|Flag of Sunset|
|Motto: "Liberty Above All"|
|Official Map of Mars|
|Region||The Planet Mars|
|Capital||None; Virtual Government|
|Official Language(s)||None; Dozens of Human and Non-Human Languages.|
|Leader||President Erika Silaco|
|Population||10.262 billion (12/30/02)|
|NS Sunset XML|
From the Encyclopedia Sunset:
Sunset is one of the largest and most powerful nations that currently exists. Much of this power is due to their position as one of the pre-eminent nations of Mars and a justified reputation as one of the most reasonable and rational nations to deal with on the international scene. This reputation does not come un-backed by military might or economic power; with a frightening economy and a top ranked military the government has the power to back up words with deeds.
The nation of Sunset was a result in large part of the commercial space transportation industry that took off in the early 21st century. After the X Prize competition and it's successors fueled humanity's surge into space a group of lucky lottery winners pooled their winnings and used them to fund their own attempt to colonize Mars. These adventurers, mostly from the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, first moved to fledgling Lunar colonies and then made the long trek to Mars itself.
They settled in the Valles Marineris region and began building their first habitats in the giant canyon itself. As population pressures, renewed wars, and rampant plagues began to encompass Earth they were joined by more and more brave souls who wanted to both ensure humanity's survival and a place for it among the stars. This slow immigration became a torrent as more and more people left Earth and fled to the new frontier until there were nearly five million people in the Valles Marineris region alone. Sufficiency achieved and with a desire to cut ties with unstable Earth governments they came together and formed the Republic of Sunset.
This was the beginning of the isolationist period of Sunset history. Many other nations formed, fell, and vanished on the Red Planet for the next three centuries as the people of Sunset grew, expanded, and advanced in relative peace and quiet. An early communal government evolved as corporations were formed and capital began to condense into the hands of a relative few. This led to first a familiar democratic system then as corporations provided more and more of their employee’s daily needs taxes were removed until now few remain.
Finally the nation emerged from isolation as war again enveloped the Red Planet. At first it was a spectator as the forces of Tor Yvresse and Os Sanglants fought with NGEN and Melkor Unchained and then as relations developed it grew more involved. Planetary terraforming was underway and it arranged to provide funding for this to their neighbor to the north, Eniqcir. Allies were found in the Eldar of Tor Yvresse - their first non-human contact - and the two searched the planet for signs of the Necron along with the fledgling Knootoss space forces. Word came of a planned attack by a nation known as Sephiroth and it's destruction at the hands of the Triumvirate of Yut. It was this incident which would bring the nation into the international community.
It was at this point that President Eric Thorgardson, often called the greatest of Sunset's Presidents, looked to the stars and saw both hope for the future as well as a sea of potential threats. In a series of events contact was established with the nation of Scolopendra and the rest of the Triumvirate of Yut. After a period in which the Martian nation got to know the nations of the Triumvirate it applied for and was accepted as a member nation. This point marks Sunset's first major appearance on the world stage and the bright future it would work toward.
Many things have changed since that time. Presidents have come and gone. Generations of starships have been created, built, and relegated to mothball fleets. Hundreds of millions and then billions of people have been born and have died in a nation that believes strongly that all should have the liberty to do as they desire and that this, intertwined with the twin concepts of free will and personal responsibility, is the best way to continue forward.
Much of Sunset society revolves around it's major industries and government priorities. Information technology in one form or another is everywhere in Sunset and the average person interacts with it nearly constantly. Nearly 95% of the population spends at least 60% of their time in a virtual environment of some kind. Businesses, schools, entertainment and the government all have the majority of their presence in the system-wide networks (SolNet, C-Space, etc).
This environment is literally used for everything. The gambling industry has most of their operations in here with lotteries, competitive sports, and games of chance being the most popular. The publishing industry also has much of it's activity in here with writers, artists, and similar creators able to collaborate with individuals on Earth, in Saturn space, all around Mars, and even in distant out-system colonies. Sunset is one of the premier sources for virtual environments with a majority being educational, tactical, stragetic, or commercial designs. Even the top-ranked manufacturing and resource extraction sectors accomplish much of their labor in virtual space. With the rise of robot factories and robots that can fix robots many workers simply access their jobs from the comfort of their own homes.
Unfortunately the heavy usage of the virtual world has a tremendous downside and that is the health of the average citizen. Physical activity and it's healthy aspects are avoided by all except the wealthy and the military. The expected lifespan of the average citizen is not much more than it was in the 20th century although for those that can afford it an extremely long life is possible. This has also resulted in a significant decline in the birth rate among the human population and the widespread use of personal cloning in order to reproduce.
The military is a different story. With a scant .25% of the population enlisted and a retirement rate in the range of 2% the military can afford to be picky. It also receives the best and the brightest - it pays more than the average, gives them the opportunity to work with technology generations ahead of the civilian sector, and see new things that might never make their way into the latest virtual environment. Training is rigorous with a high washout rate for even those destined for a logistical or maintenance posting. There are only a scant half-million front line openings and these have the highest demand as the sharp end is also the most interesting. Training is brutal with the frequent comment that live combat is often easier if more nerve-wracking.
A significant portion of the population of Sunset is now made up of non-humans. This shift has been due in large part to the gradual absorption of several former allied sovereignties due to government dissolution. Notable among these are the Therian, reptilian bipeds from the nation of Kinslayer, ArAreBeen's from the corporate state of New ArAreBee, and Foxgirls from the solar federation of Ravenspire. While the loss of their allies is unfortunate Sunset has seen this as a blessing in disguise. The periodic influx of non-humans has made up for the rapidly declining human birth rate.
These are not the only 'alien' species to call Sunset home however. Neko, various species of Elves, Trilats, Artificial Intelligences, Aquafor, Otterkin, and dozens of other major and minor races are all citizens. Most are the result of the exploration arm of the SDF, the Sunset Exploration Command (SEC), and it's fleets of exploratory starships. Some were rescued from dying worlds, others snuck aboard, and still others have immigrated to Sunset or Triumvirate colony worlds and moved from there to Mars.
The AI's and Trilat's are both unique in that they are the only 'created' species of Sunset. All Sunset AI's are non-deliberately evolved systems that are a product of the ubiquitous Instinctive Intelligence cores used in both military and civilian applications. These learning systems have a tendency to become self-aware as they are presented with more and more information and are growing increasingly common in Sunset. Trilats on the other hand were not as much a 'created' race as a revived race. Genetic information taken from a preserved corpse was successfully replicated and the race was reintroduced until they now make up a recognizable percentage of the population.
It should be noted that Sunset has a very pro-sentient stance. Free will applies to anything that can exercise that trait - thus II systems that achieve sentience must be allowed to leave their job, be removed from their current body, and be considered a regular citizen. The same is true of alien species that can be proved to exercise free will.
Most of the population of Sunset no longer resides on Mars but rather on a number of different colony worlds far outside the Solar System. Many of these colony worlds are joint efforts by the various nations in the Triumvirate of Yut thus while only a few hundred million citizens of Sunset might reside on a given world the actual population might be in the billions. Usually these worlds and their locations are kept secret due to the attention the Triumvirate recieves from more aggressive and combative nations.
The Vallis super-arcology and it's surrounding areas can be considered the heart of Sunset. It is the oldest and most built-up area of Sunset with a population that floats around 1.5 billion. About 1/10th live in the Vallis super-arcology that runs along the upper walls and cliffsides of the vast canyon. The rest reside in a wide variety of different arcologies scattered around the region with nearly all being a varient of sub-surface installation. As part of it's re-commitment to Martian terraforming this area, about 4.1 million square kilometers, is undergoing a steady transformation from a barren rocky desert to a cell-based terraformed environment.
Due to continued corporate instability and an opportunity for profit the central government corporation of the nation of New ArAreBee was purchased by the Sunset corporation CityDome in a leveraged buyout. Because CityDome owns CenGovCo and CityDome is a corporation headquartered in Sunset with the majority of it's assets residing there the land that CenGovCo manages is effectively sovereign Sunset territory. This does not apply to the majority of the residents of New ArAreBee however as most are citizens of various micro-sovereignties. Some have chosen to become Sunset citizens in order to enjoy it's more robust legal protections but this is currently less than 2% of the total population. The ArAreBee territories are home to approximately 6.3 billion sentients with only around 200 million being Sunset citizens.
One of the few public colony worlds, Sslaa IV is located in the star system Sslaa which is considered to be the territory of Sunset's Triumvirate ally the Herpetological Empire of Sakkra. A vast water world the Sunset colonies here are vast floating colonies shaped like red blood cells. These float on the waves and constantly drift around the entire planet making it a popular vacation and retirement destination. Several hundred million citizens call Sslaa IV home.
The common nature of the name aside, Atlantis is a moon located in the GEC-42 system which had been wholely transformed into a playground for the rich and famous. The system itself is the site of the Joint Martian Colonies. Each Martian nation can lay claim to one of the moons of the largest gas giant Ferrum and do with it what they wish. Less than fifty million people reside on the moon itself with another ten million or so scattered between dozens of huge mining fortresses that slowly scour the system of it's resources.
Phobos and Deimos
Though a variety of methods Sunset has come to control both of the Martian moons. Deimos was owned and populated by the former nation of Ravenspire and as an allied nation Sunset took control of it when it's government dissolved. Most of the moon is covered by the vast University of Deimos, a Ravenspire research university. Aside from the university it is also home to a number of allied military bases. Phobos, the smaller of the two moons, was taken over after it's former occupant, Mallberta, vanished in a possible Singularity event. The Sunset government has removed and presumably destroyed the hive-mind technology that Mallberta had installed there and has turned the moon into a leased mooring station.
There are literally hundreds of thousands of corporations, holding companies, private businesses, and conglomerates in Sunset but there are a few that stand out and that frequently come up when conducting trade with Sunset. Most have at least some government investment and some manufacture government materials under contract. These are also the best companies to direct external government contracts through as they have a well deserved reputation for both quality work and tight lips.
Liquid Design LLC
Liquid has long been the major designer for the Sunset Defense Force and has been the driving force behind the major design elements of SDF warships. They are also a designer of civilian and corporate ships and have been known to occasional contract a military design for a foreign ally. While they don't produce the ships themselves they maintain close ties to the various ship manufacturers and can sub-contract the manufacturing as part of an existing contract.
GravShip City sells GravShips at factory prices direct to you. They have a variety of locations to serve you better and are well known for their wide selection by top manufacturers. Just Remember: Buy Nine GravShips and Get the Tenth for Just One Penny!
GravShip City operates a wide-spread chain of virtual storefronts across Mars as well as several showrooms inside Sunset. About half of the GravShips for sale are manufactured by Sunset corporations but they also have dealings with many international corporations, most based in the Triumvirate or the NDA.
PenguinTek is one of the most popular small arms manufacturers in Sunset. They make an extremely wide range of weapons from disposable handguns and submachine guns to military grade long arms and support weapons. Notably they provide the SDF with their ever-evolving personal weapon systems. While these are not generally available to outside governments or even in the Sol system knock-offs with half the features are frequently passed off as the real thing in Sol and elsewhere.
Silaco Electronics is the advanced robotics manufacturing and design firm owned by Erika Silaco. SE, as it's commonly known, produces everything from animatronic children’s toys to advanced robots for manufacturing to full humanoid construction robots. Most of their products are available throughout the Sol system though the most advanced systems are only available to Triumvirate companies and militaries.
Heran Land Holdings
National and corporate groups looking to purchase land with existing infrastructure have long relied on HLH to provide that. Heran specializes in the sale of whole archaeologies to small and medium sized groups who want to establish a diplomatic or trade presence without undergoing a long negotiation process. Heran has been the company behind most of the sovereign territory transfers involving Sunset territory. Due to its government association it is only authorized to deal with entities allied or friendly to the Sunset government.
Interested parties should check their affiliation and direct any inquiries directly to Heran for initial consultation.
CityDome is the single largest arcology government corporation in Sunset and perhaps on Mars. Unlike Heran they specialize in the ownership and government of occupied arcologies instead of construction and sales. CityDome is also the first and only Sunset mega corporation to 'own' an entire country. When the corporate sovereignty of New ArAreBee was in economic crisis CityDome seized the initiative and initiated a takeover bid. In a brief proxy war it gained control of CentGovCo, the central government corporation that ran New ArAreBee. It has since spun off several of CentGovCo's subsidiaries or sold them to other interests but it retains control over the primary portions of CentGovCo and especially it's notoriously mercenary military branch.
Hendrik Bros is the single largest privately held company in Sunset. Owned and operated by the direct descendants of the original Hendrik brothers the company focuses on resource extraction, refining, and large scale manufacturing using those same resources. Most of it's products are the frieghters, large and small, that move most of the manufacturered goods and resources between the outsystem colonys.
While the government has gone through many changes most were steps along the way to the form it holds today; A minimalist republic that allows complete individual freedoms while defending those freedoms, making sure others do not abuse their freedoms to infringe on those of others, and giving all citizens the chance to succeed.
The government is organized as a representative republic with all citizens having the right to vote. The citizens elect one hundred senators with twenty five replaced every year. The senate selects the president who serves purely at the whim of the senate. The president's job is to handle foreign affairs both diplomatic and military. The senate is divided into four divisions by their funding percentage - Education (35), Defense (50), Law and Order (8), and Commerce (7). Administration costs fall under their divisions.
Education is one of the few areas where the government provides a service directly to the citizens. Tax di-coins are placed in a fund with each citizen able to withdraw a percentage from that fund to pay for any education they wish. Citizens negotiate tuition with private schools and pay them from this amount. The government does not exercise any control over content and the success of any school is up to the marketplace. The Sunset Exploration Command is partially funded and controlled by the Education Division along with the Defense Division. Berths on the ships of the SEC and access to their facilities is allowed and encouraged among nations allied to Sunset. The government also has a generous inter-ally education program that allowed allied citizens to study at Sunset schools and universities if Sunset citizens are allowed the same matching funds and school access by the host nation.
"To Secure Peace One Must Prepare For War" is a statement taken to heart in Sunset. The largest portion of government spending goes to fund the Sunset Defense Force and of this nearly 95% goes to the space fleet. This partially includes the Sunset Exploration Command and all of the Marine force. The remaining money is allocated to external intelligence spending and embassies and their staff as well as research and development in cooperation with the Education Division.
While the nation has one of the highest per-capita defense spending many have remarked on the relatively small size of the military compared to similar sized nations. Military enlistment is fixed at 10 million with the vast majority in support roles. There are 200,000 marines, 300,000 starship crew members, and the other 9.5 million are in logistics, research and development, intelligence, planning, and maintenance roles. This is part of the focus on a smaller military that uses bleeding-edge technology, extensive training, and an extremely high level of preparedness to be ready to fight anywhere, anytime.
Law and Order
Law and Order spending in Sunset covers many different areas. This portion of the budget covers police services, civil defense, planetary defense, and internal intelligence. The Law and Order division works closely with the Defense division as many of their duties overlap. In many ways they are separate branches of a larger division with the main difference being that the president is the direct leader of the Defense division while Law and Order is handled by the Senate.
Law enforcement is handled by a very small group of individuals - in fact percentage-wise it is one of the smallest police forces among all nations. These highly trained and dedicated men and women spend much of their time focusing on crime prevention with education as well as appropriate punishment being the key. Few criminals in Sunset are repeat offenders with most being youth who commit crimes for kicks, are caught, punished, and quickly learn that crime indeed does not pay. One of the key elements of this system is the punishment method. After observing the failure of the prison system as used in the 20th century to prevent crime it was decided to revert to an older system of punishment. In cases of theft, the most common crime, criminals are forced to repay the property owner three times the value of the item stolen. This is done in a variety of methods but the process usually only happens once. Other crimes are handled in a similar method and while this might seem harsh for some crimes it has served to make Sunset one of the safest and most crime free nations around.
Much of the spending of the commerce and trade divisions goes to speed commerce inside Sunset. Low interest loans to construction companies speed the development of infrastructure while loans to communications companies allow them to keep up with the ever increasing demand. The trade and commerce division also invests heavily in new sectors of the economy with much of the investment going into high tech areas where advancements will help the nation as a whole to move ahead.
The commerce division is also one of the main sources of income for the government. Investments in business stocks produce a strong return that is then both re-invested and also spent on different areas as per the needs of the government. This does tie government income to the business sector in a large way but this has been true of any government system. Diverse holdings keep the impact of a slump in a single industry from affecting the whole.
The Secretariat is a recent addition to the government and a controversial one. It is essentially a group of advisors to the President who handle individual areas of the President's duties. They are empowered by the President to act as them in certain circumstances. Currently there are only a few Secretaries but as the positions are created by the President directly more could be created at any time. This has created a small bureaucracy within the bureaucracy that is only accountable to the President. Since it also includes some senior members of both the military and the Senate this is seen as an essentially unaccountable branch of government by certain members of the Senate.
- Foreign Affairs - Ambassador K'ym'ko (No Picture)
K'ym'ko is the replacement for the popular but silly Ambassador Penguin who has been re-assigned elsewhere. The Ambassador is a trilat, a species resurrected by cloning in the early days of the Republic. An intellectual technocrat, K'ym'ko is charged with stablizing the Martian Sphere and reinforcing Sunset's extranational position.
- Special Projects - Katryna Silaco (Picture)
Not much is known of either Katryna Silaco or the Special Projects Secretariat except that presumably Katryna is related to Erika and that she handles Special Projects. According to government records she has never visited Sol and prefers to spend her time in the colonies.
- Commercial Ventures - L'la G'hranola (Picture)
Ms. G'hranola is a definate out-of-towner who was chosen to head the Secretariat of Commercial Ventures. This branch of the government, based on Mars, was recently established to engage in economic activities compatable with current government services. Her official dossier lists her as the former head of TransHuman Genomics but no such corporation is registered in Sunset and her species is essentially unknown in Sol.
- Mars Command (SDFMarsCom) - Admiral David Edge (Picture)
Admiral Edge is the head of the SDF on Mars and is the most frequent source of contact between SDFMarsCom and other national militaries. While not a Secretariat position the head of SDFMarsCom is on-par with that position and is usually included in any decision making processes.
- Martian Affairs - Ambassador Demi Love (Picture)
Sunset's official envoy to the Duma and MPA Ms. Love is also in charge of Sunset's relations with it's oldest Martian ally, Mangala. While Ambassador Penguin is on hand for the most important discussions she is always there for when he is off-planet.
- 0 Division - Admiral Fidelo Villanova (Picture)
There is no 0 Division. 0 Division is not a special para-military organization that draws from the regular SDF. Nor does it act as the tactical arm of Special Projects and SDFIntel. Fidelo Villanova is simply an ex-President who retired and moved out-system and occasionally acts as an envoy for the Republic.
As the oldest nation on Mars the government feels a large responsibility towards the planet and helping it to stay a system power. Much of this is accomplished through encouraging colonization by reasonable and stable nations and by discouraging settlement by violent and warlike nations. While not directly participating in the terraforming of the planet the government does fund many of the terraforming projects inside it's borders and across the globe in an effort to make the world more and more habitable.
The Triumvirate of Yut is both the source of some of Sunset's power as well as the source of much of the government's worries. While membership has given much needed clout in the international community it has also made the nation a target of irrational aggression in some cases. Still the government and the people of Sunset are ardent supporters of the Triumvirate and feel that it helps lead the way to a better universe year after year.
- Triumvirate of Yut - Member
- Martian Duma - Founding Member
- Martian Free Trade Agreement - Founding Member
- Sunset's Official Website
- UN Rankings - No Longer Maintained.
- Sunset's Economy Statistics Calculator.
- The Official Map of Mars - Maintained by Kajal.
- Sunset on NationStates
- The Planet Mars Forums - Moderated by Sunset and Mangala
Sunset can frequently be found in the NationStates IRC channel on irc.esper.net, #nationstates. E-mail can be sent to Sunset at the sunsetrpg.com domain.
Assertions made in this document are based on Sunset's UN Rankings cross-referenced with the regular XML information.