CH. 15 «Here on Mars»

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I parked my red dust-covered crawler on top of Fender’s tallest hill. The same red dust coated everything as far as I could see. All the units and the streets and palm trees. It hung in the air and cast rusty lighting through the haze of a windless afternoon. The view wasn’t as uplifting as I’d hoped.

This morning when I woke up I just didn’t feel right. Maybe I had been eating better when I’d been visiting my parents, or it could be rocket-lag interfering with my sleep cycle…I couldn’t put my finger on what was off. I figured a decent meal might help, so I treated myself to my favorite drive-thru and took a drive to clear my mind. Two near-accidents with unaware Martian drivers later, I realized it would be more calming to get off the freeway and land somewhere.

I took the next exit, bared right into the first neighborhood and found myself ascending a mountain in moments. It seemed like a decent place to meditate, so I parked it where the road ended. It was barren, I was alone with my thoughts. But I didn’t feel any better now, looking down at my home below over a questionable fast food hamburger. I had to sigh before taking another bite, but it wasn’t even the greasy meat patty that had made me lose my appetite. I could watch all at the activity occurring at Fender Municipal Spaceport. Seeing all the spaceships is invoking my longing to ever be on the move. I only just got home but already I’m sick of the stagnation. I want to stay fluid.

They’re small ships, the largest an interplanetary at the best, though. I’m pretty sure thats an Helen-class down there, that probably means some dignitary came down last night. I passively ponder high-jacking a rocket and seeing how far I can get. I’m sure if I could get to Callisto I’d find a way out of the Sol System all together, the trick would just be getting myself through the asteroid belt. Or even just out of Mars orbit for that matter, I’ve never piloted anything larger than a surface skimmer or a work-skiff, and never flawlessly. If I’m sure of anything though, they give me a leg up on maneuvering a bulky rocket, but theres still too many things I’d have to know how to do, things I should bother to learn about before taking off. Like landing.

I could always snag myself a shuttle and just hop over to ISP Olympus, stow myself away on a freighter or transport heading to Saturn, find away to the old routes and hitchhike my way off Pluto. Always? Thats hardly plausible at all. I sighed and threw my half eaten burger into my bag, took a dissatisfied swig of soda from a straw and started my crawler. I lit a Martian Spirit and put the Fender Municipal behind me.

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PREV: CH. 14 «Still Stuck on Mars»

PREV: CH. 14 «Still Stuck on Mars»

NEXT: CH. 16 «Interplanetary Cuisine»

NEXT: CH. 16 «Interplanetary Cuisine»


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