Part One - 02 - Kala

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"Log entry one, day one. I am Hammond Silvain, leader of the B.E.M expedition. Yesterday we arrived on R-607. The ship was flawlessly installed on the surface of the planet and will serve as our base for the coming years. Our 31 member team is safe and sound, no casualties during the difficult landing. Just one message, encrypted, has been sent home to inform them of our success to land. Communications are, from now on, cut. We are on our own. The research starts tomorrow. Log entry over."


For the first time in her entire life, Kala woke up in an unfamiliar place. When she opened her eyes, the first thing she saw was a yellow strobing light overhead. Then she felt the cold ground on which she was laying. The blanket thrown over her body smelled of mold and gunpowder. She wrinkled her nose. Her head was throbbing badly; she wanted to feel the back of it, where the pain originated but realized her hands were tied behind her. She sat. Her legs were tied too, at the ankles.

Kala was slowly starting to grasp the idea that this place really wasn't the scientific station. Panic flooded her, then an exhilarating joy. I'm somewhere new, she thought.

She tried to recall the people who took her. There were four of them. They wore spacesuits so she didn't get a good look at them. Were they sent from home to finally retrieve the results of their research? Were they sent to retrieve her? No. Nobody alive knew she existed...until now.

Kala waited attentively in the small room she was confined in for what seemed to be hours, anticipating the return of her captors. She couldn't wait to see them, hear them talk, see them move. She hadn't seen another human being for over three years.

The place wasn't silent. She could hear and feel the humming of machines all around her. Was she on a spaceship? She was thrilled by the idea. Please, tell me we are off R-607 and already far away. She tried to kill the small part of her that was thinking she would miss her home planet. There is nothing to miss on that forsaken rock; only the dead dwell there. But she would miss the storms and the lightning, even if she also knew they were part of her; she would take them everywhere she went.

Minutes passed, and she felt restless. She needed to know, it was driving her crazy. She had to do something. Resolute, she closed her eyes and put her hands along the metal bulkhead. Aah. She felt it, the ship. The engine purring, its machines pulsating. Sleep now, dear. Just for a little while. The Capricieuse listened to Kala and suddenly stopped, her soft humming replaced by the shrill silence of deep space.

Kala waited in the darkness. Another hour passed before she finally heard the first signs of human life approaching her compartment. She heard voices arguing and talking on top of each other. It was like music to her ears. The door suddenly slid open, and she was blinded by flashlights directed straight to her face. She blinked out tears.

"Hello, little stray," said a man's voice. "Still feeling feisty? Sorry, or not, about the ropes. You didn't really give us a good first impression."

Kala felt her bonds. She could have easily burned them off, but she didn't. Communicating with her captors would be easier that way if they didn't feel threatened.

"Hello," she chirped, a bright smile on her face. "My name is Kala."

That reaction must not have been the one they expected because they stayed silent for some seconds exchanging glances.

"Well...Nice to meet you, Kala," the captain broke the silence. "I'm Allan Roy, captain of this sexy ship," he directed his own flashlight to his face. She could clearly see his wide smile filled with straight teeth. "Those two monkeys are Moira and Memphis," he now illuminated two persons with short golden curls, baby faces, and pointy noses.

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