Day 46: Nobody wants to reinvent the wheel

Day 46:

It’s getting harder to hide the evidence that I’m here.

OK, the fenced in chunk of field with the horses that are wearing saddles definitely indicate that someone is here. That alone is enough to get me fired from The Company if they’re not feeling charitable toward my situation. (On the other hand, I might have grounds to sue in this particular case…)

But I’ve now got a second entrance to disguise, and that’s where things get harder. For at least the next few weeks (well, maybe as short as “days” in this whacko place) there’s going to be a lot of loose dirt and suspicious sod near this cave entrance, because in order to reinforce it against exploding creatures, I’ve had to dig out a lot of the sod that disguised the cave in the first place.

I stripped off all the top soil, reinforced the cave walls with granite, and then had to re-bury everything because a big sinkhole lined with chiseled granite in the middle of a field tends to look, well, out of place. Human-made. Not the result of exploding giraffe things.

Also, by the way, I’d give my eye teeth for a wheelbarrow. I could probably chisel one out of the big trees around here, but then I’d have to reinvent the wheel and I’m not sure I’m up for that kind of delicate stonework.

There’s so many other just whacko things here I’m surprised I haven’t come across a wheel-bush or something. Maybe it’s up on the mountain.

Bad black and white sketch of the author's idea of what a wheel bush and an axel bush would look like. Essentially small saplings with wheels or axels at the ends instead of leaves. Labeled "things I wish for: wheel bush, axel tree".
Maybe a cappuccino plant, too.

Day 45: swampy and splintery

Day 45:

Today was clear, but humid. You know how it is after a rain storm, where the air hasn’t actually dried out even though all the water’s fallen out of the clouds? That was today all over. No matter where I went, everything felt wet, regardless of the blue skies and the sun.

I’m still finishing closing up that cave entrance in the back. It’s proving to be more difficult than I expected. I mean, I’m a miner, not a stonemason, though right now I’m wishing maybe I’d’ve gone into that instead of taking a twelve week course to “lose weight, gain valuable skills, and travel the galaxy”.

So yeah, rocks. Slippery when wet. Painful when dropped on hands. I’ve made some gloves out of leather, but they’re not exactly steel-reinforced crush-protection gloves, they’re more like don’t-scratch-your-hands-on-sharp-rocks gloves.

Then I realized that I was low on wood, and had to go cut a tree down, and by the time I was done breaking up the branches and cleaning that mess up,  the day was pretty much done.

I still wish I had a shower.

We have a big decontamination shower on the ship, in the high-gravity section. It had two jets from each of the walls, and nine jets total across the center. If you were put in the decontamination shower, it meant something went seriously wrong during the mission – exposure to radiation, biological hazards, something like that. I hated it. It was too much water too fast and it freaked me out. I only had to use it twice and I actually became kind of afraid of it.

Right now, I think it’s exactly what I’d need to feel clean again.

Black and white sketch of a shower stall roughly the size of a standard American bathtub, with shower heads on all the walls as described in the post. Labelled "The ship's decontamination shower. I have dreams about it now."
Also I want the shower to be very hot, stocked with perfumed soaps, and a massage therapist to be waiting for me afterward.

Day 44: Back entrance finally sealed

Day 44:

Oh cod I am covered in mud. So much mud.

The rain has been off and on. If I had any idea what the climate of this tiny planet was normally, I could say something pithy like “Ah, spring!” or “The rainy season needs to make up its mind!”

Instead I’m just covered in mud.

I finally mostly sealed the back cave that I found…what…weeks ago now? Yeah, back almost 20 days ago. It took a lot of my diorite to do it. (I don’t trust the normal bedrock in this place. The exploding giraffe corgis have been shown to turn it into rubble too quickly. So I’ve been stacking and chipping and polishing and using the pitch and tar that seeps into the bottom of my forge to seal the stone I’ve mined into a wall between me and the outside world.

Fortunately, the back cave is on the way to the mountain.

Unfortunately, the back cave’s entrance is, like, two yards maybe from a pretty sizable lake. And it’s raining. Not just like a spring rain on the vid channels where the couple falls in love and talk about their favorite perfumes, but a torrential downpour of giant drops and heavy wind. Which means waves. Which means lake water is just sloshing all over the place, over the banks of the lake, down the embankment into the cave entrance, and all over my nice shiny stone.

Everything is wet. Everything is muddy. Everything is slippery. I can’t even climb out that entrance because it’s a mudslide, and I don’t mean the alcoholic bit with the coffee flavoring.

I’m probably covered in cuts and bruises from all the falling down I did today but fortunately/unfortunately I can’t see any of it through the mud.

I’m afraid to sleep on my bed because I still only have one stinky sheep skin and I don’t much look forward to washing it to get the mud off. But I’m so tired…

Sketch of a wall made of roughly 1 meter high blocks, with a set of double doors in the middle. Black and white except for some brown watercolors indicating the wide path of mud leaking under the door.
Mud mud mud

Day 43: Jangle of bones

Day 43:

Dug all day today, managed to not get covered in mud or lake or anything else gross.

Shoulder’s still sore. Writing hurts, sorry about the length of the entries.

I’m also trying to be extra quiet because, well, remember me saying the other day that the skeleton-like creatures seem to have disappeared?

There’s one outside my door right now, circling. Watching. Waiting. I don’t think it can see through the windows since i have the light extinguished and the starlight doesn’t penetrate to the bed here very well. But that also makes it a bit hard for me to write. Mercy knows if my handwriting will prove illegible, or the page crooked.

It doesn’t seem to be able to get into my fenced-in pen, which is good. And it doesn’t seem to be interested in the duckens or the cows or the horses, which is even better. But it certainly doesn’t like me.

I’m going to lay here and try to sleep and not freak out.

Black and white sketch of a skeleton from about the 3rd rib up. It has very large black eye sockets and is glaring downward at the viewer. This one is actually a bit creepy.
How is this even possible?

Day 42: Flooding

Day 42:

Sometimes you move one rock and everything comes tumbling down.

It’s probably a pretty good metaphor for my life since I landed on this dump, but at the same time it’s not a metaphor at all.

Since I’m mining without a compass or a map or for that matter anything else, I  managed to follow a vein in under the river.

You can see where this is going.

Anyway, I managed to get the holes sealed back up, but I’m soaked to the skin. I’m going to spend the night in front of a hot fire.

Really bad sketch (author is not exaggerating) in black and white of a hole at the top of a cave with water pouring down and the author standing in it waist-deep.
This is a really bad sketch but you get the idea. I am too wet and cold to spend my time drawing a flooded cavern.