Jun 24, 2017

Mars 123

Image credits: this image was made using
three images created by Ludovic Celle. See:
Mars canyon 01, Martian Oasis, and
Green Mars 01. This new composite image
(M1A2R3S) depicts an imaginary book cover
and is licensed under the Creative Commons
Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License.
Mars 123 tells the story of what happens next to the Editor after the events described in Exit Edit. Sadly, there does not seem to be a copy of Mars 123 on Earth.

Today I was discussing time travel with Zeta. Several years ago, back when I was told by Ivory that time travel became impossible sometime late in the 20th century, I was both skeptical and disappointed. It would be wonderful if those of us here in 2017 could be provided with a convincing demonstration of time travel.

Zeta insists that I have been a time traveler and she has consistently encouraged me to make efforts to access old suppressed memories of my trips through time. Zeta keeps telling me that I might not be able to experience those suppressed memories in a normal fashion. Today, when we had again reached that point in our discussion of time travel, Yōd looked up from her tablet and joined the conversation.

In the Ekcolir Reality.
Original cover art by Michael Whelan.
Yōd said to Zeta, "You might shake loose some of his suppressed memories if you told him about the Martians."

Zeta muttered, "Ivory got kicked off of Earth for that."

Yōd shrugged, "Don't be such a coward."

I asked, "What about Martians?"

Zeta replied, "One of the stories that the Dead Widowers published was about Mars, but the tryp'At Overseers erased that little publishing effort from history and Ivory got her ticket off of Earth."

Somehow that revelation matched with an idea that was already in my head. I wondered if Yōd had been correct and old memories were being triggered just by me thinking about Mars and the idea of Martians. I tried fishing for information that might be common knowledge on the worlds of the Galactic Core. I asked, "Two billion years ago, when the pek arrived in our galaxy, did they find life on both Earth and Mars?"

Click image to enlarge. (source) image credits
Yōd exclaimed triumphantly, "See!"

I didn't know what she meant. I wondered out loud, "See what?"

Zeta scowled at Yōd, then she replied, "Yes, the pek found life on Mars when they arrived. However, their main interest in Mars concerned extracting the planet's sedrons."

Zeta fell silent and I believe she would have let the matter drop. I was aware of the fact that the real source of Huaoshy power and technological dominance in the universe depended on their sedron monopoly. The main job of the pek was to extract all readily available deposits of sedrons, depriving other life forms of access to naturally occurring sedronic matter.

I was lost in a train of thought about the Huaoshy and sedrons when Yōd added, "According to Ivory, there was a Nereid base on Mars and-"

Zeta complained, "There's no evidence for that!"

Yōd never paused, "...and there will be a future base for Martians."

Zeta was glaring at Yōd, but I hardly noticed. In my mind I could see a strange "dream scene" that has haunted me my whole life. For many years I'd imagined it was a scene set at Observer Base on the Moon, but now I no longer believe that there was ever actually an alien facility under the surface of the Moon.

But what about Mars?

That thought triggered an odd memory fragment to bubble up in my mind. I've long suspected that somehow my family was constructed as a device for inserting a tyrp'At agent into Earth's timeline, an agent who would play the role of "the Editor". Part of that family was my "uncle" George.

I never knew if George had any real genetic relationship to me. The first time I ever met him was right after I had died. I can only remember an image of George and my parents talking; I have no idea what they were talking about... I was just a little kid. However, the last time I ever saw George has returned to my awareness after decades of that memory being blocked. That occasion may have been the only time that George actually spoke to me.

in the Ekcolir Reality
At the time, (I was about 12 years old) what George told me made no sense. I realize now that he was trying to warn me about my future, particularly the fact that Gohrlay would come into my life. George warned me to never think that I could trust a woman and he put it in a strange way: "You never know. A woman who you think you know might actually be from Mars."

When I was 12, I laughed at George's remark about Mars. He looked at me rather sternly, took my hand in his, and asked me to promise to not forget what he had told me. Now I am left wondering if Gohrlay really did "come from Mars" and if she has returned to that world. The tryp'At seem to be enforcing restrictions on who can reside on Earth. It may be that Gohrlay, having originated in Deep Time, had too many bumpha-derived genes. She might be more comfortable on another world.

Lately, I've gone back and forth in my speculations about Gohrlay's fate. Sometimes I have imagined that she is still here on Earth, in hiding. Other times, I feel that she was teleported off of Earth and is now on some planet of the Galactic Core. But now I must wonder if she is on Mars. Ivory tried to tell me the truth and I might have once actually traveled to a future time when I will join Gohrlay on Mars.

Next: investigating the tryp'At
visit the Gallery of Book and Magazine Covers