The Plainsfarmers Of Mars
Nathaniel A Miller


The Plains-Farmers of Mars
Ares: Bahram: Kasei: Labou: Ma’Adim: Simud: Marte: Huo Hsing: Her Desher: Nirgal: Al-Qahira: Tiu: Whatever the name it is called, known in many languages, it is the name of the fourth planet that orbits the life giving star known as SOL. It is the name of the red planet known as Mars, named after the Roman God of War, and in many folklore legends shrouded in mystery and controversy since the dawn of time.

Established on the surface of the planet, Tiberius Station was built, after one hundred years of probes and remote exploration by NASA since the Twentieth, Twenty-First Centuries. It is the year 2105 AD and the Earth has sent a new breed of space ship to visit the fourth planet, the sister planet of Earth. The Earth Federation, established at the beginning of the latter half of the twenty-first century, began the exploration of the outer planets of the SOL solar system and forged ahead for future deep space explorations. They would colonize Mars, and plan stations located on the many moons and orbiting the outer planets of their home Solar System.

As for Tiberius station, it is located on the Tharsis Montes, it is near Olympus Mons the highest point on Mars, and the station itself is approximately fifty meters in diameter in size. It is a research station and Hydroponic Garden, intended to study the effects of plant growth on planets other than Earth. It is made up of artificial pressurized domes, airlocks and gravity generated facilities. Six modules stand as Living Quarters on the eastern side of the station, near the main building, separated with a main airlock on the far end of each side with connecting passages in between them. There are six main wind generation and solar modules on all sides of the station, to generate power, by Mar’s superior winds and harsh ultraviolet rays, despite its thin atmosphere. A launch station is on the south side of the main facility, for the ships that deliver supplies and personnel to the station. It is near a rover recharge module outside the main facility of the station. The main building is in the center of the wind panels and outer buildings, housing the hydroponic-farm, research facilities and operations sections of the station. It is here at this station, that twelve NASA personnel man the post at first establishment on the surface of the Red planet and are rotated every six months with the new advancement of space travel.

Carolina Trents walked toward the airlock, clad in the blue uniform of a light-blue flight suit, heading toward the dressing area for the EVA suits inside the main airlock. As she walked briskly down the narrow passageway between the modules of the living quarters, she glanced at the many signs that stenciled over each hatchway of the modules. At this moment, Carolina stands outside the galley module, where meals are prepared and seating are arranged for eating those meals. This module is currently dark, as all personnel is at the operations module, and grimacing she turned away and walked further down the passageway toward the EVA airlock. The only sound the young woman could hear is the dripping of water and the sound of the rebreather unit that recycles used oxygen into fresh oxygen for the station modules. Right now this young woman is standing inside the semi-lighted modules, alone and disoriented, having just arrived on planet two weeks ago.

“Jesus, not a creature is stirring.” Carolina thought, grimacing as she panned yet another annoyed glance as several other unused modules that would be used for expansion of personnel that would be here any day, according to the Federation Headquarters. It would be personnel that would increase to twenty-four bodies instead of twelve, to further the station as a waypoint for other explorations on the Red Planet.

The young woman stepped inside the EVA airlock and began suiting up in an EVA suit for outside. Her assignment was simple, to check on the recharge unit belonging to the Rover then to check on the Solar panels for maximum efficiency. An assignment given to the lowest person on the staff, and one assignment she did not take lightly.

Turning she closed the inside hatch, securing it, before securing the rest of her EVA suit. When she heard the hiss of pressure equalizing in the suit, and feeling the oxygen flowing, she turned to hit the control of the outer hatch. There was a decompression sound and slowly the hatch opened, allowing to exit into the reddish atmosphere of the Mars landscape.

Her first thing was to turn, hitting the control of the airlock, closing the outer hatch. It slid closed and she could hear the interior pressurization.

“Lieutenant Banks is on station.” She said into the helmet mic, transmitting over the channel used by EVA personnel. There were only three others outside today, her assistants to help with the check of the rover recharge station and the launch pad where the ship stood in the cool Martian sun. Walking, half bouncing she made her way toward a nearby set of solar panels, and kneeling she inspected the units with her tool box. The sensors on the unit responded perfectly when she hit the test button on the main panel of the solar units.

“All nominal.” She thought, working on more tests and not noticing the shadow above her coming from behind nearby Olympus Mons in the form of a ship. It was in the form of a silver disk UFO shaped vehicles, right out of the old TV and Movie programs on ancient Earth. When she finally noticed it, by looking up, she maintained her crouch and moved toward the mass of heavy solar panels as phasers lanced out and stuck the sands near her. They also struck the ship nearby causing a spark as they ricocheted off the metal skin.

“Oh shit!” The young woman gasped, grabbing her pistol that she always kept in her toolbox on EVA missions, just in case of the literal shit hitting the fan like this happening right now. She grimaced as she remained ducked behind the large solar panels below the wind machines. She returned fire, the laser fire from her pistol harmlessly striking the shields of the silver ship that was slowly traveling overhead.

Inside the operations section of the base, nine of the operators worked feverishly as they saw multiple ships on the radar that had appeared out of nowhere.

“Sir! Ships have just warped in.” A voice said, belonging to Jen Banks, the radar operator. “They are over the base!”

“Activate the deflectors!” The commander said, and there was a pause. What he was asking was to activate the meteor deflectors that would protect the base from falling stone, not weapons from enemy ships. It wouldn’t do much to protect the base.

“Yes, sir. Activating.”

Outside the base, a low glow appeared as the meteor deflectors activated and surrounded the entire base.

“Recall all EVA personnel outside.” A stern voice ordered.

“Carolina to ops. We need some help out here, we are under fire.” She said, almost shouting in alarm into the mic of her suit.

“We know, all EVA units are ordered to come back inside at once!” The voice was of Dr. Seymore Phelps, the head researcher in charge of this mission of this NASA post. The young woman grimaced at the suggestion and only answered with an exasperated “Acknowledged.”

“Sir! Enemy troops have just materialized in the base, about a two dozen of…” A voice said, and there was silence.

“Oh shit, we’re in trouble.” Carolina said to herself, still crouching outside near the solar panels. Counting to three quickly, the young woman stood up and hit the thrusters of her suit, catapulting her forward away from her hiding place back toward the living spaces. Phasers struck the ground near her as she dodged, heading toward the main facility of the base as another ricochet struck the wall near her. She turned as she saw her colleague nearby, as the enemy fire struck them. There was a thud and a blob of red as the body imploded when the suit was breeched. Carolina screamed as she ducked down beside more solar panels, as beams streaked over her head. More ships appeared over the base.

“Lieutenant Chin! Come in!” Carolina said with a huff, “Ops! They got Chin!”

She watched as the half-exploded, blood-covered suit fell to the ground and human innards slithered from inside the suit. She looked away, trying not to throw up in her suit, knowing that would be very bad if she did that right now. She knew she had to get inside the base.

“We’re an unarmed station too, who the hell is attacking?” Carolina asked, as she crawled toward and around the corner of the main garden facility. “Why the hell isn’t anyone answering? Oh god they must be dead or captured!”

“Since when are there aliens in SOL?” The young woman questioned, as she held up her pistol, watching as smaller ships swarmed all over the base, shooting at anything moving. When one got close, a drone-like ship she shot her pistol, striking it, making it explode in mid-air. Some of the ships landed and green looking soldiers swarmed from within as they surged outward around the building, heading toward the airlocks and taking positions on the perimeter of the station.

Running, half floating on the planet, the young woman headed for the nearby airlock, but stopped just in time as green looking, lizard-like creatures marched toward her and the airlock she had been heading toward. Dodging again, Carolina dodged back to the pods where she had started her adventure. More green soldiers marched toward her.

They were tall, lanky, with six appendages and the skin looked like it was covered with scales and slime. It was a dark green color and it had one set red eye in the center of its forehead from which it blinked with a massive eyelid. As it walked, it moved a long slender tail.

  “I have to get into the operations shack and free the prisoners.” Carolina said, “Before my air runs out.”

She moved stealthily toward the airlock where six of those creatures stood around them. She raised her pistol and with multiple shots she took them out, splattering their green blood onto the reddish sand of the grounds of Mars. She saw a sizzle as their acid for blood spilled onto the ground. The young human hit the airlock switch with no result at the main building.

“Shit!” Carolina muttered in her southern drawl and she stealthily made her way back to the far end of the main building back toward the living quarters. Here the young woman hit switch, stepping inside as a beep sounded on her suit, and a red light flashed on the arm. She glanced at the gauge, at the digital readout of only thirty percent left to live. Turning she heard a crunch and the hatch was stuck a crack. She heard a beep sound as a flash of a red light appeared on the arm of the suit.

“What the hell?” She grumbled as stared at the light. Carolina realized she had a 10 minutes until the inside air was gone.

“Jesus, not now, ya mechanical asshole.” She cursed at the hatch and she kicked the hatch hard. It finally squealed loudly as it closed with a thud. As it pressurized with the interior of the base, the young woman turned, pulling the emergency oxy-flood switch and there was a whoosh as the light on her suit turned solid red. It was just in time as it was out of oxygen. She gasped as she could not breathe, and fought for the latches, pulling at the emergency release. There were minutes that she fought to breathe and then a hiss as oxygen flooded her senses. Coughing she fell to the deck and lay there for a long time.

“Ugh.” She muttered, remembering where she was, and grabbed the pistol that lay near the discarded suit. “The station is under attack, we have to get to the communications shack and warn the Earth Fed HQ. Time to be a Hero!”

Carolina scanned the empty room and crawled, army style across the chamber to the compartments where she literally cleaned out the emergency stash of weapons, grenades and rifles. Taking up a space age pulse rifle, with adantanium rounds, that she began loading each one and securing the straps or placing them in a canvas bag. Putting the strap around her arm and chest, the young woman cocked a space-age burst shotgun and crept toward the hatchway. She didn’t know if the creatures knew she was here, but the team that was in ops and everywhere was rounded up and returned to the main garden.

The creatures croaked in a strange tongue as they stood around, and drones streaked through the compound outside the buildings. They had the other persons who had been assigned outside and marched into their ship. The young Lieutenant was working alone as she put the canvas bag at her side, and pulling back the bolt of the rifle, she crept to the door. Stepping into the hall, she crept down alone the edge of the corridor, staying in the darkened hatchways of the modules of the living spaces, advancing one by one as she approached the center of the modules. She saw two of the creatures, and retreated into the shadows, leading with her weapon. It was quite apparent they did not need suits to operate in Mar’s thin atmosphere of Carbon Monoxide, Methane, Helium, Nitrogen and Oxygen. Subjecting to them to the atmosphere to kill them was out.

“There’s got to be a way to stop them and destroy them all.” The young woman thought, as creatures walked into the modules, and cruised down the center of the passage. Pulling her pistol, she stepped in and with rapid shots gunned down the creatures in gooey green blood. Carolina stepped back into the shadows and waited for any more to show up after firing her weapon. Apparently she had got away with a perfect assassination of enemy personnel and she managed a smile.

“But that’s still not answering my question.” Thought the young Lieutenant, holding up the rifle and covering her nose to the now foul smell she could smell from the trio of bodies. She grabbed each body with a shovel and she took them into a nearby unused module and closed the hatch after piling them inside, their foamy green blood dribbled onto the floor.

She covertly made her way to the far end of the chamber where a main hatch led into a passageway that connected the main garden, operations shack and research facility. There were two guards on the far side and aiming the weapon, she took two shots, throwing them against the bulkhead with a thud.

“Scratch four.” The young woman thought with a grin, and she stealthily crossed into the other side into an open hallway running the length outside the garden on one side on the outer bulkhead. She heard a screech as stealthily moved down the corridor. Inside the garden, looking in the females and males were separated, and the remaining four were repeatedly violated in strange painful and torturous ways by the creatures. They experimented on them as they violated their bodies, the males too.

“Bastards.” Carolina growled, knowing if she attacked now, she would be overwhelmed and outgunned. She let out a gasp of astonishment and knowing. The young woman realized she was near the Engineering section, one level below this, built in the sands under the station. They had a deactivated reactor here that was supposed to be on-line soon, once they received the other twelve personnel. She could activate it, and set it to overload and detonate, taking out the whole base. That meant the destruction of the plain farm known as Tiberius Base. But they were overwhelmed by an enemy and the Earth Federation HQ was not informed and had no idea the base was under attack, leaving the personnel vulnerable to torture, rape, and various abuses.

“Fuck it.” Carolina said, as she stealthily made her way from the empty chamber she had fortified herself in, and to the nearby stairs leading to the underground passage that would lead to the core for the computer and energy reactor. She had made a decision.

“Today is a good day to die…” The young woman thought and nodded. It was better than being raped and tortured.

When she reached the stairs there was a conglomeration of the soldiers from the many ships and enemy that now tortured and violated the human crew. She had a job to do. Stepping out with an automatic rifle, she let loose and splattered the whole mess. The young woman kept walking as she kept firing, destroying everything that moved or slithered toward her. When she reached the control room, she dropped into the chair and began typing quickly, using every ounce of knowledge to activate and get the system to boot. As she waited for the core to boot and activate, even on a low power it would obliterate the base in a gigantic explosion that would make a crater as deep as Olympus Mons, providing she was allowed to set for full power-up which would take time.

Typing on the control keyboard the unit began to hum as it began to power up, but she realized it was still under construction, it would only have enough power to maintain the colony at only half total power. It would have many modules that would not be ready or functioning. The blast would probably not be enough to vaporize the base.

“It’s got to be enough!” Carolina exclaimed to herself, as she heard a beep. She had a pistol on the console beside her, as she quickly had booby-trapped the floor she was on with anti-personnel mines, grenades and claymore type weapons to take out an enemy, now wise of her presence. They ran down the hallways toward the two elevators and stairwells.

“Come on… Come on…” She coached as the hum became louder, as the familiar heartbeat of the reactor began to pulse and energy began to move throughout the station. It would soon overload and explode, as none of the safeties were in place to prevent the release of massive amounts of radiation and energy throughout the base. All she had to do is wait for death to come, but decided to sabotage the unit anyway and not prologue the dance of death that awaits them all at the hands of the enemy.
The Lieutenant, typing quickly, saw the levels for radiation spike higher as the coolant to the reactor began to fail, and the shielding began to break down. Typing one more thing, she turned her head as there was an explosion in the passage nearby. She gazed up at the reactor that continued to pulse. She was out of time, the enemy was here.

“Reactor shielding alert, all personnel evacuate.” The computer voice announced. The young Lieutenant hit a silencer button, typing quickly to remove the warning messages. The pulsing became more rapid, and the radiation spiked more. Smoke began to pour from the lines, and heat.

A shot ricocheted off the nearby bulkhead, making her dive to the floor and she began to return fire, as the smoke began to pour thickly into the chamber, more energy and radiation was being released. Hitting a button there was secondary explosions as mines went off in the elevators and the stairwells, causing great explosions. Pieces of soldier, shrapnel, metal, elevator, and building material flew into the air around them. There was a hiss as air began to escape to the outside.

Carolina continued to fight, plowing down the enemy single handedly, with no thought of the end ahead. Until there was a beep that indicated the reactor was at full charge. The young woman staggered back as a shot hit her in the throat, and realizing what happened, reached blindly out to push the button she had setup to detonate the charge of energy. A flash followed as energy enveloped the station, and Earth Stations were alerted to the red mushroom cloud and dust that erupted from Mars surface. Secondary explosions could be seen on the surface of Mars, as a crater the size of Olympus Mons now scorched the surface of the red planet eliminating the station and the personnel on the planet.



Copyright © 2015 Nathaniel A Miller
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