Martian Adventures: Exploration Part 2

Ronnie stopped a few feet away from the edge of the cliff.  "Look.  Isn’t it amazing?" 

Jim stood next to her and stared down at the station.  "It really stands out, doesn’t it?  Especially the dome.  The greenhouses might be the only green on the whole planet." 

Ronnie had never thought about there being green anywhere else.  "I guess."

 "Where to now?" Jim asked. 

 "What do you mean?" Ronnie asked. 

"Where are we going next?  We’ve explored one path, looked down on the station, what’s next?" 

Ronnie frowned.  "There is no next.  This is the only path I know.  We only come up here." 

"Well, let’s wander off the path, then.  It’s not like we can really get lost.  We can see the station for miles, and there’s a display that shows how far away and it what direction it is built into our suits." 

"You’ve got your helmet display on?" Ronnie asked.  She always turned hers off.  She hated how it cluttered up her field of vision. 

"It’s a safety feature."  Jim took a few steps off the path.  "Come on." 

Ronnie followed him.  She didn’t like this.  Jim was always the responsible one.  The one who made sure she did her homework before they goofed off.  He shouldn’t be the one gallivanting off of the path. 

Jim took a few steps more, then the ground opened up under his feet, and he plunged into a hole.  His yelp of surprise echoed in her helmet. 

Ronnie ran forward, then froze a few feet away from the hole.  The edges didn’t look stable.  "Jim?" she called.  Why was he always falling into things? 

"I’m okay!" 

Ronnie winced.  "You don’t have to shout, the speaker is still right by my ear." 

"Right.  Sorry." 

Ronnie could just see him in the darkness below.  He stood up and looked around, and the faint light reflected on his helmet.  "This is awesome.  I had no idea that there were caves on Mars." 

"It’s not safe.  It could collapse on you at any second."  Ronnie took half a step forward.  "We have to call for help." 

Jim looked up at her.  "Don’t you want to come down and look around first?" he asked. 

"No.  It’s not safe, Jim.  We need to get you out of there." 

He held his arms up.  "I can catch you.  It’s not that far." 

Terror churned in her belly as she looked down into the cave.  It was so dark.  "I’m scared Jim.  Please, let’s just call for help." 

"It’ll be okay, Ronnie.  Trust me." 

She took a deep breath and jumped.  


About Jamie

Jamie Lackey lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and their cats. She has over 160 short fiction credits, and has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Escape Pod. She has a novella and two short story collections available from Air and Nothingness Press. In addition to writing, she spends her time reading, playing tabletop RPGs, baking, and hiking. You can find her online at

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