The Venusian Republic


Regions:

  •  Ishtar Terra (1,100,000 pop)
  •  Aphrodite Terra (850,000 pop)
  •  Lada Terra (450,000 pop)

Overview:

  • Due to the harsh surface conditions, the population of Venus exists not on the ground, but in cloud cities circling the planet in the thick atmosphere itself. Despite this, heavy exploitation of the atmosphere as an economic product and rapid construction of aerostat cloud colonies has resulted in Venus boasting a relatively impressive population of just under 2 million.
  • A complex system of administrative land claims and use of remote robotic mining drones on the surface constitutes the extent of surface exploitation, although were terraforming to become a reality, surface colonization would radically change the current dynamic.
  • The Venusian Republic is at relative peace with most of its neighbors, although in recent years it has come under increased commercial and political pressure from the Eastern Federation, one of its few enemies. Despite this pressure, its strongest ally remains Union, and thus far Union has stood fast by its allies in the republic.
  • Homegrown militarization is quite modest, but the Venusian Republic has authorized the construction of orbital facilities maintained by Union to service a rotating force of battleships in orbit around the planet.

History

  • In the early years of expansion into the solar system Venus represented a conundrum. On the one hand, it is both near to Earth with abundant opportunities for solar power, and moreso than any other body in the solar system has comparable gravity to Earth. On the other hand, the terrestrial environment represents the nightmare of an uncontrolled greenhouse effect with temperatures on the surface so extreme as to to be able to melt lead.
  • When humanity first began to aggressively colonize the solar system beyond their cradle, Venus was at first completely bypassed in favor of colonization efforts on Mars and the mineral rich Asteroid Belt.
  • Due to the mobility and lack of explicit territoriality of Venus' cloud city method of colonization, a much broader array of metanational corporate interests and national interests settled Venus than most other areas of the solar system with no single entity having a clear preponderance of power. The need to coordinate mining claims, city flight paths, and terraforming debates led to a mutual corporate-national set of agreements, the elements of which heavily drew upon Union norms.
  • Venus' natal ties to Union and position between Mercury - controlled by the Eastern Federation - and Earth led to an immediate cold war with the Eastern Federation and its proxy state on Mercury.
  • The most traumatic event in Venus' history is known as The Fall of the Cities in 2319.
    • The establishment of the aerostat cloud cities was predominately a Union affair. When the Eastern Federation arrived late to the colonization game, it was determined to catch up, and one of the first places it set its sights on was the relatively newly-settled Venus which at that point was still simply a collection of loosely-connected interests with no central governing body.
    • Initially, Eastern Federation corporate interests made a concentrated effort to purchase controlling interest in the several Venusian charter state cities. They achieved this in close to 30% of Venus's charter state cities in less than a decade, but the speed of acquisition spooked native Venusian sentiments and triggered a backlash.
    • The Eastern Federation's aggressive move created a political monster, and those charter state cities that had not fallen under Eastern Federation corporate majorities voted on a wide-array of questionably-legal measures to limit or even nationalize Eastern Federation interests. Those charter state cities that had already come under Eastern Federation corporate majorities still had large native majorities, and labor riots and sabotage boiled up.
    • The charter state cities formed the nascent Venusian Republic, claiming territoriality over Venus and extending the measures to limit and nationalize Eastern Federation interests over even those cities that had Eastern Federation corporate shareholder majorities.
    • Eastern Federation corporate interests sued in court against the nationalization efforts, and after eight years of legal battles and increasing radicalization of the local populace, won a partial legal victory, enraging elements of the Venusian population.
    • Radical elements of the populist group Andělé Smrti ("Angels of Death") seized control of the propulsion systems of three of the cities with majority Eastern Federation corporate interests and threatened to decay the altitudes if the Eastern Federation shareholders did not immediately divest themselves of their interests to local control.
    • What happened next is a subject of considerable debate; the official Venusian story is that upon Eastern Federation interests calling what they thought was a bluff, Andělé Smrti agents accidentally decayed the city altitudes too much, causing all three cities to crash. Earth historians - particularly Eastern Federation sources - claim the Andělé Smrti deliberately sank the cities. Either way, tens of thousands of people lost their lives in the disaster that came to be known as The Fall of the Cities.
    • The Fall of the Cities had several notable results: First and most importantly, it irreparably damaged Eastern Federation influence over Venus, as well establishing that the seemingly omnipotent corporate power had some limits to its reach, at least off of Earth. Second, it galvanized the establishment of the Venusian Republic with a greater degree of central power than it otherwise probably would have come to on its own. Third, it set the stage for a general hostility between the Venusian Republic and Union on one side, and the Eastern Federation on the other, and even long decades later, Venus nurses a grudge against the Eastern Federation over the catastrophe.

Primary Industries:

  • Carbonates
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Silicates (plentiful but expensive to mine and transport from surface)
  • Metals (plentiful but expensive to mine and transport from surface)
  • Fissile Materials
  • Lightning storms and conventional storms are both violent in Venus' atmosphere, and both are extensively leveraged to provide power in addition to the use of solar power satellites in orbit.
  • Small-scale shipbuilding is present, but the expense of extracting metals from the surface is significant enough to preclude large shipbuilding efforts, as much of the raw material must be imported. As well, with Earth - and specifically, Union - relatively close by and the Venusian Republic has lacked the need for native shipbuilding. Most of the Venusian Republic's shipbuilding capacity is devoted towards robotic drone construction.
  • Plastics, carbon nanotubes and graphene made from the CO2 of Venus' cloud layer itself are the single biggest product of Venus' native industry. The cloud cities of the Venusian Republic are made from these same materials, and have allowed rapid expansion. As well, other components are readily composed from these materials including hydrogen storage, solar cells, and textiles.

Aerostat Cloud Cities:

  • Ishtar Terra
    • Sacajawea (fell in the Fall of the Cities)
    • Cihuacoatl - Czech
    • Jaszai - Czech
    • Gula - Russian
    • Lakshmi (built after the Fall of the Cities) - Czech
    • Danu (built after the Fall of the Cities) - German
  • Aphrodite Terra
    • Sif (fell in the Fall of the Cities)
    • Maat - Estonian
    • Uti Hiata - German
    • Anala - Czech
    • Neu Sif (built after the Fall of the Cities) - German
  • Lada Terra
    • Navka (fell in the Fall of the Cities)
    • Abeona - Danish
    • Zisa - German
    • Ammavaru (built after the Fall of the Cities) - Estonian

Conflicts:

  • The Eastern Federation’s control of Mercury makes Venus the next logical acquisition for an expansionist Eastern Federation. Open war is unlikely at this point due to the Venusian Republic’s tight political relationship with Union, but this does not prevent the Eastern Federation attempting to “Finlandize” the Venusian Republic to bring it under its sphere of influence. This includes commercial pressure tactics, hiring of independent commercial raiders and saboteurs, and so on.
  • Although Mercury and the Venusian Republic are politically hostile to each other, in terms of raw materials they are extremely compatible. This results in an absolutely massive amount of off-the-books smuggling conducted by regional governments trying to make up shortfalls with inadequate resources or trade; this is an open secret, but never openly acknowledged for political reasons.
  • Internally, the Venusian Republic suffers from the unsettled political question of terraforming efforts:
    • "Proformers" are in favor of terraforming efforts form one political block.
    • "Seraphim" are against terraforming and in favor of continued expansion of the cloud cities.
    • Thus far the disagreements, while heated, have mostly remained in the realm of social and political argument, although radical Proformer elements have threatened to sabotage cloud cities. The sheer expense of terraforming efforts and the relative demographically mixed distribution of Proformer and Seraphim advocates among the various cities have both contributed to thus far preventing the issue from becoming too heated, but the rhetoric and social fissures have been steadily increasing over the last twenty years.

Terraforming:

  • Several methods of temperature reduction have been discussed, but the current favorite is the deployment of highly reflective artificial particulates, essentially creating a mirror out the clouds.
  • Reducing the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere requires the unearthing and exposure of existing calcium and magnesium oxides to bind the CO2 and sulphur dioxide. Existing surface mining is currently focused on metals and nitrogen, but these efforts could theoretically be diverted to terraforming efforts instead.
  • A proposed thinning of the atmosphere is problematic because it would need to be done in conjunction with inducing a significantly greater spin on the planet, of which the most realistic proposal would involve deliberately inducing cometary or asteroid impact or fly-bys on the planet. As this would disrupt existing mining efforts, there is considerable political opposition to this element as well.

Politics and Culture:

  • Politically, Venusian Republic issues center around:
    • Long term terraforming efforts, with Proformers supporting such efforts and Seraphim opposed.
    • Surface mining claims.
    • Debate as to how hard a line to take against the increasing amount of commerce raiding sponsored by the Eastern Federation.
  • Venus' population tends towards the egalitarian and cosmopolitan, theoretically embracing a broad spread of cultures. Culturally, Venus is dominated by several ethnic groups originally from Earth:
    • German (32% of the population)
    • Czech (30% of the population)
    • Estonian (12% of the population)
    • Russian (11% of the population)
    • Danish (8% of the population)
    • Other (7% of the population)
  • German and Czech serve as twin lingua franca for Venus, but many other languages co-exist; modern personal computer translation is sufficiently advanced to render this a non-issue in the vast majority of instances.
  • The individual cloud cities operate by a system similar to the old medieval city charter system, with corporations sharing much of the political power in the form of local "guilds" that operate as nationalized unions for individual industries, although the lines of power and authority between guild and metanational corporation are blurry, often with individuals holding positions simultaneously in both power structures.
  • Various one and two-person racing "sleds" are popular for sporting and recreational purposes, with circumnavigatory races around the planet being especially common and popular.
  • Locally, Ishtar Terra, Aphrodite Terra, and Lada Terra are referred to respectively as "Ishtar", "Aphrodite", and "Laddie". The use of the full name is commonly seen as a way of identifying a non-native.