From the desk of Ezra Hoang
CEO, Penrose Collective
Many hands make light work.
I think of this saying often. It makes me miss my mother, even as I smile at her wisdom. I must often remind myself that I am not the only one who suffered dear losses during the war. We must all look to the future together if we hope to foster a healthy one.
The Penrose Collective is my new mission, my extended family. In some ways, the red rocks of Mars are not very different from our war-ravaged lands back home - one could argue that the familiarity of it all was a comfort. We tried instead to see it as an opportunity when we came here to make new lives for ourselves.
There is quite a difference between us and the others who have arrived here. They’ve all come to make profit - but we’ve come to make a life. We chose to spread our settlements out so that we could benefit from more resources and stockpile for any unexpected problems that might arise from living on a planet like Mars.
Unfortunately, a scientist named Ilana Kamat settled by some carbon deposits that we needed. No amount of negotiation could convince her to move - or to sell to us at a reasonable price - so we had to bide our time before we could construct our quarries and harvest the resource for ourselves.
It seemed to be common among these other people that they viewed others as competition. We intended to make money supplying the colony with what it needed, certainly, but I’ve always been of the thought that there was more than enough room for everyone.
I had to give up on an aluminum deposit for the same reason. It wasn’t worth risking my workers’ lives when these other “leaders” were so willing to resort to violence to protect their assets. We turned our attention to the only silicon source in the valley and started pouring our efforts into manufacturing glass and electronics for the colony. As the money poured in, we felt our worries start to flow out of us.
Fuel was a constant need for our productions, so we built up plenty of factories. Everyone contributed as they always had, everyone came together to ease the load off those of us who are unable to carry on their own - the old, the young, and the sick.
I have never known anger like I did the night an explosion shook our headquarters. We were lucky that no one was hurt, but two of our facilities were so badly damaged that we lost precious time repairing them. I realized then that no matter what my philosophy on peace might be, it had no place here. I had to stand tall for my people, to protect them from those who chose to attack us without honor.
Our time on Mars may have only just begun, but it is nowhere close near ending. We will stay. We will live. And we will thrive.