Scarhoof’s Scribbles #004


He is finally digging down. That’s good, right?

Yes, it is good.

What should we do?

Perhaps we should reward him for his effort.

Dear August,

I have a new friend! He’s a chicken and he’s currently penned up with my donkey friend. They sure like each other and seem to get along really well.

Sugar cane is growing rather well, almost too well. I’ve harvested so much already that I don’t know where to put it all! I guess that is a good problem to have right?

Did you know how hard it is to get grass to grow on an island that doesn’t have any grass? Hard, let me tell you. I won’t go into the specifics but let’s just say it was a lot of work and more importantly, patience.

I’ve decided that I need a fishing hut, that’s why I’m trying to get the grass to grow you know. I think the fishing hut will look good with some grass around it. But fishing hut is not on the docket for today, today, I decided to take on a project that I should have done a while ago, but kept putting off for some reason.

I’m building a mine!

And not just any mine, I’m building a fancy mine with a tunnel and stairs and lighting and birch wood.

Well I don’t know about the birch wood. I mean it looks nice and all, but it doesn’t seem to go well with what I have in here. So I will just have to work with it and see what I can figure out.

I will have to send you some pictures of what it looks like, but right now I can tell you I’m not very happy with how it’s coming out. I mean it look okay, it is just a staircase down to my mine after all, but I like taking pride in my work. I like knowing that I worked at it for a long time in order to figure out what I was doing wrong so that I could fix it. Isn’t that worth something?

I think it is. Hard work is a good thing, we shouldn’t be afraid of that. My dad taught me that.

But right now I am going to take a break from the mine. I’m a little frustrated with the design and not quite sure what I want to do with it, so I think it’s okay to take a step back from it now and come back to it later.

I think I will run around and kill some more cows. There seems to be a lot of them on the island right now and I need the leather for…wait for it…books!

That’s right! Now that I have plenty of sugar cane I can finally produce plenty of books for what I will need in the future.

What is that? Well it’s writing to you of course! So stay tuned because I have a lot to say!

Till next time,


Talga Vassternich Part 10

Read Part 9 First

The onslaught from biters over the next two weeks was relentless.

They came at him in seemingly endless waves day or night. All of his automated outposts had been overrun and destroyed. That was over a week ago. He ran out of copper three days back.

His calls to the corporation had proved useless. Four months. Max didn’t have four months. He wondered if he had four hours.

Steam rolled off the turrets as they continually fired to the point of overheating. He had had to double up on his laser defense wall so that one line could cool down at a time, using his last combinator to control the lines.

He sipped his cold, one-day old coffee, the last bastion of sanity before he spent the remaining parts of his life in base upkeep.

Alarms sounded in the background. A constant tone that had long-since faded into the background. He couldn’t worry about it now, there was no point. Either the wall held or it not, and Max didn’t waste time worry what would happen.

But he wasn’t taking this lying down. He would get to work.

He had sent broadcast after broadcast, hoping to tune into their exact frequency with no luck. He was glad he never had to use that discharge defense back at their base, it would have never worked.

The only thing that had worked was the egg, something Max had tried to capitalize on repeatedly. Standing on the wall, knife to the egg. He knew it was precious to them, had to be the last of the worm eggs was all he could figure for the fervor that drove their hosts into the never-ending barrage of laser shots.

“Well eggy, what should we start on today?” Max had grown attached to the damned egg. It was his lifeline, the only reason he was sitting here today. He would gladly give it back to them in exchange for peace if only he could figure out how to communicate.

He sighed, tapping on the glass that separated him from the slightly toxic atmosphere where he kept the egg.

“I’ll be back for dinner,” he said turning around, “but first I have to stop that damned beeping!”

Getting to his computer he took in the sight. Endless red dots, a hundred times worse than when he had been at their base. He wondered where they kept these nigh-on-endless numbers of fodder. Who was controlling them?

Something caught his eye though. Amidst the sea of attacks, there was another alert, informational.

He scrunched his eyes and tapped on the alert.

The computer had discovered ore, right in the middle of his base.

Well that’s curious. Max had gobbled up all ores within a kilometer in the first 72 hours of him landing. His automated trains ventured out hundreds of kilometers in every direction since then, like a large desert hydra stretching across the world.

So how, just now, did the computer pick up a single spot of copper ore in the middle of his base?

Even more curious, it was just outside his…

Max whirled around and ran out the airlock after donning his suit.

It couldn’t be.

He ran around the side of his small home and stopped in the small garden plot where he had grown some of the native plants. In the middle of them was the egg. He picked up the thing and stared blankly at the ground where it had lain. A single node of copper ore glistened back at him.

Talga Vassternich Part 9

Read Part 8 First

Max flew through the air in a cacophony of biter guts, poison capsule mist, and sulphur-filled smoke. His ears rang from the explosion, and it felt like something had penetrated his right thigh.

But he couldn’t worry about that right now, because he was falling through the air, and about to land on top of a Behemoth Biter.

Hitting the biter’s back was like hitting a rocky path after being ejected by a cannon. It’s hard, scaly surface was potted and scorched, like a turtle’s shell if that turtle had lived through a Max Max film.

He bounced and landed a second time near the behemoth’s tail. The massive alien didn’t flinch, didn’t even seem to notice him.

Max stood, shaking off the wooziness from the explosion.

He looked out on a sea of biters, spitters, and bases, as far as he could see. It was nearing nighttime, as the sun was setting in the north.

And all eyes were on him.

He whirled around, looking for an escape route, nothing but biters in the other direction, but he noticed something.

They weren’t looking at him, they were looking at the little cloud of destroyed worm.

He took a hesitant step and jumped off the back of the behemoth to the ground. His servos were spent, and now only served as dead-weight in his suit. With no power to his servos, he had no assist, meaning he had to exert himself more than normal to move in his suit.

No time like the present.

He took a step behind the behemoth, then began to run.

Immediately, the hissing started. All biters turned to him slowly, as-if in a trance. The look on their bug-like faces chilled him to the bone, but he had to keep moving, keep pressing on.

His muscles ached, but still none of them moved, only hissed at him, as if trying to track him through the maze of biter bases.

He was running out of energy, his muscles were spent after being cramped into that worm’s stomach for so long. With no power to help him with his suit he was pulling double or triple duty to move.

Why were they not attacking, why were they not moving? Why were they allowing him to live?

He looked down at the pinkish leathery football-shaped cocoon nestled in his arm.

He had their egg.

He looked around, realization dawning on him. This massive, sprawling base contained no worms, only biters and spitters.

He’d never been to a base that didn’t have worms before.

But he’d also never noticed an egg before. He usually just razed the bases to the ground, claimed the ores, and moved on.

He stopped for a moment, pulling out the egg sac and holding it up into the air.

Every biter stopped hissing and became deathly silent. Not one antennae twitched, not one eye moved. Every single alien was locked in on that egg that he carried.

Possibly the last egg of the biter nation.

Max smiled, snagged the last of the capacitors from the discharge defense he still carried and attached them to his suit, giving his servos enough power to assist with his running speed.

Max dropped the spent capacitors on the ground, tucked the egg-football into his arm, and jogged out of the biter base completely unscathed.

Scarhoof’s Scribbles #003


That was a lot of work.

What is it?

He has tenacity. That is good, but he is still just playing.

Dear August:

My shoulders are so sore! You can’t possibly believe what I did today. I finished off cleaning off the beaches finally. They are really coming together.

But OH the pain! It’s a good thing I’m surrounded by cool waters everywhere I look. I will be relaxing in the sun for at least a couple of days trying to get my muscles to stop cramping.

But enough about my pain. IT LOOKS SO GOOD! I know. I know. You always told me to stop being so full of myself. I should try to be more humble, but it really is quite spectacular to behold. Most of all I’m very excited for the prospects I have going forward.

Did I mention I found more iron? It was just one block under the surface! I merely had to dig down through 8 blocks to reach the surface! Ha!

Sorry that was a little island humor there.

I have a new friend. I managed to find myself a donkey while roaming around and I fished up an old saddle as well. It sure smells, it does, but it works.

I penned up the donkey. I’m not sure what I want to name him to be honest. He’s slow so slowpoke might be apt, but for now he’s just relaxing in the pen I built.

And yes, I did finish the garden. I know you thought I wouldn’t finish it, but I got it done! It’s small and simple, but it works, and i’m happy about it.

I planted some sugar cane down on a large section of beach that I had cleared out. It’s a perfect place for it. Did you know that sugar cane has to be planed next to water? They must consume a lot of water. That’s why they grow so tall!

Oh, and finally, I think there might be someone else around on the island. They left me some signs saying I sucked and they didn’t like me. Can you believe that they are upset that I’m tearing down the island? It’s not like it was all that beautiful to begin with. I like to think that I’m finding the inner beauty of the island. something it sorely needs. I think the thing with the beach went well, and I have plans for what I will be working on next so stay tuned for my next letter.

Oh speaking of next letter, I’m still not sure if these will make it to you. I don’t have very many bottles left to drop these into. I do have a lot of sand though, so I guess I could smelt some of that up to put my letters in.

Well, after all that digging and now writing, I should take a break and go play in the water.

This place is really coming together.


Scarhoof’s Scribbles #002


He survived.

Messy, but yes.

So what do you think?

Too soon to tell. Patience. You have much to learn still.

Dear August:

I am so sick of digging!

It started off easily enough. I had a small wheat farm that I wanted to expand. But I couldn’t just add on to it. Not me!

I wanted to lower the landscape down a little bit first so that I could first make the garden a little larger and also have room for trees and sugar cane.

But guess what I learned in that process?

I hate this island.

Seriously. You would think that island was simply formed a few days ago! With all the storms and high winds in the middle of the ocean you would think that they would have softened out the edges, made the beaches flatter. Not my island! you get out of the water and instantly you are face with having to climb up a wall of dirt to get to the top!

As you can imagine this did not sit well with me. I decided that I was going to fix it. So right after I finished leveling some land to make for an expanded garden, I abandoned the garden to start clearing out one of the beaches.

Oh don’t worry though, I’ve actually been getting a lot of food from all the animals that keep popping up around the island. Just when you think I’ve cleared off the last of them, I find more! I even found some horses if you can believe that!

I ignorantly used up most of my iron for shovels and picks to help me clear things out faster, what little I had, while helping me in my digging, probably could have been used for better things if I had thought about it better. So unfortunately I don’t have very much iron left! I do have one iron pick and I will have to be careful not to use that up because once it is gone, I don’t have any more iron!

Well I can say that the new beach looks awesome! I might decorate it at some point, but for now I’m very satisfied with the work I’ve been put into it. You will have to come visit me someday. I would love to get your opinion on what sort of things to build out there. maybe some umbrellas and lounge chairs?

Well that is all for the future though.

Have you heard of Endermen? They are tall! They also pick up my blocks and try to steal them! Can you believe that?

They also drop these round things that I guess are called pearls. I’m not sure what they do to be honest, but I have one. I can almost hear a strange humming from it when I stick my ear up to it.

At any rate, I also setup a task board in my temporary house. Don’t worry, the first thing I put on there was to do my farm. I promise next time I write to you I will have the farm up and running!

But for now, I think I might go fishing. There is something magical about the sunsets here. You have to see it to truly understand just how beautiful this place can be. So yeah. I think it’s time that I go make myself a fishing rod, and fish off the west coast so I can watch the sunset dip past the horizon.

I love it here.


Talga Vassternich Part 8

Read Part 7 First

Max had lost his ever-loving mind.

No one made discharge defenses. They were weak, power hungry, and given the limited number of upgrades his suit could sustain, one of the worse choices for gear.

Yet he had made not one, but two of them.

He scanned through the military briefing his corporation had supplied him with before drop-shipping him on this remote planet.

Twenty-five percent of profits from all resources shipped into space may have sounded like a great deal at the time for an out-of-work space marine, but trapped inside the worm he was beginning to wonder if he should have taken up piracy.

At least the pirates generally didn’t smell so horrible or were so slimy.

Intel gained on this planet seemed to agree that the biters communicated through radio signals, and this gave Max an idea.

Constructing a radar and some arithmetic combinators, he pored through electrical schematics and radio theorem textbooks to see if he could jury-rig this to do what he wanted.

When he was done, he held up the hodgepodge of wires, transceivers, and fast-discharge capacitors. It wasn’t pretty, but it was his. His own invention.

If his hunch was correct, he’d just made a biter EMP, designed to issue forth a screaming tone that would disrupt their interpersonal communications. He hoped it would be enough to disorient them long enough that he could make a break for the canyon his map said should be to the north, toward his base.

With any luck his batteries would be able to power the servos in his legs enough to get him out of range. He would have to take all the remaining power from the shields if it was to work, but it was the only way.

Even then he wasn’t entirely sure how much this juiced-up discharge radar was going to pull from his suit.

Time was up. O2 levels had dropped significantly in the last few minutes of furious tinkering, and he was tired of waiting. It was time to bounce.

Rigging up the poison capsule to begin leaking through the previous air-hole he had dug through the flesh of the beast, he crammed all the remaining sulphur he had on him into the hole as well. He figured it would at least stink and give off some smoke which might help with the distraction.

Unfortunately the second the poison and the sulphur touched, they began to sizzle, pop, and put off some enormous heat.

Max recoiled at the sudden and unexpected chemical reaction going off inside his temporary shelter.

Oh shit.

He grabbed what he could, the discharge device, his knife, and the small pod that had gotten him into this mess in the first place, and began to wiggle his way back out of the worm’s body toward it’s mouth. Even through his suit he could feel the heat from the errant reaction.

But it was too late, the exothermic reaction, combined with the cramped space to created a super-hot pocket of flesh that, when Max opened up the beasts mouth and allowed air to flow down, created a reaction of catastrophic and violent results. He barely had time to route all remaining power from his suit into shields before the whole worm blew up, spewing pinkish flesh in every direction.

Talga Vassternich Part 7

Read Part 6 First

Max hadn’t experienced a headache this severe since his early cadet days when he experienced stasis sleep for the first time.

The pressure from the worm’s insides reminded him of his predicament, but also gave him hope. He was still inside the worm. He hadn’t been discovered yet.

But something else was different. He was motionless. the biters had stopped.

Max’s heart raced. Why had they stopped? Where was he?

He finally opened his eyes. The gentle glow of the beasts innards reminded him just how precarious a position he was in.

Slowly he moved his limbs. Everything was functional, and the searing pain in his head was beginning to subside.

Must have been the fish.

He chanced a stretch, easing tension out of his sore muscles. He didn’t know how long he’d been out. O2 levels were low but stable. He found he was lying on the hole he had drilled so that no more air was leaking in.

He flipped on the HUD and began to scan the area.

Red dots as far as his suit could scan milled about in random orders, worse yet were the bizarre organic structures these things lived in. Like living entities on their own, there seemed to be a never-ending number of the biters that could be stored inside them, burrowing out of the ground to feast on your flesh.

He was smack in the middle of the largest base he had ever seen. He was trapped inside of a giant deceased worm. He had no ammo, no food, would run out of oxygen again in twenty minutes and only had a few supplies remaining.

Worse yet, he had no plan.

Panic began filling his mind. He’d been in bad situations before, but nothing like this.

Focus on the solution, not the problem.

Max gritted his teeth. This would not do. Max Power was not a quitter, he was a doer.

He set the computer analyzing movement patterns of the biters, looking for anything that might help him out of this place. He initiated additional subroutines to pore over thousands of years of military history to find anything that might help him with his predicament. From the genocides on Rigel 7 to the peaceful cohabitation of the Meeyyaa Tiiblees of East Snvlrks, nothing was off-limits. He would even take fictional military tactics at this point.

His suit’s computer beeped. An ancient Earth-side story about a horse being brought into the city may have been similar, but he was inside this thing not for the reason to sneak into the biter’s base, he was trapped and needed to flee.

He re-evaluated his stock of supplies, looking over the list of all the possible items he could make.

It was fairly grim. He might be able to construct a few magazines of piercing rounds, but that wouldn’t get him very far. No, he would need to come up with something different, something unique.

Something he could make caught his attention. It was reckless and would never be useful in anything but the more dire situations. He was pretty sure that the engineers that designed this apparatus did it purely as a joke.

Yet he couldn’t get it out of his mind. It was stupid, yes, but what did he have to lose? It was his last resort.

Max shrugged, remembering something his Grandfather told him when he was a boy. “You only live once.”

With that, Max began to construct a discharge defense.