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Shrouding Tower SCA-46

Location Zone A: Restricted Travel in effect . . .
Shrouding Tower; Nihlus facility designation SCA-46, A.K.A. "Mirage"

  This article has been made ready for public release by Nihlus news network. Some information has been removed for security reasons. These sections will be denoted by a black bar marker. Additional information has been provided via Extra-net links, tooltips, and citation definitions in the sidebar.

Sword Base Agatha:
Shrouding Tower SCA-46 cover

  Assessment Report 0000:

I've arrived at Sword Base Agatha and started my initial analysis of the situation. 60 kilometers across the tooltip: An area of sealed space, this this case prefabricated walls with point defense drones at intervals where no travel is permitted]quarantine zone[/tooltip] is a static anomaly; a circular black void apparently two dimensional a one sided gap in space, 8 kilometers in diameter, suspended 60 kilometers above the surface. Everything within 32 kilometers of the hot zone turn foul. The clear waters of the lake near the epicenter are adrift with reefs of moldering decay as if the void was rotting everything around it with a graduated effect.  
Quarantine Zone:

  During the rainy season personnel have claimed to witness a quivering ghostly spire perceived like the image of a fleeting dream1. Witnesses describe a construction of impossibly beautiful white rock rooted in the ground and piercing up through the mouth of the void and far beyond. Viewers are immediately afflicted with visions for approximately thirty seconds with, three outliers. The affected personnel describe the visions as a rapid-fire slide shows of places, people, sounds, feelings, and knowledge injected into the afflicted party. I have yet to witness this phenomenon for myself, but the claims are consistent with all witnesses.   As of yet we cannot verify the Founders as the craftsmen of the towers. With the discovery of tower 46 that brings the placement pattern and count to ████. We speculate that they are ████. And so are somehow linked to ████.   My own speculation of this phenomenon is these spires act as some sort of anchor, like mooring posts for a dock. Instead of boats they anchor worlds like our own in space time. The worlds beyond the gate appear to be stored memories played back and jumbled like a dream viewed through the mind's eye.   Perhaps the ghostly tower is a dreamer, dreaming of places and peoples the Founders of these constructs wanted to preserve. They may be proof that at some time there was more beyond our skies than the Terminus Rings2 that grant us illumination across the globe.   I do not believe that it is far-fetched to speculate that our world and the reality that we know is not as it should be. Like the worlds seen through the looking glass of the spire. I believe that our world is incomplete.   The Founders artifacts are many and I'm sure they hold all the answers. If we can find more of these, we can glean a deeper understanding of the fabric of our reality and our place in it. Perhaps even reach out to ████.

. . . Transmission end . . .  
    Field report 0002-A:

I deployed drones to the hot zone. Data suggests they are aging at an accelerated rate relative to their proximity to the phenomenon. The systems damage by the erosion phenomenon will not hinder phase 3 assessments. Entering the center of the hot zone reveals a doorway with a thin membrane covering it. The membrane has flat glassy sheen with apparent beveling at the edges. While appearing translucent there is only perfect blackness on the other side of the membrane. Directing drones to pass through the entrance.   Note: The drones IO signal has a 5 second delay at the center.   As a note I will requisition addition drones in case contact is lost. The scuttle system will be armed to prevent possible examination of the drone by outside parties. Can never be too careful.  

Shrouding Tower SCA-46 cover

. . . Transmission end . . .  
    Field report 0009-A:

Remote connection is good. The area around the gate appears to be ████. All parameters are within allowable limits for safe ground team insertion. In the interest of caution, I would like to leave the drones gate-side for a two-week period. I request the destroyer Queen of Ash be contracted to support the additional security measures assigned base side following the discovery of ████.

. . . Transmission end . . .  
    Field report 0042-A:

We are nearing the end of the two week waiting period. My suspicions were well founded. The signal of the drones has been washing in and out over the past few days. The gateway appears to be destabilizing. Video feeds show the world around the drones to be fading, like it is dissolving into nothingness grain by grain. My speculation of a dreamer may be correct. The pathway to these worlds may only be temporary as the dreamer moves on to other visions. I will leave the drones active for another few weeks to confirm the validity of my speculations.

. . . Transmission end . . .  
    Field report 0096-A:

The drones were lost yesterday. The elapsed time from entry to disconnect was ████. I have sent a new set of drones through the gateway. As I thought the environment and skies appear to be completely different from the previous connection. If the connection time is on a consistent pattern I advise a ground team be sent to investigate gate-side as soon as possible to take advantage of the brief operational window.

. . . Transmission end . . .  
    Field report 0004-B:

I am gate-side. I must admit it is difficult to contain myself. I am on unknown world after all! The erosion appears to apply solely to inorganic materials. Blood tests of the forward team display reduced mineral levels. Our gear also displays the same erosion present on the drones. During reconnaissance we encountered ████. We were not expecting this. Fortunately, we were adequately prepared. I advise immediate additional security measures be instituted base-side. I request four tactical heavy-support squads. be prepped for gate-side travel

. . . Transmission end . . .  
    Field report 0038-B:

We are nearing the end of the safe operational period. Srg. Freeder stumbled upon ████ It is the first signs of ████. It may be pushing our luck but I request additional time outside the safe operation period to investigate this finding.

. . . Transmission end . . .  
    Field report 0056-B:

There appears to be some sort of message embedded in this world, reality . . . or whatever this construct is, repeating over and over almost like an SOS. I presume this is a pattern within the mind of the dreamer something important, possibly a message from the founders?

. . . Transmission end . . .  
    Field report 0061-B:

We have encountered ████. We are pulling out but are hard pressed. Advise base-side be placed on Immediate High alter, all hands on deck. Call all available forces! This may be my last transmission. To command: Do not stop the investigation into the anomalies! Whatever may come, this IS a turning point in or history, one we cannot undo! To my daughter ████ I know I haven't been there for you and your mother. I hope you can understand the importance of my work. I haven't said it enough, but this may be my last chance, so let me say it now. I love you with all of my heart, and I'm SO proud of everything you have become. Take care of your mother. Be safe, I know you will weather the coming storm. Everything I do, everything I HAVE done, I do for the betterment of our great nation.

. . . Transmission end . . .  

Purpose / Function

Field report 0017-B:
Unlike the White Halls that connect to our Outsider neighbors. I suspect this doorway connects to worlds that were, or maybe will be.
— Nihlus: Senior Researcher ████


Field report 0023-B:

Observation reveals the forms noted in my assessment and report 2-A. Additional notes about the second form.The arch differs in size, appearance, and material each time the connected world is shifted and depending on the size of the viewer. I suspect a warship would be granted entrance if brought before the doorway.   I am very curious to know if access to the tower itself is possible and what wonderful things it can show us! I can scarcely imagine what it is like inside the body of the dreamer.

— Nihlus: Senior Researcher ████

Communication Traffic Monitor

Unauthorized message unknown recipient. decrypting. . . decrypted:

If only I had known the great and terrible power we would awaken in the mind of the Dreamer. The wondrous things they have shown me, the things we might become!   To think I hesitated at that precipice of unknowable darkness beyond the gate.   I do not regret the path these hands have wrought. It is the only path to salvation and the truth the founders want me to see.

— Nihlus xenos researcher, MIA
Link to Unreal 4 scenario
Link to scenario navigation map
Page Links
Alternative Names
Shrouding Tower, SCA-46, Mirage, Anomaly 46A
Room, Tower, Other

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Elias Redclaw
15 Feb, 2019 14:44

This is a really incredible article! I definitly love the way you detail this article and unfold its events. The formatting could use a bit of work with quotes and usage of apostrophes. Maybe you could use spoiler tags to show redacted information as well. Hope my advice was good though and keep up the great work!

15 Feb, 2019 15:00

Thanks so much for the comment! :) Tried to make it at least a little entertaining to read.   Ya my grammar in life could use love. I haven't toyed with formatting of the articles yet, it's a little fiddly for me. But I'll try and improve to make it more pleasant to read.   Theiket just told me about spoiler tags, or the redacted markup code. But I wanted to leave that information a mystery. As "In world" this is a redacted document with no more information to reveal. But I like the idea. Maybe I'll use it for encrypted media.   Thank you again for your comment and suggestions I'll try and implement them :)

15 Feb, 2019 15:48

This is a very interesting read Val! It gave me shivers and it really got me hooked because of the way you've chosen to write it! :D   If you want there's a formatting code that can give you a black box instead of writing redacted, that could look cool! Other than that it's just the layout you could work on if you feel the need. I would suggest putting a cover photo on here :3

Grab your hammer and go worldbuild! :3
15 Feb, 2019 16:54

Thanks so much for your comment and feedback! Glad is was entertaining.   I'm trying to figure out how to do the formatting thing. Imoen Kim was giving me some pointers so hopefully it will look nice :D   Ya I want to use that redacted formatting, but i'm going to save it for encrypted transmissions. My thought was that this is a doctored public digital transmission so there is no blacked out stuff. But the authorities are not trying to hide the fact that they are concealing information. Is the thought anyway.

Ywan Cooper
15 Feb, 2019 16:01

Well, that really felt like reading a novella. And for that, great job! I especially loved the dreamy side of it, it reminded me of The Dark Tower movie.   I have a question but rather on the English language (which I'm not a native of) than the article itself: is it legit to say "possibly where the nickname "mirage" is derived"? Dropping the "from" at the end looks off, but I might just be totally wrong, so...   As a "literary" feedback, I noticed the stacking of "addition" and "additionnally" in two neighbouring sentences, I'm sure that can be improved. I also believe that "my possibly" and "in or history" are typos?   Finally, I was a little frustrated by all the "redacted" parts. Aren't you afraid this might be a tad too many?

15 Feb, 2019 17:34

Thanks so much for your comment Ywan,   derived or derived from both work.   Thanks I've altered the "additional"s :P   it might be, but it was a style choice. it is a altered account of the event made to be public. The authorities are not trying to hide that information has been removed.

15 Feb, 2019 16:27

The field reports especially give me a serious SCP vibe, which is always awesome. Some of what I suggest may be personal preference and might not work with the style you are going for, but I'll try to be useful anyway.  

60 kilometers across the demilitarized zone
  Some context here could be interesting, at least since the Zone A article is currently inaccessible to me. :) Is it such a big deal that most people in the setting would immediately know what they're talking about?  
rests a static anomaly; a black void carved out of reality itself
  "rests a static anomaly" reads a little strange in what is a military or corporate assessment report, specifically the "rests" part. I would expect something like "is located" or something more corporate-y.  
a black void carved out of reality itself, 8 kilometers in diameter, suspended 60 kilometers above the surface.   -snip-   Those that have seen it describe a construction of impossibly beautiful white rock piercing the void far above and beyond.
  I'm having a little bit of a difficulty envisioning the two parts here: the first makes me think of a big black-ish rip in timespace. Is the tower inside it? Is it both a black void and a white tower? :)  
Everything within 32 kilometers of the hot zone is sand and sun baked dirt. As if the void was eroding everything around it.
  I'd suggest either turning that period into a comma and continuing the sentence, or expanding on it. Right now it just sounds like a desert, but what I think you are going for is more like a land that is gradually being eroded by void-ness.  
Those that have seen it describe a construction
  From something like an assessment report, I would have expected something like "Eye-witness account describe" or something like that. What tone are you going for? A dry, bureaucratic report to a corporate/military superior or more poetic news report-y for the masses?  
With images filling their mind of places and people they have never seen.
  This sentence feels a bit disconnected from the other: consider expanding it a bit and starting it off with something more definitive than "with". Again, depending on the tone of the assessment report, of course :)  
As of yet we cannot verify the Founders of the great towers.
  This line could do with some additional clarification: are there more towers? What do they mean when they refer to "the founders"?  
-Redacted-.We speculate
  Missing a space here :)   Also consider either using the Spoiler to make your redacted sections (even if you leave them empty), or put some more emphasis on them to make them stand out: [REDACTED]  
My own speculation of this phenomenon my possibly be frowned upon
  Do you mean "may"? If so, I would make it more definite: "may be frowned upon" or "unpopular" is even better as a shorter, punchier take on it :)  
However, I believe that these spires act as some sort of anchor, like mooring posts for a dock.
  Ooooh! Very cool take on the idea, of the void-tower things being like moorings. But, you don't need the "However," - I don't think the proceeding sentence necessitates it.   The second paragraph is a little big: I would consider splitting it in two, or maybe make the author's personal observations part of a quote block where they talk a bit more freely about their speculation and ideas about it.  
I believe that our world is incomplete.
  Speculations like that. This is an intriguing line and I look forward to seeing what more you do with this in the rest of the setting. It is something that could be worth hinting about more throughout this article, as well. The idea is fascinating :)   The sentences towards the end of the second sentence are a bit short and choppy; some of them feel like disconnected ideas rather than a flow. "The founders artifacts are many and mysterious." could do with a bit more to make it flow into the rest of the narrative being woven here.   Also, really curious about these light-casting terminus rings.. :D  
Possibly where the nickname mirage is derived.
  Capital M on Mirage if it is a name :D  
with a thin membrane over it.
  As in, biological matter? Artificial?   As an aside, I REALLY enjoy these field report bits. :D  
However, I advise immediate additional security
  You're opening new lines with "however" quite a bit throughout the article: in most cases, I feel that you don't need them. Something to consider, see what you feel like. :)  
mineral levels.Our gear
  Missing a space!  
this world,reality . . . or
  Two of them here. :)   It is already a great article. I know you mentioned this has been released for public reading already, but why would they leave the redacted in for people to see? :)   You could consider using containers/spoilers boxes to hide nuggets of private informations, seeding the article with hints of what people higher up in the command structure might know/fear/think.   Also, images could help break up the long stretches of text: even something like the hazy feed from a drone-cam could do a lot to set the mode and help with readability.   I really enjoyed the read and I am left wondering many things, which is a grand thing. What are they doing now? Are any poor D-Class Personel testing it? Have they unlocked any secret tech or magic due to interacting with it? Are nations going to be fighting to possess.. Or contain.. this?   Awesome work and I look forward to seeing what else you write! :D

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
15 Feb, 2019 17:28

Wow that was a long one, Thank you! I think I've added all your suggestions. Thanks so much for taking the time to write this! <3   I'm glad you enjoyed it. I've got a rough world concept stewing about in my head. Hope i can do it justice.

15 Feb, 2019 19:36

I'm really impressed by the way you build the atmosphere across the sequence of entries here. The concept itself is very interesting; it definitely wasn't what I was expecting when I saw the article was about a tower, but it's pulled off really well.   Who is the article for? In-universe or out, it seems likely that the reader could probably be trusted to know what "redacted" means, so defining it may be a bit superfluous and I definitely think having a superscript attached almost every time you use it is overkill. Maybe if the article is meant to be specifically targeted to people who wouldn't know the word you could have a section where you define niche or technical terms used in the article, that way you can get rid of the superscripts and have an opportunity to define anything else you feel the need to.   This is just an aesthetics issue from my standpoint, but are all the names equally important? I feel like the article would be a bit cleaner if you just put the most common/accurate in the title and reserved the additional ones for the "alternative names" section.

16 Feb, 2019 03:45

Thank you very much, i'm so glad you liked it.   It is an in world digital news paper. Most people ask obvious questions in real life, so I figure a fictional news agency would also try and account for that.   I think you are right, the 0 citation could be removed. I thought it was ugly as well. Removing the extra names would also make things more clear. Thank you for the suggestions, i'll put them in. :)