lookie here at what i made while you and chet were chattering away!” She said, pointing at a miniature submarine.

Did she build Dumbass a toy? And who is Chet? Is that the name you gave the sub’s AI? (There’s not an option to name the vehicle or base AIs, but most players do anyway because that’s what humans do.)

“Whoa, can we both fit in that thing?” I said inspecting it.


I dunno, but I doubt. You can’t build full-sized vehicles inside the Cyclops – you need to use the Mobile Vehicle Bay for that.

“It’s a seamoth, 2 passenger class.

:spits out coffee:

It’s a WHAT?!?

This is a Seamoth;


I painted mine mint green and named her Luna.


Just for fun, here’s my Seamoth parked inside a giant skull. It’s that little oval blob in the middle.

It’s a single person sub that is approximately the size of a car (3m x 1.5m x 1m, according to the wiki) but most of that space is for machinery like the propulsion system and life support. You can’t fit two people in it unless you shove one in the storage compartment.

The original seamoth, that i found, could only hold one person.


I modified it, so 2 people could sit in the front of the sub.


I’m not a vehicle designer, but I imagine expanding an existing vehicle to accommodate twice as many passengers would requite a bit more than a ‘modification’. Presumably the Mobile Vehicle Bay might be able to build one from scratch if you could cobble together a working blueprint, but I doubt it’s something you can do by hand to an existing Seamoth while in the very cramped confines of another sub.

I buffed the engine, and the storage compartment.

I hope you remembered the second coat of wax on the radiator, that seawater is hell on the finish.

It has an upgrade module, that we can insert modules into, to give it an edge in the ocean, such as extended crush depth, radar, and power efficiency, but we have none of those. We have to get to the ship to get them.”

Which is apparently something she knows how to do now.

She built an upgrade module that uses other modules, but doesn’t actually have any of those modules? How does she know they will work? Hell, how does she know they even exist? There are devices in the game that can make upgrade modules – the Vehicle Upgrade Station and the Modification Station – but those are two separate machines. The Vehicle Upgrade Station can only be built inside a Moonpool room, so it wouldn’t even be on the Cyclops.

Shocked, open jawed, and wide eyed. I slapped myself in the face to get myself out of the amazement.

Is Dumbass meant to be the comic relief or the protagonist? Because I’m getting strong Sue vibes from Crazy Casey right now.

“Are we gonna take her for a spin or what?” I asked walking closer to the docked seamoth.

You could, but it might be a good idea to park the Cyclops somewhere first. And if the two of you are over by docking bay with the Seamoth, who is driving the Cyclops?

“If you say so.” We both climbed into the micro submarine and the robotic arms dropped us into the ocean.

And the Cyclops just kept on tooting along until it ran out of power. Great job, there.

The ocean filled with roars of large predators.

Which probably would have been clearly audible inside the sub. Subnautica is full of noisy bastards and the sound doesn’t stop when you’re inside a vehicle or a base.

Chapter 7: The Grand Reef

Not another one!

:looks down:

Huh. There’s nothing. Hold on, Patrons. I need to check something.

:brief pause:

Nope, it looks like the chapter just ends there. That’s a bit odd.

That’s it for this week, Patrons! Join me next time for another chapter!


80 Comments on “1718: Subnautica The Novel (Chapter Bundle 4 is out!) – Chapter 1”

  1. BatJamags says:

    the Reaper Leviathan

    I’d also put a picture of the Leviathans from Mass Effect, but that would set off the spam filter, so just imagine one of the things in the picture except organic instead of a robot.

    • GhostCat says:

      In Subnautica ‘leviathan’ is just the size class; there’s a number of leviathans including the Reaper Leviathan, the Sea Dragon Leviathan, and the Emperor Leviathan, and I think the Reefbacks are considered leviathan class as well.

      I don’t know how the ME version is, but this Reaper is an asshole. They have a distinct roar that they use for echolocation (if you can hear it, you know you’re in deep shit) and like to circle around their prey and attack from the rear. My first experience went something like;

      :loud Reaper scream:

      Me – “Hey, what’s that noise?” :turns around and gets face full of Reaper:

      • BatJamags says:

        Ah, that makes sense. So… space shark bats on steroids?

        • GhostCat says:

          It’s underwater, so it’s more like a space-shark-whale with attitude.

          They only spawn in certain areas so you can avoid them if you’re careful – but those areas tend to have a lot of good salvage :( and the only way on to the Aurora is right over a Reaper zone – however the devs have stated that they will be implementing some sort of “noise” monitoring system for the vehicles and bases; the louder your noise level, the more (and larger) predators you will attract so the Reapers might start moving out of their zones more in the future.

  2. BatJamags says:

    Topic: Neko Atsume


  3. BatJamags says:

    Now here I am, stranded in lifepod 007.

  4. BatJamags says:





    Whoa, slow down! I can only make so many references in one comment! For the moment, I think I’ll go with…

  5. BatJamags says:

    But just then bulky fish, with one eye, and red skin, came popping out of plants.

    Ah, so dumbass cast Summon Bigger Fish?

  6. BatJamags says:

    “I’M SAYIN’ WE CAN REBUILD THE SIRIUS!” I said in the life pod. “WE CAN GET OUT OF HERE!”


  7. BatJamags says:

    “I know, but I just got a message on my PDA.” She played the message on her PDA. The scratchy female voice of her PDA said,

    *Alarms blare*


  8. BatJamags says:



  9. BatJamags says:

    acid mushrooms

    Slow down, man! One hallucinogen at a time!

  10. BatJamags says:

    Just for fun, here’s my Seamoth parked inside a giant skull. It’s that little oval blob in the middle.

    So… Can you meet the thing that skull came from?

    • GhostCat says:

      So far, no – at least I really frickin’ hope not. But the game’s not finished yet and there is a lot of ocean. I think the biggest creature in-game right now is the Sea Dragon, which is about a third to maybe half that size. It shoots fireballs and eats Reapers, though, so it’s still quite impressive.

      I have heard that there might be something called a “Ghost Leviathan” that will be at the edge of the game map to prevent players from wandering off (right now you can just head off into a literal Void if you feel like it) and there is some speculation that it might be similar in size to the animal that belonged to that skull.

  11. BatJamags says:

    Everything about this is so stilted that it’s breaking my brain.

  12. AdmiralSakai says:

    Title: Subnautica The Novel (Chapter Bundle 4 is out!)

    Umm, whut?

  13. AdmiralSakai says:

    (Not that you really have a choice in the matter. (Well, unless you decide to go to a different site. (But please don’t. (I GET SO LONELY!))))


    • BatJamags says:

      I have no idea what you/re talking about (Well, actually I do (I just said I didn’t because I was being sarcastic (By the way I appreciate the Batman reference (And now I’m just coming up with excuses to Matrioshka the shit out of these parentheses (And now that I’ve gone all meta with it, it’s going to get annoying really fast, so I’m just going to close them (After one more)))))).

  14. AdmiralSakai says:

    Stranded, Lost, and Alone. Or is he? Logan, and Alterra crew member, arriving on the Aurora, right before its explosive fate, will he make it?

    And can he. Ever stop. Channeling. William Shatner?

  15. AdmiralSakai says:

    Wait a second – Chapter 2? Did I accidentally copy two chapters into the same document?

    :checks fic:

    No, most of the posted “chapters” are broken down into several smaller chapters. The chapters themselves seem to be individual scenes, with the new “chapter” marking the change to a different scene. I guess that’s what the “chapter bundle” in the fic title is referencing.

    *Unpleasant flashbacks to Introductory Networks, and the numerous pointless distinctions between packets, frames, datagrams, and segments.*

  16. AdmiralSakai says:

    Crashfish tend to launch themselves straight up and target whatever gets close enough to trigger them,

    Egad! They’re alien SJWs!

  17. “Thats right you bone head! Go back to the sand pit you came from!”

    I am so triggered right now.

  18. AdmiralSakai says:

    Everything was black, until she turned on the lights at the front.
    Then in front of me, huge glowing mushrooms appeared.

    If the mushrooms are glowing, why did they only become visible when you turned on the lights?

    • GhostCat says:

      If the interior lights are on there can be a lot of glare off the inside of the front bubble, but they still should have been able to see something, especially if these are supposed to be the Jellyshrooms because those things are really bright and the cave is always really dark. Of course, I don’t think you can even get a Cyclops into the Jellyshroom Caves unless you spawn one in using console commands, but the author doesn’t seem to be all that concerned with being accurate.

      Turning on the Cyclops’ external lights can actually make visibility worse in some biomes; there’s a lot of ‘bloom’ in the water in some areas, so turning on the lights is a bit like driving through fog with your high-beams on.

  19. AdmiralSakai says:

    The blast was so powerful it knocked us into the ocean

    And apparently knocked you out of the escape pods you were just in.

  20. AdmiralSakai says:

    A hole in the ground was right below me.

    Meaning that you are currently falling.

  21. AdmiralSakai says:

    “A pit into nothingness” She said calmly.

    “That’s the third one this week.”

    I wonder if it leads to Equestria?

  22. AdmiralSakai says:

    One thing on the wall said: Lithium, Titanium, Copper, Lead, and Silver.

    What, like just some random graffiti?

    Us nerds always tag with periodic symbols.

  23. AdmiralSakai says:

    Soon after she left, the male voice of the cyclops A.I. said, “Low power, please resort to life saver mode.”

  24. AdmiralSakai says:

    This is a Seamoth;

    I painted mine mint green and named her Luna.

    No, silly, that’s Lyra. Princess Luna is midnight blue.

    • GhostCat says:

      Meet one of North America’s largest moths, the luna moth;

      They are a pale green color, almost exactly the color of some mint chocolate chip ice creams.

  25. TacoMagic says:

    Just gonna toss this here. If you liked Subnautica, you may want to give Abzu a look:

    • GhostCat says:

      I think that’s actually on my Steam wishlist already; I might have to give it a closer look, though.

      • TacoMagic says:

        It’s a very rewarding experience. I can’t really call it a game as it lacks many of the things I would use to classify it as such. It’s more of a meditative study of art coupled with a story of interpretation. It’s rather like playing a short story.

        • GhostCat says:

          Kind of like Life is Strange?

        • TacoMagic says:

          Much, much more abstract. It’s an entirely visual work, the closest thing to dialogue you get is the pictographs. If you’ve ever seen Journey, it’s by the same studio and has a very similar, if much more mellow and Zen, feel.

  26. SC says:

    So this fic is basically The Adventures of Specs and Bifocals: Underwater Exploration Edition.

    • GhostCat says:

      That is an eerily accurate summary, yes. Although Bifocals probably won’t care for the comparison to Crazy Casey very much.

      • SC says:

        In fairness, it’s basically them, if my sense of humor was back-asswards and I didn’t know how to write believable characters (even if they are bullshit powerful on purpose). Or how to world build. Or how plots worked.

        I’m saying she’s not allowed to be grumpy with me.

        Specs: That won’t stop her.

        Bifocals: *German pouting*

      • SC says:

        The Underwater Adventures(?) of Sceps and Slacofib, by CS.

      • AdmiralSakai says:

        We’re getting into Sweet Specs and Hella Bifocals territory here extremely quickly.

        • GhostCat says:

          And the next chapter really doesn’t do anything to lessen the resemblance; Dumbass continues to blunder around and yet manages not to die while proving to be oddly competent in a fight and Crazy Casey blathers on about an exciting new gadget in a conversation that serves no purpose before she invents a piece of technology that already exists.

      • SC says:

        If I took and redid this fic, I would have shockingly little to change.

  27. The guy who wrote the fanfic, CrashBurnGlobal says:

    I just want to say

    fuck you

    oh-oh fuck you-ou!

    Fu fu fu fu fu fu fu FUUUUUCK YOU FUCK YOU!!!

    Did I forget to mention fuck you!

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