Dare quest the red pla.., p.1
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       Dare Quest - The Red Planet, p.1
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Dare Quest - The Red Planet
The Red Planet

  Dare Quest

  Brian Smith

  Copyright 2014

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

  Glossary

  areologist - scientist who studies Mars

  gormless - stupid, brainless

  Martian - someone from Mars

  nullah - river that is dry but may sometimes carry water

  Welcome to a new world...

  Did you think you’ve seen all the weird and strange things in the world? That’s what Edward and Anthony thought too! But then they’re not staying in this world... They have to face fresh challenges and dangers as they leave behind their home and those they love.

  Why? Because Edward has given Anthony a DARE!

  Will Anthony rise up to the challenge on this quest? Can he survive on his own, away from his big brother? Little does he know of the dangers and terrors waiting for him which will make his worst nightmares look like a piece of cake. He will also make some surprising new friends. Can you guess who they are and how they will help him...?

  Read on to see how your heroes fare.

  1

  Edward was sitting in the living room playing the piano. He patiently played the same piece over and over again and each time there were fewer mistakes. Practice makes perfect they say and he was determined to play the piece perfectly. His younger brother Anthony was running around the flat with a blanket pulled over his head pretending to be a funny ghost.

  “Boohooo,” he kept calling and ran from one room to another.

  Edward took no notice of him and concentrated on his music scores. This annoyed Anthony. What was the fun of being a funny ghost if no one took any notice? He decided something naughty might help. The next time he came past the piano he quickly pressed a few keys and shouted a loud “boo” in Edward’s ear. Edward got distracted and had to start playing the piece from the beginning again. This happened several times and each time Anthony managed to be more disturbing than the last.

  Edward became more and more irritated and then gave up trying to play. He turned on the piano bench to look at the little imp who had messed up his practice session.

  Seeing that Edward had given up playing Anthony dropped his blanket on the floor and went to the piano. He happily pressed as many keys as he could and pretended to sing, making a terrible racket.

  Edward was about to get really angry when he remembered all the trouble Anthony had caused with his dare to fight a pirate. Suddenly Edward laughed out loud. It was time for revenge. He looked at Anthony and grinned.

  “I dare you catch a Martian,” he said gleefully.

  Anthony turned to run away but it was too late. Hundreds of stars appeared and whirled around the two boys. They were lifted up and flung through the darkness of infinity. Moments later the dark receded and the boys dropped on the floor. They looked around. They were in a small dimly lit room. There was a quiet hum of electrical machinery that filled the small metallic space.

  Anthony walked to one side where he saw a round window, not unlike on a ship, and peered out. What he saw made his eyes pop wide open. He turned to Edward with his mouth agape and pointed out of the window. Edward came over and was flabbergasted.

  “We must be on a spaceship,” he said.

  For there, clearly visible outside the window was the blackness of outer space, and filling a large part of that blackness was what looked like a large red ball: Mars!

  “We’re flying to Mars,” Anthony said. “I don’t want to go to Mars. It’s all dusty and there’s no air to breathe, and anyway it’s all empty, there are no Martians.”

  “And I didn’t want to fight a pirate,” Edward retorted. “Now it’s your turn. You’ll have to find a Martian and catch him or we’ll be stuck here for ever.”

  Anthony looked out of the window again. The planet Mars seemed quite near.

  “We must be landing soon,” Anthony said. “Let’s see if we can find some spacesuits to put on.”

  “Good idea,” Edward agreed. “Let’s look at those small doors over there.”

  They rummaged through the contents of several cabinets but found nothing useful. They did make rather a large mess on the floor, though.

  “O, oh,” Anthony said. “What if someone comes and sees this?”

  “Let’s go, there’s nothing here anyway.”

  But getting out of the room was easier said than done. They found the door all right. It was opening it that was the problem. There was no handle or knob, only a keypad next to the door. The boys tried pressing different numbers but to no effect. Whatever they pressed, a little red light flashed and the door stayed tightly shut.

  “Now there’s a fine mess you got me into,” Anthony said. “If we can’t open the door we’ll be stuck here and then someone will find us and…”

  “So let’s tidy up,” Edward said with a sigh.

  Anthony pulled a face. Tidying up didn’t sound like much fun let alone like an exciting adventure. But he didn’t want to get into trouble with people he didn’t know. The boys had a way of getting mixed up with some very unpleasant and dangerous people on their adventures and he decided it was best not to annoy someone he didn’t even know yet. He bent down to pick up the first item on the floor when suddenly an alarm rang through the spaceship.

  “This is the captain speaking. The ship’s engines are malfunctioning and we will crash into Mars. This is the order to abandon ship immediately. Take your positions at the escape pods and wait for the automated launch. The pods will carry you to a safe location on Mars. You must leave at once. The spaceship will enter the Martian atmosphere in about ten minutes and will burn up soon after that.”

  The boys looked at each other in panic. They ran back to the door and frantically tried to get it open.

  “It’s no use,” Edward said two minutes later. He sank down on the floor and buried his face in his hands.

  Anthony looked horrified. “But if we can’t even get to Mars then I can’t fulfil the dare and we’ll die here.”

  Edward said nothing and Anthony started to cry. Then he hammered at the door with both his fists and yelled for help.

  “Let us out,” he shouted. “We don’t want to die, help!”

  Suddenly the door opened and four people came in.

  “Hello,” a man said to the boys. “What are you doing here?”

  The boys looked at him not knowing what to say.

  “This isn’t your escape pod,” he said. “You should go…”

  “Oh Henry,” a woman said. “This is not the time. We’ve got to take our places and there’s enough space left.”

  The man was taken aback. “Yes, of course, how silly of me.”

  He opened a small panel in the wall. There was a red handle. He pulled it all the way down.

  A bell rang and an automated voice announced “Alert! Escape pod activated. Take seats immediately. 60, 59, 58, 57,…”

  Eight small doors opened and behind each was a narrow seat. They all quickly sat down and strapped themselves in. The little doors closed airtight and an independent source of oxygen supplied each person. Then there was a clang sound and the pod was set free from the spaceship. Small rocket engines fired up and the autopilot directed the escape pod on a safe course for re-entry into the Martian atmosphere. They drifted in the weightlessness of space for a few minutes, then the pod reached the atmosphere and a bumpy ride towards the surface of Mars began. Somewhere ahead of them the doomed spaceship was already burning up in the atmosphere. Luckily everybody
on board had reached the escape pods in time.

 
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