Sunday, November 23, 2014

Interlude 8: Dirty Pictures

Warning: The contents of this file past the dotted line are classified as Maximally Controlled Information, security phrase CRYSTAL TOWER. If you are not cleared for MaxConInfo with security phrase CRYSTAL TOWER, close this file immediately and contact your infocon officer for debriefing using the security phrase PANIC YELLOW.

Warning: Unauthorized access to this file is punishable by death followed by post-mortem interrogation, extinction of all Citizen Honors (if applicable), and listing as a Dishonorable (Second Class) on the Wall of Shame.

Warning: The contents of this file past the dotted line are encrypted using infectious basilisk cipher patterns. Attempted decryption without the proper key will result in permanent consciousness seizure and destruction of all memory patterns in all nervous systems connected to the decrypter.

Reminder: Control of dangerous information is vital to the future of the human race. Maintain proper information hygiene at all times. What you do know can hurt you.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

CH2: Homecoming, Part 10

The tablet was an old friend. They'd stolen it from the very first convoy they'd robbed. Mara had used it to copy Ermon's essays to blank sticks for distribution in Lucky Strike, to keep track of their supplies, to store their carefully-assembled maps of the ruins. They'd changed the memory sticks when she'd left the camp – no one was quite sure just how good Elysium IntSec's computer forensics were, and no one wanted to find out – but the rest was still the same. She could remember where every dent and scratch had come from.

CH2: Homecoming, Part 9

The Observatory Refugees

Following the destruction of the Elysium Mons observatory in 5,021 AD, Ermon Vigili, Mara, Dee Vigili, and other junior staff fled into the northern wastes to evade capture. They found shelter in a network of Architect ruins on the border of Elysium and the neighboring city-state of Lucky Strike. At the time, Lucky Strike and Elysium were at odds, with Lucky Strike supported by the Amazonis Bloc. The revolutionaries supported themselves by preying on Elysium convoys and mining operations in the area, then escaping retribution by falling back across the border, selling or trading their loot at remote exurban facilities. Since they refrained from attacking Lucky Strike facilities, the authorities turned a blind eye to their activities.

CH2: Homecoming, Part 8

Mara had never liked big meetings with people she didn't know. One at a time was fine, but to be among a crowd of strangers she was expected to talk to, made her uncomfortable. Fortunately, Dee was willing to do the talking for her.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Saturday, November 1, 2014

CH2: Homecoming, Part 7

Conditions for the Martian Revolution – Military

Historically, Martian wars had been dominated by the use of fission weapons. During the 4600's, an earlier blossoming of culture in Amazonis Planitia was snuffed out by a nuclear bombardment that destroyed several of the contending cities. After this, cities had refrained from using fission weapons except on the battlefield, observing a tacit rule-of-war to limit battles to outside cities. As a result, while wars often caused extraordinary casualties among the military, they were also limited; enemy cities were off-limits unless they could be taken by subversion or sabotage. Military objectives were restricted to the seizure of mines, fortresses, transport links, and other exurban assets. Military units were primarily elite formations equipped with low-yield fission weapons and armored vehicles, often retained as mercenaries rather then regular soldiers.