Author : Gray Blix
“Whoa, what’s that approaching Mars, a comet breaking apart?” he said as he excitedly examined the images. He realized it would be quite a find for an amateur astronomer — another Shoemaker-Levy 9 magnitude event. But to make sure it wasn’t just hot pixels or other phantom artifacts, he returned to his backyard telescope and took another hundred exposures with a different camera and filter. Satisfied, he submitted coordinates and photos for others to confirm his discovery. But what they confirmed was that the objects streaming toward the red planet were not cometary fragments.
“They are alien spaceships, Mr. President, hundreds of them, a fleet orbiting the planet, and several already on the surface.” NASA’s Administrator offered several photos, “These were taken by our Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. All the ships are outwardly identical, over a mile long and about a third of a mile wide.”
“How far are they from Mars Colony?”
“Thousands of miles. And that may be deliberate. The Colony revealed itself by trying to contact them during their approach. The aliens could have landed near it, or on it, if they’d wanted to.”
It was always a stretch to call the half-buried habitat and the dozen scientists within a “colony.” It was more like an antarctic research station, whose nine surviving staff members were hunkered down against an environment hostile to life.
“Why aren’t they responding to our attempts at communication?”
“They may not communicate by radio or any other means we’re familiar with. Or they may not want to communicate.”
“So, what do you recommend that we do?”
“Nothing. The Colony can ration supplies to last two years. I urge you to put a hold on upcoming Mars missions and ask other nations to do likewise. The aliens are far ahead of us technologically and until we have established communication we should not do anything they might misinterpret as a threat. Meanwhile, we’ll keep an eye on them from our MRO.”
And that’s exactly what the president and his counterparts worldwide did for the next astonishing 16 months. Nothing. Nothing while the aliens somehow gave Mars a magnetic field and a breathable atmosphere. Nothing while they created oceans and fresh water lakes. Nothing while prairies of grass and forests of trees sprouted and grew remarkably fast.
Mars Colony survived the planetary transformation — the aliens apparently having taken pains to protect its inhabitants — and the day finally came when humans first braved the Martian atmosphere without pressure suits and oxygen supplies. Later that day, they transplanted vegetable seedlings to an outside garden and were seen by the MRO sunbathing in the nude.
But the aliens had not traveled across the galaxy to create an eden for nine humans. Scientists had concluded that the fleet was comprised of generation ships transporting lifeforms from their home planet to another suitable for colonization. Thankfully, the planet they chose was Mars, not Earth. It was expected that their ships would soon land en masse and disembark passengers. Mars Colony erected a welcome banner and waited anxiously — only to see the fleet depart shortly thereafter.
From their new position at Sun-Earth Lagrange point L2, the aliens transmitted their first message to Earth. It was to be the only one. Over every radio station, television channel, and internet website on the planet, in the six official languages of the United Nations, the following words were repeated for 24 hours:
WE HAVE PREPARED MARS TO YOUR SPECIFICATIONS. YOU WILL TRANSPORT YOURSELVES AND ANYTHING ELSE YOU REQUIRE FROM EARTH TO MARS. EXACTLY ONE YEAR FROM NOW, WE WILL BEGIN PREPARING EARTH TO OUR SPECIFICATIONS.
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