Astravin Medical Centre Crius Hospital Department of Neurology Rehabilitation Guide for Anterior Amnesia
My dear Ser Arris,
I heard you had been released from On-Site Emergency Medical shortly after you regained consciousness. I wasn't certain if you had been de-briefed on the circumstances of your arrival here, and I thought I would try to anticipate a few of your questions.
As regards the ship you landed in, I am sorry to inform you that a check on its registration has turned up a report that it was stolen a few weeks ago near Nav 153. It has been confiscated by relevant authorities.
A check of the ship's computer indicated that a nav course from Crius local space to Hermes was entered into the computer even before takeoff at Crius, which you have testified you have no memory of. You maintained, of course that you were kidnapped by two men in black cloaks and thrown on a ship, and that the next thing you knew you woke up on Hermes.
As you were dressed in a physical rehabilitation uniform when you arrived, we have taken the liberty of contacting Crius Hospital. They confirmed your name was Ser Lev Arris, and that you had been declared missing after an explosion and firefight inside the rehabilitation area. Crius hospital also confirmed that you were recovering from the AOD virus during your abduction. Thus, given your testimony and corroboration by the hospital, you have been cleared of all charges in that case.
You will find your credits restored to you less landing fees, emergency medical services, fee for removal and impoundment of your ship, the cost of the clothes and P.A.D. given to you at OSEM and a small service fee.
Crius hospital has also deducted fees for the services they provided you, as you did not go through a formal checkout there. They sent this attached medical report and rehabilitation guide, which you may wish to retain for your files, and to aid your ongoing recovery.
You will also find that your access to the CCN booth system has been reinstated.
Welcome to Hermes, Ser Arris. If you're looking for a taste of “local colour” and maybe a drink, I suggest you check out Sinners Inn, I'm usually in there on ‘Triples Night’. I hope you enjoy your stay.
Jessica Montpellier (Customs Officer)
Ser Arris's condition was probably caused by accelerated depassivity from a long artificial sleep, after being pulled from the wreckage of a recent Cargo ship disaster at Mendra spacesport (See CCN database for details). Subject was initially found to be suffering from Amyotrophic Ossicular Degeneration, which was cured with a programme of self viral treatment. It is presumed that Ser Arris was put into suspended animation some years ago when it was found that he had the AOD virus, which at the time was incurable. However, the subject is now in excellent health and is making a speedy physical recovery. The return of his long and short term memory, however, cannot be predicted at this time, even after Bathycephalic scans and a Hypercutaneous Cephalic Remedial Leucotomy were both carried out. He responded well to mental and physio therapy and it is the consultants opinion that the subject will be ready to leave hospital in 12 days.
During your convalescence you will have received a certain amount of mental rehabilitation to help you lead a normal life outside of the Hospital walls until your memory returns. This short booklet may be used to remind you of how to operate the two most common information systems you will encounter - The CCN Booth System and your Personal Access Directory (PAD). These systems should provide you with all the data and access you will need to get around and rebuild your life. Of course, should you need further medical help, our doors are always open to those with a healthy credit rating.
Along with this publication you will also find a copy of the 'As it is in Heaven' Flight Guide, to help you when travelling between the stars. Read it well, as accidents in space are often too terminal for even us to save you.
And finally, a little helpful advice.
- Pay attention to e-mails and the important news they may carry. A relative, friend or associate may be trying to contact you.
- If you are searching for your possible past, investigate all the locations your PAD transit map throws up: who knows who may be waiting there?
- The bare essentials of life don't come cheap, so you can generate cash by trading in commodities or taking missions, both of which can be found in the CCN Booth System.
- The Tri-system can be a dangerous place where eating out is concerned. Check all meals with a Bacteriomitter before tucking in.
- Always be wary of beings with eyes in the backs of their heads.
Good luck out there. I wish you a speedy recovery, and a happy existence.
THE COMMERCE & COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK
The modern CCN as we know it has, of course, evolved in much the same way as all the other pan-systemal data nets in other universes. There comes a point when everyone has become sentient enough to trot between planets a bit, only to realise that their native currency isn't worth a fluffy rodent's dinner on other worlds, and that sometimes it's difficult to buy anything when the local language consists of ultra-sonic screeches and clicks, especially when you left your phrase book in the spaceport. So what you eventually get is a data-system combining purchase and information outlets all in one easy to use format. Well, we say easy to use, have you ever noticed the way that leading Tachyo-tripiolotic physicists, along with everyone else for that matter, stare at these kind of terminals with a sort of bemused puzzlement during even the simplest of transactions ? In an attempt to alleviate the problem, and try to ‘Help you not to lose it’ we present a simple guide on how to find the best Wheels, Deals and photon-treated Steels using the CCN, or ‘Booth System’ as it is sometimes called in the more colloquial cul-de-sacs of the system. If at any time you wish to exit the game completely while on a planet or spacestation, press ALT-X.
Upon making planetfall, your first priority should be to log onto the CCN. This is done simply by entering one of the many booths in the spacesport; you will then be subjected to retinal scan and fingerprint identification authorisation, although you may have to subject yourself to DNA fingerprinting if the machine cannot establish a clean ID fix (the most common reasons for this is due to bloodshot eyes from a hangover, or dirt on the hands. Hence the aphorism that a trader's two best friends are a clean mind and clean hands).
It is essential that you log on frequently; the CCN is a constantly-updating medium, and if you avoid it for to long you could find yourself seriously out of the loop on what's happening around the galaxy. This can prove fatal, or at the very least financially embarrassing. At best, you might find yourself arriving at a planet with a cargo full of H2O only to find that it's just suffered a flood (the proverbial ‘Taking Beer to Bex’); at worst you could find yourself flying through pirate-infested territory that only last week was as safe as a Janus IV bank vault.
When you log on, you will see a brief introduction for your viewing pleasure whilst CCN downloads information on your credit, ship, cargo, recent movements and sanity from your Personal Access Directory (PAD). If all is well you will be given access to the Main Menu.
Once you have logged in to the CCN, you will be faced by the Main Menu, designed for maximum ease of use through the psychologically-tuned intuitive control system, and minimal frustration thanks to the soothing music and pictograms employed.
In terms of data, the Main Menu interface is without doubt one of the greatest marvels of our age. Using the latest biomorphic ‘living’ processor technology, this screen occupies the pinnacle of the system's hierarchical datanet. These simple five icons (or ‘biospheres’, as they are more properly known) put at the user's disposal a constantly updated source of indisputably correct data (a benefit of the biomorphic processor's much-vaunted ‘Chaos Logic’ Validity Circuit). It is estimated that the amount of data stored by the CCN would require the services of a conventional silicon-based computer slightly larger than the Gas Giant Aidet Major.
From the Main Menu, the user has six options: he may logoff to leave CCN, by clicking on the central lower icon, or take advantage of the CCN's services by clicking on one of the five biospheres to take you into a chosen section. The five categories, from left to right, are described in the following pages.
PURCHASE / SELL SHIPS
Once you access the Ships directory, you will be presented with three sub-sections which allow you to purchase, repair and modify your ship. They are:
PURCHASE / SELL SHIP
Logged into all the leading local dealers, the CCN ship trading section is the place for the discerning traveller to pick up a new set of plasma drives. Monitored by the CIS, the CCN Ship Exchange is 100% legal; it is almost impossible for the CCN user to be duped into purchasing a faulty, stolen or tampered-with vehicle, and the Standard Price Edict made by the League of Interplanetary Vehicle Manufacturers three years ago means that vehicle prices remain constant throughout the Tri-system.
Using this interface is simplicity itself: your current ship, if you have one, is described in the upper left part of the screen, along with its market value and your monetary and gross credit. We base our sales on part exchange of course, giving you the purchasing power of your total credit.
As you scroll down the list of currently available craft, the Buy button will illuminate when one falls into your personal price range. Don't worry about changing your mind, as we will be happy to part exchange a ship in the usual way immediately should you see something else you like better. Towards the right of the screen is a full view of the ship for your perusal, and below it the all important technical specifications.
Having made your purchasing decision, the exit button can be found in the top right hand corner of the screen.
Note: This procedure is consistent through all the Selection Screens.
This function allows CCN to cut in the middle man, and liaise on your behalf with only reputable and approved techies and fitters in order to keep your craft ship-shape and NeoBristol fashion. As you might expect, repair services engaged through the use of the CCN are fully backed by the network's guarantee of legality and quality of service. Thanks to the checks imposed both by the CCN Board and the CIS, it should be impossible for the consumer to be overcharged, conned or misadvised.
Using sophisticated diagnostics we assess the levels of damage to various aspects of your vessel and represent this using a percentage and picture in the upper right part of the screen, 100% being good as new. The various damaged systems are selected by clicking the sliders on the green and red status bar. What with maintenance being a costly business these days, we give our users the option of controlling the level of repair to specific systems using the aforementioned sliders. Moving these to the right increases level of repair, as well as cost, displayed individually on the far right of the screen, and cumulatively in the upper left, below your credit value. To avoid any fiscal embarrassment, the system will not allow the user to repair beyond their means.
Once the desired level of repair has been reached you may chose to pay by clicking the Pay Now button. If you chose to exit at this point you will be given the choice to pay or decline. For the user for whom money is no object, a Complete Repair button is included, which will bring all damaged systems sup to the same level of repair within your budget.
PURCHASE / SELL EQUIPMENT
This allows you to fit out your ship with guns, missiles and equipment to improve its performance and advantage in combat. The screen is laid out as such; top left is your current ship type and your current monetary credit, and below these are the available weapon types and the Buy/Sell button. The selection of equipment has been standardized under pressure from the CIS and various planetary Militaries, and incorporates weaponry of a technological advancement deemed to pose no threat to the established order.
In the area below this is a plan view of your current ship showing available and occupied mounting points. The three types, modules, missiles and guns may be selected with the three triangular buttons around the ship, which will also make that type active in the scrolling list at the bottom right of the screen.
Above this list is the selected item's name and cost, along with an animated image so it may be viewed properly. The button to the right of the this image pages between it and a short description of the item. To buy a piece of equipment, click on an empty mount and highlight on item in the scrolling list. If you have enough credit, clicking the Buy button will place the item on that mount, as well as debiting your account. If any more mounts are empty, the next available one will be selected for further purchases. To sell a piece of equipment, click on the item mounted on your ship, and then click on the Sell button.
Please note that the list of available equipment is not necessarily comprehensive; not only are new weapons systems being constantly developed, and released to the mass market, but you may find certain individuals with prototype or customized weapon systems. However, as you are only likely to encounter these opportunities face-to-face, it is highly unlikely that you will be employing the CCN to effect the transaction.
THE BULLETIN BOARD
The CCN also incorporates an organic bulletin service, constantly updated to provide the latest information on current system news and available services or requirements. This is the place to pick up a profitable mission, enlist the help of a wingman or hire a cargo ship. To commission or view any of the items posted on the board, simply click on its placeholding icon.
Please note that this is is one area in which the CCN Board cannot guarantee the exact legality or verity of the details posted. Following extensive litigation on the part of FUDGIT, the Employment Agencies Union, as well as the Humanist Society For The Preservation of the Freedom to Lie, the CCN is legally obliged to post the details given it by the potential service offerer, even if the CCN Processing entity suspects, or even knows, the information to be false. Another episode in the system-wide conflict between the exactitude of technology and the ephermerality of Mankind.
Although you will find a wealth of persons offering or requiring assistance through the Bulletin Board, all these services can be broken down to fit one of the three following criteria.
BULLETIN BOARD - CARGO SHIPS
If you want to trade in commodities between the different planets, you will need a cargo ship to convey them. Cargo pilots charge per trip, on take-off from the planet as opposed to when you select them from the booth system, so it is vitally important that you have enough credit left to pay for the hire fee. If this is not the case, you will be warned via the PAD, and be prohibited to launch until payment is settled.
The info screens for cargo ships contain all the relevant specifications you need to decide upon hiring, which you may then choose to accept or decline using the buttons on either side of the large eye icon. Once a ship has been accepted, this will be indicated in its placeholder on the main bulletin board. However, should the user change their mind, they may pick one of the other ships available without the loss of credit - the only exception to this rule is if you try to hire a ship whose capacity is not great enough to accommodate your current amount of goods. In this case you will only be given the choice to decline hire.
BULLETIN BOARD - WINGMEN
A large variety of wingmen are available for hire to aid and protect you during space travel. It is important to carefully read their profiles to make sure they are suitable for your mission, as some wingmen will lack the necessary skills and experience to deal with particularly complex or difficult missions.
If you decide to employ a wingman's services by clicking on the Accept button, the fee will be debited from your account there and then, and the wingman will take off with you the next time you leave the planet. Like cargo pilots, a wingman's fee is for one trip only. After hiring a wingman you may choose to change your mind and hire a different one, but you will only be refunded 50& of the previous hire fee. Confederation piracy law prohibits the hiring of more than one wingman at a time.
BULLETIN BOARD - MISSIONS
It is a sad reflection on these turbulent times that, given the absence of a strong pan-systemic authority structure, many criminals are only ever brought to justice by virtue of the martially-skilled and mercenarily-minded individuals known as bounty hunters (cross ref. #EARUSA09183 Myths of Human Origin: The wild West). It is for this reason that the Mission Bulletin feature was added to the CCN, offering a public access site free of censorship to all Tri-system citizens, although now the facility is used for all types of space-faring services, not just the vigilante purpose for which it was originally created.
Note, however, that although there is no restriction on the nature of requirement posted (and, indeed, some of them are so socially unconventional that a broad mind is recommended when viewing them), the CIS have been known to take action on the more provocative and clearly illegal postings. Bear in mind, then, to take care when responding to these less wholesome missions: you could very easily end up in a whole load of trouble with the authorities.
Like cargo ships and wingmen, you may accept or decline the displayed mission. However, the system will not allow you to accept a new missions via the bulletin board or e-mail. Please note that, for the reasons cited above, we cannot always guarantee the integrity of the people who post these missions.
For the distance conscious pilot, the number in brackets after the missions location tells you how far away from your current location the mission is.
If you do accept more than one mission, you may have to complete the mission objectives for all missions accepted, or you will fail any missions that are incomplete upon entering a planet or spacestation.
This part of the CCN provides detailed information on people, companies, vehicles and planets you will have encountered which have been recorded by your PAD or fed into it via another computer. Thus you will find that the list of entries grows as time goes on. IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER that this database will trigger new entries once others have been viewed, along with vital location details on your PAD's nav map regarding the whereabouts of people and companies in particular. It will also input reminders about important finds to all of your electronic diaries.
The Public Records are written, maintained and updated by the DID (Department for Information Distribution), a non-active sub-sector of the CIS. The Records themselves are based on official CIS data, with each user being granted an arbitrary security clearance by the Department. Note that Civilian Security Clearance can reach a maximum level of Gamma Double-Plus, although this honour is granted only to the very rich, the very dangerous and gossip columnists.
The format of the four sections is quite similar, with a scrolling list of entries in the upper left of the screen, a series of characteristics listed below this, and a scrollable synopsis of the subject's background at the bottom. The entry's location is described with an animated picture of the relevant planet or planetoid, or a symbol to indicate its location if it is not certain or fixed. On the right of the screen is the most recent available image of the subject itself.
This section allows you to trade in the various commodities found in the Tri-system. To begin with, you will be asked to hire a standard cargo ship if you are not currently contracting one. This may be done by clicking the button in the top middle of the screen. The same button may also be used to terminate hire of a cargo ship, and sell all commodities at local rates at any time.
To the left of this button is the main stock display, surrounded by the seven stock category buttons. Once a category is chosen, specific types of item may be selected from the list in the bottom left corner of the screen. To the right of this list is the item's cost, its availability in tons, the amount (if any) you are currently in possession of, and the percentage of profit you would make selling at local prices. A red value in this column indicates selling at a loss.
Above this information is a section containing your current monetary credit, your cargo ship's empty capacity, it's number of empty bays and hire fee. If your credit is falls below the cost of hiring the cargo ship, it will turn red. There is also a plan view of the cargo ship and a schematic of it's bays, either occupied or empty. To buy a commodity, check that there is some stock currently available, then click and hold the ‘BUY’ button, which will automatically transfer that stock to one of you cargo bays until the stock runs out, your money runs out or your capacity runs out. The bays expand so you may fill a 5 bay 500 ton cargo ship with 500 tons of one commodity, leaving 4 bays empty but unavailable, as the ship's gross capacity has been reached.
To sell a commodity, click on an occupied cargo bay (if any), then click and hold down the Sell button, which will automatically transfer the stock from that bay to the local storage areas. When doing this, pay attention to the profit values on right. Cargo may be bought and sold in increments of single tons with single clicks of the Buy and Sell buttons. As was mentioned in the Bulletin Board section, cargo pilots charge per trip, on take-off from the planet as opposed to when you select them from the booth system, so it is vitally important that you have enough credit left to pay for the hire. If this is not the case, you will be warned via the PAD, and be prohibited to launch until payment is settled.
Whereas life for the intrepid spacefarer is exciting, glamourous, dangerous, and consequently, rather short, the majority of the Tri-system's inhabitants live predictably dreary lives (except on Hermes). As a consequence of this, there is a thriving industry dedicated to weaselling out the most sensational, the most profound and the most bizarre news from around the Galaxy, and beaming it direct to the consumer in real-time holophonic Feal-D (a facility sadly available only to the private user at the present time; you'll have to make do with text).
As a consequence of this frenetic news-finding activity, it is relatively easy for any Tri-system citizen to be pretty much au fait with what's going down around the words, but it is also very easy for them to become entirely embroiled in emotively-written and yet utterly insignificant news. For that reason, the so-called ‘News Dicing’ facility has been added to the CCN, which means that for the benefit of the busy traveller, only news items considered essential to the individual are transmitted. For example, if the ND program considers a user to be a trader, news items with potentially profitable information will be forwarded, whereas a documentary on the mating habits of the Karactican Hewing Slug would probably be intercepted and prevented.
Unfortunately, the ND system is still relatively prototypic, and anomalies will be generated from time to time; the relatively crude assessment of the bulletins means that an action on the individual's part such as going to a Tri-D pool match could well result in him being forwarded sports news that is perhaps not exactly to the user's taste. Compound this fact with advertising agencies employing system analysts to design advertisements which will be forwarded to as broad a popular spectrum as possible, and it is easy to see why you will, from time to time, find something absolutely ludicrous in your post box.
The operation of the News server is very simple - once you have read the item, click the exit button to return to main menu.
PERSONAL ACCESS DIRECTORY
This small hand held unit has proved to be a useful asset to most people's lives. A kind of ‘Extra Brain’, the PAD continually updates, organises and guides you through your day, carrying and when necessary automatically transmitting and receiving information about yourself and situations affecting you. When you enter the Booth system, your PAD sits in continual dialogue mode, transmitting and receiving data. You may activate the PAD by pressing the P key whilst at any location on a planet.
The PAD has five sections:
Unless in the automatic transit map mode, you will get a start-up screen showing the PAD logo. From this, you may switch off the PAD using ‘EXIT’, or select a function with one of the four triangular buttons positioned around the screen. You may flip from mode to mode using the same buttons.
The PAD is also a mobile communications device, receiving e-mail and prompts from CCN and civil authorities if you should, for instance, have insufficient funds to pay a cargo pilot you have hired.
To allow you to move quickly and easily on planet, the transit map is triggered automatically when you leave any location, and will give you a choice of currently available destinations. In many cases, the device will locate the addresses of any individuals or organisations you may wish to visit based on data from the local net. It will also cleverly remove these locations when the relevant business is taken care of.
TOP MIDDLE BUTTON
This section reminds you of your present status and mission objectives to be met (if any.) These will be displayed in order of priority, with the most important coming up first when the screen appears. Further objectives may be viewed with the ‘NEXT PAGE’ button.
RIGHT MIDDLE BUTTON
This display shows you what commodities you currently own, along with the cargo ship you are hiring. Should you need to dissolve these assets quickly without the bother of visiting the CCN, a button in the bottom left of the screen is provided to sell off all cargo at local prices and cancel cargo ship hire.
LEFT MIDDLE BUTTON
This display shows you what ship and equipment you currently own, along with their levels of damage. Any special software which you may have acquired is also shown.
BOTTOM MIDDLE BUTTON
This controls how the PAD perceives and controls the information around you. The top two buttons allow you to save and recall precise moments in time, whilst the ones below can all be toggled on or off depending on whether you wish for the associated element to be active.
To store all the data from one precise point in time, select this screen from the game options, click on one of the ten title holders and type in a name for that entry. Then press RETURN to save the data.
To recall all the data from one precise point in time, select this screen from the game options, click on one of the ten title holders to select your choice, then press the LOAD button.