An Anonymous Colony
“An Anonymous Colony” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Ananya Srivastava, JSS International School, Dubai, UAE.
An Anonymous Colony
Zoro, an eight-year-old inquisitive and mischievous little boy, is living in an underground “Martian Colony”. His ancestors, approximately a hundred years ago, setup an underground colony because the environment of Mars started losing its atmosphere due to continuous contamination of surroundings and excessive sun radiations. Thus, most people started losing their lives while some used their technical knowledge to setup a completely new colony under the surface of Mars where an artificial sun provides them sunlight and synthetic oxygen let life possible.
Later, they setup a control room near land from where they maintain the atmospheric pressure of the colony and watch out for space attacks. They continuously try to make a space shuttle which their ancestors started making long ago to try to contact the rest of the universe. Zoro’s dad was one of the people working at the control room.
Once, late in the evening Zoro was talking to his dad and started inquiring why they lived in such a small place when there was a whole wide world outside, subsequently this talk turned into an argument which made Zoro angry from his father. He knew his dad did some secret work but when he asked about it he denied.
Meanwhile on Earth, NASA had decided to send a Mars Rover to Mars, first time in history. They called the rover Sacno. In Orlando the countdown began. 3……2……1…… LAUNCH. There was excitement throughout the viewing area. History was in creation!
The following weekend in Mars was silent and everyone was resting at their homes. Suddenly, Zoro thought of a plan. He went to his dad’s work room and cautiously took his access card to the control room. He went out to an elevator type of place where he knew his dad went to work from.
After reaching up, he entered a narrow pathway which was completely rocky and seemed to be old. He continued…. he was then witnessed by Robot-1. He and his fellow robots captured his photo and sent it to the head of the control room for identification. After walking further, he came to a metallic door where he tapped the card and the door to the control room opened. By the time he could enter, he had already been recognised by the robots and his dad was behind him. He was scolded a lot at home and his father promised him to take him to the control room someday along with him.
A few months later, his father took him to the control room where he was shocked by the numerous controls and buttons. Suddenly, an alarm rang which alerted everyone working there. The screen showed an unidentified object entering the orbit of Mars. They had no clue about what it was or could be. An hour later the rover landed on the surface and it was visible from the control room.
It did not show any movement at first but after a while an arm like structure came out which picked up some soil and it went back in. It did not react after that. One of the persons in the control room suggested destroying the rover. The other said that it should be burnt completely. While, the head scientist there suggested that they should stay quiet because if they did anything the people who sent the rover would know that life existed on Mars. Everyone agreed with him and decided to remain silent.
After few days, the scientists in the control room decided to contact the rover. It was bit risky, but they wanted to try it to escape the planet Mars as the life was tough for the few thousand-people living there and oxygen supply was low and was expected to run out in few years. Eventually they could talk to people at NASA and requested them for help. NASA, over the period of next few months, could bring these people to earth. The colony at Mars was abandoned.
Martians took some time to adjust in earth and warned human beings to take care of earth to avoid meeting the same fate as their ancestors did. Actually, Mars was a fertile planet once but due to high pollution and global warming, it became uninhabitable. They suggested them to do the best they could to save the planet.