The First Man Stuck on Mars

Submitted into Contest #8 in response to: Write a story about an adventure in space. ... view prompt

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Science Fiction

One decision can really change it all. The name’s Michael Morrow. The Michael Morrow. I am currently 28 years old, a single dad, and I’m currently working as an astronaut for NASA. I’ve been working with them for a while now. Tomorrow, I have a mission directed to the planet Mars. I’ve done several missions before however, I’ve never been to Mars. It’s going to be new. A brand new environment. A brand new place to explore. I’ve been assigned to report anything at all. Any suspicious behavior, new substances, new organisms, anything. They’ve been working on this mission for a while now, they picked me specifically for the job. I can’t let them down.

Today is the day, I’ve said my goodbyes to my daughter, Madeline, and I’m ready action. I’m always confident about missions like this but for some reason, this mission gave me a funny vibe. Oh well, I can’t change my mind now. This mission is mandatory and required for new scientific discoveries and I need to be the astronaut that is going to be known for this. I need to make everyone proud and I want to be known. Here goes nothing.

 I arrived at work and entered the Vehicle Assembly Building.

“Are you ready Morrow? Today is the day” One of the scientists said in a cheerful and peppy voice.

 I ignored him but I know that I am as ready as I'll ever be.

I shook hands with the builders of the spaceship. Their hands were solid. I have a feeling that they know what they’re doing but for some reason I still feel like something isn’t sitting right in my head. I shook hands with the scientists that are going to use this information for their new discoveries. Their hands also knew what they made and the scientists themselves, knew what they were doing. Still, there was a funny feeling in my stomach that something could go terribly wrong. Can’t let my feelings get in the way of my dreams. I have to focus in my head. There is absolutely no turning back now. From the outside the spaceship looked slim and tough. It seemed like it could withstand so much pressure. This spaceship is the right one for the job. Just like me. There were so many people outside the spaceship, waiting for the spaceship launch. They were all cheering for me. They all knew that I was the one going to do justice to this job. They all knew who I was and what impact I could make for new scientific discoveries. This gave me a feeling that I wanted permanent. This feeling was heroic. I felt like the center of everyone’s attention and I felt so important watching all of them wait for me to find something new in the void that is outer space.

I set foot into the spaceship. Hoping it would also serve justice for this job. The interior of the spaceship was sleek and metallic. The inside had a futuristic theme and was full of panels and lights. There were small compartments everywhere. There was a small sleeping compartment with light grey sheets. The sheets were some sort of smooth and soft material. The bed was vertical and was attached to the walls. The sleeping compartment itself was a tight and secluded area. Alright, I had enough time to explore my new temporary home. It’s time for lift off.

I stepped into the control room and sat down. My mind was set and I was ready. The crowd was cheering louder than ever, screaming my name and counting down. This was it. The day I finally made my mark and become recognized as the cause of something so important. 3, 2, 1, lift off. The rocket started to shake violently. The engine was blasting and the mark of my new beginning starts now. It would take about 2 hours to get from Earth to Mars. There is utterly no turning back now.

28,000 kilometers per hour. That’s how fast this rocket is going. Still, It would take so long to get to Mars. I looked outside of the rocketship and saw pitch black darkness and stars. The stars were glistening and burning at this very moment. Time was moving slower than ever. “Tik tok, tik tok”, said the clock in the corner of the ship. As I was slowly losing my patience, the sound of the clock got louder and louder. There has to be a more efficient way to get to Mars. I knew not to mess with the ship’s controls but desperate times call for desperate measures. I took a look at the control panel and examined for something that would resemble speed. 

“Speed , speed, speed, speed.” I repeated over and over out loud.  Suddenly, I heard something come from my speaker. 

“Do not mess with the speed Morrow, the scientists made it that speed for a reason. If you mess with the speed, we may not be able to get to Mars and the ship’s controls may break down-” I shut down the speaker for now. I just need a little more speed. Just a little. Finally, I found a lever. “SPEED” it shouted, in large black letters. I contemplated pulling the lever.

 “Just a little” I ordered myself. “Just a little” I shifted the lever slightly and we started a little faster. 

“That's a little better, but we could do better”.

I shifted the lever just a little bit more. We started even faster. Unexpectedly, the ship started making an odd sound. More rumbling maybe. Whatever, it must be the engine blasting. BOOM!

What was that? Whatever it was, it was pretty loud. Huh? What just happened. The lights on the control panel started to flash. My heart started to pound out of my chest. I ran to the speaker button.

“Help! The control panel lights are flashing and the engine is making an odd sound! What do I do?”

“Please remain calm Morrow, press the emergency button next to the speed button.”

I glanced over to the speed button and pushed the emergency button. All the lights returned to normal and everything was back to normal. I let out a large sigh and sat down.

“Don’t ever touch the speed lever ever again you idiot.” I told myself. 

A few hours passed and I could finally see Mars coming up soon as a small red dot. Yes! 

“I am coming up close with contact with Mars” I told the mic. I could just imagine all the people applauding for me. 

The spaceship landed and I stepped out of the spaceship in an astronaut suit. The suit was large but fit on me. The helmet was spacious and the only way I could be able to breathe up here. I observed my surroundings and found that Mars was a very red planet. The rock seemed soft but were firm and very solid. On Mars, there were just rocks everywhere. I figured that this wouldn’t be enough to bring back down to Earth. I decided to explore more around this place but not too far so I don’t get lost.

“Woah what was that?” I whispered.

 I thought something had moved behind me. I turned around yet nothing was there. Strange. Better report that to NASA when I get back. I hoped around the red planet, in hopes of trying to find something new. I searched and searched for anything. Just when I was about to give up, I found something odd. Clear, liquidy, water. Water on Mars? I searched more and saw cone shapes from the ground. Volcanoes. Since I’m finally finding things, it wouldn’t hurt to try and explore more right? I hopped around and suddenly tripped. I looked below me and saw that I tripped on what seems to be craters? Not as surprising as water but, I’ll report it anyways.

I had an odd feeling in my stomach all of a sudden. I turned around and found something surprising about 10 feet away from me. It was a green, slim, figure. An alien! There’s life on Mars? Now that is more surprising than the rest. I bounced as fast as I could go back to the spaceship except … I don’t remember where it is! What do I do! I tried to remember where it was and followed my instinct. Ugh, how am I supposed to know where my spaceship is when everywhere on Mars looks the same! I turned around and the green figure was gone. I turn back around and found that the alien was about 3 inches away from my face. It said something but I don’t know what language it is. It sounded like “ging ging gong”

 I screamed but it was muffled by the suit. I turned the other way around ran, or bounced, as fast as I could. My thoughts started occupying more of my consciousness. What is that thing? What did it just say to me? How did it get so close to me? That was terrifying! Suddenly, I looked around, the alien was nowhere to be found, and my spaceship! Yes! I got in and pressed the button to talk to the people back at NASA. I pressed the button again. And again.

“Hello? Is anyone there? Hello?” I yelled into the speaker.

 No one picked up. No one responded and I felt so alone. Some time has passed and I soon realized that the control panel had no lights whatsoever. Nothing was on. Nothing was working. I began to sweat more. What do I do. I tried pressing the emergency button. Nothing happened. What do I do. I’m stuck on Mars.

September 28, 2019 02:23

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1 comment

Steve Alink
18:22 Sep 04, 2020

Thanks for this story Audrey. The future and present and past tense are used in a mixed mode which makes the story a bit odd to read. First you wrote 2 hours traveling time from earth to Mars. Later on it is several hours later. Might have to adjust that. Like to read another story of you in the future.


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