Whispers of the Starkin: The Io Incident, #2

(Last Entry Here)

…facility’s reactor went critical, but most of the facility remains intact. We do not have an explanation for this. The remains of the reactor room itself and small portions of the surrounding facility–including, it seems, the Project databases–are still molten. This would have been Specialist Illowen’s job to understand, but you may remember that she’s dead. Because of this mad, impossible research. Because of you.

Our latest replacement, Specialist Hinsel, believe something drew off the power of the explosion. This is absolutely impossible. This should be absolutely impossible. Here: another number. Based on the trace fuel remaining and the last available information broadcast to the substations about its operating levels, the reactor at Hub B-2 was built to supply power to its entire region of Io, and should’ve had a minimum blast yield of 47 megatons. You seem to be struggling with the concept of cause and effect, Admiral, so I’ll make this simple for you:

There shouldn’t BE a Hub B2 anymore, or any of the substations, or most of the mining colonies in the region, for that matter. The Mark IV Novacores also aren’t supposed to be capable of going critical to begin with, but I’ve given up trying to apply natural laws to this Project. Perhaps you’re just waiting for an unmitigated event this time, hm? Perhaps my facility will be next!

You may recall that in order to justify our size, you yourself mandated our reactor must supply power for the surrounding Solworks facilities and this entire section of the OrbDef grid. Is that what you want, Admiral? I’ve done the math out of curiosity. Our minimum yield is, I’m pleased to say, a far more impressive 13 gigatons! If we go, so does Mars! Won’t it be pretty, Rhetta? You’ll quite easily see the light from your current billet.

But that shouldn’t really scare you. What should scare you is that something, somehow, consumed a 47 megaton thermonuclear blast and left only about a hundred yards in diameter of slag and burn marks in the middle of the facility. Hub B-2 must’ve discovered some form of Precursor relic; perhaps some idiot hooked a power source up to a standard rail-rifle. And perhaps that standard rail-rifle went critical after it riddled the entire facility.

Perhaps.

You think you’re going to harness Their power, don’t you? You think you can reclaim whatever it was that forged Them and use it for us, for humankind. I promise you, you can’t. You can obliterate our whole species trying, but we’ll never be what They were. It’s not in us.

(Next Entry to Come)

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