Jim Clunie

Start Anywhere: The Hunt for Green January

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

The End of Everything

Since the day the world ended, maybe the multiverse hasn’t finished with you. Some of you claim to know, but who’s to say, really? Whatever the case, as the cold closed in, each of you reached out, from some resource you never knew you had, for any way to go on. Your world died, but you coursed elsewhere, scattered around a happy and unsuspecting new variant with different lives and different names. Over the years, you found each other, those who wanted to be found, and another thing: a purpose.

Players take the roles of refugees from a destroyed universe – not destroyed by accident: they’ve come to realise that the consumption of their world and countless others fueled the establishment of a far distant utopia, a place of endless spring and the best of good fortune. What the players choose to do in this green January, if they ever find it, is up to them.

Extended Mission

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

Players control robot explorers searching through the mysteries of a devastated Earth, while trying to avoid system failures, coyote attacks, shorting out in a pond, or being blown to pieces by deranged war machines

2499: We return home.
The colonies of Mars, born in hope, grew up in pain, despair and hard decisions. Some thought that the nations of Earth had learned their lessons and put aside the bombs forever. As it turned out, “forever” meant just long enough for them to build the Busway and send our forefathers down it – their smartest and brightest, their pride, their best hope – before everything that the Two Thousand knew collapsed at their heels into genocidal fire.

We survived, some of us. We dug into this lye-bitter dust and took from it air to breathe and water to drink, for those who hadn’t choked on CO2 and gone to graves scraped in the red slag while we toiled. We broke down the ships that could have taken us home, to build tools, to make the tools, to build the cities that could lift us again into the heavens.

In 2499, Director Keeton’s calculations have convinced the Martian nations that we’re ready to turn again to
whatever is left of the Earth, as Earth once looked outwards to this worn-down old globe where we stand today. With a stretch, we can reach the Busway and load onto the old shuttlers a few suitcases’ worth of cameras, radars and clever processors to go in our stead.

We may not get much. The probes might get killed in high orbit by vampiric satellite-hunters, flying junk that
we have no way to detect or track, sleeting radiation in the overloaded Van Allen belts, or our own carelessness with orbital mechanics. It’s been almost four hundred years, after all, since people tried this sort of thing.

The landers might not live a minute in the acid rain clouds, the war-dusts and the automated missile defences in the atmosphere, or the absolute unknowns that rove the bombed-out ground.

We’ve learned, on Mars, the value of sacrifice. We’ll send them anyway, for whatever we can get in the descent and the first 24 hours. After that, every hour is a gift. We’ll just have to play it by ear.