As far as they’d been able to tell, the land masses on Esto IV consisted of three archipelagos, none of which had a single island larger than a square mile, and one single island of about two miles square with erratic volcanic activity.
It wasn’t an ideal situation – their colony ship had been packed for farming a temperate, land-locked area fed by several rivers – but it was far better than eating vacuum, which is what they’d been looking at when the ship developed a critical flaw halfway through their trip.
If they ever regained contact with the home company, Martina might have something to say to them about their ship construction. Right now, she was far more focused on an entirely different sort of ship and its build.
There was room for them to live across the bigger islands, all thousand and seventeen surviving colonists and ship’s crew, and there was room enough to grow some sort of crops, but most of their livelihood was going to have to come from the sea, and only a few of the islands were close enough to connect by bridges. Boats were going to be a large portion of their lives.
Martina studied the pieces of ship she had managed to pull off with a blowtorch, and contemplated shapes. The seas’ tides were like nothing at all on Earth, unbroken by continents, shifted by two small moons. Their boats would have to be steady and resist tipping; their sailors would have to have stomachs of iron.
Nearby, Sim and Imp were working on a series of stilted houses just a little off the beach. Martina swallowed a wry grin. She’d been thinking about a tropical vacation for years. Now she was going to live it.
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