From the desk of Manuel Valencia
CEO, Icarus Investments Contractor, Seneca Inc.
Losing Icarus Investments was a blow, and by most accounts should have been the end for me.
Lucky for me, my mama ‘didn’t raise no quitter,’ as the saying goes. It took some time, and more than a little convincing, but I finally found someone who didn’t see my previously failed venture as a bad thing, but rather a stepping stone into something greater. I preferred being my own boss, but joining Paulo Rubini at Seneca, Inc. wasn’t a terrible alternative.
The decision to go to Mars wasn’t really a tough one to make. Heck, in some ways, it was made for me. Paulo insisted that’s where the next big ventures were and that’s where we needed to go, and things on Earth hadn’t exactly been kind to me, so getting away didn’t seem like a bad idea.
It was strange at first. I was used to grassy hills and blue skies, not dry red rocks and a darkness that seemingly went on forever. The stars were a comfort, though; in many ways, they seemed closer to me than they did when I was watching them from Earth.
Paulo sent me to set up operations and service the colony in Nepenthes Mensae. The terrain here was difficult to get used to at first - lots of craters and plateaus made choosing a location for our base of operations difficult. We eventually nestled ourselves in between two of them that gave us a little bit of cover from dust storms, but still left us enough room to expand.
I’m not a fan of taking it slow, so we built up pretty quickly. Pragmatism led me to spending the extra cash to invest in geothermal power. The problem with solar panels is that they don’t pull power in at night and it isn’t always cost-effective to pull from the stored power after dark. This area didn’t have much in the way of geothermal vents, so I moved quickly to secure them before the other businesses could move in and benefit before me.
I’m also not a fan of competition. When I have the opportunity, I prefer to control all the things that I can - including resources, if possible. We settled right next to a silicon deposit, which I later discovered was the only one in the area. Our production of glass was invaluable to the security colony and my competitors floundered as they tried to keep up with the price.
The pirates were a minor nuisance at worst. Amusingly, I knew who hired them, and I didn’t waste any time in striking back. All’s fair, as the saying goes - or something like that. Phillipa never saw that network virus coming, either. What can I say? When you employ some of the smartest and most advantageous minds around, it’s impossible not to use every edge you have in order to ensure that your position remains the strongest. It was only a little bug, anyway - their systems weren’t offline for more than a day or so, and I didn’t touch their life support. Still put quite a chip on her shoulder, though.
Midway through the first week it was easy to see that none of the others were going to be able to catch up to the position I held within the colony. My wholesale prices were more than reasonable for them and we had established a bit of a rapport - therefore, it wasn’t a surprise to me in the slightest when they signed the contract to retain my services. I knew Paulo would be pleased, but frankly, I’m not in it to please him.
I’m in it for me. Redemption for my mistakes is the light at the end of this red, dusty tunnel, and I aim to get there before anyone else does.