Starbound: I Shot an Arrow into the Air

Scott Tortorice

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My homeworld is gone. Destroyed. Cracked like an egg by some tentacled, Cthulhuian nightmare from another dimension.

I was one of the lucky ones. I was still at the spaceport when the upheavals began. When it was clear that this was something more than a mere earthquake, I ran, then crawled, then clawed my way back to my spacecraft that was parked on the tarmac. I didn't even have time to purchase some fuel before oblivion was released. Didn't matter. No time to complain. It was leave or die.

I made it to orbit, my ship the worse for wear after nearly being clipped by the crumbling spaceport ATC tower that was heaved to the ground by The End of All Things. Damaged, out of fuel, out of supplies, I made a hasty run to some in-system backwater planet still in the early stages of terraformation. I did the best I could scavenging the barest of supplies from the surface - some food, some crafting materials, and just enough to repair my spacesuit and recharge its O2 cells, before I lifted off to the nearest moon to mine some fuel for my ship's jump drive. While I dug into the moon rock, I saw the incandescent flare that heralded the final obliteration of my homeworld. There was no going back now. Ever. My gut also told me it was time to fly from the entire solar system before the horror came looking for survivors.

When I got back onboard my ship, SAIL told me I only had collected enough fuel for a jump to one of two systems, neither of which seemed particularly promising for a new start. On a coin toss, I chose Sadachbia IG-555. My new home. Well, the first planet of this system would be, to be precise. SAIL told me that signs indicated that it was a jungle world with tempestuous weather, lots of animal and plant life, and plenty of resources. Good enough.

I landed on the lush, wet and green world and immediately started clearing my landing site for a basecamp. Using my invaluable Matter Manipulator(TM), I started building a bunker-type structure using heavy, thick stone. I suspected I would need the strength of such material seeing how the wind was already gusting alarmingly.


As I built, I discovered a little tunnel beneath my building site. I only explored a few feet as there was plenty of work to do topside. I left a burning torch for when I had a chance to return.

Before long, I had built a solid blockhouse even if I had to do so using a variety of materials as I hadn't brought enough of one to complete the job. I placed my essential manufacturing devices on the main floor. I felt safe, at least. I even managed to paint everything green...for some reason.


The basics complete, I got a bit fancy by smelting some glass that I used to install as windows. I also decided to install some doors because I realized I probably would like to leave some day. Unfortunately, I chose the worst possible time to breach my eastern wall as a nasty thunderstorm rolled in. Torrents of rain came down, some of which blew through the hole in the wall where I was attempting to install the door.


It was getting too stormy to proceed, so I sealed up the wall again, built myself an upstairs bedroom, placed my spacecot, and took a nap. It was a good call as the storm only got worse. High winds and bad lightning made the night tense. At one point, lightning struck the roof of my bunker, starting a small fire (see picture)! Good thing I used stone and not wood!


When I had awakened, the storm was still raging outside, so I used the time to add to my little abode. I made a sitting room on the west side, and added some lighting fixtures. I finally got the doors installed, too (but I had to use wood doors as I was beginning to run short of metal).


Things were becoming livable.

The storm still raged outside, so I decided to do a little spelunking below my bunker. I explored that little cave and found a long lost capsule containing some credits at the bottom of a small subterranean pond. Some bioluminescence below me suggested even greater discoveries awaited.


But that would have to wait. With a start I realized that I hadn't eaten anything in quite some time. Worse, I didn't have much food on hand. Really, just some fruit and two cans of rations. That would not last long. If I didn't find some fresh food, I would starve.

I immediately set to work crafting a hunting bow. When the storm finally abated, I headed out into the wild looking for food.

I headed east initially, and while I did discover animals - hostile animals at that - the food situation was not much better. Only one animal gave me edible meat, enough for perhaps one meal. Things were grim. Worse, it was starting to get dark, making hunting dangerous. But I needed to press on!

I changed direction and headed west. I went across hill and dale but found little to eat other than some wild fruit. It was getting darker and the wildlife was becoming more aggressive. Plus, the rain was coming down in buckets again. Things were looking grim. I realized there was a good possibility I might starve on this untamed planet devoid of all civilization.

And then it happened. Did you ever see that old Earth analog viewer program called something like "The Dusk Area"? It had all these weird stories. One story was about a team of astronauts who crash land on a desert asteroid and immediately set about killing each other in a desperate attempt to conserve their dwindling water supply. However, one of the astronauts went exploring and made a discovery, but before he could tell his commander, he was nearly killed by one of the other crazed crewmembers. All he could write before he died was a cryptic symbol that looked like "H". What could it mean? Spoiler: he was drawing telephone polls. You see, the men didn't crash on a desert asteroid but in the desert on their own planet! They were mere hours from civilization!

That is how I felt when my rain-dimmed flashing shone on this:


A telephone poll! And a barrel of waste!

Moving on, I discovered this:



A frickin' parking lot! With oh-so-cute parked, pintsize flying saucers! *facepalm*

Clearly, I was not on some wild planet. Well, it was wild but apparently there was an outpost of civilization. I hoped they had food!

Nope. No food. But penguins. Mean, nasty penguins. With guns. Before I knew it, these uplifted fiends, the scourge of the civilized galaxy (but great mechanics!) were shooting at me. I used my trusty eltro-charged subgun to shoot back.


I won.


The place was huge. It appeared to be some sort of lab / manufacturing complex. And it was well defended.



I didn't have the time to go exploring, so I beat a hasty retreat and headed home with the slim pickings I had gathered that night.

I went home and decided to spend the night continuing to explore that cave under my home. It proved to be a massive affair.



Fortunately for me, I discovered some subterranean animals - some sort of cow and rabbit crossbreed horror - that was perfect for frying up in a pan! I had found my food source and it was literally right below my feet! Huzzah!


Packing my backpack full of "cowbit" steaks, I went home. In the morning, I added another floor to my home and planted the flag of a dead world. I even added a small garden by my east-facing door for some edible plants! It was a tough forty-eight or so hours, but I think my chances of surviving had improved considerably. There was still a big world out there to explore, but this small bit was now properly civilized. Well, it would be once I got back to eradicating those darn penguins!

 

Scott Tortorice

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Put in some more time in making my basecamp more livable. I added wood paneling on the top floor and built a "man-cave" in the basement, complete with bone chair, bone lamp (in a water feature) firepit, and table with a PC. :)

 
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