I found him! He’s here! Well, he WAS here.

Winet. He was here, on this strange, green planet. Like me, he had woken up with no recollection of how he arrived. Though we began with no food, shelter, or friends, Winet quickly rectified all three lacks with his customary efficiency. I’m not sure why his energy and capabilities continue to surprise me. Within a day, we had two stout farmhouses in our possession. Within a week, we owned several small tracks of land.

An earthshake destroyed everything we’d built, in less than a fortnight.

Undaunted, we began again. And again.

It’s a bit lengthy to go into. The endless days melted together as we chopped wood, mined ores and metals, and gathered grains and other flora. Some we traded, some we used. My own contributions to our little homesteading seemed insignificant compared to his tireless efforts, but he didn’t seem to mind. Within a few more fortnights, we each had our little homes, with plentiful gardens, a little fleet of ships to take us on our trade routes overseas, mechanical haulers (laughable in comparison to the technology we were abducted from, but better than riding a foul-smelling beast of burden), and even a fishing vessel.

As we worked, I wondered how and why we were here, and what we could learn from this place to take back with us. I refused to believe we would not be going back. The new homestead was a distraction, nothing more, I firmly told myself over and over. Our land holdings increased to an impressive degree. We amassed a fine collection of “gold,” the planet’s currency, comparable in some ways to Interstellar Kredits, and set about to using the gold to increase our profits, and bribe other groups for information. With any luck, someone would know how we got here– and how to get back.

Having mentioned a portion of a trading plan to our group’s “leader,” Winet had been… well, someone else would have been horrified, Winet was just irritated… to find out that the plan had been bastardized to such a degree that it gained the group’s leader all the benefits we’d hoped for… but our little homestead was left vulnerable. In fact, the leader had gone so far as to pledge us into servitude to the group we’d fervently hope to trade with. This set-back impacted all of our long-term plans, surely, but worse, it removed what little sense of freedom we had worked to achieve. Neither Winet nor myself are strangers to negotiations, bargains, and self-sacrifice. The very idea that we had to ask an enemy’s permission to trade, however, and deliver our hard-earned goods to them for the privilege, was simply too much to bear. We left our group of “friends,” and the bid good riddance to the betrayer.

Within days, Winet concluded his own deal with the hostile faction. We worked harder than ever, having to overcome the little “off the top” that was needed to bribe our way past certain guards. Then, one day, he was gone.

I did not panic, at first. I am not, after all, his keeper, and we both appreciate a little time apart to pursue different interests. I checked his houses- he’d paid up the property taxes. Reassured, I knew he meant to be gone a length of time, then, and would return.

As the demolition dates for his properties grew closer, however, I grew alarmed. He should have been back by now. He would not have left me alone, incapable of managing our goals. This conclusion forced me to realize that I *could* manage them, albeit more slowly than he would have. He’s ever had more faith in me than I have in myself.

I set about to prepare for the demolitions, and, when the time came, I claimed the lands again. Soon after his disappearance, it was all I could do to keep and maintain the land, and could spare no extra time or effort into pursuing the original goal– to get off the planet. Bit by bit, though, fortified by Winet’s faith in me, I did a little trading. Then a little more, and a little more. I reached out to known allies and hostiles alike.

The trade agreement Winet had achieved worked for a while, but then fell through when the negotiator left– I asked around, and he had disappeared, just as Winet had. The pact’s failure led to my first crippling losses. I was forced to re-organize, scale back, and re-think the mission and plan.

With no way off this heap of dirt, at least for now, mind-numbing hard work keeps my mind off of my other crippling loss- Winet himself. He would not leave alone me on this Emperor-forsaken planet, had he a choice. I refuse to believe he has perished– like capsuleers, the denizens of this planet are reborn. I believe he has either found a way off, or was fetched back by whoever left him here. This means, to me, that my own way off will be by doing as he had done. To that end, I intend to finish what he started.

I am a builder, and a thinker. I am SMA.