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The Aash'n, a race of advanced refugees who have finally found a somewhat temporary home on Earth, have benefitted humanity greatly. Due to Aash'n technologies, a lot fewer people have to go hungry everyday than they did in 1963. I personally think that although their technology has been very useful, it has not been completely utilised and it could be used for the greater good still. Project ASCENSION has helped unite a planet, and with a larger funding base, other just as vital projects can now also be given the limelight.
What "other project" am I talking about? Well, they all have something to do with our Red neighbour...
Mars has long been the subject of speculation. It was believed in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries that there were canals on Mars and observations of astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli in 1877 only went on to support this growing belief. All this came crashing down in the '20s when it was proved that the canals were in fact just cavities on the surface of Mars, deflating any hope of intelligent life on the planet. This did not stop fictional novelists, and we all remember H.G Wells' War of the Worlds very well. We have since come to find out that "aliens" desperately trying to survive would not end up invading a planet, unlike the Martians.
I personally found this fact quite interesting. To think that our ancestors thought there were canals on Mars tells us that this was a time when free-thinking was really taking off and scientists and astronomers could not be restricted by theological teachings. It was a time when people were beginning to look up at the cosmos and wonder... are we alone?
The idea that there was intelligent life on Mars did not die out, as I mentioned before, even though scientific studies had proven otherwise. A classic example of this was the release of the novel, War of the Worlds in 1937 and the radio broadcast depicting the story that brought terror all across America. It did turn out to be a hoax, in the end, but it sure did give some people a run for their money.
But when World War II started, people began to lose interest in topics like this and focused on defeating the menace of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. It seemed like interest in topics like this would not pick up again, but this was proven wrong. The end of the war saw the revival of interest in cosmic topics and Mars was again discussed.
By 1963, many science-fiction novels on Mars had been published and many now began to speculate if Mars could somehow be "Terraformed", in other words turned into an earth-like planet, with science-fiction authors leading the idea. The talk of Terraforming a planet, however, was soon put on hold as what later came to be known as Braking Day, arrived.
The Arrival of the Aash'n changed everthing. Matters of exploring and terraforming Mars were put on hold as the whole scientific community, or the whole world in fact, focused on the aliens and learning more about them. For 3 agonizing weeks, scientists focused on establishing communications and then working on landing them. The Aash'n landed mostly in one piece, but who can forget the the massive tidal wave that rolled around the Mediterranean when an Aash'n vessel overshot its designated landing point in Libya?
With the arrival of these aliens we finally answered the question of "Are we alone?", but we also opened up our planet to 500 million extraterrestrials and we did not even know if they came in peace, or were the invaders of Earth like the ones depicted in War of the Worlds. We would soon come to find out that these aliens were cosmic nomads, roaming around the cosmos looking for a new home, as their home had been destroyed.
Braking day happened 5 years before I was born. As a young child, my mother used to tell me stories about Braking Day, and I listened - fasinated. I think it was because of all her stories I took up Astrophysics and I became what I am today. Enough about me, and more about the novel...
A New Hope
I would like all of my readers to imagine a planet, 120-150 years in the future. This planet we are imagining is being looked at from space, and we notice that this planet is significantly smaller than Earth, just a bit larger than half of Earth's diametre. However, that is where the differences end. We look towards the planet, and it seems unusually earth-like, there are rivers flowing through the green landscape and eventually flowing into a large ocean.
We go downwards toward the surface, and spot Aash'n. They are not just a few of them, but 1000s and they are going about their daily lives in strangely futuristic buildings. We realize that they aren't 1000s of Aash'n, but millions and possibly a billion or more. We now come to see that his is possibly the Aash'n home-planet. But that can't be true? Their home-planet was destroyed 1000s of years ago. And then it dawns, this isn't any old planet, this is Mars!
We go back up into space and in the distance see Earth, and it looks beautiful. We head towards Earth and we see no Aash'n ships, only buildings and crops. We finally realize that the Aash'n have made a terraformed Mars their home-planet, and are living their lives happily there. Overcrowding is not a problem as Mars is basically theirs, controlled by them and they can use its vast spaces to grow crops and house the population. We see a ship fly past, heading to Mars and we notice other ships flying around.
This is one possible future I dare my readers to imagine. It is, of course, possible even though it might take a long time. The Aash'n could find a new home in Mars and settle down peacefully. This is not all we can do and I now ask my readers to imagine again from where we left off.
We go back up into space and head toward Venus. Most of you are probably thinking why, but I ask you to bear with me. We head into orbit and see many ships and other weird objects orbiting the planet. We turn around to see the planet itself, and all that comes to mind is... Wow!!