Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

No one misses prisoners with life sentences. That was the key. Mars was turned into a prison planet.

NASA had set up fledgling terraformed domes on Mars and teleportation technology was a reality. After a life sentence was passed on a criminal for a crime, they were teleported to Mars.

There, it was alleged that they were put to work as slave labour. It was astounding what humans could do once they set their minds to it.

Leroy Pedersen was being escorted to the teleportation chamber by two burly guards. He’d been found guilty of killing three families in upstate New York. His sentence was life imprisonment on Mars. He was walked in chains into the capsule that would scramble his atoms and rearrange them on Mars.

“I’ll find a way back here, bitches.” He said to the guards as they finished strapping him into the sender.

The guards smiled politely and left the room. A scientist came in to operate the machine.

“You got a wife and kids, egghead? I’ll kill them. Just you see. I’ll make friends up there. We’ll hijack a ship and come back. You’re a dead man.” Leroy snarled.

The scientist smiled. “You think so Leroy? You know, I’ve never told anyone this but I worked on the terraforming domes up there. That’s why I’m happy to throw the switch.”

Leroy tilted his head like a dog to listen to the scientist’s words. There was something not quite right about his attitude.

“Here is some top-secret information, Leroy. Decades. That’s how long it will take before a human can breathe unaided on Mars. You know what?”

Leroy stared coldly at the scientist.

“Decades.” He said, staring at Leroy. His smile was gone now. “We do have teleportation technology. What we lied about was how long the terraforming will take. We’re beaming you prisoners to mars but there’s nothing there. We’re thinning the herd.”

He threw the switch and Leroy screamed. The tang of ozone hung in the air and Leroy’s molecules zipped through space to the receiving station on Mars, a receiving station set outside of the domes on the naked surface.

Leroy’s breath crystallized as he collapsed and died, gasping like a fish and bleeding on the red sands. The terraforming robots came out to collect the body.

The one thing Mars needed most for the next few decades was fertilizer.



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