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Pictonaut Challenge: Mars Initiative

1173 Words

One image, one month, one thousand words.


He watched the man calmly sip at the foam bubbling at the top of the glass, then tilt it to swallow a substantial amount of golden liquid.

“Martin, do you know what’s on Mars?” Martin gave him a blank look. “Nothing. Nada. Niks! Do you understand what I’m telling you? Nothing! No beer. None of the peanuts on the table. No chair never-mind chair, no wood!”

“And…” Martin replied slowly and thoughtfully, sarcasm dripping off his almost drunk state like droplets on the tall glass in his hand.

“What do you mean and?” Dustin felt heat rise up the open collar of his work shirt. His top two buttons lay open, tie long discarded, folded shirt up to his elbows resting against the wooden table.

“I’m doing it for the sake of mankind.” Martin said, gazing around the quiet bar as though soaking it up for the last time. A solemn look.

“Mankind doesn’t need to be up on Mars collecting dust man! Surely don’t need you volunteering your life for some crazy expedition gig! Come on!”

“Have you seen the state of this planet? We are running out of land and water, our air is polluted. We need an alternative.”

“So you travel to the far reaches of space where there is nothing in the hopes of growing something…out of nothing? Can you not see the flaw in this logic? Can you not see the stupidity of your actions?” Martin turned his head to face Dustin with a deadly look sure to kill had it been a physical blow.

“Stupidity? We are pioneers!” He banged his glass on the table. No one turned to look at them in the nearly deserted bar. “We are tasked to ensure that humans safely reach Mars, with a habitat for exploration and human settlement within our lifetime! We are space advocates, pushing for space and space exploration to happen. Don’t you dare call it stupidity!” Dustin shut his mouth and slunk back into his chair. He’d known this would be the reaction, however he had to first reason with the man before moving to necessary means.

“So I can’t talk you out of this Mars mission?”

“Not even if your life was in jeopardy.”

“Now that’s cruel.”

“One life for the sake of the many. That’s what a hero would do and that’s what I’ve been called to be, a hero for mankind.”


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