Day 83: kaboom

Day 83:

I’m serious about the duckens down in the tunnels. I know it probably seems like I jump around a lot in these logs, but it’s hard to do one thing day in and day out when you’re in charge of everything. I can’t just grow food – even at the rate the food here grows there isn’t enough to keep me busy every day. Besides, if I did, things like gathering wood to keep the fires burning or making tools wouldn’t happen. And I can’t make tools every day or I wouldn’t have food. And between all those things, I need to dig.

Well, technically I don’t need to dig. I’ve been here almost 3 months now and The Company isn’t back yet — and when they do come back (I refuse to think they won’t), then I’m going to give them such an earful they’ll be paying me not to dig.

But I love to dig. It’s stress-relieving and I’m good at it, and it’s like playing a constant adventure game.

Anyway, I’ve gathered about 50 eggs (I’m pretty sure they’re fertilized because these duckens breed like proverbial bunnies) and I’m gathering more.

Meanwhile, after I gathered all today’s eggs, I went out to the trees to harvest some wood. Halfway up a large dark oak tree I hear a noise below me and — yup — giraffe-corgi explosion. Ever fall down with a tree? I don’t recommend it. I think I dislocated (and then reset) my elbow and HOLY COD does that hurt.

Taking tomorrow off. If all else fails I’ll have eggs for dinner.

A single tan egg. Watercolor, with a bit of shading. The author is getting a little fancier with the art lately.
I can paint an egg one handed. Or cook one.

Day 82: Hot and cold running lava

Day 82:

That big vein I found yesterday? It was the roof of a much bigger cavern… and that cavern had both water flowing through it and active magma seeping through one of the walls.

Actual. Lava.

Clearly I do not have the equipment to deal with that.

It is damned hot down there. No humidity to be found. Stinks to high heaven and I’m lucky the fumes haven’t killed me.

So yeah, when I said the other day I should probably be taking a ducken down with me? Now I’m thinking more like fifty duckens. Enough to immediately tell if I’ve found a bad pocket of air.

Oh, and because I know you were wondering: yes, there are zombies in the coddamned cave full of magma.

A black background with a white lightning-bolt-like slash int he ground. Inside the slash there's a small lava-fall coming out of one wall.
It’s so bright it makes my well-lit cavern pitch black

Day 81: Deeper and deeper

Day 81:

Hot day today so I went back underground, where I’m happy.

Found yet another vein of granite and diorite, this time a bit off the last one. They’re getting deeper, which means the temperature is actually starting to climb a bit. Still damp as anything though.

I’ve thought about starting fires underground to dry things out a bit, but one never knows when one might accidentally set a coal seam on fire, and that’s no good.

I’ve also thought about bringing one of the duckens down here on purpose to act as canaries. Make sure the air’s good. That kind of thing. That might be easier than the fires.

Watercolor of a blue background with a red, orange, and yellow sun superimposed on it, taking up the vast majority of the image. Instead of looking dramatically hot, it looks like a bad target.
This is supposed to be the sun beating down on me.

Day 80: Pressing matters

Day 80:

Those canes I planted? Like everything else here, they throw like gangbusters. After just a couple of days I was able to cut them at about knee-high and harvest the two meters of cane above that.

The very outside of the cane is thick and hard. I might find a use for it. Fortunately (much like the wood) it splits easily, so I’m able to cut it in half without too much trouble.

The inside is pulpy and sweet-smelling.

I’m going to try chopping the pulpy bits really fine, then spreading them on a stone with a ridge around the edge to collect the juice. If the juice is sugary, it should crystallize for me once its squeezed out of the pulp. And if the pulp is chopped fine enough and mixed up well enough I might be able to make paper out of it.

I certainly have enough stone to set on top to press the liquid out, that’s for sure.

line sketch of cane. First piece is a half segment with the center taken out. Outer four pieces are whole, multi-segment pieces. That's it. This one's pretty boring.
What I’d give for a food processor.

Day 79: Food

Day 79:

A typical meal for me is carrots, some pretty pathetic bread, and a fish.  In the morning I probably just gnaw on some stale bread. I keep some carrots on me to snack on throughout the day, and at night, it’s the whole carrot-bread-fish combination.

Sometimes it’s a carrot and fish sandwich.

No one would’ve convinced me that was a meal back before I landed here.

The biggest problem with this diet is that it is very heavy on fish, and fish are not easy to catch. So the last couple of evenings before the sun goes down (when it’s not so hot and the fish bite better) I’ve been fishing, but it hasn’t be overly successful.

I think soon I’m going to have to kill some of my duckens and cook them.

It’s one thing to kill something like a zombie that’s trying to kill me. It’s another to try to kill something that I’ve cared for. It’s hard. I don’t want to do it. But I tried eating no direct protein here (it’s not like soy power shakes are a thing) and I got really weak really fast. I need fat and protein and if I run out of fish I’m not going to have a choice.

Let’s keep hoping the fish come in.

Watercolor of a carrot and fish sandwich, with two brown slices of bread filled to heaping with white fish and orange carrot flecks. Like tuna mayo, without the mayo and with carrots instead.
In theory I can make mayonnaise. In practice I don’t know how. Eggs and oil I think? I wonder if ducken fat would work.