Dear Fellow Red Faction Guerrilla

Hi, Mason here. Hey, first off, great to have you on the team. I know it’s not an easy choice to join up, and I want you to know I appreciate the bravery and the backup. I hope you’ll take this in the spirit of togetherness and cooperation as we try to liberate Mars:

You’re not helping. There, I’ve said it. I know, you think “Hey, Mason’s in a gunfight, let’s rush in and start shooting at things.” And I love the thought. Love it. But in an actual fight started by me, there’s all kinds of crazy ordnance being fired at and by me. I’ve got some armor on, I’m hauling this giant rocket launcher and this other crazy nanoweapon I don’t even want to start talking about… and you just got out of a pickup.

About that pickup. By the time you’re on the scene, there’s probably already at least two armored trucks on the scene. Soon tanks are going to show up, airships, and I’m thinking I might try to get the tank to chase me through the garage, saving me the trouble of trying to blow the building up myself while under fire. Following me around on foot is probably not the best course of action, and it’s not as if you’re going to be able to take on heavy armor with a lifted suspension.

When you get offed, too, and clearly, you’re going to get offed, everyone gets all depressed about it. I’m better off, as long as you’re going to be like this, with you running as far away from the action as possible. Beyond which, there aren’t a lot of us out here, and if we’re going to end up going this alone, we need all the genes we can get.

I’ll tell you what would really help: go pick up a sledgehammer and beat up some buildings. Mine. Next time you see me, just say “Hey, Mason — nice job with the walker, you must have thrown that tower a good click, click and a half, huh? Hey, I know there are all kinds of things you need salvage for, so I went out and got you another fifty, hundred, two hundred bits. Keep up the good work!”

Would be huge. Huge. When I’m firing off that 30th nanoammothingy and see an EDF barracks fall over on its side, I’ll nod, smile, and thank you for your contribution to the extra ammo fund. At 25, maybe it doesn’t collapse. That’s all you.

If you insist, and I can see that you will, why not help me out by spreading them out a little? Spread them out with random acts of vandalism, for instance. Or, while everyone in the sector is tearing over for a shot at me and the ration bonus, you could find a nice isolated guard shack and blow that up. Help us all out a little, and at little danger to yourself. Or heck, why not place some charges and ambush the convoy of troops headed over to where I’m tossing rockets around?

Still too indirect? I get it, I’m a guy who likes to take apart buildings with a sledgehammer and drive dumptrucks covered in explosives into things. How about this, then — let’s do some real guerrilla stuff. Go sneak around to the sides and back of their positions and get a nice firing position. I’ll wait, it’s okay. Then they’ll have two choices: react to you and give me some room, or concentrate on me and let you pick them off. As it is, when we clump up like that, we’re even easier targets.

You don’t want to make this easy on them, do you?

And since you’re insisting on being directly involved, and near me, there are a couple things you could do. One, get in a turret. And two, even more broadly, if the situation is deteriorating quickly and I need to retreat, you should come with me. I know, it seems like a let down after you’ve charged in on your pickup or climbed out of your taxi to take up arms against your oppressor. But a minute ago you were reheating a cup of soup on a hot plate. Think about that soup. Should we waste food and risk your life to make a point about your dedication? Of course not. No one doubts your dedication.

What I’m trying to say is that we all want the same thing — a free Mars, where we can live peacefully and build a shared future together. And when that happens, I want to see us all there for it. Right now, you’re not bringing that future any closer.

So please, be safe, and smart, and if you see any salvage around, it would be great if you could drop that off for me at the nearest safehouse.

Yours sincerely,

Mason from “Red Faction Guerrilla”
cc: Sam, the Commander