With their foes vanquished, the B.E.S.U. squad was free to investigate the scene. No trace of what turned the members of the B.E.E.U. into undead remained, but accessing the ship’s terminal provided some clues. Report drafts indicated that the planet — Anrenus, they called it — was inhabited by primitive sentient beings, but it also housed some technological facilities unfitting for the native folk. Some data supposedly came from said facilities, but whatever transformed the expedition members also corrupted the available data. The explorers decided to follow their only lead, and land on the planet to revisit the place and recover the original files.
As they descend, the magnificence of the planet becomes evident. Luscious forests, fed with bright sunlight, with tall trees, and humongous lizard-like lifeforms that could be clearly spotted from high above. The sight of the untouched nature inspires the adventurers — this couldn’t be seen anywhere else, and was what made their jobs worth it. The mercenaries fantasize about meeting a new people, who might have never seen anyone from a different planet; a new culture, completely void of external influence; creative architecture, along with religious symbolism; and last, but not least, this mysterious technological facility.
Anrenus seems to be a planet mainly dominated by reptiles and plants, creatures that thrived in a place with so much heat and sunlight abundance. In such a natural environment, a clearly artificial electromagnetic source appears on their radar. The colossal trees greatly reduce the maneuverability of their ship and the electromagnetic interference jumbles their navigational instruments, forcing them to land to pursue the signal. The mercenaries follow it intently, but again and again are set upon by the native wildlife. These aggressive predators attack our heroes, who rely on their technological superiority to dispatch their foes, when possible. Some of the creatures are just so massive and have hides so thick that our heroes are forced to flee through the dense jungle. Again and again, they overcome the opposition, until they finally make contact with Reptilian Humanoids — the Yuanaid.
Protocol states first contact with sentient species should be peaceful, if at all possible, but emphasizes keeping one’s guard up. The Yuanaid seemed non-threatening, however, treating the outsiders with adoration, with ritualistic formalities that resembled religious rites. They took our heroes in the same direction the radar pointed towards, so it seemed all was working out in their favor.
As they near the source, the squad is suddenly ambushed by the natives. It turns out all the rites were in preparation for some sacrifice to their gods, some kind of muscular humanoid reptiles depicted in nearby statues. Dispatching the Yuanaid is not particularly hard for our seasoned and well-trained soldiers, but some scratches ensue, which are quickly followed by fever and physical distress. Luckily, they carried medical nanobots that quickly reverse the symptoms when injected.
Finally in their destination, the crew enters an alien facility with strange technology, perhaps even more advanced than their own. The place is unguarded, or perhaps its security was taken down by the former expedition. Reaching the mainframe, which seems to run on solar power, the explorers track the activity of the last visitors, and find the original data, which was corrupted on the ship.
There’s information regarding a forbidden kind of technology — indefinite life extension. Fearing for the dystopian possibility of a growing gap between the immortal rich, whose compounding riches would suck up all power, and the common folk, who could never afford immortality, the U.M.W. forbade any kind of research into this subject. It seems, however, some civilization outside of the U.M.W. had already achieved it, and it might be connected with what happened to the B.E.E.U. spaceship filled with unnaturally revived expedition members.
There is also data on the location of this civilization’s main technological center, on an asteroid outside the boundaries of the civilized universe. It must be interpreted by specialists, however, and our heroes decide to report everything they found to receive the asteroid’s coordinates, and also in case they turn into the next undead. The trip to B.E.S.U. headquarters is uneventful, and U.M.W. agents are currently working on decryption.
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