Mars is Heaven!
Plot: A group of space explorers are on a voyage to Mars from Earth. As they land they are bewildered to see that the planet looks just like earth 30 years in the past. Cautiously, the captain of the ship takes two men to explore, while the rest of the crew stays behind. Things only get more bizarre from here as one of the crew members discovers his grandparents live there, and they have been dead for years! Similar cases for the rest of the crew as they all break up and spend time with their respective families. However it is too good to be true when they lost family members turn out to be aliens, and kill the entire crew then destroy the shuttle.
Theme: There are multiple themes to this short story, and you could probably continue adding more all day. Fear of the unknown is a very strong theme in the story, as both the aliens and the astronauts were fearful of the other and very worried about an attack. Another theme is either mind control or at least mind reading. That one depends on whether you believe the aliens hypnotized the crew and made them see the aliens as their lost relatives, or whether they read their minds and were shape shifters.
Characters: The main characters are Lustig, Hinkston, and Captain Black. There are also the characters of the rest of the crew, and the lost and found "relatives".
Characterization: John Black is a serious, and by the book captain. He is cautious, and this seems like the kind of individual that prides himself on getting the job done right. He seems the least likely candidate to melt under the circumstances, but even he can't tune out the reemergence of his brother and parents after death.
Lustig seems more easily shaken and more laid back. He is definitely the weak link in this chain as he is the first to fall for the come back of his grandparents, and does so without batting an eye. He consistently doesn't follow orders and questions command, and is definitely more of a rebel....
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