The year is 2089..
   Severe climate change, national debts, and unemployment due to advances in automation have wreaked havoc on a global scale. Rising sea levels have swallowed many coastal cities, turning them into toxic zones dotting the seaboard and polluting the waters. With their planet dying, fear rules humanity. The poor are sick, weak, and dying.. The rich watch it all from towering cities, surrounded by walls and policed with military-like force. With not enough food or clean water to go around, most countries too small to defend themselves have been annexed, abandoned, or simply bombed to glass by their hostile neighbors.

 But there is hope... On Mars...
  Around 2024, several expeditions to the red planet led to lengthy debates and legal battles over which countries would colonize it's surface... but while the governments squabbled, the mega-corporations acted. Financially secure conglomerates began to capitalize on the planet's vast wealth of open space, minerals, and most importantly it's water. Solar mirrors were deployed and focused to melt the majority of the ice caps on Mars, and before long the terraforming process was well underway. Twenty years or so and a few trillion dollars later, humans were standing on the surface, breathing Martian air.

 With the governments of Earth left to their decaying rock, the corporations founded their own colonies and began exporting water, food, and metals to their Terran neighbors, and the word got out that Mars was the new frontier. And so came the masses.. Ships crowded with desperate folks seeking a fresh start turned colonies into towns, towns into cities, and a new way of life was born. A life of freedom, hope, and control over one's own destiny.


Helix City is located in the Crimson Hills Crater, safely tucked amongst iron-rich mountains. The City is run by the mega-corporation known as Helix Co., one of the first companies to establish a mining base on Mars. While now mostly automated, they maintain a workforce in Helix City's more secure sectors. Local police are mostly for their protection, and rarely involve themselves in the common squabbles of the citizens living in the lower city. This lack of security has left the people to take their protection into their own hands in the form of firearms, blades, and advanced combat training through simulations.

Violence and crime in Helix are seen as daily work and opportunities for employment.


On Earth, the remaining countries control their populations with strict laws and propaganda. Things like drugs, weapons, and even pornography are outlawed... but Martians are happy to smuggle them in, and with the only public spaceport located in the lower city, the area is well known for having just about anything you could want. Local augmentation clinics will give you all of those hacking programs you need, hardwired straight into your brain for the right price... Firearms of all flavors are hawked in storefront shops... and sex is for sale around every corner.


Most citizens hold down three or four jobs, either filling in at a street-front cafe, hawking booze at the local tavern, or playing bodyguard for some visiting tourists. Rich folks often come out to Mars on vacation, seeking sin and burying themselves in debauchery they can't find on Earth. The local Police only usually get involved if there is a murder, so robbery is common for travelers and visitors. Selling or trading drugs, ammo, sex, or favors of a more violent nature are common currency in Helix.


Medical technology has grown beyond most sicknesses, and diseases are a Terran problem these days. Medical treatment and advanced augmentation procedures are one of the more common reasons for visiting Helix. The hospital itself is mostly automated, and a Doc-Bot will pull that bullet out of your ribs and patch you up in a matter of minutes, granted you stay alive long enough to make it there. You might be sore for a few days but between the meds they pack you with, and the stims you can purchase on the street, most injuries are minor hiccups in life on Mars. This has led to brawls and stabbings and even shootings becoming commonplace methods for settling disputes, and the cops don't seem to mind unless somebody dies.