That afternoon I sat on the sand and watched the second star rise over the horizon, two dawns in one day, not all the time, only once every fifteen years, when the smaller star is close enough to illuminate the sky, beyond being a single point, brighter than the other stars of the night.
It was my last inspection, before the order of colonization, it was my custom to give a final visit, to breathe the air of the planet, before the arrival of the settlers, I would be the first person who would do it and the last one to see this world still virgin, with no more humans than me on its soil.
I had already made a tour of several places around the planet and was getting ready to leave, but before that I sat down for the first and last time on one of its beaches, it was a long coastline, to the east of the continent with a wide strip of black sand, originated from the already extinct volcanoes that were now covered by green forests, growing at its feet and on its slopes.
This was the first world with a binary star that was terraformed; the orbit of the second star moved it so far away from the main star that its gravitational effect on the planet was almost imperceptible, and gave it the additional addition of a tiny sun that every fifteen years adorned, for a few months, the evenings of the planet, just when the main star was already to the west and its brightness did not overshadow it.
As I stood up, still haunted by the sound of the waves breaking on the rocks and the squawking of the seagulls flying over the vicinity, in search of fish, I could see out of the corner of my eye, how, a strange figure, slipped across the water on its way to the beach, I turned around in surprise to see what it was all about and I could not make out anything around me.
I would have sworn that a female figure had passed by me, but that was not possible, apart from me, there was no other human being in this world. A strange sensation ran through my body, suddenly the peace that this world generated in me, turned into anguish and melancholy and a chill went up my arms and back.
Overwhelmed by the sensation, I felt that it would be best to leave, I had a long time without sleep, and the fatigue must be affecting my senses. During the journey to Heracles, to give my report, I could rest and recover.
I walked among the tall trees, which separated the beach from the location of my ship, and as I advanced, the feeling of anguish persisted, aggravated now, by the impression that I was being watched.
It was then that I saw her, this time there was no doubt about it, the thin and lanky figure of a woman, dressed in a light and long dress, completely white, ran in front of me through the trees.
I ran in the direction in which I saw her running away, screaming, asking her to stop, asking how she had gotten there; but again she disappeared from my sight, lost in the trees. I continued to advance, calling out to her, asking her to come out from where she was, but only the sound of the wind in the trees was my response.
I walked to where a stream of almost transparent water made its way through the vegetation and again, on the other side, I saw the figure, which, dodging, ran, as if trying to hide, into the forest. I crossed the shallow waters with two long strides and continued my run after the mysterious woman.
After walking aimlessly for several minutes, I reached a clearing in the middle of the forest, an almost circular region, where only grass was growing, but here, it was a more intense green than it seemed in the rest of the forest, and there I found her again, she was a slender woman, standing in the middle of the clearing, with long black hair, which contrasted with her white dress. She had her back to me, looking westward, just towards the mountains, which marked the end of the coast and hid a vast plain, which stretched for hundreds of kilometers, inside the continent.
I approached her, again asking her, in a loud voice, about her presence in that place, but I did not receive any reaction from her, she just stood there, not even turning around to where I was, I felt a buzz on my wrist, and I raised her at the height of my eyes, to meet the warning signal from my electronic assistant, soon the main star would start hiding and it would be time to leave to stay within the schedule.
When I looked away from the assistant, again the woman had disappeared, there was no way she could have left, she could not run or hide, the only way she could have left was by literally disappearing. In the place where she had been standing, a rose bush was growing with dozens of white roses, which before would have been hidden behind her figure.
Dazed by that I returned to the ship, fatigue had played dirty tricks on me, that could not have been more than a trick of my mind, a simple illusion product of exhaustion. Almost at nightfall I set out on my way, I left that world, even without a name, on my way to Heracles, determined to omit my last experience, in my report to the colonization commission. But the more I thought about it, the more I was convinced that something had happened, that I could not have imagined that, it was then that I remembered it; roses have never been included in the process of terraformation, their crops are always brought by the colonists, how did that rose bush get there?