The days were longer; not by much, but by enough that you could tell. Or so I've heard. The red sand blew across the landscape as I polished the chrome emblem on the side of the white ship. The blue marble on the emblem looked surreal. The cascading oceans and lush forest were luxuries only a phew had. Surrounding the planet was a red halo and the number 27. I continued to inspect the ship I heard my name, "Ezike" Commander Ivan bellowed at me. My head raced through every reason he could have to yell at me. His short blond air barely moved in the increasing wind. His red camo displayed many medals each one more prestigious than the last. I'd once asked him what all of them meant. He told me, "My rank, Meaningless accomplishments, all the mumbo-jumbo that accompanies serving in an interplanetary war." He was born on Earth, and I'd often talk his ear off when asking what it was like. He'd respond the same way every time, "Anything looks beautiful from a distance kid." I'd always ignore his answer and proceed with more questions. I've always wanted to go to Earth and enjoy the little things, but a trip like that is expensive, and there is only one way for a poor martian to get on a craft headed for Earth: the military. As I daydreamed about Earth Ivan shouted out my name once again. "Ezike!" I snapped free of my thoughts and began walking his way. He motioned his arm towards an open door. As I followed him inside I saw a frenzy of screens that filled the command room.
As I entered the room I felt the cold air hit my suit. This was no Apollo space suit, however, this was a UV suit. Most inhabited planets had breathable atmospheres, as it had become a rather routine practice. Building a magnetic field, however, was not nearly as simple as blowing up a couple of bombs to release gasses. As such it was necessary to wear a UV suit at all times.
A large screen filled the furthest wall. On it was a map of the solar system; the four inner planets, and the four gas giants. It baffled me that for so long humans believed they were alone in the universe when life existed in their very solar system. The briefing room was filled with Venusians, Terrans, and Martians. And then there was Blitz. He was a Jovian. Many questioned his elegance, and most were against him even being admitted to the military. Most Jovians that lived in the Republic resided on Io or Europa. Very few lived outside the Julian system. Wherever they went, there would be resentment for what their ancestors did. While some tried to blend in that can be difficult when you have two large horns and red skin.
"Attention!" Yelled Ivan from the front of the room. I sat down in a chair but moved shortly after a Venusian sat in front of me. I don't have anything against Venusian, but their long necks make it impossible to see over them. Ivan then continued, "The First Solar Republic has asked all martian bases to stay on high alert as terrorist attacks continue throughout the Jovian system. This, however, is not why I called you here. Recent reports believe that terrorist groups have been gathering resources and meeting in the Saturnian system. The Republic has asked for us to send two pilots to do some reconnaissance and report back. Biltz, you will go along with Ezike." My heart froze after hearing what Ivan just said. I, Ezike, was to go to Saturn. My whole life I'd been stuck in a desert and finally, I was going to travel outside of it. I'd accomplished my dream. I looked over at Biltz. The Jovian's face lit up. Of course, I finally got the opportunity of a lifetime and I had to share it with a Jovian. "Head out immediately," Ivan finished.
As I prepared my ship Blitz came over. "Have you ever been to Saturn before," he said with a smile stretched across his face. I shrugged him off as I wasn't that pleased by having to spend my next two weeks and lifelong dream with a Jovian. Blitz's expression changed as he continued, "Look I get it, the things my ancestors did were terrible, but I'm not them." I didn't respond. "Look all I'm trying to say is..." I cut him off, "Terrible describes a bad day. What your ancestors did was horrific. My family was killed when your people attacked Mars. The relentless bombings killed every single one of them," I paused for a second, "EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM," I yelled as spit hit his face. Blitz looked as though he was going to say something else but just walked away instead. I'd heard enough Jovian sob stories in my life, and I hadn't been stupid enough to believe one of them.
Thank you for reading!