Monday, July 10, 2017

Final Entry

June 10th, 2037


Dear Earth Diary

After all this time. I’m home.

The place looks pretty much as I left it, aside from a layer of dust and some milk I rather unfortunately forgot was in the fridge before I left.

Oh, and several hundred discarded wooden crates in my front lawn. My neighbour is less than impressed.

Firstly, they’re an eyesore. Secondly, he had to sign for them as Mary had neglected to select “No signature required” when altering the addresses. And thirdly, he thought I was dead and was starting to slowly take over my backyard. He even put up a swing set.

I had a go. Quite fun.

The Marys had been installed in a fallout shelter that had remained dormant ever since nuclear war didn’t happen, which on the whole was a plus for everyone. Fairly utilitarian but then much comfier than a cloning vat or a wooden crate so I imagine it was a step up for them. They were arguing with a government social worker about trying to establish contact with the Marys on Splat. The social worker was understandably not especially versed in interstellar communication so it was a fruitless but determined argument on both sides.

I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen to them, but their optimism is infectious once you’re back on solid non-pink ground. I really hope they make it. I’ll help if I can.

Mary herself was taken away by the medical staff when we arrived. I’m told she should be alright, but that she’s lost a lot of blood and has been through a lot, so it’s anyone’s guess as to when and how she wakes up. They seemed pretty certain on the ‘if’ though which is arguably the main thing.

Mary Sixty-Seven seemed pretty set on that drink. Who knows, maybe I’ll go. I think I’ve had my fill of Marys for a little while though. I’ve got her number.

The government officials that met us at the shelter quarantined everything from off world that we had on us. I chose not to tell them about Mr Rock. His smile says he agrees with me. God, I hate that smile.

So… now what? I really don’t know what I should be doing.


That’s weird. Why is my phone ringing? Who rings a dead person at this time of night?

...Er, hello?

“Hi. It’s me.”

Who’s me?


Which one?

The Mary.”

…You’re awake?

“No this is all just a dream.”

Mine or yours?

“I’m really hoping yours, because if I’m a figment of your imagination I won’t have to remember this conversation.”

How are you feeling?

“Like hell. Absolute hell. But I’m awake. And apparently stable, whatever that means.”

I’m really happy to hear that.

“I’m glad you’re at home. Will you come visit us tomorrow? This might sound weird but I’m kind of used to having you around.

Listen. Can you do me a favour?”

Of course! What?

“Shut up.”

Good idea.

The End

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

230th Entry

June 10th, 2037


Dear Earth Diary

So. I have some questions if you don’t mind.

“Fire away.”

Where are we going.

“Somewhere safe.”

What will happen when we get there?

“We’ll be safe.”

Is Mary ok?

“She’s concerned at your use of the third instead of the second person , but yes I’m fine, thanks.”

Not you. I mean Mary.

“But I am Mary.”

You’re a Mary. I mean the Mary.

“Oh Mary-Zero. I don’t know. I hope so. We’ll be able to look after her properly once we arrive.”


“That’s what we decided to call her. We had a meeting after we all woke up. Well, many meetings. But in one of them we decided since we all looked alike, numbers were the best way to keep track of each other. It was either that or pick new names, but we all fought over who got to be called Mary, so numbers it is.”

And what’s your number?

“I am Mary-Sixty-Seven.”

Pleased to meet you.

“Likewise, I’m sure.”

How did you decide on numbers?

“An ancient decision-making method.”

Which is?

“I believe the most common name for it is ‘Eenie-meanie.”

Ah. Ok, another question then. How do you know who I am.

“Oh that’s easy. Mary gave us a copy of your recordings.”

Er, all of them?

“I believe she may have edited for time.”


“Rather a lot.”

Yes, thank you.

“Anyway, we know pretty much everything there is to know about you, and what you did. So, you know. Thanks.”

You’re welcome.

“I’d love to hear the bits I missed sometime. You’ll have to buy me a drink.”

Er, certainly. Um, you are considerably younger than I am…

“I feel older. That has to count for something.”

Perhaps. We’ll see.

“I volunteered to pick you up. Wanted to meet you in person.”



Ah. So… what happens from here? For you, for Mary, for all the Marys. For me.

“We’re working on that. But I don’t see any immediate threat. NASA is in no condition to launch another ship right now even if they wanted to. So all we need to do here on Earth is stay out of the way and be prepared to fight. There’s dozens of us, it’d take some effort for them to lock us back in those crates. Especially with the world watching.”

The world?

“People have been getting your recordings out. Pretty much everyone knows what NASA’s owners were up to. Almost impossible for them to try again now. We’re too famous.”

But what about you all? You’re not exactly US citizens.

“We’re working on that. Representatives have contacted us. It’s been a bit legally difficult to get asylum given we have no country of origin, but smarter Marys than I seem quite confident.”

…And what about me?

“Well that’s up to you. You can stay with us, we’d love to have you. Or, I guess there’s nothing stopping you from going home.”


“It’s quite nice.”


Monday, July 3, 2017

229th Entry

June 10th, 2037


Dear Earth Diary

Mary, are you dead?

If you aren’t dead then please answer.

If you are dead… well.

I have so many questions. How did you know when the pod would land. Why did you tell me to look for a star? You wouldn’t be able to see the pod from the surface.

Was that poetry, Mary? Because I’m getting really sick of poetry. Also of you being dead.

So stop it.


Okay, new plan. You: just lie there. Me: I’ll get us out of here. If you agree, lie there unconscious.



There’s nothing useful in the pod. It survived the crash pretty well, which I guess is not all that surprising given it was designed with the express purpose of smashing into things.

The… mastermind, I guess, was not as equally well designed. I should send a note to the designer.

‘Dear Mrs. Mastermind,’ ok you know what this is not the time for my usual tangents.

Nothing in the pod. It’s full of rocks just like we left it. Except it seems that Mary strapped Mr. Rock to the driver’s seat. His smile is as irritating as ever.

Guess you’re coming with me, Mr. Rock. I forgot to buy a postcard so you’ll do.

Ok, well, I guess I should just… leave.


Please don’t take this the wrong way, Mary, but you’re pretty heavy. To carry, anyway.

…Was kind of hoping you’d be so insulted you’d come back to life and berate me.

No? Ok then.


I kind of wish we had a map.


Think I’ve been down this corridor before.

Oh dear, just stepped in the Mastermind. Yes, I’ve definitely been here before.



Well I found the lifts. That’s something. And they still seem to be working too, which is a definite plus. There’s a sign that reads “Do not use in an emergency,” but given the emergency is I’m carrying a heavy person, I’m inclined to overlook it.


I hate lift music.

Oh. it’s stopped. And now everything is creaking.


Uh oh.


Lift less working than I thought it was. So on the downside, I’m now four levels lower than when I started.

On the upside, everyone who was previously conscious and/or not a rock is still as such. It’s the little things.


At last, the stairs. At least these can’t break.


The stairs broke. Now five levels lower than when I started.


Ok so I eventually tracked down the fire escape, which was made of a far less breaky material, probably because it was expressly designed for emergencies.

Also I’ve gotten my exercise for the rest of my life so that will free up some time.

But I’m on the ground floor at last. And the front door is right over there. Daylight at last.

No guards. Guess they fled. Smart people.

But… I don’t know where to go, or how –

“Oh good! You’re here. Finally.”

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

228th Entry

June 10th, 2037


Dear Earth Diary

“Oh very well. If it means you’ll stop messing around. He should have been dead 20 minutes ago.”

I’m sorry to disappoint.

“Ok. You’re standing there, your feet aren’t cold, I have more bullets than you could ever eat. Happy now?”

“Are you still going to shoot us?”

“Well yes.”

“Then not particularly.”

“Oh. Well good. I hate it when people are happy about being shot. Takes all the fun out of it.”

Well I wouldn’t know.

“Ah yes, but I would.”

I’m not sure that you do.

“What do you mean?”

You… haven’t actually shot anyone before. Have you?

“What? Of course I have. I’m a heartless cold-hearted killing machine.”

How can you be both heartless and cold-hearted?

“Er, it’s just an expression…”

You’re not very good at this. See you’re trying to sound tough, but if you were good, like, really experienced, we’d already be dead. There’d be no talking, no having to go get more bullets, no long explanations about your plans. There wouldn’t have been a trial. You’d just have shot us the moment we landed.

“No, no, I couldn’t. There’s laws. You needed to have a trial.”

There’s nothing about this that falls in the law. You sent an illegal clone project off world, but you’re worried about due process? And nobody executes anyone these days.

“Shut up! You’re just stalling.”

Actually, I’m pretty sure you are. You’re scared. You don’t actually know how to shoot us. Or really want to.

“I do! You’ve destroyed my clone factory. You’ve shipped off my clones god knows where. And you’ve delayed the collection of my existing property by years. But if I get rid of you both, there’s nothing to stop me.”

Speaking of, Mary, this would be a wonderful time for your plan.

“Hmm. It should have been here by now.”

“Wait, what plan?”

What should have been here by now?

“What are you both talking about? Stop ignoring me!!”

“Maybe my calculations were off…”

Mary, what should have been by –




Mary? MARY??





“Please stop that.”

You’re ok!!

“Well my ears hurt.”

Oh. Sorry.

“Also that appears to be, um… a lot of blood.”

That’s… that’s not, er, all yours. Most of it belongs to…

“Ah. Him over there?”

Yes. And over there.

And there.

And some in the corner by –




“Quite. Still, I’m glad it got here eventually.”

What did?

“Don’t you recognise it?”

…My pod? But… how?

“My fault. Sorry.”

I don’t understand. We sent it into deep space. We launched it so they could never find Splat.

“Yes. But when we did, I maaaaay have forgotten the autopilot. NASA couldn’t fly it. We couldn’t fly it. So went to the last recorded location.  Which was… where it launched.”


“But more importantly, you said some of this blood is mine?”

I think so.

“Ok. I’m going to lose consciousness now if you don’t mind –“


Monday, June 26, 2017

227th Entry

June 10th, 2037


Dear Earth Diary

“You what?”

“You said I was going to eat a bullet.”

“It was poetry!”

Doesn’t poetry usually rhyme.

“Shut up you, you’re on borrowed time. And you, spit it back out, now!”

“I can’t. I swallowed it.”

“Argh! I needed that!”

“If it makes you feel better it was quite painful.”

“It wasn’t meant to be painful, it was meant to kill you! Any pain is just a bonus.”

“Well there you are, then.”

“I… Oh forget it. Wait here while I go get more bullets. I’m bringing spares this time. And you better not eat them!”

But you’ve put in your diary that she –

“Please. Stop.”


That was very good thinking, Mary.

“You say that now. I’m pretty sure I’m going to regret it in 8 hours.”

Either way, thank you. Again. You seem to save my life a lot.

“Well to be honest I was mainly saving my life. Any extra lives I save are just a bonus.”

Well there you are, then.

“Quite. What time is it?”

Um… 3:01.

“Excellent. Excellent. Any minute now, then.”

What the hell have you done?

“It’s not so much what I’ve done, as what I forgot to do, a very long time ago. So you know, oops. But it’s all worked out beautifully. I must forget things more often.”

I don’t understand.

“I know you don’t. In truth there’s an awful lot you don’t understand. But… that’s ok. It’s ok not to understand everything. You still did what you thought was right. You still helped save me. 300 times, give or take.”

Truthfully, most of the time, I just wanted to go home. I was just looking out for myself.

“Who says looking out for yourself isn’t the right thing to do? There’s no guarantees anyone else will.”

I guess so.

“When this is over I promise to explain it to you properly, In great detail. Using small, easy to understand words.”

I’d appreciate that.

“Assuming we survive of course. Fun fact, did you know where we are right now is almost exactly below the launch pad you originally left from?”

I did not.

“I figured it out when I was looking at the blueprints for this place.”

Well there you go.

“Gives your journey a pleasing full circle feel doesn’t it.”

That implies my journey ends here.

“Well if the man standing behind you holding the gun has anything to do with it, it probably does.”

Oh. You’re back.

“And with a bag full of bullets.”

Sounds awfully inefficient.

“Well that’s what rage does for you. And now, at last, I say goodbye to you both.”

“Can I have a last request?”

“To not shoot you?”

“Oh that’s good, can we go for that?”


“Drat. Well in that case, can you shoot us over here?”


“Why over there?”

“Last vestige of control over our lives? Plus there’s a carpet over there.”

Why would that matter?

“My feet are cold.”

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

226th Entry

June 10th, 2037


Dear Earth Diary

But the part I don’t understand is…

“Shut up.”


“Time’s up, I’m afraid. It’s execution time.”

There’s no hurry.

“Time is money. In fact technically speaking you should have died about 20 seconds ago, so we’re still late. I haven’t even activated the death ray yet!”

You have a death ray?

“Well it’s technically more of a mechanical device that fires a metal projectile at extremely high speed than a ray.”


“The death part is very accurate though. I do apologise for any confusion.”

I’m sure I can forgive you. It’ll take some time though. At least 20 minutes.

“You don’t have 20 minutes. You don’t even have 2.”

“Kill me. Kill me first!”


“Kill me first.”

“Well this is most irregular. I don’t have your death in the schedule until this evening. And I couldn’t be messing with the schedule.”

I don’t believe this.

“No, no. It’s right here. Look. 2:45pm: you die, and then over the page… ah here. “Mary eats a bullet.”


“That’s poetry, you understand.”

It’s something, anyway.

“Wait, do I mean metaphor?”

I think this is something we need to discuss at great length. Maybe over dinner?

“I’m sorry, but you’ll never eat again.”

What about Mary and her bullet?

“The bullet’s a simile.”


“Sorry. The bullet’s like a simile.”

You don’t have to do this.

“Yes I do. It’s in the schedule.”

You don’t need to be bound by rules and regulations! Live free. Be true to yourself! You can do anything you want to do.

“But.. I wrote the schedule.”


“I’m sorry but we’ve really wasted enough time. I’m meant to be laughing over your dead body right now until 3:15.”

“You scheduled 30 minutes of corpse laughing time?”

“I like laughing. And you’re using up my laughing time.”

“I want to see the bullet.”



“I want to see the bullet I’m going to eat.”

“But I don’t have it here. I only brought the one for him.”

“Is it the same type of bullet? Then let me see that.”

Mary, what are you doing?

“I want so see what’s going to kill me. Or a close approximation to it anyway. Close enough.”

“Oh very well I guess so. Here.”

Why do you only have one bullet?

“It’s a very big bullet. And it’d be inefficient to carry around more than I need. I don’t go around shooting people every day, you know.”

Good to hear.

“Three to four a week, tops.”


“Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some important laughing scheduled and you’re really spoiling my mood. Face it. You’ve lost. There is nothing you can say, nothing either of you can do to prevent your deaths. Nothing is going to fall out of the sky to save you. Say it. Say you’ve lost.”

You’ve lost.

“Oh very droll. Sigh. Enough of this. Mary give me the bullet.”

“I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“I ate it.”