Science Fiction Adventure Speculative

Personal Log: May 1, 2198 (Martian Day 15)

No eye has seen what I have seen. Robots have, but real, human eyes have not taken in this planet. No ears have heard. Nobody has touched this surface, until now.

The Martian year runs longer than an Earth year. We discussed developing a Martian calendar when we came out of stasis, but everything was based on Earth time. It didn’t seem right to base Terran's time on a new world. We decided to see how time passes on Mars before undertaking that. Perhaps scientists and engineers aren’t the best ones for that job. Our job is to bring humanity to this new world. Building it belongs to those who come after.

It seems fitting to save the day-to-day aspects of established life in this new place. No longer is this a realm confined to robots and recordings. We made it, granted nearly two hundred years after anticipated. Recordings don’t do it justice. It’s like looking at one of the wonders of Earth. The Grand Canyon comes to mind when gazing at this red landscape. You can take all of the pictures you want, but will never get that shot to capture the essence of an alien landscape.

Or to hear it. I never heard silence like this. Again, the recordings don’t do it justice. I remember gasping at those probe recordings of the wind blowing across a pure planet. No people. No animals. No footsteps or motors running or noise. Just the land, silent and pure, under the wind and weather of pure creation.

It’s a shame we can’t explore it with our other senses. Our bodies aren’t compatible with this world, so we confine ourselves to spacesuits that lockout smell, taste, and touch. Oh, how I wonder what the smell of that red dust is. Rusty? Dusty? All I can imagine is Earth-based, so I know it’s wrong. This isn’t Earth. It’s something else.

Mars is something you have to experience. Words can’t describe the wonder I – the wonder we – feel in this place untouched by human hands. Until now. Pictures and recordings can’t capture it. Neither can samples substitute for the experience of actually being on a planet not our own. It’s a marvel to behold, and a miracle to be trusted to make it our own.

Personal Log: May 16, 2198 (Martian Day 30)

The work of creation is massive! I couldn’t imagine how a place could consume you until I was tasked with exploring and creating a place for humanity to branch out into the solar system. I’m glad the Space Authority team selected Amazonis Planitia as the first site. We can see the marvel of Olympus Mons nearby. I can’t wait to take our first hike on the tallest peak in the solar system, but that must wait. There’s another team on the way, and we have a settlement to complete, research to do, structures and habitats to build, and probes to clean up.

I love being a geologist, but part of me wishes I were on the probe clean-up team. We have a group of engineers traveling around the planet on ships and rovers to gather the probes that have been sent to explore the planet over the years. We want to see if more data can be retrieved from them before breaking them down to recycle for structures. It’s about survival now, but soon we’ll have communities here. Eventually, we’ll build towns in this red world. Lights will glow from the surface, a universal sign that humanity has broken free of Earth and is stepping out into the solar system.

I wonder what theme we’ll use? A southwestern theme seems suitable for the day when the red dust glows in the distant sun, but nights turn a pinkish blue as the sun sets that I’ve never seen before. We’ve taken several pictures but, as with the other images from this planet, can’t capture it. It’s as if there’s a barrier between us and this world that we have yet to break.

I wonder if early humans felt this way, roaming the early Earth. To explore the blue sky and green trees, to breathe the air and feel the sun on them. It must have been Paradise. It’s too bad we can’t fully feel this planet and have the full experience of creation. It takes time. We’ll set up the habitats, bring more people, and eventually terraform. Until then, we’ll take this place to the best of our ability.

Personal Log: June 2, 2198 (Martian Day 47)

The silence is deafening in the forty-minute “dead zone” of time on this planet. Of course, it isn’t a dead zone. I call it that because the Martian Day doesn’t fully align with Earth days. So we sleep, trying to ignore that we now live in a place where time passes differently. Everything is different. It seems slight, but the schism between this place and Earth is widening. the red beauty of this sphere is deceptive. There’s nothing here. No footprints but our own. No animals or creatures other than us. No sound, save the strange wind beating against the habitat. No clouds in the sky, or rain falling to quench the parched surface. No heat to warm our bodies or souls. It’s so cold. How are we supposed to evolve to a world that exists in a different reality than ours?

Perhaps that’s the problem. We are of Earth, but we are no longer on Earth. This is our home now., a place that was not designed for us. We can’t go back. I’ll never see anything green again. I’ll never breathe free air or feel the rain on me. No sweat will break out on my skin. I’m trapped, tasked with creating a reality that I wasn’t created for. How am I supposed to make this dead ground spring forth to life? To sustain us? To feed us and nourish us when it wasn’t created for life at all? What is this place? Why did we come here?

I need to get out more, and not just dig holes and gather samples. I need to see more of this place, to hear it, to touch it, to smell it, to feel it.

Martian Day 55

They sent me to the infirmary. The doctor thinks I had an anxiety attack on the expedition today. I told him that wasn’t true. The beauty of Mars just took my breath away.

They say it’s summer back home. It is? I can’t tell what it is here. I’m growing accustomed to the passing of the days, but longer stretches elude me. How do you define a month with two moons glowing in the sky? How do you mark significant passages of time with no holidays or events to serve as keystones to the circle of time? It’s not likely that I will feel the rotation of this place confined to a space suit. How does the air feel? How warm is that more distant sun? Is it more merciful than our summers, or less helpful like a winter day, only providing illumination in a cold world? How does that wind feel on the skin? What aroma does this place have?

I thought it was dead, but I was wrong. It’s not dead; it just exists on a different plane than we do. Perhaps habitats and terraforming aren’t the answer. Perhaps we’re the ones who need to change. We don’t need to conform this world to humanity. We need to align with this new creation.

We’ve started the process. We made it here, and we’re settling. It’s just a matter of time and evolution.

Martian Day 67

I am confined to quarters. They disciplined me because I touched the Martian core samples with my bare hands. Contamination, they screamed! Where was my protective covering? We can’t taint the native landscape? And what if I’m tainted? Now I’m in quarantine while they monitor me, to ensure no further contamination.

That’s silly. We already have, just by being here. We started tainting this world over a century ago when we sent our probes to dig this pristine surface and further contaminated it with our presence. Now we’ve built a habitat. How is that natural? Besides, isn’t the purpose for humanity to colonize here? That’s our mission statement. How are we supposed to colonize a planet where we aren’t allowed to touch it? Just look at what we’ve done to Earth. Do they think Mars won’t change because we’re here? Of course, it will, and we’ll change for being here!

They don’t see it that way. Leaders lack true vision. They claim to know more and see more, but the truth is that they’re too confined by risk aversion to bring inventive visions into reality. Everybody knows the true brains behind the operation are at the bottom and middle of the totem pole. Leaders are elected, or promoted, based on connections. Creativity is born from the inspiration of reality.

But they make the rules, so I’m sick. That’s what they think. They don’t realize the true problem is that we’re trying to make another Earth, while Mars is trying to make another us.

I still wonder how they plan to colonize without disturbing the landscape. And isn’t terraforming the ultimate disturbance? But they say that is not my job or concern.

What do I know? I’m just the geologist they sent to remake this world.

Martian Day 67

Red skies bleed on me. There are no clouds, no trees, no rain falling on us, only the air that circles the deception of death on this red rock.  I know the barrenness is a deception. I cannot see the truth of this planet because I have not been fully aligned with it yet. I almost was, when I touched that sample. I felt the essence of this world pass into me, transforming me into something new.

Mars is not dead. It is alive with something different that we cannot see. We can only feel it, and that’s only possible when we free ourselves from the bondage of our humanity. That chains us to Earth, millions of miles away. But we are not there anymore, and will never go back. We must align with our reality, and reality is this: opening our eyes to new creation.

Mars is not death. Leaving Earth was death, at least to the existence we know. We must shed this old form to embrace life as it exists here.

The wind swirls dust around my form, aligning me to this realm. Behold, I am doing a new thing! This world is mine. Others do not understand it because Mars has not accepted them. They still wear their Earth filters, blind to the essence of this place outside of all we know. I took mine off. I touched the planet, and it accepted my sacrifice.

Mars is not dead. It exists in a different reality, and we must align ourselves to see the magnificence of this sphere. This planet cannot be changed. We must change. We must enter a new reality.

The mountain calls to me. It looms in the distance, beckoning me to come and behold its secrets. I am the first. More will come, but I have to get there first before it’s tainted by the curse of humanity.

Time is running out. I must get there before the next team comes. I must free myself, from these quarters, from this habitat, from this place.

Martian Day 80

I am back in the dead zone, but I am not dead. The others are, asleep in their bunks, blissfully unaware of the world they’re trying to destroy. They are chained to Earth, trying to ensnare this planet in the same bondage. I cannot allow that. I must save it, and now is the time. The next team arrives in four days. I will go.

I want to feel this place.  I want to be an evolution of a new reality and plane of existence. I will align with Mar’s essence and embrace the freedom of this new life. I am the Eve of evolution. I will be the first Martian.

The mountain calls, and I answer. The door is open as others sleep, dead in their dreams of one world they abandoned and another world they cannot touch.

I hope this journal finds others who understand. I will not die. Nobody does. They just passed on to a new life, and I have found another way. There is truth beyond our humanity, and I have found it.

Align with life.

Follow me.

April 22, 2024 13:50

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Solmarie Lopez
00:18 May 04, 2024

Hi. I genuinely enjoyed this read. I couldn't find anywhere else to contact you so I'm doing it from here. I would love to narrate your story in my Spotify podcast and crediting you. It would be a wonderful way for me to practice my narrating skills. I was just wondering if you would give me permission to do so. Thank you.


Sherri Moorer
21:52 May 04, 2024

Good afternoon! I'm glad you enjoyed the story. Yes absolutely, I'd be honored if you narrated it for your Spotify podcast. Thanks!


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Emerald Lace
00:10 May 03, 2024

Lovely. Enjoyed the story from start to finish.


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Darvico Ulmeli
17:14 May 02, 2024

Excellent use of imagination. Hooked me from the start. Beautiful descriptions. Liked.


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15:33 May 02, 2024

Brilliant approach to the prompt. Your descriptions had me enraptured, it's like I was there with your character. Well done!


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Laurie Spellman
00:39 May 02, 2024

Interesting story, it reminds me of the movie The Martian.


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