Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tarkegger's culpability

            The year was 2053.  Mars has been explored and the beginnings of towns, if not cities had been well established, but living on Mars was to be a hardship, and the numbers volunteering to do that were small.  Then Alf Tarkegger started a crusade.  Let Mars become the religious outpost of humanity, a purer Catholicism.  And not just an outpost, let it bring the pure religion and love of God that comprised early Catholicism back to earth -- and through its evangelism let it turn earthly humanity away from its lascivious ways, away from its abortions, divorces, pornography and all other sins deplored by God.
            Thanks to the efforts of Tarkegger, by 2073 Mars had become well colonized.  Technological developments made the living easier with each passing year.  But Tarkegger's hope that Mars would become the New Jerusalem had failed.  He lived just long enough to know this failure for what it was, and some say it hastened his death.
            By 2093 Mars, militarily united, was more powerful than any nation on earth.  Also, the anti-war sentiments of many nations had done its work.  No nation, in that year, was militarily or psychologically equipped to opposed a Martian invasion -- at least not very effectively.  The Martians by this time approximated the Greek God's personality more closely than it did the Roman Catholic Religion. 
            Mars issued the same ultimatum to all nations, surrender or be destroyed.  France surrendered immediately.  The Benelux nations followed the next day, then Spain, Italy and the rest of Western Europe.  The Poles, Czechs, and the members of the Russian Federation resolved to fight.  China and the United States also decided to fight.  Canada wanted to surrender but the U.S. threatened to invade before the Martians got there if it did.
            By 2099 the first Martian-Earth war had ended.  Though Western Europe had hoped to save itself by surrender, when the Martians set up their Army near Paris, with wave after wave of battalions still coming to earth from Mars, the Polish-Czech-Russian Federation alliance attacked from the East, and the American-British-Chinese- Japanese-Canadian-Australian Federation attacked from the West.  Not only Paris, but the rest of France and much of the rest of Europe was destroyed beyond restoration.  What was once Paris became a gigantic bomb crater 3,057 meters deep -- even to this day.  Without the availability of European food and manufacturing, the tide of battle swung away from the Martians.  By the middle of 3000 they returned to Mars to lick their wounds.
   There were subsequent wars, and with each one, the Earthlings became stronger and the Martians weaker.  By 3033 Mars experienced a revolution that overthrew the leaders who retained military ambitions.
            In this year, 4010, we Earth-historians are spending a good deal of time debating whether Tarkegger should be considered morally culpable or not.  Some critics say that he should have known that his plan was naive and against human nature.  Other critics say that he knew in advance what Mars would become and set the wheels of Martian aggression into motion.  The historian Emmanuel Fey claimed to have discovered a hitherto unknown journal written by Tarkegger in which he details his plans for the military conquering of earth by Martian Armies.  When the journal was finally published it could be seen, at least by the historians bothering to read it, that Tarkegger was speaking of Evangelism and not military battle. 
            Tarkegger's place in human history has still not been resolved to everyone's satisfaction.  Many, especially simple people who don't study history, think he was an unmitigated disaster, entirely culpable for every one of Mars' wars against earth and for all the millions that died.  "He should have been smothered in his cradle" is commonly heard.  But the more sober among us take note of Tarkegger's well-meaning sincerity, and, we remind those of our number who weaken, how could anyone have known?

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