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 (60,000+ words as of now), drop me a line and I’ll send you the unedited version.
HanAH, whose specialty was security snarled, “Just have out with it! I hate these…” AzAH laid her hand on his forearm and he subsided, jerking away from her.
“It’s just that,” MishAH continued, “There’s a persistent rumor that not only is Natan Wallack still alive – he’s a Christian convert.”
DaneelAH lifted a hand, adding, “It’s a rumor; unsubstantiated and ephemeral…”
HanAH snorted, “That just means that there aren’t a lot of people talking about it where your spies can eavesdrop – and that could be for reasons both mundane and criminal.”
AzAH said, “I assume that despite your casual mention, you’ve done a thorough analysis of the history of the Hero of the Faith Wars?”
The younger sister smiled faintly, “I have, but this time I’m more interested in the connections I’m seeing here.”
“Such as?” DaneelAH prompted.
“I’ll tell you that Wallack’s survival would alleviate certain tensions in the pattern of his life and that there are both enough certainties and questions to make me think he might be here. That being said, his involvement with Marcillon would make sense as well.”
“An our involvement with the Free Martians? What would that be all about?” said HanAH.
She made a face, “That doesn’t fit into the pattern.” Her brother opened his mouth, so she held up her hand, adding, “Yet. This Paolo Marcillon seems to be manipulating us; but his involvement with the Free Martians and Natan is by no means clear right now. There might also be other players involved.”
HanAH shook his head and dropped into an open seat. “Great! Now you’ve just implicated all Martians – both Natural and Artificial – in a conspiracy. Might a well...”
“It’s not that complicated,” MishAH cut off his rant. “I’ve seen other things stirring on this rusty pinball.” DaneelAH sat as well, looking up at her with interest. He couldn’t remember the last time she’d turned her considerable skills to a problem outside of agriculture, population studies, and local politics. She smiled at him, shot a superior look at her other brother and said, “There’s something going on in Opportunity.”
“That sleepy town,” AzAH exclaimed. She sat down as well. “Can anything of importance come out of that Dome?”
MishAH nodded slowly, “I’d normally agree with you, Sister. But the Mayor’s got himself a new Consort.”
The three older vatmates snorted as one. HanAH snarked, “That’s hardly news, MishAH! He changes women as often as the rest of us change our underwear!”
She nodded, conceding the point but added, “The pattern is clear to me, as well. But this time he’s chosen a Consort who has his chief of security obviously upset.” The other three gave her their complete attention.
The marsbug started moving, rolling over the lip of the crater and into Burroughs proper.