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Prequel of Osberan

Log of Subcommander Arin, Civilian Fleet Defense Regiment. Approaching Osberan. Summary of the last weeks.

For the past month, we have been sailing towards Osberan according to the orders left by our admiral. At that time, he had entrusted me with the command of the fleet because he wished to study a supernova close to our passage point. Shortly after he left, we lost contact with his shuttle. Our orders were to continue our journey without waiting for them and without worrying about what might happen to them so as not to endanger either the crew or the mission.

Except for my deep concern about losing contact with the admiral, the military fleet and the land, the rest of the trip went well, and nothing came to disturb our progress fortunately! It was my duty not to worry anyone, it was a particularly difficult time to hide our total isolation.

We entered the zone of influence of the double system Tylonia-Aleya for 3 weeks. In order not to create a possible imbalance in the system, we had to switch to conventional propulsion reactors. The next step was to send several observation probes towards the planet. 24 hours after their release, they should be able to provide us with the first high resolution images of Osberan. Each day passing, since they were approaching, they could glean more information, such as the presence of life on the surface without going into details. Others had this mission and had to be sent a little later.

The first ones had also and specially to look for the presence of technologies. Yesterday, these probes, remaining in high orbit, were able to complete their work and we received the first complete scan. On the one hand, there seems to be no trace of any technology, suggesting that no intelligent life is present on the surface. Secondly, they were able to make a quality map of the continent hosting the Alpha point, the point of origin of the signal. The information was then compiled in an orientation sphere to help me in our progression on the ground.

To return to the first point, the absence of technology implies that no one has yet arrived or is simply present on site. This is a bad omen; it means that the other fleet is not there. So, we will have to manage alone! The question is to know what happened to the others. In any case, the days, months, years to come will probably be difficult, because we are simply not as well equipped as them to recreate a minimum comfort. Assuming, of course, that it is only a question of timing, although I doubt it!

In 2 days, I will be the first man to set foot on this new planet, according to the directives left by the high command. The landing of the mentioned ships will follow, according to the information that I will transmit to them.

In case of no contact from me, they will be instructed to land about 50 kilometers from the Alpha point.

We had some problems with the surface probes. Systematically, they stopped transmitting about 24 hours after their release. The geological and biological analyzes received, although partial, have allowed us to highlight that life seems to be small, therefore no large predator. The other element which helped us to choose is the presence of a large aquifer confirmed just below the surface. It would be able to provide our water needs for 1 decade.

Nevertheless, this loss of signal coming from the probes makes me think and it will be necessary to carry out an investigation to understand. 



From tomorrow, we leave for Osberan, a little more than 1000 km north of the Alpha point. The probe sent to scan the area, transmitted us strange and difficult to understand information. We must investigate this before any other mission.

From tomorrow, I will test a dynamic logbook, because I would like to not lose any information on what will happen. I will be accompanied by 3 other people, Naëlys, Zohan and Ivy.

Small description of each one:

Naëlys is a 35-year-old woman, from Amundsen like me, she is an exobiologist and specialized in animal behavior. We imagined that Osber living beings could react like those of the earth. She will help us to understand if we are dealing with aggressive or pacifist animals. I don' know this woman particularly well, but she was recommended to me for this mission.

Ivy is 2 years younger than Naëlys and is also an exobiologist. She graduated top of her class 5 years ago. Her thesis on the accelerated evolution that has taken place on earth over the last 100 years allowed her to easily obtain her doctorate in animal biology. She is here to help us discern the commonalities with the animals of the earth, and thus to know if we could consider domesticating them, feeding on them, or distrusting them.

Zohan, his 34-year-old companion, has distinguished himself in the study of plants. His course allowed him to claim the position of xenobotanist. In view of what we could see via all the reports of the probes, he will have much work.

He and his wife, I know them a little, his character is unique, but he is very good, and I have all confidence in him to guarantee the success of the mission. As for her, she has always seemed to me very involved in her work.

Personally, I would represent the authority and engineering in its entirety, I did not shine in my studies unlike the other 3, but since the Admiral and his second in command are no longer with us, I had the mission to replace them.

Day 1 exploration Osberan, here it is, the big day, with the team we find ourselves in the hangar in front of our companion of the day, the small ship The "Goeland" Full of enthusiasm, we are also very stressed at the idea of setting foot on this new world.

- Before starting the team, I take the liberty of holding a brief preparatory meeting:

Here is the program, guys. Descent on the Beta point of Osberan with the Goeland that here is. Our shuttle was prepared to allow us to set up a secure camp on the planet. We will have what to eat and drink for 5 days. We don’t know what we’ll run into, or even if we’ll find food and drinkable water, in case of additional needs. So, it is a difficult mission, if you want to withdraw, it is now! After that, it will be too late.

- It’s ok for us, we already talked about it together before coming and we won’t give up our place. For no reason! To have the honor of setting foot on a new world first is just an immeasurable privilege.

- That’s exactly what I wanted to hear so let’s go! Let’s not dawdle! We go up in the shuttle and once inside we take again a little more in detail our objectives.

The entrance in the small shuttle is made in an absolute silence, only the noise of our steps on the metallic ground sounds in our ears.

- Before everything, it is necessary to finish putting on the suits and to make sure that they are operational. After which, I take the orders, you 3 attach yourselves, that will shake. Naëlys Come next to me, you will be my co-pilot. Since you have been trained for that. As for you two, I’m sorry, you’ll have to make do with the hold, there are two secure seats for you.

- Thanks for the rough comfort, if I give it all back it will be nice with the helmet. Exit Zohan

- But no, I trust you.

We are now in place; I start the ship. Here are the 5 major steps:

Descending to Osberan

Search for a safe landing place and disembark.

Building a secure camp for the 4 of us.

Exploration of the surroundings.

And finally, taking samples and analyzing the water, collecting fruits, small animals, and insects for edibility study.

- I warn you, the descent is going to be rather difficult guys, the readings indicate that the atmosphere is thicker than on earth. So, expect it to be very hot, and that we will experience a lot of turbulence. No need to talk to me unless it’s a real emergency, I need to concentrate. Anyway, it might be very noisy.

The descent was indeed quite violent, I had to manage 5 minutes of big trouble. Fortunately, Naëlys helped me a lot, more than once the angles of penetrations had to be adjusted to limit the overheating, and in view of the sensors, it was not to the taste of the shuttle:

- That’s it guys, we are going to land, I have just located a point in this dial. Objective, the edges of this forest. Not too close anyway, to guarantee our safety while keeping a rather open view on the horizon. Zohan? Ivy? Everything ok?

- Not really, no breakage, but I’m not likely to eat for a few hours, you’ve shaken us up!

- I did what I could, but it was not obvious, Naëlys is a witness, the preset parameters were not adapted.

- Well, yeah! I would say that you didn’t want us to discover the fruits of this place before you. But ok to you the pleasure to taste everything first. With her remark, Ivy’s vengeful look said a lot about her way of thinking at that moment.

- Other than that, will you let us out so we can go vomit in peace? Zohan replied.

- I’m waiting for the external sensor scan of the cabin to make sure we’re safe. 

- That’s all we need, after having traveled billions of kilometers, we could end up on a planet without being able to breathe, reassure me, they didn’t do that to us there?

- I’m sure they didn’t, but there’s nothing to stop us from...

"Opening the access hatch manually."

- Hey, what’s wrong Zohan, why did you do that?

- If I’m going to die of asphyxiation, I’d rather not know, so screw the protocols.

"End of analysis: atmosphere compatible with human physiognomy, no agents to risk. Details of the composition of the air N2 75%, CO2 1%, O2 23%, O3 trace, Ar, Ne trace."

- You see anyway we weren’t risking anything!

- That’s no reason, at least we could have made this decision together.

- Look, I apologize, but if we want to move forward, we’ll probably have to make some shortcuts on the protocols. We’re not in familiar territory, remember that.

Once outside, we discover a clean air, as we never had the pleasure to have on earth. What happiness! And all these smells.

Location: as we wished, the surroundings are clear, the edge of the forest is at 50th of meter. The plateau on which we are, offers us a 360° panorama. On the other side of the ship a big cliff offers us a natural protection against any animal invasion.

The plants are very different from what we had on earth. In reality and in the books.

Here, a non-negligible part, are purple and blue, it is rather disorienting. The ground is covered with a kind of green and reddish moss and does not resemble at all the grass that we had.

The flowers are of all sizes, but overall, much bigger than what I have seen so far. The smallest one I see is already a good 15 cm in diameter, I will add some sketches to illustrate and keep all this.

The strength of these scents is what disturbs me the most. Pleasant, but a little too present and that knocks us out a little

- The luminosity is disturbing, don’t you think, it is very strong and slightly tinted with red. Probably due to the star Tylonia.

"Result of spectral analysis, high level of UVA and UVB present at 7% of UV, UVC absent, very likely origin Aleya Sun, moderate risk"

Careful guys, I don't recommend looking in the direction of the white star, it seems to be very radiant. Look at the readings.

- Are we at risk?

- According to the meter no, we're going to get quite a bit of tan, but the value seems to be below the lethal values.

- And now that all these points are secured, what do we do now? Do we get to work?

- You Zohan, you seem to like the danger, take care of checking the edges of the forest, don't enter it for the moment, but make sure we don't risk anything here, I'm going to set up the camp around the shuttle with Naëlys,

- And me? Adds Ivy

- Stay in support of Zohan, don't get too close to him in case we have to intervene. Stand back to have an overview, and if something seems foreign to you, don't hesitate to raise the alarm.

- You don't trust me, do you? Zohan said, a little annoyed.

- Don’t get me wrong, if I didn't trust you, I wouldn't give you the most important mission. There are 4 of us and I would like all 4 of us to leave! After these words, each of us got busy with his task.

Naëlys had to take care of setting up the security barrier. Namely 4 rather big posts able to generate a lightning in case of intrusion. Of course, not lethal, but enough to sound a bit. So, I took the time to help him place them at the 4 corners. The operation is simple, we are all equipped with a receiver, which if we are exempt, any passage between 2 beacons is concluded by the lightning.

While she oversaw digging the holes, to plant the posts, I offered myself the privilege to dig our latrines. Not a very tasty operation, but very necessary for our long-term comfort.

It's time to make a report of the situation: the installation of the camp took us 2 good hours, and nothing particularly came to disturb us. A few small original creatures did show up and fortunately none of them were aggressive. I was surprised to see that they did not seem to be bothered by our presence.

On another register, my first scientific observation concerns the gravity! Indeed, this one is stronger than on earth, and that is felt well! Or maybe it is because we have just spent 6 months in space, and that our training was not enough. In any case, I am exhausted. For tonight, we have what we need, we can rest, and I am not unhappy about it.

- Zohan, take advantage to finish your watch to collect some wood, we will have to light a fire, the evening looks fresh.

Tylonia is already below the horizon. The brightness of Aleya, which seemed so dangerous this morning, seems so insignificant to me now. Even without looking at it directly, it doesn't seem any brighter than the moon was from the earth,

This kind of halo around the sun disturbs me a little, it behaves like a thick fog.

. If you are ready all 3, join me at the edge of the cliff, let's enjoy the landscape. It is really magnificent from this point of view. Do you realize that in history we probably had this kind of panorama on earth. What a pity! I hope that here, we will not make the same mistakes.

- You seem very inspired, dear friend.

At our feet, some rather large creatures, we could compare them to giraffes more massive than on earth, are moving away from the edge of the underlying forest at great speed. Suddenly, another one, hardly describable, charged at the slowest of the group, without giving it a chance. With the help of its tail, so long that it could play the role of a whip, the predator put the prey on the ground by entangling its back legs. Before our frightened eyes, the unfortunate beast was put to death. After a loud roar, we saw smaller versions of the predator running in, reminding us that despite the violence of the scene, this is only the natural cycle.


Still, we were very happy to be out of range. Our position maintained us in safety, or at least, it is what seems to be the case, although deep down we are not at all reassured for the evening.


Naëlys the first: - I suggest sleeping in the shuttle tonight. The air, immediately, is fresh, but very heavy because of the humidity. And then:

- And then you are not reassured, suggests Ivy.

- Does anyone here have it? Honestly?

I have to describe the face of the three, and mine, namely, terribly upset and worried.

This moment that only 5 minutes earlier was idyllic has suddenly turned into a possible nightmare.

- Since nobody seems in his plate, let's go in the shuttle and close the door. For the continuation, we will see tomorrow morning.

- First of all, should we inform the other colonists of our discovery?

- It’s totally useless, we don't know anything for the moment, if it’s obvious that this creature has scared the hell out of us, maybe the rest of this planet is more welcoming.

- What about the mission? Is it in question?


Zohan laughs as he stands up: - Is this big beast scaring you? Stop it girls, we are heavily armed enough to avoid problems.


- Thanks for being so macho, it's so inappropriate.


- No way, but if it makes you happy, just don' be afraid, I am sure that in the history of the earth, man has been in much worse situations.

- Let's stop fighting, please! Tomorrow the objective remains to go to the cave where the signals seemed to come from, we will be very careful and that's all. In fact, I'm glad I was even able to witness this scene tonight. With what happened, we know we'll just have to be careful.

The look on the girls’ faces says it all about my last words: - Positive view of a very scary moment. Are you guys aware of what just happened?

- Of course, but we can't do anything about what happened and creating stress now won't help us. Let's go to bed, we’ll see tomorrow.

Report on the day: "The colonization of this planet is not looking good, and I am worried about the landing. The problem is that we don't have much choice. The ships didn't handle the trip here particularly well.

And then (...) so many strange things have happened since we left Earth, and most of all, we've been alone since this strange journey began.

For the moment, the team seems to be holding together a little bit, but I’m afraid that will change soon.

Beep, Beep, Beep, Perimeter breach.

Waking up with a start is really not my cup of tea: - Get up in there and look through the portholes. Naëlys, turn on the proximity lights.

- Done!

- Ivy, run a proximity analysis, please.

- Initiating analysis, "Beep".

Detecting an organic presence in the security circle.

- Look around, do you see anything?

- Nothing on my side, the barrier seems to be intact.

- Same for me.

- Nothing to report here either. The barrier is in perfect condition.

- Naëlys, can you confirm that you have turned on the barrier after putting it on?

- Affirmative! Look, you can see the led witnesses.

- I believe you, it would be necessary to go out to see what happens, but this evening, it is too dangerous. We will see tomorrow morning. In the meantime, let's set up a guard tour! You never know.

Zohan's deep voice echoes in the cramped machine: - You're changing your tune completely, chief.

- I have no choice, we came here with 4 people, we will leave with 4. Zohan please, let's take the first watch. Girls go to bed; you think you can replace us in 2 hours. The night should last at most another 6 hours.

At this point, I hope no one noticed my slightly shaky voice.

- Okay for us.

The limited space of the aircraft does not bode well for a good night as we would need, but for safety reasons this is still the best solution.

After 2 other watches, Aleya gets up slowly, the luminosity is not strong, it is very confusing, through the window, it is as if we could attend a very big moon rising on earth. The light is particularly intense if we look at the small sun, but it doesn't illuminate much. In the meantime, the horizon is colored a scarlet red, I imagine that Tylonia should appear.

If my reasoning is right, in 5 minutes, it will be light enough to see what really happened. I'm still very disturbed by all the squeaking that has been going on for the last hour, as if something had rubbed against the ship.


- Come on guys, we must wake up.

My way of waking them up, most probably betrays my impatience... Or my brutal uneasiness.

- Ivy, open the door to see what happened.

Ivy grabs the handle of the access door, pushes it. Nothing happens; however, I see her pushing and then pulling harder and harder. I can't do it; something is blocking it!

Zohan, always so delicate, approaches and pushes Ivy aside more or less gently: - Let me do it! But first, Arin, are you sure the door is unlocked?

- I check. Yes, it's good though!

As I pressed the button, to revalidate the order of opening the door, a small squeak was heard again. The 3 who were asleep when I first heard them: - What do you hear there?

- I heard this little noise during all my last shift, but I don' know what it is, that's why I would like to go out and quickly see what it is.

Naëlys went to the cockpit: - uh guys! Come to see.

While entering the cockpit, I look at my comrades, as shaken as me. My role of commander obliges me to hold my role with the most possible insurance, I quickly swallow my grimace, and quickly eclipse me to announce what it has just arrived to us: report of exceptional situation: - A liana of a good centimeter in diameter crosses the canopy, we must leave to clear us, and understand what it happened. Is it related to what I heard all night? I'm pretty sure it does.

- Zohan please come with me, we need to see what this thing is and if we must, we get out of the way. As soon as we’re clear, we'l get the containment barrier and get the hell out of this place.

- But what about the mission? You wanted to do it last night after seeing that weird creature eats the big giraffe and all of a sudden, because of a vine, you want to leave?

Putting my hands on Zohan's two shoulders, I stare at him: - Yesterday a creature ate another one, but it was far away, and we were safe! On the other hand, this morning, some kind of creeper violated our safety zone, apparently clinging to our ship. I am sorry to say that this has nothing to do with it.

Right now, it’s our safety that matters to me. We'll do the mission, but we’ll move the ship a little further out, hoping that the bastard doesn’t follow us. Then 2 of us will go explore the cave and 2 others will stay in the ship ready to leave.

- And if this thing is chasing us, what do we do? Do you realize that almost 20,000 people are waiting up there to set foot on the planet?

- Yes, but...

Zohan approaches me, his heart rate is so high that I can hear it, his breathing quickening, then curtly: But what? our ships are not capable of going any further without refueling, at the very least we could go up to a tenth of the way we did from earth, except that it's not possible. Even though I am a botanist, I know that we have chosen a solar system that is in an even more pronounced void than our good old earth. How could we accept such a mission? In fact, we know nothing about this place.

Ivy and Naëlys joined us in the meantime. Still disturbed but equipped and ready to go out to get rid of the intruder. Their arrival is timely because suddenly Zohan’s anger has disappeared to make way for a much more protocol and functional behavior for the upcoming mission.

- Let’s go, boss? we don’t want to hang around here.

- Ok, let’s recap, we go around, Ivy and I in the front, Naëlys and Zohan in the back, as soon as we see something, we cut. And then we leave. It is good? I open the back airlock and hope that we can.


Opening the airlock in progress. After 5 seconds. Blocking of the descent engines.


The creeper has also interfered with the rear access ramp, it opens just enough for us to get out. We will have to slip through the gaps.

- Won’t we get into trouble if we get out and can’t see anything?

- Zohan then retorts Ivy, : - you are less brave all of a sudden. Should we laugh or cry about it?

- Laugh, what’s been going on since yesterday doesn’t make me feel better, and yes, I’m stressed, no, I’m not scared, but I’d still like to go home.

- We all calm down; we have to take care of this creeper. Naëlys, you have a machete, we will already try to cut from here, to try to open more.

After several attempts, we finally succeed in breaking this one.

- Relaunch the opening please.

As the airlock was almost down, the ship was shaken quite violently.

Naëlys while falling screamed: - What is it now?

I order the evacuation of the ship; we will see outside how to do.

In two minutes, we find ourselves outside to witness the unthinkable. Creepers come out of the ground. At first, very small, we see them clinging to the rear raft. Then, as soon as this one stop, the vines stop growing.

How do they stop? Why do they stop? We must contact the higher authorities. This is beyond our ability to think alone.

- Zohan, Ivy, and Naëlys. With what just happened, I will ask for assistance, it is far too dangerous here for us.

- But what about the mission?

- My first mission is to keep you alive. With the state of the ship, that’s getting complicated.

Zohan returns from the other side of the ship: - Well, while you were talking, I took the liberty of looking around, the vines have completely surrounded our shuttle, we’ll have to move to free it.

Zohan, before we do that, I suggest we call the colony,


We clearly need help.

In a very stressed voice, Zohan looks at me: - make it quick then, we have a lot of work to do! Then he turns back to the girls.

The time that the 3 others arm themselves with axes to continue the extraction, as well as possible, I return in the apparatus by the same way. Out of breath, I manage to get through by wallowing royally on the other side, producing a noticeable boom outside.

With much sarcasm, I hear from outside the machetes that stop and then in heart. : - Are you okay in there? Do you need a hand?’

Vexed, I get up and tap on the metal panel next to me. - It’s ok, just the rush. I still have to run to the terminal to start the device. After a few seconds, new jolts are felt, and I hear the girls start screaming with fear: - what’s going on now! I ask then. What is this screaming, and these vibrations? Tell me. Without any answer from them, and despite the vibrations, I go out as fast as possible.

- Phew you are well, but why don’t you answer?

Naëlys, her hand trembling, shows me the lianas. I attend, totally disarmed, to a spectacle beyond all my fears, new lianas start to come out of the ground, those having previously grown, start to bloom and to grow, and new ones climb along the structure to enclose the zone where the batteries of the device are stored.

Suddenly, we hear a powerful crack, followed by the fall of the transmission antenna. Totally disillusioned, we attend the spectacle by realizing that we are alone.

Ivy kneels down in despair, then curls up. Zohan very upset, catches her in his arms, and makes sign to Naëlys to come to see me, just before she breaks down in her turn.

The fact that they break down so quickly, forces us to internalize our concern for each other. Especially since, as team leader, I have to stay upright so as not to frighten them further. But deep down, I am in a state of confusion. Was it wise to come here, to leave our planet.

I still believe in it a little!

- What do we do now, Ivy asks then, with a voice full of sobs.

Her remark reminds me to order, we must not remain without moving.

- There is still the all-terrain in the ship. Naëlys proposes,

- It’s just yes let’s clear the ramp and once ready, we’ll leave.

- And how can we be sure that these tentacles won’t come out again?

As I listened to Naëlys’ comment, an idea popped into my head.

- Did you take the portable generator from the Zohan ship?

- Yes, of course, it’s essential if we want to have energy in the camp.

- If my hunch is right, even if we need it, we’ll never be able to use it here. We need to get it back and then we’ll test something on the edge of the camp.

- What did you have in mind? he says to me!

- I’m not sure and I hope I’m wrong, but every time the roots appeared, we were using a device.

Coming closer to us, Naëlys is surprised and interrupts us:

- No? You mean that?!

- I am afraid of it. Yes, say then to him while lowering the head.

- It is a real nightmare. How are we going to get out of this? We have no way to contact the fleet, our safety here is compromised. Do you have anything to make us feel better?

Zohan is yelling at me like he’s never yelled before. I just can’t blame him.

Everything he just told me is right, I’m getting chills down my spine, our situation is so bad. But I must stay calm, I answer him: - Listen, if we start to panic, we won’t have a chance.

For 1 hour, we take all the precautions to cut one by one the lianas which obstruct the access ramp, when finally, the last one lets go. Fearing that something does not happen, I enter slowly in the shuttle and unlock the brake of closing of the access: attention move away, the door should fall of a blow!

- It’s good, Naëlys shouts me, you can go!

I pull the crank, and as agreed the footbridge falls violently on the ground and bends slightly under the force of the impact.

- Come now, let’s load the 4x4 with everything we will need, only the vital. Food, blankets, water everything we have, and some weapons, then let’s all get in the SUV. I won’t start it until the last moment, so I sincerely hope it runs smoothly.

- But, by the way," adds Zohan, "isn’t there a radio in the vehicle that we could use?

- Yes, of course, but it’s unlikely we’ll be able to reach the fleet.

Another hour later, we are close to departure. I start the vehicle and immediately press the gas pedal. The descent of the ramp is done in the blink of an eye, and without looking back, I trace as far as possible from this place.

Ivy then looks back and starts screaming to cover the noise of the vehicle: oh my God, those damn vines, they are back, and they are chasing us. But what is this curse, it will never stop?

- Ivy please tell me if the ship is attacked too? I then ask her as a question.

- Huh? Why does it matter? We’re the ones who must survive, not the ship.

- Tell me, quickly, I need to know, it could help me to understand or not.

- We are very far away now, but it didn’t seem to me, only, I can’t be sure.

- Okay, then I’ll try something.

Zohan looks suspiciously. And what is that?

So caught up in my attempt to understand the problem, I didn’t pay attention to his remark and had already cut off the power to the rover.

- What’s going on?" say the three of them as they feel the car slowing down.

Sure, of myself: - I cut the engine, it is necessary if I want to understand if the engine has a link or not with what happens, and anyway, I remain in freewheel to continue to advance.

- Aim! But are you crazy? Do you want us to die? Start up again," Zohan says to me, rushing to the ignition.

Before he can even touch it, I intercept his hand and throw it back: - Stop and look behind. What I assumed seemed to be true. I had just noticed through the mirrors that the vines had stopped their crazy race to catch up with us. As he seems dubious about what I just told him, I will try to be more explicit. Look now, they are not following us anymore.

- But why? He answers me amazed. None of the 3 understood what I was getting at. You explain us rather than keeping everything to yourself?

- I think that the lianas react to something produced by our technologies, I am not completely convinced yet, but all that I made until now, seems to confirm it.

- Do you realize what you are telling us! The lianas would be endowed with consciousness as soon as we would want to make devices work. It’s just so unlikely.

Listening to them, I admit that my remark may sound crazy, but so far, it’s the only theory that seems to fit my hypotheses.

- What can I say, I’m struggling with this idea too, but it seems to hold up.

I can see that they don’t seem to find my point credible until Ivy intervenes: - And why not after all. In the history books, some biologists have identified some plants of the acacia family, capable of reacting to contact, or others capable of reacting to pheromones, to protect themselves from a herd of leaf-eaters.

Imagine, then, that a plant reacts to something that happens when we use technology.

Thinking about Ivy’s words, I can only shake with fear. I don’t know how to warn the fleet, the radios we have left don’t have the capacity to communicate that far. I must get my mind off it, maybe the solution will become obvious to me once I regain my composition. I must get my mind off it, maybe the solution will become obvious to me once I’ve regained my composure: - Guys, first we must set up camp again, the old way, we have no choice.

- Where do you want to go like this?

While I maintain the "freewheel" as much as possible on the device to move away from this place, I catch myself thinking about thousands of things, but especially to wonder what I am doing here.

Naëlys, who looked towards the east, calls us suddenly. Over there, look, it looks like a cave, rather large, with a very clear view.

- Let’s go, it’s our best option.

With a stroke of the steering wheel, I direct the jeep to take the weak descent which separates us from our future habitat. It takes little by little speed, that I manage in order not to finish crushed against the cliff.

From far, we can see that the cave that Naëlys found us is in height. To reach it, we can see a small ledge. We never know, it could be useful for us.

Zohan remained silent for a long time, before offering to go hunting. As soon as we are down there, I’m going to go and get some food and wood, do you want to come with me?

- Yes, I would like to change my mind, and enjoy exploring.

With a furtive look, I quickly scan the face of my 3 companions, I discern sadness, almost despair, I hope that everything will be better from now on, as much as possible, I will try to encourage them to maintain the cohesion - it is a very good idea, we will have to be careful, I am sure that this planet still hides many things from us!

It’s been 3 days that we are blocked on the planet without any news from anyone, Zohan and I tried as much as possible to build a semblance of shelter, Ivy and Naëlys, felt like explorers. With torches, they searched the nearby surroundings inside the cave and discovered water. What wonderful news, so we will limit our exits from our shelter to hunting.

- Zohan, do you feel up to go hunting tomorrow morning? We are almost out of life support. What would you girls rather do? Come with us, or stay here?

- I would like to discover the surroundings of the cave, the flora here is rich. I’m not even sure that at any time on earth such a small area could accommodate so much variety of life. And then without hiding you, while coming with the buggy, I saw on the way a plant of average size, but of a magnificent purplish red color.

Ivy, who was listening to us, approaches us and almost interrupts Naëlys, do you want to speak about this plant with long stems, provided with weights in the shape of shuttles at each end?

Surprised, Naëlys immediately speaks again; oh, you saw it too.

- It was not possible to miss it. Especially since it seemed to me that its color varied a little and that it moved.

I felt obliged to intervene: if it moves, beware, for the moment, we had no gift here, I would like all four of us to be saved, when the help comes.

Zohan grabs me by the arm and takes me with him a little back in the cave, meanwhile I watch the girls getting ready, ignoring what I just told them, well, that’s the impression they give me.

- Arin, I think that we should not delude ourselves, here we do not even have a beacon and you think that we will be found!

His words echo in my head, deep down he is right, but I can’t get used to it.

Even before I answer him, he continues his reasoning: - We talked Ivy, Naëlys and me,

- What behind my back? I retort shocked! Against the law? What did I do wrong?

Wanting to reassure, Zohan takes all the precautions to calm me down. Stop. He says to me, we trust you, all three of us, the question does not arise, but we think that you want to overprotect us, and look around you, we are up to our necks. Let things happen, don’t create more obligation than necessary, we’re here for a long time. If you want to keep us alive, yes, but forget about this rescue thing once and for all, it will never happen.

What a shocking, but oh so necessary electro. Thank you, Zohan, I needed someone to talk to me more directly.

By the time we got back, the girls had already left on their way, I only hope that nothing will happen to them.

- Let’s go and join them, you’ll see everything will be fine. Neither 1 nor 2, we came down from the shelter, for safety, we left armed to ensure our protection in case of need.

- The girls have taken a big advance; I don’t see them.

We looked for them for quite a long time, without finding any trace. And by dint of searching, we even came across the famous plant that Ivy and Naëlys were talking about.

- I don’t like it, this is where they are supposed to be. Curiously, I let myself be absorbed by the plant, and quickly, I could see that it was not dangerous. You were right Zohan, this plant is moving, but look, I can catch it, it’s not attacking me. Turning to Zohan, I see that he is particularly worried, the plant does not really matter to him for the moment, he searches the surroundings, and approaching me starts to shout: Naëlys, Ivy? Where are you?

Then discouraged by the silence which follows, he adds: - Obviously no answer, in any case not the one we expected.

All around, we can hear a multitude of us little grunts, I grab my gun, Zohan, too, not knowing where it comes from, we stick together back-to-back.

Zohan pats my back with his elbow and adds very gently: Arin, do you see anything?

- Nothing for the moment, but the animal in front of me seems to approach, I hear the rustle of the trampled leaves.

- I hear the same thing on my side, how many can there be?

Now, with the noise still more present, I can see the bushes moving, the stress disturbs our stomach. Insisting on each word, and while speaking low, I continue to stare at the edge: - We must not be afraid, any fear on our part will be, if it happens as on earth, understood as an admission of weakness by these creatures,

- You’re funny, I don’t have the slightest idea of what’s staring at us, let alone how many of them there are, and you want me to keep quiet.

- Before I left the earth, I used to hunt a lot, I won’t go into details, but try to take it easy, our survival depends on it.

Here it is, one of the creatures comes out of its snout, it must be about 15 kilos. A mix between a cat and a rabbit, I don’t know what else to say. His approach is just as calculated. With a deep black look, he stars at me and growls, but he seems to fear me. Does he want to attack me or defend something?

A deep beastly howl resounds up to us, the animal in front of me distracted, looks in the direction of where this frightful cry comes from, then looks at me again, but as if frightened, all the creatures on my right, still hidden, run out to join the first one, and without paying us any more attention, run away to my left.

- Run Zohan! Follow them quickly.


Five minutes of running, losing breath, I still have trouble catching my breath, we absolutely had to stay as close as possible to these strange cats. Thus, our predator, seemed not to know any more where to give of the head.

Finally, our salvation, we owed it only to the approach of a herd of large herbivores with long necks. The big carnivore preferred to change prey.

- What luck we had. Zohan, did you see this animal, and its jaw, it could have gobbled us up with one blow of its jaw. It must have been a good 5 meters long, it reminded me of a kind of T. Rex, if I am not mistaken:

- Ivy would have undoubtedly been able to tell us to which earth creature, that one resembled the most.

I retort then. Then to add. But where can they be?

At this moment, I have the impression to have lost all competence of leader, the girls did not listen to me, and I am afraid not to find them. I have put the safety of all my subordinates at risk, and worse, Zohan seems to be handling the situation better than I am.

- Let’s go back to the camp, we’ll figure it out later. He says to me.

Back to the camp at a run. At the bottom of the cave, we call them, and after three attempts. They said: - Yes, we are here, but stop yelling, we need some calm.

Shocked by their words, we go up at full speed. What’s going on?

Their remark worrying us much more than it reassures us. Once at the top, we see them both busy around something, Ivy turns her back to us, and I see stealthily Naëlys, who raises her head and makes a gesture of the hand and adds: - Here, don't worry everything is fine .

As we approached, we discovered another one of those strange cats. What are you doing with that animal, they almost killed Zohan and me, and now you’ve brought one here.

I am boiling inside with anger, until I can’t hold it anymore.

Bending down to pick it up and take it out of our habitat, he gives me a claw that marks my hand. :

- But it hurt me this dirty beast, what took you to bring it here.

Naëlys gets up in front of me while Ivy tries to calm down the animal that I see wriggling in all directions.

- Hush calm you, she says to him by caressing it gently.

Naëlys takes a harder and dryer tone with me. Look at it, it is probably a small one, we found it entangled in a plant as strange as this world. A kind of liana that did not seem particularly convenient. If you want to see it, here it is.

She then throws me this strange branch covered with earthly figures, the latter seem to be equipped with sticky and rather stinging hairs.

Her attitude surprised me so much that I lost all desire to lecture them. On the other hand, I begin to feel the contact with this plant as an aggression and I can’t help adding:

- But what is this thing, it clings to me and itches.

Ivy adds then, while making me sign to approach the cat: - Look it does not make only that. Look at these red marks, they look like bites on his skin, when we saw him squeaking, we couldn't remain insensitive.

He was struggling and looking at us as if asking us to help him. Yes sir, we did. But after that, there was no question of leaving him to his fate. Once he was free, he snuggled up to me. So we immediately went home with him.

- And the Liane I ask then, you were gone to see a plant, is it the one you just gave me?

- No not at all, we didn’t find it, by making the opposite way, when we heard its cries, we immediately turned around.

- And what do we do with this animal then, now that it is here?

- Well, for the moment, we’ll go step by step. We’ll start by finding food for everyone, I see that nobody brought anything, and we ourselves couldn’t do what we had planned. Then we’ll think about what to do with him, but if you don’t mind, I’d like us to take the time to take care of him. Or would you rather we just get him out of here, without doing anything? given his condition, he doesn’t have a chance.

In my head, I tell myself that his sarcastic look is a bit unpleasant, but it only makes a certain reality, on the first point, we still had nothing to eat, and for the second, even if we were in a bad situation with the big cats earlier, I can’t act stupidly towards another one who seems to be asking us for help

Zohan brings me out of my thoughts when he starts to explain why we came back empty-handed: - No, we were attacked by big cats, but adult versions, like the one you just brought here. Maybe you will better understand our reaction, and after that, it ended with a big animal that reminded me of an Osberan T-rex.

Taken of a rictus mimicking the laughter, the girls look at us with an air signifying well their suspicion, then finish us with a nice remark. So, we’ll believe you this time.

The time to get ready and here we are again on the hunt. This time I leave with Naëlys while Ivy and Zohan remain at the cave. They have to bring back some water and take care of the cattle.

Naëlys and I searched for an hour, only to come across a strange looking creature, a long body, which bent like a caterpillar's when it moved forward. A horrible head with bulging eyes. One would think that its defense on this planet is that it is not at all appetizing. But for lack of a target, we were content to chase it.

In fact, it is not easy to kill. Although it doesn't seem to be aggressive, it is fast, manages to climb trees as efficiently as a snake and even knows how to catch the fruits of the tree to throw them to us. It is rather painful. Still one hour later, we could with Naëlys take advantage of a fall by clumsiness of the creature, to kill it.

Manufacture of a means of carrying the game and return to the camp.

While returning to the camp, we call Zohan and Ivy, but no return. The kitten is always there to sleep, but no trace of the 2 comrades.

In doubt, we put the game in a safe place, then we search first in the near depths of the cave, then in the direct surroundings. No trace, neither of them, nor of a fight with any creature.

Naëlys starts to panic a little, myself not being very reassured, I do not know how to manage. Failing that, I suggest her that we take care of preparing the food. We prepare then a fire at the edge of the cave and we place the skewered game just above, with a little luck, they will be back before the sunset and will be guided by the light of our fire. Only, once the night fell, nobody is back. The emotional shock is heavy to bear! Since we landed, everything is complicated, no more ship, no more radio to contact the fleet, and even no more jeep to move. In any case, every time we used it, it was a disaster. I would have liked to at least warn the other colonists, but no one seems to know where to find us.

- Naëlys, do you want us to go back to the ship tomorrow, maybe someone will have seen it and is looking for us, what do you think?

- But what about Zohan and Ivy? We're not going to abandon them?

She looks at me with wet eyes, her face marked by the fatigue of repeated trials.

The kitten takes advantage of the fact that I am swallowing a piece of meat to sneak into my arms to ask for caresses and to participate in the meal. The silence becoming more and more heavy, I look at her in my turn, looking for what I could answer her: - No! Of course, that not, the ideal would be to leave a message on one of the stones, well in sight, saying to them that we left to the ship, and that we will return to look for them as soon as we will have been saved.

- So be it! She answers me without conviction. Let's do so then.

I find myself alone with the animal, to ask me if it is a male or a female, I am so lost, that I surprise to ask me these kinds of questions. What I find laughable in the situation is his behavior as close as a cat.

Her physical resemblance is also surprising.

Like what, my preconceived ideas, and are not always good to follow.

I then think back to my companions.

And deep down, I hear myself saying to Ivy, I'm sorry I acted that way earlier.

It's clear that your approach was the right one.

Before going to bed, I reload the fire, get up to take another look around. From the heights of the cave, I check if by any chance I could locate them, or if not, if I could see a fire signaling me that they are still alive. But nothing, in the doubt, I also check towards the depths of our habitat, but nothing. Nothing at all! Resigned, I say to myself that it is anyway too late to continue the research, and our group, well what is left of it, is much too fragile to do anything.


Then I settle down next to the fire, the kitten approaches me, asks me for some caresses. He whose parents seemed to want to kill me, appears suddenly so cuddly. While lying down, he comes to snuggle against me. His presence rocks me.

The next morning, my new companion wakes me up by licking my nose, his not very pleasant breath makes me quickly leave my dreams. It's been a long time since I've slept so well, I say to myself then. I sit up with a heavy head, and when I look up, Ivy is gone. I call out in panic, but no answer. Once again, someone from my team is missing. Yet, once again, I can't find anything wrong, not even a message from her. Distraught, I look at the little animal, and start talking to him: - Did you see anything?

By way of answer, he lowers his ears and bows his head.

- You don't understand me, why I start talking to you. Probably moral exhaustion. What do you think we should do? Should we go looking for him?

Without further ado, I grab the little food I have left, throw it all in a makeshift bag and go down from the cave without worrying too much about the dangers. During more than 2 hours, I look for my 3 companions, and the more time passes, the more I lose hope to find them.

Disillusioned, I return to the camp with the belief that maybe one of the 3 at least would be there, but no! I am alone, lost on a planet which does not want me. My last chance, to go back to the ship and to wish to be able to start again the radio. The night should fall in 3 or 4 hours, so I hurry.

While walking, I meet again the buggy, it seems to have already suffered in only a few days. In doubt, I look inside to see if I have anything to recover. Just a hazard light. After all, I'll use it once back at the ship and hopefully someone will see it.

1 hour before the sunset, I arrive on the landing zone of the ship. The creepers seem to be completely dried, the airlocks of the apparatus are wide-open, exposing the interior of the apparatus. This last one is in a very advanced state of dilapidation. I approach the outside and seize a stick, with which I try to clear the vessel a little, to see if it is still usable. While pushing the roots, these break like simple twigs, the remainder falls in dust. I discover underneath the scarified cabin. I can imagine the power with which this plant must have crushed my ship. Continuing my progress, I finally climb up. To my great desolation, the antenna has been torn off, and put in such a state that no repair is possible. The little hope I still had melts away little by little. I let myself wander in dark ideas and ended up not paying attention to my surroundings.


In my darkest thoughts, I hear the kitten still below the ship, meowing insistently. He is running around in circles and seems disturbed. What does he want from me? I don't have the head for that! Then as regular vibrations, brings me back in reality. Could it be a big creature coming? In the doubt, I let myself slide until my companion, stretches out the arms to seize him. Without hesitation, he lets himself be caught. Turning my head in all directions, I look for a sheltered and discreet place, feeling each second stronger vibrations than the previous ones. My last hope, I turn to the Goeland, and start to move towards it. With some apprehension I enter. It creaks all over, I feel like it's going to fall apart, but I have no choice, this is the only place I can disappear to. It is dark. At the bottom of the hold, a crate big enough for the kitten and me to hide in.

The little animal seems to have understood well what I wanted to do, because since I hold him, he doesn't make any more noise and lets himself be carried without resistance. However, I can see that he is terrified. I am flattered by the confidence he offers me, and at the same time, it does not reassure me at all. Alas, I don't have time to ask myself all these questions, indeed, the vibrations are getting dangerously close to the point that they echo in the device.

A key which was balanced on the control console, falls then on the ground in a monstrous crash. I feel an icy current of stress and fear rising in me, and I catch myself praying that nothing happens to me. This intense noise precedes a heavy and in no way reassuring silence, I do not feel any more vibrations, has the visitor left? has he stopped?

Suddenly a frightful noise reasons until my bones. Immediately, the kitten jumps from my arms, and leaves to hide behind me.

Just after that, once again the silence settles, even more awkward than the first time, not being able to support to see nothing, I seize the moment to throw a glance with all the necessary caution, I try to locate the invader! Impossible to see him!

He is surely in a blind spot, in fact not, he chooses this moment to slide his snout through the ramp, he is huge. The animal sniffs inside, distressed by this vision, I turn over to my little protégé, and discover him trembling, fearing the worst. He is so stressed that he starts to take out his claws.

I throw again a furtive glance, I have just the time to see it withdrawing from the entrance of the vessel, an elongated head provided with 2 holes as nostrils. Its 2 huge eyes coming out of their sockets have an almost luminous cyan iris, the pupil of a deep black is separated in 2, the fact that they are placed on both sides of the head lets me suppose that it is an animal of prey and not a predator. That relieves me a little, it is the occasion to pose me to try now to calm my companion of fortune. The animal making me think of a cat, naturally, I scratch him under the chin. Caress to which he is positively receptive. It is crazy! The animal making me think of a cat, naturally, I scratch him under the chin.

The following minutes are particularly calm, I almost started to fall asleep with my pet. Alas, for us 2, that is not finished with the intruder. We are suddenly shaken. He starts to hit the cabin! Why does he do that? I don't know, but the noise he makes is unbearable. My little sidekick, who had been quiet until then, starts whining as loud as he can. Is there a connection, but suddenly our assailant stops hitting. In fact, not! Because just after this small interlude, the cry and the steps of a newcomer, resounds in the structure. Filled with a fear and a panic without name, I feel obliged to move, as far as possible from here. I catch my boyfriend with eagerness. He can plant his claws in my arm with fear, but I don't let him go. I stand up, sneak a look to see if I can see any of the monsters through the openings, and cautiously approach the back of the ship. I then discover with horror that it was indeed a new intruder, worse, this time, it is clearly a predator.


His long teeth say a lot. His jaw reminds me of a shortened crocodile, but his ease of walking is the opposite of that, well placed on his 4 legs, he melts on the other giant, making him fall heavily on my makeshift habitat, which leaves me no choice. Thrown on the ground, I look at the scene and understand that I have to deal with 2 giants who would have no trouble to make me disappear. What remains of my ship seems hardly bigger than the 2. On the ground, they did not see me yet, and I take advantage of this moment to flee towards the edge of the wood, the senses always in alert. This planet seems to me to be a real hell.

The fight is raging, and regularly, my old ship takes new blows, moving it little by little towards its inevitable fate. Well-hidden between the roots of a giant of the forest, I attend the fall of the "Goeland", I see it capsizing then falling from the top of the cliff. This very place, which, a few days ago, had welcomed and protected us. My last hope of any rescue disappears 100 m below, in a terribly thick and inhospitable forest. My solitude at this moment is total.

In only a few days my life has totally changed. I remember the time that has just passed, nostalgic and sad. Six months ago, I was still living surrounded by people on another planet, for five months I was part of the management team of a fleet of a few thousand humans and today I don't exist anymore! for nobody! Except for this little being that I didn't want when he arrived. For a few moments, I simply lost all contact with reality, I am not even aware of this fight that is happening right in front of me. Fortunately, he came to wake me up with his paw. Looking at him, I realize that he is all I have left, and I find myself talking to him:

What will I call you? Since there are only two of us left. I look at him with a look mixed with sadness and strangely also with hope, am I accepting my situation, probably. Out loud, I say to him: what do you think of Orbe?

I'm sure he doesn't understand me, yet his head gesture leads me to believe that he is reacting positively to this choice.

- Let's go with that! I laugh. I will call you Orbe from now on.

This provokes in me a bit of joy, of satisfaction. I don't know if it's loneliness or madness that gets me, but there's still a lifeline for my mind, so I hold on to it.

I throw a last glance on this fight of titans, the prey seems in very bad position, here is very clearly the signal for me not to ask for the rest.

- Come on Orbe, let's go!

The time to turn around, and while advancing, I hit a rock which starts to roll in front of me. At first frightened, I check, that neither of the two monsters heard anything. Once reassured, I turn around to discover Orbe playing with what looks like a shiny metal ball. Attracted, I take a quick look and recognize my information sphere.

- No, Orbe," I say, "please don't damage it. Even if it is no longer of any use to me, I want to keep it.

He then looks at me, the muzzle in the air, the time for me to catch the object and to arrange it in my bag.

- Direction the cave, I say then to the kitten by making a gesture of the arm to launch me in this walk.

We take advantage all the 2 of the way to fill the stomach of some fruits for my part and some crawling for my companion. He even manages to seize a kind of flying lizard. That he nibbles in two blows of fangs.

After 2 big hours of walking, I am back to the cave. I hoped to find someone, but no, nobody, nothing has moved since the morning I left.

It's been several months now that I've been wandering on this strange planet, I got used to live alone with Orbe. I am very lucky to have him with me. Without him, I could never have lasted this long. He has grown up and is very useful for hunting, but also to warn me about the risks, I just hope that he will never have the desire to devour me, I see his fangs every day and they are rather worrying.

Everything is strange here, the creatures are dangerous, but not only, the plants are not left out, without the slightest hint of madness, I can see that they look at me as a potential meal.

Life on Osberan was very difficult at the beginning, the days being longer than on earth, the sleep cycle is particularly disturbed. Fortunately, I feel that my body has adapted little by little to the new environment, except for the weight of things, everything is heavier, more difficult and trying to carry, I even feel heavy, as if I was eating too much, and I know that this is not the case.

On land I could easily run 2 to 3 hours continuously, but since I'm here, I can barely manage 1 hour and 30 minutes. It is quite logical; it is 20 percent stronger than on land. And anyway, with the minimized gravity in the ship, it didn't help.

Now, I don't feel sorry for myself, it's much rosier than I could have hoped for when all my companions disappeared. 

Speaking of which, although I've been here for several weeks, I haven't seen a single ship in the air. And no one has tried to find me. And anyway, they couldn't have done anything, I don't even have a beacon anymore. Except for this sphere that I don't dare to start, I don't have anything from my past.

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