Everybody was excited. Everybody had either been recruited or volunteered. I personally had responded to the ad on Craigslist. It seemed like a great opportunity, and lets face it, I didn’t have much of anything going on at home. My wife left in a huff one day and took the kids and the dog, but she of course left the cat that I hated. The cat hated me back, and had avoided my every attempt at capturing it. But even though I hated the damned cat and wanted it gone, I still fed the animal and changed the litter box, just because the cat felt like the only piece of family that I had left. When I sold the house I told the new tenants the cat was included.
When I first saw the ad it seemed like a perfect method to leave my past behind. The Mars One Mining Co was looking for employees to make the 7 month trip to Mars, to help establish the mining colony there and start new lives on the red planet. The salary wasn’t great, but all housing and food was included, and employees would be provided with a plentitude of leisure time to enjoy other pursuits, such as surfing the interwebs, exploring the Martian dunes in their patented Mars Buggies, playing golf beneath one of the numerous dome-covered courses, or just relaxing at the resort-like pool and spa built by the company.
I assumed that most of the other volunteers and recruits were trying to escape their lives on Earth for one reason or another. We had all been allowed one suitcase of belongings and no personal electronic devices. The company would provide us devices upon arrival, and any other supplies we needed would be appropriated if possible using the requisition request forms. The shuttle was buzzing with excitement of terminal losers and fallen heroes looking forward to their chances to start anew, to rebuild their lives and happiness from the ashes of broken and mistake ridden histories. Nothing more exciting than the prospect of a clean slate.
We were given instructions how to wear the mask apparatus before takeoff, which would put us into a suspended stasis during the majority of the flight. We were told that by the time we awakened we would already be on Mars, and our new lives would begin. The entire shuttle vibrated with the excited possibilities and the promises of adventure. I took one last look at Earth out of the porthole, and then carefully applied the mask and nostril tubes as instructed. I had visions of scaling the summit of Olympus Mons and standing at the precarious edge of Valles Marineris as the mask apparatus began working its magic and I faded into a dreamless unconsciousness.
It wasn’t until I awoke shackled in a cold cell constructed of red Martian rock that I realized the laws of Earthly decency apparently didn’t apply anywhere past the third planet’s gravitational influence. Needless to say, they weren’t exactly the accommodations I’d had in mind.