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The Mars Worker

By Freddy Herrera JR


Paul: Hey guys, I am Paul. The company sent me to help Hector develop the Mars colony.

Hal: Hey, I am Hal. I transport the materials and equipment on time and in the right place.

Hector: Paul, you seem too young to be working with me. Uh, I expected you to be older.

Paul: Sorry to disappoint you, Hector. My age doesn't matter. I received the positions based on my qualifications.

Hector: Yeah, right? Is it because you likely attended some fancy school? Unlike you, the rest of us work our asses off to get here. Don't tell me this is your first time on an active Mars construction site.

Paul: Who gives a shit if I  attended some fancy school that's none of your business? Like the rest of you, I worked through thick and thin to get here. You're right, Hector; this is my first time here.

Hal: Everyone, Calm down; Both of you need a chill pill to relax. We don't want to start a petty fight, especially with you, Hector. I know how hot-headed you can be. You know what? It's lunchtime; why not have everyone partake in lunch together? Let's talk about something other than work. Paul, you will love Ben's cooking.

Paul: That sounds like an excellent idea, Hal, but who is Ben?

Hector: Fine. Make sure Ben stays awake on the job. Oh! I forgot to mention that Ben is the best cook among the rest of us and reasonable for communications on Mars.

Paul: I can smell the spicy chicken from here. I like how you carefully cut up chicken with green and yellow peppers and a side of Mexican rice. It reminded me of my mother's excellent cooking. I still missed her; she would be alive if it weren't for the Great Disaster.

Ben: Oh, thanks for the genuine compliment. At least somebody here appreciates my excellent cooking. I can comprehend how you feel. We all undoubtedly lost somebody when the Great Disaster changed the Earth forever.

Hector: If it weren't for that, we wouldn't be working here today. The aftermath of that period caused all the nations to focus on space development on other planets. Before that, NASA and Elon Musk tried to construct a Mars society. Hey, look at the progress we have made now. We are a somewhat functional city. Now, it's up to us to complete the job.

Paul: Shouldn't you close your mouth while you're eating? Hector,

Hector: Shut up, Paul; you don't tell me what to do.

Paul: Never mind what I said, Hector. Hey, Ben, are you okay? While Hector was talking, I noticed you kept looking at an old photo.

Ben: I am fine. I lost many people during the Great Disaster. Many things have changed since then, like the government, the environment, and the general way of living. I don't mind talking about that period; it seems society wants to forget what happened. If we cannot acknowledge it, we are doomed to repeat it, but who knows, it could be a worse disaster on other planets.




Hector: Hey, we need to talk to Hal.

Hal: Sure, what is it?

Hector: Hal, we must ensure that Paul has not discovered what I have been up to lately. If he does, I will make sure you go down with me. Remember, I know what you did last week. You should be glad I didn't tell the company. So, just put on a good act until he is gone…


 Paul: Wow, I can't believe how vast the cosmic from Mars can be. Moments like these are where I like to look at the galaxy above me and take a break from the sizzle of welding and clang of the drill machine. Making me appreciate life is about something other than the labor work. Let's be honest: one day, our end will come to an end, like the sun will burn out like a candle.

Hal: I understand what you mean. When  I  first looked at a vast galaxy,  I thought civilization would eventually conquer these planets. But the longer you spend up here,  the more you will lose the feeling of being in space. Hey Paul, before you head out to finish the space dome, take these tools and ensure the rope doesn't break. I'll be here working on some other construction tasks.

Paul: Hey, Hector, that's weird; my tools aren't working. Oh, SHIT! There's a massive dust storm approaching towards me. It looks like gigantic clouds full of red, like the sky can be, with blazing lightning that strikes randomly to the ground.

Hal: Don't worry, I will be on my way to pick you up. Make sure you grab onto something and hold tight, or you will be swept away from the storm.

Paul: Thank you for saving me; I could have died there. It's very odd that everything wasn't working when I started using tools, yet we've been using them for weeks. Hal: You know what? It's strange, too. I believe it's just bad luck; after all, you got caught in a storm. You should be grateful that you didn't die today. At least you have an incredible story to tell when you get home.

Paul, yeah, you're right. Ever since I got here, Hector has been acting like a bitch towards me. I don't understand why he hates me so much. Every time I try to talk to him, his fist curls up. Every time we have lunch together, Hector gives me a look of the devil whenever he stares at me. You can see all the wrinkles on his forehead. That always gets on my nerves. Sometimes, I want to smack his aging face. Another thing I noticed was when I saw Ben walking. He is always limping on his right leg. He moves slowly, like an anchor pulling him down whenever he goes. I saw him working. I noticed that on the right side of the desk, next to his cup of coffee with the word greatest dad on it, he always looks down at the old photograph with sorrow and regret whenever he takes a sip.

Hal: Before the Great Disaster, I met Hector. I wasn't close to him. I know he was a different person. He was a very outgoing, kind-hearted person who always helped people when needed. After the event, I noticed he became a different person. I see nothing more than anguish and anger in his eyes instead of the bright, hopeful, and shining that he once had. Don't worry about Ben; he will be fine. Instead, let's focus on trying to connect the water pipes around Mars so people can have more access to them. When connecting the pipes, make sure you drill five screws. I highly recommend using stick welding instead of flux core ark because it gives you versatility while using the machine.

Paul: Yes, you're right, Hal. I must focus on connecting the new pipe system to the agriculture area. Thank you for the advice. Before you go, there is one last thing I want to mention. I found something suspicious in Hector's office and plan  to report it to the company. I trust you more than anyone else here. 

Hal: Don't worry, you can always count on me...


 Hector: Ben, I need you to focus on the communications network. When you're done, please report our recent progress to the company.

Ben: It's lunchtime, everyone. The food is ready.

Hector: Ben, you outdid yourself. I am impressed with this delicious food.

Ben: Hey, where is Paul?

Hector: Don't worry, I took care of him.


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