by R.T. Allenson
With cold metal and smoldering fire, man had bridged the gap between the land and the stars. They set their hope-filled eyes on Mars, the red planet – untouched and pristine, a new start after a callous Armageddon.
Nestled in a cradle of steel, they made their way through the darkness in an ark containing the vanguard of humanity. They were tasked colonizing this new frontier and it seemed they believed that fate had decreed that Mars was truly man’s promised land, by right of might and significance.
They made landfall five years later and quickly they made work on recreating home as they knew it back on Earth. Machines burying deep into the soil, pumping breathable air into the atmosphere. In the span of a few months the first crops were harvested and grass, blue grass, covered much of the planet.
Pride has always been a flaw of the mighty and none were so susceptible to pride than man. Of all places, in Mars the sands were never as it seemed. Not so quiet, not so serene and forgotten. There was a place in Mars where the grass didn’t grow. The Land of Nod as they called it, devoid of life or anything…or so they thought.
Cain rose from that place a year after landfall and where he walked, the land shook and the grass wilted – his footfalls were like thunder and when he raised his head to howl at the sky, his roar was the very anger of Mars.
And the settlers, the vanguard of mankind remembered an emotion long buried and forgotten deep in the heart of humanity. Fear. For even the mighty are rendered weak in the face of a greater power.
And Cain walked steadily, and everywhere around him there was death and destruction.