We receive a message from around the area of Mars. Excited to speak with aliens, we ask “Do you live on the planet?” They reply “We are the planet.”

Dear NASA Administrator,

Forgive my unprofessional ramblings in this letter, it will be my last communication.

You have always pushed for the best in your teammates. It is no wonder to me that our contact with the planet came under your command. As per order SV65, I continued transmissions with Mars. Did you know how right the Romans were to name it after the God of War?

When we first got the message, you know to which I refer, we attributed it to translational error. I cannot fault you for ascribing this to human error, to crossed wires, to extended isolation on a space shuttle, to anything but the truth of this 4th planet from our sun. I personally recomputed the code but the reply was the same.

Introductory Biology teaches that all living things are made of cells and you have argued the opposite is more true, that cells make living things. Seemingly a small semantic issue, especially when you will come to face our alien. I think of viruses, “machines” organic enough to co-opt a living host and make use of the necessary bits for their own selfish propagation. Still we cling to our definition of living things and ignore the defiance of a virus. Would you still do the same knowing what I know?

The more I write the less I remember to relate. Order SV65. You did not notice the station going off course because according to our instruments all systems were stable. Is the transmission still showing the station present?

It is a macro-fractal. Recursive down to the atomic scale. I figured this after message 75, the most challenging transmission that I continue to work on. It was not much longer then, the shuttle to the surface of the thing.

Eukaryotic DNA is composed of introns and exons. An almost universal triplet code except the universe was limited to our 3rd rock from our sun.


We are

We are the

We are the planet


What if the transmission, like our DNA, also includes code that needs to be excised? The same message plays with itself and the number of codons is inconsistent. The combinations and combinations of combinations.

Wear the planet

We are the plan

We are the net

Always “We are.” Or maybe it does not start with “we” but ends that way.​

You cannot imagine the most outright solar panel as it held its last in orbit. What was left, before continued immersion, showed all the features of inorganic matter native to this living rock that breathes wind and ash. Soon, as the rest of the station, and my soul with it descend, we will be nothing but Mars.

Do not underestimate how inclusive ‘we’ can be. How long have you, has Earth, been searching for home?

I wonder if this is what the good book meant when it said dust to du-

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