A Mars Conspiracy
"Pluto six, this is Core 1, do you copy?"
"Core 1, this is Pluto Six, we copy, over."
"Great, you are coming up on the approach to land on Mars, please check all systems for safe landing, over."
"Roger Core 1, we are checking systems, break..........Systems are clear and ready for landing. We are set to land in ten minutes, over."
"Pluto Six, we copy good on system check. Please refrain from any radio chatter till you are three minutes out and we shall guide you from there over.
"Roger Core 1, radio silence till three minutes, radio silence in, three, two, one, out."
We were approaching Mars, there were six of us. All with our own set mission, mine, to scout the surrounding hundred miles of our landing zone in search of water and/or soils that may give us opportunity to grow plants.
We were all excited, ready to explore a planet untouched by man. There had been five other missions prior to ours but they were failures. All the failed missions are classified so no one truly knows what happen to them. Some say it was a faulty landing for most of them. Some say, there were unexpected terrestrials upon the planet.
"What happen on your landing?
Well, we radioed in, as you can see on the transcript before you. What am I here for? I just want to go home and see my family. I have nothing to say, I barely made it back. I just want to live my life with my wife and children. It's been three days."
"I apologize, but I am not authorized to let you go till we get every piece of information from you. The faster you disseminate your information to me, the quicker the debrief will go."
"You said that earlier and you still haven't even told me your names or who you are with. You detained me the moment I landed on my return."
"My name is Todd, this is Andrew, and we work with NASA. We are merely here to make sure your transition from space and from your incident goes smoothly. We want to find what you may or may not have seen."
"What I may or may not have seen? I have nothing to say. I landed on Mars, our mission went to shit and you guys tried to leave us on Mars. You abandoned us and for working for NASA you sure don't look like it."
"Well, we are on the more sophisticated side of NASA. We only work with those that are truly worth our time.....(pulls down on his tie and adjusts it.)..someone like you."
"I don't like this one bit, let me go, you have no reason to keep me here." Stands up quickly and slams his hands on the metal table.
"Please calm down Mr. Righter, we only want what you saw so we can make our studies clear for the rest of our scientists. And for those that will come after you"
"Make what clear?"
"What it is that exactly went on."
"What exactly went on?!..(Mr. Righter still standing as he clenches his fists.) I'll tell you what happened. We landed, made contact with Core 1 on our descent and went on with our given missions. We lost comms three weeks in. Everyone but me went missing. Only reasons I made it home is because I was able to repair the comms. Someone had sabotaged them to fail."
"What do you mean sabotage? Who would have done that?"
Mr. Righter scoffs at the agents interviewing him. "I don't know you tell me!"
"What is the last thing you remember before everyone started to disappear?"
Mr. Righter relaxes is posture a bit but still holds some frustration at the tip of his tongue,
"Ummm....Jaret, the mechanic, he was working on fixing our rover that went down. I remember I was walking over to him to bring him a drink. But then a sandstorm came out of nowhere. There was no siren to warn us or anything. Not a single weather Doppler picked it up. It was like something or someone interfered with our equipment somehow.
Then the storm stopped and he was gone. We searched for a week straight then every other day after that for two months. Core 1 was no real help, they knew about as much as we did about the planet. Then, on month three, everyone started to disappear. Martha, our biologist went missing in the middle of the night from our dome. Roy, our medic, gone, just gone after we went to examine some possible bacteria he found.
Then, about two weeks in after Roy's disappearance, the rest of decided to go hike for our daily exercise. We wore our usually weighted bags for resistance and made our usual hiking route. Through the Mellow Hills and then back over the Rolling Caps of Sage. But as we made our return, everyone but me fell into a sinkhole.
I just happened to stumble upon what I thought was possibly water, what it was just a stone that was clear poking through the sediment. I leaned down to examine what it was and then I heard my name called out for a split second. I looked over and everyone was gone. I ran over and saw a large pit. Wide enough for a car to fit it. I even called for them but heard nothing. I then tossed down a chem light and sure enough. The darkness enveloped it.
My heart sank. I ran back to the dome and radioed to Core 1. But there was no response. That is when I tried to re-route the comm line through the old communication box we had. Specifically for emergencies because it runs on an old system of batteries, power is limited.
But I got no response either. For weeks I was in a panic, I did my best to stay alive. I rationed food. Then, when I ran out of food after eight more weeks. On supplies meant for only two more before our return. I heard the radio flicker. But I don't remember what happened after that. I woke up in the return shuttle and here I am."
Mr. Righter still standing stares at the agents with annoyance. The commanding agent leans over to Mr. Righter and asks politely for him to sit. Mr. Right replies by sitting down. The agent, with his monotone voice continues his questioning.
"Okay, so everyone died or disappeared and you are the only one unscathed. (Mr. Righter interrupts.)
"Unscathed? I lost really good friends of mine. I lost family and I almost died. I did not return unscathed and I never said anyone died."
"Calm down Mr. Righter, we only want to help. Now, you said you found the radio sabotaged and could not use the old..(Flips through the report papers) M34 radio. You then survived off limited supply and just as the radio came back on you passed out and woke up in route home. Is that correct?"
Mr. Righter nods..."Yes"
The other agent exits the room without a word and the other continues on with questions.
"Alright Mr. Righter, here's the deal, we need to somehow gain access to what happened during the time you passed out. So, we are going to have you transferred to Methodics Computing Regional Headquarters in Colorado. There, they will be able to make sense of the blank space in your head."
Mr. Righter becomes frustrated, he then shoves the metal table into the agent. The agent is hit in the gut and reacts by pressing back from the table and standing up. He clears a few coughs from his throat from the pain and adjusts himself.
"Well Mr. Righter, I can see you are not happy, but it has only been three hours since your return so please be patient with us."
Mr. Righter becomes even more frustrated. He stands up starts to approach the agent with anger.
"Three hours?.....Three hours, its been days since I returned. You can even look at my......(Mr. Righter looks at his watch)... This can't be right...(Mr. Righter becomes docile upon seeing what date and time appears on his watch.) But last I checked it said March 23rd, not March 20th. What is going on here, who changed my watch??" Mr. Righter looks around the room as if to find the answer.
"No one touched your watch Mr.Righter. I think the trauma of your trip has compromised your thought pattern. Please, come with me and we will get you sorted out." The agent reaches his hand out toward Mr. Righter
"No...leave me alone, I just want to go home." Suddenly Mr. Righter becomes ensnared by visions appearing in his head. He starts to panic. He sees faces of creatures he's never seen before but feel familiar. These creatures appear as having dark faces no mouth, no eyes, hands and arms like humans. But they have two pairs of arms. Their legs are longer than the average human. Strange antennas hang from their heads. They appear like walking shadows.
He sees the creatures appear in moments through his mission on Mars. He starts to scream as one of the visions, is himself beating the mechanic Roy to death with a wrench and tossing his body into a pit. Mr. Right suddenly curls into the fetal position in the corner of the room covering himself with his hands over his face.
"I....I didn't do that....it wasn't me....what is happening?"
The agent rushes over to Mr. Righter and carefully lifts him to his feet and escorts him out in his panicked state.
The agent, holding Mr. Righter speaks to another agent just outside the room,
"We must get Mr. Righter over to Methodics before it is too late. I believe we may have a defector still alive. We must not allow Mr. Righter to disseminate such information. (He points to another agent as he guides Mr.Righter) Go to the return shuttle and make sure there is broadcast through the radio, IR, or any other medium for that matter. This cannot spread."
Suddenly Mr. Righter comes to, he becomes completely silent and looks up at the agent with distant eyes and says.
"Don't let me die or your secret shall no longer be a secret."
Should I continue this story and give you an ending?
What do you think is going on?
Let your hand wrap around an original, A Man's Traveled Heart
Coming soon, The Bleeding of Words
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