Day 29: Home

Day 29:

when the sun came up and no one had come for me, i cried. i cried for most of the day. i cried while i fed my cows, i cried while i fed my chickens, i even cried so hard that a horse followed me back to my little house and into my little yard, and then another horse decided to join the first horse.

and i cried while i stacked up the fence posts i had cut up a few days ago around them, and i cried while i fenced in the horses and gave the cows and chickens a route to the little pond nearby.

so yay, i have horses.

and i’m not home

and it’s not fair

i just want to see my family again. i want to go back home and walk in New Amsterdinium (capital of 2nd Earth and proud of it!) and feel the warm cement underneath my bare toes while i play hopscotch outside the old house. i want to smell bus fumes and italian bread baking and listen to the neighbor cussing out the other neighbor for parking crooked on the street. i want to tour the old subway line museum during the heat of the day. i want to right the space elevator from the city to Moon Stop 1, look out, and see my planet, my big beautiful planet.

i want a hot shower.

i want to feel the liquid in my ears float in the antigravity pool while i work out.

i want to smell the awful stench of working in the sewage reclaiming system.

i want to use a real toilet again. even a space one would do.

i’m just so sad.

Sketch. A black background looking like a star field. In the center, a blue ball with green shapes on it resembling Earth, labeled "home".

Day 28: Pickup

Day 28:

You never drop a team for more than 28 days.



It’s day 28 and they’re not here.


I’m hoping – hoping beyond hope, actually, that it’s because of the zombie infestation.

Boy there’s a headline for you. “Drop team hopes zombie infestation is causing problems, film at 11.”

Anyway, go back to two nights ago and I didn’t sleep a wink because the zombies – four of them, spent the night pounding on my door. One did slip through the back entrance that I haven’t sealed up, so I have a pretty bad gash in my calf where he grabbed me and ripped me out of my bed, some nasty bruises, and a few other cuts. Good thing I’ve taken to sleeping with my “sword” under my pillow or I’d probably be dead right now.

In the morning I was able to get some sleep, but I needed to be outside for when The Company was coming to pick me up.

I spent all day out there in the hot sun. Walked around a lot. Tried to catch one of the wild horses. Failed a lot. Bruised my tailbone a lot. Looked forward to some painkillers and a hot shower on the ship. Got none of what I was hoping for.

No. One. Showed. Up.

So I thought, OK, maybe they’re going to pick me up tonight. I stayed outside with my cows and my chicken/ducks so I could release them as soon as the ship arrived. No ship.

Plenty of zombies though, and one skeleton, who was shooting over the fence at me. He accidentally shot one of the zombies so for a little while there was a zombie-on-skeleton battle royale taking place 30 feet from my drop zone.

That has to be why they’re not here. It has to be that they see the zombies and are afraid to land. Still! They could send down a shuttle, or a rope ladder, or something! We’ve gotten people out of tighter spots before!

They’ll be here soon. It’s not even 3am yet. I’m just impatient.


Come on.



please take me home

Day 27: Nothing yet

Day 27:

Spent most of the day planting saplings  to replace the trees that I tore down to survive here. I need to show I’m responsible enough to do my best to cover my tracks. (Since everything grows here in three days or less, even giant massive humungous dark oak trees, that’s not as hard as it sounds.) The Company will be pleased.

I wish they’d get here. Clear skies all day today and no sign of them.

One day to go. I’m packing now, making sure that everything’s set for me to leave. Not that I arrived with much, but at least I can leave with some souvenirs – my axe, my fishing pole, stuff like that.

One day to go.

Watercolor. Depicts a fence at the top of the hill in the background. In the foreground, a small tree with 5 branches is planted in a green field. The fence is sloppy but the artist improved a bit at the tree.
One of the saplings

Day 26: Watching the skies

Day 26:

The Company could be back to pick me up any time now. I’m trying to stay aboveground so they can find me. Trying to stay busy so I don’t spend all my time scanning the skies. Of course it’s cloudy and rainy today so I couldn’t see an approach if I wanted to… not that the blue atmosphere of this oxygen-rich planet would’ve allowed me to see much anyway. At night I’ve got a better chance, but being outside at night on this planet is just a really bad plan.

I cut down some trees today and used them to make charcoal. It’s tiring, dirty work, but not much different from mining except for the sun and the heat. (Not much of that deep underground.) But if I’m here a few more days I’m going to need the charcoal for more torches. Otherwise I could still be overrun by creatures sneaking in the back entrance to the cave.

I’m really looking forward to the ship. I’m really looking forward to anti-inflammatories and pain killers. I’ve fallen a couple of times in the cave, might’ve greenstick fractured my arm, hard to tell. Could just be soreness but the bruises mean it could be something more.

Don’t know what I’d do if I had to set a bone here. I’m trying to be careful enough not to find out.

When I’m done this six-month stint, I think I’ll take a year off before I re-up. Go home, see the family, maybe visit Grandpa’s grave and thank him for teaching me how to fish.

Two more days.

Sketch. Poorly drawn right arm, palm-side up. There's a big bruise on the left edge of the inside of the forearm, taking up about 1/2 the forearm, that darkens near the center of the injury. It is labelled "still learning to mix colors. That spot should be purple in the middle fading to brown on the edges."
It doesn’t hurt unless I’m awake.

Day 25: Another exit

Day 25:

Slept in. Ate some fish, then went down into the caves to look for ore.

Discovered that right behind one of the walls I hadn’t tunneled all the way through was a second entrance into my cave area. Or rather, an entrance into a cave area that I didn’t know existed, since I dug all of my cave area out by hand.

(Arms are still sore from yesterday.)

So that might explain how some of the worst fauna is getting close to my living quarters.

It doesn’t explain the horror squid walking through walls though.

Sketch, well, more like a map, as it's an overhead view. The right side is taken up by a lake. The left bottom quadrant shows the cave's main entrance, behind it a fenced-in area for cows and chickens and such, and just below the right edge of the lake an area marked "garden". from the cave, a dotted outline indicates the new cave entrance at the top of the sketch, near the lake.
If I was staying, I’d name the lake.