General Fiction posted June 23, 2024


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The Green Menace Of Mars

by jim vecchio


Peoples of Space, it is my fervent prayer you will find and understand this recording. It is of vital importance that you do.

I’ll have to go quickly. Time is ending as Earth knows it.

We were so dead sure we were right. We trusted in science and technology. We wanted to terraform Mars to our specifications to grant Earth a second home if needed, and to use as a stepping stone to the galaxy.

I, more than anyone, wanted to be a part of the undertaking.

Finally, I was, but on the thirty-seconth trip to Mars, when the planet was no more a puzzle left to unravel.

In event the universe remains the same after this, you will note Mars is a planet of many colors. Browns, golds, tans, mainly due to the element we know as oxygen, in rust. Dust kicking into the air grants the planet its former reddish color, though our technology has largely dispersed those dust storms.

That ‘puzzle’ I mentioned, it had only one very small, missing piece.

Mars has a large canyon system, Valles Marineris, much of it 3,000 miles long and 200 miles wide. If you cannot comprehend our system of measurement, that is a very far, very wide canyon.

Only one small part of it hadn’t been explored, a portion known as “Golgotha”, named so by a NASA technician with clerical training. He felt, once this spot was explored, “It is finished”.

We exited our ship and entered the rover several hundred miles away, as the area is pock mocked with rocks and boulders and there are several open craters, requiring pinpoint navigation skill.

We didn’t count on our rover breaking down three-quarters of the way.

It was treacherous, fighting our way through the rugged landscape; a task made all the more challenging when we found the thermal features of our spacesuits malfunctioning after several miles.

We reached our destination by the skin of our teeth, and with throats so dry and parched. The cooling and water features of our suits had run out a long time back.

Suddenly, being in an untraveled area on Mars did not hold the excitement it once did.

Still, we felt we would make it out of this situation through pure pluck and technology.

An immense, jagged rocky outcropping seemed to stretch all the way to the horizon.

We decided to follow it all the way, even if we had to crawl and cough our lungs out to do it.

After what seemed an eternity, we reached its end and painfully crossed to the other side.

There are many mysteries in this solar system, but none as eerie or welcome as this:

A small patch of green, in the midst of the Martian terrain.

In that patch: several large, green melons.

Balicek could resist the dryness and heat no longer. He tore out his knife, ran over, and plunged it into a plump melon.

I tried to warn him. There is the Tharsis/Alba Directive, never to destroy any living thing on any outside world. Who knows what strange forms humanity might take on these strange worlds?

But, it was too late, he already was sucking sweet liquid from the melon.

Even more incredible, a voice, a human voice called out to us from the distance.

It shouted, “Stop! Stop!”

The figure appeared. He was an average-looking man. His face reminded me of someone I might have known from the distant past.

I felt we should have been friends. Instead, his ire was against us.

“Do you know what you’ve done?” he cried. “I’ve been tending these melons for millennia.”

“We thirst,” I said, “We need quenching.”

“Thirst? Thirst? Is that what you’ve sacrificed everything for? Simple thirst?”

“It was just one melon. We’ll help you grow more. We’ll grow hundreds if you like, thousands. Just who are you, anyhow?”

“Don’t you know me? Don’t you recognize me? I’m Adam.”

“Adam? Adam who?”

“Adam! The man God breathed out of dust.”

“Isn’t that just a fairy tale?”

“You’ll soon see it’s not a fable, when earth burns up.”

“Earth? I don’t get it?”

“When God created me, my job was to cultivate the Garden. When I fell into sin, God forgave me and gave me this job.”

“I still don’t understand.”

“When Sin almost destroyed Man, God poured out a Great Flood. When He repented, He promised never to destroy earth by water again.”

“What has that…story…got to do with the melons?”

“To assure He would never go back on His word, God assigned me the task of cultivating these melons. Each one of them contains a special cellular code that controls the water levels on each world in this system, as God desires it. When that code is broken by man, water will disappear from that world and be replaced by fire.”

“And the melon Balicek ate?”

“It was the melon signifying the planet Earth.”

As the fires erupt on the planet Earth, we are dying in this Garden of Mars.

Our technology, our skill, could not save us.

We should, instead, have searched for God.




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