Letters from Mars - Remains of Old
Angaraka Expedition - Sol 32 - 2546.
It's been about thirty martian days since we landed on the planet.
It's strange. Everyone is acting as if we were pioneers, the first people to walk on Mars - but this isn't true. Historically speaking, I mean. This just isn't true. I know the date by heart, from the history books. 22nd of June 2032. The first human on Mars. Roughly twenty-five years before the collapse and the beginning of the early Low Age. It took them six months to reach the red planet. Thirty-five days for us, and once the geometry drive becomes a usable technology...thirty-five minutes, probably. Maybe even less. That's funny, in a way. We aren't even on the cutting edge of technology. We are just the last remnant of the old space age.
Team 6 came across the ruins of a derelict ground station near Marineris Valley. It seems to be from the collapse era, probably around 2060-2070. It has to be. Nothing left Earth for most of the Low Age. The base is made of a landing area, a few surface buildings and a vast underground complex. The surface installations are damaged beyond repair. Radiations and storms have had three centuries to reduce most exposed surfaces to rubble. The underground complex is in a better shape, however, mostly untouched. It's also a necropolis. Everyone down there died about three to five years after the Earth cut contact. It looks like they tried to cultivate their own food but to no avail.
Avasara, our historian, has a theory. This base wasn't a scientific outpost. It was a sanctuary, a refuge for a group of extremely wealthy individuals seeking to flee what they saw as the end of human civilisation on Earth. Bad choice, in hindsight. As the collapse intensified, contact with the Earth was finally cut and the colony simply died. The grandiose plans of colonization didn't survive more than five years without Earth.
We'll bury the victims and leave the station alone, as a sanctuary. The first human necropolis of Mars.
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