LABYRINTH: Labyrinth Planet WC By Michael S. Jones

Week 1 Word: LABYRINTH
Word Count 495
Labyrinth Planet WC
By Michael S. Jones

Daedalus Base Camp
Minos Dispatch 5.12.2219 E.C.
Dispatch Three [3]

Your last reply is moot. The medical cocktail you suggested was ineffective and caused tremors in all but Petro-Specialist Franklin Rich.
When unmedicated most of our circadian rhythms finally adjusted to twelve [12] hour revolutions. Nine [9] of us tended to sleep well into the day while Rich stayed awake too long. We have no idea why his sleep/wake pattern was upside down from the rest of ours nor, of course, why drugs caused no side-effects for him. Are they connected?
We belatedly shortened our sleep times without artificial help and oddball Rich lengthened his. We have met more or less in the middle. Why did we adjust after so long?
[Sleep Documentation Follows]

Yes, we agree that equatorial landings are the only practical way. The notion of four [4] hour winter days and eight [8] hour nights is what the team calls Eastern Standard Wacko.

Exo-Botanist James Bartlett and Exo-Animalianist Virginia Wang discovered a new critter. It is a large, multi-legged scaly thing they have dubbed the centilizard. Grasping protrusions aid its consumption of some local plants.
[Flora Already Classified]
B & W will share discovery credit and want the Latin translation of their designated name.
[Freeze-dried specimen awaiting return trip and detailed taxonomy.]

Labyrinth exploration is more difficult than anticipated. Three entrances (creatively named Tunnels A, B and C) are within easy crawler range. Each “tunnel” has low ceilings and so Wang is always first inside. If her chin touches neck she almost never bangs her head. Occasional cries of pain cause great hilarity. But the taller amongst us proceed painfully always, bent double. Next time send a chiropractor.

Rich says tunnels are not ancient underground rivers. They are multi-cursal with seemingly endless path diversions: left, right, up and down. Yet each entrance contains its own labyrinth. Thus far they never meet or turn back on themselves although they seem to cross paths at different levels. Without GPGPS we are severely limited and line of sight surveying would take a century.
Rich thinks they might be braided in some way. Have the chiropractor bring a bigger ball of string.

Concerns

Some of the fauna is intelligent. Ever since we spotted the centilizards they have taken turns watching us. One stares intently at whatever we are doing for a time and then disappears. Within moments it is replaced by another. Bartlett calls them Watchmen.

Please understand that we have a mutual problem.
The distance each direction makes for inefficient “conversation” and causes frustration Earthside.
But here on Minos my team’s annoyance is cubed. Landmark shapes and shadows look “wrong” and, well, disturbingly alien. No, it is not scientific, but pit-of-stomach anxiety is growing, exacerbated by message delays. Tempers flare.
Why can ships fold space while messages crawl along at multiples of 186,000 miles/sec.? We need cheaper flights or faster messaging.

Family greetings follow. Ginny Wang asks for more peanut butter.

W. A. Sloan, Commander

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