Don't want to be from Earth? Consider its neighbor! The red planet is a popular place for colonists to have originated from. Like Eisa, the first flag on its surface was a Soviet one, back in the early 1980s. Unlike Eisa, when the USSR collapsed in 1991, Mars was quickly taken over by a healthy ecosystem of Terran governments and corporations. Today it's as multicultural as London, New York, or Toronto.
Terraforming is still a work in progress on Mars. Most people live in dome cities, although it's now possible to survive on the surface with a heavy coat and bottled oxygen. The largest settlements on Mars are:
- Utopia, located on the northern plains of Utopia Planitia. The oldest settlement on Mars, it has several major domes and a large network of outlying colony modules commonly referred to as 'tanks.' Because of its maze-like structure which has continued to expand over the years, crime rates have been consistently high. Mining ships from the asteroid belt routinely land here, and ore processing is a major industry.
- Olympia, the planet's de facto capital. A wealthy hub of traders and white-collar professionals makes Olympia, at the foot of Olympus Mons, the center of most legitimate activity on Mars. In recent years Olympia's future has been somewhat threatened by the lack of diversification, as rival Elysium catches up in GDP.
- Elysium, built straddling the rift valley of Elysium Chasma, began as a research outpost under Soviet administration. Today it serves as Mars's premier spaceport, houses its only university (the University of Elysium), and is a hub for manufacturing probes and ships destined for the outer planets and beyond, second only to facilities on Earth's moon.
- Hellas, which was built in a cave system inside the deepest crater on Mars's surface. Residents are notoriously opposed to terraforming, as Hellas Planitia would likely be flooded. Similar to Utopia, Hellas festers with poverty and crime, although it also has a significant mob presence that disdains unsanctioned offenses. Hellas boasts a substantial manufacturing sector, although little in the way of licit goods is actually produced. Most opiates on Mars originate here. The largest legitimate presence in Hellas is the geological survey group, who use the city's unique position to drill core samples and study the depths of the cave system.
- Eridanus, a newer settlement near the Electris Albedo in the southern hemisphere. Eridanus was founded in 2005 to house the Independent Martian Defense Forces (IMDF), including the Alliance Navy.
Other settlements include:
- Hesperia, a spaceport just south of the Equator primarily used for civilian satellite launches and budget travel.
- New Zelenograd
- New Chiba
Orbital structures around Mars include:
- IMDF bases on Phobos and Deimos, the two moons of Mars
- Tereshkova Station
- Chrysee Station
- Basilisk Station (IMDF)