Star date 3300.5.10
It has been about four days since my last recording. Command contacted me asking for all the available research we had regarding the local flora and fauna. When they thanked me, they said, “We appreciate the effort you and Jemma are putting forth to find solutions to the pathogen.”
I didn’t correct them. Still, it’s sad they didn’t remember she passed. Command was never known for being sentimental, but it seemed like she deserved more after having given so much.
On another note, I have been working on something interesting. Something that may just save my life someday. Using the body of a decommissioned construction bot, I was able to append some code to its objectives. Instead of simply welding, hauling metal beams, and screwing bolts I have managed to teach it to retrieve, well, me. Should I issue a distress call, the bot should be able to save me, at least in theory. The truth is, I haven’t tested it out yet. Mostly out of fear that it won’t work.
Construction bots are clunky and slow. Getting one of them to reliably traverse stairs is like watching Bean try to use his little metal hook hands to hold anything other than a coffee mug. That being said, it's better than nothing.
Aside from toying with the construction bot I also took the time to upgrade all the other machines in the lab. I cleaned Beans innards to start with. No longer does the coffee he brews taste like a blend of the thousands of past cups that passed through his system. I also lubed his joints. Some of the oil dripped onto the belt he uses to move around with, and he occasionally slides into the wall.
I cleaned out the analyzer, ran software updates on the computer, and did maintenance on the Ice Cat. The only thing left to do is go back into the field to collect more samples. I am…hesitant, to be honest. Not only does the weather change on this planet in the blink of an eye, but I am now forced to choose between jagged peaks, frozen waters, or burning pools of sulfur, none of which are appealing. I wish I could stay among the trees close to the base. Sometimes, when the weather permits, I sit on a tree stump and light a fire in the middle of the woods and just enjoy the ambiance. I hadn’t done it since Jemma’s passing, so maybe I’ll have one of the bots accompany me. Bean, perhaps.
“BLOOP! You called me, Jax?”
No, no, no, I was just referring to you in my personal log.
“Is Bean doing well?”
Yeah, you're fine.
Well, except for that speech module. I’m not sure why it keeps making those random noises.
“I can turn my speech module off if you – BLOOP – prefer.”
No, that’s okay. Although it is kinda annoying, it’s nice not to be the only voice around here.
“Would Jax like a coffee?”
Hmm, sure. Give me another of those pumpkin-flavored drinks. You know, the one with the spice.
I can hear the wind howling outside, a sure sign the weather is about to change. It had been pretty quiet the past few days, but that never lasts long. Hopefully, it clears by next morning so I can decide on which biome to inspect next. I am leaning toward the sulfur fields simply because it's easier to traverse and warmer than the surrounding area due to the volcanic heat rising from the planet's core.
“Coffee is complete. Please remove the mug from the receptacle. BLEEP!”
Thank you, Bean. That will be all.
[Slurping sounds] I feel…somber. The sky is that winter grey, the kind of sky that forms in the fall and lasts until spring, casting a reflective hue on the world below. The winds are pushing the snow around and forming massive drifts, adding to my growing apprehension. Weather aside, there are other dangers on this planet, dangers that stalk the realms beyond the Barren Forrest.
I’ll need to retrieve the plasma rifle from Jemma’s room and make sure it's fully charged before leaving the base. I don’t like the rifle if I am being honest with myself. Not because I don’t think the science behind it is amazing, it is. Rather, I hate the idea of killing anything, especially an undocumented species. This planet is relatively unknown, only a few other research teams had ever colonized its surface in years past. There had even been a small trade center established on the far side, on an island of the northern coast but that too was abandoned a century ago.
Anyway, Jemma was never afraid to kill the beast that roam on the ground or below the waters. She made something of a sport out of it, bringing back trophies from her hunts. Her most ambitious goal was to bag a Zirconium Bear, a massive creature that hibernates in pools of bubbling volcanic minerals. These things are…uncategorical. Are they mammals? Reptiles? Something else entirely? Who knows. All I know is they look like giant bears covered in gemstones and calcified rock and I would love to avoid them if at all possible.
Well, I am going to go look for that blasted rifle.
This is Jax, signing off. ns18.104.22.168da2