Marathon Dissent
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In the 22nd century, space travel is cheap and efficient, thanks to three "beanstalk" orbital elevators that have been built along Earth's equator. The Moon is home to numerous bases and mining operations. Automated terraforming machines have begun the process of adding an Earthly atmosphere to Mars. After centuries of neglect by all but the scientific community, commercial industry has begun planning for the utilization of Mars' natural resources.

Unfortunately, humanity has become divided over the issue of space. There is a powerful movement lobbying against the exploitation of all natural resources in space. Part of this movement is a large organization that calls itself the Citizens for the Preservation of Space (CPS).

Further complicating issues is the ever-worsening overpopulation of Mother Earth. Despite new food production technology, rates of starvation are higher than ever. Widespread despair has led to increased acts of terrorism against developed countries and looting nearly everywhere. Environmentalists warn that the period of mass extinction begun in the last century will soon become a serious threat to human quality of life. Humanity is drowning in its own filth.

The lunar bases and space stations escape the chaos, due to the vigilance of the United Planets Naval Corps (UPNC), which is assigned the job of keeping the peace outside Earth's atmosphere.

Dissention against all governments has become a constant concern. Only the multinational United Planets has thus far escaped such problems, as its citizens -- the spacers -- are mostly happy with life. Resentful feelings towards spacers help to fuel the fires of dissent.

The year is 2128. Terrosit attacks by the CPS on lunar bases and space stations are on the rise, but as yet no serious damage has been done. The UPNC has managed to maintain the peace for the most part -- until a pocket nuke is detonated just outside Plato Dome, the largest civilian lunar base. Over half the dome is opened to vacuum, killing thousands. You, a lieutenant in the UPNC, nearly die in the attack, your body ravaged by vacuum and radiation. Among those killed are your wife and youngest child.

17 months later, thanks to an experimental program and your friendship with an influential admiral, you are reborn. Most of your body has been replaced by high-tech electronics and mechanics built with cutting-edge carbon polymer alloys. You are the ultimate warrior. Between your new capabilities and your fierce determination to destroy CPS once and for all, you rapidly rise to the rank of captain.

2142. Contact has been lost with the Ares II, a military surveying ship, while it was doing surface surveys of and deploying surveillance satellites around Mars. It is presumed that a CPS terrorist attack of unprecedented scale has destroyed the ship. Such an attack could presumably only be launched from a base on the surface.

The UPNC cannot get troops to Mars in less than four months. However, you develop a plan to get yourself there in under two months in a fast shuttle capable of higher accelerations than normal humans can stand. The UPNC approves your plan.

You set out on a mission of revenge...




...but what will you find when you arrive?

This page copyright 1995-2004 by Thomas Reed.