posted on Jul, 1 2008 @ 10:30 AM
LSWC The first man on Mars.
“Nick please remember, never lose your faith in God” his mother’s words kept playing over and over in his mind. Sometimes he couldn’t
remember her face and that scared him. A sudden jolt tilted the shuttle pod forwards. The computer showed the shuttle had entered the atmosphere of
Mars. Not long now thought Nick “Please God, help me through this” he said in a quiet voice. He remembered his mother when she became ill and the
way she drew strength from her faith. He didn’t understand fully what it meant to her but knowing she had gone to a better place when she passed
over gave him some comfort. The lights on the console in front of him started to flash and a warning alarm began to sound. This is it thought Nick the
moment he had waited for all his life, he was about to land on Mars and be written into the history books. The countdown started 10,9,8,7,6...
Five seconds to impact, his hands gripped the seat as the turbulence rocked his chair and all the equipment around him. Four...three... Christ he
thought as his whole body shook, two.... he clenched his teeth...one.... then there was a slight pause as if everything had stopped. The shuttle pod
hit the surface of Mars with a heavy thud sending up clouds of dust in all directions. Slowly silence filled the cabin. He stared out of the window
looking at the dust blowing in the wind and as he did a voice spoke “Congratulations Viking4, you have successfully landed on Mars. How are you
feeling Nick?” He sat there looking through the porthole window at the red planet, both excited and scared. “Er..Hi, NASA everything is fine, the
landing was ok, all systems checked, I’m switching the camera on” The camera was in his helmet and a visual link to the new world. The video feed
was going to be shown live across the Earth in to every country and every home; everyone would remember where they were on the day we landed on
Jack was in charge of the whole operation and standing in the main control room at NASA watching the pictures coming up on the screen in front of
him. This was his big day too, he watched his father work on this project all his life, he knew how much it meant to him, and still couldn’t believe
it when he handed the project over. They spoke about it on the phone the other night though that wasn’t the reason Jack called. He gave a retirement
party for his father and everyone was there, apart from him. They argued about it and said things that they didn’t really mean; it all got out of
Jack’s father stood in the corner of the room, waiting and watching. He was lurking in the distance wondering why they had asked him to step down
and hand the project over to his son. His life and career was meant for this moment, he gave up everything to be here and yet it was not his day.
History only remembers the people of the moment and not the ones that got us there.
Jack looked at the screen before him, people were rushing around the room, carrying pieces of paper, working on the computers, and generally preparing
themselves. There was a buzz of excitement and everyone was ready “Nick are you ready to step outside” said Jack reading from the script,
everything was planned in detail for this mission even down ready prepared scripts “Hi NASA, I’m making my way to the door” said Nick. He
didn’t have a script and had to remember every word in his head, which only added to his anxiety. He checked his suit as he started to walk to the
“Ok NASA, I’m opening the door now” he said pulling the handle and pushing the door open. A sudden gust of wind rushed into the shuttle pod
pushing him backwards for a second. He looked down and got ready to put his left boot onto the first step, he stepped down. The video signal died.
“What?” cried Jack “I can’t see anything”... “Where’s the picture?”
Nick paused upon hearing the commotion in his earpiece; this is not what he wanted to hear stuck on this planet alone. There was a brief silence which
was interrupted by people shouting it can’t be fixed and then silence again. The long cold pause carried itself through space and time moved very
slowly. “Nick... said Jack breaking the silence... probably best if you carry on, we still have audio” great thought Nick that’s going to be
impressive. He looked down to see where to place his right boot on the Martian soil, he stepped down, his foot pushed into the hard red soil and he
looked up...”This is one small step for man.....he paused.... then nothing.... still nothing.... the silence grew longer, and began to feel awkward,
Jack mouthed the words and one giant step for mankind, why wasn’t he saying it.
“Er...excuse me sir” said a man in the control room, his voice was directed towards Jack, “we’ve lost the live audio link to the media
networks ” this was all going wrong and Jack felt out of his depth, people began to look towards him for answers and support but he didn’t know
what to do.
Jack turned to his father in the corner of the room, looking for guidance and help but his father just looked away. It only took that brief second for
him to see the disappointment in his father’s eyes. He knew he had failed him. As his father turned to leave the room Jack continued to look in his
direction hoping he would look back but he didn’t.
Nick stood staring into the distance on Mars, trying to work out what it was he could see. The wind was getting stronger, causing giant dust storms
that obscured his vision. What was that he thought, it looked like a flashing light, the silence broke.
“Nick, its Jack you can speak feely now we are not live anymore, what’s going on?”
“Jack...I can see a light, a flashing light in the distance...it’s not that far away.” the audio signal started to hiss and break up.
What thought Jack a light, what the hell was he talking about.
“I’m going to walk towards it.” shouted Nick through the crackling signal and with that the audio signal died.
The weather on Mars was disrupting the audio and video links back to Earth. Suddenly the NASA control room came alive with noise, machines started
processing data, people were shouting, telephones ringing, and it was all too much for Jack to take in. He was losing his grip on the situation and
had no idea what to do.