In the decades since the first humans set foot upon Mars, many important things had been accomplished. The first habitations, built initially by robotic missions, had been rendered functional. The extraction of water and oxygen from the soil and thin atmosphere had evolved to a livable level of efficiency, and so had the production of bio-engineered foods.
The long term plan for Mars settlement was to eventually begin the terraforming of the planet, to be theoretically accomplished over decades or longer. With the catastrophic events that had taken place on Earth, irreversible changes had been set in motion. The space program had been all but destroyed, and, even with our discovery of at least a limited supply of water on Mars, and the increasing desperation back home, we could not realistically hope for further aid beyond the two remaining ships that were scheduled for launch. The future of our kind was not looking good.
Our girl Oceaxe had suffered a nasty gash and swelling to her forehead, and was being watched over in the medical wing. She had been sedated and was being checked for concussion symptoms. Sasha had been at her side whenever she could. The day after the accident, Oceaxe awoke and seemed fully alert to us. When asked if she could tell us anything about her loss of consciousness, she said she had had an intense vision and had felt that there was a presence who knew about our settlement and wanted to communicate with us. She had not sensed any threat. We were to send a party to the plateau above the “excavation”, about a day’s journey.
In effect, and without prejudice as I say it, we were now taking direction from a sixteen year old.
When she had recuperated fully, we set out with the original group that had made the tunnel discoveries, with our new “leader” in tow. Passing the site of the crater, we still had two hours or more to get to the far uplands of the canyon. We made a stop for equipment adjustments. Oceaxe was visibly excited and showed impatience to get to our goal. About an hour before twilight, we crested the last of the hills.
Partially obscured by blowing sands, and with nothing to gauge our distance from it, we witnessed a phenomenon straight out of folklore and ancient theorists’ visions. A pyramidal structure which, from our vantage point, looked as big as the one at Giza from our distant past. Our young guest was crying, and smiled through her tears.
to be continued…….