The Fall brought about the collapse of the governments based on Earth. In most cases, already existing political blocs took full control of habitats. Many habitats simply established themselves as independent politically. In the case of Jupiter, surviving members of the US and South American militaries, as well as their Russian and Chinese enemies, bound themselves together as the Jovian Republic.
Memes: Bioconservatism, Fascism, Security
Main Stations: Liberty (Ganymede)
Exploiting the chaos of the Fall, a group of stations and habitats were seized in a military coup and the Jovian Republic was born. Combining terrestrial South American dictatorship with U.S. American political lobbyism, this regime quickly brought the entire Jovian military-industrial complex under its control.
Widely referred to as the Jovian Junta by the rest of the outer system, the Republic’s authorities hold a strict bioconservative stance against many transhuman scientific and technological developments. Exploiting fears engendered by the Fall, the Republic restricts access to sophisticated technologies such as nanofabrication, cloning, forking, and even uploading, and is one of the few old economies left in the system. Public communication channels are subjected to extensive censorship and travel privileges are extremely limited. Both uplifts and AGIs are strictly forbidden and treated as property without civil rights. Diplomatic relations to progressive factions remain cold; heavily-modified transhuman emissaries or visitors are viewed with suspicion at best, or simply denied access. Despite continuous reports of heinous acts of government oppression, the Republic’s intimidating military assets keep any other factions from intervening.
Memes: Reclaiming Earth
Main Stations: Erato (Luna), Remembrance (Earth orbit)
This small cluster of habitats stationed around Earth’s Lagrange points and on or in orbit around Luna formed an alliance of necessity, rather than joint political or social agendas or cultural roots. In fact, individual stations are quite diverse and sometimes polarized, as many of them cling to old Earth cultural and national identities. Due to their relative proximity, members share basic resources and services and have signed mutual assistance agreements in case of an emergency.
Before the Fall, many of these habitats were considered some of the most influential off-Earth bases. Since the Fall and the subsequent rise of the Planetary Consortium, however, the Lunar-Lagrange Alliance has become a second-rate diminished power, and is often viewed as conservative, old-fashioned, and too caught up in romanticizing the past. Lunar-Lagrange Alliance stations maintain simmering tensions and an ongoing rivalry with the Planetary Consortium, particularly those PC colonies on/over Luna and the Lagrange points. One main source of contention is the quarantine of Earth, as the Lunar-Lagrange Alliance is a stronghold for the reclaimer movement. The Lunar-Lagrange Alliance does, however, benefit from hypercorp support of its own, particularly the Go-nin Group, Starware, and the influential Lunar banking consortiums.
In addition to scientific research stations, mineral processing and refinery stations make up the majority of the Alliance’s habitats, dependent on the Lunar mining and water extraction industries. These stations took the brunt of the refugee influx during the Fall. Many remain overcrowded with strained resources, large masses of impoverished workers, and thriving criminal syndicates.
Memes: Venusian Sovereignty
Main Stations: Octavia
The system’s newest political bloc, the Morningstar Constellation is an alliance of aerostat habitats floating in Venus’s upper atmosphere. Formed after a recent series of joint vetoes from the major aerostats against hypercorp governance initiatives intended to limit aerostat self-governance, the Constellation’s joint political statement and agenda are still being discussed. While the Planetary Consortium views the formation of this new power bloc with bemused resentment, the Barsoomians on Mars and the outer system autonomists view the Venusians as free-thinking reformists rather than anti-hypercorp radicals. The population reportedly enjoys great liberties in morph and enhancement technologies together with freedom of expression of social and political ideas. The population of Octavia has emerged as the Constellation’s designated voice.
Hypercorp Council Members: Cognite, Direct Action, Experia, Fa Jing, Olympus Infrastructure Authority, Pathfinder, Prosperity Group, Solaris, Stellar Intelligence, plus a dozen others
Memes: Cyberdemocracy, Hypercapitalism, Eugenics, Security, Expansion
Main Stations: Progress (Mars orbit)
Evolved from an alliance of hypercorporate interests into transhumanity’s most powerful body politic, the Planetary Consortium today controls several habitat clusters throughout the inner system, primarily in and around Mars, Luna, and Earth orbit. The impressive space station Progress is the official seat of government and has become the symbol of the Consortium’s influence and power, even though few congress or council meets take place in the flesh.
The Consortium applies basic democratic principles supported by a real time voting system for all registered citizens. The congress and executive bodies feature a rotating cast of hyperelite politicos, gerontocrats, socialites, and even media icons. It’s a known fact that despite this political façade of a democratic republic, the members of the hypercorporate council are the true powers behind the Consortium. These hypercorps are major proponents of the transitional economy, the interdiction of Earth, and expansion beyond the gates.
Aside from economic interests, the Consortium advocates the imperative of eugenics as social responsibility and for transhumanity to reclaim its former strength and prosperity — a campaign some-times accused of euphemizing discrimination against unmodified humans, indentured infomorphs, and the clanking masses.
League Members: Ashoka, Elysium, Noctis-Quinjiao, Olympus, Valles-New Shanghai, plus over a dozen others.
Memes: Martian Nationalism
A loose coalition of the planet’s major independent settlements, elected members form a committee representing the population in matters concerning or affecting the majority of its habitats and settlements. Prominent debates revolve around the scientific approach of the ongoing terraforming process as well as trade and taxation restrictions initiated by the Planetary Consortium and its member hypercorps. The League’s committee is rarely united in its agenda and opinion, and tensions are increasingly on the rise.
The cities with strong hypercorp ties are accused of dominating council affairs, manipulating matters behind the scenes, failing to do anything about the TITAN Quarantine Zone (p. 94), and selling out Martian interests to the hypercorps and the Planetary Consortium (of which many are also part). In response, the non-Consortium cities are condemned for advocating anti-hypercorp initiatives, passively blocking terraforming measures, and for maintaining ties to the Barsoomians—the Martian underclass resistance living in the desolate and unstable outskirts.
The outer system presented an opportunity for people who wanted to set up a way of doing things that was drastically different from the authoritarian politics and sham democracies of Earth and the inner system. Far from the reach of governments and hypercorps, this frontier was populated by political radicals, social dropouts, and people who just
wanted to experiment or do their own thing. These initial habitats drew the interests of insurgents from Earth, scientists and technicians who didn’t appreciate being on a corporate leash, indentured vacworkers who sought to escape their oppressive terms of service, and even criminals fleeing hypercorp justice or forcibly expelled from inner system habitats. Their ranks swelled with every act of inner system injustice, though life on the fringe was often harsh and deadly.
Despite occasional hostilities with nationstate military units or hypercorp security, the expense of reining in these radicals and expats was too high. To some degree, their presence was useful to the powers-that-be. Breakthroughs with nanofabrication brought these libertines and fringers the edge they needed to keep their autonomy over the long-term. Once cornucopia machines were widely available, anyone had the means to support and defend themselves without relying on outside or higher authorities. Already an outpost for open source and free culture activists who fought restrictions on ideas, media, and digital content, the outer system became a haven for sharing nanofab designs and circumventing the controls the hypercorps attempted to place on their software and other digital goods.
During the Fall, many outer system habitats opened their doors to refugees from Earth. Distance and the high cost of egocasting curtailed these efforts, however, as did inner system reluctance to send potential recruits to their ideological opponents. Simple overcrowding and lack of resources drove them to push many refugees to the outer system, however, though the hypercorps weeded through their virtual infugee mobs and sent those with the highest risk of criminal tendencies or discontent with inner system life.
Though the outer system habitats run the gamut of the socio-political spectrum, four primary tendencies have emerged. The stations and swarms adhering to these ideas have bonded together under a loose autonomist alliance, a mutual aid pact to help each other in times of crisis and present a united front against the inner system powers and Jovian Junta. There is little formal structure to this alliance as an entity unto itself; it primarily exists as an assortment of joint resolutions agreed to by its various member habitats and a few ad hoc task forces dedicated to addressing a particular problem or issue and then dissolving. Delegated ambassadors act as negotiators with outside powers, but these have limited authority and are held strictly accountable.