This piece contains potential spoilers for the Subnautica computer game. I would urge you to play the game as spoiler free as possible. I bought Subnautica with my own money. I have played the game to completion.
I start awake. The pod is on fire. I have a memory of being on the ship what seems like moments before. I was talking to the chief about how to get the flow regulators on-board working more efficiently. The explosion rocked the whole ship. The crew ran for the pods. Now I’m here. Floating by the feel of it. The pod is on fire.
A Fire Extinguisher puts pay to the fires. The pod is wrecked, though the power systems are working and the fabricator is online, not much else is. Opening the hatch below I see only ocean and a shallow distance to a sandy bed. I remember my training: survive, obtain food and water, build what you need from the surrounds. I put on the wetsuit in the emergency equipment.
The ocean here is rich with marine life, fauna and flora and deposits of all sorts of minerals, more than enough to supply the fabricator with the material it needs. I start small, gathering what I can to build boxes to hold all I gather, the pod is already overflowing. The shark like gators in the vine forests nearby are more interested in the metal parts lying strewn around than they are me, and the fish make for an ok meal. One of them even helps with water filtration, I don’t know who programmed the fabricator but I thank them every time I feed information into it and out pops a solution.
When I surface I see the Aurora burning. The ship exploded soon after impact, the other escape pods scattered around the ocean if they made it at all. I know there will be vital equipment in the wreckage but the radiation from the drives makes any approach hazardous. It’s not long before I have equipment, a base, somewhere to call home. The depths call out to me, signals from other pods but I fear what exploration will bring. I fear the dark.
These new biomes bring new wonders and new risks. Noises from the depth, put a shudder down my spine but I must breach the darkness in order to find new materials. I feel compelled to go further, why I cannot say. I can dive for longer now, the tank I wear upgraded to take in more air, a small engine allowing me to move faster. New sources of materials are allowing the construction of submersible vehicles.
I’ve tracked down several of the pods that escaped the inferno of the crash but have found no survivors. Not all is lost though as I find more information about the areas they have crashed in and new schematics to feed into my fabricator: better accommodations, submersibles, different sources of power. I could live here for a long time. If I need to.
I feel strange. The sea feels more like home every day, especially the shallows where my base continues to grow, I’ve even got a bedroom now. My skin tingles. I have built a submersible and radiation resistant gear. I will find solutions aboard the Aurora, I know it.
The Aurora was empty but not without rewards. It burns inside as much as it did out. I have more schematics now, more things to build, even some home comforts. I have a way off the planet, I can go home.
I don’t want to go. There is evidence here of people having crashed long ago. They speak of what they saw in the depths, their voices echo from the past in garbled recordings telling me of the places they saw, the creatures they met, the urge to go deeper, darker and colder. There is land here, though it is few and far between and what I find there is unlike anything I have seen before. Not even those who crashed before me were the first intelligent life forms on this planet.
I feel strange. The scanner says I am infected. I cannot take this infection back with me, who knows what it would do to the folks back home. I need to find a way to heal myself. There is an intelligence here I don’t just mean amongst the flora & fauna. I have seen ruins, evidence of things long dead. At least I thought they were. I must go deeper. I must find a way. I am drawn to the depths. I fear them.
Home is no longer Earth. The base I have constructed is sprawling now, I have spent weeks building it, making it to my liking, stocking it with resources to build more. The garage has my suit and submersible in it. They offer a feeling of safety amongst the darkness. I have braved the depths of this world and seen both wonders and horror, leviathans and minnows, fauna as large as a skyscraper that casts a phantasmal glow onto the creatures that call it home.
I must go deeper still though. It calls to me. A voice in my head urging me deeper. I do not know if I have gone mad or if the infection is to blame. The intelligence that built the structures I have seen were not the original inhabitants of this planet. They were experimenting on the creatures they found here: I have seen the abandoned labs, the scraps of data, the discarded results. They were more advanced than us that is for sure, but the purpose of their experiments remains unclear. I must find out. The voice tells me to.
I go deeper still tomorrow. A second base has provided refuge in the depths where translucent fish run amongst the bones of ancient creatures larger than anything I have encountered living in this place. I approach this descent with trepidation and anticipation, the joy of discovery pushing me further, the fear of the unknown keeping me cautious. This place is a marvel beyond anything I ever thought I would see in my lifetime. Maybe it has one more thing to show me.