Thursday, January 3, 2013

Man on Mars

ray bradbury; short story; speculative; sci-fi
Man on Mars / Flash Fiction

by AJ Snook

A lot of the tech and science news going on right now is thrilling to say the least. This narrative is fiction, though based in a lot of the scientific and technical endeavors that are going on as we speak. Please click through the hyper-links as you read for informative context.

Ryu Reynaldino Reynolds looks in the direction of a camera on board the SS Armstrong, about to begin a vlog to the people of Earth before becoming the first man to set foot on the red planet of Mars.

“I've been catching up on history a little bit the last few months. Long trip and all,” he said with a chuckle. “And I learned a few interesting things.”

“First, I found out that the day I was born was a pretty interesting day that year. You see, I was born on the winter solstice of 2012. Actually, I was born in the early morning, just after midnight the day after. That first day out of the darkness. That day of hope for our ancestors. The start of a time when things would get gradually easier and more fruitful. A time to rejoice.”

“Second, I laughed when I saw that more than just a few people thought that the world was goingto end based on the predictions of an ancient group of jungle dwelling, albeit smart, star-gazers who were most likely tripping on shrooms half the time. Can't believe it took us so long to finally legalize them, by the way! Shame how we fought against such a no-brainer for so long. Anyway, when the solstice came they thought they were getting the apocalypse, but instead they got little old multicultural me.

“Though in a way, I suppose I did represent a big Earthly change. My parents were from other sides of the world, but they were of a generation that saw value in diversity, instead of weakness. The increase in bi-national marriages helped the world's cultures intersect and collide in such a way that a whole new wave of innovation emerged. I guess I was a part of that so,” he paused and looked intently into the camera as if it were the eyes of someone in particular, “thank you Mom andDad.”

“In a time when factmemorization was still a valued skill, my parents had enough foresight to instill the values of creativity and wonder – wonder for nature, outer-space and the unknown – in me instead of knowledge about who was king in what year, who came up with what theorem, et cetera, et cetera.” Mr. Reynolds takes in a deep breath, his eyes well up with tears, “Thank you Mom and Dad. Thank you for being a part of that new wave of radical ideals.”

“Finally, I learned that although the technology wasn't quite where it needed to be, people desperately wanted to explore new frontiers and discover radically new phenomenon, both on earth and out in the cosmos. That uniquely brave quality of man – the one that turned us from tree-dwellers tonomads to equestrians to navigators of the sea, then of the air then of space – is still a part of our DNA. They were already beginning to, in fact, explore Mars when I was born. And today after I step foot on that red sand, the first fleshy being to ever do so, I will find those first Mars rovers and pat them on the back – along with all of the terraforming machines that came after – and say thanks for leading the way. Wish me luck.”

In a final signature to the pale blue dot he came from he says, “You may not be perfect, but thank you Earth. Indeed, you could have done worse.”

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