Nocat lay curled up at his feet, her fur glimmering and displaying grayish-blue colored hues.
“Nocat morning,” thought Jan. This is what people called the time between the sunrise of Biran
and that of Airan, the suns of the Guardian planet. It was during this period that nocats always
went their own ways. Very few people new where they went during these times. Apparently, the
first settlers who came to the planet attempted to study their strange behavior but the subsequent
generations have never bothered themselves about this. To them it was just necessary to simply
survive, and as far as Jan knew they had barely done that. Strange things had apparently happened
before the Great War, so subsequent history has only concerned itself with post-war happenings.
After all, the war had happened a few hundred years ago, and only a few people survived. After the
war the nocats had moved into peoples‟ dwellings. They were obstinate, stubborn, lovely ...
As if nocat had been waiting for a certain signal, she rose up, stretched her three pairs of legs
whilst fully extending and then retracting her claws. The she quietly slid through the flap in the front
tunic over his head, walked on tiptoe to the door, opened it, and went out. As he was leaving he
caught a glimpse of which house she had slid behind, and followed her.
Nocat was heading for the farol wood. Jan smirked and muttered:
“Softhair, now you're mine!”
He went quickly to the garden shed where Jan and his father kept their tools for harvesting and
processing farol. He took an axe, and some leather gloves that also protected his elbows. He put-on
leather headgear that covered his head and shoulders, and a visor that protected his eyes. He had
followed nocat once before for quite some time, so he had prepared himself by storing the
equipment on a rack next to the door. He hoped that his tunic would suffice, as farol trees have large
thorns that can cause almost unbearable itching. However, nocat moved so fast that the leather
protective might obstruct his pursuit.
Nocat was following the lumberjacks‟ path. Jan sneakily moved after it. Suddenly he heard some
nocats wheezy barks behind him. He quickly slipped behind a farol tree piercing himself on some
thorns and, cursing through his teeth he turned the axe handle toward himself. He unscrewed the
his burning itch. When he had finished, he noticed that neighbors‟ nocat had silently followed him.
“I will find out where you go, damned nocats,” he stubbornly murmured, and continued to purse
them despite the itching.
Suddenly they turned into dense farol undergrowth, which was composed of young farol plants.
At least the soft spikes were not as annoying as the adult ones. Spikes were obviously not an
obstacle for nocats, as they seemed to be unaffected by farol acid. This is why humans had always
been amazed by them, making them even more mysterious creatures. He pushed his way through
the undergrowth, using his hands for as long as he could. The gloves protected him well but when
rubbed against the farol they made a sort of whining noise. Jan was lucky because the wind blowing
against him, so he hoped the nocats wouldn‟t discover him too quickly.
The farol trees were getting lower, as was the undergrowth. In order to avoid the more mature
trees, he bent down, and in an almost crouching position moved forward. Now the tunic dangled
between his legs and impeded his movement.
Suddenly, the farol trees disappeared and he was blinking his eyes to avoid Biran‟s light.
Amazingly, before him was a glade full of nocats, which really surprised him because a clearing in
the middle of a farol forest was something unusual.
Such a cleared area of woodland could only have been made by farolcutters, but no tracks
appeared to lead into this clearing. The glade was perfectly circular and on a slight incline, so that it
was fully illuminated by Biran. Jan leapt up and down above the farol trees but the village roofs were
nowhere to be seen.
He sat at the edge of the glade and stared around. The nocats were gathering together from all
around the clearing. They formed concentric circles by squeezing tightly together. Suddenly, their
squealing and barking stopped. A mist arose above the clearing, and the first image that came into
Jan‟s head was that of his nocat purring and of him softly scratching the hair on her back.
“Magically,” he thought, realized that these images were lining up one after another and
seemingly faster and faster. For some time it seemed as though he was staring into a kaleidoscope,
then suddenly he became aware in reality that the nocats were actually exchanging information
amongst themselves. They rotated in his mind as though they were in filmed pictures. Suddenly he
realized that these „pictures‟ represented the village and villagers. During „projection‟ he saw blue-
gray spots and also blurry and fuzzy scenes. They were actually nocat 'words' that he couldn‟t
understand. They displayed absurd patterns of alien thought could not be „translated‟ into human
him. He resigned himself to a continuous flow of images.
It was if he were watching a movie being show by a projectionist once a week at a traveling
cinema, but this was even better. He enjoyed it even though it gave him a headache. Suddenly he
realized that the images before his eyes were conquerors from outer space. They were some kinds of
lizards that ate not only nocats but humans also.
“So that happened in the Great War!” he thought and squirmed in mute horror.
Then the nocats formed an alliance with the people ...