They saw the water carriers again. Against the Martian reddish desert sand and rocks, the mirage was hazy. The illusion was of several human-like figures marching solemnly across the sands, each bearing two large urn-shaped containers full of water. They could see the water sloshing, some of it spilling to the ground and sizzling as though the sands were hot.

The first Martian colony was populated by scientists, engineers, labourers and one historian and poet named Josiah Endicott. Josiah had witnessed this phenomenon more than once. He was in his late twenties, with a full head of dark hair and short beard, and looked almost professorial despite his age.

He approached the colony’s psychologist, Noelle Paxton, about the latest sighting. She had never seen the phenomenon.

Noelle was young and energetic, with short brown hair, soft features, a gentle smile, and a slim figure even in the bulky protective suit.

He was still uncomfortable speaking with the breather implant. “It’s always the same, three figures carrying water.”

“What do you think they are?”

“Martian ghosts.”

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