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Journal mcgrew's Journal: Martians


PFC O'Brien lounged back in his recliner, sipping flavored water and munching on something salty and crunchy. The game was going well, the New Salem Rorigars was beating the snot out of the Norwegian Nebulans.

Mars had been terraformed millions of years earlier. A hole had been dug all the way to its core, a giant molten magnet inserted, the entire asteroid belt moved to the surface of Mars and an atmosphere similar to Earth's generated chemically, with higher levels of CO2 and lower levels of nitrogen. Oceans were provided by comets and much of Saturn's rings. It was no longer the "red planet;" with its mostly nitrogen atmosphere, it was almost as blue as Earth.

Early Martian settlers had trouble growing crops in the lowered nitrogen atmosphere, but chemical fertilizers made up the slack. Mars needed the carbon dioxide to keep it warm, especially since the removal of the asteroid belt had gravitationally shifted its orbit a tiny bit towards Jupiter. The early settlers had it very rough, many of them dying at early ages; even "terraformed" it wasn't exactly like Earth and was very inhospitable to the early immigrants. The environment was different enough that the Martians had evolved to better fit it. Nobody knew if the Martians could still breed with the Amish left behind on Earth. They assumed there had been evolution there, considering the Milankovitch cycles and the warming and cooling caused by them. But nobody on Mars knew.

It also wasn't known how the Amish wound up in charge of the Earth, outlawing most technology, or how the technoratti had decided to leave and take their technology with them. History had been lost in the mists of time, especially since the early Martians had faced such hardships.

It was ironic that Martians would have such a thing as sports, while the Venusians didn't. "Venusians," O'Brian spat, in his mind. "Vulgar bastards, always after nothing but pleasure for themselves and pain and misery for others." You would expect them to like the violently peaceful sports and the peaceful wars between sports teams. The problem, he thought to himself, was the "peaceful" part. Venusians hated peace; they called it "boredom", he thought. Stupid Venusians, always wanting to fuck or fight and do nothing else.

There was a bit of irony here, too, since O'Brien was in the Martian military. Of course, Mars' military never did any fighting; their only purpose for existence was to be there in case the Venusians decided to stupidly attack them again, or even more unlikely, someone from another galaxy would attack, or a stray meteor from the Ort cloud might hit; the Martian military was prepared for any emergency, no matter how unlikely. Out of the billion Martians on Mars, only a few thousand were in the military. There were more sports players and entertainers than soldiers.

He decided to change his view of the game and adjusted a control. The holographic wall's scene swung around, with the strange (or would be to you) sensation that the room itself was spinning.

Fifty to thirty. "Go, Rorigars!"

"Honey, dinner's on the table. Hey, what are you doing eating those cow chips? I told you dinner was almost done!"

"Sorry, Precious, I was hungry. I still am. You mind if I watch the rest of the game in the dining room?"

Dennis smiled. She loved her husband, and was proud of his work, even though a life in the military wasn't held in high esteem on Mars. Martians loved learning; the only one more respected than a teacher was a researcher, and the only vocation held in less esteem than a soldier was a sports player. Even entertainers were more highly respected than a soldier, which was little at all.

She was on sabbatical from her job as a chef, as she was expecting their first child. "Ok," she answered, "but I want to watch the news. How much longer is the game going to be on?"

"It's almost ov...YEAH! Pointdown!" A buzzer sounded. "That was a good game, and honey, your timing was perfect! Lets eat! What are we having?"

"Cowburgers and shrimp fries, with mashed oglos and poopers."

Back on the base, his boss was uneasy looking through his telescope and checking the electromagnetic radiation from Venus. "Shit," muttered Zales under his breath."Damned Venusians. This doesn't look good at all. I'd better call Lieutenant Maris."


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