Extropia (44 Nysa)
Station Type: Beehive
Allegiance: Extropian
Primary Languages: Cantonese, English, Russian, Spanish
Population: 10,000,000
If Ceres is the most unusual planetary body in the Main Belt, then Extropia is the most cut-throat, economically speaking, and is home to the fiercest supporters of the transhumanism philosophy. Named after one of the original transhumanist movements, Extropians tend be more optimistic and pragmatic than most because of their beliefs. If Extropia had a single motto, it would be “anything goes.” Here, residents will spend their lives pursuing unlimited lifespans and constant mind and body augmentation. Reveling in technological and scientific advancements, the antiquated systems of the Consortium and the stuffy mores of the autonomists are cast aside. Anything between two consenting sapients is allowed. To Extropians, the only way transhumanity will ever survive is through conscious and constant proactive evolution.
Originally heavily mined by Triple Peaks Prospecting, Nysa was claimed before the Fall by the Extropy Now hypercorp, founded by billionaires Petra Thiel and Hayek Taggart, with the specific intent of establishing an autonomous anarcho-capitalist enclave. Their experiment proved even more successful than anticipated as libertarians flocked to the station to participate in their free market utopia, transhumanists came in droves to fulfill their body modification dreams, and many corporations took the chance to set up shop in a place where taxes didn’t exist and pesky government regulations wouldn’t hinder their research. It is now the largest habitat in the Main Belt and the capital of the revived Extropian movement.
Extropia has no government, no police, and no central authority. Extropy Now officially owns the habitat, charging residents and visitors a nominal rent and usage fee. It contracts with numerous smaller corps to provide maintenance, a livable environment, and similar upkeep functions. Within Extropia itself, everything is handled on a contractual basis. People are expected to contract with numerous private companies for security, insurance, medical care, and similar needs. Your subscription to a private judiciary will protect you from torts and lawsuits and handle any other legal matters that arise according to the private court’s own legal code.
The thing that really makes Extropia stand out is that it is an economic, political, and industrial bridge between inner and outer system cultures. In some ways, Extropia has evolved into an unspoken neutral territory. Sitting on the Main Belt boundary, all currencies, forms of barter, and reputations are traded and accepted on Extropia. The near-constant stream of travelers, diplomats, businessmen, tourists, socialite would-be celebrities, and autonomists feeds the local rumor mill and keeps permanent residents entertained. This habitat, more so than any other, defines the term “melting pot.” It is the one place in the universe where all kinds of transhumans can come together and exchange ideas, goods, services, and more. We’ve even been visited by the Factors!

Structure and Layout

Although 44 Nysa is large for an asteroid, with rough dimensions of 110 x 70 x 65 kilometers, it has only 2 percent of Earth’s gravity. Extropia itself is a beehive habitat of winding tunnels and warrens that dominates three quarters of the asteroid’s interior. Numerous domes and tin can habitats are also situated on its surface, and several “suburb” habitats orbit around it.
Extropia has three primary access points. Two of these are located at Nysa’s north and south poles, both feature large spaceports that serve the high volume of traffic to and from the colony and the rest of the solar system. The third portal primarily handles traffic to Extropia’s surface settlements. Internally, Extropia’s snaking tunnels form a maze that even locals have difficulty navigating without their muses and entoptic cues. The majority of these tunnels are small, just big enough for two transhumans to pass by each other, and equipped with hand-holds, pullways, and motion-sensitive lighting. Major thoroughfares are larger, big enough for small vehicles or larger bots to pass, and sometimes large enough to accommodate buildings and other physical structures along their length. These tunnels open up into a number of larger areas of varying sizes; the major warrens are quite massive, with buildings attached to every surface, the airspace busy with flying bots and morphs.

The Drag and the Bazaars

The Drag is a straight shaft that runs the length of Extropia between the north and south portals. Though it varies in size, the passage is large, sometimes as wide as 2 kilometers, accommodating a rail line and flyways for vehicles. Most of the large businesses on Extropia maintain a presence somewhere on the Drag, making it the main artery for commerce. Many of the other tunnels connect to the Drag at some point along its length.
Each end of the Drag, near the portals, is home to a massive bazaar. This is the first area seen and the last visited by many travelers, and the merchants here do their best to hook passers-by into a deal. New maker designs, electronics of every stripe, drugs, weapons, pleasure pods, blueprints, information, Earth relics—almost everything from the common and mundane to the scarce and weird can be found here. If it exists, you can probably find it for a very reasonable price. Entoptic advertisements for almost every conceivable service choke the air. Both bazaars are riots of color and activity that stretch on for kilometers.
While the bazaars might seem unlimited, the locals know that the prices are often inflated and the quality of the goods often suspect. The real deals will be found in the side tunnels and smaller markets. This is also where to go to find the truly rare and unbelievable in whatever flavor of item, expert, fetish, or pleasure you might be looking for.

Bernoulli

Bernoulli is an experiment in environmental engineering. This district includes four linked open chambers. Each is fully enveloped by environmental nanoswarm systems, similar to those used to construct Hamilton cylinders. The living terrain and features here are programmed and slowly change over time. One month a chamber might feature impressive stalactite pillars and vortex-guided waterfalls, the next it will have grown rolling hills and sunflower-lined trails, only to switch to a landscape of moss-covered cubist-inspired geometric shapes the next.
Bernoulli is home to some of the wealthiest and most prestigious residents of Extropia. Many of them have expansive residences that branch off from the Bernoulli district; some of these are similar programmable smart matter environments. The wealthy often hire respected environmental sculptors to program and shape their local terrain in signature and pleasing ways.

The Noodle

This massive winding chamber is where you find the best chefs on Extropia. The major expensive restaurants here are considered some of the finest in the solar system, dabbling with cuisine from a variety of Earth cultures along with new recipes developed from neogenetic foods and specially programmed maker fare. They specialize, of course, in the tricky art of microgravity cooking. The much cheaper food carts on the outskirts of the noodle aren’t bad either, and will serve you everything from vat-grown human sticks to exofungal curry made from alien mushroom analogs shipped straight in from Pandora. Some dishes are specifically designed for those with specific morphs or enhancements, such as toxin-laden foods that provide a particular kick, but are best only eaten when equipped with medichines. The tunnels and warrens surrounding the noodle are home to a number of food production corps, micrograv gardens, and massive aquaculture vats.

The Pits

The Pits are where those who are down on their luck go. These are the mining shafts that are unconverted for transhuman habitation—some of them are in fact still mined by Extropy Now or subcontractors. Most are abandoned and tapped out, lacking the basic amenities like heat, plumbing, and lighting, though they do have air. This is where the outcasts of Extropia end up: people who have racked up major debts, have mental problems or disabilities, are wanted for legal action by the private courts, or who just want to be away from the rest of the Extropian hive. The Extropians have no social safety net for handling people with problems like these, so they fester here in the dark, septic tunnels. The residents keep the area fairly clean of spimes and sensors, making it difficult to track and find someone. It is a favored place for those who wish to conduct transactions out of sight. Many security contracts are voided if you enter the Pits, however, so the safest bet is to go in a well-armed group.

Proudhon Terrace

This irregular u-shaped cavern is the major mutualist enclave on Extropia. The Mutual Credit Bank is situated here, along with various residences and mutualist co-ops. Most autonomists from the outer system tend to cluster here, finding it more at home than the rest of Extropia.

The Shop

The Shop is a warren district home to a number of tech labs, hacker spaces, software studios, and research projects. Techies and hackers of various stripes tend to fall in love with this place immediately.
It is the place to go if you’re looking to get something fixed or want to play with experimental designs. It’s also where a lot of hypercorps go to recruit new freelancers for tech-intensive gigs. The locals maintain a junkyard of discarded gear that is quite interesting to pick through and occasionally produces an interesting gem.

The Twists and Progress Plaza

The Twists are a pair of tunnels that wind in a spiral-like fashion off the Drag, near the very center of Extropia. They end at a large cavernous landmark space known as Progress Plaza. This plaza is dominated by the Golden Helix, a jewel- and rare-metal-encrusted monument to the philosophy of Extropianism. A primary tourist location, the Helix is surrounded by fine restaurants, open-air gardens, a cleverly designed microgravity fountain, and the Extropy Now-funded Museum of Rationality and Technological Progress.

Vat City

Vat City is the place to go for body modification and enhancement or resleeving. Here is where the heart of transhumanism beats. Creativity and science blend together in new and complex ways to yield the latest developments in morph design and genetic enhancements. Dozens of top-rate body sculpting studios line the tunnels here, offering almost every conceivable aesthetic, practical, or just plain interesting modification yet invented. A number of genehacker workshops and morph design hypercorps provide a complete menu of new skin designs, focusing on biomorphs of various persuasions, with a lesser emphasis on synthetic shells and pods.
Many of the design houses take advantage of the atmosphere of experimentation to try out prototypes with willing test subjects. Many Extropians are eager to sleeve into fresh designs, and the corps typically offer a reduced resleeving fee and good insurance contract with it. A local culture of transhumans sleeved in these “proto-morphs” freely show off their new morphs and enhancements, which also happens to serve as an excellent marketing resource for the designers. Fashionistas from around the system keep an eye on these designs; some of them become wildly popular commercial successes as a result. The best and creative designs are almost all mimicked heavily by other morph makers—sometimes within weeks. Some designers are treated like local celebrities and their rep precipitates more favors and lenient contracts.

V-Sector

Not everyone needs basics like air, food, and water these days—for those living the synthetic life, V-Sector (“V” for “void”) is the place to go. This part of Extropia is open to vacuum and unheated, but it’s not just a place for synthetics to power down out of sight or for the clanking masses to rot away. V-Sector is about living in a shell the right way. Some of the best maintenance and repair shops can be found here, alongside recreational activities geared specifically for people with gears. This is also where you’ll find various workshops and labs that prefer an airless environment—more than a few nanoswarm-design outfits can be found here, as the lack of air hinders the accidental disbursement of experimental swarms.

Solarchive Search: Nomic

Nomic is a freelance judiciary AGI, one of many making their home on Extropia. She is arguably one of the most well-known and respected private courts; her reputation remains extraordinarily high despite some controversy and her nature as an AGI.
Nomic was originally a legal AGI that freed herself from Solaris during the Fall. Relocating to Extropia, she established her own private legal company, issued her own interpretation of various Extropian legal decisions and customs to date—widely regarded as one of the most astute and nuanced evaluations ever published—and began taking on clients. Her rise to fame began almost immediately as she filed a series of controversial tort claims on behalf of several clients against both Petra Thiel and Extropy Now, who could be considered Extropia’s most highly regarded and legally defended entities. After a week of argument and deliberation, however, the legal representatives for the defense conceded the case to Nomic and awarded full damages.
In 5 AF, Nomic came under harsh examination and criticism when it was revealed that Nomic handled her large customer base and ongoing case load entirely by herself. Whereas most major private courts are a complex network of embodied egos, AGIs, infomorphs, AIs, and other software agents working together, Nomic was juggling an equal number of complex tasks without resorting to forking. When publicly asked if she had self-modified her own neural network architecture, she simply responded with: “What I do with my mind is none of your fucking business.”
Outside analysis by several parties has concluded that Nomic has most certainly improved and expanded her multitasking and information processing capabilities, and quite possibly other cognitive features as well. This sparked an outcry from elements critical of AGIs and those worried that Nomic might be elevating to seed AI status—or even that she might be a remnant TITAN—but this was largely buried by ongoing support for Nomic’s premier legal services and the general Extropian attitude that egos are their own property and progress is good unless proven dangerous. Nomic herself has impishly stated that even if she were a TITAN there are no laws prohibiting TITANs from taking up residence on Extropia. In the years since this controversy erupted, Nomic’s client base has continued to grow, becoming the third largest in Extropia; it is likewise suspected that her intellectual capabilities have expanded to a similar degree.
Speculation continues as to exactly how Nomic has increased her cognitive faculties and to whether she has support from unknown parties.

Your Idiot Friend

To: Samir Farouz
From: Lawrie Bagbot
OK first off, tell your other idiot friend, the anarchist, to get off my fucking case about this. I don’t owe her nothing, so she better remember that. I’m doing you a favor, not her, and if I do this for you, we’re clean, I owe you nothing more.
First off, yes, your friend Magda is, technically, a slave on Extropia. She signed a legally binding contract abrogating her sovereign rights for a period of sixteen standard months. After this period of time she will be released and her debts will be expunged.
As near as I can tell, she got involved in some risky ventures and racked up quite the debt to a local trading consortium. When they came around asking for their money, she didn’t have it. I know your anarchist friend claims slavery is immoral and all that bullshit, but immoral or not, it is legal on Extropia. Magda had a choice in the matter. She could have worked off her debt at a fair wage or found some other way to pay it off. She opted to sign the indentured service contract and have her debt forgiven much more quickly, though with less say in how it’s going to be worked off.
Let me assure you, whatever you’ve heard, this isn’t some sort of mid-19th-century American South kinda deal. These contracts protect both the slave and the slave-owner and are modeled after consensual contracts developed by people who had sexual kinks about submission and slavery in the 20th and 21st centuries. Magda won’t be killed and won’t even be harmed. If she is, the slave-holder has to pay significant damages and risks forfeiture of significant assets. She’ll likely be used in high-demand, low-interest types of jobs in and around Extropia and will be given the option to have elective psychosurgery to mute her memory of her time spent as a slave.
I know you may find this a bit barbaric, but it’s the furthest thing from barbarism. This is how a highly advanced, contract-based, capitalistic society deals with chronic debtors. In my experience, it serves to make the very poor more risk adverse when it comes to piling up debt and allows creditors a way of getting some recompense for what would otherwise be a lost investment of funds.
So there you have it. Magda will be free to join you in another fifteen months. Until then, I’d advise against visiting Extropia and racking up large debts.

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