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===Secrets and Rebellions===
 
===Secrets and Rebellions===
 
[[image:Mars Dig 02.png|thumb|250px|An IPX dig uncovers a Shadow Vessel on Syria Planum.]]
 
[[image:Mars Dig 02.png|thumb|250px|An IPX dig uncovers a Shadow Vessel on Syria Planum.]]
During the [[Earth-Minbari War]], the colony openly declared its neutrality in the conflict, further deepening the bad blood between the '[[Earthers]]' and '[[Marsies]]'. While it was unlikely the [[Minbari]] were concerned with the declaration of neutrality, they nevertheless bypassed Mars in favor of an all-out assault on Earth, resulting in the [[Battle of the Line]]. After the war ended, supply shortages led to the so-called "''[[Mars Food Riots|Food Riots]]''", which were eventually put down by [[Earthforce]].
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During the [[Earth-Minbari War]] the colony openly declared its neutrality in the conflict, further deepening the bad blood between the '[[Earthers]]' and '[[Marsies]]'. While it was unlikely the [[Minbari]] were concerned with the declaration of neutrality, they nevertheless bypassed Mars in favor of an all-out assault on Earth, resulting in the [[Battle of the Line]]. After the war ended, supply shortages led to the so-called "''[[Mars Food Riots|Food Riots]]''", which were eventually put down by [[Earthforce]].
   
In [[2253]], [[IPX]], still following up old rumors and false leads on artifacts that had supposedly been buried beneath the Martian soil for thousands of years, a team led by Dr. [[Mary Kirkish]] picked up something on IPX's sonic probes that was clearly not a natural formation some 300 feet beneath the surface of Syria Planum. The object was buried so deep it had been there at least a thousand years. Seeing as it was the middle of the Martian winter, it took weeks just to excavate half of it. Even that was enough to give Kirkish nightmares for the rest of her life.
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In [[2253]] [[IPX]], still following up old rumors and false leads on artifacts that had supposedly been buried beneath the Martian soil for thousands of years, a team led by Dr. [[Mary Kirkish]] picked up something on IPX's sonic probes that was clearly not a natural formation some 300 feet beneath the surface of Syria Planum. The object was buried so deep it had been there at least a thousand years. Seeing as it was the middle of the Martian winter, it took weeks just to excavate half of it. Even that was enough to give Kirkish nightmares for the rest of her life.
   
 
The [[Shadow Vessel|ship]], as the object later turned out to be, was the find of a lifetime. A week after sending word to [[Earth Central]], Kirkish and her team were suddenly ordered to stop digging and pull back to their secondary base two miles away, threatening dismissal for any who tried to stay. For the next six days they sat waiting while unmarked shuttles flew in and out of the area surrounding the dig site before all activity suddenly ceased. Just then, Kirkish observed an identical vessel arriving overheard, which began firing on the site. At first Kirkish thought it was destroying its counterpart, but it soon became clear that it was finishing digging it out. After the new ship disappeared below the ridge, nothing happened for the next twenty or twenty-five minutes until they heard a mind-splitting scream, like "the sound of something terrible being born." and she watched as both ships took off for deep space. After the incident, Kirkish and her colleagues were warned there would be unfortunate consequences if they told anyone what they had seen, breaking them up and assigning them to other worlds so they wouldn't have a chance to talk to each other.<ref name="Messages from Earth">[[Messages from Earth]]</ref>
 
The [[Shadow Vessel|ship]], as the object later turned out to be, was the find of a lifetime. A week after sending word to [[Earth Central]], Kirkish and her team were suddenly ordered to stop digging and pull back to their secondary base two miles away, threatening dismissal for any who tried to stay. For the next six days they sat waiting while unmarked shuttles flew in and out of the area surrounding the dig site before all activity suddenly ceased. Just then, Kirkish observed an identical vessel arriving overheard, which began firing on the site. At first Kirkish thought it was destroying its counterpart, but it soon became clear that it was finishing digging it out. After the new ship disappeared below the ridge, nothing happened for the next twenty or twenty-five minutes until they heard a mind-splitting scream, like "the sound of something terrible being born." and she watched as both ships took off for deep space. After the incident, Kirkish and her colleagues were warned there would be unfortunate consequences if they told anyone what they had seen, breaking them up and assigning them to other worlds so they wouldn't have a chance to talk to each other.<ref name="Messages from Earth">[[Messages from Earth]]</ref>

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