Those mutinous bastards left me here to die. I don’t even know where here is. We dropped out of hyperspace long enough for them to drop me on the nearest planet with breathable air, and frankly, that was their mistake. They should have killed me. At the very least, they should have pried this matter manipulator off my arm, or taken my arm off at the elbow. They may not have agreed with my decisions as their captain, but they have no idea how resourceful I can be. I am stranded on this deserted planet, but I will not die here. Those thieving bastards better pray I don’t get my hands on another ship because I will hunt them to the ends of the universe to make them pay for this transgression.
Revenge aside, food and shelter are my biggest concerns. The first thing I've learned about this planet is that there is no shortage of rain. I beamed down into the middle of a tremendous rainstorm with winds so fierce I'm surprised my molecules weren't scattered upon entry into the atmosphere. Angry and wet, I took out my aggression on nearby trees so that I could pull some kind of shelter together to weather the storm.
The rain didn't last all day. Once the storm had passed over, I managed to scout the surrounding area. To my east there is a tall mountain, and to the west there is a shallow canyon. I plan to conquer both in time, but before I can venture out on excursions, I need to make sure there's enough food and water to last me the entire week. At the very edge of the western canyon, I found an old storage capsule chest from some forgotten previous excursion. I managed to drag it out of the canyon and back to my lean-to. I plan to store whatever food and seeds I can scavenge from the nearby area.
So far today I managed to find 2 ears of corn, 2 potatoes and roughly 4 servings of rice. It's almost enough to get me through an entire week if I ration it right. Enough rain has accumulated in the shallow recesses along the canyon that I have a decent supply of dirty water to drink for the next day or two, but tomorrow I need to work on something better.
Week 1 - Day 2
Today I dug out a shallow drinking well not far from the lean-to in order to catch some clean drinking water with the next rains. I reinforced it with stones that I hauled out of the mountain in the east. There are some expansive caves running through the mountain that I can see from the foothills, and it didn't take long to find enough loose stone to build a small ground cistern. Once it rains, I should have a decent supply of fresh water.
I found no more fruits or vegetables in my travels between the mountain and the canyon today. The local wildlife could be a good source of protein, but I haven't tried to eat one yet. I'm sure the bastards aboard the Indomitable would like to think these beasts have gotten the better of me. To be fair, I've had a few scares. Beasts I can't even begin to describe right now are coming at me like ravenous wolves, or territorial jumping slugs as it were. I've been able to beat them back with a bent piece of metal I found near the canyon, but a real weapon would be nice. I managed to carve a couple steaks out of the ones I've managed to kill with the sharpened end of this metal rod. The steaks aren't pleasant to look at, but once I throw them on the fire I'm sure they'll taste all right.
Oh, speaking of - I built a campfire. I've also taken a few moments today to reinforce the lean-to a bit. Ultimately, I will need something more sturdy to keep the damn wildlife out of my hair. If I can't find shelter from them soon, they will wear me down one day at a time and they will have the last laugh - or the last meal.
Week 1 - Day 3
I'm discouraged because the cistern doesn't appear to be collecting much water. It rains everyday so I'm not dying of thirst, but it would be nice to build up a reservoir and not worry about the day it decides to stop raining. I've made some improvements to the rock wall lining the cistern. I also transformed the lean-to into a true shelter. I put up walls and doors which help protect me from the elements and the local fauna. The ground around the shelter is not arable, but it's clear I will need to start growing food in order to survive. I needed to venture out beyond the canyon or over the mountain, and the canyon seemed the lesser of two obstacles.
It was a bit shallower than I previously thought. I managed to get to the other side quite quickly. I noticed several caves leading deeper underground and a crevasse or two as I made my way across. Beyond the canyon, I found some pearlpea plants. It's not my favorite food by any stretch of the imagination, but food is food. I can't afford to be particular right now.
I found a cave in the foothills of a western mountain that looked like it had been occupied by a vagrant like myself not too long ago. Unfortunately, a bottle of some sweet-smelling rum was completely empty. However, after a wash in the cleaner pools of the canyon, the sleeping bag I found is quite serviceable.
I decided that one man's cave dwelling aught to be another man's farm. The ground here is less rocky and I assume a bit more fertile than on the other side of the canyon. I'm not really a farmer, so I don't know much about it. Nevertheless, I spent the rest of the day leveling out the land and clearing out the rocks. In days to come, I may relocate my own abode to these new farmlands.
Week 1 - Day 4 & 5
Yesterday (4th Day) I ventured into some of the mountain caves in search of resources. There is an abundance of coal which I used to fashion some rather rudimentary torches. I saw a bit of copper and iron in those caves, but without proper tools they are currently useless to me. My matter manipulator can move wood and small stones, but will need serious repairs before it can do any true mining. As I mentioned before, the canyon is also full of nooks and crannies waiting to be explored and my inner child wants to map out every cave and tunnel, but I don't have the time for that right now if I'm going to survive. I have to focus on what matters most - revenge. After spending - perhaps wasting - most of the day exploring a few caves in the mountain and tunnels in the canyon, I set back to work on the new farmhouse and surrounding farmlands.
It wasn't until today that I feel like I finished my work on the house itself and actually began toiling in the fields. The house isn't much to look at, right now, but it will serve its purpose. It will protect me when I'm working or sleeping over here, and it will eventually make a nice place to store some food. Before settling in for the night, I planted several wheat seeds and pearlpea seeds. I only found one potato seed. I'm not quite sure what I'll do with the wheat since I'm no baker - nor do I have an oven for that matter - but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
It rains several times a day which makes for lousy working conditions, but at the very least the crops and I will stay well hydrated. The small cistern I dug out is actually filling up now, so my fears are abated somewhat. I'm really pleased that it's finally holding water in and I have a relatively clean and steady supply of water now.
Week 1 - Day 6 & 7
I spent two full days exploring and unlike last time, I don't feel like they were wasted. I'm not alone!
Just beyond the farmhouse is a steep cliff. I tried my best, but I simply can't scale it without proper tools. There are also some pretty deep caves just beyond the farmhouse leading into the face of the cliff. I thought about sealing them up to protect me from anything lurking in that darkness, but I'm so glad I didn't. I got up early two mornings ago and made my way into the caves with nothing but a handful of unlit torches to light along the way. I had to widen a few passages, and keep from falling into a deep darkness occasionally, but eventually I made it through the cliff to the other side of this western mountain. As I stumbled out into the light, I couldn't believe my eyes. There was another house just sitting there in the foothills - not unlike the farmhouse I'd built on the other side!
I made the acquaintance of a Glitch woman. She calls herself Margaret Haddaway and she's been living alone for quite some time. Although she was initially frightened by my sudden appearance in her backyard, she was eventually grateful for someone to talk to. We exchanged stories. I told her briefly of the mutiny and the marooning. She told me that she had no memory before awakening on this planet herself. From what I understand of these self-aware Glitch, they are often hunted by their own kind as some kind of abomination. I surmise that Margaret became self-aware and was similarly abandoned on this planet, but there's no real evidence to support this assumption. She has been content to live a simple life tending her garden and working on her skills as a seamstress - a profession she believes she had prior to her awakening.
The trip through the cliff caves is not easy. It is cramped, dangerous and wholly unpleasant. That said, I'm happy to have a new neighbor and someone to talk to from time to time. Margaret and I made a promise to help each other out with food and supplies whenever we had need of one another. We took comfort in not being alone - she more than I, perhaps, but I do not quite know the ways of the Glitch.
Margaret told me that from her side of the mountain, it is not that difficult to scale. She also said that at its peak she had built a small, but beautiful, lake gazebo where she often went to relax. I promised to return so that she could show it to me, but I wanted to get back to my side of the world before dark.
I slept in the farmhouse last night. It was cozy. I set out today to try and climb the eastern mountain. The trek up was not bad and there is a beautiful view from the top. I found some old camping equipment at the summit. I would have to inquire with Margaret if she knew who lived on this side of things before me - she made no mention of anyone else. Unfortunately, the eastern face of the mountain is just as sheer a drop as the eastern face of the western mountain. Again, without proper equipment moving forward is impossible, I fear. Despite these setbacks in the east, it has been a momentous week. I am confident now that I will survive on this planet as long as I need to. Hopefully I will figure out a way to get back into the stars before too long.
- Excepts from the Journal of Edge Valiant on the Founding of the Valiant Empire