Letter from afar IX - (c) 2005-2008 Einar Petersen We've been here for a few days now - The Station was completely abandoned for say one being. It was all very odd I tell you. This one we found wore the clothes of a xenobiologist or more the remnants of what had once been a uniform. His appearance was far from what you would expect of a human, you would have expected wild beard, long un-groomed hair, but it was not like that at all, though his skin was discolored and his clothes were torn he had tried to remain dignified. We found grooming equipment that was akin of that used by stone age hunters to cut and possibly groom. Nothing containing metal was left anywhere on the base - everything was gone, the whole place had been swallowed by the growths and was only discovered because someone had replanted parts of the permanent growths in a manner so that they from the air resembled the "Unable to Travel" signal used by wilderness people in distress. And believe me it was huge! An X shaped signal made from trees different from the surrounding growth. If it hadn't been for that we would have had great difficulty finding the base, not to say that it would have been impossible as the planet has begun wobbling in it's orbit throwing the planets axis completely. The jungle is beautiful, that much is true, however this whole setup is also very spooky. We have found no trace of the 67 scientists that were stationed here, nothing - not a single trace. All we found was the one survivor, and he wasn't even registered as having started from the last report we received. Seems he was with a supply ship coming in from Theilax or something, that much we found out from extracting his DNA or should I say remnants of DNA - It was completely jumbled as if he wasn't even human any more though appearing so. I feel we are being watched all the time, as if eyes are prying into every move we make, it scares me. Can't wait to get out. Our commanding officer says we'll blast off in a few days unless we pick up on the scientists, says EarthHQ won't spend more money trying to find the remaining personnel, budget cuts or something. I think it is wrong to abandon the base and the people - after all we have found a survivor, why wouldn't there be others? Captain Jensen got an emergency pod broadcast off before the transmission was silenced, it was strange but not surprising if you think about the hardship he apparently endured before finding the escape capsule. But it ain't my call I guess. I think I'll quit when I get back - You know what I told you about becoming a storyteller. I think I'll sign up for that composition course when I get back. Can't be worse to be a struggling teller than being in Salvage and Rescue, they don't pay us more than minimum wages these days and our salvage bonuses have been slashed - all because the company is supposed to be in financial trouble. Why don't they cut the execs pay I'm asking, why don't they cut down on the representation accounts? Starting to sound like a union man ain't I, better be careful about relaying my concerns to others if you talk about me. Wouldn't want the wrong people to hear you know. Guess I don't have to tell you eh? Anyway I hope you and the little one are okay, I am looking forward to seeing you. Find a good woman yet? You really should, a family would suit you and two incomes would make things a lot easier for you. Think I'll get into the sack. Gotta be ready for another day of aerial searching tomorrow, though I doubt we'll be finding any more signals from above. The mothership has had 17 drones circling the planet recording every inch of the surface and they have come up completely blank so I guess there is not much hope. Well at least we got one. Be good - Be careful - And above all stay happy! As always Patientia Nobilitas - Pax Libertas S. Weissman Footnotes; Libertas: "Freedom" A Virtue which has been subsequently aspired to by all cultures. Nobilitas: "Noblility" Noble action within the public sphere. Patientia: "Endurance, Patience" The ability to weather storms and crisis. Pax: "Peace" A celebration of peace among society and between nations.