“Right here. I have this feeling that just right here,
nothing I bring about from right here…”
When the years about to come have been elapsed, with their centuries and eons stretching back to the past as a glowing trace of lives and deaths, of rebirths and declines, still countless generations will keep telling each other the wonders of the Red Planet. Vast plains and ravines bursting upon endless deserts; wide and boundless rivers flowing among its gulfs of reddish rock until dark and stormy oceans; leafy valleys exuding a noisy and ebullient life; crowded cities spreading out toward its four horizons in an inexhaustible rise to an unbroken progress. Every landscape, every figure, every portent, every milestone will be sing in ancient and new songs, revered as the ineffable beauty of all what was dreamed.
There will remain the signals, the inscriptions, the ancestral monuments, the immemorial names: Plain of Descent, Valley of Founders, Mountains of Melancholy, Sands of Conquest, Sea of Quietness… They will resound beyond the time, in childish mouths, of women and men, young and old ones. Here, they will say –turning their sight from the distant future to the deepest past–, here they went through, here they defied destiny, here they embraced death, here they celebrated life, here the fire, here the water, here the marks, here the last feat, here the first one…
“Here”, he muttered, leaning over the sand running away under his feet.
Neither the fierce roar of particles swirling around him, nor the aberrant blasts of electric charges cracking the skies, hardly ripping the dense storm clouds of dust and grains, nor the frenzied winds threating to blow him down after every single movement, managed to bring him away from that sublime vision unfolding out to the future. Here.
“But what’s he fucking doing?”, screamed the first officer inside the spaceship.
From the porthole shaking about to blow out, the rest of the crew could still recognize the shadow of the frail figure wrapped in its outfit, trying to bend into the eye of that sand hurricane, as a mosquito willing to drink a drop of water in a flood that razes to the ground. They watched in horror how he staggered to pick up a handful of sand and hold it up against the sky, in a gesture as stupid as heroic, while the ship crackled announcing the last death rattles of an organism about to collapse violently.
“If we don’t get out of here now we’re dead, commander!”, howled the pilot.
“Captain!”, screamed again the official from the intercom. “Captain, do you hear me?! Come back to the ship! We need to get out of h…!”