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 (70,000+ words as of now), drop me a line and I’ll send you the unedited version.
Aster Theilen, most recently, Consort of Mayor-for-Life of Opportunity Dome, Etaraxis Ginunga-Gap, and the original daughter of known religious radical, Abedne Halle-Theilen; said to the underground gathering of Artificial Humans her father had led her to, “Members of the Artificial Human community, oppressed by those of us who are natural-born, I request and require,” she turned slowly meeting the eyes of every Artificial Human she could see, then said, “that you no longer take your orders from my father. You take orders only from me – or a duly appointed mouthpiece of mine, who will only act when he or she presents a sigil representing my Voice.” She looked at her dad and said, “Sorry. It’s necessary for the plan.” She spoke loudly, “Please signify your understanding and acceptance of my request and requisition by raising your right hand.” A moment later every hand was raised, every face solemn. She turned to her father and said, “Sorry, Daddy. You’ve been voted out.”
Abedne scowled at his daughter then nodded. “Good. I was getting tired of leading them. About time you took over the family avocation.”
She nodded, then turned again in a circle, taking in the blue faces. She said, “I’d like to work with a smaller group of ten of you. If each one of those has some connection to the other major Domes and stations, that would be best. We need to create…”
Her dad leaned over and whispered, “There’s already an inter-Dome network. You don’t think we’ve just been sitting on our hands for the past ten years, do you?” He smiled to take the sting out of his words.
Aster nodded, “I hadn’t dared hope as much. The groundwork you all have created is exactly what I’d hoped to find here.” She looked around. “Who are the leaders?”
Abedne sighed. “Speak to the entire group, Sweetie. They’d rather not identify themselves – in case any Security forces are recording our meeting.”
She blushed, nodded, then said, “So, Dad, I need to ask you to leave. Those same Security forces have you identified – and likely monitored.”
He held up his hands, bowed, and said, “I’ll see you later, then.” He headed out of the meeting area.
Aster pursed her lips, wondering if any of the group would come closer. She waited a moment, then started speaking. She told the group about the plans for the Orphan’s Ball. She wanted Artificial Human children to be part of the celebration. Artificial Humans were part of the future of the planet.
Her father and many of the First Humans were not happy with how Mars had turned out. Scattered among the Domes and living in the High Desert of Mars, most had become pariah to the common humanity that lived their lives out hardly noticing that they were aliens on an ancient world
While she’d never been the fanatic her father was, she loved the Triune God and wanted to serve Him, she was now 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. Martian society needed to be responsible for lifting them up. FardusAH, with her network of assistants to all of the other Mayors of Mars, would be her most powerful ally.
vo’Maddux was another issue. In her mind, the Mayoral Consort should stay in the Pylon. But Aster’s father’s “blue-collar” workers and FardusAH’s allies – men and women who listened to her dad, attended his secret Christian churches and who kept Opportunity Dome from falling apart; along with the Artificial Humans her father and FardusAH worked with – all needed to know that what Aster had planned wasn’t “a stunt” by the Mayor’s Office.
A union of Martians, is what she wanted – a union against the current power structure – was something she was ready to work for. She suddenly realized that she wanted to do it, no matter what it cost her. Up to and including her life.