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Cupid

Cupid in orbit above Venus. The atmospheric displacement created by the graviton screen built into the Tether is in evidence.

Cupid was an Venusian orbital colony, connected to a surface mine via a space elevator referred to as the Pillar. It was one of a small number of such "hub" cities including the Venusian capital, Salome.

Description

Like all Venusian hub cities, Cupid was an asteroid shunted into position and then hollowed out by drones converting that mass into the carbon nanofibres that constitute the space elevator. A significant core of the residential and recreational facilities, transmatted from Earth in prefabricated form and assembled onsite, were located beneath a dome lined with simularity projectors intended to create the sense of the passage of hours during the day to accomodate human the human Circadian rhythm. The colony's perimiter contained industrial and port facilities that could be isolated and if necessary jetisoned in the case of catastrophic incident; from here people and supplies would be disppersed to the various aerostat settlements. Within the planetary atmosphere, the Pillar passed through a gas refinery station that cracked the vast clouds of CO2 into oxygen for refreshing the city's atmosphere and carbon maintaining the structural integrity of the pillar.


       The city itself was in many ways reminiscent of Detroit during its heyday, though there were also similarities to Las Vegas or 1920s Shanghai in that there was a significant organised crime presence built into the social structure by dint of Cupid's strictly corporate origins and lais faire attitude to anything involving things other than productivity and the habitat's environmental integrity. By and large, the environment tended towards the medium to high density, using modular designs so that unique structures stood out as an immediate display of wealth and status. The entertainment and service sectors made up a significant factor of the workforce, which was a multi-cultural melting pot.       


History

Cupid was established in the latter half of the 21st century shortly before the Thousand Days War as a corporate free-port. Utilising a variant of the Stahlman Technique, the goal was to tap the mineral wealth of Venus without having to deal with the steep costs and technical difficulties that would arise from maintaining more than a minor presence within the brutal atmospheric conditions of the planet itself. To solve the problems of the extreme pressures & slow rotational period of Venus, the project's engineers utilised the technology involved in the gravitron to create a 'safe zone' around the tether; in doing so, they cracked the problem of countering the hard radiation exposure that had until that point made space elevators untenable.


       Originally, the hub cities were the only access points on and off-world, as the aerostat settlements were too transient to host the transmat stations that had made colonising the planet viable in the first place, or the Transit network that eventually replaced it. Corporate and criminal entities had a vested interest in ensuring that while these vital supply lines remained open as a means of ensuring the availability and trade of consumables, they did not provide a ubiquitous means by which the population of the city and its sattelite settlements could escape being a near-captive market.


       By the turn of the 22nd Century, significant parts of Cupid's economy had fallen under the sway of two competing syndicates. The first was run by the mutant Angel, and had its roots in what passed as the the union movement for the various mine and industrial workers occupying the colony. Embedded within and around the infrastructure of the Pillar, her organisation effectively subcontracted its ongoing maintainance from the Corporation in return for a percentage of its energy output and the right to use deadly force to protect the Pillar and the syndicate's claim to it.


       The second syndicate was under the control of Anatoli Mammon. Originally a conduit for contraband onto the colony, the introduction of the Transit system allowed Mammon's organisation to establish its own foothold to the point where he was able to buy a dance club located in an old church on Earth and have it rebuilt on Cupid to function as his criminal and corporate headquarters.


       In the middle of 2100, the Pillar was destroyed as a result of the forced evolution of an alien species colonising human hosts. This resulted in Cupid being flung out into space, occupied by the new species; it was never recovered by human authorities. Without the asteroid colony in orbit, mine's owners were forced to permit the Sol Transit System Corporation to establish an underground station and colony to continue resource extraction.       


Behind the Scenes

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