Letter JJarn was a R’il’nian who lived around 125,000 years ago, during the penultimate interglacial on Earth. He was a starship designer, but he was young and he left a few safety features out of his design. As a result he was stranded in Africa, and met primitive humans there. By everything he had learned he should have avoided having anything to do with them – the morality he had grown up with emphasized that proto-sentient and sentient species were to be left strictly alone to work out their own destiny. But he could not refuse to help a badly injured child, and as a result of this and other well-intentioned acts, he wound up hybridizing with the primitives, so that ultimately all of these Human ancestors had a small contribution from Jarn’s genes. In my science fiction universe Jarn made it back to his people after several thousand years, taking many of his hybrid descendants with him.  Here he is recording his first thoughts after the crash.

His Journal is currently being blogged a bit at a time on Fridays, and is also on my author site. The Jarnian Confederation, home of all my science fiction, is named after Jarn.

Earth, as photographed from Galileo in December. Photo credit NASA I am alive, which still astonishes me. I do not know enough about this planet yet to have more than a rough idea of its year length, but no doubt I will find out soon enough. If I ever get back to where designing another starship is possible, I will design it with a few more of the standard safety features. Like the block against exiting a jump point too close to a gravity well.

If by any chance I do not get back home, and this record does, perhaps I should introduce myself. I am Jarn, a R’il’nian and a designer of starships. Not, I regret to say, as good a designer as I thought, or my third ship would be around me instead of lying in pieces on the bottom of one of this planet’s oceans. Indeed, it all happened so fast I am still somewhat confused, but I will try to state briefly what happened.

I was aiming for the vicinity of a G-type sun, and I came out of the exit jump-point too close to the third planet’s atmosphere, and heading into it. All I could do was maneuver into a braking orbit and try to kill enough energy that a water landing wouldn’t vaporize the ship and cause a major tidal wave. No, I could not have teleported to safety. I never was any good at interstellar teleports, or at going someplace I hadn’t been before. Another thing to work on if I ever get home.

Anyway, not only does the planet have lots of water, it also has land areas with large stretches of chlorophyll green. A huge one stretches almost halfway around the planet in the northern hemisphere, with an extension into the southern hemisphere at its trailing end, and a pair on the other side of the planet together extend almost from pole to pole. It looked as if there was ice at both poles, though it could have been clouds, and the readouts as I got into the atmosphere indicated one part oxygen to four of nitrogen. All this strongly suggested life, and it would be unethical in the extreme to let the ship destroy any more of that life than I could help.

I managed to trigger the escape capsule a minute or so before impact, which was toward the leading edge of the broadly serpentine north-south ocean, and flew it, with some difficulty, to the trailing edge of the southern extension of the larger land mass, where I am now recording this. I suppose it was a good landing, since I am still alive and sound, if shaken, but the capsule will never again be anything more than a rather crude shelter.

There is a small stream nearby, and an abundance of fibrous-looking vegetation which is being eaten by a wide variety of animals, including what appear to be perfectly good mammals. I don’t have and probably never will have the equipment to test whether their proteins are compatible with my own, but a fish from the stream was tasty enough. The stream water seems reasonably pure, though the larger water areas taste salty and are probably too mineral-rich to drink on a regular basis. The atmospheric oxygen content is neither so high as to allow uncontrolled wildfires nor so low as to give me any problem in breathing, and so far there are no obvious atmospheric toxins. So if I don’t swell up and die tonight from the fish, it looks as if I have the basic requirements for staying alive.

I didn’t manage to get a measurement of axial tilt, so I have no idea what the weather is likely to be or what season I am in. A lot of the vegetation looks desiccated, which may indicate that I arrived during a seasonal dry period, in which case I may need shelter when it starts to rain again. Or I may have landed in an area entering a long drought. I hope the stream does not dry up completely.

I suppose I should count myself lucky, but I have no idea of what I can do beyond keeping myself alive.

I’m doing my A to Z blogs from my books, both characters and background information. For characters I’ll introduce them quickly, say what point of time they’re talking from since their situations change drastically through the books, and let them talk. Background information will vary according to what I’m talking about. All of these blogs will be scheduled to go live just after midnight Alaska time.Banner AZ logo

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