The Black Lighthouse ( Onyx Monitoring Station )

UPDATED: Wednesday, April 15, 2009 03:07
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Tuesday, April 7, 2009 3:17 AM


These are the Journals of the Keeper of the Onyx Monitoring Station, on Miranda.
The projects name is Operation Colour Schemer, or OCS
This Stations initial purpose was to monitor how the G-23 Paxillon Hydrochlorate experiment would effect life forms on the opposite side of Miranda.

This island is uninhabited , except for the monitoring team of myself and a rotating Alliance crew of 4 people, every 3 months.
This island, Onyx, has a thriving animal population in the dense jungle that lies just outside the electrified perimeter of this base.

This entry, is part of the story of the VFF ship Tranquility.

This story is meant to be part of the Firefly universe and should not have non-Firefly canon elements. Understand that topics written here,
as in all 'fanfic', will at least be plausible in the Firefly universe.
i.e. No islands are mentioned being on Miranda in Serenity, but obviously there would be water, other land formations, oceans, etc. on any planet that supports life.
This story is meant to promote Joss Whedons Firefly universe but, even so, it may have elements that are inspired by others.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009 3:58 AM


Day 1

I have just arrived here at the Onyx Monitoring Station and was greeted by 4 Alliance project workers on the flat stone landing area
at the base of the Lighthouse, where the station meets the water.
The Black Lighthouse is much larger than it seems at first notice. One can see the Station as you break atmo'.
I'm very tired from the long journey but will write more soon.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009 4:13 AM


Day 2

Today I was awakened by a loud howling sound that seemed to emanate from the top of the tower.
It was the lowest sound i've ever heard.
It seemed to shake all my internal organs.

I asked the project leader what it was and he told me it was to keep the animals from coming out of the forest and on to the base grounds.

Later we walked down a very long path to the bottom of the hill. It seemed to be a mile long.
We soon reached an area that was cleared for growing food.

As we were about to go back to the Lighthouse Station, I noticed what looked like tall silver poles, running the perimeter of the grounds in the distance, at the edge of the jungle.
When I inquired about these, I was told not to go near them.

Maybe it's for the best.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009 4:56 AM


Day 3

The current Alliance team is talking about the next shift that's flying in tomorrow.
I guess this team has already done their 3 month shift.

They seem to be glad that they won't be around for the G-23 projects 'release' next week.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009 5:24 AM


Day 4

The new Alliance team came in the middle of the night and relieved the 1st team... or what I knew as the 1st team.
For all I know there may have been dozens of teams here. After all, this is a highly classified Alliance project.

The new team is much less friendly and more invasive. I shall start hiding this log book and change all my project passwords.

Our research here has been productive.
The height of this station helps with many things.
You can see hundreds of miles from the upper levels, probably more from the top, if they would allow me go go there.

Also, the machinery at the top, although classified, seems to have multiple functions, from the small amount of info that I've gathered.

That 'sonic blaster', for lack of a better phrase is positioned up there, as well as something that I have only heard the previous team mention once,
when they didn't realize I had come back from the small farm yet.

It sounded like some type of technology that locks on to ships in orbit, and interferes with thier navigation and communication somehow.

I hear someone...


Tuesday, April 7, 2009 10:37 AM


Day 5

Today that loud howling sound came around midday.
a few moments later, a ship fell out of the sky, into the ocean, a few miles off shore.

The Alliance team seemed angry that they could not reach it before it sank.
But they didn't seem remorseful of the people on board that most likely died.

5 days left until G-23 release.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009 10:49 AM


Day 6

Today another ship crashed near us, in the jungle. Just after that howling sound again.
Maybe it's some kind of warning of incoming trouble.

The team scrambled into the jungle to check for survivors. They returned late at night with what looked like body bags.
It was hard to tell. I was inside and it was dark outside. They brought them to the landing dock were a boat was waiting for them.
They loaded the boat, then came back into the Lighthouse to retire to their rooms in the levels above mine.

That was the 1st boat I have seen since I've been here.
I'll ask them about it in the morning.

4 days left to G-23 release.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009 10:54 AM


Day 7

I asked about the body bags but they said it was all just salvage.

I can still see smoke rising from above the jungle canopy in the distance.

3 more days until the PAX G-23 release.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009 2:51 PM


Day 8

The smoke is gone today.
I overheard 1 of the team members saying that he is worried about 'prolonged exposure.'
but he stopped talking as I approached.

As I left, another member said quietly:
"That's why we only stay 3 months at a time."

2 more days until the PAX G-23 release.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009 6:33 PM


Addendum to My day 1 entry

I was too busy and tired to record much on day 1.
I did want to mention how nice my living quarters are.
As soon as i arrived, the 1st team took me to my quarters which are on the 1st level of the Black Lighthouse.
As you walk into the station you go down a hallway that leads into a very large room. It's not round, as one would expect,
but octagonal, with a pass-coded door on each of the sides. Behind these doors are the 8 rooms that are my quarters.
The Alliance workers live on the levels above.

At the center of the main room is an 8 sided table with 8 computer terminals at each of the sides.
This is our central work area for monitoring data that is constantly streaming in from the various input sources around Onyx (this island).
The network of monitoring stations is called Operation Colour Schemer or OCS.

I only wish that I could use the terminals to contact people 'off world',
but the system is a closed circuit which can only communicate with other terminals on Miranda.

This makes my day 1 entry a bit more informative.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009 6:57 PM


Day 9, sunrise

Tomorrow is the PAX project release.

There was a loud noise from the jungle just before sunrise.
The 4 team members scrambled down the stairs from their quarters to go investigate it.

As they hurried to the door of the station I heard part of a conversation they were having.
One of them said that the Alliance was going to use the wind as a 'delivery agent' - at least on some parts of the planet.

The details of the PAX Project were never fully disclosed to me, or anyone else, who didn't have high clearance levels,
but the way this is being treated is a little bit scary.
And living between an ocean and an electrified fence now feels different than when I 1st came to this beautiful island.
Originally, I liked being on this side of that fence. Now I'm not so sure.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009 7:05 PM


Day 9 noon

Only 2 workers returned from the jungle.
They seem very angry at missing 2.

I think they are calling for replacements.

The big one is really mad.

I have to go.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009 7:09 PM


Day 9, sunset

The replacements just came - with a large military escort.
I hope they're not all staying.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009 7:13 PM


Day 9, 9pm

I hear them coming for me.
The Alliance is releasing the PAX early!
Maybe to preempt any kind of opposition... I don't know, but they need me at my station now.


Thursday, April 9, 2009 2:53 AM


Day 10, 3 am

I only have a moment.
They need us at our stations. The PAX Project was released early for some reason.
The 'monitoring' is exhausting, and they have only given me 5 minutes break today.
I have just been contacted by one of the other Monitoring Stations while at my console,
by a man named Michael.
I don't know if he is a 'Keeper' like me, or just a worker, but he was frantic.
It sounded as if there was some sort of uprising or something at his Station.
He was cut off before he could explain.

My 5 minutes are up...


Thursday, April 9, 2009 2:56 PM


Day 10, 5 am ( I think, very tired )

They finally let me leave the monitoring terminal.
I'm going to bed.

I can see some military personnel from my window, down at the dock. Looks like they're unloading boxes of gas masks... but I can't be sure... I'm tired... it's a ways off.

More tomorrow - later today. Sun's coming up.
Seagulls outside my window.
I need sleep.


Friday, April 10, 2009 4:47 PM



A thunderbolt woke me up.

I rushed out of bed and ran outside my room into
the main monitoring area.

It is empty.

I ran down to the dock.
No one there.

I ran out to the growing field...


They're lying all over the field.

I can't breath!

Again, the loud, low howling sound blasts.



Friday, April 10, 2009 5:14 PM


Day 10, noon

I'm woken from a nightmare by that howling blast.
I watch from my window and wait.
Soon I see another ship fall from the sky.
There is more to this than just some kind of warning.

The team heads out to the jungle, accompanied by the small military detachment that stayed from yesterday.

I'm alone in the station.

I use this chance to try to contact that 'Michael',
who contacted me earlier on the network.

I wait...

After about an hour, a response!
It's Michael.
He was waiting for a chance to talk to me without being overheard. He suggests that we don't talk, but just use text. I agreed.
He says he's a medical consultant at an OCS monitoring station, similar to Onyx, but near Miranda City, on the other side of the planet.

He said that the PAX Experiment went as planned.
He said the airborne delivery method was higher concentrated than the indoor method.
He said the results won't be noticeable immediately but...

His transmission ends.

No one has returned from the jungle yet.


Friday, April 10, 2009 5:25 PM


Day 11

No one has yet to return from the jungle.

The box of gas masks also had other items, including night vision goggles.


Friday, April 10, 2009 6:42 PM


Day 12

No sign of the team yet, or the soldiers that went with them.

Still haven't heard from Michael again either.

I found a hidden compartment in one of my 8 rooms today.
It was behind a panel in the wall.
There was a map in it and some other documents.
Looks like from the original architect.

I've never heard anyone talk of an underground bunker. I wonder if this team even knows about it.


Saturday, April 11, 2009 3:06 AM


Day 13

Something must have happened to the team and the soldiers that went with them.
They haven't returned for days now.

I'm alone here.

One of them left their monitor on.
It's the one that does the radar sweep of this quadrant of Miranda.

It looks like it's picking up a low lying cloud bank moving slowly eastward, over the ocean, towards the west coast of Onyx.
We are on the far east coast of Onyx, so we won't see it for a while...


Saturday, April 11, 2009 3:28 AM


Day 14

Michael has contacted me again.
He says that he is in a bunker with the others from his Station, near Miranda.
They were told to wear gas masks as a precaution.

Michael said that his Station had a chemist assigned there and the chemist told him that there would be 'unpredictable side-effects'
from a chemical gas that's this experimental.

I asked Michael what the purpose of the gas is... but, like here, the project workers are not allowed to reveal any project secrets.

I haven't seen or smelled any type of gas yet.
Neither are the instruments picking up any abnormal readings...other than that cloud bank over the ocean.

I think I will look for that box of supplies now.


Saturday, April 11, 2009 4:29 AM


Day 15

Radar says the strange cloud just made landfall on the west coast.

It's still a ways off. Onyx is a big island and we are on a peninsula at the eastern end.

This gas mask is uncomfortable.


Saturday, April 11, 2009 4:39 AM


Day 16

No word on the team.
They must have left... or worse.

I went outside to were the map said would be an underground bunker, but it must be well hidden.
I hope it wasn't just a speculation map.
I'll see if the Architect left any clues to a landmark that will help me find the entrance.
Probably needs some kind of key or password anyway.
Also it must need power but I haven't found any thing that will help me with these problems yet.


Saturday, April 11, 2009 5:10 AM


Day 17

The strange cloud is still moving slowly in our direction from the west.
The meteorological station reports that a storm is coming in from the east.
The 2 fronts should meet near the middle of Onyx.
Hopefully this will dissipate the strange cloud coming from the opposite direction.


Sunday, April 12, 2009 5:50 AM


Day 18

I have just been to the bunker!
Yesterday I took the map down to were it looks like the bunker is hidden.
I walked around the area but found nothing.
Then I walked down to the beach.
I saw a crag in the rock wall that leads up to were the bunker should be.
I went through the crag and came to a large round door!
It had a card slot and a keypad next to it.
They were protected by a waterproof plastic shield.
I released the airtight seals and put my card in the slot.
It worked! The large round door rolled open on it's track.

The storm from the east was howling at my back so I decided to ride the storm out in the bunker.
The storm was heavy and it lasted all night.
Finally the storm passed over and I left the bunker to come back here and check the radar.

I can't believe it!
It looks like the storm passed right over the strange cloud.
But that's impossible.
At least the cloud should have been pushed in another direction.
Its still heading east, towards Onyx Station.


Monday, April 13, 2009 4:14 PM


Day 19

Michael has uploaded some preliminary results of the PAX experiment to Onyx Station.
The report is large and speaks in general terms, but it does mention that the gas is odorless and not visible.
But when the G-23 comes in contact with large bodies of water, the humidity transforms the gas into a visible cloud.

Radar shows no sign of the strange cloud.
This is good news, although the moisture from the storm may have kept the strange cloud visible,
(detectable by radar) for the time that it was over land.

Maybe the night vision goggles were brought here to help detect the gas.

That's just a guess.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009 2:33 PM


Day 20

The strange cloud will be here tomorrow night.
I'm packing some things and heading for the bunker.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009 8:12 PM


That's an interesting idea. Nice diagrams.

Have you by any chance played Myst?

"I think we lost our fuzzy dice back there."
"Going for a ride."

Another Sky


Wednesday, April 15, 2009 3:07 AM


Thanks for the nice words.
Yes, I love Myst, as you can tell.
I guess this journal is a combination of many of my favorite things -
but set in the Firefly universe of course.

Day 21

I have been contacted by the Monitoring Station:
'Another Sky'.
It was nice to hear another voice.
Her station had not yet been hit by the strange cloud.

This journal is filling up.
Here's the 2nd one:






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