The following are a series of broadcasts that were sent over a period of many weeks by Tad Kouris during the 4th Age, directly following the events that took place during the Calamity of Earth.
▀▄▀▄▀▄ The Tower is down! ▄▀▄▀▄▀
I repeat, Syrcus Tower is down!
I don’t mean ‘twas captured. I mean the entire thing just buckled into the ground and sank!
‘Tis completely gone!
And the city ‘twas ‘neath it… nothing is left but upheaval of broken earth. Stars and Spirits – ‘tis beyond unreal. I knew wickedness was brewing within that Tower but could have never imagined ‘twould end like this.
The squad… The others… I can’t find anyone. I don’t know if they survived. I don’t know how I survived, for that matter. But I’m still looking.
I hope this broadcast node is functional. It think ‘tis transmitting, but I can’t know for sure. I need to conserve battery for now. But I’m leaving the line open.
▀▄▀▄▀▄ If anyone is out there… if anyone can hear me… ▄▀▄▀▄▀
▀▄▀▄▀▄ Citizens and Resistance, I seek survivors! ▄▀▄▀▄▀
Even those of the Empire, should you come in peace.
My scouting has turned up little in the way of resources, food or wildlife at ground zero. We must needs make for a better location.
I will keep camp at the base of the large white crystal that stands upon the tallest hillside. You can see it very plainly day and night from a great distance. If you receive this message, please make your way to meet me here.
Funny thing – I’ve been having dreams about large crystals. Mayhaps, ‘tis a sign, aye?
I have rations enough to last a few days yet. I will wait for you as long as I can.
I repeat: I am seeking survivors.
I will make camp at the base of the large white crystal upon the hilltop. I will remain in this area as long as my rations hold out.
If you can return signal, contact me and let me know you are on your way.
▀▄▀▄▀▄ Please rendezvous as soon as you can. ▄▀▄▀▄▀
▀▄▀▄▀▄ Seeking survivors! ▄▀▄▀▄▀
My batteries are low. Rations are low.
I remain encamped next to the great white crystal atop the tallest hill until tomorrow’s first light. I have no choice but move on to seek food and supplies.
Please, if you’re out there, meet me. We can journey together to find more resources.
▀▄▀▄▀▄ Someone else must have survived… ▄▀▄▀▄▀
▀▄▀▄▀▄ I’m several days out from ground zero. ▄▀▄▀▄▀
I wanted to keep broadcasting as I travelled, but the batteries finally bit it for this node. I managed to scavenge up replacement energy cells, though it hasn’t been easy to find very much of use out here.
Even at many days’ walk from the Tower, the destruction is absolutely massive. Leaving the initial area without finding survivors was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. So far, I’ve not run across anyone else… alive.
Just ruins of structures, places that might have been homesteads and cities. But if people survived, they must have the same idea I do… to move and find resources. That’s what I keep telling myself, anyway.
I have finally started to see wildlife in this area for the first time. Making progress and even hunting for food is difficult because of how buckled and deformed the ground is… just about everywhere. Even for me, the journey has been treacherous, rounding many fissures and deep gullies that I know had not existed before.
I can’t imagine what it’s like for those who don’t have knowledge of wildlife survival. Most city folks can hardly tie their shoes without a node helping them.
Sorry… sorry… I forgot that I’m broadcasting.
▀▄▀▄▀▄ I didn’t mean that. ▄▀▄▀▄▀
▀▄▀▄▀▄ Hey, Empire! ▄▀▄▀▄▀
I got your stuff! You wanna come out and fight me?
I ran across a downed Imperial fighter, which looked to have been piloted by clockwork. Something had seriously skewed these machines. They were non-functioning by the time I discovered them, which was likely the cause of the crash.
I took that as a sign ‘twas my lucky day, and helped myself to what I could find in the ship. Strangely, there were a few battle suits, some rations and a bunch of odds-and-ends supplies. Energy units, low-tech lights, and such.
Weird that a fighter driven by clocks would be toting this, unless it was meant to reach someone else. Well, it looks like it reached me instead.
So… anyone out there? You wanna come take it back? ‘Tis been so long since I’ve seen another person, I’d even take an Empire lackey right now.
Come on! Where are you?
▀▄▀▄▀▄ I’m in your ship, stealing your stuff! ▄▀▄▀▄▀
▀▄▀▄▀▄ Taking a temporary break today. ▄▀▄▀▄▀
I haven’t really been able to catch my breath after everything fell apart. That might be a good thing – it prevents overthinking.
But after finding enough supplies at the downed Imperial ship, I decided to make a camp here and just rest a bit. So far, my broadcast remains unanswered. So if there are any Empire soldiers out there, they haven’t heard me or haven’t come back around this way.
I spent some time sorting the equipment I found in the ship. These suits are pretty nifty! Not exactly one-size-fits-all, but able to adjust to different many body builds on the fly. I’ve found one that is cozy enough for me, and I’m wearing it right now.
I think I’ll take it with me. I don’t much care for the idea of wearing Imperial gear, but I don’t know what lies ahead of me, either. If nothing else, ‘tis fairly protective.
Oh yeah. Did I mention I managed to get a mapping unit I found here working? So now I have a basic idea of where I’m located in relation to… well… things that used exist. Of course, the terrain is all muddle up, so nothing matches the map exactly. But ‘tis good enough.
While ‘tis hard to leave behind those I lost at Ground Zero, my mind is now turning towards my family. Where are they? How are they? What of the forest clans?
I have a wife and daughter out there somewhere – I refuse to believe they did not survive – and ‘tis time I started looking homeward.
▀▄▀▄▀▄ ‘Tisn’t much else to find out here. ▄▀▄▀▄▀
▀▄▀▄▀▄ To the Citizens in this area: ▄▀▄▀▄▀
I know that you took one look at me, saw the Imperial battle suit I was wearing, and ran in fear. I did not mean to alarm you! My name is Tad Kouris and I am not here to harm you or your family.
I did pursue you, but only because you are the first living people I’ve seen since the calamity. Is it right to call this a calamity? After seeing all the devastation that I have since the event, it certainly feels like one.
I wish to help you. I can distribute knowledge of survival and living in the wilderness. Let me show you how to find food – be it proper plant harvesting or fishing from the stream. You may even travel with me if you have insufficient shelter. We will find a better place for your family.
If you receive this signal, please… seek me out. I can help!
▀▄▀▄▀▄ I saw children among your number… ▄▀▄▀▄▀