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Mercury II was a human spacecraft that belonged to the Sol Trans-gov that crashed on Planet 4546B. Its wreckage is broken into three sections, with the largest of the three ending up on a downward slope bordering the Purple Vents, Lilypad Islands and Tree Spires, the second-largest in the Lilypad Islands, and the smallest at the edge of the Purple Vents over a crevasse.

A Laser Cutter is needed to explore most of the ship's areas, and the use of a Propulsion Cannon is optional to gain easier access to some rooms.

When inside any of the wreckage, the speed of the player will be significantly decreased.

Story

According to the Favro boards, Mercury II is intended to be somewhere between 30 to 100 years old (most likely 30 based on the P.R.A.W.N. suit mark III fragments) to support the immense amount of rusting and vegetation.[1]

Located within the walls of all 3 segments are sealed cases that contain fragments to the Parallel Processing Unit. Some of them require a Laser Cutter to gain access, although the Stern and Bow contain in total three scannable fragments without the use of a Laser Cutter.

Various crew logs can be found with bits of the backstory - several of which imply that, like the Aurora and Degasi, the Mercury II was shot down by the Quarantine Enforcement Platform and later destroyed on attempted take off.

Stern Wreck


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Detecting stern of an astronautical Sol Transgov vessel nearby. Vessel name: Mercury II. Inoperative.

― PDA

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The stern of Mercury II can be found at a depth of around 100m at the edge of the Purple Vents and Tree Spires, 400m southeast of the Delta Island dock beacon. A Laser Cutter is needed to explore most of the rooms. Spinefish can be found here.

The player can find two Power Cells, three Batteries, two Disinfected Water and two Nutrient Blocks in supply crates scattered inside the wreckage.

Engine Room

In the engine room, a Parallel Processing Unit fragment can be found behind a panel on one of the engine sections. A Laser Cutter is needed in order to access the room, as well as to extract another Parallel Processing Unit fragment found to the southeast of the engines, below an Oxygen Plant.

Ship Crew Log 2 Room

A Reactor Rod inside a sealed supply crate can be found in a room blocked by debris that can be accessed by going to the right through a hole or by using a Propulsion Cannon to move the debris out of the way.

Databank Entries

Glowing Picnic - Yasmine

Yasmine: I finished the reactor checks! We dumped a ton of runoff and we don’t need the rods melting down. Then I helped with the scavenging, chopped some veggies with the cooks, and tried to help Diana, but she sent me down to engineering with Stefanos. I’ve been working with him the last few days.

Stefanos, how to describe Stefanos. He’s by far the most thorough engineer I’ve worked with, and no ego. He never leaves a job undone, no matter how late it is. I've never seen him awake before 11 and he always greets me by saying, “Kalimera, Yasmine,” in the sleepiest drawl - not a morning person that one, haha. He listens with the slightest smile on his face, and twirls this stray curl by his ear. He asks a billion questions, but I don’t mind.

He surprised me today! There’s an empty room on the bridge, just a spot of negative space in the ship. He set a picnic there and said I need to relax. Even called me a busybody! There were these crazy glowing fungus things he found to set the ambience. The most exciting part though…*drum roll*

He can jailbreak fabricators! He made a small batch of traditional Grecian dishes, BUT the craziest part? He managed to make a suitable falafel for me!? I never thought I’d see GOOD falafel in deep space, Al’humdu’allah. A quiet genius that one. This planet may be a cold mistress, but...maybe it isn’t so bad.

Source: Abandoned PDA in Mercury II's Stern

Thruster Repair - Stefanos

Stefanos: Ugh, I can only do repairs in spurts and it’s so inefficient. The larger tools seem to set off seismic activity nearby. A crew came back telling stories of gigantic worms burrowing in the ice. I don’t know what they’re going on about. They were hypothermic and frostbitten, because they walked back to avoid “angering them.” The ice shelf is probably a bit unstable and they got disoriented or something.

To borrow from Diana... "Orion's belt... Thermal couplings are not meant to be worked on in twenty-minute spurts. If we break the process, we'll break the ship."

But, it is nice to hang out with Yasmine while we wait for the rumbles to stop. I hope she doesn’t mind all my questions. I love hearing her voice.

Her face lights up and she’s got the most expressive eyebrows! They’re practically acrobats. The way she looks when talking about nuclear engineering is the same way I look at my grandmother’s dolmades.

The woman never sits down though! She told me that she used to do decathalon in college and I can believe it. She’s like a bouncy ball, just all over the place. She makes rounds on the ship everyday to see if people need help. Hmm... I should do something nice for her. She’s always helping everyone else. I wish I had a fraction of her energy!

Source: Abandoned PDA in Mercury II's Stern

Bow Wreck


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Detecting bow of an astronautical Sol Transgov vessel nearby. Vessel name: Mercury II. Inoperative.

― PDA

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The bow of the ship can be found at a depth of around 250m in the Lilypad Islands, in an area surrounded by Squidsharks. Plenty of Red Feather Fish can be found inside, as well as Lily Pad Roots growing through parts of the wreck.

Nuclear Reactor Area

Accessed through a doorway located in the northeastern side of the wreck or further south through a hole at the top of the wreck. A sealed door immediately to the right of the northern entrance leads to the Alien Containment Room. The stairs in front of the entrance doorway lead to a room with a Wiring Kit and a Power Cell inside supply crates.

Two Reactor Rods can be found in this area. One is close to a rusted Nuclear Reactor, and another one in a room blocked by debris that can be removed with a Propulsion Cannon or accessed through a vent in the Alien Containment Room. A sealed Parallel Processing Unit fragment is found in the latter room as well.

The room directly above the blocked-off room contains a sealed supply crate with Synthetic Fibers in it.

Alien Containment Room

North from the center of the room, there's an Alien Containment. Right next to the Alien Containment there's a vent leading to the Crew Quarters.

On the second floor, there's a sealed door to the south that contains Chinese Potatoes, and Exterior Growbeds to scan. This room also contains the vent that leads to the blocked off room found in the Nuclear Reactor area. There's another sealed door to the northwest, next to an Oxygen Plant, that leads to the P.R.A.W.N. Bay.

On the third floor, to the south, there's a doorway leading to the Bridge.

Bridge

The ship's bridge can be seen from the very front of the ship wreck outside, identified by a large window. It is accessed by going up and south from the room with the Alien Containment, or by going through a vent from the ceiling of the cafeteria. It has a Jukebox Disk in it as well as a Parallel Processing Unit fragment.

P.R.A.W.N. Bay

A large room housing two damaged Prawn Suits, accessed by cutting through the sealed door above the containment tank in the Alien Containment room, and the two large ports in the side of the room. Right outside the port there's another damaged Prawn Suit.

Two Reactor Rods can be found in sealed supply crates in this room. There's a hole in the middle of the room leading to the Crew Quarters.

Crew Quarters

This area can be accessed from the P.R.A.W.N. bay by swimming through a hole in the center of the room. The area consists of the ship's cafeteria and a series of dormitories. One of the bunk beds in the dormitories contains a Reinforced Dive Suit.

In the cafeteria there's a Water Filtration Machine to be scanned, three supply crates each containing one Disinfected Water and one Nutrient Block, and a vent leading to the Bridge. A Parallel Processing Unit fragment can be scanned here as well.

Databank Entries

Captain Badass - Diana

Diana: Sol should pay me more to lead these missions. I saved the whole damn crew from destruction. Mercury II was nearly obliterated by an immensely powerful energy beam! I don’t know any weapon system with that level of capability. The power source to get that kind of range must be, well...otherworldly. We got lucky. The energy signature is similar to some of the weaponry meant to counter pirates on mining freighters.

The refraction of the beam across the atmosphere...Orion’s Belt, it looked like the Northern Lights. Such power. I fired the emergency flares and dumped water from the nuclear core. I think the heat signature confused the weapon’s tracking for just an instant.

I managed a slight evasive maneuver and I felt the Mercury get rocked by the sonic boom as the nuclear runoff rapidly evaporated. That alone could’ve taken us out. Definitely asking for a pay raise. This is not what I signed up for, my days of risky missions should be behind me. But what the hell, I still got it...even it was luck. Hopefully whatever didn’t want us on the planet doesn’t mind when we leave.

Source: Abandoned PDA in the Mercury II's Bow

Trusting My Instincts - Diana

Diana: My instincts are never wrong. Stefanos has always been overly cautious. He hates taking risks, which I suppose is understandable when you’re in the back end of the galaxy, but no risk, no reward. Elliot finds evidence of alien architecture on a completely uncharted planet and he expects me to ignore that? Ha! Orion’s belt, I would be an absolute fool!

We’ve done some scans and while there aren’t a lot of mineral resources on this planet, there is decent biodiversity. Teams go out in the morning. This should be a significant specimen and sample haul for biopatenting. Which will be split among the crew as part of the discovery clause. Let’s see Stefanos and everyone else complain when they have a few more Sol-Transgov credits in their uniform pockets. They’ll learn to trust my instincts at some point.

Source: Abandoned PDA in Mercury II's Bow

Emergency Takeoff - Diana

Diana: Orion’s Belt, this all went sideways. How could I have known that so much would go wrong - I failed my crew. No, I don’t fail; I didn’t get into this position by being a failure. It’s this desolate land, frigid and cursed. Between these tunneling creatures and the strange sickness that a few of the crew are showing symptoms of... we have to leave at first light tomorrow.

We are prepping for a rapid takeoff. We can’t take chances with the vibrations drawing the tunnelers, so we’re skipping the systems check. Risky, but I have faith in myself and the crew of the Mercury. Landing this thing was practically a miracle though...but we have to get out of here. Maybe the weapon is to keep people away, but if we leave...it’ll let us go.

...I have to leave the quarantined crew in the cave behind. We will be back for them, but we can’t risk an unknown infection spreading through the Mercury. We’re packing survival kits for them, but there’s only enough surplus for about two weeks. I’m telling them that we will come back, but I don’t think I can land here safely... twice. I hate this, but I have to leave them behind. I can’t risk the entirety of the Mercury.

Source: Abandoned PDA in Mercury II's Bow

Aliens!? - Elliot

Elliot: Oh man, oh man, oh man... This is every xenolinguist’s dream! Okay, I was helping with planetary scans and there are possible unknown structures on the surface. This could set my career up for life. The images are a little degraded coming through the atmosphere, but it looks like intentional and complex architecture, which means civilization, and civilization means *trumpet fanfare* language! Aw, man! Now, most of the crew just wants to get home, I understand that, but this could be a defining discovery. I am definitely going to put a bug in Diana’s ear about going to the surface, so I can take a team to explore. I desperately hope this pans out.

Ugh, I can’t wait until we get into communication range with Sol again. Laila and the kids would love to hear this. I mean, it’s rough being away from them for so long, but this might just make it worth it. I’ll be able to give them so much more.

Source: Abandoned PDA in Mercury II's Bow

I miss my family - Elliot

Elliot: We need to get off this planet. I mean, the morning started out so well. I took a team of six out to find the structures from the planetary scans and... we were all in high spirits, I mean, who wouldn’t be? These structures would be clues to another sentient race. It was highly unlikely that another colony would be out this far. We were going to be in the freaking history books.

Everything was going ok. We were a few miles from the ship when our radios picked up an actual signal! It sounded like an SOS...we got overly excited naturally, and decided to enter the water to follow it. That decision cost three lives. I mean, half of my team! They got ripped to shreds by...something. They died, screaming...alone in those cold dark waters. I’m not going in that god-forsaken ocean again, I refuse.

Source: Abandoned PDA in Mercury II's Bow

Thruster Damage - Stefanos

Stefanos: Well, we landed safely, despite my apprehension. Diana, damned adrenaline junkie, took one of her defining risks and it paid off. Why hire me as the maintenance engineering officer if you aren’t going to listen to their advice? Apapa, I didn’t go to school for eight years and get three degrees for nothing!

I tried to convince Diana that we don’t need to stop for repairs. That’s what the drift drive and secondary propulsion system are for. It’s just a bit slower, but she’s in charge, not me.

On the plus side, I get to work with Yasmine! I didn’t know she was such a busy body. She’s been going around the whole ship giving folks a hand. I think she was getting on Diana’s nerves, so she assigned Yasmine to me.

She's helping me inspect and repair the thruster systems. I thought I was the most mechanically inclined person on the ship, but I think she has me beat. She can definitely teach me a thing or two, as long as I don't get too distracted by her smile - she's got the best smile.

Source: Abandoned PDA in Mercury II's Bow

Accounting of the Mercury II Crash - Yasmine

Yasmine: I’m alive. Stefanos saved me. The Mercury attempted an emergency takeoff and everything seemed fine. I was helping the bridge crew with the emergency takeoff, since the crew is...well, was shorthanded, because of everything.

I heard the sound of metal tearing and for a split second... everything was tinged bright green and unbearably hot. Then I saw daylight and I was looking down at the ocean and ice. The strongest wind I’ve ever felt roared in my ears, ripping through the ship. People went flying out the side of the Mercury, so much screaming and chaos. I was lucky, I had just clipped into my seat anchor.

Stefanos came out of nowhere, like a malaikah, an angel. I felt his rough calloused hand grasp mine with the gentlest of urgency. It felt like time slowed. He said, “I gotcha, just follow me, ela.” I don’t know how, but he used an emergency tether to drag me to the nuclear reactor core...the strongest bulkhead in the ship. We hit the water and everything went black.

He’s sleeping, I think he might’ve hit his head. I’m exhausted, the adrenaline has long since worn off and my body aches. I think I might’ve fractured a rib. Gonna shut my eyes for a bit. When I wake up...I’ll figure this out. I’ll save us.

Source: Abandoned PDA in Mercury II's Bow

Detached Thruster

The smallest fragment is a detached thruster unit. It is located over a crevasse at the edge of Purple Vents and Lilypad Islands, 1000m southeast of the Drop Pod and 600m East of the Delta Station Dock, at 150m depth. A couple of Cryptosuchus are found nearby, complicating any attempt at entry. The Deep Purple Vents are just below, with a tunnel leading straight to Crystal Caves.

The segment has just two rooms. The player can find a Reactor Rod inside a sealed crate and a Jukebox Disk on the floor. A Parallel Processing Unit fragment can be scanned by cutting through a panel in the second room.

Gallery

References

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