Meridiani Messenger by Stuart Atkinson

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SUMMARY: Stop the press! Hot news for martians in the year 2061...


Issue 54, Ls139, 2061

Hi everyone, and welcome to the latest issue of The Meridiani Messenger, the email newsletter for all Mars Heritage members working hard out there, scattered across the plains of Mars, rescuing and preserving the Old and making sure the New isn't pig ugly! Since our last issue a lot has happened the less said about the annual get-together at Pavonis the better! I swear those holos were faked! but the biggest news, obviously, concerns the outcome of the long-awaited/dreaded Terraforming vote back in the UN on Earth. That generated a lot of passion amongst the Reds and Blues here on Mars ( not all of it constructive, as you'll know if you saw the footage of the protests broadcast on MarsNetNews ) but I suppose the end decision was inevitable, what with global warming wreaking such havoc on Earth, and all those millions of drenched Terran climate refugees looking enviously at Mars shining in their night sky, and thinking how wonderful it would be to live somewhere without relentlessly rising tides and endless, drenching rain.

Of course, it will be another couple of decades before the terraforming actually starts, and maybe even longer if the reports of the discovery of microbes down in the depths of Marineris are confirmed, but it looks like our great, great grandchildren are going to be able to go outside with just face masks on, and their grandchildren may well feel real rain on their faces...

So, obviously it's more important than ever now that we collect as many artefacts from the past exploration of Mars as we can before they're drowned. It's also obvious, sadly, that there's going to be no increase in our funding this year, despite Debbie's excellent presentation to the Parliament last month. Many people think that the recent refusal of permission to extend the MER Museum at Gusev but approve the funding of yet another Parliamentary lodge is proof that the Powers That Be (un-elected, let's not forget!) just don't care about the past, that all they're concerned with is increasing the population as fast as they can to give them greater tax revenue.

Of course, we in Mars Heritage would never say that...

What this all means, of course, is that we'll just have to work harder than ever to preserve our planet's fascinating history, and from your field reports it's obvious that that's not going to be a problem. Everyone's so busy! Over in Isidis, Gaynor's team reports that they've finally found the heat-shield of Beagle 2, after a whole year of searching (well done guys! Great work! No sign of Beagle itself yet? Keep going, you'll find it, and prove them all wrong!), and down in Argyre, Connor's team reports the discovery of some twisted wreckage that may or may not be some surviving pieces of the Observer. We'll have more on that next issue.

But in the meantime, what's been happening here in Meridiani? Well, since the last issue I've been busy helping with a Top Secret project! Sounds exciting, I know, but it's nothing too dramatic, and I'm afraid that if you're hoping I'm about to reveal my involvement in some high tech, scientific endeavour (or a spot of Free Mars terrorism!) you're in for a disappointment.

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