Episode Description

What can the Martian fire opal be used for? Scientist and science fiction enthusiast Emi Serizawa asks her fellow astronauts for their ideas and theories, some more serious than others. The Shifters join in, asked by Emi to come up with ways to incorporate earthly everyday objects into Mars colony life. Now an official ISA podcast. The ISA is built by people like you! Tune in live every Tuesday 4:00 PM UTC to chat with Emma, ask her questions, participate in interactive exercises like this one, and maybe even interact with some of the astronauts currently on Mars! All through our official transmission channel: https://discord.com/invite/colonizemars

Hello, everyone! You are listening to the Red Shift - your connection to your piece of the sky. I'm your host, Emma Miller!

Hello, hello! Hello! How is everyone doing today? I like the name change, CHRNV. “RED SHIFT LOVER,” I'm a fan, I'm a fan!

Hi, Galdwin. Hi, Jon-Jon. Hello, Stephanie. Hello, Keren. Hi, EightGod. Hi, Tronity. Hi, Rerouted. I hope you all have had a great weekend. I hope you all are having a fantastic day…

Oh, Galdwin, I like that GIF. “Your voice is my favorite sound.” Well, hanging out with all of you is my favorite part of the week! So very glad to be here. Glad we kind of enjoy each other's company. Hello! Hi, April. Hi, Kenjiiee. Hi!

I hope that you all have had a good week. As I said, I know I have had a fantastic week, and I am super, super excited to hop into our astronaut… letter for the week? It's kind of hard to call it a letter. I think you all will understand a little bit more once we get into it.

With that being said, there isn't much in the way of announcements from the ISA this week, which is wonderful, because that means that we can just hop right into what the astronauts sent us. Though I do want to say that, if you haven't noticed, just above us there's an ISA-comms lounge. It's a new channel here. It's a new voice channel that if you want to use, you are welcome to you're welcome to hang out in it, chat with other Shifters, or even just listen to music. There's a bot in that channel that will allow you to listen to music. So just kind of a fun thing that was set up for us that we can use. And who knows, maybe I'll pop by at some point and say hello! We'll see! But a good place for you all to hang out if you want to.

Hi, PumpkinKiing. Welcome, welcome. This is The Red Shift. It's our weekly broadcast, chatting about what's going on in the colony on Mars. You know, the late 2030s, pretty popping time out here in… Out here, well, I'm not in space, but our astronauts are, and we're about to hop into our astronaut letter. So each week - if you are joining us and are new - each week, we get a chance to listen to– Well, you get a chance to listen to me share a letter or message that was sent from one of our astronauts on Mars at the base and then we get to play a really cool game. Which, actually, leads me to my next point!

So my next point for all of you is that I am super, super, super excited to share the message that they've sent with you all, obviously, but I'm also super excited to share the game that you are going to get a chance to experience moving forward, which will be really exciting! No, Rerouted, definitely not that. Definitely not that.

So, this week, like I said, it's kind of a letter. I don't want to give too much away, but I'm super excited about it. Our astronaut of the week, Emi Serizawa, did something very cool with her message for the week. Very excited.

Also, there is an Emi-themed game at the end, which you'll also understand later. She helped to create it. We kind of worked together to create something that was kind of fun and exciting for us. So! So I hope you all enjoy it. It's going to take a lot of brain power, so we're all going to work together on it.

With that being said, we are going to hop right into the astronaut sort-of-letter. With that being said, these are, as I've said, Emi’s words, not to my own, and we're going to pop right in. Alright.

Emi’s letter

My name is Emi Serizawa.

I am a curious person who has studied many things: astronomy and art history, alchemy and anime. The other astronauts call me THE MAGPIE, because they say I love shiny things.

Well, last week Maksym found a very shiny thing - a Martian fire opal that looked as if it had been deliberately shaped. It is the shiniest thing we have found on Mars and I can’t stop thinking about it. 

It’s just a nice size to fit into your hand. It is smooth and round in your palm, but with two shallow planes cut so where your thumb and forefinger go it feels like a command surface, like a mouse pad - as if waiting for you to tap or swipe or stroke.

I decided my letter must be about the fire opal. I love science fiction, so I went around the crew and said, if this was a synthetic fire opal, created as a piece of alien technology, what would it do? 

Chapter 1

John Alvez and Aurore were at the comm center talking to the Mission 4 ship when I found them. There’s still almost forty seconds of lag time between when they say something and when the ship answers back, so while they were waiting for a reply, I told them I needed their help to start my story, John said, “It’s just a Martian rock.”

“Okay,” I said, “I can work with that, but I want aliens in the story. “

“Easy,” Aurore said. “‘An Earthling picked up the rock.’ Remember, this is Mars - we ARE the aliens.”

Genius! 

This is how the story begins. “Once upon a Martian time, an alien landed on the planet and picked up a mysterious gem.”

Chapter 2

I guess the mic to the ship was open as I was talking to John and Aurrore, because a minute later there was a voice from the ship. It was Sasha G., the brilliant inventor and engineer, who said I needed to understand that a shaped opal was exactly what you would use to focus a terahertz radiation field.

And another voice chimed in, saying I shouldn’t make the mistake of assuming any aliens would be friendly. If there was a way terahertz radiation could be turned into a weapon, that’s probably what the opal was for.

And Sasha said that terahertz radiation is in the band kind of between microwaves and infrared, and you probably COULD make a weapon out of it by designing a way that set up resonating bonds in certain organic molecules, the way microwaves heat water. 

And indeed that is exactly what happened. You see, the Martians on the planet had been very careful to stay hidden, but then the Earthling found one of their opals and they realized they were about to be exposed, so they activated the opal, which was a Neural Emitter weapon. The Neural Emitter caused all the ATP bonds in the astronaut to hydrolyze, so the Earthling slumped to the ground. Then, the Martians scurried out of hiding to pick up the body and carry it down into their secret lair.

Chapter 3

They whisked the astronaut down through a series of caverns to a city ten kilometers beneath the surface. Down here the temperature was a constant 20 degrees Celsius and there was plenty of liquid water trapped in underground lakes.

They were far from the reach of the Sun, of course, but the halls of the martian city were full of light. The same terahertz radiation excited bonds in a glowing fungus that lived in the caves, so the very walls and roof glowed with soft living light.

Bertram and Tatyana were quick to understand the possibilities a truly developed terahertz scanner technology could offer. They said the REAL best use of the fire opal would be as a medical tricorder, like on Star Trek. Doctors do a lot of imaging with X-rays, Bertram said, but X-rays do damage because they pack so much energy. But a terahertz scanner you could tune to look for specific organic chemicals. That would let you diagnose things like jaundice or maybe diabetes with a wave of your hand.

The Martian doctors used their opal scanner and advanced alien science to learn everything they could about how the Earthling’s body and brain had worked, hoping they could repair what their weapon had broken.

Chapter 4

The astronaut woke up in a strange room. It wasn’t made of concrete or plastic or stone - the room itself was alive. 

At least, building out of living tissue was what Patricia and Ida told me would be truly the most amazing thing aliens could do using synthetic opal to focus terahertz radiation. The truth is, the Martians don’t “build” houses or hospitals - they use the fire opal technology to GROW them. 

Deep in the caverns, Mars is full of chemotrophic fungi, giant colonies of them. On Earth, their closest analogues would be coral reefs - huge living structures that are constantly changing shape as some parts grow and others die away.

The Martians used their terahertz technology to control its growth. It could use– It could cause some parts of the living floor to glow or go dim; could make windows pull open in the walls and then close again; could make the room grow bigger the more people entered it, and shrink again, like a stomach, when the visitors had left.  

Chapter 5

Of course the astronaut woke up in this strange place with no idea what was going on. The last thing they remembered was picking up the opal - now they were in this fantastic living city far beneath the surface of the planet, with luminous moss for light. 

The astronaut was not in a bed, but rather pressed into the wall of the room upright, like a toy packed in foam, for the Martian doctors had discovered that Earthling bodies were meant to stay with their head up.

The astronaut panicked and struggled to get their arms out of the wall, until finally they got them free, and could pry their hips and legs loose, too. The wall let go with a soft POP and the astronaut stumbled into the center of the room. 

Their heart raced as they searched frantically for a way out, but the room didn’t even have a door.

The walls and floor were like sponge, firm but not hard; when the astronaut pressed a hand against it, the hand print stayed behind. They watched, wide-eyed, as the spongy wall continued to put forth tiny polyps and fronds, growing before the astronaut’s eyes, so that slowly the handprint became blurred and indistinct, like a track left in a sandy desert, slowly worn away by the wind.

Suddenly there was a low hum. A line appeared down one wall. On each side of the line, the tissue of the living room pulled back - not like a mechanical door pulling apart, but like a ripe fruit splitting open around a seed, or a pupil widening to leave a tall oval gap. The wall was responding to a beam of soft light that came from a fire opal - one held in the mandibles of what looked like a giant Ant Queen.

It was a Martian. Two Martians, in fact, each more than two meters tall, with graceful, segmented bodies and along their sides a shimmer that suggested sheathed wings. If I say they looked like queen ants, the emphasis is on the word Queen, for they were tall and calm, the way you are when you must guard the lives of many thousands of your children.

Their speech was complicated. One part was the clicking of mandibles, but there was dance in it, too, graceful movements of their segmented legs, and quick bursts of scent as punctuation - smells of pepper, forest mold, burning pine needles, sometimes the sting of ammonia that brought tears to the astronaut’s eyes.

At first the astronaut crouched in terror against the far wall, but then the first ant queen knelt and bent her head to offer the gift of another fire opal. 

As the astronaut watched, this stone seemed to gleam and sparkle in time with the sounds and gestures the second Martian made.

Finally the astronaut got up the courage to take the stone. It was warm, and as soon as it touched the skin of the astronaut’s hand it was as if they could hear the Martian’s more clearly. Now what had been a blur of clicks and dancing movements was translated, somehow, into the murmuring sounds of voices, like a conversation getting slowly clearer, as if the speakers were walking down a long passage and entering the room. 

A sudden memory rose up inside the astronaut like a bubble and popped: they could remember coming in after snowboarding in Hokkaido, snow pants still on, running to the table for lunch, grabbing a bowl of miso soup and feeling the warmth in their hands, and the smell, and the good salt taste of it.

And the longer the astronaut held the stone, the more they could make out what the Martian queen was saying. Because, Mithi says that would be the best use of this terahertz radiation - a high bandwidth multi-modal communication device that would allow you to pass on not just words, but also feelings and emotions, so you could enter completely into the mind of the person sending the message. The Martians had used the opals to create a different kind of speech. Instead of one person writing a letter and another reading it, it was as if the recipient could remember having written it; the moment and the feel of the pen in their fingers, the way the room smelled - not just words but what you felt and what you wanted to convey, so it was as if the writer and the reader met in a moment in time to share one mind.

And the Queen said the Martians were so sorry to have killed the Earthling with their fire opal weapon. That had been a terrible accident. 

But they had taken the Earthling’s body and studied it as deeply as they could and then grown a new living one to take its place - made a new copy of the astronaut from the old materials. Hopefully, they said, it would be as if the astronaut had never died at all, but rather gone to sleep and woken up refreshed.

And the queen said, now we will return you to your own people, and it will be as if this never happened. And then the Queen held up another opal, and a soft humming light came from it, and darkness dissolved the astronaut like a night tide running over a sandcastle.

Chapter 6

The next thing I knew, I was back on the surface, not far from the rocket fuel tanks. I had been surveying the area, looking for a site to put up an atmospheric measurement device so we could have very accurate wind readings when our spaceships were setting down and lifting off.

I looked at my chronometer. Almost four hours had passed since I remembered picking up the fire opal - I was an hour late for a check-in. I knew the rest of the base would be frantic with worry about me, so I set off for home in huge leaping bounds…

But when I got back to base, I found nobody had missed me at all. Ida’s rover had gone through the ice and everyone was scrambling to get her out. 

Of course, I was desperate to tell them about my adventures, but it would have to wait until after the rescue, I thought. Then I realized I had dropped the opal, too. I had nothing to prove my story; if I came back with some wild tale about being held by Martians in an underground city, the doctors would write me up as crazy.

And if they DID believe me… Maybe they wouldn’t be happy to know that I wasn’t the same Emi who left that morning, but a new copy, grown by Martian scientists. 

Yes, yes - I decided it would be better to keep my mouth shut until I found a better way to tell that story.

Then we had the drama of getting ida, and then we all got sick, and after two weeks I wasn’t sure if I had dreamed the whole adventure. 

But then last week Maksym found the opal translator device the Queen had given me, right where I dropped it in my frantic race to get back to the base, so I knew it must be true after all.

What is the real power of the Martian fire opal? Is it a harmless rock - or a Martian death ray? Is it a lens to focus terahertz radiation to do medical scans, or grow living beings for the Ant Queens of Mars. Maybe it’s a high-bandwidth communications device.

Or maybe the real power of the stone, for one that knows how to use it, is to bring friends 

My name is Emi Serizawa. My scientific specialty is the study of the Martian atmosphere, but together– I together and kindle their imaginations so they can dream together - doctors and engineers, scientists and botanists, even Earthlings and aliens. 

So now you know the story of me, Astronaut Number 12. The other Earthlings think I am the same old Emi Serizawa, but now you know that here, on the Red Planet I am something more…

The end.

***

What did you all think of Emi's letter this week?

Isn’t that something? I am very glad that I got to share her letter with you all. Like I said, it wasn't really much of a letter as much as it was a story. I'm interested in seeing your reactions. [Emma laughs]

What I really love about Emi, and what I think she's trying to get across, is in the end, right, it doesn't necessarily matter what the fire opal could have been used for, because what it did was it gave everyone on the planet a chance to, kind of, come together this week. I really loved hearing in that note the different interactions that each of the astronauts had with Emi, and the way that they all had their own way of seeing what the opal could be. There's something really wonderful about the idea of looking at something, and some people will look at something and think, well, it's just a fire opal, like Aurore, or like John. But then there are some people who see the fire opal and can think of a million ways that it could be used outside of just the very simple it being a fire opal.

Which actually is going to play quite a large role into our game today. So I hope you all have your creative thinking hats on as much as Emi did this week. I love it!

So get ready for our game this week. We're going to hop into our message from our sponsor and our weather, and then when we get back, I will explain the game. And I will tell you something very special - there's going to be a special prize for the people who win the game. So, I hope you're ready…

Galdwin, that's exactly what we need, “school of creativity,” exactly.

With that, onto our sponsor message.

Commercial break

So you want to be an astronaut? You have the knowledge, you have the training in your discipline, you have the passion - now you need to take the final step. If you’re a bird ready to spring from the nest, the ISA’s “Flight School” is where you can learn to spread your wings and fly.

Located in Sydney, Australia, “Flight School” is the base course that prepares our astronauts for subsequent specialist training in their particular fields. It’s not easy. Long hours in the classroom build knowledge in astrophysics, geology, chemistry, and more - but that’s only the beginning. You will plunge into pool work, flight training, and many hours in our detailed simulations of low pressure and microgravity environments. Understand that many walk in to Flight School, but only the best will walk out as fully-fledged ISA astronauts.  

Flight School - where teams are born and friendships forged strong enough to withstand everything the Red Planet can throw at us. The work done in these first years of training will determine the trajectory of your life - and maybe the fate of humankind - for years to come, 

Are you ready to leave the nest? Join your fellow prospective astronauts for the flight of a lifetime at ISA’s Flight School.

Weather report

And now the weather. The weather and temperature for this week remains a tad cool, with lows of -110 degrees Celsius and highs of -10 degrees Celsius. Winds are raising, slightly varying from 10 meters/second to 25 meters/second, which is equivalent to 35 to 90 kilometers/hour, mainly from the south. Atmospheric opacity is expected to hover around 0.75.

***

Alright, we are back and ready to go! Back and ready to go. I'm very excited.

Mission Four is… a minute. It's on its way, for sure. Very, very soon. I'm really excited to bring you any information I can about Mission Four as it comes.

So, with that being said, we're going to hop into our game for the week. Like I said, I hope you have your creative thinking hats on for the week.

The way that this game is going to work is, I am going to share with you all an image. I'm not going to tell you what it is. Some things you might recognize, some things you might not recognize, necessarily. If you do recognize it, that's totally okay. I'm just not going to tell you specifically what it is, because what I want you all to do is basically what Emi had the astronauts on Mars do this week, which is - if I show you an image of a pen, I want you to tell me what you could use a pen for that isn't just being a pen.

I will be picking two winners each round. There are seven rounds, so there is a total of 14 potential spots for winners. 14. Whoever– So, the two winners are going to be whoever picks the most practical use - it can't just be, can't just be, like, you use a pen as a pen, got to use it for something else - and the other person is whoever is the silliest, the absolute silliest. So something that is completely just out of left field. And I'm going to decide each round who those two winners are, so who's my most practical and who is the silliest. And I think Stephanie has a cool gift for you all if you do get a chance to win. So I'll be notating who wins each round.

With that being said, are you all ready? Are you excited to go? Are you excited? You have your brains on? Alright, let's start with round one. Galdwin, I like that emote. It's very funny.

Alright, this is our first image. Our first image. Round one.

I'm looking for the most practical…

Yes, that's what it is, but I don't just want you to tell me what you could use it for. So don't just say what it could be or what it actually is. I want to know what you would use it for on Mars. And I will give a prize to whoever gives me the silliest answer and whoever gives me the most practical.

Alright, perfect. We’re gonna give it– I'm going to give it another minute. So everyone has until one more minute. [Emma laughs]

Alright, get your last minute answers in…

Alright, this is… Alright, it is it! Let's see, let's see…

So our first one, you are correct, it is a waffle iron. Let's see. What is our– What are our options?

We have people saying “waffles,” “making pancakes.” Brighteyes says “a hair crimper 1980s style,” I like that. Kenjiiee said “a bear trap.” Hmm… Tronity said “a sock dryer.” Illa said “play paddle.” RDadd said “earlobe flattener.” I mean, it is a common occurrence. We do need earlobes to be flattened, for sure. “Replacement heat shield and repairs,” okay, Rinjob, I kind of like that. That's a good one. “Reform treads on our moon boots,” ooh. “Heat press to make t-shirts with ridiculous phrases,” Jon-Jon, okay… “Slow down my dog for eating too fast,” Rerouted, I like what you're thinking… “Warming shoe soles.” Alright. “Weighing down a weather….” Okay, alright.

Alright! I have my answer. Or, I have my winners for this round. So our silliest one is going to be… Is going to be… Let me see… There were a couple that made me giggle.

I think we have to go with  Jon-Jon - “a heat press to make t-shirts with ridiculous phrases.” That would be a very, verysilly thing to do while you're on Mars, so I like that a lot. And then Rockitect, I actually am going to give you the most practical. I like that a lot. “They can be used to reform treads on our moon boots.” That’s… that's important! We need to be able to make sure that we can form the treads on our boots. It's hard to, like, hard to sit– Or, to keep our boots’ treads up. So well done!

Alright, we're going to head on to our next one. Our next item is… coming up here in just a second.

Alright, let's do it! Congratulations. So our first round, one more time, is Jon-Jon and Rockitect are my winners. This is our next option.

Alright, let's see your answers starting now. What else could this be used for?

Alright, let's see, let's see…

“Definitely another weapon of opportunity” [Emma laughs] Fearbone…

This is good.

Alright, you guys have about a minute left. Keep on working, keep on working! Let's see, let's see…

You guys are doing really good!

Alright, you have about 30 seconds left…

[Emma laughs] You guys are funny! I like it! Emi would be very proud of you all right now.

Alright. 15 seconds left.

10 seconds…

Alright with that… You are done. Alright, we're calling it here! Spear from CHRNV is the last one. Alright, let's see, let's see, let’s see, what do we got?

MaDAleN says “a water collector.” Rinjob says “dust cover.” “Flying like Mary Poppins,” CHRNV, I like that. Fearbone’s “definitely another weapon of opportunity.” RDadd, “a Martian fishbowl,” “distillation device,” okay. “Anti asteroids cover.” “If lack of golf equipment it could be useful,” that's true, that’s true. “A sword,” Trinity, I like where your head's at.”F”orm for water condensate collection,” okay. “Device that provides 100% hazard immunity,” that's funny. “Cover for radiation when the toilets are occupied,” ooh, Illa, I like that. “Slow minimum distance descent device,” ooh. Okay, okay… “Fending off solar flares” from Fearbone. Brighteyes, “My karaoke prop for "it's raining men" in the social hub.” [Emma laughs] “The dome module of the first Martian water flare.” “Patch materials for habs and suits.” Alright, I'm liking where you guys heads are at, but I think…

Okay, okay, I think here's what we're going to do. We're going to give… This is a rough one. This is hard.

Okay. For our… For our practical one, I'm going to say Jim Hodlin is going to win our practical one because the idea of it being a slow minimum distance descent device, I think that that's really practical. So we have that one. So that one's going to win there. And I think I have to give Brighteyes’ “my karaoke prop for "it's raining men" in the social hub,” I think I have to do it. That one's very silly and I like that a lot. Alright, perfect, perfect! 

Well done. “I once jumped off a shed with an umbrella and it didn't slow me down a bit.” Well, here's the thing, Fearbone, I wonder if it would slow you down a little bit while you were on Mars. That would be the only thing to think about.

Alright, let's go into round three! Round three. We still have plenty of time, so if you haven't one left yet, don't be discouraged.

Alright, round three.

Your time starts now. You have a minute and a half. Let's see what your guesses– or what your ideas would be. What would we use this for? What would we use this for? Trailblazer… [Emma laughs] “Collecting water.” Oh, I don't know that that would work. [Emma laughs]

Alright, alright, let's see…

You guys are doing pretty good job!

Alright, alright…

Oh, I like– Janoots, I like where your heads at, I like where heads at.

Alright, you guys have about 30 seconds left…

RDadd, I think– I appreciate that one a lot.

[Emma laughs] You and Fearbone had the same idea, I think.

Alright, you have 10 seconds left…

5 seconds…

Alright, that is time!

Okay, the last one is going to be “cowbell music” from Rerouted. Alright, so scrolling back up to see, to see, to see.

Alright, so we have lots of silly ones, I like it. “Better than a tinfoil cap,” Fearbone, I would agree with that. “A radiation plus hat,” okay. I like that. Illa, “making spaghetti,” always important. Kenjiiee said “a rock mineral sieve,” I also like that. “A really badly designed regolith strainer,” fair, fair, fair. “Watering bowl,” Keren, that's an interesting idea. I kind of like that too. It kind of does spread out the water, eh? Rockitect says “Stopping Martians from reading your thoughts.” Owalkip said “watermelon grater.” “A chair,” I like that. I like where your head's at. “Space hippie drum circle.” [Emma laughs]

Okay, so I think I'm going to go ahead and give my silliest to Tronity for this round. “Space hippie drum circle,” it's perfect. That's exactly what we would use it for. That's fantastic. In terms of our most practical, I am going to give it to Kenjiiee, who suggested that we use it as a rock mineral sieve first. There are quite a lot of people who made that kind of a suggestion, but Kenjiiee did it first. So we're going to go ahead and give it to Kenjiiee.

Alright, that is round three. We're on to round four! Ooh, let's go.

Alright, round four. Round four.

You have a minute and a half starting… now! What could this be used for?

[Emma laughs] You can't tell me?

Oh no [Emma laughs]

“Definitely a weapon of opportunity.” Alright, Fearbone, I like it.

I am resisting the urge to do the voice that goes along with that GIF, Strategic. I am resisting it. “Weapon of choice.” “When they're walking and fall,...” ooh, okay, Jim. I like it.

“Keeping the toilets clean for everyone,” well, we do know that that is necessary. That's very true. About 30 seconds left.

Let’s see, let’s see… Okay, olay…

Alright, you have 15 seconds left. 15 seconds... 

Alright. 5 seconds left…

Alright, that's time! Alright, “Soaking sun Mars watch” is going to be the last one I'm going to look at. So let's see, let's see. Manja said “an antenna.” CHRNV said “can't tell you.” That's not how you play the game. You have to tell me! Jim said “pulling astronauts from tight crevices.” Okay, I like that… I'm not sure what Maximo meant. “A weapon of opportunity.” “Wham magic.” Okay. “Defending alien attacks,” I like that. “Jousting matches,” Rockitect, I like where your head's at! “A self plunging device for constipation,” Thunder, that's useful. Jon said “face sucker.” Broccoli said “a magic wand,” I like that. Also “a sword for dual wielding,” nice. ShinyForce said “walking sticks.” Huh.

Strategic has that great GIF. “Weapon of choice.” “Pulling the cap off a nuke.” “A torch,” okay, I like where your head's at, April. “Repairing the plugged fuel generators.” “Hood ornament for buggy.” “Plug for when The Martian gets the runs again,” fair, fair, fair, fair. “Plunging out more opals,” Rinjob, I like where your head's at as well. “A barbecue spit!” Ooh, that could be a good one. That could be a good one. “Playing darts,” says MaDAlleN.

Alright, I'm going to go ahead and give MaDAleN– “Playing darts” is hilarious and I would love that. That is very, very silly. We're going to use it for playing darts. Just the image of people throwing a toilet plungers is incredible, so I love that a lot. And then I think for our most practical, I'm going to actually give it to ShinyForce for “rover gear stick.” I feel like a rover gear stick is going to be… You know, it’s a good alternative thing that we're going to need. So we'll go ahead and give it there. “I call being the target,” EightGod, I like that, I like that. “Definitely use it as a plunger,” I mean, fair, Jim, fair. I think you're right. [Emma laughds]

Alright, we are heading to our next round. This will be round five. Wow! You’re flying through this! There is still time to win. There is still time to win. “A drumstick for the drum sieve earlier,” ooh, RDadd, thatwas smart! I liked that a lot.

Alright, don't be disheartened. Our next round is starting right now… Or as soon as I press the enter button. You have a minute and a half. What will we use these for on Mars?

 

[Emma laughs] You all are very funny today! [Emma laughs]

 You all have a very similar thought process on this.

Let’s see, let’s see…

Alright, you have about 30 seconds left. [Emma laughs]

Alright, you have 15 seconds left.

I actually think these are so funny. You guys are doing a great job! I'm so proud of you all!

Alright, that is the end. Beautiful. Alright, we'll end it with… We’ll end it with Beacon, we’ll end it with Beacon.

Alright, let me scroll back up. So we have “arm gloves,” “earmuffs,” Bigbossgod, I like where your heads at, “earmuffs.” “Chewing space earrings,” RDadd, Bigbossgod have the same sort of an idea. Fearbone said “Oh, yeah, hands down a weapon.” Temukurr says “a fly killer.” “Disabling astronauts” is Rerouted. “For Mars cockroaches,” Kenjiiee, hmm, okay, I like that. Manja says “a frisbee,” I like that a lot. I like that a lot. Let's keep– Alright. “Shoulder pads,” “hand gloves,” “Mars insect killer,” have our heads going on. “Use them as a divination rod to find water,” okay, I like that. “A doorstopper,” “bump pad for sitting on the rocks–” Oh, “in comfort!” Oh, interesting, RDadd! I kind of like that. That's smart! “A doorstopper,” Shiny, I like where your head’s at as well. “Flotation device in water” Ooh, I do like that a lot. “Tool to solve conflicts,” that's also true.

Alright, so here's what we're going to do - I'm going to give Moneybag my practical– No, wait. My silly, yeah, sorry, my silliest one. Because using them as floatation devices on a planet without water is hilarious and I just love the idea of them being floatation devices. So, Moneybag, let me go ahead and give you that for silliness. And then I'm going to give… I’m gonna give RDadd our practical award for this one for a bumpad for sitting on the rocks in comfort. That sounds awesome. That would work perfectly. A” Mars walkie-talkie,” oh, no. We should have used that!

Oh my gosh, those GIFs. Oh, no. “Testing my smell on Mars,” ooh, Galdwin, that would have been a good one. That would have been a good one.

Alright, we have two left. Two left. This is round six. Are you ready?

Mars does have water. Mars does have water but it's frozen. Very frozen. Very cold. It's just too cold. But you know what? It could have water that we don't know about. Like in Emi’s story, there could be a, you know, an ancient Martian bug civilization living under the surface. We don't know. I mean, the astronauts probably do know, but it's fine.

Alright, we're going to round six. We're going to round six.

These GIFs with these sandals are very menacing.

Round six, starting now! You have a minute and 30 seconds. What will you use this for?

 

I have a feeling we're going to get a lot of frisbee suggestions. A lot of them. Alright, let's see. [Emma laughs]

You guys are really, really good at this! I’m– I’m very excited to send this information to Emi and tell her that her game was so well received. This is fantastic.

Alright, you have a minute– Or, not a minute, I’m so sorry. 45 seconds. RDadd, “faking UFOs to the people on Earth.” [Emma laughs] 

Oh, my goodness. Of course, of course, it's also a great weapon of opportunity, that's true.

Alright, you have 10 seconds left…

Alright, that is it. So our last one is going to be “buggy hub caps.” Alright, let's take a look. Let's see, let's see.

Tronity kicks us off with “contact lens.” Manja says “frisbees.” Maximo says “shield.” CHRNV says “frisbee,” I like it, I like it. Moneybags says “protection vest.” Jim said an “Alien-Astronaut Thanksgiving,” I like it. “Balancing act during talent shows,” Rockitect! I like where your head's at! “Eating, obviously.” Trailblazer, I like where your head's at as well. Rerouted said “sledding.” That's funny, actually. “Mars transportation.” Flying car disk, I like it. “Reflective dish.” Also like that, Fearbone. “A painting panel.” “Mars-style charcuterie plate,” always useful. “Lights for the rover.” “Receiving Martian communication.” “SOS safety device.” “A white flag of peace.” “Target practice.” “Faking UFOs to people on Earth…”

“It can be broken and assembled like a puzzle. Entertainment on Mars…” Huh… You know what? I have to give that my most practical. I… I think that that's perfect, Rokinro11. That's incredibly practical! And if you have a lot of them, you can break them and remake them over and over. That's really well done! Alright, Rokinro11 gets my practical suggestion. Now for our silly suggestion. Let’t see, let’s see. Let’s see let’s see…

“Anti-stress toy…”

You know what? I think I have to give… I think I have to give Rerouted the silliest for “sledding.” I think I have to do that because that's so silly. I love the idea of you with low gravity being able to sled on a, like, a dinner plate. It's just very funny. Alright, so we're going to give Rerouted our silliest one there. I like that a lot.

That's true, Galdwin. It was silly and practical at the same time. Alright, so we are going to give Rerouted this.

This is going to be our very last one, y’all, our last one. Round seven.

 

I will actually give.. Like, I will be very proud if anyone actually knows what this item is.

So, with that, it's round seven. Our final round… Let's see how you do. You have a minute and 30 seconds. Go.

[Emma laughs] Kenjiiee, thank you for knowing what it actually is. Okay, perfect.

 I'm so proud of you all for knowing what it actually is! That's awesome!

Alright, let's see, let’s see… You have a minute left...

Well, Jim, you already won one, so you have one.

Alright, let's see. You have… 30 seconds left.

”It’s a cane that lets old people run,” oh, no. “A gift for aliens,” okay, I like that.

Alright, 15 seconds left.

Three, two, one… Alright, our last one is… We’re gonna… The last one will be the rover jack. Alright, perfect. Let's scroll back up and let's see what our suggestions are.

Janoots says “a roller skate.” Kenjiiee was correct with a facial roller, that's true. Fearbone says “it's a weapon.” Could be a weapon. Alex, you're correct, it is for beauty. CHRNV says anti stress. Also true, also true. Trailblazer says “for balancing things,” I like that. Kenjiiee says “a Martian microphone.” Jon-Jon says “a foot massager.” “Preparing pizza,” okay, Illa I like where your head is at. “Low-gravity cheerleader baton.” [Emma laughs] Okay, that's funny. “This can also double down as a torture device” says Fearbone. Oh, no. Bigboss says “a shake weight.” Maximo says “a pizza maker.” CHRNV says “cooking equipment.” “We can check the level of ground with this,” that's true., Trailblazer, that's true, that's true. “Phoning up the aliens,” “roller skates,” “scare the Martians,” “for baking,” “laundry iron,” “radio antenna.”

“Looks like a double sided lollipop.” “A Martian baby toy,” always important. “A baking roller.” “Right about it being a weapon,” I– That’s fair, Jim. “Patching flat tires,” “a Redtooth microphone,” okay. “A meal hammer,” “to prepare shakes,” “to make even soil for crops…” “That one phallic looking object that astronauts keep giggling at,” Jon-Jon, I like where your head’s at. Janoots says “rolling out regolith clay for tiles to guard against radiation...”

Alright, alright. Janoots, I'm going to give the most practical award to you for that one. “Rolling out regolith clay for tiles to guard against radiation,” I like that a lot. I like that a lot.  I feel like that’s the most– That is the most practical for sure, for sure, so congratulations. We're going to get it there.

Now it's our silliest one. Our silliest one… Hm.. Alright. Our silliest one. [Emma clicks tongue]

I kind of think… Honestly, I have to give it to Galdwin. “Low-gravity cheerleader baton” had me actually giggling. So I think that Galdwin has to be the winner here. I think it has to be. I just think it has to be. So, congratulations!

So just to go back through who won today, I am so proud of you all. We have Jon-Jon, Rockitect, Brighteyes, Jim Hodlin, Tronity, Kenjiiee, MaDAleN, ShinyForce, Moneybag, RDadd, Rerouted, Rokinro11, Galdwin and Janoots! I am so, so proud of you all!

The practical? The practical one was using the face roller to roll out… It’s just so silly. To roll out regolith clay for tiles against radiation, obviously.

So I'm so proud of you all! I am glad that you all had fun. I am sure that Emi will be very appreciative that you all enjoyed the game as much as you did.

With that being said, that concludes our show for the week! Thank you all so much for hanging out. As always, you will all be, or, if you missed anything of the show or you want to relisten to the story that Emi had written and sent to us, it will be uploaded soon and should have transcripts and whatnot.

And with that being said, I bid you all a fond farewell and I will see you all next week for our next episode of the Red Shift.

Thank you all so much for playing. Bye, everyone!

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