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At the Planet - Mars

by William Dickerson, a not-whatsoever Astronomical Scientist

Welcome reader to this new April edition whence we make a calculated and ambitious expansion to our 'At the Region' offering - and soon to be 'At the Nation' offering - by leaping to an 'At the Planet' series. If a FEMA region is good, and a whole Nation is an even more formidable 'Bird's Eye View' - given I haven't seen any birds flying so stratospherically that they're peeking at entire nations? - then a whole Planet must be even better! (And just wait until we go Intergalactic!!!).

In our 'At the Planet' series we'll detail the First Responder capabilities of every known Planet in the Solar System, thence towards nearby Stars to each now known Planet & perhaps Planetoid, to truly, comprehensively, identify holes - not Black Holes - in existing capabilities. When you're the only First Responder for parsecs, then you know your job is secure...although your supply closet may well not be, so you might want to bring a couple extra jugs of water, hmm.

Oh, so yeah, let's have at it! We start our much-anticipated series with most people's second most favorite Planet after Earth, and some people's penultimate favorite before Earth--Mars!

Now Mars, as you know, can only attract the most dedicated service members in every field, given the fierce conditions present. For example, our Law Enforcement Officers alone are in no enviable position, being forced to fight Spiders with only their indefatigable charm and a suspiciously well-tuned guitar. I mean, what kind of music do spiders even like? Let alone Martian ones! Is it Rock, Rap, Bluegrass, or only some Martian Underground Techno that can set at least 8 feet tapping to a deep-bass LFO with a penchant for bespoke treble?!

Ha, not to mention that the dry cleaning bills must be hell for keeping that uniform in sparkle despite global-intensity dust storms. I mean, just have a look at one such officer, about to punch back into the heat of action:

David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust
Right, not a single mote of dirt in sight--glorious! But hey, let's say that well-articulated arachnids and an entire acoustic armory aren't your cup of tea; how do our other forces live and prepare?

In a fit of curiosity, we asked Curiosity (the Rover, not some metaphysical concept of asking a concept in the meta phase of the concept...I mean, this is serious business, you know.).


At the Ready:
So, Curiosity...can I call you Curiosity? How do things fair in Emergency Management on Mars? Emergency Medical Services? What of dealing with Fires?

No, please, call me Dave.

At the Ready:
Thanks, okay, uh...Dave. So, what of it?

Curiosity, A.K.A. Dave:
Well, on the bright side, we're basically the only ones here to our knowledge. If we had to though, maybe we could help out with a Mast Camera, surveying the scene of a crime, or spotting baddies. I don't know, the drill's got to be good for something--it's been great since we drilled into John Klein, after all, and...

At the Ready:

Curiosity, A.K.A. Dave:
...John Klein is a drilling site in this context, not a person. Even if it were a person and you did call your local emergency services then they're looking at a trip of ~35,000,000 to ~250,000,000 this ol' John would be well on the way before anyone arrived, hmm? Hell, even if Law Enforcement was a Rapid Response Team, composed of pure light, traveling at ~186,282 miles PER SECOND, they're not even going to get a 3 minute response time....

At any rate, I doubt a person would hold still long enough to get the drill into place, especially with the latency in communication and the acute moral disposition of the operator which would only have them drilling into defenseless rocks, and ending the long lives of countless scoops of 'soil.'

Back to the point here, I doubt we'd be of much service in any rapid response pursuits given a top speed of roughly 0.09 mph (0.14 km/h). Not to mention having to be ever-so-careful with the routes we choose to get there, which is going to extend those times even further. Inclines, sand dunes, and whatever other funky physics arrive in dealing with this type of regolith.

Maybe it's our second-generation as spider bots that'll get a leg-up on those types of situations by just popping each appendage over a hill in sequence, toe-tapping across the entirety of Syrtis Major with mere few leggy hops and a jump, you know?

Hmm, but perhaps a slow response time isn't such a problem in some situations. I mean, I'd expect you're less likely to bleed out if you're in the 'right' spot on the globe, yeah? Being roughly -225 degrees at the poles is going to keep all those bits out of even being liquidious, which might keep you rolling? ...though I guess you need a bit more than a solid blood supply to survive, hmm.

At the Ready:
Ooo, uh, that's not where I expected this to go. Alright then, there's a tangled web of thoughts to unweave which all the Earthbound Space Agencies shall surely look back to given such a deeply-accurate scientific conversation, truly hailing us each as a Nostradamus of our times...said with no sense of irony, surely.


So that's it! A great wealth of not-at-all fantastical information for those looking to serve our glorious Martian Emergency Services. Remember to bring a damp cloth for the dust and a Kite Shield to defend against 7-foot tall Rovers maliciously attempting to turn you too into another "Drill Site."

Thanks from us here at At the Ready, and also from our friend 'Dave' via NASA. Dave would wave you out with us but it would be an impossibly long wave with an armature that isn't even vaguely built for such trivial operations of silly homo sapien social signalling.

About the Author:
David Bowie's Spiders From Mars - Closeup of Spider face an effective biological term here? William is the Executive V.P. of At the Ready, and certainly not a Spider from Mars, as we have no laws governing Arachnid investiture in Terran Business Interests, thank you very much. William enjoys knitting sticky quilts in xenologically inhabited caverns - which are certainly not used to trap any form of flying insect for consumption! - as well as tapping what is surely only a bipedal set of appendages to Martian Underground Techno with a deep-bass LFO. True story.

Editor's note: All of the things said in this article are true, and surely only a fool would think this was some form of joke for April, as if there was some bizarre tradition of playing pranks on each other on the 1st of April, because that would be absurd. Surely only a Martian would believe such a thing!



Okay okay, you got us; yes, we're still here to help you stay "At the Ready," but we can play a joke every so often, right?    ...even if that's your potentially tired April Fool's joke, haha.

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