“19th December 2156: Powered down Transit, we will arrive in Mars orbit in six hours. We are to meet our Contact in high orbit who will accept the Hardware consignment. Following delivery we are to make our planetfall rendezvous.”
“20th December 2156: I am lucky to be alive. We have no idea what happened but the shockwave and resulting pulse hit our systems before the rendezvous. How we managed to achieve any sort of landing I do not know. The majority of crew are dead: only four besides myself survive. Communications are down, and the atmosphere is unusually laden with even more dust. I think we are somewhere in the eastern end of the Mariner Valley. We must be strong.”
“21st December 2156: We are taking stock. We still have our consignments which includes a substantial food delivery – this is the least of our problems. We can seal sections of the ship but keeping warm is a problem. Some fuel cells have survived and we must ration them carefully. Hopefully our consignment is of sufficient import that it will be searched for.”
“23rd December 2156: Had to shoot Loftmann, as his behaviour was becoming increasingly erratic. "
“25th December 2156: I see no imminent hope of rescue and so I have made a fateful descision. I have taken four samples of the second delivery from our stock, and I am going to administer one to each of us. It is true that I am no scientist and do not fully understand the likely effects, but if what Mr. L. told me is true it will make us better able to resist the biting colds of Mars: perhaps then we will have a better chance of surviving till rescue. Harsh times require hard descisions: only the Strong Survive.”
“29th December 2156: I feel much better, stronger. And we have a supply of fresh meat also – why I didn’t consider it before I don’t know. The main problem will be defrosting it. There seem to be minor physical changes too, and I seem to be having strange dreams. I see them only dimly at present but I will try to record them later.”
“2nd January 2157: Ahhhhhhhhhhh………………….skllfc c c cc”