Midnight On Mars

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Kari Keskiyo thought Earth was a dangerous planet…

Kari flees to a martian colony, Habitat Horizon, to escape the end of the world on Earth only to find more devastation; her ex-fiance’s, scientist Neil Blackwell, cloning project had created mindless killers.
However, she finds that it’s the least of her worries; mercenaries threaten to overtake the colony and Kari sees someone – or something – following her.
Midnight on Mars is at about 45,000 words, and a sci-fi/action/thriller set in the year 2060, when all hope for the survival of the human race rests on one Martian colony.
Kari is a spiritualist, having worked for a non-profit organization on Earth that studies energies, while Neil is a scientist, working for the International Coalition of Space Expedition as a bio-engineer. When they find each other on the colony, they must put aside their differences and work together to find not only other survivors, but a way to save humanity itself.

 

Chapter One

November 7th, 2060

Mars – Habitat Horizon

 

Falcon One shuddered as it descended
quickly upon Mars, its supersonic decelerators at full blast.

Something’s
wrong
, Kari Keskiyo thought. She felt it in her
gut.

Kari looked out of the window and saw the
rusty hue of Martian sand blanket the planet. It was desolate, barren, with dry
valleys lining it like stretched scars while massive volcanoes popped up in
places like blisters.

“So,” the young brunette sitting next to
her said, her eyes still wet with tears. “What convinced you to be one of the
lucky chosen colonists?”

Kari glanced at Sidney, distracted. She
wanted to say ‘I agreed to be my ex-fiancé’s guest not because I miss him but
because I want to put my hands around his neck’. But fear overtook her and she
was speechless.

Something was watching her.

Kari peered back outside. In the massive,
sprawling colony hunched in the Rasmus Valley, a red figure stood by the
colony’s docking bay, looking up at her. He had an opaque appearance and Kari
wondered if this was a Martian mirage.

“Don’t you see the red ghost?”

Sidney peered over Kari’s shoulder. “I
don’t see anything.”

The red apparition was gone. Kari only saw
a blond woman looking back at her reflection.

Sidney gave her a sympathetic look. “It
could be because we were in sleep stasis for a week that you’re seeing things.”

Kari searched the faces of the other
occupants seated in the passenger cabin, fastened to the blue, red, and black
chairs. Everyone looked around with curiosity, but none indicated they saw
anything like she did. She sat back, closing her eyes, feeling the vibration as
Falcon made its final landing approach.

As soon as the ship landed, Kari’s eyes
flew open. Red alarm lights flashed in the Habitat Horizon colony. In the
surface area of the tunnel that connected the two large sectors of the colony,
people appeared frantic, running aimlessly. Amongst the chaos, one figure
sprinted in Falcon One’s direction, towards the civil docking elevator in the
atrium.

“What’s going on?” Sidney said, leaning
closer to the window.

Other travellers overheard the young woman.
That, and with the alarm blaring from the colony, made everyone in the ship
agitated. The commander instructed over the speakers for everyone to remain
seated and keep their helmets on.

The passenger boarding bridge connected to
Falcon’s door and a seal was established. The door opened and one of the colony’s
officers rushed to the front of the ship where the flight deck was. He spoke
briefly to the commander.

They walked out to the passenger cabin and
the commander said: “Then why were we cleared to land?”

Kari looked back. A few people moved to the
front of the ship to where Kari was.

When the officer left, the commander made
an announcement: “Everybody, please remain calm. There’s been a security breach
so you will all have to remain here until we have it under control.”

“A security breach, why can’t we get off
the ship? What is going on here?” A young man with red hair asked.

“That is classified information,” he
answered, retaining a stoic look.

The executive officer whispered to the
commander before she went back to the flight deck.

“Classified?” the redhead repeated with a
frown. “Are you telling me there’s something going on this planet that could
endanger us while our own planet is in jeopardy?”

Kari felt something so troubling coming
close to them, it made her hands shake; her stomach felt queasy, warning her
something was wrong.  Kari pushed a
button on her suit’s neck ring so that her helmet would retract. She covered
her mouth, holding back vomit.

“Kari,” Sidney said, “You’re supposed to
keep that on for safety reasons.”

Uncover
you hand! Warn them!
Her subconscious yelled.

Warn them of what? Kari reasoned. Anger?
That’s what she felt: anger on a level she had never felt before. But she
couldn’t pinpoint the location, only that it came towards them like a hot wave.

“No, sir,” the commander answered, “everything
will be under control, now everybody return to your seats for further–

The commander stopped talking: a look of
surprise – followed by shock – froze his face as if he went into instant
hypothermic hibernation. Kari and Sidney glanced at each other, eyes wide. The
commander fell to the ground, an axe embedded in the side of his neck, just
under his neck ring.

Someone screamed and everyone panicked,
flying from their seats, pushing against Kari’s to get by. She felt an oncoming
panic attack threaten her. She took a few deep breaths.

Kari dared herself to look again where the
commander had stood. Standing in his place was a bald man with a twisted mouth,
breathing heavily. Kari realized this was the source of the anger she had felt.

The female officer ran out from the flight
deck and yelled for everyone to get out of the ship.

Passengers crammed the exit, screaming,
while the bald man looked around, an eerily blank look on his face. He crouched
down beside the commander and started pulling at the axe handle. As he did so,
the commander’s helmet popped off like a cap from a bottle.

“Come on! We gotta go!” Sidney said,
pulling at her hand.

Kari put her helmet on and leaped out of
her seat and moved down the aisle. They moved cautiously around the distracted
attacker before they ran towards the passenger bridge.

“Oh my Gods,” Kari said, breathing hard in
her helmet. “He did it. I can’t believe he did it.”

Sidney, running next to her on the bridge,
said: “You know someone who is doing this?”

“Yes: my ex fiancé.”

The younger girl stopped. Others ran by
them and in their state of shock they shoved Kari aside. She fell against the
wall. She looked around for Sidney but she was caught in the mob of people.
Kari struggled back to her feet and continued down the walkway after her but
Sidney was taken away like a branch caught in a current.

At the end of the bridge, Kari noticed a
man trying to stop the horde of frightened people. It was the same lone figure
she’d seen minutes ago running towards them from the colony. He was yelling for
them to stop. But like startled horses rushing the gate, the crowd charged past
him. He looked at them run off towards the atrium flashing with red lights, and
she could see him exhale in defeat. He put his hands on his hips and turned
back to look in her direction.

It was then she recognized who he was: her
ex, Neil Blackwell.

 
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Author

M.C.Glan

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