Alternate History

Troy (Superpowers)

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Troy is the first settlement in Rome's colonization of Mars, founded on July 9, 1970. The first Martian colony, it is situated in the Valles Magnus in the Tarshisha territory near the equator along the Martian West. The city is still the capital of Roman Mars, acting as the epicenter of Martian trade and politics.

Unlike the founding of Heliopolis, no unmanned probe was sent to prepare the landing site. Prior human presence was limited to a single probe that surveyed the area for a suitable habitat. The Aeneas colonizer transported all 30 original settlers from Earth to the Red Planet and became the primary vessel for further settlement.

Today, the city of Troy is the most populous extraterrestrial city, double the population of Heliopolis and three-quarters of the Martian population. Relationships with other cities on Mars are amiable and economically advantageous, except with a sixth settlement which declared its independence from the Roman Empire.


Sustaining human lives on a non-terrestrial planet comes with unique challenges. No environment is waiting for settlers to exploit. All the means of survival must be carried from home. Trappings of terrestrial life that are lacking from Mars are found on the planet as:

  • No liquid bodies of water on the surface
  • Extreme seasonal and diurnal variations in temperature
  • Half the solar energy that reaches Earth
  • Weak magnetosphere to defend against solar radiation
  • Mean surface temperature 77 K colder than Earth
  • Atmospheric pressure 1/168th that of Earth and 1/10th the survivable minimum
  • Surface gravity is 38% of that on Earth

Troy's chosen location mitigates many of these challenges - not as cold, less solar radiation, slight seasonal temperature variations - and the rest had to be alleviated by feats of engineering. On top of these challenges, people and equipment need to be transported across the vastness of space from Earth to Mars, a seven month journey in ideal conditions.

Logistical Solutions

Methods were devised to ensure the lives of Martian colonists. The engineered miracles that permitted colonization of the Red Planet are staggering:

  1. Colonists wear pressurized suits when walking outside to prevent damage to the human body. Air tanks keep up to 4 hours of air for extended excursions.
  2. An artificial magnetic field is sustained by satellites orbiting the equator in what is known as the Octavius Belt. It renders Mars' surface around the colonies even less irradiated than the Earth's.
  3. Suits carry built-in weights to increase colonists' effective weight - under Martian gravity - near their weight at sea level on Earth.
  4. Massive city-wide filters recycle 98% of water used within Martian cities. Every building has at least one pipe carrying clear, filtered water in and one pipe carrying dirty water out. Filtration is not done in homes.
  5. Lost water pressure is supplemented by ice mining in the crevasses of the Valles Magnus. Mars has abundant reserves of ice that could potentially form oceans once melted.
  6. Colonists' suits have heaters that can maintain an internal temperature of 293 K in sub-zero environments down to 150 K (varying with air density).
  7. Power is generated by huge nuclear fusion reactors underground. Fuel is mined on-planet from sites of abundant Helium-3 deposits. Reserves are expected to last centuries at present consumption levels.
  8. Hematite and Bauxite mines supply iron and aluminum to Troy's factories while silver, silicon and calcium mines and marble and stone quarries provide other materials.
  9. Vegetables and fruit are grown in vast hydroponic gardens, able to produce 110% of Troy's needs according to the standard Roman food pyramids for both genders.
  10. Meat is grown in therapeutic cloning factories, ready-made in consumable form. The supply could theoretically produce twice the necessary amount of meat. Many varieties of meat are available. Colonists never experience shortages of food, water, air or power. Troy has been self-sufficient since the 1980's. The city has flourishing manufacturing and service sectors not unlike terrestrial Roman cities. Supplies necessary for municipal growth are still shipped from Earth as mining on Mars has yet to supply gold, uranium and graphite in sufficient amounts for cheap production (i.e, it is still cheaper to manufacture specialized goods on Earth and transport them to Mars). Being closer to the Asteroid Belt, Mars benefits substantially from Roman asteroid mining.



Once the Luna Program had shown the feasibility of space colonization, the interest of the Roman government was immediately piqued towards the issue. Since by the 60's lunar colonization had become a trivially easy undertaking, the Romans could finally set their sights on a more lofty goal, the colonization of an entirely separate planet, Mars. Since the Mayan Itzamna Mission had utterly failed, competition would be rather low for years to come, even completely non-existent by the 70's.

Though concepts had been considered, it was not until March of 1963 that any real funding was put in to make the idea a reality. By late-1966, an interplanetary space propulsion system was invented, allowing for a rapid transit within the via planitia of Earth. Construction was begun in December of 1967 and the Aeneas Mars Colonizer was finally completed exactly two years later amongst New Year's celebrations.

Before the ship could set off, several Ares unmanned probes were launched to create a long-distance communication satellite in Martian orbit. It could connect to a network of 22 other satellites allowing rapid connection with Earth at any time of the Terran or Martian years.

Following a following a nearly seven month journey starting in January of 1970, Aeneas finally arrived in Martian orbit on the 2nd of July. Following seven days of set-up, the city of Troy was considered established on the 9th of July 1970 with the connection of the cities communications to the solar network, and therefore to Earth.


Though the city had an initial population of 30 settlers, this number grew rapidly as the rate of colonization increased. The population growth rate was as follows :

Year - - - - Population
  • 1970 - - - - 30
  • 1973 - - - - 84
  • 1976 - - - - 378
  • 1979 - - - - 11,230
  • 1982 - - - - 53,451
  • 1985 - - - - 59,750
  • 1988 - - - - 203,820
  • 1991 - - - - 414,900
  • 1994 - - - - 904,270
  • 1997 - - - - 1,420,900
  • 2000 - - - - 2,233,400

There are two aspects of note here. The first is the relatively slight increase in population from 1982 to 1985, and, of course, the second one is the population explosion in the years following that time. The time between the first two dates was the starting period for the Midas Program, a costly but ultimately profitable project. Since the majority of Roman funding for their space programs was put towards asteroid mining, very little was placed into other areas of colonization, and so most of the city's growth was natural, supplemented by several visits of the Hesperia (built 1975).

Once the mining business was booming, a plethora of resources and money was flooding into Rome. Furthermore, most of the mined materials from space could only be "spent" outside the national markets, and so out-of-planet colonies were the perfect direction for them to be put towards. Not only that, but the completion of the Portantia Network in 1986 brought about a rush for space colonization, as the costs had fallen to nearly that of going from the Earth to the Moon. When the network was expanded in 1996, another noticeable increase in colonization began, and still continues, with very little sign of stopping.


With virtually no environment to fall back on, infrastructure was absolutely vital for the city of Troy. Entire systems in the city had to be created just to allow people to eat, sleep, breathe and excrete, nothing was simple.

Though the city was officially "founded" on the 9th of July, it was far from being a true settlement. It would take two months of construction, the settlers living out of the Aeneas the entire time, before the city was finally livable. By this point it only had the potential capacity for about 38 people, which was not much more than the population at the time. Despite this, there would still be one major development before the end of the year. Several ships arrived in late-December carrying with them several hundred satellites. These arranged themselves in a band that crossed over the city, creating the Octavius Belt, an electromagnetically shielded zone under which solar radiation was even less volatile than on Earth. This network of satellites would be expanded in 1987 to cover a wider belt around the planet as the colonies expanded.

From its foundation until 1974 Troy was visited five times by the Aeneas, each time bringing new materials and settlers for the city. Centrifugal sleeping units brought that year would also allow citizens to have more similar living conditions to that of Earth. Furthermore, hydroponics bays and underground farms allowed them a diet befitting a Roman lifestyle as well. Power for the city was still provided by the original 670 MW particle fusion reactor it started with. This last thing disappointed many Roman scientists as they wanted their "City of the Future" to have a power source of the future as well, namely they wished it was powered by antimatter. This would however remain a wet dream of the scientists as the technology was nowhere near ready for regular use, especially not on another planet.

Fortunately, in 1977 a new 3,400 MW fusion reactor was completed that was expected to be able to sustain a growth rate many times greater than the city was expected to have. Furthermore, regular trips were now being made by two vessels, the Aeneas and the Hesperia, supplemented by the occasional visits by any number of other ships. Also, several digging vehicles had by now been brought to the planet and by 1979 comfortable living space for over 10,000 people had been constructed underground.

Unfortunately though, the Praetor of Luna was beginning to get deeply envious of Troy's treatment. The lunar colonies had received nowhere near as much attention as Mars was now, despite how much easier it was to reach the moon relative to the red planet. Though the Emperor was hailed many times to have this situation rectified, he instead took the much simpler option of having the governor replaced with someone new.

By 1980, the site of Troy had become heavily industrialized and was prepared to enter an age of expansion, so long as nothing occurred to directly prevent this.


Expansion continued for two years and though something would happen to stagnate this, it would prove ultimately beneficial in the long run.

With the Midas Program taking up so much funding, and so many ships, Troy began to feel a little of that neglect the Lunans felt so resentful for. The city did still grow in population, but this was largely attributable to having the highest birth rate in the Empire, and the few settlers brought over by the Hesperia between trips for the Midas Program. Once the program began to carry its own weight, and then some, focus was once again on the colony of Troy. Past 1986 the population exploded as the cost of traveling between planets became so small that citizens themselves could even afford it. As early as 1987 several citizens were able to boast having gone on vacation on the Red Planet.

To top it all off, the Emperor Cicero became the first Roman Emperor to visit Mars when he arrived in the new Alexander Interplanetary Warship (an entirely superfluous class of vehicle) in 1989. This came with a great deal of media attention to the colony, especially as the Emperor promised the creation of three more cities in the next eight years. The rapidly accelerating colonization rate of Mars easily sustained the growth of these cities and not even the outbreak of a Third World War slowed it down.


Troy is the largest economic hub outside of the Earth's atmosphere and even manages to have a significant stake in the planetary financial markets. Most importantly, it is here that the management of the Midas Program and its resources is carried out, essentially making the city one of the most important economic centers for the Roman Empire as a whole.

Finances for the provincial and municipal governments are non-existent as every major move made is planned by the government back in Rome, and capital is allocated accordingly. This has allowed the nearly limitless resources gained by the Midas Program to be directed to Troy, as they will have no effect on the market value of the materials when used in this way. This has essentially put no physical limit on Troy's ability to expand its infrastructure, and the only limitation in this regard is purely democratic, as the city only expands to accommodate the population growth regardless of its value.

Power for the city is provided by two Particle Fusion Reactors at either end. The first, built in 1988, has a maximum output of 27,890 MW and mostly powers the city's underground. The second has a maximum power output of 0.6 GW, and was built in 1996 to replace three of the aging reactors. This makes it the fifth largest power plant ever built.


Troy is the most populous space colony in existence, with an estimated population of 3,498,000. This accounts for about 25% of the human population in space and around 75% of the population of Mars. Unlike most Roman cities, Troy does not have the standard city format of Roman settlements on Earth, and the vehicle and pedestrian laws of the Empire do not apply here either.

About 1,050,000 people inhabit the extensive underground complexes that lie beneath the city. These have a honeycomb like structure, arranged into "columns" each containing a community of 50,000 people. 100,000 people then live in a single underground building "bloc". This structure contains the major market district, secondary Forum and the city's largest Public bathhouse. The above ground section of the city contains the rest of the 2.5 million inhabitants. The Municipal and Provincial government buildings are situated on the surface, as well as the housing for the local aristocracy.

Also located on the surface are a coliseum (stadium); hippodrome; broadcasting centers; the Forum and the base of the Martian Space Elevator. It is here were the Trojan manufacturing sector and water storage facilities are located. Life support for the entire city consists both of individual systems for each building that filter air and personal water supplies; and massive facilities above ground that filter the majority of the city's water and the air of public locations.

Ethnically, Troy is made up of a 100% "Mediterranean" population, no non-citizens are allowed, even for the purpose of commerce. Of this ethnically Roman population, 34% is Mediterranean-African, 48% is Mediterranean-European and the other 18% are Mediterranean-Columbian citizens. The linguistic diversity of the city is very stale by Roman standards. The entire population is fully literate in Latin, whilst the only other commonly spoken language is Greek, of which 72% of the population can speak. This is the highest percentage of Greek speakers outside of the Grecian provinces themselves. Very small amounts of other Roman languages are spoken, though no single one is spoken by more than 1% of the population.

Almost 99% of Trojans are of the Christian denomination, whilst the other 1% are Jewish. Though the latter makes up such a small percentage of the total population, it is still able to take up over a fourth of the economic sector of the city. No other religion is represented in the city due to the restrictions on entry onto Mars, and even the city itself. This gives Troy the largest Christian population by percentage in the Empire, even exceeding the similarly restrictive city of Melita.

This ethnic homogeneity was a planned aspect of the city as the Roman government believed a pure Roman society would have the greatest chance of succeeding. Though whether or not this is true has yet to be proven, the laws remain in place and no semblance of change appears to be on the horizon.

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