Samaira Thakur; Class 8; Loreto Convent Tara Hall, Category Classes 5-8; Winner: First

The year was 2130. It was a big day for the citizens of mars. They had finally finished their planet’s biggest project after decades of hard work. They had finished their space shuttles and finally two brave astronauts boarded the ship. As they prepared for takeoff they knew that everyone’s eyes were on them. They simply could not mess it up and there was no way they could, it was a foolproof plan or so they had been told.  They took off and in a matter of minutes they were in space.  They carefully dodged a few asteroids and they were on the way to a planet to which they would never reach. Siviln, one of the brave two felt his heart in his throat. There was silence for the first few minutes which was interrupted by the loud sound of the emergency alarm. They had run out of fuel for some reason. A calculation must have been wrong. They thought this was it for them. They had known what they were signing up for when they had boarded the ship. But in that moment they made a decision. They had set out to go to a planet to which no one had been and that they would do. They steered towards a planet. They steered towards a planet that every astronaut knew to stay away from but they had no choice.

They entered the earth‘s atmosphere and landed safely in something which appeared to be a forest.  Not sure what to do next they heard a familiar voice in their earpieces telling them what to do next – their instructions were simple- do not make any contact and wait for further instructions. But curiosity got the better of them. they couldn’t just stay put they decided to go a little further and that’s when they saw their first human. Or so they thought little did they know what they had seen was a dog. They ran as soon as they saw it and got separated. They both made their way back to the shuttle.” Where is your shoe” siviln asked. “Running away from an unknown species requires sacrifices.” Curt replied. After going back and forth many times they decided to make their way out the forest, and found a street.They were not sure what laid ahead but followed it anyway.

They made sure they were not seen by anyone. Not sure what to do next they approached a building they pushed the door as hard as they could but realized it had to be pulled and stepped in. They saw shelves and shelves of books in front of them they looked up to a sign which they were sure they could not read  As they looked at sign Siviln knew that they could not read it indeed but that was not what made him shocked this language whatever it was well known throughout the galaxy, it was considered one of the oldest languages not only in their planet but in the whole galaxy it was yet to be deciphered but it seemed that the humans had done that years ago. Looking at it he found himself in a dilemma. He felt his feet go numb and he heard a sound not sure if it was in a sound in his head or an actual noise he looked at curt, the look on his face assured him that it had indeed had been a very real noise they exchanged looks and made it sure someone was coming they found themselves running again. Siviln had never been much of a runner and he found it a little amusing that he had to go to another planet just to go for a run. They hid behind the very last shelf but that too didn’t seem to enough as the footsteps grew louder.

They pushed themselves against the wall wishing they could go right through it. And that was when they saw their first humans. They were much smaller than the humans. He was paralyzed with fear but soon realized they were as scared of them as they were of the humans. He began to examine the species they looked similar but had some distinguishing features.  One of them had much longer hair compared to the other. Then one of them grew closer very slowly and very carefully and held out its hand at first, he thought that he was offering him something but saw that his hand was empty  then he saw curt hold out right hand and slowly walk towards them he wanted to stop him but he didn’t instead he did the same.

He thought how this would go down in history. How two planets formed an alliance by simply holding out their hands. And then the humans started  back off they looked back as if they wanted them to follow and so they did with no clue about what would happen next. They led them out of the building and into another into a room and handed them some items he did not know what were. They were in all colors and shapes. And then a one of them motioned it towards his mouth as if he wanted them to eat it. But much to their disappointment he did not. Over the course of the next few days they continued to follow them.  Siviln always wondered why they had not been allowed to contact the humans. Since had they seemed so harmless. He realized during this time how similar their planets were. Both of them had their own versions of trees, plants, buildings and houses. He was begining to enjoy his time on this strange but beautiful planet.  The one day out of nowhere they ran to them with a terrified look on their face, and it appeared that they were saying something but they could not understand them.

They led them out of the house and pointed towards the sky to a spaceship which looked like the one they had landed in,approaching the surface. Siviln quickly figured out what was going on. They had not made contact with their planet in days as he had given his device to the human without thinking straight and had forgotten it existed and back at mars they had assumed that they had been taken hostage. But it was too late to fix his mistake now.

He had not formed an alliance by holding out his hand, He had started a war.

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