An Inheritance of Stars

The Personal Logs of Tesler

Timothaeus worked slowly with great care. The data core he was trying to unlock was almost as old as the Imperium itself – data retrieval would already be highly difficult, and he didn’t need to damage the frail equipment any further. With a persistent hiss of air jets that was almost distracting, Timothaeus’ servo-skull Horatio worked without pause; adjusting and calibrating the data connections and power regulation dials; if he was to be successful in this task, Timothaeus would need every bit of advantage that he could find. Taking even more care, he carefully threaded the last cable through its guides and into the damaged receptor of the data core. It worked! Timothaeus almost pumped his fist with exultation as his instruments showed that the device was not only accepting power, but bringing to come online. A grinding sound emanating from the core was almost enough to destroy his work before it had truly begun, however a reverent slap delivered promptly to the side of the machine (with care for its age) soon set the device working correctly, and streams of data began flowing across his view screen.

After some working to reduce the age related file corruption,Timothaeus was able to see that the recovered data core was gain almost barren of information, and even then only seemed to contain a number of recorded personal logs, and scrambled data. There was no evidence of ship data or information. “Must be in the ships cogitator core that we recovered” he thought to himself. Accessing the recorded logs, he received his first surprise; the date listed on the first entry seemed to have occurred in the area of 2-5 years after the ship had crashed onto the icy asteroid on which they had found it (based on extrapolations of data from the xenos device which had assisted the locating of the vessel). Justin pulled up the first accessible file…The display briefly went black before returning to a screen which showed a man in the tattered and dirty remnants of an generic engineer’s uniform, the date and time of the recording were obscured by the static of data corruption which edged the screen and occasionally ghosted across the picture. Heart pounding with excitement Timothaeus pressed the play button…

Adeptus mechanicus cogitator interface animation by borninmoradel d4wj95d

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Date/Time: Unknown; Approximation 3 years after system crash.

Location: Unknown

Personal Log Tesler, E.

Source: Video File With Audio

Length: 7 minutes, 12 seconds

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The file opened with a middle aged man, dressed in the dirty uniform of an engineer, sitting at a jury rigged board on the bridge of the Bountiful Harvest. The quality of the recording was surprisingly good considering the amount of time which had passed, and the amount of data corruption within the system. The initial words on the recording were not picked up by the audio; the man on the screen frowned then reached out of the view of the display to adjust something before his voice crackled to life.

“…test, test…Ok, I think I’ve got it now… This is 2nd Engineer Tesler of the Bountiful Harvest. Personal log, date unknown…approximately 2.5 years after the ship crashed into this asteroid field. I’m not sure if any of my other logs have been successfully entered, so I’m beginning this as log 1… “ Tesler took a moment to adjust his positioning, and took a bite from a ration bar which had previously been out of the image. “I’m not entirely sure what happened, however we were in the warp on-route to Footfall with a full load of plunder. Somewhere along the line, something happened, and we sustained massive damage. Unfortunately none of the computer files survived the crash, and due to being knocked unconscious I am unaware of if we were attacked or suffered an accident in route. When I woke up, I was apparently the only remaining crew member…that is to say, I was by myself on this ship; no bodies, no survivors, nobody…” After pausing for a slightly maniac laugh, Tesler continued. “2.5 years, and I haven’t found any trace or clue of the remaining crew except the Captain and his servitors on the bridge. Even with minimal remaining power, there should be enough food, air, and water for me to last another 20-30 years if I don’t lose my mind first.” At this point in the recording, Tesler put his head down onto his arms and began to cry. Almost 6 minutes later he raised his head. “Oh, and it seems I was right, I wasn’t able to complete a proper data recording until I spliced my own console together out of the mess.”

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Date/Time: Unknown; Approximation 8 years after system crash.

Location: Unknown

Personal Log Tesler, E.

Source: Video File With Audio

Length: 5 minutes, 48 seconds

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Tesler appeared on the screen, this time clad in fine robes that likely belonged to the Captain at some point. In his right hand he held a small sphere apparently made of glass, which seemed to move internally. He appeared excited as he spoke.

“I did it! I’ve figured out a way to maintain a power flow to the stasis pods.” His smile quickly faded as he continued. “Its not right whats been don’t to those people. We’ve rescued them, and should have helped them continue their journey; they were sent by the Emperor himself dammit! They don’t deserve to be used for profit, they’re not plunder.” Having worked himself up, Telser’s log continued along this rant for 4 minutes and 17 seconds before he continued.

“Anyway, like I was saying; since the Captain removed so many non-essential systems to make room for loot; the stasis pods chamber would have only maintained its power for another 10 years or so before going off-line. Needless to say, it would also have depleted all of the power available for my own use approximately 2 years before. It came down to a matter of life or death both for me and for the hundred odd souls in stasis.” Holding aloft the sphere victoriously, Telser shouted “well I’ve done it! I’ve figured it out and solved all my power needs.” He leaned towards the video pickup and held the sphere close enough that the monitor could display what was inside; a small image of a galaxy turning about its axis point. “This, this, this Sphere actually contains a micro-galaxy! Cant you believe it? I know it sounds crazy, but its true. I have no idea how it was done or when, but this little baby it real. The best part is its energy signature. I’m almost surprised that I can hold it in my hand without being cooked alive. Anyway, back to it. I’ve managed to build a basic mounting and collection system that should give me virtually UNLIMITED POWER.” Tesler cackled for a minute before looking back at the monitor and continuing. “My system is admittedly a crude affair, but that’s ok considering what I’ve had to work with. But I’ve done it. Now the stasis pods will have enough power to last them until the ship is found or destroyed by time. For me, I’ll have enough power to last until I’m rescued or run out of supplies. Depending on how I ration things, that might be almost another 20 years….by myself….oh my god…” Tesler lurched to his feat, and was noisily sick outside the view frame of the camera. The audio carried the sounds of Tesler leaving the room until only the image of the empty bridge remained on the screen.

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Date/Time: Unknown; Approximation 15 years after system crash.

Location: Unknown

Personal Log Tesler, E.

Source: Video File With Audio

Length: 2 minutes, 08 seconds

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Tesler appeared dirty and tired. He now had a patchy beard and wild hair. His clothing was a thick layering, a mismatch of items, garments, and tools. “Ok, ok, I know its been a long time since I did one of these, but I had figured whats the point? Anyway, I changed my mind. It’s important to tell you what I’m doing…if only for posterity’s sake. The point is that its been…” He looked over at the information on the monitor. “…About 15 years now since I crashed. It seems now that even if the ship did make a distress call, either nobody heard it, or else they couldn’t find us in the asteroid field and gave up. I thought about waiting to die, but then I remembered these recordings. I remembered the psykers in the stasis pods. When I put them under, I connected the neural input ports on the pods to the Power Sphere…the micro-galaxy. I put their minds in there, and if I’m right, maybe I can put myself in there to escape this slowly freezing tomb….I’ll let you know how it goes.”

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Date/Time: Unknown; Approximation 17 years after system crash.

Location: Unknown

Personal Log Tesler, E.

Source: Video Corrupt, Audio Only

Length: 1 minute, 24 seconds

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The screen is dark, punctuated only by the occasional scattering of static fuzz. However Tesler’s voice carries clearly through the recording. "It’s been so long, and I’m so lonely. Its been almost 20 years now I’ve been by myself. So far I’ve had no luck in my so called escape plan but since I’ve got noting else to do, I’ve kept at it anyway. I’ve moved my living space into the stasis chamber, if only for the proximity to other living beings…I’m ashamed to say that I’ve even relived my physical urges while looking at one of the more attractive ones.

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Date/Time: Unknown; Approximation 21 years after system crash.

Location: Unknown

Personal Log Tesler, E.

Source: Video File, Audio Data Corrupt

Length: 17 minutes, 51 seconds

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The log was accompanied only by this hiss of static drowning out any audible information. The video data is viewable, but occasionally washed out with static making lip reading impractical. Tesler apparently was quiet excited about something. He gestured wildly and pointed out peaks and valleys on a hand drawn graph. Other hand drawn pictures of the ships computer core, stasis pods, and the small sphere which Tesler had described in previous logs. This is one of the longer logs with Tesler talking and gesturing rapidly for a lengthy 18 minutes before ending the log and shutting off the recording.

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Date/Time: Unknown; Approximation 23 years after system crash.

Location: Unknown

Personal Log Tesler, E.

Source: Video file with Audio – Final log

Length: 3 minutes 40 seconds

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The view screen showed the empty bridge for almost a minute before Tesler struggled his way into view. His physical form and identity almost completely obscured by the bulky suit he was wearing. It was a layered mass of wires, computer components, and protruding antennas. “Ok, so one way or another this will probably be my last log. I’m down to about one more year of remaining supplies, and dammit I’ve spent most of my life aboard this wreck, I’m done! I’ve gone about as far as I can with my research into gaining access to, and surviving in the Sphere. All of my previous attempts to open a window or to shrink myself have failed, and I’m left with only one option. Its so simple that I cant believe it took me so long to see, but its also so dangerous that one way or the other, I doubt I’ll be coming back. Anyway, I’ve decided that this will be all the record I leave behind. I’ve already destroyed all of my research notes and information. Though the thought of eventual or potential rescue is nice, I don’t think that I want to subject that world with the evils of this one. I will go by myself, and have none follow. Goodbye my viewer….Let this be our final parting. Good luck to you in all your endeavors.” Tesler gave an awkward salute and then reached down and ended the recording.

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Timothaeus watched the screen for a moment after the last file had ended, then turned to another terminal and called up the after action report on the investigation and looting of the Bountiful Harvest. His scribe tines extended from his forearms and began to whir softly as they danced across the data terminal.

Four hours later Captain Jackie Dawm found him still hunched over this terminal. “Captain,” he said. “Did you know that no sign of habitation was found on the Harvest?” Though her face didn’t betray anything, Timothaeus knew from his time with her that the Captain would require further detail on his previous statement. “You see, these logs tell of an Engineer Tesler who apparently lived on board the ship for over 20 years before attempting an escape into that Sphere we found. On a brief side note, that item is an artifact which may bear further investigation. Returning to the topic, I’ve gone over our files extensively. Though there are numerous inconsistencies which could give doubt, it seems that there is no direct evidence of this person at all. Granted a great deal of time has passed, but I had hoped to find something. Even the chamber where we found the device…Scorch marks on the walls, but no sign whatsoever of experiments, or attempts at gaining entry to the artifact.”

The Captain looked at him, and this time did frown. “Gain entry to the sphere. That bauble? It’s not even the size of my palm. What are you on about?”

Timothaeus reached towards the console. “Perhaps if you’ve got a little while, I’ll show you from the beginning.”….The file opened with a middle aged man, dressed in the dirty uniform of an engineer, sitting at a jury rigged board on the bridge of the Bountiful Harvest…

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Talib

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