The Skirmish on Mars occurred in the year 2063.

Prelude to SkirmishEdit

In 2063, shortly after Earth learned of the attacks on the Vesta and Tellus colonies, a Chig spacecraft crashed on Mars in the Hellas Planitia.[1]


Mars mission

Crash on Mars

The crash was observed by a group of USMC recruit officers on a routine training mission to repair a System Tracking Drone. Upon investigating the crash site, the USMC team found a dead alien in the wreckage and were subsequently fired upon by another Chig. The Marines returned fire, eventually capturing the Chig pilot alive. 2LT Mike Pagodin was killed in the skirmish. The second Chig died several hours later while being held captive.[2]


The spacecraft wreckage and alien corpses were studied by military forces to glean as much info on the alien threat as possible.

The data retrieved from the spacecraft was decoded by fifty Quantum Charno computers interlinked on four continents. The data contained an encoded transmission detailing the enemy's projected battle objectives. From this data Earth Forces could anticipate and monitor enemy movements, without showing their hand in case the captured information was deceptive.

Based on the dat and subsequent monitoring of enemy movement it was determined that the Chigs intended to engage two-thirds of their forces in an operation to attack Earth Forces at Groombridge 34. An Earth operation to surprise the Chig forces at Groombridge 34 was planned based on the captured information.

From the data Earth Forces were also able to determine that Chig spacecraft are faster, with a greater rate of climb compared to Earth spacecraft which are more maneuverable and better armed.[3]


  1. Space: Above and Beyond (novel)
  2. Pilot
  3. Pilot