Ana looked through the window of the rover toward the spot where the sun would rise in a few minutes. Being just past opposition, Earth hung above that point near the horizon, glowing blue and bright. The salmon sky was getting brighter and few stars shone in the predawn light. Ana had never been to Earth, but had taken numerous virtual-video trips there, had read about it and had heard about the mother planet from her elders in tedious detail. Looking at the magnified image captured by the camera on the roof waldo and displayed by her instrument screen, she had to admit that the old girl looked good up there with the little companion hanging at her side.

Pretty, but no match for Mars, she thought.

Excerpt from Chapter II: The Rover
Illustrations by Joe Hardwick

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