If I didn't know any better, I'd swear I was still living on the planet Earth. Yet I know for a fact that this is not Earth at all. We now live on the planet Mars, fourth planet from the Sun here in the Solar System.
We moved here last year after an apocolyptic plague wiped out just about the entire populace of the planet Earth. We wanted to get away; in order to survive, we had no choice but to go elsewhere. Seeing that Mars' atmosphere is a lot like Earth's, we decided to move here. And here we remain.
We have had to make numerous changes in order to adapt to the dusty, thin world that is Mars' atmosphere. We also had to get used to the fact that there were two Moons to see in the sky instead of the moon we saw on Earth. That makes for a brighter night.
Because the air is so full of dust and the atmosphere is comprised of so little oxygen, we have to wear specialized space suits or else we would die in a matter of hours, if not minutes if we were not suited up. We have to wear masks, gloves, suits similar to what the astronauts would wear if they were to go to the moon ... or to Mars, which they started doing more than 20 years ago. Just five years ago, the first humans moved here and more and more people are moving here to get away from what is left of Earth.
Earth has become a living hell. It is becoming less and less inhabitable.
The storms on Earth have nothing compared to the storms here on earth. Dust storms are quite common, with area coverage ranging from just a few miles to monster mega-storms that can eclipse the entire planet. Windstorms are also common, with speeds in excess of 300 miles an hour ... or more.
Temperatures can range from -87 during a polar winter to a balmy -5 in the summer months. The seasons last twice as long as does a typical year: while a year on Earth equals 365 days a year (or 366 during a leap year), a Martian year lasts 8,809 days, or 1 year, 320 days, 18.2 hours.
There is water available here, but it is undrinkable unless we boil it for a certain period of time and then filter the particles out for safe consumption. The food we eat is usually pre-packaged: it's similar to what the astronauts eat. It's rather disgusting, but hey, at least it's something. There are stores here, but nothing like on planet Earth, where there is such a wide variety of items. Here on Mars, we are rather limited.
The sky color took a lot to get used to: instead of the bright, pristine cobalt blue found on Earth, the skies here are usually tawny in color if clear; when cloudy, the storms can get mighty ugly. Then when you get a dust storm ... oh, boy! The skies turn nearly grey-black and shut out whatever light may be left and then we're enveloped in darkness until they subside (unles it's one of those monsters that cover the entire planet; then those take weeks or even a few months to subside).
I haven't made many friends here, but hopefully I will. I'm just glad we aren't the only humans living here, but I wonder what the Martian kids are like. Would they have green-colored skin or would they talk in Martian, or would they be more intelligent and/or civilized??
I'm almost too afraid to find out.
~To be continued.~