It was never an easy task going for a walk onto the planet’s surface. Today was even worse as there was a hurricane raging outside, and had been for weeks. This walk had been put off numerous times because of the weather but it couldn’t be put off any more as the data buffers were full on the all the remote instruments and needed to be downloaded and reset. David Hicks was one of the six technician’s being sent out to do this job. He pulled on his helmet with a sense of resignation, Lauren was helping him get it on.
“Be careful out there David” She pleaded. It was always tough for her coping seeing David go out on these missions and she struggles to hold back her tears.
“I’ll be fine” David reassured her, taking the helmet for a moment he leaned forward and kissed her tenderly on the lips.
“How come you get to go? You’ve going to be out there in that!”
“I’m just lucky I guess and last time it was fourteen hours because I got stuck” Lauren wasn’t impressed with either of these answers.
“Don’t be funny, not now…” She started to say, David put his suited finger to her lips.
“Shush. It’ll be ok – really” David had to say this, but the reality was that he hated it as much as she did, the vehicles were useless in this wind and the dust would make them seize up. The only good thing was that he had only the one instrument to maintain. “Help me on with this helmet babes, please.” The helmet was lowered down and and locked into place. As it locked the heads up displays flashed onto the inner visor. All his oxygen readouts, heart rate, weather updates and he could even send and receive emails. What he liked though was that he had modified this suit so he could play his music, this was a great boredom killer
Lauren looked through the visor at him “take care – I love you!” She shouted through to him.
“I love you too babes, could you open the inner airlock please” Turning she walked to the door controls and the massive inner door opened up as David walked in the door shut behind him, when it sealed a green light shone and Lauren pressed the button opening the outer door. As the door cracked open David heard the raging storm blast into the airlock.
“Visibility down to between 20 and 50 metres, tracking and guidance engaged. I will report progress as I go. Please let me know of any changes in conditions”
The voice of a control room operator crackled in his earpiece”Acknowledged 1512 Hicks, please be careful and get back safe”
“Will do my best” David replied as he took the first steps out and onto the rough terrain, I’m hoping you soft guys in control are going to buy my drink tonight, otherwise you’re doing this next time”
“It’s a deal 1512”
David allowed himself a small chuckle, they knew they had the best deal so drink was a no-brainer. The wind was blowing him about, but the weight and mechanical assistance offered by the suit meant he could push through without too much effort. The wind was howling outside only inches away from his fragile human body. “Play me some DC/DC” David commanded It took a few seconds to process the command, then the helmet filled with the best epic rock. “Oh yeah, he said to himself, with this playing I could rally kick some” with renewed vigour in his pace David walked away from the station, onto his destination.
Stopping for a moment to rest he stared at the rugged landscape and thought how this planet was once lush and full of life, that was before a huge rock slammed into the planet, before Armageddon. The sea boiled, the land was washed away and them steamed with the boiling oceans. Now here he was, trying to bring life back to a dead planet. David started off again, he didn’t know if it was his imagination, but the thought the wind was dying off a bit.
Eventually after more time than David wanted to think about he reached the monitoring station. A small robotic cluster gathering all kinds of data that would help them work out how effective the terraforming was on the environment. David plugged in waited for the data to download. His instincts were right, the wind was easing, as he stood there he looked down to check over the monitoring station when to his shock he saw something white, growing out of the ground. Looking again in disbelief he raised control.
“Control this is 1512 Hicks, can you see this on my suit cam? Are you getting this?”
“Affirmative 1512 Hicks, we can see there is some kind of white vegetation”
“Vegetation?” He replied “That’s an Orchid” David never thought he would see one in his life, but there it was, as plain as the hands in front of him.” In excitement he exclaimed to control “It looks like planet Earth is coming back to life!” As he looked about for more, he could now see in the near distance, small flecks of white and as the dust cleared briefly in the valley, he could swear he saw shades of green.
*No ownership claimed on pictures*
Copyright 2015 Simon Farnell
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