June 23, 1998

The Alpha IV Mission to Mars

"Retro-thrusters engaged."

"Velocity at 450 mph, approaching descent."

"Desination now approx. 5 miles below."

"All systems are go."

"Increase thruster boost to 1001 lbs. at 500 mph."

"Present velocity is now 301 mph."

"Boosters increased to 2000 lbs."

"Present velocity is now 85 mph."

"Approaching destination -- prepare to land."

"Descent at 1mph w/ 3000 lbs. thrust upward."

"All systems okay."

"OH LORD! Engage thrusters to the max!!"

"God help us!"

"Use the main thruster! Get it up!"

"The dang thing won't go! Tarnation!"

"We've hit land…"

"Drat! Get the hell out and see what it is!"

"Take the first aid kit just in case!"

"The hatch's open. Let's go!"

"Call Mission Control. Tell them what happened!"

"I will when you guys finish checking on that thing."

"Okay. What are we waiting for? Go!"

"The ground's okay."

"Oh my God!"

"It's under the landing gear!"

"Shoot! Radio Mission Control!"

"Mission Control. This is

Alpha VI. We have news.

We have landed safely but we

Have found what may have been

The first sign of extraterrestrial

Intelligence in the universe."

"Congratulations Alpha VI!"

"No, we don't deserve any…

…we killed it."

"Why!? How!? What!?!"

"We accidentally landed on it.."

"You bunch of incompetent astronauts!"