Mars settlements and planetary systems
Planet wide official census puts Mars population at 27 million. This, of course, does not include many SINless undercity and settlement dwellers. Governance of Mars, the moons, and nearby mining operations is overseen by the Phobos-based Planetary Governing Board (which consists of corp and criminal syndicate representatives and officials from the wide variety of Earth nations involved in the terraforming, as well as delegates from Mars City and some of the larger official settlements). Most day-to-day business (such as taxation and city policing) in Mars City is run by the City Council and Mayor’s office, which are both nominally elected offices. Outside the city, corp security and private security firms such as Lonestar are generally the heaviest hitters, and local governance and enforcement is usually left to the individual settlements to determine and enact. This has resulted in a frontier justice style system, with Lonestar and Mars City providing some traveling judges who move amongst the smaller settlements settling disputes and meting out “justice” where they see fit. Many of the settlements operate large algae farms and are sparsely populated, although there are also a wide variety of exile groups, such as ex-governments, religious schismatic factions, persecuted political movements and metatypes, and various others who just want a place to call their own. Anyone traveling the wastes is advised to exercise extreme caution when approaching settlements where they are not known, as raiding and banditry is common, and many settlers are content to shoot first, and never even bother asking questions at all. A wide variety of corporate labs, research facilites, and even some full arcologies also exist throughout the wastes, and are usually heavily guarded and warded. There are also an unknown number of illegal/unofficial settlements engaged in every available illicit activity: grow-labs and drug farms, kidnap and extortion, organ harvest, cult activity, structure hits, eco/political/religious/nihilistic terrorism, and every other kind of outlawry under the sun. Beware!