The four Marks, as they called themselves, were in trouble.  It was supposed to be a standard ET mining mission with a standard military escort.  Everything was standard from the mission to the boot polish.  Routine, had been the word used during the debriefing.  The four Marks were supposed to be there to provide basic, routine security on an abandoned rock a couple million miles from earth.  No one was really sure what happened, but they knew they were in trouble.

Mark Via was the weapons specialist: if you gave that man a rock and a rubber band and he’d turn around five minutes later with a nuclear warhead.  Mark Petras was transportation and logistics: that’s to say that he was the one to give Via the rock and the rubber band.  Mark Agathus was in charge, although no one was really sure how he got there.  Mark Psomi… He was just sort of there.  No one really knew or understood what his deal or specialization was, he was just sort of there.

Psomi, however, was the first one to wake up.  He was the first one to look around the wreckage of the obliterated mining vessel.  Of the four Marks, Psmoi was the only one to survive more than a day.  Agathus bled out the second he came out of cryo-stasis.  Via’s body was never found.  That left Petras and Psomi to find what survivors there were and try and survive with no hope of rescue.

“There is always hope,” the commander had told them before leaving.  “It may not be hope of rescue, and it may not be hope of survival, but there is always hope.  Don’t you forget it.  The moment you lose hope is the moment you die.”

Petras lost hope after one of the survivors tried to rape another.  He went for a walk without a suit.  Psomi on the other hand managed to dig in, dig deep.  He didn’t bother with a mining camp just with surviving.  He led the survivors underground where they found some caverns and water.  They used the remaining energy cells to light up the caverns and start growing their own food.  Only then did they start digging for Ruachite, the mineral that they had been sent to harvest to power cities back home.

Let those who have ears to hear, listen.

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