The Martian Chronicles
Issue 5, June 2000

The Search Continues
by Brett Cochran


The creature crawled along on its six legs at a slow pace. It had nowhere important to go, it simply was doing what it had evolved to do. Today, however, was no ordinary day. It was not paying much attention to the silver cylinder dropping from the sky, fire shooting from its bottom. The creature looked up and saw the danger and quickly crawled inside its shell that looked almost exactly like a rock. It provided protection from the cylinder that landed a few meters away. Three figures emerged from the cylinder.

“We did it, we are the first humans on Mars,” exclaimed the commander.

“It seems unreal!,” cried the biologist.

“Well I want to start on the objectives now. We only have 6 months here,” said the stern geologist.

The three astronauts got to work immediately. They explored their landing area extensively. They left almost no rock unturned. The months seemed to fly by.

The creature saw with its three eyes the white figures were picking up rocks and taking them away. It feared for its life. It could go for 8 months without food or water, an adaptation to the bizarre and unpredictable Martian weather. It remained motionless.

The three astronauts climbed back into their spaceship, sad that their 6 month search for life came up negative.

“I don’t understand,” shouted the biologist, “this spot was the most likely to have life.”

The commander said, “It is ok. We simply have to keep searching. Many more places to explore on Mars! Each more fascinating than the next! We have to keep searching! Just hope people back on Earth don’t stop the support for missions once they hear the news. There has got to be life somewhere out in the cosmos.”

“There is nothing,” replied the biologist, “absolutely nothing.” He then kicked the first rock he saw. It sailed swiftly through the thin atmosphere.

The creature felt like it had just been kicked and it was now flying through the thin Martian air. When it landed it could see the spaceship was much farther away now. The creature extended its legs out of its shell now that the danger was gone. It was hungry from hibernate so long. As it began to crawl away it saw the cylinder rise into the sky and disappear.