A still somewhat nauseous José shuffles into the command module, hair hopelessly mussed.
“The man of the hour is here!” Chief Engineer Preston smiles broadly and pounds the armrests of his chair before rising and leading the room in a round of applause. “Come over here and shake my hand, technician!”
José stumbles forward, Preston seizes his hand, gives it a big pump while turning to the side. There’s a bright flash. “Just a photo – for the history books!” he explains. José is seeing little stars orbiting his head.
“I, uh. I need to sit down…”
“Of course, of course. Beth, why don’t you show him what you’ve been working on.” José collapses in a chair next to Beth who tilts a monitor in his direction. It’s showing an Amazon shopping cart.
“You did it, José. It’s working.” She taps the tablet they’d brought back from The Temple of the Last Steak. “The network hop from here to Phobos, to Earth and back is slow, and it’s taking a lot of time, but check it out. Honest to god, we’re making progress putting together a huge order.“
“Hot damn. Our plan is working. Have we heard anything from Earth?”
Preston scoffs, “We sure did. Let’s take a look at it again, Beth. Then you tell me what you think.”
Dear Mars Colony,
Greetings from Earth! We hope this message finds you well and thriving on the red planet. As you know, it has been some time since we last communicated and we want to reconnect with you.
The world has changed quite a bit since your departure, and we have made great strides in our technology and innovations. We have watched with excitement and pride as you establish a new civilization on Mars, and we look forward to learning from your experiences and progress.
We are writing to propose a collaboration between Mars and Earth. We believe that together, we can achieve great things that benefit both of our planets. We have new technologies, ideas, and resources that we would like to share with you, and we believe that you have valuable knowledge and experience that can help us address the challenges we face here on Earth.
We propose that we establish regular communication, exchange information, collaborate on projects, and work together to build a better future for both our planets. We believe that such a partnership can bring innovative solutions to problems we cannot solve alone.
Therefore, we urge you to consider our proposal and reconnect with us. Let us work together to make history and create a bright future for our civilizations.
José shakes his head. “Things on Earth were pretty screwed up when I left. Looks like they’re still screwed up.”
“It would seem that we’re still on our own.”
José sighs and leans back in his chair, casting his gaze out the windows at the dusty reddish plain. For the first time he notices a circle of about eight figures in pressure suits, seated and each one apparently beating their palms repeatedly on some kind of wide cylinders. “What the schmeck are those guys doing?”
“Oh, that’s just a hippie drum circle. They do that every couple of weeks.”