Erato

Allegiance: Lunar-Lagrange Alliance
Primary Languages: Chinese, English
This city is one of the oldest and is still the largest mining settlement on Luna. It is also the smallest of Luna’s three largest cities, with a population of slightly more than 5 million. Erato is widely acclaimed as the most airy and beautiful of the Lunar cities. The heart of the city is a vast cavern originally excavated before the Fall. Known as the Great Cavern of Erato, or more commonly as the Great Cavern, it is the largest open space beneath Luna—stretching 1.5 kilometers high and slightly more than 2 kilometers across.
Of all the parks and gardens found in Lunar cities, the park in the Great Cavern is the largest and the most lush. Erato was originally run by a Sino-European mining company and so the park is based on Chinese vegetation. The flat areas in the center of the cavern are primarily large bamboo groves, while other areas are verdant Chinese forest, with mountainous vegetation found along the sides of the cavern. Home to some of the most beautiful wildflowers in the solar system, this park also abounds in birds and animals, including both giant and lesser pandas.
Sunlight is directed into the jungle by means of large mirrors that reflect it down from the surface. During the long Lunar nights, reflected sunlight is replaced by artificial light that is effectively indistinguishable. The rest of Erato is also remarkable, being a synthesis of park and urban areas all in one. Dozens of tall elegant towers built by the wonders of nanotechnology rise from the groves of trees and bamboo below. Narrow stone paths reminiscent of those found in a classic Chinese garden wind between the buildings, while most traffic uses aerial skywalks and monorails that stretch between the buildings and also connect to the various dwellings, shops, and manufacturing facilities built into the sides of the Great Cavern. Tunnels stretch off from the Great Cavern, most of which are 7 meters high and 14 meters wide. One side of these tunnels is a walkway, the other a road for small electric vehicles, and the central 6 meters is an extension of the wild area, with bamboo or trees as well as birds and animals living alongside the shops and dwellings.
Erato is the wealthiest of the large Lunar settlements and few poor Lunars can afford to live there. Most of the infomorphs and synthmorphs who perform the basic menial work in Erato live in one of several mid-sized settlements located a few hundred kilometers from Erato and perform their work via the mesh. For all its beauty, Erato has the worst tensions between biochauvinists and synthmorphs of any large Lunar settlement

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