Nautilus City investigation
Editors Note: On Friday, 17 October 2008, at 7 pm SLT, about eighty new regions suddenly erupted from the Void in the area formerly known as the Nautilus Lacuna. This unplanned manifestation mystified residents of South Nautilus and land management Lindens alike. I was asked to investigate, and this represents my hasty collage of evidence. I will stress that there does not appear to be any danger to either Nautilus residents or the Grid itself. The new lands, though full of wonders and apparently well maintained, are unpopulated. This island is now called Nautilus City.
The Nautilus Lacuna
Land management Lindens have long acknowledged the odd gap in South Nautilus. The Nautilus and Satori continents link on the west with water Regions. For rest of the border, everywhere east of Pan Suong and Giranzo, there was only the Uncrossable. The Void separating the two continents is only two Regions thick for most of the length, raising questions as to why the intervening Ocean Regions were not rezzed. Jack Linden replied "Well that's just it -- we believed that we *had* gridded the open spaces between Nautilus and Satori. All our instruments showed that the Nautilus Lacuna was filled, but we could never teleport there, and nothing ever showed on the map."
I asked how this could be, and Jack admitted it was beyond him, but he pointed me toward the one Linden who might have the answers.
Jack spoke of Magellan Linden, the famed explorer whose footprints were the first to grace most of the known continents of Second Life. Magellan discovered Nova Albion, Heterocera, Gaeta, and he first explored all the other continents. For those unfamiliar with Magellan's legacy you might want to check out:
- His blog posts on the discovery of Heterocera and the original Moth people culture
- A short bio.
- Another bio.
- Recent activity over the discovery of Gaeta and the crash of his airship. There's a picture of his airship inside the Bay City mooring mast.
- Magellan and Gaeta Some pictures from Magellan's voyage of discover to Gaeta.
Magellan Linden's desk was unoccupied, of course -- he's never spent much time there, nor indeed made any effort to be reachable by his fellow Lindens. On the desk lay a weathered map. Opposite corners of the map's curling edges had been weighted down on one side with a bottle of single malt scotch, and on the other a box of thickly-rolled Havanas. The map shows an island whose shape matches the landmass revealed in the heart of the Nautilus Lacuna. The map appears to be several centuries old, though several food stains attest to more recent use. A scanned and 'shopped image of the map appears below.
Magellan was unreachable though any means, inworld or out. Podmate Michael Linden noted that "Mag hasn't been around much in the last few months. He's been hanging out with the Moles, as far as I know. I'm sure he's behind all this. I'd check with the Moles."
"You built him a *what*?"
I went inworld and IM'ed the LDPW group. A couple of moles were on, and responded cryptically to my questions about Magellan Linden's whereabouts or activities. "We don't know where he took the Mole Tank," one little furry said before being shushed (yes, "shushed" in group chat). "Mole Tank?" I asked.
Eventually the Moles informed me that they had constructed an odd vehicle, made to Magellan's specs. This "Mole Tank" is some kind of armored, boring, submarine -- or so I gathered. They didn't know (or wouldn't say) what Magellan intended for this vehicle. They did note, however, that they gave the vehicle trans-Void capability. Like Magellan's famous suit itself, this vehicle could exist in both Second Life and the Void.
Magellan's flash drive
Michael then provided the next clue. He brought me back to his pod of desks and pointed to Magellan's Mac. There, sticking out of the side of the laptop, was a USB flash stick hand labeled "Helmet Cam". Sadly, only one salient video file remained. The rest had been recorded over with something more recent: Magellan at home, wearing his primitar suit and drunk IM'ing various Linden alts with deprecations and curses.
Below you can see several stills from the one remaining segment. I offer these to you with only the most modest of explanation, so that you may form your own opinions. Where appropriate I detail what I can make out of the audio track.
The segment starts with the suit apparently prone on the floor of an unknown interior space. Audio indicates that Magellan is inside as he can be heard breathing and making other, um, biological noises. He gradually stands, offering up confused and unintelligible mutterings on the audio.
The interior space has some kind of door, which opens to reveal the outside. The cant of the land seems to indicate that the floor of the interior space is pitched at an odd angle. Magellan rights himself, moves to the door and steps outside.
The view outside shows a wide canal, stone lined, flowing through a land with some low buildings on the far bank. I cannot confirm the location, though the map view of Nautilus City does show a long canal leading to a central circular bay. I leave it to the reader to determine if this is correct.
A final bit of evidence came from the GTeam. A resident (name withheld) filed an Abuse Report against Magellan a while ago, and included a chat log.
Resident: Excuse me, but could I ask you please to move?
Resident: I mean, with that huge suit you're wearing, it's hard for people to walk around you in here.
Magellan: Hush, woman! I'm in three different IMs and they're all more important than you.
Resident: But this is my art gallery. People are here for the opening party.
Magellan: Just tow it out to Weiland or Shenning. I'll board it there, head south.
Magellan: Damn it!
Resident: What did I do? Tow what?
Magellan: No, some arty-farty cow is making noise and confusing me.
Magellan: Damn it again!
Resident: Hey, wait, are you talking about me?
Lastly, I was just contacted by a resident who claims to have "evidence" relating to both Magellan Linden and the appearance of Nautilus City. He says he won't meet with me directly. Instead I have to create a new alt and go to a certain meeting place tonight. He says, "The deals off if my sensor script smells a Linden anywhere on the sim." I'm not sure what he means, as he hadn't previously mentioned any "deal", but I'll go anyway. Hopefully I'll have more to report after the meeting.
I’ve established four Rez Zones for boaters around the Nautilus island; they each have a blue mooring bouy in them. One at the eastern end of the canal, one at the smaller island off the south shore, one in the outer harbor area, and one on the northern side, in the “notch” below the citadel wall. I guess the ancient Nautilonians … Nautiloids? … Residents didn’t need Rez Zones. Anyhow, the bouys aren't particularly ancient! -- Michael Linden
One of the LDPW Moles (name withheld) shared the following photos with me. These are two views of the Mole Tank, the special vehicle built for Magellan Linden by the Moles. I include them here to help identify any tracks, tunnels, or wreckage that may be found.
The above shot shows the Mole Tank stowed on a barge and apparently ready for deploy. Location is unspecified.
This shows an interior view of the Mole Tank as it underwent pre-launch testing.
Magellan has still not surfaced, though evidence of his presence has been discovered in the new Nautilus City.
As alluded to earlier, I was approached by a resident who was manifesting as an obvious alt (account created yesterday). The resident, Elcano Swashbuckler, offered information on the appearance of the new lands below the Nautilean continent and the connection to Magellan Linden. Elcano seemed exceedingly paranoid, and had several requirements for our meeting. Both of us would show up in alts, no Lindens allowed anywhere on the region (so no god powers?), and he said that he would run all his chat messages through a translator twice, so as to hide any telltale phrasing which might give away his identity (?!). Here is our chat log:
You: Nice to meet you, Elcano. You said you have evidence about Magellan's activities in the new Nautilus island?
Elcano Swashbuckler: Yes, I am in the semi-Magellan. I've been there, when the island is called NOCHIRASUSHITI was discovered.
You: Uh, um, did Magellan discover Nautilus City?
Elcano Swashbuckler: Of course, you fool! That's what I said is. I found it here in the city of the MAZERANNOCHIRASU.
Elcano Swashbuckler: I do not know - the only annoying to the translator. I "" meaning the city of Nautilus. Anyway, I have the pictures.
Elcano Swashbuckler: I believe that these new areas of Magellan Linden discovered the true picture is called NOCHIRASUSHITI prove.
You: huh? You have pictures? May I see them?
Elcano Swashbuckler: Sure, I will send them through. Here you go. So I thought, Magellan is in trouble gridding for the lost city?
You: Magellan is in danger?
Elcano Swashbuckler: No, damn it, it is Magellan will face charges when you find it?
You: Face charges? What for?
Elcano Swashbuckler: To disable the invisible shield, you jerk! Eighty to cause new areas suddenly appear.
You: Invisible shield...?
Elcano Swashbuckler: Nautilus City on the island, protected by a transparent shield said. Since ancient times. Magellan's shield to figure out the secret, these areas now, all that you can take it down, using his legendary skills.
You: Protected? The city was protected by a transpar--- by an invisibility shield? That's why we thought it was still ungridded Void?
Elcano Swashbuckler: Yes. No one did not have idea, with the exception of the great Magellan. He came to the place where the lost city of three hundred years old maps.
You: Maps.. yeah, I found an old map on Magellan's desk.
Elcano Swashbuckler: You rummaged through Magellan table! You are the evil pig! You steal one of his cigars? If you have you shall have it.
You: Easy, now. I'm just trying to understand what occurred. Do you know the fate of the original inhabitants of Nautilus City?
Elcano Swashbuckler: I have no idea. Maybe they left, perhaps some strange disease, perhaps they are all still there. In any case, whatever happened there happened centuries ago. The crystals kept in place and ready to drive.
I was unable to get further useful information out of Elcano. I present the photos he showed me below.