“Tantalus’ Figs”

ESD May 20th, 2629

Malinowski Research Station, Trobriand Sector, Ryosh c

Ryosh System


So Ores [11]  took off his helmet this afternoon. Errin said he just walked straight out of lunch, went down the road to the beach and popped it off. It’s a good thing somebody down there was watching out for this strange-looking biped in a bubble, because he’d already started in on the seizures before any of us could get to him. The fact that a Ryoshi doctor was first on the scene was the only thing comforting about it, aside from the expectation that he’ll survive, most likely without any permanent brain damage from oxygen poisoning.

At least the inhabitants of this planet can have some empathy, unlike the planet itself. I mean, just having to look at this place every single day is almost torture enough. Blue skies, white sand beaches, brilliant foliage… It’s like something out of humanity’s primordial dreams, especially for someone like Ores or me who grew up in an orbital tin can like Destiny. I can’t say I blame him, at least a little bit. OK, maybe I blame him a lot a bit. Ores sat through the same presentations as everyone else, where they told us that the atmosphere here would be toxic and no matter how good it looks, don’t think you’re special enough to tempt it. Instead, he goes and does this.

I think what bothers me the most is not that I’ve really been tempted like this before, but I’ve spent the last few hours wondering if I could be. What’s also still unclear is whether he really thought he’d be fine or if he’s got some sort of issue upstairs. Is it something that the rest of us need to worry about? Am I going to one day be looking out the window and suddenly get the urge to repeat the same thing?

Perhaps the real danger of this planet is that it looks so damn inviting. If we were living on some pre-terraformed Venus-like planet with sulfuric acid for rain and liquid mercury for rivers, you can bet there’d be no doubt about the instantaneous and certain nature of death on the surface. The issue here is that it always looks like paradise is just out of reach, like Tantalus’ figs, only to be snatched away at the last moment.

Should I be scared? Maybe the real scary part here is that I just don’t know.

      11. Ores Val (2620- ), Ryosh c biochemistry team member.


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