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Landing Page: Tootplanets

Follow the adventures of an exploratory ship assigned to search out habitable planets – and extant civilizations – in one quadrant of Known Space.  Follow the captain’s travails and peek into these strange planets, in mostly-480-character posts as they scan over planet after planet, seeking out those they can send a team to.

And then, follow the exploration teams on those planets deemed worthy of testing out for habitation.  Will the environment be hospitable or hazardous?  What will sneak up on them on these strange planets, far from home?


All The Stories

Tooted Worldbuilding 

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Tootplanet: Explorers’ Logs Planet 7-23-3

 

Planetary Date 148

We learned 3 things.

1st: when it rains here, it pours, & that rain can dislodge some of the protections from the trees/vines.

2nd: an electrical storm here is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen.

3rd: a particular arrangement of mostly vines can, during the middle of a rain storm, make a perfect EMP.

We’ve also discovered the exact extent of our EMP-backup procedures & how many things require manual reboot & reprogramming.

Tootplanet: Explorers’ Logs Planet 7-12-1

Planetary Date 317

Among the interesting things that we have discovered lately, there have been:

a mutation of the puffball creatures (the Vernal line) that explode.

They don’t exactly explode, technically, but the end result is something that destroys itself violently around maturity.

Sadly for us, that “around” means that some of them mange to breed before exploding.

It took us a month to get the problem contained.

In the meantime, in addition to the green dog-ponies, we found something that most closely resembles a very long-legged mountain lion, except it’s patterned mostly in pink and blue.

 

 

 

Tootplanet: Explorers’ Logs Planet 7-11-1

 

Planetary Day 370

The good news is: we’ve isolated the biological/mineral combination that makes the ocean water joy-juice.

The bad news is: It’s because Lei found some standing water in isolated rock bowls that made the same compound.

The really bad news: Standing water is as dangerous here as it is anywhere, plus the dangers of the joy-juice.

The tolerably decent news: Lei’s knee-highs make pretty good assistant nursemaids.  They aren’t letting him leave bed until he’s healthy again.

 

Tootplanet: Explorers’ Logs Planet 7-9-1

Planetary Day 466

Now that we have the pink-yaks settled to taking a harness, we’ve been working on an actual shelter for next winter. Our habitat is clearly not quite enough, so we’ve skipped to the end of the Exploration Manual and have started making a home.  

You know, I wasn’t actually surprised to dig down and find that the clay was pink.

Finding silca sand that made pink glass was slightly more surprising, and means that our windows may be letting in, ah, rose-colored light.

The way the last winter went, we might need every bit of optimism we can get.

Explorer’s Log Planet 8-11-3

Explorer Log 8-11-3

The good news is: we landed on a sunny day, in an area the radar had shown to be calm.

The bad news is: It started raining the day after we landed.  It rained for ten days straight.

It’s day 11 now, and we’re beginning to dry out and make plans for this place.  Water won’t be a problem, that’s for sure.

Not sure about growing things, though; this area appears to grow mainly grains that don’t mind being flooded.


Planetary Day 55

As far as we have been able to tell, the weather here seems to come in cycles of 10:1.  That is, 10 rain to 1 day of sun.

The sun days are blessed and pleasant and even comfortable; we’ve been spending most of them developing a series of connected roofed shelters with walls to the windward side.

With these, we can move between the paddies that we’ve created, the two habitats, and our science bays.

Anywhere else, we’re going to need to develop some sort of mobile rain shelter.

Tootplanet Captain’s Logs Sector 8, Subsector 11

Star Log Sec8 Sub11-1

We are past the “bear’s” reach for sure now, and we are out of the garden, too.

This planet looked, on first glance, to be almost entirely lava.

Looking at it more carefully, maybe 1/3 of the land surface is covered in active vulcanism, with an equal amount of the water looking like it will be very hot land soon.

One high area shaped like a horseshoe boasts lush greenery, fantastic elephant-sized birds, and a reservoir of water 100s of feet above sea level.

We are still debating sending down a team.


Star Log Sec8 Sub11-2

I think we found a lost colony.

Nobody expected us to find one way out here, and I suppose it could be a case of parallel evolution, but everything – the bilateral symmetry, bipedalism, range of melanin – is too similar to the humanoid base to be a coincidence

They appear to be at the late Industrial Age and have no space travel, but fragments of a much higher technology level can be seen.

The planet itself is idyllic, 85% water, most land masses in tolerable climates.  But we found settlements on the one polar land mass, as well as on the top of mountains.

We sent several greeting probes, guessing at political divisions.  This one will bear watching.


Star Log Sec8 Sub11-3

We came on this planet in the middle of a massive storm system in its northern hemisphere – eastern side.  It looked like it was devastating the coast – but it also looked like there was nothing on that coast except rock which had, presumably, been hit by hurricanes in the past.

The Western hemisphere was rather calm, although the southern/western quadrasphere appeared to be in the midst of a blizzard on its largest landmass.

Inclement weather aside, this place has large land masses connected by small strings of islands and narrow land bridges.  We went down a team to the north/western quadrasphere.


Planet 8-11-3

Tootplanet: Explorers’ Log Planet 7-20-1-β

Explorer Log 7-20-1-β

Planetary Day 152

The strangest thing of anything on this weird moon is the base six plants.

No, I lie: the animals with six of everything are the strangest, but the plants (grown on roofs in deep six–sided beds, of course) are pretty weird.

While our researchers piece together the Hexagonal language and history, we’ve been farming rooftops with some six-sided fruits and nuts and a weird crystal-like grain.

We don’t go down to the surface more than we absolutely have to, and even that is too much.

Tootplanet: Explorer Log Planet 8-10-2

“Stepping Stone”

The first thing we did on this planet was make a bridge.

Two bridges, actually.  

The first one connected two islands that were about 30 feet apart; the second was nearly a mile long.

Then we split our team into three parts: one on the central island, one on the closer one to the west, and one on the further one to the northeast.

Geologically, this planet is interesting.  Biologically, it’s wonderful.

Better yet, the central island has a saltwater lake.

Five years might not be long enough.


Tootplanet: Captain’s Log Sector 8, Subector 10

Star Log Sec8 Sub10-1

We skipped through Sector 9 in a hurry.  I think we’re finally out of the woods, and the look of this planet confirms it.

It’s a tidy planet, with potentially sentient life in the stone-and-wood-tools stage of development.

They are corvid in appearance, with vestigial feathers and claw-like hands, and they are very group-oriented. They live in fascinating tree dwellings they create by weaving sticks around tree branches and then weaving vines and sticks around the sticks, and then decorated with chips of mica.

 I wish we could stay here and observe them forever, but we have a mission.  


Star Log Sec8 Sub10-2

We don’t generally name planets, but that didn’t stop Seb from naming this one “stepping stone.”

It’s covered in islands.  Some of them appear to be hardly bigger than a rock; some of them are miles wide on a side.  All of them are close to at least two other islands, although “close” in this case is sometimes “visible in clear weather.”

We see no signs of sentient life, no signs of any land animal larger than a big alligator.  The atmosphere is breathable.

We sent down a team to the largest island.  Let’s see what they can do.

 


Star Log Sec8 Sub10-3

This subsector has clearly not been touched by the Bears.

The life on this planet is gorgeous.  There are squalid parts – they are in the early parts of an industrial revolution – but the nice parts are gorgeous.  Steeples. Spires. Plant-boxes everywhere.

The people themselves are bipedal with long arms and a trunklike appendage as well as a prehensile tail.  Their clothing in the nicer areas consists of layers and layers of printed fabric in folded rectangles.

Their trains are a work of art.  I wish I could ride on one.

We sent down a greeting probe.  I want to visit so badly.


Star Log Sec8 Sub10-4

This sector is fascinating, and in 100 years, I would love to see what the populated planets here do.

This planet is vernal is a very trimmed-looking way, but we cannot find the gardeners.  That is: plants are arranged into rows and fields, circles & swirls, arches and labyrinths.  None of it appears natural. But there are no structures, no sentient-looking beings, and the animals there are wander – apparently freely, yet within their own designated zones.

It is slightly too unnatural for us to risk a team.  Instead, we sent down three sleeper probes that will awaken if handled in a manner usually indicative of sentient life.

They may greet this planet’s version of a chimp.  They may find the gardeners.

Reluctantly, we moved on.

Planet 8-10-2

Tootplanet: Explorers’ Logs Planet 7-19-2

Planetary D193

I have found a flying animal.

I held it in my cupped hands for maybe an hour.

They have no fear of humans, although we have found a thing that predates on them.  They are about the length of my arm, and they look like a fiddlehead fern that unrolls and rerolls as it wishes.

They are nesting on our habitat roof now.