World of Fiction

A serial format to new stories written only waiting to be published!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Mission From Mars-The Tape

The video phone chimed a little tune in Richard Mentor’s office. He pressed the speak button. Williams came on the screen. “It looks like there is a problem.”

Mentor could feel the veins in his skull contracting. “Problem with the money?”

“No,” replied Williams. “A story emerged in the Chronicle about some tape talking about the last message from Earth.”

Mentor’s eyebrows went up. This was interesting. “I’ll look into it. Just make sure no one tries any stunts with pulling my funds. I will do damage control from this end if this story pans out.” Mentor pressed the end button and went to the Chronicle’s webpage. He was a little surprised that an article of that magnitude wasn’t the lead story. There was a link to it towards the bottom of the page.

Skimming over the story, most of the information in the article was fluff. Spiro Agnew Wilson was a
little known Founder. He worked behind the scenes in the early days of the colony. All of this information would have been a nice little biography piece in any other scenario. Finally he reached the paragraph that mattered.

“While working at Industrial Sciences, Mr. Wilson discovered a rare tape containing the last message sent from Earth to Mars. In giving details on the contents of the tape, Wilson said that the reason for why Earth stopped contacting Mars was due to a World War and a biological disease unleashed on the planet. After watching this tape, Wilson made the decision to spend the rest of his life to watch for any signs of Martians going back to Earth and warn citizens of his home planet not to venture out to a world that might not exist anymore.”

Mentor leaned back in his chair. Overall, the story did not look too bad from his point of view. All he needed to do was say in a statement that this story was nothing more than the ramblings of an old man and the reporter, Christina Long, was just caught up with the idea of getting a scoop. There was nothing wrong with getting excited over a story, but he believed Miss Long needed to do some more research on the story.

However, he would need to look for the tape. Leaving his office, Mentor went down to the catacomb vault and entered the massive chamber. Taking a flashlight with him, Mentor started to walk around through the aisles and checking through the things in the vault. Most of the boxes were filled with what he thought was junk. There were some tapes in a box towards the back of the vault. Mentor picked them up and placed them on the outside of the vault. He went back in and continued searching for more tapes.

Mentor was not a stupid man. It was highly unlikely the tape he wanted would be found in a box full of them. No, this was something Wilson would have tried to place in a location that most people would overlook. Searching through the different shelves, Mentor found a few different things he never thought he would find. There were old issues of magazines from Earth, including Sports Illustrated covering the story of Barry Bonds breaking the all time homerun record, Playboy magazine, and Time. After getting very dusty, Mentor found a tape hidden behind a box near the entrance of the vault.

It would have been the last place in the world for anyone to look for something. It made sense really. If you want to hide something from someone, do it in plain sight. Or in this case, virtually in plain sight. This would be the first tape Mentor would look at. He picked up the box of other tapes he had found and took them up to his office. Finding an old micro tape machine was a little harder to do, but it was done. Mentor placed the special tape in the machine and hit play.

The screen flickered for a few moments. It went blank and then showed a few words. “Transmitting Message. Location: Houston, Texas. Destination: Mars Colony, Alpha Site.” The screen switched again to what looked like a communications room. An older man in a lab coat came onto the screen. He wore glasses and a light blue shirt with something smeared on the front of it. Studying the tape more could give him an idea of what was on the shirt. The scientists must have been about fifty, maybe a little older. He looked like all of those scientist type individuals.

“My name is Doctor Daniel Morgan. I don’t know if you will get this message, but considering how long it takes for a radio message to reach the colony, I can only hope you are waiting for our next message. After the last transport of immigrants was sent to Mars, the political climate here on Earth deteriorated. As you know, for years Iran has claimed their nuclear program was designed for nuclear power plants only. They had kept to their word and spread the knowledge of how to do this to countries like Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan. The day after the transport left, the announced the possession of a nuclear arsenal which could rival some other nations.

“The United Nations demanded that Iran surrender its weapons to an international force. Iran refused and decided to launch its arsenal at different locations. Israel was wiped off the map. Some portions of Europe was hit and terrorists took weapons into other countries that could not be hit with missiles and blew them up. In the
United States, Chicago, San Francisco, and Atlanta was destroyed. In Europe, London, Berlin, Paris, and Madrid were taken out. The world all of a sudden found itself in the middle of World War Three. Arabs or anyone associated with Islam were arrested if possible, killed everywhere else.

“This was is like a world wide civil war. To make matters worse, the terrorists released a powerful new toxin into the atmosphere through one of their nuclear bombs that they had. This toxin has had bizarre effects and we are still trying to figure out what it is. Thus far, we have found those who were affected by it to lose all major thought processes and become mindless beings, like zombies. While they obey commands, they are exceptionally strong. Feeding them has also become awkward as they prefer raw meat or live animals. Until we find a cure for this, we can only assume more people might succumb to the disease. We don’t even know how only some people are affected while others are not.

“Whoever gets this message, do not expect to receive another message from Earth for a long time, maybe even ever.” A siren goes off. “Oh no. This installation is under attack. Listen to me Mars colony, you cannot come back to Earth. Under no circumstances can you return. If you do, you might not come back yourself. You are all that is left of humanity. Do something better than what we have done here on this planet. Don’t let our people die out. Please.”

Morgan turned his head as the sound of someone banging on the door to room could be heard from somewhere. He stood up and looked in the direction of the door. Morgan looked towards the screen with a frightened face. It was the final image on the tape. The screen went blank. Mentor could see his reflection in the screen. He lost all the color in his face. His legs felt weak and he knew what fear felt like right then and there. The tape needed to be destroyed, not to mention Spiro Wilson. What to do about the reporter was another story. Mentor had to think. He stood up, grabbed the tape, and left his office. He walked down to one of the labs and made sure no one was around. He opened a container labeled acid. He dropped the tape into it and watched the incriminating evidence disappear. A little of the fear he felt was going away now. The tape was gone. Now damage control needed to be done.


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