Community project: Metal Muse

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Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Community project: Metal Muse
I think it would be fun to do a new location project like the old Meltwater project - a small location where we describe places, people and what is going on in fairly big detail. This makes for a useful "drop in" location or a home base. My suggestion in this case is a asteroid belt habitat. They can be very variable, make great stopover points or hiding places. Some initial ideas: the place was colonized fairly early as a mining outpost (so it better be a M-type asteroid). 22 Kalliope seems to fit the bill - it also has a moon, Linus. This seems to be a great place to get a lot of metal easily, so it would be a natural place to set up industry for further colonization somewhere around BF 50. Mining companies that might have been involved or still be present include Zbrny Group (maybe they run a mysterious mining operation at Linus nobody can touch?), Triple Peaks Prospecting (they did the original 44 Nysa mining), MMX-Espaço, Lukos (now defunct), Fa Jing (of course), Carajás Mineração e Metalurgia (defunct). However, M-type asteroids are relatively poor in water and other volatiles, so the place needed to import this from the outer system or comets, making it relatively dependent on trade. As the outer system industrialized and nanotech got better demand for metal also dropped, likely driving the habitat into a depression (Detroit in space?) This might have happened around BF 20, priming the habitat to split off into independence - or sell out to someone. Then comes the Fall - refugee influx, the new owners might go bust or mutate into something else. Chaos and upheaval, potentially tensions between people aligned with the emerging PC, the Extropians and the Autonomists. Overall, I get the feeling of a fairly industrial place. Old, somewhat decaying infrastructure. A stopover point for some shipping. Perhaps a bit like a British northern town, trying to reinvent itself since the big mine closed, dealing with an immigrant population, hardcore oldtimers clinging to the old traditions, and a few people with ideas to renew the place. What do you say? Can we create an interesting environment out of this?
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kindalas kindalas's picture
I have a vision of a beehive
I have a vision of a beehive hab with a torus stuck on one end for gravity important tasks like Flats and Splicers having babies that can grow and stuff. Course with modern after FALL technology most morphs can have kids the old fashioned way (womb tanks) without needing Mars (Moon?) levels of gravity. So the previous sections that were dedicated to families and children growing up (literally) are now ultra luxury accommodations (for the Mars ring) and a series of fancy resorts and casinos (For the luner ring).
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Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
kindalas wrote:I have a
kindalas wrote:
I have a vision of a beehive hab with a torus stuck on one end for gravity important tasks like Flats and Splicers having babies that can grow and stuff.
I can imagine that the torus was also added because in the early days space colonists were not biodesigned to handle microgravity very well. So when the first mining company decided to set up shop, they might have sent a ship that was essentially a tug dragging a fairly small (ouch, more Coriolis than most people like) torus habitat to Kalliope. The torus is rotating along an axis spine which is connected to the ground. It was probably emplaced at one of the rotational poles in order to avoid torques. Over time the spine has been extended outwards to a spaceport, and inwards to the beehive. From the ground it might look like a very tall tower threading the torus. (Babies were likely not at the top of the list of priorities in the early days; I doubt many offshore oil platforms - which this was likely the most like at the start - plan for kindergartens. But gravity is very useful for many things, like keeping microgravity weakening at bay, for medicine, for some mechanical work and so on. Since this is where the hospital was, this was where the first native baby was born.) It might be that the old ring has been superseded by a newer, larger one built later.
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Course with modern after FALL technology most morphs can have kids the old fashioned way (womb tanks) without needing Mars (Moon?) levels of gravity. So the previous sections that were dedicated to families and children growing up (literally) are now ultra luxury accommodations (for the Mars ring) and a series of fancy resorts and casinos (For the luner ring).
I wonder who would want to come out here for a resort and casino? It is in the middle of nowhere. I have a hard time imagining that working unless you built a lot more infrastructure: it would have to compete against purpose-built O'Neill cylinders and habitats with far more space, water and style. But I can totally see a local group promoting the slightly hare-brained idea with sincere enthusiasm. That will not stop the ring from being the local high status place to live, of course. This is where management/government will tend to stay, and where visitors check in at the spaceport hotel (the expensive one, there is a microgravity bubble environment attached to the spine nearby that is the cheap hotel - it can offer you space, but not much else: still better than sleeping in your spacesuit or on your ship).
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Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Some more design thoughts:
Some more design thoughts: The old spine with the torus habitat and beehive underneath was the first stage of the mining. Quite soon afterwards, construction of a second spine began a bit away. This is the heavy industrial spine complex, with the cargo haul spaceport, heavy transport infrastructure and all the things you would prefer to separate from the main habitation. Extra spines might have been built during the heyday in the polar region (they are fairly easy to dock with despite the rotation). Maybe the industry even led to an equatorial catapult: the relatively rapid rotation and mild gravity would allow ore to be launched fairly easily. When things were really active there would have been an orbiting ore catch and transfer system to deliver packages to cargo ships. Energy would come from nuclear reactors, later upgraded to one or more fusion plants. Kalliope is a rich asteroid, so surface mining makes sense. Cover a section with a refinery, dig up regolith and refine it, dump tailing bricks behind. Movable refineries? Now obsolete and largely abandoned, but full of interesting nooks and crannies. The tailings also produced some local volatiles, but likely far too little and tainted with iron and nickel.
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CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Heavy industrial work means
Heavy industrial work means miners, however the dangerous conditions and the extra planetary locale would mean expertise. These wouldn't have been your mid 20th century coal miners, indentures with nowhere else to go. They would be highly educated engineers, and would require the sophisticated support networks that such individuals demand. Entertaining intelligent men and women (and octopuses) can be difficult. One avenue to investigate would be the introduction of, and mainstream acceptance of, combat and blood sports. We already see this with the relatively recent rise of MMA fighting, though historically boxing has been the king of the castle. Transhumanities ongoing battle against mortality means that even more brutal forms of entertainment become viable. Historical duelling might become in vogue, similar in style to that found in 18th and 19th century western cultures. However the rarity of biomorphs, or at least the general reluctance to unnecessarily put them at risk, would mean that combat sports between living bodies would remain unviable. Synthmorphs would not suffer from such restrictions. With a readily available source of metals (right beneath their feet), and easy access to even restricted fabber devices, ad-hoc robot fighting leagues would be an excellent outlet for the off-shift miners. The miners background in engineering, and the prevalence of robotic assistance pre-Fall, would make the miners prime candidates for running such a league. It acts as a creative outlet for the generally unchallenged workers, as each participant (or group of participants) competes against the others to build the ultimate fighting machine. It may even become officially sanctioned by the habitats owners, used as a method for having their miners blow off steam destroying each others creations. The KRL (Kalliope Robotics League, or curl) acts as the regulatory body for these fights. It is a Cooperative organisation, equally owned by its participants and governed by a board of internally elected officials. All proceeds earned by the league, through pay-per-view sales and ticket revenues, are divided equally amongst the cooperative members, with board members receiving only slightly higher shares. The KRL owns and operates the Curliseum, a refurbished dome habitat on the 'northern' rotational pole with excellent views of the space port above and easy access to the beehive habitat below. The Curliseum hosts the vast majority of KRL matches within its arena, an enclosed spherical structure half built into Kalliopses regolith layer. While the robots fight against each other in the zero-g arena, crowds of spectators can watch from the surrounding stands, cheering on their favourites and booing the losers. The KRL also broadcasts matches across the system, pulling in respectable numbers, especially on Mars. Edit- Sleep time, will expand on later. My idea is that though the KRL has an effective stranglehold on operations at the moment, some of the larger Martian combat sports corporations are trying to get a foothold. Bloodworks Inc. in particular has shown interest in completely absorbing the KRL into their fold. Opinion is split within the league, with some of the newer Post-Fall members looking for a payday (so they can get the hell off of the rock), while the older members just want to keep their league to themselves. There is also some tie-ins with how Kalliope suffered during the fall, with KRL robots being subverted by the TITANs and set against the transhuman populations of the asteroid. Some citizens feel that the KRL remains to be a threat, and advocate for its complete shut down. One or two matches have had to be called off due to anonymous terrorist bomb threats. Occasionally rogue 'bots are still found on the surface of the asteroid by the miners, encounters that usually end in the temporary death of at least one miner.
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Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
KRL has potential. Overall,
KRL has potential. Overall, the early miners had to use a lot of telepresence systems and robotic mining tools (when I went down deep into a mine a while ago I found an office of Facebook-updating miners controlling drilling rigs remotely - and that was on benign Earth). So besides building habitat, they likely set up some robotics factories too. Transporting heavy equipment far is expensive, so it is better to make it locally. This was also long before fabbers became really good, so they were actual factories (although very automated by our standards). So Kalliope was not just a mining hub, but a producer of heavy robotic equipment. Not so much tiny bots for fine manipulation, but the trucks, shuttles, maintenance crane-spiders and super-drills you need to convert asteroids into metals. (Some people no doubt expressed their desire for the dainty by making tiny clockwork devices and mini-bots). Perfect raw materials and skills for microgravity fighterbots. Incidentally, KRL is likely dominant in the zero- and micro-gravity form of robotic fighting, but other places dominate the gravity version. Fans of the different styles have very loud disagreement about which is coolest. The robotics industry likely suffered the same ups and downs as the mining: when micromanufacturing became possible there was little need for shipping robots across the Belt, and companies likely poached many of the best robotics engineers and designers who lived on Kalliope. There might actually be one or two of them who made it big elsewhere who still remember their old home and like the KRL. One great thing about having people around who know their way around robot jamming and controlling battlebots is that during the Fall they were pretty capable at fighting subverted machines. And since Kalliope did not use super-smart devices but largely had big, slow mining equipment and a few battlebots the downloaded enemy AIs actually were at a disadvantage. Had they managed to crank up production in the Yuding Complex the asteroid would likely have been overrun, but the heroic counter-attack led by Heather Misselhorn managed to blow it up before they had the chance to upgrade it. The battle of Yuding is still the stuff of local legend, shame about what happened to Heather later on. Another creepy aspect of the local robotics industry is of course that the Zbrny Group buys a lot of equipment - not entire robots, but quite a bit of space-rated actuators and other parts. In fact, without the corporation the local industry would be in worse shape. But most people wonder exactly what they are selling to. In fact, there have been a few attempts by curious people to sneak in surveillance microdevices in the parts. But so far the quality control of Kalliope Mechatronics has caught them before transferring them to Zbrny - KM does *not* want anybody to upset their big customer, no matter how strange they are.
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Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Kalliope Mechatronics
Kalliope Mechatronics Kalliope Mechatronics ("KM") is the current name for the robotics/automation co-op that is the biggest exporter of Kalliope. It has its roots in Ha Fung High Precision Automation Group Ltd and Miracle Intelligent Equipment Inc., two Chinese manufacturing firms that established themselves on the asteroid in the early days. Ha Fung was a subsidiary of Triple Peaks Prospecting, later sold to Evraz Space. Miracle was part of the Xíngdòng Group, a major space exploitation group with strong ties to Chinese state interests (although it can be argued that the power flowed the other way). The Fall annihilated both Evraz and Xingdong, leaving the industries apparently ownerless. An ongoing legal case on Progress has Fa Jing claiming ownership over the assets of Xingdong, but are being fought by the Prosperity Group; were Fa Jing to win KM might be in trouble. KM was formed by Dipak Verma, a former Monolith Industries executive. During the Fall he was one of the few who saw the overall picture: while his staff were busy fending of the infowar attacks that crippled his organisation and later the whole population fought against suborned automation, he quietly gathered information and shared it with community leaders. He understood that what was happening would destroy the legal ownership structures and - if anybody survived - lead to a new political order. He sought out people who might help keep key industries functioning, and when things calmed down floated the idea of turning them into co-ops, at least for the time being. He ended up in charge of picking up the pieces of the automation industry. KM has central offices in the torus, but most activity happens in the different factories, especially the Miracle Complex a few miles away from the main polar settlement. This is where surviving equipment from the Yuding Complex was moved, creating a somewhat makeshift but functional manufacturing environment. Of course, some critics worry that the equipment might have contained seeds for new awfulness, but over the years the fears have abated. KM is a heavyweight in local business since it produces exportable goods. Automation parts are useful for belt miners, the various habitat projects and the transport industry. KM might not be able to make the most advanced things, but it can compete for heavy equipment. Still, the capacity is rarely met, and some of the factories are semi-mothballed. Unsurprisingly KM is a major sponsor of the KRL. It donates not just prize money, but also equipment, parts and repair facilities (of course, plenty of participants also work for KM anyway). Mr Verma has the nickname "nucleus" - he is one of those people who always seem to be at the center of things. Often he is sitting in the waiting area outside his formal office, talking with visitors as a group. He is a long-range planner and thinker with a strong survivor streak: he might have been a megacorp executive, but he seamlessly turned himself into a community leader (many autonomist belters can't imagine that he once was an executive). He doesn't care about wealth, but rather safety for himself and his family. This primarily about good connections: as long as the community want and need you to succeed, you will never lack allies. While an agreeable man he does have a business and politics vendetta against Samuel Holder and Jelani Nerva.
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bibliophile20 bibliophile20's picture
Whenever you have a large
Whenever you have a large habitat, there are a number of things that need to be handled and managed on a day to day basis--food, air, water, even the kinetic energy of launches and dockings to avoid unbalancing the spinning body of asteroid. On Kalliope, the man in charge is Lawrence Owens. He is generally regarded as a fixture of the place, and the man to talk to about day-to-day concerns in the habitat. A systems engineer by trade, Owens is some mixture of British, Scottish and Welsh in his ancestry, and comes from a long line of miners, welders and engineers. Some of his prized possessions are a set of Earth artifacts that he brought with him when he first came to Kalliope almost 30 years ago, family heirlooms and ancestral "good luck" pieces that have been passed down for the last several generations for which he was willing to sacrifice precious baggage space. These items include several such treasures as a 20th-century-era hard hat (first worn by his great-great grandfather, who deemed it a lucky hat when a load of falling bricks all managed to miss him), an equally ancient and well-made slide rule from the same ancestor, and a mixed set of jeweler's tools that originally belonged to a great-great granduncle. Owens, who is presently sleeved in a Bouncer-class modified clone of his birth body, has short-cropped brown hair, pale skin, abundant freckles, and a small but twice broken nose, this last courtesy of a couple of bar brawls from Kalliope's occasionally rambunctious miners. Over the years, he's outfitted his current sleeve with an enormous sensor suite, including nearly every enhanced sense on the market, as well as other modifications that can and do allow for a no-suit EVA. Personality-wise, he has two settings: on-duty, being meticulous, tidy, and organized almost to the point of being neurotic, and off-duty, jocular, apt to tell off-color jokes and long-winded stories when under the influence of intoxicants, and generally more easy-going. He does have a noted proprietary interest in the habitat itself, and endangering the habitat is essentially the only way to get him angry, which expresses itself as a cold, meticulous, merciless fury. He has banned several transports and their captains from ever docking at the habitat due to their flagrant disregard of safety regulations, and, once (only once, during the Fall) spaced a man for criminal endangerment of the habitat. Finding him in person usually means tracking down his current location--a behavioral quirk from to having been in space since before the mods for combating zero-g degradation were developed means that he tends to exercise compulsively, and he also doesn't fully trust spimes and other systems to report accurately about environmental conditions in their spaces. Therefore, these days, he combines the two into a regular route throughout the entire station, checking every public compartment and many private ones (with permission, although suddenly blocking him out of a compartment for his cursory check is a sure means to attract attention), just to make sure that everything is as it should be. These informal inspection cycles tend to take about three weeks to a month, depending on how his other duties are going. Most people aboard the habitat are glad to see him pop by for a visit, since any complaints about conditions logged with him in person tend to be approved and fixed noticeably faster. One of the early members of the KRL, he has thus far managed to avoid appointment to the board, despite occasional attempts at ambush appointments, claiming that "it would be too much like work". His entries into the combat arenas tend to be arachnoids of varying sizes. He is on good terms with Mr. Verma, and the two can regularly be seen conferring regarding the current state of the habitat.

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -Benjamin Franklin

Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
The Woods
The Woods "The Woods" were the main hydroponic facilities of Kalliope. The first hydroponics were originally constructed from standard hydroponics modules used in Earth orbit and attached to the old spine, but as the population grew underground facilities were made at Warren Prime. They were shafts lit by artificial sunlight and kept in optimal conditions, typically with roots growing in rockwool and tended by robots. The local company Farmdominium ran the first, later getting competition from Arbortech and Volksgarden. During the depression years the Woods still functioned, but declining demand and a long series of ownership changes made the place somewhat worn. The Volksgarden module was turned into community gardens: popular among the locals (spacers love greenery), but messy and improductive. The local constabulary successfully kept them from being used for drug production, mostly because most producers grew drug plants at home instead (or relied on yeast cultures: yeasting was, and still is, a mainstay among the addicts of Kalliope). During the early months of the Fall the growing failures of automation affected the Woods, but it was at a manageable level. When the "main attack" came the local automation was completely subverted: while it managed to kill a few people by poisoned produce, it was mostly physically dangerous. It was relatively easily disconnected. Unfortunately this killed the system. Without the automation the plants died, leaving dark tunnels filled with stinking rot. Since then the Woods have been a sore point among the inhabitants. The "restorers" have tried to amass rep and resources to return the shafts to green glory, while the "relocators" have aimed for making new, modern hydroponics facilities and the "refurbishers" aim at covering all public spaces with bioengineered greenery. All agree that it would be great to set up a new system (fabfood is not that great), but doing it requires a cohesive plan (except for the guerrilla gardeners of the refurbishers, who just plant stuff anywhere it will grow - unfortunately plants need expensive water). Some experts from the Progress Group and Arbortech have sketched out solutions, but they would involve hypercorp ownership of the hydroponics. Localists resist that fiercely. The current state of the Woods is a number of eerie, dark and dusty shafts. Most of the water has been pumped away and cleaned, but there are always damp regions. This is an environment of fungi and dark-adapted space roaches, as well as broken machinery nobody is entirely sure is completely free from TITAN taint - even if it were safe, many people remember how it disassembled old Cáel Kweku. The local kids still send each other on dares to go down to the supervisory module where it happened.
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mrobfire mrobfire's picture
This sounds like a great plan
This sounds like a great plan and I'd love to contribute. I'm not sure what the overarching theme / structure we're going for is. With Meltwater it was a backwater town on Mars which has some fairly clear implications on what the town will be like. I'm not as sure what we're aiming for with 22 Kalliope. I'd envision a large group of Mutualist collectives attempting to live in harmony without the "standard" extropian holding company that can act as a last ditch arbiter and provider of community services (e.g. Extropy Now). It'd sort of act as a border zone between the Anarchist and Extropian strains of thought in the Autonomist Alliance. An area where you might pay rent on your apartment while providing your fair share of air to community transit tubes. I figure there would also be some later true anarchist arrivals to mix it up a bit. Maybe that's not what you all had in mind though? Also, I'm not exactly sure what Verma's role is. Is he the head member of KM that helped organize (or inspire) the formation of other co-ops so that the economy wouldn't completely collapse or were you imagining a different legal structure?
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
mrobfire wrote:This sounds
mrobfire wrote:
This sounds like a great plan and I'd love to contribute. I'm not sure what the overarching theme / structure we're going for is. With Meltwater it was a backwater town on Mars which has some fairly clear implications on what the town will be like. I'm not as sure what we're aiming for with 22 Kalliope.
Me neither, I am open for discussing it. So far I have been thinking of a somewhat depressed former industrial place - not quite Detroit, but perhaps Liverpool or Newcastle (less certain what a good US example would be). Meltwater was a boomtown: small, but rapid growth. This is more like stagnation and attempts to get out of it.
Quote:
I'd envision a large group of Mutualist collectives attempting to live in harmony without the "standard" extropian holding company that can act as a last ditch arbiter and provider of community services (e.g. Extropy Now). It'd sort of act as a border zone between the Anarchist and Extropian strains of thought in the Autonomist Alliance. An area where you might pay rent on your apartment while providing your fair share of air to community transit tubes. I figure there would also be some later true anarchist arrivals to mix it up a bit.
Good point. We still have not settled for governance. A mix might be interesting: different habitat units (each somewhat self supporting), perhaps the remainder of people from pre-Fall or pre-depression companies (suitably mixed and merged), then linked by an ad hoc council.
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Also, I'm not exactly sure what Verma's role is. Is he the head member of KM that helped organize (or inspire) the formation of other co-ops so that the economy wouldn't completely collapse or were you imagining a different legal structure?
I think he is just a competent and influential guy. He was likely involved in the formation of the current structure and wields more influence than most, but he is not in charge by any means. That was why I mentioned his rivals. Maybe some of the collectives are not at all getting along. Some might not even be mutualists.
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Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Mabella and Samuel Holder
Mabella and Samuel Holder Samuel Holder is the community leader of Mabella, one of the major settlements on Kalliope. Mabella was a second generation settlement constructed by Lukos a while after the initial base at the polar spine. Covered by a dome, it had a surface garden and seven habitation/business shafts. A subway tunnel connected it to the polar settlement and several industrial sites. The investment paid off: while not as upscale as the spine toroids, the environment attracted contracts from several engineering and ore processing companies for housing. Even when business declined Mabella worked well, although it became seedier: Tongil shaft turned into the local red light district, Jandeboer shaft was more or less taken over by a local gang, the Rhythm Crew. The Fall damaged Mabella badly. The dome was breached, Jandeboer and Avidzba were explosively depressurized, and the subway tunnel had to be blown up to stop advancing automation. Still, the solid construction and working safety measures kept loss of life low. However, the Lukos systems had been among the first to fall on Kalliope: later evidence suggested that TITANs had infiltrated the corporate management network. The local Lukos managers were also affected: the local boss Samara Taksinova appear to have been taken over by something, killing several people before escaping with two aides to the outside - she is still at large, although few believe she is still alive. Some other Lukos personnel were infected via their implants and had to be put down by an informal militia. For a long while the shafts were made unsafe by sniper fire and the fear of "zombification". After the Fall the semi-isolated Mabella struggled to survive. Necessary repairs were made and some social order returned. The result was a very tightly knit mutualist collective: when they reconnected with the rest of the settlement they had already agreed on their own stance. No outside control, nobody left behind. The rest of the Kalliopeans were somewhat bemused by the "golden spiders" (the logo of Mabella is a golden sun) but accepted them - all hands were needed after all. Over the years Mabella has regrown itself. It has a distinct identity and doesn't always play well with the other collectives. There is a ruthless collectivist streak in the golden spiders, equal part of civic pride and gang loyalty, combined with a dollop of mutualist ideas. They go for a bit more radical enhancements and wilder styles than the rest of Kalliope, yet these follow strict internal codes that are unclear to outsiders. Mabella refuses to deal with inner-system corporations or those regarded as running their errands: they have a very clear link to the Trojans instead. Physically it has expanded a new garden dome using nanoassembled films bought from the Trojans. It is essentially half a Nuestro shell anchored on the surface. It is the largest "open air" environments on Kalliope. Many of the inhabitants now live in Supra-Mabella, a conglomeration of microgravity housing climbing like a fragile tree inside the dome. Sam Holder Samuel Holder is the spokesperson of Mabella. A former psychologist in his 70s, he is sleeved in a heavily customized teen bouncer with long wavy hair. Before the Fall he was merely a local shrink; random chance put him on the path that made him who he currently is. During the worst weeks, he was essential for survival: people were stranded, demoralized and cracking up as fragmentary news of the unfolding extinction seeped in. He found a new strength in making sure people could function, no matter what it took - pep talks, psychotherapy, drugs, even some ad hoc psychosurgery for the worst cases. As Mabella rose again it was partially in an image he had inadvertently created. Or, as he would be the first to say, the spirit of the Mabella community forced his hand into making it real. Today Holder is a key part of the golden spiders. Not just a community leader or a spokesperson, outsiders find him to be a bit of a cult leader. Especially Mr Verma loathes him: he is not so mush serving the community as twisting it in his own image, in his opinion. Holder would disagree: communities are emergent entities, and their collective will - expressed through memes, reputations, microculture - will shape members who in turn freely act to enact the community. As a private individual Holder is surprisingly approachable. People expecting a mystic or charlatan instead find a somewhat odd take on old Argonaut ideas. He is intensely curious, with an overpowering desire for knowledge. Not just about science, but about people: he loves questioning and discussing, usually slowly digging into very private parts of people's lives. Not because he wants to use them or even "cure" them if they have problems, but just because he wants to know what makes them tick. Holder has an adoptive 12 year old son, Geryard, whose parents were lost in the Fall. In fact, he is the son of Samara Taksinova, but that is something Holder and the few others who know it are not going to mention. Geryard is very bright and ambitious. He is a classic cosmist: transhumanity ought to expand across the universe, filling it with life and figuring out everything worth figuring out. How well this view will mesh with the practical realities of Kalliope is another matter. Geryard has been arguing with his dad that the gold spiders ought to recruit more people - he has himself rather successfully convinced some outside youngsters about the benefits of joining the tightly connected tribe. Holder is more cautious, pointing out that mutualist cultures might not scale indefinitely, and that historically many projects of uniting people into tight social structures have led to major disasters. Geryard disagrees, and is eagerly reading up on social engineering, memetics and some of the latest ideas for cohesion management from Titan and the Consortium.
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Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Aurelius Resources and Jelani
Aurelius Resources and Jelani Nerva If Kalliope has a plutocrat, it is Mrs Nerva. She is the owner and CEO of Aurelius Resources, the sole original mining concern remaining on the asteroid. Aurelius Resources was by no means a major company: it was a late-comer, exploiting the presence of existing mining and space colony infrastructure. It mainly focused on high-value extraction (gold, platinum, iridium, rare earths, and tantalum isomers), usually buying failing parts of already established consortia and turning them around. This was how the company ended up buying a fair part of the Kalliope mining infrastructure of MMX-Espaço for a pittance, making the asteroid the main operation of the company. It might have been a minnow among the whales, but its smallness also made it survive the Fall: when things went haywire the operation on Kalliope remained functional under the leadership of Mrs Nerva. Her co-owner and husband Marcus was lost on Earth, leaving her solely in charge. Aurelius lost its other operations, either to devastation or political upheaval, but Mrs Nerva refused to give up on Kalliope. When Mr Verma proposed his co-op solutions she refused: she owned the company, and she would not give it away. Since then she has been the perennial thorn in the side to all the local mutualists and autonomists: a staunch defender of private property, adherence to prior contracts and laws, and money-based economics. Aurelius Resources maintains mining operations feeding the local industry in direct competition with several other co-ops. There are constant accusations of discrimination and dirty tricks going back and forth. The workers at AR are a mixture of oldtimers who have remained out of habit or loyalty, and newcomers who either want to get offworld credit rather than rep (a great way to get a ticket out) or Belt mining drifters looking for a job (the co-op people typically paint the miners joining AR as low-rep unmutuals). Being flexible, AR moved away from just high-value extraction and now mines anything of use. Of particular importance - and huge political friction - they have a particular strong hold on the production of radioactives and volatiles on Kalliope. While neither is truly profitable, being the major local producer gives a certain clout. Which is resented loudly. Mrs Nerva Her background is space business management and mining finance. She knows how to get organisations to work, and when they need to be sold - or just would up. She is a total realist about the value of things and people. Sunk costs are sunk, integrity means your price is very high, people respond to incentives no matter what they say. That doesn't mean people cannot be great or that friendship (even love) is impossible: it is just that there is always a pricetag somewhere. Her current situation on Kalliope is deeply annoying. Most of the formerly at least functional economy has been split up among co-ops, collectives and whatnot, run by people elected by popularity or consensus rather than real competence. There is no proper government. She has been arguing since day one that Kalliope should join the Planetary Consortium. That would solve most of the problems. Unfortunately there is definitely resistance against the idea: any vote would fail. Same thing with the Extropian system (which she anyway loathes as anarchist). She has been considering staging a coup using hired security forces, but realized that without both a fairly major supportive population segment and some external funding it would be unworkable - and likely to disrupt operations more than it would be worth. Her current social project is to promote a pro-government, pro-inner system faction in the community, but she has her work cut out for her. Mrs Nerva is a striking figure: wearing a high end sylph, elegant if conservative fashion, and with an unmistakably Old Earth Elite manner she seems like she stepped out of some Commonwealth propaganda. She knows it too: one of her most devastating weapons is her self-deprecation and humor. She can give back insults as well as she can take them too, something she has learned from years of union negotiations. On Kalliope she is a major player, constantly trying to be on top of the maneuvers of Mr Verma and the craziness of Holden. She brings in money and resources, she has offworld connections, she has vision. Yes, she could jump ship, but to her chagrin she has realized that she has an economically inefficient attachment to AR (perhaps she just hopes that if she could turn Kalliope into something grandly profitable she could rejoin the elite properly). Privately, she likes to view modern art and do virtual gardening. She has a very nice household, complete with cats and an attentive lover. Being an evangelical Christian, she attends Cristobal Bentons services (although she finds him and most of the congregation a bit too mutualist; she is increasingly downloading evangelical XP from Mars).
Extropian
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Mikko Raphael Huxley
Mikko Raphael Huxley Mikko is a spaceport-rat. He lives and works among the docking struts along the main spine, doing all the irregular tasks normal bots or telepresence rigs cannot handle. He is the guy who checks the hull seals, connects the drifting cables, grabs the malfunctioning LSM bot (again!) or repairs the spar mechatronics. Living in a space-adapted spider-like synthmorph with plenty of aftermarket enhancements he looks almost like part of the equipment. He sings songs of logistics and maintenance schedules in the port mesh, sometimes joined by a chorus of the smart parts he has reprogrammed. Mikko rarely speaks of his past, even among friends. Most people assume him to be a normal dockworker, perhaps a mildly eccentric space colonist. In fact he is the victim, or maybe perpetrator, of a complex identity theft. Back in a previous life Mikko was an ordinary worker in one of the international zones on Earth. Lured by an offer of well-paid off-world work he agreed to be an "ego-mule": a certain individual needed to get off-world urgently, but enemies were scanning egocast transmissions for the signature. Part of the individual would be hidden inside Mikko's ego when he was uploaded and sent to Ceres. This was all a lie, in order to make him unwilling to contact the authorities or subject himself to a brain scan. The real plan was to bootleg him and use him as an indentured slave - if there was no proper ego ID on record, it would be much easier to run multiples of him. Mikko woke up to find himself in a Locamus work camp somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Except that this might all have been a very clever way of smuggling an agent to the Belt, done by somebody with a plenty to hide. Shortly after arriving Mikko escaped the work camp, using skills and knowledge he did not know he had. At Pallas he met up with two other individuals, had a very mysterious conversation none of them seemed to understand or even remember, transmitted a few data files, and then left for Kalliope. It was only during the trip there he finally felt autonomy returning. Not that all that agent work had felt like any possession or compulsion: it was just second nature, something he did without thinking. Mikko took some jobs at the Kalliope spaceport, and soon settled in. He learned to enjoy the freedom of being a proper space synthmorph, made bets on the robotics competitions, invented pastimes during long waits. In the spaceport community he is a useful worker that doesn't stand out much. He is pretty happy. A more introspective or paranoid person than Mikko might suspect that the pattern of compulsions implanted in his ego are still running. He is in a perfect position to watch what is coming and going, and could easily meet up with other agents passing by. In fact, a legacy asset network for some dead (or un-dead) intelligence agency might still be running in a distributed fashion using semi-aware agents.
Extropian
mrobfire mrobfire's picture
Chris Bordeau
Chris Bordeau At the time of the fall Mr Bordeau was a top trade negotiator for the WTO whose only real discredit in the eyes of the new elite was his estranged, vocally anarchist son. While some would say that his job was waning in importance he felt a great deal of pride in his ability to get nations with few fiscal or cultural commonalities to enter into mutually beneficial relationships. When the fall came he found his antiquated skillset to be not in immediate demand and was only just able to join the crowds of infugees desperatly fleeing New York. Haunted by the ghosts of his wife and daughter he flung his mind into a world that he increasingly did not understand. Quickly buying his way out of indentured servitude by leveraging the weight his name still carried with a certain type of hyperelite he headed towards Locus with the intention of reconnecting with his estranged son Phillip; a plan which didn't work out well for either of them. After failing to have much success as a mediator in the new economy and becoming an increasing burden on his son he decided full on anarchism might not be for him. Looking for a fresh start he found himself heading to 22-Kalliope. Joining the 22-Kalliope community as a contractor at Aurelius Resources working on Business Development he quickly developed a reputation for fairness with both the mutualist and extropian communities on the asteroid. His first claim to fame was brokering a contract between AR and Koronus Collective where the KC would maintain AR's automation and advanced production needs in return for refined rare earth minerals and financial backing for some of KC's more ambitious undertakings. After negotiating the only post fall deal between AR and KM Mr. Bordeau cemented his reputation as a key middleman on 22-Kalliope. These days Bordeau can be found at the helm of his newest venture, Kalliope Mutualist Bank. Widely believed to have been founded with the hope of building a nest egg to leave to Phillip (a venture whose pointlessness he may still not recognize) he has still quickly found success as the premier money exchange and escrow service on 22-Kalliope. Recently he has been attempting to spread the banks business and has established it as a trusted banking service for independent extropian contractors in 22-Kalliope's neighbourhood. The most significant investment he has made though was the establishment of the Kalliope Mutualis Bank's own reputation servers. Predominantly tracking reputations through the autonomist network he has especially attempted to hone in on what he calls the "escrowed reputation" market. While many call his attempts to create closer ties between the autonomist alliance factions foolhardy he was able to broker a series of trades where a delivery of some high end automated repair bots to a passing scum swarm led to the delivery of some similarly high end drugs to Locus for the purpose of what he calls a "truly epic" party. While many of his former hypercorp friends would see investing in @-rep as a foolhardy pursuit some, including Mr. Verma, believe that KMB has the potential to be the lever needed to push 22-Kalliope's economy over the hump into self sustaining growth.
Hapax Legomenon Hapax Legomenon's picture
Where is 22 Kalliope in the
Where is 22 Kalliope in the belt? And what sort of population would you expect - in the hundred thousands? Millions? Is this more 'a large town but now the mill has closed so it's dying off' or is it a big city where the main industry has dried up but there's still plenty of ancillary stuff going on? I have some ideas for some characters that I think would be good here - I'll post them as soon as I can.
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Hapax Legomenon wrote:Where
Hapax Legomenon wrote:
Where is 22 Kalliope in the belt?
It has semimajor axis 2.908886443 AU, eccentricity 0.10275256, inclination 13.710624°, period 4.9611 years, aphelion distance 3.2 AU and perihelion 2.6 AU. You can see a Java based plot at http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=22&orb=1 In short, it is pretty right in the middle of the belt. It is in between the 5:2 and 7:3 Kirkwood gap, but these are not geographically empty regions but rather empty types of orbits. It is slightly outside the orbits of Extropia, Nova York, Vesta and Ceres, a bit in the same neighborhood as Pallas (which has a much higher inclination) and 349 Dembowska (Zombieland). The moon Linus orbits 1065 km away, with an orbital period of 3.6 days and almost perfectly circular orbit.
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And what sort of population would you expect - in the hundred thousands? Millions? Is this more 'a large town but now the mill has closed so it's dying off' or is it a big city where the main industry has dried up but there's still plenty of ancillary stuff going on?
I doubt millions, since only Extropia, Locus and Ceres gets to that level. Pallas just has 75,000. If we assume a Zipf law distribution of populations, with Extropia at 10 million as #1, then if we say Kalliope is the 22nd largest (why not?) we get a population around 450,000 people. But that is likely too optimistic, since population is likely far more clumped (economies of scale and so on): I would suggest perhaps 300,000 people during the heyday and 200,000 or less now.
Extropian