On a well-settled Mars, the five major city Council regimes struggle to meld into a stable, working government. Embracing an official Unified Faith In Humanity, the Councils are teetering on the verge of pogrom directed against Christians, Molesters , Jews, Rapists, Buddhists, Murderers, Muslims, Thieves, Hindu, Embezzlers and Artificial Humans – anyone who threatens the official Faith and the consolidating power of the Councils. It makes good sense, right – get rid of religion and Human divisiveness on a societal level will disappear? An instrument of such a pogrom might just be a Roman holiday...To see the rest of the chapters and I’m sorry, but a number of them got deleted from the blog – go to SCIENCE FICTION: Martian Holiday on the right and scroll to the bottom for the first story. If you’d like to read it from beginning to end (40,000 words as of now), drop me a line and I’ll send you the unedited version.
DaneelAH nodded, “Something happened on Mars a long time ago and it’s driving the Mayors – almost as much as the rest of us fighting against Unified. We have to find out what happened on Mars, why it’s so important,” he paused, “Then we can figure out why the Mayors are willing to murder so many to maintain their control over the planet.”
AzAH, MishAH and HanAH had moved to their stations. Again, they all turned to look at him. He took a deep breath and said, “Out of the frying pan and into the fire.”
Only AzAH, the biological translator laughed. She glanced at the other two, shook her head, “I’ll explain once we’re under way.”
HanAH, created with unparalleled skills in security, detection, and investigation grunted, but started the marsbug and pulled away from Vogel Station. Beside him, MishAH thought then said, “The impact of a true pogrom – aside from the obvious attempt of the Mayors to create a Roman holiday – will leave the planet devastated. There has to be some other reason for them to push the persecution so far. The only thing that makes any sense…” she paused, turning her attention to the internal systems of the marsbug, balancing life support with the speed HanAH was attempting.
AzAH, from her station at communications, once she’d assured that the ‘bug wasn’t transmitting any kind of signal whatsoever, said, “What’s the only thing that makes sense?”
DaneelAH poked his head out of the tiny science lab where he’d stowed the illegal set of Earth-correct Holy books the Martian Dalai Lama had turned over to him. “What are you talking about?”
“The Mayors obviously have a plan – we don’t know what it is yet, though it most likely has to do with the United Faith In Humanity of which we are not a part.”
AzAH said, “No one’s really a part of United unless they unthinkingly reject anything that requires any kind of commitment.”
HanAH shook his head, “This isn’t getting us anywhere. What will get us somewhere is someone setting a course for us that will take us from this God-forsaken place all the way to Cydonia. Maybe Paolo has a plan to free Mars from the Mayors as well as United.”
“A way that doesn’t involve feeding all dissidents to the figurative lions,” said MishAH.
“In this case, I think the figurative lions are the very real near-vacuum on the surface via opened airlocks instead of the jaw bones,” said HanAH. He leaned into the joysticks and the ‘bug raced forward until the walls began to hum. “Make sure you have your helmets handy. No one in here’s likely to pull a RubyMar this far from the Valley.”
DaneelAH snorted, “Funny you should mention her – she risked her life to save her ex-husband, way back in the Lunar Colonial days.”
“That’s not the allusion I was trying for,” he said.
“That’s the allusion I got,” said DaneelAH. “And that’s what I’m going with.” The ‘bug bounced along the surface, heading steadily northwest and into the jaws of the lion.