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This idea first appeared on my Facebook Page, by me.
The Rover on Mars makes some challenging discoveries over a period of three months.
One, the Rover samples a rock that indicates there might have been life on Mars at one time. The presence of water is known at the poles, and scientists believe there may be pools of water under the surface, just as there are on Earth.
Two, the Rover takes picture of what is widely conjectured by amateurs to be a footprint of something that could be human. Why would it still be there if it wasn't made recently? This results in speculation about humans who might breathe carbon dioxide instead of oxygen.
Three, the Rover sees caves that could be used for habitation, in the same vicinity as the footprint.
Mars atmosphere is 95% carbon dioxide, with only trace amounts of oxygen. Scientists believe any life on Mars is a long shot, and probably won't be like human life forms, in that they won't need oxygen to survive. To create air for humans, carbon dioxide can be converted to oxygen through trees kept in an enclosed arboretum. Trees convert carbon dioxide to oxygen. "...a mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year."
People get very excited about the potential of life on Mars, particularly when they hear a meteor cluster of large meteors about the size of Manhattan Island, probably fragments of some planetary explosion or collision in the very remote past, has been discovered moving toward Earth's orbit, with the likelihood of colliding at about 15% in about 6 years. Nuclear clearing of the group of meteors doesn't look promising. NASA is encouraged to speed up the manned landing on Mars.
Another group of scientists doesn't want people on Mars and decides to intervene. Their belief is that the people of Earth have too many problems, and they would just poison Mars with fighting, pollution, and overpopulation. They fail to convince anyone, so they hire Virgil Space to rush build a craft that can take them to Mars, find any life that is there, and warn them to not allow the people of Earth to come there. They take substantial weapons. The mission is secret. If necessary, they will kill anyone who lands.
As time goes on, observation of the cluster, and more refined calculations, bring the likelihood of collision with Earth at about 51%. The NASA Mars mission is placed into high gear, and plans are made to put stations into orbit that can take as much required for life as possible from Earth to Mars, including as many people as can possibly be transported. It can never be enough.
The US also sends a group of clean nuclear bombs to intersect with the cluster and blow it into smaller pieces without the problem of contaminated nuclear material raining down on the Earth.
What are the messages the one group wants to deliver to anyone on Mars?
Confrontation of the two groups on Mars is inevitable. But does it prevent the rush of people to get there?
The subplot, which will intersect with the main plot near the end of the story, and help conclude the story, is the nuclear mission to destroy the cluster of meteors. There is something about this mission that has a more important message within it, than the message the scientists who went to Mars to deliver, about the corrupt Earth. What is it?
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Composed October 5, 2003, from an idea in Whats In A Word, Part III - Computer Relationship Systems.
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