As a conglomeration of habs from every conceivable background, Morning Star City is one of the most cosmopolitan and diverse cities in the solar system, with only a few cities on Mars competing. While the culture of the Core Habs pervades the entire city through media, many of the smaller outlying habitats cling fiercely to their own customs, even down to morph choice, and as such a walk through the fringe may lead to some sights that wouldn't look out of place among the chimerics of Gerlach.

The hyperelites are, at least in terms of body image, somewhat conservative. Aside from outlandish hair color, skin patterning or digital tattoo work, or the recent elf ear fad, there's a heavy social pressure to conform to orthohuman standards. While quite happy to indulge in all manner of bizarre simulacra in the realm of simsense, doing so physically is still a massive taboo. Cybernetics are an especially terrible gaffe. This is a heavy shift from pre-Fall hyperelite culture in the city, which pushed the boundaries of what it meant to be human on a regular basis, heavy body mods rising and falling in fads.

The middle class of Morning Star City, such as it exists, tries to ape the hyperelites as much as possible, but for a variety of reasons it's not as possible. Specialization for tasks is common, as it's the only way to keep up with the competition, and not all of this specialization is subtle. Hesperos tends to be the primary middle class hab, along with a few smaller associated aerostats.

The clanking masses and other lower-class groups, kept mostly to themselves and not affluent enough to afford massive morphological changes in most cases, are generally stuck with one morph. For some of them, this means they're stuck without even the most basic of implants, forced to rely on ectos to interact with the mesh. For others, it means that a meager Case is all they can afford (the Cytherea Dynamics Walkabout is the most popular model). For some groups, those who pushed the boundaries elsewhere before having to flee to Morning Star City as refugees, social exile as insufficiently orthohuman is their lot in life; these unfortunates in particular tend to stick together in a very clannish fashion along morph lines, and are instantly recognizable.

Social Groups

Fringe Clades

The Greys

The Greys are all that remains of a pre-Fall cult called the Children of the Communion of Stars, who believed that they had discovered the genetic code of a sapient extraterrestrial species that had visited Earth long ago. As a part of their belief system, they cloned the DNA, resulting in the classical 'grey' aliens of 20th century mythology, which they sleeved into. Examination of the DNA of these morphs pretty conclusively determines their origins as synthetic rather than naturally evolved, though the Communion naturally retaliates that an advanced race could obviously alter their own genome as desired (which is not exactly a bad argument, given what transhumanity is already capable of). The Greys live almost entirely on the aerostat Strieber. The morphs themselves are neuter, and the Greys prefer to converse over the mesh, likening it to telepathy which they attribute to the extraterrestrials they mimic (and are quite concerned that they haven't figured out a nontechnological version of it).

The Linkers

The Linkers are a system-wide clade of exhumans; real exhumans, not like the autonomists on Gerlach, but much more subtle. Generally sleeved in a specific subtype of menton morphs, they have nests all over, and Morning Star City hosts one of them. The Linkers connect themselves via forks and XP transfer, such that anything one Linker knows, another may learn with ease. They leave their thoughts open to one another, and consider privacy to be a fundamentally flawed and outmoded consideration - as such they are commonly the target of trespassing or general harassment complaints, but the consensus about the Networked is that they're mostly harmless. About the only real worry about Linkers is that they recruit, and there have been accusations that not all their recruitment drives have been exactly voluntary for the recruits involved, but this is distant rumor and has never been an issue on Morning Star City. Most transhumans who regularly spend time around Linkers screen them from the mesh, because Linkers broadcast their mental connection openly, albeit in a very cryptic and bizarre way that non-Linked transhumans generally find quite impossible to understand, and very distracting and even unpleasant to be around.


The Zeroes are the true pits of Morning Star City society, those so unfortunate that they don't even have implants to allow them access to the mesh. Generally, these are refugees from Earth, or are descended from them, and quite a few of them come from old money but were barely able to escape with their bodies, let alone any material wealth (and those who could quickly grew rich from the nostalgia value alone and quickly ditched their unfortunate fellows for Lucifer or other cities).


The Brotherhood of the Redeemed is a bioconservative activism organization with decidedly cultlike qualities. The Redeemed, as they like to be called, are known mostly for their regular scuffles with neosimians (whom they hold a particular loathing for) and for their vocal objection to any kind of neural interface technology, especially mesh implants (one of their favorite threats is to take note of the fact that, for them, driving an icepick into someone's skull is an act of devotion and salvation). A minor gang war in the fringe was started once by a Redeemer sabotaging aerostat linkages and causing a hab to break off from Morning Star City because he was convinced they were sheltering a rogue AGI. The Church of the Redeemed is a more moderate wing of the Brotherhood, which actively proselytizes and tries to convince others to forsake their implants and join the ranks of Pure Humanity. They especially target the Flat community, but most are not especially receptive because they want implants, they just can't afford them.


Ghostlink is, for those without a prospect of obtaining a new morph after death or for those without a cortical stack, quite famous and a much sought-after service. Operated entirely out of Hesperos, in the Core, it nonetheless markets almost entirely to fringe settlements, offering a digital afterlife of superior quality to those who find themselves in danger of a noncorporeal existence. Of course, anyone can visit Ghostlink via simspace, but the designers assure such visitors that the simulation is but a fraction of the total Ghostlink experience, which can be purchased as a lifetime user subscription fee which is remarkably cheap given that the contract exists in perpetuity. Still, Ghostlink users report complete satisfaction with the service, despite the fact that they prefer destructive uploading for the purposes of getting a higher resolution scan.


Neosimians of all kinds are fairly common throughout the fringe, taking menial jobs where they can get them. Other Mercurials are less common, as the City is not especially welcoming of AGI and the environment is not exactly optimal for other uplift clades. Exceptions include a small bar on the inner edge of the fringe called The Fisherman's Wife which is run by a family of octomorphs, and it has recently become popular among certain segments of the middle class who enjoy "slumming it" or doing things for shock value. Skinaesthesia's local branch is beta-testing a pod version of its popular Nevermore neo-Avian morph, designed for smaller size and therefore increased flight ability in comparatively high-gravity environments such as Venus, but these are still a rarity and not all transhumans in these morphs are actually corvid uplifts.


An umbrella term for chimeric populations that have been enhanced with conspicuous traits from animal life. Many orthohuman phenotype morphs incorporate traits lifted partially from Earth fauna (and even flora), but transgenic refers to those who take this to extremes, altering appearance and pushing function well past the orthohuman baseline.
As is common among clade subtypes across transhumanity, transgenic populations typically break down along species lines (e.g., Wolf, Feline, Arachnid), though a significant subset of the transgenic population have traits from multiple species lines, and are generally referred to somewhat disparagingly as "chimeras."
Originally a somewhat popular modification early in the singularity era, in the wake of the Fall, non-orthohuman clades are routinely discriminated against and socially ostracized by the majority of the population, seeing them as the first step to the fragmentation and dissolution of transhumanity. As a result, transgenic Ultimate factions are becoming common as they seek their own destiny.

The Upper Crust


Lucifer is the Park Avenue, Beverly Hills, and Hamptons of Morning Star City rolled into one brilliant, opalescent lighter-than-CO2 sphere. Of all the Core Habs, this is wealthiest, the most connected, and the most powerful. Those fortunate enough to live here are truly the richest among the rich, and before the current taboo against it they sported morphs so startling and strange one could scarcely classify them as human. More recognizable now but no less gaudy for it, it's their whims and games more than anything else that steer Morning Star City's path.

Evening Star

If Lucifer is Beverly Hills, Evening Star is Cancun meets Times Square with a side of Paris. Much more open to visitors, Evening Star is home to some of the finest upscale night clubs in Morning Star City, though certain clientele is… discouraged (synths need not apply). In addition, the Evening Star Kinsei Kokugikan is the official home of the Nihon Sumo Association-in-Exile, having relocated after the establishment of the Core Habs from Kamagasaki. Owing to the near-Earth gravity of Venus, it's the most appropriate place in the solar system to continue the ancient martial art of sumo, and it is a local favorite (especially among bioconservatives).


Calrissian was, once upon a time, a center of innovation in the inner system, a new Silicon Valley for the transhuman age. Like everything else, however, it's been affected by the gradual slide of Morning Star City, and more and more the design house here market to local customers over other aerocities or planets. It's still much wealthier and more productive than any middle class or fringe hab, however, holding the licenses to a number of vital technologies that, as of yet, have no open-source analog.


Cytherea was designed, more than anything, as an homage to the natural beauty of Earth before the Fall, and as such has strict rules regarding building design and environmental effects. Most of Morning Star City's park space is here, in grand tiers of greenbelts rising up the walls of the aerostat.


Technically a part of the Core Habs and still much better off than the fringe, Hesperos still hasn't properly recovered from the Accident. The skies are still tinged yellow with sulfurous leavings, so what little light gets through the other Core Habs above it is weakened still further. The hyperelites avoid Hesperos now, which has at least brought down the property values to the point where the more affluent of the middle class can afford to live here, and even the clanking masses and fringe inhabitants can talk their way in at times (though they're still far from welcomed with open arms).

Cultural Movements and Things of Import

Drug Culture


A recent addition to the lineup of less-than-legal pharmaceuticals, and one originating on Venus, if not from within Morning Star City itself. It appears as a liquid, vivid green, and is commonly distributed in vials containing about 10ccs, and is administered through injection. Attempts to analyze it or copy it in a cornucopia machine result in a unique and extremely powerful exothermic reaction that, aside from destroying the Clover, probably wrecks the equipment involved as well (more than one habitat has been breached in this manner). As a result, no one is entirely certain how Clover functions, but the general assumption among scholars is that it must be a nanodrug of some kind (the user base is not as aware of this, though).

The effects of Clover vary, but it is clear that it has a powerful mnemonic effect and it is surmised that XPs play a role in the production. Clover appears to also tap into the mesh and network the user to other Clover users for the duration of the trip, as reports of shared memories and experiences have begun to trickle in. A few batches have recently triggered minor religious experiences. No one has yet been known to overdose on the drug, but it hasn't been around long enough for the effects of long-term use to be properly understood either. Rumor has it that Clover interferes with nanomachines in the body and can lead to rejection problems, but there is no clinical proof of this (it is a black market substance, after all).

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License