Chapter 4 is the fourth chapter of the Astra Lost in Space manga.

Synopsis Edit

As the orb moves toward them, Kanata screams for the group to run, and they do; moments later, he orders them to raise their helmet shields. Running blindly through the forest, they lose their sense of direction and become lost. With the orb closing in, Aries suddenly points them in the direction of a tree she remembers, and continues calling out directions as their new path continues. Running next to her, Charce asks her how she knows the way, to which she replies that she has a photographic memory. Charce stares at her in disbelief; moments later, they are all out of the forest. The orb vanishes as abruptly as it appeared, leaving the entire group with a deep sense of unease.

Onboard the Astra again, Quitterie vents angrily about the planet and the orb. The others start discarding theories about the orb itself; Kanata observed a starry darkness at the orb's center, meaning that entering it again would simply dump them into space again, and Luca points out that the orb is most likely not a natural phenomenon. He wonders aloud whether their situation is much more dark and precarious than they thought, leaving the room silent and tense. Kanata breaks the silence by picking a random piece of alien "fruit" off the table and eating it compulsively, to the varied horror and surprise of the others. He replies that on the hiking trip where his teacher died, he nearly suffered a mental breakdown, as he had nothing else to think about than his uncertainty. His attempts to try to convince the others to eat the "fruit" fail until Zack produces an edibility tester he has created; its cartoon-ish information display draws a bubbly laugh from Aries, who tells the group that she grew up mostly friendless out in the country. She thanks the others for being the first real friends she has ever had.

Later, as the sun sets on Vilavurs' 35-hour day, the group lays a blanket out on the Astra's upper deck for a picnic. Kanata proposes that they all share a little bit about themselves, as a way of more formally introducing each other. Quitterie and Ulgar are the only two to refuse, openly stating their intention to keep their distance from the others and cooperate only for survival, with Ulgar going so far as to walk away from the picnic entirely. The others, however, agree to share details about themselves with the others.

Aries begins by introducing herself as a transfer from the Rosapop District; she reiterates that she has a photographic memory before realizing that Charce is staring at her. He points out that her eyes are slightly different colors, and she agrees that it is weird; Charce apologizes for staring, saying that she resembles an old friend of his, but Luca cuts him off, imploring Aries not to fall for Charce's charms. Luca then introduces himself as a son of politicians who prefers arts and crafts over politics and wants to go to art school; Quitterie tells the group her family works in medicine, owning a hospital, and that she is studying medicine so that she might take the business over one day; and Zack shares that his father is a scientist, adding that he wants to enter a field of science different from his father. Aries asks him if he and Quitterie know each other, and his response, that they are childhood friends, sparks a brief moment of pubescent curiosity among the others; Zack is quick to establish, to Quitterie's apparent disapproval, that they are simply friends.

Aries turns her attention to Funicia, who Quitterie quickly explains was adopted by her mother not long before the trip, having been the only daughter of one of her mother's friends. When a smiling Kanata tells Funicia that her having a big sister is good, she responds only with a halfhearted smile of affirmation. Quitterie then turns to Yun-Hua and tells her to introduce herself; caught off guard, she stutters that she has no particular talents, apologizing for her apparent deficiency, but Charce smiles softly and assures her that she has nothing to apologize for, adding that she will have a chance to contribute to their journey. He then introduces himself as a xeno-biology expert.

As Aries' diary recounts the picnic and how reassured learning about the others made her feel, Kanata interrupts, claiming he has no had the chance to introduce himself, but the others tell him the substantial amount of information on him he has already given them, rendering any elaboration pointless. That night, after bathing, he speaks briefly to Aires, during which she tells him how lucky they were to have happened on the Astra. Her parting words leave him to wonder if their discovery of a functional ship in orbit around a distant, unknown planet was truly a coincidence.

After everyone has gone to bed, Funicia gets up to use the bathroom and cannot find the way back to her room. She happens to find Zack at the Astra's communication console, examining the broken comm system again. As he walks her back to her room, he tells her that the system has had only its most critical components removed and that the marks on the system left by their removal are new; someone in the group has sabotaged the ship.

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