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Musk On Mars Wasn’t Supposed To Be This Way

by Merridith Evans 6 months ago in Short Story · updated about a month ago
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Elon’s dream of making Humanity Multiplanetary might just end in a Big Bang. Thanks, SpaceX. A fiction maybe story.

image: Musk On Mars edited by author, original by Vadim Guzhva, Deposit Photos license

Death was better when it happened quickly. That’s what I had heard, anyway. But now that I was going to die with every living thing on Earth, a quick death wasn’t at all comforting.

In one hour, humanity would be devastated, obliterated, and I couldn’t do a damn thing about it.

I sucked on a pouch of fruit punch and stared through the tiny port-hole window of our Starship. Outer space for all its beautiful blackness was as destitute as my mood. My life wasn’t supposed to end this way, so depressing, so finite.

Our Starship was one of those new Elon Musk models, fancy from cockpit to propulsion system, sporting all the latest luxuries for our mission to occupy Mars. But when I jumped at the chance to go, I didn’t know I’d be travelling on a time bomb… nuclear bomb, some kind of bomb that would trigger a catastrophic event of mass extinction.

All I ever wanted was to be a space pioneer, the first architect on Mars. I knew the risks. I debated the idea of saying goodbye to my family and friends. It would be hard. I’d never see the trees, blue skies, the last episode of Grey's Anatomy. I'd never again wait in line for my grande Caffè Mocha or experience the joys of conducting Zoom meetings in my underwear.

Migrating to Mars was the chance of a lifetime. Everyone knew that.

And the best part, Elon trusted me to live well and prosper!

But it was different now. A suicidal maniac was among our crew. Gosh, I couldn’t stand him. He was a miserable man with bloodshot eyes, always checking out my butt and rambling on about something to do with voter fraud. Of course, we didn’t know what he was talking about. He was rich though. And rather than taking the route of most multi-millionaires and investing in big pharma stocks, he wanted to destroy the Earth instead. Cheap plutonium on the Dark Web wasn’t that hard to come by.

He paid to be included on our flight to Mars, paid handsomely to smuggle his nuclear bomb into the nose cone of our ship.

“Musk on Mars will never happen!” he screamed as he floated into the cockpit and gave me a sermon on how exponentially superior he was to history’s other mass murderers. Stalin, Hitler, and Mao had nothing on him.

I hurled my fruit punch at him and grimaced as the pouch hovered along in zero gravity, passing slowly by his head and taunting my uselessness.

He laughed like one of those overacting villains on the Saturday morning cartoons. I bristled at the sound. If only I were bigger, stronger. If only I had the courage to slug that snarking face, at least then I might have some satisfaction before I died. He kept laughing and gyrating his shoulders as he slicked back a patch of over-processed hair. I despised him. 

Fortunately, there’s a thing about deplorable despots. They’re so caught up in their self-absorption, they don’t notice when their goose is cooked. Or, in his case, sliced.

My Mars-mate Romeo, a square-jawed, broad-shouldered, devastatingly delectable specimen of a man, floated behind the hysterical beast. In one motion, his scalpel slid like an ice dancer across the maniac’s throat. And all I could do was roll my eyes as blood seeped out of despot’s jugular vein and congealed in a goopy galactic mess around his head.

Romeo levelled his gaze on me and flashed a cocky half-smile. He brandished his blade and I grudgingly smiled back. He was like one of those ancient Greek statues… only with his pants on. My heart skipped a beat.

“You know, you could’ve just strangled him,” I said, pushing off a side panel and floating towards a cabinet on the adjacent wall. I pulled out an Egyptian cotton towel and my stomach churned as I tried to catch the floating gobs of crimson. What a waste of a perfectly good towel. “Why did you have to slice him like that?”

Romeo answered with a deep rumbling laugh. Our eyes twinkled as we stared at each other. He knew how to strum my heartstrings. Maybe that’s why we got along so well. Maybe that’s why when Elon paired us together, choosing us to mate on Mars, the notion didn’t make me squeamish at all.

I’ve always liked doctors, though I never thought I’d hook up with a medical man or spend my last hour alive with one. But if I had to die, I was glad it was with Romeo.

He took the towel from my hand and swiped the air, capturing the rest of the ooze. When he was satisfied, he wiped his surgeon’s knife on the towel and pushed the suicidal lunatic into the cabinet. I guess it didn’t matter that blood was dirtying all our clean linens. Nothing mattered, really.

Romeo smiled before propelling himself across the room to me. “Jules, tell me you’re going to turn this spacecraft around so we can properly procreate and occupy Mars.”

I sighed, shaking my head, my long hair floating around me like a broken celestial halo. He grabbed my hips and pulled me closer.

“I’m an architect,” I said, resting my forearms on his shoulders. “I build houses and condos that assault the natural landscape and blot out the sun. What do I know about driving Elon’s Starship?”

Romeo weaved his fingers through my hovering hair, and his gaze was so sorrowful, so miserable, a blur of tears stung my eyes as I studied him. We shared the same pain—the pain of wasted dreams and unrealized potential!

My arms encircled his waist in a tight hug and my lips brushed against his neck. He smelled so good. His fragrance had a way of lifting me into the upper atmosphere and spinning me around like a dazed comet.

He pulled me even closer, his body molding into mine as we floated together in that stuffy little cockpit. It didn’t matter that we had just met a week earlier. It didn’t matter that we were opposites in career and life goals. All that mattered was two people waiting to die and drunk on misery.

His lips caught mine, and our passion ignited like a tragic shooting star. His hands moved to the zipper at my neck that held me tightly contained in my shiny-black bodysuit.

“Damn zipper,” he growled against my lips as he tried to lower the tiny metal tab.

I flicked my tongue over his frown. “Maybe we should stop. It might be a sign.”

“Nope, it’s not.”

I set my fingers on the zipper and jostled it. I grabbed the material and attempted to yank it down, but the metal teeth refused to open no matter how hard I pulled. “Well, at least I’ll only be stuck in this bodysuit for another hour.”

“Nope,” he said again, and before I knew what was happening, he slipped his scalpel gently down the edge of the zipper… and kept going. Going until my breasts were exposed, going until slim hips and long, lean legs were free from the sleek bodysuit. I floated naked in front of him. Naked except for my bubblegum-pink bra and panties.

And as his eyes drank me in, I was suddenly mortified. My arms flew to criss-cross over my chest, my eyes widening like a bewildered sheep staring into the ram’s Casanova gaze.

What were we doing? It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Romeo was supposed to court me, pursue me, find out that I was irrational and tremendously quirky. We were going to eat meals together, read poetry together, share an intergalactic hot tub. Our happy beginning was all sketched out in my brain. I was even going to design our love nest and create a man-cave especially for him.

Sex? We weren’t supposed to have sex. Not yet. It was too early, too soon. I was still a virgin, unblemished, unfazed, unwilling to trade in my white picket fence for a quick romp and swizzle. I was saving myself for the right guy, the ideal moment, the perfect everything.

I cried and the tears streaming down my flushed cheeks did more than just saturate my neck. They unleashed a monsoon of resentment and disappointment. We couldn’t live the life we planned and make those heart-swelling memories I longed for.

It wasn’t fair!

Romeo caught my tears with the edge of his finger. “Wake up, sweetheart. You’re dreaming. I’m here.” He pressed his lips against my forehead and drew my shaking body into his arms, and as he cradled my head against his neck, he murmured into my hair, “I’ve got you, Jules. It’s just a nightmare.”

What? It was all a dream? We weren’t going to die in a Big Bang?

My eyes were so swollen from the onslaught of tears, the effort to pry them open was too much. I kept them closed, knowing I was safely in our bed, knowing my darling surrounded me with his warmth. He held me against his bare chest and his heart beat steadily under my cheek, calming my mind. I melted against him.

“There’s another storm outside,” he said, his voice a soothing balm in the cherry red glow of the room. “I’ll never get used to these Martian summers.” He kissed the top of my head as he let his fingers trail over my skin. He pulled me even closer.

I nodded and pressed into him as if my very life depended on it. Maybe it did. If I released him, stopped tensing my arm around him, stopped breathing him in, would he disappear? I couldn’t bear that.

“I love you,” he said. “If I’m going to be stuck on this bloody planet, I’m glad it’s with you, Jules.” He lowered his chin, and I could feel the gentle curl of his lips against my cheek. With a low chuckle, he brushed his nose playfully over my skin. “You complete me.”

I raised on my elbow and gazed at his delicious face. “I love you,” I whispered. “I’ll love you until the stars fade away, and Mars turns Kermit the Frog green.”

“That’s a long time,” he said with a smile.

I leaned in and kissed those lips, my darling’s lips. Lips so firm, so smooth, so perfectly made for me. One taste and he was mine over and over again.

Mars was red.

We weren’t dead.

And life was death-defyingly good.

Thanks, SpaceX. Thanks, Elon.

Short Story

About the author

Merridith Evans

Writing about the ups and dastardly downs of faith, family, and a feisty pandemic puppy.

Popcorn is my addiction and I love babies. Don’t judge.

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