Humanity has finally made it to Mars, but within a month of settling there, the remains of thousands of human skeletons are found. How did they get there? What happened to them and what happens next?

 Yurii Vasylkiv

September 24, 2098. It has been 27 days since we reached the surface of Mars. As it can be seen now, the process of settling is going well. All the stations are working good. The connection is stable. The lands are being prepared for the next stage. The time has come. Humanity has made a huge leap in the history. Mars now is about to change, is about to become our new home. Our mothership is waiting to transfer more settlers to Mars. There are about ten thousand people are expecting their descending the great history as being done.

Day #28. 1500 miles way from the main station. The group of scientists were given a task to research the lands nearby volcano crater. There was a giant cave. The satellite spotted it on the third day. Strange gases emissions were seen and it attracted much attention of scientists. Lots of speculations were made about this cave itself!

Heavy machines were set to excavate nearby regions together with special equipment to research the cave. The long road from the station is expected to become a huge challenge for that group.

Day #35. We have finally arrived and started unloading all the equipment. The cave was expected to be difficult to get in as the entrance was obscured by a huge rock. Although, there was a small hole so we could find out what is inside by sending a drone while drilling the rock. What we saw on the display after sending the drone inside was shocking and mysterious. The camera revealed remains of thousands of human skeletons. We couldn’t believe in what we saw. There were tons of bones, and skulls. So, now we have to crack that rock to get inside. It seemed that the whole history is hidden behind those walls. The questions tortured us. How in the hell did they get there? What happened to them? After two days of endless drilling the rock has finally given up.

Day #38. We were in. The smell of hydrogen peroxide was in the air. We were literally walking on the bones. We didn’t understand why all of these people died in one spot when there was plenty of space around. We made a conclusion that they were running away from something. We were wearing masks as the concentration of that gas was too high to breath. We thought for a second that they might have died suffocating from the gas. It fitted good, because it explained why they were running away. They tried to get out of that cave. But what did they do there?

Passing all those bones we finally reached the corridor that was pretty long. The torch couldn’t light everything. In fact, the light wasn’t spreading normally as it is expected. The light was like suppressed by darkness, so we couldn’t see anything further our feet. We were moving slowly. The night had come. Before we bumped into the ramification. It seemed that that cave was going far in different directions. Three of us left behind looking at the remains. We wanted to sleep. We haven’t had any sleep for 3 days. So we decided to sleep a bit.

Day #40 We splitted. I went to the right and the rest to the left. The cave seemed endless. After hours of scavenging, I heard terrifying screams of something. In the direction of those who turned left. Then suddenly I heard them, they were running, yelling, I heard all of that. But then silence. I realized then that those people didn’t suffocate from the gas. It was something different…