The Organised Author

Sol 1—Mike




This is it. My crewmates and I landed on Mars two hours ago and now we’re hanging out in the ZAC (Zombie Aggregation Centre). Four zombies, and one human. Nope, I’m not the human, and yes, I do eat brains.
Our mission, Hades 4, has officially begun. Yes, Hades 4. They called our mission like the Greek god of the dead. Fitting isn’t it?
And yep, there were 3 previous Hades missions before us. 

It all started when NASA figured out that sending zombies on Mars meant less costs and less risks than sending humans. Undead don’t breathe oxygen, don’t care if the temperature drops to -160 C degrees, sunlight doesn’t hurt them like it happens with vampires, and don’t zombie need expensive EVA (Extravehicular Activity unit) suits. 

Another perk is that we don’t require all those endless medical tests NASA runs on astronauts. No heartbeat to speak of. Blood circulation is basically non-existent, and no virus can kill us.  So why don’t send a bunch of zombies to Mars to build a proper station for future human exploration?
It all sounded fantastic, and Hades 1 started. 

Problem was that, yes, zombies don’t use oxygen… technically, although we need at least 2% of oxygen in the atmosphere while humans need 21%.  With an endless supply of dried brain slices, zombies can go on forever. What NASA didn’t foresee was the effect of Mars’s strong winds on the undead’s bodies.  

Mars has pretty strong winds. We’re talking about 170 Kmh. And it’s not just wind, but sand and rocks etc… The crew of Hades 1, dressed in jeans and T-shirts, dissolved into the red oblivion of Mars during a storm.
For Hades 2, NASA got smarter. They provided the crew with a modified EVA suit called ADAMZ (Automated Dynamic Application Model for Zombies). Yeah, not very original. The ADAMZ suit is a space suit without all the complicated tubes and valves an EVA suits needs. No filters to clean the air from CO2, no oxygen pump, no heating, but it can resist wind over 300 Kmh. Pretty impressive.  It’s heavy and scratches my skin, but hey, I don’t want to be turned into dust. So what happened to Hades 2? The problem was food. 

NASA packed tonnes of dried brain slices and flakes and preserved them in citric acid (lemon juice.) It turned out that zombies are highly allergic to lemon juice in Mars’s gravity and low pressure. So goodbye to Hades 2.

Hades 3’s failure was more subtle. ADAMZ suits worked fine. Dried brain was stored in some kind of harmless gum. Everything seemed perfect. Except for one thing. Apparently, zombies do drink water after all. Brain consists mostly of water, about 70%, and dried brain has barely 2% of it. After twenty Sols (Mars days are longer than Earth’s days of 39 minutes) the crew of Hades 3 died.

So Hades 4 began, and this is how I ended up here.

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