Nov 28, 2020 5:15 AM
To all mankind -- may we never find space so vast, planets so cold, heart and mind so empty that we cannot fill them with love and warmth.
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Gosh, that's a complicated seed. He runs his fingers over it, enjoying the texture and wondering what would happen if he pulled one of the flaps off. Can he get enough of a grip on one to try it?

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He can! It takes some effort, and makes a slightly crunchy snapping sound as it detaches.

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What fun! He pulls a few more off, then realizes the seed might need them to grow, apologizes to the tree, and buries the remainder of it. Now, back to finding things in the grass!

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Trees do not seem to emote very much, but as far as he can tell, this one is chill about the seed vandalism. It's all good.

Things in the grass include:

several more rocks, of varying sizes and sharpnesses;

two more little baby bushes;

three more little baby trees;

and a curious little dip in the ground, with glassy-smooth blobs of dark grey stone scattered around it like droplets from a splash of water, and bluish-green shards of something-or-other glittering at the bottom amid scorched lumps of dirt and charred shreds of grass. The grass next to the smooth stones is burned, too.

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Rocks get collected up and put in the designated Rocks Place next to the pond. Little plants get petted because they are Small. 

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Oooh, what is this thing? He pokes at it very carefully in case it is hot.

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The droplets of stone are warmish to the touch but not uncomfortable; the glittering shards, when he unearths them, are also warmish but less so. They're very pretty. A little sharp, but not too bad as long as he doesn't outright stab himself with them. They seem to glow, very very faintly, with a pretty bluish-green light.

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He does poke himself with one of them, just to see what that's like, but he stops before drawing blood. Glittery glowy rocks are way too cool for the rock pile; they'd totally distort all the scales he's sorting them on, and anyway he wants to put them somewhere safer. He gathers up all the pretty shards and brings them to his house for safekeeping.

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There's plenty of places in his house where he could put them! On the shelf next to his bed, for example, or in the drawers underneath the bed which currently contain several changes of clothes.

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He will reorganize the clothes into the bottom n-1 drawers and put the rocks in the top drawer and go back outside to see more of the world!

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The world contains all the same things it did when he went inside; but also the blue of the sky is darkening from cerulean to sapphire, and it might be time for small new people to go to sleep.

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Sleep probably doesn't have as many new things as being awake, but it's still pretty novel. Yawwwwwn and probably also a good idea apart from that. Bruce snuggles up in his bed.

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If anything interesting happens to his planet while he's asleep, it doesn't happen loudly enough to wake him.

What would he like to do with his second day in the world?

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He wants to eat berries for breakfast, then pick a direction and walk really far in that direction and see where he ends up! (Really far means for an hour or so; it's still farther than he's ever gone before.)

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After about an hour of walking briskly directly away from the berry bushes by the pond, he finds...

 

...that a suspiciously familiar roof is visible up ahead, cresting the curve of the horizon. If he walks a little farther, he'll be right by his house, nearly all the way back where he started.

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Gosh! And here he was worried he'd get lost. Does the same thing happen if he picks a different direction? Say, halfway between the way he was going and the way he found himself coming from.

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Yes it does! It seems his world is a little more than an hour's walk around no matter which direction or starting point he chooses.

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That's really neat! He sits down next to the pond to think about this for a bit. He picks up one of his rocks and traces a finger around it, sees how he always gets back to the same spot no matter what direction he goes in. So the world is like this rock, except bigger. He wonders whether, if he had something to dig with, he could dig a hole that goes all the way through. Something to think about. In the meantime, all that walking made him hungry. Berries are still delicious, but also does anything else around here look like food?

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Berries are still delicious, and if there are other sources of food around, they're not immediately obvious. Unless he wants to try eating the fish, but he'd have to grab one first and they are wigglesome little creatures.

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If the fish don't want to be eaten, and it sure seems like they don't, then it would be pretty mean of him to eat them anyway. He'll stick with berries, and then go look at more of the little surprises in the grass.

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There's a bunch more of the little pits with splashy rock-stuff around them and sparkly shards hidden in their depths. Also some more regular rocks, and a few new baby bushes and baby trees, and the grownup trees have made more seeds, and it is generally a peaceful and ordinary time here on Bruce's planet.

 

And then there is a strange new sound, and a strange new light in the sky, pink-orange-blue and blazing along like a thrown rock. A very large thrown rock. A very large thrown rock making an eerie whistling noise.

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"Woah!" Does it look like it's going to land? Things he drops or throws always land, but this thing is going very fast so maybe it will just zoom off through the sky and never be seen again.

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It does land!

It is not a rock.

It's a shiny smooth oddly shaped thing, bigger than Bruce's house although not by much, and it zooms in an arc across the sky and then slows down and turns and settles onto the grass near the pond in a way that is not very much like a thrown rock at all.

And part of the side flops open in a way reminiscent of a door except turned sideways so the hinges are on the bottom, and a person steps out onto the flopped part and walks down it. She is much taller than Bruce - less than two Bruces tall, but more than one and a half - and she seems very curious about the pond and the trees and the house, and even more curious about Bruce when she spots him.

"Didn't know this planet was big enough for people!" she says, blinking at him in friendly surprise.

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"Hi! I didn't know there were other people! Or other planets!"

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"Guess we both learned something today, then! What's your name, kid? I'm Apra."

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