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The Alien

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Log Entry: Sol 6

 

Basically, I'm fucked.

That's my highly educated opinion. I'm so fucked it's not even funny. It's fucking hilarious.

Ha ha ha. I, Doctor Leopold Fitz, the 18th person to set foot on Mars, wasn't making any records when I landed. I was the last one to get off the ship. (Boo. But it did go in order of our rank, so it makes sense.) I'm going to die here, and all I can think about is the fact that I can say fuck as many times as I want. Jemma doesn't - didn't? - like me saying fuck because it's 'harsh language' and 'unbecoming.'

Well, I can say fuck all I want because I'm the only person on an entire planet and there's no one to tell me not to say it.

Fuck fuck fuck fucking fuck fuck.

God, I wish Jemma were here to tell me to shut up...

Where was I? I should probably start at the beginning for whoever's reading this.

First of all, hey. I'm Doctor Leopold Fitz, for official records, but just call me Fitz, please. You may know me as a member of the Ares 3 team if you're a space nerd, like I am, or a member of NASA's team, if you're recovering this from the Hab site. Oh, wow... If you're a NASA guy, then somehow you had to get out here, and none of the other Ares missions are coming anywhere close to my Hab. Mars missions are probably relics to you, I suppose. Huh...

I'm getting off-topic, sorry.

Like I was saying, even if you aren't NASA or some kind of space enthusiast, you've probably still heard of me, unless you're a Martian. (But I am now, to my knowledge, the only one.) I am the first - and hopefully only - person to ever die on Mars. That's probably the first thing my Wikipedia page says... Doctor Leopold Fitz, succeeded by his wife and mother, remains to this day the first and only person to have ever perished on Mars.

Yeah. That's going to be my legacy. Dying on Mars. Couldn't be remembered for anything else...

Okay, yeah, sorry. Getting off track again. I'm going back to the beginning, I promise. But I do want to add that I didn't die on Sol 6 like every thinks I did, but right now, my considered opinion is that I'm going to be dying pretty soon after that.

I'm not going to start at the very beginning of the Ares programs because you can probably just Google that, if Google is even still a thing. If not, just ask your friendly neighborhood hologram, I suppose. Not wasting my time because I probably don't have much left.

My mission was Ares 3. Well, I guess it wasn't mine, technically, but it is now. As the lowest ranked member of the crew, I wouldn't be in charge unless I was the last one left. I guess, in addition to being able to say fuck a lot, I'm officially in charge.

Suck on that, NASA, and all of those loud Americans who still gave me wedgies when I was 17 and already working at NASA? You can suck on that, too.

I keep forgetting someone might find this someday. I'll try and cut back a little on the swearing. A little.

Speaking of which, I wonder who's going to find this... If you're reading this, congratulations. It's you. If the rest of my team is still alive, do me a favor and tell them it wasn't their fault. Especially Jemma and May. If anyone had to go and die on Mars alone, I'm glad it was me and not them. They're... They're top-notch. If anything, this one was my fuck-up.

There's fuck again. Sorry, I said I'd stop.

Dammit, I said it again. I'm shutting up this time, I swear. I'm shutting up and going back to the beginning.

I guess the situation technically started with landing. Everything was going alright. Our Mars Decent Vehicle (or MDV because for being determined enough to send people to space, NASA sure is lazy and loves acronyms) landed safely, thanks to Yo-Yo's crazy piloting skills. If you're still alive, thanks for making me almost loose my tea, Yo-Yo. I appreciate it. All of our supplies were there in advance, just like they should be. Everything looked great as the six of us left our MDV, glad for the cavernous space Mars graciously provided us with. If I wouldn't have died from taking my helmet off, I'd have kissed the ground. That beautiful, rust-colored ground.

(That I kind of hate now. You can't see me doing it, but I'm flipping it off. Multiple times.

Fuck you, Mars.)

The Hab, our home, sweet, home away from home that was, in layman's terms, pretty much a scientific tent, was was ready to set-up and moved into.

Even the Mars Ascent Vehicle, the small ship Yo-Yo would use to get us back us into space when the mission was over, was there. It looked great, and Mars was every bit as beautiful as I thought it'd be and as I'd dreamed it's be when I was just a little kid pointing at the stars and hoping.

I'm getting sentimental, there's no time for that. I don't know how much longer I'm going to live. I need to conserve words.

(Oh, god, my last word is going to be fuck, isn't it?)

Even though I wasn't going to be setting any records for arriving on Mars, I was determined to make one of my own, and no, at the time I didn't have dying in mind. But we have to play with the cards we're dealt and I just got dealt a terrible hand.

I'll tell you about my record if I live for another month, deal? It'll keep you reading, assuming I don't immediately die and this is my only entry.

I should probably stop yammering on about records and actually tell you what happened that lead to me getting stranded here. I am the only one who has the full story, anyhow.

It was ridiculous. It was an absolutely ridiculous set of circumstances that absolutely never should have happened in a billion years. It was such a bizarre string of events that NASA didn't have us drill for this, and NASA had us drill for literally every possible scenario that could ever happen.

It was a dust storm. A fucking dust storm is responsible for the downfall of a Mars astronaut. But how could a little cloud of dust kill an astronaut? you must be saying. Well, I'm going to tell you. Because technically while it wasn't actually the storm itself that did - or didn't, I guess, but technicalities - me in, it was definitely the leading cause.

This dust storm had some pretty damn powerful winds that almost blew the MAV right over on its side. And as you can probably imagine, since it's literally a spaceship, that sucker weighed a ton, even in the low gravity of Mars. If it went over, it wasn't coming back up and we were all screwed six way to Sunday because we had no way to make t back into space. So when it started tipping because of the storm, Houston panicked.

Understandable.

They had the six of us - myself, Jemma, Yo-Yo or Elena, I suppose you'd know her as, Mack, Daisy, and our fearless commander Melinda May - make the long trek out through this storm to the MAV and board it, just in case the thing did decide tip. Also understandable. I guess I can't really fault them because they probably assumed none of us were stupid enough to find a way to get ourselves killed walking 30 meters.

You're talking to the guy that did it.

I was about halfway to the MAV when It happened, and I was digging my toes into the sand the whole way. I was sure there was some way to secure the MAV. There had to be. I could jerry-rig something, definitely, that would keep it up and we could complete our mission as planned. I could do it, I protested as I followed in the back of the line, right behind Jemma, if they would just let me stop and-

That was when it happened. Right in the middle of a sentence, an antenna flew out from nowhere and impaled me in the lower stomach, the wind gusts carrying me away. The last thing I saw was Jemma reaching towards me and shouting. Then everything went red and then black.

Poetic, isn't it?

You may be noting right now that I hadn't mentioned an antenna until it literally stabbed me, and I've vaguely covered most of our important tech, the MDV, MAV, and the Hab.

That because the stupid antenna wasn't supposed to be important. It was used in our reception antenna array, a few feet from our communications dish, which relayed the signals from our Hab up to the Bus, the giant, billion-dollar craft we took here. Stupid dish acted like a parachute which careened into the array of antennas, picking one up and inevitably sending it straight into me, carrying me off into the beautiful, dusty Martian sunset.

You can see where this is beginning to be a problem. The dust was thick and everywhere, so there was no way that my crew could have seen me. Just not possible, even if you're an optimist with really good eyesight.

Luckily, NASA - who plans for everything - had created this wonderful little thing called a space suit. State of the art this thing is, equipped with this nifty little sensor that emits signals allowing the other crew members to lock onto your location and see your vitals. Why didn't they just use that to find you? you must be saying right now.

The reason they didn't was because the antenna punctured it.

Yippee.

Commander May must have got the signal that was advertising absolutely zilch, because it had been, well, utterly destroyed. That's a pretty good reason to think someone's dead.

I don't really blame her. She was a good commander. A right mother duck, she was. She made the right choice, leaving with the rest of the crew. Better 5 of them live then all 6 die.

I wonder if they had a memorial for me... I wonder what the crew said about me, if they gave eulogies. Daisy probably called me stupid, like an older sister would. Mack probably talked about how his best friend Turbo could never beat him at Mario Kart. Yo-Yo probably discussed how we bonded over aviation and the tech needed for that and prayed a lot in Spanish. May was probably beating herself up the whole time. She'd take a loss hard. And Jemma... Oh, Jemma...

I wonder if any of them will miss me.

If they didn't put a Star Trek quote on my tombstone, I'll be a little upset.

Seeing as the antenna clearly didn't kill me, you'll never guess what almost killed me next.

Go on, guess. I'll wait.

I'm going to assume you've guessed and go ahead and tell you, because you got it wrong, trust me.

Too much oxygen.

Freaking too much oxygen.

I, a Mars astronaut, on Mars, was almost struck down by too much oxygen.

What did I do in past life to deserve this cursed, ironic existence?

I woke up to this annoying beeping noise. My first thought was urgh, snooze. My second thought, after I remember the recent events, was, why am I not more dead?

It was a very valid question considering I definitely should have been dead.

The beeping did not stop, which was inconvenient for me because at the time I was filled with a deep, burning, passionate desire to just fucking die. (Don't judge, it sounded like a very good idea at the time.)

I made a vague, weak attempt to roll over, still trying to figure out how the hell I wasn't dead, because somehow, I'd landed on my stomach. When I finally caught sight of the Martian sky, a view that would be beautiful otherwise, I noticed that there was still an antenna sticking out of me.

Well, I thought. That could be an issue.

That was kind of when I began to put together what had happened. I remembered vividly, now, May bustling us back to the MAV and me pleading with her to let me anchor it down when The Incident - aka my almost death - occurred. The antenna clearly went right into me, but luckily, it met my pelvis and didn't punch all the way through the back of the suit. (Cue the sarcastic yay.) I suppose it was better than the alternative, but still. Sue me if I was feeling a little down.

But I can figure, the storm blew me downhill. You must be wondering right about now how wind can blow a guy over. Well, I am not a big guy in the first place. I'm kind of scrawny, and add that to high wind speeds and low gravity? I'm basically a leaf. I'm nothing to the elements. Somehow, by the grace of God or, you know, whoever's up there, I landed on my front. This kind of strategically jammed the antenna in my body in such a way that it formed a kind of seal.

The stupid thing that killed me saved me in the end.

Then my bleeding wound started lending me a hand. The blood went the only place it could go, which was towards the hole in my suit. When it hit the Martian air, the water in it sort of evaporated off and all that was left was a sticky goo that congealed over the hole. And this kept happening and kept happening until, essentially, my blood and the antenna itself had reduced the hole to something the suit could manage.

These suits are pretty awesome, but I am a little partial. They have this neat thing called life support. After the breach became manageable, it began to trickle in air to replace what I'd lost when I'd been, you know, stabbed. But there is this other thing that was sort of becoming a problem: CO2. You may remember that little chemical equation from primary school science. In goes the oxygen, out goes the CO2. Back at the Hab, my home, sweet, home away from home,we have this nifty little gadget called the oxygenator. (That's a really big word. I'm determined to rename it, something more manageable.) It takes the CO2 we'd breath out and breaks it up, releasing the oxygen so we could breathe.

However, as great as the oxygenator is, it's huge. Really fucking big. So we can't exactly carry it around with us. So, we make do with filters that essentially do the same thing, but they can only work for a limited amount of time before they're filled up and useless. And my dirt nap had lasted long enough that I'd just about used them all up.

With no way to filter the CO2, the suit began slowly venting out the air into the atmosphere and backfilled with nitrogen. However, my nitrogen tanks weren't going to last forever.

With almost all of its resources depleted, my suit basically panicked and started pumping in pure oxygen. Thanks to this, I faced death by oxygen toxicity.

But how can oxygen be toxic?

Don't answer that, it's a rhetorical question. I'm going to do it.

Ever heard of the saying too much of a good thing? Oxygen can be a little like that. Too much of it and it'll burn up your nervous system, along with your lungs and eyes. So you can hopefully see why I was pissed about the irony of that situation. I literally had a leaking spacesuit and I was going to die from having too much oxygen.

Hopefully you can see why I'm beginning to hate my life.

The stupid, incessant beeping that wouldn't quit so I could just die already eventually motivated me into sitting up. It was a hard-fought battle, but the beeping won.

But because NASA is smart and paranoid, they had us run weeks of drills on the spacesuits alone. And because of that, I knew what to do to fix this situation. Unfortunately for me, it involved yanking the antenna out very very fast. And I really really really hate blood. The crew make fun of me endlessly for being an astronaut afraid of blood. I guess it's made, now...

Huh. It's weird thinking of myself in past tense.

I reached up to the side of the helmet, grabbing the patch kit. If I could yank the antenna out fast enough, I could slap the patch kit over it. The patch basically looks like a funnel with an adhesive on the end. There's a valve on the thin end. Once you stick the wide end over the hole, the air can escape so it won't interfere with making a good seal. Then you close the valve on the thin end and viola. You've patched your suit.

But in order to patch the suit, I had to get rid of the antenna in my side. Which would involve dislodging more blood.

'Come on, Fitz,' I thought to myself, wrapping my hand left hand around the antenna, my right holding the kit, and squeezing my eyes shut. 'You can do this. Jemma could do it. What would an Apollo astronaut do, Fitz? He would... he would down a few whiskey sours, drive himself to launch, and fly to the moon in a lander a little bigger than a tin can. God, they were cool... If they can do that, you can do this. Come on, Fitz. Come on. Come on.'

Before I could loose my courage, I pulled on the antenna with all my strength.

It wouldn't be considered... Manly if I told you that I did scream a little bit. Or a lot. But I did. But what's the point of lying? I have nothing to loose. So, I screamed and I tried my damnedest not to look at the amount of blood trying to gush out of me when I let the antenna fall from my grip and to the ground and slapped the patch kit over the hole.

Luckily, the seal held and my suit began equalizing again. My oxygen levels were still really high, but if I got out of here soon, I'd be alright.

I just needed to get back to the Hab.

Probably against my better judgement, before I gathered myself to leave, I picked up the antenna again. This thing caused me to get left behind, and I was going to make sure this inanimate object lived through and witnessed the last days of my life.

Maybe I was going a little crazier than I thought. I'd only been here alone for less than a day.

I gathered my legs beneath me and forced himself to my feet. 'What would the Apollo astronauts do?' I thought to myself again. 'And Jemma. You can do it, come on. You can do it.' I staggered up the hill, my delusions of grandeur spurring me on. When I finally reached the top, the Hab greeted me.

Finally. Something good. Definitely a yay moment.

But... the MAV was gone. (This one deserves a boo.) The crew really had left. I was alone. I was alone on Mars and no one knew I was still alive.

It didn't really sink in yet, as I was determined to make it to the Hab. I barely made it into the airlock before that burning desire to just fucking die I mentioned earlier returned. But I wasn't going to die until I'd had my last words.

You may remember me bringing up my intense dislike of blood. Well, as I was the only one here, I was going to have to sew myself up. Hooray.

I yanked my helmet off and let that clatter to the ground before dragging my sorry ass toward where we stashed the first aid kit. It was in the central unit of the Hab for easy access. I shucked my suit off, let the antenna clattered to the ground beside me, and cracked the kit open. 'Come on, Fitz,' I thought, and it kinda sounded liked Jemma's voice. Yeah. Crazy. 'Think of the Apollo astronauts.' Those guys were some of my personal heroes.

I took the needle and syringe anesthetic and, without thinking too much, jammed that into my thigh. I grabbed what I needed for the stitches and finally looked down and promptly almost fainted.

There was quite a bit of blood. A very great deal of blood.

I restrained my urge to actually vomit for just long enough to string 9 stitches through my flesh. Then I actually did throw up, but at least I made it to the toilet first. I told you I didn't like blood, but I was rather thankfully that we'd all learned basic first aid.

In a last ditch effort that I was sure would fail, I checked the communication array. No signal, of course. I had lost the satellite dish and the reception array. I glared at the antenna on the ground beside him briefly. The Hab does have more communication systems, but those were only for talking to the MAV, who would then relay signals to the Bus. Unfortunately, that only worked when the MAV was still around.

The Bus, by the way, is the ship that brought us here and would have brought us back home, but I happened to have missed it. It's huge and expensive, so NASA only built one. And technically it's called Hermes, but Coulson and Commander May - although Coulson had been commander, then - had nicknamed it the Bus on its maiden voyage, and the name stuck. (Little interjection, but how cool is it that my commander was the second person to ever set foot on Mars and the only person to have done it twice?)

There was absolutely no way to talk to the Bus, so, I was fucked. Again.

This day kept getting better and better.

My mangled suit caught my eye, and a little lightbulb went off above my head. The crew had thought me dead because the antenna had plunged straight through my bio-monitor, the nifty little device that lets the others read my vitals. They would've seen all of my vitals drop, and adding that to see me comically roll down a hill with an antenna through me?

I couldn't blame them. If I wasn't there, I would've thought I was dead.

So... That's my situation. I'm stranded on Mars with no way to contact my crew or NASA, all of whom think I'm dead, anyway. My new home - likely until my death - was designed to last 31 days. If by some miracle I live longer than that, there's no telling the Hab would. If my oxygenator breaks down, I'll just suffocate. If the water reclaimer - the device that essentially makes my water, to put it in layman's terms - breaks, I'll die of thirst. If my home breaches, boom. I'll just kind of explode. If there's some string of miracles that lead to none of this happening, then I'll eventually starve to death.

I may have set the record I wanted to, but the way things are going, I was going to get another one, too.

The first guy to die on Mars.

So, basically... Yeah. I'm fucked.