April 7, 2016

MARTIAN HOLIDAY 80: Aster of Opportunity

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/pv5BzHM3TJ8/hqdefault.jpgOn 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 (50,000 words as of now), drop me a line and I’ll send you the unedited version. ? z Z

FardusAH, assistant to Mayor-for-Life of Burroughs Dome, Etaraxis Ginunga-Gap leaned back in her chair, studying the Mayoral Consort, Aster Theilen for some time before finally saying, “Depending on the outcome of your party, I may have some questions about your God.”

“If you do, I will be happy to answer them.” She bowed slightly. “I’ll see you later.”

As Aster strode from the office, FardusAH touched her mauve lips with a navy blue finger, nails done in complimentary yellow. She said softly, “You most certainly will, your Honor. You most certainly will.” She turned to her screen and got back to work.

Aster stopped outside he office. Most people – certainly vo’Maddux’s agents, as well as the few “watchers” FardusAH employed – would expect her to hurry to the Mayor’s Pylon to begin planning; possibly to start picking colors and start the guest list. In the months since Etaraxis chose her as his main consort, she’d learned more about the elite of the Dome than she really cared to know. She pursed her lips, then went to edge of the ramp that spiraled from the uppermost levels, deep into the planet. Above, a lens shield that both collected and concentrated sunlight. The physical dome overlay that, stretching a kilometer in either direction from the Core, all the way to the Rim. The wealthiest Opportunians lived in the upper level of the Core and around the edge – what was called by some, the HOD. In that part of the Dome, people actually owned their own homes – owned a piece of Mars. Only the wealthiest, most deeply connected families lived there. That didn’t necessarily include the First Humans on Mars. He father was one of them, poor by HOD standards, but owning, nevertheless, a growing portion Mount Olympus.

He had friends as well. Some of them were not happy with how Mars had turned out. She sniffed. If her father had ever wanted to start an insurrection, he’d have plenty of tinder. The First Humans were scattered among the Domes – but some lived in the High Desert of Mars. Some were pariah to the common humanity that lived their lives out hardly noticing that they were aliens on an ancient world.

She sighed. He father knew them all; loved many of them. They would know where to find lots of orphans. But she had another kind of orphan she wanted to bring into the  Orphan’s Ball. She wanted Artificial Human children to be part of the celebration. They were different, but not less Human. She knew that her viewpoints would have gotten her killed just to speak them in some of the Domes. Even so, as the Mayoral Consort, she could actually effect change on Mars. The cast off Artificial Humans – they called themselves inti – were part of the future of the planet. To exclude them would not only incite rebellion, it wasn’t, as her father said, “Part of God’s plan.”

While she’d never been the fanatic her father was, she loved the Triune God and wanted to serve Him. This was her chance. She was in a place to do some good and she had allies. Undermining the status quo had never been her dream, but if she ever wanted to see a Mars unified and equitable, someone had to start something somewhere. She had to be transparent – using the shunt, in this environment, surveillance was a given. Mars had a society that an ancient science fiction writer had predicted with uncanny accuracy – a transparent society. Security and probably vo’Maddux herself, were happily spying on her even as she stood here. She resisted the temptation to wave and came back to the problem with the Orphan’s Ball. It regularly excluded the people who have less power and low status – the people that orphans ended up becoming. All of Martian society needed to be responsible for lifting them up and helping them meet the people they need to meet in order to grow up empowered.

She smiled bleakly at FardusAH’s response: “But they aren’t even Human! Some of the little freaks look like furless kangaroos!” She’d had the grace to blush black when she realized what she’d said. But FardusAH, with her network of assistants to all of the other Mayors of Mars, would be her most powerful ally.

In vo’Maddux’s mind, the Mayoral Consort should head to the Pylon and start her party plans. Instead, she headed down to her Dad’s. Her father was very familiar with the proletariat, the person-on-the-street; those who had been called “blue-collar” workers back on Earth in the middle of its Twentieth Century. Those were the men and women who listened to her dad; who attended his secret Christian churches – and who quite literally kept Opportunity Dome from falling apart. She needed to let him know that what she planned wasn’t “a stunt” by the Mayor’s Office.

She needed to form a new union of Martians, is what she needed to do.

No comments: