Today brought more work on book 1 of the MIME Series. Starting count, 6,080 words, end count 8,628 words.
Sy…sighed. “Okay. The planet got its first nickname, Hell Leaf, from the parasitic leaves on what looked like its deciduous trees. They were trying to discourage me and showed me a horrifying series of pictures of a man who had rested in a pile of leaves and had died—from leaves going through their animal phase–reproducing by laying eggs on him that were eating him alive.”
He added, looking down, “I had nightmares for weeks after seeing that.” He paused, “Then there was a video of another man who had only been touched by one leaf; that death had been much slower. The homestead office worker had asked if I’d care to see that, too? I said no.”
Their drinks arrived. Fort mumbled, “You’re not reassuring me.”
“Look,” Sy breathed. We’re going to settle in a desert portion of the planet, far from leafy trees and stormy seas. I’m bringing robotic drones in to keep our settlement free from the hell leaves, too.”
“Right.” Fort sipped his iced tea.
“Hey, at least this planet has a breathable atmosphere. The homesteading office clerk went to close the file on the planet, but I stopped him. I told him that I had no problem with living in a desert if there was any arable land to support it. And there was a little, near a river in the desert.
“The administrator said, ‘You can’t be serious,’ but I was.
Fort played with his napkin. “So which did you choose? Hellstorm or Hell Leaf?”
“Neither. I hope to come up with a better, more colonist-friendly name, something descriptive but more positive, but we’ll pick it out once we’re living there.”
Fort shrugged, but brightened when he saw their food coming. “How about Sy’s Planet?”
“Ha, ha. No.”