Day 94: Direction

At the top of the mountain, I learned a few things.

First, I learned that it’s possible to have a pool of bubbling lava in an otherwise-normal looking field. This is good information to have because it means this area’s seismically active. (It also means I won’t be swimming over there any time soon.) All the more reason to build solid stone walls for my cave walls wherever possible.

Second, I learned that there are no towns or cities or other signs of life anywhere in my immediately-viewable area unless they’re also underground. I certainly wouldn’t blame anyone for going underground here, but it means to find other people I have to either hope this is just an abandoned area, or hope that I’ll dig into the sides of their houses.

I’m sure they’ll be totally understanding when I do that.

Third, I learned there’s a much bigger mountain to the east of my current position — but it’s far enough away that I can’t see it unless I’m on the current mountain. So digging to the next one the same way that I dug to this one is probably my safest best.  Because digging holes to reach bigger piles of dirt is a thing here.

Finally, I learned there are sheep on the other side of the mountain. Do I go capture some? I haven’t decided yet. Sheep would be a good thing to have though. I could make clothes somehow, and mutton. That would be good.

Anyway, that was today’s adventure set.

Watercolor map of dense forests to the east, mountains to the southeast, and the plains where we've been this whole time to the north.  The river runs from the northwest corner to the west then turns and heads east across the map.
Note: north is down, not up.

Day 93:Digging Up

Day 93:

Well, I’ve already discovered that the mountain is not what I was hoping for.

I climbed a third of the way up the face, found a cave full of valuable stone, and that cave…. well that cave had two openings that were only a few dozen meters apart.

So instead of having a massive mountain to climb, it appears I have a thin mountain. It’s like if someone put a piece of toast on edge.

I’m now actually a bit afraid I’m going to cut right through the middle instead of getting to the top. That could make looking for a town or a city a bit more difficult.

line sketch of the mountain from the front (where it looks like a bell curve) and from the side (where it looks like an index finger with a cave cutting through both sides where the first knuckle would be).

Day 92: Zombies can’t climb trees

Day 92:

It’s hard to tell the time when I’m against the side of the mountain, because my view of the sun is blocked by the mountain and the trees on it.

So I stayed out too late and got treed by a bunch of zombies.

Good news is for some reason zombies can’t climb trees.

More interesting news is that all the zombies appear to wear the same “outfit” for lack of a better word. It’s almost like they have a set uniform. It’s clearly not skin – it has a fabric-like texture and having sliced through it more than a few times with my sword I can confidently say the skin beneath is the same green as their faces.

Why would these animals wear clothes in the first place? Are they humanoid animals (like some of the more advanced primates), or are they actual humanoids who have been stripped of their higher reasoning skills?

I have no beef with uniforms, but I’m suspicious of those who wear them, when they’re out to kill me.

Watercolor of a zombie wearing purple pants and a teal shirt... and green skin. Captioned  "this is a hideous outfit to be undead in."

Day 91: Playing by the rules

Day 91:

I want to be the kind of person who, after 90 days stranded on a planet by my mining company, says “Flock them!” and just moves on with my life, doing whatever the heck I please.

I want to, but I’m not. I’m still hoping that any day now they’ll come for me and save me. And that means that I’m still playing by their rules, even when I don’t want to.

Like last night. Instead of sleeping, I spent the night trying to cover up the entrance to my cave down near the river. It was built of granite, but a shining beacon of granite that’s 10 meters by 12 meters tends to stick out as a sign of civilization, and since we’re not supposed to leave any signs that we’ve been here, that means covering it with dirt and soil and growing grass on top so the entrance is only visible to someone virtually standing on top of it.

The zombies, by the way, decided  to stand on top of it.

I’m getting pretty decent with my sword. Considering forging a newer and sharper one now that I’m relatively skilled at not cutting myself on it. The zombies are still sword-averse, so they didn’t last long.

Line sketch of the sides of the entrance with dirt mounded around them and above them making the entrance look like dirt. Saplings are planted on the roof.

Day 90: Using all of the chicken duck

Day 90:

Fishing is

  1. Something I love doing
  2. Incredibly time-consuming for not enough payout

So as much as I hated doing it, I started killing some of my chicken ducks.

What with all the eggs they lay, I have a lot of chicken ducks. Probably like two hundred. (When they finally come for me and it’s time for me to tear down that fence, every bug within miles is going to find itself on the other end of a usually-cooped-up beak.) So it’s not because I will run out of eggs that I hesitate. It’s not even because I feel like I have a relationship with each of these birds – there’s too many of them at this point.

It’s because cutting meat is icky.

Stop laughing.

Seriously. When was the last time someone in a populated civilized part of the universe had to cut through tendons and sinew? Most of our protein is either mass-processed in a factory planetside and 100% boneless when it gets to our plates, or is grown in vats on a ship then flavored and processed to taste like meat.

We don’t eat animals anymore, we eat meat.

Turns out animals are messier – a lot messier – than a pound of ground beef would lead you to believe. They have joints to separate and inner organs to remove and all kinds of weird things…

Like there are these two little things in the tail of a chicken duck – glands of some sort maybe? If you leave them in and cook the bird, you may as well just throw the whole thing out. It’s like skunk flavoring for birds. Just awful.

So I’m doing it; I’m killing my birds for food.

Even that’s not all that easy. Despite everything that people say about running around like a chicken with the head cut off, cutting off a chicken’s head while it’s standing around is not easy, even with a sword. And I don’t have time to make a cleaver. So I’ve been grabbing the birds, slicing their throats with my stone knife (which is getting dull, which is a problem) and trying not to get covered in blood.

Anyway, if there’s one up-side to this gross and disgusting process (other than tasty grilled meat) it’s that the birds are pretty fatty, so I’ve got grease for the first time since I got here. I can finally properly pan-fry vegetables. Anything else I cook is juicier.

And I can use the grease to do things like grease the drill bit I made so that it goes a bit smoother, which is helpful because there’s no engine to the drill except me.

And that, my friends, is the story of how killing my chicken ducks is helping me build a bridge.

ps. I did notice I’ve been here 90 days as of today. I’m furious at The Company, and that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

Watercolor of a plucked chicken duck.