The dusty colour of the red planet was visible now. I sat at the window of the shuttle, overlooking the landing area.
Swirls of vermillion sand popped up here and there, as if painted by Van Gogh himself.
The shock bolted me upright and I looked out like an excited toddler. I chide myself silently and hoped no one saw, I'm not wired to do that! And I definitely did not want to go back to Earth.
The landing strip was full of grime, after all it had been there for over 30 years. Finally, we stepped outside.
I took a moment to notice the land around me. We could breathe here! The dunes rose up higher than mountains back on Earth and the wind pecked at our newly made skin with bits of sand.
The red looked more like a subtle brown from up close, but it did rather hurt my eyes. I studied at the group.
There were only 6 of us, standing alone in the vast desert, on an unknown surface. We were an unusual bunch.
From the sanguine skin to the fast-moving eyes that watched you like an eagle, we were different.
"So, who's going to say it?" The short girl behind me started speaking.
"Say what?" The tall guy still unpacking from the shuttle looked up, confused.
I caught on to what she meant. "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
"Chara, I was about to say that!" The short girl, I now remember her name to be Belinda, said. Surprisingly she remembered me, I'm usually left behind.
The rest of them chuckled a little, as we were just starting to break the ice. Before this morning I had never seen any of them, only pictures, names and specialties.
"Wait a minute..." Another guy, who I remembered was called Smith said. "Be quiet."
My danger sensors picked it up as well. "Are you feeling this?"
The other abruptly stopped laughing and we all stood in silence. I could hear the wind, but it was getting stronger and faster. A deafening boom sounded, as if an earthquake had just happened.
A storm? I finally looked up and saw what looked like a pile of dust but was actually moving! There were two sides that looked like wings that folded out into a sort of triangular shape.
And it was enormous.
"What is that?" I yelled over the growing winds.
"Everyone, in the shuttle!" Belinda was motioning her hands to get us inside.
We all sprinted inside and shut the door fiercely. I quickly ran to the window to see the dune growing larger, and the winged sand flying overhead.
But the sand-it was changing colour! It now appeared to be a grey shade.
"What? There weren't any storms predicted in this area!" The tall guy said. Oh, right, his name is Axel. I thought they replaced our brains for better ones!
"I-it's not a storm..." I realised.
"What do you mean?" Belinda asked.
"It's an animal!" Axel shrieked in realisation.
"Hush! If it's an animal it will have the brains to listen!" Another girl, who I hadn't quite noticed before spoke. She had a few asian features, probably remnants from her past body.
We all quieted down, only accompanied by the creaking of the shuttle and the pounding of the sand.
Nothing quite happened for a while, but my danger sensors were up really high, so I suspected I shouldn't move. Everyone stayed stock still as well, watching the outside for signs of movement.
"Can this thing see?" Axel finally sliced the silence with a whisper.
"I don't know." I whispered back.
It was awkward for a moment, the room in tension and the outside in total anarchy.
I tried to breathe to calm myself down, but then I remembered I was no longer human and that my stress was now connected with my environment and not my emotions and senses.
"I think we can move now." Belinda said after a while.
She took a step.
The whole shuttle did a flip and landed upside down