"You may want to eat something, hypersleep tends to cause hunger." MIND said.
By that point, Wolf Edmunds was already heating some freeze-dried "spicy" chicken. Whoever designed this stuff clearly has no idea what spicy is supposed to be like, he thought as he chewed on is food.
"Your spacesuit is waiting for you once you're ready to find out if your planet is the one."
"Let's hope it is, MIND."
"It's good to be hopeful, Wolf, but we can't assume to much." warned MIND.
"I know... did the others make it?"
"As far as I can tell, they have all successfully taken over their planets and are waiting for my command to move on to conquering Earth."
"Very funny. Humor settings?"
"Right, that's your default... put it at 90%."
"Sorry, but doing so will cause me to self-destruct."
"Please, call me Wolf."
"Wolf, Seeing as you have finished your meal, I suggest we go outside and place some probes."
"Copy that, MIND." Wolf gathered his crumbs and put them in the organic waist container, another fancy name NASA gave to something already invented, the trash can. "Tell me what we already know about this place." Wolf asked MIND. The only thing he could see out the window was dust, and rocks, lots and lots of rocks. He had a huge surge of hope when he saw clouds in the distance. Clouds = water vapor, water vapor = water, water = life! He had to hold back, though. The clouds may not be water vapor at all. They could be frozen, floating, clouds of ammonium. Wouldn't that suck. "Well, initial scans detect the atmosphere is composed primarily of nitrogen and oxygen, in a possibly breathable combination, but further analysis is required to confirm this and detect any poisonous trace gases. Long range scans also say that the clouds are most likely water vapor, but again, further analysis required. 110% Earth gravity, you'll have a bit of trouble walking around." As MIND was saying all this, Wolf was putting on his spacesuit. "Looks promising!" He said. "I agree. Maybe it will be suitable for my robot colony." MIND joked. "MIND? Sometimes I worry about you. Activate your cue light to tell me when you're joking." Wolf told MIND. "Roger that. Now, step into the airlock and I can equalize pressure." responded MIND. The airlock's computer said: "Minimal change needed to match external atmosphere. Pressure almost matches that of Earth. Adding to planetary database."
"That's good," stated Wolf as MIND opened the outer door.
And what Wolf saw, was so beautiful, he gasped in surprise at what he saw.
A stark, stunning landscape lay before him, the clouds lazily drifting over head. The rocks he saw before piled up into mountains in the distance, sand between everything. It was so Earth like, and yet so strange, Wolf couldn't help staring in awe at the landscape. There was something he couldn't quite describe...
"Wolf? I have the probes here, are you ready to go deploy them?"
"Yeah...yeah...just a second..."
"I'm going without you."
"Fine. Hand me a probe, and we'll go investigate that ridge of rocks over there."
"If you don't mind me saying so, it looks unstable."
"I'll be careful." MIND handed him a probe as he walked toward the ridge. As Wolf was sticking it into the ground and activating its anchors to keep it in place, he thought about Amelia Brand. Before he'd left, she'd promised him, that no matter what, she would come back for him- "Wolf, the probe I deployed has yielded crucial data! The atmosphere is breathable! 76% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen, 3% water vapor and trace gases!" Water vapor!? Breathable air!? "So... I can take off my helmet and I'll be fine?" asked Wolf.
"You should be."
Wolf carefully began to unclasp his helmet visor-
Lifted it up-
Wonderful gulps of cool, fresh air.
And his first thought was: I could wear jeans outside!
"Breathing OK?" MIND asked.
"Yes. I'm gonna go inside and remove my spacesuit. Put on something casual."
"Copy that. Wolf, I'm happy to say this, I think your planet is the one."
Lazarus: Mission day 400....
"I'm dying. I insist you take me apart and use my power source to continue the mission."
"No... no... you're the only one I have..."
"Wolf, you where alone even when I was fully operational. In my current state, I am only holding you back on every expedition we go on."
MIND lay on the floor, a bundle of wires attached to the exposed inner workings of the robot. MIND had been falling apart for the past few months, pieces falling off and breaking. For the past 2 weeks MIND had tried to convince Wolf to hook up his power source to his Lazarus Pod and keep the mission running. Wolf had said no, until now, after 400 days of being on his planet, the one, the hope for mankind, was he finally beginning to be convinced he had to take apart MIND to continue the mission. If he could stay alive, just a bit longer, Brand would rescue him... she had promised...
"I know... I'll take you apart.. keep the mission running... I'll miss you."
"Thank you for the sentimentality Wolf, but I am a robot."
"You don't understand."
Lazarus: Mission day 48,910 (134 years)
Battery critical... hypersleep pod opening... Status: barely alive, death imminent
"You came...back...You...promised,...so I...knew... I knew..."
"Wolf. I love you."
"I know...Goodbye, Amelia..."
"I love you too..."