With a sharp, breathy hiss, the seal of the airlock broke, and Simon felt the cool Earth air blow across his face.
Well, technically he didn't feel it, but his suit's sensors recorded data on the air; its composition, pressure, and temperature.
It was the first time a human had set foot on the planet in over two centuries. The Consumption had taken total control over the planet in 2077, rendering it uninhabitable. The survivors had fled to Mars and the Jovian colonies just before the air itself had been sucked away to feed the relentless multiplying of the microscopic plague of machines.
Now, two hundred years later, the things had receded and the Earth was green and blue and white again. No one knew why, so they sent an expedition - one ship only - to see if the Consumption was truly gone.
Simon tentatively took his first step onto solid ground. It was just as he had seen in the old digital videos - verdant, full of life.
A sudden noise to his left startled him, making him stumble. He gasped - staring back at him from behind a leafy green plant was a human face.