Sunday, November 27, 2011


Now you have to understand that Mars afforded us a great freedom. We didn't need pressurized suits. Well, no. I'm wrong. We did require pressurized suits. But they were much lighter and less cumbersome than the get ups mortals wore. And the best part was we did not need helmets. Remember, we just breath out of habit. whatever gases go in come out. Our bodies draw no sustenance from it. And the cold did not bother us either. True, the pressure suits did have a heating element incorporated into the design. Our blood could freeze, after all. And that might have been a little uncomfortable. Could it kill us? No. But I don't relish the thought of standing around like a department store mannequin for a few months. Maybe if they'd given me fitting props, a tennis racket, a Merschaum pipe... then I'm sure I could have pulled it off. Might even have been relaxing.... with the right view.

What else did I want to tell you? Oh, yes, I know. The low surface pressure caused liquids to fizz up and sublimate off into space....Odd, just like us. So that's why the suits were pressurized. But I'm not even sure that would have killed us. Ever see those little freeze-dried strawberry bits the put in some breakfast cereals? Well, that would be me. That would be us. But our minds would still work. The gears would still turn. Like raisins with dreams.

Sarah and I enjoyed exploring old river beds. They meandered everywhere. Occasionally small underground streams bubbled up, bursting out onto the surface. And they would fill the dried channels for a short while. But Mars is not Earth. And such things were short lived. I'd dip my finger into the cool, clear water and taste it. I can do that. It doesn't make me sick. It had a salty flavor, slightly metallic too. Like copper or iron and very much like blood.

How did we feed? What? You want me to tell you that?...... They brought a supply from Earth. You know, with those new powerful engines shipping things out here became a lot easier.So they picked men from various death rows. No shortage there. America had them. Russia had them. China did too. And we had a...what would you call it?.... A smorgasbord. Not exactly the same as when we had the visions. These feedings had no element of divinity about them.. They were 'wrong doers,' or they were officially labeled as wrong doers. So we just made do. Each vampire got a 'hot' meal every twentyeight to thirtyone days. And believe me, It was not the same. For it's the 'culling' of the unworthy life that sustains us. That's why we're here. That's our purpose. The blood is only secondary. Look, I know some of you have been with us since the beginning. You understand.

Sarah found a small amulet. It was in a shallow cave, lying among what appeared to be broken shards of pottery. How would I describe it? Well, like a bat, or a stylized pteranodon. Not very large. Fit right in the palm of her hand. An anthropologist back in Circus Towne1 confiscated it. Who knows? Perhaps a long dead Martian made it? That's what I think. And do you want to know the truth? I can smell them. I can still pick it up when I go outside. And they can't be dead that long, or the scent-bearing, organic molecules would have deteriorated by now. Hah! What a strange thing I have become, a life-eater with scientific training. But 'they' said it was necessary. And Doctor Franklin came out once to help set up the program. He was afraid to make the voyage, but... he did it. So now we have a regular Vampire Academy....... 'special ed' for special creatures. So far Jonathon ben Macabi (that's me) has all A's. And my sublimation skills are progressing quite nicely too. The vacuum of space is no longer insurmountable. I flit about like an over sized hummingbird. Tomorrow night we'll try for Jupiter. Others have gone out before. Now it's my turn...........

We study Earth via computerized, digital observatories. And the Skyward Sea, like a second, dark green, undulating skin continues to spread  'round the planet, causing great consternation among the inhabitants. Harmonics experts search for some bit of knowledge we might use to foil the 'Enemy.' But so far, their work sounds like a bunch of ersatz Phillip Glass to me............


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