When Rogers didn’t come back from setting survey spikes we thought he’d had a suit issue, developed hypoxia, wandered off, died in a shadow somewhere where we couldn’t spot him on satellite imaging. But then Pierce, and then Bai, and we knew something was happening.
The Director did the morning briefing personally. “Only go out in pairs. And armed. And don’t leave the Rollabout unless you absolutely have to. You see anything, report it. Anything at all, I don’t care. Report it. Report in.”
Franklin and that blond kid, the new one, both of them and the Rollabout, just gone, and they’d checked in that they were on their way back ETA five minutes. The Director was apparently on comms that whole afternoon trying to get Earth to find out if somebody else was out here, the Russians, the Chinese, whoever, messing with us. Nothing.
No one’s left the dome in… two weeks? We keep a watch on the landing pad, three guys in the airlock, just to make sure the lifeboat doesn’t disappear. But there isn’t room on it for everybody, so we can’t run.
If there’s Martians, and they want us gone, I just wish they’d say so.