“Take a good look around, amigos. Even if our plans actually works, it’s going to take a long time for that supply ship to get here. You’ll have plenty of time to get to know this hacienta plastico.” Look around they do.
A decisive Zombie slurp later, Heine: “I’m in.” Issac: “я тоже.” André: “You’ve got me.”
Beth: “Let’s move then. We’ve got a pizza to deliver.” The four make their way back to the kitchens, gingerly stepping over the wreckage left over from Mars-i-gras, strewn about the station like a Hunter S. Thompson hotel suite in low gravity.
“Hey! Hey! Hey!” It’s Chen Le jogging up to them, clearly sober from having drawn the short straw to be on duty during the festivities. Breathlessly, “I hear you guys are planning an ‘op’!”
“An ‘op’.” No one knows what he’s talking about. Eye roll, “An ‘operation’ man, taking action in the field.” He makes karate chopping motions with his hands. “Hi-ya-ya!”
He sidles closer, lowers his voice glancing about to see if they will be overheard. “Look, word’s been getting around about the P. I. Z. Z. A….” Stoney silence from the group.
“I know you’re planning a way to get some of us off out of this place before it all collapses. I want in. I can help.”
Beth: “Chen, you’re a great guy and all, but…”
Chen: “Let me stop you there. Who do you want me to tell?” The threat hangs in the air like a ‘Silent But Deadly’, it stinks.
José breaks the ice, “Beth, he’s got a point. We could use an extra set of hands, and it’s not like, ha-ha” nervous laugh “we’ll drop his corpse into a gorge or something.”
Beth looks uncertain, “Well…” for a moment reluctant before reaching a decision. “Ok, you’ve got us. You’re in.” Chen does a quick happy dance. “Hawt dog! Let’s Rock and Roll!“
“Ok, let’s go.” When the reach the kitchens Heinie pulls Beth aside. “You’re clearly the one in charge here. I’ve been thinking about that nut Muskatel. We’re going to need some theater to match his theater.”
“What do you have in mind?” He draws her aside, whispering quickly in her ear. She nods, pulls a tablet out of her thigh pocket, makes some quick notes and calls Chen over.
“Chen, here’s your first mission.” She hands him the tablet. “Gather these things and meet us in the ‘bug bay.” Chen takes the tablet and looks over the list. “Uh-huh… yup… ok. You got it, I’m your man, I’m your Martian. See you there! High five!” Beth grimaces a bit, but gives in and provides a weak high-five. Chen trots off, a man with a mission.
José asks, “Are you sure there’s nothing useful on the ship you crashed in?”
Issac shakes his head sadly. “I’m afraid not. Unless you need corpses and smashed equipment. We finished off the last potato chips barely a month out from the moon.” He looks off into the distance for a moment. “I’m sure there’s some small things that could be salvaged, but I’m not going back to that graveyard.”
“Oh-kay then, let’s get our cargo, grab our pressure suits and roll out. This pizza won’t deliver itself.”
Some time later…
A light Martian breeze stirs the red dust as their ‘bug bounces over the rocks.
José wants to know. “So, how the heck did all of you end up on a spaceship to Mars?”
Issac starts up, “We were on the moon. LunaCon, billed as the ‘Science Fiction Conference of the Century’. Not your average con.”
“I’ll say,” Heinie breaks in. “Not just free booze, but low-gravity sex!”
“Yeah. Things were going well, but then down on Earth the shit hit the fan. Given the political situation we weren’t expecting ‘free thinkers’ to be welcomed back with open arms. Debates were had. Some decided to ride it out on Luna, some decided to slide back down the gravity well. We decided to make a run for it.”
“And wasn’t that fun?” André is shaking her head. “There was a fist-fight over the last bag of chips.”
“We ran out of gin after just two weeks!”
“I wore out my only deck of cards.”
“If I had to play one more game of checkers with L. Ron Hubbard I was going to gouge my eyes out with a spork!”
They crest a ridge.
“What the heck is this?” exclaims José. Ahead of them is another ‘bug, and two more a bit off to each side, effectively blocking their path.
“¡Verga!” He points to the screen showing the reverse camera. “There’s one behind us too!” Someone in a pressure suit climbs out of the lead ‘bug blocking their way and starts walking towards them. The comm crackles to life.
“We know who you are. We know where you’re going. We know what you’ve got. You’re going to give it to us.”
“Give us the pizza.”