Primer

What you need to know about Mars

Quick Facts

  • Mars has a Population of approx. 200million
  • Cities in order of size and millions of people; Valles-New Shanghai (37mil), Noctis-Qianjiao (13mil), Elysium (9mil), Progress (8mil), Olympus (1mil), Pathfinder (.75mil), Ashoka (10k).
  • Gravity is .38G, atmosphere is thin and mostly unbreathable, surface temp ranges down to -100 degrees.

Survival on Mars

The first thing you notice about Mars is the gravity, it’s about one third normal. Falling is less of a worry, and you’ll have three times as long to catch objects you drop. You can also lift and move much heavier objects, but the momentum stays constant, watch out for that.

The next thing you’ll notice is the atmosphere, there’s not much of one. Carbon dioxide makes up the great majority of the atmosphere, to survive you need some sort of life support. Take your pick of Enhanced Respiration, Vac Suit, or a Martian Breather (Low). If that’s not enough the high altitudes on Mars can also lead to extreme discomfort (-10/-30) due to lack of pressure. Thankfully Low Pressure Tolerance (Low) Biomods are easily available.

Thirdly, if the lack of oxygen isn’t bothering you, you can enjoy the balmy temperatures. With a swing of -50F to 50F it’s lovely weather year round. Temperature Tolerance biomods and a warm jacket suffice, for everyone else, keep the Vac Suit on or bundle up in Cold Weather Survival Gear (Low).

Local Laws

The Tharsis League enforces several common laws, in addition to the Treaty of Universal Security. The Treaty prohibits large scale infowar and trading in TITAN artifacts. Beyond that there are some common laws among the major habitats. Deliberately sabotaging a habitat is about the worst possible crime, punishable with total ego erasure. Additionally ego-jacking is similarly punishable. Slightly less extreme crimes, such as Destruction of Body, property damage, theft and assault are dealt with by a civil fine or indentured servitude. Anyone found committing a crime is also subject to Psychological modification.

Weapons are restricted, but not banned. The obvious exception to this are large scale, habitat threatening weapons, and nanoswarms. Heavy weapons (Plasma Rifles, Assault Railguns, Seekers) are regulated, restricted to security and militia forces only, though this can be faked (Low to Moderate). Personal weapons are much more relaxed, with a civilian registration being all that is required (Trivial).

Nanotechnology is regulated heavily in the cities, and less so in the wastes. Communal fabbers and makers are relatively common, but highly secured. There is a black market for blueprints and exploits, but acquiring your own cornucopia machine is a bit trickier. In the outback and wastes there are a lot less restrictions, and a lot more ingenuity applied, allowing for the ability to manufacture replacement parts.

Time and Travel

Mars has a very long year, almost twice Earth’s Standard, 669 days. While a day itself isn’t much longer than an Earth Standard. The Martian calendar splits the year into 24 months, alternating traditional month names with sanskrit month names. They are, in order; March, Dhanus, April, Makara, May, Kumbha, June,Mina, July, Mesha, August, Rishabha, September, Mithuna, October, Karka, November, Simha, December, Kanya, January, Tula, February, and Vrishika.

Travel is facilitated on Mars by the MDOT, Mars Department of Transportation. Maglev trains can get you from any of the Major Cities in half a day or less for a trivial fee. Additionally there are highways and flyways which are open to public use. The highways are a mixed bag across the outback, and virtually policed in major areas. The flyways are much more reliable, with well regulated AR displays and top notch flight control AIs. Screw around on a highway and you’ll catch a low fine, but if you screw around in a flyway expect to spend a year indentured, after being put into static-storage until they get to your docket of course.

Getting off world is easy. There is the Olympus Space Elevator, and all major cities offer shuttle jumps into orbit and the various habitats. From there it’s a bit more expensive. Travel to Luna is relatively common, with Venus being another popular destination. If you’re looking to head Rimward, expect to pay heavily.

Economics

Mars functions on what’s known as a Transitional Economy. This means that for the inhabitants of a transitional economy, creating food, non-smart clothing, furniture, and most other simple, non-formatible objects is a trivial matter. However, the public nanofabrication machines can
only create objects that either contain no electronics at all or contain only simple circuits that report on the object’s condition and location. Manufacturing any of these items requires little more than the machine and a supply of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, silicon, iron, aluminum, and tiny amounts of various trace materials. All of these materials are sufficiently
abundant that acquiring them is easy and inexpensive. To pay for the small amounts of energy and resources needed to create these goods, all inhabitants pay a small tax.

Once the usage tax has been paid, food, clothing, furniture, and similar goods are all free. Raw materials, old, worn-out or unwanted goods, and various waste products are recycled into new goods. Residents of transitional economies need never experience hunger or any of the many other sorts of deprivation that much of humanity faced before the mid-21st century. Additionally, basic medical care is free in almost all transitional economy societies, to help insure that the populace is healthy, content, and productive.

While many goods are freely available, there are also goods that residents must purchase from corporations, their government, or other producers. Smart clothing and smart furniture that can change shape, color, and pattern, depending upon the user’s wishes, cannot be manufactured in any of the personal nanofabricators. Any goods made from highly durable composite materials, batteries, electrically-powered devices including all augmentations, and all nanotechnology must be acquired in the same fashion. These goods are considerably less common as they require access to an unrestricted nanofabricator and exotic raw materials.

Politics

The Planetary Consortium runs things on Mars, through the puppet council of the Tharsis League. That’s the quick and dirty of it, and this seriously pisses off the natives. The Barsoomians are a coalition of rebellious native Mars inhabitants. They primarily come from the outbacks and wastes, where terraforming still is ongoing. The Tharsis League pays lip service to what the people of Mars want, but in actuality it always does what the masters on the Planetary Consortium want.

For your average Martian, this means peace and security in exchange for little to no say in how things work. The legal restrictions on nanotechnology and overt censorship of the Mesh makes life less than ideal, but it certainly beats things bursting out of The Zone. Additionally, even if the terraforming isn’t going as well as desired, it is still ongoing, and that’s good right? I mean, sure, a few accidents have wiped out habitats out in the wastes, but those people aren’t really citizens, so who cares?

Primer

Contempt for the Flesh EsVachel EsVachel