By Dave Coulter
Howdy Earth Dwellers!
I’ll tell you what, there’s a-plenty of intrigue lately up here on the Red Planet. One might think that the assorted Martian colonies would provide humanity a chance to do things better than we did on Earth. But I’m not so sure. I think some of these traits of ours are just way we humans are, for good or for ill.
Corruption, of the political kind, has tainted the fair colony of New Palin. Word got out last week that two of the senior admins (twin brothers, can you beat that?) Ron & Rand Palin were fixing to sell land adjacent to the colony to a rogue Earthside development concern. Not that development is entirely a bad thing on Mars - why the missus is just dying for them to build a Costco up here. Heck, if the Chinese can have ten of them why can’t we have just one?
I can see her point - they have dandy prices.
Still, development here is still strictly a NASA thing, and Ronny & Randy (they is Track’s great-grand-nephews) was also fixin’ to get one of those mega-churches planted up here. Kinda verboten up here. New Palin is supposed to be an open place, but non-denominational. Kinda like the military. I’m not a church-goer myself (much to the missus’ chagrin) but I don’t think a heathen dome-dweller such as I should cast the first stone in matters theological.
Stone casting is also kinda verboten up here too, what with all the glass, hahaha. Causes a hell of a leak.
I expect Ron & Rand will get theirs. They’re all brigged up as I type, awaiting the next shuttle that will deliver them to the Justice Center on the Moon. Godspeed, boys, Godspeed. Speaking of justice, and the prompt delivery thereof, Frank was recently released back into the good graces - and the general population - of New Palin.
Long story short: the Chinese didn’t want him, and that paper money he had spirited away wasn’t worth a fig except to a few eccentric collectors. We’re told a couple of bills, a ten and a five, are now taped proudly to the side of a useless antique cash register in a tavern in the Chinese quadrant. So, he has to reimburse the Garden Committee the $15.00 now missing. He really got some of the old birds on that Committee worked up. My goodness, the last thing you want to do is rob an old hen of her seed money!
Frank, however, was permitted to bring Mei-Lien to New Palin on the condition that they marry. We may be a 21st century space colony, but we still have our morals. We can’t have people just shacking up around here. Good Lord, what would the neighbors think?