In the aftermath of The Fall, transhumanity lives on, divided into a patchwork of hypercorp combines, survivalist stations, transhuman faction species, and city-state habitats. Under the oppressive police states of immortal inner-system oligarchies, advanced technologies remain highly restricted, and refugee infomorphs are held in virtual slavery or resleeved in robotic bodies and forced into indentured labor. In the outer system, rebel transhuman scientists and techno-anarchists struggle to maintain a new society — from each according to their imagination and to each according to their need. And on the fringes and in the niches lurk networked tribes of political extremists, religious fanatics, criminal entrepeneurs, and bizarre posthumans, among other, stranger, and more alien things…
THE INNER SYSTEM
This part of the solar system is largely run by the conservative economic concerns of the hypercorps. It is the home of the Planetary Consortium, an alliance formed to reduce conflict between the numerous Inner System habitats and to promote the survival of transhumanity. The Planetary Consortium has its base upon Mars, the most heavily-populated planet of the solar system since Earth’s demise. The Planetary Consortium, and by extension the hypercorps, have bases that begin in Sol’s orbit and stretch out to the Asteroid Belt. Beyond the Asteroid Belt and into the Outer System, The Planetary Consortium holds little if any sway.
The people of the Inner System live in a largely transitional economy, and their basic needs and protection are seen to by the Planetary Council. This protection does, however, come with a price. While the citizens of The Planetary Council are free to pursue their lives without fear of starvation or serious want, the vast majority have no say in The Planetary Council’s governing.
Despite The Planetary Council’s reach, there are a number of habitats outside of its authority as well. These independent habitats continue their existence largely without the hypercorps’ interference or benefits.
THE OUTER SYSTEM
Out beyond the orbit of Mars, the influence of the hypercorps and the Planetary Consortium is far more limited. With the exception of the rigidly authoritarian Jovian Republic, the inhabitants of the outer system have considerably more freedom than those living in the inner system. However, even out here the struggle between the desire for freedom and the longing for safety form an important part of the political discourse.
Various forms of anarchism and similar libertarian ideologies were quite common among the first transhumans who settled space in the two decades before the Fall. Many settlements in the outer system have inherited this legacy of freedom. The new frontier opened by space colonization presented a fantastic opportunity for those with a strong desire to avoid the authoritarianism of the hypercorp-controlled inner system and Earth to pursue social organizations more based in equality and collective action, or even to simply experiment with new social models.
Out beyond the belt, hypercorp influence was weak and preoccupied, giving resourceful colonists a chance to explore their interests unmolested. The more radical of these elements grew out of or maintained ties to progressive, radical, and left-wing social movements and insurgencies on Earth, drawing support where they could. Others simply stole hypercorp resources from the inner system, smuggling them to their secret projects. In a few cases, entire ships or stations mutinied, refusing corporate orders and pursuing their own path. It was rarely feasible for the hypercorps to pursue and punish such subversion.
Among the more libertine habitats, the centuries-old doctrine of “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need” is a living and vital philosophy. The ready availability of cornucopia machines ensures that no one wants, and the use of reputation systems encourages people to be active participants towards the common good. Equitable access to morphs and augmentations is also available for residents, though the demand from so many infomorphs in need of a body means that infugees must contribute and build up social capital. However, even for an infomorph, egocasting across the solar system is expensive, and the Planetary Consortium produces large amounts of propaganda about the dangers of these habitats to discourage infugees from considering escape.
firewall |fīr wôl|
a wall or partition designed to inhibit or prevent the spread of fire.
• Computing a part of a computer system or network that is designed to block unauthorized access while permitting outward communication.