The year is 2235. The human race has spread to Mars. Numerous Martian colonies and settlements struggle upon the Red Planet’s unforgiving surface, providing homes for tens of millions of humans who are among the third generation of Martian colonists. Those who survive the harsh environment, rationed supplies, and near constant violent outbreaks are a proud people, eager to carve out an identity for themselves among the solar system.

This year marks the centennial celebration of the first colony on Mars, and the planet’s population is preparing for a monumental celebration.  However, beneath the facade of festivity and self-salutation, the civil climate of the Red Planet burns with chaos. The Martian Parliament is in the middle of a power struggle with Earth while simultaneously navigating upheaval due to in-fighting among political parties. A movement of Martian Nationalists is on the rise. Tensions have never been higher in the government or between the two planets.

Power on Mars congregates with whoever applies the most force and leverage. Civil disobedience and violent uprisings are a constant. A new category of genetically modified transhumans, nicknamed “Splicers,” are actively seeking protective civil rights. Unions strike against unsafe working conditions and inadequate compensation.  Corporations lock the government in legal battles over regulations. Gang violence is a seemingly unstoppable epidemic. A deadly new drug is claiming the lives of the citizenry and a string of murders has gathered the attention of sensationalist media outlets.

Amidst all of the turmoil, a growing dread eats away at the confidence of the populace. The birth rate on Mars continues a steep 40 year slide for which no one has provided an explanation.  The last two generations of Martian colonists have experienced birth rates that are becoming incapable of sustaining a civilization long term.

The recycled air on Mars carries with it the acrid scent of growing desperation.


Red Planet Rising

atweibel Mars city 21