Wednesday, 17 August 2016


this place,” Vladimir stated.
“Indeed we did, especially when we got it all up and running. It swung our estimates of our chances of survival on this planet very much in our favor. As you have seen in the terrarium, our chances are getting better every day. The Martians have left behind a great legacy for us to capitalize on for our survival. If it wasn’t for this place, we would still be struggling and our chances of survival would be touch and go. We now have far more than a fighting chance of making it happen, and we are much more optimistic,” Nick replied.
“So we now have twelve crew members working side by side, shoulder to shoulder, for the good of us all. This will guarantee success, yes?” Grizzly stated.
“I would most definitely say yes,” I interjected.
“Good, it will be done. We can start tomorrow?”
“That’ll be fine, Vladimir. We’ll start by unloading the supplies from the starship and the remotes and storing them in the warehouses on lower level two,” I said.
“And after that’s finished, what do we do then?”
“That’s up to Nick; he has a better idea of what needs to be done than I do. I’ve been away for thirty-two days.”
“Don’t worry, Grizzly; you and your crew will have all the work you want. That’s a promise,” Nick said.
Grizzly looked over at Nick.
“Good; the more the merrier, Nicholas.”
“A few thoughts have occurred to me since I got back,” I said.
“Uh oh, brace yourselves, everybody. Drew’s been thinking again.”
“I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed you, Nick, because I can’t lie. It has occurred to me that three rovers aren’t going to be enough with the addition of our new crew. I think we should take the rovers out of each of the remotes, activate them, and teach the new crew members how to operate them.”
“Well done, Drew. That sounds like a good idea, at least on the face of it.”
“You are a funny bastard, Nick,” I said. To my surprise—and Nick’s—Grizzly came to my defense.
“Really, I don’t see it myself…the funny bit, I mean.”
Nick’s jaw dropped in shock, I started laughing, and Grizzly grinned at me and then Nick.
“Oh, that’s just great! Now I’m outnumbered by your new buddies. Life is so unfair.” Then, in spite of himself, he also laughed. “So what other pearls of wisdom do you have to impart upon us, Drew?”
“Well, while we’re at it, it might be a good idea to move the pressurized rover from the remote and park it permanently in the cargo bay of T-2.
“I would actually be interested to know your thinking behind that one, Drew.”
“Eventually, we’re going to be exploring more of Mars—surveying, mapping, and photographing it. I think T-2 would be the perfect choice for the job, as it is far easier to start, maneuver, and land than the Albatross. When we find places worthy of closer investigation, we can use the pressurized rover to investigate them.”

“Yeah, that is a good idea, Drew. We’ll do that very thing. Once we’ve done all that, we can pretty well forget about the remotes for anything, in the foreseeable future at least. I would be very happy to fly those remotes to the edge of the plain and park them there forever because of their nuclear reactors.”