Immigration. Itís a big deal. I mean, everyone on Mars is an immigrant. And the native born are descendants of immigrants. It's just like America without the Indians.
I came to Mars in 2109 at age nine. That makes it easy to remember how old I am. By then there were half a million people on the planet, and since colonization didn't real start until the forties, most of those were like me, born on Earth.
My parents decided to come just after I was born. A biologist and a medical tech, they had skills, jobs, but not a lot of room for advancement or freedom in the towers of St. Louis. It took a few years for the paperwork and financing to go through, and then they had to wait another year for medical clearance for me - that's why all my brothers and sisters are over a decade or two younger.
The six month voyage was an adventure, the landing an exhilarating plunge through the thin original atmosphere. And then we were down. Tharis was a new town, designed by architects, not engineers. It looked magical to me, towers and bulbs protruding from the crater and hills, Pavonis in the far distance, small misshapen Phobos in the sky.
The air was measured in single millibars, the temperature forty below. It was a time before any sanctioned terraformation, the Ban still protected the little slimes below the surface, but that would all change.
Now we look out across a sky more blue than red, and breath in clean cool air. Now the differentiator for the old and the new is not, "Were you born here?", but "Did you come before the terraformation?".
--Daniel Troy Farber, Mayor of Tharistown, remarks during
the Terraformation completion ceremonies, 3 March 2269.
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