On Board a Crashed Alien Spaceship on Mars

Submitted into Contest #56 in response to: Write a story about two people meeting during unusual circumstances and becoming fast friends.... view prompt


Science Fiction Funny Adventure

Was this a good idea to enter a ship? Though our scans said it was uninhabited, you have to admit anything alien could happen. If anyone knows Data from Star Trek, his help would be greatly appreciated. Our scientist Sarah K. Fei discovered this crashed ship a month ago during an orbital scan. The ship since then has been dubbed “The Fei”. I personally would have preferred her middle name - Karima. The Fei had been permanently lodged on the mountainside. We believe because it’s red circular top matched that of the red clay of the Mars mountain that’s why it took so long for its discovery. Luckily, Sarah had uncovered a clue in the readings during a natural dust storm. I think she’s brilliant. For one major reason, on Mars, a dust storm will coat everything and because of its electrostatic properties, the particles will stick to surfaces they contact, so for her to decipher through that was astounding. Who knows how long the Fei's been here?

On this mission, Lt. Commander Bo Gunner, and I, Captain J.T. Miller wore pressurized spacesuits. We believed we climbed through a shattered window of said ship. Bo flipped a coin, but it accidentally floated outside. I shook my helmet and pointed instead. He went left, while I went right. On Mars, the atmosphere’s thin, less than one percent of the volume of the atmosphere on Earth. A helicopter, for example, achieves lift by deflecting airflow with its rotary blades, but in this brittle environment, what would a ship require to fly? Sarah’s theory was the Fei couldn’t handle the flight and plummeted.



“I think I found some eggs. Rather large size ones. The size of beach balls.”

“What makes you think they’re eggs?”

“Looks like eggs. Speckled, white, oblong.”

“Does it crack like egg?”

“Funny, captain.”

“Noted. Continue.”

The sunlight beamed through the open windows and into the hallways. We stepped lightly on the black tiled flooring. It was extremely quiet. I could hear my own breathing as well as Gunner’s. My thoughts drifted. The place looked ordinary enough. Rubble, dirt, walls with indentations, non-functioning displays, panels, bland doors, flat ceilings. I walked onward.

Suddenly, I heard a scream and jumped.

“Ugh! Bo, you scared me.”

“Well, now we know the ship’s round like a doughnut.”

“Uh, you think.”

“Would like some music?”

“Sure, why not.”

“Patching through.”

I guessed techno beats fitted this venture. I rolled my eyes. With the inner perimeter cleared, we now had to open doors. I was hesitant. What if we found a dead alien? Or better yet, one still alive like in the Sigourney films. This was humankind’s first real evidence aliens exist, and I hoped I didn’t have to meet one to prove it. We returned to the beginning spot of our exploration. I believed there was a door on my route, so we decided to go right together. At the door, we looked for ways to enter.

“Hmmm, I’m not seeing a knob, captain.”

“Me either.”

“Pushing inward doesn’t help.”

“Maybe it’s not a door.”

“I’m not following.”

“We’re on an alien ship. Maybe they don’t use doors.”

“Clearly not ones with knobs.”

“Or maybe this really isn’t a door.”

“It does look like one though.”

“True. Let’s look around for a knob or something you would turn.”

“Good thinking, captain.”

“Don’t say it. I have a feeling you’re going to say it.”

“What? You mean that’s why you get paid the big bucks, captain,” Bo grinned. I could tell he was. I just knew it through his shiny dark helmet.

The music in my head made me feel like dancing, but I strongly urged myself to hold my composure. The Fei was a long circular ship as far as we knew. I pictured myself inside it and wondered where I would install a door. The hallways were the perfect height for us, so maybe the aliens were the same. The sunlight was diminishing. I thought we should leave for another day, then a signal came in.



“Hey Sarah. I’m assume you have news?”

“Yes. I received your video, and I think I know where you should go.”

“That’s great to hear, but it’s getting dark. Let’s try tomorrow.”

“No. I’m too excited. I didn't work on this for two hours straight without lunch just to have you try tomorrow. Can you please just check for me now?”


“Thanks. I’m sending you the screen shot.”


Ugh. My nerves shot up. I shared the picture with Gunner, and we both hunted for it. The possible door was located on the southeast side. When we got there, we just stared. There was a knob of some sort. It looked like a wheel. Very peculiar.


Meanwhile, three of my crewmen worked outside on top of the ship. There was Mike Shantz, the engineer. Julie Ann Hayward and Carl U. Blyth, his assistants. Occasionally, Mike texted me his dreams. They’ve been alien oriented recently. That didn’t surprise me in the least. His latest dream was about an alien attack. An alien had hit him square in the chest. He said he felt the impact and sent a picture of the bruise. It gave me the willies.

“I don’t understand it, sir. Why would there be a letter “M” here?” Julie cleared some of the red debris stuck on the ship.

“Be careful, will ya? I don’t want any of us falling.” Mike peeked at her, while dutifully studying his logs. “Soon, the stars will be out.”

“Which means we should get packing, am I right, boss?” Carl added.

“We still got an hour’s yet. Do what you can.”

Julie kneeled at the westernmost part of the ship. The letter “M” perturbed her. She took out her phone and tried to locate a matching “M” with the same appearance and height. Carl used a wet mop device to soften the dust. Then, he would carefully shovel it into a bag. The process was tedious.

“I could sure use a smoke,” Julie lamented again.

“Omg, Jules. I’ve heard that so many times today,” replied frustrated Carl.

“You just don’t understand.”

“Yes, I do.”

“A lady needs to relax and unwind a little.”

“All I’ve been seeing is red today. Red here. Red there. Red ash. If it’s all the same to you, butt out.”

“There you go again. You men are all alike!” Julie turned to Carl.

“You’re lucky, we’re not back on Earth or I’d…” Carl walked closer.

“You’d what, Carl? What would you do?” Julie stood and faced him.

“I’d. I’d push you so far clear to Tuesday.”

“You mean, like this!” She shoved him hard.

“Noooooooo!” Mike detached from his log device, which floated away. “Julie, what did you do?”

On Earth, Carl would have simply stopped himself, but on Mars, with its light gravity, it’s another story. If you weighed 100 pounds on Earth, you'd weigh only 38 pounds on Mars. So Carl swung wildly. His space boots scraped the top. Red dirt loosened, floated, and scattered. Julie tried to run to him but was blinded. Mike called for assistance. Something caused the ship to rumble. More letters appeared through the chaos. From Mike’s view, reading west to east, the letter “M” glowed blue, then “S,” then “S,” and then a backwards letter “C”. All curved on top of the ship.


Meanwhile, back inside with the first officer. “Well,” I said to Bo. "Here goes nothing.”

I turned the wheel. It was stiff, so Bo helped me. Unbeknownst to us, he had pressed into something on the wall. A rectangular portrait-size light screen turned on above the wheel. On the screen, a box with the words appeared, “Please state your emergency. Your virtual assistant will help you shortly.”

We were dumbfounded. The cursor was blinking. I turned the music off in my helmet.

Bo choked, “Hey, they can speak English.”

“What did you do?”

“I don’t know. Maybe it was you.”

“English on an alien ship. Wonders never cease.”

“Well, it is the most widely spoken language with over…”

“Listen, Bo. We. Are. On. An. Alien. Ship. From who knows where. The first thing that comes to mind isn’t English.”

“What do we say to it?”

“I don’t know. Let’s see. Um.”

I spoke to the assistant. It came out rather choppy. “Hi Virtual Assistant. What emergency do you speak of?”

The cursor started to move. I was witnessing first contact. If only someone was here to video this dramatic moment of anticipation.

Then, it disappeared, and the light screen faded.

“Shoot. We lost it.”

“Captain, you confused it. Lousy programming I'd say. Must be the same back then as todays.”

“Damn it, Bo. How do we get it back on?”

Suddenly, someone popped up behind us. “Who is you and what has you done! Scratch this. You two needs to get out of here on this double!!”

An alarm sounded, and the ship started to rumble. I shrieked. The form was of a female army soldier. I believed she was Russian. She looked every bit as human except for the ears which were pointed on the top and bottom. We followed her as quickly as we were able to in our suits.

“The water pumps has started.” She moved swiftly and continued, “My name is Sargent Red. Amy Red. You is at the water sanitation safety commission. Something is obviously has gone wrong on dee planet.”

Omg. My mind was racing. This wasn’t a ship afterall. First, bummer. Second, water oozed out the foundation. It wasn’t like anything I’ve seen before. If I had to coin a word, I would describe it as water sludge. It pushed, melded, shoved us out the hub. She grabbed a hold of one of the “eggs”.

“What’s that thing?” Bo asked.

“Don’t you know? You works here. You won’t be for longs. I’m sorry. These are buoys, obviously. Grab the others.”

“No. No. We don’t work here.”

“We’re from Earth,” I interjected.

“Earth? I don’t understand.”

“Look, we’re going to have to be friends fast. The short story is this planet has been this way for a very long time.”

“You is a bunch of real lazy workers then.”

Bo turned to me, “She’s not getting it, captain.”

“Don’t I know it.”

As the water literally evacuated us outside, I saw Carl dangled from his tether. And red clouds of dust around Mike and Julie. There must be a story there, but I was headed towards a story of my own in the making. Sargent Red, Bo, and I were on the buoys, while the sludge covered the entire surface. What a wild ride!

August 28, 2020 20:19

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Charles Stucker
18:10 Sep 04, 2020

If anyone knows Data from Star Trek, his help would be greatly appreciated. Personally, I leave off reference to other fictional sources. This is one of the worst because it implies a knowledge of the reader about Data which might make it a legal issue if you wanted to make a sale. red clay of the Mars mountain- martian less than one percent of the volume of the atmosphere on Earth- density or pressure, not volume. It was extremely quiet. - except for the howling Martian wind it will generally be very quiet on Mars because the low...


Bobby Gupta
20:29 Sep 04, 2020

Hey Charles, Wow. You left me a lot of notes. Thank you for them. For right now, I'll leave the Star Trek references in the story, but yes, I'll remove them after I finish. The reference about "...one percent of the volume" I copied word for word from google about the atmosphere. I can change it though. Density does sound better. The story line about Julie concerns me. You thought she was in orbit, so I revised it. Not here in Reedsy but in my document. I have Julie, Carl, and Mike working outside on the top of the ship. I think her...


Charles Stucker
00:22 Sep 05, 2020

Sounds like you almost have a novella or even novel in there. Think about going that route.


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