The Music of Mars-Chuck Has a Spy Problem

Chuck’s concerned about Konklin’s spies within MarsVantage…

I have no proof. Either my board members disbelieve or don’t care, but I know Peter Konklin has spies in my company, MarsVantage.

For over a decade, Konklin and his company have been one step ahead of us. As soon as we get traction in an area, we get blocked. Sometimes supplies suddenly became unavailable. Other times the government imposed new regulations. That’s not surprising–Konklin has funded half of congress, and they live contently in his pocket.

A once in a lifetime opportunity lies before me. I spent a sizeable sum hiring Gretchen, an archaeology consultant, to decipher odd symbols on a cave wall to access a new energy source. Everyone knows of the hire–there’s no way to hide a person traveling from Earth to Mars. The key is to prevent Konklin from learning what she’s working on.

I instructed Frank to look for the spies using recently delivered security data analysis software. It would be so much easier to find and return them to Earth than deal with them interfering with the mission, but they eluded Frank.

I have a feeling Konklin’s spies have plans for Frank and Gretchen’s mission.

The-Music-of-Mars-customdesign-JayAheer2018-3D-eReaderWant to learn more about Chuck and his spy problem? Check out The Music of Mars page, or go here to buy the paperback or here the Kindle.

If you sign-up for my mailing list, you can download a free short story that details how MarsVantage came about.

If you buy the book, you’re eligible to download two free short stories.

Posted in Mars, sci-fi, The Music of Mars | Leave a comment

The Music of Mars-Frank and the Knowledge Keepers

Franks talks about the Knowledge Keepers…

Just after my engagement to Lori, she inducted me as an initiate in the Knowledge Keeper Order. She taught me the ins and outs until she died in the Airlock Accident.

When the public catches Knowledge Keepers in action, they see clowns, which is designed to cover our actual purpose: to safeguard humanity’s knowledge, history, and essence for a time when we’ll need it.

That time grows near, and it’s clear for the few who wish to see. Far too many succumb to the government’s lies propped up by the corrupt media.

We believe that society is on the verge of ruin, and there’s nothing that can stop the decline. The government wields power to benefit the elite at the expense of the ordinary citizens. However when society collaspes, we’ll help pick up the pieces.

For over a decade, I faithfully executed my duties anticipating and planning for the inevitable. In the course of a month, humanity’s fate changed. Gretchen and I are in the vanguard because of what we found buried under centuries of Martian sand.

Will Gretchen understand my participation with the Knowledge Keepers? Could it drive her from Mars altogether?

The-Music-of-Mars-customdesign-JayAheer2018-3D-eReaderWant to learn more about Frank and the Knowledge Keepers? Check out The Music of Mars page, or go here to buy the paperback or here the Kindle.

If you sign-up for my mailing list, you can download a free short story that details how MarsVantage came into being.

If you buy the book, you’re eligible to download two free short stories.

Posted in Mars, sci-fi, The Music of Mars | Leave a comment

The Music of Mars-Behind the Story

In The Music of Mars, I wanted to explore practical aspects of having a colony on Mars, which means dealing with planetary separation, and how various elements of such a distance affected character motivation and actions.

Today, it takes around 260 days (a tick under nine months) to travel from Earth to Mars with the best planetary alignment at a minimal cost. Naturally, such a separation would cause the Mars culture to shift away from Earth.

The problem is that amount of time hindered the story I wanted to tell. No one would travel for so long for a short-term consulting gig–it’s implausible.

I needed travel to last about a month. I also required real-time communication between Earth and Mars. Who’s willing to read a conversation with a twenty-minute break between every line of dialogue?

In the end, for real-time communication, I envisioned the use of wormholes to shortcut the distance. I can’t change orbital mechanics, but I can reasonably expect fuel and propulsion systems advances that would allow us to ignore planetary alignment considerations.

Having gotten over those hurdles, I could start having fun with the story.

Given the distance, supplies from Earth would be expensive on Mars. Talk about shipping and handling fees! Mostly necessities, rather than luxuries, would be shipped. I’m thinking spare parts, food, and fuel. And ships wouldn’t arrive every day like the mail. Likewise, only so much can be shipped at a time. All of which means that luxuries would be hard to come by as necessities would fill the shipping pipeline.

On the other hand, Earth would have everything in abundance. People would live well without having to work overly hard. The titans of industry would routinely use connections and favors to achieve their goals.

The government would have steadily acquired power. For instance, they would finally take over housing with a vast bureaucracy assigning houses and condos based its understanding of the individual’s needs. As a result, the housing market would collapse.

Naturally, the government would also take it upon themselves to save people from themselves for their own good. For example, they would pass several laws related to food and nutrition. They would mandate a nutritional allocation for each person. Plus, they’d criminalized certain types of foods, particularly snack foods. Of course, black markets would spring up and thrive.

Other changes would have occurred. Marriage would be for a set time frame of five years. The term would auto-renew, and for couples without children, a thirty-day notice would be enough to end the relationship at renewal time.

In short, Earth society requires little work to live well while hard work is the only way to survive on Mars.

Against this backdrop, conflict is inevitable as characters pursue tangible goals.

For instance, Peter Konklin, CEO of Interplanetary, wants to take over MarsVantage and will pull strings with bureaucrats to make MarsVantage’s path more difficult. He’ll even call for murder to achieve his goal.

Chuck and Frank want to loosen Earth’s grip, which is slowly strangling MarsVantage. They’ll take a chance by hiring Gretchen, an archaeologist, to gain access to an energy source.

Gretchen, whose husband recently non-renewed their marriage contract, accepts the job to get the energy source with the hope of reclaiming a place in the archaeology field because her last project leader blackballed her after she insisted on investigating her theory.

And all of these agendas clash.

The-Music-of-Mars-customdesign-JayAheer2018-3D-eReaderFor more, check out The Music of Mars page, or buy the paperback or Kindle ebook. Every book purchase contains the steps to download two free short stories.

Sign up for my mailing list and download a free short story that details how MarsVantage came into being.

Posted in Mars, sci-fi, The Music of Mars | Leave a comment

The Music of Mars-Why Gretchen Went to Mars

Gretchen shares her reasons for going to Mars…

After my husband non-renewed our marriage contract, I completed the residence change application. The Housing Ministry assigned me housing to match my single status. In other words, it was small. Don’t get me wrong, it was pleasant enough–far better than living in a Quonset hut in Antartica.

I needed work since my last project leader blackballed me in the archaeology field. Once my money ran out, the government would move me into free public housing, which was ill-maintained–typical of a government-run endeavor.

Thankfully, MarsVantage needed help deciphering odd symbols in a remote Martian cave. The fee would cover nearly a year’s worth of expenses. Fortunately for me, they have to overpay for everything. They had to pay for my travel time to and from Mars, plus they had to pay handsomely, some would say overpay, for the job itself.

And what I found was beyond my wildest imagination–the knowledge and treasures of the Bvindu civilization. A lifetime of work awaits me on Mars, a place where I finally belong if Peter Konklin’s operatives don’t steal it or kill me first.

The-Music-of-Mars-customdesign-JayAheer2018-3D-eReaderWould you like to learn more about Gretchen? Check out The Music of Mars page, or go here to buy the trade paperback or here the Kindle.

If you sign-up for my mailing list, you can download a free short story that details how MarsVantage came into being.

If you buy the book, you’re eligible to download two free short stories.

Posted in Mars, sci-fi, The Music of Mars | Leave a comment

The Music of Mars-The Caretaker’s Perspective

The Caretaker, the lone Bvindu on Mars, shares his thoughts on current events…

For over 100,000 orbits, I safeguarded the knowledge and treasures of my people, the Bvindu, on this dead planet, fourth from the star. I eagerly await the day my people return for me and our heritage, so I can leave the control computer and inhabit a body grown from my genetic code.

But they’re late–they should’ve returned after no more than 1000 orbits. Something must’ve happened. And I have no way to follow after them.

My construction capability was decimated about 100 orbits ago when two ground transports crashed through the dome of my now-buried city. All of the beings inside either died on impact or were killed by the city’s defense systems.

These beings were much like me, except they have only two arms. Now, two more entered Power Generator 3. Perhaps they can help reunite me with my people.

I’ll create a message and leave it for them. Hopefully, these newcomers will be able to understand it…

The-Music-of-Mars-customdesign-JayAheer2018-3D-eReaderWould you like to learn more about the Caretaker? Go here for the trade paperback or here for Kindle.

View previous posts from Gretchen, Frank, Chuck, Peter Konklin, and Erin.

Learn more about me and my book:

 

Posted in Book Release, Mars, sci-fi, The Music of Mars | Leave a comment

TMOM-Erin’s Perspective

Erin, MarsVantage’s top pilot, shares her thoughts on current events…

If events would’ve happened a few months earlier, I would’ve known everything. But after I turned down Frank’s marriage proposal, he made himself scarce. Actually, he’s been avoiding me. I hurt him, and he’s still in pain.

When Frank approached me to back up his exploration mission in the Martian wild, I thought he was crazy. What else should I think? Exploration missions of the Martian wild are commonplace, they never need back up, and he just hired an archaeologist–on Mars of places.

But I dated Frank for ten years, and he’s the most level-headed person I know.

I ended up bailing him out on his exploration mission. Neither he nor Gretchen let slip any hint at what they were really doing. Then a couple of weeks later, Frank asked me for a spaceship. Not a ride but a ship itself. At that point, he explained what was really going on. Sometimes I still don’t believe it.

Gretchen and Frank changed MarsVantage’s future and perhaps, humanity’s as well.

The-Music-of-Mars-customdesign-JayAheer2018-3DrenderWould you like to learn more about Erin? Go here for the trade paperback or here for Kindle.

Learn more about me and my book:

 

Posted in Book Release, Mars, sci-fi, The Music of Mars | 1 Comment

The Music of Mars–Peter Konklin’s Side

Peter Konklin shares his perspective:

Twelve years ago the government stole my Mars division after a small, unfortunate accident. That now-independent company, MarsVantage, is striving to prosper.

And it’s mine, regardless of what the government thinks or what the incorporation papers say.

Back then, I couldn’t stop the government, moved by the public outcry over the accident, to split MarsVantage away from my company. Now, I’m going to get them back. I paid a lot of money for representatives and senators, and I’m going to get a return on that investment.

Whatever scheme Chuck and MarsVantage have concocted–hiring an archaeologist, on Mars–I’ll ensure nothing comes from it.

By whatever means necessary.

The-Music-of-Mars-customdesign-JayAheer2018-3DrenderWould you like to learn more about Peter? Go here for the trade paperback or here for Kindle.

Learn more about me and my book:

 

Posted in Book Release, Mars, sci-fi, The Music of Mars | 1 Comment

The Music of Mars–Chuck’s Story

Chuck O’Donnell shares his perspective:

Lately, I’ve been watching Washington, D.C. close in on my company, MarsVantage. Bumping up the export fees to and import fees from Earth were straightforward, directly affecting the bottom line.
Their other tactics, however, were more creative, like enacting the Space Transport Safety Act requiring significant upgrades to all space-going vehicles. Earth columnists are suggesting financial audits, safety audits, and compliance audits. More expense for a marginal benefit.
These actions weren’t mindlessly or randomly undertaken. No, my competitor, Peter Konklin of Peter Konklin Interplanetary, wants to take over MarsVantage and gain an immediate presence on Mars. And he’s using every ounce of pull and influence with the government and the media, and who knows what else to accomplish his goal.
On the advice of my closest friend and engineering manager, Frank Brentford, I hired an archaeologist to help us unlock a revolutionary energy source hidden in a remote cavern.
And what she found along the way could change everything for us…

The-Music-of-Mars-customdesign-JayAheer2018-3DrenderWould you like to learn more about Chuck? Go here for the trade paperback or here for Kindle.

Learn more about me and my book:

 

Posted in announcement, Book Release, Mars, sci-fi, The Music of Mars | 2 Comments

The Music of Mars–Frank Speaks

Frank Brentford shares a few thoughts:

I lived on Mars my entire life, learned engineering from my dad, and work my way to engineering manager in MarsVantage. When going through my dad’s things, I found a crystal fragment that generates electricity when submerged in water according to his handwritten journal.

With a new, local energy source, we can import fewer fuel cells from Earth, which lowers our reliance on Earth and allows us to expand the company.  To accomplish all of those goals, I need to gain access to a cavern full of the crystal–Marsium121.

My problem is a locked door-like structure with odd symbols in a cave fronting the cavern, and it’s the only practical way inside. Nothing is ever easy on Mars.

I need an archaeologist…

The-Music-of-Mars-customdesign-JayAheer2018-3DrenderWould you like to learn more about Frank? Go here for the trade paperback or here for Kindle.

Learn more about me and my book:

 

Posted in Book Release, Mars, sci-fi, The Music of Mars | 1 Comment

Book Signing

comic logic book rob and me

On February 7th, I’ll have my first solo book signing at Comic Logic in Ashburn, VA at 5 p.m.

If you’re local, check out the comics, collectables, and my book.

Posted in book signing, comic books, The Music of Mars | Leave a comment