Settlers of the Void


Footsteps

He’s here. Harris is somewhere nearby. Close enough to see me, probably, although I haven’t seen him. Only his footsteps: I was out walking by my original campsite when I first noticed them in the ash. It has to be Harris. They were from bare feet, not from boots.

So far I don’t know what he wants. He may not want anything. If he wanted to attack me, he could have done so already. I still have the multi-tool. I still have my tent. I still most of my gear. The only thing I don’t have is the radio.

As soon as I saw the footprints, I ran back to my tent to send a report to Channel 1 about what I had seen. But when I unzipped the flap, the radio was gone. The bastard stole it. He must have taken it when I was out exploring this morning, the same as he must have taken the multi-tool of whoever that was on the off-topic channel yesterday.

Which means he was here recently. Recently enough to be watching me this morning to know when I was gone.

Why?

I stood like an idiot for half an hour outside my tent shouting that I knew he was there, that I knew he was messing with me. I both hoped and didn’t hope that he would reply, but there was only the wind.

When Harris stole the radio he took the time to zip back up my tent. A little bit of the Nutri-Stew was missing too, but other than that nothing else was out of place. All of the plants are fine. The wine’s here. So’s the medicine, the cup, the light – everything else that you’d figure he might want.

Without the radio I’m not sure how I’m going to tell the others what happened to me. I could walk to the ship, maybe, but to be honest I’m not even sure which direction to go. I don’t have a map. The last thing I want to do is stumble into a drophole.

For now I’ll stay put. I’ve got my multi-tool at the ready and I’m wired from a dose of the stimulant pills. I’m crouched in the middle of my tent with the light off waiting.

Eventually somebody will notice that I haven’t checked in for a while. They’ll send a hoverjeep. All I have to do is wait.