Jovian RepublicMemes: Bioconservatism, Fascism, Security
Main Stations: Liberty (Ganymede)
Exploiting the chaos of the Fall, a group of stations and habitats were seized in a military coup and the Jovian Republic was born. Combining terrestrial South American dictatorship with U.S. American political lobbyism, this regime quickly brought the entire Jovian military-industrial complex under its control.
Widely referred to as the Jovian Junta by the rest of the outer system, the Republic’s authorities hold a strict bioconservative stance against many transhuman scientific and technological developments. Exploiting fears engendered by the Fall, the Republic restricts access to sophisticated technologies such as nanofabrication, cloning, forking, and even uploading, and is one of the few old economies left in the system. Public communication channels are subjected to extensive censorship and travel privileges are extremely limited. Both uplifts and AGIs are strictly forbidden and treated as property without civil rights. Diplomatic relations to progressive factions remain cold; heavily-modified transhuman emissaries or visitors are viewed with suspicion at best, or simply denied access. Despite continuous reports of heinous acts of government oppression, the Republic’s intimidating military assets keep any other factions from intervening.
Posted by: Tio Silencio, Firewall Proxy <Info Msg Rep>
I am a traitor.
But I know I am also a patriot.
I know, whatever I do, in this life or another, that I will be damned. By my own people, by those I try to help. Because I am a traitor.
But this is not why you are here. Or rather it is, but you don’t care that I have betrayed my people, you just wish to know about them, always asking in the hopes of ﬁnding an advantage. Such is my relationship with Firewall. I break trust everyday, spilling state secrets because I believe that the best hope of salvation for my people lies in trusting a group of radicals, rabble-rousers, and anarchists. I am in league with the very people my government tells me led us to the Fall in the ﬁrst place, and who must be brought back under the rule of law lest they blithely do the same again.
So here it is. This is what you need to know to understand the Republic. To understand that we are like you and that you, given adequate cause, could become like us. Only ten years ago, the people of the Republic would not have been that different except in attitude. In that marginal difference now is a nearly mindless ravening hatred—from both of our sides. Yes, the Republic is an insular, paranoid, conservative, and militaristic culture, but we are also one of the last repositories of nearly extinct cultural, religious, and linguistic groups. We have not forgotten why all of us now live in tin cans surrounded by vacuum. We are ready for the day when the TITANs return. When they do—and when your AI systems and your very bodies betray you—we will be standing strong, having prepared and planned and run the simulations. Then, perhaps, you will have to turn to us, your last hope. The shining city on the hill that will offer the benighted masses of transhumanity the possibility of salvation from the instruments of their own destruction. Or perhaps not.
Regardless of what the future holds, we are dug in deeply in the Jovian system. While the transhumans outside our borders continue to take risks, to change themselves into something different, to defy the natural order of things, we are taking the cautious path. We grow steadily, without exponential curves. When your transhuman society has collapsed with the inevitable entropy of anarchy, when your machine gods have reaped all of your souls, when you have accelerated your “evolution” and transcended into nothingness, we humans will still be here, ready to reclaim our birthright and heritage.
The Founding of the Republic
I could tell you that we are not so different, you and I, that we share a common background—but it would be a lie. Down to our very genetic material we are different. More than that, our differences are those of culture and ideology, the ultimate fate of the universe, and the place of humanity within it. These are the principles upon which our Republic was founded: our belief that humanity is worth preserving.
Before the Fall, the Jovian system was a hotbed of industrial activity and the go-to place for Earth-based governments to set up clandestine research facilities out of the prying eyes of their fellow nations. The electromagnetic interference and high levels of radiation meant that casual visitors were discouraged and more determined attempts at espionage were costly to even attempt. The Americans, Russians, Chileans, and the Chinese all had signiﬁcant presences in the system for both legal resource collection functions and less-than-legal research outposts that were doing work on memetic, biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons programs.
The Americans, as part of a joint venture with other Western hemisphere nations, particularly Argentina and Chile with their major spaceports, had substantial ship-building and deep-space manufacturing facilities. They poured money into these ventures in an attempt to recoup the prestige they’d lost in allowing the Chinese to reach and colonize Mars ﬁrst (and the Indians to lead on Luna). These shipyards, concentrated around Ganymede, were trumpeted in the media back home as the jumping-off point for exploration and colonization—not just of the solar system, but of extrasolar systems as well.
In the years immediately prior to the Fall, the Jovian system was something of a boomtown. There was lots of venture capital sloshing around and hypercorp start-ups were renting out all of the space available on the orbital factories or even prefab tin cans. This was also the high point of what came to be called Reagan cylinders, which were brand new at the time but have since become something of a sore point due to their technical limitations.
Sidebar: Reagan Cylinders
The standard O'Neill cylinder is a proven habitat type that can be found all across the solar system. Several years prior to the Fall an American aerospace consortium backed primarily by Raytheon rolled out a new cylinder design, christened the Reagan cylinder as a nod to the resurgence of interest in the historical president’s economic doctrines. Reagan cylinders differed from O'Neill designs in that they were built within hollowed-out asteroids or moonlets, usually mined out, using the rocky exterior as a layer of radiation shielding, a requirement for the Jovian system. In the years since, Reagan cylinders have become infamous for their inefﬁciency. Environmental and power systems are notoriously sub-par, subject to frequent failures. Brownouts, blackouts, and septic contamination are a common state of affairs on these “sarcophagus” habs.
The Seventeen-Minute War
This all came to a crashing end with the Fall. Keep in mind that even under the best of conditions, it takes over half an hour for a radio message to reach the Jovian system from Earth. Weeks of escalating conﬂict had put the various military forces throughout the system on high alert. By the time the ﬁrst garbled reports of the TITANs reached the rest of the solar system, the settlements around Jupiter had already thrown themselves into complete chaos. A sudden spastic outburst of violence known as the Seventeen-Minute War changed the status of the Jovian system forever.
While ofﬁcial records from this period are still highly classified, the meager information that has been released or leaked indicates that the US, Chinese, and Russian forces had all adopted battle-ready postures. It is known that the ranking US commander, Lt. General Richard Chatterson, received several top priority QE messages from the US Secretary of Defense warning of imminent Chinese and Russian aggression. We suspect that the Chinese and Russian commanders were ﬂashed similar messages. (I will not speak to conspiracy theories that speculate the TITANs engineered the whole situation; it is possible, but at this point impossible to prove, and largely irrelevant to the present day.) At this point, the facts become muddled. The ofﬁcial Jovian version states the Chinese forces launched nuclear-armed drones towards Liberty Station. I've seen a Titanian factﬁnding report that asserts the drones were merely recon craft whose faulty magnetic bottles were leaking extra radiation. Whatever the case, Chatterson decided to take no chances and ordered his forces to hit both the Chinese and Russians with everything they had.
Seventeen minutes later, both opposing forces lay decimated. Fewer than 12% of military targets remained operational after the initial strikes, and within 6 hours they had been reduced to 5%, at which point their surrender was accepted. Chatterson and his senior command staff also destroyed or seized a number of civilian outposts, citing security concerns. This action raised a general outcry from nearby non-American stations that Chatterson was making a land grab, but was ignored among the general disarray of the worsening situation on Earth and the fallout it was creating.
From the Ashes
Within a day, Chatterson had seized control of the entire system. Though the Americans had also taken some serious hits, their forces remained surprisingly intact, and they had the support of their Chilean allies. Chatterson, however, was only left in command brieﬂy as long-dormant contingency plans unfolded. Chatterson led a portion of the Jovian ﬂeet to ﬁght in the battles over Earth—never to return. In the weeks and months that followed, many of the top military and political players from the Western Hemisphere were evacuated to the secure Jovian facilities. At ﬁrst, this was seen as a safe place to wait out the chaos on Earth, and many came by ship. As the situation on Earth deteriorated, numerous VIPs used emergency facilities to egocast out to Jupiter—or at least transferred backups in case they never escaped. The US government sent several cabinet members, senators, and high level military ofﬁcials, along with the heads of state for four Central and South American nations and a number of other military and political dignitaries.
In the ﬁnal days of the Fall, it was appallingly clear that the old government structures from Earth were in tatters at best. Disputes over who held authority were already breaking out. Refugee ships continued to pour into the system, many of them having been turned away by already full inner system habitats. Tensions rose over tight space and scant resources, and people began to polarize according to ethnic and formerly national identities. It was clear that a strong authority was needed to unite the survivors. The various military leaders remaining in the system convened a council and established a common purpose. They would use their military might to establish order and safeguard the humans of the Jovian system from outside threats. Reaching out to the former leaders in their ranks—many of whom had been among the most politically powerful people on Earth before relocating to the far reaches of the solar system—they laid the groundwork for a new government. Issuing a declaration of emergency, the newly declared Jovian Republic further consolidated the system under its control. As the new socio-political landscape of the solar system took shape, it rapidly became clear that the Republic had established an iron grip on the most strategically important locations within our planetary system, with the exception of Europa, despite a failed commando raid attempt early on to seize the Conamara elevator head.
The years immediately after the Fall were a formative period for us. As the Consortium rose to dominance in the inner system and the autonomists declared their independence on the rim, it quickly became evident that no one cared about the survival of the species but ourselves. The ideological rift between the polities wasn't just about economics or who’s in charge, it was about protecting the human race from unregulated, runaway technologies, about protecting us all from extinction. The hypercorps were clearly more concerned about how to exploit nanotech, biotech, and even AI for ﬁnancial gain. At the time, the conventional wisdom was that the nascent Autonomist Alliance would soon collapse under internal divisions, leaving their dangerous technology in the hands of various politically radical crackpots. On top of that, we still weren't sure where the TITANs had gone—and then everyone starts thinking it’s a good idea to open up wormholes right next door and let a group of alien slugs have the run of the solar system. Seeing the state of affairs, most of those Jovian stations that had not initially joined the Republic turned to us for protection.
Before I go any further about the Republic, I need to explain what defines us Jovians in contrast to the rest of the solar system: our views on technology and transhumanism.
To the rest of the system, we’re backwards Luddites because the vast majority of the Republic’s populace lacks access to advanced nano- and biotechnology. This isn't strictly true, however, since we have access to the same level of technology the rest of the system is accustomed to, we just regulate and restrict it more thoroughly. We are, as a rule, deeply conservative in our outlook towards certain technologies. We took a different lesson from the Fall than the rest of transhumanity. We saw it as proof that unregulated technological advances will wipe us out. We have also seen that modifying our bodies and “playing god” removes us from our humanity. So our approach is to study technology carefully, test it thoroughly, put safeguards in place, and only use it when it is safe to do so. We are always alert to the destructive potential a new technology may have. Just as you wouldn't let children play with potentially harmful tools they do not understand, we do not place technology with the capacity to wreak great devastation in the hands of everyone.
Our culture is not monolithic or singular—we also have divergent viewpoints and ideologies in our ranks. Many of our people hold religious convictions that are extremely critical of the ease with which some new technologies can strip away our basic humanity and dignity. These Jovians personally reject many of the technologies that are allowed, unwilling as they are to commit a sin or transform themselves into an abomination of nature. In practical terms, this means that certain technologies—advanced nanotech and biotech, AI, certain weapon systems—are virtually impossible to ﬁnd outside of the highest clearance military labs. Some of this is considered even too dangerous to weaponize and what little research there is focuses primarily on defensive measures should it become a threat.
You may be surprised to hear that many technologies common elsewhere are indeed allowed, but heavily restricted. This includes cornucopia machines, resleeving, and a number of genetic enhancements. These tools typically require high priced licenses or special government dispensation, which generally limit them to the wealthy, specialist labs, and high-ranking government and military ofﬁcials. These tech privileges are usually laden with monitoring provisions, regular check-ups, and limited period renewal clauses, to ensure that no one goes off the radar with anything.
The vast majority of Jovians (over 80%) retain their original bodies. In fact, our Republic offers a significant reward to anyone who still has their birth body that relocates and becomes a Jovian citizen. Many are geneﬁxed (splicers), though some refuse out of religious objection. Licenses for certain genetic enhancements and bio-mods—or even certain morphs—are allowed if you can demonstrate a particular need for it (vacworkers, for example). Longevity treatments are available for all, if expensive, though our culture reveres death and considers it a dignified and natural end.
A strong public sentiment exists against resleeving. Most believe that our souls are not transferable to a new body and so resleeving is akin to suicide, which is a sin. A few small factions believe it is allowable under certain circumstances, such as a destructive uploading that transfers the soul to a clone of the same body. Cortical stacks, backups, resleeving, and even certain biomorphs are legal, however, if licensed and restricted (showing that the Security Council, above all, sees practical value in the technology). The few resleeving facilities that exist are subject to regular protests and vandalism, and in two cases uploading technicians have been assassinated by religious extremists that considered them to be murderers. Few people wear non-standard morphs in our habitats, and those that do are subject to reactions of distaste, fear, and occasionally even hatred. Synthmorphs and pods are rare to nonexistent. Uplifts, in any form, are seen as abominations; even when allowed by the government, they can expect overt hostility and prejudice.
Some things are expressly forbidden, specifically forking and uploading/infomorphs. There are rumors that both forks and human infomorphs are used for certain military applications, though this is unsubstantiated. Only the most limited and locked-down AIs are allowed, and even those only for situations where they are critical. While mesh implants are standard (except among the most devout), muses are unheard of. This also means that we have developed ways of running many of our computer systems that don’t involve smart programs or limited AI, and even those that do have security lock outs that disable all remote access to systems and require an actual ﬂesh and blood person to authorize any operations.
You are unlikely to suspect that Jovian medtech is on par with the best found elsewhere in the system—we do, after all, have a vested interest in keeping our bodies alive, rather than just slipping into a new one. Medical nanotech is allowed under the strict supervision of licensed professionals, who also excel at non-nano health practices and surgical procedures. Our exowombs, childcare facilities, and schools are also top of the line, given the importance we place on rebuilding our population and raising future generations. Families with children are allotted special incentives to encourage population growth.
Obviously, there are differences between our culture and the rest of the solar system. One thing important for non-Jovians to remember, however, is that our views are not just based on mistrust of technology, over-hyped security theater, or fear of the TITANs. A significant portion of our population considers our Republic to be the last and only bastion of humanity. To their eyes, our Republic is surrounded not by transhumans, but by uncivilized monsters that once were human, but are now on their way to becoming something else, with the distinct possibility that they may kill us all in the process. After all, from their point of view, the moment you ﬁrst resleeved, you died and transformed into something that wasn't a person anymore. To the average Jovian, you are a soulless software replica with a human face.
Sound frightening? It is.
Sidebar: Jovian Mesh and Security Operations
The following was passed along to me for circulation by one of our operatives who recently returned from a deep cover mission on Liberty. It goes a long way towards dispelling many of the myths our operatives hold regarding the Jovians and their security measures.
Mission Summary by Oversight Covert Operative "Nilsson"
While we have a lot of stories and jokes about the Jovians, the fact remains that most of this is rumor and supposition. We know they took different lessons from the Fall than the rest of the system, and these lessons have heavily informed their security culture.
The ﬁrst thing you need to know is that yes, the Jovians do have a mesh. It is heavily regulated, but they do have one. However, you must be cautious in using it. In order to gain access you must allow their mesh protocols quite a bit of access to your own systems, and they are constantly monitoring your traffic for any red ﬂags such as prohibited information, suspicious contacts, or the use of contraband programs. What defines a “contraband program?” Well, just about anything not written and approved by the Republic’s own codeslingers. My advice would be to set up a dummy mesh account so as not to arouse suspicion, but use a VPN darknet with your own team members or any trusted contacts. Long distance communications can be problematic within Jovian space due to the interference of Jupiter’s radiation and the signal inhibitors the Republic uses to curtail the spread of non-approved information.
As for hacking Jovian infrastructure via the mesh, this is a bit more complicated. Unlike most sane and rational people, the Jovians do not control most habitat systems via mesh or even wireless. Instead, if you were to peel back the wall on a Jovian hab you’d ﬁnd thousands of ﬁne wires running everywhere keeping everything connected. For most operatives this is a problem; you've likely been trained in jamming and co-opting mesh services to get a habitat’s systems to do your bidding. Not in Jovian habs, my friend. All of the systems are hardwired and controlled via a central hub that is usually located in the local headquarters of the Civil Defense Corp or the Space Force. This central hub is also where all local wireless traffic is routed through and sniffed before it makes its way out of the hab. Finally, the ranking ofﬁcer on any hab has an access code, which changes every eight hours, that can be entered to completely sever that habitat from any incoming or outgoing communications. It also activates powerful jamming devices that are effective against most darkcast networks as well.
While this system serves the Jovians well in information control, to minimize the spread of any hostile infowar virus, and as a means of protecting habitats from becoming infected if such an agent is already loose, it does have certain easily exploitable weaknesses. First, the fact that nearly everything has to go through a central hub means that gaining access to this hub can give an agent tremendous leverage, either to sniff the traffic themselves or to bring it down and isolate the habitat. Additionally, the Jovian reliance upon humans and not code as the last line of security means that an agent skilled in manipulation or interrogation can extract all sorts of valuable security information simply by leaning on the right people.
As for the best way of doing this? Paranoia. Most Jovian security personnel are extremely paranoid but generally ignorant of much outside of their Republic. This can be exploited to your gain by playing off their belief that they are under constant attack by things of which they have little to no understanding. I have found that anarchists, communists, or socialists make particularly good bugbears and are deeply ingrained as cultural monsters to the average Jovian.
The Guardians of Bio-Ethics
Foremost in shaping Republic policy in regards to what is and isn't safe are two entities, the Council on Bioethics and Advanced Technology, a think tank and lobbying group, and the Roman Catholic Church, the remnants of which now call the Republic home. Both of these organizations examine new and existing technologies and issue strongly received mandates.
The Council on Bio-Ethics and Advanced Technology (CBEAT)
CBEAT is composed of scientists, philosophers, and lay experts, many of whom have experience as political advisors back on Earth. They are more inﬂuential in their recommendations than the Church since they have the ear of the Security Council in their analysis of the potential social and cultural impacts of new technology adoption. They are also savvier in the way they lobby through the media, the governors, and the Senate for the appropriate legal restrictions on or banishment of said technology. They primarily approach technology through the lens of the precautionary principle, meaning that something must be proven non-harmful before it can be adopted. Basically as long as one of the eggheads at CBEAT can come up with a worst-case scenario, they recommend new potential tech be kept from the population for their own protection. Even if a technology is unlikely to be catastrophic, they often approve it only for limited applications, pending further evaluations.
CBEAT is continually under pressure from some of the Republic’s home-grown corporations to approve new technologies to release into the market, not to mention certain foreign hypercorps that have received a charter to operate in Jovian space. These corporations often complain how CBEAT limits growth unreasonably. The Security Council has made it clear, however, that they support CBEAT's precautionary approach. Corporations that have gotten too pushy have found their licenses revoked.
Sidebar: Medical Concerns
From: Dr. Maria Coﬁni, Lobbyist, Jovian Medical Association
To: Enrico Salazar, CBEAT Public Liaison
We Jovian medical professionals may pride ourselves in maintaining our populations’ health and well-being, but the praise the media heaps upon us grows continuously hollow. The fact that so many critical medical technologies must run the twin gauntlets of the Church and CBEAT to be considered safe for the population means that very little of the newer procedures, treatments, and drugs make it to the general populace. As a result, even those citizens willing to undertake longevity treatments can expect to live a life considerably shorter than the rest of the system—and one that is likely ﬁlled with no small amount of pain and suffering. The Senate can suppress all of the reports on the high rate of cancers among our population that it likes; people are still getting concerned. Living for ten or more years within a heavy radiation belt is bound to have negative effects on a large portion of the population and several of the nastier cancers are reaching epidemic levels. Unfortunately, the best techniques for treating these cancers remain on the banned list or are restricted to a handful of licensed practitioners because they involve invasive nanotechnology. While our wealthier citizens have the political clout and credit for a “vacation” to Titan or Extropia to ﬁx their health, the rest of our population lies at risk. Caution may be patriotic, but when it actively hinders the health of a significant proportion of our population, I can only consider it criminal negligence.
The Roman Catholic Church
The Church acts in a similar manner to CBEAT, though their concern is offering spiritual guidance to the laity in regards to this rapidly changing world. This means they tend to stress the moral implications of the technologies upon perceived humanity. Although the Church doesn't have the same degree of political and military inﬂuence, they are wildly popular among the populace, offering hope in what have been trying times. Most politicians in the Republic know they have to make concessions towards the power of the Church. The Church’s lobbying wing, the Conference of Bishops, frequently engages public ofﬁcials and advocates for both the interests of the Church and for scientific policies that may affect the ﬂock. The Church has sometimes had major disagreements with CBEAT (particularly over resleeving), launching outspoken opposition and boycotts to a handful of technologies that received CBEAT's seal of approval.
Sidebar: Trying Times for the Faithful
Censored from the Journal of Cardinal Gonzalo Cortez, RIP
When the Fall came, it was a severe test of our faith. Rome, like so many other holy sites, was ravaged by the instruments of our hubris. Few of the faithful made it off-planet due to prohibitions on technologies that would sever the soul from the vessel. We found ourselves, in those years immediately afterwards, adrift in a world that seemed to test us at every step. While we were offered a form of sanctuary among the venal and corrupt oligarchs of the inner system, we rejected their offer, seeing in it only a role as lapdogs and servitors of their schemes. The outer system too seemed bereft of hope, beset as it was with the godless and the god-mocking. It was at this time that the voices of the faithful in the newly formed Jovian Republic cried out for our presence.
Life in the Republic has not been easy. The trials of living under such harsh conditions are a ﬁtting punishment for our sins in assuming we were greater than God. Additionally, the Church often ﬁnds itself at odds with the rulers of the Republic. We attempt to temper their more warlike impulses with the teachings of Jesus Christ, but agree with them on many issues of cultural and scientific significance.
While many of the faithful call the Republic home, we still minister to any place the faithful call home and send as many missions as we can manage across the solar system. We still hold to hope for the lost souls left behind on Earth. While others may have abandoned the home God gave to us, we have not. We hold to the belief that we will one day return and cleanse it of the evils that we, ourselves, unleashed upon the face of the Earth.
Government Under A God's Gaze
While the rest of the system may characterize us as a fascist state or even use the pejorative “junta” to describe our system of government, we are nominally a democratic republic with two of our major legislative and executive bodies being democratically elected. Suffrage, however, is limited to citizens, and citizenship is not a birthright guarantee in the Republic.
Citizens and Civilians
To outsiders accustomed to universal suffrage, a citizen is a citizen. Within the Republic, however, citizenship is not a given. By birth or by immigration, all persons within the Republic are considered civilians. This means that they have limited rights and that these rights are contingent upon remaining in good standing with the local authorities.
Citizens are made, not born. In order to become a citizen an inhabitant of the Republic must do several things. First, and most importantly, they must sign up for a voluntary four-year stint in either the Space Force or the Civil Defense Corps and must serve out the entire deployment. The standard tour is six months of basic training, followed by six months of specialized training, and then three years on active duty. This ensures that our forces, both internal and external, are always staffed by the best and the brightest. Note that many of these assignments are for positions such as engineers, medics, and various service and bureaucratic roles; everyone, however, receives the basic military and security training. After serving for four years a person is granted citizenship, though a high degree opt to re-enlist since most careers outside of military or police work reward increased experience within the services. Citizenship may be revoked, however, for any number of major criminal infractions. While a simple theft is unlikely to see the perpetrator stripped of citizenship, repeat minor offenders or major offenses such as assault against another citizen or murder will be punished with the loss of citizenship. As long as a citizen remains in good standing, they are afforded all of the rights and privileges of a full member of Jovian society.
Civilians are generally anyone under the age of ﬁfteen, anyone who has been convicted of a criminal act, new naturalized arrivals to the Republic, or any adult who has not completed their voluntary military service. While a civilian enjoys some rights, they do not have absolute freedom of speech and may be detained or conﬁned to their quarters by the authorities, no justification needed. Civilians are banned from working or even accessing sensitive areas on habitats. Adult civilians are relegated to a second-class status within the Republic and are generally considered to be criminals, cowards, or both. An adult who is not a citizen has failed the Republic in some manner and this status is not only reﬂected in their mesh and other digital interactions but also in housing. The rental or purchase of housing in certain zones is a privilege extended only to citizens, meaning that most civilians are relegated to ghettos where they are more easily controlled and monitored.
Below civilians are a class of “non-persons.” This includes uplifts, infomorphs, repeat criminal offenders, and untrusted inhabitants of our protectorate habitats that are not collaborating with the regime. With the exception of the last category, most non-persons do not tend to remain in the Republic if they can afford it. These non-persons cannot claim even the most basic rights, and while it is still considered a crime to kill one, it is treated as felony property damage and not murder or manslaughter.
We have a constitutional framework that grants rights and privileges for citizens and the basic outlines of our legal system. A stranger to the Republic would ﬁnd much of our laws and political process reminiscent of several old Earth democracies with a few notable exceptions. There are no universal freedoms for the press or of assembly. The ﬁrst is a military matter in which the Senate accedes to the Security Council. They have argued, convincingly, that a free and independent press leaves the Republic open to memetic attack and other infowar vectors, and that it would jeopardize their efforts to maintain the ﬁghting spirit of the Republic, undermine morale, or create support for subversive ideas and technologies. As a result, all media outlets are subject to monitoring and review by censors from the Security Council. Outside media and information sources are strictly banned. The ban on free assembly stems from the martial law security measures put in place during the Fall. Since that time many of the other restrictions put in place have been removed, but the ban on large public gatherings has remained. Any public gathering in excess of twenty persons will usually be broken up by the Civil Defense Corps in fairly short order.
It may surprise those that have never been to the Republic to discover that we have absolute freedom of speech. While there are rather strict sedition laws, merely criticizing the government will not get you hauled off to prison. The media, activists, and even the Church are often quite vocal in their criticisms of the senate and the governors. This freedom of speech is limited due to restrictions against the press and public gatherings, of course, so while individual dissent is very much alive and well, it seldom makes the jump to organized opposition. On the rare cases where it does, it is usually quickly quelled by the CDC.
Coming and Going
It is a common misconception that we Jovians are prisoners in our society, never allowed to leave lest we be tainted by transhuman memes. This is untrue, as any citizen may request an exit visa to travel outside the Republic. Granted, the process for acquiring one is long, complicated, and expensive, and they are often refused unless the applicant has a particularly good reason for leaving. The only exit visas granted for vacation purposes are to Europa. Even if an exit visa is obtained, booking a berth aboard a passenger ship outside of the system is often a challenge, given how few routes exist. Egocasting facilities are, of course, nonexistent. Civilians and non-persons are technically barred from leaving, though ofﬁcials often turn a blind eye. Returning citizens can expect heavy screening and questioning about their outside activities.
For outsiders, entering the Republic is an equally difficult process. Visas must be registered well in advance (just showing up will get you thrown in a cell) and must have good cause. Hypercorp reps and inner system types generally have an easier time cutting through the red tape, whereas an autonomist has a better chance of ﬁnding a golf ball in Saturn’s rings. Visitors are warned in advance that certain morphs, mods, and equipment are considered contraband, including your muse—I recommend going through the list carefully, lest your stay be conﬁned to the gulag. A shuttle or passenger vessel must also be booked, as the Republic does not accept foreign egocasts. Expect long lines and terminally painful customs procedures when you arrive. Accredited guests are granted a “registered alien” status, which gives them roughly the same rights as a citizen. A category of “protected aliens” is extended to guests to the Republic who would not normally be granted rights or protections but who, due to their diplomatic or trade standing, are accorded a limited form of legal protection. Uplifts, infomorphs, and certain political undesirables are granted this status. AGIs are strictly forbidden in Jovian space, and aiding or abetting one is a crime.
You should be aware that as a registered or protected alien you do not have a right to privacy and a search of your person or possessions can be conducted at any time. Additionally, in the case of suspected subversive activity or basically anything an inspecting ofﬁcer may ﬁnd objectionable about you, military ofﬁcers can be called in to access your cortical stack. All aliens legally visiting the Republic are required to install and carry around a modified version of a muse called a minder that reports your activities to local authorities at all times and is admissible as evidence for deportation or detention. While similar to a muse, a minder is far more limited, and I am told easier to reprogram if you know what you are doing.
Each full member habitat of the Republic is allowed to elect three senators who are then sent to Liberty on Ganymede where they deliberate upon and set much of the policy for the Republic. There is a saying among us, however, roughly translated from Spanish as “not everyone is born a senator.” It’s usually used to mean that someone has taken on pretensions of importance, but it points to the fact that most senators either held prominent positions within their governments back on Earth or come from families that have money or inﬂuence. The reality is that to be eligible to run for a senate position, a citizen must be properly vetted and receive the stamp of approval from a Security Council ofﬁce that handles such things. It is an open secret that various lobbyists also play an inﬂuential role in this process, meaning that each senator is likely beholden to at least a half dozen special interests and better do what their governor says or risk facing a hand-picked replacement during their next campaign.
On its face, the senate is a thoroughly democratic institution. These senators represent the interests of their habitat’s constituency and speak on their behalf on matters of interest to them. As much as I’d like to hold up the Republic as an example of a democracy that works, even my patriotic self knows that is a lie. Once a senator is in ofﬁce, the only mechanism by which the populace can speak to them is through lobbyist groups. There is no petitioning, no calling or writing the senate, no town hall meetings or public referendums. Only the lobbyists have the senate’s ear.
While being a senator likely has its perks, in terms of power they are a lower rung—they are the ﬁrst to feel the heat when something goes wrong in a habitat, which in the Jovian Republic is a regular occurrence.
While a habitat’s senators see to its interests in the capital, the day-to-day operations of running each colony is in the hands of a governor. Governors are appointed by the senate with approval by the Security Council—or so it says in the Constitution, and no one in the Republic is gonna say the Constitution is wrong, at least not where the CDC can hear. The reality? The governors are power-hungry pricks who couldn't cut it as line ofﬁcers but were too important to warehouse on some podunk research station. Most of them, as near as I can tell, had a little too much fondness for the bottle and were taken out of active service lest they make a tragic error in judgment while under the inﬂuence. It may disappoint many a patriotic citizen of the Republic to hear this, but there is nowhere near the level of responsibility attached to being the ﬁgurehead leader of a habitat of thousands as there is to being the one that makes the decisions whether to nuke an enemy or not.
Like the senate, the governors know they don’t really call the shots in the government. That whole “appointed by the senate” crap just means that the Security Council sends over a list of candidates for the senate to “nominate” and “debate,” and the senators do as they’re told, if they know what’s good for themselves. The governors get their orders from the Security Council in the same way the senate gets theirs from the lobbyists and Church. They are the defacto military heads of their habitat unless a ranking ofﬁcer happens to be visiting, which also means they are in charge of the local branch of the CDC and are liable for any civil disturbances that occur on their watch. As a result, most tend to be heavy handed when it comes to any problems that crop up; better to be safe than sorry. This means that most of our governors are hated and feared rather than loved—but that’s not really something most worry too much about.
The Fourth Estate: Lobbyists
The bloodsucking ticks of a sham democracy, the lobbyists are masters at getting what they want ﬁrst and serving the interests of the Republic second. Even back on Earth we had lobbyists all over the place, though there they weren't ofﬁcially part of the government. When we relocated to the Jupiter system and hammered out a new government, they came crawling out of the woodwork. Now they are the ofﬁcial voice of the people. If you have a cause you want to bring to the senate, you need a lobbying group to do it. At a minimum, this means you need a requisite number of supporting citizens’ signatures. To meet the various government requirements to form a lobby, you also need money and inﬂuence. What this means in practical terms is that only causes backed by corporations, the wealthy elites, or widespread public support have a chance.
The way the lobbyists see it, we’d forgotten how to run the government on our own, and they may have a point. At the most basic level, most people only want a few things: security, shelter, and sustenance. The Security Council already had the security racket sewed up, but the other two, well, your average politico has no idea where their food comes from or how they get home at the end of the night. So we struck a bargain with the lobbyists of the various important employers and interests that were already in the system and those that sprung up afterwards offering to serve the various needs of the Republic.
Sidebar: Top Lobbyists
Addendum of Public Record: Most Campaign Contributions by Private Interest
From the 9th Legislative Session of the Senate of the Jovian Republic
<With additional notes from Damasso Contreras, Titanian independent journo>
Centro Para el Desarrollo de Recursos
<The CDR represents most of the major mining interests in Jovian space and is the second largest private employer in the Junta after arms manufacturing. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they’re mostly focused on getting the Junta to bankroll more exploration and extraction projects. What tends to confuse most outsiders is the weight they throw in supporting long range patrols and border security, until you realize that it’s these kinds of patrols that often interdict and seize Consortium comets and asteroids under propulsion from farther out.>
Institute for Financial Security
<Most banks and bankers in the Junta probably wish they were with the rest of their parasitic ilk on Luna or Mars. The native ﬁnancial establishment throws a lot of money around but doesn't get much service for all of their cash—probably because they’re interested in trade liberalization with the Consortium, something the rest of the Jovian establishment isn't too keen on.>
Jovian Chamber of Commerce
<The JCC are the guardians of the old economy. They support government protection of private property rights, with an emphasis on intellectual property. They successfully argue that technologies which enable IP infringement must be outlawed and restricted to protect the Republic’s ﬁnancial security.>
The Security Council
The Jovian Security Council is the apex of power in the Republic. Though they nominally leave governance and legislative matters to the senate and governors, there is no question that the Security Council’s word is law. They provide lip service to democracy, but claim authority in all matters regarding the Republic’s security—and these days, you can make almost anything a security matter if you phrase it right. The Council’s location, meetings, decision arrangements, and operations are protected by a veil of secrecy. Analysis from information gleaned over the years indicates that the Security Council currently has seven members, each with a speciﬁc purview.
General Monica Contreras, Commander-in-Chief
A colonel in the Chilean Space Force, Contreras became the ranking ofﬁcer in the Jovian theater when a bizarre accident claimed the life of her predecessor in the last few months of the Fall. By all accounts, Contreras was the primary architect of the plan to unite the military units around Jupiter, stage a coup, and establish the Security Council. An atheist and former political moderate, she is wholeheartedly dedicated to preserving a future for humanity. In her view, a strong military force and strict control of dangerous technology take priority over all other concerns. She is often quoted as saying that humanity is at war for its own survival as a species, and so the Jovian people must make sacrifices for their common cause.
General Gavin Brown, Vice Commander
Son of a wealthy American political family, none of whom survived the Fall, General Brown was in charge of space assets defending numerous key assets in Earth orbit, almost all of which were destroyed by the TITANs. Upon hearing of the founding of the Jovian Republic, and seeing that the American government and military had collapsed, Brown defected to the Jovians and quickly wormed his way onto the council, even replacing the previous vice commander as second in command. Though non-religious, he holds a vigorous bioconservative stance.
General Adam Westmoreland, Space Force Commander
Westmoreland heads the Jovian Space Force, the most formidable military ﬂeet in the solar system. He is also one of the key voices in the determinist faction, believing the Republic is destined to prevail in the long run, should they just concentrate on protecting themselves and weathering the storms. Westmoreland is known to have large personal stakes in several major mining and energy corporations within the Republic.
General Sergio Cauas, Civil Defense Corps Commander
Cauas is in charge of protecting Jovian habitats and other physical assets, which he takes exceptionally seriously. If you want to blame someone for the periodic emergency readiness drills that all Jovians suffer through, Cauas is your man. The CDC manages external habitat defensive installations, civilian policing duties, and the military courts that handle all criminal matters within the Republic. Cauas is a devout Catholic and a close friend of the Pope.
Director Zane McFarlane, Intelligence Commander
McFarlane has the distinction of being the only council member not in his original body, as he egocast to the Jupiter system one year before the Fall. A CIA ﬁeld analyst, McFarlane was responsible for gathering intelligence on rival military outposts around Jupiter. His work undoubtedly helped decide the outcome of the Seventeen-Minute War. Currently, he is one of the most feared men in the Republic, as his Security Council Intelligence (SCI) agents have eyes and ears throughout Jovian society, alert to any hint of sedition or super-empowering technology. His current priority is rooting out the Jovian Anarchist Cells. SCI is also in charge of the Republic’s media restrictions and censorship, so it often plays a defining role in current Jovian political discourse.
Director Marcelo Vasena, Chief of Operations
Vasena oversees the logistics for the Security Council’s subdivisions. He is in charge of training operations for the Space Force, CDC, and SCI, ensures the readiness of all active and reserve personnel, and manages resources and distribution. This includes oversight of the Republic’s spaceyards, arms manufacturing, and toll collection systems. Vasena served as a former aide to the President of Colombia before the Fall. His control over military contracts with Republic corporations makes him an inﬂuential and popular ﬁgure. Vasena is also the leader of the expansionist faction, pointing out frequently that not having complete control of Jovian space is a risk to the Republic.
Director Wendy Gilder, Chief Technology Officer
The former CEO of the Rand Corporation, Gilder was brought onto the Security Council to spearhead the Republic’s policies on all issues relating to technology, including economics, manufacturing, healthcare, and computer systems. Gilder’s ofﬁce has a close relationship with CBEAT.
To: <Firewall Proxy Node 4378949998>
While the Security Council has its own intelligence service, it’s worth noting that they farm out the most sensitive jobs to one of the more inﬂuential lobbying groups, the Terrestrial Ancestral Heritage Institute. While it may seem strange that a lobbying group handles the blackest of the black ops for the Junta, this becomes less weird once one looks at TAHI's membership: almost entirely highly ranked and trusted former military ofﬁcers. TAHI is the Security Council’s ace in the hole against a coup from within, a place where their top and most loyal followers are placed out of sight of senate oversight to conduct, in the shadows, the work necessary to keep the Republic going. A holdover from various military and cultural preservationist think tanks from Earth, the TAHI people are well funded and well connected and are not at all happy with the current state of affairs. TAHI has recently started a campaign to shift internal tensions within Junta culture by rewriting the curriculum at the service academies and becoming more active in advocating for policy that places the blame for social problems on several senators that have been leading a vocal reform wing. Specifically, they’re placing the blame for our rather sad state not on our refusal to modernize and adopt more widespread use of maker and resleeving technology, but because these senators have been complicit in “consorting with transhumanity.” They've also become involved in stopping some of the ongoing investigations into the Spear of Longinus and may be using the group to act against opponents in a more direct, but deniable manner.
While the Junta doesn't generally tolerate many transhumans, there are a few within Republic habitats. TAHI has been stirring up resentment against these people that has resulted in several incidents of violence. They use these incidents to further attack the senate’s reluctance to allow for mandatory incarceration or detention of non-persons and point out that these modified people pose a threat to the Republic.
This may not sound all that surprising until you consider that many members of TAHI use extensive nanomods and keep backups stashed in out-of-the-way places. They foster a deliberate double standard: advanced technology is suitable for the elite and powerful but best kept out of the hands of the average citizen or civilian. While most of my fellow intelligence operatives are well trained and suitably equipped to compete with our transhuman adversaries, TAHI agents are even more likely to have makers, top-oft-he-line modified morphs, and advanced bio-mods. They are often called upon to serve lengthy stays outside of the Junta as sleeper agents.
The most disturbing aspect of TAHI, however, is their interest in the Watts-MacLeod strain. They've liberated several of the core researchers that worked on the Futura project and tasked them with ﬁguring out how the Lost generation ended up with such a high rate of Watts-MacLeod expression and whether these results are replicable or even possible to induce in a full-grown adult.
Sidebar: The Third Year Coup?
To: <Firewall Proxy Node 4378949998>
If some sources are to be believed, Vice Commander Davis did not quietly retire from the Security Council. They claim Davis actually attempted his own coup against Contreras three years after the Republic was formed. I have found no evidence to support this, but fully believe that such an incident would be buried deeply out of sight so as not to undermine the Security Council’s omnipotence. Certainly it is true that Davis is the only original council member to have departed, and he seems to have done so suddenly and without fanfare. One day he was there, the next Brown held the position. Davis’s complete absence from the public sphere ever since gives the theory some credibility, but there could be other explanations.
I've heard one counter-theory: Davis wasn't a coup mastermind, but a deep-cover exsurgent, ﬁnally exposed. Make of that what you will.
Aside from the military and lobbyists, there are several leading and sometimes competing memes with strong inﬂuence in Jovian culture.
The determinists take the long view. They believe that transhumanity (speciﬁcally meaning all non-Jovians) is doomed to either wipe itself out, whether from out-of-control technology or civilizational dysfunction, or that it will transmutate into something so beyond human that it no longer becomes relevant. They take the position that the Republic should strengthen its defenses, bunker down, isolate itself as much as possible, and simply wait for the transhumans to go away. Once the threat has passed, humanity will be safe to reclaim the solar system, retake Earth, and rebuild civilization the right way. They argue for a slow and steady tech development, defensive buildup, and isolation to avoid potentially infectious memes. They oppose expansionist plans as too risky.
The expansionists promote a more pro-active foreign policy, one that would ﬁrst eliminate nearby security threats and then seek to build a wider defense network through paciﬁcation of strategic habitats. Their goal is to completely dominate the Jovian system and then to bar all outside trafﬁc, effectively creating a bubble of space that is actively protected and owned by the Republic.
As their name implies, the hawks support active engagement with the transhuman threat lingering outside of the Republic’s borders. They argue—somewhat convincingly—that the Republic is rapidly being outpaced by the competition. Where transhuman technology develops exponentially, Jovian technological progress is a cautious trickle. Where transhumans can clone and fork and manufacture pods and synthmorphs, the Republic breeds slowly. Within a few decades, they believe that the Republic will have no chance of standing up to a transhuman offensive. The Republic’s only salvation in their view is to act now, to strike while they have a military advantage, and seize the solar system for humanity.
The reclamation of Earth strikes a deep chord within the Jovian psyche. The Church plays a significant role in this. Having emerged from the Fall decimated in terms of followers but with most of their ﬁnances intact, they are a major funder of reclaimer causes throughout the solar system. They are particularly in support of missions that show a chance of rescuing survivors from Earth, since most of their ﬂock didn't make it offworld.
The reformists take a liberal stance on technology and development. Though they also encourage safety, security, and the precautionary principle, they argue that the Republic is cautious to the point of being a detriment to the well-being of its citizens. They propose a liberalization of certain technologies, particularly those that would improve healthcare, counter poverty, and eliminate death. Foremost among their causes is legalizing cortical stacks and backups for everyone. Though vilified by the entrenched bioconservatives and still a minority, the reformists have grown rapidly and significantly in the past few years, in part due to support from corporations that ﬁnd current government tech development standards too restrictive. Reformist activists have been attempting unsuccessfully to gather more widespread support from the Republic’s large and impoverished underclass, but most of the Republic’s proles are more preoccupied with their fear of transhumanity.
Power, Gravity, and Might
The Republic is infamous for its “slingshot toll booths,” but there is much more to keep an eye on regarding the Republic’s dealings in the region.
The Republic demands a toll from any vessel that makes use of Jupiter’s gravity well for a slingshot or aerobraking maneuver—or any other craft that passes through Jovian space, for that matter. The toll rate is based on mass and ships are expected to declare their cargo, with certain dangerous materials and technologies banned or subject to increased rates. Most hypercorp merchants account for the tax and pay it in advance through a customs account with the Republic to ensure no problems. Unregistered ships picked up by Jovian sensors are pinged and asked to ﬁle a customs form and pay up. Occasionally, Jovian Space Force ships will match velocity and demand to board for cargo inspections. Those that refuse to pay are seized or destroyed. There have been numerous complaints and diplomatic objections ﬁled with the Republic over the years for alleged improper cargo seizures, mostly falling upon deaf ears. For those with secret cargoes or a dislike of the Republic, numerous smugglers and blockade runners specialize in sneaking craft past the Republic’s gaze.
Mining and Power
The mineral resources of Jupiter’s many moons are a source of wealth for a number of Jovian-based corporations; the Republic forbids outside entities from extracting resources within its boundaries. Gas mining is also practiced, but the challenges in dealing with Jupiter’s radiation, gravity well, and turbulent atmosphere leave this industry to a handful of high-risk specialist corps. In recent years, the Republic has beneﬁted from its growing electrodynamic tether program. Four of the inner-most minor moonlets were de-orbited and equipped to drag superconductive tethers through Jupiter’s magnetosphere, producing massive amounts of power. These stations beam power by laser to Jovian habitats and ships around the system, proﬁtably including several non-Republic stations. Creating and establishing these tethers within the magnetosphere is a risky endeavor, but one treated as a point of national pride, with the life-risking engineers regarded as heroes in the Republic’s media feeds.
The ﬂux tube produced by Io’s interaction with Jupiter’s magnetosphere provides a perfect source of power for the Republic’s antimatter facility there. This factory is the primary source of antimatter for the Space Force’s antimatter drives and is heavily defended given its strategic value.
The Jovian Republic extends protection status to a number of city-state habitats in the region. These protectorate colonies are not extended complete privileges: they do not have representation within the senate and their residents are counted as civilians (unless they opt for military service, as some do). They are expected to pay taxes and adhere to the Republic’s major laws and policies, however, and most host a CDC garrison and see regular Space Force patrols.
The extent of Jovian military capabilities is classified, of course, but it is clear that their Space Force is the largest and most well-equipped ﬂeet in the system, hosting numerous dreadnoughts, battleships, and destroyers, along with uncounted numbers of frigates, patrol craft, and smaller ships. They rely heavily on actual pilots and human personnel, using limited slave AIs only for speciﬁc tasks. All systems are hardwired and hardened, leaving minimal opportunities for mesh-based intrusions. CDC and Space Force ground/boarding units rely heavily on teleoperated drones, exoskeletons, and cybernetic enhancements rather than combat/security bots. Active service personnel are given an option to backup before authorized missions; career ofﬁcers are commonly equipped with cortical stacks. Both units make use of specialized morphs for speciﬁc combat roles. Of all service personnel, SCI agents are granted the most leeway for using advanced technologies, given their need to inﬁltrate and access our transhuman rivals.
Enemies, Foreign and Domestic
The Republic endures. This common greeting between citizens reﬂects the single most significant tenet of the Republic: endurance in the face of the ravening hordes of transhumanism. The rest of the system may disagree a bit with this characterization, since I’m fairly certain at least a few of our enemies hardly consider us an opponent at all, at least when they bother to think of us. The prevailing mentality within the Republic, however, is one of a constant state of siege. We see enemies everywhere, and are constantly on the lookout for those who would destroy our way of life.
The Autonomist Alliance
Adhering to a policy of keeping your enemies close, our ofﬁcial stance towards the Titanian Commonwealth is one of cautious détente. We have received an ofﬁcial embassy from them, and sent our own, but relations are anything but cordial. The Security Council views the Titanians as the foremost threat to the Republic. They believe that the Titanians have the right combination of proximity, technology, and ideology to pose a serious problem for us if they were ever to make a concerted move. Therefore, the vast preponderance of our covert and intelligence capabilities are focused on understanding and undermining the Titanians. I very much fear, however, that the Security Council will never fully understand what it is they are up against. To us, the Titanians are a threat to our very way of life, a cosmic threat to the order of the universe, and the closest thing to the Devil most Jovians are ever likely to encounter unless the TITANs come again. But to the Titanians? We’re a minor irritant. A backwards collection of throwbacks barely managing to keep ourselves alive in a universe that doesn't care one way or another about us. We barely register, and when we do it’s not because they’re afraid of us, it’s because they worry about our people and want to help. Offers of assistance are regarded with suspicion, however; most Titanian aid is either destroyed or warehoused until the proper military authorities can go over it and make sure it’s clean. That, in a nutshell, captures so many of the problems with the Republic. Even those who would be potential friends we make into enemies, cannibalizing our own well-being to feed our twisted paranoia.
The Security Council has mixed thoughts on the other autonomist factions. Given the degree of propaganda about them, you would think that the autonomists are on the brink of bringing down the Republic, that their operatives had wormed their way into nearly every nook and cranny of our society, that they were killing thousands each week and corrupting our youth into wild-eyed radicals. That’s the thing with propaganda, it doesn't have to be particularly truthful, it just needs to get people riled up and worried about the things you want them worried about. The Security Council is very much interested in keeping the Jovian population from being attracted to autonomist ideals, anti-authoritarianism, and the idea of public access to nanofabrication. Countering autonomist memes is one of the main operations of the SCI. Some aspects of the Council are also seriously concerned about the potential for super-empowering and self-replicating technological threats emerging from unregulated anarchist labs. The idea that anyone can create a biowar plague, seed AI, or nanovirus without oversight is simply terrifying to our mindset.
On the other hand, a significant portion of the Security Council feels the anarchist threat will take care of itself, one way or another. For a decade now various policy groups have been predicting the collapse of the alliance, widespread defections from autonomist habitats, or a civil war between anarchist factions. Keeping in mind that few Jovians have ever met an anarchist or visited any of their habitats—or, for that matter, even have a solid grasp on how the various autonomist factions operate—I ﬁnd these speculations highly improbable.
The Inner System Powers
As the most widespread polity in the solar system, and given the ideological differences, the Planetary Consortium is treated as a serious rival. While we may consider the Consortium an enemy, my understanding is that they do not hold us in the same regard. Like the Commonwealth, the Consortium has ofﬁcial diplomatic representation on Liberty. Unlike the Commonwealth, the Consortium embassy makes great efforts at wooing top government ofﬁcials. For the Consortium, we are the source of much lost revenue in the taxes and tariffs we levy on their ships and in our interdiction of Europa and the proﬁtable research located there.
For now, the Consortium is all sweetness and honey, trying to sell us CBEAT-approved technologies that we could use to strengthen our position in exchange for preferential trade status and a reduction in the fees we levy. The Security Council sees right through this and knows that the only real advantage we have is our strategic position and the money it allows us to shake out of the much wealthier Consortium. We also know that Consortium threats to use force ring hollow; they lack the resources to launch a serious attack. For now, they grind their teeth and bow and scrape and hope they’ll be able to sweet talk us into a slight reduction while we bleed them dry and take what we want, when we want, from their ships as a reminder of who really calls the shots in our relationship.
Even in the Republic, we have our share of criminal malcontents. The senators like to pretend that this is a problem primarily for civilians, fueled by the fact that most serious criminal offenses will get a citizen stripped of citizenship. We still have quite a few citizens with shady ties, however, who somehow manage to keep their records clean but show up as regular persons of interest in CDC investigations.
The biggest cut for the organized criminal syndicates is in contraband tech. Even though we don’t allow it, that doesn't stop people with the money or the connections from wanting things that will make them live longer, be healthier, or let them forget their worries for a while. Most of the criminal activity is run through a handful of local gangs, most of whom were involved with drugs back on Earth, and some with connections to inner system cartels and Extropian smugglers. Some gangs also run more standard protection and racketeering scams among the civilians.
Jovian Anarchist Cells
This group of anarchist freedom ﬁghters is considered the biggest internal threat to the Republic. Rumors persist about their sources of funding, gear, and training—almost all of them pointing back at various Autonomist Alliance interests. Branded domestic terrorists by the government, they are reviled by the majority bioconservative population since their operatives tend to target military, state, and religious institutions. With the exception of military targets, whom they regard as fair game given a declared state of war, the JAC tries to avoid civilian and citizen casualties by sending warnings ahead of bombings. They lost a significant portion of their popular support, however, when some of their bomb attacks resulted in dozens of permanent deaths. The cells claim in two of these instances that they issued warnings that the CDC deliberately did not pass on, and state that the others were false ﬂag operations conducted to further discredit their cause.
Rumors put the number of active JAC members at no more than four or ﬁve dozen, but the support they have in terms of advanced technology means they are able to project a disproportionate amount of force. In the past, they have attempted to use this technological advantage to bolster their standing amongst the civilian population by providing maker access to many poorer Jovians. However, by order of the senate three years back, anyone found in possession of an unlicensed maker can now be charged with treason and executed. As a result, the already paltry support the JAC enjoyed has been whittled away.
The Spear of Longinus
A recent concern for the CDC, the Spear of Longinus is a vigilante group that claims the senate and the governors don’t do enough to protect the Republic from immoral inﬂuences, especially among the civilians. They have begun to take more direct measures to address these failings. Speciﬁcally, they point to sources of corruption such as families without any members in active military service, neighborhoods and residences where known biomodiﬁcationists live, or where suspected transhumanist sympathizers live. Additionally, they have targeted labs and biomedical research facilities that use shackled AI and licensed advanced nanotech in their experiments. Until recently, they contented themselves with night-time beatings and vandalism, but recently they attacked a research lab in Amalthea and killed four research assistants. Unfortunately for the CDC, many Jovians see the Spear as patriotic and faithful members of the Republic; few are willing to assist in their apprehension.