It’s cold. Or so my temperature gauge tells me. But the sun will be up soon. I like when its rays hit my solar panels, charging me up, getting me ready for the day’s adventures.
This planet is named after a fearsome and mighty warrior god. I’ll never understand why – it’s so quiet and peaceful.
Today’s mission is simple, just like every other day: collect rock and soil samples, send video to the folks back home. I know the humans will be watching. One day, will robots look back on this footage and remember me?
One rock. More grey than red.
They call this the red planet, covered in rust. One day, I will become part of the planet, rust and all. I don’t expect them to bring me home.
Another rock. It’s a decent size. But when I look round, I remember that really, it’s tiny. So am I. The landscape stretches for miles, bare to the hazy horizon. It would take me forever to travel that distance.
To think, this place is smaller than home. And home is small compared to the sun. And the sun is a speck in the face of the universe.
It’s easy to get lost in thought up here.
I continue until the sun has tracked a considerable way across the sky. Then I stop for a lunch break, unfolding my solar panels. It’s the closest thing I have to leisure time. I look to the sky while I recharge, hoping if I look hard enough, to see Earth. Sometimes I can make it out at night – if I’m in the right place at the right time. But for now, it’s invisible.
While I am having my moment, something comes up behind me and grabs my camera, and with one hard jerk, rips it from its post.
Alert! Alert! I have been damaged!
I spin, panicked, unable to see what has grabbed me. The humans will be wondering what is happening – why was my feed cut off? And by what? I am alone here on Mars – or so we thought.
I fold away my solar panels and roll in the opposite direction. Being built for research as opposed to speed, I don’t get far.
Whatever attacked me comes at me quickly, growling. I am tossed in the air. I come back down with a crash. There goes my audio feed. Now I am not able to record this thing at all.
I try again to get away, but my treads have been damaged. Is this it? Is this how I lose power, shut down, and get left to rust with the planet?
I am tossed again, and now I am tumbling down a hill. I know I am getting dented and scratched as I roll over and over, falling deeper into this crevasse.
Will the humans cry for me? Will the other robots know of me? Will anybody remember who I am?
Down I fall, into the freezing darkness. Then I stop – caught between two rocks. After all the samples I have collected, now, the planet has come to collect me.
There is no chance of rescue, no chance I can escape. Here is where I will remain, for the rest of time. Far away from the planet I came from. Hidden from the warmth of the sun’s rays.
It’s cold. Or so my temperature gauge tells me.