Venus

Morning Star City is not the only aerostat-city on Venus, though it is the most populous. Despite distancing itself from habitats participating in the Morningstar Constellation after a series of political maneuvers left it comparatively weakened in the organization, Morning Star City does not exist in a vacuum, and trade between city-states and outposts is still an important part of the city's economic survival.

The Surface

The surface of Venus is perhaps the best analogue for the concept of Hell that can be found anywhere in the Solar System, and very few transhumans live anywhere near it, and for good reason. Nontheless, some 10,000 transhumans do, most of them involved either in research or in mining endeavors that pay enough to support the risk involved.

Tartarus

The largest surface settlement, Tartarus is perched atop the peak of the highest mountain on Venus, Maxwell Montes, in Ishtar Terra. Lying 11 kilometers above the datum, it is the coolest place on the surface of Venus, with an average temperature of 316º C and an average atmospheric pressure of 60 bars, much less than the 90+ experienced in the lowlands. Enormous veins of pyrite run through the mountain, and many in Tartarus are involved in the extraction and export via superfluid submersibles. Given its proximity, it does most of its business through the aerostat Octavia, partly the cause for the aerostat's recent surge in importance and economic activity.

The Atmosphere

Octavia

A newer aerostat, and a very successful one, much to the chagrin of those in Morning Star City. As it has increased in importance in the Morningstar Constellation, it has continuously outmaneuvered Morning Star City's attempts to shore up its remaining power, and as such there is no love lost between the ruling elite and the denizens of the shiny new aerostat above Ishtar Terra.

Ambelina

Heart of the system-wide semi-criminal syndicate called Pax Familae. It is said that the original Claudia Ambelina herself lives here, although this is less of a distinction than it might be in any other organization. Claudias and occasionally Claudes are easily found all over Venus. Rumor has it that they're behind the formation of the Morningstar Constellation, hoping to undercut the Planetary Consortium. Rumor also has it that they're behind the Linkers, or that the Linkers are behind them, or that they are the Linkers. Always unsettling but far too useful to ignore, the Family is a powerful organization on Venus.

Flyboys

A highly specialized faction of Ultimates, Flyboys mostly operate on Venus but are gradually making their presence known in the gas giants of the outer system as well. With specialized cybernetics and biomods and a Gravy-heavy diet, Flyboys celebrate the art of combat aviation, pulling Gs that no unmodified human could tolerate. Of course, drones can pull even heavier Gs, but this never seems to give them an advantage over Flyboy pilots. They have a sometimes-friendly-sometimes-not rivalry with the Soul Jammers over this point of pride. Many consider them little better than pirates, but Flyboys are very good at what they do and are quite willing to work for anyone, given the promise of a good price and a good thrill. Flyboys are commonly seen in the less savory of drinking establishments in the Fringe, looking for work or just getting shit-faced during a good game of "Dead Bug."

Orbit

Gerlach

Gerlach, the O'Neill Cylinder orbiting Venus, is perhaps the strangest place in the inner system, even more so than some fringe aerostats in Morning Star City. It is home to heavily chimeric autonomists, and while there's no social taboo against similarity one would not be thought foolish to come to such a conclusion based upon the evidence. Their dealings with the city are infrequent and are usually of a humanitarian nature, but always a cause for much attention. A bioconservative haven compared to the often extreme modifications the chimeric Gerlachs undergo, locals often refer to the autonomist clan as brinkers even though this is not even partially accurate. Whenever someone mentions "the Brinkers" in conversation, it can be taken as fact that they're speaking of Gerlachs. This attitude is even prevalent among many in the Fringe, thanks to the saturation of Core Hab media and professional meme engineering in the City, though it may be rooted in jealousy more than anything for them.

Distantly descended from a cooperative venture by German and other Eastern European states, the common language on Gerlach is a melange of various slavic languages that tends to play havoc with automated translators, which usually can't tell which of the mother tongues is being used. As a result most Gerlachs speak several languages, a trivial matter considering their advanced neural technology.

Skyhooks

The skyhooks themselves are a remainder of a much larger network of skyhooks that predates the Fall, during which many were lost. However, the remainder continue to operate much as before, and most remember Morning Star City's heavy patronage of their services in its early days, and are quite keen to maintain the relationship. As building a space elevator is impractical on Venus, the skyhooks are the cheapest and easiest way out of the planet's gravity well.

The Inner System

Mercury

A number of Mercurian mining outfits are actually based on Venus, and more than a few out of Morning Star City, owing to its legacy ties to several of the skyhooks in orbit from when the city was much more important than it currently is. They enjoy favorable tax policies as well, which helps to keep them local, and as a result Morning Star City enjoys excellent relations with many of the Mercurian hypercorps, keeping the price of high-durability alloys low.

Ultimates

Several Ultimate factions operate in the Inner System. Perhaps the most notorious and loathed in Morning Star City are the Soul Jammers, a heavily cybernetic group that specializes in involuntary puppet-sock hacking, turning the clanking masses into their weapons and tools of assassination. They are not welcome in most of Morning Star City but are difficult to keep out, especially as some biological-only factions are quite happy to use them against their synthetic enemies. A variety of hypergenic tribes also haunt the area and work in the Fringe, wildly fractious and given to infighting along lines most often drawn by species genemod. The Wolf clade is currently dominant, but the Black Widows are quietly marshaling power as well. One of the newer factions, and much despised by their fellows despite their ruthless effectiveness, are the Clan of the Drowning Blades, a group of Japanophile mercenaries who dope themselves to the gills with skillsofts ripped from martial arts masters and assassins. For all their devotion to a way of life that technically never really existed, these modern-day ninjas are quite good at quiet but exceptionally violent murder.

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