Saturday, 27 February 2016


I allowed Dick to fit the headset onto my skull, and the whole ship suddenly came alive. All the monitors and instrument panels lit up and started flashing strange symbols and what I took to be mathematical formulas across their screens…none of which I understood.
“What the hell is happening now?”
“Relax; it’s just the computer interfacing with your brainwaves and getting in tune with them. It’ll only take thirty seconds or so; you’ll find it is well worth the wait.” As he finished speaking, the monitors and instruments stopped flashing gobbledygook on their screens and all displayed a simple-looking phrase. Except no one knew what that phrase meant because it was in Martian.
“Fantastic. I’m sure you are now in control of the flight-control systems. Give it a simple command,” Dick instructed.
“Start engines,” I said tentatively.
Suddenly, an electrical hum started to build up within the ship, and various symbols and readouts started appearing on various monitors in varying colors, but as none of them were colored in red, I wasn’t alarmed.
‘Rise one meter above the deck,’ I thought to myself and the ship lifted off the deck and hovered one meter in the air. OK, cool.
‘Move forward.’ I thought to myself and the ship moved forward across the taxiway until I thought it to stop, which it did and hovered in the centre of the taxiway.
“Retract entry ramp, close and seal outer hull door.” I heard electrical whirring noises and assumed the ship’s computer had complied with my commands when the noises stopped. I also noticed two green lights appear on one of the monitors. I decided to keep my eyes on that monitor.
“Rotate  ninety degrees to port and leave the hangar.” I was getting cocky now.

The ship cruised down the taxiway, and the hangar doors started to open as it approached, until we found ourselves outside the hangar and hovering above the actual surface of Mars. I commanded the ship to rise quickly to an altitude of 220 meters and hover; the Martian landscape before us suddenly dropped away beneath us as we blasted into the sky and resumed hovering. I say blasted, but we didn’t actually feel anything. If I hadn’t watched the landscape drop away I wouldn’t have known we had moved.