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“Say that again, Rover One.”

“I said, the original Mars Rover, the Curious or whatever it was, it’s here. But it’s destroyed.”

I stared at the screen. I was still millions of miles from the red planet, but I could feel the same terror that was griping the astronaut that was there. The original Mars Rover, the Curiosity, considered MIA by the NASA chairman, was in fact there. But it had been gutted.

It looked like the 1953 Ford half-ton that I had in my garage. I had been working on it with my dad since I was a kid, and now that he was gone, I worked alone. There were piece of metal here, tools strewn all over the place, oil, grease, rags hanging on just about everything. Subtract the tools and rags, that was what my astronaut was showing me.

“What do I do, Houston?”

I didn’t know what to say. Finding the original Mars Rover wasn’t a part of this mission. It wasn’t even a third tier objective. We honestly thought it was gone, covered up by the sandstorms.

“Houston! I need an answer.”

I leaned into the microphone to respond. “Rover One, do you see any tools?”

“What? Tools?”

“If there are tools, that means someone stripped it.”

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