Author : Patricia Stewart, Staff Writer

A torrent of sea water gushed from the six meter in diameter penstock into the Sirenum Ocean, Mars’ largest body of water. Twenty-eight minutes earlier, that sea water had been in the South Pacific Ocean, before beginning its long sub-space journey from the Atafu intake gate on Earth, to the Aonia discharge gate on Mars. This Mass Transfer Conduit (MTC) was one of twelve that had been offloading excess water from Earth in an effort to avert the coastal flooding caused by runaway global warming.

Mars’ four living Presidents stood together and watched the historic event on holovision. The announcer counted down in unison with the one hundred thousand spectators crowding around the Aonian observation deck, “Three, two, one, that’s it, twenty quintillion liters. Mars is now officially self-sustaining. With our oceans fully established, the ecosystem will be stable for the foreseeable future. Congratulations to President Tholus for making this day poss…”

Using the remote control, President Tholus turned off the holovision and raised his glass to his three predecessors. “No, that’s unwarranted praise, my friends. We all know that most of the credit belongs to President Pettit. Congratulations, Number Fourteen.”

“Thank you, Number Seventeen,” said Pettit, who also raised his glass. “And a special thanks to Al Gore, for laying the groundwork for the greatest con job in the history of humanity.” The four men toasted Al Gore, and enjoyed a hearty laugh. “It was almost too easy,” continued Fourteen. “When Emperor Yoo found those climate models published in the twenty-first century by Gore’s pseudo-scientists, he practically begged me to siphon off the top sixty meters of Earth’s oceans before the melting glaciers flooded his Summer Palace in Zhanjiang.”

“It amazes me,” commented Sixteen, “that Earth politicians put soooo much faith in ‘scientific’ studies where the grant money was contingent on giving the government agencies, or the ‘Independent Foundations’, the answers that they wanted, even if they had to use tricks to manipulate the data. But, let’s not forget, that if Fifteen didn’t act when he did, they might have caught on to us.”

“Yes, that was a close one,” reflected Fifteen. “When Earth’s global sea levels started dropping, some of the ‘deniers’ started making noise again. I quickly lifted the Antarctic gate from the Weddell Sea for ‘maintenance’. I linked it with the Gate we had left on Venus, back when we were terriforming Mars. We pumped so much carbon dioxide into Earth’s atmosphere that we actually started causing the glaciers to melt. After three months, we put the Gate back into the water, and no one suspected a thing. And let’s not forget Sixteen. Setting up those mini-gates on Titan was visionary. It’s what truly gave us independence from Earth. With Titan’s hydrocarbons pouring into our refineries, our industrial revolution took off exponentially.”

“Yes, my friends,” said Seventeen, “We’ve achieved a lot in the last few decades. A stable ecosystem, unlimited energy, and prosperity and independence as far as the eye can see.” President Tholus walked over to his desk and picked a small wooden humidor. “Have a cigar, men. I just got a shipment in from Acidalia Planitia.” They all lit up and took long drags. Tholus blew a smoke ring and added, “Damn, it’s a great day to be a Martian.”


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