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Martian War of Independence, The

Mars and Phobos
Image from Steve Bowers

The Martian War of Independence; detailed timeline
All dates in a.t
·216 Inner council formed to provide a legal template for new colonies and space usage rights in the inner solar system. Council membership is 80% Terran with neural interfacing to several net resources, including an Earth based hyperturings.
· Council holds considerable power initially, but with the rapid rise of the orbital colonies, several secede in relatively quick succession over a period.
·221 Neogen species discovered in Martian atmosphere, allegedly gengineered for terraforming program. Gengineering is now mainstream, but many are uneasy about neogengineering so this causes a bit of a stir.
· Law is hastily passed by Inner Council banning several neogen species throughout the inner system (in which the council still has power). Regulations on specific areas of neogen research are also established.
·226 Martian revolution, new Martian government is formed. Terran powers lose significant power and assets

· New Martian government lobbies for aggressive new changes in law including a relaxing of gengineering laws for neogens.
· Conspiracy created to reclaim Martian territory — AI cooperation gained by promising AI rights. AI involved begins "infecting" polities with memetic propaganda against neogengineering.
· Bill proposed for greater AI rights.
· Raid on belt piracy operation yields illegal neogen templates which intelligence sources link to a Mars funded biotech co., event steals the headlines for a period. Mars denies knowledge.
· Independent poll shows public sentiment against neogengineering in CisLunar region and many more against unrestricted neogen research.
· Prominent CisLunar leader warn of the "hidden evil" in Mars' neogen research program. Concerns are raised over potentially lethal biological semisentient weaponry and also of neogen super-species that would all but spell the end to human prosperity. Mars council members strongly deny such motivations.
· Several baseline normal groups hold public demonstrations against neogengineering.
· Mars Inner Council representative Fateh al'Himri Diasha addresses the council in a bid for a more tolerant view on the neogen subject. In his speech he outlines the benefits of the technology to space colonies and also warns of the dangers of being left behind by outer system polities who have embraced the technology and are leading the biotech race. He warns that these polities may use the technology to dominate the solar system and even suggests a worst-case scenario in which the inner system colonies are invaded by a force, which would be impossible to fight. The council is mostly uninterested.
· Public sentiment on the neogen debate escalates in the direction of banning it or at least strongly regulating it. The memes have spread fast though society. Some common one at this stage are: "neogengineering spells the end to equality between human beings", "neogengineering is a danger to society", "using neogengineering is creation of the new devil", etc, etc. Political
and religious leaders have all climbed on the bandwagon as well as the usual activist and fringe groups.
· Another untimely discovery is made, a banned neogen parasite species, used to combat a malicious disease which for a while plagued the vast polytunnel agriculture food plantations of Mars' Tharsis territory. The Tharsis government insists the parasite was deployed before the neogen rulings and that a way to remove it is being developed, but the council is unimpressed and the question asked why it was not announced sooner.
· Migual Preston a top ranking member of the inner council with general council approval calls for Mars to grant access to all biotech facilities for inspection "in view of the imminent threat to humanity". Mars refuses outright.
· A new poll shows that 53% of the population would support a war against Mars if they don't allow inspectors into their facilities.
· The inner council places trade sanctions on Earth shipments to Mars
· The inner council passes a vote suspending Mars' rights on the inner council pending an inquiry into the recent "illegal" actions contravening the biotech laws. Representative Fateh al'Himri Diasha insists Mars has done nothing wrong.

Mars Political
Image from Steve Bowers

· A large Californian war fleet breaks orbit from the Sun/Earth L5 point en route to the asteroid Ida, a route which can easily be diverted to Mars. A couple of days later a Greater Brazilian fleet launches from earth seemingly headed towards the outer system asteroid Chiron also easily divertible to Mars. The Lunar Chinese Republic canton Ch'ang O task force pursues a similar course taking it close to Mars.
· The Inner council gives Mars an ultimatum: allow a CisLunar inspection force access to all Biotech facilities within 30 days or face military action against a coalition of various powers which are announced to the public. There is a list of other demands in addition.
· The inspection force convoy launches from L5 en route to Mars.
· Further task forces set courses which pass close to Mars.
· Mars deploys long range automated defence drones in Martian space, when an explanation is demanded a Mars official claims it is "for a routine testing drill". The Inner Council demands its removal immediately; Mars refuses claiming that is nothing illegal about their actions.
· An AI diplomat is sent to the Mars as a negotiator, but as the diplomatic convoy reaches low Mars orbit, the unthinkable happens:
· On July 24th 2202 (233 a.t.) a wave of Martian automated drones break from formation and open fire on non-hostile targets! The fire is indiscriminate, several innocent trade ships and a small orbital colony of 10,000 are destroyed with a number of ships and orbitals severely damaged in the melee that follows. Ironically the diplomatic convoy comes under attack and one of the escort ships is badly damaged. The negotiator was unharmed and quickly escorted out of the area. Mars is quick to announce that it is not a deliberate attack, but 24 hours later the council never-the-less declares war on Mars.
World in CisLunar is that Mars fired the first shots.

· The Martian defence force, somewhat caught on the back foot by how quickly the War has started, decide not recall the remaining drones which initially carried out their defensive role effectively as designed, but as the war progressed however, it became apparent that the drones with sentient and semi-sentient capabilities were becoming unstable after a certain time and posed as much of a threat to the Marian defence forces as to their attackers. Others simply abandon their orders and leave the region altogether.
· Initially the Mars orbital defence network easily fends of the attacks, Mars having invested heavily in their defence, however with many of the drones becoming unstable, the advantage switches to the CisLunar attack fleet.
· After 10 days of strategic strikes on the Martian orbital network, the Coalition announces orbital superiority. Forces gather for a bombing campaign.
· In the Early hours of June 4th, CisLunar mount a bombing campaign of unprecedented proportion. Using smart weaponry, 1,002,450 warheads are landed on the Martian surface in the space of just two hours. Relatively few casualties result from the attacks
due to the fact that the main biospheres are avoided and that mainly remote unmanned automated weapons facilities and defence platforms are targeted.
· Deployed in the bombardment are about 200,000 of cyber-pods, hard cased shells, deployable from space and able to withstand heavy impact with the surface of a planet, each bearing a cyborg warrior.
Periodically, additional resources and equipment are deployed in a similar fashion from orbit, some are destroyed by the remnant ground defence forces, but these are easily pinpointed and dealt with by air strikes.
· Almost 48 hours after the deployment the first military action on the ground occurs within the orbital colony Noachis Alpha. The Coalition is met with stiff resistance by Martian forces who are evenly matched in technology and have greater numbers - armies of
bionts in cybersuits and similarly equipped cyborgs, but are more spread out than the concentrated Coalition surgical strikes.
· Coalition lands troops of bionts and sapient AI and establish several bases around the planet. Without orbital assistance, Martian resistance forces are unable to do anything about it using conventional tactics are mostly restricted to the biospheres and underground tunnels. The Coalition on the other hand has orbital support enabling them to utilise satellite guided artillery, submunitions and air strikes. If the Mars resistance fire, warheads, the orbital defence force quickly cut them down them using high powered lasers and any military forces sent to engage the attackers are spotted easily and dealt with using orbital strikes.
· The coalition forces concentrate on taking control of various key centres of power, but these are resiliently defended.
Very little progress was made on the ground for a number of weeks.
· The coalition forces gain additional support as several Martian territories align themselves against the Martian resistance.

· Mars strikes a blow to the Coalition using `Battle Moles' — a cybernetic digger developed by the Neumann consortium (Mars division) sporting a large diamondoid drill tip allowing it to burrow underground at around 50km/h. One tactic used was to tunnel in deep, directly below a Coalition installation and place a nuclear charge.
The detonation would cause the ground below the factory to become unstable and sink into the Martian soil. This had the undesirable effect of totally devastating the surrounding landscape, but it was found to be an effective tactic in such desperate times.
· Mars defences slowly start to crumble in many of the territories, but there is still heavy resistance. A couple of minor centers are finally taken by the Coalition forces.
· Coalition forces strike a major blow to resistance forces as after a long intense drawn out battle they finally take control of the Fons Juventae space elevator, which has been secured by the resistance since the start of the war. The Coalition start ferrying troops to the surface en masse.
· Coalition forces make a startling discovery, securing a Mars cybernetics factory, which contains several self-replicating cyborg templates, banned under the council's ruling. Several biotech facilities are also secured, but no evidence of neogengineering is encountered.
· A year has now passed and CisLunar powers are feeling the economic strain of war. Most expected a quick and decisive victory, with few anticipating the heavy Martian resilience. Anti-war sentiment is now on the increase. But the war continues.
· The outer system is also calling for an end to the war, especially from Titan a major exporter of nitrogen, the com et herder community and ring miners of Saturn, all unable to do business with Mars — the number one consumer of volatiles in the solar system whilst the CisLunar blockades remain in place. The Gengineering Republic remains peacefully out of the commotion.
· The inner council representatives maintain their stance, despite mounting political opposition against the war.
· Meanwhile the coalition captures the colonies: New Cydonia City, Aresopolis and Port Robinson, but lose Olympia, Noachis Alpha to Mars' fast growing self-replicating cyborg armies. They also lose the space elevator at Fons Juventae, which is destroyed by resistance forces, a huge blow to the Coalition assault and kills thousands of troops en-route to the surface.

· With the Martian resistance employing self-replicating technology, illegal under inner council law and the coalition unable to use similar tactics or risk public reprimand, the Mars resistance is starting to win the war coupled with the huge cost of continuing an interplanetary war which has already lasted much longer than expected and incurred an astronomical economic price tag. The Martian force is now in a much stronger position tactically, but volatiles and food are scarce and the toll on biological species is becoming extreme. Due to trade sanctions, there is poverty and starvation in many regions. The first attempts by Mars at instigating peace talks are turned down, by the Inner Council who call for the resignation of the current government.
· A couple of days later an unknown official is seen entering the office of Migual Preston. The two are seen to have lunch together in Liberne, one of the cities in Biosphere III, where they part company. A meeting of the Council follows and the following day it is announced that the council wish to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
· The Council announces a ceasefire window while peace negotiations are under way.
· Unexpected by many a ceasefire is agreed to within a few days of negotiations in a speech to the public, Migual announces the war as over on terms that were agreeable to both CisLunar and Mars. The speech is both vague and perplexing and leaves many questions unanswered, but so ends the first interplanetary war, a war fought mainly around the Martian biospheres, lasting over a year and claiming the lives of around 2 million sentients, with only an estimated 2% of those civilian casualties, due to the smart weaponry used.
· New polls show the public feel strongly that the Inner council should explain its decision in ending the war. The council maintains its stance that the two parties simply came to an agreement that satisfied both parties, but remains vague on details. Meanwhile on Mars CisLunar forces have withdrawn, but the inter-territory wars on the red planet continue and minor conflicts aren't resolved for decades to follow.
· The council sets about the rebuilding its shattered economy and aiding a devastated Mars in its reconstruction effort.
· Three weeks later Migual announces his retirement from politics and disappears from public life. Several prominent Inner Council resignations follow shortly after.
· Within a year of the end of the war the Inner Council has gone through a radical overhaul with few of its former members still in power. The council eventually votes to dissolve itself and form the CisLunar Alliance, a body which no longer has any influence over Mars or the Belt colonies.

 
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Development Notes
Text by Damon Court

Initially published on 24 January 2006.

 
 
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