Mars is divided in 9 “circles” (or regions):
- Circle SciTech
- Circle Energy
- Circle FoodFarm
- Circle Impro (studying, teaching, learning)
- Circle BioMed
- Circle Junk
- Circle Rulers
- Circle Casso (artistic)
- Circle Seeds (kids; keeps separately)
Each circle has a leader. Every week, the leaders gather in the Ellipse Hall. They represent the government and call themselves “Team Happiness,” or HT.
“Soul repository” is the place where you can leave your soul. Being soulless is allowed for 1 Martian year (687 Earth days). Members are not allowed to swap or give away their souls. Humans still believe it is a sacred part of life.
Junk Circle – represents prison
Happiness Team – represents political system/or government
Advanced Way – the main religion of Mars (has a big influence on Martian politics and economics)
Rulers – a new kind of police/justice system
A group of six (Pain, Bou, Mimo, Alma, Ichi and Goe) has been send to Pearl, the ninth planet. Humans (both advanced and primitive) hope to find a new planet suitable for living and breathing outside.
You can read chapter 1, 2, 3 on the page “The Pearl Territory” – HERE
x x x
Mars. Circle – Casso (artistic).
A Blues band is playing on the stage and a beautiful ‘advanced’ lady in a red dress is singing through her two mouths:
“It’s an odd thing, but anyone who disappears
is said to be seen in San Francisco.
It must be a delightful city and possess
all the attractions of the next world.
San Francisco – gives you anything you wish…”
Two men are sitting near the huge screen, watching the show. Inside of the screen is zero gravity. There are three men and two women in the sealed room behind the screen. They are floating in the air while fighting each other. The blood drops are forming a different kind of sphere with a perfect air bubble inside (on Earth, gravity distorts the shape, but not in space or zero gravity). Things gets messy and… beautiful.
Gzero Times: (with a curious smile, looking at the fight) I’m winning today. Is it a new trick of yours?
Richard Daw: All tricks are in the past, Gzero. My new club is focused on a pure satisfaction of my clients. Fights, blood, pleasure. Repeat.
Gzero Times: (thoughtfully) Do you think your clients want this? (waving to the blood and dead bodies floating behind the screen)
Richard Daw: People are fascinated by death. They’re forming crazy cults and even personifying and worshiping it. Let’s say my San Francisco is a celebration of death. (pausing) You know the phrase “If it bleeds – it is profitable.”
Gzero Times: If I say, “Yes,” what would be my gain or benefit? I’ve already got enough as the leader of SciTech Circle.
Richard Times: How much do you want? Or what do you want? I need a license to spread it in 8 regions. I’d like to escape all unnecessary troubles with Rulers. So, you have to find a way to shut them up.
Gzero Times: I see – more rules to create. And even more to remember and follow. You know we would face a revolution between advanced and primitives if we kick Rulers out of Mars. My brave warriors…
A young girl, naked, but covered in a red shimmer (17-18 years old), slowly approaches Gzero Times. She sits on his lap, takes his hand, and places it on her breast.
The ‘advanced’ lady in the red dress continue to sing:
“Like a burning sun, wearing desire.
Like the red dome, sparkling in my drink.
There lies my new San Franciscoooo,
A place, that gives anything you wish…”
Gzero Times: (to Richard, while lying on his back, looking up at the perfect naked ‘primitive’ body, shining in a red glow-shimmer) You know exactly how I like it. (to the girl) Yes, do just THAT.
Richard Daw: I’m thankful for your last favor, that you are sending Cash and his group to follow Pain’s team. I heard they are going to The Pearl tomorrow. Is it true they have found life there? Are we dealing with more advanced technology?
Gzero Times: (watching how a female tongue moves on his fat belly) No-one more advanced in this world as you are. (to the girl, whispering) Yes, give me the river of sadness, the river of forgetfulness, the river of fire, the river of love… yeah.
Richard stands up, preparing to leave.
Gzero Times: (suddenly) Why do you hate her so much? I mean, Pain. You are her uncle…
Richard clenches his jaw, gives a sign to the young girl to continue and leaves the room. He moves between the transparent bed-tubes through the small rooms of his club.
The singer in the red dress continue to sing:
“If you are hungry, in the city of fog,
Follow the sea – shoreless, magical, dreamy!
Let the sunrise crumble the rock,
At the end of the Gates you can see me…”
x x x
Circle – ‘Energy.’
The streets are full of people, mostly ‘advanced,’ moving in different directions, following the lines (cascades of roads). The air is very quiet, almost still. Two MR – Martian Rulers (policemen) – are watching the lines while sitting above traffic on their shields (boards), behind the invisible protection.
Bruck: I’ve heard they found a planet where we’d breathe outside without any shitty masks.
Faro: (chuckling) Ha! Like I need it. I’m fine where I am, brother. I don’t need their air-bullshit!
Bruck: ‘Primitives’ are going crazy, we have to expect…
Faro: (moving left on his board) Look at that tall grannie in line 5. I’m going to test my new HP Spectre on her.
Bruck and Faro are moving to line 5. They are showing the sign to stop the line and jumping off near an ‘advanced’ tall woman.
Faro: (looking at the Spectre, attached to his hand) Impressive. Who’d guess I could find you here, Bill?
Bill (aka Mercey): It’s a mistake. I am Mercey Jones. I’m working in the section 2, EER (Energy, Environment and Resources). Fellas, you got the wrong woman!
Bruck: Very innovative, Mrs. Jones, but the new Spectre can catch anyone in the radius of 2 miles and it says you are using a Shadowing Buffer.
Bill (aka Mercey): What is a Buffer? And why I should do that?
Faro: (to Bill) Did you smile? (to Bruck) Did he smile?
Line 5 is patiently waiting, while all other lines in the cascade are moving as usual.
Bill (aka Mercey): I know the rules. I’m never smiling in a public place, officers. I’m an old lady on the way to my daily work. Very important and interesting work, let me mention.
Bruck is touching Bill’s back with his Spectre. The Shadowing Buffer is messed up and a short man in the grey suit, black glasses and with 4 hands appears in the place where Mrs. Mercey Jones stood.
Faro: Here you are!
Bruck: (to the HT-station) We need a pick up. Criminal – Bill Wires, shadowing, and add a strong resistance to MR, broke rules #75, #321, #1009. Suggested punishment, 4 days in Pompeo Tower, Circle Junk.
Bill: No, no, noooo…I don’t wanna get back there. It’s a nightmare! I won’t survive this time! (2 Rulers are arriving to the line, packing Bill inside a box and leaving).
The line is moving again. Bruck and Faro get back to their places above to watch the whole cascade and chat.
Faro: But if there’re hot girls and no criminals on that Pearl – I’m all in.
Bruck: Elin isn’t hot enough for you anymore?
Faro: (frowning) Elin is Elin. I meant the girls like in San Francisco clubs.
Bruck: Have you been there?
Faro: Only once, but man… that’s something you’ll never forget. I was in a team representing Ruler-Leader in the Ellipse Hall that day. After all those boring ass meetings they spend almost a day relaxing at San Francisco. (He is winking to Bruck) I got a product testing as well.
Bruck: Product testing?
Faro: The girls, bro.
Faro continue his story, describing the most exciting moments of his visit.
x x x
Day care group. Circle – ‘Seeds.’
Elin: I need your help, Bruck, that boy is special. He is only 6 but they are already experimenting on him as if he is 14. His name is David, personal number D34-B880023
Bruck: (He is secretly in love with Elin) This is against the rules. If anyone found out what you are doing, you’d be dismissed and sent to Junk. We aren’t allowed to dig into the past of kids. All kids are equal. All kids are the future of Mars.
Elin: (angry) Just as those young pretty girls who are sent to work for San Francisco? They are only kids, Bruck. What do you think about that?
Bruck doesn’t answer.
Elin: David is special. And yes, I know, it’s dangerous, but I have to try. Happy Team doesn’t follow the rules. Advanced Way doesn’t follow the rules. Why should I?
Bruck agrees to check the files in the Main Vault of Rulers.
x x x
Circle – ‘SciTech.’
Bar “Pin Drop.” The famous space-crew of ‘advanced’ (two men and one woman) are sitting near the bar, their hands attached to vessels containing dark matter.
Cash has half a nano-face. Alexis is fully advanced, except for the soul, which is stored in the “Soul Respiratory.” Ola is an older man with a double set of eyes on his back.
Cash: It’s my week off and they send me to Pearl.
Alexis: You are independent now, you could say no.
Cash: Can’t say “no” to the possibility to kill Pain or watch her die. It would be a great pleasure. And then fuck Alma on Pain’s grave. Slowly.
Cash makes a sign to the barman – to check the level of liquid in his vessel.
Ola: O-o-o. Supervillain behaviour. I like this. Real ‘Cash’!
Alexis: It comes so naturally…
They are laughing.
x x x
Circle – ‘Rulers.’
Apartment of Faro and Elin. They have their daily sex routine (rule #2089). Elin is on top.
Faro: The speed of light isn’t fast enough when you are riding me, baby…
Elin continues to move in silence.
Faro: Do you know how sexy you are when you sit on me like that?
Elin: Tell me where you were yesterday? You’ve missed our sex-session.
Faro: It’s covered.
Faro: Fuck you, Elin! Can you just once in a while shut up and do what you’re supposed to do?
Elin: And what is that? To pretend you are fucking me? To pretend that I am happy
Faro: I need a shower. Then I’m leaving for an extra shift.
x x x
Circle – ‘Casso’ (Artistic).
Club “San Francisco” is dark. There’s a new band on the stage – one man is playing sax, another a piano.
Richard Daw: So?
Cash: I’m thinking… about the price.
Richard Daw: Of course.
Cash: Can the Rulers see in here?
Richard Daw: It’s not that simple. They can, but they don’t. (After a pause) You can get anything you want, Cash. Or anyone.
Cash: Ok. When I’m done I want Pain’s team inside of Junk Circle and Alma… (he stops and looks around) as your Zero-Gravity fighter.
Richard Daw: Deal.
They are shaking hands and Cash is leaving the club.
x x x
Circle – ‘Rulers.’
Apartment of Alexis and Bruck. They have their daily sex routine (rule #2089).
Bruck: Is that necessary, handcuffs?
Alexis: If you’d stop talking we’d get along better…
They continue in silence.
Bruck: How it feels?
Alexis: I don’t know. Actually, I am in a hurry. We are leaving for Pearl today, but I have to get it done. Tomorrow they’ll send you a new partner while I’m on the mission.
Alexis: From ‘Seeds.’ I think you’re gonna love it… a primitive young body!
Alexis: Sorry, time for a pressure test.
Bruck groans louder.
Chapter 5 will be posted next week – “ALMA” #privatjournal
Next post – Book Review “Artemis”, Andy Weir