[Continued From Last Week]
After many years of study by a combined team from Directorates G and L it became quite clear that certain groups of full-humans were indeed much less adapted to living in modern civilized environments. It was also clear certain groups were developing much slower than other full-human groups. The Committee would hold this detailed report “close to the vest” as to be able to “study and address the problem away from the public spotlight.” Riots we did not need. Our small group within the Committee had put forth a plan that perhaps when things settled down on the Martian front this situation could be addressed with education, counseling, training, etc, either within or outside of confinement. For the time being the problem needed to be set aside. Whether or not any decisive action would be taken in the future remained to be seen. Focus now had to be on keeping the planet united and focused on the Martians and their hybrid allies.
Looking back and focusing on the hybrids we should have viewed these hybrid crimes as an interplanetary insurgency readying itself for future terrorist attacks on our planet. Unfortunately, social politics had been allowed to cripple and blind us from the reality we all knew to be true. At that critical point we failed to step up and ignore loud criticisms from a small minority of “social” individuals and so-called pro-hybrid peace groups attempting to block efforts by the authorities, to go after these terrorists and do what needed to be done to stop them. Most members of the Committee felt that we should have simply dealt with these terrorists with a “fatal solution” before they could mount any devastating attacks rather than allow cries of “you are an anti-hybridist” to make us weak. The always-destructive social groups were using peace protests as a weapon of war and many within the halls of the Committee felt the problem should have been faced down with stronger determination and not attempt to ‘dialogue’ with the opposition. That political weakness would eventually cost thousands of lives. It is a lesson some Committee members have yet to fully learn as we continue to allow certain full-human groups on Earth to engage in massive criminal behavior without proper corrective action (education, supervision, ‘medical adjustment’, detention, banishment, etc.) to end those problems. However, that policy changed when it came to hybrids after the first massive hybrid attack, and it remains in place today. Termination has become policy for all captured hybrid terrorists.
Later, intelligence operatives would indicate the mostly hybrid organization was originally formed around a loosely connected central group, which consisted of some 100 members with five leading individuals. These leaders were the “organizers and prime target callers” known within the Brotherhood as the “Primary Five” (Mars-bred hybrids only). It was clear within their organizational structure the hybrids had adopted the group-think mentality of the Martians. This was their weakness and we could exploit this flaw. Overall, no more than 20 active groups would be formed from this base of around 1000 individuals, but they were to become very active. We would later discover at the very least the “Primary Five” were in direct radio contact with Martian advanced forces still orbiting the Earth as well as operating in the North and South Polar Regions. It was not surprising to later learn the Martian Brotherhood had received direct orders from the Martians on Mars on exactly which individuals and areas to target for their attacks. We would also come to learn the “Primary Five” were answerable to a radio contact from Mars (a superior Martian A) known only as “The Guiding One” (Ref: Martian Electric Document 74D46). This meant that the most sophisticated and powerful radios operating on Earth were in the hands of the enemy. Unfortunately, we would never establish who The Guiding One was, as this Martian A never seems to have made it to Earth.
It seemed mankind was still in an active war with the Martians, the only problem was – we didn’t realize it yet! We would soon be dealing with do-gooders who had formed several hybrid aid organizations as well. Most authorities wrongly looked at this as a policing problem not a terrorist issue. Naturally the Committee soon had operatives well situated in several of these organizations reporting to Committee security forces. As it turned out we did not have enough individuals in place or enough information coming out. Only later would we fix that oversight.
The opening terrorist salvo by the Martian Brotherhood against mankind would be made at the Courrieres’ mine in France and it would be very costly. We first heard about the attack in the middle of the night. Costly as it was it did cause world leaders to focus on the hybrid problem and really begin to deal with it on a realistic basis. The kit gloves were off – we finally realized that we were still at war with Mars! That final realization would cost over a thousand lives.
THE COURRIERES MINE ‘DISASTER’
10 March 1906
Before the war the French railway system and French coal output had been second only to Great Britain in Europe. Thanks to Napoleon and later French leaders France had modernized at such a great speed that by the start of the First Martian War there was a good deal of national pride in their industrialization. Sadly much had been destroyed during the Martian War, but a core element was still very much in place and it did not take the French long, organized from a recovering Paris, to push production back to the forefront. Courrieres Mine was very much part of that push to move forward and recover.
I felt at the time that events which occurred at the mine disaster at Courrieres, France, was probably an inevitable event, at least one like it, but one that nevertheless should have been avoided. The Courrieres Mine operation was, and is, under the direction of Directorates A and B of the Executive Committee of Twelve. The mine was one of a number of operations put into place by the Committee to not only provide much needed jobs for the people of the area, but for the much needed coal being produced which, along with oil, and gas was providing the energy needed to rebuild our shattered economics. Blame, if that is what is required, goes to the Committee for perhaps pushing the operation faster and harder than it was possibly capable of operating. The need for security against a terrorist attack was not taken into proper account and it cost us dearly. It was a lesson we needed to learn and there was little time to learn such lessons.
On 10 March 1906, the men who worked at the mine paid the price for such errors. At 6:30 in the morning a huge explosion occurred deep within the mine. The mine, having originally begun operations in 1852, had been reactivated after repairs had been completed due to the destruction of its surface facilities as a result of the First Martian War. It is now realized that these repairs had not been sufficient enough, and in that coal dust was not being removed as well as it may have been possible to remove. It would be the igniting of this coal dust by a hand carried bomb, which is now known to have caused the deadly blast. That a member of the terrorist group the Martian Brotherhood could get to the center of the mine was an error that was inexcusable. We had lost control.
The explosion had been powerful enough to throw the worker’s elevator cage from Shaft 3 to surface killing all on board. Shaft 4 elevator was also explosively pushed almost to the surface, but was jammed on the shaft rig. Several men were taken from that elevator alive, however only two of 30 survived the night. The elevator on Shaft 2 stayed below ground, but when it was raised by rescue workers it contained only the bodies of dead miners. The elevator on Shaft 1 was unaffected and would serve as the only way into the mine during rescue operations.
Editor’s Note: This was the first successful major operation by hybrids against the humans since the end of the First Terrain War.
Rescue attempts began immediately as teams of miners and rescuers worked their way along the tunnels. Very few, still deep in the mine when rescue workers entered, would be found alive, however, some six hundred miners closer to the entrance points were able to make it to the surface in the first few hours after the disaster began. By 1 April rescuers had located a few deep miners alive and had recovered some 194 bodies. Earlier there had been some good news as rescue teams had been able to reach thirteen miners on 30 March some twenty days after the explosion. These men, more dead than alive, had survived by eating two of the mine horses after their usual daily food rations they regularly took down to the mine had been consumed.
The last survivor was pulled from the wreckage of tunnel number 16 on 4 April. In all, the worst mining disaster in recent European history had cost the lives of 1,099 miners. Nevertheless, the mine would re-open a year later with new safety equipment and security regulations in place. This disaster was great and heartfelt, but the requirement to fuel the recovery of Europe from the ravages of the First Martian War was much greater. All knew we needed to continue to build up mankind’s resources in order to defeat an enemy which none could predict where they would return or when.
After the rescue and recovery efforts had been completed a Committee review showed security at the mine had been allowed to go to levels, which virtually guaranteed that this type of attack could occur. And, even though bringing the mine back into operation was critical, care was taken to insure new safety and security features, such as gas and dust removal equipment, security fencing, and guards checking passes and all equipment going into the mine would be in place and operating before new mining crews were allowed back to work. It was also found that many areas then being excavated underground by the Committee, including the three major underground city projects, were lacking in essential security and safety features. These problems of safety and security were given a much higher priority when the Committee appointed a team of mining engineers to overview all mine and underground projects to bring them up to as high a level as could be expected when it came to operational safety as well as military and civilian guards for control of all entry points. The team would report directly to an assistant director who had personal oversight of the underground operations. Accidents were still going to happen and lives were going to be lost; their job would be to prevent as many large ones as possible as well as stop any potential terrorist attacks on the underground facilities.
It would not be long before the Committee had even more pressing problems to deal with. The Martians were about to inform the world they were still very much interested in taking the Earth for themselves and they had a weapon to use that mankind had not even dreamed was possible. They would use the Earth itself to attack the creatures that called it home. This was high geo-technology at its greatest and most deadly. Needless to say, there were no public reports on the disaster at the mine, which had any reference to Martians or the Martian Brotherhood. The fact we knew they existed was a well kept Committee secret, at least for a while, even though they had sent letters to several newspapers announcing their involvement in the mine disaster. The newspapers were convinced the letters were all hoaxes and did not play up the terrorist angle, at least not at the time. (In point of fact, Directorate L had sent several letters to newspapers claiming to have bombed the mine using several false group names. These were soon shown to be hoaxes, exactly as the Committee had intended. The propaganda group had done a very good job.)
This incident showed we needed to keep much better track of all hybrids on this planet ‘friendly’ or not. It was also clear that even this better tracking could not keep this terrorist situation out of the public’s view forever. The only thing the general public knew at the time was this attack had been made by hybrids. They did not know they were very well organized or being directly supported and supplied by the Martians. Eventually the Martian Brotherhood’s existence was going to be common knowledge. We needed a plan to deal with that. The solution to that problem was to develop a team of Martian hybrid experts to go after them and kill as many of the Martian Brotherhood as we could find as fast as we could find them. This was a terrorist war and we were not about to hold back anything that would help us defeat the Martians or their allies on Earth. This was “kill or be killed” and the Committee was not going to allow anyone, and we meant anyone, to stand in our way.
MAGIC – MOST SECRET CoT
Magic Order MO-55
Immediate: Identification cards for hybrids are to be re-issued with the new name designation of “H”. Example: A hybrid named John Smith will be H-John Smith. When spoken to, all hybrids will be referred to as “H” before first names are to be used. There are to be no exceptions to this order except for Excalibur personnel. Hybrids refusing this order will be placed into committee custody immediately and held indefinitely in one of the ‘holding’ properties.
MAGIC – MOST SECRET CoT
When new ID cards were issued for all hybrids no one put up much of an argument since the card issuing department had by then reported greatly increased criminal activity by hybrids. However, when it was suggested that the hybrids be required to sew an ‘H’ on all of their clothing as an easy identifiable marking there were more than a few protests. In the wake of these protests and the possible resignation of at least three of the Magic Twelve, the full Committee soon backed away from that suggestion. It was, as Committee notes indicated “taken off the table for the time being,” but it was not forgotten. I must say I was happy about that decision to forgo the ‘H’ on the clothing. We had enough problems to deal with without creating new ones. We needed unity not division.
As far as the Martians were concerned they were not about to let us forget they were still around and still very active when it came to attacking Earth. They would continue to harass Earth’s population in as many ways as they could and keep a very close eye on humanity.
[END PART 14]
Copyright © R. Michael Gordon, 2020