The United Nations Joint Agreement on Mars (UNJAM) saw a host of willing pioneers and brave colonists volunteer to go to Mars and seek opportunities lost to them on mother Earth. With the pressures created following the Struggle for Resources and the Struggle for Peace, it was easy for many to associate the rise of arcologies across Earth and their curtain walls with the slow decay of Earth. For most on Earth, the realisation that the future was a horizon of arcology walls and dense urban landscapes was too much to bear. A struggle for survival in exchange for reclaiming open horizons and a free world seemed like an easy choice to many.
The UN's offer was accompanied with the sale of lands on Mars, land parcels designed to allow some form of organisation in this new frontier. The UN hoped that away from the arcologies of Earth, the first Martians would develop and expand across the face of Mars in a spread that would ease the strain on planned terraforming projects.
This was not the case initially.
Perhaps it was an inevitability, but the waves of colonists that prepared to land on the red planet took possession of lands in large grouped clusters. There were concerns from the UN's mapping and survey teams that this would hamper future plans to terraform the planet.
This natural conglomeration would only become more exaggerated as time went on and colonies developed into the very first Martian cities.
There was also a more brutal calculation at work.
Mars is inhospitable, even with the manpower and technology that the United Nations had managed to assemble.
A colony that suffered grievous disasters could not hope for swift aid from Earth until the two planets had managed to complete their orbits close to one another. It was necessary that colonies should be spread across the face of the red planet and over sufficient land to be self-sustaining.
And also, to ensure that these lands and colony groups did not end up causing cascade failures by relying upon each other heavily in their early years.
The UN also felt that by creating these land plots, the colonies would provide a form of redundancy that would enable the long term survival of mankind in the face of unexpected or unforeseen disaster.
It was a mathematical cruelty applied with the hope and dreams of a brighter future.
A decision was made to encourage this spread by providing discounted lands to the future colonists on Earth, though the UN did not have a way to differentiate these lands from others beyond their pricing. These discounted lands were offered to potential colonists through a three-dimensional map of Mars and their locations provided with simple tasks and a smaller amount with harder puzzles.
These lands quickly earned themselves the moniker "lost lands," regions on Mars that were unclaimed and unknown to all but the most dedicated of the early colonists; namely those who had scoured the face of the red planet to claim their rewards.