Womble Retreat

Welcome to Etacalla.

This is the planet where it never stops raining.

It’s how the damn thing’s built*. It’s how it was made. It’s how it will always be.

Because there isn’t a sun around which it can orbit, all of the planet’s heat & primary source of light comes from the ground itself, made up mostly of a substance called tuganite. No one knows how the stuff works, it’s chemical signature, or what actually holds it all together. It has the consistency of shale. They know that.

Nothing much exists here. The only fauna willing to live here enjoy long periods of isolation, and because most of them stand well over nine feet tall not much else has been able to survive**. Fish inhabit the sea. A range of moss exists on the surface. Algae live here, I think. And coral. That’s it. Tunganite doesn’t provide many nutrients. The only things that live here are carnivorous.

It’s ideal, really. And easy to locate, if you already know where it is.

I came here as soon as I left ol’ what’s his face. I can’t remember how I found this place, but it wasn’t easy. It exists somewhere off the Hadron Wall, far out into what most pilots refer to as “the wastes”. Unofficial, of course, but it sums up the region pretty well. The wastes function as a sort of intergalactic junkyard, full of black holes and roaming exogorth. No one usually goes in without a suicide note.

Some day this place will be gone, of course. Consumed by slugs or wrecked by an unstable mass of gravity. That’s gonna be sad.

I like it here. It’s…well, beautiful. All empty and cold, as black and as wet as the bottom of the sea. And no one ever comes here. Not even the Time Lords. I should know; I have a monitor drone in orbit keeping watch. It’s the best I can do to keep this place safe. When some exogorth finally decides to take a bite, it’ll have some serious issues doing it.

This place is important. Real important. It’s where I come to remember things.

The ship, well, the ship was easy. It’s like riding a bike- you never forget, especially not with a lunatic chasing after you. Even in this body, I knew what to do. I learnt how to do it here. This is where I found it, all beaten and discarded like an old lighter. I patched it up, filled the tank- just enough to reach the outskirts, several hundred kilometers away, where I managed to catch the attention of the nearest galactic patrol vessel -and got it going again.

Since then, it’s been the closest thing I have to a retreat. A place I can relax, go fishing***, meddle with bits of machinery…and keep what I can’t afford to lose…

Probably best I start looking for HH.

W

* Vapor in the atmosphere condenses into water and falls through holes in the ground around a centimeter in diameter. It eventually reaches the planetary core, which then turns it back into vapor, which then rises back through the cracks in the ground and up towards the atmosphere. Upon reaching the atmosphere, due to its proximity to the cold vacuum of space, the vapor rapidly loses heat and condenses back into water.

**These include several hundred types of fish, a select group of insects, and a sort of wader bird that stands well over sixty feet in height, and tends to stamp things to death whenever it gets angry.

***Fishing on Etacalla is among the more dangerous pastimes recognized as such on this side of the galaxy, as Etacalla’s seas are at least ten times the depth of those found on Earth- and make up 90% of the planet’s overall surface area. With so much room on offer, the fish that inhabit these waters grow to phenomenal sizes. Womble’s basic fishing rig includes a modified XV88 battlesuit and a harpoon gun large enough to be considered a cannon by conventional standards.

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