Once, a company known as Applied Systems made leaps and bounds in scientific and technological advancement. Following this, they managed to fund a secession movement shortly after the founding of the Coalition, turning Japan back into a major player in the course of history and propelling them into space. Apsys has very little controlled space and are largely peaceful towards the Coalition, but prefer to be left alone. Apsys' technology gives them the opportunity to colonize planets without surfaces, where they can be left alone due to the extreme conditions in which their cities are constructed. This tactic of colonization resulted in Apsys remaining largely off the Empire's radar.
Apsys' social structure is built around a three-class structure, reflected in their city planning and architecture. The upper class usually enjoys the high life with positions as politicians, military leaders, religious officials, business managers and real estate moguls. The middle class is the largest group in the Apsys social structure, consisting of people going to schools, serving in the military, working in businesses, or heading manufacturing jobs. The lowest class live in the lowest parts of Apsys cities, typically where they rarely ever see sunlight. Lower class Apsys citizens work in jobs like gas mining or manufacturing, and typically receive a poor education and are forced to take on certain augmentations to perform their job. Advancing the social ladder is made feasible by the placement of a paywall to advance, which gives goals to those looking to move up.
Leisure and Education
A great deal of Apsys' leisure is spent connected to the Apsys Network, a virtual reality space accessed by stimulating a special brain augmentation implanted into every Apsys citizen at birth. When this augment is stimulated, the body shuts down and goes into a semi-conscious state, where the body still feels awake, but experiences life connected to the Apsys Network instead of through their cybernetic eyes.
The Apsys educational system has changed very little since the corporation's history as the nation of Japan. The only major change was the introduction of specific classes to better suit life in Apsys society, such as machine maintenance and advanced robotics.
Emigration is a hot-button issue within Apsys society, as it signifies one permanently leaving the Apsys Network with the removal of their brain implant. Emigration is a relatively painless and quick process, but is a controversial political subject.
Law Enforcement and Military
Apsys' military is made up of only one branch. Apsys' military training facilities teach their recruits how to use firearms and more traditionally, melee weaponry. To date, Apsys is the only military that trains balanced use between the two. Soldiers are also taught how to fix machines and operate vehicles. The Apsys military is 70% comprised of robots, with humans only filling specialized roles, such as pilots, engineers, or snipers. Apsys weaponry is typically non-ballistic in nature, choosing either laser or plasma approaches to ranged weaponry, and high-frequency or electrified melee weapons.
Apsys law enforcement is performed through highly advanced super-cyborgs known as Regulators. Regulators have very little free will of their own, for the purpose of easy reprogramming between political shifts. Regulators have gained a reputation as beings to be feared due to the way the Theocratic Party chooses to use them. Much like Apsys soldiers, Regulators are trained in the way of both the gun and the blade.
Apsys' culture takes after both traditional and modern Japanese culture, with a more heavy leaning towards traditional when it comes to the military and the upper class. Upper class persons typically flaunt their wealth by adorning their outfits in golden ornaments, usually in the shape of the Apsys Sun or the Holy Machine emblem. Career politicians typically undergo augmentation to remove their legs, meshing directly into their specialized hovering chairs. Families with a military history have heirlooms in the form of a family sword or armor set.
Apsys has a popular culture often seen as unusual or bizarre by an outside observer.
Apsys' political scene is based on two representative houses, the Board of Directors and the High Council. Both houses are made up of representatives from each of Apsys' star systems- one Director, and one Councilor. Each politician elected to the position is chosen from smaller local governments from each controlled planet. Politicians can choose to identify with one of two of Apsys' political parties, the Corporatist party, or the Theocratic party. Elections are held every ten years, and typically the party opposite of the previous is elected, resulting in a pendulum-like shift of power between the Board and the High Council.
Board of Directors
The chief governing body of Apsys, the Board of Directors is headed by the Chairman, who is seen as the political head of Apsys. The Chairman is elected from any of the current acting Directors by the total populace. The Board of Directors makes all of the laws and corporate decisions for Apsys, regulating business and trade.
The High Council
The High Council is comprised of the Councilors and their elected Pontiff, making up the heavily represented religious leadership of Apsys. The Council holds no real power over the government, but elections are still held due to laws permitting the election of religious officials within Apsys society. Apsys' religion centers around the worship of technology as a way to transcend the human form, and the deity is known as the Holy Machine.
The Corporatist Party believes strongly in individual freedoms and open trade, choosing to apply their technocratic vision to business partnerships with other colonies and factions. The Corporatist Party runs on the ideals that founded the Apsys Corporation, the idea of Open Independence. By this principle, Apsys kept good relations with its neighbors during its secession from the Coalition government. The Corporatist Party believes in neutrality of the Apsys Network, allowing free access of VR to all citizens. The Corporatist Party reprograms Regulators to be used as friendly law enforcers, meant to keep peace. The openness of the Corporatist Party also freely supports emigration, allowing citizens to disconnect from the Apsys Network and travel to other planets or star systems outside their sphere of influence. Generally, when the Corporatist Party has more seats on the Council and the Board, the Chairman has more power than the Pontiff.
The Theocratic Party believes in the conservative ideals that Apsys adopted early in its independent life- the idea of Closed Independence, where the nation was to remain truly sovereign. The Theocratic Party's views are highly xenophobic, as they believe augmented humans are superior to other lifeforms. The party believes in very little individual freedom and strongly promotes isolationism from other factions, turning the Regulators into secret police tasked with tearing people out of VR and executing emigrants. The Theocrats see free and open access to the Apsys Network as an abuse of the Holy Machine, and as a regression of the upward path of transcendence. The Theocrats are also known for using the Apsys Network as a way to subliminally indoctrinate citizens into their way of view. Generally, when the Theocrats have more seats on the Council and the Board, the Pontiff has more power than the Chairman.