Prof Schubert sat in his chair, face buried in his hands. The hypertensive quinquagenarian could not take the escalating anxiety any more. Suddenly there was a loud cheer shattering the eerie silence of the floor. “Good news Davy. There has been a clear communication. They have all settled well.” Tracy’s voice shook him out of his trance. The painstaking calculations and hard work of five and a half years had finally borne fruit.

It all began on the day they found underground ice at a dramatic site there. More probing revealed that the ice was dusty and could melt. The startling discovery gave a fillip to the ongoing research. The more they delved into it, the more intriguing it got. The day Zeus 11 spotted living creatures on the Martian surface was a red letter day for the entire humanity. As glasses clinked at NASA, it meant more hard work for Schubert and his team. Inter-species communication was the biggest roadblock ahead.

After two years of rigorous efforts of matching frequencies, communicating with them was finally possible. And surprisingly the Martians turned out to be a sporty lot. They expressed their desire to visit Earth for a high-level dialogue. The small Martian contingent was duly received at the Kennedy Space Center, a secret that was closely guarded from the media. Apart from the ones involved with the project, nobody had an inkling about this.

According to the MOU signed between the two parties, Mars opened its doors for settlers from Earth who would guide them in agriculture and industry. Furthermore they would supply a chemical found in the Martian atmosphere which could help the Earth seal its Ozone hole. After an agonising wait of seven months there was finally some verbal communication from the first batch of human settlers. Yes, they had landed safely and all were doing fine. The Martians had left no stone unturned in welcoming them. As his office burst in euphoria, Schubert quietly left for home. He hadn’t slept properly for years.

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Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
5 months ago

Piyali, I’ve learned a number of new words reading your story! It would be great if there was a welcoming planet where humans could relocate to safely, considering the condition Earth is in. Hopefully Schubert would get the rest he clearly deserves!

Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
5 months ago

Colonisation of Mars is really a popular subject nowadays. Thanks for exploring this concept. At the moment I am watching “Immense” on television. Unfortunately there are many arguments and wars between Earth and Mars.

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Nishu Kumbhat
Nishu Kumbhat(@nishu-kumbhat)
5 months ago

Impressive range of vocabulary….hoping that the Martians and earthlings create more magic in life!

Subhashis Das
Subhashis Das(@subhashis-das)
5 months ago

Hope once Schubert comes out with his detailed report, surely we will be able to go on a vacation there and probably pay by some greener means!!!

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
4 months ago

Hello, Piyali. You always make me amazed by all your stories. Another great fiction story from you. I love it. Very impressive. Well done.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Piyali Ganguli
4 months ago

You are most welcome, Piyali.

Rinika Dutta Gupta
Rinika Dutta Gupta(@rinika-dutta-gupta1)
4 months ago

This story is a wonderful amalgamation of sci fi and human feelings. Moreover, it is full of hope…hope of survival beyond a world that seems bleaker by the day and hope of more genuine ties and friendships. And finally, hope of the survival of positive human traits even though they might be perpetuated by aliens. The story brings Villeneuve’s ‘Arrival’ to mind. It is a brilliant read.

Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
4 months ago

Well done! I am so happy for you. Good night to professor Schubert!

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
4 months ago

Well done and Congratulations, Piyali.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Piyali Ganguli
4 months ago

You are welcome, Piyali.

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