Mars II (2050)
It was dusk as Captain Connor headed home to his family. It had been a long day at work, he had mostly daydreamed while he swept the dust from the furnishings and scrubbed the already sparkling floor of the apartment building. He had imagined a white sand covered beach with trees bordering the waves like a wall. The trees were full of fruit, the most succulent, delicious looking fruit the captain could imagine, so much fruit that the branches were bowing with the weight. The water was cool and clear, the sun reflected off it as if the water were made up of ten thousand crystals. Fish glided silently through the water, capturing the sun as its beautiful scaly skin shimmered brightly. It had felt so real to the captain-he felt he could almost smell the fresh fruity air. A sweet escape. He smiled into the sunset as he continued to wander home. He had decided to take a longer route this time, for a little sight seeing. Besides, he thought, it may be my last chance to see my beautiful home planet. His eyebrows furrowed with worry and his eyes fill with grief. There had been talk of a great war coming to Mars. Some settlers laughed at the thought that we could be as careless and thoughtless as the long gone Earthians. Captain Conner however, thought that anything was possible. He forced himself to think of his route home to distract himself. Someone had once told him about a hill, a hill that had the most spectacular view this side of Mars. He had felt slightly more adventurous today because of his wonderful daydream. He trudged up the hill regretting every step he took, as he grew more and more tired. Finally he made it to the top with less that 20 minutes of light left. He stopped to catch his breath. He set himself on a rock to look at the view. Before he could look up, the rock rolled and he was sliding. Captain Connor found himself in a dark, earthy tunnel. Don’t panic! He told himself. He squinted. Yes! He thought. He could see a small pool of light emerging 150 yards from where he sat in the reddish brown clay. The captain ran towards the opening. He erupted into the bright light. There in front of captain Connor, was his amazing daydream. He was standing under an especially tasty looking fruit tree that looked like it was tipping over with the strain from the melon-sized fruit. He picked a fruit and bit into it. It was the most heavenly taste that had ever touched his tongue. He continued to indulge himself with a few more of the oversized fruits.
Once he had filled his stomach, he fought through the trees to the beach. There it was, just as amazing as in the dream. The water lapped against his feet like cool tongues. He watched as the fish darted away from his feet. He stood there amazed, captain Conner had only heard legends of the ocean from his grandfather, and fish were considered a myth, only for the believers. Where am I? He thought. He couldn’t be on Mars, but where could he be? Heaven? No, this was real. He suddenly became exited, he would tell his family, and they would live there in paradise, they would escape the sure to be tragic yet inevitable war. Captain Connor scrambled up the tunnel back to the surface of Mars. He ran the distance remaining to his house in minutes. When he opened the door his wife and kids were already eating they’re supper quietly. “Molly! You wont believe it! The ocean! I saw the ocean Molly!” She stared at her husband in shock. “Connor, what are you talking about?” she said as if she questioned her husbands sanity. Captain Connor explained everything, the fish, the ocean, the fruit and the pale white sand. When he was done, she nodded slowly and said, “Well then, lets go”. She too, had dreamed of an escape from reality. The family packed they’re bags and set off down the tunnel. They could already smell the sweet fruit from the moment they entered the whole. When they issued from the ground, they were blinded by beautiful the golden light. It was brighter than the captain had remembered, making the water shimmer like the sun itself. His wife gasped. His sons threw their backpack aside and hopped into the water. Captain Connor was soon to follow them. The water felt like a tension relief to his tired legs. It was so cool and refreshing, he didn’t ever want to feel dirt beneath his feet again. He smiled to himself, looking out over the crashing waves, and turned to smile at his family. Molly was already unpacking. She had found a small grove, surrounded by the same mouthwatering fruit that the captain had tasted before. The 3 boys had hopped out of the water and were now jumping below a fruit tree, grabbing at the fruit with every hop. He stepped reluctantly out of the waves and went to help his wife. And so, the days past, not a day went by where they didn’t work from dawn until dusk on their new cabin. In 3 months time, the cabin was completed. When the war finally broke out and Mars was a suicidal mans paradise, captain Conner gathered his close friends and family and brought
them to their secret escape. Soon, they had a small community, all safe from the dangers above. The captain and his family never found out the secret of where this mysterious tunnel had taken them, and so they named their private paradise, Mars II.