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Chapter Nine – The Plan

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André leans forward. “Let me get this straight José: first you smuggle yourself to Mars, and then right away you want to turn around and go back?”

“Won’t be a moment too soon, lady.”

“I don’t get it. Isn’t being here the dream of a lifetime? A new world?” Quizzical look.

It’s Beth’s turn. “You don’t get it. Sure it seems like a glamorous adventure at first, but it doesn’t take long before you realize you’ve walked into a submarine, shut the door and likely won’t be able to leave For. The. Rest. Of. Your. Life.” She draws the last bit out.

From a drunk in the corner, “Eating crickets!” From another, “Drinking your own pee!” And another, “Drinking everyone else’s pee!” A groggy still-drunk Engineer Class III staggers over to the bar. “Hey listen girlie, until you’ve been out here for a while you can’t imagine how badly you’ll want a double cheeseburger, fries and real ketchup.” General nodding all around. “Also the constant danger of a horrible death.”

The three new arrivals are silent. Heine takes a quiet sip from his zombie, sits down and gives a long slow sigh.

Marigold adds, “Also our connection to Netflix is down too.”

Issac breaks the silence. “So, what’s the plan?” Beth breaks it down for them.

“That’s the plan? Deliver a pizza to a madman, get a credit card, go to Phobos and order stuff from Amazon? I don’t think even ol’ Kilgore here could come up with that on a double-dose of windowpane.”

From José: “That’s the plan. You wanna stick around this rock, maybe get tú nombre on a crater, someday? Or would you rather be having fresh seafood on the beach while getting a tan? Feet in the sand, wind in your hair.”

The drunks pipe in again: “Sun in your face!” “Sand in your trunks!” “Half-naked girls!”

The three refugees are silent, a long quiet nearly sober silence. Then Issac turns to the severed head.

“Kilgore old friend, what would you do?”

Forward to Chapter Ten – Bust A Move