Whatever possessed me to think I could walk all over the continent in ship shoes?

It was no real problem to make a general warnoff. I spent a day building it, and another day or two testing it on the predators around the capsule.

None of these predators have names in R’il’nian, so I’ve made up some. “Felines” are the ambush hunters. The one that almost got me that first night I’m calling a leopard. It’s a solitary hunter. The big yellow one that hunts in family groups is a lion, and the small fast one is a cheetah.

Then there are the canines, which have far more endurance than the felines but are generally not as fast sprinters. The ones I saw first, the wild dogs, hunt in large packs and basically run their prey down. The hunt prey larger than themselves. They are round eared, like the felines. There is also a pointed-eared variety, which hunts alone or in pairs, and generally hunts smaller prey. Those I call jackals.

Finally, the hunch-backed creatures, which turned out to have extraordinarily strong jaws – real bone-crushers. Those I call hyenas.

The warnoff, thank goodness, now works on all of them, so yesterday I decided to start exploring.

Did I mention how careful I was to exercise before and during the test voyage? Not careful enough, it seems! My legs were aching within a couple of hours, and by the time I found I had to wade across a creek, I was so tired I fell climbing up the far bank. I was hot enough by then the soaking was welcome, but my shoes stiffened as they dried. Next thing I knew my feet were in agony. I gritted my teeth and kept going, but when I stopped to eat the lunch I’d brought along, I pulled the stiffened shoes off and found my feet were bleeding.

I teleported back to the capsule, but I’d made only about a third of the distance I’d planned on. This exploring is going to be much slower than I thought. And I’m going to have to work out better foot coverings.

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