[1.1.2] The Outpost

It’s hot all the time. Sweltering. Sometimes, the rain comes down all at once, in sheets. Never less than a gentle pitter-patter.

A windy interstellar landscape with glinting stars in the distance

Without a good bit of kit, you’re fucked. I’ve been here a long time. I’ve never seen the rain stop completely. It’s a strange kind of rain in this dark little crack. Slowly drifting in the vast nowhere.

From a distance it’s just a few rocks pushed together. Discrete. But the rocks are strangely still. If you get close you can make out an ancient atmospheric generator puff, puff, puffing away. Pulsing out streams of mist that collects into clouds. To make the toads feel at home out here, in the Black Veldt. Just past the Tee No’s.

Two large asteroids pushed together, enveloped by a multicoloured cloud

Nowhere. But not forgotten. Nowhere. But not unknown. Barely on the edge of some half-articulated map. All because of the small amount of precious dust that accumulates here.

Where there is dust you find dusters.

Dust is the thing these days. Any wizard with basic skills and the right materials can transform dust into Mana. Mana that you hold in your hand. You feel the weight of the Mana. And just like that, your aches and pains, your cares, melt away with a beautiful drip, drip, drip. Like taking the cure. But people die drilling for dust.

As a driller of dust, the trick is getting the damn stuff into the bottle without it getting wet. All that damn rain. The release on my drill sticks a little and that’s what usually trips me up. If I ever come back I’ll bring a better one. But even with a deluxe model, you can’t drill and bottle dust without dying a little.

Without it getting a little wet.

You can feel it suck your life away.

Like a deep tissue cut oozing blood, silently soaking into your shirt.

The Rendezvous