The Spacecraft to Mars

by Ailsa Zheng

When the world's top astronomers announced that a massive asteroid would strike the earth in two years' time, everyone panicked.

The asteroid was estimated to be the size of Iceland. It would strike the Himalayan Mountains and wipe human civilization to extinction.

Desperate to save mankind, all the wealthier nations and private citizens pooled together their resources. The best aerospace engineers worked together, constructing a $15 trillion dollar spacecraft. The spacecraft would be sent to Mars the day before the asteroid impact, with the capacity to carry 400 people. Only who would the Lucky 400 be?

MENSA declared that the Lucky 400 should all have IQs of over 170. Agricultural scientists argued that to thrive on Mars, the Lucky 400 had to be those with cultivation expertise. Still others insisted that the Lucky 400 needed to be the healthiest breeders available—fertile young adults with a clean genetic history going back at least seven generations.

Meanwhile, the employees at NASA planned to hijack the spacecraft and use it to save themselves, everyone else be damned.

Devon Rosado was one of these employees. He didn't care about IQs over 170, or cultivation expertise, or genetic history. He only had a small list of those whom he liked enough to save—three or four other coworkers, some relatives, a couple of friends, and a neighbor here and there.

Mr. Rosado knew most of his coworkers were planning to hijack the spacecraft within the final days before the launch, so he decided to act long before that—right after construction was complete. He snuck his favorite people into the spacecraft—a total of just 20 people—and locked the door from the inside.

Immediately all the other NASA employees ran towards the spacecraft, screaming to be let onboard as well, but Mr. Rosado hated many of his coworkers so he flipped them the bird through the window as the spacecraft projected into the sky. Video footage of the chaotic event was broadcasted on every major media outlet throughout the world, from the BBC to CCTV to Al Jazeera.

From Mars, Mr. Rosado and his fellow travelers watched the asteroid speed towards the earth.

"This is it, everyone," Mr. Rosado announced to his friends.

But it turned out the world's top astronomers made an error in their calculations: the meteor missed the earth completely, leaving the rest of the human population very much intact.

In an act of revenge, the survivors on earth sent a message to Mars. It came in a little glass bottle, resembling messages from sea. The unraveled slip of paper displayed a crudely-drawn image of a hand flipping the bird, along with the message don't come back, you bastards.