A Fire on Mars is one of two Red Faction tie-in comics, released by WildStorm and THQ. It tells a short story set just before the events of Red Faction: Guerrilla, covering an EDF plot to infiltrate the Red Faction, and the necessity of recruiting Alec Mason when he arrives on Mars.
History Of Mars
Through exposition panels, a brief history of Mars is shown, explaining that the original settlers came to work, but due to the appalling conditions that Ultor subjected its workers to, that a revolution took place, freeing the people of Mars from the grasp of Ultor. With the assistance of the EDF, Mars was liberated by Parker, who fought alongside Ray Mason - first generation colonist and uncle of Alec and Dan Mason.
The EDF terraformed Mars, making the surface habitable for the colonists, and small towns and businesses began to be established. The EDF maintained a small presence on Mars to assist with governance, and this was accepted by the Mars colonists as the price for freedom.
Fifty years later, with rampant corruption in the Earth government, and dwindling natural resources, the EDF - now in the pockets of Earth's megacorporations - began to take over Mars. The EDF seized control of independent mines, farms, businesses, etc., and dissenters were sent to detention camps.
This situation escalated to murders, both from the colonists, and the EDF, which ultimately led to the reforming of the Red Faction. Dan Mason readily joined, and his crew quickly became a high priority target for the EDF - a source of great pride for Mason.
Dan Mason and his rigger - Tyrell - see smoke in the valley, and investigate a burnt-out town called Vetro. When they investigate they find a burned body with a Marauder weapon sticking out of it. In one of the houses they find a young man called Leo who hid in a furnace whilst the settlement was raided.
Leo advises that the Marauder weapon is part of a false-flag operation by the EDF - he saw EDF vehicles and uniforms, meaning this was an EDF raid staged to look like a Marauder raid.
The sand that the settlement uses in their businesses contains a compound being used by EDF for new battle armour, giving motive to an otherwise apparently random attack.
Leo joins the Red Faction under the tutelage of Tyrell.
Within two weeks, an armour lab has been erected on the site of the former town of Vetro. Red Faction leadership requests that an armour prototype - along with the data relating to the armour - is stolen from the lab, and that the lab is destroyed. Leo is invited along to assist in the operation, along with Dan, Tyrell, and Sam.
After breaking into a mine equipment site and killing some EDF guards, the Red Faction finds an Amrukuo Light Walker which they need to get to the armour lab. Using the walker, Dan jumps over the armour lab's wall whilst Leo kills EDF guards with a rail gun. Dan breaks down the armour lab walls but it's empty inside. Sam realizes that it's a set-up and tries to abort, but she's too late to save Tyrell who is killed when their truck explodes. Sam is caught in the explosion and gravely wounded.
Dan returns to the truck to find Sam badly injured on the ground. He tries to wake her, but a voice from behind him tells him not to bother, that if he's done his job properly then Sam's insides are jelly. Dan turns around to find Leo pointing a gun at him.
Dan believes that Leo was paid to sell them out, but Leo tells him that he has always been an EDF intelligence recruit, and that because Dan's Red Faction cell was so high priority, it had to be infiltrated and taken out from the inside. Leo plans to shoot Dan in the back of the head, but Dan refuses to turn around telling Leo that he's going to have to look him in the face to kill him. Leo taunts Dan but before he can pull the trigger, he's shot in the head - the gravely wounded Sam sat up and killed Leo. When Dan had tried to wake Sam he had felt a pulse, and knew that she would find the strength to save them both.
Dan is struggling to replace Tyrell, but he has a replacement in mind who is arriving on a shuttle from Earth today. Red Faction commander Hugo Davies is concerned, as they don't know how much data Leo sent back to the EDF. Hugo asks Dan if he is certain that he can trust the earthsider, to which Dan replies "Hell yeah. He's my brother. His name is Alec Mason."