td + 03 | loci.theduereturn.com
  








  









  
    

td + 03

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TD+3

On first impression, a barren world, devoid of life and potable water. A thin ammonia atmosphere with no weather to speak of. Rudimentary attempts to map the landscape are made, but abandoned after months returning nothing but more rocks, more small puddles of brackish sludge, and endless yellow-dust plains. The inhospitable environment wears on the crew mentally and physically as much of the time must be spent on the ship. Myra Penelope, during a routine and unenthusiastic scouting mission ingests a small sample of the sludge and soon begins to exhibit signs of illness. As her condition worsens she increasingly withdraws to scrawl endless and cryptic notes in a combination of unknown characters. She takes fever and begins to mechanically espouse intricately detailed and repeating messages. Within 2 weeks of contact she has succumbed to the infection. Captain Banks orders that the muck be analyzed to the best of the crew’s ability. It is found to be composed of protein strands arranged similarly to RNA, built of a different set of amino acids, but in principle, at least, functionally similar. It is further discovered that the proteins (similar to a virus) are arranged in uniform (albeit lengthy) and repeating patterns. The two children born in this era, throughout their lives, report having visions and ideas that cannot be articulated or connected to any base of knowledge they are familiar with. The girl in particular, Laffy Rysdale, has a number of birth marks that appear to resemble strange characters, and keeps a journal of drawings, notes, and diagrams of this vague alien knowledge.

Eventually it is determined that this virus-like proteins are encoding an encyclopedic record of a lost and highly advanced civilization. The encoding system is base 4 (quaternary) with each viral strand encoding a repeating sequence of an identical 900,000+ GB (7.2 x 10**15 bits) [For reference on present era Earth all written/recorded information is roughly equal to 3,000 terabytes (2.4 x 10**16 bits)]. Throughout the history of the due return there are those who pick the study of this civilization up as a pet project.

Audio introduction to TD+3
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