Terminator Chaser: The lost emails

These emails were rescued from the source file; they are the original way the story was told. This has changed dramatically in later revisions of [Terminator Chaser](/if/terminator/index.html), leaving the emails essentially dead in the water. A lot of this material is no longer relevant to the game, and a lot of it is heavily spoilery, but most of it gives some insight into who the cast of characters was at that stage of development, and what they were like.

I’ve edited away the least interesting ones, particularly ones that only existed to clue the player into gameplay related stuff.

FROM: rayland@localsite
TO: ainsley@localsite
Sol 43 / Cycle 86

As I told you on last cycle’s meeting, you’ve been randomly selected for shutdown detail this sol. Random selection of personnel for shutdown detail is a policy you pushed for, so please don’t come complaining to me when it impacts you; you know that otherwise we’d be letting the new guy do it.

Anyway, you know the drill (ha), but I’m required to give you the shutdown checklist:

  • Close all exposed shutters.
  • Retract and disable the communications array.
  • Retrieve the mining rover and store it in its garage.
  • Close the mining garage.
  • Set life support to dormancy mode.
  • Set the fusion reactor to low power mode.
  • Leave the site in the remaining transit rover.
  • Close the garage door behind you remotely from the rover.

Remember, while we’re preparing the next site you only have 4 standard hours before the terminator gets too close to the site, so please get all items on the checklist done in a timely fashion & get out. As your contract states, failing to perform the shutdown procedure correctly means damage to company property, which would justify terminating your employment.


Rayland Wilt
Mining Operations Manager, Wysham-Yamano

FROM: kim@localsite
TO: ainsley@localsite
CC: eric@localsite, jo@localsite
Sol 43 / Cycle 83

Hey Ainsley, any news on scheduling the post-mortem meet for this sol? Next sol is a contract renewal and I have some grievances’ to bring up with mgmt. I know you’re overworked but so are all of us & you are the rep.

Cheers, Kim

PS: Rayland, I know you read these emails and you know that’s a breach of employee privacy, so kindly stop before someone sues the company over it.

FROM: rayland@localsite
TO ainsley@localsite
Sol 43 / Cycle 3

Ainsley,

Your opposition to company plans w/r/t permanent Mercury settlement has been noted, and we assure you that everything is being cared for through proper channels via the Union. I want to reassure you that your present work assignment to a smaller site has nothing to do with labour relations issues, contrary to what you may think. We do hope you will take your time at site 43 as an opportunity to rethink when and how it is appropriate to share your opinions or concerns with your co-workers.


Rayland Wilt
Mining Operations Manager, Wysham-Yamano

FROM: mspector@mmunion.hg
TO: akepler@mmunion.hg
Sol 43 / Cycle 5

Ainsley,

You had to expect the company to respond. You were making too much noise for them; did you actually bring up strikes to halt the colonisation plan? Anyway, it’s really not your fault, but you have to be careful. W-Y is getting sick of paying for people’s tickets home. I say screw them, but then again I’m not at risk of being shipped off to some dead-end assignment, like you and the people you’ve been trying to convince. Maybe you should take a sol off, work with the union full-time. Yeah, I know, you need the money, but consider it.

– Marsha

FROM: jo@localsite
TO: kim@localsite
Sol 43 / Cycle 86

Kim, you asked for a reminder in your email so here’s a reminder: Stop taking things from the tool cabinet without putting them back or notifying me.

FROM: kim@localsite TO: jo@localsite Sol 43 / Cycle 87

actually nevermind. rayland has your torch. idk why, ask him (if you care that much).

FROM: grstross@wyshamyamano.hg
TO: jgresham@wyshamyamano.hg,fnakamura@wyshamyamano.hg,
tkessler@wyshamyamano.hg, nklein@wyshamyamano.hg, rwilt@wyshamyamano.hg
Sol 43 / Cycle 78

Team, I know the last couple of sols have been difficult. I realise that our major selling point to Corporate is that we can drive labor costs on Mercury way down, and I know this hasn’t happened. I just want you all to know that I’ve been working behind the scenes to ensure labor relations will see steady improvement in upcoming sols. I realise you all have to think about your careers, but leaving now would be a grave mistake. If you like, ask Rayland or Tobler; they’ve been instrumental in setting things up.

PS: Rayland, your mining period at site 43 is almost up. Let me know if you have problems with shutdown.


Gerhard Stross
Director of Operations for Mercury, Wysham-Yamano

FROM: mspector@mmunion.hg
TO: akepler@mmunion.hg
Sol 43 / Cycle 78

Ainsley,

I hope you’ll consider taking that sabbatical we’ve been talking about and coming to Caloris for a while. You’ve done amazing work for us but we need someone to help organise here at home, not on the trail’ at the mining sites. Besides, the company isn’t going to make your life pleasant; you know they like to fuck with organisers, no matter what the press releases end up saying, and it’s only going to get worse after the last two sols. At least promise me you’ll think about it?

– Marsha

FROM: gstross@wyshamyamano.hg
TO: investorlist@wyshamyamano.sol
CC: rwilt@wyshamyamano.hg
Standard date 12-08-54 / Sol 43 / Cycle 80

A lot of stakeholders have sent inquiries to the Mercury office about the future prospects of Mercury mining operations. With the price of key commodities (Iron, titanium, nickel) rising and recent underperformance, it’s become imperative to reassure the investor community that Wysham-Yamano’s continued support of mining on Mercury isn’t just throwing good money after bad. I want to dispel the two biggest myth about Mercury and explain the competitive advantages that keep us operating here.

Myth: Mercury mining is less cost-effective than Belt mining. Fact: While in a strictly physical sense, Mercury mining has a higher energy overhead, given the high delta-v budget involved in delivering materials and personnel, Mercury is if anything more cost-effective once all costs are factored in. Labour costs in the Belt are spiralling out of control, and the regulatory environment requires that asteroids be claimed’ at extreme expense by planting at least one employee on them, regardless of whether operations have begun yet. This turns out to be costly, especially once you consider that the Belt Mining Guild has a standard contract that requires absurdities such as isolation pay’ for workers who are on claim duty, doing nothing at all. Mercury, precisely because of the perception that it is worthless, was granted to W-Y as an exclusive lease by the Solar Development Organisation. This gives us a much better negotiating position against the Hermean Miner’s Union. There are other factors at play that I cannot publically discuss yet, but I have strong reason to believe that the Mercury workforce is subject to a wage and benefits freeze in the near to mid term. And once permanent colonisation is underway, labour costs should experience an unprecedented drop as we are no longer ferrying workers to and from Earth, and can rely on a local labour force with a lesser negotiating position.

As Belt labour costs grow out of control, this should give Mercury mining outfits a substantial competitive advantage, especially given that we are the only one. We will eventually be in a position to undercut the Belt companies, but only a little, pocketing most of the savings.


Gerhard Stross
Director of Operations for Mercury, Wysham-Yamano