Hey everybody! Here I am with another one of Teresa’s Daily Writing Prompts! You can check out the prompt here: https://maplesswanderer.wordpress.com/2020/01/17/daily-writing-prompt-17/. Here is the prompt:
Your challenge today, should you accept it, is to explore humanity’s future and write your take on the Science Fiction subgenre of Colonization and see where it leads…or whatever/wherever the picture takes you. There are no word limits or requirements of any kind. Just see where the picture or genre takes you and have fun.
Astronaut Kelly Marauder frowned as she noticed something on the Martian surface. Eh? “Alpha-1, I have found what looks like a…metal box on the surface of Mars,” she reported in over the comms.
There was a moment of silence.
“Uh..come again?” Tom’s very confused voice crackled over the comms. And I don’t blame him for being confused. “You’re meant to be the first person ever to step foot on Mars. How can there be a metal box there?”
That is certainly true – Alpha-1 had landed on Mars two days ago, but none of them had gotten to set foot on Mars due to a terrible sandstorm. Now that it had finally cleared, Kelly had received the magnanimous honour of being the first person EVER to actually walk on the surface of Mars!
So how was there this metal box here clearly put there before she set foot on the planet?
“I’m going in for a closer look,” Kelly reported in.
“Roger that. Be careful,” Tom replied.
“Will do,” she acknowledged as she tentatively went over to the box. Kneeling down, Kelly swiped her hand in front of her visor, turning on her helmet’s scanner. A green light was emitted from the helmet and it completely engulfed the foreign object.
After a few moments, there was a beep! and a holo-3D image of the box appeared on her visor with a list of all its components, approximated origins, and the materials it was made out of.
“Whoa,” Kelly muttered under her breath as she scrolled through the list.
“What is it?” Tom asked.
“The approximated origination date is…from the beginning of time…” Kelly informed him, trailing off as she read it out loud. “Which is just crazy! The computer must have glitched. When I come back, we need to take a look at my onboard computer.”
“Wait a sec, Kelly. The date has to be wrong, but what does the rest of the info say?”
“Uh…that it’s made from some rare metal outside of earth and that it has an electronic lock that’s opened by a specific frequency, though my computer can’t decode the frequency. It’s…the frequency…cannot be made from anything on Earth…”
“Okay, our computer has seriously glitched here. Come back, Kelly, and we’ll put it through Diagnostics,” Tom ordered. “And bring the box.”
“Roger that, Alpah-1,” Kelly acknowledged.
She bent down and grabbed hold of the box, picking it up. “Alpha-1, please be advised, I am now returning to the ship.”
“Roger that,” Tom acknowledged. “We’ll be waiting.”
Suddenly, she was thrown to her feet, the box tumbling down into a crater. Kelly gripped hold of the edge of the crater as she tried not to float up into the atmosphere from all the shaking.
“Kelly, what’s happening?” Tom asked. Even his hologram was shaking.
“We’ve got a Mars quake!” Kelly replied, her voice coming out as an unintentional shout.
“Find cover and keep the box safe!” Tom ordered sternly. Kelly opened her mouth to answer but she then noticed something odd about the box.
It was open.
And there was a bluish-green glow being emitted from inside the box.
“Kelly? Kelly, report.”
What’s going on?
The glow seemed to dull down, as if it was losing its energy source. Kelly breathed a sigh of relief as she felt the quake starting to die down. If it keeps going down, I’ll be able to-“Agghhh!” she screamed as the whole planet seemed to lurch and she lost her grip on the crater’s edge.
“Kelly, what’s happening?”
She tumbled over the crater’s edge and roughly slid down the incline.
She felt a jarring impact and everything faded away.
“Kelly? Kelly, are you there?”
Kelly…Kelly…that’s a nice name…I wonder-
“Damn it, Kelly, answer me!!!”
“Oxygen level critical.”
There was a hissing noise. The oxygen leaking out, she realized. Wait…
Kelly shot up, chest heaving. “Computer, what’s my suit’s telemetry?” she asked, forcing herself to breathe normally instead of gulping the air like she wanted to.
“There is a crack in your oxygen tanks. You have seven minutes of oxygen remaining.”
“Can I fix it?” Kelly asked, ignoring Tom’s pleads for her to answer him.
“Negative. There are heavy rocks pressing down on your legs. If you move any further by the slightest inch, your suit will rip and you will die.”
Huh. Why didn’t I notice the rocks earlier? In fact, I don’t even feel my legs.
Swallowing tightly, she then remembered Tom. “Alpha-1?” she asked, turning on her comms.
“Kelly! Ohmygosh, are you okay?” Tom answered, sounding like he was struggling not to cry with relief.
“There’s a leak in my oxygen tank,” Kelly reported, fighting to keep her voice steady. “I have only,” and she quickly checked the flashing bar on her visor. “…five minutes left of oxygen. And I can’t move without ripping my suit-” she squeezed her eyes shut as she drew a shaky breath. It didn’t work and a sob escaped her as her face crumpled, tears streamed down her face.
She then became aware of Tom saying in a voice barely above a whisper: “And we won’t be able to reach you in time. Not even with the Rover.”
Kelly had taken the Rover out to explore the surface and after taking it a distance, she had gone out for a walk. They could autopilot the Rover over there – it had a crane for them to be able to lift the rocks off of her – but, she was more than five minutes away from that Rover.
“The box…” she realized. “It caused the quake…” Kelly looked over at the box, sitting just a few taunting feet away.
The glow was now glowing brightly and she felt the ground shaking again. She heard a loud CRACK! and saw a crack had formed at the top of the crater that she was in and then saw that it was making its way down into the crater…and it would go right underneath her.
She then realised that the glow was taking the form of a person and that it was speaking. As she listened, her face went pale.
“Kelly? You there?” Tom asked.
“We were never meant to be here…” she whispered. She closed her eyes as the quakes grew louder. “Goodbye, Tom.”
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