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.

Day 89: Framework

Day 89:

I have a solid bridge framework built across the river now.

First, I had to pile up some dirt and stone on my side of the river, because the bank on my side was almost a full meter lower than the bank on the other side. Fortunately, since I’ve been mining all the time to get here, dirt is not something I’m short on.

Then I cut down one of the dark oak trees that was on my side of the river. It was huuuuge, and with a little planning and a duckton of luck, I managed to get it to fall across the river bed. With a little help from Stupid, we dragged it into position on this side and then I spent the rest of the day hacking it in half.

As soon as I crossed the river I literally tripped over a piece of iron ore. If it’s this prevalent in the mountain, I won’t be hurting for tools any time soon.

The mountain is steep. I didn’t realize how steep until I got here. Now I have to figure out how to handle climbing it. Dig into the sides? Build stairs? So many options, all of them visible to the rest of the world.

And anything I do to make it easier to climb the mountain makes it easier for zombies to climb the mountain, so that’s not overly helpful.

But climb the mountain I will. I’m most of the way done a bridge. Not-climbing the mountain at this point would be silly.

Sketch of the river, like yesterday's sketch, only this time the sand is gone and a bridge (one wood plank) stretches across the banks. The trees are gone too.

Day 88: Wet and sandy

Day 88:

Most of the riverbed was sand. The current’s not fast, but it ‘s not something I want to have to swim across constantly either. Plus, should I spot a town on the other side (which is what I’m hoping for), I’ll need a way to get Stupid across.

So the sand needs to be dealt with, and that means removing it as much as possible and getting to the bedrock below it. That’s not too much of a challenge – I’ve gotten pretty good at mining sand out of the water near my home base – but since there are trees all around, it’s harder to stay warm in the water than when the sun’s beating on me relentlessly.

Anyway, found some bedrock, so now I can build up from there and have a slightly more stable bridge.

Sketch of the riverbed. Tree on the left, river in the middle, thick sand under the river, tree on the right.

Day 87: Hello River!

Day 87:

Now that I’m tunneling in the correct direction again, I’ve made progress. By “progress” I mean I dug straight up to get my bearings today, and discovered that the river’s only a few meters away!

That means I did it! I made a safe passage between me and the river!

Now I get to build a bridge, I guess.

And figure out how to get Stupid and Dumb into the tunnels so they can haul the lumber for the bridge.

Well, or I could cut the trees down by the river. I need to take a better look at them in the morning.


Yano, there’s a lot of things about this trip that are just flat-out depressing. The monsters, mostly, but the total lack of food, tools, refrigerators, showers… But accomplishing this goal means a lot to me!

Think I’ll go to sleep for a change and see how the world looks in the morning!

map with some watercolor indicating the path from the main cave up to the river to the north.

Day 86: Darkness

Day 86:

Spent the day chopping down wood. Left late, because it was hard to see the sun’s position through the trees. Result: I got jumped by a zombie, and then a pony-sized spider, on my way back.

(Thank cod none of these creatures have learned how to work together or I’d’ve probably been fighting a zombie on a pony-sized spider.)

(I wonder if I can harness and ride the spiders.)

Anyway, no major harm done, just embarrassed. And anxious.

I understand much better now why my ancient ancestors may have been totally on board for not going outside at night.

Line drawing of a zombie riding a spider like an adult riding a miniature pony. Captioned "this would be bad".