Study Guide

Red Mars Part 6, Chapter 5

By Kim Stanley Robinson

Part 6, Chapter 5

  • Frank takes the elevator up, and from space, Mars doesn't seem like such a headache.
  • After five days on the great space elevator, they approach Clarke. Frank meets with Phyllis right away, informing her there is no infrastructure in place for the people she's sending down so she has to stop.
  • Phyllis claims the First Hundred lived worse when they first arrived, which leaves us wondering how it feels to have ones pants on fire.
  • Frank threatens to involve the United States in locking out the transnationals, but Phyllis sees through the threat. Stalemate.
  • Frank heads back, having wasted his time on a five-day elevator ride.
  • He goes back and forth with the United States's State and Commerce departments, and after a whole lot of effort, he manages to get the transnationals to slow down emigration, albeit with raised prices.
  • In the northern middle winter, American and Russian tents riot and give the UNOMA police the boot. Both groups were attacked in the night by what they are claiming are Yakuza, and then locked in their tents and told they couldn't leave by the police. Call us crazy, but we don't think it's standard procedure to lock up the people who were attacked…
  • Anyway, Frank shows up to quell the crowd. He convinces the mass that they've been tricked into rioting so that transnationals can tighten their grip on them.
  • Frank reaches an agreement with the group and leaves to cheers.
  • Maya meets Frank in the station. She asks him to help her with the Russian tent, and he agrees.
  • He acts as Maya's inner-voice, coaching her through the calming of the crowd.
  • She spends the night with him. On-again time, Shmoopers. They don't talk about the past much, only the current situation and day's news.
  • One day, word reaches them that everyone in a mohole town has vanished. Frank goes to investigate, and when he arrives, the news crew has already settled in, and a woman tells him most people are making a break for the Martian underground while they still can.
  • Frank puts in a call to Arkady. Arkady argues that they are their own planet now, but Frank can't believe it—they're still a part of the world, the human world.
  • With that, it's back to Elysium, where he's asked to give a speech to some Martian newcomers.
  • Maya meets him at the Burroughs station and congratulates him on the speech. He hurries to the offices, but when Maya tags along, he claims he needs to go for a walk.
  • He finds a café and nurses a coffee when Maya catches up. She demands to know what's wrong, and Frank considers telling her about his hand in John's death, but… he doesn't.
  • Maya confesses her love for him while Frank's shoulder angel and shoulder demon argue over whether or not she knows what he's done.
  • They return to their rooms.
  • Weeks pass, and the bad news flows; the city of Korolyov has become a prison city.
  • Frank interviews some of the prisoners, reminding them how venerable they are on Mars versus Earth because of the atmosphere. Oh, and not to mention the vastly bigger military.
  • The men try to argue that it's just like the American Revolution again, but Frank cuts the connection out of anger.
  • In the hustle and bustle, Frank discovers Arkady has left Phobos and disappeared. He also learns that emigration has started again since the elevator has been bought by a transnational outside of United States jurisdiction. In other words, things are getting real now.
  • Frank and Maya hop a train to Pavonis Mons to start a new round of negotiations with the new admins, including Phyllis, who oversaw the hostile takeover of the elevator.
  • There, he learns that Arkady and his forces have taken over Nicosia and deemed it a free city. Anyone care to guess where this is going?
  • And Frank's off again to talk to Arkady.
  • But Arkady has already skipped town. Frank talks to him by vidlink, saying he can't hope to win, but Arkady very much hopes to win, and that's the end of the conversation.
  • Nadia hops on the line. She's in Burroughs, and although she doesn't support his means, she also can't influence him at this point either.
  • The next day, they head to the city manager offices to talk with Alexander, Dmitri, and Elena. On the way, a strange man calls after Frank. The stranger claims that last time Frank was in Nicosia he brought down the house. Now it's his turn.
  • Understandably freaked out, Frank hurries to the manager's office. He calls the UNOMA police, but it's too late.
  • The emergency systems seal every building in the city. The tent over Nicosia comes down, and the people in the streets die agonizing deaths.
  • The Martian Revolution has begun.