Time’s Window

gale crater

Gale Crater – Mars

“Temporal Shift Unit is powered up, Commander Sharp.” Physicist Jamie Benjamin and her team had spent a week assembling the complex machinery in Gale Crater, which was believed to be one of Mars’ long dried up lakes.

“If this device works as well as it did in the tests on Earth, we could very well see what this crater looked like over three billion years in the past, Benjamin.”

“I suggest we all anchor ourselves to a specific spot, Commander.” She was speaking to the entire team who had been living out of their twin solar-powered rovers for the past ten days. “When the unit activates, it will seem like we’re 5,000 meters underwater.”

“Proceed.”

“Activating projector…now.”

The thin air around them rippled and twisted, and then it was as if they were at the bottom of the ocean, which was expected. The true marvel was that they weren’t alone.

“Life.”

The What Pegman Saw flash fiction writing challenge was an unusual one this week. Normally, writers are prompted to craft a story no more than 150 words long based on some Google Maps view on Earth. Today, J. Hardy Carroll uses a virtual reality tour to take us to the planet Mars. I ended up somewhere in Gale Crater, scanning a 360 degree view provided by the Curiosity Rover.

Approximately 3.5 billion years ago, it is strongly believed the crater was a water-filled lake. I decided to manufacture a little “virtual reality” of my own to give astronauts a look at what the crater was like all those billions of years in the past. As you can see, they found something startling and wonderful.

To read other stories inspired by this prompt, go to InLinkz.com My story is 150 words long.

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14 thoughts on “Time’s Window

    • Actually, that’s what made it hard. I’ve written so many stories about Mars that I initially had a tough time coming up with something new.

      When I looked up Gale Crater and discovered it was most likely a late 3.5 billion years ago, I recalled the research I did for my story The Five Billion Year Love, but instead of transporting my astronauts back in time, I gave them the ability to project a holographic image of what the crater was like so long ago. Glad you liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. Remember though, this is a holographic projection of events that occurred 3.5 billion years in the past. Visually, it’s as if they were really there, but whatever Martian life forms these astronauts are observing, they’ve long since perished. Interesting to see the fossil record, though.

      Like

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