Aid workers arriving in Clearwater City
A woman sits in a bar. It's... just a bar. The type you'd find anywhere in the arid landscape of central Mars. It's not the sprawling nightclubs of New Europa, it's just a bar. There's at least two dozen and a half different types of vodka lined up on the shelf behind the bartender, a woefully generic man. The labels indicate that about half of them are produced in state-owned factories, the rest no doubt by state-connected alcohol moguls of some sort. The woman is sipping on a glass of something distinctly clear-looking. It most likely involves vodka. Most things does, up here.
"Hey, Vlad, hit me up with another of these whenever I'm done with this one. Put it on my tab." The man scratches his beard, and seems just about to say something gloomy about her tab. He's interrupted by a flash of red, and a sparkling voice pouring out of the loudspeakers.
"Heeeeelloooooooo Camp!" Sighing erupts throughout the venue.
"Maryusha here, from the Gorchakov News Bureau! I do hope you know my name by now, darlings." Damn right they did.
"The Colonel General has ordered me to make a few announcements for you happy Russian citizens out there, and as you know", she giggled,
"you don't say no to Zakharov!" The bartender shrugged, returning the woman's annoyed glance. He couldn't turn it off, just as little as the labourers down below could.
"Citizens! As you know, not everyone out there likes our beloved Union State. In fact, statistics show that the majority of responders on Earth do most distinctly not approve of the All-Russian Nation. We can't blame them for that, of course - few of them have ever been to the Motherland to see for themselves, and buy into the media's lies instead."
In space, no one can hear you cringe.
"But Mars, Mars is different my darlings! Mars is a new world, with new chances and less baggage. Here, we can prove ourselves to the international community. As of today, smiling in the presence of foreign visitors within the Camp is mandatory, in accordance with Social Edict no. A83. Always be prepared, folks! You might be having a bad day - but it can only get better, if you just keep on smiling!" The bar was dead quiet, as each purveyor of fine spirits scanned the establishment for anyone foreign-looking. Relieved to find none, they returned to their drinks.
"The same principle applies abroad! We, the Martian Directorate, shall be "Russia with a human face"!" Someone else once said something similar, the woman recalled. He was given tanks, not airtime on the local closed-circuit radio network.
"Within the coming months, the Directorate will continue our recent charitable endeavours. Notably, many of you good little worker-soldiers out there will soon be visiting beautiful Clearwater City, so shine your boots a little extra the next few weeks boys and girls, gotta look your best, don't disappoint our multicultural comrades!"
"As for the pollution situation in the lake, the insane cultist terrorists out in the desert, and the lap dogs of the American-European military-industrial complex encroaching on the soil our predecessors spilt blood for - don't you worry about that, darlings! Mommy Maryusha and Daddy Danila has it all under control, everything will just be fine." A brief silence ensued, as if the announcer had realized she had no actual content to provide the listeners with, other than short little headlines that they all could read about online anyway.
"Now, music for my little darlings! I know what your favorite genre is, don't you worry - the statistical department told me. Time for some classical music. DJ Lysenko, drop that beat!"