He awoke from a dream, a recurring story behind closed eyes, floating, suspended in deep space.
There it was, after walking a few steps, the trail that he left few meters away from the previous stop. Without memory, like an elephant´s heavy footsteps with each new step, he kept walking.
The stones got stuck under his boots, pointy, sharp, toothed carnivores like a praying mantis about to mate.
The countless hours that had passed since his last communication with the central were, as every step that further alienated him from where he came, as long generations descending from a single tree that withered and was going to stop growing. The ancient peoples, their memory branched generations-trees, each following a different family name, each of the branches a true story of wars and survival, recounted to the last vein from the leaves.
He was the last offspring of a large grove, already condemned to extinction. He knew that there he was, lost, dying, in the long road to nowhere. Turning, in revolution around a center that was not there.
The next steps proved to be crucial, thought-arrested, he had to decide what to do with the meager provisions they had brought in emergency. He had packed his survival bag with some books, a pack of gum, an army knife, a small flashlight and fifty packages of superproteic syrup. Enough to last a hundred days if he could find water, which he only carried a liter of drinking water in circulation, renewable but not infinite in his biosuit. Nonetheless, he knew that under those conditions he could not survive more than a handful of days in the dust exposed nostrils, inhaling thousands of particles that clogged his airway and would achieve their purpose if not prevented.