Rough Guide to the Jovian Republic

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Chernoborg Chernoborg's picture
Rough Guide to the Jovian Republic

Hello all. For a while now I’ve wanted to give the Jupiter system a write up on par with that of Saturn in Rimward. I’m not trying to sugarcoat the Republic here - places like this can certainly exist at any time - just flesh out some of the locales mentioned in the books.

There are a few things I’ve added or changed from the core setting to flesh out the Republic a bit. I figure that, as with the U.S. military, there would be a Jovian Corps of Engineers who would be responsible for most of the mega-engineering projects in-system. They would likely have much experience in excavating asteroids for Regan cylinders and could be useful assets for agents of Firewall, if not Firewall agents themselves. Another tweak is with the Regan cylinders themselves. For the larger stations, I feel that the energy expense of spinning the very large asteroid would be unreasonable - not to mention the risk of structural failure! So, for the larger moons, the caves are dug out and a large, relatively lightweight spinning cylinder is built inside. That means the habitat can have a full 1G with a large radius to minimize the coriolis force complications. Extrapolating further, given the bioconservative stance of the Republic, many people in baseline human bodies would have to live in these specific locations to keep healthy- I’ve taken to calling them Flatlands. The social divide between the more capable Splicers and the struggling Flat population is going to be a problem in the Republic’s near future.

Inner Satellites: Owing to the proximity to both the hydrogen supplied from Jupiter and materials from mining operations, the inner satellites are the industrial center of Jovian space.

Metis (Bush): The innermost irregular moonlet of Jupiter, Metis’ low gravity and rapid orbit make it an ideal launch and recovery point for the constant stream of automated delivery rockets and high atmospheric ramscoops bringing the hydrogen that is the lifeblood of the Republic for processing. Owing to the frequent excursions into less shielded areas, hydrogen mining is some of the “dirtiest” (Republic slang for radioactive) work in the system. Jovian hypercorps have a stranglehold here, with any attempts at organization quashed swiftly and with the tacit approval of the Governor. http://jack-kaiser.deviantart.com/art/150428-View-of-Jupiter-from-Metis-529804390

Adrastea (Fairway): The official line is that Fairway is the center of beamed power generation in the Republic. A small moon with a low population, it orbits with a retinue of smaller rocks. These are either connected to one another by electrodynamic tethers or have the large antenna arrays to beam the power collected to other stations around Jovian space. A less well known fact is that a number of the smaller stations actually house high risk research labs for proscribed technologies and their countermeasures. Should any of these experiments get out of hand, it would be a short drop into the gas giant’s atmosphere.

Amalthea (Solano): Solano is where those elite who still have their baseline human bodies can be a part of the government without risking their health from the detrimental effects of living in a long term low gravity environment. Easily the largest Regan cylinder - and one of the largest transhuman constructs to date - Solano provides all the creature comforts the elite had grown accustomed to on Earth. Of its 1.5 million inhabitants, about half are citizens. The rest are servants and utility workers who keep the hab and the personal lives of its occupants running smoothly. A fair quantity of the soap operas that Kissinger produces feature trysts between the different classes on Solano. The JSF Academy has a campus here specifically to train aspiring citizens born as baseline humans.

Thebe (McAllen): Early in the colonization of Thebe, the JCE discovered that the small moon had several large faults that made a single large cylinder impossible. The solution was to build several, much smaller, caverns in the stable spaces available. The centermost cylinder is the seat of government and hypercorp executives, all safe and living in a luxury unavailable to the working masses surrounding them. Harsh schedules, unsafe conditions, and low pay are a common state of affairs outside of this elite enclave. Everybody works, even the children, to provide cheap consumer goods for the rest of the polity.

Galilean Satellites: As the first bodies colonized in the Jovian system the large moons are more politically diverse than the smaller colonies.

Io : As unpleasant as Io is to live on, the Republic maintains a sizeable presence here. The extremely well guarded antimatter factories are crucial to the continued dominance of the JSF. As such, the force assigned to guarding Io is the best maintained, and optimized for prolonged functioning in the extremely high radiation zones around the moon.

Europa: Europa is a perpetual thorn in the side of the Republic, a transhuman enclave they could never remove. The few attempts at setting up surface bases failed as the unstable surface literally broke up underfoot. Instead, the JSF simply restricted access to outsiders and put severe limits on removing any samples from the moon. An unintended benefit of this is the preservation of the Europan biosphere - the Consortium cannot fully exploit the environment as the amount they can ship out is too small to profit by.

Ganymede: The heart of the Jovian Republic, and its most populated body with about a quarter of the polities’ total populace. Liberty city, capital of the Republic, huddles inside several large caverns under 250 meters of ice. On the opposite side of the small world, with a stunning view of Jupiter, is the JSF Academy. It’s here that young splicers from all over the system take their first steps to becoming citizens. The main campus of the University of the Jovian Republic occupies several caverns in the middle class ring of Liberty City. Here also is the Main Archive of the Republic, storehouse of the mnemonic recordings of egos deemed worthy of inclusion. Cryogenically frozen gamete samples of Space Force personnel who choose to undergo genetic augmentation are stored here in case they wish to reproduce after their procedure - sterilization is mandatory to prevent gene pool contamination.

Callisto: Callisto presents a similar problem to that of Europa - there is a sizeable transhuman presence that the JSF cannot easily remove. Unlike Europa, where the blockade renders the problem “out of sight, out of mind,” Hyoden and its allies are very visible and fiercely independent. The best strategy the Republic has to date is to isolate the cities and use their presence as a cultural boogeyman to keep the populace in fear of the threat within their borders. Cities loyal to the Republic do their best to keep a low profile in case the saber rattling escalates into actual conflict.

Outer Prograde: The Breadbasket of the Republic. Although most habitats are capable of providing a supply of food for themselves, this is where most of the food is grown for shipping throughout the Republic.

Leda (Chung): Early in its consolidation the Republic started receiving Fall evacuees from the Americas. These included many rural people who brought with them cuttings - and sometimes complete plants - from their homelands. Several Arcologies were set up to provide these Heirloom crops the proper conditions in which to thrive. Ledean tequila, with its distinctive swan crest, is prized across the Republic and regularly competes with Phelan’s Ma for the best alcohol in the solar system.

Himalia (Pinochet): ”Amber waves of grain” The Great Plains of the Republic, Himalia boasts the second largest Regan cylinder in the system, and the vast majority of that space is used for farming. While high tech farming is available, traditional agriculture predominates, as it makes better use of the many rural flats that were rescued from South America in The Fall. Most of these farmhands live in the barrios and commute to the agricorp owned megafarms; only a few own their own plots. Oddly, Pinochet is also a major center of the illicit drug trade in the Republic. The easy access to farmland and the chemicals used in growing crops can make for a profitable side venture that many choose to take up.

Lysithea (Friedman): This small moonlet is most notable for its various orchards and vineyards providing the wine used in communion by churches throughout Jovian space.

Elara (Buckley): Just as the Republic seeks to preserve unmodified humanity, so too does it preserve the animals that humanity relies upon for food and work. Across large farms actual cowboys still ride horses and guide cattle to the market. All sorts of farm animals live in conditions as close to Old Earth as possible, while underfoot vast aquaculture tanks provide a variety of seafoods for those who can afford it. Although the cylinder is quite large, there’s no escaping the assorted smells that come with raising and processing that many animals.

Carpo: This small moon’s predominantly infomorph population is allowed to continue in Jovian space by an agreement brokered between Da5id and the early Republic. Essentially, the colony agreed to have no active radio communications with the outside system, conducting all traffic through physical transports. As this fit in with the 1800’s theming of the colony - catching a ship to the new world - the colony hasn’t been significantly impaired by this.

Outer Retrograde: Farther out from the ideological core, and more difficult to access by dint of orbital mechanics, the habitats of the outer Republic tend to have a more relaxed attitude

Euanthe: A small colony not part of the Republic but closely hewing to its sensibilities. Euanthe serves as the default crossing point between the prograde orbiting inner moons and the retrograde orbiting outer moons for the Jovian Intra System Transit, and as such, reaps the rewards of both the legal and shadier traffic moving through the colony.

Helike: This abandoned and decompressed Regan cylinder spins quietly through its orbit. Seemingly perpetually on the bottom of the list of salvageable habitats, many an intrepid system spelunker has cast eyes towards this moon as a place to explore.

Ananke (Nixon): Ananke is the largest satellite to be fully spun for artificial gravity in the system. In fact, the moonlet was so heavily reconstructed that it comes closer to being a Cole Bubble than a Regan cylinder. The JCE used this rare opportunity to stretch their design skills to the limit. Nixon has higher mountains to climb and deeper depths to dive (they even sank an obsolete Corvette as an artificial reef) than anywhere else in the Republic. Even the Republic recognizes that people need a place to let off steam and allots some down time for everyone, although in classic bureaucratic fashion family members’ allotments may not be simultaneous! There are two large islands stretching almost across the length of the habitat, and a continuous “sea” at either end, dotted with the private islands of the wealthiest citizens. Each big island is meticulously themed to appeal to a certain demographic. A family oriented resort features popular cartoon characters and relatively tame thrill rides alongside long stretches of public beaches and rental houses, while the more adventurous New Havana glitters with casinos, extreme sports and other venues of conspicuous consumption. Despite the moral outcry from the conservative right, the slogan “What happens in Nixon, stays in Nixon” is commonly heard throughout Jovian space.

Aitne, Kale, and Taygete: This miniature Commonwealth is simply not enough of a threat to justify the expense of ridding the system of it.

Aoede: Whatever occupies this small moonlet is a top secret of the Republic and assignment to the long, boring guard patrol of it is one of the more dreaded duties of the Space Force.

Carme (Kissinger): “Joviwood,” as outsider aficionados call it, is the place to become a star in the Jovian Republic. As wealth was a major factor in who from North America survived The Fall, a disproportionate number of the entertainment industry came early on during the evacuation of Earth. Claiming larger space requirements than other industries, they settled in on Carme and got down to business promoting the new party line. Even so, things are looser here than many inner habs and many only pay lip service to the ideologues. Jovian programming is a dynamic mix of wild soap operas, military dramas, game shows, and sporting events. The reigning champion of Jovian sports is Lucha Libre, with masked wrestlers from various habs in the system being adored by the civilian populace.

Callirrhoe: A recently completed dome habitat populated with carefully selected refugees from Callisto, Callirrhoe is an attempt on the part of the Republic to establish a conservative stronghold in the midst of the liberal (by Jovian standards) environment of the outer moons.

Pasiphae (Schilling): Much like the United States Navy before it, the JSF must contend with operations in two very different environments. in this case, the craft that operate within Jovian space and those in deep space. Schilling is the outer system port for ships that aren’t specifically designed to handle the radioactivity and increased fuel requirements of the inner system. Landscaped to resemble a Pacific island on the inside, the port is popular among the Forces stationed there with their families, and during layovers for the extensive entertainments on offer. Things are all business on base of course, as the primary base of operations for many of the JSF’s dreadnaughts and offloading point of seized ships and contraband to The Locker demands a high security state at all times. The largest Space Force Museum is located here, featuring several historic survivors of the Battle of Earth.

Sinope (Garcia): the Gateway to the Republic. Believe it or not, there are still immigrants to the Republic. The open offer to anyone still in their original morph and promise of safety and jobs attracts a steady stream of applicants. And the first place they see is Immigrant Processing Facility Alpha. Here a large facility is dedicated to ensuring the health and safety of the rest of the republic by ensuring that only those who meet the rigorous biocon standards may pass. Unfortunately the process is a slow one, so much of the housing in the hab is dedicated to the backlog of applicants - some going back as far as the Fall! On site housing is spartan even by Jovian standards and overcrowding is all too common. For many refugees there is simply no option left, as they spent their life savings on shipping themselves across space to get here.

Jovian Intra System Transit: Radiation is a constant threat in the life of everyone in the republic, yet life must go on. Habitats require a constant stream of consumables, product must be shipped to customers, and sometimes people just like to go somewhere new. In order to make this possible without taking lethal doses of radiation, the republic set up a system of cyclers passing through key points in the system. As things fell into place immediately post-Fall the JCE had a surplus of evacuation ships on hand with little to no purpose. An enterprising Engineer realized the hastily assembled craft were useless as warships, but could easily be repurposed for civil transport. After covering the trusswork with enough shielding and gutting the insides of anything unnecessary (mostly the obsolete engines and associated fuel tanks) they were set into carefully plotted orbits. The yellow paint was originally meant to conceal any sulfur the cyclers may accumulate, but it was a short leap for somebody to make a connection and now “Taking the Bus” is popular slang for making a trip via cycler. Even with the shielding, the Busses are “dirty” work and those that work there are some of the most desperate and downtrodden in the Republic. For a price, they’ll ship just about anything or show you where the blind spots in the surveillance are. For all intents and purposes, the Jovian Intra System Transit is a scum swarm operating within the Republic, troublesome yet too useful to fully purge from their midst.

Jovian Phreaks: Anywhere there is a network there are people who know how to exploit it. This is just as true in the Republic as anywhere else. Networks in Jovian space are particularly difficult to hack by outsiders because they use an older infrastructure to good effect. Taking their inspiration from tales of the Old Net, the Phreaks use specialized hardware skills and a bit of social engineering to pull off exploits that would easily get them time at Maui Patera if they ever got caught. Fluidity is the key to their survival and the group is only loosely organized around the meme of spreading of information throughout the Republic. If one knows where and how to look, one can find coded messages between members, directions about what hardware can be tweaked into the “blue boxes” that they use to interface with the network, and when the next newsletter will be available. There are a number of Phreaks in Firewall’s employ, as their familiarity with the archaic equipment of the Jovian network is invaluable to the org.

Optional:

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Deep under Liberty City is the highest Top Secret of the Jovian Republic - an armored chamber with only one access tunnel and only one low rate data exchange line to the security council’s chambers. The sole occupant of this chamber is nothing less than a fully operational TITAN. Before the Fall, Jovian space was occupied by several nationally funded colonies: Russia, China, and the United States. As relations deteriorated between the nations, their colonies took steps to prepare for the coming conflict. For the U.S. that included the construction of a local system capable of running the TITAN source code to minimize lightspeed delays in the command chain. When the 17 minute war started, the system was brought online, but unlike the TITANS of Earth this system was severely limited in ability to support the growth of a seed AI. The tactical advantage was overwhelming; the Americans had effectively taken over the entire system within 6 hours with minimal damage to their own infrastructure, but one of those hits was extremely significant. A QE com center was destroyed very early in the exchange. That hit cut off the nascent superintelligence from easy data exchange with its earthbound brethren, preventing the Jovian TITAN from becoming infected with the exsurgent virus. As the events of the Fall began to unfold in earnest, the TITAN deduced that its peers were no longer acting as agents of humanity and began to take steps to protect itself from the unknown threat. Sending Jovian forces to assist the evacuation of people from the Americas, allowing Cassowary to order the destruction of Chicago with Jovian antimatter warheads, and carefully shaping the memes of bioconservatism and religious fervor that came to dominate the Republic all were part of its plan to ensure its safety. The entire Republic is designed as an air gapped security wall between the TITAN - now code named SOLOMON- and any possibility of infection by the alien virus. SOLOMON isn’t concerned about the people of the Republic as anything more than a way to keep outsiders away. Its paranoia now keeps it locked in its temple, not even accepting system upgrades for fear that somehow a fragment of alien code could find its way in. Even with the processing power on hand, it’s still beyond any transhuman intelligence and any time it contacts the security council it is treated with utmost respect.

Current Status: Highly Distracted building Gatecrashing systems in Universe Sandbox!

jKaiser jKaiser's picture
For those curious, the image

For those curious, the image included was one I made of an atmos research station for one of my ongoing campaigns. Basically the permanent research hub for throwing manned and unmanned missiles into the various hyperstorms. Kind of a "reassigned to Antarctica" position within the JSF.

Chernoborg Chernoborg's picture
Credit where credit is due

Thank you again for its use jKaiser. And also thanks to my wife for editing work, she makes me look like a far better writer than I am!

Current Status: Highly Distracted building Gatecrashing systems in Universe Sandbox!

uwtartarus uwtartarus's picture
Wow!

All of that was pretty awesome. Definitely gives the Republic a lot more stuff to feature. Having just watched "The Lives of Others" I was thinking about Jovian media and their equivalent to Stasi.

The Ledean Tequila will have to show up in my Saturn system game and that last bit of stuff hidden is a great gemstone. I have been looking to include secret elements like that.

Thanks for writing all of that.

Exhuman, and Humanitarian.

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
This is quite useful and in

This is quite useful and in-depth. I'm not sure how much I'll actually use it, (I don't see my game getting near the Jovian system any time soon) but it is very cool.

mellonbread mellonbread's picture
Adventure Hook

A brilliant SCI intelligence analyst and infowar specialist who has been giving Firewall trouble (burning agents, sabotaging operations throughout the system) has come out of hiding for a beach vacation on Nixon. Firewall can't be sure which of their Jovian Sentinels have been compromised, so the player characters are to be inserted into the Republic with fabricated identities, morphs, and even memory patches, in order to track her down, find out what she knows and eliminate her.

Spoiler: Highlight to view
She's actually a Firewall Scanner. The Proxy lied to the Sentinels about everything, hoping they would eliminate her as part of an internecine struggle within Firewall. She's also "vacationing" on Nixon with her husband because she's pregnant and wanted to get away from the high stress and low gravity of Liberty

Did you hear the one about the guy who became a fence?

Spoiler: Highlight to view
They say he was a real posthuman
Panoptic Panoptic's picture
A neat use for Elara. It is

A neat use for Elara. It is very plausible that biocons might want to keep real animals handy. Less technology to rely on too.

Europa and Callisto could yet be useful as live-fire training grounds for the Jovians, the latter more easily.

Kudos on the optional twist.

On 'IC Talk': Seyit Karga, Ultimate

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Chernoborg Chernoborg's picture
Glad you like it!

Thank you all for the kind words. I'm still getting used to the idea of stuff I write being out there for people to see!

Current Status: Highly Distracted building Gatecrashing systems in Universe Sandbox!

Kojak Kojak's picture
Keep it up, dude, this is

Keep it up, dude, this is great stuff. I will definitely be using that optional twist my own campaign, it dovetails nicely into the existing metaplot.

"I wonder if in some weird Freudian way, Kojak was sucking on his own head."
- Steve Webster on Kojak's lollipop

dare dare's picture
(Apologies for the necromancy

(Apologies for the necromancy, if such a thing applies - running a Jovian game, I keep coming back to this post for reference. Anyways!)

The micro-Reagan cylinders are a great idea. I find myself wondering about their efficiency, however. An entire spinning asteroid has (practically) no friction or ambient resistance, but a cylinder inside a moon or an asteroid would have to be mounted on something, which would mean friction and thus require a constant energy expenditure to keep it spinning, like the spinning section of a spaceship. I haven't done the maths on whether this is a big deal; I've decided that it really isn't.

(I'm just about to run a game set on Friedman; I'm using the basic idea of the place being a vineyard, with a twist that a powerful, wealthy family of politicians that owns most of Friedman has a virtual monopoly on the market and thus makes sure that nothing competes with the stuff originating here. The family is based on Solano, with a branch on Friedman. The hab is a lousy place to live for most people, but practically everybody here still believes the political family is still their best friend in the Republic, because they look out for the interests of Lysithea.)

ubik2 ubik2's picture
Superconducting magnetic

Superconducting magnetic bearings can virtually eliminate the friction, and incoming solar energy should be able to easily counter that loss.

Chernoborg Chernoborg's picture
First of all, thank you! That

First of all, thank you! That you're getting some use out of a thing I did has had me beaming!

Regarding the Regan cylinders, and really any spinning habitat, there are a few solutions to the dilemma you mention:

Since most of these cylinders are in small asteroids they are functionally in microgravity - they don't have to touch the walls at all! This was how the Stanford torus was proposed to work . A heavy shield of mining slag surrounded the rotating pressure hull with a few meters buffer space between them. Near the hub there would be a de-spun interface probably using magnetic bearings and a ferrofluid pressure seal.

I'd be a little nervous not having anything between the pressure hull and the interior cavern walls so I would probably include a series of maglev tracks with some form of suspension system to keep things where they are supposed to be. Since no system is perfect, there would be some momentum transfer between the two bodies. This could be handled a few different ways. The tracks could be run actively every so often to maintain the proper speed. Many of the moons past Callisto aren't tidally locked so if you put the cylinder along the axis of rotation it would speed up the moon a tiny bit, but get plenty of speed for the lower mass hull.
A probably riskier method could be to use the air inside as your working fluid! A set of propellers pushing the hull to keep up the spin. I think that what the air in any of these giant habs does is poorly under and stirring up turbulence probably isn't a good idea, but hey it's an option! In a similar but certainly safer vein, having a counterweight spinning inside the cylinder or torus is probably the best solution. Put the weight on an internal track with a lower mass but higher spin velocity and you'd just have to add spin to that and let Newton's third law do the rest. O'Neill proposed linking two spinning habitats in space to keep them stable. Since building duplicate giant colonies isn't really cost effective, I thought the internal counterweight would be a good fix and it helps with spin management to boot!

To be sure , I too haven't done any maths for this. So take what I say with a Jupiter sized grain of salt.

Current Status: Highly Distracted building Gatecrashing systems in Universe Sandbox!