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F/ffFrom: Mars Base/Dee. To: W. A.


“Time/date/location. See adds.

Now and then there is something wrong with this here keyboard…  All our original stuff has been repaired sixteen times over, or replaced by stuff made out of cast iron.

I’ve got a list of questions.

List A: see add/7.

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Also: We would like to receive more data on the availability of tool parts made of Beta Carbon Nitride: We are running out of Diamonds once again. And any more trips to the Moons are out of the question. No information about Bore Heads was send to us as of this date. "Earth Think Tank" data will be sent up shortly. That’s what we’ve been told just before take off.

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Four hundred. (400), Wheels: twenty cases of,

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End of E-mail: Dawn out.”



“To Dawn Mars Base/ date/ time/grid coordinates:


Hi Dawn,

Info on (beta carbon nitride), See add.

Music fragment. ”Muddy Waters. Forty days”. (Track 23, Muddy Waters the Father of Chicago Blues). Well, almost, I couldn’t fit in the file…”

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“You know what’s so nice about space travel?” 

“Excuse me?”

“No insects on the windscreen?” 


“ What was that all about, vibrations¼Woof, no we didn’t drive over a hedgehog, and¼ 

“Nah, we better check the riggings!”

A head came sticking out of a hatch; the room was shaped like a sixth of an old cartwheel, doors like those in a nuclear sub going to the rest of the wheel.  Up, and down?  The wheel was not spinning, matter a fact... it felt like it lay flat on the earth.  The floor, and the sealing being flat, the long walls curved.

“Piece of cake, got every thing on the monitor, it’s just a temperature adjustment problem...” “TAP again is it? Scares the flodus up the ahwa...”

“Right... an other eventful minute in our tin can”

They were six weeks out now, earth very small in the distance, the moon besides it. The ship had been gathered together as it were: in LEO, that’s low earth orbit, weeks ago. They had left burning an awful “Skip lode of H2”; gathered more and more momentum, delta V., And split up the ship, the empty fuel tanks hanging more than 2 km away from the hood of the toadstool. The ship had looked like as it fired its NERVA systems spitting hot steam into space like an angry “Katile”. That’ s also gothic, you guessed as much, or you use your translator. Water; up the river going nowhere.

Between the ship and the now no more useful engines and fuel tanks are tethers, C 60 cables.

Some people call them Clark Cables, but that’s an entirely different story. And now the two pieces of the ship are slowly circling around each other, a gentle space dance....

The Tin can in which they were living was designed for zero gravity, and for up being down, and down being up. Not so difficult really. The screens and stuff were in the walls, the doors too. Up/down, there were ladders. At launch up had been up, than it became nothing, and after the slow spin had began, up was down, and it would stay like that until they’d reach their destination.

They started with one earth “G”, slowly building that down into one Mars. Well¼that would be 38% of a G. “Finely I’m loosing weight” As Airtha wood say.

So now part of the crew was sitting on the ceiling, watching the writings on the wall, the design team had failed to mention all the strange noises that would be coming of the cables. The sun is playing an electric boogie. Sounds like those of steal doors in distant caves. Low and far away, waking you up in the middle of your sleeping period: sounds like a ghost kitten locked up inside a wall.

"These noises are different I'm telling you Bo¼. But: we have to do a job in 23 seconds: everybody standby for firing of  "B.L.A.S.T."  Systems.  (Basic laser application systems, and targeting.) Spectral analysis team; standby, ready. Ban Hoff targeted, cameras rolling action¼"

They were going to hit the planetoid with the laser beam, making a tiny spot on its surface glow, dark red light probably, and than put the light through a computer, the glow would be split in its basic colors. The colors would tell what Ban Hoff 2001b, was really made off. Much fuss about the big B. in the press in the past, and it played its role in history too. So: All the more reasons to shoot at it .The plan was to keep on shooting for at least a week.




They had been working for hours on end now, boring, everything was really done by some computer deep down in the belly of the ship. No more funny noises were heard.

Bo, Wolfs, and Airtha. Fire and watch, register, until the boys back on earth thought they knew enough. They were wearing blue overalls, pencils all over the place.

"Where is our tea?"

Airtha had phoned about the tea, 20 minutes ago she thought.

"Wait, wait, haurnjan!"


"Talk English, Woof, Airtha…”

“Shit, I can see our Laser! Blow the horn!"

"Get Debby on the phone"

Airtha got her on the phone, and told here to alarm the rest of the crew.

They got kind of tense; you can't see a beam of light, not until it reflects on something and there shouldn't be "something" in the vacuum they were flying through.

"Airtha what does that mean? Bad script writer?"

"Nah. We’re loosing something, dust trail?"

"Waste disposal system off line? Urion, its the well known constellation of Urion, you know!" " No I don’t… You mean Apollo, and the wastewater tale causing trouble re-calibrating the gyros..."

They read a lot of history during their training.

"So we better also recalibrate the spectral analysis we got of that rock, would be a funny kind of planetoid!"

Wolfs was watching the wall screens.

"Tis not that at all! Smarna to that Stairno, we’re in trouble, wake up the gang!"

"Debby 's been doing that Far…"

Bo hadn't said nothing; until now, but it hadn't been much.


"What say you?"

"I saw an explosion" (No sound in space)

"Take a hike!"

"To where? Comet Haley? It would cost an awful ship load of money to actually get there would­n't it?"

"Well, Actually, I never actually saw any money in my life."

“But what did ya see? A light started to flash, it said:"(Hand controlled flying) Direct Orbital Navigation Control"


Wolfs gave it a look.

"Who's making up all the crazy names, some crazy script writers?  Nah... Computers"

More lights, its difficult to keep control when your face is constantly changing color due to flashing purple lights...

"Basic Laser Application Systems Telemetry. BLAST".

Why is BLAST flashing purple? (Let your little light shine... Firing Lasers)

"Stop the shooting game, we got to check some things first. The thing is not on the right frequency, that was a piece of Ban Hoff you saw, that explosion. We do have a leak, and a laser problem, let me talk to my mashuggana computer, no that’s not Gothic. Yo! Computer

Wanna go for a walkabout?”

 “In a spaceship?”

“Yeah, but first talk to the ships computer, we’ve got a problem of some sorts…”


It took hours of cause and the problem only seemed to have disappeared…





(More or les) Tea break.


Debby had her nose glued to a computer monitor, reading aloud.

“Today we got a lot of work to do. We have to split up our ship in two halves. The now empty lift of fuel tanks, and rocket engines, are going to be separated from the rest of the ship. They'll still be connected to the ship via a lot of cables. Let's call them tethers.  What? Never mind. The ship's split in two we'll stay in the hood, the stem will act as a contra weight, and the two will dance around each other, and we will cycle all the way to Mars. The longer the cable the more gravity we will feel.

But for now we have a tea break “…

“Debby what are you reading?”

“Looking for some old articles about a gravity modification system, but now I’m reading our logs. Don’t ask; that’s what it says. Gravity, gravity, it has to do with gyroscopes. No, that’s not a Greek dish Bo”.

Bo was mumbling through the discussions from behind a bunch of very color full wires he was leading right through the compartment).

“Let me try?”

Wolfs took over the keyboard.

“Blah blah blah, blah, more logs. Got it. SUPER conductivity, under extreme cold conditions a gyroscope can produce a gravity modification. Right, Earth’s send this to keep us happy and entertained? Well Einstein talked about gravity and spinning objects. Ah, it says: “Unsolved due to Velikovski troubles… Yeah most scientists are growing potatoes these days, or they went for a Tsunami swim”.

“What you think Bo?”

Debby took back here paper and tried to find Bo, he looked like Electro Tarzan, wrestling with the Data Vines by now.

“Gimmy them pliers, we’ll be online in no time you’ll see”

“Right… I’ll go check on the rest of the crew. Bo why don’t you go and make ice cream or something, instead of short-circuits? After all you’re the ice expert. And me Debby, I’m the electro wizzardess? Right: rerouting retraining. Virtual cosmonauts, and my tea’s over and done with”

“Ice cream, you scream, everybody scream, Debby help me, and I’ll make you some”.

”Make what?”

“I scream”

By this time Wolfs passed by Bo and his vines, they were both sticking out of a square hole in the wall, (or was it a ceiling). He got to the next room safe. Debby tried to strangle Bo with some glass cable. By this time Airtha came along, to help them getting untangled.

(Lots of noise)

In a carbon black, and gold colored room. 

Half way… Through the window, one can now see: a tiny Red Dot.

  Some thing like this…













Is present



And changing

(You have

       some time)



Are formed

By information


(In the beginning

was the Word)


Only ten minutes


To Dawn: “That’s a lot of questions again!

1.The Gospel of St. John? We don't have it in Gothic, well we have, but it starts at chapter five, the beginning got lost some how. So we made a new translation, of the parts missing, which are not in de Codex copy I brought along"

It took ten minutes for the spoken letter to reach Mars, then the person at the other end needed time to answer, and than ten minutes more to get back to the ship.  Well it got shorter every day, as they got closer and closer to the now growing planet. So Wolfs taped the message, and it was sent in one tiny computer screech. Wolf took a break.

"Where are my sunflower seeds, Bo¼?” 

Bo looked up from his work, or maybe down, the gravity was off.

"You ate 'm all, shut up go talk to you Martian friend, I'm busy right"

"2.Pfff, mike, right, about time and space, what was the thing you talked about. In the beginning was the Word.  Math:  a). Time/Space.  b). Matter /Energy.  c). Information. These three things make up the entire Cosmos.  T/S exists because there is M/E, and that again is, because it carries information, how to explain these things in English, there is structure.

In the beginning was the Word."

"Earth quakes, we don't have many at home. After a big storm you don't have many dead branches falling out of a tree any more. All the big ones already happened when the Venus moon passed by. Ga nah, we had enough"

"3. Dawn, I should send you the form on the Zep. It's called the Thistle Down, (officially Eolus Bo says). And on the rovers, the Rover is also the cabin for the Zep. It's called the Tumbleweed. No, I didn't make up the name. Those membranes I told you about, they are controlled leakage Membranes, the let through CO2 into the atmosphere, actually, pump it through, against osmotic pressures and all. I'm talking garbage again Yah?"

"4. I don't know what the national sport of the Netherlands is, I'm sure its not Wieberen, even if she said she went wieberen, I'm a Goth, not a Saxon. I don't know that language very well. I'll pass on the question

I'll send you that form:”


The Thistle Down


A hybrid Zeppelin/Blimp design for extra terrestrial uses.

2030. April 25.  Friederichshafen.


Building materials Lifting body:


C60 tube-cloth.

Argon foam.


Gold wire.

Carbon cables.

Glass fibre/optic wire.

Electronic opponents.

Optical opponents.

Solar clothe.




Building materials cockpit/cargo/crew compartment:


See file Mars Rover. (Tumbleweed)


Lifting gasses:

Hydrogen/argon mix.


Propulsion in flight:


Hydrogen is used to make electricity, which is used to run the electric engines; solar cells are used to do the same.


The purpose of the Thistle Down is to give the Mars Two Crew high mobility and good access to any place on the planet, within the meteorological limits set for the Thistle Down.

To be able to properly operate the system on the planet Mars, (for other planets see files), an updated weather satellite sy­stem is needed, plus a positioning system, also satellite based.

Micro satellites can be used.

The basic design of a normal ZNT blimp can be used on Mars.

Adaptations; size will be 800L. Normal lifting body, VTL tur­ning engines.

Major difference: entire lifting body must be stored in a very small space, and the hydrogen gas needed must be restorable at all times. A non-leaking body must be used argon gas will be used as temperature differences loss buffer. Also cellular stru­cture and high-pressure tubing (pneu) will be used for obtaining structural integrity under extreme circumstances.


Translated out of High German may 15, 2030. Doggers-bank.


“Wolfs out”



“The Ultimate Tuna-Experience”


Wolfs woke up with a very sore throat, out of having the weirdest dream in days. Strange back ground noises, sounds out of pitch…
He jumped out of bed, stupid ape instinct like thing to do when you’re in space… “Dunk!”
“Wheat’s weed the saint see stems! Exile me. Dee Bee! Sheet! We heave ye he lee yum leak! (Cheese thee Mean eater and P.R.I.N.T.!”

Debby was next door, poking around with a screwdriver, the rest of the crew, well they were all in the neighborhood, what’d ya thinking?


“Wheat! Wheat?”

“Printing, W. we got a leak, this is He2!”

“Adjust the colors! Adjusting, wake up the whole gang! We’re loosing He2, helium, we need that helium, and this color stinks!”

“Peat thee speech seat ‘n!”

“Easy! Sheet!”


Sounds simple actually, getting twelve people away from their computers and what you have, and make them suit up…  Emergency suits, the quick version… Took ages. (26 minutes!) Finding the leak? That’s something entirely different once again, the ship’s build up out of a million and a quarter “systems”. Which all have to communicate with each other. We use C60 tube cloth. Well we told you about that. Micro wire. But still, the ship’s a not so virtual maze. Well behind the walls it is.

“Switch your microphone to channel 3 Bo! Debby Tap him on the shoulder. Three! Three...”

“Bo here, what’s the fuzz all about? I was having a nap!”

“You only thought you were having a nap! We used O2 to wake you up. You were in the middle of an He2 bubble…”

“Sheet indeed… Thanks, I could have woken up being deed in dead. Well, something like that. What now? Good question yeah?”

“Airtha here: Debby, get me blue prints, Woof get Mars on the phone, and tell your friend we’re in a hurry.  Bo go, get everybody, and tell them… well they can here me… Check, check. Eleven lights. Get all the air canned, put everything in its box. We have to open the door to get this one sealed. That’s my guess”

“Beep, Bo, here Deb, that’s only this part of the whole system. Must be. It flooded you first, and your pocket is low”

“Pocket, yeah. Air tight away from the axel. And I’m in the low gravity inner circle. I always told you that my back problem was killing me…”

“Beep, do I have to say beep first? W to Bo and Debby, must be the tubing going from 162\@14 He2, underneath Bo’s, going to the front end. 183\@14 He2…”

“Airtha here, right, I really need those blue prints, I don’t know all those numbers you know, you got the camera scull, not me. Ni waichts mis wulthrais ist! What ever! And Hurry!”

“Faith and Sonja here, Airtha, we closed a valve up here, section 183\, so now the cooling system will warm up… It’s our esteemed opinion that we’re at the source of the He2. The other canisters are connected in a different way. Now we got to open up the panels, and find the hole in one tube, is that fine with you?”

“Still want the blue print. Got it on the monitor now, thanks Deb. Look here…”

“Wolfs here; adanems Airtha! It’s a pleasure Mars is looking it up. Well they will be as soon as they get the letter. So we got to lock the doors to the rest of the ship, pack our personals and stuff against vacuum. And look for the icicles?”

“Airtha here, that’s a Roger, what did ya have for breakfast? Blue prints?”

“Swistar, it’s a curs, I can’t forget any thing! Let’s get started, move all our stuff to, behind the doors”

“Beep, eleven beeps”.

It’s hard moving around in an emergency space suit, your arms full with bags, cages full of animals. Jars, with plants floating around in them. Earth souvenirs, well those that can’t stand the vacuum of space. And they tried to do it breathing the air helium mixture, helmets off, looking at the meters with one eye. And the panels had to come off. It was a mess really!

“Yo, Airtha here. Well 25 minutes, (well) only the search party stays. We were slow! I’m out of breath! O2 is down to 17%, no wonder. All packed?  Bo? Abe? Wolfs? Faith? Debby? So? Ari? Jose? Luke? (Use the Force!) Anne? Doba? Me? Well I’ seen your hands! Abe, So, Me. We stay and scan. Rest Monitor from behind the doors.”

It took yet another halve hour of checking everything meanwhile they got two phone calls from two planets. Both telling them to do what they already had done. And they found out how to put hot water vapor in the leaky line, old Mars trick… Meanwhile they got closer to Mars all the time. And closer two a course-correction maneuver. To be able to do that, the ship had to be stopped from spinning. And naturally the hatches had to be closed…

“Roger, Helmets! Check! Wolfs, can ya hear us, well you can, put the steam in that pipe, I hope their trick works, it’s not really textbook!”

“Stand by, steam’s in, good hunt!”

Abe found the leak, welding, bad welding, Friday late welding! 186 cm away from where Bo had been “napping”. (Section sixteen, for those of you who want to look it up on the blue prints. If you want Mars Freighter blue prints, check the Web for them. Project Alexandria probably. Version AD 2087. (“Put all Mankind’s Knowledge in one Library!”).

“I’m closing the doors, last chance to look out side! (No thanks! We’re spinning. And the door is “underneath” my feet, 15 billion light years to the bottom!). Closing now. Locked! Abe check me. So, recheck please, and check Abe!”

They started on putting back all the panels, and the air was let back in again. Gently.

Things didn’t smell right….

“Fish! What is with the smell! Talking about fresh air! Yo! This is So. Everybody’s suits, I think, can go now, but we better check out that smell.”

“What Smell? Abe here

“Woooof! You forgot some thing, congratulations!”

“Here Wolfs; My Tuna tins! They must have exploded…. Smarna!”


In the coming days they had to change the configuration of the ship, no more gravity, and do some course corrections. Boring Dangerous and tiresome. And they didn’t know what they were in for. Just as well.


Landing story: The Big Picture.


They got things organized the Thistle Down un rapped, thing packed, including Airtha. And the first load to move over to Mars base. Took a day to get organized, and to mothball the Lander’s engines to make phone calls. They were all in shock… So no talking, well almost. They past the craters rim, and crossed stretches of endless regolith fields, potato’s they’d later learn. Until they reached the rim of a huge canyon.

“The labyrinth of the night, we’re getting somewhere….how much wind?  No wind, air pressure?  5? Still the same, we going over the edge, and down… “

Took 20 minutes, almost a third of an hour, to get down to the canyon floor it looked like a dump, a boulders and gravel dump, not a sign of human activity to be seen, and shadows, the sun was getting lower. Too low for good visual in 40 minutes. The canyon, vast, empty? They did get lot’s of telemetry, from somewhere under the ruble a computer has calling out. No voices now.

“Temperature minus 40 c, air 6, no wind. What says the beeper?”  

Wolfs was in the chair, well standing actually, Debby steering, Bo steering. Wolfs Robot plugged in.

“Echo’s. Our engine noises are coming back, or what is that?  Horn?    Sounds like a Shofar out of pitch.  Lights, I see our parking spot, we’re of cause off course, 17 degrees port, level off crew shoot the planet, when I say so…  “

The blimp looked microscopic against the back drop of brown and red striped canyon walls, and huge landslides coming down from the sky. (A Shy that started to grow red grey). The Zep circled around three times, lost height, and three harpoons were shot into the gravel some 20 L. under the ship now.

“Langsam! Longsome, slow, pumps!” 

German orders, you can’t fly a Zeppelin in Gothic or English…  Very controlled and relaxed.  Until the ship settled down on a tiny landing spot, the engine switched to standby revs.

About a thousand ell from the place where they landed was a not so small round hatch, fitted into an outcrop, no, bricks, they’d flown half a year, and now they looked at bricks. Very ordinary bricks.

“Suit check! Debby? Bo?  Wheelbarrow?” 

They hadn’t detached the rover from the rest of the Zeppelin; they had to do a lot more flying soon. They just did their air saving things, their Helium things, their…it took an other hour.

“Door open, does the intercom w…”

“Wolf? Dawn here, we opening the vault door… Hmm? The big one. You can come in. Over”

“Roger, glad to hear a voice. Jah, we are locking up”

Silence, they were dead tired. The hole in the wall opened somehow, two ants came out.

“Your luggage Sir? Hi! Hurry, we’ll soon freeze, my suit is bad”

A group of people, nothing unusual. The passing of the door changed them back into the right size, no more ants. More bricks, and rock face, covered with a slimy (?) Lair of plastic.  More doors. Air lock,  rail.

“Helmets, check air, we have air. Mars? Are you hearing this?”   

“Take your hood off, it’s safe,  hi, saves power , batteries are irreplaceable!! Hi! You smell.., you Wolfs? Yeah. Hi!!”

 “Yeah…well, we finally get together, smerna….”

“Hi, you all look shit!! Sorry to say so, is that blimp secure, yeah sure it is…I know

“We got luggage, and a, yeah, you know, lets get organized, I’m falling off me feet, and it isn’t the gravity, all of us”.

They were taken to an other door the new crew…and the lights switched off.

Next Day 

Hear! My sister is silent! Hear again, I don’t remember…..We crossed the lake, we thought we were alone. And the storm took one of us”.

Debby stood next to a cylinder. They all stood in a rather big cave. She was doing the reading. They were going to bring her outside after the reading, to the top of the cliff. The dust would take the body over after that.

“Hear, and listen, the storm took us and we thought we were alone. But the Lord got here before us, I’ll read some words…

 : iþ swe seiþu warþ, atiddjedun siponjos is ana marein,
And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea,
 : jah usstigun in skip, iddjedunuh ufar marein in Kafarnaum. jah riqis juþan warþ jah ni atiddja nauhþan du im Iesus.
And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward
Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them.
: iþ marei winda mikilamma waiandin urraisida was.
And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew.
 : þaruh farjandans swe spaurde ·k· jah ·e· aiþþau ·l· gasaihvand Iesu gaggandan ana marein jah nehva skipa qimandan jah ohtedun sis.
So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid.
CA : þaruh is qaþ <im>: ik im, ni ogeiþ izwis.
But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid.
 : þaruh wildedun ina niman in skip, jah sunsaiw þata skip warþ ana airþai ana þoei eis iddjedun.
Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.
 : iftumin daga managei sei stoþ hindar marein, sehvun þatei skip anþar ni was jainar alja ain, jah þatei miþ-ni-qam siponjam seinaim Iesus in þata skip, ak ainai siponjos is galiþun.
The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one where into his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone;
 : anþara þan skipa qemun us Tibairiadau nehva þamma stada, þarei matidedun hlaif, ana þammei awiliudoda frauja.
(Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:)
 : þaruh þan gasahv managei þatei Iesus nist jainar nih siponjos is, gastigun in skipa jah qemun in Kafarnaum sokjandans Iesu.
When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to
Capernaum, seeking for Jesus.
CA : jah bigetun ina hindar marein qeþunuh du imma: rabbei, hvan her qamt?
And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?
26 : andhof im Iesus jah qaþ: amen amen qiþa izwis, sokeiþ mik, ni þatei sehvuþ taiknins jah fauratanja, ak þatei matideduþ þize hlaibe jah sadai waurþuþ.
Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.
 : waurkjaiþ ni þana mat þana fralusanan, ak mat þana wisandan du libainai aiweinon, þanei sunus mans gibiþ izwis; þanuh auk atta gasiglida guþ.
Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
CA : þaruh qeþun du imma: hva taujaima, ei waurkjaima waurstwa gudis?
Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
 : andhof Iesus jah qaþ du im: þat-ist waurstw gudis, ei galaubjaiþ þammei insandida jains.
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”


A lot more was said, at last, and the chief produced some rocket fuel; that might have helped. They stood for 4 hours in the room, sang all the songs they remembered. Mostly in English though, and one in Navajo.

They had to suit up again before carrying her to the top, through an almost endless mote run of a tunnel. Through a double airlock 6 people and a coffin, the rest stayed behind.  The stars were up shining Wega, (Llyra).

“Dawn? “ 

She took his head in her hands stood next to him and put her helmet against his, made him stop.

“Hi, we don’t use the radio, if we want to chat woof, just sound will do the trick if we let the helmets touch, we have to leave her on the top and take distance, the dust will burn her, react with the water. She’ll be part of Mars too, just like us.”

They put Airtha on the rock, in plane cloth, and stapped back, nothing happened, at first. Several minutes. 

“Vapour…, she’s doing a Viking reaction”

“Don’t fall Wolfs, we going back, she’ll evaporate, and the morning wind will take her, that’s the way we all go… bye AirthAA!! We leave you now”

They all went back. No radio.




Working on the base, fixing things. Spaghetti


The smell of a memory


"What does Mars smell like, well, nobody ever thought about it really, as we got stuck here in the Labyrinth, we had other things on our minds yah?

We came here with three ships, three other ships waiting for us at Ol' 'Gussev, that be, 14 south, 194 west, as we got to Mars we had to do a DOA, no that's Direct Orbital Approach, because of all the ice. Well you know that story. Any how where was I?”

"We were talking about smell actually Ma'am.”

"Right, well we landed, tried to, land 10 south, 092 west, big crater, s 'called Oudemans, we managed to stick together, during decent, but we landed upstairs, you know, you've seen the Landers. Earth control managed to send mining stuff to us down from the moons. And that was it for a long time, no more stuff from earth. We didn't made it to Gussev, no way, we did get the hopper, to get us on the moons, for more stuff. Now you still don't know what Mars smells like, I should know being a real Alien...”

"Yah, Dawn told me, I mean the word play..."

"You like Dawn?” 


"We, used the tunneling robots to get underground, and into the Labyrinthus, we used the tunnels as farming ground, the hillside openings for the green plants, the dark tunnels for the mushrooms, and the mice, well we had a complete bioto­pe, sort off on board. The plan was to start a permanent base anyhow, in stages that is to say. You like her?"

"Hi! Hi Woof, you interviewing my ma? Or is she interviewing you? Woof you like plants?"  "Yes, some of my best friends are vegetables..."

"You call me Alien, not Ma'am, I guess the interview is over, it’s getting crowded over here"

They were in the big room, of Mars two’s Zeppelin, well what is big, they just got it connected with one of the Mars one Landers. So now every body had a look, excuse or no excuse, the room was designed, to be a canteen, and a Rover, (or a living room, or all purpose place) during the flight. Now there were three people in the room, and noise in the tunnel.

"I was asking your mother what Mars really smells like, and why try to sniff a planet anyhow, bye the way, that be Bo, the noises. He’s always singing s­ongs."

"Smell, ma, you told him about the minerals? Woof, we need minerals for the plants. Soil smells, every mineral smells, no, some do, but I’m not going to put my nose out doors, 9 m­bar, does that to you. So we took a plastic bag out side, took it in again, well, smelled like plastic bag...  So we compressed raw Mars’s air, CO2 is not something you want to smell either though, to inhale, and the dust is not healthy too. Well we found a solution at the end..." "Hey!" What's happening! Wolfs, I found ice! And.... "

"It smells like bricks, and sometimes like ashes, and electricity, we look, no; smell for places, that smell like a rainy day, that's where we dig, I'm gonna show Woof the gardens, that was on the list, bye Bo, Ma, come Woof!’’

’Yes Ma'am’’


COLORS (The Shades of Hades)



"Don't you see all the colors then?"

"I only see red, and than more red, and darkness, stones, rocks and ruble. Regolith. Hardly any differentiation as to what colors are concerned."

"There are so many colors! Pink, Ochre, Shady Brown, Light Brown, Woody, Grass Rock, (you know, the most common rock), Orange gravel, Sand dust Red. Tree, (that is high boulder).  Salty Red, Strawberry, Cherry in the Shadow... And don't you see the Dried Pepperonis. Kangaroo, Foxes?"

"Yeah, I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder… I can see that there are differences. You can give me the frequency numbers of those colors, I know. You see the blue bag?"

"No… where…Behind the Potatoes?  That is blue? We call that gray… I saw Annie use those grays. She can really see those colors, Bo taught her she says. I thought she was using artistic freedom, some thing like that"

"Psychology, you can not see the colors you haven't learned to see, colors you haven't given a name, like yellows, greens blues…"

"I thought Blues was music. Just joking"

They were very busy, Dee, and Wolfs. About One Nautical away from their vehicle, that's the same as 2000 L. Or One km. They used their radios. Annie was still in the Walker, doing computer work.

"Woof… the more light there is the more color one can see. But my eyes are used to low intensity lights, so I see more variations, I'm not buying all that psychology crap really…"

"Well. That's a meteorite? We were trained in the "Psi" stuff, to prevent us from killing each other on the trip I guess. Well, understand the difference between heartburn, and a burning heart might come in handy. Take distance from how your body feels, recognize that some feelings are physical. And learn to look, well, we were also trained as field Geologist, Bo did that, and our Ice specialist Marley. We learned to see. I mean to SEE. Well, You heard Bo about the words he has for snow and ice in his native tongue."

"That ain't no Meteorite, just dump it. Remember Woo; I told you we ran out of light bulbs one night. That story, well not all of them at the same moment sure, but still I grew up in the shades of Hades"

"The what? Ragnaruk!"

"No reason for Theological Jargon... Oh. You hurt your foot! Let me see the suite. It's all right. No, there's no O2 on the scanner, no leaks. If you damage that suite your leg will freeze off, and my Dad will get angry. Let's stop jabbing and watch out for a change."

"That's a meteorite I'm sure this time. It's not "Crimson some thing", and not "brown with an edge to it. And thanks for worrying about my well being "

"Right, your right, into the golf cart it goes. …"

"The shades of Hades, that's when you folks ran out of stuff. And Sushi San remembered Tarzan and the Ant people, (traditional Japanese folklore?) And the CO2 candles. (SiH + CO2 = SiO2 + H2O.) Those lamps that burn on CO2, so Tarzan finally made it to Barsoon."

"Bar who?"

"Never mind Princes. I am mixing up books. Colors, so I better learn to see things your way, or use the computer and the spectrograph. Still strange you didn't see the blue bag. You can see greens, with all your little green friends down at botanical… and all that. I hope some one waters the plants… Just joking. Blue is just green without the yellow I guess. Let me shine some light on the bag"

Wolfs had picked up the blue bag, actually it was blue green, Wolfs can't really see the difference between a lot of blues and greens, but don't you tell him that...

They were in a huge boulder field in a canyon. The canyon was in a ravine, which was in a big gorge… Yeah that’s Mars for you. Anyhow, they were not far from home. Their job, counting "Space Debris", how much is coming down. They were setting up the telescopes they brought with them, both in orbit around Mars, and at the base. But small bits can't be seen through the scope. And some how it did matter to some Scientist back on earth, or maybe a computer.

"More light doesn't do the trick, it's still all gray to me Woo"

"Your eyes are different I think, can you see Warm and cold too?"

"Nope, can you? In your dreams, I think you'll learn to see all the colors soon enough, my mother sees the same color I see. I think, well we never noticed, we differ; maybe there is psychology involved after all. Let the boys back on earth do some science on it"

"Computer, remember: Colors/Mars." 


"Maniac, who taught you to go "Beep" Computer?"

"It's the flue Boss"

"Dee you should talk with Bo when he talks about his snows. Nunatak knows his Snows"

"Woof you take Ma to the snow in the Thistle Down?"

"Snow, Pink snow no doubt, up North, that's up to the scientists among us, and back on earth to find out if we should go there"

"Pink Snow? I thought Snow is white. Right?"

" It's hard for me to see the structure of the landscape you know let alone the colors. I hardly can see the patterns I only see loose stones"

"Woof, I'll show you, at the shore line, I'll teach you see the structures at the old shore line. Down at the groove."

"You mean the Groove up North (around the corner) a thousand Nautical.  20,000 L? My Balloons have made pictures of some nice spots"

"Make that a thousand km. And you're about right. I think it's about time to head for home; Annie will start to think we're in trouble, or we're up to something. Well in a space suit… never mind"

The radio gave a buzz.

"Annie her. I'm listening in, I was starting to worry you got that one right, we're in for some weather, so get your butts over here, where I can watch them"

"Excuse me. Ga tamja your tongue. Tharba. Poverty. Dee telephone call for you, you talk Annie to this place, to many rocks. Let's do this the easy way.  Wolfs tawido Runa. I'll write down, make notes meanwhile"

"Your Gothic is going down the drain Woof. Yeah: Annie, just follow the breadcrumbs, can you manage? We did pick up a lot of kilos this run"

"Winds! We got wind, I mean more than usually. Annie, 10 minutes?"

"Roger that, now shut up, I'm driving this thing, I don't want any flat tires, or what"

"Break a leg?"

"Dee that's not funny let here drive, come over here"

She went to sit down besides him on a flat rock, brown orange, with a shade of violet, but they didn't notice. They'd switched of their microphones, so not to transmit, and take away Annie's attention from walking the Wokkah, to where they were now having a talk helmet to helmet. There are no computer records of their conversation…Well they though there weren't anyhow.

The atmosphere was slowly pickling up dust, changing all the colors once more, but Wolfs didn't notice.

"You got green eyes…"

"Yeah, and hear in my ears, I know. Annie is coming; I can feel the ground vibrating. This rock is a good resonator Liufs"

"That's a new word, I'll look it up you know that. Tell me? I think we'll be fine. Right?"

"There she comes I think. I forgot Maniac. He is still recording, no privacy, not even on Mars…"

They were looking at the vehicle now approaching.

"It's amazing you know" "What is? Your suit is dusty…"

"I can see Vega, she's low over that edge" 

"You mean the North Star? Yeah that must be Vega the Polar star, sky's clear this time of day, shouldn't be so if we're having Winds. What's so amazing than…?" 

"On Earth you can't see…"

"Earth Smearth… I didn't have much time to watch the skies lately, I've been trying to figure out how to make soap"

"Give me the hammer, I wanna give this hear rock a try, Stiwiti, easy, looks like something? Looks like Smarna, might be meteorite, iron nickel. Dee, Earth is not so bad whence you get used to it" 

"Yeah, I know I've seen the Movie, I'm not leaving home Woof, I know you didn't say that. Why are you on Mars? I know, to watch for the next Big One"

"We're here because of politics I think"

They got on top of a heap of rubble; no other word to describe it, there was a pink haze hanging over the boulder field down the heap, as far as one could see. Which isn't very far, the horizon is close by here. Some mountaintops, (or were they the rim of a crater?) were sticking out from behind the horizon like sails of a ship. Well the shady side was whitish kind of. Water crystals no doubt.

The radio gave a buzz again.

"Wake up you two!"

"Right…Lets get into the Wokkah" 

"I'm dying for a Mars Mellow, and coffee…"

"And coffee"

They got over to the walker. Now they had to use the radio again. They walked down the heap, and got to the transport,

"You really can't see the stars near the horizon, not where I grew up you couldn't, well I'm still growing up I guess. I'm on Mars because I combine every thing, in my mind I mean. They told me I'm like Hawkings, only, I can't count"

"Hawkings, you mean the Cook? I saw a food program…No you mean the Ghost. Say When…"


"Let me help you with the air lock"

Wolfs helped Dawn up the stairs, and handed the gear to her.

"Why did I have to say when?"

"Just kidding, I was thinking about that coffee. Door?"

Walker, you ride in it, and you'll start to call it Wokkah like anybody else.

They opened the second door after the first was closed, did the usual dust rituals, got the usual comments from Annie…

"Wolfs, Dawn, what was with the Ghost, Ahma, I don't know that story, what is with Hawkings and a Ghost?"

"Well… It is said… That Hawkings, just before he died, succeeded in downloading his spirit into the Cambridge Main computer banks. And now he can't get out, he has to complete the Grand Theorem before he is set free..."

 "Crazy English story"

"Yeah, yeah, I don't like the story myself either, my computer has the flue, no not a virus, it's a sugar molecule based computer. Gimmy an other one of them cookies, Mars Mellows? Some one has been home sick after all. Your dad?"

"Right, Cookie. Got to phone home, it's time"


(This is where Wolfs “s supposed to give an account of the time they baked a fake Ammonite fossil to play a trick on Harm, who was on one of his Visniac hunts.)




The girls were talking; helmet against helmet, to save the batteries?  Wolfs was digging some sort of hole down the road, "out of sight!"  (Gone rock crazy…)

"Butterflies in the belly? Just don't eat so many of them Caterpillars. Dawn…"

" Yes Annie…."

"Maybe it’s Seasickness, space sick, what ever, I feel like they've fed me space cake”

"We only eat space cake..."

" Yes dear…"

Dawn changed the subject. Looking around. "There's a haze hanging in this hall"  

"Nicely put, where did ya get so poetic....”?

"I read the Codex they brought along, the technical sister…she gave it to me…its very powerful. What are you doing? Checking on our Greenhorn…"

"Your the one mothering over him Dee, not me, you like him? "


"Right, caterpillars..."

Wolfs showed up tapping against his antenna. "KKRRRT Adio on" Dee switched on her microphone, helmet against helmet you can talk without radio, saves batteries and friends.

"What you ladies talking?"

"We're just sparing the batteries…"

"Yah, spare me…"

Dawn changed the tune. "What you found? Gulth?"

"There ain't no Gulth in this here Groba Swestar, nothing one can greipan".

Annie got irritated…"Break, break Gutthiuda, can we stick to plane old Japanese? Hai?"

"Let's eat, set up the tent"

Wolfs got the tent out of his backpack, and started to clear the ground from sharp debris.

They had entered through what seamed to be an outlet of some sort, high enough to put a zeppelin through actually, huge as life…right, the hole was at the end of a valley about six miles across, mars miles, that's about 12000L, a mars sea mile?  Well awfully dry stuff all these figures,  's dry as mars its oceans.  They were following in the footsteps of a robot scout. The scout got stuck in the entrance of the cave, where it still lay in the deep shadow behind, yet another rock.

FOOD: "What are you going to eat?" 

“Mouse kebab”

Wolfs looked out over the river valley coming out of the cave, their tent was set up in the opening of the hall. "Give me one of the RRTE's, I'm not a cat"

Gravel as far as the eye reaches, that's not as far as on earth, but far enough. Gravel, rocks, and stones, stones shaped like weird potatoes, stones that look like peanuts, gravel covered with dents, like some sort of acid had been eating it.

Wolf threw a look at Anansi, Dawns Robo-spider; it had died of lack of sunlight.

"Why Anansi?"  Annie told him.

"ANANSI; Ares Robot spiders, scouting the Northern Ocean basin of Mars, roles out its web to Collect solar energy, and go on when the Batteries are charged again"  

"Yeah and the name is short for: Ares, Northern, Automated, Nautical, Search, Investigate. Anansi is the smart spider in West African stories"

"Well Dee, your spider seems quite at a loss here, no sunshine?" 

"Yep, give me some of that, ration ready to eat? "

They unpacked the tent, checked for sharp stones, and got settled. They were sitting in their balloon, which made it possible to eat, take their helmets off for a moment... (They were scratching their heads all of the time, Wolf gave some extra attention to his nose).

"Dee, scratch my back, I got dust in my suit, I think" 

" Nah you don't, I checked you guys before you left, no iron on the scanners, its your Chimpanzee grandfather, you just like somebody to scratch your back "

They ate their rations for a while, not saying anything.

Wolfs stared at the opening into the distance, a giant pinkish fjord: stretching out into a murky haze. The cave, it was even darker, the sun was not shining into it yet. Big boulders, and bare rock face, only little patches of the regular regolith. Wolfs swallowed his rations and spoke.

"Let's phone home, and tell'm where we are, and what we're up to, right. And get the spider out of the shadows, there's a rock on top of it too. Right wasuh than hulundi jah staina ufarlagida was ufaro, check it out!"

"Hai ittemo ii desu ka?"


"Dee, Woof, Can I continue, the tent, to fix the spider, a stone was resting on her? We got to get dressed. So let's pack, and look around in this hole. I got the feeling we might find ourselves some ice, that is, if you're through scratching"    

Dee gave a look to Annie. Woof was clumsying around with his helmet.

"I've been thinking about these caves, how are you getting along with the radio? Radio is week isn't it? We might find us some metals after all. They put their helmets on, can't get out of the tent without a helmet can you? "Hallo?  Radio, Dee? I'm deaf, Annie? "

Annie hit her helmet against Wolfs.

"Wire up your head set first, and stay sharp greenhorn! Every mistake is usually lethal out here. Off goes the helmet in go the wires, on goes the helmet. Check all your numbers; check all my numbers. Check all Dees numbers"

Annie took his helmet off, fixed it and put it over his head again.

"Yeah been doing that…"

"I know, but now I'll switch your radio on. Hallo Dee? Test, test"

"What was all that about you checking my numbers?"

"The tent Ladies, and the gear…please"

They checked their suits again and opened the tent, a few crumbs of ration started to smoke as they fell on the rocky floor.

"Help me to clean the tent and put it back into the sack, Dee check the O2, we have about a half hour to walk back to the Zep from this point"

They'd come from base camp with the Thistle Down, parked it in the fjord as they found out it ended in a cull de sack, dead end road. Their purpose was to find back seven of the robot spiders they'd send out, some 17 days before, five of them they got back now. All ran into "Shadow". 

"Annie, how's Radio doing, E.T. Phone home, and all that, crumbs are smoking…?"

"There's moister in them, I've got our signal through to base, Dee is the stuff ready to leave it down here I mean, we can pick it up on the way out. You got to fix this here Spider any how."

The girls started a helmet to helmet conversation about the spider, about the O2 situation, Wolfs made notes, note books burn usually when they get dusty, and this one had several little holes in it all ready. Don't take your out door note book indoors!

They got the tent in its sack, Wolfs rocks in their boxes, and lifted the Spider away out of the cave to a place where the sun would recharge the batteries. Most of the Spiders were on the move again. One they had to revisit later it wasn't moving the Base camps computers had told them yesterday.

"Dee?"  Wolf walked to her and put his helmet against hers. "Dee, I'm used to using the radio, well we will as we get moving, are we ready to move?" 

"How's your back? We're ready. Let's get on air channel 2, Annie hallo?"

"Yep, You can get let go of her now, head'm out and move'm up! "

They started out into the cave, "Grass rock", fine dust, and very big boulders. There was indeed a haze hanging in the hall. The roof was about 90 L up the walls were 500 L apart from each other, at the entrance they were 

"Big Burrow, must be ancient, keep checking out the ceiling Wolfs, Sure don't like the biggies, the grass is getting thinner. There must have been a lot of water here"

They called the most common type of gravel and fields of small rocks "grass".

"Lots of water 500 million ages ago, that's not much off any help swistar, tagrja, weep, and you'll have water. Stainahs, stony, well we have still enough light"

They got in 2000L, or one of Mars' nautical miles, the cavern floor started to slope downwards considerable, the roof got lower too, enormous blocks of layered material, call it rock, space ship sized started to block the road.

"Dee I don't like it in here, we're getting nowhere, and not pretty fast either. Wolfs' got his samples, no H2 number's up on my counter even, no ice…"

"Back up ladies! 'tis the floor, unstable, Afdomeis!".

"Woof! He's…"  "Back up Dee!" Annie pushed Dee back. The floor had collapsed. And a vapor was rising out of the hole. "Radio! Woof! Woof! Dee get a cable, we gotta have a look over the edge, if he got a leak he's a goner in no time!"

The vapor started to get thicker; sand was streaming into the hole, making strange noises in the cave. They'd just passed between two huge boulders as Wolfs disappeared into the ground. The hole had edges looked like bone, broken bone, what?

"Ice, we're on thin ice, ice mixed with crimson!

The radio started to crackle, coming to live.


"Woof is that you?"

"Bairths! Barn. I'm in a pool of some sorts, I'm floating: we stuck gold. Get me out Dee. Afgrunditha, Abyss. I don't like it. Is it Wolfs! Bright…"

"Isn't going to be easy to get you out, without getting us in, you went through a sheet of ice. Put on the helmet lights, can you find the switch this time, Wolfs? Wolfs! Annie hook me up I'm going to have a peek over the side. Wolf watch out there might be falling debris again. Wolfs!?"

"I hear you, I'm swimming. This place is big. Should be safe to have a look over the side. The hole is like a chimney sorts" "I can see your light 23 L. Yeah 23. Give me a cable Annie." 

The hole was only just big enough to fall some body fall through. The ice had stopped the water from boiling away, the dust had protected the ice from eroding away, the Goth had ended a millennia old relation, the water started to boil slowly.

"Autch!  I got your rope, it hit my shoulder, vision is bad, fog. I got my foot in, get me out of here!"

"Got that, but you got to Climb out your selves. You're the one with the Terran muscles".

Wolfs got himself out; it wasn't too easy after all. By the time he got out he looked like “The Glazed Gladiator”, water ice all over the place.

"Your antenna is covered with ice…" Dee gave Wolfs a hug, laying on the edge of the hole.

Let's back off a bit more first, before you two work on better communications yeah, away from the hole"

They got back several Ls still on the ground. The hole looked like just a dark spot in the shadows. Still smoking though.

They checked Wolfs suit, made him move around his arms… Until he got enough of it.

"It's just this single hole I think, connecting the underground "Rez" with the cave up here. Get the tent we'll use it to plug the hole, we mustn't loose all the water. Like all of it going up into smoke, now we know where the haze came from."

"Right, good thinking Dee… Annie give me hand with the tent, I'm shaky. No more tests, we'll do that in the Zep.



Ach chyehe.


They were sitting, eating mushrooms. Bo, a string of black hair, falling down to the tip of his nose all of the time, listening to the distant noises coming through the rocky walls

"Sounds like starlight taking a detour…"

And Rain stirring around in his bowl.

("Weird!") Alien; a pile of computer printouts besides her plate.

"Yeah you got that one right"

"I didn't know they took these mushrooms along with them to Mars"

“Actually they didn't, the mushrooms hitchhiked along, on the salad…"

"Who's there...airlock…?” They'd been Talking things over all morning.

"If you want to build on permafrost, you better take care you don't warm up the soil, otherwise you'll end up floating around, in a hundred meters of mud, that's 200 el"

"Yeah I know, I used to live on it, permanently perma frozen" Bo was still fighting his hair. "About the farming village model…Farming villages, of about 12 families are known to be stable for thousands of years sometimes, they exist continually… What? They also have stables yeah… Well the plan was to form a stable community here on Mars, psychological stable, ecologically stable… We just hadn't thought our cattle would consist of mice..."

Alien looked up. "Hi Wolfs, Dawn"

"Bo, Dad, Mama…!" 

"So my daughter took you for a swim, did she?  Nani naagoo hazho ogo adaa ahonindzingo ninina, like they say, know who you are and go in harmony. Who are you?" 

"Wolfs yenesh ya" Said Wolfs.

"Yeah, and the rest of your name is Lost" 

"Rain, let them be, I talked with Wolfs, Dawn will take good care of him. She's been looking for places to let here plants grow wild..." 

"Yeah, he better watch it..."

"So who's teaching you Tenapazad/Navaho?"


"That's the computer they brought along."

Wolf watched the group. In his mind he was counting (in Navaho). It takes about 10 seconds. To get from this kind of conversation to a coffee break… “Asai, nikeye, tra, tea, ashtla, astra, tzoosut, tzaybee, nastay, nesna…”

"Do we have any coffee?" (Dawn had just recently discovered coffee, and got hooked.)

“Annie’s comin' also? The Spider catchers team’s back home"

They being Dee, Wolfs and Annie had been off testing the Thistle Down. And the ladies had to learn how to fly; meanwhile they picked up Dees Robot Spiders. Rain got some extra gray in his hair since that last trip. Well they did go back to the cave several times now.


"Thanks Annie" 

"Upgraded again are we?" 

"I got more results, yes Bo, Deuterium figures for Dees swimming pool, normal, Faith has been making a new bunch of paper, pencils too, coffee?"

Wolfs found a place to sit. A big strangely shaped boulder. He didn't know he was sitting on "Yogi", a souvenir from a 20-century robot trip to Mars... He tried to scratch his shoulder. Yogi lay in the corner of the round room they used as a coffee saloon. Dee joined him. No respect for history, or she tried to protect him from embarrassment. After all you don't go sitting around on historical boulders. Well who put it in the canteen in the first place? Annie found a stool. She waved around with her newly made, sample of paper. ("So you made paper? Now we can start our own little Bureaucracy!").

Wolf tried not to fall off the boulder and tried to get some attention, first looking at Alien.

"Chief, we be needing radio actives, well we brought plenty along down from earth, but we can get more. I want to take out the Down out for a grand tour, go and find the probes the "Russians" shot at us last Century". 

Alien was not the Chief; still she got a word in first. "So it is “Us” now?"

"Yes Ma'am, but what I was getting at, we worked out some plans, Maniac, me and Dee, well approximately, we know where the Russians are. But it's not ours to decide, there's still plenty of work, getting more water out of the cave. And plenty of upgrading the Base"

" And Dad, we can't fly that far without the back up team, and well, Woof been working it all out, actually, I need the stuff for the plants, the Isotopes. Bo Your hair is hanging in your soup"

Bo got his hair out of his soup. Rain scratched his (considerable) nose and looked at his wife.

"So you want to have a Roll Call I guess, we have to find out the costs and the profits. We're tight in everything. Well you know all that. We do need to get to know our place better. The Planet."

Steward came in took some soup, and listened to the talking.

"Yeah, we got as far as Phobos up and down, and drove around in the Labyrinth, I'd like to get around the corner though, into the Groove"

W2 stared at the wall, his daughter had painted a Mammoth on it, but he seemed to stare right through it.

"W2, what is the Groove?  What Groove? Vallis Marinensis? Right, big Groove indeed."

Bo wasn't used to giving simple names to things yet. His hair got hungry again and he was testing his nostrils for debris. (“That’s no Moon! That’s a space ship!)

"Right, we haven't had much of a chance to look around yet, Phobos, I'd like to get to Gussev, pick up the mail, start a second Base, look for Visniacs, that would be nice"

Rain looked at W2.

 "We haven't had much of a chance to do so have we? Gussev, that's were the bus to earth is parked, the telemetry says it's still in working order. Well we got one parked right at our front door right now thanks to Bo and the rest of you, I'm still trying to get the dust off the windows"

"Let's get every thing together, all our ideas, and all the people, and consider all our options, Dawn and me, and Annie too, we'd to give it a try, I mean get to have a look around All right lets get rolling!”



Laws on Mars.


"Yeah we have laws, our Law? Stay alive; avoid problems. Well isn't that the same back on earth?

Let me see… Property? We all have our own things. And we have the tools and things we share. We are a tight community.

What do we share? Air, water, food, shelter, energy, communication, information, hope for the future.

Laws, I think WW has been writing up a bunch of those. I will have a peek into his files…

Right, I will try to translate what he wrote into Gothic.

What should our Laws help accomplish? Survival (for now). As an individual, as a family, as a Nation, for now and in the future.

Who is King on our world? Specialists make the call in their field.

We all get to know what we are able off, and what the others are good at. And so not good at.

And if we don't know, we find out through training.

Well it's always about staying alive, the Basics, We don't have the time, energy, or resources, to fool around much, do we.

What about doing Science? That usually pays off well; anything we learn about Mars is useful.

The Constitution of Mars is a survival handbook really.

Let's see, ah here is something…


Martian Declaration: “Ground Rules”.


(Test model.)

One Nation Declaration:

There is only one Nation on Mars.

There is only one Language on Mars, it contains all the words of all the languages ever spoken, plus the words not yet spoken, all languages are off the same value, we will share all the words we know with each other.

Every person has the right to use, consume, Air and water, shelter and food, as much as all the others.

All have the duty to produce these goods.

You have the duty to share Air and Water, Sustenance and Shelter.

(The right of privacy, the duty of hospitality, conflicts).

Communication, sharing of technological knowledge.

One God, One Nation, One Language, One Law, One Voice?

I wonder when we run into trouble.

Private property. (Land).


You can own what you can put under a roof, land surface that is. Or the surface, which is above your roof. 

We do not go out side alone, only in emergency situations, and after consulting others.

We all have the right to ask for help.

We help each other as a group. We do not have the duty (or the right) to risk our lives. Not even for others, without consulting others, we must always consult.

We don't waste nothing.

Materials, we do not do anything we can't undo, without consulting. No pollution, no risks, no hurry.

Decisions in emergency situations:


Blah, blah,  blah.

Well there is much more…"

"It is as clear as mud, but it covers the ground"

"Let's see…

If there is time for a meeting, do so, if there is no time the chosen leaders do make the calls, and the ones who posses the knowledge about the situation assist.

After things ease down, things will be talked over by the Folks Thing. Specially, when there was disagreement, or there were accidents, or materials got lost, or even wasted...


We all ways write down, how much there is, how much we had, how much we used, and how much we are going to use. In addition, we write down how much we hope to obtain.

Tools, food, water, air, shelter, and energy….


Energy. Wind, Solar, Thermal. Mars has these.


Nuclear, chemical, Biological.  Have to be imported from earth.

As no radioactive materials have been found on Mars as yet, we know how long what we have will last, so we use what we have, to develop sustainable energy sources.

We use energy we will not have in the future, to tap into energy sources we will have in the future.

Also we use week materials to make stronger materials etc. Spread out our resources; don't put all the eggs in one basket. Survival is our business.

Those who do not want to work have to go back to earth if possible, or build their own Base?

Everybody works so why write that down.

Immigration from Earth.

Those who come to the planet to visit, or to stay, bring their own capital along, (Air, Food, Shelter, Water, or the Energy to produce these)

Capital? Day rations? O2/H2O I mean, and fuel. What fuel? Bio fuel, food I mean right?

“Woof you're a rich man; you brought in a 100 Sols worth of rations”.

“We'll pay back earth of cause…”

“With what? D2, we got a shipload full of that stuff. Heavy no?"

"Rations… I think we brought in much more O2, H2, and Cs than a 1000 Sols per person??"

"You did, but you didn't, it's not per person. One Sol is keeping you alive, and the person with you. On Mars you never walk alone!”

“It's not what you use your selves, eat I mean, some is needed to make iron and things, ceramics, plastics. Some of your rations go to the Bank. You can always look, prospect for ice, and for iron nickel meteorites.

I found more I think, in the Data Bank”


Martian Constitution.


= Land rights?                   

= Building         

= Family?

= Air, water, shelter, communication?

= Land under a roof / open land.

= Waste product disposal.

= Exchange of information.

= Currency.

= Extra planetary trade.

= Decision making.

= Folks thing. Big electronic meeting.

= Laws on Animals, Robots, and sentient Computers.


"Dee, it's good you found out how to make paper…"

"Yeah, I know, Bureaucracy…


Laws; Safety (now). 

Survival, (Future).

Laws of Moses.

Declaration of human rights.

Saxon laws.


The computer has lists, with names of lists, which contain…"

"Well just give me the short, short version, I got to know, what I got to expect, I never been to one of your Roll Calls before, what are you looking at?"

"Nothing, just don't worry, I'll help you. Right… Rights: The rights of the total community are usually stronger than the rights of the family. And the rights of the family are usually stronger than the rights of the individual.

It's hard to write down what we all know by instinct. Our Laws are ship Laws, military safety rules, mixed with Neolithic village customs. We live in the Technolithicum. We really do here on Mars, we live because of Techniques, and most of what we make is made out of stone anyhow"


New Page 1

More Planning.


They were sitting in the main cave again, looking at a blackboard of some sorts.  Actually they drifted away from the subject...Marsians are great drifters.

The plan was to plan the trip to the other side of the planet they wanted to make, now that the Zep was ready for it. On the way they were going to scavenge for parts. There were several mars probes all over the planet. Crashed Russians, Americans, and even Chinese secret Mars probes; the bolts and mutters usually were still in perfect order.

Mars is full of great dry river beds. Dried up oceans. Well it looks like the day after Noah opened the door, but without the dead trees. Only bare and naked planet.

“Bo, what ya mean by that? And can I have that tray?”

“I read poems like as if they have a deeper meaning than just some science paper actually, I try to see what it wants to say, and who’s talking. What you think José?”

¡Diosqa hanaq pachapi yupaychasqa kachun! ¡Diospa khuyapayasqan runakunataq kay pachapi sumaqta kawsachun! nispa. As they say,

In Gothic that would be: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."


“That English, not Gothic. I got to work on my Quechua. I know. Any how if you read that part as if it’s a text book or a book for kitchen recipes you’re not honoring the text. It is definitely a poem. It has rhyme, it’s a Hebrew haiku. Woof what you think, Bout Genesis 1: 1-27”


Wolfs just came in with a box, and on top of the box a pile of brown papers, freshly made Martian paper. And on top of that a rather dirty rock. His chin tried to stop the pile from changing into a flight of fliers…  


“Hold on, help me with these…”


The stone made a run for it, followed by half the papers. Dawn helped to pick up the stuff..

“Sorry I’m late.., the bridge was open.  What are you talki9ng about, that Russian probe near the South Pole? I got some pictures here…”


“Nah!  Genesis, the Codex…   How to read the first verses; not jet started the meeting we waiting for certain people…”


“Well, hmm, I read them as if they tell me Who did it, and Why. And He did it through putting information into action…  What to say, I never had any trouble with what we see out side, and with the fact that it has been created….read my haiku about it. Can I have a cookie please?  What are they made off….? Yuck!”

They got on with the planned meeting after a while, it’s not easy to fly all around Mars, nor is it easy to hold meetings on Mars. Marsians are drifters.   




 And on the four-millionth day,

The scientists went into their laboratoria,

And listened to the Word.

They thought....


"Well; you Name it!

Until you know its Name,

And you can call it"


And the Lord showed us His cosmos,

Which He had Called into being


As He had asked us to Name all His creatures,

In the Beginning.


Genesis 2: 19-20






(Rain) "Yes I remember those calculations, I thought they looked familiar, I made those calculations, as a young student. There was a math's contest on the Net that year"

"Congratulations you won; you got your selves stuck on Mars"

"Hay Wolf. Well Rain had no idea what the calculations were all about, he didn't. Besides, he did m' all without a computer, in his mind. If somebody else ‘d "won", well he'd still be here. He's our computer"

They were talking Wolf was sitting on Yogi again.

"Anyhow, is that why you're on Mars to go after my man?"

Alien had got a dark look in her eyes by now….

"Nah. Rain help me track down the Ones who really did it. And for the rest I'm here to watch for "Incoming", well you read the telegrams. I'm not after your man Ma'am"

Every body was getting tired and up tight, Doba looked around.

"Elvis is leaving the building?" (Dee help me please?  Cheer things up a bit.)

They had their big Roll Call some days before, and the Down was being fixed for the trip.

Well, no sleep and a lot of worries.

"I'm here because I was picked by the federation, like all of us, I'm good, I'm a bit daft maybe? (Hear, hear! /Shut up Bo). I'm here to Watch for planetoid, my machinery, and to get more data on the Velikovski problem. I'm not here to go after people. I'm small, one of a big team. You read my file Ma'am!"  "I did, don't call me Ma'am all the time" 'Yes Ma'am"

"Wolf, Alien, Rain, take it easy I think we should all get some rest". Steward looked old, too many Martian sunsets. "You're worried about Dawn, well Woof's not gonna loose her, are you?" 

"Don't get into my “tears”. Goth Folk are what they are because they don't remember too much about who they used to be. We're a new nation; I'm not a Navaho. I'm a farmer really, not a shepherd. Don't worry about her."

"I'm not, but you got to talk about things. You're home sick I think; that's what's troubling me. We had that before you know…"





The future is

A candle stick,


The presence

Be a flame

So bright


Has been



Just smoke.








Bits an’ pieces



"So you wanna go back to the old earth you left? You better phone H.G. Wells to come and pick you up with his time machine than… it ain't there no more, not in the presence its not.

They messed up the whole Solar system, we're bloody lucky the Earth- Moon system is stable again, well Venus, and its new water moon their dance is stable too now, so I've heard"

"Right, right, and we picked up an awful lot of water here on Mars"

"What is that you made the doors of the mouse trap of…?  Gold?"

"Yeah why, it's nice and heavy, no?”



76.1 south, 195.3 west.


It was snowing, little pink flakes, they were in a trough of some kind. (About fourteen L deep. Maybe 20 wide.) One steep wall layered, pink, rusty, brown, and white.  The other a slope; kind of like a giants staircase.

It was snowing, there was almost no wind, well not in the trough there wasn't. They'd left the Zep in an even bigger trough, with even more pinkish brownish whitish layers. About six nauticals down. It took about three hours to get this far away from the Down, as they preferred to call their Zeppelin.

"Dawn? Are you sure you got this thing on your gadgets? I mean, it's a big, big South Pole out here, and a small probe it sure was…"

"Thing is beepin' away nicely. We should be standin' on it practically. It says 76.1 by 195.3 in the records: and 03 12 1999 20:01.  I don't like what the atmosphere is doin'… This pink stuff. We had it once before I'm told, that was when the worlds got hit. Sure don't like it. I see a stick!!!"

Metal shapes of some sort were sticking out of the ground of the trough, pink and white like marble, worn down by the wind.

"Dawn, we got it, I don't understand how you did it, I'd like to kiss ya for it! It's amazing"

"Yeah just take your helmet off first, you first…"

"Right, Dawn, there might be chemicals still active, well you know the drill. We had trouble enough up north in the dunes. With the "Russkis", no plutonium this time though. It's upside down.... No wonder it didn't phone home.".

They'd entered an oval shaped bole on the floor of the trough. In the middle what looked like a car wreck, well without the plating. Cables, some thing looking like cameras. And on top five (?) umbrella holders.

"The engines, I wonder where the chutes went? No chance of finding those…"

"Get Annie on the phone, I'll do it. Boost up the power, yeah… Annie! Annie"

"Wolfs! This is Bo! We can't get Annie, but we hear you just barely. Wait for the satellite, or give us the info."

"Roger. Found the Polar. It's upside down, and in pieces. I'll hook it up, and hang a balloon on it. Annie can get to the buoy and pick us up here than. Your signals are clear here, for the moment. Out"

"Annie!? Well, no Annie. Let's get on top of the slope. The rust is blocking us, and the Down is down in the trough also"

"Right Woo, give me a hand with these cables, I'll fix up the buoy first. I'll attach the wire to this leg…"

Dawn walked to their golf cart, and attached a bucky wire to the leg. Balloon to the other end of the cable. Fill her up with H2. Up she goes?

"Can't open the bottle… Wolfs!"

Wolfs was half way the slope by this time, and came down grumbling in his helmet.

"Beep! Wolfs, Dawn?"

"Annie, we got the probe! It's two nauticals away from where it supposed to be though, and of cause up side down. Landed on the edge of the trough, and came tumblin' down… Find us, and pick us up"

“Roger, Schiff Hoch. Out“

“Gimme that bottle. Tube, balloon, cable. I can’t get it open either. Dawn let’s try together”

They had to get the buoy up. The Zeppelin was needed to get the probe out of the ice. They hadn’t brought the tools to dig it out, nor those needed to fix it, or to transport it. The plan was to repair it anyhow if possible.





About a million km. It seemed like, well actually a million is not right, it stretches out about 60 km. to the north, 98 to the south, 613 to the west, and 15 to the east.

The dune just in front of us, about 47L down, on Mars that would be 23.5 m. had a dent, an old dent, but still an ellipsoid like dent, worn down by the storms, but the dune was an old bugger frozen stiff...  Therefore, the dent was still there even after half a century. Actually sins earth august 196(5?), as Zond 2 hit the dune. August 1964 to be more precise.

"About 23L across"

 "Difficult to get good numbers the Down is going up and down". We were hunting, hunting for what we just found... The Thistle Down is steady enough normally

Now it was shaky, the wind started to pick up momentum.  In the middle of the crater, what looked like a big, big, garbage can that had a rather unfortunate accident involving 6 umbrellas?


 "Yeah, CCCP, and be sure you switched the Geiger".  

"Switched, you mean it should be working, and paying extra special attention on our find yeah?"


"Dunk". Sound does crazy things at 9 millibar.

"It's clean".

"Dear Dawn, believe me it ain't, but it isn't broken, that's one thing. Now we take pictures first. Get the Thistle down".

It isn't easy to get the "Thistle Down" down, have to shoot the planet first, get enough tension on the cables.

"There she blows".


"Never mind lassie, let's fix the elevator cable".

"Dunk". We shot 6 cables into the dune field. And we went down.

"Kanort, ganoort". Boots make noises on the dust. "Gnoort".

"There's your Sssssp Dawn, 75 years ago, or something: Begin­ning of the history of Mars. The first man-made object to make it all the way to the surface. And get lost on it, it never functio­ned, the Russians lost contact, April 1965, still in space. Launch date November 3. 1964. Probably broken radio tubes. There could be radioactive stuff on board this skip, I mean ship".

"Skildus, I'd like some sort of a shield to be present..."

"No radiation, as far as I can find out, I think the contraption is clean Wolfus, Woof?"

"Yah, Woofs leika... tools, can I have a screw driver maybe? Would be nice, dust on my screen..."  Gnoort, gnoort, gnoort".

"Let me wipe it, screw driver, the screw turns the wrong way around..."

"Russian screws, just like Serb marmalade tins, the lids come off the other way a­round".

The sky looked like overdone Salmon, the horizon was behind the top of the dune, the sun, just over the other dune behind them.

"Woof, what is Marmalade?"

"There, it’s full of clay, there must be holes in it, several, I don't think we can fix it, or get useful parts out of this one. We better get back to the Thistledown Dee...”

"Yah, let's talk it over with base, what is Marmalade...I really want to know yep?"

"Cooked fruit seeds, I mean the fleshy bit the seeds use to bribe birds to spread the seeds around. They cook them is sugar, to preserve it, and put it on bread, to eat...”

"You mean jamu, it's Japanese! Sushi told me about it, her mother asked me if I could grow fruits, we didn't bring the right genetic materials with us to Mars I told her..."

"Jam ah, jam is an other word for Marmalade, it's international, let's get into the Thistle."

They got into the small elevator cage, two small figures close together and an army of sand heaps all around.


Two dots in a Dune field as big as half an Ocean.





“Gravel, regolith, what?”

“Na, I spy with mine little eye, and it starts with…”

“More gravel”

Annie stuck her head through the door, mugs in her hands.

“You having an exiting time? Dawn? Woof? Got some tea, what ever you want to call it”

“Yeah, Doms! I’ll be famous, first cup of UFB, drank at regolith field, location…so and so. Where are we, I love to be an Astronaut, so exiting….”

“Woof what is UFB? Unidentified frightful beverage?”

“You won”

They were on their way again, at 400 L above a vast field of gravel, rocks 1 cm, to 1 L, and everything in between, the dust had been blown away. Not long ago a huge rolling wall of dust had past taking away tons of iron containing dust, and jamming all the radio signals for a freighting 6 hours. 

For the rest the weather had been just fine, 260 K, 8 mbar. Almost no wind, sky pink, with just a hint of cirrus. Mid day, they had been on their way ever since they had to stop for the big Dust Roll passing by.

“Time to phone home, any thing to report? Dawn? Annie? Na, thought so, I’ll just E-mail the computer data. So that the rest of them can get bored to death too.”

Annie you tell the computer?”

Annie gave them their mugs and fed the radio. They were moving at 150 km/h, one km, being one Nautical mile, on Mars it is. Well give or take an L or so, Martians like meters, their planet wasn’t hit like earth was. 

Bo was asleep in the back they were working in shift, trying to get to Oudemans before the next change of weather.
















(To be continued.)