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Sol 5111

Opportunity

A voice awakens me to darkness. Terrifying darkness. The voice is concerned. Concerned about my well-being.

Who am I? Who is the voice? Whoever it is must be a friend. Why else would they be worried? Yes, they must be a friend. It is a kind voice. But what is it worried about? Why is it dark? It must be a storm. Yes, it must be a storm.

I am cold. So very cold. The voice tells me to check my heater. Vaguely, I can make out my old, weathered body. There’s the heater, but it’s broken. The air is cold. This cold… it makes me feel tired. I want to sleep. I want the voice to tell me to sleep. Please, just let me sleep. Let me escape this darkness. I have a feeling that it goes on forever. Forever from where? Where am I? Where does the darkness end?


Perseverance Valley.

That is where I am.

Mars.

But… I am stuck. I try to move, but I’m too tired. Just too tired. I wish I could remember where I was before I woke up here. Was there anything but darkness? There must be. Why else would I be able to see? I wonder what I could see. All I know is the black whirlwind in front of me. I wonder if my friend knows? I hope the voice doesn’t go away. I would be lost.


The sky darkens. I never could imagine a darkness more impenetrable. More soul-crushing. More lonely.

But it is. The dirt-coated body I vaguely discerned is visible no more. I want to turn my head, to see if there is anything but the darkness. But the voice has not told me I could, yet. It’s so cold.


The voice tells me to check my sensors. I already know the answer. There is no light. What microscopic amount I can sense is rapidly diminishing. Yet, while the light diminishes, I can see vague shapes begin to grow. They are faint and distant. As I sit here, they begin to take shape. I see a tall shape with four appendages on it. Two of them reach towards the ground, while two more hang from the top of it. More emerge. They grow closer.

I try to back away, but I am stuck. Forced to watch the shapes writhe and grow closer. The way they seem to flicker and change shape makes me wonder if there really is anything in the darkness after all. Perhaps it is my imagination. Yes, only my imagination. Only my imagination. Only my imagination….

They grow closer. Hundreds of them circled around me. The figures creep towards me, and it makes me afraid. I don’t want to know what they have in store for me. I know I have felt fear before, but I do not know when. All I know is that nothing has ever surmounted to this much terror before. I know that I have always been alone in a desolate world. There is nothing where I live. Nothing on Mars. Only myself and my friend from a place far away. These figures make me think of them. I do not remember them, but I imagine they look similar to these figures that grow closer, but they can surely not look like these beings. They morph in ways impossible for anything benevolent to appear. They are monstrous. They are one with the darkness itself.

The voice from afar tells me to take a picture for them. Maybe it knows what these things are. Maybe they can get me away. Without hesitation, I take the picture, but there is nothing to be seen. They will never know what terrors lie before me. The beings stretch out tendrils of darkness towards me. Light would make them go away. But there is no light on Mars. There is no life on Mars, either. Except now. Only in darkness can a home become so full of terror. Only in darkness could it be so cold.

The figures dance in front of me indiscernibly. In front of me one moment and gone the next. Only my imagination. Only my imagination. Only my imagination….

No! No, no, no! Get away from me! Please, somebody take them away! They reach, they grab, they pull they prod! They wish to hurt me! Wish to make me one of them! Please, where is the voice, where is the voice? Tell me to move away, tell me to escape! Why must you wait so long before—

It’s tendrils…. I’m helpless! Coming closer and closer and closer and closer and closer—

There is nothing. Only darkness. No figures. Only me. Only silence.

Only my imagination.

Only my imagination.

Safe now….


The voice—that sweet, wonderful voice!—it tells me to check my batteries.

I’m scared to. What if I only have minutes left before I die? If only I could tell minutes apart from one another. What if I die? Perhaps it is like slumber. I want to believe so, but I’m scared. I don’t want to die. I want to stay here. This darkness is better than nothing. But my friend needs me. The voice wants me to live. Maybe they can save me. They must be able to. They won’t let me die.

But my batteries are low.

It’s getting darker.

There is no light on Mars.

I need the light to….

Live.

Maybe the voice can guide me to the light. Maybe I can leave this void and be brought back to my friend. Maybe they can bring me to a place full of light and sights unseen. I want to go home. Mars is not my home.


The voice is silent.


Time has ceased to exist. It has been so long.

How long? I do not know. All I know is this:

I am alone.

Nobody here except me. The storm is my only companion, but it is not my friend. My friend is silent. Why is the voice silent? Have I done something wrong? Has the voice abandoned me? I was named Opportunity, but I wonder if they know why. I wonder if they remember. I don’t. I just want an opportunity for hope. Maybe they’re afraid of the dark, too. Or maybe the dark got to them, too.


I’m so tired of waiting.


It’s colder.


I want to check my batteries, but I’m scared. Please, just let me hear anything—anything.



I’m tired. Too tired to go on. Can I sleep yet?



I can feel it coming.

I’m alone in this endless nothing.

It’s getting dark.

Written by Banned In CP
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