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Great timing. Dispatched as envoy to A. Cen. 4 at height of Crown Fever season: doesn't bother Centaurs much, but is deadly to humans. So instead of fêtes and soirées, it's quarantine and Solitaire. Worse, Centauri's Spring is prettiest for light years!

[#hardshippost is a story I'll be doing in daily epistolary for the duration of the crisis. Stay tuned for more from A. Cen. 4!]

A Lieutenant in the Corps, 3 degrees in Diplomacy, but the closest view I get of the Centaurs is them galloping in the distance. Worse: I've dealt >400 hands of Martian Klondike over the past 2 weeks, and I've got the sneaking suspicion I'm cheating…


Our Vice-Consul is a very efficient Quartermaster. She has rechecked all of the supplies we were sent seventeen times: 435 cans of peanut butter, 273 frozen space-dinners, 1005 cans of Comet Cola... and two rolls of toilet paper.



The Junior Attaché was sent to do portraits of Centaur dignitaries -- obviously, that's out while the Crown Plague rages. Luckily, she's keeping herself busy drawing things she sees around the embassy.

It's a mixed blessing.


Two of our staff are Felids, here to educate the Centaurs in efficient methods of pest control. They're not affected by Crown Plague so they roam outside. But they are quite upset that we won't let them bring Centauri biological samples into the embassy…


We may be jealous of the Felids, but we feel sorry for Oreon, our Herpid technician. Most of the time, he's stuck in his own climate-controlled environmental unit. Luckily, he doesn't seem to mind. Reptiles aren't very bright…


Thanks to time dilation, cold sleep, and the lack of universal time zones, our embassy calendar has gotten a little bit out of sync with home.

Merry Christmas!

(for those who are still confused, this is a story by our 1965 selves writing a science fiction story about living on a planet being ravaged by plague so we have to stay indoors...yes, the art closely imitates life!)

Still stuck in isolation. Our foodstocks are sufficient but boring, so the Junior Attaché has begun a garden. For some reason, the soil on Alpha Centauri 4 is particularly fertile.

We now have 15 tons of eggplant.

Any recipe ideas?


Isolation got to me; put on a makeshift bio-suit and went for a walk. A Centaur got so excited to see a human, it galloped toward me, bouquets in its mouths.

Ran back into the embassy before it could get within 6 feet.

Can you relate?

#socialdistance #hardshippost

Felids are very social creatures, and the two assigned to our embassy are no exception. They are delighted that we are stuck inside and unable to attend diplomatic functions.

A little too delighted.

#cats #hardshippost

Not only are we isolated thanks to the Crown Plague, but the constant rains are bringing us down.

Note to self: flashlights do not make a good substitute for sunlight…

#tanning #rain #hardshippost

Most of the staff at the Terran embassy are stuck inside while the Crown Plague rages on Alpha Centauri 4; I figured a board game might improve morale. Something educational and appropriate. I chose #Diplomacy.

What could go wrong?

#hardshippost #womanyellingatcat

Crown Plague has been raging for a month, it's been downpouring for a week, Centauri locusts are eating up crops. What else could go wrong?

Oh look. The nearby volcano just erupted.

#hardshippost #krakatoa #covid19

We're stuck inside the Alpha Centauri 4 embassy because of the Crown Plague, but that doesn't mean we can't have fun. Last night, we organized an impromptu concert for each other.

Note: Felids are better in the audience than on stage.

#hardshippost #yowl #musicfail

Being trapped inside the embassy means more time for Spring Cleaning. We've gotten a lot of junk tidied….but the clutter may pose more hazard than the Crown Plague!

#hardshippost #timber! #dangerouspiles

A way to deal with discomfort is to subject yourself to greater discomfort and appreciate the comparison. Today, embassy staff celebrated #Passover using fresh-grated Centauri horseradish as #maror.

Our nostrils may never recover...

#hardshippost #slaveryisbad

The rain is gone & it's beautiful again on A. Cen. IV, even stuck inside due to the Crown Plague. We love to gaze at our garden, rich with alien fertilizer, and see…

Uh oh.

Are eggplants supposed to have eyes? And legs?

#hardshippost #horticulturegonewrong

Some folks from another A. Cen IV trade group came by for a visit! Finally, we get to see other Terrans! Of course, interaction during the Crown Plague isn't as close as we might like…

#hardshippost #socialdistance

Being trapped inside can be a good thing. It's a time of forced contemplation, a chance to reevaluate ourselves and focus on what's most important to us.

We're getting a lot of #fanfiction written…

#hardshippost #silverlining

We got new supplies at the embassy today! A group of Centaurs were nice enough to drop off a C.A.R.E. package.

Don't worry -- we decontaminated it in the airlock before we brought it in. Thoroughly.

#hardshippost #killitwithfire #covid19

It's cloudy and gloomy again, and the lack of Vitamin D is becoming a factor. Not that we could go out anyway, thanks to the Crown Plague.

Note to self: Oreon's UV-B light IS a good substitute for sunlight. A little too good.

#hardshippost #coronavirus #carcinoma

Since space cars are airtight, I was able to take the Junior Attaché out for a few flying lessons. I can now say with great authority that there is something scarier on this planet than the Crown Plague.

#hardshippost #stickshiftishard #wearegonnadie

Crown Plague's got us stuck inside, so the Junior Attaché decided to do interesting things with her hair. The problem is we're stuck inside. Who's going to see it?!

#hardshippost #andnowheretogo

Part of what makes Felids such wonderful diplomats is their talent for mimicry. They can imitate all sorts of species: pill bugs, Herpids, humans…

#hardshippost #sincerestformofmockery

After the #Diplomacy debacle, we decided to play something calmer, more family oriented.

Who knew #Scrabble could get so violent?

#hardshippost #notaword

In quarantine on A. Cen IV for more than a month now; time to check on our reserves. Let's see: 20 cans of PSEUDO-SPAM, a giant head of broccoli, 36 rolls of toilet paper (thanks, Centaur CARE package!), 6 eggplant-babies…

Wait a minute.

#hardshippost #uhoh

Felids are out roaming. Oreon is asleep. The Vice-Consul took the Junior Attaché for a flight. I'm in the embassy by myself. Finally! Freedom! I can eat anything! Do anything!

I fell asleep…

#hardshippost #napsareokay

The Junior Attaché got industrious today, building a trellis for the beans she's planting. Unfortunately, she built it inside the embassy. And it's too big for the door.

I guess we'll be converting one of the rooms into a garden…

#hardshippost #planahead

Oh no! A little Centaur baby got separated from its parents and wandered to the embassy. I took the little tyke and reunited it with its family, and all was well. Of course, due to the Crown Plague, I had to take a few precautions…

#hardshippost #takingnochances
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