Mars, in the throes of resurrection.
If you happened to have an illegal telescope, or proxied your galaxynet address well enough to pirate your way to satellite images of Mars, you might glimpse a damaged but operational Mars Orbiter 1, alive with ‘rebels.’
You could see clusters of superheated propellant burning beyond Earth space, as the EFF (Earth First Faction) sends armed planetary shuttles on an attack route to relieve the rebels of their existence.
If so, you’d be witnessing Mars Wars.
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Read an excerpt...
The debris would be recovered by the drones for re-purposing.
No one on MOS-1 wanted human bodies to be stripped of their space suits by drones.
The machines would take them to Mars entry, however, for incineration.
Devans flew just past the next drifting form. He twisted into a one eighty to allow the ion jets to act as space brakes, then angled the small funnels to keep himself at the same rate and direction as the deceased.
He held an arm out and touched the suit.
The helmet had been atomized on a diagonal. He could not determine the gender of the victim inside. The identification chip was either gone or damaged.
This one’s even worse than the last one, he thought.
A glow spot grew in the corner of Devans’ eye. At first he thought it was notification of a mindtext, as they came with tiny dots in the periphery. But this was on the wrong side of his mindtext queue.
“Ry, duck and move! NOW!”
He knew Burroughs’ tones well enough to react first, ask later.
His hand blurred to hit a double max jet burst downward and sideways.
A concentrated cluster of laser beams lit up the inside of his helmet and hummed through his suit speakers.
He didn’t stop there.
He arced up and he drew the
spatz pistol holstered at his side.
Another flash and he hit a jet burst upward this time. The beam went low, anticipating a maneuver similar to his first.
“Crew, back to ship!” Devans said. “Gwen, fire a volley at the origin.”
PS-17 shifted and fired, the beams trailing out into darkness.
“Shannon, where the hell is it?”
“I can’t see it!” her voice was frantic. “INCOMING, RY! Go, Go, Go!”
He zipped away on a spin, returned fire though he had yet to make visual, even with the face shield’s enhanced zoom.
“They must be cloaked,” he said, dodging two more beams.
PS-17 lit up the originating area with a barrage of streaking plasma rounds. He saw a single splatter that had appeared as nothing.
He aimed and fired at it, shouting coordinates.
“Get in the ship, Ry! They’re after you!”
If true, then PS-17’s shields were as about as impervious as human flesh to a spatz beam, and he’d be putting the crew at greater risk. However, his little suit jets were micro thrusters compared to the fusion engine of a shuttle, and the crew and all the ‘rebels’ of MOS-1 had already been hurled into the risk vortex that accompanies war.
The space crazy had an answer.
“Nah, I’m good out here.”
about John Andrew Karr...
From his home in Wilmington, North Carolina, John Andrew Karr (also John A. Karr) writes of the strange and spectacular. He is the author of a handful of independent and small press novels and novellas, and also leaves in his wake a trail of short stories.
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Detonation Event: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D6BDQBC
Rogue Planet: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07XFMCD21
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