One day, if all goes well, Earth will establish a colony on Mars. With any luck, that colony will grow. If it grows, it may eventually want independence, and when it does, war may be inevitable. But other causes can also explode into war. Included in this collection are two different causes, two different stories of a colonial war with Mars. In the first novella, THE VILLAIN is a member of the Enclave of the Villainy who goes outside the rules. Using his power for just the "party displays" practiced by the others was not enough. Forging his own path, specializing in Illusion, he violates not only the rules of his Enclave, but of society itself. Now, after years on the run, he must use his illusions and all of his skill to defend himself against its power, and avoid involvement in a brewing war. THE SECRET OF LIFE, THE UNIVERSE, AND EVERYTHING, is an unrelated short-short that explains pretty much everything about life. In the second novella, THE GOLDEN APPLE is a prize asteroid fought over by both Earth and its former colony, Mars. But it appears that the squabbling factions have crossed paths with the wrong man. After he loses everything to the war, he finds a drastic way to deal with it.