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Pavonis-Highway | by lego_nabii
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The following extract is from The Martian Chronicle the day after the first incident made famous in the book and subsequent holovid “Waking the God of War”:


A massive explosion yesterday on the Pavonis highway 27 kilometers south of the Klien Domes has been traced to a terrorist with a neutron grenade launcher.


Ten Martian citizens travelling on the road and one lunar settler, (the believed perpetrator of the attack,) were killed in the incident. No names have been released yet but Guildmaster Chang has sent personal messages and his deepest sympathies to the families of those killed and spoke in a press conference this morning.


“It appears the people of Mars have now been brought into the conflict between the Lunar separatists and Earth-gov. I’m sure this is an attempt to make us choose sides, an action I refuse to take, no matter the provocation. I will not be responsible for humanities first interplanetary war!” proclaimed the Guildmaster. He looked pale and tired; apparently he was in briefings all night as facts about the attack surfaced.


Loretta Florentine of the opposition Red Party accused Mr. Chang of “cowardice and indecision”. She also said: “This attack is a direct consequence of the Domeland Parties policy of selling rare minerals to both sides in the Earth/Moon independence struggle. The Lunar colonies brave attempt to have the same autonomy in their decision making that we the people of Mars enjoy should have been supported from the very beginning.”


Space Police investigators believe the Lunar citizen entered Mars about two weeks ago. Police sources claim this was probably not a suicide attack but the perpetrator may have been used to a vacuum and therefore misjudged the distance needed against the concussive nature of an explosion even in Mars’ thin atmosphere. This may have been exacerbated by his choice of target: an Octan delivery vehicle, full of Titan Hydrocarbons direct from the refinery at the Klien Domes. Octan, an earth based company, have yet to make a statement.


Space Police are for now concentrating their focus on the source of the grenade launcher as one anonymous officer stated “There’s no way in hell he walked past spaceport security with that thing in his bag!”


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Taken on March 23, 2012