The Human Face

Dave, this is Chris. Johnson.

Right. You’re covering sector 3, northern hemisphere, Mars, right?

Right. And guess what I found.

What?

Guess.

Oh, come on Chris. This is precious time. Out with it. What’d you see?

I want you to guess first.

A tent?

What?

You saw a tent on Mars?

Shut up, Dave. Guess again, seriously.

Oh Christ. Last time, Chris. You saw a… a… er… a volcano.

They see ‘em all the time, Dave!

Fine. Tell me what you found. It’s two in the morning over here. I’m not sure if I’m sleeping or not.

Dave, I found a face.

What.

A face! A human face! On Mars! Right across Vulcan. Above that red plateau we were talking about. A human face!

What? A face? Tell me clearly.

A human face, Dave. Rising out of the ground. A clear, symmetric, beautiful human face. In rock. On Mars. You can’t deny it.

Are you out of your mind?

Nope. Absolutely not. It’s true. It’s bloody true! Man, I’m shaking. I’m — ooh — shivering! Dave, I can’t believe this! You gotta see this!

Send it, send it. Compress it, send it.

Hang on, man. Man, this is crazy. This is unreal. And — hey! — I’m the first one to see it, man! Ooh! I can’t believe this.

Bloody send the photos!

I sent them. They should be —

Right. I got them. JPEG. Right. Hang on.

Look, look. Ooh, this is so exciting! I can’t believe this. I can’t believe I’ve seen something like this.

Oh my God. Oh my… oh Christ.

See, Dave? You see that? Isn’t that a human face? That’s one clear human face, man! You can’t deny it, even if you try with both hands. Lewis Carroll said that, right? Dave?

Oh bloody heavens.

Ha! Convinced you! Man, this is so unreal, man! A human face rising out of the rock on Mars! It’s like a movie! Man, I can’t believe this is happening!

Chris?

Yeah?

Can you just calm down for a minute? Don’t call anyone else. Have you called anyone else? Anyone before you called me? Anyone else?

No. Just you. I couldn’t wait till tomorrow to send these photos in. I’m sorry I had to call when it’s so late over there at your place.

It’s okay. Just… just don’t call anyone else about this, okay? Don’t call home, tell no one else about this. Reveal this to absolutely no one else, right?

Okay. Sure. Man, don’t snatch my credit. I saw it first. Please don’t mess around with that fact.

No I won’t. Can you just hold on for a sec? Can you just be on the line for five minutes? I’ll be right back.

Right —

If anyone calls or comes or whatever during this time, don’t tell them. Shut the application down so the pics don’t show on the computer.

Okay. You’ll be back in —

Five minutes, about.

Okay. Man, this is crazy.

 

 

 

Hello, Chris?

Yeah.

I called Central.

You showed them the pics?

I sent them the photos.

They saw the photos?

Yeah, yeah. I had a talk with one of the scientists.

What are they saying?

Well, he — they actually said it’s a peculiar landscape. That’s all.

What?

They said it’s a striking landform feature. It’s not a human. You’ll see his right ear is missing. Your right, not its right. And the chin isn’t symmetric. They said it’s a hillock. That’s it. And, hey, they told you not to tell anyone. They’ll be sending an officer from your regional headquarters with a non-disclosure agreement to your place tomorrow.

What the f—

Chris. I know what it feels like. But they don’t want the photos to spread. They don’t want the news to get out. They don’t want Johnson Space Observatory to be a — a —- to spread sensational stories about purely scientific expeditions. They want you to send them all coming photos to Central and not reveal it to anyone. Someone’ll be there tomorrow at your place to take over the rest of the photos.

But why? What the… why won’t they…

I don’t know, Chris. But look, man. Look at the pic. Does it really look like a human face to you? It’s an ape. It’s not even an ape. It’s a rockscape. It’s a hillock. You think it’s human because you want to. You wouldn’t think twice if it looked like an armadillo, would you?

You said Christ and stuff when you saw the photos.

Yeah, I was a little surprised too, but now it looks like a peculiar landform. That’s it, Chris. You’ve done your job. Just don’t tell anyone about it, and go home. Okay? If that’s a human face, then all the constellations in the sky are actually the things they look like. We are fighting superstition, man. We’re scientists. We can’t go and sell photos that’ll inspire a new sci-fi movie. It’s a bloody rock, a bloody hillock.

Chris?

Shut up.

Dead Tone.

1Life.

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