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Original First Martian War

Discussion in 'Literature Library' started by 1mightydragon, Jul 30, 2020.

  1. 1mightydragon

    1mightydragon PKMN Breeder

    (Rayquaza Egg)
    Level 7
    Mar 24, 2019
    This is a story I have been working on for some time now and at this point, I feel comfortable with posting it somewhere. Here is what I would like from any potential reader:
    1) FEEDBACK (ie if it is good then what is about it and if it's bad then what is bad about it and how I can make it better)
    2) I don't know how the story will end (seriously)

    Any help or feedback is appreciated and most of all: please enjoy.

    Update 8/28/2020
    Added much-needed details: Backstory, personallity to characters, local area details and a few additional minor characters

    Chapter 1 / Prologue: Life on Mars

    100 years ago, Mars was once a prosperous place with over 100,000 in population with people from the US, China, Russia, UK, France and many others. They all came to start exploit the untouched resources of Mars and many sites were set up to attempt to find and extract the resources. However, on the 7th day of October 2120 all of the radio chatter went silent, people of Earth that were talking with their loved ones on Mars just suddenly stopped receiving active transmissions from Mars. Investigations were sent to find out what happened. They found that everyone died of radiation, possibly by a Gamma Ray Burst. Once the investigation teams reported the findings the US, China, Russia, UK, France and Germany set up satellites to generate Electro Magnetic Fields to reduce the possibility that a sudden Gamma Ray Burst would kill everyone on Mars again. However, the first colonists going to Mars were not satisfied with just satellites they also wanted additional measures to prevent another disaster. So, with a ground based magnetic field generator with each team the new colonists went to Mars, reestablishing the societies that was once disappeared.

    The date is 1st of April, 2220 and a couple of reporters head to a distant outpost run by the Martian Prospecting Company.

    Truckdriver: So, you two are Edward Moore and Mack Reed?

    Edward: Yes, sir that is us, and you must be Jacob White?

    Edward Moore: Age 22. A recently hired reporter for the Solar Times. Ambitious to build his reputation and excited to see the Martian Landscape.

    Jacob: Yep that’s me. Alright I will be leaving in an hour. Be here five minutes before so we can leave on time.

    Edward: Alright thank you.

    Jacob: Just a piece of advice you might want to get something to eat before we leave it’s a 12 hour journey a head of us.

    Mack: Where is the best place to eat at?

    Mack Reed: Age 44. A seasoned camera man for a weather company and has been to the top of Mount Everest but quit the weather company for the Solar Times for the increased pay. He is in the job for the money mostly and the occasional adventure.

    Jacob: Good question glad you asked: It depends do you want actual food or Mars Rations?

    Mack: Actual food please.

    Jacob: Then go to the one and only New Washington Dinner and Bar they got the best food here and avoid the Martian Prospecting Company does have a “meal hall” that does serve Mars Rations.

    Edward: I do have a question what are Mars Rations?

    Jacob: It’s what the government says is the minimum a human needs to survive on Mars… *In a sarcastic tone* You should try it.

    Edward and Mack went to the New Washington Diner and Bar got a seat.

    Edward: Mack what do you think of Mars so far?

    Mack: I think is like a giant desert with nothing to see so far.

    Edward: The bio-dome does look neat.

    Mack: It’s probably to keep the people here sane.

    Edward: Oh, come on it’s a piece of Earth on Mars

    Mack: Its just a glorified garden with a glass dome on it.

    At this time the waitress, who is pretty, came over to the table to get their orders.

    Mack: Howdy ma’am.

    Waitress: Hi my name is Linda what can I get y’all to drink?

    Mack: A 5th of Bourbon

    Edward: Sweet Tea please.

    Linda: Ok I can get you the sweet tea but, a 5th of Bourbon will be 60 Dollars for one shot glass.

    Mack’s face froze from the price as he takes a moment to comprehend the price.

    Mack: Ok, fine I will take a Coke please.

    Linda: Ok, are yall ready to order?

    Mack: Yes, I will like a burger and fries.

    Edward: A Salad with grilled chicken and all of the toppings.

    Linda looks confused for a second.

    Linda: Have you two never been to Mars, have you?

    Mack: No.

    Edward: No this is our first time.

    Linda: Ok just to let you know: yall ordered our most expensive items.

    Edward and Mack looked at the menu one more time and saw that a burger and fries was about 100 USD and a salad with grilled chicken was about 90 USD.

    Edward: What makes it so expensive?

    Linda: Oh you know the fact that transportation costs are just unreal and the fun fact that the Martian Prospecting Company has a monopoly on the food imports right now and the fact that Mars Food Company has not yet completed the Demeter Space Station yet. *Sighs* Honey, the Prospecting Company is trying to take advantage of the situation while they can.

    At that time a man approached the group.

    Mysterious Man: Excuse me may I sit with you all?

    Edward: Sure, but this place seems expensive.

    Mysterious Man: Since this is your first time here, I will foot the bill.

    Linda: Ok sir, may I take your order.

    Mysterious Man: I would like water with the “Space Burrito.”

    Linda: *Jotting the order down* Ok I will be back with your drinks.

    Mack: That is a generous offer for someone who we don’t know.

    Mysterious Man: Well allow me to introduce myself I am: Nathan Lindon the mayor of New Washington and I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation about the Bio Dome.

    Edward: We are trying to do a story about what life is like on Mars Right now and in about 45 minutes we are going to Outpost 42. So, care to take an interview later?

    Nathan: Certainly.

    Edward: Great but I do have a question right now if you don’t mind.

    Nathan: Go ahead.

    Edward: Why are they building not under one giant dome?

    Nathan: the simple answer is that in case one of them gets damaged by a meteor it does not affect the entire settlement. However, the Tower does have a anti meteor rail gun on the top stop or reduce the damage if one does get close enough.

    Edward: A rail gun? Is that a bit excessive?

    Nathan: No, because the atmosphere here is less dense than on Earth so larger asteroids make impact more often while its not often that one falls here but before the Great Disappearance, they learned quickly that one is needed especially for the big ones that manage to not get burned up in the atmosphere.

    Edward: *Quickly takes notes down* Ok how do you deal with criminal activity?

    Nathan: Ah, that is a good one.

    Linda shows up with the drinks and food.

    Linda: Here it is folks.

    The food Linda brought looked absolutely fantastic but there was an extra plate for them which had two yellow bags on top of it.

    Edward: Uh may I ask what is the yellow bags?

    Linda: Those are “Martian Rations.” Its basically the cheapest food that you can get your hands on. *Linda tilts her head to think* it has SPAM, dried crackers, a bottle of water, sauerkraut, cheese in a tube and most importantly a nutrient pack.

    Mack: I am scared to ask what the nutrient pack is.

    Linda: Oh, don’t worry it won’t kill you to try it. Anyway, let me know if yall need anything.

    Linda steps away to let the group enjoy the meal in peace. The time flew by a bit faster than the two realized so they took with them the rations and hurried back to the truck.

    Jacob: Glad yall made it back JUST in time. How was the food?

    Mack: The food was good; we have not yet tried the rations they gave us.

    Jacob: Oh, this is going to be fun just don’t puke in the back of my truck. *He turns to bring out a pair of backpacks* here you two are going to need these in case of an emergency.

    Edward: what is in it?

    Jacob: 7 Martian Rations, an emergency shelter, 7 days worth of O2 , 7 days worth of water apart from the rations, a GPS device, a two way radio, a sleeping bag, a hammer and a pen and paper to write your last will.

    Mack and Edward giggled at the pen and paper but the Truckdriver kept a straight face.

    Jacob: I knew a couple of drivers that wrote their last letter to their families on that piece of paper but my recommendation is a workable will.

    Edward: Did any of them survive that wrote their last will?

    Jacob: If something happens most don’t survive to write their last will even fewer get rescued.

    Mack: What is the likely hood of something happening?

    Jacob: For most new drivers its normally something minor and they could self-rescue but for us the big worry is falling into one of the craters that honeycomb the outer part of the crater and being unable to get out if that happens. In the event that we crash into a crater, I will probably die on impact and you two will be stuck in the back. Fortunately, that’s if we are going someplace new or has an unmarked path. The place we are going has solar powered trail markers and it’s in a relatively flat place.

    Edward and Mack were relieved by the notion that the probability of something happening to them is relatively low.

    Jacob: We got 5 minutes to depart let’s get to the truck.

    The group walk over to a Martian Civilian Cargo Truck: an 8-wheel, all-terrain vehicle that has a couple of small windows in the back for passengers but only where the passengers are located, the main cockpit sits at the center of the front of the vehicle and it had a single door in the back and an automated loading coupler on the top. It had a clean unpainted steel exterior, and had two large lights in the front.

    Jacob: This is my CCT I modified it to take a couple of passengers granted it won’t carry as much cargo as the rest of them but I get to charge extra for the passengers, especially the inspectors and the like who are rich enough to afford my prices.

    Edward: Why did you remove the extra cargo space?

    Jacob: Well it was not really necessary for one thing; the designer sold the company on the idea that the extra space was to future proof the design for larger outposts, but right now I charge about 50% of the air transports prices and about double of the passenger dedicated CCTs. The company was more interested in this case to get you two where you need to go without costing them much extra and without interfering with the shipments of cargo.

    Mack: So, you are an independent contractor?

    Jacob: Yep but come on and get in we got a schedule to keep.

    Mack and Edward got into the back of the vehicle and was surprised that the exterior was clean almost as if it was brand new but it only had two seats and seat belts for them. The two got buckled in.

    Jacob<over the short-range radio>: You two ready back there?

    Mack<over the short-range radio>: All set and ready.

    Jacob<over the short-range radio>: New Washington Mike Tango Delta, this is CCT 76D we are departing for Outpost 42.

    New Washington MTD<over the radio>: CCT 76D we have logged your departure expected trip time 12 hours, no storms expected or reported. Have a smooth trip and good luck out there.

    The truck departed from the station and drove onto the Martian soil.

    Jacob<over the radio>: Do yall mind if I play some music?

    Edward: Just as long as it’s good.

    Jacob:<over the radio>: As you wish.

    Jacob turned on his music and the first piece was Sweet Home Alabama.

    Mack: Yep that’s my tune.

    Edward rolled his eyes and just focused on the Martian landscape and begins to notice that they were heading for some mountains in the distance.

    Edward<over the radio>: What is ahead of us?

    Jacob<over the radio>: That is the western edge of the crater we will be using a road that goes along the edge of the crater up about 8 degrees in incline all the way up to the top of the crater. Oh, and the speed limit is about 130 KPH I plan to go about 150. Oh, and there are no pit stops either.

    Edward and Mack hold on to the seat belts as they went up the road. The road itself was smooth and marked every 10 Kilometers with a solar powered way marker. As they reached the top the view was beautiful almost as if they were on top of a mountain seeing all of the Hellas crater and the plains around them with near unlimited visibility but as it took them hours to get up there Mack was asleep and did not see it.

    Jacob< Over the radio>: We are almost there we just have 100 kilometers to go. I will be slowing down now to prevent any mishaps.

    Edward at that point was just excited to see the dunes of mars being blown away in the wind after another hour they arrived at Outpost 42. The outpost itself was surrounded by dunes but the general area was clear enough to see the ramp up to get into the garage.

    The truck backs into the garage of the Outpost, Edward and Mack get off immediately as soon as the truck stops.

    Mack: Dam it that took a long time to get here.

    Edward: How long do you expect us to get to the farthest outpost away from New Washington?

    Mack: You know they offered us an air transport?

    Edward: Oh, come on seeing the Martian country side was fun.

    Mack: The only thing I saw that was even interesting was the back of my eyelids.

    A man walks up to the two.

    Man: Are you two Edward Moore and Mack Reed?

    Edward: We are.

    Man: Allow me to introduce myself I am Blake Williams I am the manager of this outpost, nice to meet you two, the company informed us of your arrival.

    The group shakes hands.

    Blake: Let’s get inside so we can take these helmets off.

    Mack: Thank you sir, mines been itching the entire trip.

    Blake: *Laughs* the trip for you must have been extra-long then but come along.

    Blake shows the two inside which is immediately to the “Common Room” the truck driver came along

    Jacob: Do you know where the bathroom is?

    Blake: Past that airlock straight ahead it’s the only door that is open.

    The truck driver moves out of the “Common Room” leaving the three alone.

    Blake: Would you two like any coffee or tea?

    Mack: I would like a 5th of bourbon.

    Edward: Coffee please.

    Blake: Unfortunately, we only have medicinal alcohol here Mr. Reed.

    Mack: Well you did ask for what I would like.

    Everyone: *Laughs*

    Mack: Coffee too please.

    Blake went to a small kitchen set up in the corner of the room to get the pot of coffee for the two. Mack got his camera ready and Edward got his questions ready for the interview. Blake came back with the coffee pot and three mugs for them.

    Blake: Are we ready to get started?

    Edward: Yes, we are.

    Mack turns on the camera to document the answers.

    Edward: How is life like out here?

    Blake: For the most part its quite boring really but really busy we try to stick with the Earth 24 Hour day cycle but it’s been proving difficult to get adjusted to and the relatively low gravity meant that we each have to use the Tethered Treadmill at least once a day for about an hour or two on the 1.25G setting to make sure that we don’t lose strength. Just the bland environment that is constantly around us gets old really quick, to be honest I was excited to get the position of manager when I first got here but the red dust of Mars and its beauty faded quickly because we just looked around to find it for miles and miles. I am getting off track sorry. The best thing about it is the company chosen to be here, the team has been awesome to work with.

    Edward: Who are you working with on this site?

    Blake: You have myself as the Manager overall but really, I do the work of just about everyone here if they need the help. Then you have Pat Jones, he is the mechanic and the crane operator, overall good guy but he is a bit hot headed.

    Just at that time someone entered in from another room, who appeared nervous and was caring vegetables.

    Nervous man: Oh, uh, hi how can I, uh help y’all?

    Blake: That is our Greenhouse specialist, Louis Sharpe, he is a bit shy but he knows the Greenhouse systems better than most people know the back of their own hand.

    Louis: Am I interrupting something, sir?

    Blake: Just an interview about us living out here.

    Louis: Oh, uh, let me put these up and I will get back to the greenhouse.

    Louis quickly puts up the vegetables and quickly went back to the greenhouse.

    Blake: We have three others here and

    A loud man opens the airlock screaming


    Blake: really? What are the soil samples readings?

    Loud man: Well, we have average percentages of Silicon Dioxide and Magnesium oxide.

    Blake: Get to the good stuff man.

    Loud man: We have higher than average percentages of Water and Silver

    Blake: Oh, how rude of me, this is David Pincher, he is our geologist. He is smart but sometimes he does not get straight to the point.

    David: A habit I am trying to break, gentlemen.

    Blake: Dang it let me call in the rest of the guys so we can all share our experiences on Mars. Excuse me.

    Blake gets up to get on the intercom to call the outpost team to the “Common Room.”

    Edward and Mack look at each other.

    Mack: This looks like its going to be a fun interview for once.

    Edward: These guys seem to be good at the field they are in but not “professionals.”

    After a few moments the entire outpost team shows up and sits down and Blake made another pot of coffee for the team.

    Pat: Hey boss what is the occasion you made two pots of coffee?

    Blake: The occasion is we have an interview with our guests this is Edward and Mack they are doing a story on what Life on Mars is like.

    Blake looks back at the guests

    Blake: Let me introduce the team: That’s Pat I have already told you about him.

    Pat: Hi guys

    Blake: That one is David.

    David: Why are you doing introductions twice?

    Blake: Because I have a hard time with names and we need a proper introduction.

    Louis: I am good with one introduction.

    George Maxwell: I have not seen these people yet so I definitely need the introduction.

    Blake: That is George Maxwell our electrician, programmer and communications specialist.

    George: Nice to meet you gentlemen but I would like to add that I assist Pat when he is operating the crane and I am also the certified safety expert.

    Kobe St. Nick: Speaking of certifications I am Kobe St. Nick; I am certified doctor and medical specialist of the team and a gym and health instructor.

    Pat: Basically, our guy to tell us to get in shape and mend our broken bones when needed.

    Kobe: That is putting it too simple.

    Pat: You probably just confused our guests.

    Kobe: What is to confuse them: I am a doctor, a health and fitness advisor.

    Pat: *rolling his eyes* There you go with all of that fancy talk.

    Kobe: *sounding irritated* Why do you push my buttons?

    Blake: That’s enough you two.

    Edward was taking notes the entire time and Mack was trying not to burst out laughing.

    Edward: Ok now that we have your team down what are the major challenges that you and your team face?

    Pat: If I may start first, dust storms occasionally blow through the area from time to time and we have to check the wind turbines and solar panels for damage and clean off the dust that is left after it but that is not the worst of it. The thing is that when everything is going good and everything is working there is not much else to do except to help Louis over in the Greenhouse.

    Louis: You forget to mention that when the dust storms blow over the Greenhouse gets covered in dust as well and I also go out there to clean up that portion of the base. *He pauses a minute* Wait was it my turn?

    George: Thankfully communications don’t go down in those dust storms unless the wind knocks a panel out which that rarely happens but does from time to time.

    Kobe: On the medical side the entire team needs at least 2-3 hours per day exercising and part of that time in the Tethered Treadmill. On the diet side we have just about everything we need in the Greenhouse: potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, Jalapenos, some onions but I would like to see some beans, peanuts, collards, turnips and grains eventually.

    Louis: speaking of the Greenhouse one of my biggest issues is water. It takes a while for the water to be distilled from the sources directly on Mars and we need water to run most everything.

    Blake: Water is an abundant resource on Earth but here we need as much as we can get our hands on.

    Edward: Why is that?

    Blake: After the Great Mars Disappearance the governments of Earth declared that every establishment here on Mars needs to be a self-sufficient as possible so that in the case that another event happens.

    Pat: The Chinese and Russian outposts are not bound by that agreement, I might add.

    Blake: I was going to get to that after, but since there is no oil or natural gas found here yet, we must turn to other energy sources: wind turbines, solar panels, and water.

    Edward: Why water?

    Pat: I got this one boss, we turn water into Hydrogen and Oxygen gas during the day and at the same time store the excess energy in batteries and in the night or when the wind is calm we use the hydrogen and oxygen gas to run in our generator to keep the power running.

    Louis: Also, the water is used in our plants in the Greenhouse and in our own consumption.

    Blake: As it stands right now this outpost is not entirely self-sufficient yet. I think we will need at least a source of water nearby and a greater variety of plants to at least be self-sufficient without adding a major disaster.

    Mack: Could yall just start producing corn in the greenhouse?

    Louis: Uh, no, the reason is that our Greenhouse is too small to produce enough corn to turn into alcohol to burn and using corn in that way is not efficient enough to justify its costs. Its possible on Earth due to the relative abundance of oxygen but not here on Mars.

    Edward takes a moment to look at his notes.

    Edward: David, when you came in here for the first time you said you hit “Martian Gold” care to explain what that is?

    David: Aha, you see because water such a sought after resource because of the regulations stating that each and every outpost, home AND city must be self-sufficient AND the fact that the majority of the water on Mars has been located in the Ice Caps, and occasional glacier, finding a underground source of water is extremely rare AND to top it all off the water content in the atmosphere is less than 1% we could not justify adding an Atmospheric Water Collector. Back to the discovery so far, we have found increased evidence of water in reach of the crane installed on the outpost.

    Blake: Out here the cost of water is about 1000 times more on Earth because of the costs to transport it. The more we can find and use here the better off we are.

    David: AND the fact that we found a potential silver deposit has made this site very lucrative as it is.

    Blake: We have to confirm the silver and water deposit first before we tell the company.

    David: Oh, right alright.

    Jacob walks in through the airlock.

    Jacob: Everything is offloaded and stored in your cargo bays just sign for the delivery.

    Blake gets up to sign for the delivery.

    Jacob: By the way the weather report indicates a dust storm 1 mile to the west heading this way so I am going to need to stay a while.

    Blake right I do apologize that we don’t have any regular beds available but we do have some blow up mattresses available.

    Jacob: That’s fine just as long I am not sleeping on rock or steel, I am good.

    Mack: Why can’t we just drive in the middle of the storm?

    Jacob: Simple: no visibility. Unless you like diving off a cliff to your death or getting stuck in a crater that you would normally see if you enjoy that then go out there yourself.

    Edward: Have you ever gotten stuck in a crater?

    Jacob: ONCE, and hopefully NEVER again.

    Blake: Well let’s get yall a meal and a bed.

    Louis: I got the meal.

    Louis gets up to get the kitchen started.

    Pat: Oh, well, I am going to make sure everything is tight.

    David: I got your back Pat.

    Pat and David grab their gear and head out of the airlock to the Martian Landscape.

    Kobe: Louis the last time you cooked it was not up to the nutritional standards we have.

    Kobe gets up to help Louis with the cooking.

    Louis: At least it actually tasted good.

    George: I got the crane.

    George gets up to prepare the crane for the storm.

    Blake: I will prepare your beds.

    Mack: Wait a minute why in the world are you preparing beds for us.

    Blake: Dust storms last a day or two on average and your driver said that he is not going out there till the storm clears. Soo, would you like to sleep on steel instead?

    Mack: NO

    Blake: Wonderful, now you three follow me.

    Mack, Edward and Jacob follow Blake to a room where there is a small medical station set up to one side of the room and 6 doors that lead to other rooms the only door that was open was the door to the bathroom.

    Blake: That door leads to the crane and where George’s and my apartment is.

    Mack made a strange face.

    Blake: No, I am not gay. We each have our own separate room and a bed for us to sleep in. My wife and child are back in New Washington.

    Edward: How long is a shift out here?

    Blake: The company tries to keep it at 1 Month intervals but since this is a relatively new site its been hard to find competent people to change shifts with but the good thing is that we get 3 weeks on then we shut down for at least a week then 3 weeks back on.

    Edward: How much longer until you get your week off?

    Blake takes a look at his smart watch.

    Blake: 14 days and 12 hours.

    George (over the radio): Blake you got a message over the Network.

    Blake: Right let me finish the beds first.

    George (over the radio): It is marked urgent sir.

    Blake: Alright.

    Blake pulls out the beds for the three.

    Blake: Yall know how these works.

    Jacob: I do.

    Blake: Good now I must be in the radio tower, if yall need me it’s the ladder right behind the chairs yall were seated in just take it straight to the top.

    Edward climbed his way straight to the top of the tower once he got there, he went to the control desk and flipped the communications switches on. A face of his boss came on the screen.

    Blake: Hey, Donald what’s up?

    Donald: Hey, Blake how is the interview going?

    Blake: I think we are giving them a really good insight to what life is like out here, but you marked this urgent what is going on?

    Donald: To cut to the chase: another Chinese outpost has been ransacked, no survivors.

    END of Chapter 1
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #1 Jul 30, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2020
  2. 1mightydragon

    1mightydragon PKMN Breeder

    (Rayquaza Egg)
    Level 7
    Mar 24, 2019
    Here is Chapter 2 for yall it's going to be a bit of a long one.

    8/28/2020 Fixed some errors and added more details and filled some plot holes.
    Chapter 2:

    Blake: Which outpost?

    Donald: One about 60 Kilometers to the East.

    Blake: Great, that one is a bit closer.

    Donald: I know that this is only been two incidents so far but they have been both near your location. *Takes a breath* I am trying to convince the district manager to bring you guys back for safety concerns but, he told me that he wanted to have solid evidence of minerals before recalling you guys.

    Blake: You can just say the word and we will leave right now.

    Donald: Not while you are in the middle of a dust storm and not while you have a couple of reporters eager for a good story.

    Blake: Sir I am not one that runs away from danger, but we do need to be concerned that this is not the last time that this will happen, *sighs* until we find out what exactly is happening to these sites.

    Donald: I am concerned for you all too but if we evacuate and nothing happens, we appear too cautious.

    Blake: *angered* If you don’t evacuate us and something does happen you appear uncaring.

    Donald: *Frustrated* As I said my hands are tied.

    Blake: *Rolls eyes* Is there anything else sir?

    Donald: No other news, I will contact you the moment I get the OK to evacuate you. * Pauses for a second* Oh is there any news on your end?

    Blake: We found evidence of a silver deposit and a water deposit; we don’t know the size of it just yet but the soil samples are yielding encouraging results.

    Donald: That’s the first good news I have heard all work day. That is all for now, take care Blake.

    Blake: Yes sir.

    The screen turns off and Blake leans back in the chair frustrated. He thinks about what to do: he could evacuate now and just ignore the concerns of his boss or he could just keep going and hope that everything will work out fine, however he did order something that came in this truck in secret.

    Blake stops at the second level and gets off the ladder to the cargo room where the new supplies came in. He checks the crates to find his ordered items then puts it away to head back down the ladder.

    Blake climbs down the ladder to the “Common Room” and heads toward the “Sleeping Quarters” he finds that Edward, Mack and the Truckdriver were getting ready for bed.

    Blake: Sorry to barge in.

    Mack: Its fine, I am used to this kind of thing.

    Edward: *talking to Blake* Your good mate.

    Blake: Has everyone returned from the outside yet?

    Jacob: Not that I have seen.

    Blake: Yall hang tight, I am going to check on their progress.

    Blake steps out of the room and heads to the roof airlock. Once there he puts on his helmet and walks through the airlock. Once out he gets out the radio.

    Blake<over the radio>: Pat, David you two good up there.

    Pat<over the radio>: I am screwing in the last loose plate down other than that we are good we will be returning in a minute, by the way we can see the storm.

    David<over the radio>: Its proving to be a great motivator.

    Blake<over the radio>: Don’t let me hold you two up.

    Pat<over the radio>: We are done heading back now.

    Blake: Good.

    George<over the radio>: The crane is locked down tight *pauses* hopefully this time it won’t get screwed up again. I am heading back.

    Louis<over the radio>: Supper is ready: Grilled chicken, mac and cheese AND a salad.

    Kobe<over Louis’s radio>: This is why we keep ordering supplies Louis.

    Louis<leaving the radio on>: Oh, shut your trap we have guests over.

    Everyone gathered back in the common room for supper. They sat down together and began to eat.

    Edward: I don’t mean to be rude but I kinda expected the food to be a bit blander.

    Louis: We do get salt and pepper out here but its crazy expensive so we do tend to be sparing with those BUT when we have guests over of any kind, we finally get to use the normal amounts that make it good.

    Pat: At least when you cook its almost always tolerable.

    Louis: Thank you.

    Kobe: You are part French so it might be expected.


    The table went silent but Blake was trying not to laugh.

    Mack: Speaking of food may I ask why is there not any alcohol here?

    Blake: Well, *Takes a moment to think* its my fault really, if you consider it a fault. Because of the long hours the company leaves the choice of having beer, liquor or wine on a base up to the manager in charge. I discourage it because I don’t want to be responsible for an incident of drunkenness.

    Pat: I kinda don’t like that about you Blake but two things: one) I see your reasoning behind it two) you’re DA boss.

    Everyone laughs.

    <The next morning>

    Everyone waved at the truckdriver and the two reporters as they departed from the outpost but once they got a good distance away Blake turned to the team.

    Blake: Meet up in the “Common Room” in 5 minutes.

    Pat: What are we in trouble?

    Blake: No, but we might be.

    Pat: Is it about what we said in the interviews?

    Blake: I will tell yall in a minute just get to the common room.

    Everyone moved in a worried silence but they all got to the common room quickly. Blake moved to where he could see everyone at an end of a table with a rectangular box that was too thin for normal cargo.

    Blake: I was informed yesterday that a Chinese Outpost in our region was ransacked.

    Everyone was silent from shock.

    Kobe: What? Where there any survivors?

    Blake: Like last time, no.

    Pat: Has your boss issued an evacuation order?

    Blake: No

    David: Sir we just started to hit valuable deposits and now we are thinking of evacuation? Has the US Marshals come out to investigate it yet?

    Blake: It’s in the Chinese sector so no.


    Blake: DAVID CALM DOWN, *Blake takes a breath* I have already done something.

    Blake opens a box and brought out its contents: A single rifle with three magazines.

    Pat: Ah HA, you got a civilian version of the old SCAR rifles, modernized for the Martian environment and space.

    Blake: Yep, the FN SCAR-ME5C, I got one for each of you.

    Louis: The what?

    Pat: FN America SCAR-ME5C, the last bit means: Mars Environment 5th version for the civilian market.

    Kobe: Sir I must object to this action; company policy is that no weapons are to be on company property anywhere.

    Blake: Kobe your objection is noted. Anyone else have concerns?

    Louis: Sir, I have never handled a rifle before.

    Pat: Blake and I have; we know enough to handle a rifle safely.

    Blake: I have been in the Army and graduated from West Point.

    George: Sir, while I have no problem with you training us with this rifle or having them here, I am actually excited by the idea, but my question is how did you get them here?

    Blake: Brought them in on the last truck.

    George: *Laughs* You sneaky little man. So, you ordered them on the first incident and they got here by the second incident *Laughs*.

    Pat: I do have a concern too: what will happen to you if the company finds out?

    Blake: Simple: I will get fired and get sent back to Earth, with the immediate termination of benefits.

    Everyone went silent.

    Blake: If there are no further questions, we will each get familiar with the rifle, I.E. learn how to clear a jam, how to operate it safely etc. We will also be adding this to our daily routines after our work day is over. Understood?

    Everyone nods in agreement except Kobe who is still adamantly against the whole thing.

    Kobe: I still think that we need an evacuation plan first so we can run from trouble if it comes.

    Blake: We do have one it’s the same as an asteroid impact to the base.

    Kobe: We gather in the garage if possible and get on our transport then run.

    Blake: We will not leave anyone behind, if we can help it. Anything else?

    No one says a thing.

    Blake: Good alright people back to work.

    Meanwhile in an abandoned prospecting base.

    Exiled Brute: *in English* OI WHAT YOU DOING SLACKING ON THE JOB.

    Captured Chinese Mechanic: *In English* Need rest and food.

    The brute hits the Mechanic with a metal pipe in the arm and the leg.


    Captured Chinese Mechanic: *in English* yes.

    The brute leaves the room and heads to the radio tower. Once he gets there, he finds the two leaders of this gang discussing their next move.

    Head Exile: We have got to wait longer if we raid another Chinese Outpost that’s it, we are dead.

    Lieutenant Exile: We can’t wait we need the supplies like the ones we brought in from the first one.

    Head Exile: It was unfortunate that their supply truck was late in getting there last time but we MUST assume that they know what happened.

    Lieutenant Exile: Look, if we don’t get supplies in within two weeks I don’t know if I can control these guys long enough to do another raid.

    Head Exile: Are you talking about the alcohol supplies.

    Lieutenant Exile: Not just that but the food and air situation too. We will run out of what the Chinese call, *he stops for a moment* Baii-jiuu. Well anyway the point is we need to do another raid and SOON.

    They stop their discussion when the Exile Brute comes up the ladder.

    Exiled Brute: Guys I got a report.

    Lieutenant Exile: Another target, I hope?

    Exiled Brute: Hopefully, the Hacker managed to decrypt communications from a nearby prospecting post in this area.

    Head Exile: How far?

    Exiled Brute: 30 Kilometers give or take.

    Lieutenant Exile: Perfectly within strike range.

    Exiled Brute: Even more good news: They just got their months supply of food and water.

    Head Exile: Ok this is a very tempting target but who owns the outpost?

    Exiled Brute: The Martian Prospecting Company, in the US controlled part of the region.

    Lieutenant Exile: They came out this far? Dang they must be either desperate or they found something.

    Exiled Brute: The Hacker also managed to get some very juicy information about the place: they struck silver and water.

    The room went silent for a couple of moments.

    Head Exile: While I do advise caution, here is the question I am willing to bet a raid on: what is the policy on guns for the Martian Prospecting Company?

    Exiled Brute: Their official policy is this: *he looks down on the pad to read the report* no guns allowed on their property due to safety concerns. *he looks back up at the two with a grin on his face*

    Head Exile: *He smiles* I approve of the raid. *he turns to the brute* get the men together and get them ready for a fight.

    Exiled Brute: What time shall we depart?

    The Head Exile looks at his weather charts and realized that a dust storm is coming in and will be there in about 48 hours.

    Head Exile: We will depart 6 hours before the storm hits. So, in 42 hours.

    Lieutenant Exile: Good most of the guys are spoiling for a fight.

    The Lieutenant Exile and the Brute went down from the tower to make the preparations for the raid. The Head Exile looks out of the window of the tower. He observes the crater the base was built in and the poor condition of the base itself was in. He wonders what it would take for them to be entirely self-sufficient and how to expand the base so that he could accommodate more men.

    Head Exile: Ha I will think on it later we need to prepare.

    The next morning at Outpost 42, 30 hours before the storm hits. Louis and Blake were in the Greenhouse on the sunny side of the base working on a pipe that started to leak.

    Blake: I am going to need the pipe wrench and a rubber washer.

    Louis: Alright.

    Louis hands a pipe wrench and a rubber washer to Blake.

    Louis: Sir I do have a question.

    Blake grunts while unscrewing the pipe.

    Blake: Shoot.

    Louis: Why did you get the guns in the first place? I mean that we don’t truly know what happened to the Chinese Sites so it could really be anything sir.

    Blake removing the old washer and replacing it with the new one.

    Blake: Well, the reasoning is really simple: do you really know when a thief comes into your home in the middle of the night?

    Louis: No sir.

    Blake reattaches the pipe and starts screwing it back in.

    Blake: And just like preparing for a thief in the night I am preparing us to deal with a threat if or when it comes.

    Louis: Sir does this have to do with the Martian Exile Law.

    Blake stops for a moment to think about the law.

    Blake: Yes and no, if I understand the law correctly that law says that anyone that commits a capital offense or has become a career offender can be exiled to the Martian sand to die.

    Louis: Sir that law has been written before the Great Mars Disappearance.

    Blake: Yes, but the lawyers and politicians have not yet looked at that law to update it for the abandoned sites and the potential for that one of the sites being restored to working order, they have looked to other problems, *sighs* and their own voters to look after.

    Louis: So, you are saying that the Exiles could have a base out there.

    Blake: Not one that is up to date but yeah. BUT I actually don’t know.

    Blake gets out of the cabinet where the leaking pipe was located.

    Blake: Turn the water back on, Louis.

    Louis Turns the water back on.

    Louis: Is it leaking?

    Blake: Not that I can see so far but now that we are finished here, we will need to clean up.

    Blake and Louis start cleaning up the mess from the water leak.

    Louis: Sir, just one more question.

    Blake: Go ahead.

    Louis: Sir how do you know that the Chinese are losing outposts and it’s just not propaganda?

    Blake carefully considers the question.

    Blake: I don’t but the Martian Prospecting Company does on occasion do some prospecting work for the Chinese under contract. Heck, before working at this post I was offered to be transferred to a Chinese Outpost that was working for the MPC but the Chinese saw that I was former military and a West Point graduate no less and quickly changed their mind.

    Louis: Did you have to say that you were former military?

    Blake: Funny thing was that I mentioned that as they offered me the job and they were saying to me “Oh don’t worry about it we are good friends with the Chinese they will work with us,” then they submitted the Work Visa application to the Chinese and they got an message back almost immediately saying a big fat “no” to the application so instead they sent me here.

    Louis: Hrmm… did they think that you were part of the CIA?

    Blake: Uhm… Yes, but was I ever really, no.

    Louis and Blake both laughed. Meanwhile Pat and Kobe were inventorying the supplies in the cargo room.

    Kobe: Ok everything checks out: nobody is stealing supplies.

    Pat: Confirmed and now time for lunch.

    Kobe: Pat all you think about is women and food.

    Pat: That is not strictly true. When I am on a date I think about the woman. When I am cooking lunch, I think about the food and when I am at the gun range, I think about the rifle and the target down range.

    Kobe: *Rolls eyes* Before we got those weapons of war into the base, I could just ignore your gun hobby but, now its offensive.

    Pat: *thinks: what the heck is wrong with him* Hold up. First of all, those rifles are not weapons of war, second I am not shoving my hobbies down your throat.

    Kobe: Oh, this time you are: in a few hours we are all going out to practice with those things by requirement.

    Pat: Hey you are pinning this on me when it is Blake’s decision.

    Kobe: You supported him.

    Pat: Look, look, look, if you really have that much of a problem with the decision take it up directly with Blake, not me.

    Kobe: Fine I will, now excuse me I will talk with Blake right now.

    Pat: Hey while you are at it take the inventory report to him while I get the generator ready for the night.

    Kobe: I will take the report to him but *grabs the inventory report*, you don’t have to get the generator ready until just after night fall.

    Pat: *pickes up his tool box* I got some tension that I need to work off a bit.

    Kobe: *Turns to walk out of the room* Don’t break anything.

    Kobe walks out of the room.

    Pat: *whispers* If I do break anything you wouldn’t know what.

    Kobe climbs down the ladder and he storms into the greenhouse where he hears Blake and Louis laughing which they both stop as soon as he enters.

    Kobe: Blake we need to talk.

    Blake: What do we need to talk about?

    Kobe: *in an even more agitated tone* In PRIVATE.

    Blake: *Still calm and collected* Ok in my office.

    Blake and Kobe walk to Blake’s office and once the door was shut behind them both Kobe let loose.


    Blake: *Defensively* We are all training to protect ourselves but the reason I want you to get familiar with the rifles is that in case something happens you can be prepared to defend yourself and others around you.


    Blake: *Rolls eyes and sighs* First of all please stop yelling, secondly how did you get so good with the scalpel?

    Kobe: *Calms* Uh, years of practice. But what does that have to do with the weapons of war?

    Blake: Just follow my logic for a second. Now, once we each got started working here, I asked all of you to teach me what your job is and how to do it well, right?

    Kobe: Right you did.

    Blake: Why did I do that?

    Kobe: In case anything happens to me the team will be able to keep functioning.

    Blake: Not as well as it would be if you were able to but at least it would not cripple the team. Just like your specialization is on the medical and safety side of the Outpost my job is to enforce the safety and security of the Outpost and thus the reason I have got the rifles to us in the first place.

    Kobe: *picks up his pad and looks up the Outpost managers job* Enforcing security is not in your job description.

    Blake: Your right its not but do you know how long it will take the nearest military base to get here?

    Kobe: No.

    Blake: Assuming they use the fastest transport craft under normal conditions about an hour and they won’t get here in an hour in dust storms. Which is an awful long time to wait for rescue, right?

    Kobe: Right but why don’t they evacuate us now and send in the army to clear the area?

    Blake: Like I said in the meeting earlier the Chinese Outposts are not in the US jurisdiction and thus the Army or the Marshals can’t do any investigation work without Chinese approval which they never do approve these days.

    They both hear an excited and hard knocking at the door.

    David: SIR, I GOT EXICING NEWS, oh and uh please open the door sir.

    Blake goes to open the door.

    Blake: Ok what is the good news.

    David: Here look at these rocks.

    David goes to the table and displays three rocks he has been digging up in the crane for sampling.

    David: Sir look here *he points to the first rock* see this one how smooth it is and its material composition is.

    Blake: *Cuts off David* Ok it looks like a river rock is it anything special?

    David: Uh no I just thought it looked interesting, especially for something like this to be found on Mars.

    Blake: Next.

    David: *Pointing to the second one* This next one is about average in terms of.

    Blake: *Cuts of David* What is the “good” part?

    David: It is about 50% water and 10% Silver.

    Blake: Good what about the third one.

    David: Ok sticking with the “good” part: 60% Silver and 2% water thus we have found the start of the ore vein.

    Blake: How deep is it?

    David: Oh about 15 meters down, sir.

    Blake: So, we will have to be careful when we are out in a dust storm. Ok anything else?

    David: Uh no sir when it comes to news but I do have a couple of questions bout operating one of the rifles but that can wait till we are at the range sir.

    Blake: Very well, thank you.

    David notices Kobe for the first time since entering the room.

    David: Oh, hi did not notice you there giving Blake a checkup?

    Kobe: Oh yes, a mentally draining checkup.

    David: *Turns to Blake* Don’t let her drain all of your brains out, you still need them.

    Blake: *Chuckles* I won’t let her drain all of it.

    David leaves Kobe and Blake alone in Blake’s office.

    Kobe: Look I just don’t want anyone to get hurt and at the same time we don’t need to keep anything here that is not needed for work or that is not safe for us to keep around.

    Blake: Have you ever heard of the story of Nehemiah?

    Kobe: You mean the man who built Jerusalem back up in record time because each man worked his own portion, yes, I have.

    Blake: Do you remember the portion where the city was threatened by the enemies of the Jews?

    Kobe: Refresh me.

    Blake: When the city was threatened Nehemiah’s workers armed themselves and some would carry stones in one hand and a spear in the other and Nehemiah had one man with a horn next to him so they could sound the alarm in a moment’s notice to fight even though the wall is not yet complete.

    Kobe: What is your point?

    Blake: Each man needs to look after his section of work that needs to be done and be attentive to his surroundings so that he may defend his work and if each man does this then the wall will be strong but if any one man does not it threatens everyone because one section of the wall will be weak threating everyone in the process.

    Kobe: *Scoffs* Look, I will practice with you all but I will do so under protest. HAPPY?

    Blake:*Sighs* That will do.

    Kobe left the room and left Blake alone but, after a few seconds.

    George: *Over the radio* Sir come up to the radio tower I think you need to see this.

    Blake: Ugh… This day is full, *presses the send button on the radio* On my way.

    Blake made his way up the ladder to the radio tower. Once he got there, he saw George with log data on the screen.

    Blake: What’s up?

    George: Trouble probably, *He turns to the screen* See here this is the IP addresses of all the computers accessing our communications tower, or at least trying.

    Blake: What made you want to check it?

    George: Just a hunch… And got bored. But here is the interesting part see here, *he points to the entry of the communication with the District Manager*.

    Blake: About that time, I was talking with the district manager so what?

    George: Well were you talking with him for 30 minutes after you hung up?

    Blake: What?

    George: Remember that the company keep track of the computer usage logs out here and each day the time amount we spend on the computers get sent to the Company to make sure that we are doing our jobs every day, but here it seems like someone out of our computer network tried to hack into our network or spent a lot of time without letting me know if it was important so I can write it in the report.

    Blake: Has anyone said anything about it?

    George: No but the weird part is that the IP address does not match any of our computers here or the ones we communicate with normally.

    Blake: Are you suggesting someone is trying to hack the network.

    George: Not only that but I tried to send a ping to the address and it came back relatively slowly to what our company can do even in New Washington.

    Blake: So, someone is trying to hack into our network with relatively old tech. But that could be a kid for all we can tell.

    George: I sent the data on the ping to the Company already but they tell me that it’s probably just a kid and they will check up on the address. But without the use of another network tower I won’t be able to locate the IP address to an actual place.

    Blake: Let me guess you can’t access the other network tower because of company policy?

    George: You got it, but If I had a warrant I could.

    Blake: Alright keep an eye on it let me know of further developments.

    Blake moves to head back down the ladder.

    George: Hold up one sec, I got something else.

    Blake: What is it?

    George: I installed cameras in this tower to watch all directions for anyone approaching this base.

    George pulled up the screen with four cameras looking around the base and in one of them they noticed David with Pat digging to install seismic sensors around the known ore deposit.

    Blake: Good work.

    George: I also added a feature where it can tell me if something was moving out there.

    Blake: Why not me too.

    George: I just got it working not 20 minutes ago and they moved into the camera view reminding me that it works.

    Blake: Well we don’t have any more deliveries coming in any time soon so anything approaching now will need to be verified.

    George: Oh, I almost forgot since we have found a good ore deposit the company wants us to start exporting the ore as soon as possible, so we need to start excavating it now.

    Blake: How did they figure it out so fast?

    George: David wrote the report and faxed it to them while you were in the Greenhouse.

    Blake: Oh, yeah, but still there are only six of us here and they want us to start production now? Uhg fine. I will announce this at the range today. By the way it’s in 30 minutes.

    George: Yes sir. I look forward to it. By the way the first transport is already on its way they are expecting us to give them 10,000 pounds of ice and silver.

    Blake: We. Have. Not. Even. Started. To. Dig. It. Out. Of. The. GROUND.

    Blake started to think on how in the world they will get 10,000 pounds of ore out of the ground.

    George: The transport will arrive in about 8 hours; they want to be here and back before the storm hits tomorrow.

    Blake: Just great but it is possible if we get 1250 pounds per hour starting right now.

    George: Right sir.

    Blake gets on the radio.

    Blake<at the radio>: Pat, David.

    Pat<Over the radio>: Hearing you loud and clear go ahead.

    Blake<at the radio>: How soon can you two finish setting up the sensors?

    Pat<Over the radio>: About another 15 minutes.

    Blake<at the radio>: Ok we need 10,000 pounds of ore to be shipped out in 8 hours do you think me and you can do it in that amount of time?

    Pat<Over the radio>: *Puts down his tools* Are you kidding me the last facility I worked at struggled to get 1,000 pounds of ore per hour, with similar equipment but the management was terrible though.

    Blake<at the radio>: Since we are in a pinch me and you will need to take turns at the crane and I will teach George and Kobe at the range I will need you to teach Louis and David once we switch.

    Pat<Over the radio>: I will do my best, sir. Oh, and how much time do you think will be enough at the range I think an hour will do for today?

    Blake<At the radio>: Yeah, an hour should do let’s get to work get to work gentlemen.

    END of Chapter 2
    #2 Aug 18, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2020
  3. 1mightydragon

    1mightydragon PKMN Breeder

    (Rayquaza Egg)
    Level 7
    Mar 24, 2019
    Notes: I am currently writing this in Microsoft Word and using it as a page marker and as of 2/28/2020 the story has reached 30 pages.

    Chapter 3

    Meanwhile in the New Beijing briefing room a Chinese Colonel starts the briefing to 3 Platoons of the 1st Peoples Republic of China’s Martian Brigade. 48 hours before the storm hits Outpost 42.

    Colonel: As all of you are well aware that Outpost 9 and Outpost 3 in the Hellas Flatts region have gone dark but what we have not yet told you is this: everyone we found there are dead and the facilities stripped bare of anything useful.

    The room murmured amongst themselves and among the ones staying quiet was 1st Lieutenant of the name Li Jie.

    Colonel: Now since this is clearly a crime against China from forces unknown. I have received approval to send out patrols to deal with this threat by any means necessary. I am sending all of you to the Hellas Flatts to find the source of the attacks and eliminate it. Do what must be done to keep our people protected. For the details of the operation I will turn it over to: Capitan Liu Wei. You now have the floor.

    The Colonel steps down from the podium and the Capitan steps up.

    Captain Liu Wei: The Hellas Flatts has a large crater in the middle from which the region is named we will be going into the crater itself China has not been building anything there since the second founding of New Beijing, in China’s half of the crater, but we will be thorough with our search. Each platoon will receive three of our Tiger Beatle APCs if anyone of you get into trouble deal with the threat first then report it to us if the threat is too much for you to handle alone, we will have the 2nd Chinese Attack Squadron on standby. Also, keep in touch we have the Space Destroyer Shen Yang to act as our guide and using its look down radar we will be able to find the structures in the area and search them one by one. Now for deployment: Lieutenant Li Jie take 1st Platoon to the north side of the crater and search there just be aware that you going to conduct your search in an area not clearly defined by border posts. 1st Lieutenant Zhang Wie take your platoon into the crater and search the north end. 1st Lieutenant Wang Wie take your platoon into the crater and search the central area inside the crater. Once each unit finishes searching an area report back to the Zhang Wie for additional instructions. Any questions?

    Lieutenant Li Jie: Sir that is a lot of area for just 3 Platoons to search are we going to have resupply?

    Captain Liu Wei: We have resupply planes on standby in case we need them but overall, we think this operation is not going to last all that long. You will have 7 days of supplies on board the APC including food, fuel, and ammo.

    Lieutenant Li Jie: Thank you sir.

    Captain Liu Wei: Any other questions? *He stops for a moment* Good hunting gentlemen.

    The men move out of the barracks and into their respective APC in a quick and orderly fashion. Li Jie looks at his assigned APCs and inspects them. The APC is an 8 wheeled all-terrain Armored Personnel Carrier with its main gun being a 20mm 6-barrel chain gun turret mounted behind the cockpit. With that kind of firepower, it could take on anything on Mars with its defining design feature is the armor at the center of the vehicle slopes toward the center mounted cockpit and it bulges out a bit on the sides slightly in one place. Not including the diver, the Tiger Beetle APC can carry 8 men into combat and the supplies necessary for them to survive on Mars for at least 7 days. Li Jie let his men get on to the transport before him then they departed for the Martian country side.

    Outpost 42, 23 hours before sandstorm hits. The team worked all day trying to fill the order. Blake and David are at the Crane.

    Blake: How much more do we need?

    David: 1350 pounds more before the order is filled, with an hour before they get here.

    Blake: Thank God.

    David: Its impressive considering this is the first time here we are actually are digging ore out of the ground.

    Blake: Yeah… its actually running too smoothly.

    David: I thought the crane was supposed to run smooth.

    Blake: No, it’s not the crane it’s the fact that nothing has gone wrong.

    George<over the radio>: Blake, we have moment to the south west heading this way, I tried getting them on the radio but they are not answering.

    Blake<over the radio>: *Stops the crane* Can you identify them visually?

    George<over the radio>: Yep, it is definitely Martian Prospecting Company property.

    Blake<over the radio>: Right I am moving to the garage. *Blake switches the frequency* Pat come in.

    Pat<over the radio>: You could not wait 5 more minutes for me to finish eating?

    Blake<over the radio>: Nope but I need you to operate the Crane while the ore truck arrives.

    Pat<over the radio>: *coughing*

    Blake<over the radio>: You ok?

    Pat<over the radio>: I will be fine *cough* I was just not expecting the company to be on time never mind early. *take a couple of breaths* I will be up in the crane in a minute just lock it up before you get off.

    Blake locks the crane in place and goes to the garage just in time for the truck to start backing in and stopping just under the automated loading system. The garage doors start to shut when the truck is locked in and the pilot gets out. Blake steps out of the airlock to talk to the driver.

    Blake: Hi how are you doing?

    Truckdriver: I am doing good; I am here to pick up 10,000 pounds of ore for the company.

    Blake: Certainly, but may I ask why were you not answering our radio calls?

    Truckdriver: *Has a confused look*You were trying to call me on the radio? Uh, well, let me use the bathroom right quick and I will test the radio out.

    Blake: Through that airlock, take a right, through another airlock straight ahead only door open.

    The truckdriver leaves the garage and leaves Blake alone with the truck. Blake works with George to get the radio back up to working order while Pat and David are gathering the last of the required load. After about an hour of work. The truckdriver comes back after using the bathroom and eating a decent meal.

    Truckdriver: What was wrong with the radio?

    Blake: Apparently some of the wires were loosely screwed in and you might have hit a rock coming up the road knocking them out but my question is why did you not figure out that the radio was down until now?

    Truckdriver: I really, uh, did not know about it till now.

    Blake: Its fine and its fixed now. Do you have a spare in your truck?

    Truckdriver: Nope.

    Blake<Over the radio>: George get an extra radio from supply and give it to him. *Switches frequency* Kobe put a note in inventory to order a replacement radio.

    Kobe and George: Yes sir.

    The crew gave the driver a place to sleep for the night and an emergency radio. The next morning, 15 hours before the storm hits. Blake and the truckdriver meet in the garage.

    Truckdriver: Thanks for breakfast and the radio.

    Blake: Have a good trip back.

    Truckdriver: Oh, by the way in case you did not know the reason the company sent me so quickly was because of the storm coming today.

    Blake: Oh really, they are saying its going to be bad?

    Truckdriver: Its bad enough to send me a day early.

    Blake: Ah well, take care now.

    The CCT drove out of the garage and headed south west toward New Washington. The crew got back to work gathering ore for the next time the truck comes back.

    Somewhere in the North of Hellas crater. 15 Hours before the storm hits.

    Lie Wie was giving his men their rations for the day. Today its Chinese Mars Rations, this time its fried rice with mutton. After breakfast Lie Wie got instructions to head North West to search an abandoned Outpost in a smaller crater. Once all three APCs got there, they found nothing worthy of note. Lie Wie grew frustrated that they have been searching a day and a night and they found nothing for it. The team got out of the crater and proceeded west. After spending 9 more hours searching.

    Private Li Qiang driver of Lie Wei’s APC: Sir, I see tracks up ahead.

    Lie Wei: All APCs stop now.

    The APCs stop and Lie Wie got out of his APC and went out to inspect the tracks.

    Lie Wei<over the radio>: it’s not one of ours and these tracks seem new. *Bringing out his compass* Heading west.

    Lie Wei<over the radio>: Shen Yang we found something: fresh tracks heading west where is nearest site over?

    Communications from Shen Yang: One site north of your location in a crater. And the other two nearest your location is the two destroyed outposts and. *Radio stops working*

    Lie Wie: What the hell?

    Wang Lie Radio and communications expert: I can get it working sir just give me a minute.

    Lie Wie: Lets follow these tracks west.

    Li Quiang: Sir, yes, sir.

    The APCs start speeding west quickly following the tracks as fast as they could after about an hour they saw three Chinese CCTs and once sight was made with them they both increased speed.

    Outpost 42, 6 hours and 30 minutes before the storm hits. Blake was at the communications tower keeping watch this time as everyone else was cooking supper. Then he saw a faint dust trail coming up to the south east.

    Blake<over the radio>: Uh, George, do we any traffic that comes from the south east?

    George<over the radio>: Uh, no.

    Blake gets on the radio for vehicle traffic.

    Blake<over the external radio>: Unidentified vehicles please identify yourselves.

    Blake waits a couple of moments.

    Blake<over the external radio>: Unidentified vehicles please identify yourselves.

    Blake moves one of the cameras to get a better look at one of the vehicles. Its pattern was similar to a Chinese design but it was old, battered and had a ramming spike on the front with no marking at all.

    Blake<over the radio to his crew>: EVERYONE TO THE GARAGE NOW, THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

    Blake makes a dash for the ladder to slide down once he hits the bottom, he quickly followed everyone out the door. Pat sensing the urgency of Blake’s voice handed everyone a rifle as they entered their passenger CCT, except Blake who is opening the garage door. Once the door was half way down.


    Blake smashed the button to close the door. The door did not make it up all the way when something smashed into the door damaging it bad enough to be not operational.


    At that time, they heard the windows of the greenhouse being smashed.

    Blake lead everyone back to the common room and locked the airlock behind them. But they did a moment to breath and think.

    Blake: Pat and George go to the tower and send out a distress call. Everyone else follow me.

    The group went into the room that connected their bedrooms together, it just so happens that the entrance to this room lines up perfectly with the ladder to the communications room and it had only one entrance from the greenhouse and the garage.

    Blake: Ok guys just like we taught you at the range: when you pull the trigger breath out slowly. I know your nervous guys just stay calm.

    Kobe was hiding behind the medical equipment shacking like a little girl with the rifle in his hand. David was sweating and shacking but at the door’s left side and Louis was standing right behind Blake. Blake was in the kneeling firing position on the right side of the door.

    Once they were in this defensive position, they heard grinding on the door to the garage after a minute the door fell flat and black space suits, Exiles, charged in with improvised weapons. Blake was the first one to fire. His rounds flew true and cut down the first one as he was trying to turn the corner. The second exile blind fired his weapon at the doorway which only hit the light above the door. The third exile tries to go for cover on the other side of the common room which Louis fired at him and missed. Blake reacted to Louis’s missed shots and hit the third exile center mass, killing him. The second exile taking another blind shot which missed and hit the kitchen. The fourth exile who had an improvised shotgun leaned the corner to shot at Louis.

    Louis took that shot right in the chest. David started to freak out and lose his nerve.


    Kobe hearing the cries for help threw down his rifle and went to see what he could do with Louis.

    George<over the radio>: Distress call sent Blake.

    Blake: Good

    George<over the radio>: a Chinese force is responding to the call.

    Blake: WHAT?

    At that time, they heard a really large gun go off and it was so loud that Blake could not make out where it was coming from. But was just for a second or two.

    The second exile leans the corner and takes a shot at Blake. Blake however shots first and lands a head shot killing the second exile.

    David sat against the wall with his hands over his head.


    But panic already set in David and he was not able to respond.

    The fifth exile was shot by the rescue force.

    Unknown voice: Americans?

    Blake: Yes

    George<over the radio>: That should be the rescue force.

    A hand with a white rag was waved at the entrance to the common room from the garage.

    Unknown voice: May I speak with you face to face?

    Blake: Go ahead but slow and hands up.

    The guy turns the corner slowly and showed himself to be a Chinese Lieutenant.

    Unknown voice: My name is Lie Wei; I am a First Lieutenant of the Peoples Republic of China’s Martian unit. We received a distress call from this place and we are here to help you.

    Blake points his rifle up.

    Blake: We got one wounded in critical condition.

    Lie Wei<in Chinese>: Get a medic here now.

    A Chinese medic rushes over to see what he could do with Louis. They took Louis to the Blake’s and George’s common room so they can see the damage that has been done.

    Chinese Medic<in Chinese>: He has shrapnel in his chest. I have stopped the bleeding best I can but he needs a hospital right away.

    Lie Wei<in English>: Your friend here will need a hospital quickly and my medic has slowed the bleeding. That is the best he could do right now.

    Not end of chapter 3... yet

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