The Serican Commerce Republic
Based in the islands of the Serica Band, this democratic republic is home to nearly 200 million people. Most would consider it the most diverse nation of Arcatia, characterized by intense competition, debate, and even conflict. A cavernous gulf exists between rich and poor, and nearly half of the Serican population is made up of unregistered citizens, neither punished nor protected by the law.
Many of the Commerce Republic’s problems have their root in the endless power struggle between the federal government and corporate interests. On the one hand, many Supercorporations are bound by crippling service contracts to the government, forcing loyalty to the national interest. On the other, corporate education, transport, and even security services are quickly outpacing their public equivalents, taking the fate of large sections of the population out of their government’s hands. Any regulatory measures are quickly defeated by common-interest alliances between the corporations. Loyalty is another issue. Some corporations command enough influence over their employees to coax them into direct violation of the law, while federal employees and those who try to maintain non-corporate businesses obviously enough side with the government, sometimes to a militant degree.
The Commerce Republic is headed by a President, whose decisions are informed by 12 Regional Counselors, 12 Cabinet Advisors, and 12 Global Representatives, all of whom are directly elected by the populace in tiered 4-year cycles (there are elections in one category each year). Global Representatives hold the majority of negative public sentiment, as they often represent corporate or foreign interests.
The Commerce Republic spans twelve supercities and hundreds of smaller settlements and facilities. Its interests are protected at home and abroad by ISIS and ESIS respectively, paramilitary organizations utterly loyal to the federal government with few corporate ties beyond their arms contracts. Rumors of a third militant organization that acts as a powercheck on all other elements of Serican society persist, but have not been confirmed. As crime and corruption typically stretch far beyond the reach of conventional government forces, employment of mercenaries, vigilantes, and bounty hunters is extremely common, and all are considered legitimate and profitable careers. Corporations frequently utilize their own security forces in and around locations under their ownership, and are permitted to enforce regulations beyond traditional Serican law in these areas.
There is no unified Serican detention or rehabilitation system outside of temporary holding cells and prisoner transports. Sentencing takes one of four forms; fines, indentured government labor, exile, and execution. Exile consists of permanent revocation of citizenship and transport to non-sovereign territory. As this can end up creating more trouble for the government, it is usually reserved for ‘example’ cases seeking to make a point (or for people the Republic simply can’t afford to kill, for political reasons or potential future utility). Foreign nationals are typically deported without possibility of return for higher offenses.