Revival of Mars

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
The next phase of human expansion has begun. Mars is being terraformed for human habitation. Is this a blessing or a curse for the human race?

Submitted: November 29, 2011

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Submitted: November 29, 2011

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Revival of Mars

by Albert Lee

In the distant red planet, a thriving mass of green plants begin to emerge. Dark blue seas cover this once inhospitable desert. Its atmosphere is full with breathable oxygen, and is thick enough to block harmful radiations from the Sun. The Mars Terraforming Project is nearing its final phase.

A noisy atmosphere, full with chatters from the gathered audience surrounds the World Peace Stadium. They are awaiting the arrival of Ahmad Karimi, President of the United Earth Federation. Thunderous cheers erupted as the President makes his way to the podium on the stage. He raises both hands with a smile, acknowledging the audience in front of him. Silence follows.

“Greetings my fellow citizens. I stand here today as your president, a representative of the people on Earth, to gladly announce that for the first time, we are ready to spread the seeds of humanity to another planet.” The crowd cheers in approval.

“We started the Mars Terraforming Project more than a century ago, before even our grandparents were born. The planet was barren, dry, and devoid of life. It was a hostile environment. No life from Earth could survive for even a moment on the hot red planet. But now we can.”

“The greatest ever scientific project undertaken in the whole of human history has revived the planet. Mars is now covered with lush green forest, vast oceans, and breathable air.”

“However, the revival is not complete. We have yet to populate Mars with wandering creatures to roam over the newly created realms of Martian land, sea, and air.”

“For that we have Project Noah. Every single species of living creatures on this planet were cloned and incubated in artificial wombs. This was a long process, and it requires unnerving dedication and hard work to put into fruition.”

“After more than fifty years, the cloning process is complete.” The audience reply with an ecstatic applause, recognising that it is a milestone achievement for human civilisation.

“I will consult with the leading scientists of Project Noah, and send the animals to Mars at the earliest possible date.” “Again, I want to remind you that we are witnessing a tremendous achievement for humanity, unparalleled with any other field of human endeavour that has come before.”

“We should be proud of this occasion, and it shows that the human race is capable of anything if we put our hearts and minds into it.”

“Finally, I would like to thank you for attending this historic occasion, and may peace be with you all,” said the President, giving the audience a slight wave of his right hand.

“See you on Mars.” The crowd is ecstatic again, as the President makes his way to the backstage.

In the middle of a desert lies a collection of large buildings, surrounded by 10 metre-high barbed-wired walls. A helicopter can be seen manoeuvring its way to the heliport on top of the main building at the centre of the compound.

The President steps out of the chopper, together with two heavily-armed personal bodyguards. He is now at the top of the World Zoology Research Centre. This is where Project Noah is being conducted. President Karimi entered the lift on the roof and descends to the office of Dr. Jessica Wang, the Director of Project Noah.

“What is the status of the project?” asked the President.

“Mr. President, I am glad to tell you that we have finished cloning all the necessary animal species to be sent to Mars,” replied Dr. Wang. “Let me give you a tour.”

He follows Dr. Wang as she leads him to the cloning laboratories. They are separated into land and sea dwelling creatures. Each species are represented by only one male and one female, as cloning a large population of whole species of animals would be forbiddingly difficult.

All of the cloned animals were never born; instead they were nurtured and raised in large transparent tanks filled with nourishing liquids. They have all reach maturity and are now stored in cryogenic containments, ready to be sent to Mars to start the first moments of their life.

“We only have two of each species, so we have to carefully monitor their reproduction and growth after they get to Mars. Once we have a functioning ecosystem, we can let them live on their own. Then we can call Project Noah a success,” said Dr. Wang with an acute sense of pride.

“When can we send them off?” the President asked promptly.

“All the work here is done,” replied Dr. Wang. We can send them to Mars straight away.”

“Wonderful! Can you send them tomorrow?”

“Yes Sir!”

The order to transport the frozen animals to Mars signals the end of the President’s visit.

He is now back on the helicopter, pondering the beauty of the vibrant fauna that will occupy Mars, resulting in a scenario where the once sterile red planet will finally qualify as the second Earth in the Solar System.

“There is a call for you, Mr. President,” the President’s train of thought broken abruptly by a request from his private secretary to answer a call.

“Who is it?”

“He refused to reveal his identity. He said that he has a very urgent matter to discuss with the President, and only the President. He did say he is not a civilian.”

“Pass me the phone.”

“This is Ahmad Karimi, President of the United Earth Federation.”

“Hello, Mr. President. I am Commander Frank Günther from the United Earth Defence Force. I wish to inform you of an urgent matter of world security.”

“What is it?”

“It is a long story. Why don’t you come to the Defence Force Headquarters and I’ll explain it to you.” “I know you are in a helicopter right now, so I have ordered our airspace to be cleared and we have prepared the main entrance for your landing.”

“I’ll be there right away,” the President replied instantly, eager to know what his chief army officer has to say.

The helicopter changes its course to the direction of the United Earth Defence Force Headquarters. President Karimi disembarks the aircraft just outside the main gate of the sophisticated military compound.

He is met by Commander Frank Günther, and two other military officers. Commander Günther’s assistants stop the chopper from unloading more passengers and order the pilot to leave, indicating that only the President is allowed inside the military base.

Commander Günther leads the President inside the base and onto a jeep, driving him to a secret enclosure with a sign at the entrance which reads: “Highly Classified Area. Authorised Personnel Only”.

They enter a small meeting room, and he invites the President to take a seat. “Do you know about the Roswell incident way back in 1947?” asked Commander Günther while carousing through files in the cabinet at the corner of the room.

“No, I am not aware of any history that far back in the past,” replied the President. “What does an incident from three hundred years ago has to do with world security?” “And urgently?” The President could not believe what he just heard from Commander Günther.

“Please take a look,” said the Commander as he presents a folder to the President. “It contains all the details of the Roswell incident and the follow-up by the United States Air Force which eventually passed on to us after the formation of the United Earth Federation.”

“This has been kept secret from the public for three centuries.” “Aliens have landed on our planet, and we are talking to them.” The President gasped in disbelief, and quickly opened the folder and browsed the documentations inside. It was a real shock to him.

He has never seen this before. Throughout his life, he had only known humans as the sole intelligent life form in the universe, and had largely discredited the possibility that there is an advanced alien civilisation somewhere in the universe.

Now, he not only learned about the existence of an alien civilisation, but to add salt to the wound, it is right here in the Solar System. Mars, the neighbouring planet which was just terraformed, is actually home to an advanced species of aliens who have been communicating with Earth’s premier military organisation for three hundred years, in secret.

He regains his composure and asks an obvious question: “Everyone knows the planet is dead. How can there be any life forms on the surface?”

“No, not on the surface. Their planet experienced a catastrophic climate change millions of years ago, and they were forced underground to survive. The basement of Mars is teeming with Martians,” the Commander explained.

“We struck a deal with them. They provide us with all their advanced technological weaponry and equipment, and we use our knowledge of Earth’s ecosystem to revive their planet.”

“But we never told the public that we are terraforming Mars for the Martians,” interrupted the President.

“Yes, that’s exactly right,” replied Commander Günther. “That is why I called you here, Mr. President.”

“I am asking for your order to execute the Alien Annihilation Operation.”

President Karimi was startled. He didn’t know how to react. All his life he was a staunch pacifist, proud of the United Earth Federation which was founded from the ruins of World War III.

He constantly preaches for the unity of all humans regardless of race, creed, or colour. Perhaps he did not want a repeat of the devastating war which wiped out one quarter of the world’s population.

“Mr. President,” uttered Commander Günther before the President could make up his mind. “Let me show you some of the advanced technologies we acquired from the Martians.”

Commander Günther takes the President to a room which looks like a target range for shooting practice. They are standing at the right side of the room, facing the target area to the left. The Commander goes through a small door at the corner, and emerges moments later with what appears to be a rifle with organic design, and white in colour. It has a huge barrel, approximately fifteen centimetres in diameter.

“Mr. President, this is the most powerful portable weaponry we acquired from the Martians. It is basically a gamma-ray laser gun, harnessing energy from the nuclear decay of Tantalum-180, the rarest isotope in the universe.”

“Let me demonstrate,” said the Commander as he points the rifle to the target area. He aims at a replica human form made from gelatine in the middle of the target area, and pulls the trigger. Seconds later, a large hole can be seen around the torso of the gelatinous human being. The impact went as far as the back wall, as there is a deep indentation half a metre deep on its surface. There was no audible sound.

“We have plenty of these gaser rifles, and this is what we will use for the operation. Now, let’s move on to our main mode of transport.”

The President follows Commander Günther to a large metal security door. The Commander opens the door with a key and reveals a hangar which perhaps not too surprising for President Karimi, is filled with flying saucers.

“These are marvellous aircrafts. They can change directions instantly, and can travel faster than the speed of light,” explained the Commander showing a feeling of admiration for the alien technology.

“But I thought nothing can travel faster than light?” responded President Karimi, obviously cynical of what the Commander has just said.

“The flying saucers use nuclear fusion powered engines, which is not beyond our technology. What makes them different from our spaceships is that they can perform time travel to shorten their journey. It takes six weeks for a spacecraft powered by nuclear fusion to reach Mars. So, if we set the flying saucer to travel six weeks into the future after we started the engine, we’ll be at Mars in a few seconds. A marvellous technology indeed.”

“Mr. President, we can start the operation tomorrow and we’ll be done by sundown.”

“Your orders, Mr. President?”

“If they can give us this technology, surely they must have similar powerful advanced weapons back home?” asked the President.

“That was the deal, Mr. President. They give us technology, we give them nature. As of today, the whole of their weapons arsenal is in our hands. They are practically defenceless. It will be a quick and easy mission.”

Suddenly, it becomes harder for the President to make a decision. Massacring an entire alien population in order for the human race to proliferate is too cruel. Aren’t there any other alternatives? Couldn’t the humans and Martians live together in peace?

Then again, the differences between them might be too large to reconcile. There could be another war. Many humans would die.

Is this a case of either us or them?

“I need more time, Commander Günther. This is too much for me. I’ll call you after I get back to my office and think a bit more about it.”

“As you wish, Mr. President. Please don’t take too long.”

There is not much more to think really. He just needed to get away from the tense atmosphere to calm himself down. He knew eliminating the Martians is the only way.

The government hasn’t told the people anything about a Martian basement and had promised them a new human colony on Mars. To tell them suddenly that there are actually aliens living in Mars will cause mass hysteria and generates public distrust for the government. There are going to be riots and violence on the streets will be unavoidable.

The thought of total chaos on Earth is unbearable for the President. All the efforts from the United Earth Federation in the past years to promote world peace would be in vain.

President Karimi picks up the phone and makes a call to the World Zoology Research Centre.

“This is Ahmad Karimi, President of the United Earth Federation.”

“Hello, Mr. President. It is nice to hear from you again,” replied Dr. Wang.

“I regret to inform you that the transport of animal life to Mars has to be temporary halted.”

“Why, Mr. President?” Dr. Wang is surprised at the President’s request.

“I’m sorry Dr. Wang. I can’t tell you that. It is a matter of world security. I promise you that you can recommence the operation very soon.”

“But Mr. President, we are all done and ready to go here. There is still so much more to do on Mars before the ecosystem is fully functional. What could be more important than…”

“I told you it is a matter of world security,” the President reiterates his position before she can finish her sentence.

“If you ask any more questions, I’m afraid I will have to remove you from Project Noah.”

Dr. Wang did not utter a single word. It was a great opportunity for her to be in charge of Project Noah. She has great passion for the study of animal life, and her academic brilliance landed her a job as the director of Project Noah at the tender age of 25. She knew she will not get a chance like this again. She can only hope that the President will keep his promise.

“Okay, Mr. President. I will put Project Noah on hold for now,” she responded after a brief pause.

“Thank you.”

The President makes another call, this time to the United Earth Federation Defence Force Headquarters.

“Commander Günther?”

“Yes, Mr. President.”

“You can commence the double A operation immediately.”

“Wilco that, Sir!”

The Alien Annihilation Operation will be headed by Earth’s most senior military officer himself.

Commander Günther has fought and served in many dangerous and life threatening missions, but none of them on such a massive scale. This is the first time he will face a non-human adversary, and use advanced alien weaponry and equipment.

It will be the biggest military operation in history only that it will not be openly written about. Perhaps it should not be written at all. The story of expansion of humans into outer space would not be admirable if such a merciless, brutal act were to be included.

Less than an hour after the President’s order, the Alien Annihilation Unit lead by Commander Günther is ready to launch the attack.

“This is the day that we as the brave soldiers of this planet, will write the destiny for our people.” The Commander is giving a motivational speech to his soldiers before they start their mission.

“There are aliens living in Mars, my fellow soldiers. The very Mars that we have been terraforming in the past hundred years. The very Mars that will soon be our second home in the Solar System.”

“The aliens want us to give them the planet, soldiers. After all the resources and time we spent on reviving the planet, how can we just give it to them?” “We have earned our right to settle there. Mars is ours now.”

“Do you want us to be slaves to those aliens and serve them forever as our masters?”

“Negative, Sir!”

“We managed to convince them to give us all of their advanced weapons, the ones you are holding in your hands right now.”

“They have nothing. They are defenceless. This mission will be a blaze, I guarantee.”

“Are you ready, soldiers?”

“Affirmative, Sir!”

An armada of flying saucers depart the Earth covertly, avoiding detection from commercial ground radars and satellites. The fleet reaches the doorstep of Mars in within a few seconds.

Moments later, Commander Günther and his men arrive at the Martian basement and start shooting the aliens with gaser rifles. As the aliens have a waist much slimmer than the average human’s, they were broken in half upon being hit by the intense gamma-ray beams emanating from the rifles. The humans are practically in a shooting spree.

Aliens living in the basement are taken completely by surprise. Even the most humble civilian Martian knows about their government’s interaction with the humans. Storming their place with flying saucers and killing them off acrimoniously wasn’t part of the deal.

“Mr. President, we have just received a transmission from the Martian Command Centre,” a military communications officer informed the President at his office. “This signal was intended to be sent to all television and radio receivers on Earth, but we intercepted it. We will be watching it and we think you should too, Mr. President.” “Just turn on the TV.”

After making sure that all the doors and windows in his office are securely locked, President Karimi switches on the private television in his office.

“Hello humans. I am a representative of the beings from Mars, the fourth planet of the Solar System.”

“The surface of our planet was destroyed many aeons ago from the effects of global warming. When it became obvious that the planet was dying, our ancestors built underground basements as a last desperate attempt to preserve our kind.” “This is one of them, and we have been living here ever since.”

“Three hundred Earth years ago, our kind landed on your planet and met with your most powerful government. We were impressed by the beauty and variety of life on your planet, and so we made a deal with your leaders.”

“Your kind will cover the surface of our planet with Earth life, and we provide you with our far more superior technological equipments.” “We thought that was a good deal. After spending countless millennia underground, we can finally live on the surface just like our distant ancestors before us.”

“But it wasn’t to be. You humans are too greedy, and want to own the entire planet for yourselves.” “As I speak, my fellow brethrens are being massacred brutally by humans, using the very weapons we provided them with.”

“We are also oxygen breathers like you. Our basement is equipped with chemosynthesis machines that are producing oxygen artificially. For the first time ever since the construction of this basement, they will be turned off.” “This triggers a total lockdown of the basement, and there is no possibility of an escape.”

Commander Günther and his comrades have killed all the aliens on the open area, and are preparing to enter the buildings when he suddenly started to breathe heavily. He can see that his subordinates in the immediate surroundings are also suffering from the same condition.

He calls the other smaller units that were separated from him initially to spread the human force all over the Martian basement.

“Team leaders, do you read me?”

“Roger that, Commander,” the team leaders replied in unison.

“I am having difficulty breathing. Same is happening to my team. I think something’s not right. How are your situations?”

All the team leaders reported to the Commander that they are also experiencing the same problem.

He is beginning to feel squeamish when he sees from a distance in the building closest to him, a group of tall slender aliens wailing unceremoniously towards the ground, lying there petrified.

Now he knows what is happening. The oxygen supply to the basement has just been shut down.

“Soldiers, the life support is gone! I am calling off the invasion! We have to evacuate immediately!”

They quickly rush to their respective entry points and found out that there is a huge wall blocking the access to their spaceships. A frenzied shooting of gaser rifles begins as the humans make a desperate attempt to destroy the only obstacles to their escape.

The walls are extremely robust. Despite the immense destructive power of their weapons, the progress is painfully slow. They are running out of time, and out of breath.

Commander Günther has miscalculated. He should have guessed that the Martians would do something like this when faced with certain death, and brought life support equipments to this mission.

The Commander can only ponder his mistake in hindsight as the humans eventually succumbed to hypoxia, with the most damaged wall being only half penetrated.

The Alien Annihilation Unit has been annihilated.

“We came in peace. We could have killed every member of your kind and took over your planet but we didn’t,” said the Martian leader while gasping for breath with his flat nose and narrow mouth.

“We expected the same gesture of goodwill from your kind but you responded with violence and destruction.”

“We were once aggressive beings. We fought wars against each other, and many of us perished.” “The numerous underground facilities our ancestors built in the midst of a dying planet were all destroyed except for this one.”

“After that, we realised that violence was not the answer. We put down our arms, and have learned to live together peacefully in this basement.” “That’s why we were more than happy to let your kind take possession of our weapons.”

“There are some of us who did not like this idea. They thought it was too naïve to leave ourselves defenceless and at the mercy of humans.”

“We had a huge quarrel and exiled them, together with their beloved instruments of destruction to far-flung colonies outside of the Solar System. We truly believed in the peaceful coexistence between our kind and yours.”

“They were right after all. We have paid our price for being so ignorant, and soon it will be your turn, but for a different reason.”

President Karimi was shocked by this revelation. As far as he knows, Commander Günther brought all of the advanced alien technology and weaponry with him to Mars. All of that are now buried under the basement of Mars for eternity.

If an alien force attacks Earth, the world population could be wiped out completely. Did he make a wrong decision in sending Commander Günther to invade Mars?

How else could he have done it then? If he knew the Martians can defend themselves or even retaliate, would he have called off the invasion? Was he tempted by how easy it seemed at the time to just obliterate the Martians and let humans live on Mars?

The entire human race is threatened with extinction. Only out-of-this-world diplomacy can have any chance of saving humanity from this quagmire.

“I have already sent a distress signal to all of our colonies. Your days are numbered, humans.”

Those were his last words, as the alien leader drops his oval-shaped head with his big black eyes facing down and his long thin arms lounging out to the front of his desk, seemingly gripping the edge with his four fingers.

End of transmission.


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