Flash Fiction Challenge
Writing prompt: The first men/women to set foot on Mars return to their ship only to find a large, strange insect on the door of the ship.
Knight Rider: Mars Edition
By Eilidh Thain
“Come in Rover KATT,” said Matthew Knight as he scanned the bank of monitors for signs of the rover. Static crackled from the radio. After many years of fighting crime on earth, Matthew and his crime-fighting car have been assigned to a case on Mars. Their assignment was to investigate rogue Rover 4 that was destroying cameras in remote areas of the planet. These cameras took years to set-up in order to scout potential areas for human colonies
“Rover KATT reporting, ” said an electronic voice.
“Where the hell have you been?” Matthew saw the KATT roll into view from the northeast. He laughed at the sight of it. He still couldn’t get used to the new look. It reminded him of chicken with a stupid long neck, clucking along. He understands that a Pontiac Trans AM is not exactly the most practical vehicle on different planet, but they could have made the new KATT look a bit cooler.
“Dealing with this horrid terrain. You can’t imagine the havoc it’s reeking on my suspension system.”
“You’re still under warranty, so quit complaining. What’s your ETA?” Matthew asked. He started thinking about how they came to find themselves on this inhabitable planet. They had found themselves unemployed after the Earth Government abolished all crime on the planet. Struggling to pay the bills, they were forced to take work off earth.
“I feel like a three-legged chicken is this vessel. ETA to Navaho 1 is T-minus 10 and counting.”
“Do you even know what that means? Brief me on rogue Rover 4.”
“Of course, Matthew. I located the rover at coordinates 42.45.65 in the Plains Basin of the New Rocky Mountains at 1330hrs. It was wacking cameras with what appeared to be a bat attachment. Older rover units were equipped with this type attachment, which in my opinion was a savage tool. I could think of more sophisticated tool, but I digress. Anyway, it was making a high-pitched whirling sound. But the really weird part was what appeared to be a large insect attached to it. I’m transmitting an image.”
Matthew waited as the image downloaded onto the screen in front of him. He squinted at the picture that unfolded before him. The rough image showed the rover encased in what appeared to be a thick cocoon. This rover was not mobile. He noticed the time stamp indicated 1409 hrs. “KATT, when did you capture this image?”
“When I first saw the rover — about 1409 hrs.”
“Was it encased in a cocoon?”
“No, it was batting 100 on the cameras. Open the gangplank. I’m home”
‘The image I’m looking at shows the rover encased in a cocoon. But wait, now it’s changed. The insect is looking in your direction. Did you have any interaction with it?”
“Matthew, I’m afraid I have some alarming news.”
“What is it?” Matthew trained the camera on KATT situated outside the pod. A large insect clung to the side of KATT.
“I’m dying as a rover and not a Trans AM. How lame.”