Beyond Mars

Beyond Mars

A Story by kelsey_barrington

It's the year 2142, Earth is a wasteland and the wealthy (or skilled) are now occupying Mars - but the younger generation of Martians have found a way out.


"If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern."

- William Blake, 1790

In the year twenty one hundred and forty two, Uncle Elon discovered the MARCO-c8-Blue. Well, he didn't discover it so much as launch a mission to inhabit the area. c8-Blue is the most recent of eight bubble colonies established on Mars to house some 1.2 million wealthy refugees from the planet formerly known as Earth.

Actually, that planet is still known as Earth, the name just really doesn't suit it anymore. As the planet heated up, the population decreased significantly due to natural disasters and general human indecency. It's still inhabited now, functioning as a kind of galactic Alcatraz for criminals, the homeless and descendants of the impregnable human beings who continued to survive and adapt despite the increasingly hostile environment.

The Mars Colonies themselves ended up being pretty successful, if your version of success is a planet of wealthy idiots enslaving skilled geniuses in subterranean compounds.
Depends which side of the crust you're on, I guess.

For those of us born on the MARCO, it's a real drag. There's nothing to do here.
That's why we leave so often.

You want to hear about our spaceships? Our sky scooters that we use to planet hop? The teleportation tubes? The extraterrestrial elevators? Sorry to burst your bubble, but this is 2142, that kind of technology doesn't exist. We still get out, though.

You're dying to know aren't you? It's a long story, but I'll try to summarize. Through means that cannot be discussed without getting someone sent back to a dying prison planet, some of the first cogs in the machine running the MARCO realized that the underground climate on Mars has the perfect conditions for for psilocybin to thrive.

That's right. Magic f*****g mushrooms.

Pair this mycological gold mine with the endless free time of the youth on a mostly-automated planet, and you get an even more important discovery...

It's a widely accepted fact that psilocybin reduces brain function; specifically the function of the "hubs" of connectivity that ground us in our so-called reality. This allows for expansion of belief, and when you are able to expand your consciousness and turn off the limiting factors in your brain enough, you can do pretty much anything - including getting off whatever planet you happen to not want to be on.

The nice thing about astral travel is that you don't have to sneak through security, or pack a bag or have any money. You can even make your body once you get there. Can you imagine if people a hundred years ago had realized that our physical bodies are just meaty spacesuits to house our real beings? Ha! Uncle Elon would have saved himself and everyone else a lot of time and money. The truth seldom provides any monetary value and that's why it's hard to come by.

I'm sure you're curious about how homo sapiens came to be growing their own spacesuits and how they seem to have completely forgotten about it, but that's too bad. It's an even longer story and I just haven't got the time. We're headed back to Earth today.

Planet Earth. The year 2021. The year before everything turned to s**t.

Back then, people still woke up to a cup of coffee and hope for the future. If only we could tell them that the future that actually happened could have been prevented. Things could be different now. Everything didn't have to dry up and then flood. The war over the last of the fossil fuel reserves didn't have to happen. I wouldn't have to be on Mars.

You and I both know it isn't true, though. No amount of expansion of consciousness can change the way things happened or will happen. Seeing everything can be downright depressing sometimes. That's why our brains evolved with that limiting function in the first place. The truth was just too overwhelming.

All we can do now is go back and visit to the time and place when things were more pure. We can revel in the beauty of trees and a cool breeze and food that isn't bio-engineered and water that isn't sucked out of asteroids. We can try to experience the joy of really living, and pray to the infinite that our generation doesn't f**k it up all over again.

© 2021 kelsey_barrington

Author's Note

Just looking for some general feedback on the story and style. I don't usually write short stories, but I couldn't get this story out of my head.

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Added on July 8, 2021
Last Updated on July 8, 2021