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By Robin Parrish

The go back of NASA's first manned challenge to Mars used to be imagined to be a momentous day. but if the team loses contact with floor keep an eye on earlier than access, issues glance bleak. secure after a treacherous touchdown, the staff emerges to find the unthinkable--every guy, girl, baby, and animal has vanished with no hint. by myself now on their domestic planet, the group units out to find the place all people has gone--and the best way to get them back--only to find they won't be as on my own as they notion.

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We’ve misplaced touch with Houston! ” Chris bolted for the command module as quickly as he may possibly, Trisha correct at the back of together with her workout towel draped round her neck. “What occurred? ” he stated earlier than he used to be absolutely within the cockpit. “Ground Control’s damaged contact,” Owen acknowledged frivolously as though not anything have been incorrect. Owen Beechum, challenge professional at the workforce, infrequently flinched. That used to be much less real of the crew’s command module pilot, Terry Kessler, who paced the tiny five-by-five area in the back of the cabin like a caged cat. Chris driven prior Terry and took his seat on the nostril of the send, analyzing his console. “We’re nonetheless receiving telemetry. ” “Telemetry, yeah,” Terry spoke back, nonetheless pacing, “but nobody’s speaking. ” Trisha joined Chris in her established seat beside his. At his nod she leaned ahead. “Houston, this is often Ares, reply please,” she acknowledged together with her finger on a regulate marked VOX. It was once like a speakerphone for the command module, transmitting every little thing they stated again to Houston. Her tone used to be all company. No reaction. “This is god of battle calling Mount Olympus. Do you learn? ” Chris referred to as. The Greek mythology references have been a simple behavior they’d fallen into below a month into the venture. a protracted second of silence handed because the 4 of them listened and waited for a reaction that by no means got here. Even Terry stopped pacing, crossing his hands anxiously. “What concerning the ISS? ” prompt Trisha, relating the foreign house Station. “Nothing. ” Owen shook his head. “No transmissions of any type are coming from the station. ” Chris seemed out on the stars yet stuck his personal mirrored image within the glass. He may see the others: Trisha sitting subsequent to him, Owen at the back of her, and Terry pacing back within the again. Chris appeared previous the mirrored image, a ways into the deepness of house, puzzling over concerning the conversation breakdown. was once it the send? whatever at the flooring? “Try Tranquility,” he stated softly. Owen’s eyebrows shot up, yet then he speedy nodded, conceding it used to be worthy a shot. notwithstanding the Ares had no verified technique for contacting Tranquility Base without delay, Owen used to be greater than in a position to operating round such barriers. Tranquility Base was once the first—and up to now only—permanent base at the floor of the moon. It resided within the Sea of Tranquility, a similar web site the place Armstrong and Aldrin had first walked at the moon in 1969, and were named in honor of Armstrong’s well-known statement while their tiny craft landed there. a couple of moments of arms brushing frivolously over keys and Owen nodded at Trisha that he used to be prepared. “Tranquility Base, this is often Ares. Tranquility Base, Ares,” Trisha stated into the microphone. “Do you replica? ” The silence of static back from the tiny speaker above the microphone. Trisha attempted back, repeating her hail, yet no answer got here. “Systems diagnostic,” Chris stated robotically to Owen. “Already performed. through the numbers, all of the way,” he spoke back. Chris glanced at Trisha and she or he appeared again. a complete dialog handed among them in one glance. Terry and Owen acknowledged not anything, ready, and their silence lingered within the air besides an unstated query.

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