[Habitat] WIP-Amelia's Gaze (Help appreciated)

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Wyldknight Wyldknight's picture
[Habitat] WIP-Amelia's Gaze (Help appreciated)

I started working on this today but as I am not used to writing for a hard science (or really any science) setting I could use some help in flushing out this station I thought of. Any help would greatly be appreciated. So far all I’ve written is a general description, a few NPCs, and a couple of adventure seeds.

“By God’s grace may we find liberation.”

The motto of Amelia’s Gaze

Amelia’s Gaze, named after the founders daughter, is one of a handful of neoconservative habs that try to find a median between two vastly different ideologies. While it staunchly believes humanity should not forsake its roots and become something inhuman it also teaches not to ignore the advantages of technology. Death is a personal choice, though far more respected, and the few who choose a path of faux immortality sometimes feel isolated unless a public consensus agrees the individual needed to survive for the good of the group. Following this train of belief AGIs and Uplifts are given full rights as something akin to “hate the sin, not the sinner.” While they feel playing God and giving sentience to other beings was a step too far they do not treat the outcomes of these ventures as monsters, instead they try to teach them “human” values as well whatever brand of theocracy is popular in the neighborhood the Mercurial resides in. The problem with this is that both sides are constantly trying to coerce the citizens of Amelia’s Gaze to their side. This has created a micro memetic war as each neighborhood (or cluster) has its own local community leaders who help shape the public perception of their followers and need to be won over before anyone else. Each cluster is self-contained and can survive on its own but is connected to the rest of the station by way of the Hub, a localized section that is connected to all others. The leaders of each individual sector see too the daily needs of their citizens but when something involves two or more clusters a meeting is held at the Hub with two representatives from each zone. Amelia’s Gaze is, unsurprisingly, conservative in most of its laws while liberal enough that few people would truly call it oppressive in the true sense of the word. This is thanks to sections of the United States constitution being used in the first draft of the habitats charter as some of the founding members were former citizens. It has functioned as a trade location between the Junta and the rest of transhumanity thanks to its mostly neutral stance though this has not stopped it from being a prime location for the underground railroad that helps free Uplifts and AGIs from slavery. A relatively quiet location in many ways it has the charm of a small town, with talking animals of course.


AN-135 (Andrew) is deputy sheriff of the Sante Maria cluster but is also the head admin of the Amelia’s Gaze mesh since he was formerly an enslaved AGI specializing in network security. Arriving with a group of Junta refugees a few years ago he quickly made friends with a local deputy who convinced him to stay and would eventually become his boss. He is an avid supporter not just of Mercurial rights but also of the Underground Railroad which brought him to his new home. His connections go deep in the group and there are some rumors that his connections come from a much larger source because of what he is able to get access to. He regularly appears in public besides the Sherriff Gavin Fervel, a former Direct Action operative, in a quadruped (but also capable of bipedal movement) synthetic morph that resembles a large canine. It is outfitted for combat but nothing that may be considered overkill for an officer of the law.

Azhar Junapeed is an influential Imam (Islamic priest) on Gaze and one of the few Uplift religious leaders. An uplifted Sea Otter, Azhar is famous even among outsiders for both his diplomatic and debating skills. Once a student of the equally known Imam Waleed Musani, whose assassination was never solved, Azhar had been travelling for some time on a personal journey. Azhar had lost the man in his heart he called father and was searching for a new path in his life. Soon he heard stories of Amelia’s Gaze and decided this would be the place to start his new life. In his short time on Gaze Azhar has made a name for himself as a fair, judicious, Mercurial of the people. But even with a love filled community there is a part of Azhar who wishes to see those who brought death to his mentor and father brought to justice.

Calypso Halian is an ex repossessions officer or how she would put it a white collar repo woman. Her life revolved around the hunt as she went from a police detective then to an ego hunter and finally a repo man for the rich and famous. In an economy where credits are a secondary currency sometimes people get things based on false rep. Whether through a good hack or some other means the person is able to temporarily and falsely boost their reputation and gain access to something they shouldn’t. This is usually done through false identities which quickly disappear but sometimes not quickly enough. Calypso made a bundle hunting down rep forgers (or posers as some called them) and getting back what they falsely acquired. Eventually she got tired of the job and decided to retire on Amelia’s Gaze as it was out of the way, pretty friendly even with the occasional weird look, and usually didn’t see too much action. Her contacts are still active and the old (in soul) woman isn’t as rusty as one may think.

Amara Owusu is a sociopolitical expert studying what she thinks may be one of the growing focal points between the Jovians and the rest of transhuman space. A scientist at heart but currently teacher by trade Amara is writing a vast paper on the citizens and how the political pulling from both sides affect them as she also tries to educate at the high school located at the Stations hub. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and one of the few connections to normal networks. Few people know Amara’s real last name is Azikiwe and her family owns a fair amount of stock in multiple hypercorps. She told no one where she was going to avoid any political implications of her staying at such a sight but that may be impossible to avoid.

Alejandro Hokaela is the founder and current lead counsel member of Amelia’s Gaze. His own exodus from Jovian space and why he left is up to speculation but he is respected as kind leader who is not afraid to take command. Recently however Alee, as those close call him, has become more reserved and seems to be making plans late into the night. What these plans are for is anyone’s guess but something has left him looking to the stars like a watchmen waiting for the first sign of invasion.

Adventure Seeds

As a former security AGI Andrew had access to some compromising Jovian data. He is afraid the Junta may be on to his current location and asks the PCs to help lead the hunters on a wild goose chase. If the players are on the other side they won’t just be facing a skilled infosec expert but also the community that considers him one of their own.

The PCs need to get into the Junta covertly and are pointed towards a sentinel named Andrew. They have not been informed that he is an AGI and it is up to the GM whether or not that is revealed right away. With his connections Andrew can easily slip them in just as he slips people out but before they go looks like there may have been a spy aboard that last bunch of escapees. If he isn’t caught their tunnel in might collapse.

Azhar may finally have found a trail leading to the men that murdered his teacher. The PCs are hired in one way or another to use these bread crumbs and get a bigger picture of the situation. But some people want this case to stay buried and as they search the PCs may find themselves mixed into a conspiracy far greater than one would expect a holy man to be linked too.

Azhar has decided to go on a speaking tour and the PCs are acting as body guards. Things are going easily enough until an attempt on his life is foiled and now they’re afraid it may happen again. However Azhar is both brave and stubborn and will not allow these terrorists to keep him from speaking. Not only must he be protected but to keep Azhar safe the PCs will most likely have to go on the offensive against whoever orchestrated the attack.

The Jovian Junta has repeatedly tried to help support Amelia’s Gaze as a show of good faith by offering supplies and security but the citizens know better. They would probably try to use the habitat as some sort of forward station against the rest of space. Recently a signal caught by Andrew has some of the council members worried. There may be an agent of some type on board and their afraid it is from the Junta. The PCs are already on the station, perhaps coming back from another mission, and are called upon to help sort things out. Whether or not they are being paid depends on who hired them and for which side.

Calypso has a son she hasn’t seen in years and finally decides to form a better relationship with him. She pays for him to come in on a supply vessel, aren’t any body banks to ego cast too, and awaits him expectantly. Problem is an enemy from her past has received wind of this and is setting up to do some damage. If the PCs find themselves caught up in the situation and intercept the threat they may find a new ally.

Calypso has been marked for possible sentinel material but they want a better view of her in action. The PCs are sent to hire her for one last retrieval with an offer she could never refuse. They are to also back her up on said mission. Whether this is just a test or perhaps a real Firewall mission is to be seen.

Amelia’s Gaze is in lockdown and the PCs are sent in to figure out why. The last message Firewall received was from one of its sentinels (Andrew and or Calypso) saying that something was spreading through the habitat. Each cluster is locked off from the rest but the PCs are told they may be able to find answers in the Hub which is where the sentinel said to start. They could find the sentinel[s] defending what survivors they could gather along with local security, the signs of a desperate last stand, or maybe just a single witness to the horrors that took place.

Amara knows she needs to go home eventually but after news of recent political maneuvering reaches her she’s not so sure anymore. Factions within her family are looking to use her as a tool to gain more control over familial corporate assets and she could use some help. One way or another the PCs are dragged into what amounts to a political dogfight and it seems like each faction is hiring expert mercenaries in every field. From infosec experts and premier memeticists to Ultimates with grudges this is looking to be a long family reunion.

Someone found out Amara is staying on Amelia’s Gaze and they think it could be used to their advantage. A corporate princess working with bionuts? This could be political gold if the right person handles it. Too bad the right people are handling it for the opposite side as Amara (or her parents) bring in the PCs to find the leak and fix it one way or another.

There are two growing factions in Amelia’s Gaze. A more techno progressive movement and their polar opposite, a
group that calls for even more conservatism and less rights for the Mercurial’s on board. Of course this does not sit right with most people but it seems like the rivals are causing way too much chaos for such small movements. In fact some believe that a more powerful force is trying to stir up trouble in Gaze for some nefarious purpose. Looks like the PCs have their work cut out for them as they try quell the unrest while unraveling the mystery or work for their shadowy benefactor and spread a bit of social upheaval.

Comments? Ways to improve? SciFi isn’t my thing yet but I wanted to get into something new.

C-rep +1

OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Re: [Habitat] WIP-Amelia's Gaze (Help appreciated)

"Hate the sin not the sinner"
don't take this the wrong way but;
For someone who's reading your post from deep inside Mormon country you're developing a pretty compelling setting. I don't know if our local bullshit has made national news in the last several weeks but the head cleric of our most prominent farcical belief system has stuck his gnarled old foot in his dentures yet again with an outright attack on homosexuality, from the pulpit, televised.

This is the first time anyone has caused me to equate being Mercurial after the Fall, with being gay in the 21st century. Kudos. Humorously, I'm having visions of someone's mother saying; "Honey have you tried Not being an octopoid?" And with less humor this is the first timethe bigotry of EP has been fixed firmly in my mind as a sad thing in that; as with being gay, being a Mercurial means that some people cannot/will not love or respect you.

It also strikes me that religions have been conducting memewars for eons which is interesting. I'd never thought of it that way. It brings the thought that, like the quote above, so many memes will become so thin and trite that they'll devour themselves through their own propagation.

About the habitat proper. You've got the social aspects down but as a player I'd like to know more about the tangible things?
Living conditions:
Gravity environment?
Total population?
Industries, employment?

Living space and shared resources? What does it cost to get my own apartment? Do I have to share a bathroom with the neighbors? Do i have to share a fabber with the neighbors? If I bring my own living space where can I dock it?

Economy? What do they trade with the Junta that any one will bother to freight anywhere else? Where do they get their energy? What is the trade situation with those entities that sell energy? Who owns the habitat? Who owns the central hub? What are the taxes and fees?

Laws and mores? Can I fab a pistol for myself? Can I own a protean swarm? Will someone mug me if I run around the habitat naked chasing a white rabbit on a Petal trip? Am I allowed to have children, how many, with how many mothers? Which criminal syndicates have a presence? How many Alpha forks can I create?

Also where is this habitat that puts them in an advantageous location to trade with the Jovans? What do they supply to the Jovans? What do the Jovans supply to them? (These are important questions to the enterprising criminal.)

Thanks I'll be interested to learn more about this place

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

Wyldknight Wyldknight's picture
Re: [Habitat] WIP-Amelia's Gaze (Help appreciated)

Lmao, don't worry. I choked a little while writing it :P

I don't know about national but I heard about it from a Mormon friend of mine, bad juju man.

That's actually what I've been trying to do. My players made jokes about people not loving one of the characters because he's got to many arms to hug with so I wanted to make it easier for them to link this fantastic bigotry with real world bigotry. I also had thought about making a social movement within the Habitat that was trying to have Mercurials sleeved in humanoid morphs to "stop" being different in the first place like you said.

Indeed, it was something I was having trouble showing because I wasn't exactly sure how to express a memewar (new to this stuff) but I knew for a fact just from watching the news that religions use memes just as much as anybody. They may be old but all it takes is a little modern paint and they can be recycled for whatever the next crusade is. I don't think religion will just collapse, faith isn't rational that's the whole point of it. You will always find people that went through an experience which would cause them to believe some other power is out there and for all we know their right. Humanities grasp of the universe is pretty small and as far as we're concerned maybe God is/was a being or group of beings that hit their singularity and became Gods in their own right. Yes they would lose a lot of believers and some of their most effective memes would be made pointless but this is an entity that has adapted and survived in one form or another and I would be surprised to see it so easily give up.

Now see, this is where I have the most problems. Details for a modern, fantasy, or soft science setting require so little thought because they aren't that hard to figure out. This on the other hand is a completely different matter. Let's see if I can give a decent break down of this. If you have any ideas for changes please point them out, I am effectively BSing my way through this.

Living conditions: Amelia's Gaze has a strong belief in community and this shows in living arrangements. People usually live with their family, then a roommate, and only once they begin getting some seniority in the work place (people start working/being trained around 18 in whatever field they show the most promise in) around 30 do they get their own apartment. These apartments have basic amenities such a bathroom, small washer/dryer, a kitchen, etc.

Gravity environment: Amelia's Gaze was built slowly over time with a series of modules that could connect to build a larger station. Made so even those with a limited developmental budget could slowly build their new home over time. Resembling a Torus style station the gravity is strongest in the outlying sections while the hub itself practically has no gravity to speak of.

Total population: Gaze has a population pushing 5000 but this fluctuates as people die, leave, or new people come. The population also ebbs and flows as refugees come and go, usually by a little but sometimes by a fair degree depending on the size of the run. To keep population in check there is a limit on how many children that each family can have based on the expected mortality rate done in a simulation by Andrew. The basic citizen does not know this but a select few on the counsel including Alejandro know but choose not to tell anyone for fear of the reaction. It is the rational and logical thing to do but most people may not see it like that.

Employment: A communal habitat, jobs are based on a persons personal skill and also what they show in interest in. Essentially someone will find themselves placed in one of 5 public service teams.

Management: Exactly what it says on the tin. This is for individuals who show they have the skills to make sure everything works how it should and everything is done when it should be. Most who find themselves here are natural leaders and or bureaucrats. It is also in charge of logistics and acquiring licenses.

Agriculture: Each section has a hydroponics and micro farm where specially designed live stock (need less space/water/food) are raised so even in case of total lock down they may survive on their own. Probably one of the most important teams it also has teams of biologists who work in the small biology center in the Hub where they work on ways to make food production more efficient.

Security: A mix of police, headed by the Sheriff Gavin, and mesh security, lead by Deputy Andrew, they have a number of responsibilities aside from public order. The station security is a catch all term for any job that protects the citizens including fire watch and customs.

Maintenance: In charge of repairing everything from the toilets to mesh hardware these citizens keep everything running. Not much to say about them, there is usually a small team on call in each cluster that does more basic repairs with the more advanced workers doing anything involving EVA.

Media: While Amelia's Gaze can receive entertainment from elsewhere there are some memes and culture that make entertainment built for the locals necessary. They also make sure that the news is up to date and that incoming entertainment lives up to their standards. Minimal censorship is the key as they do not want to be lumped in with the Jovians fanaticism.

Industries: While limited in production Amelia's Gaze does see to the creation of a large surplus in real meat and produce. Some had never seen an actual tomato before visiting the station and they have made a sizable income merely on selling off what they don't need. It also has a small tourist trade as some people are fascinated with seeing a community where death is still a part of the social fabric and some have never seen an elderly individual outside of history programs.

There is a community fabber in each section. You essentially send the information of what you need and you should receive it by the end of the day. Archaic to someone outside of the station yes but the community sees it as a necessary control over such a powerful piece of technology. Remember they are still pretty conservative even if they do have an Uplifted Sea Otter as a priest.

Connected to the hub is something like a rod with numerous docking points attached. This allows easier control of who comes and goes as there may be multiple docking points but only one way to go in and out.

It's not so much that they trade rare cargo with the Junta but more of a sociological thing. Some people just don't like dealing with things they considering weird or out of place and would like to trade in a location closer to home at least in feeling. With a very small mercurial population and everybody in flats (or at the very most slight genetweaked flats) this would be a staunchly bioconservative traders first place to want to meet if given the option to choose.

As each module was designed to exist on it's own they each have a small reactor that gives them the power they need. They aren't completely insular but they don't like having to deal with corporations muscling in on their home so they try to avoid needing to buy energy from elsewhere. In many ways they're a lot like friendlier brinkers. The Hub was a new addition to act as a central point to the then growing station so each cluster had to help pay for it. As such each group owns a fraction but it does not belong to anyone in specific.

Ah, taxes and fees. This one I really have no idea about. I mean it's a communal station (there's a name for them somewhere in the book but I can't remember) so I suppose taxes would be rather limited. Most of the money gained from agriculture and tourism goes to paying for repairs, more advanced public equipment and the like. After that each citizen get's a sort of tax refund since they believe everyone's work is important. The extra credits aren't anything huge but the extra cash builds up over time so people can buy things you can't get on the station. Citizens importing anything have very small fees as management understands money is limited. On the other hand foreign traders are taxed much more but nothing that would turn them away.

Anything stronger then a basic melee weapon can only be carried by security and if you're from off station you need to have your weapons left on your ship unless you're given a temporary pass from Management which must be approved by Security. This is a conservative station so forks above Delta are prohibited unless given a special temporary license ok'd by at least two counsel members. Nanoswarms of any sort are restricted to jobs where they would be needed unless given a license similar to the one involving weapons.

You won't get mugged but odds are you would be temporarily put in a cell and be put on probation for public recklessness and disturbing the peace. Most drugs and alcohol are looked down on though they can be procured as long as they don't have any overly harmful side effects. For example anything akin to weed would be legal while cocaine and heroin would not.

Number of mothers, huh, didn't think of that one. I would assume it depends on the religion or just on the community of whichever section you live in. The number of children I already went over but in the case of wives public opinion has a lot of pull which would influence a persons decision. As for criminals the station has a strong small town feel to it. Anyone who tried to deal in any criminal dealings (outside of the railroad which is sort of known in the right circles) would be kind of obvious and most likely kicked out because of it. Visitors on the other hand are a different matter. Smugglers trying to get things into and out of Jovian space make regular visits which boost the economy. As long as it doesn't put it's people at danger the counsel has been known to turn a blind eye to the black market dealings.

The station itself doesn't do much trading with the Joves but acts as a meeting place for parties interested in business with the Jovians and vice versa. They have tried to avoid direct Jove influence on anything having to do with the station as I wrote above they're afraid of the implications that may follow. They receive small supplies of surplus weapons, armor, and ammunition but sometimes they will buy these from the smugglers that pass through to keep the business with the Junta even more limited. The reputation among criminals is odd, if you get caught you're screwed but if you make the right calls before hand expect a friendly town with small black market connections. Some think it's to good to be true others just say it's a bunch of bionuts with odd ideas of right and wrong. Either way a criminal could make a good amount of credits if he knows who to talk to there.

Location wise I would need a map which I don't have. If I could get one I would give it a location. If you have an idea of a good one that would be nice.

So any other comments?

C-rep +1

OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Re: [Habitat] WIP-Amelia's Gaze (Help appreciated)

Here's a pretty fun scale map of the inner system, the belt, jupiter and it's trojans

Here's some helpfull information on juipiters magnetosphere

And here's a good general primer on Lagrange points.

I don't know where I'd place your station. It seems necessary that people from Jupiter travel there physically but the configuration makes it difficult to shield propperly in a jovan orbit because of the magnetosphere. The L4/5 points are probably too far away to make sence. Perhapse it could work at the Jovan Lagrange 1 point. but I'm not sure that's far enough out.

Interesting stuff. I'll look forward to further developments.

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

Sepherim Sepherim's picture
Re: [Habitat] WIP-Amelia's Gaze (Help appreciated)

It's an interesting habitat indeed, but having religion such a high importance I miss a bit of description into what the main reliogions in it are, and what conflicts or problems may arise between them. :)

Oh, and you should consider posting it in the EP wiki like I did with mine, so people can look for it in the future once this post gets too old to be found in the forums: http://www.firewall-darkcast.com/wiki/eden

Oh, and +1 c-rep for you :)

The mind is information... hack it!

Wyldknight Wyldknight's picture
Re: [Habitat] WIP-Amelia's Gaze (Help appreciated)

To fix the location issue would it be plausible that instead of a specific habitat it's more along the lines of a wandering scum barge? You know, without the scum part. I am having issues trying to give it a specific area and that could fix it. A bunch of smaller ships connected to a much larger ship. For the sake of price they're probably pretty old but kept in working order. Another question, can a hab be mobile? I mean if you stick an engine to it whats the difference between it and a ship? I was thinking this as I remembered once one of my players had an idea to destroy an infected station by making a controlled explosion within the core and slowly forcing it out of it's orbit so it would crash into a planet.

Well imagine each cluster like a cleaner version of a Brazilian favela, cramped but not cluttered. Each has it's own culture usually based around what countries they originally came from or what kind of religion they were raised with. I thought I was use the most prevalent religions today so the majors would be Christianity (a mix of all the sects including Catholicism since they lost so many members), Islam (both sects), Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, and let's throw in some Neo Paganism for good measure.

As for conflict look at the news today, now make these people a little more agreeable (they would have to be more liberal to have Mercurials living with/leading them) and then stick them in a rather confined space with each other. While being more agreeable is nice being placed so close to one and other cannot be good for one reason or another. Some of them, Buddhists for example, probably wouldn't care at all but then you have your more vocal members in the Christians/Islam areas. I'm not completely sure what kind of things could rise from this considering they need each other to survive but I'm sure a creative GM could make a mission out of what I hand them here.

Also, thank you for the rep. I could use it haha.

C-rep +1

Sepherim Sepherim's picture
Re: [Habitat] WIP-Amelia's Gaze (Help appreciated)

Yes, a habitat can be mobile, there should be no problem in that. The Babylon 5 tv series, for example, featured one such mobile space station (Babylon 4).

As for religion, I believe that the key to making this habitat really interesting is precisely not using religion as it is in modern times, but instead basing out of how it is in EP. For example, Buddhism is the major religion, while Christianity, Islamism and Jewish religions have lost a lot of power. Probably the new point of view of people about questions like death (and the afterlife), reincarnation/reinsleving, etc. has modified very deeply all those religions, making them a completely new thing that can be played well into the habitat to make it more interesting.

Of course, it could also be portrayed as a defender of the "old ways of religion" as more like they are in now days, but that would give raise to a new and interesting set of problems, conflicts and issues to revolve around that could also be the focal point of thousands of new and interesting conflicts and gaming sessions.

The mind is information... hack it!

Wyldknight Wyldknight's picture
Re: [Habitat] WIP-Amelia's Gaze (Help appreciated)

Huh, a mobile habitat. I actually kind of like that idea. In fact I may run with it. Could make a good mission where the pilot AI goes nuts while the PCs are on board and they have to stop it before the Hab rams into something like another station.

I never thought of something like that. I think you could merge both of those ideas. With the defenders becoming such because of the ways these once less popular religions are taking the power they used to hold. They considering themselves the old guard for (in some of their minds) truer faiths. It would be an idealogical civil war between those who just want peace and more extremist groups. How do you think the Judea-Christian beliefs would adapt in such an environment?

The station could be introduced to the players as a somewhat backwards but peaceful place where the old and new world mix through a mission or two. The players move on but every once and a while they pass through the station again when having to deal with Jovian forces or maybe the station happens to be in their neighborhood as it passes by. Each time they see it progressing from a nice place to retire to a station gripped in social upheaval and as foreign powers see a chance to push their influence full on civil war.

What do you think?

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