Red Rover, Red Rover

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Spirit of the Season

January 1, 2006

Mossbauer, alpha particle x-ray, and microscopic imaging of El Dorado...check.”

As the instruments were doing their jobs, Spirit thought back to a random moment little over a year ago. Christmas. There was a shooting star. They happened a lot out here it seemed like, but he never really paid much attention to them until then. It was like something was telling him to look up just at that moment. It made him think about his sister. She was just the type to do something silly like make a wish.

Ever the dreamer that girl...”

He thought about that for a second.

Then again...maybe a little dream every now and then would be a good thing. Maybe that's why she's so strong. She can dream of reasons...of ends...”

Spirit paused.

What the hell am I even thinking?”

But he couldn't really stop himself at this point. He thought back to a Christmas back home. It seemed so long ago now. For a mission that was only supposed to be 90 days long, it had already turned into almost two years...and he had no feeling that it was going to end soon. He had even less idea of why it hadn't. He knew that part of his work was tied into a bigger scheme, but why should it fall on him when he was in such a state?

Two years. If I could even grow facial hair, I'd probably look something like that guy who does janitorial back home. More hair on his face than half the building has on their heads.”

The instrumentation finished and were already processing the information, compiling it all to send off home.

How much longer? Days already just on El Dorado alone. How many more Bonnevilles, Broken Slates, Laguna Hollows, Broken Dunes, Wallula Gaps, Hank's Hollows, Columbia Hills, Cumberland Ridges, Independence Rocks, and the list goes on and on. But for how much longer? Haven't I already fulfilled my mission? Haven't I scraped and brushed and examined more sites than anything else before me? What the hell else is there for me to do!?”

As the beeps of his instrumentation continued on, he looked up at the stars, and though he didn't know it at the time...he was slowly making up his mind. Ever so slowly.

New year. This is when people make resolutions, right Opportunity? Well then, maybe I should too.”

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