We toiled night and day to build a large subterranean base below our lakeside cottage. Rainy worked so hard at collecting resources that we only saw him briefly every time he returned with another cargo box full of ore! “You made great progress with the base,” he said when he saw how much we’d done already. “It’s looking great.”
“Thanks! I’m working to get a garden room set up, and Timo’s drilling to make the hangar.” We decided to build the majority of our base underground for our own protection, but we also wanted to minimize our impact on the environment around our home on Rotindus. The hangar is also deep below, with horizontal hangar doors at the top of a shaft, and docking bays for everyone’s small vessels.
I enjoyed chatting with Rainy for a little while before he left again. Socializing onboard the Maristela was forbidden because we were all supposed to have no personal relationships with anyone at home or in the crew. I assume the requirement was based on the extreme risk of our mission–so we had no distractions, and probably to ensure that no one would demand a rescue mission if we should fail.
Before the mission, I didn’t have anyone in my life long enough to form a bond. I was raised by the Corporation after being abandoned as an infant, due to a genetic defect I had. They gave me an experimental treatment that cured me and allowed me to live a mostly normal life, aside from turning my skin blue and causing my hair to fall out. Anyhow, I appreciate the feeling of making friends!
Soon after he left to mine a deposit farther away, a pale green fog slowly filled the air. It was a mild radiation storm, but our light armour was enough to protect us. Timo and I stood together on the beach and watched. “This planet is a lot stranger than I thought it would be,” I admitted. “I wonder if this is why the Aftercare Center was suddenly evacuated.”
“Let’s get inside in case it gets worse,” he suggested. Just as we sat down on the sofa to watch the storm, thunder rumbled and lightning flashed several kilometers away. Watching the storm was the first relaxation break I had since we became aware here. We both needed a good sleep, so we took an afternoon nap.
I woke up to the sound of tapping on the window, then Timo saying, “Honey, wake up. Look!” I got out of bed and went up to the window. The fog was much thicker and lightning flashed on the other side of the lake.
“Wow, this looks amazing!” I replied. “And you made a nice looking ship!”
“Yeah, she’s called Backbiter, and she has rocket launchers and gatling guns.” When he started to reload his rifle, I made him hold his pose until lightning streaked through the sky again, and I took a photo of him.
Timo went with the new vessel to scout the planet faster, and I needed to stay and work on the base building project some more. It takes a lot of effort to clear out large amounts of stone for every room we want to build. We have two sub levels to our base, and I needed to make a rather large space to grow food for us on Sub Level 1.
“Our base looks like a supervillian’s lair!” I said to Timo while he flew Backbiter south from our location.
“Did you get a good picture of it?” he asked. I laughed because he knows me so well. Then he announced, “I found something… It’s some kind of village.” I listened intently and waited for him to tell me more. “There’s some aliens with sticks walking around in it.”
I could see his location on my digital map, and the village he spoke of was on the opposite side of a very large lake. It overlooked another tiny lake at the base of a mountain, and was sheltered by the forest on the other edges of the village. I was amazed by the discovery. “Real living proof of intelligent alien life!” I exclaimed. “This is incredible… I wonder if they’re friendly.”
“I’ll RTB and we’ll make a vessel for you, then we’ll come back here together,” he said.
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