After evaluation P-06 locations are considered to be benign, although the reason for their construction remains unclear. The Chair acknowledges Associates have used these sites as basecamps in the past without any negative consequences. Regardless, caution is advised.
On a personal note, I would like to add the request. If any Associate makes use of a P-06 site, please, leave the camp in the same, or better, state than you found it. It seems the least we can do.
P-06 refers to various primitive encampments found on other Planes in the direct vicinity of a Rift leading to, and from, Atlas. Up to this point, there has been no sign of the original occupants.
The camps typically consist out of a tall yurt or ger, typical of nomadic tribes on the steppes, sometimes accompanied by one or two smaller tents in a similar style. The tent(s) are often surrounded by a simple motte for protection and sometimes include additional obstacles such as stakes or palisades. Regardless, these fortifications show very few ways to effectively repel any human attacks.
The construction material is gathered from the local environment. The tent’s frame is typically made of branches and covered by animal skins or scales. There are also P-06 sites known to be entirely constructed from repurposed material found in the direct vicinity, such as steel grating, iron slabs or bricks.
There is little known about the identity of the people who have constructed these sites, often referred to as the Pioneers. Despite the primitive construction, on closer investigation, it would seem these Pioneers are using steel tools to cut the construction material to size. This puts to question rather these are mere primitives at work or a more sophisticated civilization.
The investigation into P-06 locations by Associate 171
Associate 171 had taken it upon himself to investigate a multitude of P-06 sites. For a period of five years, he traveled around the world, funding most of it at his own expense, and gathered information in a couple of dozen P-06 camps until he went missing on his journey to Plane ▓▓▓. There has been no clue regarding his disappearance.
After 171 was confirmed missing his home was searched for any information regarding his activities for the Association. Among the many papers, a draft for his report was recovered. The excerpts that follow contain some of the highlights of his discoveries.
The first time I encountered one of these camps, it was an accident. It was my third time into the field when I traversed the Rift to Plane 89. A savage world I was told, devoid of humans. But I needed to check if something could be done about small dinosaur-like predators, described as sleek chickens, upsetting the life stock of local farmers. Fortunately, these critters find it very difficult to claw their way through a sheep’s fur.
The Rift on the other side was located on a large rocky mound between a lake and a mountain range, next to a forest that could have existed in the Cretaceous era. The environment was damp, hot and the ancient forest was thick with trees higher than most apartment blocks. The air was so rich with oxygen I needed to wear a gas mask to stop myself from fainting, adding to my discomfort. I hoped to gather from a simple glance at the surrounding area, a simple trench or fence which would hold annoying the critters at bay. But unfortunately, the rock was too devoid of soil to make it a simple task. Thus I had no choice but to survey the area for other solutions.
I began my search, annoyed at the fact nothing could be so simple as just bringing some barbed wire from the other side, as it would be destroyed by Travelers Decay in a matter of weeks. As I was hiking, admiring the occasional lizard-like birds gliding overhead and chasing away the monstrously sized dragonflies, I was rudely interrupted by a storm that appeared out of nowhere. Silently, a dark mass rolled over the mountains like an avalanche casting a dark shadow over the land. As the formation darkened the skies at a frightening rate, I ran back to the Rift as if the clouds were about to eat me. I only made it halfway up the cliff as rain hosed down on me in such quantity it not only obscured my eye covers but also turned the rocky outcrop in a collection of waterfalls resisting my ascent.
I managed to find partial cover, from the violence coming down on me, underneath one of the jutting boulders. After clearing my visor, I spotted an out-of-place circular formation of rock slabs on a nearby mound. There was the circular domed structure, unmistakably constructed by human hands. But no lights or smoke. Desperately looking for a way out of the storm I ran, stumbling and sliding down the slippery surface. Then, rock slabs resembling stairways showed me a path up the mound. Revitalized I jumped up the stairs, ran through a passageway within the wall, and dashed for the tent.
Leaving a trail of water behind me I staggered toward the center of the makeshift structure, out of breath, but relieved. I took out my electric lantern and observed my surroundings. Its interior was dusty but intact, complete with a fireplace and a pile of dry wood to light it. There was some leakage as the aging skins were saturated with water and the wooden structure squeaked as it endured the storm. Still, I prefer this over my rocky hiding place. I light the fire, freed myself of my drenched clothes, and lay my body on a pile of leaves covered with shriveled feathered skin. My own blanket was too wet to be of any comfort, so it had to do.
Laying there, feeling awkward for squatting, I absorbed my surroundings in the dancing light of the flames, wondering what happened to the original occupants. I had not seen or been informed of any signs of human civilization. No recent ones at least. As I understood it, an Association expedition explored this area years prior but had seen nothing. Looking around, this place could not be that old. In this environment, skins like these could not last that long. Then again, these scaly skins with feathers might be more resilient.
On the inside the hide coverings, there were images resembling primitive cave paintings. Many of the dark stick figures were faded, but one image stood out between them. A tall white cone-headed giant with a triangle for a face stood between them holding one hand up as if to indicate he was meditating or giving instructions to the other figures. Strangely enough, the other arm was absent. Faded away, perhaps?
Opposed to me on the ground, right underneath drawings of the white figure, stood a single object covered up by a feathered skin. Curious to what it was, I crawled out of my cot, lifted the cover, and gawked at the object beneath. It was a weathered face that once belonged to a larger sculpture. A wall ornament, possibly recovered from some ruin. But where did it come from and what was it doing here? They must have dragged it here at great expense.
The face was too mutilated to compare it to any civilization known to me. My estimations ranged from Ancient Rome to civilizations found in Mesoamerica. And here it lay inside a tent that was just strong enough to give shelter to a weary traveler from another world. It was important enough to drag the item here, but not so significant they brought it with them to wherever they went.
By the time the sun had risen, the storm subsided. Due to my inquisitive nature, I had forgotten my original task and explored the campsite. In my search for answers, I only found more objects that baffled me. One was a simple carriage they, I assumed, used to drag that head here. It was degraded beyond any use, but the cuts on the wood indicated sharp, metal tools help in its construction, unlike the flint ones I had initially imagined. But I found no other clues besides some shallow holes in the ground. I imagined these were animal tracks, but the grass had already settled inside the indentions, so it was impossible to tell.
I looked around the terrain, even climbed elevated positions, looking for any trace of other human activity, but found none. No smoke, towers, or any evidence of agriculture. Just this tent that happened to be near a Rift. Coincidence? I am not sure why I would find this unlikely, but could it be there are others like us? What would bring them here? Were they too bothered by critters biting the ankles of sheep? My thoughts went to the sculpture and the image of the white cone-headed giant. That sculpture must be from this Plane, otherwise, Travellers Decay would have destroyed it. Maybe these “Pioneers” dragged it from a ruin concealed by nature and placed it there as an indication a civilization once settled these savage lands, luring in explorers with a gesture of hospitality. But why go through all that trouble? And trouble it must have been. Because as far as the experts are aware, Rifts only go one way. In other words, whoever these Pioneers are, they must have entered this Plane through a different Rift somewhere else - Or I was just overthinking all of this and these were the remains of a native, previously unnoticed, tribe passing by. Unfortunately, my attempt to apply Ockham's razor was soon blunted by all the other evidence.
I returned to Atlas and suggested in my report to pile some stones around the Rift on the other side and reinforce it with stakes or a palisade to deter the invading critters. I did add the caveat that some huge Dragonflies might be able to evade the obstacles. An inelegant solution but I could care less. My mind was too distracted by the possibility of other explorers. I delved into the Association’s library and found reports of similar sits being discovered. I sought out all the available documentation and confirmed these sites had all the same hallmarks. A Yurt made from local materials, build with metal tools and drawings of a cone-headed giant. It proved my hypothesis correct, but what did it mean?
Next, I talked to various Associates who had come across such sites. I was disappointed many of them did not show the same curiosity for these anomalies as I did. But through some thorough questioning, and some ale, I managed to acquire some of their thoughts on the subject. Here are some statements I have written down in my notes.
“…Of course, they are useful. When we find one of these sites we can pretty much already tell all civilizations in the vicinity have turned to dust a long time ago. Considering the unspoiled stage of nature on these Planes, centuries at least.”
“…Well, it is nice we don’t have to make our own camps. It is just… I find the drawings rather unsettling.”
“Indeed. It did occur to me later they couldn’t be using the same Rifts as we did. Maybe they are exploring our world without us knowing it. But the real question is, how did they find all these Rifts?”
“What I think of their [P-06] purpose? A mark that they [the Pioneers] have been there? Marking their territory, like by leaving a flag. Of course, if we would leave our nation symbol behind, any other Rift-travelers could assume it is just a decorative colored rag… Acts of hospitality, however. Providing shelter to the weary traveler. They acknowledge others like us are out there, exploring the Rifts. Perhaps it is their way of showing kinship and spreading knowledge. A hotel and local museum at the same time. Or maybe it is just their way of saying, there is nothing for us to find there.”
Motivations! All sites were similar, apart from the modifications which mostly fitted their context. Only the reason why certain sites had more than one tent, puzzled me. Maybe it had to do with the number of people in their respective expeditions? Or a mark of prestige? But why not bring your own building material and disassemble the tents when done? That would be more economical and efficient. But no, they insist on keeping the tents in place and supply them with firewood and some sleeping arrangement. One even had a whole bed frame. Crude, but it worked.
One of the few clues is the artifacts they leave behind. These are always hinted at past civilizations, now destroyed. Gone forever. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t even know these Planes were ever home to humans. yet, they looked for them. And found them. Then dragged these objects out of the deserts, jungles, or wherever, and finally, they left these in the yurts for us and everybody else to find. Did they know where to look? Did they keep searching until they found something? And what did they expect us to do with these artifacts?
So many sites, and that many questions. I felt no step closer from when I began. All that was left was the drawings of the white giant, with one missing arm. And it was always the left arm that was missing. What is this figure? A God? A king? Both? Or neither? My mind started to imagine the giant might be what they are looking for. Some descendants from one of these lost civilizations. Maybe a creature that came through the Rift at some point in the Pioneers history helped them through some calamity and then disappeared never to return. And now the Pioneers are trying to find him?
I started studying old cave drawings. Went looking for references to cone-headed humans. It turned out there is no shortage of those. The Elites within many past cultures used to bind their heads to elongate their skulls. And they did so all over the world for millennia. And giants? Well, if the many ancient reliefs are to be believed all these kings and queens were giants. Maybe that was it. They’re looking for a one-armed king. But what does the downward-pointing triangle represent? A crude depiction of a face? A mask perhaps? One Associate suggested it might be a beard. I am still uncertain.
For three years I traveled through many Rifts. More than most in the Association. But my stays were brief and my enthusiasm waned with every expedition, growing more convinced I would never find the answer. But I persisted and one day I traversed the Rift to Plane 187.
187 didn’t sound very impressive on paper. The surrounding region was described as mountains covered by fir forests within a temperate climate, much like the area surrounding our end of the Rift near the town of ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓. But for once, providence was on my side. Would I have made it here earlier, my journey might have been for not.
Once on the other side, It wasn’t hard to find the P-06 location. But before I got a glimpse of it, I encountered a patch of trampled mud left in the wake of a rainy period. First I assume it had been some hog-like creatures but then I spotted a footprint of a barefooted human in the dirt. Existed I increased my pace. Were the previous explorers wrong? But then I spotted the site. This yurt was different indeed. It was new!
Tracks scarred the ground around the camp. The shapes of soles and bare feet could be seen in the muddy ground. There were animal prints too, which I could not recognize. It belonged to no hoofed beast of burden. Instead, it was a strange alien shape twice the size of my boot. I could only make out the heel and a big crescent-shaped toe, or claw, that made up half the length of the print. The claw was awkwardly bent inward, forming an odd comma-shape in the ground. I wished I possess the skill to determine their age. But I figured a couple of days.
I went to the tent-opening, but instead of walking in, I just stuck my head inside. The smell of days old ash still lingered as I looked around. There were no weeds or artifacts to be seen. The Pioneers had to be here still, I thought. Wandering the forest for traces of a lost civilization. They would return, but when? Days? Weeks? I figured I might have at least a month before the symptoms of Travelers Decay would reveal themselves, but it was no exact science. Also, they might lead me to the forgotten ruins, fit for future expeditions. Yes, I thought. I need to chase them down now there is still a trail to follow!
I rushed out of the camp, incented to pick up their trail. My enthusiasm turned to blind panic however as I found traces in every direction. That was when I saw a bush, apparently crushed flat, and a trail of the comma-shaped footprints in the soft soil going toward it. Desperate to end my quest, I went into that direction. My heart pounded as I went up the slopes toward the mountain in the distance.
And then night fell. I found shelter under a pile of fallen trees where I inspected my meager rations. There was just enough for a week. I estimated I could move onward for three days and then make it back. I could stretch it a day or so if I managed my rations and maybe gather some berries, although I found the risk to my health outweighed the benefits. As a modern man, I knew nothing of foraging, let alone hunting. I had but a single revolver with six bullets and intended to use it only in self-defense against the many beasts lurking about.
The next morning my body ached and I was clambering for a hot drink. But I went on regardless, following what I believed to be the Pioneers tracks. But as the ground became rockery and prints become more shallow I doubted my own ability to distinguish a footprint from a dent in the ground.
As all signs of the Pioneers trail had vanished, a river rapid barred my way. It was a shallow river, littered with sizable boulders that provided me with a way to cross. But the water raging down had already torn away countless trees from the mountains above and left their trunks rotting on the banks. Judging from the wide banks the water was at its lowest, but one misstep and I would be dragged away by the freezing water.
My body wasn’t as athletic as it used to be, but I was not to be outdone by some primitives. For the first time since my youth, I started leaping from one boulder to the next, balanced myself on the smooth surface, and leaped again.
Then It happened. It was but a slight miscalculation. One of those moments you noticed going wrong as they happened. I slipped as my second foot landed on the wet boulder. If it wasn’t for my backpack, I am convinced I would have broken my spine when I hit the rock behind me. But it did not stop me from rolling sideways down the river rapid and before I could even scream the freezing water dragged me away.
I struggled and fought to keep my head above water, but every time when my feet touched the river floor I would be swept away again. As I descended down the mountain the rapid became deeper, only the incidental rock bumped me up above the water as to prolong my suffering while I breathed in as much water as I did air. Then came the moment I dreaded.
A waterfall! Like a drunk getting his ars thrown out of a pub I was flung from on high, close to the bank beneath. The fall was just short of killing me and the water below was just shallow enough so I could clutch my fists into the gravel and finally attach myself to one of the many felled trees stuck in the riverbank. Despite the cold water, I draped myself over the trunk to breathe freely once more. But as I couched the water out of my lungs, my entire body ached. Frozen, bruised, and bleeding I crawled onto the bank and lay myself down. One stupid mistake, and the opportunity of a lifetime, gone - Or so I thought.
I don’t know how long it had taken me to regain consciousness, but the sun shone brighter than ever when I opened my eyes. I still couldn’t move but the sound of the rapid seemed distant and the sky was obscured by fir trees that shouldn’t be there.
Groaning, I turned my head sideways where the outline of a squatting figure was rummaging through my belongings, laid out in front of him. As my eyes adjusted, his features became more apparent. He was dressed like a savage. I could make out an orange-brown tunic made of animal skin which covered the left side of his chest, and a simple short-sleeved shirt underneath. Wollen putties, or gaiters, held in place with colored strings covered his calves. But it was his mask that colored my impression of him. A blank mask, made for something similar to a coconut, with triangular eye holes.
It made him look more silly than threatening. however, his coffee brown body might have been sleek, his arms and thighs were sinewy that gave him an exotic appearance, otherworldly even. And indeed, on his belt, we wore a polished iron hatchet and fierce knife typical for hunters. They looked advanced, but still bore the marks of an artisan’s craftsmanship rather than that of mass production.
This must be one of them, I thought. Possibly out loud, because the stranger paused his investigation. For a moment he observed me as I lay there. Then he slowly approached me in a squatted manner. All I could do in response was groan in agony, as the river rapid had forced my limbs in ways God had not intended, and various objects had cut me in places I didn’t know was possible. A pair of eyes glanced through the triangular holes with suspicion, but I didn’t think he meant me any harm. But then he pinched me. Not even that hard, but the pain resonated through my entire arm.
As if my crying summoned his companions, two other masked men appeared, dressed in similar garb. They spoke in a language alien to me, but I could make out from their gestures they did not agree on what to do with me. Whatever the argument was about, in the end, they decided to take me with them. Apart from giving me a waterskin and some hardtack like biscuits, made from I suspect beans, they didn’t bother interacting with me. He did make some concoction by grinding, God only knows what, together, and then fed it to me rather forcefully. It was both sour and bitter and the man-made sure I chewed the hard bits inside to pulp that, once I crushed the leather-like skin, secreted something I imagined rotten apples taste like. But its effects were immediate. All pain and any other feeling flowed out of my body. I was too demoralized to care what they did to me. Not even my enthusiasm could bring me to investigate. I was more embarrassed than relieved that I had completed my search, due to my terrible first impression. And now I was at their mercy.
It was in the middle of the night when I got woken up by a loud cry of a lonely beast. I Screamed when I opened my eyes, horrified a gigantic furred creature at the of my feet. Propelled upward by terror I attempted to flee with my crippled body. My horrified cry, however, has soon followed up by the amused laughter of the tribesmen. Deeply embarrassed I realized that the huge beast was no predator, but their beast-of-burden. At first glance, it looked like a monstrous bear covered in unusually long grizzled fur, but it had the posture of a chimpanzee walking on his knuckles. Its face was more elongated, kinda like a horse, but with his eyes in front and had more of an overbite and thicker lips. It also had actual hands, but its fingers were as thick and ended in massive talons. Surely these were not suitable for walking. But the beast supported its weight by using the sides of its palms for support, rather than its knuckles, thus leaving an inward-turning circle-shape in the ground. This creature carried an impressive belt around its chest, with bags, pounces, and baskets large enough to fit a grown man. Me, for example.
They gave me more of the sedative, but it a lesser dose this time around. I don’t know if they did this to help me or just keep me sedated, it was the only way how they could have carried me over the mountainous terrain, without me dying from pain when they helped into one of the baskets on the side of the creature. The animal wasn’t fast, but with its long arms traversed the uneven landscape with ease, not showing any hint of being encumbered it in any way. Nor did it care every time he made the basket shake, causing me agony the sedative couldn’t suppress. Now, I must admit I was asleep for most of the journey. But I remember the beast’s strong scent, mixed with the smell of an open fire and damp leather.
That is how the five men, their animal companion not included, carried me along like cargo. The Pioneers ascended the mountain by following long-neglected trails whose architecture had faded away centuries ago till these were reduced to stretches of flat plateaus spiraling up the mountain. There we encountered vast stretching terraces that I imagined once contained a vast city. It was all gone now. reduced to rubble overgrown, undisguisable from the untamed land. But that was the haystack that they investigated for, clues I suppose. Two of them would scout ahead and come back after a while. Then two others went away, and so one.
It was a long day, but they were successful and our party headed for their destination. The group stopped in front of an entrance into a rock face. In my estimation, it was a collapsed tunnel with barely enough room for the men to squeeze through. They worked till night, getting their gear ready for the following morning. I observed them as they prepared the descent into the shaft, so narrow it made me squeezy just by looking at it. They worked with a near military efficiency, which made me wonder if they got this organized organically, or rather somebody taught them.
The next morning they attached a rope to a tree in front of the entrance, so they could use to find their way back, light some oil-based lanterns, and started their descend into the darkness. Four of them went in, leaving only me and the jockey behind.
Hours passed. The remaining tribesman was busy preparing for his friend's return, so I focused on my rest. They hadn't even removed me from my basket, and I was fine with that. The creature didn’t seem to mind either. He just got up grumbling from time to time to find a new place to hide from the sun. The tribals were so trusting of it, the animal wasn’t even on a leash.
The sun started to set, but still no sign of the explorers. Now even the jockey became nervous, I could tell. During the afternoon, he was done keeping himself busy, found a place in the shade of the jutting cliff face, and squatted down. From that point on he just kept his eyes on the rope, reaching all the way into the darkness of the tunnel.
The temperature had started dropping as we heard the rope move. The half napping jockey sprang up and looked down the hole. Even I regained some energy and looked on from the basket. The jockey reached in, encouraging his friends, but then he raised his volume, obviously in concern. The event spontaneously became tense as the jockey struggled to pull one of his friends out of the tunnel.
We both recoiled in horror as one of the explorers emerged from the hole. He groaned in pain as blood ran his sides. Although I could make out a word he said he was clearly rambling in a nearly delusional state apparently unaware his arm had been ripped off in a most horrific manner. I looked on feeling useless as the jockey tried to help his friend. But now the beast now rose to its feet as if startled. Already I could tell, it wasn’t the wounded man that vexed it so. At that moment I assumed the group endured a fatal incident in the ruin. Oh, how naive I now feel.
It started when I noticed something slide down the mountain slopes between the bushed above the entrance. First I thought it might be a trick of the eye, but the beast started to howl like a bovine as if to warn us. I tried to attract the two men’s attention when I saw some shape slide done the mountain. But it was too late. The sound of crushing foliage and thrashing rocks approached us unseen and my mount started to recoil as a larger shape became visible between bushes. The two men froze as the serpentine horror revealed itself. I could not distinguish the screams of tribesmen from the terrifying screeching of the metal that jumped at them like a Jack-in-the-Box from hell. It had the general shape of a lamia from the Greek legends. The serpentine tale was attached to a spider-like torso, with a rudimentary head. It jumped the tribesman impaling the poor men with its arachnid-like appendages, who died instantly as they were crushed underneath its metal body.
It became too much for the animal it turned tail and ran in a blind panic and started almost ski down the slopes on its massive forearms. Both horrified and transfixiatI looked behind us to see if the horror gave chase but it marly raised itself vertically, like a cobra attempting to intimidate a rival, using its thin appendages to support its upper body. And then it stood there, like a scarecrow, observing our flight through its triangular visor, which shone so bright I could see it in the twilight of the fir forest.
My heart pounded while the beast ran down the mountain like a force of nature. I closed my eyes, not to be confronted with all the objects come toward me as it raced past trees and boulders. But the horror I just witnessed was already burned on the insides of my eyelids.
‘Please stop,’ I cried against to gust caused by its speed. But the beast would not listen. Not until it was too exhausted to go on running, and reduced the pace after what seemed like an eternity. Finally, it, froze into place, groaning and crying miserably as if to mourn its human companions. It seemed to have forgotten me as it walked toward a puddle for a long drink. I just sat there processing the horrid experience. What mechanical monster I witnessed, I still do not know. I only remember its sleek serpentine appearance, wicked appendages, and blinding triangular visor.
The forest had grown silent, and the beast of burden lay asleep prostrate on the ground. I was I did the same, but the fear of that thing from the ruins kept me up. It tried to assure myself the thing had no intention to find us, otherwise, it would have done so already. But then I thought, what about those five men? I tried to focus on sleeping and waking up with a clear head. So I focused on the sound emanating from the creature. Its slow heartbeat vibrated through my body when I heard a beep in between every beat.
It went: ‘Be-dung, beep. Be-dung, beep. Be-dung, beep.’
I twisted my aching body and started looking for the source. Careful not the wake my companion I rummaged through the bags I found a device, strapped tightly in place. At first, it looked like a big brass pocket watch or compass. But when I released the lid and lifted it, I discovered a display of sorts. A line projected from the center to the edge gradually turned clockwise revealing dots every three seconds, scattered across the display. There knobs and buttons, but I dared not touch them. I assumed these dots must have some importance. There were some symbols beside these and discovered similar symbols all around the outside diameter of the glass display, like on a compass. I directed the device in another direction and so did the locations of the dots change. Did I find an advanced compass that could mark certain locations? I used my limited knowledge of the landscape to determine it was possible this device could be a Rift-Locator-Device, which would explain a lot. And thus I set out to test it. When my furry companion finally woke up I attempted to copy the motions of its former handler. Reluctantly the beast did as I instructed, and finally we, thanks to the R.L.D. made our way to Atlas!
On the 8th of March, ▓▓▓▓▓, Associate 171 was declared a Lost Number for going AWOL during an Association-related expedition, not reporting recovered technology from the Association, and stealing it from the Sanctuary storage facilities.
The following note was found in Associates 171’s study. It's possibly a draft of an unaddressed message.
“While writing this, I am satisfied I managed to find the people responsible for P-06. But I have so many questions. There is also the business left undone. I penned several letters, intended for the Chair to inform them of my achievements and the R.L.D. But in the end, I only told them of my surviving companion, they dubbed S-123, or the Mega Sloth. They are now taking care of the animal in the Sanctuary where it will be able to live out its days in peace. I heard it is already quite the mascot to some of the younger denizens.
But the R.L.D. I could not give it up. I need to find out where these tribesmen came from. Return what belongings I saved from that journey. Tell their story to their people. Tell them they died bravely. Not only do I need the R.L.D. to find my way there. The Pioneers need it to continue their quest, presumably. And time is running out. Right now the R.L.D. is just laying in one of the storage rooms of Sanctuary, waiting for me catalogue all the findings. If the Association realized the contents of that crate, they will never let me have it back. Therefore I announced a new expedition, but this is just a red herring for when they realize I am gone. I do not know I can make it back before Travelers Decay cripples me. But I owe it to those men.
The mentioned crate remains at the sanctuary. Many of the items are primitive instruments that helped the "Pioneers" on their journey. There are a number of items of ritual or religious significance. On if these a scroll or a long leather tapestry containing similar depictions as the wall painting found on P-06 sites. Associate 171 describe the depictions as follows:
“The story depicts towering cities covering the world. A grand civilization cut short by fire raining from the heavens, burning all of creation. Creatures I can not identify are devouring man and beast, chasing the survivors underground, or into mountainous caverns. There the survivors hid until the monsters were gone, but then winter set in. There was nothing to forage and humans now hunted their fellow men to survive. It was then when the one-armed giant appeared, from what I can only imagine being a Rift. His story is not entirely clear to me as this is told in several vignettes without context. He is fighting one of the aforementioned monsters. He is helping people. Probably instructing them too. Then he is fighting, or taming a Giant Sloth. Vanquishing human enemies. Then he is surrounded by figures drawn in various colors, with matching yurts beside them. The tents, in turn, are connected by curving lines, suggesting he united various tribes in some way. Maybe the lines represent roads. In the final image whoever is the giant in between two tents. I can’t tell what this means. Is it a representation of unity? Or is he moving between the tents?
Current hypothesis. The Giant went on a journey and the tents are waypoints or just places for him to rest. Maybe the relics in the tent are there to tell him there is no civilization here anymore. Can imagine there are various tribes who each send out their own Pioneers and the camps are prestige objects that bring honor to their respective tribes. Would explain why some are more elaborate than others.
Maybe these Pioneers don’t care about us after all.