According to Edith Hamilton, in Greek Mythology the source of all misfortune was Pandora's curiosity. "The gods presented her with a box into which each had put something harmful, and forbade her ever to open it. Then they sent her to Epimetheus, who took her gladly although Prometheus had warned him never to accept anything from Zeus. He took her, and afterward when that dangerous thing, a woman, was his, he understood how good his brother's advice had been. For Pandora, like all women, was possessed of a lively curiosity. She had to know what was in the box. One day she lifted the lid and out flew plagues innumerable, sorrow and mischief for mankind. In terror Pandora clapped the lid down, but too late. One good thing, however, was there...Hope. It was the only good the casket had held among the many evils, and it remains to this day mankind's sole comfort in misfortune."
Chapter 1. The Mars Mission
This was the first international manned mission to Mars and he would be glad to get out of this inflatable research station with the four scientists working with him and back aboard the spacecraft Pegasus circling Mars, with Colonel William Bradshaw, and Captain Vladimir Klenovic, the Russian navigator, who were monitoring their progress on the surface. The team at the Mars station consisted of scientists from Canada, Germany, England, and Japan; all specialists in different fields. They had been in this station for five earth weeks and were almost finished their tests and calculations on the surface.
Jim Horvath was the son of a hard working farming couple in mid western South Dakota. Ever since Jim could remember he had wanted to fly the heavens and visit far away worlds. He never forgot, and his mother to this day would still remind him, of the time when he was seven years old, she awoke from a deep sleep in the middle of the night with an uneasy feeling that something had happened to him. She went to his bedroom to check on him and found him gone. She frantically woke his father and they began searching the house and were just about to phone the sheriff when he strode in through the door. He had been down by the river on a rope swing. When she enquired as to why he wanted to go swinging in the middle of the night he had replied, "I couldn't reach the stars in my spaceship in the daytime!" His dedication and perseverance had made him a top choice for this mission.
Jim watched Merv through the front portal of the Lander, returning from the cave with its two containers and thought out loud, "I wonder what kind of surprise you have for us this time, my little friend".
The world would find out, but it would be many months later.
Chapter 2. The Mission Returns Home
Bill Bradshaw had served seven years in the space program and was referred to as 'The Old Man' by the rookies. Although only 34 he had a wealth of knowledge and training behind him. His uncanny ability to handle stressful situations easily, and his cheerful nature made him a first pick as Mission Commander for this mission. He was also an admired friend of Jim Horvath and when not working or sleeping they spent much of the long trip talking about old times, playing cards and watching videos piped aboard by IASA.