The heat was unbearable. The desert was slowly engulfing all of land. Our once beautiful plant was drying up.
There had been talks of explorations to find an alternate solution to escape the increasing heat. But nothing conclusive came out of it. Rumors of the rich people disappearing in bunkers built below the red ground was fast gaining prominence. This was creating a social unrest amongst the people trying to survive. Some even talked of a new planet far away that had abundance of water and air for everyone to live happily for thousands of years. But it now looked like a science fiction story.
I climbed the high mountains and stared at the sky. Would there be planets like ours out there? With living people. With mountains and rivers like we use to have. So many electronic messages sent across the universe for years have found no response. So many coded messages that have been found in the empty space have made no sense. Time was running out. The number of dead has been increasing on a daily basis. The rivers were fast disappearing; the people have lost hope.
As I searched the sky and the vast lands, the mirage in front of me reminded me of my childhood days. The air was so fresh and the water so pure. The sounds were so much clearer. Today it’s all sand and the harsh hot blowing winds that can be seen and heard.
The believers wait with hope for the change. For the crusader who will come to rescue our world. Others accept the fate and blame the generations that didn’t bother about destroying nature. There was not much of the ozone layer left and the sun’s heat was fast heating up the planet. The changes it brought have been terrible. Dangerous diseases have taken toll of half of humanity.
It was getting dark and I had to head for the settlement fast. The nights brought calm to the planet but at the same time the eerie darkness was nauseating and dangerous for us.
As I walked home, I heard a sound. I was sure I heard someone move beyond that large rocks. The winds had died down and the sounds were becoming clearer. For a moment I thought I saw a red flash. Cautiously I moved away from the rocks fearing it may be one of the deformed animals stalking for food. The red light made me curious. What animal could emit such light? Our energy sources had completely depleted and the little remaining was in hands of the rulers and meant for preservation for the habitat.
And then I saw the strange being move across the rocks. For a moment it stood still and looked at me. As the winds completely died down, I could see it more clearly now. It was strange and looked like a machine.
A strange red light emitted from its forehead and its legs looked like huge wheels. Its arms protruded like some kind of drills and hooks. Both of us looked scared and amazed. The machine began moving slowly towards me. I was not sure if I had to run. Or was this part of a government project? But where are the controllers and how come we weren’t told of such experiments outside the habitat? It slowly rolled over towards me. It emitted a strange sound as though a coded message of sounds in long and short syllables.
And suddenly it stopped. All movement and sounds stopped. It arms where pulled to its side and all the lights and sounds switched off. It was as though the machine went to sleep. I moved towards it. It looked like some advance kind of machinery. Though we had built a few machines like this before the Heat Wave, I had not seen one so advanced.
It looked like the machine was searching for something. It had so many pistons and arms with lot of storage space. It has strange markings over it and a language which I couldn’t understand. I put my arms around it and tried to lift it. But it was too heavy and wouldn’t even move on pushing. It was getting dark and I had to move faster to reach the habitat before shut down. I quickly made a survey of the location where I had found the machine and ran as fast as I could to reach home.
My excitement knew no bounds and I spoke to council about my strange discovery. A team of specialists were immediately listed and put on standby to move out first thing in the morning in search of the machine. Was it proof that the rich people were indeed building an alternate city underground to save themselves? Were they the ones that operate these strange machines? Or did our years of space research finally find fruit and have people from other planets arrived? But how do they survive the climate outside? Why did the machine shut down? It wouldn’t be affected by the heat and gases. We would have to wait for so many answers.
As the first rays of the sun hit the land. The red planet woke up from its sleep. The machine switched itself on and the Mars Rover Curiosity went about its job collecting data for mankind on Earth.