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We, your friends and archivists, wish you to know: This message was
originally transmitted over QEC, early in the morning of Friday,
September 24, 2421, via the "anon.penet.fi" anonymous resender. We
present it here without further comment.

                                 ~

TO THE EARTH FLOTILLA NOW CRIMINALLY BOMBARDING AND OCCUPYING MARS

For decades now, Earth's imperial dominion over Mars and the Belt
has produced a constant train of abuse, injustice, and
atrocity. You have enslaved us. You have exploited us. You have
continually alienated our labor in the service of a regime which
has proven by its actions that it no longer deserves to live, if
indeed it ever did.

In your unquestioned and unquestionable power, you have grown
complacent. You have permitted us a laughable measure of what you
consider liberty. Even as you regard us with the lazy contempt of
empire for its victims, you have withdrawn your attention,
preferring the elaborate games and perversions of elitism to
anything resembling concern for the maintenance of your power.

Even among your military class, the rot has set in and sunk
deep. Your captains regard Ceres Station and other Belt postings as
punishment duty, and they are not wrong to do so. Your military
elite has settled into the habit of sending us their least capable
officers, their least ready ships. While here, those officers and
those ships treat us with the contempt their masters teach
them. They know we are not their equals, in might or in rectitude,
for they are after all our masters, and we merely their servants to
be policed. As best they can, they ignore us entirely, again as
their masters have taught them.

They can no longer ignore us. Nor will you.

We have captured your Marine garrison on Ceres. We have destroyed
the frigate ENS St. Louis and seized the cruiser ENS Brooklyn, both
formerly of Ceres Station. At a single stroke, we have decapitated
Earth's military presence in the Belt.

We intend soon to properly declare ourselves among the independent
nations of the Solar System. But we have no time for such niceties
just now. Our brothers and sisters on Mars remain, for now, under
the bootheel of Earth. We are coming to their aid.

TO OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS ON MARS: We know how they are killing
you. We know the desperation you must feel in this moment. But hold
fast, comrades! We are coming. When we arrive, we will smash the
Earthers in orbit. We will smash the Earthers on the surface. We
are coming to relieve you. Defend your domes and caverns, husband
your strength and your weapons, and hold fast! We are coming. We
will be there soon to help you free yourselves, as we have done.

TO THE FLOTILLA OCCUPYING MARS: We warn you once, and once only:
Recover your troops from the surface and depart Mars orbit at
once. You are in orbit, we are not: We have the advantages of
position and velocity. If you do not heed this warning, we will
fire into and destroy your ships as soon as our weapons range on
you, and before yours can range on us.

You may doubt our capacity to do this. You may think that, even if
we are not lying, we have only one cruiser, and you thus outnumber
us. We warn you against such foolishness. We of the Belt have more
weapons than you know. Underestimate us at your peril. If we find
you in Mars orbit when we arrive, you will learn of our
weapons. You will not have much time to gain wisdom from the
lesson.

We do not offer you this warning out of kindness. You have for all
the decades of our servitude been the mailed fist of Earth, the
hand that held the whip that scarred our backs. You have oppressed
us, and we hope very much you will give us the opportunity to repay
you in kind for all you have done. But we do not wish the birth of
our new nation to be attended by unnecessary bloodshed. So we warn
you, this once:

Leave Mars, or we will kill you all.

You have twenty-six hours to comply.