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Marred: The Tale of the Fifteen Colonists

As if to respond to the Martian colonist's final message, the remaining space agencies combined to send a team of fifteen on their second attempt. The pressure was on after the first colonist's abandonment had led to his madness and despair. The mistakes of the past would be overcome. Hero pioneers for the starving millions on Earth, they would be supplied and supported. The Brave Fifteen would be considered the first real colonization effort, and the other colonist's tale would become no more than a footnote.

Once they arrived, and were actually engaged in the work of building a colony, tensions natural to such a group began to surface. Phil mistakenly thought of himself as a captain, Compra's reclusive tendencies became exacerbated, and Jess resented every moment away from examining the Martian geology. Karlo's reticence became silence, Megumi's obsessive nature focused on resonance equipment, and Isaiah's memories of his upbringing led him back to his religion. They were trained, so they knew how to work together despite their different perspectives on the mission. They built a habitat and made long-term survival plans.

Only when the supply ship failed to arrive a year later did they begin to question both their purpose and wonder if the Earth had forgotten them. Dismayed and terrified, their earlier efforts were seen anew as the play-acting that they were. Even as their relationships began to fray, they had to survive with what they had: their willingness to leap into the dark, their scientific training, and once the food ran out, the resourcefulness which arose from desperation.

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