Thursday, May 31, 2012

floating Masjid

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Martian Intifada

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.”
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 usemedical 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.
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.
Three weeks later Khalid was going over soil samples and being dismayed at how soft the ground was just 5 kilometers ahead of where the construction was currently taking place. He realized that they were going to have to drive very deep piles to support the railroad. The door buzzed and when Khalid opened it he ushered in Yusef. Yusef wasn’t alone; one of the company’s doctors was with him.

Have you met Dr. Toshiyukie, Khalid?” asked Yusef.

I haven’t had the honor”, said Khalid standing up and shaking hands with the doctor. The doctor was a middle-aged Japanese national, tall with graying hair and a firm handshake.

It is very nice to meet the newest member of the Martian resistance,” said Dr. Toshiyukie.

Khalid looked at Yusef with Alarm. “Well um ahh”, he muttered.

It’s alright the doctor is on our side”, said yusef with a sly smile, “he has been helping us by signing fake death certificates, so that some of the resistance has been able to get out of the system and set up some bases in the hills. He has also helped us secure some medical equipment and medicines. Which brings me to my next point, I need you to get a list of supplies and where they are being stored and maybe things you think we could order. Also later I have some other friends I would like you to meet.”

Doctor do you mind if I ask you why someone who is Japanese would join the resistance?” asked Khalid.

Dr. Toshiyukie looked at khalid with out saying a word for what seemed to be an eternity and then spoke.

When ever your workers are injured so badly they can no longer work what happens to them?”

I am supposed to fill out a Medical discharge form and they go back”

Back where?”

Back to Earth”

You actually believe that the Imperial government pays for their passage back to earth?”

Oh God, what do they…”

They are sent back to Kyoto on Mars and are turned into fertilizer.”

Yes I understand”
Later that night Khalid put on his Mars Suit and went outside. He went to the vehicle storage center and then using his Mars Compass; really an electronic device which received signals from Satellites in orbit, and walked due north for a kilometer.

Khalid was taken by surprise when two men stood up tossing off the camouflage blankets that they had been hiding under. Both men had what appeared to Khalid as some sort of crossbow, neither of the men spoke a word but motioned for him to follow them. He walked, one man leading and the other man behind him, for about a kilometer before they stopped and opened a camouflage door in a crater wall. Khalid realized that he would not have found the door if he had spent a month looking for it. Still not speaking one of the men nudge him towards the doorway and as the one person present who did not have a weapon Khalid felt it prudent to go through the door.

After cycling through the airlock that the small hidden door had led to, he found himself in a 10 meters by 20 meters room with a floor sloping down and two corridors leading off of it. There were several tables and chairs in the room, as well as boxes piled all along the walls. There were about twenty people in the room all looking at him. This made Khalid extremely uncomfortable and so he squeaked out, “ Assalam Alaikum”

Alaikum Asalam” the group replied in unison.

While Khalid thought that this reply should make him feel more comfortable, it actually freaked him out a little.

The meeting got under way. What became apparent to Khalid very quickly was that the resistance had been in existence for quite sometime and that they had built small hidden camps all over Mars. Now they were ready to go from stealing equipment and subtle sabotage to open rebellion. It was also apparent that how this was to happen had still not been decided.

There was a group of three men, included Daniel, one of the Phillapinos at the meeting, who wanted to simply take what they needed and vanish into the Martian wilderness.
Hamza Kahir, a broad shouldered Indonesian with a frightening intensity in his eyes, wanted Khalid wanted to help them steal explosives and using bombs and suicide bombers, terrorize the Japanese into leaving Mars. Hamza was a former Indonesian army commando and an expert in Silat. He already had a company of men trained, and Khalid discovered later that the men whom he had encountered earlier had been trained by Hamza.
The other group was led by Mahathir Abdullah and Mohammed Hatta. Mahathir was a Malay, trained to be an Imam in the Brotherhood of the golden circle, a soft-spoken man who spoke with authority. Mohammed was a very energetic engineer from Acheh Indonesia who got more and more excited as he spoke. They advocated a more traditional guerrilla war escalating into a conventional war.

Mahathir said,” This should be put to a vote. But before we put this to a vote, I would like to remind my Muslim brothers that the Quran and Hadith have given us rules of war that we must follow.
"Do not kill any old person, any child or any woman" (AbuDawood).
"Do not kill the monks in monasteries" and "Do not kill the people who are sitting in places of worship" (Musnad of Ibn Hanbal).
"Do not attack a wounded person" said the Prophet. This means that wounded soldiers who are not fit to fight, nor actually fighting, should not be attacked.
"The Prophet has prohibited us from mutilating the corpses of the enemies" (Bukhari, AbuDawood).
"Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not transgress limits. God does not love transgressors." Qur'an 2:190
"If anyone killed a person - unless it was for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he killed the whole people"Qur'an 5:32
I also remind you that in Islam there are no Japanese children , all children are born Muslim and if one should be killed that there will be justice for that child.”
When the vote was taken 4 voted to simply run away into the Martian wilderness, 3 voted for Kahir’s plan and 16 voted for the plan put forth by Mohammed Hatta.
As the meeting broke up Kahir Stood up and started talking just a little to loudly.
It’s nice and all to talk about having a real war, but if you haven’t noticed the most advanced weapon that we have is a scorpion and most of my men have crossbows and knives. The security people keep their rifles under lock and key, and the security people in the field don’t have more than 60 rounds each. And I might add that despite our best experts we cannot manufacture rifles and bullets.”

Well based on the information that brother Hamada has supplied us with” said Mohammed nodding towards Khalid, “ we are going to make tanks and linear electromagnetic mass accelerators”

I don’t see how any information that I gave you is going to help you build a linear electro thing-a-ma-bob, “ said Khalid glancing at Yusef and Mahathir two of only about six people still in the room. “And I know of no way to build tanks.”

Linear electromagnetic mass accelerators” replied Muhammed, “and don’t worry about the tanks they are going to be easy.”

I don’t even know what that is”

You don’t know what a tank is?”

I know what a tank is the other doohickey thing you are talking about.”

Coaxial accelerators”

Still clueless”

Asynchronous linear induction motor.”

No idea what you are saying”

Pulsed solenoids with a moveable core.”

Khalid simply shrugged his shoulders in the negative.

Gauss guns or coil guns”

Oh a gun”

You did graduate from university”

Chemistry not physics was my strong science.”

Ok, let me explain then. The supply list you gave us shows that we are receiving a large shipment of super-conductive wire, 5 thousand kilometers of it, to be exact. That along with the new super hard plastic pipes we have received will be used to make the gauss guns. We will take the pipes, which are 12mm in diameter with 1mm thick walls. We will cut them in lengths of 75cm long and bore them to add stability. We will take the super-conductive wire and wrap it around the pipe. I figure about 200 turns should do it. The switching mechanism is a solid-state switch, a ceramic disk that we can make out of the Martian clay. We have already made about three thousand of them. The energy storage device is the miniature compulsators the Japanese have to power all the vehicles. The projectiles will be a 10mm in diameter, 5cm long ferrite ceramic slug. It has a density of 5g/cc and weighs 16 grams. And 25 bulldozers have arrived on Mars; we will use them to make the tanks by welding the extra bulldozer blades on them for armor. Security’s guns will not be able to penetrate them. Now all we have to do is get the material here and begin.”

So, you want me to request more bulldozers for the project than we need.”
Exactly, and you can claim that we lost two in a rock slide and need replacements. All in all when we bring them to field we should have ten, which might not sound like a lot but as there are no tanks on Mars we will have a significant advantage.”
Sometime later Khalid walked into a large pressurized cavern with a banner running along its wall proclaiming it, Mars Rifles and Rockets Corporation. There were three assembly lines set up, one to make gauss rifles the second to make the projectiles the gauss rifles would fire. It was the third line that made Khalid smile, there they were making rockets. The rockets had been Khalid’s idea; he had remembered a simple formula of 63% potassium nitrate, 27% sugar and 10% red iron oxide.

This had been made when digging out a new cavern they had discovered large deposits of both sodium nitrate and potassium chloride. The rockets they were making using this formula were able to lift much larger payloads on Mars than they would have on earth; because of the fact that on Mars they only had to deal with.38g instead of 1g as on Earth. Also despite the Japanese terra forming projects wind resistance was still no where near what it would have been back on Earth.

Khalid strode into a small office directly off of the main room; this was where Mohammed Hatta designed the tools that the Martian intafada would use. Khalid had received a message that Mohammed had to speak to him urgently.

Asalam Alaikum Mohammed, what is so urgent that I am creeping out into the darkness and missing my beauty sleep.”

Alaikum Asalam brother, I have fantastic news. Brother Abdullah has discovered the Zubrin landing site. Inshallah, if the tanks have held and the wind miner there is still working there should be several thousand liters of liquid hydrogen and oxygen. I have already drawn up planes for a rocket plane that we could build. We just need you to help us go get it”

The two men discussed further and decided that Khalid would pretend to take one of the big eight wheeled trucks out to scout the path of the railroad. He would meet up with Abdullah who would have a trailer with Tanks on it to siphon the hydrogen and oxygen if the tanks were indeed still full.

The construction of the rocket planes would require that six more men ‘die’ on the railroad project, so that they could build 4 of them with out pushing back the time table that the Martian Intafada leadership had agreed to.

While Khalid was there, Mohammed showed him how well the bulldozer’s makeover into tanks was going. They had solved the problem of seeing out by outfitting the tanks with periscopes, as they did not have armored glass. The tanks would also tow the multi-tube rocket launchers. Every thing was on schedule Mohammed assured Khalid.
Seigo-Dono had received a message from Japanese Imperial Intelligence HQ, warning about a possible threat of infiltration by the Brotherhood of the Golden Circle. The Brotherhood was becoming a major problem back on Earth. At first Seigo was a bit alarmed but when he checked the list of names that they had sent him, he discovered all the men were dead. All of them had died in a mine explosion several months ago.

He mused that they were possibly trying to make explosives and blew themselves up. Though he decided that he would try to convince the governor to reduce the number of non-Japanese workers in Kyoto on Mars and send out a memo to the security teams in the field to be vigilant. Even if it was nothing, it never hurt to get everyone back on their toes.
Asif Mahmoud sat quitly while Hamza Kahir, military commander of the Martian Intafada, went over the assassination plan for a fifth time. Asif and Atif Haque, his fellow assassin, both knew that they would only have one chance. Security around the governor and in Kyoto on Mars had increased measurably over the last several weeks. The two men had already written letters that were to be sent to their families back on Earth. Success or failure they were not going to survive.

This is an Imperial Japanese News Service news flash. Governor Okamoto Has been assassinated. We repeat Governor Okamoto has been assassinated. The details are still coming in but apparently two suicide bombers were able to detonate themselves killing Governor Okamoto , two of his top aids, as well as twelve members of his security squad. General Seigo Miyauchi has declared martial law. We will give you updates as we receive more information.”
Hamza Kahir sat in the gunner’s seat of one of the nine tanks they had managed to build. They had been driving for two days and were coming up on their objective, Ronin airfield. Four of the tanks maneuvered into position to charge the airfield, the other five dropped back and detached their rocket trailers. Thirty minutes later rockets rained down on the airfield destroying the hangers and the only four armed aircraft that the Imperial Japanese security forces had.

Hamza sighted the control tower with the tanks main gauss cannon, recited the basmala and fired. The round slammed into the top of the tower, glass flying out everywhere. The next two rounds hit the base of the tower collapsing it. A few Japanese soldiers rushed out towards the tanks firing on them with their assault rifles, but the rifles were unable to penetrate the tank armor. Huge fireballs rose up into the air as the Martian rebels destroyed the last remaining fuel tanks.

The Japanese fought to the last man, none surrendered. Hamza decided that he liked this as he was not sure of where they would have put prisoners, if they had surrendered. As soon as he was satisfied that the airfield was completely destroyed he ordered the rebels to move on to their next target, Kyoto on Mars. There they were to link up with the main body of the Martian rebel army.
Seigo-dono looked at the stack of reports and pictures on his desk. It seemed that a workers uprising was occurring all over Mars. Dozens of small security squads, that he had out at various construction sites, had been killed or captured. The security squad at the railroad construction site had managed to get a message out telling him that the armored doors on their barracks had been welded shut. Their heavily armored barracks turned into their prison. The fiber-optic line had been cut before they could get out any more information, but Seigo-dono was sure something similar had happened at many of the other construction sites.

Toshi, I need you to order the 4th, 5th and 7th security groups to withdraw from their current positions and come to Kyoto on Mars. We will be able to deploy them out from the city as a forward defense against attack”, barked Seigo-Dono.

I am sorry sir, but the 4th, 5th and 7th security groups are now in route to help secure the Haruko mining complex”

Who ordered that bit of stupidity”?

Ryoji Noguchi did sir, he felt that the Haruko mining complex is our largest and most profitable mining site and therefore must be protected.”

I am in charge, not that idiot Ryoji Noguchi. I order the security units not him. I want you to send orders to them that when the train arrives at Haruko complex they are to stay on the train and that the train is to come to Kyoto on Mars right away.”

Yes sir”
Idiots” yelled Seigo-dono as he angrily slammed his fist into his desk.
Mustapha steered the rocket plane following the rail road tracks. He knew that somewhere up a head of him was a train stuffed full of Japanese soldiers. 20 minutes later Mustapha came up on the train and kissed the hand written card he had in his vest pocket which read ‘If Allah is your protector, none can overcome you, and if He forsakes you, then who can help you? Trust Allah and have faith in His sovereign power.-Qur'an, Al-Imran, Surah 3:160. He then maneuvered the rocket plane into the optimum angle for attack.

He whispered the basmala as he fired his two rockets into the train engine, with the train engine destroyed and the train cars scattered about, some on their sides, he made three strafing passes on the broken train cars before heading back to refuel. The Japanese soldiers never knew what hit them for while they had lookouts looking forward and back and to the sides none were looking up.

Mustapha flying back to the rebel airbase felt confident that he would be able to get back in time to join in with the attack on Kyoto on Mars.
The Martian rebels, calling themselves the Second Army, were still more than 5 kilometers from the Japanese military base Akagi. Their mission was pretty simple, infiltrate the slope above Akagi and keep the Japanese soldiers pinned down so that they cannot go to help defend Kyoto on Mars. The 6th and 8th security groups were stationed at Akagi. As the 9th, 10th, and left security groups were on the other side of Mars. This would mean that Kyoto on Mars would only be defended by the 1st, 2nd and 12th security groups.

Colonel Fugi had predicted an attack on Akagi would come from the slope above and had deployed the bases APG’s in a defensive position. The rebel 2nd Army ran smack into them with disastrous results. The Japanese hit the rebels by surprise, sending them scrambling in shock. And while the initial hit was hard; the group was much larger than Colonel Fugi had ever anticipated. The rebels were able to regroup and counter attack flanking the Japanese APCs. Using their, heavy Gauss guns with devastating effort against the APC’s, it was only after the engagement that the rebel 2nd Army realized how hard they had be hit.

So what you are saying is we are out of air.” Said Khalid exasperated to his assistant Abu-Hamza.

The trucks carrying the air miners were hit as was the truck carrying the spare oxygen tanks. We have managed to salvage a few from the truck and a couple from the Japanese APC’s.”

So how much air do we have?”

About 14 hours, sir.”

So, we keep them pinned down for 14 hours and suffocate and then they…”

They, sir, move out and slam into the rear of the army that we have sent to capture Kyoto on Mars.”

Ok, I must say I don’t like that plan. So we come up with a new plan. How about this? We attack Akagi. All out assault capture their air miners and spare air. Don’t suffocate and then we can actually move on to help with the attack on Kyoto on Mars. How does that plan sound?”

Much better than the suffocation plan sir.”

The Intafadas Second army gathered on the slopes of Olympus Mons above Akagi. As their job had been to simply keep the Japanese forces trapped here, they had no rockets or the larger rail gun cannons. The heaviest guns they had were the equivalent of a 50 caliber machine gun and would not penetrate the heavy stone and brick walls of Akagi. They would have to get men to the air locks to blast them open with the small amount of explosives they had taken from a tunnel construction site.

They decided to turn the remaining vehicles’ engine to powering large make-shift fans they built. The idea was to force a wall of dust and sand down the slope to provide cover for the as they charged down the hill.

Morale was low to Khalid, who fancied himself somewhat of a singer. Khalid tried to raise their spirits by singing.
" When I die boys
Bury me on Olympus Mons.
When I die boys,
Bury me on Olympus Mons.
Where the rain don’t fall
And the wind don’t howl
Bury me on Olympus Mons….."

The attack was brutal with the bulk of the 2nd Army getting down to Akagi under the cover of the dust and sand. But, those who survived the initial charge found themselves in fierce room to room fighting with the Imperial security force casualty’s being very high.
Rockets rained down on Kyoto on mars sending the population scurrying underground. The Japanese defenders tried to stop the advance of the Martian rebels, but found they were powerless to slow the advance of the makeshift tanks, which spearheaded the attack.

They have tanks and rocket planes! What has security been doing, sleeping”!?! Accused Noguchi.

You cut workers rations and work them like animals, so of course they rebel. But on top of that you hide the fact that so much equipment is missing. Maybe if you had let me know that so many bulldozers had been damaged and that 3, 3 had simply vanished. I could have put it together sooner.” Yelled Seigo-dono.

Well I don’t have time for this my family and I are going up the elevator.”

Maybe your family, but you are staying right here. I have made dozens of requests for more security personal and every time you made sure that it did not happen as you saw it cutting into your profit margin. So you will stay here with me and die gloriously for the empire and the Emperor.”


But nothing, you have lived your life like a disgusting parasite; you will die like a man.”
General Hamza Kahir, commander of all Martian rebel military forces, strode into the room cradling his gauss rifle in his arms and with a captured 45 automatic on his hip. His left thigh bandaged from where he had been shot by a Japanese sniper. The room had maps of Mars and the city on the walls with different colored pins in them. Six computers were sitting on a long table in the middle of the room; their monitors flashing, chairs scattered around the room. In one corner of the room lay two bodies on the floor. One wore the heavy combat armor of the Japanese security forces, the other an armored vest over a business suit.

Hamza would admit later that he had actually expected Seigo-dono to go down fighting.
I never expected to capture Seigo-dono” he would say.
But that he was very shocked that Noguchi fought to the end. The rebels had only managed to get them when Seigo-dono’s rifle had jammed.

The rebels had taken the city and the space elevator. The few pockets of Japanese resistance surrendered or made suicidal charges with the announcement of the death of Seigo-dono and the capture of the space elevator.
Hamza sat at the large brown table sipping chai, in the executive boardroom. The walls still bare as since taking down the pictures of the Japanese emperor and other Japanese officials they had still not replaced them with anything.

Yusef Wehbe and Mohammed Hatta both walked into the room a cup of chai in one hand and folders in the other. They both sat down across next to each other across the table from Hamza. They opened up the folders and began the meeting by reciting the basmala.

The Three of them expressed surprise that 25% of the Japanese colonists refused return and opted to stay in the new Republic of Mars. They also had good news, with the war going badly for Japan back on Earth it wouldn’t be anytime soon that Japan would have troops to spare to try and recapture Mars. This delay would give them time to build up their ground defenses and to put some missal platforms into orbit.

Mohammed was able to give them even better news, Brazil, America, South Africa and China had all announced their recognition of the Republic of Mars. Brazil and America had even agreed to send them radar equipment and various pieces of scientific equipment that they needed via the space elevator in northern Brazil.The three men vowed that they would never allow Japan to retake Mars.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Clone rights campaign on New Palestine.

It seems that the battle for civil rights is never ending. It is unfortunate that Industry used clones as unpaid labor doing dangerous jobs for years on many planets through out known human space. Even when the practice was ended clones faced discrimination.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Amarya Zazzau University Student Union cafeteria was filled with the sound of students talking about the latest soccer match, exams, what they were going to do this weekend and the smells of rice and lamb. While the cafeteria was co-ed, male and female students sat at different tables. Male and female students would talk to each and occasionally romances started in the cafeteria they always sat at different tables, no one was really sure if this was a university rule or just tradition, but it was always done.

Suddenly one of the students whom were watching one of the vid screens on the wall shouted for every one to be quite. Soon everyone in the cafeteria was glued to the broadcast.

The Frankish navy has made a surprise attack on New Palestine. Initial reports are telling us that the orbital shipyards at New Palestine have been destroyed, along with all orbital defenses and system defense boats. CINN has just received word that the attacking Frankish fleet also dropped thermo-nuclear bombs on several cities on New Palestine. The list we are reading to you now are of the cities that we know have been hit, but it is not to be assumed to be a complete list. Arafat city, New Jericho, Ramallah by the Sea, and Druze Colony. The Confederation military is calling up all reserves and canceling all leaves. You are to report to your unit right away. In planetary news The Hausa world Military High Command is also calling up all reserves and canceling all leaves. If you are in the military you are to report to your unit commander immediately.
It is narrated on the authority of Tariq b. Shihab: It was Marwan who initiated (the practice) of delivering khutbah (address) before the prayer on the 'Id day. A man stood up and said: Prayer should precede khutbah. He (Marwan) remarked, This (practice) has been done away with. Upon this Abu Sa'id remarked: This man has performed (his duty) laid on him. I heard the Messenger of Allah as saying: He who amongst you sees something abominable should modify it with the help of his hand; and if he has not strength enough to do it, then he should do it with his tongue, and if he has not strength enough to do it, (even) then he should (abhor it) from his heart, and that is the least of faith.

Hamza plucked his red tinted glasses off his face and turned to his best friend, since 2nd grade, and stuttered” Omar, cousin I am so sorry, I mean I am sure that he wasn’t there. He was probably in the field. You know how he is always out getting rock samples.”

Omar isn’t your dad on New Palestine”? Asked Zainab a young co-ed that Omar and Hamza had in their Neo-Quantum Trigonometry class.

Yeah his dad is on New Palestine, teaching geology at the university at Ramallah by the Sea. Now could you give us a moment.” Replied Hamza who now had taken Omar’s arm in his hand and was directing him out the door. More of their classmates started to offer words of sympathy or encouragement.

Omar’s tall and lanky frame came to a sudden halt. Causing an un-alert Hamza to almost trip over him.
The time stamp on the pictures show that it was a weekday morning. He is teaching classes mornings during the week. He was there when Ramallah by the sea was hit.” Stated Omar adding “We are at war Hamza, and I am going to go down and to the military recruiter’s office and sign up.”

We will sign up together” said Hamza with a big smile braking across his face., “because there is no way I am going to let you go off and get all the glory.”

When they got there they found the recruiter’s office was full.
Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported: A person came to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said: Who among the people is most deserving my companionship (of a kind treatment from me?) He said: Your mother. He, again, said: Then who (is the next one)? He said: It is your mother (who deserves the best treatment from you). He said: Then who (is the next one)? He (the Holy Prophet) said: It is your mother. He (again) said: Then who? Thereupon he (The Prophet (peace be upon him)) said: It is your father.

YOU DID WHAT!!!” yelled Khadija, Omar’s mom a tall thin woman wearing a black and gold outfit, at him.

Hamza and I went down to the recruiter’s office and signed up.” Replied Omar nervously; this was not going at all as he had seen it in his mind. He had envisioned hi mother crying and grief stricken but proud, not blazing with anger.

When you say recruiters, you mean you have signed up as dutronic robotic gardening equipment salesmen.” Said his mother with just a hint of sarcasm.

No mother, Hamza and I went and signed up with “


Hamza and I …”

I don’t care what Hamza does, I am not his mother. Now I forbid you to join the military. I have just lost your father, I am going to need help with your sisters,” she said gesturing to the 3 little girls who were sitting quietly on the living room’s old and worn couch.

Mom, we already signed up. We are to report back to the recruiting station next Thursday to ship out for training.”

Khadija collapsed into the big black leather chair next to the couch, her head in her hands. It seemed that her anger had evaporated away and with it her strength. Her husband of twenty-four years dead and now her only son going off to fight in a war that had taken her by surprise. This was not how her life was supposed to be going, she thought. She had been inquiring about brides for her son and had expected to have him introduced to a few prospective brides when her husband had returned in 6 months. Now all her plans were shattered.

Khadija had Omar home for ten days and she made the most of it. Cooking all his favorite foods and letting him spend his days drinking tea and playing mancala with his sisters and friends. Omar figured he had gained two kilos by the time he reported to the military recruiter’s office, where they were given train tickets.

When they got off the train, they were hustled on to a bus with other recruits and in short order were driven to the training base, where they met training Sgt. Abdulkhareem. A man whose 2.2-meter tall frame seemed to bulge everywhere with muscles and he howled at them in a thick New Daura accent pegging him as an off worlder. He seemed to spend the entire training time either in their faces or behind them kicking their butts.

Listen up, I am not your friend, I am not your mama, I am not your daddy, I am your training Sgt. I will be training you how to be Confederate Assault troops, the greatest type of soldier there is. I will train you how to use all sorts of different killing devices and in battlefield tactics. But most importantly I will teach who the enemy is, so that when you go into battle you will not hesitate, because if you hesitate you die”, roared training Sgt. Abdulkhareem.

Over the next several months Omar, Hamza and the other recruits learned how to use the G.A.R.-17; gauss assault rifle, as well as the V.R.F gauss gun. They learned to use grenades, mines, and seemingly every confederate infantry weapon in use. Spending hours each day on the firing range, with the hot sun beating down on them.
When it rained, as the military did not want to run the firing range in the downpour, they did physical training and practicing marching in formation. The military did not seem to care how wet they got.
They practiced hand-to-hand combat, knife fighting and use of the garrote until every muscle ached and they could do the movements in their sleep.

Drop the garrote over his head and around his neck, partial twist of your body and pull. Done correctly the enemy’s head will come off”, barked Training Sgt. Abdulkhareem white teeth gleaming.
Omar and the other recruits could hear training Sgt. Abdulkhareem in their sleep howling at them, “Wrong, now you are dead. Do it again!”

After graduation from the weapons school they went straight to drop school. They did parachute jumps and specialized HALO jumps for 3 weeks, then after a week of classroom instruction they went up the space elevator, they climbed aboard the C.S.S. West Wind, loaded into drop pods and made their first orbital assault insertion. They made one more drop and then had their graduation ceremony.
Omar’s Mom and sisters came with Hamza’s parents and brother. They all remarked how they looked older and seemed more mature. Mostly Omar and Hamza just felt tired, but they also felt confident in their new abilities and skills.
After several days of leave spent mostly playing soccer and computer games, Omar and Hamza reported back to base and assembled with the rest of the third assault division in a huge cavernous hanger. When General Al-Jaber walked into the hanger 20 thousand men snapped to attention. The General walked slowly across the stage to the podium, looking out at the faces of men whom he was about to order into combat. They are so young he thought.

At the age of 63, General Al-Jaber was old enough to be the grandfather of most of the men in the 3rd Assault Division. He still kept his 2.1 meter frame in trim fighting shape by jogging and swimming every day, but even with that age had caught up with him some what and took out the reading glasses, that he hated that he had to have, to read his speech notes.

Assalam Alaikum” Said General Al-Jaber.

Alaikum Assalam” replied 20 thousand soldiers.

Bismillah Rahim Raham, five months ago military vessels belonging to the Frankish Empire attacked the Confederation, but they were not being content with destroying the military sites in the New Palestine star system. Oh no, they also nuked the eight largest cities on the prime planet. Now since that time we have fought two major battles and several smaller skirmishes, with raids going back and forth. The last major battle was a major attack by the Franks on New Kelantan and gentlemen, the Franks were crushed. All of the Frankish capitol ships participating in the raid were destroyed. A complete victory for the Confederation. Now the Franks are still in the fight and they have just finalized an alliance with the Unity of Saints. An Alliance, which we shall nullify with one bold strike. You will leave this assembly gather your gear, for in 6 hours you will be taking the elevator up to a top of the line Crocotta class assault troop transport” the General paused looking up from his notes at the sea of faces and exclaimed “Takbir”

20 thousand voices replied “Allahu Akbar”


Allahu Akbar”


Allahu Akbar”

You are dismissed.”

Omar and Hamza crowded on to the elevator car with a thousand of their fellow soldiers, combat armor on and packs on their backs. They would have their G.A.R.-17s issued to them once they got on board the C.S.S. Cairo, The Crocotta class assault ship which would transport them.
Once they and the rest of the assault divisions were loaded onto the transports, each platoon gathered around its Lieutenant who then ripped open their sealed orders and read them to the men. The Confederation High Command was making an attack on Zarahemla prime. The 7th fleet would slide into the Zarahamla Star system first and then they, 250,000 assault troops being escorted by 2 Bahamut class battleships and 4 Quyata class heavy cruisers, would come into after most of the Unity system defense ships had been destroyed or disabled. The assault ships were then to establish a low orbit and the assault troops would go down in drop ships. The soldiers also learned that the assault troops from Hausa world had been chosen to make the assault on Zarahemla Prime for a very special reason. Zarahemla Prime’s air was of a similar composition as Hausa world, 50% Carbon Dioxide. As all of the Hausa had been genetically modified generations ago so that they could breath the air, they would not have to wear any special type of respirators. The Unity defenders would be wearing such devices, as genetic modification of human beings was illegal in the Unity. All the cities and towns on Zarahemla Prime were domed.

86 hours after receiving their orders the lead battleship, the CSS Kuwait led the assault group to their slide point and opened up a worm hole which the group slid through to the Zarahemla star system.
12 hours later they emerged from the wormhole and slid into the Zarahemla star system, and while the confederate 4th fleet finished wiping the Zarahemla defenders from the sky, the Assault group traveled through the star system to take position in orbit of Zarahemla Prime. As every minute ticked by Omar and the other men felt the tension rise. Men cleaned their weapons, made dhiker, or read to try and pass the time. As they got closer and closer to their objective, more and more of the men made dhiker.

The order was given, Omar and the rest of his company assembled outside of their drop pods with all of their equipment. The captain then ordered them into their drop pods and then added, “Remember your training and you will survive. Remember Allah and you will be victorious regardless of the battle’s out come.”

Omar got into his drop pod and strapped himself in. He read the engraved plate, which was just above the go no-go lights in his drop pod. It was a hadith and read ‘The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) once saw the corpse of a woman who had been killed during a battle. He disapproved of it and forbade the killing of women and children.’ It was a final reminder to the assault troops of how they were expected to conduct themselves during combat. The green go light came on and Omar feeling his stomach doing flip-flops recited the basmallah as he pressed the launch button.

The steering rockets fired and he felt the drop pod hit the atmosphere. The pod started to heat up for a short time and then the jerk of the main shoot being deployed, activated automatically by the pod’s altimeter. During this stage Omar knew he was most vulnerable, for even with the pod being invisible to radar and as the heat shield fell away, invisible to infrared the pod could still be seen by the naked eye. The shoot was sky blue but the pod was a dark grey. Attempts at painting them just had the paint burn off during entry.
The pod hit the ground with a heavy thud, the iris door spun open and the straps holding Omar in the pod released. Omar activated his body armor’s chameleon skin and as trained moved twenty meters away from the pod took and took cover before activating his locater, so that he could find the Lt. When he picked up the Lt.’s signal flash he locked its location on his map read out and started moving towards it, as it was the units rally point.

Moving cautiously through the forest it took him only a few minutes before he came upon the rally point. The Captain was there giving out assignments.

Omar get over “ordered Captain Khalid, “don’t have a mortar with you?”

No sir”

You did not happen to see any of the mortar teams when you were making your way here, did you”

No sir”

Alhamdulilah! Where are those mortar teams, listen Omar I want you to grab Hamza, Takir and Hussain and try to get up to the road. Hamza has a Laser spotter and we got Jinn Bombers entering the atmosphere now. They are going to do us a fly over. There is a Unity armored column coming down the road and you guys are going to spot it for the bombers, alright.”

Yes sir”

Omar found the other men and they started towards the road. Hamza explained to him that something with the drop pods navigation systems had malfunctioned and they were twenty kilometers south of where they were supposed to be. So, while they had been screaming through the atmosphere hoping their feet did not burn off, the drop ships had unloaded the armor in the right place. The eyes in the sky had discovered that there was a Unity armor unit between them and the confederate armored unit whom they were supposed to be scouting a path towards the capitol. They could hear gunfire erupting south and west of them as Unity Para-military forces engaged the invading confederate army.

It wasn’t long before they saw the enemy tanks moving down the road towards them. Hamza trained the laser spotter on the second tank as Takir made a radio flash signal to the Jinn attack bombers. 10 seconds later the whole road seemed to explode as hundreds of bomblets rained down on the armored column. They never even saw the Jinn bombers.
Soon they had new orders, ground radar had triangulated where the sporadic rocket fire that was hitting them was coming from, but as they still could not find the mortar teams, Omar was told to take his men and spot the rocket launchers. Moving carefully through the forest looking out for booby traps and Unity Para-military snipers, an hour later they started taking fire, they could also hear the whoosh of the out going rockets.

Hamza’s hit,” yelled Jakir as he returned fire at the Unity defenders.

I ‘m alright” shouted Hamza after rolling behind a tree, “Alhamdulilah I’m alright, but the laser spotter is broken.”

Omar fired two grenades from the under slung grenade launcher on his G.A.R-17 and made a mad dash towards Hamza. While Hamza zeroed in on the Unity defenders and started putting 14mm rounds into them, Omar tried to see if he could fix the laser spotter. He quickly came to the irrefutable conclusion that he could not. The laser spotter had been hit by a round meant for Hamza and had broken in to two pieces, electronic components inside were shattered.

Omar looked at Hamza and announced “It looks like the spotter has given its life for the Confederation. We don’t have another one, do we?”


Didn’t think so. Alright we have to come up with another plan.” Said Omar glancing around the huge tree he and Hamza were using as cover. He had come to realize that in the last few minutes that the Unity return fire had significantly dropped off. “Look I took out the machine gun they had with my grenades, how many do you think you have you gotten?”

I put down maybe 5 or 6.”

Alright listen up; I want you to get over there with Jakir. You two will fire all 5 of your grenades in rapid succession and then start firing 3 round bursts. Hussian and I will charge them. If there are as few of them as I think we should be able to over run them and then hit the rocket tubes.”

And if there isn’t a few of them but a whole company back there guarding the rocket tubes, then what.”

Then it nice knowing you and I die with wudu”

Right, right”

The plan went off perfectly as there turned out to be only two unity defenders left. They moved up towards where they heard the rockets firing from. They crawled up a small hill which the rocket tubes were set up behind and fired down on the Unity unit killing them all before they could get off even one shot. Eight hours later the Confederate Assault infantry was able to hook up with the armor units that were waiting to press on to the capitol city of Zarahemla Prime and all of the Unity.
Confederation forces fought their way to the gates of the capitol, paying for every meter with blood. Bahamut class battleships, outfitted with mass drivers, maneuvered into low orbit firing on the unity forces north of the capitol with devastating effect. Confederation troops, who could feel the explosions caused by the mass drivers from kilometers away, joked that next year they would fish in the lakes being created north of the capitol city. The destruction of the Unity forces north of the capitol left the Unity defenders with out hope of reinforcement. After three days of ferocious fighting the Unity defenders retreated into the city, abandoning the few armored vehicles that had not been destroyed.

The Unity defenders hoped to delay the invading confederate forces long enough for reinforcements to arrive from the southern continent. Unfortunately for the defenders any relief would have to be air-lifted to get to them in time to help and the C.S.S. Musa, a Zaratan class carrier’s Buraq fighters were destroying anything that the Unity tried to put into the air.

After two days of attempting to negotiate surrender, the Confederate assault troops were given their orders and attacked the city blasting the airlocks and simply cutting through the city’s walls. Fierce house to house fighting raged for 5 days and while the Unity troops had the will to fight, they found themselves out of ammunition and low on bottled air and filters. And so they finally surrendered. The leader of the Unity of Saints, who went by the title of prophet, was captured and announced the unity’s surrender.

The surrender was recorded and broadcast all over the planet. Soon confederate ships were being dispatched to all Unity controlled star systems with recordings of the Unity of Saint’s prophet surrender. In one bold remove the Unity of Saints was removed as a military threat.

Omar can you give me a hand over here? I need and Hamza to bring those welders over to gate station 4, so they can get started on repairing it” said the captain.

Sir why can’t we just get a bio-lab to create a retro-virus we can give these people so that they can be enhanced and able to breathe the air here? Can’t be that hard, they possibly even have the original retro-virus used on Hausa World that enabled to breathe back home and here on Zarahemla prime still sitting in storage in some lab somewhere.” Asked Hamza.

The saints have some type of religious beliefs that do not allow them to gene-modify themselves. Their cattle are in the fields around the city so they obviously know how to do it. We cannot enforce our beliefs on them it just isn’t right.” Replied the captain, “Now get those welders over to gate station four, so we can get this city re-pressurized.”