Day 2 was a disaster. No, that’s overstatement. The disasters will inevitably come later, day 2 was just a complete waste of time. This means that, so far, 50% of my time on this planet has been useless. Here’s how my best intentions for efficiency went off the rails.
It seemed to me that the next logical step wass to secure some food. I’ve got a gun, ammo’s not an issue, and there’s plenty of game from squirrels to bears to … stuff I have NO idea what it is. If you’ve got a name for an animal that looks like an antelope but has what looks like large fatty deposits all over it, you let me know and that’s what we’ll use. Meanwhile, I’m going to give them as much room to themselves as the bear. But there’s no use hunting if I don’t have any way to store the food so the real logical next step is to build a cold storage facility. This isn’t as hard as it sounds because the Complimentary Survival Guide contains instructions for how to create all kinds of helpful things, some of which I’ll need right away like solar panels, power cables, batteries, and cooling units and some that I won’t need for a little while yet, like plans for a spacecraft to get me home.
It seemed that the most efficient way to build a cold storage area would be to expand the cave and take advantage of the surrounding rock as insulation. Looking around the back of the area I’d settled in I discovered that one wall was <fanfare> a wall of compact steel that I could mine. Yay! I can kill two birds with one stone, carving out a cold storage area and amassing some steel at the same time. What could go wrong?
Before I get to what went wrong, let me stop those of you who are about to tell me that you don’t mine steel, you mine iron and coke and other stuff and you forge steel from that. You’d be mostly right, but you’d also give away the fact that you live on a pretty young planet where there’s only been time for two or three technologically advanced civilizations to have risen and collapsed on themselves. Out here on the rim, the worlds are really really old, and civilization has had a chance to rise and fall dozens of times. Depending on how well they sorted stuff on their way down, you can mine just about anything out here on the rim, steel included. The last civilization to collapse on this rock were a pretty anal bunch and sorted damn near everything, which works to my advantage because I can mine steel. I’d thank them but they’re not around.
So the mining started. And continued. And continued. And continued well beyond the point where I realized that I really suck at mining. I’m slow, I’m inefficient, and frankly I really don’t like it all that much. No real surprise then to find that I’d only cleared a 6×12 foot area. At this rate it would take another 3 days just to clear a large enough space, so I called it a bust, hit the rack, and hoped for a better run on Day 3.
Result! What a great day. Everything went as well today as it went crappy yesterday.
The cave idea was a bust but I still needed cold storage, and the next best starting point was the shed, which was full of stuff. So I built 4 wooden pillars to hold up a roof, roofed it over to stop the rain, and moved everything (yes, again) except the food out of the shed and into the covered storage. The next step was to build doors into two of the 3 holes in the shed wall, and fill the 3rd one up with a chiller unit. The chiller runs on electricity so I built a solar panel to generate some juice. I built some cables to carry the juice from the panels to the chiller, then I built two large battery units to power the chiller at night and on cloudy days. The solar panel creates a bit more juice than the chiller needs on full tilt and the extra is slowly charging the batteries. The food is cold and won’t spoil and I’m good to go. All in one day.
The end result is that I’m exhausted, I’m very pleased with myself, and I’ve got food in the fridge. Not sure what I’ll do tomorrow but today was pretty darn good.
The only fly in the ointment is that Sin was totally useless through all this and I’m going to have to find some time to start training him. I knew that I would be arriving with a random pet but beyond that I had no input in the selection and no clue as to what had been selected. It could have been as relatively useless as a cat, or something helpful for defense like a dog, or something that produces something like a cow or a sheep or a goat or a chicken. Did I get any of those? No, I did not. I’d heard stories of travellers who’d been given useless animals like a turtle or an iguana. Did I get one of those? No, I did not, but I’m jealous of those who did. Because, y’see…
I got a goddamn monkey.
Sin is a friggin’ MONKEY. Completely untrained, yet with an opposable thumb and the brain of a child to go with it. I got the one animal most likely to shoot me in the ass with my own gun. I’m sure this will end well, but that’s a problem for another day.