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Sand, All up in my Junk, Part 1 Stier didn’t remember landing, nor did he remember walking all this way. He could see his own footprints however, and not in view of the Arkship he wasn’t quite sure how far he’d gone. His head was pounding, his legs felt like limp and sore, and the grit of the place had gotten to him. He was in a desert. The sun was furiously bright but beginning to dip to the edge of the horizon threatening to begin to set. He was doubled over at the edge of a sand dune as pale as an eggshell staring back at the tracks left by his ascent. It was unclear if he had walked or crawled to his current position, but he was certain that he would be unable to summit the next mound to the west. The bottom of the valley shows cracked earth of a rainy season past. Stier had a moment of panic, but realized that his suit not only shielded him from the heat and the cold, but recycled his liquid waste with almost no loss. Water would not be a problem, nor food as his Nano-former had plenty of protein solution stored in it, and more than enough energy to disperse it. He stared down at his scratched display and despite the comforting evidence of his ensured survival, the panic did not fully subside. Instead it retreated just enough that it didn’t fill his mind just as the sun’s orange glow had begun to peel back against the night. The day subsided too quickly and his fear left far too slowly. It was about time for some shelter. Stier swiped through the menu on his Nano-former again for survival polymer but was dismayed to find just the protein solution. He rolled his eyes and took a few sphere-fulls of sand from the dune. The structure of the dune shifted and gave, and he began to tumble violently head over heels down the dune until stopping at the rocky bottom of the valley followed by a sand-flow up to his shoulders. Shielding technology was advanced enough to prevent a starship from crashing full-speed into a skyscraper, but somehow he managed to bruise his rear on the rocks through his personal shields. He stood, and groaned while nursing his new lump on his backside. Stier didn’t think he had any blueprints for structures made out of sandstone, and he hadn’t had time to learn how to turn sand into glass with the Nano-former. He had just landed after all, and the simulator was pretty different from where he had managed to walk to. His lack of memory worried him as he constructed a dome with a simple entrance not unlike an igloo, but out of the sand he had collected from the dune. It was surprisingly tough for being made of sand, the grains were compressed into a solid form, but he did manage to chip the entrance a bit with his helmet when he tried to crawl in. Stier tried to get comfortable in his new shelter, however his groin was badly chafed. The sand had worked its way into his suit, and based on the sting he realized that the area had become enflamed. His first thought was to go ahead and remove the sand with his Nano-former, but seeing the reduction sphere overlap with his crotch, it occurred to him that he might lose more than the sand if he went through with it. Staying put for a while seemed like the safer choice, so he took a break and went AFK (Away From Konsciousness). Day snuck up on him, and he returned to find chunks of his shelter was missing. He remembered the simulations, someone had tested out a plasma rifle on his hut! Stier crawled back out of his shelter on hands and knees and found two other spacers, each with weapons pointed right at him. He could see the combat warning blinking on his display. Their suits were a newer model, probably Omegas that got on the ship after the initial launch. One of them had a Lv.1 PET with him, poor thing’s legs were moored in the sand. “Nice Hut” mumbled one of the Omegas practically breathing into his mic. He was sporting the basic concussive pistol, probably spent hours trying to get magnesium for bullets. “Drop your DAC’s Alpha” cracked the prepubescent voice behind a laser rifle. This one was also an omega, but might have traded his PET for a decent weapon that uses his Nano-former’s battery instead of solid rounds. “Can’t drop DAC’s noob, they are digital” replied Stier, “contract or trade transactions only, just like spacebux”. “I said drop ‘em!” cracked the child again, this time firing twice and missing. It was unsure if these were warning shots, or if his weapon skill was just that bad. “They don’t drop on death either, DNA coded like spacebux too” said Stier, “only the Nano-former discharges on death and it’s pretty lossey”. The mumbler shot this time, one bullet hit Stier’s shield membrane above the right shoulder staggering him. The second one caught him on the left side of his helmet, crushing the shield and making its way into his skull. Stier came-to in the Arkship’s infirmary missing a few cubic feet of sand.