Character Study: Interview with Ray/ Burt from “The Oil Badgers”
• How long have you been working for The Alliance?
Burt: I been a Mucker long as I can remember, I guess it were that, hybernate, or take a train back to Rutania. So…15 years?
• “Muckers” are the people who volunteered to develop Mars, and instead of creating well supplied civilized communities ended up being the abondoned sprinkler crew for the Federation. Stuck on the the now muddy Mars, in their disillusionment, they became political separatists, who claimed Mars for themselves. Some see them as criminals and terrorists, but Muckers and most those sympathetic to them, see them as heroes, not unlike, early American settlers and revolutionairies.
• Sorry, I forget you don’t have much time for vocabulary. I meant those who agree with the Mucker cause?
Burt: Ya’ , I’m no spokesperson for Muckers, ya know? Yes, I fly ‘the yellow flag’ and I am Mucker by birth, but Martian by choice. A lot of that stuff happened before I came along. Federation, keeps trying to put us in their prison camps, sets up boobie traps so we cant work the land, and breaks every treaty we ever made with them. So I think they are the bad guys. See?
• It could be argued: The containment camps are to re-educate, and security devices like modified minetrackers are to protect Federal property,…and Muckers don’t seem to keep the treaties they sign either?
Burt: You sound like one of ‘em. I dont have much learnin’ but I know that ‘education’ is of free will. Re-educatin’ by force is mind control no different than rape. Mars should be a free society, held by those who live here, and enjoyed by all.
• Well put, Burt. You ever consider going into politics?
Burt: No. Once my conscript is up, I aim to settle down.
• You’re a Builder Class conscript who prints housing, that seems worthwhile, especially when one day you can live in a home you helped build?
Burt: Is that a question or a comment? Uh, yeah well I still have a 4 year military, and 4 year community conscripts to complete first, and my job is to locate partial dwellings and print seeds and prep the build areas. Ain’t much love in that. Dangerous and lonely. But it has it’s perks.
• Print seeds?
Burt: (rubs his forehead) A “print seed” is where a “solitary” uses a small printer for a single dwelling, either composite or organics. And that becomes the seed for either a compound, or a community build.
• Burt, Explain composite and organics?
Burt: “Composites” is where lime (shipped from Earth) is added to a grinder that used Martian rock and soil for cement. And an “organic” print is where a lense uses solar to melt pure Martian rock and soil into build glass. (Federation uses composites, where locals like the “organics” more.) We done with 20 questions yet?
• One more, so what are the perks?
Burt: Peace and quiet. Nobody around but ‘bots and the ocassional Oil Badger.
(by Esau Kessler editor Browncoats 2012 • read the short story draft (R5) here: http://hpny.us/11UDwS5 )