During our voyage from Vesma to Earth, Peter and I talked a lot about the Vesma and Vesmians, including Inferno.
What cooperative creatures Vesminas are! Our eyes were still wet with tears of separation with them.
We discussed that our life would be straightforward if we could transplant chlorophyll into our skin. We debated if photosynthesis is possible on our skin or not. Starvation is very likely in the future as the population is going exponentially. So if we succeed in transplanting chlorophyll into the human body, it could protect us from starvation.
Meanwhile, the dashboard of our spacecraft showed some tiny bright objects falling swiftly towards our spacecraft.
“What is this?” With his eyes wide open, Peter asked me.
I got a little terrified and tried to speak, “It seems to be a meteor shower.” Peter got so scared that I could hear his heartbeat and breathing.
“Calm down. Nothing is going to happen,” I consoled him though I myself was being shaken from inside.
“I am changing our route; otherwise, that big meteor may damage our spacecraft,” Peter said, showing a big mass on the screen. He piloted the spacecraft to avoid the meteor. However, a giant meteorite hit our spacecraft with a thud. The screen on the dashboard was showing smoke from the damaged part.
Peter said in a shivering voice, “Now, we can’t reach Earth. Our spacecraft has been damaged heavily. We are going to die, friend.”
“We can land on the planet nearby. Let me contact Inferno; he would pioneer us to get rid of this situation,” hiding my scary face, I said.
I contacted Inferno and explained the fate we met high up in the sky.
“Do you know any safe planet to land on nearby?”
“I have heard a bizarre planet in your vicinity, and its name is Prostero,” Inferno replied. I breathed a sigh of relief. He added further, “However, I have heard, it is a hazardous planet.”
“What?” I screamed.
“Yes, Prostero is a planet in which there are carnivorous plants and mighty carnivorous animals and birds.”
“We are in a do-or-die situation. Let’s face it. The priority is to protect life. Send me the landing coordinates of Prostero,” having no option left ahead, I hurriedly said.
“Okay, I send you the coordinates. Land there as soon as possible in safe places such as deserts or banks of any river. I will be there with my friends to help you.” I became thrilled hearing Inferno. Shedding tears, I said, “Thank you very much Inferno.”
Peter changed the way to Prostero. The aircraft was burning at the back and was making a loud noise as if it would blast momentarily. We prayed to god. We remembered all our families and friends left far down behind on the Earth. We were losing hope that we could reach Earth alive. All our good and evil deeds passed through our brains. Peter and I were facing each other with tears in our eyes.
We saw a planet Prostero afar. It looked bigger than our Moon, but it was utterly red, just like Planet Mars. As we hovered the planet, it seemed redder. Peter used a sophisticated telescope to observe the safe location from the planet’s proximity and said, “I viewed a desert; it is likely to be safe for us.”
He targeted the spacecraft there, and we landed safely over that desert. The spacecraft was damaged heavily.
“We can’t repair it with the instruments we have. It needs other tools.” Peter said.
He talked to Inferno and explained to him the problems with the spacecraft. Inferno understood and said, “Don’t worry, stay where you are. I will set out right now to help you guys. I will free you from there.”
In a relieved and jolly mood, we had some food. The water storage of our spacecraft was damaged, and all water evaporated and leaked. Now, we didn’t have water to drink. We tried to stay calm without drinking water for a few hours but became very thirsty. Making ourselves brave, we dared to move into the dense forest searching for water. We were terrified of the carnivorous plants. It was dark, almost midnight there. There was no sound of anything but a very pitched silence, unlike Earth.
We started moving through the forest. The trees were bizarre, the trunk was like the animal stomach, and their bark was like animal skin. The branches moved and stretched like animal appendages. The leaves were red, and some trees were bleeding with injury.
As we moved across the forest, some tree branches stretched towards us. We immediately realized that the tree branch extends by detecting the sound of our movement. The tree targets its prey by observing light and animal sounds. So, we strolled in the dark, not creating any sound enough for the trees’ sensory detection.
We found that most of the water was red, like blood. We moved in search of transparent water. After a three-hour struggle in the deadly dark forest, we located drinkable water.
While we walked back to the spacecraft, Peter tripped on a vine and fell.
“Holy God!” he screamed.
Now, one of the tree branches imprisoned him tightly. Now I became scared to the bones. But I had to free my friend Peter. I remembered Inferno saying that such trees don’t engulf dead animals. I told Peter to stop breathing for a moment. He did so and got immediately freed from the tree’s trap.
The next day, we were shocked by observing trees capturing flying birds as big as Eagle and predatory animals like tigers. The animals seemed to be moving in herds to protect themselves from being the prey of those trees. And if they got a chance, they would attack trees and eat the flesh of trees.
It was three months we were in Prostero. We were spending perilous life. Suddenly, we saw a spacecraft over the sky.
“It must be Inferno,” I said to Peter in excitement. It added tremendous courage to us. We hugged Inferno and his folks as they landed. I had a lot to share with Inferno and questions about the world we accidentally encountered. I had to explain to him how we spent those three months there. I couldn’t get along with him as he immediately got too busy to repair our spacecraft. I didn’t want to interfere with his good-hearted job there. I left him alone with his guys. It took nearly a month to repair our spacecraft.
“Now, better to leave off this homicide place,” they said all at a time after fixing our vessel. With heavy-hearted, we waved goodbye and departed to our destinations.
The writer holds an M.Sc. degree in Physics and is currently teaching Physics in Colleges, Nepal.