Transhuman Space - The Republic
An aging space habitat in a, mostly stable, L5 orbit.
“Father Antony, you know you can’t come into the Forum without your passport,”
“My son, if I don’t make the transfer to the main habitat, I’ll miss the transport to the MISMiC processing station,” the priest complained.
The guard looked around and said in a lower voice, “Antony, there’s no way I’m getting in trouble again…”
As the guard and the priest talked a more formally dressed priest walked by. Father Antony froze as the other priest nodded to them both and showed the guard their passport. The guard glanced nervously between the two priests. Since the split of the Church way back, things had gotten more… difficult.
“Father Anothy,” the priest said then turned to the guard handing him their papers, “Charles, I’m just headed over to catch the next transport.” The guard, Charles, glanced at Father Antony and waved the other priest through.
Father Antony sighed, “Why do…” Charles interrupted, “You know the Reformed aren’t citizens of the Vatican, c’mon now.”
“I know, I know. It’s just those damnable Jesuits, they’re so smug since they split with us,” said the Father.
“It’s not right. I agree” said Charlie, “but Christ almighty, that priest, she’s got one hell of of an ass!”
The Republic is a truly unique habitat. Financed by a partnership between Preservationist Italians and the Holy See; located in the backwater of L5 and featuring its own unique memes and customs, it’s a habitat that, if it were in L4 would be a major tourist stop. As it is, its similar to Cornerstone, a grand experiment, put in the wrong Lagrange Point.
Home to multiple factions of the Catholic Church, isolationists, some of L5’s major industries all while flying 4 flags, this is a backwater that’s filled with intrigue, secrets and an importance on the system-wide stage that is, as of yet, unrealized.
The Republic was to be Italy’s pride and joy. Early in the 21st century, a group of Italian entrepreneurs got together and formed a society based loosely on some of the principals of the early Roman Republic, specifically the idea that the wealthy would work to provide for the lower classes by funding civil improvements and galas. The group, Gli uomini di Roma (The Men of Rome), started numerous improvements both in Italy as well as the beginnings of financing for a space station which would be devoted to research and art. They began the Felix Foundation which began a series of high risk investments with a mandate to build a station that would celebrate the best of the Roman Republic.
By 2020 Italy’s economy had fallen into disrepair and even with the Foundation’s investments paying off well it was still a major hurdle to get the Board to approve investment in such a risky venture without a stable and fiscally stable partner or partners. Paradoxically, the very entity which caused Italy’s economic destabilization, the Catholic Church, now became the Felix Foundation’s greatest partner.
The Church had recently reinvigorated its reputation as international peace mediator and was looking to strengthen its financial standings though funding shell corporations and it’s major investment was the Minoan Inner System Mining Concern (MISMiC). With the emergence of an independent Crete and the tax benefits associated with the the Church joined by Cretian investors and numerous business interests were starting a major asteroid mining and movement operation, and they needed a base to run their processing and docking from. The Felix Foundation was prepared to build the habitat and the Vatican was happy to have a partner willing to grant it sovereign areas. (Note, the Holy See is not a member of the EU and has never been.) Construction began by 2027 resulting in an improved economic outlook for many Italian companies.
By 2032 the mining company, the Minoan Inner System Mining Concern was enjoying its newfound importance in the emerging City/State of Crete and, with significant financial ties to the Church.
The 2038 split of the Catholic Church rocked a million plans, one of which was the building of the station.
The Split resulted in a lawsuit from the Reformed Catholic Church about ownership in The Republic, because of the contractual agreements in place, the trial was held in an Italian Court, as relations between Italy and the Holy See were deteriorating the court ruling went against The Catholic Church and granted a significant portion of the Catholic Churh’s portion of the station to the Reformed Catholic Church. The portions of the Reformed Church were protected by the rights of Ecumenical organizations and the Reformed Church chose to fly the flag of its new home, the United States of America.
This resulted in numerous construction difficulties (many of the crews were loyal Catholics, of both stripes) including; intentional sabotage, work stoppages and a strong Union meme. Interestingly, the Union meme, has grown to include collective bargaining for belief sub-groups, as well as strict workers rights organizations; there are multiple Union meme’s through in the different countries.
The EU, very concerned about an individual state having its own station under its own flag, with two foreign nations holding land aboard it, stepped in. In the landmark decision at the Hague, in Italy v. EU, it was decided that no longer could any individual country fly its individual flag on any station which received financing from the EU. Since this decision only applied going forward, the habitat and it’s vessels were allowed to maintain their “Italian” affiliation. Through a threatened series of economic penalties, the Italian government agreed to house a military base (for the protection of EU citizens) in an EU section of the base. Thus, one habitat now flies 4 flags and has a significant passport bureaucracy associated with it.
Minoan Inner System Mining Concern (He3 mining station) (owned through a holding company in the free nation of Crete.) (Note: this is my addition to the world, Crete declared it’s independence during the Aegean War of 2011 and was formally recognized as an independent city-state in 2031.)
Learning through Augmented Reality – specifically memory augmentation, virtual tags and virtual tutor technology – to teach Catholic doctrine / dogma. This company seeks to push the envelope on what this technology can accomplish without any AI usage. – This is one of the most successful companies on the habitat, The leadership have moved into many other markets.
Johannes Olde Time Bionics Laboratory Inc – While this technology is obsolete, research is still being done on to make bionic’s cheaper.
The Rock Slinks (Slink technology) – a small research company dedicated to developing the capturing of miracles and faith based lives on slink – to popularize and defend the Faith.
Innovative Pharm Technologies – improving ways to feed the hungry on Earth will bring many souls to the Catholic Church, while filling the coffers.