Study Guide

Red Mars Part 7, Chapter 2

By Kim Stanley Robinson

Part 7, Chapter 2

  • Nadia discovers just how easy it is to destroy a Martian town—it's just like popping a really big balloon with a missile.
  • At Lasswitz, she witnessed just that. And now she and the rest of the residents are huddled in the buildings, trying to repair the tent and make some sense of the jumble of images the television calls news.
  • Nadia gets a call from Sasha that the water station north of the town has been hit, and she's off to fix it.
  • She sets to work with the water-station crew and enters her element: repair.
  • Nadia links into some heavy-duty construction robots and sets about capping the well before it floods the landscape. Unfortunately, she can't be sure how much of the cliff will come down in the explosion, so they have to evacuate the entire town in, oh, four hours.
  • They manage, and Nadia sends out a message that they are noncombatants despite all the explosions that are about to go down.
  • The water station starts to geyser, but the cliff face soon collapses over it. They wait for the dust to settle and… success. The water has stopped flowing and Lasswitz is still standing—well, what's left of Lasswitz is still standing.
  • Studying the readouts, Nadia decides they need to drill a runoff well to keep the pressure from undoing their work, so she and her little group get to work programming robots like giant Martian Roombas.
  • She wonders if Sax is loving this. The transnat forces are targeting aquifers, using the water outflow as a weapon against the Martians, and the terraforming project gets a boost.
  • The drilling goes as planned, and the aquifer doesn't blow out. Assuming the pressure valve holds, the in-construction pipeline will take the water safely elsewhere.
  • Nadia decides to go to Fourneir Crater and help the people there, as the sealed buildings are running out of air. Sam, Yeli, Sasha, and Angela go with her, taking two planes between them.
  • And we hit the Martian road again. Airways. Whatever.