From the desk of Maisie Song
Mars is beautiful.
When I say beautiful, I don’t mean the landscape -- although there is kind of an eerie serenity to it. No, what I really mean are the opportunities. My family wasn’t thrilled when I decided to take the job off world, but I wasn’t about to let the chance to become more than just an intern pass me by.
What I really wasn’t prepared for when I got there was the amount of debt. I guess it’s hard to shake those college eating-ramen-noodles-for-a-month habits so soon after graduating, but if I wanted to play in the ‘big leagues,’ as Paulo called it, I needed to start getting used to the idea of spending money in order to make money.
Hiring contractors who knew how to operate on Mars was the first step. I chose to set up my first base of operations at Sinus Sabaeus. While the chasms there were beautiful to look at, they proved to be somewhat difficult to construct around. The terrain was good for wind turbines, however, and I made sure to hire the best people I could find who would know how to optimize their use.
I tried to get a leg up on what patents I could, but I didn’t come to Mars alone. It almost seemed like every time I went to file a claim at the lab for something, someone else had already done it. Probably that stupid robot - their soulless, automated-sounding voices give me the willies. I couldn’t argue with their efficiency, though -- I would just have to be smarter.
Paulo always told me to expect the worst and hope for the best. Although I always keep his words in mind, I have to admit that the EMP blast that rocked my steel factories was unexpected. He would probably snicker and call me a wide-eyed idealist for missing all the signs of sabotage. I guess he’d be right, but that only makes me even more annoyed.
I got back at them, though. The robot got the worst of the EMP blasts, but I’m sure that ol’ Frankie boy and that other strange newcomer didn’t appreciate the strategically placed mountains of dynamite near their facilities, either. I would have appreciated more time to gloat about it, but the Marsquake caught all of us off our guards.
By the end of the week, the colony was turning to me for supplies and I was finally starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel regarding my debt. Competition doesn’t generally like being beaten, though, so I’m starting to think that my fight here has only just gotten started.