Tuesday, February 28, 2006


I would like to take this time to thank NASA for making available to the public pictures of Mars which i have used and manipulated for my story telling and i would like to thank my wife for her help in editing my stories and writings. I would like to also thank everyone who has supported this effort.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Martian Intafada part three

The above picture is of Kyoto on Mars. We can also see very clearly the Mars space elevator. The black dome that covers the above ground part of the city absorbs sunlight which it converts into electricity.

Two weeks after taking over the railroad construction project khalid was starting to feel he had gotten things under control, or as under control as you can get anything on Mars. Of course just as he had gotten over the shock of the conscripted labor force he was to use, he was given another surprise that the labor force was 30% female. During construction it was impossible to pick out the females from the males, unless you looked them directly in the face as they were all in their Mars suits. He had cut the work period from 16 hours a day to twelve and the more rested workers made less mistakes; and with less mistakes they were actually now closing in on where the project should actually be.

He had expected Lt. Watanabe to protest, but realized when the protest did not materialize, that when the workers were sent to their barracks that the security personal were able to go back to theirs to play cards, drink and play hentai games which seemed to be all the rage with them. The attraction to hentai was something Khalid was quite sure he would never figure out.

Now security was not all happy with him, as he had befriended one of the workers, which was apparently taboo. But when Khalid had realized that Yusef Wehbe not only spoke Arabic fluently, but also had a masters degree in civil engineering he decided that it was not security’s business who he was friends with.

Khalid had worried that he would have to give all of his instructions through a hand held translator box, notoriously unreliable and able to create not a small number of giggles. Then on his third day of work he found Yusef Wehbe, a short dark skinned Indonesian with glasses.

Yusef was a crew leader of one of the drill teams. The huge drills were extremely loud even in the thin atmosphere of Mars. Yusef had started asking Khalid about the soil and rock composition and in no time Khalid had realized that Yusef knew what he was talking about. After a few questions discovered that Yusef had received his bachelors from the University of Jakarta and his Masters from Louisiana State University.

Khalid was very surprised when Yusef invited him to come for Friday Jummah prayer. He had known that most of the workers were Muslims, from Indonesia and Malaysia, only about 15% of the workers were Phillapino Christians, and that the Muslim workers got together for prayers. As Khalid had not been to a Masjid since his wife and daughter died he had not considered joining them.

“I haven’t made salat in two years” he explained.

“That’s all right Khalid, but didn’t you say that you came to Mars to get away? Well on Earth you did not make salat, now you are on Mars you should make salat.” Said Yusef cheerfully.

Not wanting to upset the one person on Mars who did not bore him or terrify him, Khalid agreed to go. Khalid went with Yusef to the workers barracks that Friday. The workers had cleared out the commons and turned it into a prayer hall. Yusef had him sit down with some friends of his and then excused himself. Khalid simply assumed that his friend had gone to make wudu and was surprised to see him climb the mimbar to deliver the khutba. Khalid had known that Yusef was a hafis but had not realized that he was a khatib.

He listened intently to the khutbah thinking that maybe it would give him insights into his new friend. The khutbah was mostly about the Prophet Musa (PBUH). Khalid felt that he knew or at least was familiar with everything that was being said it was the closing comments that got to him Yusef closed by quoting a hadith about oppression.
On the authority of Abu Saeed Al-Khurdari, who said: I heard the messenger of Allah say: “Whosoever of you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart; and that is the weakest of faith.”

This hit home to him, he had seen how badly the workers were treated. He knew that they were conscripts and that some of them were political prisoners. He knew that at the end of a very hard workday they were all hustled into the giant inflatable barracks with no privacy and barely enough food and water.

After the Jummah prayer khalid found himself making sunnah salat. Yusef found him in the crowd milling about afterwards and took him aside.

“How did you like the khutba”? asked Yusef.

“It was very good. Got me thinking about how things are.”

“I was hoping it would. I would like to talk to you about how things are on Mars and how things could be.”

“I’d like that”, replied Khalid. He then followed Yusef into a storage, which had had, it’s security cameras accidentally broken.
“So have you ever heard of the Brotherhood of the Golden Circle?” asked Yusef.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Martian Intafada part two

Seigo Miyauchi, called by everyone on Mars by his nickname Seigo-dono, was furious and getting angrier as he sat at his very functional shiny steel desk reading over security reports. As the head of security on Mars he commanded not only police but the military forces as well. This meant that the only person over him was the governor, it also mean that the end responsibility of all security matters fell on him.

He had been on Mars for 2 years and while at first everything was running smoothly, for the last six months more and more equipment had started to disappear. It had started with a box of drill bits, a case of screws some wall spray and then it had gone on to bigger items, CO2 scrubbers, an entire shipment of grow lights and now these fools were saying that they had lost three boxcars. All Seigo-dono could wonder was how on red Mars do you lose just one boxcar, not to mention three boxcars.

And now he was looking at the accident reports and there was a spike in the number of workers dying this month. There had been a steady increase in the number of accidents over the last 4 months and last month there had been an explosion which killed 45 workers. All of them burned beyond recognition, so one of the doctors had to use medical records to identify the bodies.

He had talked to Governor Okamoto about this, but Okamoto did not want to hear anything that even resembled bad news. No, Hoshi Okamoto only wanted good news, which he could use to lure Japanese colonists to Mars, who would then build his great and prosperous Mars colony. Okamoto also simply reminded him that as he was in charge of security, that it was his problem to solve.

Seigo-dono thought about going to Ryoji Noguchi, The head of mining operations on Mars which was the whole reason they were on Mars, as it was the mining equipment that was disappearing but thought better of it. Ryoji was a pain who even Seigo-Dono thought overworked the workers. Seigo-dono had even once said, ’that if the workers revolt it will be because of Ryoji.’

Seigo-dono paused for a moment his chain of thought swerving for a moment. What if the workers are stealing this stuff to build a hidden base or colony. He shook his head, no, far more likely they had a hidden khat farm in some cave they had managed to pressurize. Of course just to be on the safe side he would request more men and have the number of guards on the weapon lockers increased.

If there was a workers rebellion brewing it was very low key. The only men he had lost were 3 soldiers whose patrol had disappeared in a dust storm last month.He gulped down some ice water. Perhaps I should make sure I and all the other officiers always have on our side arms.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Martian Intafada part one

Khalid looked across the table at the corporate recruiter, thinking that this was a very well lit office, for a basement office. He had worked for the ‘Constructeur du Pont’ company for ten years and could not understand the problem he was having with his transfer request.
Mr. Castay, as the well dressed middle-aged recruiter had introduced himself, explained, ”our joint operation with the Asahi Corporation is now our biggest project, you would be away from your family for five years Mr. Hamada. And it is not like you can pop back to earth to visit them. We need people who will be able to focus on the job not be moping about homesick.”

“I don’t have a family”, replied Khalid softly.

“Oh I am sorry, our records show you with a wife and daughter,” he said in a questioning tone.

“They died during the pandemic 2 years ago,” said Khalid his voice growing even softer than before.

“Oh, I am very sorry, I had a brother die during the pandemic.”

“I just want to get away from Paris, from France, and Algeria is just not far enough away.”

“I understand, yes I will approve the transfer.” Mr. Castay typed on his keyboard and a couple of mouse clicks later turned to Khalid, “You should be able to pick up your plane ticket to Jakarta Monday.

Khalid stood up, leaned over the table cluttered with papers and family pictures and shook Mr. Castay’s hand.

“Thank you sir”

“Good Luck Mr. Hamada, and I hope that Mars is far enough away.”

After 6 months the IJS Ryujo docked at the Mars orbital elevator station. The Journey had been uneventful. Khalid had spent the time studying the project details. He was to take control of a railroad project that was already behind schedule. It seemed to Khalid that the company expected him to perform a miracle.

Khalid had enjoyed the trip once he had gotten over his space sickness. The Ryujo was a large ship over a thousand meters long and more than 100 meters wide. Khalid had been shocked when the crew informed him that it wasn’t the biggest in the merchant fleet. Most of the Ryujo, about 70 percent was cargo hold. The rest of the ship, the engine room the bridge and the crew Quarters was all off limits to the passengers. The passenger quarters were divided up into first class, where Khalid stayed with two other French engineers and about 2 dozen Japanese technicians scientists and bureaucrats. There was a second class where 30 Japanese military personal were traveling and a workers hold, which held approximately 600 workers, mostly Indonesians, Malays and Philippinos.

The two French engineers seemed very enthusiastic, as did the Japanese technicians and scientists. The Japanese bureaucrats had an air of forced exile about them and the military personal, whom he saw rarely, gave him an impression less of soldiers than of prison guards. The workers he saw not at all, which at first seemed strange to Khalid, but out of sight out of mind and they were quickly forgotten.

It was only when he disembarked from the space elevator at Kyoto on Mars that he saw the workers, being loaded into huge pressurized trucks and quickly driven away.

A Mr. Landry met him at the elevator station. A well dressed man who kept brushing himself off and demonstrated an inability to not talk. He escorted Khalid to his hotel and after checking him in gave him a watch.

“We have a 24 hour day like on Earth, but the Martian hours are about a minute and half longer than a Earth hour.” He explained,” don’t worry you’ll get used to it, no problem at all. But you do have to use a Martian watch.”

Khalid had 24 ‘Martian’ hours until he had to report in. He had dinner in the hotel’s restaurant, unable to read the Japanese menu, he convinced the waiter using a lot of pantomime as the waiter spoke no French, Arabic or English and Khalid’s Japanese was limited to hello and thank you, that he needed a vegetarian meal as he wanted to avoid eating anything haram.

Back in his room he discovered that all of the television shows were in Japanese and therefore switched it off and pulled out his flash drive with all his music on it. He plugged it into the room’s entertainment system. Soon he was listening to one of his old Rai albums by Cheb Khalid. He fell asleep with the album looping all night long.

The next day, following the instructions that Mr. Landry had given him he was able to leave his hotel and catch the train that brought him to the offices of Constructeur du port. The offices were a little different than he had imagined as the entire office complex had been dug out of the Martian rock and the walls, floor and ceiling were simply sprayed with a clear stabilizing agent. Also there were a lot more Japanese workers than he expected.

He was introduced to Mr. Leblanc, the head of construteur du pont operations on Mars. The briefing went well as they explained he would be going to worksite two. Where he would stay, a pressurized trailer. He was introduced to his immediate subordinates Rene Tomson foreman and Lt. Shoichi Watanabe.

“And what is Lt. Watanabe’s job on the worksite”? asked Khalid

“He will keep the workers in line” replied Mr. Leblanc cheerfully.

Khalid felt an icy chill run down his spine, but could not help himself as he asked his next questions. “While reading one of the reports I have here on page 125 the amount of concrete used, steel used, ect ect and on page 127 I have the estimates for how much will be used for the rest of the project. But I do not understand this column where it says workers, as that number is not the number of workers assigned to the project. What does that number signify?”

“That is the worker attrition rate per month and that there is the total number of workers we expect to lose by the end of the project,” stated Mr. Leblanc with a smile.

“When you say lose, you mean they will quit? I don’t see how?” he questioned hoping Mr. Leblanc did not give him the answer that he was expecting.

“Not quit Mr. Hamada, die. Mars is a very harsh environment. The temperature typically gets down to –83c and only rises to –5c during the day. Dust storms and accidents. Anyway the workers cannot quit most of them are conscripts and the rest are prisoners. Would you like a chocolate?”

“Would I like a chocolate! Conscripted labor is a violation of French law and the earth labor treaty.”

“We are not in France, we are not on Earth. And while you can quit, you will have to pay for your trip here and back and the company will sue you for breach of contract. Also if you cannot afford passage back you may find yourself being conscripted into the labor force.”

Khalid felt his guts freeze and said, “I am not quitting but I am not happy about this” what I have gotten myself into he thought.

“No one is happy about this. Just do what I do. Do your job, get your big fat Mars bonus, go home and build a big house on a river or stream and forget about this place.”

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Nagas of New Malaysia

The Naga of New Malaysia is the largest flying animal in known space. Once found all over the planet, they are now limited to the far southern continet of New Kelantan. The entire continent of New Kelantan is a nature preserve and while a limited number of tourists are allowed to go there every year, there are no permanent human settlements.

The Naga is an amphibian that lays forty to fifty eggs a year in the water where they hatch. The adolescent naga spends the first two years of it's life living solely in the water. After the first stage of there life, which less than 20% of them survive, the young Naga pulls itself onto land where it spins a cocoon in which it remains for 6 months metamorphosis into the very recognizable land form.

Once the New Malaysian Naga emerges from his cocoon, it quickly grows gaining 2.5 kilos a day the first several years in its land form until it reaches its full adult size. The Nagas are territorial and omnivorous, their diet relies heavily on meat.
The large animals are able to fly because of several factors. First New Malaysia has its gravity at only .9 g as well as an atmosphere which is slightly thicker than would be found on earth at similar altitudes. Those two factors combined with the fact that the Naga have two bladders filled with hydrogen gas that its body generates makes the huge animal light enough for its powerful wings to lift into the air and reach very high speeds.

The settlers of New Malaysia realized they had to hunt the Nagas as they would eat the settler's goats sheep and cattle. Large numbers of domesticated animals that the settlers brought were eaten before they were able to start mass producing small portable rocket launchers. Many of the settlers in the second wave of colonization were surprised to see farmers carrying RPGs around as they went about their daily work.

While most of the Nagas now live on the New Kelantan continent, they also inhabit several small southern islands. When the occasional Naga flys into inhabited areas and if they are not killed by local farmers; they are tranquilized tagged and shipped back to New Kelantan. Those animals that continue to invade human inhabited areas are captured and destroyed.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Islamic Calendar

I have had a lot of questions by Non-Muslims and unfortunatly Muslims as well about what is A.H. so i am going to try and clear up how the Islamic calendar works.

The Islamic calendar (or Hijri calendar) is a purely lunar calendar. It contains 12 months that are based on the motion of the moon, and because 12 synodic months is only 12 x 29.53=354.36 days, the Islamic calendar is consistently shorter than a solar year, and therefore it shifts with respect to the Christian calendar.
The calendar is based on the Qur'an (Sura IX, 36-37), which reads:
[9.36] Surely the number of months with Allah is twelve months in Allah's ordinance since the day when He created the heavens and the earth, of these four being sacred; that is the right reckoning; therefore be not unjust to yourselves regarding them, and fight the polytheists all together as they fight you all together; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil).[9.37] Postponing (of the sacred month) is only an addition in unbelief, wherewith those who disbelieve are led astray, violating it one year and keeping it sacred another, that they may agree in the number (of months) that Allah has made sacred, and thus violate what Allah has made sacred; the evil of their doings is made fairseeming to them; and Allah does not guide the unbelieving people.

The names of the 12 months that comprise the Islamic year are:
1. Muharram 2. Safar 3. Rabi' al-awwal (Rabi' I) 4. Rabi' al-thani (Rabi' II)
5. Jumada al-awwal (Jumada I) 6. Jumada al-thani (Jumada II) 7. Rajab 8. Sha'ban
9. Ramadan 10. Shawwal 11. Dhu al-Qi'dah 12. Dhu al-Hijjah
(Due to different transliterations of the Arabic alphabet, other spellings of the months are possible.)
Each month starts when the lunar crescent is first seen (by a human observer's eye) after a new moon.
Although new moons may be calculated quite precisely, the actual visibility of the crescent is much more difficult to predict. It depends on factors such as weather, the optical properties of the atmosphere, and the location of the observer. It is therefore very difficult to give accurate information in advance about when a new month will start.
Furthermore, some Muslims depend on a local sighting of the moon, whereas others depend on a sighting by authorities somewhere in the Muslim world. Both are valid Islamic practices, but they may lead to different starting days for the months.
Years are counted since the Hijra, that is, Mohammed's emigration to Medina from Mecca in AD 622. On 16 July (Julian calendar) of that year, AH 1 started (AH = Anno Hegirae = year of the Hijra). Right now (2006) it is 1427 A.H.
I hope that this has helped make things a little clearer.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Pacification of Zarahemla (The Battle of Moroni Road)

During the pacification campaign on Zarahemla prime one of the most written about and crucial battles was the battle of Moroni road. A large number of unity infantry backed by a few armored vehicles and a small number of artillery pieces tried to recapture the Zarahemla space elevator and the capitol city.

They had managed to move undetected, by the confederacy’s surveillance satellites, under the triple layer jungle canopy that surrounded the capitol city. With most of the confederation’s forces spread thinly all over the planet the Unity troops out numbered the defenders ten to one. The attackers were highly motivated as they wished to liberate the temple in the capitol and to free the President and the Quorum of twelve.

The attack though was foiled by a confederation tank patrol on Moroni road; the road connected the capitol with the port city of Young city. The tanks were on a routine patrol making sure that the road was clear, when it ran into the Unity artillery pieces being dragged across Moroni road. The eight tanks destroyed the artillery pieces and quickly found themselves engaged in a firefight.

The battle raged all night and into the morning. One of the major heroes of the battle was captain Dawud Mansur and his tank crew. For even after being hit with two flame bombs which burned off their active adaptive camouflage skin and severely burning Captain Mansur, they continued to fight, moving up and down the road firing their main gauss cannon and destroying 14 Unity tanks. Severely burned Captain Mansur kept firing the auto grenade launcher on top until he ran out of ammo.

After running out for the side guns and the Tank’s main cannon they stayed in the battle calling in air strikes and artillery. The entire crew received the green ribbon of valor and Captain Mansur the Iron Star. The battle resulted in the deaths of over 3,000 Unity soldiers the destruction of over 30 unity Armored vehicles. Confederation forces lost 2 Assault tanks and 45 soldiers.

The Battle of Moroni road is considered crucial as it is believed that if the Unity soldiers had managed to retake the capitol and the space elevator a wide spread uprising would have occurred in those areas of the Zarahemla already occupied by the Confederacy.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Hope that everyone was able to have a peaceful and fulfilling Ashura.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Battle for Zarahemla Prime

The battle for Zarahemla Prime was one of the most crucial battles of the Grand War. When the Grand War started in 2000 A.H., with a surprise attack by the Frankish 3rd Fleet on High Palestine, the Confederation was caught completely off guard. The destruction of the shipyards, orbital and ground, was a huge blow to the Confederation's war machine. The Nuclear Obliteration of the capitol city,New Ramallah a city of 20 million ,was a psychological hit to the citizens of the Confederation.

The Confederate navy reacted immediately by having their 2nd fleet slide into the New Kurdistan star system to help protect the ship yards there. The Confederation military high command was at first a bit confused by the fact that the Franks had not made their first strike against the New Kurdistan ship yards. As the ship yards there have nearly 8 times the capacity as the ones the Franks destroyed. It was only after the war that they learned the Frankish military intelligence had over estimated the local Pesh merga defense boats by 2 fold. And that they thought the Confederation's 4th fleet had been stationed there. This initial intelligence failure was to make a large difference in the out come of the war.

Confederation Intelligence soon made up for their initial mistake of not detecting the attack on New Palestine, by intercepting and decoding messages between the Frankish empire and the Unity of Saints. Realizing that the Unity was about to enter the war on the side of the Franks, the Conferation military decided to dispatch the battle group Abdul-Hasib with a marine force made up entirely of soldiers from Hausa world to make a daring attack on Zarahemla prime the capitol of the Unity. This was not to be a hit and run raid, but a capture and occupation of Zarahemla Prime and it's star system. Success would mean not only would they the capture Zarahemla's large ship yards and H3 mines, but they would capture the leadership of the Unity.

Before The Abdul-Hasib battle group slid into the Zarahemla star system Admiral Rahman sent this short message to all of the ship captains and marine captains.

Al-Hajwiri, "The Kashf al-Mahjub"
Do not seek sustenance from people. Allah is the real Provider. If He wills a certain person to be the means of your livelihood, do not consider that person to be in control of your destiny. Have faith and be certain in the knowledge that your daily bread does not depend upon any mortal, but upon Allah who created all.
-Al-Hajwiri, "The Kashf al-Mahjub"

After the battle Marine commandos captured the Unity leadership, Their President and the First and Second councilors as well as Quorum of the Twelve. The Unity leadership signed a peace treaty with the Confederation. Confederate marines continued to occupy Zarahemla prime for 26 years after the Grand War.

Many believe that the gamble the high command took in the invasion of Zarahemla prime was reckless and that it was only luck that it succeeded. But it should be remembered that the defense forces around Zarahemla prime were caught by surprise as even the Unity's military leadership did not know about the negotiations to ally with the Frankish Empire. Also, once the space battle was over, the Hausa marines were able to use two things to their advantage. The new Assault Tanks had a stealth mode and their cannons had a longer range than any of the unity's armored vehicles and the fact that unlike the citizens of Zarahemla they could breathe the atmosphere.

Zarahemla prime has an atmosphere which is 63 % CO2 like Hausa world. The unity has always outlawed genetic modification of humans and therefore the defenders had to wear bulky filter masks. All of its cities are domed and underground. Many cities were captured by threatening to blow the airlocks and many were defeated by blowing the airlocks. This unfortunately led to many civilian deaths during the pacification campaign on Zarahemla prime.