(written from a Production point of view)
Twelve-year-old classmates Kima and Lil find themselves at odds with each other on a day that will change their lives forever.
Kima and Lil introduce themselves separately in voice over while they start of their day before going to school. Both girls are in a dormitory in San Francisco, and are speaking with their parents who are working on Mars on a large holographic display in their identical rooms. Kima and her mother make funny faces at each other, while Lil's father apologizes that due to his work he will not be able to see her in person this year for First Contact Day. Lil hangs up on him.
The girls and several other children of similar age in red blazers then head to the school shuttle stop that will take them to school. Lil, upset with her father, bumps Kima and knocks off her backpack. Due to the time it takes Kima to collect her things, she is late and the school shuttle departs without her.
The scene changes to show the atrium of the school, where Lil sits alone while other children chat or study in groups. Kima, late, runs up the stairs while the others head to class and encounters the principal, who gives her a disapproving look and notes her tardiness. She enters her classroom, the lesson already in progress, and purposefully bumps Lil on the way to her desk in the back.
In the school library, Kima lies in wait and trips Lil as she walks past. The scene then changes to the hallway, where Lil shoves Kima to the floor. The girls begin to fight while their classmates look on. The fight escalates, with both girls throwing punches before they're broken up by their teachers.
In the school atrium, Kima and Lil are sitting, separately, waiting to be disciplined. The principal begins to approach before his holographic PADD lights up with a red signal. One of the school's secretaries approaches him, crying, her PADD similarly lit. After they look at each other, the secretary rushes over to one of her colleagues at a desk. An audible emergency alert starts and the room's lighting switches to red. The information screens simultaneously switch to the Federation News Network.
As other students stream into the area, the screens are broadcasting news footage of a major attack on Mars by "rogue synths" and that an estimated three thousand Martians and Starfleet personnel are dead. As the students and staff watch, the Martian colonies and their orbital facilities are attacked by synth ships. A chyron over the footage reports that Starfleet has dispatched a task force at high warp to Mars while another screen shows a still image of Admiral Jean-Luc Picard with a chyron reporting that he finds the attack "devastating." Lil turns to Kima and sees she is crying. In their dismay, the girls take each other's hands.
- The title of this episode was first revealed in a trailer released on 20 July 2019, at San Diego Comic-Con.
- The release date was announced on 5 October 2019 at New York Comic-Con. 
- This episode is a prequel to Star Trek: Picard.  The year it is set in was clarified by the episode "Maps and Legends".
- This is the second Star Trek: Short Treks episode not set in the 23rd century, after "Calypso", and is the first episode set in the late 24th century as a continuation of where the timeline left off after the events of Star Trek Nemesis and Star Trek.
- This is the first Short Treks episode where the title is displayed after the episode, instead of after the opening credits.
- This is the first episode to be credited as "based upon Star Trek: The Next Generation created by Gene Roddenberry" instead of "based upon Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry".
- Similarly, while the title cards of all previous Short Treks were in the typeface used for Star Trek: Discovery, the title card of this episode is in Crillee, the typeface used for episode titles and credits in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- This is the second episode to feature a split screen presentation of events for the audience that is not some form of communication between the characters seen. This happens as the girls leave their dormitory rooms. The first was DIS: "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2".
- This episode features the second instance of non-orchestral incidental music – music not in the scene being heard by the characters – in the Star Trek franchise, after "The Trouble with Edward".
- Scenes for this episode were filmed at the Daniels building at the University of Toronto. 
- This is the only episode from the first and second seasons of Short Treks to not be included on the Blu-ray and DVD release of the series. It is included on the Blu-ray and DVD release of the first season of Star Trek: Picard.
Links and references
- Joy Castro as Mom
- Andrea Davis as Teacher
- Jason Deline as Dad
- Ilamaria Ebrahim as Kima
- Alix Kell as Secretary
- Sadie Munroe as Lil
- Robert Verlaque as Principal
- Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard (image only)
- Dalien World as Starfleet Security Officer
- Unknown performers as WSA students
Akoszonam; Andrée Putman; anti-grav rigger; Attack on Mars; Bajoran; bicycle; black hole; blood; Building a New Millennium; Class C shuttlecraft; computer; drawing; E01; Earth; emergency alert; Federation tug; First Contact Day; Federation News Network (FNN); Golden Gate Bridge; hand-to-hand combat; lab; library; locker; Magee-class (unnamed); Mallet-Stevens; Mars; Mars Orbital Facility; mass; Mons Olympus Station; Mrs.; neutron star; quality systems supervisor; Rafael Moneo; red alert; rogue; school shuttle; school shuttle stop; stellar cartography; supernova; synth; synth ship; task force; Utopia Planitia Ship Yards; Vulcan; warp field; WSA; WSA 01; WSA uniform
- "Children of Mars" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "The One With The Children of Mars" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
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