Donald Trump on Rimworld - an a17 story

Started by shayame, November 27, 2017, 06:04:26 PM

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They call me Owl because I prefer to be up at night.

I wasn't born, but rather, grown in a vat to be a soldier. I don't like people much, though I've had more than my fair share of women. One of the advantages to being vat-grown I suppose – you're just born looking the way others want you to look. I've taken drugs all my life. At first, to boost combat. Later, for fun and kicks.

After the war was lost, I disappeared into deep space and spent most of my adult life mining on remote asteroids. Met a girl I fell for who gave me the clap after she cheated on me with my bunkmate. I did 'em both in then made a run for it. The escape pod landed me in this s***hole and I walked and walked until I saw the lights of this lousy colony, if you can call it a colony.

They just got six people. A nice comfy colony with me as number seven.

They took me in and didn't ask much. Can I handle myself in a fight? Yes. Do I know how to swing a pick? Yes. Good, you're in. A bit too trusting if you ask me but they must be desperate. Their food situation is poor but mine is worse. They said they have a garden that's coming along nicely, which is a laugh. The day after I come, solar flare and they lose everything. They had been counting on that garden patch with no plan B. They tell me it's been a year since Donald started this pissass colony. They took me in and didn't ask much. Can I handle myself in a fight? Yes. Do I know how to swing a pick? Yes. Good, you're in. A bit too trusting if you ask me but they must be desperate. Their food situation is poor but mine is worse. They said they have a garden that's coming along nicely, which is a laugh. The day after I come, solar flare and they lose everything. They had been counting on that garden patch with no plan B. They tell me it's been a year since Donald started this pissass colony. He runs a tight ship and boasts no deaths so far on this frigid wasteland.

I can see myself staying here a while as long as they get a better food situation. They have a fort with double thick walls surrounding the base. The inner walls are made of silver and the outer of slate. Don't ask. They have a lousy trap at the north end of the wall where they think raiders will be dumb enough to just walk in and they've peppered the entrance with silver traps, like they're hunting werewolves or something. Donald's rigged up some pretty decent gun turrets pointed at this opening and runs them on a separate electricity supply with backup batteries. He has 2 separate gardens rigged up to yet again different electricity supplies. One of the gardens looks older, with poorer construction, potatoes growing in the dirt and housed within a building. The other one looks newer, twice as big, hidden under the mountains, stabler temperatures, hydroponics-driven, has a variety of plants including food and medicines, a hell of a lot closer to the base so you don't have to walk so far to harvest them. I'd say they smartened up a little after their first year out here. The way they tell it, a bunch of sappers blew a hole in their little garden a while back, setting fire and cold to their potatoes, which is why they're behind on schedule with their food and why they started a second garden under the mountains closer to home.

They'd run out of space to live and Buddha lives in the kitchen. Buddha's one of those rookies who's never seen a day of war. Saw him get all teary once recounting how he had to cut up some bloke here on the rim. He's not a bad guy and he cooks a mean stew but he's no soldier.

I shack up my first night in the kitchen with Buddha as bunkmate and the next day I'm digging us both bedrooms. They slate up my walls and smooth out the floors. I get a wooden door which seems to be rare in this colony. They seem to have used silver for almost everything else. I would have been fine with a slate door but Donald here seems to run everything on efficiency, like we're all machines or something, and the blueprints they have for wooden doors open faster than slate doors.

So I get the wooden door. For efficiency.


Solar flare. As told by Buddha.

There's seven of us now. Our newest member is Owl. He's a no nonsense hardcore soldier of few words. You can tell he's battle-hardened, like some of the veterans back in my army days. He'll have a few good stories to share one day. I'll just let him get settled first.

We're bunkmates the first night out in the kitchen. He snores like a trooper and I ask him if others have ever complained. Says he prefers to stay up at night so it's rarely an issue. He's clearly tired now from his trek but he makes it clear we won't be bunkmates much longer. I gave him his nickname right then by the way. Grumpy owl in my head. But out loud, just Owl.

So morning comes and Owl gets up and eats his breakfast with no complaints. You could tell he was a starving man with the way he ate it all, in military precision leaving nothing to waste. Not that any of us leave anything to waste, but you could tell he always ate like this. He's not a bad guy. Starts his first day in our colony by asking me if I wanted my own bedroom. I mean, I don't mind the living room, but it's seven of us now and we need more chairs and a bigger space for the table. We've got a shelf now that takes up a bit of room too and it does get noisy sometimes with people walking through. Guess I'm saying that it's starting to feel like it's no longer my room. So it's nice he's asking me. The others had offered me a room earlier and I said no back then when it wasn't so busy and I think they just haven't thought about it again. So, I mean, it was nice that he asked is all.

So Owl digs him and me new rooms next to each other. Slate walls, smoothed floors and a vent between us that Donald insisted on in case one of our heaters stopped working in winter.

The day after Owl arrives, we get hit by this thing called a solar flare. Out of the blue, all our electronics go cuckoo. I don't pretend to understand it, but it's not a solar panel problem or a short circuit or a battery problem, it's just this mega world-wide electricity problem from the sun or something. Funny thing is, we don't got much sun here so it don't make sense.

So everyone's worried about the plants. The heaters are dead without power and the plants will freeze. We could harvest them now but there's only a few potatoes, hardly worth the effort. Donald thinks the solar flare will pass in a few hours and that the insulation should hold until then. Keeps saying he built it with top-notch quality, with triple or even quadruple insulation. He votes to do nothing. Says the garden under the mountain should hold even better since the temperature there is more stable. But you can tell he's worried about the garden outside. It's a mile away so it'll take a while to get there and it only has a thin man-made roof.

So we sit and wait and the temperatures drop. The plants seem to hold even as the temperatures plummet to zero. Then the first plant dies and it's like a chain reaction – they all die in quick succession so fast we can barely even reach them in time. Donald chucks a spaz again. He races there and yells for us all to come. None of us know the first thing about growing plants. Food has been such an important thing that Donald's taken to growing and harvesting the potatoes all by himself. When we get there, there's just a few bushels of potatoes left. Donald's spitting curses about our mothers and we all just pull the plants up. No trick to it – it's just this mad race to get the food. At the end there ain't much potato to go around between the seven of us. I think all of us were surprised by how quick the plants could die. Like, how healthy they look one minute and then the next they're just frozen solid and dead. I mean, I'm cold and frozen but I don't die just from a few minutes out in the cold. These potatoes make no sense.

We decide we should harvest the hydroponics in case they die too. So we trudge along to the hydroponics under the mountain and they're gone. The plants are all gone. Every single one. There's nothing to harvest at all.

I refuse to believe this is the end. So we sit down and talk options. We can ration the meals out. That will last us two days. We can call a trader – no money. We could tear down some silver walls and call a trader -  they'd take too long. We could send a caravan into the nearest town – no money, takes too long and they're out of food apparently, and I won't let Lillica go alone in this weather. Someone suggested the buried corpses but I don't think anyone really wants to do that. Owl puts our Muffalos as an option.

Lillica looks at Owl, incredulous, "Cashmere? You can't kill Cashmere!"

I back her up saying we've given Cashmere a name so she's one of us.

Owl looks at me like I'm an idiot or something and then looks to Donald. I get worried. Surely Donald won't make us slaughter Cashmere. I quickly chime in, "She gives us milk. We need the milk."

Donald agrees and explains to Owl, "We also need Muffalo wool. Last winter was tough with just the cloth parkas. Cloth parkas weren't warm enough."

You could see it in Owl's eyes though. He'd do Cashmere in for a full belly. We would have to protect Cashmere from Owl. I'd protect Cashmere from Owl. I won't let him do it.


Hey Shayame,

Just wanted to let you know this is a very interesting Rimworld story! Well written with interesting characters. Keep up the good work.


Thanks Talesin.

I haven't played much recently. Anyway, here's another leg of the story I completed a while ago. It's a 7-part saga that will be released in 7 different posts over several days.

Thanks for all the positive comments. I'll try to release a new post every few days.



Arctic wolf manhunter pack and cannibalism, part 1. As told by Owl.

Recap – cast of characters:
Donald Trump: Starting character with beautiful and too smart. Best pawn in the colony in construction, mining, medicine and growing skills. Decent with a gun. Has a bionic arm.
Lillica: 18 year old girl with a passion for medicine and decent social skills. Reads emotions well.
Buddha: 22 year old space marine who has never seen war. Sanguine and stoic, he never breaks. Well, almost never. He cooks all day and carves sculptures in his spare time.
Olga: A 42 year old woman, though she looks much younger. Very athletic. She's our fastest runner. Does the hauling.
Chris: 53 year old man. Mechanic by trade. Researches and constructs.
Lillith: 29 year old high baroness. She's been with us a while but you haven't heard about her much. Researches and constructs, much like Chris.
Owl: 27 year old ex-soldier. He's new to the group. He sleeps in the day and is most active at night.
Muffalos: We have 2 Muffalos. One is called Cashmere. She's cute.

Recent notable events:
Owl arrived recently and the following day, solar flare. The crops died. We're low on food. It's been a few days now. We're almost out. We should have harvested the potatoes when we could. It wouldn't have been much, but it may have given us an extra few days.


My name is Owl. I'm up at night digging stuff and I don't know why. Food is the problem, not steel. But they reckon they want more hydroponics, to store up for the future and you need steel for hydroponics.

They sent a call for traders in the end. No idea when they might come and if they do, we'll ask them to help themselves to some of our walls as payment for their food.

It has been a few days. Buddha has run out of potatoes to cook and from the looks of it he doesn't usually do anything except cook. Cashmere's looking more and more appetising to me. It'd be easy too – I plan to do it tonight and get a head start to the nearby town while everyone else is still asleep. It's evening and Buddha looks like he's bored. I call him a lazy sock and ask him to head out south to help me haul some steel back to base.

My plan with Cashmere becomes obsolete. Everything changes after this trip.

We set out together and he starts talking about food and hunger. Keeps saying he ain't never going to butcher anyone again. He looks like he could use some talking to but I've never been good at that, so I just walk faster. He keeps dragging his feet through the snow and I'm like a mile ahead of him by now. He may be a dumbass but even he can follow the footprints I'm leaving.

I'm trudging my way back home with an armload full of steel when I pass him by. He looks all kinds of mopey. Thought he was called Buddha for a reason. What boomrat's crawled up his ass and died? I point him towards the steel a half mile away and tell him to hurry up and get his load.

The air is crisp, the wind quiet. I follow our footsteps back to the wall surrounding our base. Suddenly I hear a scream. Buddha's scream. He's about a mile behind waving at me and running as fast as you possibly can through thigh-deep snow. Behind him I see a pack of a dozen arctic wolves, maybe more, encircling him. I have no idea where the wolves came from. If they weren't moving, I wouldn't even be able to tell them apart from the soft snow of their surrounds. Buddha stops screaming, he puts all his energy into running but the wolves are in their natural environment. They glide on the snow like a fish in the water. Buddha's done and you can tell he knows it. He's looking for cover but there's none in the flat white of the fresh snow. The wolves close in quick. There's nothing I can do. My SMG does not have the range.

I save myself. I open the slate doors and walk through. Looking back, I see Buddha turn around and open fire at point blank range. He gets off 2 shots... then falls under the pack. There are no further gunshots. I stand there in the safety of my doorway for a few more seconds studying the pack's behaviour. They don't behave like any carnivores I've ever known. They're just walking around the corpse now, not even eating it. Like they just killed Buddha for sport. One of them is even starting to wander off and is showing no signs of coming back.

Suddenly Buddha stands up. He's groggy. He just stands there staring the wrong way at the horizon. The closest wolf takes two running strides and pounces on him, knocking him down again. Idiot.

Buddha doesn't get up again. The pack continues its strange behaviour of just wandering around. I watch for a while longer then close the door.


RIP Buhda. Are you playing with any mods like Combat Extended? You might have had a little more luck with the wolves.

Great read though, I like the subtle snarkiness at times aimed at Rimworld's mechanics.



Thanks for the positive feedback Vivalas and WalkingProblem. I do use mods, but the mods I use do not enable me to do anything that I wouldn't otherwise be able to do manually. Said another way, the mods I use don't change the game in any fundamental way. Examples of mods I use would be Hand Me That Brick, cooks can refuel, stack merger, etc.

Onwards with the 7 part story, and thank you to my readers who are keeping tabs on Donald. :)


Arctic wolf manhunter pack and cannibalism, part 2. As told by Lillica.

We're all sitting around the table savouring the last of our meal. Yes. Singular. Meal. A small portion has been set aside for Buddha and Owl. There's no more food. We better hope those trade caravans come soon.

We're all still hungry. I had a quarter of a half of a potato and a tiny piece of meat the size of my thumb. It didn't make me any less hungry – if anything, the meal made the hunger worse.

It was Chris who brought up cannibalism again. Don't get me wrong, he's usually a swell guy, with a no-nonsense attitude, a mechanic by trade and he gets things done. Donald is the boss but Chris is the brains. Chris is the one who built our freezer after all that meat spoiled. Chris is the one who rigged electricity up to all our doors so they open smoothly. He doesn't just do the research, he builds the stuff himself. Chris found a way to tap into all those geysers we see around the place and managed to get a steady source of electricity coming from them for our plants. Right now, he's working at making better quality medicines for us.

But he thinks with his stomach. I don't think he enjoys eating people, but he'll do it. He goes on about how scientifically, it's the best meat for us since it's already all humanised. Says that we're hung up on eating humans due to culture but that some cultures do it all the time as a way of honoring the dead. Says that the dead people certainly don't care since they're already dead and we are hesitant to do it not out of respect for the dead but because of our own psychological conditioning.

I get what he's saying but... cannibalism? Surely we can't go there again. Maybe we can just wait for the traders.

Chris seems to have some support from Olga. Says he's going to go dig up the graves. The graves are at our north wall, near our trapped entrance. Most of the bodies there are old. Chris seems to think he'll be able to find some usable meat given the frozen conditions outside. Says he'll share and that we'll thank him for it later. He grabs the spade, then him and Olga are gone.

Donald has been strangely quiet about this. He's dangerous when he's in this state, ready to snap. You'd think he'd feel guilty or bad about the potatoes freezing but he doesn't act like it. Keeps blaming others for not having gotten there fast enough when he said we needed to act fast and harvest it. Keeps saying he's going to have to teach everyone how to plant and harvest crops from now on. Says he's going to have to teach us how to jog faster to and how to obey orders quicker.

Buddha says he's seen leaders in the army crack this same way. Buddha says that's how leaders or guys, or especially leader guys, show guilt and that he'll come round. I don't agree. I think Donald sometimes sees us as extensions in a machine he's built.

The door opens, the wind howls, both Owl and the cold come in. "Shut the door." Donald says to him, "Your food's on the table."

Owl taps Donald on the shoulder, turning him around to look him in the eye. "Buddha's gone."

My heart lurches. The meat I ate feels like it wants to come up again. Owl is so casual about it but I can tell it's bad news. Buddha. My Buddha. What happened? Donald is slower on the uptake. He looks at Owl and says, "Gone where?"

Owl stares down at Donald. "No. Gone. He's done. Pack of wolves got him out in the snow."

My world feels like it has collapsed. My mouth wants to scream but the scream can't find its way out of my head. It feels like my head is imploding in a roaring inferno. My breath can't come fast enough. My vision blurs and the darkness creeps in.

Buddha... My Buddha.


Arctic wolf manhunter pack and cannibalism, part 3. As told by Chris.

My name is Chris. I'm a decent mechanic. I like to tinker with things and make things work. I joined this colony as a slave but as soon as the slavers rounded the corner, Donald looked me in the eye, unlocked the manacles and said to me, "You are a free man." I will forever be grateful.

Donald is rich. You can tell the man was born to wealth. He paid for me like the cost was nothing and then freed me like it meant nothing. The colony's got walls made of silver and I sleep on a silver bed. For breakfast I eat at a silver table and sit on a polished silver chair. They've got the best gadgets and tools here. Anything they can't make, they buy. They always go for quality. They want for nothing here except warmth and food. It seems even some things money can't buy.

Caption: Our 7x7 living room. Silver butcher's table in the bottom left, stove in the top right, silver dining table and chairs in the bottom right. The silver statue was bought early on from a trader. It's not the famous Fernand statue that was talked about earlier – Fernand currently sits in Trumps bedroom. The coloured floors are just our drop points for food and ingredients.

I joined them a year after Donald started this colony. Donald had been doing most of the jobs and they say they bought me from the slaver to take over the construction side of things whilst Donald started on the garden. I don't think they knew at the time that they were getting an engineer. I think I've spent more time on inventing things than building things. I've certainly learned a lot over the last year.

I've changed a lot too.

Hunger changes a man. When your stomach acids are dissolving you from the inside out, you can become desperate. No one jokes about it, but I can tell they think I'm a cannibal. I'm not. I just do what needs to be done to survive. Sometimes I think they deliberately don't bring up the topic until we're all starving, waiting for me to be the first to voice it because they know I will. They're all thinking it. I can tell. They leave sentences half finished, look at me sideways when talking, just waiting for me to bring up the word so they can absolve themselves from the guilt of having said the C-word first.

I don't want to be the Cannibal again. The others look at me funny like it's my fault. They put their guilt and shame onto me and I don't like it. We all ate human meat. WE ALL ATE IT. It's not my fault. We ate it, and then we drowned ourselves in alcohol to forget.

So I bring up the topic of cannibalism. Again. I say we have graves full of dead bodies, buried in the ice. They'll still be frozen. We can eat a little, just enough to get by until the traders come. This time, no one looks at me. No one says no. Olga even seems to perk up a little.

I leave with Olga. We head north to the burial grounds. On our way out, we wave to Owl. He's just setting down some steel in our dropzone. He waves back from a distance and continues unloading his steel. Buddha should be around somewhere as well. I think of the two portions of dinner we left them. We had divided the last meal 7 ways and the portions all looked equal, but after finishing our portions, the remaining 2 for Buddha and Owl somehow looked bigger than what we had. Donald had to put it away because nobody was doing anything other than look and salivate over the portions, which wasn't doing us any good.

It's funny. When you're tired and hungry you don't remember things as well as you should. Neither Olga nor I knew where the most recently dead were buried, so we just start digging. We dig and we dig and we dig.

In hindsight, I could have dug more smartly. Instead, I dug the earliest graves – the ones that were a year old, from before I even arrived, hoping to eat the earlier ones and leave the fresher ones for a later emergency. It made sense at the time, but the corpses Olga and I dug out were dessicated. Rotten bones with nothing else. It was disheartening. I felt some of my humanity slip away. Olga wandered off, said she couldn't do it anymore. I tried slapping her to snap her out of her haze but she seemed intent on throwing herself into the wind and screaming. I left her. We needed food. I'd save us by finding food.

I remember thinking about food. I remember digging. A lot of digging.

I have no memory of what happened next. They say they found me collapsed, a day or two later, malnourished, exhausted and dehydrated. I don't remember digging more graves but it turns out I dug them all out in the end. I dug every single grave. Not a single intact corpse in all the graves I dug, apparently. I'd dug it all out, even the empty graves. The skeletons were lying, some in the grave, some outside the grave. It looked like I'd dragged one a hundred yards then dropped it and went back to dig another. I look back now at my handywork – all the rotten corpses, the fragile bones, the empty graves and I wonder... where did the fresh corpse go? There should have been at least one fresh corpse.

The horrifying thought plagues me at night. I dream I'm a wolf with teeth as sharp as knives. I rip the flesh from the bone. The dry juice of frozen blood dribbles out my mouth. Chunks of meat turn to ash in the fire of my mouth and I enjoy it. I wolf it down. And then I see a pair of eyes, sunken and accusing, and I wake up, sweating, my heart pounding and I tell myself, it's just a dream. I dreamt I was a wolf.

But deep down I wonder, before my blackout, did I eat one raw?


Arctic wolf manhunter pack and cannibalism, part 4. As told by Lillica.

Cold water splashed against my face. I was in the dining room, face down on the limestone tiled floor. You could tell it was the dining room – it's our only room with limestone tiles. Donald says it was the first room he found when he crashed, and it was already built, as if waiting for him.

Memory returned. BUDDHA! My Buddha.

I cried, big heaving sobs and wails that shredded my lungs from the inside out and squeezed my heart in pain. My Buddha is dead. Dead. And it's my fault. If I'd agreed with Chris to cut up a man then my Buddha would be standing right here cooking for me. Right now, he'd be cooking for me and arranging my meal to look like a cartoon-heart. He'd be smiling and whistling as he stood by the stove, cooking away while the rest of us chatted and ate. He'd look at me and pass a secret wink that only I'd see. My Buddha.

Wolves. It was wolves. Why did it have to be wolves?

Donald was shaking me and saying something. I just kept crying and crying. It didn't matter any more. My Buddha was dead. I'd never feel his lips or his kiss. I'd never feel his kind hands again. I'd never taste his potatoes. Our potatoes.

"Lilly! Snap out of it!" Donald's hand smacked me across the face shocking me back to reality. He never called me Lilly unless I was in trouble. And he had never hit me. "Buddha may still be alive. He may be alive. I need you Lilly. Lilly. Listen to me. I need you."

He was saying the same things over and over as if he'd said them all a hundred times before. Was he saying Buddha was alive? But... how?

My vision returned, I was sobbing and he saw that he had my attention. Owl was sitting at the table, quietly eating his meal, watching us. All of a sudden I felt angry at Owl. He and Buddha went to collect steel and now he returns without a scratch on him and my Buddha is dead. Not dead. Donald says he's not dead. I turn to Donald, a questioning look on my tear-streaked face.

"It was a manhunter pack, Lillica." Begins Donald. "Owl here says they knocked him down and didn't proceed to finish him off. The pack just wandered around afterwards. It's a manhunter pack. You know what this means."

I do. We'd seen this disease or whatever it was before. Animals would suddenly get violent and attack anything that was standing. But as soon as you lie down, they leave you alone. It can't be natural. Wolves would starve if they stopped attacking prey that fell down. Donald thought it was a disease, like alzheimers or something for animals, except contagious. If a manhunter pack got Buddha, they wouldn't kill him. They'd scratch him up, but when he's down, they'd leave him alone and go on to their next target.

But he may die from blood loss.

I bolted for the door.

Donald grabbed my arm. "Whoa whoa whoa, where are you going?"

I looked at him incredulously, "I'm going to get Buddha. He's bleeding. Didn't you get me to practice on all those puppies for just this moment?" I was angry, but I didn't care. He was stopping me from getting to my Buddha and Owl was just sitting there eating calmly.

"Lilly, I need you at the north trap. If this is a manhunter pack of a dozen or more, the turrets won't be enough. Owl will get Buddha."

His plan made no sense. Owl was eating dinner. Owl didn't save Buddha earlier – he just came home for dinner. Nobody cared about Buddha. Donald didn't care. Owl didn't care. Only I cared. I needed to save Buddha. I needed to save Buddha now. I broke free from his grasp, "Don't 'Lilly' me. I'm not a little girl. I'm going to save Buddha." And with that I ran out the door. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Donald say something to Owl.

The cold wind slapped me in the face, snow pelted me pushing me, forcing me back inside into the warmth and safety of our colony. It felt like the whole world was conspiring to keep me from Buddha. I felt deep within myself the strength to rebel. I screamed my pain into the wind and started running. From behind, I heard Owl's voice in the doorway, "You're going the wrong way."

I stopped. I had no idea what I was doing. Where was Buddha? Why was I running? Where was I running? I turned around. Owl was pointing south. There were fresh footprints leading to our southern doors. I turned south and ran.

I ran and ran and ran until my lungs burned with cold. The southern walls had never seemed so far away. Behind me, I could hear Owl. We reached the wall and I moved to open the door. Owl's hand slammed the door close. I gave him a stare that promised death.

He towered above me. His face expressionless but his posture dominating. "Donald will never forgive me if we let the pack in through the south wall. You have no defences here. We save Buddha, but we save him carefully. We do it my way, Little Girl. We do it smart. And we do it safe. I'm not letting you out there until you agree."

He was strong. I was tugging at the door trying to open it with my whole weight and he was stopping me with just his one hand on the door. I had no choice. My head was screaming a maelstrom of jumbling thoughts, dominated by images of Buddha lying out there in the snow, bleeding pink over the white ground, breathing his last lungful of cold air but this man – no this Monster here – wouldn't let me out.

I almost lost it. I cried and I begged and I wailed. I felt rough hands grab my mouth. "Sshhhhh. The pack. They'll hear you."

I didn't care. So what if they heard me. Maybe I'll draw them away from Buddha. Maybe he'll get a chance to live. I cried and I tried to scream and I kicked and bit. I have never felt so powerless. I was almost there. Buddha was right outside that wall and I couldn't go and save him. I was utterly powerless. With his hands over my mouth, I couldn't even cry. I just sobbed. I sobbed in despair and leaked a mountain of tears that trickled down my face before my struggles flung them to freeze before they hit the snowy ground.

"Snap out of it, Lillica. Snap yourself out of it or I'll leave you and Buddha both here in the snow for the pack. I'm not going to leave Buddha out there to bleed. We can do this. We can save him. But we do it my way. Understand?"

I struggled some more but it was useless. He'd got me in some sort of army bear grip, pinning my arms uselessly with my legs flapping about in the air with no traction.

"Do you understand?"

I kept kicking around. Trying to unbalance him.

"We're wasting time. I need you to understand."

Rational thought slowly returned to me. Did he say he was going to try to save Buddha? Could we actually save Buddha together? Why won't he let me go? I slowed my movements and stopped struggling.

"Tell me you understand."

I nodded.

Slowly he removed his hand. I saw teethmarks in his gloves. Serves him right.

"Tell me you understand."

I understood nothing, but obligingly, I said, "I understand."

He flipped me around and knelt down to my eye level. "I'm going to open this door a crack and scout the area. Do not... DO NOT come out. Do you understand?"

I nodded.

"Tell me you understand." He commanded.

I looked in his eyes. "I understand." Inwardly I was anxious. We were going to save Buddha. Owl was going to help me save Buddha. He was still alive. I just knew it. I imagined I could still hear his heart beat somewhere out there. Buddha, hang in there. We're coming.

The silver door opened silently. There was a second door, a slate door. This one opened slowly. A crack was all we opened and we peered out.

I had no idea where to look. There were 1 or 2 moving shapes in the far distance, wolves I imagined, but I had no idea where Buddha was. I didn't have the best view. Owl was in the way.

After half a minute, Owl turns to look at me. "There's 3 or 4 wolves in the vicinity, all slowly moving north. The rest of the pack is already far up north, possibly at your turrets already. I'm worried about this one wolf hanging near him." Owl checks his gun and re holsters it.

Owl continues, "I'm going to sneak in and see if I can get Buddha. Hopefully, by the time I get close, that lone wolf will have decided to follow his pack. If not..." Owl pats his gun meaningfully. "If worse comes to worse and his friends come back for me, I'll either sprint back here to this door or I'll draw them off to those caves where I'll see if I can climb and get a height advantage and snipe them from there."

Owl looks at me with deep eyes. "I need you here, Lillica. You don't have a gun. If the wolves come for me and I lead the wolves to the caves, you need to save Buddha. I can take care of myself, but I won't be able to save Buddha and fend off the wolves. Do you understand?"

I nod my head.

"Tell me the plan, Lillica."

I look at him. It's a good plan. It'll work. It has to work. I say, "You go alone to Buddha and you'll carry him back here where I'll patch him up. If that wolf gives you trouble, you'll shoot the wolf. If the rest of the pack comes at you, you'll either come back here or hide in the caves. When the coast is clear, I'm the plan B for saving Buddha."

He nods at me and runs a hand through my hair. "Good girl. Stick to the plan." And with that, he's off.

As Owl attempts a stealthy sneak in thigh-deep snow, I look around and wish I had brought some medicine with me.


Your writing is so immersive... so good~ I'm so sad when I read about Lily crying for Buddha~


Thanks for the feedback, Walking Problem. Love your avatar. Here's more of the story. Hope you like it.


Arctic wolf manhunter pack and cannibalism, part 5. As told by Donald.

Everything is going wrong. It's very wrong. It's always hard to get good food but blame the solar flare this time. The food would have run out, sure, but we would have harvested a few potato plants early and then the remainder when they were fully grown. We would have had SO MANY potatoes we would have been swimming in potatoes.

But the solar flare got us. It got us bad. Those plants froze so fast my boys and ladies couldn't get to them fast enough. None of them knew how to cut a plant quick. They were all moving in inefficient ways. When you harvest plants. You do them in rows, you know. In rows, so that you don't have to backtrack and go over areas twice. I'm going to have to train them all to harvest. That was my mistake. I didn't delegate. I went and tried to do it all myself. When you're leader, there's too much to do. You always have to delegate.

Like now. Digging up graves. Can't be good but let Chris do it. He's keen on digging up bodies so let him do it. Pretend it's his idea if you need but as long as he gets the job done, it's all good. It's all about delegation.

Now Lillica is another problem. She's all hung up on that sweet kid Buddha. I need her on the front line with the turrets but it's clear that the heart wants what the heart wants. Oh, she thinks we don't know but we all know. She's got it bad for him.

When you're a leader you have to make the tough calls. Lillica will be a liability on the front lines. She's going to Buddha no matter what. So let her go. Then delegate. The little girl has no clue where Buddha is. She won't get far. Owl knows. So send Owl. Owl's dependable. You can tell he's solid. He's got marine written all over him. Says he's ex-army but it's in his blood. He'll follow orders. And he'll get the job done. So delegate.

"Save Buddha." That's all I said. And he nodded. We're men. I'm his commander. We understand each other.

So now I've got a dozen or more rabid wolves closing in and no idea how long they'll be. There should be enough power to keep the turrets running for 2 days if needed and we can always flick the switch off if the wolves are not coming. I go wake Lillith, our seventh member. We haven't talked much about Lillith and we don't need to. She's like some minor nobility or something. Good at research, knows a thing or two about building things, refuses to carry large objects – says it destroys her nails or something. Jesus.

We trudge up north and flick the switch to the turrets, they come to life and not a moment too soon. One of the wolves seems to have a headstart on the rest of the pack and is almost at the entrance. I spot Chris over near the graves digging 'em out and scream for him to come over. He doesn't seem to hear me over the top of the wind and snow. There's no time to get him. Olga is nowhere to be found. It'll be just me and Lillith and the turrets against the wolves then. Hope they come one at a time.

The first wolf gets stuck in some traps and never makes it through. The remainder of the pack come at us like savages. Despite the gunfire, Chris doesn't join us. He just keeps digging. I have a bionic left arm but my right gets mauled bad. Lillith doesn't fare much better, but we got 'em all. Fifteen wolves all in all by the end of the night.

It's morning by the time the last wolf falls. No idea where Olga and Chris are. The graves have all been dug up. I look at the empty graves and the littered corpses from afar. Not sure I want to get too close. I find it ironic. Olga and Chris go corpse-digging for food and the thought of cannibalism sends them off the deep end. Then a pack of wolves mauls Buddha maybe to death, then the wolves come and die on our doorstep, solving our food problem.

Just another of life's many lessons about patience and to control your emotions.

I sit down in the snow. I turned 70 earlier this year and I'm feeling it. I'm bleeding and Olga wants to get me to a hospital but I just want to sit down a moment. Overhead another satellite explodes. You'd think these events would be rare but they're surprisingly common out here on the Rim. I watch as the majority of the debris falls to an area just south of us. I remind myself to send Olga south to see if there's anything salvageable tomorrow.


Something falls right in front of me, almost in my lap, within arms reach even. If it fell a foot closer it would have smashed my head in. I look up, to make sure there isn't more. There isn't, and I surprise myself by not caring. It becomes one of those surreal moments where you just understand the meaning of life. A near-death experience. Survived famine, survived a manhunter wolf-pack while the rest of your colony is off who knows where. Saved everyone from being mauled to death, saved everyone from dying of hunger with god knows how much wolf-meat and then to die from aerial bombardment. You could almost laugh.

I turn the packet over. It's a packaged survival meal. I stare at it, and stare south where the majority of the satellite fragments landed, wondering how many more of these the gods had given us.

And then I laugh. I scream a laugh to the heavens. I've saved my colony. Killed the wolves, delivered meat to our doorstep and now found who knows how many survival meals. I did it. I did it all. From the bottom of my belly, all the anger, all the frustration and all the pain of the last few days wells up and comes out as laughter.

I've won. I did it. That's why I'm in charge.