Nasa’s Phoenix lander has unearthed compelling evidence of ice on Mars, mission scientists believe.
Chunks of a bright, white material found in a trench dug by the craft have disappeared over four Martian days, suggesting they have vapourised.
Local inhabitants are keeping a careful eye on events.
“What’s the little alien guy doing today, Spangle 10?”
“He’s still rummaging around in his mud trench, Fruitella 521.”
“Has he been eating more rocks?”
“No, it’s more worrying than that; he seems to have found our stash.”
“Yes, Spangle 10, he uncovered our ‘blow’. Our ‘Gold dust’. ‘Cecil’ is exposed. The ‘snow’ is on show. The ‘flake’ is there for the take.”
“Has he noticed?”
“I don’t think so, I’ve been smuggling it away when he’s not looking. He’s definitely a sandwich short of a picnic, that one. He seems obsessed with performing the same repetitive tasks. Backwards and forwards. Dig a trench. Dig another trench.”
“You know that repetitive, obsessive behaviour can be a symptom of addiction, don’t you Spangle 10?”
“That’s it then: we’ve gone and created an addict. What shall we do with the poor little guy and the rest of the stash?”
“See if we can sell it to him at 120 dollars a gram before he discovers the planet’s practically made out of it.”