Item 37

Item 37. NASA’s Perseverance Rover and China’s Zhurong Rover are on Mars together. Are they bitter rivals? Is there a meet-cute and romance? Is it a love triangle with Ingenuity? Write the fanfic story of their relationship. – Vanessa T. (43 points)

Christmas on Mars

“Red rover red rover send Zhurong right on over”,  Perseverance sounded out across Mars’s surface.   Spirits were high as there was only one more power down cycle before Christmas.  The two rovers tumbled along through the dusty terrain, exploring and talking as they went.

“Hey Percy – what did you get Ingenuity for Christmas? I got her this pretty rock I found” Zhurong proudly extended it’s sample arm to show Perseverance a beautiful red rock. “I hope she likes it”

“Oh it’s beautiful” Percy said “I got her a soil sample”.  With that Percy showed Zhurong a shiny sample tube containing martian soil. Zhurong let out the softest digital coo of approval, “ooo”.

The two rovers plodded along well into the evening, overturning rocks and taking soil samples as they went.  As darkness set in both moons were becoming visible in the night sky. Ingenuity hovered above the rovers, “Boys time to power down for the night, we have to conserve our resources when it’s dark”.

“Yes ma’am” they buzzed in unison as the three settled in for the night. The sky was brilliant and clear above, unpolluted by the lights of the lab where they were raised. Quietly they rested.

The next day, as the sun began to creep up over the martian landscape, Zhurong’s circuits became alight with power.  “It’s Christmas morning” he exclaimed, awakening Percy and Ingenuity.  Happy to be together they gathered to exchange gifts.  Ingenuity loved her rocks and soil sample, professing to hide them from the scientists for her own personal collection.  Then it was time for her to give the rovers her gift.  During a flight she had captured a picture of Zhurong and Percy playing in their favorite crater. This was a treasured moment they would never forget.

They took a quick selfie and transmitted it back to earth “Merry Christmas from Mars”

I participate in an annual international scavenger hunt called Gish. It uses a variety of tasks to encourage relationship building, selflessness and inclusiveness. One of my favorite submissions from the last big hunt was my fanfic story for item 37, Christmas on Mars.

Shout out to the gishwhes historian for keeping all the list of gishes past.