Sometimes it’s good to mix business and pleasure.
Blake Romero’s Packing List for Mars
By Lydia Trethewey
1. Spare Undies. Absolutely necessary for any weekend trip, whether trekking up Olympus Mons or crater-hopping at one of the major resorts. Removal of gravity can do strange things to a person’s bowels.
2. Sunscreen. Mars is still struggling from than small problem left over from before the frontier days, namely a lack of atmosphere. Renting an oxygen tank to explore the ‘canals’ or, gods forbid, to wander into the surface city at Memnonia where crooks and criminals mingle, can become quite the more dangerous without proper radiation protection.
3. Currency. There’s nothing worse, I find, than waiting in line at the hotel check-in because some outraged tourist at the front hasn’t realised that not everywhere in the solar system takes U.S. dollars.
4. A .38 service revolver, with ricin-washed bullets. Ok, I admit, this is not just a holiday. There’s a bit of work I need to take care of between relaxing at the resort and plumbing the depths of Martian history in the Ausonia museum. Let’s just say I might need to visit Memnonia after all.
5. A custom-built quantum extractor, for obtaining that hard to get information from the back of a cowering target’s brain. Perhaps an external battery to add power, in case time is tight and I just need to reach on in and rip those thoughts out. If all else fails, well, there’s always list item #4.
6. Flesh-eating nanobots.
7. Mr Cuddles, for comfort on the journey. What, you think a hitman can’t have a heart?