Io

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{Work In Progress - Draft 1}

Metacosms

Io in this instance lies somewhere between the standard (local) Orthocosm, the 12Fold syncosm, the endocosm of Emanate, and ostensibly also covalent with the Neptunian syncosm. This is not inherently contradictory, just a starting point for inspiration.

The Moon

The physical form of this moon of Jupiter is a violent ball of constantly churning tectonic forces and volcanic eruption[1]. What little atmosphere and heat there is gets blown off by Jupiter's magnetic field continually. Then there's the Flux Tube, a concentration of magnetic field lines that links Io to Jupiter's magnetosphere very directly, and produces a powerful current. Being so close to the gas giant also leads to higher radiation in general. High concentrations of sulphur stain the entire surface with gold, red, orange, white, and black.

In the far-flung posthuman future, those who eventually decided to settle on Io naturally decided to not even bother with being organic, but opted for various designs of artificial bodies hosting uploaded minds or full sapient-intelligence. They also decided that the surface itself was too violent--and more importantly, too beautiful--to attempt any sort of environmental engineering. The surface was unanimously declared a Natural Reserve, and the people took up residence in the skies, tapping the free power surging through the environment.

The Plates, The Parks, The Cities

Landscapes above Io vary in size and format, but some constants remain true for all of them. Every segment of land, be it city or constructed terrain, resides on a Plate, electromagnetically suspended above the surface. Each generally hexagonal Plate is designed to interlock with other Plates, though many are nomadic, wandering between multiple city-Plates on fixed or random schedules. Plates of all sizes can hold manufacturing and refinery facilities, full sprawling cities, and innumerable 'parks'.

The parks are often naturalistic, but always custom designed and built, often oriented around a geographic feature or architectural structure. Sometimes parks are retired and the plates recycled into new functions, in keeping with Ionian culture's principles of inevitable change. It is considered a high honor to be given the chance to design a new Park plate.

The cities themselves are often decorative, futuristic affairs--but the physical appearance of any given building is usually unembellished, because the true sight of anything on Io is mostly in the virtual. Ionians are comfortable in physical embodiment, but spend a much larger time inhabiting various levels of virtual space. The 'closest' layer to reality is always a simple visual re-skinning of everything around--though there being hundreds or thousands of skins to choose from means that the only thing actually negotiated between them is physical proximity relative to other objects and people.

With no overlay, the dominant color of the cities tends towards blues, greens, purples, and whites, cooler colors chosen to contrast the brilliant warmer hues of the moon's surface.

Maufacturing facilities largely cluster on Plates around the north and south poles, drawing mostly-free power from the Flux Tube, while sending vehicles down to mine the plentiful minerals from the moon's surface. Building materials, body-frames, and machinery are products frequently in-demand, but the vast majority of the production is oriented around smartmatter. Smartmatter is a popular choice for outward cladding of bodyframes and buildings with a host of other uses--a solid but fully configurable form of matter that can mimic many states. Ionians use plenty of it, and export the excess to the rest of the system--it is the one product easy to make everywhere, but made best on Io.

Culture

Ionians are at home on multiple layers of simulation, often even preferring to blur the lines between virtual and physical. Nearly all entities have some sort of proxy body to traverse the physical spaces as needed, but often people only do this as a formality or if sensory input is desired. People are equally happy traveling as a holoprojection, or appearing solely in the near-real overlay. Some only travel in virtual sims, though it's generally considered bad form to get lost in solipsism and disconnection from the 'real'.

The culture in general is focused on artificiality, roboticism, proxy bodies, cybernetics, individuality (with carefully-mediated group-connection setups as well), and auto-generated intelligences. The latter are minds that form or are created entirely within virtual spaces and digital environments without first having a body or construction in the physical layer. You might call it 'cyberpunk' except it's not all that punk, but a mix of many different cultural expressions. Given the focus on virtual spaces, data, processing and computing that Ionians are proud of, they are very much aware of the inherent pun in the moon's name regarding Input/Output terminology.

Notable Features + Corporations

Footnotes

  1. *chirp*