Monday, 29 February 2016


keyed the transmit button.
“Vladimir, this is Drew on board the Albatross. Come back. Over.”
I waited impatiently for a reply, but fortunately I did not have to wait long. “Hello, Drew, this is Vladimir. So what is all the mystery about? Over.”
“I have discussed it with the rest of the crew, and we are all in agreement. You guys better pack your bags and any supplies you might want to bring with you, because we are coming to get you. Over.”
“You are on Mars. You are millions of kilometers away. You cannot endanger your entire crew to rescue the six of us; we may all be dead by the time you get here. It would be foolhardy to even try, but thanks for the thought anyway. Over.”
“Listen to me, my Russian comrade. There will only be two of us on the journey. The rest of our crew have very good accommodations on Mars, so they will be staying behind. Yes, we are millions of kilometers from you—hundreds of millions actually—but it doesn’t matter a damn, because we have a few tricks up our sleeves. First is the fact that you and Earth are coming up behind us at a great speed; in fact, you have closed the distance between us by more than 5,400 kilometers during this conversation. We initially calculated that if we launched from Mars in the Albatross in two days time, we would arrive in Earth orbit with you in two months, but we won’t be doing that now. Which brings me to our second trick: we have found a few alien spacecraft parked here on Mars and have learned how to fly them, so we will be coming to pick you up in one of those. They are far more powerful, faster, and maneuverable than the Albatross, or indeed any humanmade ship I have ever piloted, so we could be in orbit with you around Earth in as little as a month to pick you up. Over.”
“I cannot believe it! You have found alien spacecraft and are going to use them to rescue us and take us to Mars? It sounds like one of your British or American science fiction stories. Is this fiction? Over.”
“No mate, it’s science, as unbelievable as it may sound. You won’t believe what we’ve found here. It would take too long to describe it, and you wouldn’t believe most of it, anyway. You can see for yourself instead within a couple of months. I have to go now; there is a lot to be done before we launch, and I’d better go do it. We are looking forward to meeting you all in person. I will call you when we have launched; please

keep this channel open. See you soon. Over and out.”