[FRENCH AUDIO] When science fiction meets reality: four passengers are interviewed just before taking the plunge into the unknown, leaving for another planet. A new departure that questions their attachment to this planet. What can they expect from this great escape?

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You will find below the transcript of the podcast translated into English. Translator: Victoria Smith.

Author: An exoplanet was discovered. That’s a planet outside of our solar system that has living conditions that are compatible with human life. I’m a science-fiction author and I always try to come up with the most incredible stories, the craziest stories. But this time reality has caught up to me – has exceeded my expectations. I’m going to be able to write science non-fiction. To do that, I’m going to meet four passengers chosen for the first mission to this planet. The flight is estimated to take 60 Earth years. And they will be placed in hypersleep for a part of it. It is, therefore, a one-way flight. 

Mario: I’m 83 years old. My name is Mario. I’m Uruguayen. That’s me. Space was a guiding force in my life. I’m an architect.

Author: And is taking care of the ship a bit like managing a studio in Paris?

Mario: In a sense, yes, it is the same thing. Everything happens inside the walls.

Author: And of course, here, everything is optimised. You get the impression that each space has been considered, and that yes, it’s already ready for the trip.

Aicha: My name is nothing at all. I don’t have a name and I don’t have an age or I am a zombie. I don’t have an identity and no documents, just colours in my head. And I’m not an adult. So, who can I? Who am I? I just want to be an elf in space.

Zig: I cut off a bit of the filter and I stuck it on the inside of the screen. So, there, you put it there. You see, at the end.

Author: Okay.

Zig: Go ahead, take a look.

Author: So. I look through here, is that right?

Zig: Yeah.

Author: Oh yeah, I see. Oh wow! Yeah. Ah, it’s amazing.

Zig: Do you see the black spots? Yeah, those are the spots on the sun that are a bit colder. It has to do with the sun’s magnetic field.

Author: What do you think that will be like from the spaceship?

Zig: Um, well…

Author: You’re not going to take your telescope with you, you won’t need it.

Zig: I think we’ll be better equipped.

Zig: My name is Zig. I’m 32. I’ve lived in Paris for about a decade now.

Author: It’s non-alcoholic, right?

Wandaw: Yes. It’s just kind of like juice. I guess it’s a bit like cider, but it doesn’t have alcohol.

Author: Thank you, it looks great.

Wandaw: Yes. My name is Wandaw. I’m a fictional character. I come from a nature novel called Solar Storm.

Author: I’m interested in knowing more about why you applied to travel through space. What was it that attracted you?

Zig: I think that I’ve always been fascinated by space. I actually grew up in a little village in the country, and I’m a lesbian, so I think that it was a way of escaping, when I was a kid.

Aicha: To see the moon and eat candyfloss. It looks really, really fluffy.

Zig: Anyway, at the time, there were no lesbian bars at all, even in Besançon. Well, there was a gay bar, but a lesbian bar, no way. So, I met my first girlfriend on GayVox.

Mario: Each time it’s more for us, the inhabitants of this planet, and all that’s living – the intolerance, the discrimination, the distance between each of us is growing. And yeah, it was time to get out.

Zig: Oh! Well in any case, yes. No, but I think it was a way to escape, to imagine other worlds elsewhere, other possibilities. Yes, and yes, I think. To escape a little from everyday life, which wasn’t horrible, but which wasn’t very exciting either.

Wandaw: This won’t be my first journey. I’ve already been to space as part of the Cosmic Fetus Plan, which aimed to carry out in vitro fertilisation in space. This spaceship is part of the SCP 2076 series of tourist vessels, the design of which was based on the Sainte Alliance model. The work of Land Art, created in 1976 by Nancy Hope, located in Utah, in the USA, Earth. This specific example was donated to the Union of States by the private transport company Brown, General Boulevard, notably cosmopolitanism. I came back from that, and I missed space.

Author: Do you know what you’re looking for, as you leave? Fundamentally, what is this whole project meant to find?

Aicha: A precious stone.

Author: And how do you picture this precious space stone?

Aicha: Well it’s inside, I’ll put a knife in the moon and then I’ll cut off a piece of the moon. And then there you go.

Wandaw: I am a stone in concrete. I have been fire, I have been liquid, I have been power. I have known the opulence of my immense expanding body. The eruption of lava, mineral embers, the slow movement of my genesis, the slow crystallisation, the deep song of my youth. One day, I detached from myself. I left grandeur for adventure. I lost my angles. Life polished me. I loved the river and its small pleasures, the caress of the current, the tickle of the crayfish, the sandstorms in its bed. I’m not worried about my life. I’m immortal. The smaller I am, the more I am everywhere.

Author: What do you think you’ll find there that you don’t have here, during the journey or once you arrive on the planet?

Mario: Mostly the differences, I’m expecting so many different things that I couldn’t possibly list them all. But everything will change. That’s the reason for the journey. And it’s this new difference, beginning from new foundations of knowledge. That’s what makes the journey worthwhile.

Author: So, what objects will you take with you? What will you pack in your suitcase?

Wandaw: I’ll take a Aichahood photo of my mother.

Aicha: A magic wand. [baguette magique]

Zig: Probably a book.

Aicha: In a fridge.

Zig: A book that I could read and re-read.

Aicha: And if we don’t have any more food? Well, there’s some in the fridge.

Zig: It will be a Céline Minard book.

Aicha: And a lot of candy.

Mario: A hologram of the Earth.

Zig: Her most recent, Plasmas, to be precise, because I think that it’s a book that prepares you well for the unknown and for being lost.

Wandaw: It will fly, but it doesn’t matter. No, it doesn’t matter, I can catch them back.

Author: Do you think that there is anything on Earth that you’ll miss?

Zig: Autumn.

Wandaw: The infinity of flavours and smells.

Wandaw: Trees.

Wandaw: Gravity.

Aicha: Flowers.

Zig: Earth. The forest and the birds.

Aicha: Walls. On the planet, there aren’t any walls.

Wandaw: Mountains

Zig: Or, anyway, the changing of the seasons and even the change in the view from day to night, and night to day. Yes, I’m paying close attention.

Mario: I lived for many years above an elementary school, Aichacare centre, a group of buildings that housed small Aicharen. At a precise time, every morning, it was an explosion of living joy. Rages, tensions, dynamic movements. It was life unfolding.

Author: Is there a sound that you’ll miss?

Zig: When I’m in bed on a Sunday morning and I hear the neighbours walking around upstairs.

Aicha: Ah, I’ll show you with my bottle. Moo! It’s a cow.

Zig: The elevator starting up.

Wandaw: Someone else’s breathing.

Zig: Steps on the stairs and the sounds of the street.

Mario: A sort of synthesis of all things musical. Because you can travel through time with what we call classical music, and the contemporary expression of that classical music especially, is the music of “Exit the King”.

Author: Still, do you have any fears about the journey? You will be in hypersleep, and you will have very particular food. You will be enclosed with people that you don’t know. Are there things about the experience, or about what you could find when you arrive on that planet, that scare you?

Aicha: No, when I started school, I wasn’t scared.

Zig: I don’t have any particular fears about the technical side, for example.

Wandaw: I want to sleep in hibernation in a cocoon, you know, doing a headstand.

Zig: Being enclosed doesn’t scare me. Vaccuum-packed food doesn’t either. All the stuff with cosmic rays and gravity, that’s fine. Because I think that the body adapts.

Mario: No, really, I’m overwhelmed by the intolerance that absorbs more and more of us. I don’t want to find it there. That’s why no, I’m not afraid, on the contrary.

Wandaw: Yes. The others.

Author: For example, there’s an elderly person.

Aicha: Yes. They’re 83.

Author: Do you think that you’ll get along with that person?

Aicha: No, old people are always reading the newpaper, and I don’t like the newpaper.

Zig: What scares me the most, actually, is the idea of arriving somewhere and potentially disturbing it just by being there. And aren’t we just going to make the same kind of mistakes there that we made on Earth?

Author: In your opinion, what will you feel when you see the Earth from afar? Apparently, it’s overwhelming.

Wandaw: Oh, I don’t know. I loved looking at Earth during my first voyage, but I knew that I would be coming back. That’s not the case, this time.

Aicha: I won’t feel anything, it will be green and blue, that’s all. Unless I fall into it. And I land here.

Zig: I’m sure there will be some sadness, even if, you know, I really want to leave. I can’t wait, even.

Mario: I have a lot of admiration for the beauty of the thing itself. We’re the only living planet, and at the same time, it’s sad to know that it’s a huge waste and to see that all living things are perishing.

Zig: At the moment when we see it for the last time, I’ll think of my family, my friends. Of course, I’ll be able to make new friends among the other passengers. But it will be different.

Wandaw : Living in the ship is attractive in itself. Wringing out a towel in zero gravity.Looking at Earth through the porthole. Singing karaoke.

Author: Would you have a last word, a last sentence, a last thing to tell us before leaving Earth?

Zig: I don’t know.  What did Ripley say in Alien before she left? I think I would say the same thing.

Zig: This is Ripley. Last Survivor of the Nostromo.

Mario: There’s a poet that I like, a Spanish poet, that said Caminantes, no hay camino. El camino se hace al andar. It means that each one of us is a walker, and it’s by moving forward that we trace out, that we create the path.

Aicha: I would say à revoir.

Wandaw: We get up and we go, we rise up and we break away.


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