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Connor wakes and the first thing he does is breathe. And surprisingly, the atmosphere of this planet is breathable. Or, unsurprisingly? Connor is feeling abnormally groggy, likely from the prolonged stasis. He steps out of his little pod and finds the area he's in to be... barren, mostly. There's hard earth all around him and he leans down to touch it hesitantly. It is dusty, but firm. Rock, probably. But what kind? He wonders. And then he moves on. Takes his first step away from the pod. Then the next. His mind maps out what he's seen instinctually, creates a makeshift GPS system. He will have to manually input his location, but it should work.

He already misses Hank and Sumo. He's only been actively wandering for a few moments, but he's painfully aware of how far away they are. And then something moves and he is immediately distracted.

What is it? He steps forward and... a pink blob with a face emerges from a crack between rocks. It makes the cutest noise Connor has heard in his short life. It's so cute. What is it though?

He recalls the request to take notes on the planet and any pre-existing inhabitants. So he creates a file to store the data in for ease of transfer later, and puts what he's discovered so far in it. He scans the little pink creature next. It appears to be made of some sort of goop. Just as Connor registers this, it moves closer and bumps into his hand. Holy shit. It's so... squishy. Connor can't help but run his hand over the thing for a few minutes, listening to it's little cheering noises. It's so cute? What right does it have being so cute?

He temporarily dubs this creature a Pink Slime. It is very slimy and very squishy and good and oh it's smiling its smile is so big it's so cute. Connor pets the thing a little longer before it decides to hop into his arms. AND OH BOY. If petting the little guy was an uplifting experience, having it in his arms like a child is pure ecstasy. Connor thinks he might cry. This beautiful creature has chosen him. He is holding a squishy pink slime and it is smiling and he can't help but smile with it because anyone who looks at that face and doesn't smile is heartless.

He quietly pulls the journal out of his bag (which is packed neatly with only the necessities: extra thirium and biocomponents, clothes for any climate he may encounter, and of course, the journal) and sits on a rock with the slime in his lap and starts writing. He adds a sketch as well. The slime coming out of the rocks. The little pink thing watches him work with interest. Holy shit it's way too cute.

The next thing Connor encounters is a small patch of dirt growing... carrots. He makes note of this. Writes a few pages in the book about how unlikely this is, how incredible it is that the same vegetable exists on two different planets entire star systems apart. The pink slime eats a carrot whole and a small pink crystal splits off its body. Interesting.

Next discovery is a cat. Well, not quite. A creature similar to the pink slime, but it is gray, and has ears and a tail and is reminiscent of an obese tabby cat Connor once saw on the way home from work. He chuckles at the memory, making sure to mention it in his report to Hank, but not the one to the group who sent him. Which is easy, because the report to Hank is in an old paper journal and filled with sketches rather than images. Not that there's much of a difference, Connor perfectly replicates the creatures' appearances anyway.

2 more "slimes" and a fruit tree later, it's the next morning. The journal is already covered in sketches and notes and little anecdotes. Connor is proud of this. He's been here only a day and already he's managed to discover carrots, a new species of fruits, and four creatures. L

Connor smiles at the slimes that sit around him (the pink one, the cat, a blue slime with rocky growths on its body, and a purple slime with wings and antennae that glows a soft yellow periodically) and they smile back, huge grins and happy noises. Connor thinks perhaps he will really like this trip after all.

He enters stasis, and he is not alone this time. And that is comforting. Connor, for the first time since everything, feels calm.