Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun, and the second most habitable. The colonization of Mars began in 2182, when technology assured
a secure environment could be set up. Space travel improvements have also made the flight time drop to about 100 days, when Mars is at
it's shortest distance from Earth (about every 4th year. At other times, flight is possible, but it takes twice the time).
The modern Mars is split in a number of governmental areas, or "Regio". Each regio has it's own government, but are all united
in one common organ, The Ruling Board of Mars (RBM), from where interregional politics are run. Jemma and Jill live in the Isidis Regio,
on the northeastern hemisphere.
As Mars is farther from the sun than Earth, it's also much colder. Temperatures vary between -130 to +30 degrees C, with an average temp
of -63. The Martian year is twice as long as the Terran, which means they have two seasonal cycles in a year.
See a map of the northeastern hemisphere here
The Martian languages are made up from a mix of all sorts of Terran languages, mainly Cantonese/Mandarin, Indian, English and the largest
European languages (German, French and Spanish). As there are people from different regions of Earth in different regions on Mars, languages
may vary greatly between the Regio. The Martian megacities have only existed for 60 years, but already a number of distinct languages have
evolved. In the Isidis/Cydonia Regios, mostly former Europeans/Americans live, so the regional language (Cydonic) could almost be recognized
as English (note that the Terran languages also have changed a great deal from what we are used to in 200 years).
Mars itself has no atmosphere, very weak magnetic field and half the gravity of Earth. Therefore, to be able to house humans on it's
surface, these things must be created artificially. Around each megacity, an artificial atmosphere is set up, together with a field
stabilizer, to stop dangerous radiation from space. There are plans of building a huge sun wind shield, orbiting the planet, to further
improve safety. Gravity is not much of a problem for the later generations, the weak gravity makes people light on their feet, and much
faster than Terrans on their home ground; although Terrans are generally stronger, as they have more resistance.
The artificial atmosphere is strongest at the ground level, and weakens higher up. It is not advised to open the windows of the tallest buildings.
Power is supplied to the planet via several huge space fusion reactors in orbit, which covers the whole city regions in an electric field.
No plugs or cords are required, and although the effects of an electric field affecting a human at all times are a bit uncertain, few
examples of "Electrical Stress" have occurred.
The low surface temperatures are also, to a degree (ha ha), taken care of by the artificial atmosphere and the heat from the cities.
Temperatures are kept to a habitable level for humans, and even if the summer temperatures may be quite pleasant, winter temps can still
go below -50 degrees...
Mars has a very low water supply, as only the pole caps are covered with ice, and some subterranean lakes provide water. Most of the fresh
water is imported from Earth or created artificially, and households have to save water. Most of it goes to industry needs.
Things like showers, toilets and washing machines use a chemical process instead of fresh water.
The Martian society is cashless, and money transactions and payments are all automated. "Livenet" is a global network, like Internet,
but with much higher capacity and Virtual Reality features.
For additional technology features, please read the tech notes attached to each page.
One of the greatest fashion achivements is the Smartcloth, used by almost everyone. Smartcloth looks like normal clothes, but possess
an array of useful technology. Normal features are, for example:
Health Information and Alarm Systems To keep track of the health status of the wearer, and to alarm the nearest hospital, should something occur.
Personal Defense Alarm To alarm the nearest police force or bot, in case of danger. Displays a warning message to the offender.
Density Regulator To adjust the cloth for warm or cold weather (creates a layered system and compresses the fibres and in cold weater and loosen them up in hot), or rain protection
(not very common in Martian Smartcloth, as it seldom rains or snows).
Built-in Electrical Systems To run music players, pocket computers or cellphones.
Color Regulator To adjust the color of the cloth.
Programmable Reflective Patterns Good for the dark nights and days of the winter seasons. Fibres are adjusted in a certain angle, to reflect light.
Built-in Watch For keeping the time.
Push-ups and other Form Keepers For those who wants to keep their body in place.
Nanoclothes, like the ones Jemma uses in pages 33-61 have additional features, like changing their shape and transform into other varieties and colors.
They really consist of nanobots (tiny robots at the molecular level, which can change the properties of the material they are in) compressed into
a basic form that can be changed by reprogramming them. For more information, see the Page 33 notes.
However, nanocloth is rumored to feel like having leather or plastic clothes directly on your skin, not liked by everybody...
CYBORGS ON MARS
All cyborgs consist of a human brain, with more or less of its body made up of mechanical or bioengineered parts. Most cyborgs are about 25% mechanical. Few cyborgs ever exceed 60%, although it is possible to be almost 85% mechanical, with basically only the brain and some parts of the nerve system intact.
Cyborgs are divided in several classes, depending on the percentage of artificial body. Light Cyborgs are cyborgs who are 5- 20% artificial. Medium Cyborgs are from 20 to 40% artificial. Heavy Cyborgs are 40 to 70% artificial. The heaviest class is Full Cyborg, the rare borg exceeding 70% automated body.
There are several different models of borgs, from the ‘Hecatonchires’ (who's using an advanced internal cerebellum interface that grants the ability to control several applications at once, like flying several planes or manually controlling a database), ‘Hydra’ (having multiple limbs), ‘Prometheus’ (Cyborgs looking like humans), ‘Mirage’ (advanced internal computer, with an exceptional net access, and exceptional ability to hack) and so on in a mainly mythological theme.
Being a cyborg should theoretically mean immortality, but sadly its impossible to stop the brain from aging, and thus sooner or later even cyborgs die. A lot of money is spent on research to both stop aging and enable mechanicalization of the brain. Neither is faring very well.
Circa 20% of all humans are cyborgs, which means that there are almost 3 billion cyborgs.
Cyborgs have recently increased greatly in number. In only the last eight years, almost 200 million humans have adopted cyborghood. There’s even some minor ‘cults’, saying that Humanity will soon evolve into Cyborg. Generally, the average human detests or fears the cyborgs. Cyborgs, on the other hand, keep to themselves.
Cyborgs, despite the common fear of them, have no special problems in attaining work. This is due to the cyborgs superior abilities- raw strength, integral calculators and excellent memory (nearly eidetic) makes up for discrimination.
Common nicknames for cyborgs is ‘Mecha’, ‘Borg’, ‘Robot’, ‘Drudge’, ‘Metalhead’, ‘Techa’, ‘Metalloid’, ‘Artifice’, ‘Nohu’ (an abbreviation for ‘Non- Human’. Needless to say, it’s a grave insult), ‘Kashate’ (One of the first cyborgs was Dr. Viktor Kashate), and ‘Pewter’.
It’s common to replace lost body parts (or, in grave cases, lost bodies) with a cyborg one, and insurance companies often like this solution better than medical treatment (as it’s somewhat cheaper in less grave cases, and in graver cases it’s the only chance).
Becoming a cyborg very often means a great chock. Many humans can adapt to the transformation, but almost 30% face ‘Cyber- Chock’. This often appears as suicidal behaviour, rage or phobia. Other common reactions are a psychotic contempt for humans, or delusions.
Confusion in the integral nerve- system can also lead to serious disorders- most commonly delusions.
Cyborgs usually have a plascrete ‘skin’, consisting of smaller, semi- solid plascrete layers. This skin covers roughly 75% of the cyborg body. Beneath this surface, muscles are replaced with flexible metal fibres, driven by nanotech engines.
Generally, this composition leaves a cyborg somewhat stiffer than the average human, but almost three times as strong. Heavier, less flexible borgs, have hydraulic pumps powering their muscles, conferring almost eight times normal strength, although the maintenance they need is daunting.
All cyborgs have an ICI (Integral Cerebellum Interface) to some degree. Most only have a minor, invisible interface, mostly for transferring nerve impulses from the brain to the body. Others have more advanced ICI- allowing them to, for example, ‘scan’ people, IR vision, internal access to the internet (quite risky- there are some ‘Borg Killer’ viruses out on the net, that can destroy a borg's ICI, or even mind).
Some cyborgs are connected to supercomputers. Obviously, this is neither very common, nor very good for your mental health. On the other hand, intelligence and other mental capabilities are far superior to all else.
Cyborgs are powered by internal systems- in cases of lighter borgs, energy is taken from the humans metabolism, and in heavier cases the borg has a central battery.
CYBORGS ON MARS
The Cybernetically Enhanced people's situation on Mars is quite unique, as cyborgs are quite common on Earth. It all comes down to the
set of laws written after the Cyborg Rebellion in 2236, when large groups of cyborg workers demonstrated against being treated unfair.
It was a global happening, and it soon turned in a mass rage which resulted in several deaths and massive property damage.
After that, cyborgs were expelled from Mars, save for some niche works like heavy industry which requires heavy lifts.
Those laws includes cyborgs who have three or more body parts or limbs replaced, ie "full cyborgs".
Cyborgs are allowed in some Regio, however, but not in Isidis...
Coming up: Earth
Thanks to Sephiroth for help on the Cyborg part!