Life on Mars?
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A Christmas Story. By DA.

The clan chiefs had gathered, they had important matters to discuss.

"It is a sign.." spoke one, a small greenish man with one large hand. "something portentous!"

"What is this, so-called sign of yours Hartenk?" Enquired Roddyton, sneering malevolently. He was a weasely looking type with bluish hair who obviously considered himself superior to his companions.

Hartenk shifted from foot to foot to foot (he had three) "I have seen a most curious event.. something, momentous!"

"Momentous? Ha!" muttered Roddyton "Like that time you told us the sun had gone out, and it turned out to be an eclipse?"

"Gentlemen please!" A tall yellow gentleman wearing unfeasibly long leggings shuffled up. "I have seen it too!"

"Teggitall, you are corroborating this fool's story? Have you taken leave of your senses?" scowled Roddyton, flicking his blue hair out of his single eye. "What, prey tell, have you seen that is sooo portentous?"

Teggitall swayed gently as he untangled his trouserage. "A star has fallen."

"A star? Fallen? Surely the ground would have shaken with the force of such an impact? I felt no shaking."

"You wouldn't have felt a thing if it had, the amount you drink!" Retorted Hartenk.

"Shushh! The pair of you." Teggitall was getting aerated "I saw a star fall, a small one I admit, but a star all the same. It fell last night and it is not of this world!"

"Not of this world? How can you be sure?" Roddytron looked concerned for the first time. "You have examined this.. err.. fallen star?"

"Yes. It is not 50 foils from here. We must go and pay our respects to the alien visitor."

"Well you can go if you like. I haven't had my breakfast yet."

"Breakfast?" Shouted Teggitall. "This is no time for breakfast!" He looked at his watch. "Well, yes it is time for breakfast but it is not the time for breakfast. We must go and pay homage to our visitor."

"Alright alright, I'm coming. What do you suggest we pay homage with? I'm no good at buying presents for the wife, let alone interplanetary visitors."

"Hmm good question." Teggitall looked around the room. There was a cabinet in the corner. On it stood some small boxes of exotic spices and such, used for sprinkling over the smellier kind of visitor from the outlands. " We'll take some of these."

Later that morning the three chiefs set off for the site of the star-fall. There was a bit of a hold up on the border as they tried to explain to a jobsworth of a customs officer; why they were travelling to the outlands carrying deodorants, and they reached the place as the sun was setting.

"Behold!" Cried Hartenk, getting all excited. "The most amazing thing!"

"Doesn't look much does it?" Said Roddyton. "You sure this is it?"

"Yes, I saw it fall." Hartenk was beside himself with glee. "It came whistling through the sky, then it hovered on an umbrella thing and crashed into that rock."

They examined the shattered object, five blue panels lay broken on the red ground and a white frying-pan like object was whirring gently nearby.
The three men picked over the parts.

"What does this say?" Cried Teggitall excitedly, holding up a small metal plate. It carried the legend "BEAGLE2 Made in Leicester" but the three were at at loss as to understand it.

"It is surely a sign of a more advanced civilisation somewhere across the galaxy. We shall build a great religion on this event and we will wage wars and subdue anyone who gainsays this new way!"

And so they gathered up the parts and they planned the building of a fine temple, the greatest on Mars, in which the fragments were to be stored for all eternity.

Well, that was the plan. But they all died of the common cold three days later.






RIP Beagle2, died December 25th 2003 (Earth time)

© Winamop & DA 2003

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© Winamop 2004