I’m losing track of time. My personal data assistant isn’t storing the stardate at all, and I can’t figure out how to fix it. All its other features still function, including short-range communication, but my hypothesis is that the alien presence on the planet is interfering with the PDA’s ability to send or receive long-range signals from this location.
There are definitely hostile aliens on Akua. We were told the planet had no advanced or sentient life; that it was similar to prehistoric Earth. There are large reptiles here that resemble dinosaurs, but drones continue to harass our bases. I’ve finally been able to set up a cannon turret, but Timo is building a fortress. Whenever I go there I feel safe, and I enjoy my conversations with him.
I just got distracted again, and it’s been happening a lot. Is it caused by these hostiles, this planet, or something I’ve been eating? Perhaps the alien honey. I need equipment to study these plants properly, but I have to survive. I hope our crop is ready soon. Timo killed a Plant Monster that had seeds in its belly. I know how bad that sounds, but we have to survive. I planted the seeds and it looks like one is a potentially edible vegetable.
On a personal note, I’ve been having fun. I’m in a challenging situation that I might not survive, and I’ve been working so hard–day and night–but I really like my motorbike! I never rode one before, and I should remain focussed on my tasks when I need to get around, but it’s too fun to speed up mountains and fly through the air for a few seconds. In that moment, I’m not thinking of hardships. I feel free and happy, and I think about good things. I think I’m developing personal feelings for Timo because I think of him also. I have to be professional and get a grip on my thoughts. I need Earth plants, I’m certain.
Last night, I went to the fortress to meet up with Timo and discuss my experiences–he is my commanding officer, regardless of my personal feelings. As soon as I arrived he told me, “I haven’t found anyone else yet.” I can tell it weighs on him, and he feels responsible for the deaths of our fellow crew members. I try not to think about it right now because I need to function, but he was third in command of the Maristela.
We were ambushed. I wasn’t on the bridge during the attack, but I know I wouldn’t be alive at all without the heroic actions of Command. They remained on the Maristela until the last possible moment, to draw fire away from our escape pods. I wanted to tell him that, but it wouldn’t help him and would be highly unprofessional. I told him about the date function of my PDA instead.
He checked his own PDA, saying, “I haven’t been using it much, other than its sensors and communicator… No, I have no date either.” I suggested that the aliens on Akua might be interfering with the signal. He replied, “That’s a reasonable assessment; they could be jamming the signal. I suspect these aliens are the ones who attacked the ship.”
“They have to be,” I agreed with him out loud.
He told me he saw a Rocket Drone circling above a promethium deposit, and theorized, “I think they might be here to strip resources, because all Explorers reported this system clear for settlement.” He was quiet for a moment, then said, “We need to find where those drones are coming from.”
I said, “I thought we should also try to reacquire our PDA signals at a higher location. Those signals could help the Corporation to locate us.”
At that exact moment, we heard sounds outside that I can only describe as loud purring-type of vocalizations. We looked at each other in surprise for a split second before quietly drawing our weapons. Timo went up the guard tower and I took a defensive position behind a pillar in the outdoor garden area. There was a group of bipedal reptiles–approximately 3.5 meters tall–walking through the small valley.
“They don’t appear hostile,” Timo said over the communicator. “Let’s go check them out.”
We stepped outside and saw the group walking away at a casual pace. “One of them is trapped in the tunnel,” Timo pointed out. We cautiously approached the creature, who didn’t react to our presence in any obvious manner. It looked like its only concern was keeping up with the group.
“I think he’s one of the native creatures of this planet,” I said. “I’m surprised by their use of tools!”
The creature finally figured out how to exit the tunnel, and Timo invited me to examine it. He told me, “I thought we could have a tunnel between our bases. We can even ride our motorbikes through it when it’s finished.”
The idea of racing back and forth together made me smile. I took a deep breath and confessed the strange feelings I’ve been having–not the personal ones of course! I admitted that I’ve been easily distracted lately. “That’s not like me,” I assured him. “I also experience mild euphoria at unexpected times. I haven’t found the cause of it yet, but I feel like I’m changing.”
He replied, “I’m having some of that too.”
© 2017, Starwing. All rights reserved.