A Short Story: Octopus, Stone and Me

Octopus, Stone and Me

I was kept barely alive by the grace of the human suit with a life-support system. It was a kind of thing called a star eater. I was almost embraced by death. There was a space ahead of the black hole, into which I was inhaled and landed on one of the planets in it.

I didn't clearly understand how gravity acted. I put my feet on the planet with gentle gravity. I felt the outside air caught in my helmet that had cracked and closed my field of vision. I took off the helmet cautiously. I could not afford to doubt. I still tried to breathe in fearfully. It was obviously possible. I felt relieved and inhaled deeply.

I threw my helmet to the foggy ground and looked around. All around me was like a wilderness of craters, and nothing was to be found besides me. Whether my eyes were something abnormal, or whether the condition, all of the dirt on the ground was a pale purple.

I had felt a buzzing in my ear, but I noticed that it was not so. The planet echoed the undulation like the reverberation sound of an opera. It was full of a stately atmosphere, and evoking in my mind somehow the mother Earth, like such as gothic cathedrals and ceiling art. As a matter of fact, I've never seen the earth nor those kinds of spectacles in reality, only through holograms in the course of the cadet training curriculum. Yet the air of this planet certainly evoked feelings like those in me.

My fortunes were three, my misfortune was one. The fortunes were, there was water, air and the light of the stars. And the misfortune was I realized that I could never return. Never, ever.

Organic substances like octopus and minerals like rocks exist here. In my concepts and knowledge, it was impossible to categorize. I've decided to call them, octopus and stone, But they're technically different life forms. Also, stones have had thoughts even though they seemed like inorganic matter. I could communicate with them by drawing.

My failure so far was that I carelessly investigated the soil close to their living area. I mean I couldn't help but see reproductive acts of octopi and stones accidentally. The octopi made themselves to be an inky dark color, and the stones got dyed a crimson red with roaring sounds. I figured those meanings out a while later yet, I could feel even then. It was to unsheathe with anger.

To my shame, I had forgotten my regard for other beings. Whatever the planet, we should not infringe arrogantly on the breath of indigenous people under the pretext of investigation. This was the basic ethics rule of us investigators who explore planets. That's what I must always have kept in my mind, even though I had forgotten it. Why I was able to recover from this shameful blunder was only thanks to the fact that they apparently did not drag that incident at all, and then communicated with me as if they did not care after that.

There have been many things about them to talk about, and there have been many parts that I haven't been able to organize yet, but I should say I'm telling, little by little. The octopi are about the same size as me. To be honest, I could not help feeling weird at the beginning. However, there was nothing they had attacked, and I rather realized that their movements were extremely emotional and somewhat lewd. The form of thinking also gave me a slight sexy impression, but the vulnerability of bare love moved me a lot.

The stones seemed to move as they were assimilating temporarily with the ground of this planet. The movement itself was very slow like turtles.

However, they had extremely sentimental minds and spirits, and were rather full of romantic thoughts. I was deeply impressed by that insight. Their lifetime seemed exceedingly long.

The octopi and the stones love each other. As for the octopi, they are born, raised and pass away. I have not been able to verify life and death of the stones for now.

In particular, the 1000 year stone I got along with well made me learn various precious things. 1000 years is my arbitrary name, but as I was talking with him or her, I felt as though I could glimpse into a piece of the Earth. So, perhaps, like these kinds of a little sexy octopi and romantic stones may draw a quiet breath as well on that planet on where you are, where you guys are supposed to be alive. Philosophical shapes of love and the coexistence system. Any of them were fresh ideas for me.

It would be a lie if I said that I had not felt loneliness at all. Some days I used to cry all alone. Some days, I used to lay down idly like an idiot. Still gradually I could not help but to be thankful for the good fortune I had landed upon this planet. It may have been because it did not take time to look back on my own short life.

I was born and brought up in a colony continuing to float in outer space for my mission as an astronaut. It was home for me. Mankind had manufactured semi-permanent space colonies. Our ship was sent from the Earth about 300 years ago. The original purpose was to search for planets where mankind could possibly migrate.

I had lived in a neighborhood of around 500 people who were in the colony. Mostly family members, but some of them doubted and scoffed that the plan itself was a lie. That is to say that the plan of us floating in outer space exploring other planets was a lie. Its main reason manifested within the past few years. Several years ago, it seemed that a rumor which the investigative reports conducted and that periodic communication with the Earth by our superiors might not have taken place, began to be spread. So some of them started saying that our colony was lost in outer space.

However, even if this was the case, I could not deride at why our superiors did fake investigation reporting and to the Earth. It was because I thought that it would rather make sense, if our superiors believed that they might reach the Earth, and they reported it. What if I assumed that pretending by their report was to hide their blunder from the inhabitants of our colony, it would not make sense. Because our superiors can not go home anywhere either. However, at that time and now, even pursuing it has not changed anything.

Recently, what I often remember was the training I used to do every day back then. There was, of course, a lot of harsh physical and mental training. They were not just tough. From time to time, I could enjoy movies, literature, and music. Each and every one was a blissful time for me. Especially the beautiful sounds like the singing voice of the goddess playing the instrument called the violin. It made me feel at ease as if in a fantasy land at that time. So I had always wanted to go to the Earth someday. To be honest, this dream would not have changed until now. Even now, perhaps. Because, one of the big reasons I rather volunteered to be an investigator, not an engineer instead, was that I was supposed to be able to see the Earth with my own eyes first. Even if only for a moment, actually.

However, I got accustomed to the day to day operations of being an investigator, and I would have had room to breathe a while later after that. No, it would be more accurate to say that I was conceited. During the mission of usual regular inspection, I was drawn in to the Star Eater alone, I who lacked the sense of tension for what to do, and I landed on this planet.

I can never go back or even home again. But now I am alive and I would be able to keep living for a long time in the future as well. Because there is food for me whether to call it the blessing by the environment.

Octopi eat their own tissue as they regenerate, but it doesn't mean they eat a part of their living selves. Like when our hair falls out, their tentacles, it means a part of their body separates and falls naturally. On the other hand, the stones blaze goldenly with growling sounds when eating a meal. And stones absorb the blessing from octopi while broiling and dissolving the natural cast-offs dropped by octopi and give the rest to me and the octopi that survive.

As I am eating the bland meal, salt-less, sugar-free, and inky black in color like cinders, I gaze upward at the only starlight. A myriad of stars twinkle, very small. The very, very small explosions. For all I know, it is probably the likeness to what is called fireworks on your planet, Earth. There is the flowing galaxy, and then breath and death of the little sparkling planets are there within it, and times there.

The possibility may be zero totally. However, just in case, I am still going to record and I think I try to live up to my last moment. To your place would be very far. Yet something might be able to be conveyed over space-time. To you.