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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: 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.

 

 

Tootplanet: Explorers’ Logs Planet 7-18-2

Planetary Day 125 

We spent the first hundred days here just trying to stay alive – and with variable results.

We lost three people; Fedder lost a foot to frostbite but survived; Auren lost two fingers to a Fuzzy and nearly lost the hand.

We also found out how to kill the Fuzzies, how to survive their attacks, and how to garden in a cold and dreary place.

Only in the strange “autumn” that we’re in now have we started to worry about more than mere survival.

We’re starting with domesticating Fuzzies.


Planetary Day 174

People who have domesticated predators have not done so under such duress.  We lost one more member, but we also have lots of Fuzzy hides to keep us warm.

We’re going to need it.  Winter is coming in with a vengeance and the Fuzzies are circling.

 

Tootplanet: Explorers’ Logs Planet 7-17-2

Planetary D253

The glitter hormones are turning out to be more complicated than we ever thought they would be.  And in turn, they are also more useful than we ever thought possible.

We’ve replicated the hunting style of three of the bigger predators and started making “runs” for food animals lined in different glitter pheromones.

That’s useful, but more useful is what we discovered in the accidental isolation of the bad time: Each line of glitter eliminates certain issues or diseases.

I still don’t want to stay here one day longer than we have to, but I believe this is almost worth the stay.

 

Tootplanet 7-16-4: Another Viewpoint

Star Log, Sec. 7, Sub. 16-4 – another viewpoint

Slek was still watching the sky.  Slek had been watching for days now, taking every turn that was available.  

The Periln hadn’t come back.  By this point it was almost safe to believe that they wouldn’t.

They had begun rebuilding carefully, within the ruins of their lost city. They had sent out very low-frequency signals, looking for more survivors.

They could, perhaps, make a go of life again.  But only if the Periln or someone like them didn’t return.

Slek couldn’t help thinking how much easier it would be to rebuild with help, though.

 

Tootplanet: Another Viewpoint, planet 7.16.3

7-16-3–another viewpoint,  continued.

The reply to their reply took many[brownish, with suggestions of green] days, so long that Lior (red-phasing-to-blue/greenish tips gone yellow) believed they would hear nothing.  Had their reply been too bland? Not bland enough? How were they to know, when the probe allowed for nothing like color in its sending?

When it returned, Lior was pleased(Green, so green) to find they had included video. But their faces… spoke only of tired/sorrow?

These were not people Lior wished to communicate with.

 

 

Tootplanet: Explorers’ Logs Planet 7-14-2

Supplementary Exploration Log – P.Date 198

On a planet this small, I thought we’d run out of things to explore.

Today, I found a canyon barely wider than my hips, and in that canyon, I found a thriving species of mice.


Planetary Date 252 

We’ve spent a week exploring a lake that is barely bigger than a swimming pool but deeper than anything short of an ocean trench has any right to be, especially on this tiny planet.

Its water is potable, its southern beach is beautiful, and its animals range from the adorable – tiny rainbow fish the size of a fingernail! – to the outright terrifying.

Falip nearly died when something grabbed her leg and dragged her under.  From her scrambled reports, it was a many-armed creature the size of a man.

We haven’t been able to find any other sign of its existence, but we intend to keep looking – and to be very careful in that water.

 

Tootplanet: Explorers’ Logs Planet 7-12-1

Planetary Date 262

There are actually other things on this planet besides puffballs.

The thing is, that some of them find the puffballs to be terrifying – because of mutations like the one we got out of the Dawn line, it seems, and because their bright colors blend in so well that something that could be toxic or venomous just, poof, appears under your feet.

The poor… fluff.. thing – think the size of a large dog or small pony, mostly lime green, with blue and pink spots – walked like it was on show as it checked us out, lifting each foot up all the way and putting it down very carefully.

 

 

Tootplanet: Explorers’ Logs Planet 7-11-1

Planetary Day 321

Lei has something new to distract him from the joy water (and how nigh-impossible it is to get to the sea on foot from where we are, now); he has been domesticating the knee-highs – and teaching them tricks.

They are relatively friendly, if you keep them away from wires; we had discussed using the old trick of putting a cyanide-like compound on them, but both Lei and our three pregnant mothers complained.

So we’re using some spare plascrete armoring on wires & trying to keep them out of our beds.  

But at least Lei isn’t trying to drown himself in joy water anymore?