Read Glory on Mars Online

Authors: Kate Rauner

Tags: #artificial intelligence, #young adult, #danger, #exploration, #new adult, #colonization of mars, #build a settlement robotic construction, #colony of settlers with robots spaceships explore battle dangers and sickness to live on mars growing tilapia fish mealworms potatoes in garden greenhouse, #depression on another planet, #volcano on mars

Glory on Mars

BOOK: Glory on Mars
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Glory on Mars

Colonization Book
1

By Kate Rauner

 

Published by Kate Rauner at Smashwords

Copyright 2015 Kate Rauner

License
Notes

 

Welcome

START
READING

 

 

 

Table of Contents

About This Book

Epigraph

Chapter 1 Incident

Chapter 2 Explorers

Chapter 3 Spaceport

Chapter 4 Farewell

Chapter 5 Mass Driver

Chapter 6 Goodbye Earth

Chapter 7 The Cat

Chapter 8 Journey

Chapter 9 Onboard

Chapter 10 Mid-Point

Chapter 11 Arrival

Chapter 12 Disassembly

Chapter 13 Jumpship Down

Chapter 14 Burial

Chapter 15 Cargo

Chapter 16 Construction

Chapter 17 Sun Dogs

Chapter 18 Rovers

Chapter 19 Pressies

Chapter 20 Haboob

Chapter 21 Haiku

Chapter 22 Walkabouts

Chapter 23 CO2

Chapter 24 Exploring

Chapter 25 Meteor

Chapter 26 Crater

Chapter 27 First Date

Chapter 28 Flare

Chapter 29 Return

Chapter 30 Aloe

Chapter 31 Run

Chapter 32 Wild

Chapter 33 Rescue

Chapter 34 Hindsight

Chapter 35 Impact

Chapter 36 Settler Four

Chapter 37 English Breakfast

Chapter 38 Power

Chapter 39 Data

Chapter 40 Winter

Bonuses

Learn More

About Kate Rauner

Also by Kate

Excerpt
from
Born on Mars
- Colonization Book 2

Thanks

License Notes

Connect with Kate

 

About This Book

Welcome to the first book in my On Mars series. I
have two more stories nearly
complete
, and more to
come. Real-life settlers may travel to Mars in our lifetimes - what
will it be like? On Mars, Earth-born and Mars-born settlers
struggle to survive the challenges of a hostile planet and threats
from Earth as they build a new society. Will they
survive?

I have two kinds of readers. Some of you want me to
"just get on with it." I hope the story moves along well enough for
you to enjoy.

Some of you ask
for more details. In a few places you'll find an internal link,
like
this
, which takes you to a bonus section. These
descriptive vignettes enhance the story but aren't essential to the
plot. There are no spoilers in the bonuses, so you may read them as
you run into the links, before you start the story, after you
finish, or never. This is, after all, your book. - Kate
-

 

Epigraph

"Humanity is destined to explore, settle, and expand outward
into the universe." Buzz Aldrin, second man to walk on the
Moon

 

 

 

Chapter One: Incident

 

The seaside resort of Noordwijk was a strange place
to train for a mission to the barren deserts of Mars, but Colony
Mars had its tidy headquarters north of the Dutch city, inland from
the deep dunes of the beach. Sightseers hurried through the
visitors' center to join guided tours of a Martian colony mockup
and settler-candidates stopped between austere buildings to admire
the summer flowers that replaced spring tulips.

Emma was about to start her last English-language
tour when her link beeped an incoming message - the tone for
"urgent". One family was still coming up the ramp, two young boys
ricocheting among signs diagramming the mockup of the colony. Emma
turned discreetly to one side and tapped her headset.

"There's a mission problem." Emma didn't check her
contact lens for metadata - that was the mission lead's voice in
her ear. "Come to the control room as soon as duties allow."

A chill ran through Emma. Maybe her launch date had
slipped. Maybe they'd miss the window entirely and she'd remain on
Earth, temporarily reprieved. Why was that the first thought that
came to her? Must be pre-launch jitters.

Emma was about to fly on Settler Mission Three and
her journey depended on a narrow launch window. Balancing the
planets' orbital dance with fuel requirements, Colony Mars could
launch a mission every twenty-six months. If they missed it,
there'd be a twenty-six month delay. But Emma excelled at focusing
on the task at hand, so she turned her attention back to her tour
group.

"If we're all ready? My name is Emma Winters and I'm
a Martian settler. In twelve days, Colony Mars will launch me and
three crewmates into orbit to board our transport ship. I'll be
your guide today through this replica of the Kamp Kans colony
habitat or nederzetting, as our Dutch founders call it."

"Wow," one of the bouncy boys said. He was clearly a
fan, dressed in a rugby shirt from the gift shop, striped in rusty
red and sky blue just like Emma's uniform. "Are you really going to
Mars and never coming back?"

"Yup. This is my last day in Holland."

She watched everyone's eyes widen at that. Public
outreach, like this tour, was part of every settler's training,
right up to their final day at headquarters. Personal contact kept
public interest and donations high.

The urgent message tugged at her thoughts and she
pushed it away again.

"Why don't one of you young men open the door and
we'll begin." She gestured towards the white metal hatchway. The
younger boy hopped forward, stopping just before he ran into the
door.

"Hey!"

"You have to open it manually, dummy," his brother
said. He looked back at Emma proudly. "All the nederzetting's doors
are manual."

"That's right," Emma said with a practiced smile. The
tour always started with the surprise of a manual door.

"Colony Mars uses the latest technology for some
things, like construction, communications, and power generation.
But technology requires lots of support - spare parts and
maintenance. There are only eight people on Mars now; twelve when
my mission gets there. Human beings are flexible - our hands can
replace dozens of servomechanisms."

The boy scowled at her skeptically.

Emma held up a pencil she carried especially for this
bit.

"Even simple tools are complex to manufacture. The
wood for this pencil is logged in Oregon, in America. The graphite
in the center is mined in Sri Lanka. Zinc and copper from Africa
for the cap, and the eraser combines Italian pumice with Canadian
rapeseed oil." She waggled the pencil at the crowd.

"I haven't mentioned the machines needed to produce
it, or the thousands of workers and piles of parts at every step.
On Mars, we use low tech wherever we can." Emma spun the
wheel-shaped handle, and stepped to one side as she heaved the door
open.

"Even 'no tech'. These hinges will still be working a
hundred years from now."

She pushed the urgent message firmly out of her mind
as the group stepped and stumbled over the door frame.

 

***

 

The quickest route to Mission Control was through the
visitors' center. From the lobby, tourists turned right to enter
the museum and gift shop under a banner in four languages.

Mars
is
ons
geschenk aan
de
toekomst

Marso
estas nia
donaco
al
la
estonteco

Mars est notre cadeau pour l'avenir

Mars is our gift to the future

Instead, Emma stepped behind the lobby's welcome
desk. Rather than the usual cheery greeting, the attendant nodded
grimly. Alarmed, Emma laid her hand on the scanner, a door
concealed in the wall clicked open, and she hopped on the
walkalator to the Mars-Earth Exchange building.

She could see the MEX antenna farm from the glass
corridor. Today a group from the nearby European Space Agency's
Technology Center stood at the base of the main dish - their visit
had been the day's news at breakfast - but she was too distracted
to wonder if they'd award another grant to Colony Mars.

She entered at the back of a stadium-style control
room, behind two dozen stations, each arranged like an individual
cockpit, and scanned the room for Filip Krast, the stocky MEX
mission control lead. The front row, on the lowest level, was fully
occupied as always by controllers running the satellite systems
that orbited Mars - communications, tracking, weather, and solar
power. On the second level technicians were installing upgrades for
Emma's Settler Three mission.

Filip hurried across the top level, past the special
projects stations, and ushered Emma to a glass-walled cubicle
against the back wall.

"There's been a... an incident at Kamp. This isn't
easy to watch." He steered her to a video console in the corner and
hit playback. "There's been a death."

Emma sat up straight and felt her fingers go
cold.

On the vid, the colony's doctor, Ingra, was stepping
through a door in the habitat module. The lights were dimmed and
the audio feed was silent except for the hum of life support
systems - it was pre-dawn at the settlement. She crossed to the
airlock, slowly rotated the door handle, and hopped through.

Filip tapped the console, switching to the playback
from inside the airlock. Ingra sealed the door and looked up at the
imager.

"By the time this transmission reaches Earth, I'll be
gone. I can't stay here any longer. There's a huge old oak tree
beyond that little crater. No one can see it, but I know it's
there. I'm going home. Forgive me." She walked past the surface
survival suits hanging on the wall and reached for the airlock
control panel.

Emma felt a knot tighten in her stomach.

"She can't get out without a suit, can she? The
airlock pumps are slow; she'll pass out before the pressure is low
enough for her to open the outer door, right?"

Filip pointed back to the screen.

Ingra stepped to the outer door. With a pull and
twist, she opened the emergency decompression valve. Red lights
began to flash and ice fog clouded the imager lens. Ingra fumbled
with the outer door and it opened. With her last lungful of air,
she pulled the door open and disappeared into the darkness.

 

 

 

Chapter Two:
Explorers

Emma looked up, not quite believing what she'd
seen.

Filip shook his head.

"We sent alarms from here as soon as she entered the
airlock, but she was gone before anyone received our transmission.
With the outer door open, this airlock is disabled. Two of the
settlers have already suited up and gone out the other way - to
retrieve her body.

"You're the last of your crew to view this," he said
gently. "The others are in the settlers' lounge. If you'll wait
there, we'll keep you posted."

The lounge was at the opposite side of the building,
down the main hall. Murals would one day cover the walls with a
panel for each mission, but there were only six missions sketched
out so far, with only Settler Missions One and Two completed in
full color. Emma walked past pictures of the early robotic
missions, the satellite system with its orbiting power station, and
the squad of construction robots on the Martian surface. She
stopped at the Settler One panel,
The Pioneers,
to look at
portraits of the first crew. Ingra's face was smiling and
confident. The first four settlers had lived in their ship, its
modules repurposed on Mars' surface, for two years while building
the large plaza and utilities spine.

Settler Two's panel,
The Builders,
depicted
four more smiling portraits above a diagram of the growing habitat.
Their transport ship had also been disassembled and ferried to the
surface. All the ships would be cannibalized this way. There was no
going back to Earth.

BOOK: Glory on Mars
12.96Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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