Tag Archives: Colony X

Colony X: Mountaineering 1


The first day’s hike had been okay. They had retraced their steps from their sea cave to Garbage Bay, where they’d paused to catch and eat a late breakfast, with fire kindled from one of their torches. Andy had turned a few more pieces of driftwood into torches for later. The consistency of the wood never failed to puzzle her – carved like soft stone, grew like a leafless tree, burned like wood, but very slowly and without much heat. They’d found her little stream, so meager compared to the vast river she was growing used to, and started tracing its bank up through the dunes. Continue reading →

Colony X: Building 4


It didn’t matter much to either of them when it started to rain, since they were already very wet from their reef explorations. Noah was having genuine fun, exploring and gathering different green stuff and seeing what he could see underwater. He held out a private hope that the alien would be back, the one Michelle had seen, but as the hours drew on and his carry-bag grew full of little jelly-like green globes and a few different seaweeds and shellfish things to try, he began to lose hope and energy. The currents were interesting, made unpredictable by the underwater forest. Still, there was almost always a branch or trunk to grab if he went end-over-end, so it wasn’t like he was worried about going out to sea. Continue reading →

Colony X: Building 2

Michelle left her load by the cliffside without comment and, stripping out of her clothes, dove into the surf. She was so messed up inside her head, and if there was one thing she knew, it was that everything made more sense when she was swimming. The ocean current was great, complex and challenging as it swept through the reef trees, but they broke up the tide enough that she wasn’t in danger of being swept away. She dove down, and swam, arms and legs finding their rhythm, lungs remembering how to hold on. Continue reading →

Colony X: Building 1


The first decision was where to sleep that night. After walking back up the cave to the other entrance and back down with Andy, gathering darkness decided them on moving camp in the morning but sleeping down by the sea for hygiene reasons. There wasn’t water close by, but Andy assured them that given a little more time with her eel skin, she could figure out how to carry water in it. Their torch was still burning slowly, so they set it against the cave wall and lay down in a pile to sleep. Continue reading →

Colony X: Storming 5

They bathed before heading back down the coast, using the fresh water of the stream and sand from the bank to scrub themselves head to toe, rinsing their clothes and socks and even shoes of mud and sweat and bad memories. Andy and Michelle bathed together, and Noah went far enough away that what scraps of modesty they had left were preserved. Michelle scrubbed until she could see pink under her skin and her hands were feeling raw from the sand. It made her feel good, and she finger-combed her hair before braiding it and tucking it up into a bun. It would take longer to dry, but it wouldn’t tangle. Continue reading →

Colony X: Storming 4


They emerged, blinking, into the light. Andy tried not to feel like that was too poetic a way to look at it. It didn’t feel very poetic. It felt like she should have been working on making the tree root system into a better ladder. Ow. Her shoulder was killing her, though she didn’t want to admit that to Michelle. Maybe she just wouldn’t use that arm again. Ever. Continue reading →

Colony X: Storming 3


The morning, when it dawned, was unexpected. Michelle had thought it was night again, or still. Between the odd napping schedule they’d been keeping and the complete lack of external signals, she’d lost track of time hard a day or so ago. As abruptly as the trapdoor hole in their ceiling was full of rain cascading down, it was clear, and the light shining down was this planet’s normal yellow-green. Continue reading →

Colony X: Storming 2


It was chaos. Not the pretty butterfly chaos theory about a jungle somewhere. Some herd instinct had made them panic, and she’d grabbed onto Michelle just to keep Michelle from running off into the distance ahead of them, but Michelle was still pulling her along faster and faster. They’d left the stream behind a while ago, and there was no way their path was straight. They were still running on sand, soaked to the skin. The storm was just getting worse. It wasn’t that there was no visibility, Andy could clearly see sand, sand, and more sand, and steel grey sky above. It just wasn’t sand she knew. It was like walking through a shower with the water pressure set up too high. When they were on top of the dunes the wind drove them back down between them, and when they were in the valleys between the dunes they could hear it hissing. Continue reading →