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Phantasy Star Zero

Chapter 3: First Contact

SC 337.01 / EY 1873 / BW 212

After a few days, the colonists were all recovered, and the nearly seven thousand survivors were busily preparing their new home. The colonists that didn't make it were cremated, their ashes spread to the winds or kept by any family members that happened to survive.

A name for the new colony still hadn't been decided, nor a name for the planet. Everyone just kept calling it "Paradise." Stephen figured that was probably a good enough name, but still wanted to put it to vote.

[Actually, Paradise is the name of the planet. But in our language, we call it Palma.]

Stephen froze. What the hell just happened? A thought came through his brain that every sense of his being told him was not his. That niggling sensation in the back of his mind hadn't gone away, either.

[That's because Iím reading your mind. Trying to see if you're friendly or not.]

Ossale spun around. No one was there except a few busy colonists putting the finishing touches on a prefab medical clinic. Several colonists had complained of voices in their heads, but Gregory Young assured the Captain it was just residual effects from the cryogenic sleep. Young didn't sound very sincere, now that Stephen thought about it. Was there something wrong with this planet or something?

[Be glad you didn't land on Dezo. It takes them a long time to warm up to outsiders.]

Again! Stephen sat down. He simply stared at the ground, wondering if he should hand the captaincy off to someone else and step down.

[Don't do that. You seem to be doing well enough.]

"Who are you!? he yelled suddenly, wild eyed. The nearby colonists stopped and stared, but oddly enough did not seem surprised. Was this happening to everyone?

[No, not everyone. But most of you. That's what that sensation in the back of your mind is that you keep wondering about. It's me!]

"And...just...who are you?" the words were barely a whisper.

[Would you like to meet us? Just promise that you won't try to harm us. We know you have weapons.]

It was true. Still onboard the colony pod there were several weapons lockers containing everything from small arms to a nuclear weapon, in case the colony must be destroyed, such as in the unlikely event an evil alien race would attempt to enslave the colonists, or worse. Mostly, the weapons were to defend against hostile life forms and for peacekeeping.

However, the colonists were all volunteers, many of them destitute or with questionable pasts and subsequently little or nothing to lose in the desperate gamble of attempting to colonize another world. This meant there would likely be a rogue element that must be kept in check among the colonists.

[Exactly. That's why we want to get to know you first.]

"Well, we're humans. Earthlings. We're not perfect, but then, is any sentient being? I assume I'm, um...communicating with one now?" He whispered once more.

[We like to think so. Ok, you have a point, we're not perfect either, although I don't think we would ever make a weapon like the big one you have on that thing of yours.]

They were obviously referring to the nuke,Ē Well, if you've read my thoughts, you know why we have it."

[Yes, that's true. You might need it too... someday. Although I doubt it would do much good, unless it really was yourselves you wanted to blow up.]

Stephen pondered this puzzling remark for a moment. Not do much good? Against what?

[I dare not say. You will learn eventually, if you stay. But anyway, for now, let's meet!]

Stephen nodded to himself and looked up. Something yellow darted to a bush just next to him. All Ossale could do was stare, until perhaps the cutest face he had ever seen poked out of the shrubbery.

"Hello!" said the creature. Its face looked feline, but its eyes shone with intelligence. Wait! It spoke!

"Yes I did," said the creature, "my name is Kalewm. Our vocal chords are quite dexterous, and I learned your language from reading your minds. Iím telepathic too, I guess you could say."

Seeing and listening to this little cat-face talk caused Stephen to faint dead away.

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