Day 37: Loops

Day 37:

I said I was going to dig all day and I did. Wore out a number of my tools, too, so I know what I’m doing tomorrow.

I hit a huge vein of ore  (I think I mentioned that the other day), but I didn’t realize how huge. It’s big enough I’ve been digging for 14 hours and it’s still going. For a while it was swerving off my chosen course of “toward the mountain” but then the entire vein swerved back toward the mountain, so I’m good there.

I’m sore. I’m tired. I’m running out of tools and seriously missing my mining laser. But I feel a lot more accomplished today than I did when I was repairing things other creatures broke.

It takes a special kind of person to fix things that other people break, especially when it happens over and over and over again. I was always kind of impressed that the ship’s mechanic, Marvin, didn’t just beat me over the head with my laser mining pistol after the third or fourth time I held it too close to the wall and half-melted its firing mechanism.

Marvin was pretty awesome.

Marvin was actually his last name – his first name was like Hinkley or Reginald or something horrible that had been passed through the generations, so we all called him Marvin.

He was about two meters tall, sandy hair that was thinning at the edges and showing a bit of grey at the ears, stormy grey eyes but a smile that lit up the room. He spent most of his time laughing. He loved a challenge, loved to see what horrible ways we’d broken the equipment this time, and almost always could fab something out of the fabricator to repair whatever we’d done.

One time when I was snooping around his workshop waiting for him to finish a job for me, I looked him up on the versnet. Turned out he was the top contributor to the MakerBotVers network for repair and upgrade instructions in like the whole universe. Or at least the part of the universe that uses versnet.

He was like everything my dad wasn’t when it came to life: handy, friendly, laughing, willing to share what he knew with others…


Dug a lot of holes. Need some sleep. Will probably do the same tomorrow.

Sketch of broken shovels. Two have broken heads, one has a handle split in half lengthwise (down the shaft) and the other is split in half widthwise (snapped). labeled "broken shovels"
The shovel where the handle split straight down the center gave me so many splinters.

Day 36: Fried carrots.

Day 36:

All I’m going to say about today is that it hadn’t been my plan to double the size of the carrot bed…. until two (TWO!) giraffe corgis jumped me at the fence line and blew a giant hole in the bedrock so I didn’t have to.

If you’re going to fill in a crater and rebuild a fence anyway, might as well plant more crops I guess.

To heck with this noise; tomorrow I’m going back underground where it’s peaceful.

Watercolor and sketch of the garden plot, from above. Rectangular plot with two lengthwise irrigation ditches about 1/3 and 2/3 of the way across. On the leftmost and rightmost edges carrots are planted, and in the center, wheat is planted.
I miss lettuce. Never thought I’d say that. But something green would be a nice change.

Day 35: Fried Chicken

Day 35:

I thought I’d take it easy today, since I almost got crushed to death by falling rock yesterday.


I woke up, took a quick dip in the cave’s spring, got redressed, headed outside to pick my carrots, and a camouflage giraffe corgi was just waiting around the corner like some kind of… like some kind of stalker or something. One minute I’m carrying a basket I weaved to load full of carrots, the next I’m flying through the air like a rag doll.

So much for healing those sore muscles.

Even better, when I came to I discovered that the beast had blown a wall through the fence like that kept the chickens and the cows in. By headcount, I think I only lost one of each. The cow it appeared wandered off. Based on the smell, though, that chicken had to have been trying to snuggle the giraffe corgi through the fence when it exploded.

I do not understand exploding fauna.

I seriously do not understand exploding fauna that have to live near other fauna.

Anyway, spent the rest of the day repairing the fence while nursing a sore shoulder.

And I still don’t have the coddamned carrots in, so I now have to do that tomorrow instead of digging toward the mountain.

Black and white sketch. Depicts a hill - the door to the cave is in the side of the hill, the fence is on top of the hill, and a huge hole is in the top of the hill where the fence should be but was blown up. The sketch is so poorly rendered it looks like animals who fell in the hole would land in the cave house, but that's not actually how the geography works. Labels include "fence ruined", "hole", "dead chicken", "cave door" and "this is a horrible sketch"
The hole does not actually puncture the roof of the cave and this totally ignores my cow porch.

Day 34: Sloppy!

Day 34:

Dammit! I was totally not paying attention and almost got buried alive under a ton or two of loose stone.

Just like it’s dangerous to dig down it is also dangerous to dig straight up and I stood right under an area that I was cleaning out.

The good news, if you can call it that, is that Operation Dig Toward The Mountain is succeeding by accident. Every time I think one vein of ore has petered out, another one appears.

Sketch a chicken. The head and body are totally misaligned and the author needs to learn how to draw. Labelled "No one wants a sketch of gravel so here's a chicken. It's not very good but I am tired."
This… is not a good sketch.

Day 33: cavernous caverns

Day 33:

I dug out all the ore in the area I mentioned yesterday and almost plummeted to my death. It appears the ore was on the edge of a great underground cavern, and I was digging into its ceiling.

Welp, this is why I use rope. I’d also use steel anchors, helmets, carabiners, and lifelines if I wasn’t here stranded with no supplies but instead, I do what I can with a rope harness and the ability to tie myself to secure parts of the cave, where such opportunities exist.

Note: they don’t exist very often in these caves. I’ve never seen so many underground lacking in stalactites and stalagmites but hey, maybe water doesn’t seem through the surface the same way.

Sure is flocking damp anyway.

The good news is that I did not plummet to my death.

The bad news is that the cavern held a nest of exploding giraffe-corgis, who were so happy to see me tunnel into their roof that they attempted to blow it off.  Couple of scratches, no major harm… wish I had eye protection.


I’ve been thinking about what my plan is once I have enough iron ore to make some proper tools. There’s a mountain blocking my view of the horizon to the…  south? we’ll call it south since we’re assuming the sun sets to the west. For all I know the natives here call it the Blargleboop. Right now the only ones I have to talk to are the zombies and their language consists of Grrr! Arrrgh! and Ow! so that’s not much help.

Anyway. Mountain. I want to head to the top of it and see if I can spot any settlements, but I’m pretty sure I can’t make a round trip to it in the daylight. As we have learned, dear notebook, traveling at night is a good recipe for being strangled by a zombie, shot at by a skeleton thing, blown up by a giraffe corgi, or beaten up by a land squid, so I’m not thinking that’s a good idea.

I thought about taking one of my horses (they let me ride them now! Well, mostly.) but a) horses aren’t fully trained, b) mountain will still take tons of time to climb, and c) if anything happens, I’m back to being stranded in the dark.

But I’m a miner! And these caverns I keep finding are in the same general direction as the mountain.

So this week’s plan is to tunnel in the direction of the mountain. It’ll be slower work than just running to it, but if I extend this tunnel that direction, fewer local fauna will be able to kill me at any one time than if I try an overland route.

Then again, if I hit multiple caverns of camoflage death corgis, I might not need to worry about it.

Very simple black and white sketch of a mountain (big curvy line), a lake, and some dotted lines indicating the author's progress toward the mountain. She's maybe 1/2 to 1/3 of the way to it via her underground caverns.
The mountain. Maybe I should name it too.