Outside the space station Concordia is a terraforming Mars, and a humanity expanding throughout the solar system. But what about inside the station? Is this city all one united entity, like a starship Enterprise, or a council of factions like the Mass Effect Citadel? Is there no government at all, like the Sprawl?
I want to go for something of a combination. I do want a government entity on Concordia, an upper-city body like a city council, something that imposes at least some measure of law and order, at least in the upper city areas where it has influence.
But the zaibatsus of Neuromancer have always been compelling as well. Corporate entities that exist practically as nations themselves, fighting a lawless war with other corporations for economic supremacy, raiding company campuses to steal top researchers, hiring private security forces and hording secrets – technology, pharmaceuticals, weapons, and secrets deeper.
To align these two pictures, I go back to the modular feel of the city. So there are different segments of the station (perhaps completely different appendage-like extensions from the centre? I’ve yet to conceive the physical structure of Concordia) controlled by different entities. The upper city is what was always intended as the primary station-city: government controlled, where the “regular” citizens live and work and play. Clean, middle class, attractive.
Then below that, the lower city, the dark passages of the lower class, the criminals, the homeless, the druggies, and who knows what else. Below even them, the lost secrets of a bygone era, the original craft sent to Mars…
Shooting off from this dual core of the station are the corporate campuses, perhaps a half-dozen complexes wholly owned by the rich research companies that have made their names and fortunes controlling much of the solar system – mining, manufacturing, developing technologies and spacecraft and more. Technically they’re supposed to operate within the laws of the station, in order to be there – but the station would be nowhere without them, and so they are mostly left alone. And besides, the Concordia military would likely be no match for their private security.
As always, I have these basic ideas, but questions remain: who are these companies? How is the government structured? Do they report to a higher government, or is the station autonomous? (I’m leaning towards autonomous because of some future history ideas I have yet to elaborate on, but it’s still up in the air. And will there perhaps be a larger government-like organization watching over it all?)