I watched through the view screen as we orbited the planet below. My name is Hannyah Orvej and I am the head xenobiologist for our planet scout ship, Frozen Tears. My mother was an Earthling and my father was native born of the planet Yaruk, in the Tau Ceti system. I had inherited my light brown skin from my father and my black hair and blue eyes from my mother. We had been traveling for months now and after checking seven other planets for life, we had finally come across this one.

The planet was divided into two continents. One covered one side of the planet and the other covered the other side. They were separated by an ocean or, as some of my comrades said, a river that was one hundred miles wide and at the bottom of the planet, made a large lake-like body of water. The planet had some humanoid inhabitants but they only occupied the west continent. The strangest thing about the planet though, was it had no carnivores. Not a single species. There were not any omnivores either, as the humanoids appeared to be herbivores or vegetarians by choice.

In other words: it was a utopia. It was the perfect planet. So perfect in fact, that the planetologist with us was becoming nervous.

"I'm telling you, Hann! This planet is giving me the heebie-jeebies! It's not natural! Have you looked at the data the probes have brought back? Well, of course you have! You're the xenobiologist, but the ecology's scary! No predators! Tell me how that works? The point is, it doesn't!" the planetologist, he went by the name of Russ, ranted.

We were sitting in the mess hall of the PS ship and Russ was complaining to me, as I was the only one who was there. "Russ, calm down," I said and shook my head. I picked up a stimulant off the coffee table and sat back in the couch, "Now you're scaring me." The mess hall was just a room with couches and coffee tables. The synthesizer machine was built in under the coffee table and so all you had to do when you wanted something was type in the proper code.

"Awh… You never take me seriously unless it's business!" Russ snarled and swirled his coffee around.

"Don't play with your food, Russ. The planet is queering me too. It's an oddity. Not one carnivore has been documented on it and yet, the herbivores have a steady population. As you know, we can tell this from studying foliage and such."

"I know how you bios do it. You don't have to explain."

"Let me talk, Russ," I smiled at him and he sighed, lapsing into silence, "The atmosphere is norm and so the team's being sent down tomorrow."


"Yes, there are locals. So, we're going to establish contact."

"I think the opening line is a joke," Russ muttered, "I'm so glad I'll be in the shuttle and free from embarrassment."

"Lighten up Russ!" Jon, the botanist, said as he sat down, "'We come in peace' is a classic!" He ran his hand through his red hair as he punched a button on the coffee table, bringing up the menu. Jon was one of the few full Earthlings among us. He was born in Ireland, a nice county, or so I'm told. I have never had the time to visit Earth and people tell me I'm missing out on a lot. I don't think so though. I was born in space and in space I will stay.

"No, it's a clichéd."

"You negative pessimist. You're bad for morale." I said jokingly. We all knew that if it hadn't been for Russ, we'd have died of over-hoping many weeks before. Russ was the guy that kept us from hoping too much when we got to a new planet. He loved saying those four magic words when the planet turned out to be a dud: I told you so.

"You optimists make me sick."

"Well, you're stuck with a shipload of us so get used to be nauseous." Jon shot back, his blue eyes dancing. Russ just glared back at Jon. Though Jon has tried many times, Russ just never has accepted his offers of friendship. It must be because Jon always manages to find something good in anything. He always burst Russ' bubble when Russ had used the four words.

"Come on, boys. Be nice." I chided them and typed in the code for a steak with mashed potatoes on the side. We were a very lucky crew as our synth machines were top of the line. Some synth machines were so bad that all the food tasted the same and that taste was pretty nasty.

We turned as we heard a commotion coming from the hallway. A large group walked in and they were shouting loudly and grinning. "What up?" I called out to my good friend, Lenia. She was the medic on our ship.

She flashed a smile at me with her pearly white teeth, "HQ just sent back a reply to our package on the planet. They said pretty much called us gods and we get a five thous credit bonus!" she popped the lid on a bottle of beer and raised it high, "To Utopia!"

"To Utopia!" everyone else called back, raising their drinks. Then, as one they downed the contents and let out a loud cheer. I felt a foolish grin spreading across my face. Five thous for finding Utopia! I'd be able to afford my own ship with that much in my account!

"You fools! There's going to be something wrong with this planet and you know it! There is no such thing as a Utopia and I'm going to laugh at you all when you find the catch!" Russ stalked off muttering, almost trampling a group of children that were in his way.

After Russ' small speech, I expected all of our crewmates to calm down and go back to their cabins. Instead, they just kept on partying. Someone put on music and soon people had cleared away couches and tables to make way for a dance floor. I picked up my steak and potatoes and was glad that my couch was against the wall. The children came over to me and sat down around me. There were a total of five. None were mine and I think that's why they liked me. I was like an aunt who spoiled them and never told them what was wrong.

"Auntie Hann?" one of the older boys said. The six Standard years old boy's name was Tobias and his mother was Lenia. His father was one of the Earthling-Africans and so his skin was dark as was his eyes and hair.

"What Tobias?" I asked the boy and he climbed into my lap. Jon was holding his own red-haired girl and she had her arms around his neck and was smiling contentedly.

"Why is everyone so happy?" he asked and the rest of the children looked at me questioningly.

I chuckled, "I think your parents have gotten into my stock of happy pills." The children also laughed. My 'happy pills' were anti-depressant pills that didn't need to be prescribed. All they did was chemically balance a being's brain so they were happy, thus the name. They were extremely useful for long space flights and so I had quite a large quantity.

"Can we also take time off studying to have fun?" a little boy of four asked me. The group of children looked at me with puppy eyes.

With a grimace, I looked to Jon for help. He grinned, "Sure, Josk! Now, what do you all want to drink?"

"Fizzies!" the children yelled as one. Jon punched in the number for the popular carbonated drink that was also slightly healthy. In just a few seconds, the drinks appeared and the children grabbed them, popping off the lid with a quick motion.

Jon lightly pushed Rena off his lap and stood. Bowing in an overly chivalrous manner, he said, "May I have this dance?"

"Jon, you know I can't dance." I said with a smile as Tobias scooted off my lap.

"It's never too late to learn!" Jon said, grabbing my hand and pulling me up. I was glad I had put my food down as he whirled me onto the dance floor, much to the amusement of the children. They cheered and shouted with glee as I stumbled around the hall. I gave them a frosty glare and they just ignored me. "Come on, Hann!" Jon yelled and twirled me around some more, "It's easy!"

"I'm going to kill you some day!" I growled at him and he just laughed.


Hey! I'm glad you three reviewed! Tanx! I'm prolly not going to be updating this very often, maybe once a week or so. I hope you won't get mad about that.

To BrainDamage: That's strange! I'm interested in DNA too. For a few months I wanted to be a genealogist. Tanx for the tips on writing, they were already known to me but it's good to get refreshed every once and a while. You see, she does have a character flaw! She can't dance! *lol*

Bob: You're not funny, did you know that?

Jeril: Shut up, Bob…