Fran had the current news stream tuned in. Several talking heads were perched around a virtual 3D representation of the Red Planet.
“Next month marks the 37th anniversary of the occupation of Mars by the aliens popularly called The Wardens,” said Head Number One. Jeff reminded himself to pick up something for Howie’s birthday. “Since then we have been unable to discover anything about these beings, including what interests they may have with humans or Earth.”
Jeff half listened to the wall as he reflected on what he hadn’t told Amy. The billions of dollars spent trying to find out what was happening on Mars. The probes sent there, only to disappear as they approached the planet. The way all Earth spacecraft beyond the orbit of Mars ceased communication with home. The scrapping of the planned manned mission to Mars, although lately there had been talk of a suicide mission to…
With a groan Jeff turned away. He knew where this was going. He felt like he was going to throw up.
His brother was going to Mars.