End of the Line

“Goooooood afternoon ladies and gentlemen. Captain Davison here on your friendly mode of transit, the W.S.S. Low Prices. Thank you for flying the frugal space. Co-pilot Doshi and I are pleased to announce that we will be landing on Mars’ surface early tomorrow morning. In preparation for that, the cabin lights will be dimming early this evening, around seven o’clock. We hope you’ve all been to the gym regularly to prepare for the return to gravity.”

Pamela grunted in her seat and glanced to her right. David’s face was pale, and he scrambled for his seat belt to join the lengthening line up for the gym.

“We’re hopeful things will go smoothly tomorrow, but we would ask that you put on your safety harnesses – those that are still attached, of course – and that you ready your oxygen masks juuuuuust in case things go awry. It’s highly unlikely, but federal regulations do require that we remind you to be ready.”

Pamela reached under her seat and pulled out a surgical mask with what appeared to be an empty, inflated juice box scotch-taped to it via a straw. She pursed her lips, and set the oxygen mask in the seat pocket in front of her.

“We should be touching down just a few dozen meters outside of Mars One station, but, as you know, things can go not quite as planned. In that case, be prepared for a short walk of anywhere between thirty and eight thousand metres. Our premiere-class passengers will be treated to an enclosed atmosphere suit for comfort, but your oxygen masks should do for the walk to the station.

“It’s been a long seven months, and we hope you’ve enjoyed your flight. Co-pilot Doshi and I have tried to make it as exciting for you as possible, and we look forward to you flying the frugal space with us again. Any further details after landing will be communicated as needed.”

The cabin speakers clicked off, and Pamela sighed. Well, she thought, at the very least, I got a flight. I guess dying on the surface of Mars could be worse.

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