Cockiest Red Planet Trilogy Book 1
by A.S. McGowan
Over a hundred years ago, Earth was dying. A few rich men and women banned together to create a kingdom on Mars. They hand picked the people who would join them in this new kingdom. Then they brought their arrogant beliefs and made them laws. The Trademark Commission was established to allow anyone who could afford it, the ability to trademark any common word. The laws stated that once a word was trademarked no one could speak that word again. The Naming Commission ensures that all names are copyrighted and no one uses another person's copyrighted name. Fines and even prison time are given to those who violate the trademark and copyright laws.
Kathryn 5.0 was pregnant with her first child when the word 'baby' is trademarked. Forced to refer to her baby as "little human" she is tired of the 100 year old laws. Reaching out to friends, she works to create a resistance. Together they fight against the trademark and copyright laws. Battle lines are drawn and it is family against family. Those who resist the laws are branded "Bullies" while those who support the ancient laws wave the "Victim" banner.
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When she reached her house, she darted inside. The cool air was a blessed relief from the outside heat. The sweat on her body practically froze on her skin. Plopping down on the bright teal wooden bench, she removed her shoes. She slid them under the bench then stood and shook the red dust from the bottom of her long blue skirt. It was a daily struggle to keep the dust out of the home, especially when it clung to everything. It seemed all the women in the kingdom sported the red stains upon the hem of their skirts. She hated it. Not long ago she had petitioned the Fashion Commission to allow shorter lengths to prevent this. They shot her down instantly. The women who sat on the Commission were the fashion superiors and their word was law.
Inside the living room, she sat on the bright yellow sofa. Her feet propped up on the white wooden coffee table. She put her earphones in and clicked the button on the sound system remote. She was that way when her husband came home. She noted that he had removed his shoes but still wore his cream-colored cotton pants and matching tunic work suit. He joined her on the sofa, placed his hand on her stomach, and smiled. She took the earphones out and turned off the sound system.
“How did it go at the Naming Commission?” His voice held a hint of anticipation. His smile lit his face up.
“Not good. The name we wanted was already registered. I want a unique name for our baby.” She looked at him, her eyes pleaded with him to offer up a unique name.
“Well you need to stop referring to the child as ‘baby.’ I heard on the city speakers that the word “baby” is now a registered trademark. We can’t afford to be sued for using the word.” He shook his head.
“Surely the use in our home if acceptable.” Turning she faced him, her eyebrow lifted.
“There are eyes and ears everywhere, Kathryn 5.0, we can’t risk it. Use the term little human from now on.” He lovingly patted her stomach again. “So, what’s for dinner?”
“I thought we would have cucumber soup. With this heat, a chilled dish would be most welcomed.” She hated the way he deflected from the subject at hand. She knew he was looking forward to the name Luna just as much as she was. Instead, he focused on a trademarked word and violations.
“Kathryn 5.0! You know that James 3.0 registered a trademark for the word soup a couple of months ago. Remember, it is liquid puree now.” He looked at her the way a parent would look at an errant child.
“I am sorry, Matthew 7.0, of course. Dinner is cucumber liquid puree.” She smiled at her husband. He was more concerned with the Trademark Commission and all the trademarked words than she was. Then again, in his line of work as a lawyer, she could see how such things would affect him more than her.
They ate their dinner in silence at the small table in the kitchen. Finishing his dinner, Matthew 7.0 disappeared into his private office. She remained in the kitchen to clean up. There were nights like this where she wished she was one of the Elite. The Elite were allowed various servants to take care of daily chores. Uppers such as herself were denied these luxuries.
She was placing the dishes into the dish cleaning machine when her husband came in. He had changed out of his work suit and now wore a sage green tunic with matching pants. He was smiling the smile that always meant he had big news to share. She couldn’t help but smile back at his infectious smile.
He grabbed her and spun her around. Laughing and squealing, she begged to be put down. When he put her down, he kissed her. Breathless, she smiled up at him. His sparkling blue eyes mesmerized her, pulling her in.
“I have the perfect name for our little human.” He was giddy. “Minka!”
“Minka?” She scrunched up her nose. What kind of name was that?
“You wanted her to have her own unique name. I think Minka would be just that kind of name. What do you say?” He gave her those puppy dog eyes and smiled at her. His dimple gave him a boyish look that reminded her of when they were young.
He was right, it was very unique. What would be the odds of someone already registering that name? “Okay, I will go to the Naming Commission tomorrow and register her name as Minka.”
“Good. Good. Now our little girl will have a name.” He smiled again and left the kitchen to prepare for bed.
She finished loading the dish cleaning machine. With that chore done, she grabbed the floor sweeper and swept up the light traces of red dust. She looked at the floor washer and sighed. She remembered when it was called a mop and one simply mopped their floors. But about ten years ago someone decided to trademark the word mop. Some people get use to the words being trademarked and forbidden to be used by anyone other than the trademark holder. Kathryn 5.0 was not one of those people. She hated the practice and wished people would put a stop to it.
She wondered what life was like before the practice as she slowly made her way upstairs. It seemed that each step was a struggle. She wished someone would have told her how difficult simple tasks were when one was at the end of their pregnancy. When she finally made her way to bed, she settled in and made plans to go speak with her grandmother in the morning.
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Most authors and readers have by now seen the scandal with the trademarking of the word Cocky by a romance author. I started following the whole issue and saw the deep ramifications if a bad precedence was set by this and how it could affect authors and readers of all genres. Then a light bulb came on. I wanted to explore what would happen if the trademarking of common words was taken to extremes. That is where the Cockiest Red Planet novella trilogy came from.
I set the story on Mars and fast forward about a hundred years into the future. I set it where those who colonized Mars were supporters of the ability to trademark common words. They made this practice a part of their laws. Only they went to the extreme. Once a word was trademarked no one but the trademark holder could speak the trademarked word.
The same author had sent a letter to another author claiming that character names are copyrighted and can’t be used. I seen a twitter post after that where someone said if that was true then eventually all characters would look like user names. You know the ones where you are forced to use numbers and such cause the one you want is taken. So, I ran with that and created my characters with names such as Kathryn 5.0, Matthew 7.0, Emmy 8.0. Well you get the picture.
I heard the term bully and victim thrown around a lot while following this scandal. I use those terms within the book as well. Bullies are those within the resistance that march against the trademark laws and Victims are all the citizens that support the trademark laws.
Resistance is a sci-fi, space opera parody to the entire cocky gate scandal. One in which I hope that people enjoy looking at the extreme side of what could happen if a bad precedence is set with our present-day issue. I will continue to watch the social media postings about this and incorporate it all into the next two novellas in this trilogy. Of course, everything will be exaggerated and taken to the extremes.
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