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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Our habitat landers are designed to fit in to natural environments.
Here, the thing looks as out of place as I would at a Founders’ Ball. It needs more square edges.
In one week here, we have found three edible-to-human plants, although one of them requires processing twice – once with an alkaline plant which grows near it in most circumstances, and then again with heat – to not give horrible gas.
We have also found animals. Square animals. Square, fluffy, adorable, taller-than-humans animals.
This place cannot be for real.
Planetary Day 393
Summer here is a riot of color, most of it pink (but there’s some purple).
We’ve managed to domesticate or at least sort of tame several of the pink-yaks and a litter of the Red Cats. Because of the yaks — they make a really nice yarn, if you’re okay with everything being pink — we found two more edible plants, one of them a starchy root that has to be boiled but is surprisingly tasty, and one a spinach-like leaf plant.
Torvi is developing pink-screening glasses.
Explorer Log 7-23-3
The first thing we did on landing was set up a null-charge shield around our living pods. The lightning storms – “dry lightning”, my granny would say – come down so frequently it was three days before we saw the sun.
Flora and fauna here seem adapted to the storms. Either they have channels for the electricity or they’ve learned to hide from it.
I tell you, a thing that looks like a giant moose with electricity arcing from its antlers is a terrifying sight.
But the mountain cat leaping into the storm was even worse.
We haven’t lost anyone yet, mostly due to an abundance of caution. I’m not sure how long we’ll be able to say that.
Planetary Date 109
We have figured out the trick.
We nearly lost Ewro and Tagked, but we figured it out.
There’s a combination of trees and a certain element that completely repels the lightning.
And certain vines are lousy with that element.
We’re now living in a clearing in the forest under a very nice net-and-canopy that keeps us safe.
And we’re herding Giant Moose and Red Pigs, which are neither really red nor really pigs.
This might work out.