It All Started With a Purchase

By: Rhea Agrawal

Megan Miller was a young teen living on Mars in the year 2250. Earth became uninhabitable in the last two hundred years, as it was overrun by pollution and there was no more clean water. Half the population had died, leaving the rest of the humans to colonize other planets. Most lived on Mars while the rest were evenly divided between the rest of the planets in the Solar System. After centuries of searching, scientists finally found another habitable planet in the neighboring Andromeda Galaxy. Zoticus was similar to Earth, but was five thousand times the size. There were rumors of rushing rivers, green hills, and clean air, but scientists still said they needed to do more investigations before they could bring large groups of people over. Unfortunately, this did not stop some corrupt scientists from illegally taking stuff from the newly discovered planet and selling it on the black market.

Megan was using her computer when she saw an ad for clean water. This immediately caught the young girl’s attention, as she had never tasted clean water before in her life. She enthusiastically clicked on the ad and was taken to a private website. As Morgan was still fairly young, she wasn’t aware of cyber safety and scams, and the naive little girl trusted everything she heard. Morgan was bursting with joy at the thought of being able to taste fresh water. She had heard stories about how it immediately quenched your thirst and how it was tasteless but refreshing. She would get to drink what was vital to humans in the generations before her. It was only one liter, but that was more than enough for her. She quickly filled out all the information and expected it to arrive at her home in a week. Little did she know that computers were rare on this planet, and the government tracked every computer.

The next morning, Megan bounced down the stairs, excited to tell her friends and family about her new purchase. However, as she went to greet her parents, she was surrounded by government officials and military personnel. Her parents, usually sporting a tired smile, had visible frowns and it was clear they were beyond miffed. The young girl inquired what could be wrong, but wasn’t able to come up with anything. Suddenly, a scrawny man stood up from the group and faced her. He explained the reasoning for the government having to come to her house and her face paled when she realized that it was because of the water she had bought. Her mom angrily scolded her and asked her how she could even think of purchasing something without her parents permission. Megan, extremely overwhelmed, cried out and exclaimed how her only intention was to be able to finally taste water, something everyone on her planet had been craving for over a century. The government official who had spoken to her earlier nodded and explained how he could see where she was coming from. But then, what he said next, felt like a huge blow to Megan’s gut. She had led Mars to the brink of an interplanetary war. Apparently, all the other countries were already in turmoil with one another, as they fought to decide who would be able to send their people to the new planet. Leaders had all agreed that they would not buy anything from Zoticus, but by Megan purchasing the water, it had led the other governments to believe Mars was willing to go to war. Megan felt overwhelmed and finally realized how disastrous one small purchase could be.

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