I am happy to announce that Mars (Mars Episode 3) by E. Richards, my new science fiction adventure, has just been published on Amazon.
Here is a sample of Mars (Mars Episode 1):
~D.S. Publishing, Inc~
Copyright © 2017 by E. Richards
When our leaders asked me if I would like to move to Mars, I ran my fingers through my slightly overgrown, short brown hair and thought that sounds incredible, but how is that possible? I stuffed my hands into the pockets of my old Surga motorcycle jacket and shifted my weight to one leg. The atmosphere on Mars is unbreathable. I knew a little about space even though the details were braxed. Were the rumors of terraforming the planet true? For ages, Mars had not possessed a viable atmosphere conducive to human life.
But now, according to the recruiters, United Space had terraformed the planet covering the landscape with millions of tents filled with plant life. I remember how my eyes widened in shock when those crossbreed recruiters told me this. Apparently, they had received some sort of special permission to relay this particular procedure.
They explained that once the plants grew strong and even superfluous, producing enough oxygen to create a feasible atmosphere, United Space removed all of the tents at once, releasing the oxygen necessary to sustain the human race. When they fed me this info, I felt my knees seriously shaking. Now, Mars was livable and our leaders wanted blasted, twenty-six-year-old me, Or Patterson, ex-convict, to live there!
I sat in the huge movie room with over one thousand other regular and downtrodden people like me and watched in amazement. Our leaders had it all mapped out, an idyllic life on Mars. I was shocked when I saw on the screens the incredible houses we would receive if we agreed to relocation. I had nothing to lose. And they weren’t just ordinary homes. They were mansions with beautiful swimming pools, in-house movie theaters, game rooms, libraries, you name it. As we all watched we were practically drooling with our jaws dropped like real dopes. And because we would be the first group to relocate, every family would get one of those beautiful mansions for free. Yes! For free!
We were ecstatic. There was so much to do on Mars too. Already there were perfectly landscaped parks, a university for learning, sports facilities, recreation centers, museums, a zoo, an aquarium, and more. Because we would be the first group, we would be given job positions of our choice. That meant, for the most part, we could be anything in life. Any Joe-Shmo could be a knuckle-headed musician, an ego-maniac actor, a narcissistic artist, an altruistic doctor, a mad scientist, a loving, giving lawyer, a kick in the head sports star, whatever! Everyone would get to pick his or her dream job. Anything we wanted we could be. If we didn’t have the skills, our leaders on Mars would train us.
The only drawback was that we could never return to Earth and we wouldn’t be able to keep in contact with those we would leave behind because transportation and communication would be too expensive at such distances. But on the brighter side, some of the most brilliant scientists would be joining us and it was foreseeable that in ten years we would establish interplanetary communication between the masses and shortly thereafter, most likely, travel between Mars and Earth would be available too.
Well, I was all for this. Sure, like probably everybody, I had some reservations, but for the most part I was ready to leave my hellish life on Earth and start over. With my criminal record, where in which I was falsely convicted of murder, I hadn’t been able to get any normal jobs. Everything seemed closed to me. With such a world-wide depression underway, lots of people were out of work and the jobs that were available certainly did not go to felons. The idea of a new start lit up my mind with the first real bungie-jump joy I had felt since I was a kid.
I was incarcerated at sixteen years of age and then, ten years later, I got out on parole. That was only a month ago. Whup, it was a new world. Really, everything was different and way more technologically advanced. And the crossbreeds were practically taking over the world. That really shook me. After being locked up for so long, I was used to being isolated from the outside. It was a high security facility and we were kept estranged from society, so I figured it wouldn’t be all that different on Mars where I couldn’t interact with those on Earth. I was used to that kind of thing. And anyway, since I got released, I hadn’t been able to locate my loved ones from before I went in the can. So, because I didn’t foresee any real future for me on Earth and because I was told that my dear, sweet wife, Daliah, was dead and my siblings seemed to have disappeared without a trace, I signed the contract for relocation to Mars. Without the ones I loved, life on Earth was pointless.
I heard a banging sound at the door of the halfway house. At the time, I was staying in a single room unit in a government granted apartment complex for newly released prisoners and recovering drug addicts. The sound I heard was sort of like a repetitive crashing of metal against metal. What the bezurk? In my robe, with my black-market M-60 in hand, I got ready to crack the door. There are a lot of kooks in this complex. I opened the metal door cautiously, ready to fight anyone off with ill intentions. To my surprise, the thing making the ruckus was an electronic envelope about two feet tall and three feet wide that flies in the air. I had heard about those things, but had never received any.
My eyes narrowing, I opened the door wider and the envelope flew right into my rental unit. Heck yeah. I almost laughed, but I was too on edge. What’s this about? My body was tense. The lapel of the metal envelope opened.
Whoa. I took a step back slightly paranoid it might shoot at me or something crazy like that. Instead an animated letter folds out midair. Pretty bitchin, I was thinking though I was shaking in my slippers watching a beautiful fine featured brunette with her hair pinned up in an intricate to-do and dressed in a long black dress with long sleeves and a high neckline say to me in an intense, yet heavenly voice, “Watch out, the…” The feed cut out.
Low life technology. I was angry as hell. The envelope collapsed at once to the floor, lifeless and burned out. I must have spent hours tooling with that thing, trying to get the rest of the letter, but no. It was all futile. I had to get things in order before departure.
Tomorrow I leave.
Take Off and Fly
I hope I made the right choice. There must be like a thousand of us. It’s a huge mob of people that spread out in all directions waiting to board the cylindrical spaceship. The aircraft looks like a gigantic flying saucer. I am on the outer edge of the majority of the people, standing next to a high bob wired fence that extends in a straight line for as far as my eyes can see. Lots of spectators and even lots of news mobiles with their cameras are outside the fence too. Some people inside the sectioned off expanse are blowing kisses, crying, and waving goodbye to friends and family on the other side. It appears to be an emotional time for a lot of people, but then there are other types amongst us who wait stoically, often with hardened faces the way a lot of the prisoners I knew looked while we were in the pen. I wonder if I look like some of the hardened ones.
With my fingers, I brush my hair out of my blue eyes which I imagine to look a little more like steel than the actual bright blue color they are. It feels kind of like my body is shaking inside, yet my outsides probably look mostly still. We are all empty handed because we were told we couldn’t bring anything. One of the reasons I might be so rat-tail nervous is because I didn’t mind the leaders when it came down to that.
While I was locked up, I had some small weapons implanted in my arm that are made of chosial which is similar to metal, yet makes it through all detectors unnoticed. It’s new. I would have taken the weapons out of my arm, but in order to relocate to Mars everyone had to have physical exams. If I would have removed the weaponry, eyes would have raised upon seeing the cuts in my flesh. That may have been a red flag that I was trouble. I probably wouldn’t have been accepted into this program and I very well could have received another prison sentence.
So probably because of the hidden weapons in my body, I am a little more edgy than the rest of the people. Lots of ideas about what might happen to me if I get caught seem to be running through my thought stream. I keep trying to push that paranoia away. There is no sense focusing on it, so I stare over the heads of the people at the spacecraft.
The ship is huge and black in color and cylindrical. So shiny that the gleam off the sun hurts my eyes where it hits the surface. As clean as a blade. In some ways, the craft has an old fashioned 1950’s look like from the covers of sci-fi magazines at that time, like the kinds you see in the recreated holograms in the museums, sort of like a flying saucer. It’s much bigger, but it is smooth and simple from the outside almost like they were depicted back then.
I wonder about the technology of the spacecraft, but our leaders warn against those thoughts. It’s not good to think about things that aren’t directly related to one’s own purpose. Space technology is subdivided according to departments and each department has select teams with specialized knowledge and training. It’s like every department in the space program is a single piece in a large puzzle. When all the pieces are put together you obtain wonderful things like spaceships and cities on Mars.
I can’t help but wonder about all the details though. I know the leaders say it’s not right and puts a lag in the system, but I can’t help it. I should understand how a monstrous cylindrical craft lifts off the ground with over a thousand people in it. When I start thinking this way, I get this inexplicable rage inside and for some reason, I want to kill.
Two big red heloporters buzz over head as they lower onto the platform surrounding the spacecraft like enormous mechanical insects. Those things always irk me. Immediately following, hologram screens light up just above the upper edges of the fence surrounding us. Live three-dimensional imagery of our Grand Leader project in repetitive form with probably fifty images or more of the same half-cow-half-man giving the same farewell speech wishing us luck and success. You would think one image would be enough, but no, they want to make sure everyone knows who’s in charge. With the intensity of the situation and the buzz of the heloporters, it is difficult to concentrate on the projections though. I guess they didn’t think of that.
Law enforcers are now exiting the heloporters and the hologram screens are now projecting our Great Military Leader, Statsky Cotatz, a crossbreed of lizard and man, who directs us in a juxtaposition of choppy language and unsettling hisses, in boarding procedures though we have all previously been pre-prepped with the process before this big day. I move in a bit deeper into the crowd, trying to make my way to the lines of red flags that lead to the boarding ramps.
People are already filing onto the craft with the direction of the law enforcers when I hear somebody calling my name from the other side of the fence. “Or, Or, Or Patterson…” It’s a female voice. Goose bumps run up my spine as I turn to look through the fence.
“Erhrhrrrhrrh…” I can hardly breathe. It’s Daliah, my wife! She’s grabbing onto the fence, shaking it, her beautiful face blood drawn, her big brown eyes wide in terror. A boy is standing next to her.
At once, I push through the crowds of people back toward the fence. “Daliah,” I yell out, nearly breathless. “My love.” Oh, what I would do to hold her in my arms once again. Though we have known each other since we were young children, I haven’t seen her since I was imprisoned ten years ago when she was fifteen and I was sixteen. She looks the same, beautiful like an orchid. She’s got that long black hair and the snow-white face with the natural red ruby lips—perfection. Not a night has gone by that I haven’t dreamed of her and her soft voice.
But as I am trying to make my way over to my wife, one of two guards swings a loop of a rope over my head in the fashion of a lasso and cinches it tight and closed around my neck before I can even fully comprehend what is happening. In shock, I stumble backwards, trying to catch my breath and regain my footing without adding pressure to my windpipe.
I’ve been trained to accept the leadership of my superiors, so I hold my position with an impassive acquiescence looking at the two human men in yellow uniforms. But when the other more muscular guard grabs hold of the lead with a condescending smile, I snarl darkly. In a rush, the noose constricts on my neck cutting off my breath almost entirely. I lose control and charge the muscular guard with the smile toppling him over. “Arrrrrghghgh…” My nails claw into to his face, but the other man, who has a heavy, shorter stature pulls me from behind with a clever twist, throwing me over his back with a tightening of the rope on my neck. I kick and writhe futilely, my tongue lolling out of my mouth. The pain is intense. I am enraged at this vile bashing, fearful of impending death, and humiliated in front of my long, lost wife. Involuntarily, my body chokes and gasps for breath as the noose loosens and tightens depending on the pull and position.
So that’s the sample of Mars (Mars Episode 1) by E. Richards. At present, it’s available for FREE download at Barnes and Noble!
All the best,