On Arabia Terra reddish was a color we Martians knew from birth. When I went out in my pressure suit to explore I witnessed red. The sand was blood that many years ago dried up acquiring that color, or at least in my childish mind, I saw it that way. I climbed a few hills examining the rocks. Until I reached an elevated area and examined my home.
Arabia Terra was a domain full of huge craters, I could barely glimpse them all. However, from where I was I could see the entrance to the dome of my home. It looked like the entrance to a war bunker, but it was an extensive dome buried in the center of the Eden Patera crater, five years ago it was buried by one of the strongest storms on the planet. That did not hinder the operations of my parents who continued to work to bring the other Metas forward.
“Are you there Melchior?" was the computerized voice of Sky, my protective AI. ”Even though you shut down my defenses I was still able to get into your watch boy.”
“Can't I take a walk on the red planet?" I accused in annoyance. I wanted my privacy, I didn't want to hear any annoying or innocent thoughts. “You know I come for the silence.
Sky pondered his answer
“I know, but your parents need your decision-making skills. They don't know how to trust others.”
I snorted. My parents since they started using my powers couldn't trust anyone anymore. They wanted me to search everyone's thoughts like a bloodhound hoping to uncover some plot against the colony. How could you distrust the Metas themselves, beings beyond humans, beings with powers capable of changing history.
“You're getting further away from the dome, Melchior," Sky's voice was already beginning to sound distorted.
“I want to be alone! Do you know what that is, Sky?" he regretted the question.
“Not really, I don't know what the word loneliness means. I know the concept, but I don't understand it.”
“But you are the only one of your species. You are the only AI on this planet made by an ancient Meta three decades ago” I got no answer from Sky. “Don't you feel lonely being the only AI?”
“I am a unit that is integrated with all of you Melchior, I don't know what it means to be alone.”
Sky could monitor my whole body, even if it was anchored to my watch. I knew I was twisting my eyes. I kept climbing the crater until I came upon a huge canyon. The landscape was new to me. I had never been to such limits. The sun was at its zenith, it was still quite a while before sunset, I could continue exploring.
Red accompanied me into the canyon. In that area, Sky's voice could not be heard. The silence was all around me. It was gratifying.
I examined the reliefs, the layers, and the sand. Red in different shades. Dried blood, blood set to tan.
The sound of my footsteps echoed in that geological paradise.
“Master Melchior... come back... stay... oxygen...”
Sky was right about that, but I had learned to regulate my breathing to make my excursions last longer, not only could I read minds.
Nevertheless, I decided to set out on my return to the dome.
As soon as I was back in cover Sky kept bombarding me with his questions.
“Are you coming back? Say yes, Master Melchior?”
“You know I do, I don't know how you keep asking such dumb questions.”
“I'm just following protocols.”
Its good thing Sky couldn't read minds, it would be fatal to my plans.
We Metas were the inheritance of humans, Sky the inheritance of the Metas. Good thing no algorithm could graft the abilities of a Meta.
As I walked back I shuffled my feet in the sand. The boots of the suit detracted from the fun, but I kept thinking about the blood sand I brought with me.
“Tell me again Sky, about the blue of the Earth Is it better than blood red?”