1734: Subnautica The Novel (Chapter Bundle 4 is out!) – Chapter 4Posted: April 14, 2017
Hello, dear Patrons! Hope you’re having a great Good Friday, if that’s your thing.
This is the final (for now) chapter-lump! Hoo-ray!
In the last chapter-lump, which was actually just one chapter, Dumbass and
Crazy Casey finally got to the island and decided to explore the dangerous alien wilderness in the dark. They did take the exosuit, which was smart, but decided to leave it and go on foot for most of their explorations, which was stupid. While exploring one of the abandoned Degasi bases, Crazy Casey fell and seriously fucked up her leg. She should have died while Dumbass ran back and forth to the Cyclops for a bit, but she only became conveniently unconscious so that Dumbass could heroically carry her back to the Cyclops – which is what he should have done in the first place.
Now, to the fic!
Chapter 11: Medical Attention
And again, starting exactly where the last chapter ended.
We made it onto the cyclops, she was still out cold in my arms.
And probably starting to get cold and a bit stiff, considering the amount of blood she’s lost.
“Chet, I need some help, do you have life support?”
Who the hell is Chet?
I asked the cyclops’ A.I.
Oh, right. I forgot that that’s what they called the Cyclops’ AI. It’s not like they’ve called it by name very much.
“Yes captain, please bring the subject to the bridge, then i will direct you of how to treat the patient.”
The … bridge? Why the bridge?
I brought her to the bridge, and a medical table popped out of the wall.
That is not a thing. Why would that be a thing? The Cyclops isn’t the starship Enterprise; it isn’t designed for long-term exploration or habitation. And if this has to be a thing, why would there be a medical bed in the bridge – which would be used for navigation and actually driving the sub and thus would be fairly cramped with a frickin’ bed in it – instead of the main compartment where there is a bit more room?
I laid Casey carefully on the table, she was breathing, but just barely “Alright what do i do” I asked the cyclops.
Notify her next of kin?
“How severe is the condition?” It asked me
I seriously doubt Dumbass is qualified to make a medical diagnosis. Can’t the bed do a scan, or something? I know that the technology exists because these two have been using it non-stop throughout the fic!
“Pretty bad, the patient is unconscious from blood loss. Deep wound on left leg.” I said back. Robotic arms came out of the walls, with a medical kit and opened it. It started treating Casey better than I ever could.
If it can do all that, why did it need Dumbass to tell it what was wrong with
Crazy Casey? To be able to treat the wound, these magic-robot-arms would have to have a way to locate the wound, right?
In a few minutes the cyclops’ A.I. said “I can not treat the would, but i can stop the bleeding with the knowledge of medication I have.
They must use a different definition of “treating a wound” than the dictionary and I do.
You will have to go on the Aurora to find the data available to do so.
Why? If the designers went to the trouble of installing a medical table and specialized robot-arms for treating people, why not include medical texts as well? The storage requirements would be minimal compared to having a rarely used full-sized bed that pops out of the wall. They could probably just tuck a few hard drives inside the bed itself to save space.
My stomach ached at the thought of going on that death boat again.
But you’ve never been on Aurora; your ship was named Sirius. Don’t you remember? It was mentioned repeatedly in earlier chapter-lumps.
I almost threw up my innards coming here, I don’t want to go on it again. “If I have to I will.” I said to myself heading outside.
That might have been the massive amount of radiation pouring out of the ruptured drive core. You did remember to seal that up on your last trip, didn’t you?
“Wait captain!” the cyclops said.
Why is the AI reacting to something Dumbass only said to themselves inside their head? Is Chet psychic?
“To go to the Aurora, you need a radiation suit, if you don;t you will die of radiation poisoning. Here, let me get one for you.” I could hear the fabricator onboard whizzing away. I walked over to it, and there was a helmet, a suit, and some gloves. “Put these on to resist the radiation, and good luck captain. I will keep the patient on life support until you get back.”
So that would be a ‘No’ on sealing the drive core breach, then? I guess technically you don’t have to, you can progress in the game without sealing the breaches, but you’d have to deal with the ever-expanding radiation zone around the crash site. (Which seems a bit silly to me given how good water is at shielding radiation, but there could be some kind of contamination in the water itself.)
Chet the Cyclops is suddenly a lot more talkative than it has been in any of the previous chapters, and is also showing a lot more initiative than they ever have before. It’s like the AI got a sudden upgrade between chapters.
I waved goodbye and headed out, and back for my P.R.A.W.N suit.
Why did Dumbass wave at the AI?
I was going to make a long walk to my death if i wanted to save Casey. I am willing to do so.
So brave. Much sacrifice.
Chapter 12: Aurora
Despite the fact that their ship was called the Sirius, Dumbass is going to the Aurora.
I walked the P.R.A.W.N suit along the ground. Slowly but surely i was reaching the Aurora. The red grass along the seabed was waving gently against the tides. Biters occasionally tapped against the glass of the P.R.A.W.N suit, but realising they are unsuccessful, they went off to bite something else.
Is Dumbass walking from the floating island to the crash site? That’s going to take forever! And then they have to walk all the way back to treat
Crazy Casey. Why not just move the Cyclops closer?
The P.R.A.W.N suits Artificial intelligence warned me of increased radiation. But I kept walking anyways. I was safe anyways, the suit would have protected me from the radiation.
And nothing engages the audience like hearing about your complete lack of danger.
I used the jets to boost above the water line. I realized I was closer than I thought.
I assume that means you can see the ship now, even though the Aurora is a massive landmark you can see from hundreds of meters away above the water.
I could hear loud, blood curdling roars.
Which ones? There’s tons of noisy bastards in this game.
My stomach clenched, and i shivered in fear. “What could possibly be making that noise! It’s to bright for those crab squid thingies, stalkers are too small…” I said.
I’m going to say that it’s probably a Reaper Leviathan.
When i turned around I was snatched off the ground. The hideous beast had 4 claws latched onto my suit, 4 eyes and enormous teeth! It roared in my face, and shook me around.
Those are for using numerals in the narration.
As I’ve mentioned before, the Reaper is an ambushing son of a bitch with a distinctive roar; if you can hear them, then you are in danger. If this is the first time Dumbass has run into one, I can understand their confusion because I reacted in the same way – but once you’ve run into Reaper, you remember what they sound like because you do not want to repeat the experience.
The suits alarm was going crazy! I had only one choice to get it off of me.
Die and respawn back in the Cyclops? A Reaper is a very big and very aggressive creature, it doesn’t take them long to kill you.
I activated the drill arm and i started drilling into it’s face! The creature roared in pain, and threw me down onto the ocean floor.
Which would probably a lot do a lot of damage as well.
“That’s gonna cost some repairs…” I said to myself.
The attack or the crash against the ground? Because both would do the trick.
The suit re-positioned itself back to walking position. The ground started to go up, and there were chunks of metal everywhere. I got out of the suit to investigate.
You were literally just attacked by a Reaper; is this really the best time to get out of the exosuit? And aren’t you on a very time-sensitive mission?
I opened some of the storage compartments, and all i found was disinfected water, and some batteries.
What storage compartments? The one on the P.R.A.W.N.? Wouldn’t you already know what was in them? Or did Dumbass find the random storage compartments/loot dumps among all the chunks of metal everywhere?
I swam over to the last one, and there was a powercell inside. On top of that it was completely charged. “The P.R.A.W.N is running a little low on energy. I could use this.” I said to myself. I swam back over to the P.R.A.W.N suit, and pressed the eject powercell button. A nearly empty powercell shot out of the hatch. I swam over to the back of the suit, and inserted the new powercell. I got back inside after that, and continued walking.
Wait, wait, wait; do you mean to tell me that Dumbass walked all the way from the Floating Island to the crash site AND DIDN’T BRING EXTRA POWERCELLS?!?
Even if they managed to make it to the wreckage, and apparently it was a near thing, how were they planning on getting back with no power?
I realized how bad the explosion was to the ship.
Just now? Wow, you are dense.
The entire front end of the ship was blown to shreds.
A giant pit awaited me at the front of the Aurora.
Which is where a Reaper tends to hang out, so I’m wondering why it attacked you before you reached that place.
I’ve never used the exosuit to walk to the crash site, but there is a very deep drop-off just at the front of the Aurora; I’m not even sure it’s possible to walk up to the wreckage that way without having to circle around and approach from the side.
I used the jets to float around it and onto the tattered part that was still a deck on the Aurora.
Technically they are all decks still, they are just much more open than they used to be.
I parked the suit there, it was stable, and flat. I swam to the surface with haste.
Dumbass parked the suit under the water rather than taking it up into the wreckage? Why? I would want to keep my protection as close as possible.
If I can do it without delay, I might actually make it.
Welp, considering how much you love to meander around I guess you’re boned.
Chapter 13: You Sunk My Trade Ship
Are we back to calling the ship Sirius? Because the ship in the fic, Sirius, was delivering engine parts (which could be considered a trading mission) while the ship in the game, Aurora, was on its way to build a phase-gate.
I made it to the ruptured part of the deck, where i could actually walk. I walked up the steep metal sheet of a deck. There was fire everywhere, and molten titanium fell from the flaming tips above.
It’s been weeks and everything is still on fire? I know it happens in the game, but it still doesn’t make any sense. The fire should have consumed all available fuel by now. And it definitely shouldn’t be hot enough to melt titanium; the melting point of titanium is a touch over three thousand degrees Fahrenheit (or a hair over sixteen hundred Celsius) so if this area is hot enough that there is molten titanium dripping down then Dumbass should be on fire.
I hated this ship coming here, but now i feel sorry for it.I got to a level part of the ship, the same 4 legged crab things from the island, were also here.
No numerals! That’s just being lazy, dude.
They jumped at me, and tried to take a bite out of me. One got too close, so i stabbed it with my thermo-blade. It got the idea, i am not to be messed with, and it jumped away.
Great! Now you just have to stab each and every one of them to keep them all from constantly trying to eat your face.
I continued, and i found a fire extinguisher. “This could be useful!” I said to myself.
Considering you’re currently inside an actively burning ship, I would say so.
I looked to my left, and i saw a doorway, completely blocked by fire. I used it to clear a path, so i can continue onward.
How convenient! Good thing there wasn’t another powercell sitting around instead of a fire extinguisher, or this could have ended differently.
The two signs greeted me in the hallway. Administration, and Cargo bay 3. THe administration didn’t hold medical data, but all other exits were blocked.
Yeah, but I doubt the medical area is near the cargo bays. I’d head for Administration; it is probably located in a central area and might have some kind of directory or map or access to a central computer, assuming the ship’s systems weren’t too heavily damaged by the crash and subsequent explosion.
But i knew a route to a laboratory that help that information.
Because of course you would.
I walked down the ramp that lead to the cargo bay, but i only had one problem.
Oh, honey; you have more than one problem.
The doorway was completely blocked by rubble and cargo boxes.
Gee, if only there was some sort of way for humans to pick up objects and move them.
There was a small opening i might be able to fit through. I climbed up on the large cargo box making the barricade, and i squeezed through the tiny opening that was showing.
So by “completely blocked” you meant “completely blocked except for a small passage conveniently big enough for me to wiggle through”?
I lost my grip on the other side and fell over. I got up, and dusted off and continued onward.
Because your actions have little to no consequences even when you should be constantly injuring yourself.
I got to the cargo bay door, when i found out the wire board was damaged.
Must be one of those super-technical engineering terms. I should ask Taco about that.
I grabbed my repair tool, and used it to help fix the wire board.
If it is just helping to fix whatever’s wrong, then what is actually fixing the problem?
Green goes to green, yellow goes to yellow, and fuse it with the welder.
Is Dumbass trying to fix the door, or jump-start it?
Badda bing Badda boom.
Far out! Radical! Dank memes! [insert more dated slang terms here]
The door opened and I stepped inside.
And was promptly engulfed in fire and/or falling debris.
The cargo bay was just as bad as the rest of the ship. Torn, tattered, and on fire.
Huh. I wasn’t far off, I guess.
I walked down the small ramp that led from the catwalk to the floor. A forklift layover on it’s side, but surprisingly, it wasn’t on fire.
Dude, you should totally steal the fireproof forklift! It’ll make moving stuff out of doorways much easier.
There was one last ramp leading down, that was the ramp they let down so forklifts could drive up and down it.
:points back at forklift:
It was lowered, but it was steep at that. I almost lost my footing walking down the ramp.
:continues pointing at forklift:
(You can’t actually drive the forklifts in the game, but I really wish you could. That would be so awesome.)
At the bottom, the familiar face of water looked right at me.
I dove right in, and started swimming.
Aren’t you supposed to be looking for medical files to save
Crazy Casey’s life? You seem to be taking a bit of a detour.
THese weird leach things started following me. They weren’t fast, but i don’t want to lose any blood.
At least, that’s what I assume Dumbass is talking about. Bleeders don’t really look very much like leeches;
Although they do share a similar diet. Of course, these Bleeders haven’t actually attacked Dumbass, they are just following them around, so Dumbass shouldn’t know anything about the Bleeders’ diet yet.
I popped my head above water to see where i was going.
Don’t tell me Dumbass already got lost.
I saw the two signs that said Seamoth bay, and P.R.A.W.N Bay. I headed over to the seamoth bay, just to check it out.
Crazy Casey dying, needs urgent medical attention, vital information located in the medical bay, very time-sensitive mission. Any of that ringing a bell?
When i got there the door was only open a crack, I used all my might, to pull the door open, and after a few tries, the door fully opened.
Apparently this pointless side-quest is more important than
Crazy Casey’s life-threatening injuries. I’m sure she can just badass her way out of certain death.
Inside, i wasn’t surprised.
Me neither, but that’s because all I see is more Void.
The remnants of a seamoth lay on the floor, and a huge chunk of it was still being held up by the mechanical arms. “Looks like me and Casey, when she wakes up, need to come back and try to take care of this thing.” I said turning back.
Why? You already had a Seamoth, and the pieces should be scattered around the area where you found the P.R.A.W.N. – can’t you just go get those? Would you even need to unless you wanted to reuse the parts? You managed to build one Seamoth, albeit a heavily modified one that imploded on its first test run, so clearly you already have the blueprints for them.
I was heading for the P.R.A.W.N bay, just aimlessly looking for a lab, but so far, just being unsuccessful.
That’s probably due to the ‘aimlessly looking around’ part.
The water got shallower, where i was able to walk again. I knew the code like the back of my hand, wait is that a green dot?
I don’t know, is it? And where is it? I assume it is on your hand, since that’s how the joke goes – character says “I know [thing] like the back of my hand!” and then looks down to see something they don’t recognize on the back of their hand – but that’s primarily a visual joke that doesn’t translate very well into a written work.
I looked at my hands and i had 3 little green dots on my hands.
Collectively three dots on both hands? So that works out to one and a half dots per hand. That doesn’t sound all that bad.
(I really wish GIFs had sound, because there’s this really creepy noise – kind of a mix of Pop Rocks, static, soft drinks fizzing, and paper burning – that accompanies the carar reveal.)
I searched the rest of my body for green dots, and it turns out i have about 2 or three little green dots on each part of my body.
You checked every part of your body? Really? Even the parts you can’t reach by yourself? And why are you stripping out of your radiation suit in the middle of the very radioactive wreckage?
And how does that work out? Do you have three on your knee, and two on your shin, and three on your calf, or just three total spread out over the entire leg?
“I will have chet scan me later, I need some medical data. I put in the code and I walked inside.
Is Dumbass now narrating their journey through the crashed ship?
This was the saddest part of my entire journey. All the P.R.A.W.N suits that had been stored, all had been destroyed, on fire, and in pieces. So much reliable tech, gone completely to waste.
Yes, the death of nearly everyone on board was quite tragic – but all those exosuits! :sniffles: It’s so sad.
3 suits hung from the roof, and 3 were attached to the wall.
THe ones on the roof were untouched, but unreachable, but the ones on the wall were a sadder story.
I assume that they are on fire like everything else has been, but I’m still questioning how they have been burning like this since the ship exploded days or weeks ago. Given that heat rises, the exosuits hanging from the ceiling – where temperatures would be much higher – might look undamaged but their systems have probably been fried.
There was a rupture in the hull under the hanging suits.
I’ll have to take your word for it, chief.
I stuck my head into the water pool that leaked in from the rupture. The pipelines and the circuitry under the glossy titanium floors was visible.
I hope one of those pipes wasn’t a part of the ship’s sewage system or there’s a good chance that’s not water.
The amount of the innards ripped out of the Aurora’s hull was inhuman, and unnatural.
Bwa? What does that even mean? Is Dumbass implying that some unknown creature ran around ripping handfuls of circuitry and plumbing out of the walls and floors just for shits and giggles?
Underneath all the circuitry and piping i could see a hole, that lead to the lower deck.
Huh. There’s a literal plot hole directly under Dumbass’ head.
I know from experience that’s where they keep the sick people.
In a hole in the deck where the pipes and electronics go? They don’t really care very much for sick people, do they?
“Medical information must be down there!” I said to myself taking a deep breath above the waterline, and diving in.
So by wandering around aimlessly and randomly sticking their heads into pools of water, Dumbass managed to find a hole that just happens to lead to the area that Dumbass was trying to reach in the first place.
I squeezed my body through the hole, that i barely fit through.
Dumbass luckily happens to be the exact right size to fit through the holes they keep finding.
There was a long hallway leading to the infirmary. The door was locked, but luckily it was nothing a laser cutter couldn’t fix.
Too bad you don’t have a laser cutter.
I whipped out the laser cutter,
I blame the PCC for this.
and cut through the locked door.
Hopefully you won’t run out of air before you manage to cut through the door, since you have no way to get more without going all the way back to the upper deck.
THere was a PDA floating among the mess of blood samples and a dead body in a lab coat.
Hey, a dead body! The game doesn’t have any of those; the Aurora is eerily free of corpses or bloodstains, although the player’s PDA does mention that the Cave Crawlers at the entrance have traces of human tissue in their digestive systems. I would imagine it’s a way for the developers to avoid getting slapped with a restrictive rating, because you would expect there to be remains all over the place after a devastating crash. So points to the author for that, even though I wish they had put more corpses into the ship’s environment. (Wow, that sounded much less serial-killer-ish in my head.) This would also be a good place to really ramp up the horror (or start including some horror, since it has been largely absent) because a dead body floating in a body of stagnant water for weeks goes through many changes, none of them pleasant. Dumbass swimming in what is essentially rancid person-soup right now.
I assume the blood samples are in sealed containers of some kind, since they would have just dispersed into the hellish bouillabaisse (:waves at Taco:) otherwise, and are clearly labeled so that even a layperson like Dumbass can identify them in a dark room filled with murky liquid – but the fic hasn’t actually made it clear that this is the case. I’m not even sure if there’s any lighting at all in this watery hellhole, Dumbass could be doing everything by touch.
I grabbed the PDA, turned it on, and read it. As sure enough, it was the PDA that contained medical information.
That kind of makes it sound like this PDA is the only source of medical information on the entire ship, which;
- A) makes it an incredible stroke of luck that Dumbass managed to locate it within seconds of reaching the medical area after swimming through some random hole in another deck, and
- B) an incredibly stupid way to organize your file system. There should always be a backup somewhere!
I swam back to the hole i came out of, but on my way back out, were I almost ran out of air, my body got stuck in the hole.
The PCC must have finished installing the Variable Size Passageway – it is always the size required by the plot – while Dumbass was distracted.
Is this where it ends, after all my hard work,
I would die from the same reason I am alive, water?
Nandatte? What the hell does that even mean?
I struggled and I struggled but i couldn’t break free.
Too bad you don’t have some sort of cutting tool, perhaps one that utilizes lasers. Oh, wait …
I was starting to black out and I got weaker and weaker.
But you’re somehow going to bumble your way to safety at the last minute, probably due to circumstances you have no control over but just sort of take advantage of.
Suddenly the piping that held me in place fell out and dropped to the floor. I scrambled to the surface, barely being able to see. I took a large gulp of air, and started choking up water.
Called it. Also, I’d hate the think what’s in that ‘water’ that Dumbass is hacking up. :makes a face:
I was lucky to be alive, even now, even when this mishap started.
Dude, I could not even begin to count the number of times you should have died in this fic.
I ran back to the door leading out, trying not to let my oxygen tank fall out of my arms,
Wait, what? Dumbass is carrying an oxygen tank in his arms? Did they have it the entire time? No, they couldn’t have – they were doing all sorts of tasks with their hands, and they couldn’t have crawled through narrow passages while carrying a tank in their arms. But then where did it come from?
and i jumped into the water leading to the ramp of the cargo bay. I got on the elevator and started climbing up, and when i got to the top, i ran up the staircase to the catwalk.
Elevator? Catwalk? I don’t remember any of that when Dumbass was on their way into the ship. And shouldn’t there have been a completely/partially blocked doorway in there somewhere?
I ran and I ran all the way back to my P.R.A.W.N suit, so i could make it back to the floating island. I would have to gun it if i wanted to get there on time
I’m still not sure why you didn’t bring the Cyclops with you; you would have been able to get the Aurora faster, you would be able to treat Crazy Casey sooner because she would be right there on the sub, and you wouldn’t have to worry about running out of power on the long walk back to the Floating Island.