The Free Minds Society (or FMS) is a single planetary nation located in the Heiwa System.
The Society has a long history of continuous self-improvement stemming from the harsh living conditions that their planet, Heiwa, was subjugated to during the Uplifter Wars and the Dark Age that saw the downfall of the previous existing civilizations. After having settled in the still inhabitable mountainous region of their planet, the surviving Heiwans turned to new engineering to improve their means of living around the hostile terrain. In 3004, the Heiwan societies joined together in a political union and renamed itself to the Free Minds Society. After becoming aware of similar interstellar beings, the Society turned its efforts to becoming a service economy with art, entertainment, and unprocessed minerals being its chief export.
The Society derives its name from the concept that the citizens are free to pursue their own intellectual interests without being burdened by labor.
Few records exist of the time before the Dark Ages. Research and excavations have revealed the existence of immense and tall buildings large enough to house millions scattered throughout the landscape, suggesting that the Heiwans had previously used these structures as single-building cities. All but one of these building has collapsed or partly collapsed. Solar powered vehicles were found in and around the city-buildings.
Soon began a Technological Boom, with the government investing on industry and research, giving them new technologies that allowed them to dig into the mountain, which in turn gave the industry more materials. This immense Technological Boom led to miners, workers and farmers being replaced by machines, displacing hundreds of thousands and causing a severe unemployment crisis and a new lower class to come into existence.
All machines dedicated to transportation between the many levels of the Mountain City were removed, with people now having the ability to fly. This cleared up a huge amount of energy and money to be invested on the arts, but there was still work to be done. The government proceeded to work together with the city's brightest minds to revitalize the entire nation: by this point, there were buildings all over the Mountain and near its surrounding areas. Steam energy was replaced by a new type of energy that could create hovering platforms without the noise, without the pollution, and with even less energy consumption. The nation, which looked polluted and beaten up, became a modern work of art, with the streets reflecting the light of the sun like gold, each level of Mountain City being a city by itself, hovering in the sky.
The Society is run by the Council of the Free Minds, who set policy for the nation and control the police force. The council changes every five years, with one third of its membership being decided upon in elections on a rotational basis. The Council delegates region authority to appointed governors, who govern cities or regions around the Heiwa System. Other high government positions are handed out by the council based on merit.
In 3555 the Society became a member of the Galactic Nations.
The Society has a colony, Filanticu, on Heiwa's moon, Wiseon, which acts as a point for all interaction between the FMS and the outside world. Wiseon has become an important business center and trading hub for the surrounding nations. The Society regularly hosts grand conventions and fairs at Filanticu to introduce and promote new products for the market.
Electronics, media, raw minerals and furniture consist of the Society's primary exports. Heiwa itself produce's enough food for the system's population but little for exporting. Food material and ingredient originating from Earth is the Society's greatest import.
The FMS does not have a standing army. A large, national police force consisting of Society members and robots is tasked with keeping the peace. Drones patrol the sky, housed and supported by mothership dirigibles. The Space Patrol consists of three fast corvettes that keep other space ships on course. The police only use nonlethal force.
Hovercrafts are the way to move around through each level, although one could always fly from one place to the others. Each level hovers in the sky thanks to technology fueled by three types of fuel produced inside the mountain with the non-valuable ores found there. Even if one deactivates its main fuel (an oil-like liquid), the floating cities have three alternate fuel sources. The residuals produced by using these fuels are later used to produce more fuel, on an endless cycle.
Old members of the Society use hovercrafts to move around, but everyone else either walks or flies.
The arts are glorified and used to analyze life, the universe and everything else. Logic and creativity work together so that every citizen of the Society can have a discussion about the concept of democracy no matter their age (unless they're a baby, of course). This leads to them having a more critical (and sometimes cynical) look at life, which in turn leads to smaller breeding rates (some families don't have children at all, often spending their time embroiled in discussions). Some concepts, like the power of emotions, remain the same, although romance is a much more grandiose concept.
The Society has only a single star system, Heiwa, and is centered around the planet of the same name.