Solitary

“Why don’t you find yourself a nice girlfriend?” was my mother’s favorite question. “The position’s qualifications require a certain level of social skills that you don’t possess” were my boss’s final words before I quit. “What’s all this science and tech shit doing for you if you’re miserable?” was the gist of everyone’s issue with me.

I don’t understand why people take an interest in what others around them do with their lives. To answer their questions, this “science and tech shit” has let me make history. To my boss, I don’t need any fucking social skills. I made a phone call and had a job the next day. And to my mother, finding a girlfriend is difficult being 62 million miles away from civilization. My only companion is Curiosity, and that’s the way I want it.

Curiosity is worth $2.5 billion, the government wanted someone with “science and tech shit” knowledge to accompany the rover as a contingency. Forsaking all human life was easy as signing on a dotted line and taking a nine month cruise in a capsule that would be my home and tomb. They said they would try bringing me back with future tech but I’m not in any rush.

The past three months on Mars had been my happiest until the alarm broke the silence. Curiosity had gone offline. The cameras on the capsule showed pieces of the rover scattered across the barren landscape before being taken offline. Something covered the lenses before destroying the cameras. I could hear it banging around on top the capsule. My worst fear had been realized: I wasn’t alone.

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