CH. 17 «Marsquake»



I woke up today at about the same time as everyone living in the Western hemisphere of Mars

At approximately 11:42 AM a tremor developed on the Olympus side of a fault running all the way from Novus Angelicas to Noctus Labyrinthus. Its epicenter lay just east of the city in the suburb of Titon and seismographs finally estimated the magnitude of the disturbance to be 5.4–a fair size.

At the time I was passed out on the floor of my friend Gerund’s unit in Costa Mensa. Still wearing my clothes from the night before and reeking of alcohol, I was resting quite well, all things considered. suddenly I was jostled from my dreams of rockets and music to a building commotion about the unit. The next thing I could tell the very foundation of the homeunit began to wobble. It wasn’t a rattle, a shake or a rumble, it was as if the rigidity of the structure had given way to the form of a gelatin mold. The semi-solid floor rippled beneath me as I rolled over and lay on my back, I had no conditioning to find cover or panic in this moment, I’ve never experienced anything like this before in my life.

And as quickly as it came, it was gone, leaving echoes of its roar as it trailed off, little reverberations slowly winding down like a spinning coin. Gerund looked up from his bed, no more disheveled than normal, and asked if I was alright, to which I just nodded with a grin. I let out a sigh as I rolled back over and enjoyed the moment after the rush, loving every beat of my excited heart and short breath I took as they slowed to their normal paces.

My first Marsquake, or rather the first one I’ve been conscious to experience. I’ve been told by a few people there have been ones small enough for me to sleep through, but I never believed them; quakes are monumental. Earth’s core was far too stable, and tectonic movements too minute to cause such tumultuous incidents, the biggest thing I ever had to worry about there was a tropical storm, maybe a hurricane, just hazardous weather. Not like here at all, here where even the planet is against its people in it’s sick alliance with the atmosphere and the sun to return to the surface to a quiet, serene, crispier landscape again. I think I get why every Martian lives with a certain fear blinking in the back of their minds, knowing easily that today or tomorrow could bring The Big One.

I really don’t expect to be living on Mars by the time it comes to that, though, so I’m not gonna start worrying


PREV: CH. 16 «Interplanetary Cuisine»

PREV: CH. 16 «Interplanetary Cuisine»

NEXT: CH. 18 «Smoking Indoors»

NEXT: CH. 18 «Smoking Indoors»


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