_With no more room left on Earth, and with Mars hanging up there
empty of life, somebody hit on the plan of starting a colony on the
Red Planet. It meant changing the habits and physical structure of
the immigrants, but that worked out fine. In fact, every possible
factor was covered--except one of the flaws of human nature...._
Daptine is the secret of it. Adaptine, they called it first; then it got
shortened to daptine. It let us adapt.
They explained it all to us when we were ten years old; I guess they
thought we were too young to understand before then, although we knew a
lot of it already. They told us just after we landed on Mars.
"You're _home_, children," the Head Teacher told us after we had gone
into the glassite dome they'd built for us there. And he told us there'd
be a special lecture for us that evening, an important one that we
must all attend.
And that evening he told us the whole story and the whys and wherefores.
He stood up before us. He had to wear a heated space suit and helmet, of
course, because the temperature in the dome was comfortable for us but
already freezing cold for him and the air was already too thin for him
to breathe. His voice came to us by radio from inside his helmet.
"Children," he said, "you are home. This is Mars, the planet on which
you will spend the rest of your lives. You are Martians, the first
Martians. You have lived five years on Earth and another five in space.
Now you will spend ten years, until you are adults, in this dome,
although toward the end of that time you will be allowed to spend
increasingly long periods outdoors.