Communication was patchy at best, especially this far north and so for the most part they kept quiet. It just took too much energy to keep trying to contact base camp and so they gave a cursory attempt every hour on the hour but otherwise left themselves to their own devices, it wasn’t as if they had not been in these situations before and as as this was a simple recce mission a lack of comms was not too much of a concern.
Col Abrams figured it was to do with the terrain; the steep gorges were interfering with their signal even though a communication device was launched for this very mission a few days ago.
“There must be something in the geology of the rocks that held the signal in” he mused to himself as he stared and the scenery around him. There was a crackle in his headset and the clear voice of his Captain came over the intercom, local communication was all good.
“Colonel, I think we have found something here, I think you should come see it” The message was short and Abrams looked to the end of the dry gorge where his Captain and two other men were searching. He moved off in their direction, his breath soon becoming laboured as he moved carefully towards them.
Captain Rock stood looking at the patch of water on the ground. He couldn’t supress the big shit eating grin that he had on his face and when the Colonel came into view his raised his arm to catch his attention and beckon him over. The Colonel he saw started moving purposely to his location, Before the Colonel even arrived he had seen the damp area on the ground.
“Do you think this is the source” he said.
“I think so Colonel; at least this is the best chance we have had in days”
“I agree” he said as he turned to the men “get your kit together guys, we’re moving out”.
The two men spent a few minutes gathering the kit that had been at the temporary camp “What Direction” Abrams asked.
“The instruments we have indicate that the most probable direction is that way” The Captain said pointing to a jagged crevice in the red rock about 100 yards away.
“C’mon then, let’s move out” he moved off towards the crevice knowing that his men were not too far behind him.
About 20 yards out he detected a noise around him he stopped raising a fist so that the others behind him stopped too. He listened hard, the noise was definitely there and he knew what it was. He was speechless surely this could not be what he thought it was, after all this time looking were they so close. He moved with purpose reaching the crevice and looking in. the ground was wet and the noise of rushing water filled his ears. The others had heard it too and were crowding the entrance. Carefully they stepped in and walked the 50 yards to another bend and once they rounded that they could see it, rushing water. It didn’t seem that deep but it is clean and clear, rolling over rocks and rushing off towards a deeper gorge, sounding like thunder in the narrow space.
“We’ve done it men, we’ve found it” he announced and high fives were given all round. “OK let’s make camp at the entrance and I can try and call this in”.
Back at the entrance the two soldiers and Captain Rock had started getting a camp together, Abrams moved out of the crevice into more open land to call in the find, he hoped they wouldn’t have to spend the night at the camp, that the discovery of water would be enough for them to be picked up tonight.
He opened the tablet and entered in a code which attempted to connect to the communication device, after several second a green go light was visible, he sighed a relieved sigh, that meant that he was connected via a military grade encrypted connection, not that he needed that here.
“Mars base this is Mars Rover, Mars Base this is Mars rover, we have found water I repeat we have found water” he spoke into his mic barely able to contain his excitement, a few seconds later he was speaking to his General and was arranging for them to be picked up.
I also had fun with the names, Col Abrams of course released the dodgy track called trapped years back and Captain Rock, well he is Captain Rock a bad arse mofo from back in the day, I was considering having a Sgt Pepper but thought that was too much.