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Author's Note: Last of the personal journal entries, normal chapters will resume after.


Journal Entry Day 174 + x

I miss shrimp tempura. I miss fried chicken. I miss pizza. I miss dumplings. I miss bacon...wait I can probably make that…

My next goal shall be to hunt a piggy. A good, plump piggy.

Journal Entry Day 175 + x

After thinking about delicious food I started to think about food seasonings. So far, I haven't seasoned anything. I had thought about using potash to change up the flavor of my food, but since I'm exclusively using crystal coals for fires, there is no potash readily available for seasoning.

I could produce potash by gathering more wood from the forest and making a traditional campfire, but it would create too much smoke inside my basecamp since it is still buried by snow. 

Well, I’m running low on charcoal for ink, so I might have to do that regardless.

One advantage for using crystal coals is that they don't create any smoke. They probably don't produce much harmful gases when they burn either.

That is why: salt.

I get enough sodium to satisfy my daily needs from eating food I've scavenged or hunted. In a scenario where I'm at a sodium deficit, I could always drink fresh blood. But that is an extreme case.

What I need salt for is flavoring!

This means I either have to discover a salty body of water -- like a sea, salt lake, or ocean -- or rock salt. I could extract salt from root vegetables, but I don’t have a farm, nor the know-how.

I wonder if that rocky mound I used as a temp shelter in the early days has any NaCl.

Journal Entry Day 176 + x

Powdered bone broth. I can probably make it.

Honey! But I haven't seen any insects or bugs…

Food flavoring aside, I decided to make a couple stone age tools today: the adze and atlatl. Adze for wood removal / manipulation / construction; atlatl for efficient javelin throwing using the quills.

I believe I can increase my throwing range by at least 80% with the atlatl -- which translates to almost double the distance. The mechanical advantage from the atlatl should also increase power, speed, and accuracy.

I can't wait to practice, but it'll have to wait until the snow melts. Maybe I can practice during my expeditions? I'll have to fashion some test projectiles in that case -- I'm afraid quills will be difficult to remove from targets if thrown with more power.

Journal Entry Day 177 + x

I think I stumbled across an above-ground mineral / ore deposit.

I'm not well-versed in geology so I'm unsure what type of material it is. However, there are many small, crystalline formations embedded in the rock formation. 

The crystals are opaque pink. The extremes of their color schemes are opaque dark red and translucent milky white.

There's moss all around, so it must not be radioactive, at least in its current state.

Anyway, I excavated a sample and wrapped it in a piece of thin leather. I'll examine it a bit more later. 

For all I know, it could be the rock salt I've been craving.


Journal Entry Day 231 + x

The sun is still out and the snow continues to melt. I wonder if it means winter is over.

I am worried about flooding from snowmelt.


Journal Entry Day 245 + x


There is a layer of ice -- the width of a finger -- laying on top of the old snow. The snow looked to have compressed further.

My basecamp is no longer buried, but the situation is still worrisome.


Journal Entry Day 251 + x

Another blizzard.

Where will all this water go when it melts? I have yet to find a river...maybe I'll find one if I follow the meltwater when winter ends.

Luckily my basecamp is on slightly higher land. I can't say that it's on a hill, since the change in elevation is almost negligible.

My food stocks are still fine. I've added more meat from the animals I had scavenged and killed during my outings. I've even made a temporary freezer in the snow to store them in. 

However, I'm running low on vegetables. 


Journal Entry Day 256 + x

The blizzard has ended.

I tunneled through to the surface today, but didn't go on a trip to the woodlands.

Basecamp has been buried by a bit more snow this time -- compared to the last blizzard -- but not enough to bury the air chimneys.


Journal Entry Day 277 + x

When will winter end?

I've been speaking my thoughts out loud for a few dozen days now, all to keep myself sane. It's also a good exercise in practicing speech. 

I remember a time where I had isolated myself away from people for so long that I ended-up struggling with normal conversations -- even with my family. I quickly recovered by saying my thoughts out loud.

Coincidentally, it also blocks the voices from coming back...I had been moody the last few days, so I started hearing them again. I thought I got rid of them after improving my senses. 

Looks like I'm losing focus.


Journal Entry Day 288 + x

It hurts…

Journal Entry Day 289 + x

...what a ride…

Trauma Healing...what a ridiculous thing. I was correct in giving it such a contradictory name.

Journal Entry Day 290 + x

I don't understand...

How can someone else's memories be more painful than being ripped apart by a flying cat?

Journal Entry Day 291 + x

These dreams still suck.

Journal Entry Day 292 + x

Cleansing, finally.

It's strange. Celebrating, no, yearning for such a painful experience to come...I swear I'm not a masochist.

More scars. Many more scars.

I think I'll eat and drink my fill and rest some more.

Journal Entry Day 293 + x

I can't believe how careless I was.

A few days ago, when I was heading-out to explore and map new terrain, I was attacked from the air by some ridiculous creature.

I was lucky I was nearby basecamp.

This thing...It looked like a fucking giant cat with wings. Big. Round. Heterochromatic eyes. Black fur. Stupid looking face...It didn't even look fierce.

Fucking embarrassing.

I literally fought some kitten with wings. That's it. Fucking bastard.

Journal Entry Day 294 + x

Alright, now that I've calmed down a little, I'll write down the events that occurred.

So this fucking flying pus…

So this flying kitten…

So this flying fuck came down after me from who knows where. It probably hid behind the stale-grey clouds in the sky, just waiting to pick-off easy prey (me).

I was about half-way out of the dead zone when I sensed its presence. 

Turns out, I'm shit at sensing things in the air. I had thought that my heightened senses worked within a specific, spherical range. Instead, it's more of an ellipsoid, where range based-on elevation is seriously lacking. 

Coincidentally, my sensory range for things underground isn't impeded like the air above me. That is, so long as I'm in direct contact with the ground.

Anyway, it attacked; claws out; mouth agape; tongue flapping in the wind. 

By the time I could react, it had already shredded my cloak and destroyed the supply pack I was carrying on my back.

Of course, I swung at it with my short spear, but it easily dodged. 

My form and footing were both poor at that moment, so it was an expected outcome.

I quickly recovered from my clumsy mistake and engaged the…'Winged Kitten' in fierce combat. 

Without the element of surprise, I fended-off the beast pretty well. It was quick, so both of us naturally received a few superficial wounds from the exchange. However, as soon as it returned to the air, the battle dynamic changed.

It would often fly out of range of my throwing quills, so the atlatl didn't see very much action -- most of the quills were scattered after the supply pack was destroyed anyway. When it did come into range, it flew too quickly for me to get a proper shot.

It would often roar "Meowr" in the most nonthreatening way, just before diving-in for an attack. Parrying or blocking those dive attacks were impossible; the majority of the serious injuries I received were from attempts to parry and block those attacks.

Once I started to dodge, however, the game changed. I would dodge and jab at the same time. 

Sometimes I would miss, but when I hit, I hit HARD. 

When everything was over, the snow was covered in blotches of red and pieces of entrails (not mine).

I didn't actually see the Winged Kitten die, since it retreated into the thickets. 

I didn't give chase due to my injuries.

My right arm was mangled -- it was barely held together by whatever muscles and ligaments were left untouched by Winged Kitten's claws -- both my outer thighs had been cut deeply, almost to the bone, and I was close to being scalped completely.

I just about crawled back to the tunnel entrance of my buried basecamp. I painfully slid down the tunnel and forced myself into the room where I stored bandages and soap moss.

After removing my tattered armor, I did my best to debride the wounds and wrap my injuries. Then, I gingerly moved to my sleeping quarters, lit the heating stove, and went to bed.

And that was that...

The last few days, I've been sensing movement on the surface. Today is no different. It is probably either scavengers or the Winged Kitten's friends. However, they don't stay for very long. Coming and going every few hours, but never staying the night.

I'll stay hidden for now. 

Journal Entry Day 295 + x

I cordoned the area where I went through Cleansing. I was smart enough to exit my living quarters and run to one side of the basecamp when I felt it coming. I'll remove the filth when I feel it is safe to go back to the surface, or when the snow starts to melt, whichever of the two comes first.

Should I construct a building just for Cleansing?

Still feeling sluggish, so I've been eating heartily to regain my strength.


Journal Entry Day 310 + x

No activity on the surface again today. Maybe I can finally head out soon.

Journal Entry Day 311 + x

It has been 7 days of no activity. I think they are finally gone. I'll go check tomorrow.

Journal Entry Day 312 + x

All signs of the fight are gone. 

Although shallow, the blood patches have been dug up, and the entrails scattered all over are missing.

I did retrieve most of the quills that had dropped when the Winged Kitten destroyed my supply pack, which is good. As for the ones I threw...there's a low chance of finding those since they were thrown at an arc, so I didn't actively search them out.

I went into the forest thickets, towards the direction the Winged Kitten fled, and found nothing. No body, no scraps, no bones, no nothing. There is no-way it survived that fight.

I have a few scars on my scalp now. They run from the back of my head, near my right ear, to my forehead, just above my left eye. It's three parallel lines just under three fingers apart from one another; a total of eight fingers wide when including the width of each scar.

I think I'll grow my hair out to hide these scars. Well, my hair is already long as-is. It could reach my shoulders soon.

Anyway, I think I learned how to hide my presence; I didn't have much to begin with, but I have a hunch I can do better. When the unwanted visitors were present -- days ago -- I practiced eliminating all my unnecessary thoughts, while keeping my senses active. I entered a state of being half awake and half in meditation. 

The sensation and mental state was-and-is difficult to keep-up. That said, I noticed an immediate reaction when I performed it: the unwanted visitors would all stop and break away from their normal search patterns -- patterns that I deciphered after spending days under self-quarantine and hiding. 

Gradually, they enlarged their search area. It was as-if they lost sight of their target. After a few days of doing this, they finally left. But I had to make sure they were gone, so I stayed hidden for a few more days.

I want to test it out in the field, but it's difficult to maintain even while not moving.

At least I have something interesting to improve.


Journal Entry Day 345 + x

It's drizzling again.

The snow around basecamp has shrunk once more. It is down to my hips now.

I still don't know where all the water goes. It was a problem at first, when the ground was still covered in a layer of ice, but once it turned into slush, water just disappeared into the ground. Of course, this happened gradually, but the absorption rate was quick enough that no major flooding occurred.

With how long winter has been...just how many days make-up a full year on this planet?

There are clearly seasons at play. But how many? Would the seasons be similar to Earth's?

Hell, I don't even know how many hours are in a day. I made a sundial in the past -- in an attempt to monitor and measure time -- but it only worked on clear, sunny days, which never happens here (maybe a few times).

Strangely, I haven't had any delusions as of late. No screaming voices. How curious...

Anyway, after inspecting the buildings inside my basecamp for structural damage, I butchered some of the frozen meat that I had stored in an outdoor freezer and racked them inside the cooking pit.

It's about time I started smoking meat again.

Surely, winter is coming to an end.