I slowly open my stinging eyes, tears streaming.
Behind me someone speaks—a mumbled locution of awe. I want to shout at them, to tell them to shut the hell up. But I don’t think my voice will work.
The first thing I see is red. Lots of it. I think of love, of blood, of death. Three things that await me here. I’m in love with this place already.
Two years later I develop a blood abnormality. Kidney failure. Probably because of where we are. I could go home. I don’t.
I become the first man to die on Mars.