Liya woke up to the sound of her pretty little alarm. Her house seems to be quite different today missing the usual hustle and bustle of a normal week day. Instead of the usual sounds from the kitchen she could feel the silence in her home which seems to be holding its breath as though not to wake up anyone even with a slightest sound.
She peeped into the hallway and was surprised to see darkness still there with all the curtains drawn. Her parents were fast asleep, but Josa, her brother who shares his room with a number of gadgets seems to be lost in one of his powerful telescopes. He was considered as a young genius in inter-planetary communication. She tip-toed to his room to check what is happening. On any other day he would’ve shouted at her to be out of his ‘experiment lab’ which is the name he had given to his room. She was instead surprised when her brother with a grave face called her in and showed her the breaking news that one of the channels were airing.
Yet another launch! She heard her brother saying, this time it is very interesting to observe that it is a sequel to the previous attempt which almost exposed their lives, unknown to the rest of the universe. It is a humble yet powerful nation in the ‘Blue Planet’ which has set forth with their latest vehicle. Among all the things she liked the name of the space shuttle; it was called ‘Mangalyaan II’. The previous attempts to probe their home, which people in Earth call as the ‘Red Planet’ alias MARS had all been successfully encountered or re-directed by a team of scientists with whom Josa spends considerable amount of time.
Though she could see the tension on her brother’s face one thing made Liya happy. As the case was in the previous such incident, a global holiday was declared with governments across thinking hard on how to tackle this latest invasion. It had to be a strategic maneuver, just like what was done earlier so that the rest of the world should not be aware of such a fully flourished Martian civilization living below the red surface of the planet.The whole of Martian race is sustained by the extraordinary scientific and technological brilliance that at times they need to remind themselves not to get too carried away by narcissism.
Josa recollects what happened with a major incident of incursion from the NASA where a four wheeled toy named Spirit landed on the surface of MARS more than a decade ago. It generated enormous amounts of concerns that a global crisis center was set up to deal with the grave danger. Strategists across the planet were sent for and the advanced brains in the science community worked overtime to figure out a subtle but effective way of defending this well-kept secret from the rest of the universe.
All that was history and now this latest incident proves to be the greatest of the challenges the planet has ever faced. The attempt is from a nation that has always been considered ‘developing’ by the mighty powers on the face of Earth. Little did anyone notice how steady the growth of this country had been. It has proved to be so good that they have become the first country from Planet Earth to attempt sending a human being to Mars!
Josa had learned that there was a sole traveler on board on the space vehicle, Mangalyaan II. It was a matter of time before it reached the gravitational surface of Mars and for the first human being to touch down on the red soil. He was contacted earlier by the scientific community which had formed a ‘Think Tank’ on how to create a sustainable protection for the planet of Mars especially from the intrusion from other planetary beings. ‘Operation Code Red’ was drawn and is currently put in place to pre-empt any invasion such as the upcoming vehicle from Earth.
Months passed by and the plan was fully executed awaiting the final approach of the vessel. Josa had the privilege of being outside the perimeter of the Martian territory and was taking a ride on his favorite Red Bike which allowed him to traverse the surface of Mars at ease. Operation Code Red had started transmitting powerful seditious signals covering the approach track of Mangalyaan II. The signals were intended to confuse the binary code package that forms the brain of most of the advanced space technology from Earth. From the latest news that was captured from the Earthly media, the signals are doing exactly what was intended to do. Mangalyaan II reported certain technical failures, the reason for which is largely unknown to the scientists back in Earth. They are trying their best to steer the vessel on its right course and ensure the safety of the lone astronaut on board.
Dr Lena Jain, has already become a celebrity back on Earth being the brave soul who took up this assignment of travel to the unknown. She had always been the odd one in the family who was quite used to taking risks that no one else even dared to. Many of them were failures but the successes she had, outweighed the bitter taste of failures. The feeling of success made her intoxicated that each time she aimed higher.
While the on board computers started acting funny, Lena was thinking about how she overcame the stiff resistance from her family when she announced her decision to be part of Mangalyaan II. Everyone said she’s getting into a suicidal mission. Everyone except her dad tried persuading her to withdraw from the plan. There was no pressure whatsoever from the Indian Space Research Organization [ISRO] which was instrumental in this mission to Mars stretching the limits which no other country on Earth had ever attempted before. In fact they were quite surprised when she conveyed her decision. She had an unusually strong will which ultimately landed her the captain’s hat on the Mars Orbiter, the official name of the mission.
Lena was not sure what was happening to the systems when the final approach was set in. All the complex machines around her started giving warning signals. The compass seemed to be going berserk though she could not feel any unusual rotation of the spaceship. She knew something was wrong but did not panic. What’s the point in panicking when you are prepared for the worst? She had accepted all possible odds in this travel. There were more chances of failure than success. Nevertheless she was quite happy for being the only human being who has reached so near the planet of Mars. Her communication channels with the space centre back home was still open and she knew that an entire planet was praying for her. The world suddenly became her family and she had relatives all over the globe!
The vessel was fast approaching its destination. The warning sounds in the cockpit had become quite intense that she had to put on her ear plugs and depend only on the signals appearing on the screen. Everything seemed to be going haywire that she started feeling a bit eerie about the whole atmosphere around her. It was a matter of few minutes before Mangalyaan II touched down on the surface of Mars creating history. Her excitement levels had never been so high that she literally punched the air amidst all the confusion around. All of a sudden the warning sounds stopped and the communication line back with the space centre got cut off. She couldn’t hear even a tiny bit of sound. It was as though someone had clothed her with a blanket made of absolute silence! She could see from her windscreen an entire planet awaiting her visit and extending her a red carpeted welcome, literally.
Josa was taking a wild turn near one of the deepest trenches on the Martian surface when he saw a feeble blinking light from the North East direction. That was something totally new to him since it was neither a star nor one of the satellites he was so familiar with. This has to be it, the visitor from Earth. He was surprised that Mangalyaan II could surpass the signal jamming attempts and managed to enter the atmosphere of Mars. As he awaited the final stages of approach he received a warning signal stating transmission of a powerful electromagnetic field over the surface of Mars attempted to disable all electronic devices on the surface. He promptly switched off his device so as to save it from structural damage due to electromagnetic waves.
While he was on it, Josa saw the spaceship and did a mental math of its speed. He knew it was approaching quite fast and as expected crashed on the surface of Mars. He also knew that whatever equipment that were available on the spaceship will no longer be useful due to the powerful magnetic waves that would’ve disabled everything creating a dangerous proposition to the human being inside as well.
He knew he couldn’t wait for the search party to arrive and had to rush to the space shuttle. As he was about to reach for the door Lena stepped out and fell on the floor of Mars losing her consciousness. Her oxygen apparatus had stopped working and the surface of Mars offered very less in terms of inhalable air. Josa was quick to take her to a XO chamber, standing for eXtreme Oxygen, specially built on the Martian surface for emergencies involving people of Mars since they also needed this precious gas for survival.
It was a matter of minutes before Lena opened her eyes. The last thing she expected was to see a handsome young man extending a warm hand holding a steaming cup of coffee. Startled of course she was, but took the cup from Josa who introduced himself. Josa knew it’ll be sometime before the search party arrived locating the point of impact by the space vessel. He wanted to have a quick conversation with this specimen from Earth who was courageous enough to travel all the way across and finally managed to land on the Red Planet.
Josa and Lena got along pretty well. Two young and brilliant minds shared many ideas they had and the most important one was the welfare of their respective races. It didn’t take much time for Lena to picture the survival strategy of Martians and she also figured out the apparent criticality they were facing with the reduced levels of Oxygen production.
People of Mars had figured out long back that the Oxygen levels they had on Mars was way too low for generations to survive. Unless they figured out a way to produce further Oxygen their very race itself faced total elimination from the history of Universe. The supremely brilliant minds were set to work immediately and needless to say they found an alternative.
The water tables of Mars had a feature similar to Earth but in a reverse manner though. The water in Mars mostly was fresh in nature whereas only one third was saline. The analysis led to the discovery of extracting a magical element from the salt in sea water and generating Oxygen out of that. While the discovery was majorly lauded across the planet, the question always remained of the limited availability of sea water which will eventually prove to be insufficient on the long run.
They were amidst this dilemma when Mangalyaan II was announced as a global threat and the attention immediately got shifted to this new intrusion. Lena’s mind was working quite fast all throughout the conversation and was quick to identify the process of extracting the magical element from sea water. A realization dawned on her in the likes of revelation for St John or enlightenment for Buddha!
She shared her thoughts with Josa on creating a sustainable inter-planetary survival package. The whole idea was based on utilizing the sea water from Earth which was available in plenty and extracting the magical element which will provide a sustainable Oxygen generator for zillions of years for the people of Mars. In return, the tremendously intelligent brains of Mars will devise a strategy to transport the fresh water back to Earth where it was much needed.
It was the birth of a galactic brilliance which promised a renewed hope for both the planets! The day henceforth will be called ‘Day of Purple’ when the people on the Blue and Red planets joined hands to realize the importance of collaborative community living proclaiming to the universe the brotherhood of love!Let there be peace in the universe!