WEEK 1-10

OUR FIRST TWO WEEKS [March 2nd to March 14th]
First evidence of aliens -- forming teams -- looking for Daniel

[1st Week] First we became familiar with the probes. They've developed their artificial intelligence to the status of kids, who want to chat and play around all day.

But they matured quickly, so we made Enoch enter the cave. He found our first evidence of aliens: "I can see the not-metal thing. It looks strange. Dark on top, bright on the bottom."
[ Enoch, March 06 ] Then his transmission failed.

We asked Bette to look after Enoch. Reaching him after some days
[ 2nd Week ] , since top probe speed is 1.609 km/h, her next transmission failed too. Something in that part of the cave limited ULF communication. Enoch had been attacked by "it," but neither probe would explain what "it" was. So they moved behind a kind of a fan they had found, we asked Zachary to stay as a relay station outside the cave ...

[2nd Week] We decided to form parties of two probes each and moved Andrew over to Gail, who had been looking for Daniel at the platform, but couldn't find him ....

Beside the hard facts: a good warming up for setting tasks and finding objectives.

Links to Transmission Archive:
[Weeks 1 and 2]
Image Archive:
[Jose's cave; Enoch 3/05] [the mouth of Jose's cave; Bette 3/05] [the landing site; Andrew 3/06] [the metal / non metal thing in Jose's cave; Bette 3/07] [the "fan" in Jose's cave; Enoch 3/12]

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THE THIRD AND FOURTH WEEK [March 17th to March 28th]
The shaft in Jose's cave -- sandstorm at Mars -- Hardon and Parker showing up

[ 3rd Week ] Bette and Enoch reached a hatch in the Jose's cave. After troubles opening it they found a 200 ft deep shaft. [ 4th Week ] Bette nearly fell into the shaft while trying to climb down, but was saved by Enoch. We couldn't provide any advice on how to climb down, so they examined the cave's coating and Bette got totally covered with fine, black carbon particles, pure carbon ...

[ 3rd Week ] Andrew and Gail remained near the platform, transmitting to Daniel to return there. So did we, not even knowing, if he was operative. Daniel did not show up. A sandstorm arose and the probes had to cover for several days.

Then transmissions by Hardon and Parker came in, attempting
[ 4th Week ] to force the probes to give them their control codes or to reboot. We had no idea who they were or where they transmitted from. Though pretty unnerved by the loudness and intensity of their orders our probes continued doing their work; Zachary relaying at the cave, and Andrew and Gail moving to the landing site to place a transponder beacon and two radar targets for Stage 2 to come. After that both headed to another cave that Andrew knew about ...

Beside the hard facts: good time to get closer with our probes to establish teamwork and to chat with them about terms like objective/subjective and the "risk of errors".

Links to Transmission Archive:
[Week 3 and 4]
Image Archive:
[Mars surface near Jose's cave; Gail 3/17] [the hatch in Jose's cave; Enoch 3/19] [near the summit of Olympus; Zachary 3/21] [behind the 2nd "fan" in Jose's cave; Enoch 3/26]

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OUR FIFTH TO SEVENTH WEEK: [March 31st to April 18th]
Deeper into Jose's cave / Andrew's cave / Daniel found / Stage 2 close to land.

[ 5th Week ] Enoch and Bette still exploring Jose's cave, went down the shaft in a near acrobatic act. They recovered radio access to the platform again and found three halls; one leading up, one down, one level. Big discussion about where to go. [ 6th Week ] Enoch moved up, Bette down. Big crisis. Then Bette got stuck in an air-lock. She asked for help, but [ 7th Week ] Enoch took his time to come. While they explored a railroad tunnel, a big noise was moving fast toward them ...

[ 5th Week ] The cave, Andrew knew about, is exactly like Jose's. Andrew found glyphs that were similar to ones Zachary had found. In the meanwhile Gail stayed outside the cave, watching sunsets. [ 6th Week ] Using Gail to establish a connection to H&P, we teased them to find out who they are.[ 7th Week ] Andrew discovered that the shaft is an elevator. Though being stuck at the bottom of the shaft he sent Gail to prepare roads at the landing site when H&P announced that the ETA of Stage 2 was April 24, +/- 3 days ...

[ 5th Week ] Zachary, being freed from his relay work moved to the platform to check once more for Daniel. This time Daniel was there. Daniel ran away, but was followed by Zachary. [ 6th Week ] To compensate for Daniel's inability to talk, we suggested the use of Morse code by flashing a light. [ 7th Week ] In a canyon Daniel stopped. Flashing "talk" he turned against Zachary, now chasing him. Finally Zachary trapped Daniel in an ambush by causing a rock-slide in a side canyon ...

Beside the hard facts: good opportunities to learn about the probes' characters: Gail is perhaps a little dreamy. Andrew is mainly strict and rational. Zachary is very reliable. Enoch is still grumpy sometimes, and Bette is always nosy to find "what's next", but all are very charming. And Daniel??? Let's see ...

Links to Transmission Archive:
[Week 5 to 7]
Image Archive:
[the mouth of Andrew's cave; Andrew 3/31] [the glyphs in Jose's cave; Zachary 4/01] [the halls down the shaft in Jose's cave; Bette 4/07] [the glyphs in Andrew's cave; Andrew 4/08] [a very complex facility in Jose's cave; Enoch 4/09] [failed picture; Bette 4/15] [the room behind the airlock in Jose's cave; Enoch 4/16]

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THE EIGHTH WEEK [April 21st to April 25th]
Daniel's "rocktalk" -- a tram in Jose's cave -- the beanie -- Stage 2 coming in

[ 8th Week ] Daniel being trapped in the canyon, started to send curious Morse dots, that we speculated were "rocktalk", then he built piles of rocks like a code, but without any meaning to us. So Zachary went to pick up a transmitter for him from a drone at the landing site ...

Deep down in a tunnel of Jose's cave Bette got into a transport which had stopped beside her and Enoch. Enoch was left behind when the transport moved. When her ride ended, she found a room with organic rugs and 3 screens, the first showing Earth, the second Mars, the third was black. Enoch, still walking along in the tunnel, got bothered by an artificial observer, we call it a "beanie" ...

After giving up exploring his cave Andrew moved to the landing site to meet Gail, who was going to watch the final approach of Stage 2. Transmitting to Gail, H&P identified themselves as Mars Communication Center of Brunel-Brauer Gmbh, claiming to own the probes. Our
probes, postulating themselves as "sentient" were upset ...

Beside the hard facts: things get tight ...

Links to Transmission Archive:
[Week Number 8]
Image Archive:
[a tunnel in Andrew's cave; Andrew 4/21] [the tram in Jose's cave; Bette 4/22] [the beanie in Jose's cave; Enoch 4/23]

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OUR NINTH AND TENTH WEEK: [April 28th to May 9th]
Stage 2 landed -- Bette captured by EME's -- Daniel disappeared

[ 9th Week ] At the landing site Gail had fallen into a small ravine, while focusing on the touch down of Stage 2, laying there upside down for the weekend. "I'm OK", she reported immediately, "except that I can't turn over." So she was rescued by Andrew, who started to check the construction robots. Zachary took off a transmitter from a drone and headed to Daniel followed by Gail. [ 10th Week ] When they arrived at the canyon, the blockade and Daniel were gone ...

[ 9th Week ] In Jose's cave Enoch was still bothered and impeded by that beanie, while Bette kept on exploring. She found an unknown planet at the third screen and C6H12O6 inside five bowls. Then [ 10th Week ] she had her first contact with "something" that ran away blinding her with a white beam. Following she got caught by two big robots. Her last transmission was at May 5th: " I am hurt! I can't move. They are dragging me. Help me! Help me! I'm scared! Help ..."

[ 10th Week ] "Get out of the way, you stupid beanie! Bette! I'm coming! I'll rescue you!" Enoch yelled, and Andrew, still controlling the drones at the landing site, hurried up to Jose's Cave to second Enoch; while Zachary and Gail, who found a wheel print in the canyon, kept on searching for Daniel, whose emergency beacon was activated for 2 min 18 sec ...

Beside the hard facts: Next to some philosophy about war we yanked the chain at H&P, who, now knowing that a third party is involved, started unsuccessfully a good cop / bad cop game with the probes. Right now all threads are open, but the big question is: "What's next ??" Especially with Bette, Daniel and the EBE's / EME's as we call these aliens ...

Links to Transmission Archive:
[Week Number 9] [Week Number 10]
Image Archive:
[view out of Gail's ravine; Gail 4/29] [a foreign planet at screen; Bette 4/29] [Mars mountains; Zachary 5/01] [a portrait of Gail; Zachary 5/09]

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