Thursday, 11 February 2016


We selected the provisions and water containers from Albatross’s hold, loaded them into a buggy, and drove over to the shipwreck to unload into the airlock. When we had finished and Dick had squeezed into the airlock enough for the outer hatch to slide closed, I jumped into the buggy and drove back to the Albatross. I parked in the cargo hold, battened down the buggy, closed and sealed the hold, and headed up to the flight deck. Once the flight-control systems were switched on, I lit the engines to warm up for a bit before firing the landing thrusters to launch the ship into the sky; then I gave the main thrusters a healthy dose of gas, sending the ship blazing through the Martian skies back to the city. When I was fifteen minutes out from the city, I radioed ahead to let them know of my imminent arrival. Nick took the call.
“Roger that. I’ll open the hangar door for you.”
“Simon that. Over and out.”
“Shut up, Drew. Out.”
As Albatross floated across the plain on final approach to the city, I was a little surprised to see that Nick had actually opened the hangar doors ready to receive me. After setting the ship down gently on the hangar deck and shutting down all the flight systems, I grabbed my carryall from my cabin on the way to the cargo hold, left the ship, and headed over to the Terminal Café.
As I entered the café and dumped my bag on the deck on my way to get a coffee, I noticed that the rest of the crew was there to greet me. They looked at me as I reached the coffee machine and glanced at the door through which I had just entered; then they looked back at me. “You seem to have forgotten to bring Dick and Courtney back with you,” said Nick.
I spun around and looked at the door I had just entered through.
“Oh, crap! I thought I heard a lot of thumping on the outside of the hull as I lifted off!”
“You’re a dork, Drew!” said Nick.
“Pot, meet kettle,” said I.

“Shut up, both of you!” said Mel. “Drew, what have you done with them?”

Visit Reach for to read more as well as the first chapter of the sequel :'We are Martian.'