The journey to

Thelio

Prologue:

Earth

With the salvaged remnant of a rogue Series-6 bot strapped around his wrist, and the guilt for their destruction still weighing upon his mind, Tenzen watches for the safe return of a friend from space. When she does return, he finds himself facing the imminent pain of more loss, unless he acts.

E001
The director has given me another chance to prove that Thelio is real, though I’m not sure I deserve it—not after the disaster with the 6-Series bots. I can’t help but think that my probing their code for answers about Thelio was the cause of their going rogue and having to be destroyed. This wrist console crafted from their remnants will remind me to never put my mission above my friends again.
E002
We’ve drafted plans to send our 7-Series recon squad to find Thelio! I may have built them, but their AI comes from somewhere alien, somewhere deep in space. I’m certain Thelio is this place, though I don’t have anything to prove it—yet. I hope I’ve properly outfitted them for this dangerous journey. If any of these bots are going to find Thelio, it’s my bold friend Zoe.
E003
Our monitors have picked up Zoe’s ship beacon on the edge of the solar system—She’s on her way back! Wow, it feels like just yesterday that I sent her and her sisters away. I had a feeling she would find something. I’m just relieved I haven’t sent her to her doom. I hope she’s bringing back some evidence that Thelio exists. Imagine what a place like that could do for a world like this!

Chapter 1:

Lakmi

Zoe's fragmented logs have left Tenzen struggling to retrace her steps to recover the missing components that have left her near death. While he is certain Zoe has been on this planet, its appearance leaves him with about as much hope as light reaching the storm-ravaged surface—very little.

L001
It was obvious that Zoe was missing her arm and one of her optical sensors when I first saw her, but with more time on my hands I’ve discovered that her primary power cell is also missing. It’s a wonder she’s held out this long.
L002
This relic Zoe has brought with her seems to have fused itself to the walls of her storage bay. My wrist scanner doesn’t seem to be of much help determining what it is, and I don’t dare remove it in the fragile state that she’s in. I can’t help but think this is evidence of Thelio. I won’t know until Zoe can explain what is going on. Maybe I can derive some clues from the copy of her corrupted memory I've loaded onto the ship's computer.
L003
I'm no closer to understanding what happened to Zoe, but it does look like she has taken up engineering as a hobby. I've found a set of drawings. Thank the stars for FreeCAD. I have no idea what the drawings are for.
L004
Whoever made these robots so difficult to repair should be fired—oh yeah, that was me. I’m fired. Until I find Zoe’s original parts, the best I can do is keep her systems stable.
L005
The space archives had me thinking this was some kind of resort planet. Now that I’m closer, I’m starting to wonder how long it’s been since someone updated those archives. This place is covered by a storm that seems to have destroyed almost everything. At least I don’t need to worry over not having packed a swimsuit.

Chapter 2:

Beldura

While the relic miraculously restored life to the bots of Lakmi by bridging their power, Zoe is continuing to get worse. Trusting that this planet has her missing arm or ocular sensor, he descends to its swampy surface. He’s about to discover that one can not only have their sight taken from them, but give it away willfully, along with the ability to think and act freely.

B001
The relic spontaneously bridged the power between the bots of Lakmi and restored them to life. It was an incredible sight, to say the least. The bots had the ability to share power all along, but they were so fearful of each other, so greedy, that they never unlocked that power. Yet, somehow, the discharge of energy from the relic appears to have made Zoe worse.
B002
I've managed to convert the PCB schematic I found on Lakmi into a 3D drawing. It is clearly some kind of IO device. Either SATA has become a galactic standard, or this thing was designed by someone from Earth. Very odd.
B003
I’m wishing I had spent less time in front of a keyboard and more time practicing welding. It’s no use, she’s not just a simple machine. Once empowered with the AI we borrowed, even her circuits have taken on their own characteristics. My only hope is that by restoring those missing parts, she might be able to self-repair. Maybe then I’ll understand what this relic is, and its relation to Thelio, if there even is any. I was able to find some more drawings in Zoe's memory image. What in the world was she designing?
B004
This Beldura place that Zoe mentioned isn’t looking too promising. The entire planet is a swamp. That fact seems like something a planetary ecologist would insist could only exist in science fiction. Oh well. I just wish I had brought some mosquito repellent.

Chapter 3:

Klo:luo

Zoe is dead. The void left by Tenzen’s failure—first filled by grief, and then numbness—is now filled with an insatiable hunger for answers. What is this relic that overwhelmed Zoe’s circuits, and yet restored to the bots of Lakmi the ability to power each other? And to the creatures of Beldura, the vision to free themselves? What other secrets does this object hold? Tenzen must find out in order to revive his friend.

K001
I’m certain there is no bringing Zoe back now. The surge of power from the relic seems to have overwhelmed what little processing function she had left, and worse, destroyed her memory. She was my friend...and now she’s gone. Bringing her back in one piece won’t fix this. But it’s all that I can think to do.
K002
I cannot get this relic out of my mind. It can do so many amazing things. I’m ready to cut my losses and go home, but part of me wants to continue on. If it was important enough for Zoe to bring all the way back, shouldn’t I try to figure out what it is? I don’t know. But maybe it could still help her, after all the harm it’s done.
K003
I wonder if I should stop trying to piece together Zoe's memory. I did find some interesting files. And there was something else...something baffling. All along I've assumed Zoe was the one engineering these drawings, but then there’s the timestamps. They pre-date Zoe's original departure from Earth. I know for certain these are not something she or anyone else designed back then. Either there is an error in the metadata, or someone away from Earth has been designing these and putting our name on them.
K004
Now that I am getting closer to the planet the Belduran said Zoe came from, I’m suddenly wondering if this was a good idea. The fact that she left this place torn to pieces should be enough reason for me to turn around. But I have to keep moving if I want my friend back. This may be the dumbest thing I’ve ever done.

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Journey to

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