The Last Days of Life on Mars

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During the final days of life on Mars, the indigenous ecosystems had all but crumbled.   Relics stood as a reminder of the societies that once thrived here, now extinct.

They had watched helplessly in those final months as it approached their small planet.  While they possessed the technological base, they lacked the social competencies to come together and stop the meteor from devastating their planet.

Those that survived the blast watched hopefully as a lifeboat of scientists, historians and a wealthy few blasted towards the stars to find a new home for their people.  

They never returned.

The famine, plague and sickness eventually wiped out their population.  As the atmosphere began to dissipate, the days grew hotter and the nights, even colder.   The remaining vegetation died off, as did the fish and smaller wildlife. 
I stood here now, as a visitor from a neighboring world, 18 million years later.  From the precipice of the valley, I looked down into a sea of rock and sand and thought that this could have been the beach of some ancient Gulf.
As the sun would set, the landscape would go from an arid, burning heat to a frozen, ceaseless cold.   
In the moments between these extremes, I could see how life here once was and possibly would be again.  
Some day.