Life on Mars, a Story

By Richard Banbury

Earth has been contaminated to the extent that life is unsustainable. An interplanetary plan, long ago created by Canada, England and America, has been put into operation, with their each living module, named Ottawa, Cambridge and Palo Alta, have landed Mars at site Survivor. Each module was designed on the basis of a 21st Century submarine. Those three modules have been arranged into a triangle, each designed for accommodating ninety healthy survivors in the 25 to 30 age range.

There is a fourth module, circular in design, which is attached within to the other three. Named Hopkins, this large multi-level edifice is used for all meals and substantial recreation, including 6200 English language films.

In the first Martian year, equivalent to 1.8 Earth years, 33 have been added to the population by birth, with only one loss. An American engineer was exploring the surrounding territory in a single buggy, as the carts are called, which a boulder on uneven grounds crushed both the vehicle and the survivor.

After 2.8 Martian years the detectors left on Earth have signaled a safety back to their original planet. It had never been the plan to pioneer Mars indefinitely. As the Ottawa, Cambridge and Palo Alta survivors begin to the return, Asher Banbury was to stay for 12 Martian days and then return in his personal capsule. The complete journal of the entire survivor plan, in case of another such exploration in the future, was one of his responsibilities. Also to judge the impact on the Martian environment.

On his ninth day Asher was outside Hopkins looking toward the Sun slowly going down behind the mountains. Far on the horizon something caught his eye. Soon it was closely coming towards him. It could not have been a stray missing from the departure of his/her comrades. As he went toward that direction he realized it was a person, even a child. Incredulous, he spoke to her and she stated in English that she came from China with many others. When he asked why she was not with them, Xiang responded that they were on another side and all had died. Ash knew he would bring this 12 years child back to Earth with him. And he did.

June 10, 2017
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