In the Shadow of Olympus Mons

Even through the heavily tinted portals of the habitation unit, she could almost taste the crimson sky. It was so much worse when they were out there, though.

It had taken less than an hour on their first excursion for their shining bright environment suits to be so thoroughly coated with the carmine soil that they could barely pick each other out against the strange, too close horizon, unless they were moving. After three months here, exploring every day, the suits were rusty with dirt, and she swore she could taste the blood of the planet in every breath of recycled air and every drop of recycled water.
“Are you kidding?” she screamed, and walked out, her dramatically petulant exit rather marred by the lack of a door to slam behind her.

He was well aware that nerves of the team were strained by the close quarters, the heavy work schedule and the odd hours. He’d watched as she spent more time in the windowless lab than out on the vermilion plain, and worried.

Had he imagined the scarlet hue of her eyes?

View this story's 13 comments.