The United States of Mars

Alan P. Scott - Fictions - Dream Logs

diplomatic incident

Watching from across the street as a group of anonymous men in lime-green hoods beat up another group of men in orange hoods. I'm afraid to go over there, both because of the violence and because I don't know which side is the right side...

Waiting on the train platform as the long, low train cars are filled, then lifted by huge robot arms onto the tracks, where they speed off into the sooty distance. The trains have a metallic finish, with blue and lavender stripes. Like so much else here, the lights in most of the cars do not work. I see the trains speeding by me, the blackened windows revealing no details of their occupants.

Another man is standing close to me on the platform. I don't look around, but I know he's there. He's a friend. We're on the same side, whatever that is.

Coming on the freeway next to the tracks are some strange cars. My friend and I are mystified. Here in the States, no one is allowed to have a private automobile. The roads are reserved for government vehicles, which these aren't. And my friend says the Soviets always travel in flotillas of four. These cars are very individualistic, some of them brightly colored, all of them various shapes and sizes. Finally we see an official vehicle. It is black and boxy, like a government car, but it has a bronze seal on the side that is unfamiliar. The lettering on the seal reads, "United States of Mars."

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