Martian Earth Return

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Images linked to this journal entry relate to the initial Martian voyages of commerce and the state of affairs they find on Earth - the beginning of this period falls at +300 years on my future history timeline. Note: years are numbered from founding of the Martian Settlement, day one being Landing Day.

Terraforming Mars via the resource importation method, building an atmosphere by the importation of green house agents and atmospheric gases recovered from targets in the moons of Jupiter and Saturn – along with the manufacture and introduction of green-house agents) requires approximately five hundred years of sustained effort. Building the industrial base to support the endeavor, locating the remote resources, engineering the systems, the vehicles, the spacecraft, and equipment required to carry out the process of extraction is a work decades in the making. It is a massive undertaking, longer in duration and further reaching in scope than any other single human endeavor.

The Martian terraforming program requires a far broader sampling of Earth-life than the initial settlement requirements of food animals and agricultural crops suitable to environment shed farming – so a return to Earth is part of the effort. However …

Earths civilization has collapsed.

At the beginning of this era the causes and conditions of that collapse, the status of any remaining human population, and what might lay in wait for the Martians (a dead world, a human population reduced to savagery surviving in primitive conditions, bunkered enclaves of reactionary military forces, or survivors capable of becoming partners in trade) are all unknowns.

The telescopic camera's on Phobos station and other orbiting Martian platforms reveal little. The night side of Earth no longer bares the glittering islands and spider web networks of city lights that the Martians knew from the time of their forbear’s departure. Earths orbiting web of satellites has fallen silent. Save for a very few intermittent and low power encrypted transmissions intercepted when conditions were good there is no sign of civilization in the EM spectrum at all – perhaps, as some theorize, these might be the automated call-sign broadcasts of long abandoned remote bunkered military installations sent out in the clear on a preset schedule, lonely siren calls to long vanished forces.

Earth appears as an uninhabited world. 

Across the expanse of the Martian Spaceflight Center preparations for the Earth return are underway:

In addition to enormous  nuclear pulse HLLV's – designed to lift thousands of payload-tons to low Earth orbit for transfer to interplanetary transporters which would ferry those payloads home to Mars – in addition to the icy-asteroid intercept tankers which would recover volatiles and deliver these to water-ice cracking plants and supply depots to be set up in Earth orbit  – there are three additional types of nuclear pulse ships under construction, these fell under the classification of Reconnaissance, Contingency, and Intervention.

The first phase of the Martian return to Earth involves these expeditionary spacecraft.

In the course of time first contact is made with an isolated point where some semblance of a technological society remains, in this regard my co-author, Darrell Wollert penned the following short narrative:

"After The Leaving"

Earth, after The Leaving, becomes static and shrouded in paranoia. A fear of what others have and they do not arrests any development.

Mars is soon reaching a threshold to their growth. They can sustain their numbers, but expanding their range rests on exploiting resources on Earth. Mars mounts an expedition to an Earth unknown to them. They have known that the moon remains undeveloped and that no one followed them to Mars, yet they did not expect a humanity strangled by fear and stifled by a loathing of existence.

The Martian appearance on Earth sends waves of an ugly mixture of self-righteousness and foolhardiness. Fighting among themselves sweeps rampant around the globe. Amid their battles, the Sinclair Clan makes its moves. They are what remains of science grown rapacious, coveting books and disparate technical volumes the meaning of which they scarcely know. One, however, knows their meaning, Thaddeus Sinclair.

He is as voracious a reader as is he vicious a leader. Thaddeus Sinclair controls the last communication network on Earth. When the Martians land, it is he who spins the rumor of a planetary invasion by aliens from Alpha Centauri. The ruse affects a clearing for him to make contact and size up the Martians' usefulness. Undeniable facts quickly whiz across the network about the Centaurian ability to mimic humans, giving Thaddeus time to secure for himself a piece of the Martian action.

Emboldened with the sense of impending loss, Earth busies itself in skirmishes, power grabs, and small wars over plots of dirt. Meanwhile, Sinclair, with tenuous Martian assistance, marshaled his Clan's escape to the moon, establishing its first outpost. Life there is brutal, with only a vapor of freedom to restore to them their humanity (over time (the business of survival on the moon being paramount)). [freedom is described of the Moonites, but not of the Martians to attenuate the sense of escape in the former and not the latter.]

This state of affairs lasts for decades to come. An Earth of mobsters building empires of dust regress into continuous war, grubbing for less and less of what remains of a technological world. So consumed with greed and hatred are they that the strengthening bond between Mars and Sinclair continues with little notice. Sinclair helps Mars secure needed resources from Earth, Mars helps Sinclair turn his outpost into a chance to survive.

Guided by the credo "might makes right," Earth's warring matures into rule by global empire, dominated by the most ruthless, the most violent, the most murderous. The entire population of Earth relapses into the slavery of ignorance. A new Dark Age for Earth begins. What took six hundred years to achieve, through the Renaissance, from the Age of Reason into the Industrial Revolution and the Age of Prosperity, it took, in the end, just thirty years to obliterate, leaving near savages believing an alien take-over of Earth had been thwarted.

Still, Sinclair, with repeated threats from alien attack, keeps his presence on Earth. Both Martian and Moonite mine and forest Earth under cover of Sinclair's grand hoax.

Frederick Sinclair, first-born son to Thaddeus, comes on the scene to forge a new deal with an Earth rule now fracturing. Frederick proposes that Sinclair Settlement build for Earth an orbiting defense system to ward off another alien attack.

Slowly, Sinclair Settlement nurtures Earth to civility, before Edward Sinclair, in a fit of nobility, collapses the grand hoax on a bewildered Earth.
© 2013 - 2024 William-Black
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