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A non-canon assessment of the colony cities across the planet surface of Mars, based on known canon information (see notes at end of article).
- Humble Beginnings
While the actual number of the original colonists is not known, among them are ancestors of known Starfleet Command amongst civilian engineers and other specialist fields.
There is no accurate accounting of the events that led to Earth’s movement to establish the Mars Colonies, but based on events occurring within the past 50 to 70 years to the founding of the first Mars Colony, it can be ascertained the movement started after 2063’s First Contact with the Vulcans and the development of warp technology.
Between the years 1996 and 2053, sparked by the Eugenic Wars which led to Earth’s World War III, the atmospheric conditions of Sol III were irradiated with radioactive isotopes from overuse of nuclear technology. With a severely depleted population and terrain conditions which would have been contaminated and incapable of sustaining nutritional growth, the reach for Mars may or may not have been in part due to the need for available soil to support farming for food source.
Although the establishment of a centralized United Earth occurred in 2050, political and social instability among the nation-states and confederacies within the next thirty to forty years (2050 – 2090) also may have been a factor leading toward a potential belief to reset the goals and agendas of the human race.
As more and more starships were being implemented by United Earth after establishing contact with the Vulcans, it is reasonable to assume several people may have made the exodus along with the engineers in an attempt to distance themselves from Earth’s social, political, and environmental dilemmas the planet faced.
Regardless of the possible factors, the first landing is believed to have occurred between 2070 and 2080 when principle terraforming and the establishment of environmental structures, pressurized domes, which would later become the central axis for the colony cities.
These city domes went operational in 2103, founding the Mars Colonies.
- Martian Independence
The events which led to the historical document “The Fundamental Declaration of the Martian Colonies” are lost to current historians, but it is generally believed the declaration was designed not long after the founding of the original colonies between the years of 2103 and 2107.
The document, similar in nature to early Earth’s historical Declaration of Independence, is designed to protect the personal rights, freedoms and lives of the Martian citizens. While it is speculative, between the harsh years and what would have been the establishment of trade routes between Earth and Mars, the Martian Colonies may have enacted the Declarations to protect their rights and negotiate for a fair trade among the rapidly growing traffic emerging in the Sol system as warp travel was rapidly developing after 2065 and fluid in the beginning of the 22nd Century.
It may have been related to internal strife among the regional colonies on Mars, as no centralized government had been established and in the early stages of colonization, Mars was initiated as a United Earth project. Independence to govern what the colonists may have saw as a separate body from the existing confederacies may have been the trigger that led to the declaration.
- Transforming a Planet
The principle method developed as the technology improved was to implement an array design with the singular purpose of redirecting comets and asteroids to “crash” into the planet’s polar caps. Prior to 2150, environmental suits and domed cities were essential to survival. That year is important as it marks the execution of what would be named the Verteron Array.
The colonies were evacuated to implement the procedure. Best estimation places the succession of impacts over the course of the next two to six months to build a sufficient crack into the ice caps and release dormant carbon dioxide into the Martian atmosphere.
The procedure, with the available technology in the mid 22nd Century, suggests that between the years 2150 to 2154 the Martian terrain underwent a massive tectonic plate upheaval with the changes in temperature and flooding of the ancient ocean and river bends in the lowlands.
By 2155, the conditions of the planet had stabilized to the point where the Human species could actively roam the planet without the aid of environmental suits. (ENT. “Demons”) The redesign and implementation of city/regional colonies followed by the removal of the pressurized dome cities in place for a social structure similar to Earth’s was a massive undertaking. Several of United Earth’s Engineering Corps among other races aided the reconstruction of the colonies, which would see the rise of Mars’ most famous and existing structure still in operation to present day: Utopia Planitia Fleetyards
- Changing Times
With the implementation of the United Federation of Planets six years away, the Engineering Corps that descended to Sol system’s forth planet to rebuild the colonies in a now atmospheric-friendly world undoubtedly stayed on. The lava plains of Utopia Planitia had always had historical significance to Earth. One of the early pressurized dome colonies may have existed there. Utopia Planitia is undoubtedly one of the first of the newly realized colonies (speculatively, it may be the official name of Mars Colony 1).
Starship construction had been the platform for orbital space, with the existing dry-dock platforms already in use. It is reasonable to assume what would become the Utopia Planitia Shipyards (both in the platforms and spacedocks which inhabit the area of space above the city, as well as the shipyard’s facilities at the colony itself), saw its birth between 2155 and was fully operational by the time United Earth aided in the implementation of the United Federation of Planets in 2161.
Engineering construction has always been the fortitude of the Martian Colonies from 2155 onward to present day.
- The Industrial Evolution
As more and more interstellar traffic came into the Sol system, so did the importance of the fleet yards. Because of the early historical documentation declaring the Martian Colonies a separate government from Earth, it can be determined that they undoubtedly joined the newly formed United Federation of Planets at about the same time the UFP was established.
The colonies also saw the establishment of the naval branch called Starfleet, which would establish bases among the existing colonies (and speculatively, in all likelihood encouraged the growth of more colonies with the stabilization of Earth and other races making their way into the Sol system.
Federation engineers have always been considered on the cutting edge of technological advances. Because of the terraforming changes implemented by the government of the Martian Colonies in its early years, farming was a capable resource to tap into, as well as the establishment of eco-zones (including a heritage center).
The regional colony cities by this point were growing at a rapid pace (similar to the industrial growth of the European nations by the turn of the 19th and 20th Centuries) as more and more immigrants from various planets throughout the members of the United Federation of Planets came. It was not uncommon for the private section to eventually make its way with the obvious signs of interstellar commerce amidst the shipyards and the establishment of Starfleet personnel.
Between 2155 into 2200 and today, the primary strengths and assets of the Martian Colonies are it technological innovations, trade, and the Utopia Planitia Shipyards.
Economic & Present Day Government
The Martian Colonies (also known as the Mars Colonies) have more and more equalized engineering with interstellar commerce as well as developing agricultural resource. Over the course of the 22nd Century into the present day 24th Century the colonies have thrived with their contributions in the construction of Starfleet’s ship fleet as well as experimental ship design.
The colonies themselves resemble cities, at present proportional to several of the major cities on Earth and like its counter-part, is home to millions compromising the membership races of the United Federation of Planets.
Unlike Earth however (which still carries a nation-state, confederacy structure), the Martian Colonies are regional governance with a central body of representatives of each the regional city colonies to oversee and enforce the freedoms of its citizens, due to the distance between the cities encompassing the planet along with the development and implementation of the agricultural cities.
Similar to the Regional Governor structure, but paralleling the government of the United Federation of Planets, it acts for civilian population while encouraging the growth of privatization. The socio-economic structure of the colonies is vast, incorporating multiple areas of civilian corporations, private companies as well as Starfleet operations.
Trade is one of the principle economics of the planet, serving the needs of multiple cultures in various parts of the galaxy. Of all the races that have descended, the Ferengi are among the most prolific as the colonies serve as one of their major import/export planets (also due to the fact that bribes are not uncommon amongst the individual colonies). The central Ferengi Assay Office is located in the Utopia Planitia colony.
Most of the populous resides in the various colony cities, but it’s not uncommon to find private homes out of the centralized areas as well as agricultural regions that aren’t as fully developed into colonies.
- Recreational Highlights
Mars houses some of the most expansive cavern structures, making it a high point of tourism and cave divers. However, due to a large majority of its subterranean caverns being unmapped, the Regional Governors limit spelunkers to the few areas that are designated safe and have protective measures enacted to guarantee the safety of its off-world visitors.
- Known Colonies
Utopia Planitia (speculated to be Colony 1), Colony 2, Colony 3, Colony 12
((notation: due to the expanse of years between 2155 to present day, it is impossible to determine just how many regional colonies flourish on the planet.))
- Primary Industry
Engineering Starship Construction Interstellar Commerce Agriculture Mining Operation Facilities Tourism
- Secondary Industries
Small Business / Privatization Sector Distillation Operation Facilities Civilian Placement Services Starfleet OUTREACH\
The political structure of the civilian population amongst the numerous colonies exists at both the individual cities as well as the planetary body group. Largely democratic by a system of elected officials, nevertheless establishes the top tier with the Regional Governors of each Colony City as follows:
Regional Governor Colony City Council Representatives City Borough Representatives Trade/Labor Union Houses Allied Interstellar Ambassador Assay Offices (AIAAO)
Colony City and City Borough Representatives are elected by their geographic location and the residents whom reside within the zoning. Trade/Labor Union Houses have one office per colony city, representing the diverse organizations and affiliations of workers who contribute to the maintenance, upkeep, and design of city planning as well as the numerous trades within the civilian class.
The Allied Interstellar Ambassador Assay Offices were originally developed out of an ambassadorial representative from other worlds looking after the interests of their home planets. As more and more civilians came to Mars, the need arose to establish a voice within the parameters of having an equal status to the growth of the colony cities as well as the rights afforded under the Federation.
Within this representational structure are the forces of various businesses, trade, import and export services, agricultural and market interests that are known to influence policy decision on occasion. As the Mars Colonies support a Free Trade system, there are constantly business interests that either conflict or coincide with a particular policy that may proven beneficial or harmless.
Similar to the capitalism model of the 20th and 21st Centuries of United Earth history, and largely expanded by the growth of Ferengi whom have made the Mars Colonies their home, the colony cities are ripe with a diverse and often politically-charged climates, especially during election cycles. It’s not uncommon for campaigning representatives to drop out the election cycles, as well as return endorsed and backed by another platform of businesses.
Colony City Life
This makes for civilian life within the colonies both vast, comprehensive as well as intricate. Both civilian and Starfleet families reside within the colony cities, within zoned developments outside of the central business and industrial zones. One can walk through downtown and quite possibly be exposed to numerous civilians from nearly all of the planets compromising the representatives of the Federation. Culturally diverse, politically motivated, business (both small and corporate) as well as vast choices of cuisine, it’s very much a city-scale promenade on a starbase.
The Ferengi incorporated the entertainment industry by the establishment of bars and competing with some of the older houses, freeing the constraints of the boroughs to provide a safe location for everyone to converge (along with some of the more steamer aspects, of which the Ferengi are known for).
At night, it’s a cultural explosion of people congregating to walk among the shops and dine.
As with all city life, there are less attractive areas that suffer from overpopulation as well as not as maintained by city support engineering (due to corrupt business and ownership) which have historically seeded the trades of prostitution and criminal activity from larceny to breaking and entering, occasionally murder (TOS: Wolf in the Fold). Not limited to just entities, but of those seeking to profit on the works of others without contributing to benefit of society).
But it is not limited to the underdeveloped and less maintained areas of the city colonies. Corporate and business espionage is not uncommon, as well as competitive trade, which also contributes to the politically-charged atmosphere that makes the colony cities both unique and in some cases, unscrupulous.
But despite it all, in harmony with one last vital component that makes this planet very unique.
One would be hard pressed to separate the development and growth of the Mars Colonies and Starfleet, as the most of the original colonists were comprised of engineers and other scientific related fields. It is suggested the original colonists were the forerunners of the technological development of space, city and ship engineering, as Mars is home to one of Starfleet’s finest shipbuilding structures within the fleet, the Utopia Planitia Fleetyards (see Utopia Planitia Fleetyards).
Ship engineering as well as constructional and architectural commenced prior to 2260, but it was after that year that Starfleet moved all ship construction from Earth and established a geo-synchronous shipyards orbiting complex over the colony that shares the name, home to the Viking landings. Starfleet occupies the orbital construction complex as well as planetary operations for warp core development (and several other components).
Over the hundred years since moving primary ship construction established the base and easy integration of the Federation’s Military and Exploration branch, plus having the bonus of access to the Martian engineers and spurting economic growth among the colony cities. Eventually this would lead to establishment of other Starfleet facilities throughout the planetary cities and bringing a more thorough mix of both civilian and Starfleet personnel.
Often it’s compared as a rivalry as both Earth and Mars are primaries in the traffic coming into the Sol System, which wasn’t always the case. But as more and more of Starfleet construction became one of the primary industries of Mars, so did the traffic and tourism as it best represents the core of breakthrough technology whereas Earth became a primary for tourism (while still housing Starfleet Command and the Federation Council).
Starfleet is also responsible for the Mars Defense Perimeter, although eventually became the joke of scuttlebutt when the Perimeter was decimated in the Wolf 359 standoff with the Borg in 2367. Following the massive destruction of the laughable perimeter, a team of both Martian and Starfleet Engineers went back to redesign perimeter defense which would encompass another decade and a half, until 2382 when a complex system compromising target defense systems and torpedo response as a dual-octagon grid surrounding both Mars and Earth was placed into effect to serve as a better means of armament, along with the development of what is dubbed the Sol-Armament Class line of warships.
As vast as there are member planets of the Federation, the number of temples and places of worship of various races and cultures can be found. There is not one defining belief of the colony cities, but rather developed by its citizens varied and vast beliefs. The only one true belief that’s share by the citizens of the Mars Colonies is from its historic “Fundamental Declaration of the Martian Colonies”, which emphasizes the individual rights of the citizens, regardless of their planet of origin.
The Mars Colonies are perhaps one of the central hubs of interstellar communication (rivaled only by Earth itself) that serves as a home for both civilian and Starfleet, ranging from the orbital shipyards down to the skyscraper horizons of the financial and corporate businesses that can be found in every colony city. It is perhaps of this mixture, coupled with its independently minded history, which kept the Mars Colonies from joining the Federation until much later.
Mars Colony historical facts incorporated from Memory Alpha and Wiki links as well as including source fact from ST canon and episodes as follows:
TOS: "Court Martial", "Wolf in the Fold", "The Lights of Zetar", "Metamorphosis", "Journey to Babel"; TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds", "Attached", "Up the Long Ladder", "Conundrum"; DS9: "In the Cards"; ENT: "Demons", "Twilight", "Terra Prime", "Affliction"; Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual, The Official Star Trek website; Star Trek: Generations; Star Trek: First Contact; Star Trek: Enterprise