Guide to Europa

The smallest of the four Galilean moons, slightly smaller than Luna, the dirty white marble that is Europa has been an object of fascination for centuries. Flitting around Jupiter in a relatively brief three and a half Earth days. Europa, like Ganymede and Io, is tidally locked, meaning that a single hemisphere faces Jupiter at all times.
In frigid juxtaposition to its inner neighbor, Io, Europa boasts an ice crust ranging from ten to thirty kilometers thick. Pockets of liquid water lie trapped within the ice. Below this lies a massive saltwater ocean, over 100 kilometers deep, holding over twice the volume of water as Earth. Europa’s global ocean is cold (water temperatures range from 5 to 15 C) and devoid of sunlight. With the massive layer of ice crushing down upon it, the pressures in this ocean are intense, despite the moon’s low gravity. Even near the surface, the pressure is equivalent to Earth’s deep ocean trenches; at the sea floor itself, hydrostatic pressure ranges from 2,000 to 2,500 atmospheres.

Living Beneath the Ice

Excerpted from Rimward (with slight alterations)

The smallest of the four Galilean moons, slightly smaller than Luna, the dirty white marble that is Europa has been an object of fascination for centuries. Flitting around Jupiter in a relatively brief three and a half Earth days. Europa, like Ganymede and Io, is tidally locked, meaning that a single hemisphere faces Jupiter at all times.

In frigid juxtaposition to its inner neighbor, Io, Europa boasts an ice crust ranging from ten to thirty kilometers thick. Pockets of liquid water lie trapped within the ice. Below this lies a massive saltwater ocean, over 100 kilometers deep, holding over twice the volume of water as Earth. Europa’s global ocean is cold (water temperatures range from 5 to 15 C) and devoid of sunlight. With the massive layer of ice crushing down upon it, the pressures in this ocean are intense, despite the moon’s low gravity. Even near the surface, the pressure is equivalent to Earth’s deep ocean trenches; at the sea floor itself, hydrostatic pressure ranges from 2,000 to 2,500 atmospheres.

Europa’s transhuman population of 1.5 million lives below the ice, safe from Jupiter’s deadly radiation bombardment. The majority of Europa’s population lives in bubble warrens, huge spherical excavations in the lower depths of the ice crust. Many of these bubble warrens have populations that have outgrown their original infrastructure and are now considered a sort of “old world” compared to the newer icicle habitats, huge protrusions of ice jutting from the crust into the cold ocean below. These icicles are hollowed out, often with an accessway to the surface, powered with fusion reactors or large wave turbines that harness Europa’s internal convection, and then transformed into living spaces, laboratories, farms, communal areas, entertainment districts, and more. Icicle habitats offer residents spectacular views out into the Europan ocean’s upper reaches, with the habitat lighting illuminating the ocean and the ice sheet directly above. Other habitats are completely synthetic and rugged enough to withstand anything the Europan ocean can throw at them. These fishhook habitats are named for the way they are tethered with heavy cables to the inner surface and deployed into the lightless depths like a hook on a fishing line.

Most Europan habitats are split between areas that are pressurized for traditional air-breathing operations and water-filled compartments pressurized to match the depth of the habitat. Biomorphs on Europa come in many flavors, but the most common are aquanauts that have been adapted to Europan pressures and can transition between the two habitat types without too much difficulty. Other common anthroform morphs are the selkie and mustelid, containing heavy splices of seal and sea otter traits, respectively. Europan dolphin and orca morphs, with their numerous modifications, are also popular, though more limited. Features common to all Europan morphs include fins or flukes, gills or oxygenating respiratory fauna, enhanced digestive systems, adaptability to immense pressure, and resistance to dive-related hazards such as the bends.

Transhumans that really prefer the freedom and mobility to explore the Europan depths, however, opt for cetus synthmorphs, capable of handling the extreme depths and frigid temperatures with ease. Deeper habitats are almost entirely hydrohabitats, pressurized at the same level as the surrounding ocean. These deep habitats are generally mobile research installations, studying the ocean’s icy bottom. Only a fraction of Europa’s ocean floor has been mapped.

The primary food producers for Europa are the barnacle habitat fishing and farming havens that cluster around the very tops of the lithodermic reefs that characterize Europa’s ocean. These barnacle habitats are prefabricated in the larger Conamara or Pwyll warrens and are assembled in place on the target reef. Europan dishes are culturally similar to Japanese, but with a distinct and unique flavor all their own. The Europan razor eel is considered a delicacy in places as far away as the Venusian aerostats, and the failure to culture the razor eel outside the Europan oceans has driven demand for the oily fish.

Perceptive visitors to the moon will notice a scattering of small geodesic dome habitats on the outer surface of Europa. The majority of these are the futile attempt by the Jovian Republic to establish a presence here, and many have been abandoned due to poor radiation shielding, lack of resupply, or both. The largest surface facilities, and the ones that get noticed, are the elevator heads at Conamara Chaos and further south at the Pwyll crater.

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European Politics

Based on information from Rimward

Europa is a parliamentary democracy independent of the Jovian Republic, contrary to what the Jovians would have people believe. The Europan Parliament is a multi-party unicameral parliament elected every four years by all registered Europan transhumans over the age of 17. The 120-seat Parliament is based in the conamara Conamara habitat, the capital of the Europan state. Seven political parties have elected officials in the Europan Parliament, with a number of these parties allied with city-states of similar ideology on Callisto.

The seven Europan political parties are scattered across the political spectrum, but by its very nature as an independent transhuman entity in the shadow of the Jovian Republic, the Europan definition of “conservative” is skewed more to the left than in most places; those that identify with the Junta either relocate to the Republic or take up positions in permanent opposition within the Free Europa Bloc. It should be noted that the Mercurials that caucus with the Blue Bloc are not a single party, but rather a number of independent parliamentarians with a pro-mercurial ideology. The Open Party does not caucus with any bloc, but chooses to vote with the Blue Bloc on nearly all occasions.

Conamara Chaos

Population: 540,000
Excerpted from Rimward

The Conamara Chaos elevator head, situated in the center of the jumbled terrain that bears its name, is the largest surface facility on Europa. It is controlled directly by the Europan Defense Forces under the authority of the Europan Parliament. Through the Conamara Chaos elevator head, reactor mass, industrial supplies and other vital goods and equipment are shuttled to the ocean below via the Conamara habitat on the inner surface. The Jovian Republic levies taxes on all shipments approaching Europa and has occasionally imposed an interdiction when they claim the taxes have not been paid in full—a situation the Europan Parliament has labeled a “protection racket.”

K#/Shake

Habitat Type: Bubble Warren
Political Affiliation: Mercurial
Primary Language: Neo-Cetacean

This neo-cetacean community was once an Australian research facility called New Fremantle. The scientists pulled out during the chaos of the Fall, however, and it was reclaimed by the many uplift infugees to Europa in the intervening years. Many non-cetaceans still call it New Fremantle (or Neo-Freo) but many neo-cetaceans consider this insensitive. Every neo-cetacean on the world, and probably every Mercurial of any stripe, is more than familiar with K#/Shake as it is the nexus of cetacean culture on Europa. Healthy rivalries exist between K#/Shake residents and those from Ceres or Atlantica but as Europa is somewhat cut off from the outside there is no question about where uplifts throughout the moon look for cultural trends.

K#/Shake has four major neighborhoods:

  • Blue Garden Gate is a residential neighborhood and one of the major avenues connecting K#/Shake with the rest of Conamara. It has a large neo-octopus population, the majority of which live in communal "gardens" representing commune apartments with niches and hollows for the privacy that octopi value so much. Mesh systems, wireless security, and community policing are shared expenses but closed to the habitat outside of each garden. There is also a sizable research community in Blue Garden Gate, most notably the GFE Group (Greater Family Enigma) which proudly bills itself as an "octopus owned and operated" research firm concentrating on transgenics research.
  • The other area connecting K#/Shake with the rest of Conamara is the Clasped Arms Gate, another residential area dominated by neo-octopi. It is more commercial than its counterpart and tends towards private "caves" than communal garden living. In the Europan community they are known for the best sushi restaurants in Conamara as well as uplift guides and ambassadors for other transhumans negotiating Mercurial life. While there has been violence in the past and intimidation tactics, locals blame this entirely on Hidden Concern efforts to push into the habitat. The Cerean octopus criminals are much-maligned in K#/Shake generally and the octopi of the Clasped Arms Gate are particularly hostile to anyone who works with them.
  • The other neighborhoods have less-imaginative names. The Dry Area is the only neighborhood with significant numbers of non-uplifts: naiads, vodyanois, and aquatic synths live side-by-side with neo-octopi and cetaceans in walkers. They still are a minority but the large sapient community in K#/Shake sees the cafes and stores shared by transhumans of all sorts cooperating as a vision of the future.
  • While the Dry Area is mixed with non-uplifts, the Flooded Zone is purely aquatic uplifts. Restaurants and stores in this area cater to uplift desires and use creative solutions to being constantly submerged. This neighborhood has the most neo-cetaceans in all of K#/Shake and estimates range from 50% to 80% of the Flooded Zone at any given time. Most neo-cetaceans live in "clanberths," round corral-pools where large numbers of cetaceans live and sleep in close proximity, sharing noise and touching each other for comfort. Visiting neo-cetaceans can usually find a clanberth with friends-of-friends found through the close-knit Europan cetacean community, but there are some nomadic clanberths that specialize in providing a place for neo-cetaceans new to the area (and possibly pulling them closer to the Mercurial position in the process).

The Wheelhouse

Habitat Type: Bubble Warren
Political Affiliation: Parti Europa
Primary Languages: Russian, Japanese

Originally the Woods Hole Oceanographic outpost on Europa, this hab is now an Anarchist-Argonaut enclave and the biggest source of influence for the Parti Europa on the moon. The heart of the tunnel network is a toroidal space carved into the ice about twenty meters from the bottom of the crust and joined by a tunnel directly to the Central Cluster. Connected to the toroid are several other clusters of habitats, some in the ice and others clinging to the subsurface, which house research communities for xenobiology, genetic design, robotics, and a host of other areas. Conamara in general is the largest importation site on Europa, but it is the innovative researchers at the Wheelhouse that really make it invaluable.

Corporate Enclaves

Habitat Types: Icicle and Bubble Warren
Political Affiliations: Solidarity and Prosperity
Primary Languages: Russian, English, Japanese, French

A number of hyper- and megacorps have enclaves at Conamara to serve as their on-world headquarters. Because of the shielding ice-shell, these enclaves are often very removed from the greater system and their Europan branches can be somewhat autonomously-minded. When a rep from off-world shows up, though, you can bet they fall over themselves to make them feel welcome. Collectively, this is the seat of power for the Prosperity parliamentarians.

Akua Corporation

This minor hypercorp in the Go-nin keiretsu constellation has great aspirations and more than a little hubris. Named for the Hawai'ian term for "deity" the company's mandate is to "forge a better world." Akua specializes in hydrodynamic systems and vehicle design and have a number of employees, though no indentures (they claim). Their influence is split between here and Ina in the New Hawai’i collection of habs.

Argentus Industrial

Argentus is a strange corporate beast. On paper, it is a Jovian megacorp with a base of operations in Liberty Station and a thoroughly patriotic charter. In practice, however, the company’s largest suite of offices is in Conamara and its gaze is firmly fixed on the larger system. One of ArgInd’s most profitable practices is buying design licenses for vehicles from companies like Starware or Hyundai Tranport and modifying them to function in the Europan oceans. They also have a contract to provide logistical support for any Direct Action missions on Europa, but this comes up less often.

Challenger Industrial

A manufacturing producer and raw material supplier, Challenger is considered one of the least progressive companies on the moon. They routinely get cited with environmental fines and are known to support industry-friendly politicians in the Parliament. Despite this, the company has felt increasingly restricted and has had to rely on contract deals with Fa Jing to maintain. Rumors swirl constantly that the larger hypercorp will buy and dismantle Challenger, but it hasn’t happened yet.

Conamara Transformative Energy (CTE)

Before the Fall, the massive industrial company Monolith Industries built and maintained the infrastructure for the research facilities at Conamara. When the company dissolved in the wake of the TITANs attack, the Europan segment formed into a private utilities company which has since grown to provide service to other habitats in the area. The largest remnant of Monolith Industries, Omnicor, seems to consider CTE one of its subsidiaries though there is nothing in writing to back this up.

Cyklon Environmental

A local affiliate of Ecologene, Cyklon is a relatively new player in the political field of Europa. Their bioengineered habitat systems are solving a lot of long-standing issues for Europan habitats, making them extremely popular and fast-growing. The Precautionist and Bioconservative factions from the Jovian Republic don’t necessarily see this as a good thing, though.

Echo Computing

Formed by a former Nimbus executive, Echo Comp is one of the only computing companies to produce systems designed specifically for uplifted brains. While this represents a small fraction of their R&D department, it is a huge part of their reputation and the company has the largest off-world shipment of designs and products. Despite the circumstances of its founding, Echo maintains a good relationship with Nimbus and has an exclusive contract for importing and producing Nimbus products.

Galileo Kreditinstitut

This banking institution is common throughout the Jovian system and is the main lending company on Europa. It cooperates freely with Solaris Bank but is an independent Jovian megacorp.

GenDiver

GenDiver’s relationship with the larger hypercorp of Skinthetic is complicated and twisted around the intricacies of several Extropian judiciaries. They are not directly beholden to Skinthetic and take a very progressive view of uplift morph design, particularly brain structure. As a result, GenDiver politics is a very divisive issue among Europan Mercurials.

HydroLux Communications

Europa exists in a null zone between the Experia meshfeeds of the inner system and the Titanian programming that dominates the Saturnian system. Most Europans don’t want to watch the propaganda-laced broadcasts of the Jovian Republic either and so it falls to the varied productions of HydroLux Communications to feed the masses. This is not to say that Experia, the Titanians, and the Jovians would not like to steal bigger portions of the Europan entertainment industry, however.

MetaCast

This company started as an independent media outlet and gained wide popularity in the years after the Fall. Five years ago it was bought up by Exotech and folded into that hypercorp’s system-wide network. Morgan Sterling has done little to change the company, however, and it maintains its independent reputation.

Océan Profond

A manufacturing producer and raw material supplier, Challenger is considered one of the least progressive companies on the moon. They routinely get cited with environmental fines and are known to support industry-friendly politicians in the Parliament. Despite this, the company has felt increasingly restricted and has had to rely on contract deals with Fa Jing to maintain. Rumors swirl constantly that the larger hypercorp will buy and dismantle Challenger, but it hasn’t happened yet.

Scylla Private Security

The Jovian answer to Medusa Shield, Scylla is a contracted hypercorp with Gorgon Defense that operates on Europa and beyond. Given the Jovian restrictions on operating within the Republic, however, most of Scylla’s operations are on Europa where it contracts as private security with habitat authorities, companies, and the Europan Defense Forces.

Trieste Oceanographic

Despite their academic airs and scientific organization, this subsidiary of TerraGenesis is mainly interested in selling bathymetric data and exploring means of exploiting natural resources and native fauna on Europa. Needless to say, Trieste researchers do not get along with the Argonaut researchers of the Wheelhouse.

Jovian Laws vs. Europan Laws


The political situation between the Jovian Republic and Europa is complicated, and that's putting it lightly. Whole corps of lawyers specialize in navigating and interpreting the details of the treaties that describe the relationship between the two political entities but it boils down to this: the Jovians have the numbers and firepower to make Europa exactly how they want, but they would rather keep up its current productivity in mineral resources and scientific developments. The result is that the Republic overseers keep a tight reign on the icy world, but not tight enough to choke off the benefits that Europa offers the Republic. Here are some specific clarifications that locals and visitors might find helpful.
  • Weapons: Both the Jovian Republic government and the Europan Parliament restrict weapons in their spheres of influence and the list of illegal and license-required arms is similar for both. On Europa, though, personal firearms with minimal mods are allowed with a license for self defense while the Republic forbids anything worse than a knife.
  • Visitors: Those wishing to visit the Republic need to go through brainscans to make sure they aren't a "non-human entity" (i.e. AGI or uplift) and are required to download minder AIs to watch them during their stay. On Europa, only the normal customs forms are required but visitors who seem like they might cause trouble are often monitored by the Europan Defense Force during their stay.
  • Nanotech: This is of of the most divisive issues between the two polities. In the Republic nanotechnology is expressly forbidden, unless it's "medically constrained" nanotech like medichines when it's merely severly restricted (meaning, only for the political elite). On Europa, by contrast, there are no official sanctions against non-weaponized nanotechnology. However, there are also no legal protections meaning that individual habitats may limit nanotech or forbid it outright as they see fit.
  • Drugs: Recreational drugs and medical drugs used without perscription are illegal in the Republic and on Europa. This is something that residents of both areas can agree on for the most part (Tactical Origami not-withstanding).
  • Radiation Sources: The Jovian Republic and the Europan Parliament have signed a treaty against the dissemination of antimatter sources by private citizens. This means that the governments can utilize antimatter for civic power programs (and weapons, but don't worry about that) but anyone caught with antimatter outside of these plants is in serious trouble. Likewise, both governments restrict the use of nuclear power sources and require inspections of privately-held fission and fusion plants by government officials on a regular basis.
  • Synthmorphs: Within the Republic, synthmorphs are highly restricted to the point that most people simply don't use them. Even when shells are used to house AIs rather than transhuman egos, the government licensing and fees are too much of a hassle for it to be attractive. On Europa, however, there are no restrictions and synthmorphs are freely used, so long as they meet all other government requirements such as weapon licenses and local nanotech restrictions.
  • AGIs: Infolifes are expressly forbidden in the Republic where they are seized and deleted upon discovery. On Europa, people are simply distrustful rather than opposed: AGIs are accepted in many habitats (such as the Wheelhouse) but they must be kept in servers airgapped from long-range communications arrays. Any forks found to be in violation of this restriction are deleted, forcibly reintegrated, or deported.
  • Uplifts: Unsurprisingly, uplifts are well-accepted on Europa where neo-ceteceans and neo-octopi are frequent sights. Even bioconservatives on the moon favor restrictions rather than dismissal of uplifts, though there are currently no laws limiting the movement or participation of uplifts of any sort. In the Republic, things are very different and uplifts are treated as dangerous property requiring a license for visitors. Citizens cannot "own" an uplift and any uplifts found operating separately from their "owners" are destroyed.
  • Forks: Using multiple forks is forbidden in the Jovian Republic, but on Europa it's recognized as a viable research technique. Using multiple forks through a Multitasking implant is perfectly within the law and even carrying an alpha fork in a ghostrider module is allowed. No alpha forks can operate outside of the original ego's morph, however, or they are subjected to the same restrictions as AGIs. Beta forks can operate on research servers for up to twelve hours but after that they must be reintegrated or deleted. These restrictions are an unhappy compromise between pragmatic Europans and conservative Jovians and may change in the future. As it is, though, they are ignored on many habitats and only sporadically enforced.

Pwyll

Population: 500,000
Excerpted from Rimward

The Pwyll crater is another elevator facility much like Conamara Chaos in the sense that the EDF controls it, but it does not punch directly through the ice. Rather, it descends about halfway, and then branches hundreds of kilometers through the ice in a fractal pattern. These tunnels are used to distribute much needed supplies to a number of icicle habitats in the area. Recent shifts in the ice crust around the Pwyll crater have seen a number of habitats cut off from the traditional surfaceto- ocean supply route; these have had to be supplied by aquatic means. A trio of icicle habitats, nicknamed the Norns, are clustered directly below the Pwyll crater and are the focal point for many of the exploration efforts to map the Europan sea floor. A recent spate of deep sea vessel disappearances and deep hydrohab “incidents” has raised security concerns.

The Norns

Habitat Type: Icicle
Political Affiliations: Parti Europa, Jovian Unity
Primary Languages: Russian, Japanese, Spanish, Indonesian

The three massive icicle habs that form the center of Pwyll are a mercantile and cultural hub. They support an eclectic mix of cultures and political outlooks as well as a thriving population of specialists working on the unique issues of life on Europa. Designers and programmers in Conamara are stifled by the heavy hand of the hypercorp subsidiaries and their preconceived notions, especially to hear those from Pwyll tell it, and the workshops of the Norns are more free-thinking and experimental. Of course, this can just as easily be described as "fickle and unreliable" by detractors, but the ideological difference has led to some regional brand-loyalty all the same.

Independent Mining Concerns

Habitat Types: Fishhook and Bubble Warren
Political Affiliations: Prosperity
Primary Languages: Russian, Indonesian, Japanese, French, Polish, Spanish
While they operate on smaller scales than the corporations in Conamara, the independent mining operations in Pwyll have the advantage of being flexible and adaptable. They are focused on harvesting metal ions from the seawater and they have an easier time transporting those raw materials to habitats on Europa. A smaller fraction is shipped up the space elevator for use elsewhere in the Jovian system. If the companies at Conamara are ways for the ice moon to stay connected to the politics of the wider solar system, the independent operations are ways for Europans to take part in the larger philosophical debates going on. Visiting their habitats clinging to the ice around the Norns is like stepping onto an independent habitat in the Belt: you can't count on any sort of consistency with the outside water. It's not a coincidence that the seven large independents listed below are all run by ideologues, and also not a coincidence that these agenda-laden companies find themselves in Pwyll rather than Conamara.

  • Patriota Cosecha: This company, whose name means "Patriot Harvest," is an operation headed by a group of Chilean partners with conservative politics and now restraint in expressing them. They are licensed with the Jovian Republic's Bureau of Mineable Resources and they seem to take this license as a mandate to promote bioconservative politics among Europans. Though they trade with most habitats, they will conduct their business via the mesh if forced to work with uplift representatives.
  • Umbreyta Resources: This synthmorph-producer and mining operation holds strongly to Titanian political philosophies and runs their facilities as a classic Scandanavian business model. They pay their employees in Jovian credits but many in-house luxuries are obtained through the company's Bæjarfélag (Company Town) employee reputation network, more commonly abbreviated as b-rep and synced weekly with Titanian @-rep networks. Though they are primarily a mineral harvesting company, Umbreyta has produced a number of ingenious synthmorph designs for their workers that they've begun to produce and sell in small batches to other Europans.
  • LiquidMetal: The biggest independent producer of deuterium on the moon is the deepwater CyberRev operation known as LiquidMetal. They are also the producers of the proprietary Osmium synthmorph which rivals the cetus in deep-sea operations and serves both the company's bottom line and their theatrical political rallies.
  • Octonomic Osmotic Harvesters: This group of a dozen neo-octopi prospectors has a reputation for reliability and detailed reporting. Once part of the larger Octonautical Ceres-Titan Mining Corporation, the Octonoms split from the OCTMC when the latter was expelled from Europa due to repeated environmental violations. They have drifted towards strong internal politics as well, a mixture of non-militant Mercurial sepratist and industrially-minded nano-ecologist. Mostly, however, the Octonoms want to be left alone and they even operate apart from each other for the most part. The dozen neo-octopi, sleeved in Europan octomorphs or high-pressure takos, go out on missions themselves with a cloud of drone-bots as helpers, only socializing when they return to the corporations fishhook hab outside of Pwyll.
  • Danilov Community Works: This Brinker corporation is haf a mining operation and half a Russian Orthodox monastery. All of the employees of the company take vows in Russian to conduct themselves according to the designs of the company's leaders including abstaining from drinking, sex, and "frivolous spending" which includes gambling and many forms of entertainment. The Danilov headquarters in Pwyll are closed off and private, with many employee-monks going for months without contact with ousiders.
  • Regis Harvesting and Research Group: Depending on who you ask, RHR is a nano-ecologist group that uses mineral-production to fund their research or a mining corporation that uses nano-ecologist studies to optimize their efficiency. Either way, they are one of the examples pointed out by nano-ecologists system-wide as evidence that environmental sensitivity can still yield profits. Nevermind that the company is not in the top ten companies even at Pwyll, their media-presence is much bigger and they work closely with the Argonauts in the Wheelhouse to publish their ecological data.
  • Coldwater Enterprises: This operation is a joint venture between two companies that were struggling separately. The harvesting and claim-maintenance is undertaken by a group of Mercurial neo-ceteceans who have no wish to operate in the "human-centric" habitats built into the crust. Though they have extremely productive sites and a significant amount of exploratory data of the lithodermic reefs, their resistance to operating in Pwyll meant that their profit margins were fundamentally limited. As a result, the Mercurials allied themselves with the sympathetic Extropian trade mission in Pwyll who had the business connections but not the production infrastructure. The resulting Coldwater Enterprises has grown in leaps and bounds and the company makes a tidy side-business of protection services for other companies' shipments using their skilled guides in synthaceans and Haida orca morphs.

Pedrotti Biologic Research Station

Habitat Type: Bubble Warren and Icicle
Political Affiliation: Jovian Unity
Primary Lanugages: Russian, English, Chinese

The University of Ganymede has a satellite campus at Pwyll which serves as the central location for their xenobiological faculty and students. Because Jovian citizens do not have access to farcasting equipment, physical shuttles have to carry university personnel back and forth which also means that plenty of shipments of scientific equipment arrives at the Pwyll elevator. To hear the detractors describe it, at least half of the people transported from Ganymede are actually Jovian Civil Defense Corps soldiers sent to keep an eye on Europa. Most Europans don't believe this but it's hard to find someone who doesn't think there's at least some military presence at the station.

Pedrotti Station has produced the largest catalogue of Europan DNA sequences, though their collections are biased towards the epipelagic and mesopelagic zones since researchers are limited by permissible Jovian technology.

New Hawai’i

A string of four colonies along a lithoderm ridge and near to a number of active vents.

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Oahu

The farthest-out of the New Hawai’i chain when coming from Conamara, Oahu has a reputation as a hab of independence and ocassional criminal activity. The chief export of the hab is heavy metals which are particularly rich in the nearby Haumea Vent, even compared to the other New Hawai’ian vents. This rich export, however, also attracts those who would skim metals to sell through the grey market, though Oahuan officials say they are constantly on guard against this.

Kauai

A fully-enclosed, atmosphere-filled hab that serves as a supply waystation and stop-over for shipping lanes. Constant shipments between Kauai and Conamara Chaos also make this a must-stop location for those who want the latest offworld technologies.

Maui

The oldest of the New Hawai’i habs, Maui is a complex intermingling of flooded sections and atmospheric. It is also a melding of cultures: a three-part balance of Polynesian, Carribean, and neo-cetacean colonists. Most people otherwise unfamiliar with New Hawai’i have at least heard of the Junkanoo Festival every New Year’s Day with dancing and elaborate masks for morphs of all sorts.

Ina

Nearly all of this hab is owned and operated by the Akua Corporation, a part of the keiretsu web of the Go-nin Group. While the corporation is headquartered in an enclave in Conamara, Akua does most of its design work and testing at Ina. This has led to a number of sightings of strange craft lurking in the lithodermic ridges around New Hawai’i which many attribute to secretive Akua prototypes. A worry of the Europan Defense Forces is the possibility that hostile craft could operate in the area for some time as a result before someone mentions it.

Atlantis

Most folks don’t realize that Maui is, technically, the second-oldest of the New Hawai’i chain. An original hab called Atlantis was one of the first deep-sea colonies on Europa when colonists first struck out into the deep. The colony systems failed during the Fall, however, and the entire thing was flooded and then rocked by explosions. No survivors were recovered by the wreck and no one has made an attempt to reclaim the ruins, even the surviving forks of the lost colonists. In fact, most people entirely avoid the area for fear of a TITAN infestation, despite lack of any evidence that the failure was anything more than coincidence.

Tethys Cluster

A collection of habitats that form an arc of the farthest permanent settlements on Europa from either space elevator, at least the farthest formally registered. Most people would classify the Tethyan communities as at least a little Brinker, though they have a number of reasons for being there.

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Baffin

The researchers at Baffin colony were described by one visitor as “half-scientist, half-cultist.” The comment may have been sarcastic but it is no less apt. The transhumans here subscribe to a version of the Gaia hypothesis that they approach to Europa. They call it the Way while outsiders call it Baffinism when they refer to it at all.

Santa Elena

The scientists here alternately claim to be full Argonauts and only allies of the movement, but the ties between Santa Elena and the Wheelhouse are strong. Important research is being done here, but the increasingly alien tone of their reports has some Argonauts worried.

Crusoe Forward Military Base

This is the EDF’s farthest outpost, mainly used as a stop-over for ships on long-range patrol.

Haven Cluster

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Second Try

This colony is built slightly farther up a lithodermic slope from another colony called Homestead which failed due to mistakes in the engineering calculations made during construction. It’s a surprisingly large settlement, owing to its age, and houses over ten thousand transhumans, not including the many just passing through.

Lebensraum

This medium-sized colony is mainly populated by German nationalists. While the population is strongly bioconservative, they are also fiercely anti-Jovian and the home of the fledgling Europan Voter Federation.

Circumstance

The neo-primitive transhumans sleeved in specially developed, low-impact aquanaut morphs have been under a self-imposed quarantine for five years. No one would be very worried, normally, except that it is so close to the populous habs of Haven Cluster and many don’t trust that they are completely innocuous.

The Stygian Vent

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This massive structure was a major source of geologic interest when it was discovered, though also plenty of concern since it is reasonably close to both Conamara and Pwyll.

Shady Seas

This open research station is maintained by a technoprogressive research outfit, though though many consider it a poorly-disguised anarchist collective. It certainly attracts more than its fair share of mercurials.

Kraken

The Trieste/TerraGenesis colony close to the vent keeps to itself for the most part, which has many others in the area relieved and also concerned.

THOR Station

Government research station and EDF base. It’s a poorly-kept secret that the station has some serious firepower in place to stop whatever erupts out of the Vent.

Zion Cluster

Close to Conamara, considered by some to be an extension of that colony.

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Kingston

A hab with a considerable number of churches.

Tactical Origami

Scum hab of bizarre aquatic morphs. Very small but well-armed. Sheltered because of their innovative aquaculture creations. The chemosynthetic crops are extremely useful but the locals mostly use the drug ones.

Fort Pacifica

Headquarters for the EDF.

Bright Bay

A sapient colony devoted to meshing cetacean and human cultures together.

Meridian Cluster

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al-Mamlakah

Primarily filled with Islamic Indonesians

New Alaska

A prosperous aquaculture center with a healthy neo-orca population as well. Many suspect this colony of being the eipcenter of the Rising Tide supremacist movement.

Byron’s Spur Station

Research station which has extensively tagged and studied the native fauna around Meridian.

Westcape Cluster

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Dyfedd

This British colony has a large Welsh and Irish population, making it the largest populations in the Solar System of native Irish and Welsh speakers.

Perdition

A town inhabited by and welcoming to those leaving ties to the hypercorps or Jovian megacorps.

New Hanover

This self-proclaimed city-state does not consider itself part of the Europan government, despite being built and legally owned by Océan Profond. Right now, it’s not big enough for the EDF to get involved but that could easily change.

Bose Strand

This tiny hab is well-guarded by the EDF who uses it to house simulspace servers which contain criminal egos serving prison sentences.

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