Settlers of the Void


Orientation

Woke up before the sunrise, which was startlingly pink and bright like some kind of slow-burn neon explosion. I didn’t get much sleep last night and it felt like it’d be a bit premature to take one of the sleeping pills, so I spent my hours of insomnia catching up on the journal. When it got bright enough to see without using the flashlight, I boiled some water in the heating cube for the first of my twice daily servings of Nutri-Stew. Tastes the same as it did on the ship.

I’m living in a land of rocks and dust, built of nothingness and the space between it. It’s cold and windy, the same as yesterday.

The grinders must have missed a few spots when they passed through this way. Getting the crops going will be difficult. The soil’s way too rocky for the roots to take hold and with the wind the way it is the seedlings won’t survive 24 hours outside their crates. Of course, the crates aren’t a permanent solution. I’ll have to start planting within the next week or so.

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After breakfast I decided to explore the area surrounding my camp. Brought the multi-tool. Before each step I poke out ahead of me with it to keep an eye out for any dropholes. They’re out here, sure as anything. I found one about twenty meters from my camp: there’s no bottom. It’s sheer luck that I didn’t stumble into it last night when I had to take a piss.

The pond’s about a ten minute walk from the camp. I found better soil down that way so I think I might end up moving my stuff closer to the shoreline.

There’s artificial moss growing in patches along the way to the pond. The inducers spread it via massive seedclouds and it’s something like a blend between a plant and a machine. Technically it’s edible, meaning it won’t poison you if you swallow it, but it tastes like plastic and is so nutrient sparse that you might as well eat rocks. The moss is about half an inch thick and colored a dark, deep green. Not much to look at, I guess, but it’s the most efficient oxygen factory in the known universe.

The pond is completely clear and seems shallow (I’ll ask for some rope on the next supply run so I can take a measurement). The pre-scans noted that it’s safe enough to drink, so I poured a little into my cup and took a sip. It tastes a bit like sulfur, but is otherwise fine.

#

After scouting around the pond I headed towards the rocky columns to the southwest of my campsite. They’re each about ten feet tall and were probably carved out over centuries by the wind.

There was a small vent bubbling steam in between two of the columns. It smelled like sulphur, but I decided not to approach it too closely until I can get a full biochemical scan. Might be able to use it as a geothermal power source somehow?

#

Returned to my tent about an hour before sunset and decided to switch on the radio while preparing the second of my batches of Nutri-Stew. We get three channels. Channel one is for official reports, channel two is for off topic social communication, and they play music from the Hierophant’s database on channel three. Before I went to sleep I turned on the music for a while. It’s nice. I could still hear the wind, but it made things easier.