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Deson's martian Story

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posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 08:09 AM
Basically what this is, is a update on the old Space Opera type of story very popular in the 40's and 50's. This is an alternate history/ Alternate universe type of story. This had the classic Mars as described by Ray Bradbury and H.G. Wells. The Martian ruins, the canals and all that sand. Hope that you enjoy it.


Situation background: Mars attempted to invade Earth in the 1890's as per "War of the Wolds" By H.G. Wells, a second attempt was tried in the 1950's, a third that was stopped by Damocles Base located on the moon in the 2010's, it is now 2070 and Mankind has decided to return the favor by invading Mars.

This little snippet deals with meeting between a scout in light power armor, his hovertank, and a trio of martian Tripods.

A light, whispery, Martian wind blew. The air was too thin to sustain human life, but nevertheless, a human was here.

Richard's power suit raised the magnification of his visor at his spoken command. Lying down behind a dune and turning his head slowly, he scanned left and right.

"Nothing. Nothing but sand, sand, and more sand," he muttered.

A bit of movement towards his left caught his attention. Going to full magnification, he looked. Just one of the many dust devils that the martian deserts are famous for. Nothing to worry about, he thought.

He went back to his work. A low chirp came from inside his armor. Jake, his Rabbit class scout tank, had spotted something on his sensors. Instinctively, Richard glanced at his tank. Jake just sat there, deliberately buried under the sand with just a couple of his sensors and antenna sticking out.

"All right Jake, give me what you've got."

The HUD or Heads Up Display in Richard's helmet came alive with various symbols and a local map. The triangular symbols for Richard and Jake were centered and 3 circular unknowns were shown at about the 7:00 position. Close, too close. Richard realised that he had made a bad mistake. "Looking out is fine, but," (as Richard's instructor pointed out one day), " always remember to look behind you occasionally."

He spun around. Three Hunter class tripods were moving around. The Martians hadn't spotted him yet, but it was only a matter of time. Keeping his body low, Richard climbed over the top of the dune to put it between him and the tripods.

"Jake, send off a message to base telling them that we've got company!"

Suddenly the Martians stopped moving and Richard heard the airwaves being blanketed by jamming. He'd been spotted! The three tripods started taking long strides in his direction.

"Jake! Command Mode Bugout! Execute!" yelled Richard.

A vast cloud of sand shot up as the Hovertank blew off his disguise and a hatch in the side opened. Richard started running for the inviting opening, his strides amplified by the servos in his suit. Sand started to explode around him as the Martian heat beams tried to seek out the rapidly scurrying human. Richard tried to contact Jake but the jamming from the Martians was too intense. He dived through the hatchway which slammed shut after him. The interference was stopped by Jake's hull.

Richard got into the command chair and "plugged in". Connectors snapped smoothly into ports and plugs in his suit, and the HUD on the visor came alive with displays as he grabbed the command yokes. Flipping couple of switches, Richard set Jake on "fire at will" mode. Jake swiveled his main gun towards the nearest Tripod and fired. The 105 mm shell shot out of the barrel and with full force struck the tripod in the central housing. A direct hit! Simultaneously, Richard slammed the throttle lever on his left fully forward. The lift fans underneath and behind screamed as the Hovertank leaped forward. Smoke packs on the rear discharged in a effort to hide Jake from the Tripods as the Hovertank tried to run.

Richard charted a general course towards the Martian ruins that he had scouted out earlier. As the smoke from the packs dissipated, Richard could see that Jake's full-on shot had no effect upon the tripod. At full speed, they were in still in pursuit and broadcasting the jamming. Richard knew that he didn't have the firepower to take out the Heavy Tripods but he knew where he could find it: he hoped. He switched Jake from "fire at will" to a more defensive mode.

The two things that the Rabbit class Hovertank had in plenty were speed and maneuverability, and Jake used them to the best of his advantage. The Martian heat beams had about a three quarters of a second delay between lock-on and firing. So each time that a heat beam was going to fire, Jake would turn just enough to avoid the shot but still continue on its designated course. Richard couldn't count on that lasting for very long since the Martians would learn to anticipate or, even worse, saturate the area with enough firepower that even Jake couldn't dodge. But maybe, just maybe, it would last long enough.

Rapidly the ruins came into view, and with a yell of triumph from Richard, they entered the ancient city. Now Richard and Jake had a better chance. They dodged heat beams while taking the streets at full speed and leaving a cloud of sand and dust behind them. They took what looked like insane chances as they headed towards the central square. One of the tripods was slowing down. Perhaps the Martian was thinking of giving up the chase.

"Jake, designate Tripod Three. Continue evasive maneuvers and fire," Richard said.

Once again, Jake's turret swiveled and fired. Another hit. Still no damage.

"I hope that we can find out just what these things are made of," Richard muttered. With a grim smile of satisfaction he observed that the lagging Tripod had picked up its pace again, its pilot angered by the insolent human.

"Good, just follow me," Richard said grimly as another Martian heat beam almost nailed Jake.

"Jake, broadcast our present situation, foe strength, and location on tight beam laser," Richard commanded.

"Affirmative replies from Group Epsilon Delta have been received. They are ready and waiting," came Jake's smooth voice from the control console.

"Initiate manual targeting mode, Jake".


[edit on 5-9-2008 by Deson]

posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 08:11 AM
Richard felt the firing centers on his command yoke come alive. He and Jake made a tight turn onto a narrow street. It was sure suicide, since dodging heat beams had just become nigh impossible. Jake then sped past a pair of alleys in which something glittered. The Tripods followed, sensing a kill.

As the Tripods gained on the fleeing Rabbit, there was movement in the narrow alleys. Richard slewed Jake's turret towards the rear and right. He thumbed the trigger. As the shell left the turret, Richard was already swiveling it to the left and rear. Jake's shells had no effect on the Tripods, but they had a devasting effect on the ancient buildings. Two of the towers suddenly had roughly half of their base cut out from beneath them, and, like two sequoias, fell inwards and crashed into the street, effectively blocking it. The Tripods couldn't pursue. They were faced with a wall of ancient Martian stonework and metal. Confounded, the Tripods stopped and stared at the makeshift wall between them and their prey.

Behind the Tripods, and unnoticed by them, four Polar Heavy tanks rolled on massive treads out of the alleyways where they had lain in ambush. The Polar Heavy tank was a monster of armored engineering. Massive layers of standard kinetic and laser reflective armor formed the outer hulls of these hulking beasts. Four turrets on four tanks swiveled to aim at the still unsuspecting Tripods. The Polars cut loose with their main guns. Each had a 150 mm main gun firing depleted uranium shells at a prodigious velocity. But that wasn't all they had. Built around each of the barrels was a huge gattling laser. This combo operated on the theory that anything that one weapon couldn't handle, the other one could. All four of the Polar tanks used both at once.

With a sound very reminiscent of point blank thunder, and a light display from the lasers that slashed through the Tripod armor, the Polars poured it on. There was no attempt at taking prisoners. No attempt at a truce. This was a war of extermination. Within seconds, the Tripods had gaping holes drilled in them and had collapsed into the street. With the fall of the Tripods, the jamming ceased.

"Great job, guys! Thanks for the assist!" Richard radioed the Polars.

"We have only one request to make," came the reply from the Lead Polar tank.

"What's that?" Richard shot back.

"Send more Martians!" the Polar tank commander replied with a throaty chuckle.

posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 08:22 AM
Star for you, i thought that was a pretty good read

I dont know the etiquette regarding any constructive criticism, so i will probably put my foot in it, but the main query i had was, if they were jamming him, how did his tank hear his bugout command and open the door?

Other than that spot on and my apologies in advance as i dont want to be rude after you have taken the time to write something that i enjoyed

posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 07:53 PM

Originally posted by expatwhite
Star for you, i thought that was a pretty good read

I dont know the etiquette regarding any constructive criticism, so i will probably put my foot in it, but the main query i had was, if they were jamming him, how did his tank hear his bugout command and open the door?

Other than that spot on and my apologies in advance as i dont want to be rude after you have taken the time to write something that i enjoyed

Oh by no means am I upset by any means. In fact any constructive critacism I can recieve will only help me. I'm also glad to hear that someone enjoyed it.

You have a point about the jamming problem. I could see a laser communication device or the thought that a local transmission might be able to punch through. Once again I appreciate the advice and thoughts. If you or anyone has more then please feel free to comment.

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 03:31 AM
reply to post by Deson

Not a bad start at all. I look forward to seeing more as you flesh out your take on where this would lead.

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 08:07 PM
I have another "Installment" concerning those two already written and I'll be posting in a couple of days or so. It's a bit longer but not too much. It starts to flesh out the world a little bit and you learn a little more about those two. I've got a little tweaking yet to do before I do so. It takes place immediately after what I had posted here already.

posted on Sep, 7 2008 @ 06:54 PM
Deson, I enjoyed reading it. It is well written. Im no expert at writing or artillery/ mecha so there is not much I can give for constructive feedback. I think it makes for good action storytelling when you start in the middle of a battle or action sequence. Thats what you did here, so good job!

posted on Sep, 9 2008 @ 09:27 PM
In continuation .........
"Incoming message from Headquarters. They have received a transmission from Charlie Echo company indicating difficulty with some Tripods. They want us to investigate and report back. Coordinates now received," Jake told his pilot.

"Hmm, Charlie Echo. Aren't they a Gatling laser tank company?" Richard asked.

"Affirmative," replied Jake.

"Hmph. No rest for the Scouts, I see," said Richard with a tired voice. He then made a mistake.

"What if I don't want to go? I'm out in the desert on Mars for crying out loud!" Richard cried without thinking.

"Query relayed to H.Q.," Jake said a moment later.

"No! Wait! I didn't mean for that to be relayed to H.Q.!" yelped Richard.

A few seconds passed. Then....

"Reply from H.Q. It states that if you do not go, then they will take remote control and drive me there themselves and YOU will be left to walk," Jake continued.

"Jake, send acknowlegement to H.Q.," Richard with a defeated tone in his voice.

"Affirmative," replied Jake.

"Jake, head to the coordinates, full speed and keep your sensors active for any company. In the meantime, enter user programing mode. I'm gonna have to teach you exactly what is and what isn't okay to relay to H.Q., Also inform the Polars of our departure and once again give them my thanks"

Speeding out of the desolated Martian city, Richard had a little time to reflect on the Martians.

Once they had a great civilization more advanced than anything that had ever been on Earth. By 4000 BC, it had already reached and had gone way beyond Earth's wisdom. About 3500 BC, they were in a golden age, a period of peace and prosperity. Mars had a thicker atmosphere, surface water, and abundant life at that point.

Then around 3300 BC, a catastrophe occurred. The Earth scientists figured that it had something to do with a large network of tall, roughly cylindrical towers that were spread throughout almost all of Mars. Something caused the planet's magnetic field to collapse and with it solar protection. A goodly percentage of the now unprotected Martian atmosphere was ripped away by solar winds from a sun that had been going through a unprecedented solar flare activity. Most of the surface water was literally vaporized, resulting in a mass extinction of plants and animals in unheard of numbers.

Judging from the skeletons and the blasted cities, about 2/3 of the Martian population died from radiation exposure. The survivors must have gone underground but the Earth scientists weren't sure about that, and the Martians weren't talking. Time passed and the natural magnetic field reestablished itself. The survivors built a canal system to bring precious water from the poles in a effort to keep the cities alive, but by that point the damage was too great. The mighty Martian civilization had collapsed. The present day Martians weren't the ones who built the mighty cities that lay in ruins now. Instead, they were the descendants of those who had clawed their way back to civilization a much tougher breed of Martian.

A warning bleep from Jake's control panel woke Richard out of his daydreaming.

"Destination arrival in 60 seconds. Switching to manual control," said Jake. Richard felt the control yokes once again come to life in his hands.

He then slowed Jake's speed down until they were sneaking up on whatever was happening. A sand dune was finally all that was between them and their destination.

"Jake, extend the vertical sensor cluster so we can get a peek over that dune and pipe the image to the main viewscreen." A small cluster of optical and audio sensors extended from Jake's uppermost turret and then stopped just over the top of the sand dune. The sight that greeted Richard on Jake's viewscreen wasn't pretty.

A group of what was once a dozen medium Centurion class laser tanks were taking a beating. Four of the tanks were now lifeless smoking hulks. Facing them in a line abreast were seven "Silver Bug" class Martian medium Tripods. The Earth tanks were hunkered down behind a dune with only the tops of the rapid fire lasers sticking up and firing frantically at the oncoming enemy. Lasers flared from the medium tanks, striking the Martian war machines, but to no avail. The Silver Bug's reflective armor simply shrugged off the fire power. The Martian's heat beams however, were having a devastating effect on the Centurions. Richard watched in dismay as one of the laser barrels on a unlucky Earth tank melted from a Martian heat beam striking it dead on.

"Jake, did you notice something strange about this entire situation?" Richard asked.

"You mean the Tripod's formation? A straight line with each abreast? It is good offensively but it isn't very good defensively," Jake stated.

"You notice something else? They are in step with each other. That tells us something," Richard said.

"What conclusion have you derived from that?" Jake asked with a rather quizzical note in his computer-produced voice.

Richard gritted his teeth as he spoke."They're confident; in fact, they're overconfident. They've got the upper hand and they know it. They are playing with those Centurion tanks. They could wipe them out in no time, but instead the Martians are drawing things out. Toying with them. I think it's time for us to teach those Martians that they shouldn't play with their food!"

"Jake, retract the sensors. Prepare the Mud Sprayer, best possible speed, manual piloting mode. Fire the Mud Sprayer on my order" Richard commanded.

The sensor cluster quietly retracted. Underneath Jake's hover skirts a fan started sucking in sand until a chamber had been filled. Spray nozzles inside of the chamber fired water into the sand and at the same time vents in Jake's rear opened up.

"Sensors retracted. Mud Sprayer ready," Jake reported.

"NOW!" Richard barked.


Edited for spelling

[edit on 9-9-2008 by Deson]

posted on Sep, 9 2008 @ 09:29 PM
Jake shot forward, crested over the top of the dune and flew towards the Tripods. As Jake did this, the wet sand began to spray out from beneath him, leaving a damp and hopefully slippery trail. It was sort of like watching a high speed snail in action. The best speed that Jake could do was about 3/4 of his top speed. He would be too slow to dodge effectively, and if he went any faster the trail would be too broken up. This problem was discovered very early in the design phase of the Rabbit class Light hovertank but the designers felt that having having something that partly worked was better than not having it at all.

The Tripods stopped with one of their feet raised as if lost in amazement. Just what was this Earth vehicle doing? Richard then did what he thought at the time was one of the craziest things that he had done in his life. He drove Jake UNDERNEATH the upraised and still motionless feet of the Tripods without hesitation or swerving. Just as he managed to get out from underneath the last foot of the final Tripod the feet of all of them at once came thundering down.

Shutting off the Mud Sprayer, Richard poured on the speed and put a dune between him and the Tripods. Quietly turning Jake around and extending the sensors, Richard and Jake waited for havoc to ensue.

Not knowing what to make of this new development, the Tripods decided to return their attention towards their prey, the Centurions. The Martians took another step and then something amazing happened. One of the Tripods slipped on the now mud-encrusted bottom of its foot. Spinning on two of its legs, it smashed into one of it bretheren, sending them both onto the ground.

"TWO DOWN!" Richard yelled in excitement but then rapidly he became subdued. That trick was only going to work once and never again with these same Tripods. So now what to do? Five of these tripods were too many for Jake's cannon to deal with. Reflective armor was great against lasers, but not against a regular shell like Jake had. Richard rapidly thought of various possibilities but nothing would work out. The Centurions were helpless against that armor and he needed their help. That armor, so bright... so shiny... so mirror-like.... Richard grinned widely as he came up with an idea.

"Jake, this idea is gonna sound crazy," Richard spoke.

"And how is this different from the manner in which you normally operate?"
Jake interjected.

"Uhhh, okay, I admit what we did earlier was kinda nuts, and this is even crazier yet, but here is what we're gonna do. We're gonna dirty a mirror," Richard said.

After a brief pause, he continued "Jake, prepare the Mud Sprayer again, but overdrive the mud spray fan by 120%. Also angle the exit vents to a 45 degrees upwards tilt and 10 degrees to our right and before you say anything, yes, I know that the mud will disperse. That's what we want. Then prepare for top speed maneuverability, full defensive mode"

Jake, with almost a sigh of resignation, retracted the sensors and prepared to follow Richard's orders. Richard then slammed the throttle lever over to full as the hoverfans screamed out their abuse. Charging over the dune they headed towards the Tripods. The Tripods were angry now! This gnat of tank was a threat! Already two of their kind were down, but were slowly struggling to their feet aided by a third Tripod.

"Hit it!" yelled Richard and with that command a fine spray of wet sand and mud flew out from behind Jake and started covering the Martian Tripods. Relying upon speed and maneuverability, the duo dodged heat beams until at last they managed to coat the Tripods with a light coating of sand and mud.

"Jake, transmit to the Centurions to open fire!" Richard yelled.

At that moment Richard felt Jake shudder. A Martian heat beam had ripped into Jake's engine compartment. Burrowing its way past armor, the beam shot through the engine compartment severing pipes and electrical conduits. Sparks flew as electrical connections shorted and voltage shot through the connectors leading to Richard. Circuit breakers between Richard's suit exploded as a corona of electricity tried to briefly reach Richard inside his suit. Richard felt his hair stand on end for a moment, then as it touched his suit liner the static discharged and then repeated the process. After what seemed like an eternity the main power packs in Jake blew, fusing the electrical wiring throughout the hovertank. Everything went dark.

After a few seconds Richard stirred.

"Boy, that's something that I never want to go through again, eh, Jake?" There was a pause and Richard tried again.

"Jake? You there? Hey you tin plated canary! Speak to me!" Richard said.

With a sigh, Richard turned on a pair of lights that were mounted in his helmet. As the bright light pierced the darkness, Richard could see that the damage was pretty extensive and that Jake wasn't going to be saying anything in a long time, if ever again. The control panels were fused and scorched from all the arcing that had occurred. Then a shuddering almost like nearby thunder could be felt through what remained of Jake's hull. Tripod feet!! Richard had to get out of there!

Quickly unsnapping his suit from the fused wiring, Richard crawled towards the hatch. There he found a manual crank and started to crank open the hatchway. It started to move and then with a creak, the door jammed and wouldn't open any further. Part of the door hinge had been fused by the Martian heat beam. The thudding from the Tripod feet got closer. The servomotors in his suit protesting, Richard heaved at the door in a frantic effort to get the door open. With a loud screech of tortured metal the hinge gave way and Richard found himself suddenly lying on his back outside of Jake's hatch in the sand. A shadow loomed over Richard, and as he looked up he saw the foot of a Tripod coming down. He was going to be squashed like a bug and he couldn't dodge out of the way in time!!

Paralyzed with fear, a wild thought ran through Richard's mind. "That's it! From now on I'm carrying a anti-tank gun with me to deal with these situations!" He watched the foot coming down, down, and the shadow getting darker and darker.


[edit on 9-9-2008 by Deson]

posted on Sep, 9 2008 @ 09:31 PM
A sharp, high pitched, and very welcome sound rent the air. The Centurions were firing! Richard saw the now dirty housing of the Tripod get hit with a number of lasers from the surviving Centurions. Wet sand and mud exploded into steam like a demented form of popcorn exploding. The thin reflective armor was sandblasted away in an instant and the lasers from the Centurions now tore into the regular armor underneath. Within what seemed a blink of an eye, holes appeared in the under armor where the lasers struck and then they found the Tripod's vitals. With what seemed an eternity to Richard's adrenaline sped up senses, the creaking and shuddering Tripod fell slowly backwards, collapsing into a heap.

Gasping for breath, Richard shot to his feet and looked around. Much to his relief it looked like all the Tripods were down and that the one that almost squashed him was the last one. Gazing over to his right, he saw the six surviving Centurion tanks come over the dune towards him and roll to a halt on their treads. They then formed a circle around Richard and Jake with their muzzles pointed outwards in a protective formation. After a few moments two people people in light power armor climbed out of one of the tanks. One of them, a Lieutenant by the markings on her shoulder walked up to Richard. The other was a technician who walked over and started examining Jake.

"I'm Lieutenant Chan commanding Charlie Echo company. I want to thank you personally for saving our butts back there." Lt. Chan extended her hand and Richard took it and shook it.

"Now that the official thanks is over with, I've gotta ask you a question. JUST WHAT WERE YOU THINKING WHEN YOU PULLED OFF THAT STUNT!!! Never mind HOW you managed to pull it off!" Lt. Chan then crossed her arms and waited.

"Well, I figured that I couldn't just leave you guys to die and I couldn't pull it off without your guys help, so I hadda dirty the mirror so that you would at least have a chance." Richard quietly said.

Lt. Chan waited, and then a smile came over her face. She then reached up and tapped a switch on the side of her helmet shutting off her radio, and then placed her helmet against his, letting sound go through the helmet and bypassing the radio.

"Gutsy move there; just don't expect it to work all the time. That's unofficial what I just told you. Officially, I have just reamed your butt for violating your orders, which were to investigate and report. Not take the battle to the enemy. Got it?" Lt. Chan said.

Richard nodded and stepped back. Lt. Chan then reached up to her helmet and turned her radio back on.

"Ma'am, I think I may have an idea of how he managed to pull it off. Take a look at the name designation on this Hovertank," the technician said.

"Jake?" Lt. Chan said with lifted eyebrows after reading a small name plate.

"Yeah, it's Jake. Or it was. I didn't name him. He came assigned to me with that name. What's so odd about his name?" asked Richard.

"You don't know? Jake was one of the earliest tanks that saw action on Damocles base back in the 2010s. Jake was Captain Elwood's personal issue tank. He retired later on at the rank of General. This beastie has some history behind it. No wonder he could dodge like that!! You've got yourself a war veteran!" the technician said with an air of excitement.

"Wait a minute! This Hovertank is only a couple of years old at most! Not sixty some years! Besides a hover tank won't work on the moon. There's no air to provide lift!" Richard objected.

"Maybe not the tank itself, but the Artificial Intelligence is. And with these types of AI's the more battle experience that they have, the better they get. It's a learning algorithm that they possess. Lemme guess, you snoozed through that part of training right?" the technician asked with a chuckle. He then reached over and opened a small hatch, pulling out a small blue cube of about five inches square with a variety of connectors and handed it to Richard.

"There you go. This particular tank may be trashed, but you can slip that cube into a new tank and you'll have Jake back. You can even put him into a variety of vehicles with the same results. The connectors have been pretty much standard since Damocles base some sixty years ago. Take care of him and he'll take care of you. He's got a history. Hmmm, perhaps next time something with a little more firepower perhaps," the tech said with a big grin on his face.

"I'll think about it. Maybe I'll put in a transfer to the Air Wing. At least they don't have to deal with Tripods at close range." Richard replied, his mind whirling about this info about Jake.

"C'mon, let's get you and Jake back to H.Q.," Lt. Chan said as they headed back to the Centurions and a ride home.


Hope that you've enjoyed this. Like I've said any and all constructive criticisms welcome. If nothing else let me know if you liked it or not.

[edit on 9-9-2008 by Deson]

posted on May, 19 2009 @ 07:45 AM
I would like people's comments on this please. In the future, I plan on adding some more info (much more) and probably asking people who would be interested in joining in to please do so. But please wait with joining (if you desire) until I can post background info, a glossary, and some ideas to play with.

Edit to add: If people are interested in joining in I'll create a working thread for this.

[edit on 19-5-2009 by Deson]

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