Day 4: Not a Girl Scout

Day 4:

Spent the whole day polishing diorite and using it to build stronger walls in the cave. My hands are so dry from handling all the stone that I’m soaking them hourly (or what passes for hourly since I don’t have a clock) in the spring in the cave to keep the skin from cracking further. Would do anything for a drop-shipment of hand lotion.

The spring’s going to become a problem soon. Right now I have it contained in a little grass hollow, but if I’m going to protect the cave correctly, I’m going to have to dig underneath the hollow to reinforce it. Not sure how I’m going to do that yet without flooding out the cave. And I’d really really enjoy a day of sleeping on something that wasn’t soaking wet the whole night.

If that were the only thing I saw today, I’d consider it the most successfully calm day that I’d had since arriving (assuming you excuse the panicked activity trying to reinforce the cave with polished stone to keep the monsters from blowing up as “calm”).

But throughout the day I kept hearing a whispered hissing noise, like someone was really really bad at calling their cat and wanted the whole process to be a really loud secret.

Around dinner time, I took a glance out my door (I was smart enough to put a small window in it with my meager glass supplies) and saw a spider.

I know what you’re thinking: whoopee.

I neglected to mention that the spider was the size of a pony. Or maybe a cow. It was roughly the size of the cows I’d seen earlier this week, who by the way are strangely missing.

And it was standing outside my door.

In case you were wondering, it was not here to sell cookies.

I don’t know whether it was frustrated because I hadn’t answered the door all day or what, but as I watched the sun dip below the horizon behind the spider, the beast turned nasty, and charged the door.

I am safe inside my cave. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. I’ve still only carved out about a 10 meter by 10 meter space and roughly half that is lined with solid stone. The rest is still dirt (or worse, glass). I pray that the horrible green explody things don’t come in the night. I pray the spider doesn’t know how to dig. I pray my torches last until morning.

It’s still hissing. I doubt I’ll be sleeping tonight.

the view from my door of the pony spider, which did not bring cookies
the view from my door of the pony spider, which did not bring cookies


Day 3:


So I totally missed dawn this morning because I found a huge vein of diorite and in my cave and I was busy mining it, but I realized that if I wanted to start growing my own food, that was probably safer to do when the zombies weren’t out.

(Did I mention that the zombies catch fire in the presence of sunlight? Massive exothermic reaction, but it’s not enough to keep them from trying to strangle me. One of them set my shirt on fire yesterday morning. I probably should’ve mentioned that in yesterday’s report.)




It blew me halfway across what I’ve started to think of as my “front yard” and and totally stunned me. Took me a minute to get on my feet, the whole time I’m thinking “WOW MY HEAD HURTS” and “I BET EVERYTHING IS BROKEN” and “I’M SHOUTING IN MY HEAD BECAUSE I CAN’T HEAR ANYTHING FROM THE EXPLOSION”.

Then I realized that my meager supplies were in the cave right where the skeleton was. But then I realized that I could still remember the skeleton flying sideways during the explosion. Still, tried to get back to my cave because that’s what humans do, when in trouble we go get our stuff. Got all the way to the entrance, opened the door


This time the crater in front of my door was so big that after the smoke cleared and I regained consciousness, I had to fill it in with random dirt I found around the area just so I could climb up to the door.

So: xenobiology report for the folks back at The Company when you get these files (if you ever get these files):

  • Horses. Black. Look just like horses.
  • Cows. Brown and white. Look just like cows. Moo like cows. Have not explored the milk part yet, need to catch one.
  • Chicken duck bird things. Look like chickens that are constantly judging me. Wait, chickens always look like that anyway. Large bill/beak things. Sound like chickens. Lay monstrous eggs, the cloaca on those things must take up most of their body mass.
  • Large green humanoid, outweighs me, wears clothes but doesn’t speak, always goes for the throat. May be capable of communicating but the whole “goes for the throat” thing really has me turned off of trying. When killed, disintegrates into dust. Also, strangely, the last one was carrying a carrot. So I have a carrot now.
  • Skeletal grey humanoid, around my size but doesn’t outweigh me, no clothing but uses a bow and arrow. Would attempt communication but IT’S SHOOTING AT ME so getting the hell under cover is my current plan of relations. When blown into smithereens by Hellish Green Thing (see below) disintegrates but SO DOES EVERYTHING ELSE so I’m not sure that counts.
  • HELLISH GREEN THING. OK, picture a small green head, no snout, eyes as big as dinner plates, on a long thin body and four tiny feet. No, that doesn’t work. OK picture a massive anaconda, one as big around as a standard human, with a head on top, but it’s only about  feet long and walks around on 4 tiny feet,  no tail. Still not quite there. Picture an anaconda crossed with poison ivy on the feet of a corgi and all of it – the anaconda, the poison ivy, the corgi feet, are the most explosive substance on earth.

It was raining at the time. Is it possible that the hellish green thing can’t mix with water? I don’t know. I really didn’t get a lot of time to study it before I was flat on my back on the other side of the hill.

Anyway, I decided that maybe some of this diorite would be best used to build a shelter that Hellish Green Thing might be able to blow up less-well than my current Cave of Dirt. Looks like my plans to go up on the mountain are delayed, since it’s more important to be safe where I am than killed by exploding creatures in the woods.

I guess it’s better for me to stay near the drop site for now anyway. I’ve only been here a few days. The Company could teleport me off-planet at any time, but only if they can find me.

I want to go home, move to the city, and surround myself with people.

Sketch of the skeleton outside my cave
Sketch of the skeleton outside my cave
The horror monster giraffe corgi camo thing
The horror monster giraffe corgi camo thing

Day 2: Night of the what the hell

Day 2:

Well, that could’ve gone better.

I didn’t get much sleep.

Some of it’s because the days here are much shorter than Company standard, so even though it was dark I wasn’t exactly tired. Call it spacefaring jet lag if you will.

Some of it’s because the cave was incredibly damp. I spent much of my free time tilling up dirt from the dryer sections of the cave to transport to the wet bits so I could dry everything out. I left myself a bit of an area with a spring in it so I won’t dehydrate and die before my team finds me and extracts me. But the rest I can say is quite comfy and actually growing grass already.

Most of my lack of sleep though I can attribute to the zombies.

Yes. Zombies. I don’t know what other term I’d use for them. Local fauna that resemble humanoids in both dress and form, but green-skinned and groaning a lot? Their only language seems to be “ow” and that only when I’m slashing at them with the stick I sharpened on my workbench with a rock. High tech here, folks.

They were both wearing the same clothes – ugly teal shirts and purple pants. They reminded me a little of the Incredible Hulk dolls my great grandfather passed down to my grandparents, but with a shirt. And much skinnier. And thankfully not stronger.

Then again, The Company didn’t hire me for my brains, they hired me for my ability to quickly and efficiently identify and dig rocks. I’m not a scientist. I’m not an astronaut, not really. I’m barely even an adult. I’m just an idiot who got out of high school, didn’t feel like staying in college, and proved she could tell the difference between granite and andesite.

Anyway, the zombies: they fell through my ceiling because I, being the idiot I am, left a tiny barely-noticeable hole up there so that I could lay back and watch the stars while thinking about how wet the ground was and how I am never going to see my family again.

I don’t know how they missed landing on me, but they were definitely out for blood. Went straight for my throat first, one, then the other. When I bashed them enough times they pulverized into dust.

I hope the dust isn’t deadly. Maybe they’re some kind of fungal zombie, like that one that takes over ants. Maybe I’ll be a zombie tomorrow from breathing in their remains.

I hope the Company comes back for me soon.

The good news, if you can call it that, is that I hit bedrock while digging out the cave bottom last night. This morning in the light I discovered that it contains not only standard run-of-the-mill stone (which at least I can use to make a fire pit and probably some charcoal) but also some granite and diorite. Not the most expensive minerals on earth, but if I can show The Company that I’ve been earning my keep, it may be the difference between being saved and being stranded again.

When they come back. They’re coming back now any time.

I spent the day making better tools (of stone, instead of wood) and putting in the furnace that I talked about yesterday. Even made myself a little bit of glass to test the furnace, and plug that hole in the ceiling. Hoping for some better sleep tonight.

Damn, what I’d give for a pizza right now.

Sketch of a zombie
Sketch of a zombie

Day 1: Landing

Day 1:

I woke up just off the beach on Serendipity, a bit south of where the original drop had been planned. Things have obviously gone wrong, but what exactly I don’t know, as I’ve got no suit, no transmitter, and only the clothes that I had when I reported for medical clearance before the drop.

Well, and this notebook, obviously. It’s supposed to be used to log rock and mineral formations, drawn maps, general spelunking safety stuff, but I think this qualifies as a safety emergency.

I was supposed to transport with a team of six others, including a medic. I am alone. I was supposed to be dropped at a deep ravine. I’m on a hilly beach next to what appears to be an ocean, but surrounded by fields.

I’m not even sure I’m on Serendipity, to be totally honest. I’m just a rookie, and without my transmitter or computer, I could be anywhere.

The Company provided extensive survival training, so I’m not dead yet. I found a storage box of supplies: some wood, an axe, a pickaxe, fish, bread, and an apple. I’m not sure if it’s from  the ship, or something that someone here on the planet left behind. I did some light exploring.

I’ve spotted some horses and some chickens (ducks? they like swimming but sound like chickens), and cows, but nothing resembling civilization.

The plants here are amazing – mushrooms the size of maple trees, oaks four times as big around as me.

I found a small underground cave full of freshwater to spend the night in. It’s damp and uncomfortable  sleeping on the ground, but better than being out in the open.

At least this place seems friendly.

Map of where I've landed on what I'm assuming is Serendipity
Map of where I’ve landed on what I’m assuming is Serendipity