First Martians

From a collection of 100-word stories & wonders

Mars-bound explorers shrug off their fear of death for the honor of being first to set foot on the Red Planet. Image via NASA.

Aboard Ares’ 0.376 g habitat. “We there yet?” asked Kit, dialing “Mountain” on the treadmill beside Mark’s. “Still ninety days out,” said Mark. Kit groaned. “I’m sooo bored. I mean, you can only watch so many chick flicks, eat so much rehydrated mac’n cheese, gaze at so many stars, right?” “Right. But there’s an upside to all this mere existing.” “What?” “The moment we began atmospheric entry things get a lot more interesting, but our odds of dying spike exponentially. Kit slowed, walked, paused… “Still, the opportunity to leave the first footprints, what a way to go.” “Absolutely,” said Mark.

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