Author : Francesco Navarro

The air scrubbers were failing. Generators were running at less than fifteen percent. Only one large bio dome and four of the sixty life support shelters remained of the mission complex.

Father Nandres died a week ago and there was no one left who could operate a harvester or any of the larger terraforming machines.

This field was the only one remaining and it was slowly dying.

Still, there were twenty six other souls whose bodies needed the nourishment the field could provide. Most of the survivors were acolytes with only a class three technical training, just like him.

There were no clouds anymore. Only a baleful yellow sun glared down at him from a fiery orange sky. The seminary had not prepared him for the magnitude of the impossible.

The recirculated air in the containment suit was stale and dry. Thick gloves made pulling up the low tubers clumsy. The words of a four thousand year old prayer formed on his parched lips as he worked.

”Teach me to be generous,

Teach me to serve you as I should,

To give and not to count the cost,

To fight and not to heed the wounds,

To toil and not to seek for rest,

To labor and ask not for reward,

Save that of knowing that I do your most holy will…”

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