Sunday, May 21, 2006

EXODUS TO SPACE
The War

2 years later.

Open Transmission.

From: Alexander Dome, Fleet Admiral, Earth Fleet 1
To: The Administrators, Mars Station 1 & surrounding settlers

This is Alexander Dome of Earth Fleet 1. In the name of the United Nations Of Earth, I am claiming Mars Station 1 to be the provincial capital of United Nations at the Asteroid Belt. We come in peace but we will respond to any form of attack against us. I repeat do not attack us or we will respond in kind.

As for the Administrators, when the fleet is within 100 km from the station, you will power down all your weapons and your ships. You will hand over all the records of the inhabitants to the fleet, the only legal administrators of this region. You will not be harmed. In return for your corporation, you will be allowed to continue with your own business as long as you abide by the rules.

To all the inhabitants, we are not the occupying force. We are the peacekeeping force. We ensure and enforce peace in the region. As long as you obey the law you can continue with your lives. This is the assurance from the United Nations.

End Transmission.

Open Transmission

From: Alfa November, Chief Executive Officer, Mars Station 1
To: Alexander Dome, Fleet Admiral, Earth Fleet 1
This is Alfa November of Mars Station 1. On behalf of the people of Mars Station 1 and our business partners who had chosen to cooperate with us, we reject your claim to this station and advise you to go home. We are fully aware of the firepower of your fleet but it will be useless against us in our home space.
We welcome your trade not your dominance. Let me repeat you are advised to turn back.
End transmission.
Admiral Alexander Dome was fuming mad at the arrogance of this administrator. “I will teach him a lesson”, he thought to himself. He was confident. He has the command of Earth’s finest crew and strongest fleet the testimony of Earth’s industry (if you can overlook the fact that the nuclear reactors, engines, propulsion system and life support system were made by the manufacturers in the Asteroid Belt.)

In addition, the ship computer had listed out every possible action from the enemy and produced counter actions. There was no reason why he couldn’t crush these uncivilized rebels.

As the fleet drew near to the station, red alert was initiated throughout the fleet. All the 50,000 crew and soldiers were on high alert. The view of Mars Station 1, was visible to the naked eyes. Suddenly the sensors reported movement of trading ships toward the surface of Mars. There were total power shutdown including life support at all the orbital constructs including Mars Station 1.

The admiral instructed the sensor drones to approach the enemy to investigate. The drones reported no energy signal, which meant all the orbiting stations and the ships landed on Mars were dead. If there were people inside, they would die of suffocation due to the absence of life support.

Alexander Dome could sense a trap but he knew nothing could hide from his sensor drones. His strategy was to wait long enough for the people inside the stations and ships to die from suffocation. He gave order for the fleet to position itself around Mars Station 1 and used lasers to disable every weapon system to eliminate the possibility of a sneak attack.

Suddenly his whole bridge plunged into darkness. Communication was dead. “Engineering report status!” he shouted. “Sir, they attacked us with EMP”

EMP stands for electromagnetic pulse. It is electromagnetic wave produced at a very short time interval (like 1 nanosecond). The result is a huge quantity of energy compressed in a small interval of time. The effect on any form of electronic circuits is lethal. Every circuit exposed to EMP is burnt.

The administrators had constructed an underground nuclear reactor at Mars directly below Mars Station 1 to produce this pulse. Once the fleet was within range, encrypted transmission was sent out to every station and ship to shut down all their circuits including their life support. All the crew will have to breathe though oxygen tank for a few seconds.

From the viewing screen of Fire Dragon, the flagship of Earth Fleet 1, the admiral saw hundreds of ships approaching the fleet from the surface of Mars intending to take advantage of Earth Fleet 1’s power blackout. He knew his fleet was more than capable to handle this situation. “Engineering report status.” He ordered his engineering officer. “All primary circuits are completely burnt. The secondary circuits have been initiated. We should have life support and communications ready at any time now. Full power will be restored within 5 minutes.”

“Navigation, estimate time for the arrival of enemy fleet.”

“Admiral, based on their current position and maximum speed, they can only engage us in 45 minutes.”

“That gives us 40 minutes to prepare for them.” The admiral was pleased with the outcome. The rebels had tried to resist but will eventually fail. His only regret was the battle will end too soon. Life support and communication was restored. He prepared for the battle cry. “Open communication to the whole fleet. This is Admiral Alexander Dome, execute Battle Formation Dome506 the moment you have full power restoration. Engage enemy when ready”

The efficiency of the secondary circuits was as expected. Within 5 minutes the whole fleet had full power restoration but something unusual happened. The ship navigators lost control of the ships. Instead of moving into formation as instructed, the ships moved to form 4 straight lines according to their classification as if they were arranging themselves on a shelf for a sale.

The crew started to panic for the first time. No one knew what was going on. Everything, including the mighty battle computer was not responding to human command.

Then the communications set received an incoming transmission.

Incoming Transmission.

From: Alfa November, Chief Executive Officer, Mars Station 1
To: Alexander Dome, Fleet Admiral, Earth Fleet 1

This is Alfa November of Mars Station 1. We have taken control of all your ships. In accordance to our rules on illegal parking of spacecrafts, we are confiscating the fleet. Our business partners are currently on their way to transport all the crew to our new resort on Mars. Please be assured we have informed Earth to arrange for your transport home. Once they have paid for the accommodation cost, you are free to leave with them. Meanwhile I wish you good night and have a good sleep.”

End Transmission.

The life support system started to emit sleeping gas causing the crew to feel drowsy and fell asleep. When they awoke, they found themselves in an enclosed dome on the surface of Mars. After they were fully recovered, a voice from the internal communication was heard.

“Good morning. I am Linda Foo the Hospitality Manager of Mars Resort. On behalf of Mars Resort we welcome all of you the valiant crew of Earth Fleet 1 to our resort. We will ensure all your needs will be met to your satisfaction.”

“What if we want to leave!” someone shouted.

“You are free to do so after you have paid the bills. Please be informed that there are no atmospheric suits in this compound. The only place you can breathe is within this resort.”

An engineer who could not overcome his curiosity asked, “How did you guys take over our ships?”

“I am sorry, I am not an engineer but I will try my best to answer. According to the news report, the electromagnetic pulse emitted from Mars Reactors contained machine codes that were written to override the codes of your Secondary Circuits. Once the codes were implanted, the Administrators can take over the ships by remote control.”

“What are you going to do with our ships?” the admiral asked. His greatest concern was on how to answer to his superiors on Earth.

“They will be auctioned to the highest bidders and the proceeds will be shared among the shareholders of this war. Thank you for asking. We wish you all the best. Linda out.”

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