Communication From Mars

Roger that nest, we confirm approach is underway and on track, over
Roger that, initiate landing procedure 0645 when you are ready pioneer, over
“Initiating landing procedure 0645, stand by chaps, this could get bumpy” I say to my fellow astronauts, this was big! The first humans to ever land on Mars, after decades of sending drones, billions of pounds spent on research, and many Guinea pigs later we are the first of the human race to do it…well, as long as we stick this landing that is. The shuttle judders and rides the turbulence while the metal creaks and groans on our approach. We see nothing but flames out of the 10 inch thick Perspex small porthole window, but however harsh it looks, we were fully expecting this. Believe it or not, this is going exactly to plan, so far anyway. After 10 more minutes of bone shaking stuttering, the space craft quickly decelerates as the wind breaks open and the parachute deploys. We float to the surface and come to an abrupt stop as we touch down, bruised and battered I check that my colleagues are OK, “Everyone OK, John, Frank?”
“Yep, I am OK” John sighed in relief,
“Wahooo!!! What a rush!” Frank gleefully stated, like he wanted to do it all over again.
“Glad to hear it chaps, I don’t mind admitting that was scary. Right, lets detach and get this show on the road”. We all struggle out of our harnesses, Frank and John prepare for our first Mars walk, mankind’s first Mars walk, while I update home, “Pioneer to nest, Pioneer to nest, do you copy, over?
Nest to Pioneer, we hear you loud and clear, over
Roger that, nest, pioneer has landed safe and sound. Good job everyone, this is all down to you, over
Congratulations pioneer, you have just done something that no other human being has achieved, you will go down in history, over
We will go down in history, all of us nest. We are preparing for disembarking nest, over
“Roger that, let us know when you want us to go live for broadcast pioneer, I hope you’ve prepared a good speech Craig as it will be written in books for a millennia, over
No pressure then, over”.
Frank and John have finished getting everything ready and are waiting for me to catch up. I do my final checks and stand by the air lock with my compatriots, “Right then chaps, this is it, after 268 days we have come to this, what we’ve been waiting for, training for. You both ready?”
“Ready” they both state confidently.
I nod my head in approval and give the OK to nest to start live broadcast. Frank punches the numbers into the keypad to unlock the shuttle door, a hiss and a clunk later and the airlock began to open. I go over my speech in my head, of what I am going to say as I first walk on the red planet, not taking any notice of the view in front of me as the mechanical hatch slowly swings open. I cautiously make my way down the ladder in slow motion with the weaker gravity available, the world is listening and watching us as we do this, once more I go through the speech in my head, I don’t want to get this wrong. I place my right foot on the powdered floor as a cloud of red dust plumes up. I take one last deep breath and begin my communication, the first communication from Mars,
“This is a momentous day, for all of humanity. We as a species have achieved many things, many spectacular things, and we have proven time and time again that we can achieve anything if we put our minds to it. The human race is a resourceful, intelligent and curious species, but more than that we are dreamers. Our dreams lead us to create and achieve the most amazing of feats, and we need more dreamers to give us…” I stop in my tracks as I splutter blood onto my visor. I gasp for air as I slump to the ground wondering what happened. I fall flat on my back wheezing as all the air fizzes out of my suit, warning beeps assaulting my ears. I see John stood over me with a manic smile adorning his face as he holds a bloodied knife, one we use to cut the thick ropes which hold the plants in place in the biodome. Frank is running back to the shuttle as John turns his attention to him.
Pioneer, come in, over” the nest operator worriedly shouts over the coms, “Pioneer come in! Craig come in! over
Abort, abort! Nest this is Frank, co-captain of Pioneer, abort, abort! We have a code 1, a code 1, do you copy, over!” Frank splutters as he makes his way back to the ladder. “Nest do you copy? John has lost it, he has gone berserk. He killed Craig, he killed Craig!…nest do you…help…for the love of…please no, John, please don’t…”.
Pioneer, Frank you’re breaking up, Frank, do you copy, over…Frank? Frank, do you copy, over?

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