Personal log Commander Scott Edwards
Olympus Colony Mars
I’ve sat here, totally silent for the last hour. Probably the first hour that I’ve had to think in months. I’ve heard about people having these times of their lives that they look back on and it seems like a bad dream and they wonder what the fuck happened and why it was it happened to them or that isn’t life really shit.
Well looking back now I’m having that feeling and then some.
I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I’m one of about forty five human beings that make up the human race, forty one of them are here and there four more apparently. Two on the Earth – Mars conveyor and two more on a ship that I’ve only just found out about and it’s apparently on it way. We could fit the whole human race into a medium sized room – just. There were four more bringing us to nearly fifty but they just snapped, went for a walk and never came back.
I’ll never forget that day for as long as live, how could I? I looked up and watched as around 8 billion people died on Earth, in a way that the universe beautifully understated as a bright light that shone for several hours on Mars and was the brightest star in the sky for a while. Among those 8 billion I count the three people I loved most in the world and one dog. It was strange, it was peaceful and just so tragic at the same time. It didn’t matter what we were or could do, the universe let us know it could snuff us out – just like that.
For these last months I’ve had to come to realise that no matter what we do here on Mars we are not able to make ourselves self sufficient and at some point within the next five years are all likely to either starve, suffocate or, well that’s about it really. I have been coming to terms with my own mortality, my own insignificance in the universe. Yet now there is more, it seems my great pay masters who are now dust had simultaneously pulled the wool over my eyes and everyone else’s. This is something I know I cannot share, how can I? The human race needs to move and adapt, like it or not. They can’t do that if they’re looking back, they need to look forward.
What is coming seems to me to be a total shot in the dark. Not suicide, the odds of success seem too big to even think about.
So I won’t.
“What the hell?” Neila threw back at Edwards “Is this for real?”
“Yes” Stone replied calmly and bluntly “It’s real.”
“So. Just so I have this straight in my mind.” Jett interrupted “In three weeks this spacecraft is going to enter orbit of Mars.”
“Yes.” Scott agreed.
“You and a few others are going to jump on this, leave us behind some kind of interstellar gateway thing. Then you’re fucking off to a new star, setting up a cosy place to live and deploying the second part of this gateway and use the Earth – Mars conveyor to take us through this gateway.”
“That’s about it.” Edwards agreed. The room was silent, but only for a moment.
“Bullshit!” Jett spat. “Even if this works we’re trusting you not to leave us behind.”
“I know this is going to be hard, I know we’re all going to have to take trust to a whole other level and if we fail you may never know.” Edwards explained calmly. “But this is a second chance for the human race, it’s beyond a long shot. It’s a chance in a million. But here on Mars, we have no chance, sooner or later we’re dead. I’m taking that chance, I hope you guys will too!”
“How long will this take?” Cassi asked
“If we’re lucky, ten years. If not could be much longer!”
“Those left on Mars won’t survive that long, even our best estimates suggest we have three years tops!” Cassi argued. “Also where has this plan and this ship suddenly appeared from?”
Cassi was young but Edwards knew there was no fooling her. “I don’t know. This plan is as news to me as it is to you. I have no details yet but the plan is that everyone on Mars will survive the time it takes us to get to our final destination.”
“You didn’t know about it before?” Jett argued.
“No. I wouldn’t do that to you.”
“Where is the final destination?” Cassi asked
“I don’t know that either yet, but considering that we don’t have the capability to travel at the speed of light I can only imagine it’s one of the stars in our very local vicinity.” Edwards finished and awaited any further questions. Everyone was silent, the enormity of what was ahead could only overwhelm them all.
Finally Edwards again broke the silence. “In the three weeks before the ship arrives there is a list of training assignments and roles changes you need to familiarise yourselves with. I’m hoping more details and objectives will be made available before that happens, in the meantime we will have daily gatherings at the same time.”
“Also let’s make sure that we do everything to make sure that everyone in this room get to fulfill their roles. Please keep watch on your buddies.”
With that Edwards motioned for everyone to continue. For the rest of the day everyone was quiet, Edwards was sure he was getting the evil eye from a few people. He was fairly sure he could work out what they were thinking, he would think the same. Being in on it all along, or maybe it was just his own insecurity or paranoia?
Putting the thoughts out of his head he lay on his bed as he watched the sun setting on Mars, quietly, restlessly he watched and wondered what was coming and even if it was worth the effort. Phobos sot across the sky as he was watching, like a flash of hope as the sun hit a point on the small moon it winked at him.
While Scott Edwards took the wink as hope, there was no chance they would get to where they were going on hope alone and there was along way to go.
©Simon Farnell 2019