Spirit Rover Landing Edges Out Earth-American Democratic Party Primary Debate For Control of Planetary Leadership in Ratings Sweep By Dirk McQuickly

NGLOCOKTAN, SUBTERRAIN VOLGATH – Broadcast marketing analysts at Xanthro, Inc. reported an overnight ratings bonanza for the widely anticipated landing of the Exploration Rover Spirit, dispatched from Earth only two and one half maxi-Kline solar revolutions ago. The Rover, which was detected inbound for the Upper Reaches Northern Division early in its journey, landed safely as nearly 730 million Marsonites viewed from the comfort of their chambers in the Subterrain.

“This it it?” asked a disappointed Mister Haklxx. “I expected more from the planet that created taxes and fluffy nougat.”

“I found it disturbingly anti-climactic,” said Mistress Hanna Jovad. “Thirteen of my offspring hurled themselves into the Deep Fire Canyon in fear of this visitation — for this child’s toy?”

Planetary Council representative Tagan Dofut (Z-LO) lamented the recent elevation of the Marsonic Invasion Alert System (MIAS) to level “orange” for “imminent”, and demanded someone accept responsibility for the ensuing panic.

“Not since the appearance of the beastly Earthonite ‘Rodham’ captured by our broadcast systems has the level been designated ‘orange’”, began Dofut. “Now that it has been neutralized by the Earth-American ‘Republicans’, it is not but a ghastly recollection. This episode, however, shall be one of great shame to my colleagues. I demand executions.”

The Spirit Rover plopped down gently earlier this week and proceeded to unfurl a flag of white stars surrounded by red and white stripes, representing the American region. As Marsonite vaporization units waited for signs of hostility, the vehicle proceeded to make image records of a lifeless expanse hastily assembled by military personnel familiar with the last encroachment of Earth some 62 maxi-Kline solar revolutions ago.

“Thousands upon thousand of earth miles were reconstructed to reflect a wasted expanse,” boasted Margy Plip Z-3, spokesonite for the Department of Galactic Deception. “We are confident this will be the last attempt of these annoying dunderheads to find something of value here.”

In a similar episode, the Beagle 2, from Earth-Europe, met an unexpected fate after landing in the organism patch of Mister Latak Deenon, who promptly disengaged its communications unit before images could be conveyed. The Beagle 2 is currently up for auction as an “extraordinary” conversation piece.

In related news, Marsonites were treated to a rare glimpse of comedy from Earth-America. The transmission, entitled “Democratic Debates 2004”, featured an array of Earthonite characters sharing amusing conversation. Viewer favorites included the squat, ugly “Doctor Dean”, the lanky dimwit “Kerry”, and the newest Marsonite heartthrob, “Sharpton”. The program wittingly purports to bear heavily on leadership assignments in America (who in reality is led by the genius “Bush”), and rated highly with children.

If you enjoyed this satire by Dirk McQuickly, you can read more of his work at Broken Newz.

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