I was raised by three parents. My mother was a very nurturing woman who made sure I always felt loved and cared for. My father was a great protector who saw that I was provided everything I needed to survive.
Then, there was earth. I was always surrounded by earth. Every book I read. Every movie I saw, even most of the pictures I had were from earth. My mother provided love, and my father provided protection, but earth provided my dreams. All I ever heard about was earth. Whose getting elected on earth. What great new technologies are being made on earth. What great new places have been gone to and explored.
There was great technology and natural beauty on Mars. Our canyons were deeper, and our mountains were higher. Our hydroponics farms and fusion generators were a new wave of technology that was unrivaled on earth, even all these years later, but it was all boring, all lifeless, all purposeless. The farms gave bland food that only served to provide for our barest nutritional needs. The mountains were as inaccessible as the moons of Jupiter. They existed, but I would never see them, and the fusion generators? Out of sight and out of mind. The lights might as well have been powered by ghosts.
My daily life was blank metal and plastic walls and formless nutritional wafers. A blank slate, that’s what my life was. A blank slate onto which I projected earth. Beyond the cold lifeless walls, I imagined not dull red earth, but vibrant grass, trees that reached for the sky, and animals. Deer peeking out from behind every bush, and squirrels scurrying through the branches of every tree. Giant cities populated by countless millions of other people. I could actually meet others my own age.
My parents told me I was the first martian. They were the only couple that had been allowed on the way mission to Mars, and I was their only child. If I was to ever know what it was like to play a real game with others my own age, or to ever know the joy of a date. I had to get off this planet. My parents told me that it wasn’t possible. No government could afford to bring us back, but… hang on, what’s that in the sky? There aren’t any meteor showers scheduled for today.
“Honey! Come down off the observation deck and get your nice clothes on!” My mother called. “The Mars settler mark 2 is landing, and honey.” My mother paused for dramatic affect. “There’s a girl on board.”