1.50 - Martin’s Origins

1.50 - Martin’s Origins

“When I was young, I didn’t know any aliens,” Martin starts randomly as we all watch the sunset on the beach. “I didn’t partake in the first contact wars or anything like that. I just lived on Mars, a place with no aliens at the time. The corporations made sure of that,” Martin seems somber, we all look and listen, but nobody interrupts him. “I was a damn terror. The first time I met aliens was when a company called Perseus Limited tried to restart the Corp Wars in 2131. It was different this time, we had already fought The War of Contact with the aliens. Things were good. Well anyway, Perseus Limited wanted to take over some titanium mines. They recruited folks like me. You boys don’t want to hear this.”

“No, keep going,” David responds. The rest of us nod.

“Well, I had fought in the Independence wars on Mars, The Corporate Wars lasted a lot longer there, even after they migrated people away from Earth. Sometimes, I think they started building on other planets just to keep the wars going. They had so much control, for so long. Back then, each city had a corporate sponsor, we the people didn’t like that. We fought to form our own government and limit the corporations’ power. But, after that, there were a lot of us who had been soldiers and didn’t have anything else. Perseus gave us a reason to fight, the promise of money and glory.”

“That war was a mess, a real shit show. See, the main advisory in the war was a company called Janza. They had embraced the new world, made allies with the aliens, these other species that us folks on Mars never had contact with before. They had been one of the first companies on Mars to open their doors and do business with non-human races. They took the same ideology with them when it was time to go to war. They hired some Ghuk to fight us alongside the humans they hired, it was a real ass beating. But, I’ll tell you the worst part, the Naengi. They only hired seven of them, as the Naengi weren’t keen on Humanity either. But, those seven, they assassinated many of our generals, the corporate heads. It was a real routing but we kept fighting for three years, just running to our deaths or running from mediocrity,” Martin pauses.

“You don’t have to keep going,” I place a hand on his shoulder.

“I want to hear,” Phillip responds. 

“Me too,” Jacob follows.

“Just, let me get this off my chest,” Martin pats my hand.

“Alright, go on.”

“When the fighting was done, Perseus was no more. I didn’t have the money, the accolades or anything else I was promised. I was back to where I was after Mars gained Independence. I was angry, I had been promised so much, and gained nothing. I tried to work regular jobs, but I didn’t have the skills. I couldn’t even work as a damn waiter because I could identify twenty different weapons by the sound, but couldn’t remember who ordered what. I didn’t have the personality people wanted because I was so angry about my living situation,” Martin takes a deep breath. “I get upset thinking about it now. I was such an angry young man. If you boys learn nothing from me, it’s that you do not want to be the last angry young man.”

While Martin pauses, likely thinking what part to tell us next about his own life. I can’t help but ponder my life and the parallels. War never brought me money, glory or anything like that. I didn’t join up for those things, but it didn’t give me what I wanted either. I wanted the chance to explore, the chance to help people. I got a few chances to explore, but most of it was inside war zones or occupied territories. I had even less opportunities to help people, some nights I wonder if I helped anyone. I don’t remember running in to save any kids, or evacuating people. I spent most of my time killing people. Running unofficial operations that I couldn’t be rewarded for. I’m a damn good soldier, but like Martin, I struggle to find a place in civilian life. I’m not necessarily qualified for any jobs no matter how hard I try to learn. It’s part of the reason I took this job, trying to make sure I had something for when those military checks stopped rolling in, start building a CV.

“When nothing worked for me, I took a job transporting goods,” Martin pauses again, “No, you’re all old enough. I took a job smuggling stolen goods,” Martin nods as if he’s reckoning with his past. “I had a few fire fights, I was too reckless. I thought I was invincible after all the fighting I had survived. I wasn’t good at it either, but I got paid. The thing about fast money is it doesn’t last and things can come crashing down in a hurry. I was arrested. I spent seven years in prison. When you’re as old as I am you don’t think of seven years as a long time, but damnit, it is a long time. When I left jail, I was a changed man, and not in a good way. I was even angrier. I was looking for someone to hurt. It didn’t help that the world had changed overnight. Aliens were fully integrated into human society. It wasn’t even strange to see aliens on parts of Mars anymore. Nothing made sense to me, and I just got angrier and I was reaching a boiling point.”

“So what did you do,” David asks when Martin stops for too long.

“I did what I had done all my life, I ran from what my real problem was. Then I found somebody to hurt. Somebody who didn’t deserve it.”


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