P R O L O G U E: L O G 1

ED 2519.1.20
100 DSA
3:38 PM

The text appears on the upper left corner of a black screen bracketed by white edges at the corners. On the upper right corner is a red dot with “REC” to the right of it. The screen suddenly turns white, until the brightness fades. Vague shapes resolve into the blurry image of an individual with dark brown hair and bright teal eyes. They are leaning in close to the camera, their right hand above the screen.

“Is this on? Uh… Oh!”

The individual, seeming to have noticed that the recording device is functional, sits back before raising a hand in greeting. It is now easier to observe their attire: they are wearing a gray jacket reminiscent of military dress, with a white trim at the edges. Their hands are covered in a glossy black material with white lights at either side of their wrists. The same glossy material seems to compose the black pieces at their shoulders and waist.

“Hello. My name is Sier Avaren. I am twenty-five years old. My pronouns are they/them/theirs and she/her/hers. The current date on Earth is January 20, 2519. It is 100 DSA on Archeiah—which means a hundred days have passed since the first arrival group came to this planet.”

Sier smiles at the camera, lowering their hand to the table.

“I’ve just arrived at the Celeis Research Base on Archeiah—I'm in the second arrival group, the first full research team to arrive.”

They tilt their head slightly to their right.

“My job here is to study this planet—particularly, the organisms and the mysterious energy we call ‘starlight.’”

They lift a hand, and the seams of their exosuit gloves glow white before a holographic screen appears in the air. It shows the image of what appears to be a close-up of the branches of a forest, glowing with an ethereal blue. A creature is resting on the branch, limbs wrapped around it. It is vaguely reminiscent of a lizard, but its body is primarily a glossy black. It has six thin legs, and there is a long stripe of a dark blue goo-like substance running down its back, splitting into three tail-like structures. Its head also has a node of that dark blue material on the top of it. The material is highly glossy as well, but also glows with lights that resemble nebulae and stars.

“Everything on this planet absorbs it, glimmering with the energy trapped within the ichor—that starry goo-like stuff you can see here.”

Sier dismisses the image and then leans in close, lifting a hand as if to whisper conspiratorially.

“I’ll be honest, I’m most excited about the creatures we call nulls.”

They lift their hand again, pulling up another image, raising it to take up most of the recorded screen. The image depicts a large creature in a forest, luminous blue leaves hanging from the dark branches. The creature resembles the one from the previous image, in that its body appears metallic with the starry ichor being the only other visible material, and that it has six limbs. Unlike the previous creature, the metallic portion is a pale color, and this creature has two large wings with the ichor acting as the webbing. The ichor also forms much more complex patterns on this creature’s body, arcing in swirls, nodes, and stripes. Its head is an elongated dome-like shape that tapers into points at either end. The ichor occupies the upper portion of the head, separate from the gooey trails that come out of the back of the skull. There are two sets of ear-like structures, and the creature is lifting a front limb to caress a glowing particle. The creature’s hand consists of four long fingers, one of which is an opposable thumb, and a long tail curls off-screen.

“They’re just absolutely fascinating, and honestly? You could describe them as dragons. Luckily, like everything else here, they don’t seem aggressive.”

Sier dismisses the holographic screen, leaning back and gesturing vaguely as they continue to speak.

“As a scientist, I’m interested in them since they seem to absorb the most starlight out of everything here. They also seem to be the most individualistic—other creatures appear to act in groups, more commonly.”

They laugh, then, shoulders lifting in a shrug as their eyes sparkle with mirth.

“But I’ll admit I also think they’re just very cool. Dragons are real, after all! Just not on Earth.”

Someone offscreen calls Sier’s name, and they turn towards the right right of the screen. They quickly turn back, reaching towards the camera.

“Duty calls, I guess. I have to help get everything set up. It might be a bit before I make another log, we’ve gotta make sure everything’s in order. And then I can get to exploring this world!”

Sier grins wildly, arms spread wide. Their name is called again, however, and their grin turns to something like a pout.

“Alright, alright. Until next time!”

The screen shuts off.