Patches has found a footprint.

Not an animal footprint, but one that looks remarkably like a R’il’nian footprint. Not only that; Patches thought it smelled vaguely like my footprint.

At first I thought it was my own, but I normally use foot coverings.  The grass, as I’ve taken to calling the fibrous stuff on the ground, can be walked on now that the new growth is green and relatively soft, but it hides altogether too many things that are unpleasant to step on.

Besides, this footprint is smaller than mine, and I don’t think I’ve been in this area before. Could a ship of my people have arrived? But they’d not likely be barefoot ….

I opened my shields and broadcast my location and my need for help, but there was no response. Yet the footprint, in damp soil deposited by a creek that is receding as the rains weaken, looks fresh.

Could Patches track them?

We had to work together, as the prints led across several swollen creeks. I kept casting ahead with my mind, and froze as I encountered something that seemed to the thinking in symbols. Not R’il’nian, but could there be a different form of sentient life on this planet? One that leaves tracks like mine?

(Note – the author will be too busy to post anything but the doings of the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival for the next two weeks. Jarn’s Journal, and his discovery of the creatures that made the footprint, will resume in August.)