Beta@Titania Mesh > Infodump > Jovian Republic
I have been observing a common thread of negative subtext amongst my colleagues regarding people living in the vicinity of Jupiter. Given my personal experience with their operatives, the vernacular perceptions did not sufficiently align, so I thought it would be wise to attempt a more in depth observation in order to better understand their motivations, capacities and general nature. Using an alias, I have gathered and compiled a series of communications and documents that are related to the topic at hand.
Sender: Gabi Honrado
Recipient: [Alias Deleted]; cc Beta 317
Header: Jovian Population, In-group Bias and Common Themes
No doubt the first thing you think of when you hear the words "Jovian Republic," is a group of sinister looking individuals huddled around a table in a dark room, scheming new ways to do terrible things to their bio-liberal and AGI enemies. With an attitude like that, you're not going to last two minutes past landfall. Even if we were able to assume that the party loyalists are all alike in their wicked ways, they actually only make up a fraction of the Republic's total population. Citizens can come from a variety of different backgrounds, refugees, laborers, the destitute, so dispel your notions of in-group bias right now because they're not all the same.
Most of the Republic's citizens are laborers, as there is plenty of work to be done in Jupiter orbit especially given their restrictions on AGIs, forks and autonomous systems. Life can certainly be harsh there, but in spite of their heavy handed control over all transportation in the system, many of the people who want to leave eventually find an opportunity. Either by ego-casting out on a black market caster, or booking passage on a merchant freighter under the table or otherwise. Believe it or not, while the Junta enjoys the scapegoat that dissidents provide (some of which I suspect is orchestrated by the state anyway) for the most part they are happy to be rid of mundane troublemakers.
Party members make up only a fraction of the total population, having proven their loyalty to the ideals and the mission of their government. Still, there are a number of different reasons why people choose to not only stay in the Republic but actively support it. Even among party loyalists there are people with differing priorities. Understanding these motivations will play an important role in blending into their society.
There is certainly a wide selection of hateful, spiteful, bitter individuals within the Republic who despise the lifestyles practiced outside of their borders, but that is not at the root of the issue. The root of the issue is LOVE. I don't mean the crass lust for possessions displayed by the inner system elite or the attractions of opportunity that cross paths between autonomists, I am referring to an unconditional love for human kind. Unconditional love requires one to accept the flaws of something as well as its merits, so like the intentional imperfections of ancient eastern art, the drawbacks of the human condition are part of what make it endearing to them. It is an emotion that their agents in the field are adept at exploiting, often in an ephemeral sense, but sometimes in a basic manner in order to gain the support of outsiders.
The Jovian army is certainly very aggressive and some might even say belligerent, and indeed many of them would like to wipe certain other factions from existence, but what drives this tendancy is a strong sense of belonging and duty stemming from a belief in UNITY and the fear of its loss. It is a very simple equation for them, difference equals conflict. You might say that it is a conflict of their own design, but for them it is anchored to a historical perspective. To many of their party loyalists, diversity is synonymous with war, suffering and death, and waging war against those diverse elements is seen as a pre-emptive strike against what would inevitably be an even more devastating exchange. I know that I said earlier that the Jovians are not all the same, but this is one thing that they either believe or at least pay lip service too. To do otherwise would be to admit disloyalty to their cause and by extension their leadership.
Given their tenuous position as a power in the solar system, SECURITY is a major concern, much more so than meager things like individual rights. Much of the population is glad for the protection and more than happy to waive any claim to civil liberties in the face of existential threats. Threats that the discontent are reminded of by the party's propaganda machine. Most of the time, however, citizens are happy to exercise their right to ignorance. If ignorance is bliss, then the carnivale of the goat should try making a pit stop around these parts every once in a while. This barrier against the truth allows the populous to engross themselves in other interests like jump ball. (A full contact sport played in freefall on a field consisting of two counter rotating cylinders separated by an obstacle strewn midfield)
There are still some de-facto rights that people maintain. For those escaping from the inner system, reproductive rights are a big hit. Jupiter is one of the few places where a traditional family structure is still seen as normal. They aren't letting their future go to chance, however, given the slow rate of growth inherent to the natural method and their reluctance to utilize certain technological alternatives. Even people who do not choose to rear children of their own can be conscripted to donate their DNA in the interests of preserving the pure human gene pool. What started shortly after the fall as a small group of people volunteering to be professional surrogates has quickly grown into a large scale reproduction enterprise. The children from which have been organized into state operated creches and are expected to be fast tracked into government or military service in the upcoming years as they slowly mature.
Sender: Marcus Gupta
Recipient: [Alias Deleted]; cc Beta 317
Header: Transcript of: Training Simulation Debriefing
Marcus: "I see that things didn't quite go according to your plans, did they? Can anyone tell me what went wrong? Silvia?"
Silvia: "It was an unfair simulation. The Jovians had superior numbers, their ships were too advanced and the AI performed unrealistic suicide maneuvers."
Marcus: "Hmm, that is an interesting hypothesis. It is unfortunately incorrect, but I think we should go over some of your assumptions and analyze them one at a time. Starting with the first, superior numbers, does else have a comment on Jovian numerical superiority? Nigel, please speak your mind."
Nigel: "Well, intel suggests that the Jovian navy outnumbers our own by nearly 3 to 1. Our current defense strategy assumes eventual assistance from ultimate mercenaries, but I don't see how it is possible to delay such a recklessly aggressive enemy."
Silvia: "Exactly! The AI assumes that they wouldn't care about death, even though we know Jovians are no good at keeping backups."
Marcus: "Please, one at a time Silvia. Nigel is correct about Jovian fleet numbers, estimates show that the Jovians may have the largest space fleet in the entire solar system, and even though they would be foolish to focus all their assets in one place, any actual engagement we participate in will likely be against a more numerous foe. Now Silvia, about their tactics, are you referring to the method they used to counter your leap-frog joust?"
Silvia: "That is part of it, they should have split their formation. Instead they just sacrificed their lead craft. I find it hard to believe that people would throw away their lives so trivially."
Marcus: "I think that in most cases you might be right, but the Jovian military is not a normal case. Does anyone else think they can shed light on this? Mackenzie, you look like you have an answer."
Mackenzie: "Well, um, I imagine they must use some form of brainwashing or neural implants to induce an aggressive state. I mean, I know they do stuff like that."
Marcus: "It is true that the Jovians have been known to use techniques like that, however, that is really more in the arsenal of their secret operatives. Any other possibilities? Nigel?"
Nigel: "It could be something like religious fanaticism."
Marcus: "You are partially correct, though even in the Jovian Republic, religion has only a tenuous foothold. Perhaps I can answer with a question. Silvia, your file shows that you have the latest in augmented neuro-transmitters. Why is that?"
Silvia: "I want to have the cutting edge, to be better than my opponents."
Marcus: "But the bio-conservatives don't believe in augmentations, why do you think that is?"
Silvia: "It is because they are crazy, plain and simple."
Marcus: "Some of them may indeed be crazy, I won't dispute that, but I think there is another possible reason for their reluctance to change themselves. It is because they hold an ideal in higher regard than their own self. The ability to value something besides ones self in higher regard than the self makes self-sacrifice very possible."
Silvia: "I... that doesn't... I'm not sure I want to concede that point, but for the sake of argument I'll let it go for now."
Marcus: "Very well. Now lets move on to your last contention, the advanced nature of their ships. Why would you think that their equipment would be less effective?"
Silvia: "They are technologically backwards, are afraid of new things. It is common knowledge."
Marcus: "For many things that is true, but can anyone account for why the habitat on Pinochet is noted for its avant garde architecture? Nigel?"
Nigel: "It is because they're control freaks. They don't mind things that are easy to manipulate and don't think for themselves."
Mackenzie: "That doesn't explain it.... Er...I mean..."
Marcus: "It is alright Mackenzie, please, this is an open discourse."
Mackenzie: "Well, it is just that we've had access to the Pandora Gates for years now, but our own space craft are still using orbital transfers that are old as space travel itself."
Marcus: "You bring up an interesting point, though perhaps there is some truth to what both of you are saying. It is true that while many technologies are repressed in the Jovian Republic, they are actually very supportive of technologies that are easy to assert control over, and Mackenzie is right, space is ruled by cold hard equations and for the most part your only tools will be what you bring with you. One factor that nobody has mentioned yet is that, in addition to the vessels they commandeer, the Junta has a very successful espionage program. At least two of our own weapon designs have been confirmed leaked to the Jovians in the past year alone... So, I'll ask again, what went wrong?"
Mackenzie: "Um... lack of experience?"
Marcus: "Not a bad answer, and in order to test that hypothesis, you'll be going back in the simulator for another round. Good luck."
Sender: Director, Project Leif_AB
Recipient: [Alias Deleted]; cc Beta 317
Header: Jovian Technology and Political Structures
You certainly are quite the inquisitive one, and you have my thanks for that file, I don't want to know how you got a hold of it. Just thanks. Your question should be pretty simple though.
One of the most important considerations is their intensity of purpose. While they may not be as individually as quick as someone in a custom designed morph, they are passionately driven towards certain avenues and in their scientific community there is a great deal of cooperation towards specific goals. This capacity for cooperation does help mitigate some of the weaknesses of the un-enhanced. If you ask me though, I still think they must give otherwise banned augmentations to highly trusted party scientists working on key projects. Of course I have no proof, just a hypothesis that happens to fit my observations.
It is also true that their research base is limited in breadth and diversity, however it is not devoid of innovation. It is just that their innovation tends to follow a more subtle path. Back when I still worked at the institute on [Deleted] it was often seen as a badge of pride to be able to achieve more with less; and I think that if you aren't bored by paying attention to mundane details, you'll find that they do sometimes find elegant, simple solutions to otherwise complex problems.
As for their political structure, it isn't as one-dimensional as most people assume, and I believe that is part of why their leadership has proven so difficult to destabilize. Their heads of state do wield extraordinary power, but there are checks and balances put in place. This isn't some philanthropic gesture of good will, though it is related to their sense of purpose and duty. However, I believe it was really put in place for their own protection. If their only concern was personal gain, there are far more effective means to achieve it. Rather, it seems that they are seriously concerned about the survival of the species. Perhaps they don't trust each other, perhaps they don't trust themselves, but in even in the highest level of government someone is always watching and reporting to the others. At the very least, this prevents any one member of the Junta from effectively plotting behind the other's backs.
I hope this helps :) :) :)
((I feel kinda dirty after writing that... just another chapter in the life of a GM I guess, always playing the villains.))