A Story by Lea Sheryn
The Planet Mars is in revolt against Mother Planet Earth
With slow deliberation, I lowered my Galaxy Horizon Far Seeking Binoculars. It had been more than an hour since I had last rested my eyes. Day after day, I had scanned the far skies beyond the atmosphere of Planet Earth. The last communication to arrive from Outer Space Command (OutCom) relayed definite information that a delegation had departed Outreach Mars to attend a coalition meeting with United Federation Earth or U-Fed as it was more commonly called.
It had been one hundred and fifty years since the first colony had been established on Mars. Since that time, many earthlings had relocated to the next planet from the sun to establish a permanent settlement. The settlement had thrived and grown until vast domed cities had sprung up to cover most of the surface of our nearest neighbors. Children had been born, families had grown and the first generation of colonists had begun to die away. The people of Mars no longer referred to themselves as Transplanted Earthlings; they wanted to be known as Martians.
Until recently, all decisions concerning Mars were decided by U-Fed. The people of Mars were ruled by the laws of Earth and taxed by our standards. What started out as minor complaints had grown into outright hostilities between the planets. Several delegations had already met at U-Fed headquarters in the metropolis of Brasilia in the South American country of Brazil. If the situation wasn’t stabilized soon, we were headed toward a War of Worlds.
My mind reached out to my friend Kev-Tran432. Ever since Ultra-Space Net had become fully operational, I had been communicating with my Martian counterpart. Beginning as a simple exchange of ideas between citizens of different planets, our correspondence had grown into a strong friendship. If war were on the near horizon, I wondered if we would be able to maintain our exchange of letters.
Sighing, I turned my eyes and my binoculars toward the far-reaching space between the Earth and Mars. No detectable movement appeared within my view. As a soldier, Lt. Petra-Stargazer8672493, I had to place my focus upon the mission ahead of me yet, as a woman, my mind turned toward the loss of friendship between Kev-Tran432 and myself and all the others who would lose friends and connections that had been gained between the planets throughout the years.
It had been an hour and a quarter since my last break when the voice of First Commander Stark784 barked into my Intra-Lobe Hearing Device. The news was stunning: an Unmanned Interstellar Flying Devise (Inter-Fling) had penetrated Earth’s atmosphere and had bombed the city of Jaipur, India, which had recently emerged as a chief exporter of electronic devices to Mars. Recent news had indicated a bone of contention concerning hefty taxes applied only to Martian exports of the products manufactured there. Further communications announced another bombing of the Bahamas, a long established banking hub. Without hesitation, I once again began scanning the horizon. It was apparent we were under attack. We could no longer expect a delegation of officials to arrive. Mars had revolted. In a blinking of an eye, the War for Martian Independence had begun.
In trepidation, my finger reached up to tap my Intra-Lobe Hearing Device. Fearing the silence that had transpired over the last quarter of an hour, I wondered what had caused the sudden lack of communication. Ever since the War for Martian Independence had begun, there had been constant over the air chatter across the Red Planet Channels of Articulation. As soon as the new Premier of Mars had been sworn into office, the entire revolt had become more of a misadventure than a real attempt to gain independence from the grip of Earth’s over-extended power.
Running on a platform to end the war with Earth, Bartholomew Bop had gained the Premiership with an overwhelming popular vote. Since Bartie Bop, as he was commonly called, took the oath to uphold Martian Law and Stand for the Rights of the People of the Red Planet, the entire situation between Earth and Mars had turned into a comedy of errors. Suddenly the War Office was swamped with orders and counter-orders to the effect of complete confusion within the Armed Forces. Even the most stalwart of the Generals had no idea which Plan du Jour to proceed upon. Bartholomew Bop remained closeted with his CABAL of Cronies while our more experienced Commanders where kept locked out of the decision making process.
Adding to the pressures heaped upon the Freedom Flyers on the Front Lines who hovered haphazardly in the space between Mars and Earth, rapid rumor spread in concern of the development of an Inter-Fling device loaded with a newly mined explosive element named deimosium. Ever since testing began in an underground chamber on the moon Deimos, Martian Commanders urged caution in the use of this highly combustible material, while U-Fed threatened hefty sanctions if there was even the slightest hint of the launch of an Inter-Fling device carrying such a payload. In the meantime, Bartie Bop and his CABAL remained eerily silent on the subject of any development concerning deimosium.
In the silence that hovered within the Manned Aerial Reconnaissance Squadron of which I, Space Captain Kev-Tran432, held command, a sudden flash of white streaked past my left flank. At that instant, I realized one of my fleet had gone rogue releasing an Inter-Fling device. Without hesitation, I thrust my vehicle into psycho-drive in an attempt to, if possible, intercept the device and blast it from the sky. If my first thoughts were correct, this was the Inter-Stellar Flying Device that would cause great destruction upon Planet Earth. As much as Mars wished for independence, this was, most certainly, not the way to achieve it.
As soon as I exited psycho-drive within the vicinity of Earth, I knew I was too late. The debris field that greeted me was overwhelming. What met my eyes was more than I feared. Canted wildly to one side, more than a quarter of Earth’s moon had disintegrated. Whoever had commanded the release of the Inter-Fling had sadly miscalculated the lunar orbit or had forgotten to calculate it at all. When the device flew past the planet to make it’s arched fling earthward, it had collided with the moon causing the destruction that lay before me.
“PETRA!!” My scream filled the small cabin of my spacecraft. My long-time friend and counterpart Petra-Stargazer8672493 had been promoted to Captain at the same time I had received my promotion and had recently been stationed to Lunar Base Omega. In other words, she was on the moon when it exploded. Flipping my telecommunications screen to Ultra-Space Net mode, I found myself screaming her name again. After several moments of static on the screen, the face of my dear friend finally appeared. Petra with her face smeared with grim and her cap askew was safe! The next task was to extricate her from her precarious situation. I knew I had to think fast…