Published on May 18th, 2013 | by Fraser Brown0
Planet Explorers: You bring the faeces-covered datapad back to camp
[Part One is here, if you're not keeping up]
You finally make it back to camp, outrunning whatever foul creature was causing that awful racket. Sitting down near your tent, you become increasingly aware of the unpleasant odour emanating from your backpack. The datapad you rescued from a pile of monster faeces is nestled between your survival kit and some other “important” junk.
Safe again, with food cooking slowly over the fire, you decide to turn the device on once more. The last entry you read was not a hopeful one; in fact, it was decidedly bleak, and knowing where the datapad ended up, you don’t hold out much hope for the author’s ability to turn his situation around.
Day Two — A pre-dawn rescue
It was still dark when I finally pulled myself out of my stupor, though it was a new day. Thick storm clouds obscured the stars, but it was not the time for stargazing. I had lives to rescue. Well, more like dead to raise. The turrets had either killed or scared off any of the beasties that might have eaten the lifeless corpses of my comrades, so one by one I brought them back with our medical equipment that would have impressed Lazarus.
I didn’t even get a thank you. Bastards.
One of our number was unaccounted for, however, and then I remembered: The doctor had been carried away into the night by one of those horrific pterodactyl-like monstrosities. I didn’t like his chances for survival, but searching for him certainly seemed like more fun than hanging around camp being unappreciated.
Still armed with nothing but a sword and shield, I set off into the wilderness with no real expectations. Not being a tracker of any kind (and besides, pterodactyls fly) I just travelled in the direction I last saw it heading. Maybe an hour or so had passed when I saw a light shining in the distance. It was the wrong direction to be the sun, and the clouds were still thick, so it must have been a torch.
There he was, curled up in a little ball, a few monster corpses nearby — Doctor Allen Carter. How he survived, I do not know, but he seemed physically fine. Psychologically, he was undoubtedly broken. I didn’t have time to question him, though, as the moment I reached him one of the crazy chicken demons leaped out of the darkness and assaulted me. I managed to kill it, though not without a lot of hassle.
Day Two – Whistle while you work
The clouds parted as I made my way back to the camp. I’d saved everyone, but nobody seemed to notice. I should have left them all to die, but then who would I eat when we inevitably ran out of food?
After talking to my arsehole companions, I discovered that there were two other survivors not in the camp. They’d been sent to scout the surrounding area, but had yet to report in. I reluctantly volunteered to go looking for them, looking for any excuse not to hang around these insufferable incompetents
One of the adventurers had gone to search a meteor site not too far away, so I opted to hunt him down first. It took longer than I would have liked, as some very nasty looking aliens barred the more direct route, and I didn’t feel like tussling with them after the previous night’s misadventures.
I discovered the explorer just west of a large crater, dawdling pointlessly. No introductions were made, instead he demanded that I start mining, as he believed there was some useful ore left by the fallen celestial body. He seemed perfectly capable of mining, himself, but had decided to wait for a slave. What a splendid plan!
I mined not because I was told to, but because I needed ore to craft more turrets are better weapons. It was a self-serving act. I made this perfectly clear when I grabbed my pickaxe and went to work. So much fucking work. Scouring the surface rocks for potential veins, it was all down to luck. Hours and hours went by, with me toiling absent rest.
When I finally gathered enough ore, it was almost evening. The horrors of the previous night were still fresh in my mind, and I admit to being quite timid. I still had one more survivor to look for, however, and so I picked up some new turret schematics and wandered off into unexplored territory.
Day Two — Looking for a man at sundown
The directions were vague. The fellow I was looking for wandered off to check out a giant tree, because that’s what people do on hostile alien worlds: they bugger off on their own to look at nature. At least the weather was perfect for an evening stroll, with bright blue skies and the slightly waning sun making it easy to see the many dangers ahead of me.
Dangers like this fellow:
This guy, too:
And also that:
I’m going to die here.
Eventually I found the tree, though it really wasn’t a tree. Mind you, nothing is normal in this god-forsaken place. I found my quarry, and I was not at all surprised to find that he’d been torn apart by animals. I did find his backpack intact, however. Victory!
Darkness had fallen, as it is wont to do, and I only had the shredded remains of a man I never knew for company. Sure, he at least let me tell my favourite bawdy jokes, and he declined my offer to share my dwindling food supply, so I could have had a worse companion. I didn’t quite feel brave enough to venture back to camp, not with the hidden threats lurking in the black unknown.
For peace of mind, I surrounded the tree-like spire with cannon turrets, and not a moment to soon, as my corpse chum and I were soon beset by gigantic spiders. Of course there are spiders — what hellscape would be complete without everyone’s favourite furry arachnids? I don’t expect to survive the night.