There is no magic on mars
I was a child when humanity fled the Earth. The torn weather patterns and radiation and pollution poisoned land, water and sky forced humans to abandon a dying planet. But my kind were unprepared.
The ungifted had been building rockets and settlements on the moon and mars for years. Preparing for doomsday. We scoffed, proclaiming this the best possible end. The world would be left to the magic folk, and we would heal Earth with our guidance and superior wisdom. How naive those generations were, blind to their own tampering. How long had they pulled at the rain, here not there, harvested rare flora and fauna to extinction for love potions, folded under the land for an exploding population?
In the end it was all folly. Heads popped out of the sand, and we begged passage with the ungifted in their tooled metal ships driven by science and cobbled together with all the faults of the laborers fingers. Many refused to go, taking their chances with the angry earth rather than risk the vast and empty space to Mars. Who knows, perhaps they thrive there after all, carving out an eden for the remaining few. If not, I still think their fate was kinder than ours.
Some lost their minds on the journey. Even with long periods in cryo, the trip was long and the waking times spent in awe, tedium or fear. It was difficult to maintain the secrecy of our talents, especially among the young. On that rocket, I discovered I could make my little toy elephant trumpet and run. My first, and final, taste of magic. My father struck me, the first and only time, "Some one could have seen" his hissed words cut through the ringing in my cuffed ear. "You do not want that...I could not..." he held me close, weeping. Later I learned that a girl on another ship had been caught juggling fire and ice. They called her Witch and jettisoned her from an airlock. On another a mage killed all the ungifted, claiming the ship for magic folk alone. Fear of the other is easier to justify when the world goes tits up, and many medieval supersticians had risen in the end as billions of people looked for someone to blame.
I forget much, but the image of Mars on entry will always remain, the orange arc of dust and mountains, splotched by blue-green bubbles of human settlements. They bloomed like pustules on diseased dog.
When the air locks hissed everyone rejoiced. And then despaired. As we sucked in our first breaths of filtered martian air the magic left. It was like a simultaneous outpouring of vomit and tears, but of the soul.
Many went mad and took their own lives before the first nights end, the rest did our best to forget what we had once been.
Some say our power was bound to the Earth, others believed the ungifted poisoned us. I think it is our penance and punishment.