Note: The most popular long-distance transport in use in this era on Mars is the Solar Zeppelin, which is basically a cabin suspended from a balloon which gets its heat and rotary power from the sun. However, if you have the money for fuel, nothing beats a rocket powered Jumper when you need to get across the Martian landscape quickly – or at night.
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Note: Biometric cuffs are standard in high security facilities at this time. They seem cumbersome, and as though there may be solutions which are more elegant, but their awkwardness is a part of the security they provide. Not only do they ensure that an authorized person is at the controls of any high-security console, but they also monitor the person’s physiology to ensure that they are not acting under duress. The drawback is that in tense situations like the one presented here, the user must be careful not to allow themselves to get over excited, lest the system shut down.
He retrieved his notebook, and some rubbing paper, and got to work. He assembled what he was able to parse of each panel, making inferences and comparing translations. As he had hoped, every panel carried the same instructions. When it was all together, they described the strokes of a symbol that Harald was not familiar with. It didn’t seem to be a character or a word, it was too complex, and too symmetrical to be a useful bit of language, even a complex one. So, what was it for?
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Note: Projectile and beam weaponry is tightly controlled throughout the Sol System, and even highly trained agents like Lila only carry a firearm if investigating a case in which it is known that someone involved is carrying a firearm. Doctor Bezos is using a custom weapon, hastily crafted in his lab from a high-powered laser microscope and a hand-held transmission collector.
Boris took a deep breath, and raised his eyes to look at the Chairman. The man was an intimidating presence, all calm confidence and resolve. “The Rampion accords were signed in a very different time.” He tried to keep his voice steady, “Two centuries ago, Humans still thought they were alone in the universe, and they certainly had no concept of The Menace or the threat they present.”
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Note: Jansen plays Football for the Xanthe Dusters, a top rated team in the Martian Planetary League, which consists of a total of 24 teams – two from each major settlement. The colors he’s wearing on this day, however, are those of the Mars Rovers, a club in the Sol Football League, which competes in interplanetary matches, and which he aspires to someday join. As a star player in one of Mars’ best teams, it’s not entirely unlikely that he’ll get the chance, though if it doesn’t happen in the next few years, he’ll be getting close to aging out of the sport.
Something was coming together in his mind. Something that had been gnawing at him for a long time, but which was only just now coming into focus. He spoke slowly, waiting for the words to coalesce around the strange feeling. “It’s not about the game itself really. I mean: I will probably win my next match, but does it matter? I’ve played this game until I’ve mastered it. I defeat all challengers week after week, but even if I didn’t, even if I couldn’t, I still wouldn’t be worried about it… There’s just… nothing at stake.”
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Note: The Sol Council Special Group (SCSG) is an organization of investigators and special operations soldiers who answer directly to the Sol Council. While technically not part of the military (they originally grew out of the police organization in the Sol capitol city of Luna Prime, and were intended to serve as a sort of cross-borders police force) they are occasionally called upon to perform very militaristic operations. This results in criticism from other parts of the Solar government – especially Spincity administrators – and some mistrust from the public. The vast majority of their agents, however, are only investigators, not combatants.
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