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Chapter two

Project Mars CHAPTER two

The production value of the website was slick and professional but only had a few links. As the website was http://whatisprojectmars.com Emma assumed it would reveal some details about the game. As she played the youtube embedded video, she could see that there were already several million hits. The links below in the description box showed dubbed versions in mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, German, Spanish, Urdu, and twenty other languages.

The video started with a black background and a man with a white turtleneck walked into view. It was Eli Tusk, the brilliant venture capitalist who was leading the private space exploration movement.

Emma had heard that some private groups were trying to send people on a one way to Mars but in her mind, no sane person would agree. Not right now anyway. It would be suicide.

“hello everyone, as some of you may know who I am please let me introduce myself. I am Eli Tusk and I am very excited to announce something that is going to change everything. While I don’t want to give away too much at this point, I will say that on July 20, 2019 we will go live. I know that’s three years away but we still have a lot of work ahead to bring you a perfect product. Now innovation is what I stake my reputation on and this will be no different. “

He paused for effect and started walking while the camera moved with him to a rotating 3D image of Mars. “we’ve mapped out the entire red planet and have recreated it digitally for you to enjoy now! Since colonization is decades away, we wanted to see what it would be like once terraforming was completed and give everyone a chance to let their imagination run free. “

The image then turned from the familiar red to a lush vegetation rich planet with vast bodies of water and incredible canyons. “this is what Mars once looked like before losing its atmosphere and so we recreated it for you to experience firsthand. “

The image zoomed to the surface and a grid emerged separating the surface into partitions of equal size. “now that we have your attention, I would like to explain some of the rules.”

Emma grabbed a piece of paper and a pen and wrote “rules project Mars “ and underlined it.

The first words popped up in letters across the screen. Eli’s voice narrated in the background.

1. The first stage is a race. Everyone will have the exact same amount of credits to choose vehicles and mods to best suit them in the race.

Emma pumped her fist in excitement and wrote the word RACE!!! in capital letters.

2. The race is for land. It’s first come first served and once the marker is taken, that land is yours to do as you wish. Forever.

The short video ended with the image of Mars facing to black with the caption “stay tuned! #projectmars #willucolonizemars #marsrace http://whatisprojectmars.com

Emma sat back and exhaled. She had been holding her breath during the whole clip and thought about paying the clip one more time, or several. She saved the clip to her Dropbox under projectm and quickly texted her friend back “OMG!” along with several emoji like happy face with hipster glasses, robot head and red circle. She had to update her feed and wanted to see how many of her friends were gamers, geeks, nerds or any combination of the above. it looked like she had some competition but she knew that most of her friends would lose interest long before the game even came online. Life often got in the way but she was only eighteen and by the time she graduated, the game would be in beta and she’d have plenty of time to play while being educated and jobless. A history degree had little practical applications unless she pursude teaching or continued her education in graduate studies.

With no aptitude for numbers and no interest in business, Emma pursued an education that would be interesting to her. She was fascinated by history, the complex decisions made by great men and women and consequences of these decisions. The universe was funny in that often it was better to be lucky than smart and that the ability to influence was grounded in likability. The hidden line through all this was masters in communication prevailed while schemers and traitors met their fitting end.

Emma cracked open a cold can from her mini fridge and gulped down the blueberry caffeinated drink with the door open. An apple and some leftover vietnamese rolls were accompanied by several cans of red Bull and some gummy bears. Her mom would freak out if she knew the status of her diet. Grabbing the cold gummies and the plate of rolls she plopped them on her desk and started to type.

She google searched Mars and downloaded the page for offline reading to her phone and began her research. She cracked her knuckles and quickly stretched her arms and back. “ok boomer, looks like my dinner is going to be red Bull blue and cold leftovers! We’ve got three years to figure out how we are going to win this thing!“

She placed her Bluetooth headphones on her head and thoughtfully chewed on a cold gummy bear as she read the article with the sounds of Stravinsky in her ears. Yay Red! She thought as the flavour hit her taste buds.  She usually ate the red ones first because they were the best but sometimes she picked them from the bag without looking.  Sometimes you needed a little mystery in your life.

Next Chapter: Chapter three