posted on Sep, 2 2014 @ 07:55 PM
A Green Planet
August 20, 2032
(AP) The European Space Agency, in conjunction with NASA has joined forces to finally make a manned mission to the Red Planet, Mars. (Source NASA
Press Relations Package, August 20th, 2032)
July 13, 2036
(AP) Local authorities are on high alert after a terrorist attempt was made at the launch site of the joint manned mission. The group, called Green
Faust, claimed that travel anywhere would pollute other planets similar to Earth.
November 3, 2037
The mission started without a single flaw. Two previous launches filled with automated systems had successfully landed at the North Pole of Mars and
the automated life-support systems were working perfectly. The gardens, the plants mining water, were all working well and as advertised. The
capsule containing the crew was unique in space exploration. It contained 10 women. The capsule also contained thousands of fertilized eggs ready
for implantation, making a ready-made crew and population for the site which was planned to be a long-term multi-generational project. While
suspended animation was still something only found in science fiction novels, the long-term sleep treatments were working well and the crew, just 3
weeks out from Mars, were coming awake and getting ready for their mission to start.
November 5, 2037
Captain Jessica Miko was getting settled and was busy downloading all the messages that were waiting for them. Oddly, there was no current
communications with Earth at the moment, but there was no real concern. Diagnostics were being used to check the antennae and to determine where the
problem might lie. The last transmission was July 7, 2037 at 0030 GMT.
While waiting for the crew to report back with their findings, she decided to start at the beginning and run through all the messages from start to
the last one.
The first message was just 24 hours after the crew started their long sleep. It was a routine report from Mission Control. It ended with snippets of
news items from around the globe. Apparently, Green Faust, was busy with their claims that the mission was going to infect other planets and destroy
the solar system. Their claims had been getting extreme even prior to the launch, security had been extreme. But even the claims then paled with
what they were threatening now. They stated that unless the ship turned around (not very likely!) they would unleash a virus that would restore the
planet to its state before the arrival of mankind.
The next message was date stamped 72 hours later. All systems were nominal, and nothing to report. Flooding in parts of Europe were going to hurt
agricultural output but even that was being reported as something that wasn’t going to cause major concern, not with the global markets running at
an all-time high and no major wars anywhere on the globe. Peace had finally come to planet Earth and the population was taking full benefit from
The next few messages were all routine. Nothing new to report, nothing wrong with their telemetry, nothing wrong anywhere. The system, the planet,
the ship; all were functioning at nominal conditions.
It was the messages that came later that were disturbing. Apparently Green Faust was still at it. They claimed that they had released an engineered
prion that would return the Earth back to where it belonged. Earth scientists could find no evidence of this but were concerned with outbreaks of
low-grade flu-like symptoms around the globe. These outbreaks followed no pattern that would normally occur with seasonal flus.
The next few messages were more of the same. While the system was fine, it seemed that Earth was suffering from an odd type of flu. No deaths were
reported from this, but the symptoms were odd.
Green Faust had stopped any and all communications.
Captain Miko paused the recording.
She notified the ship crew (they were all doctors) and together sat in the main lounge to view the remaining recordings.
It was the symptoms of the flu that were baffling scientists. None of the symptoms damaged any patient vitals, but they were seeing a cellular change
at a genetic level. The first true patient was the first to fall and terrify the entire planet.
His name was Janick Breslov. He had been a power-plant operator in Poland. After weeks of feeling poorly, Janick decided to take a walk in a park by
his home. Halfway through his walk he thought to lie down and enjoy the sun for a while. While he was supine in the soft grass, tiny shoots emerged
painlessly from his body and sank into the soft soil. In a matter of minutes, Janick was a part of the planet in a way that no-one had ever been
before. His circulatory system, his nervous system was linked to the soil in the park. Any and every attempt to get him free caused extreme agony
and convulsions. It was determined that a research tent be erected at the park so studies could be conducted in situ.
But it was too late. Even some of the researchers and technicians who were studying Janick fell the same way he did. It was just a few cases that
soon became a world-wide event. There was no pain, there wasn’t even any death, as far as the remaining scientists could tell. It was just a
change in mental states and a deep physiological change that was dropping people like flies.
The last, the final transmission from Mission Control was from a single tech. He was stating that he was the last, and that he was going to go
outside, find a nice patch of lawn and take a nap. He wanted to wish the crew well. The camera remained rolling as he stood up, and walked slowly
towards the exit that would take him outside.
The ten women looked at each other in stunned silence. The horror that they had just witnessed was sinking in. They were the last of mankind. They
were the last hope of mankind.
It was time to get to work.