The Dark Earth
Allegiance: Planetary Consortium
Primary Languages: English, Spanish
Located along the path of the mobile lunar skyhook, Nectar is both Luna’s largest city and also its most cosmopolitan. The settlement’s close ties to the Planetary Consortium mean that more off-worlders live in Nectar than in all other Lunar cities combined, and citizens of Nectar are on average less distrustful of off-worlders than any other Lunar residents. Nectar is also the only major settlement with major on-going construction.
Nectar currently consists of two cities. Old Nectar was a large if unremarkable Lunar city, designed on the standard model of tunnels and caverns. Approximately 3 kilometers from Old Nectar is the new wonder of Luna, New Nectar, which is gradually becoming referred to simply as Nectar. Five years ago, construction was started on the new city when a carefully-controlled plasma explosion was used to create an almost spherical bubble 900 meters in diameter located 100 meters below the Lunar surface. Since that time, a combination of robot drones, indentured synthmorph workers, and advanced construction nanotechnology have lined the walls with a pressure barrier and sculpted the sides and bottom of this bubble into a series of terraces lined with buildings, while also adding short tunnels back into the rock for storerooms, factories, and other facilities that do not require easy public access. The construction of the New City was completed 11 months ago, and within the last 7 months almost a third of the inhabitants of the Old City have moved into the city now referred to as Nectar.
In addition to having vast amounts of open space, New Nectar was clearly designed to compete with the grandeur and beauty of Erato. In many ways, the construction of New Nectar is evidence of the ongoing rivalry between the Lunar branches of the Lunar-Lagrange Alliance and the Planetary Consortium, as well as cultural and inter-settlement rivalry. Like Erato, New Nectar is a garden city, with a large park in the center and with large green spaces inhabited by birds, squirrels, geckos, and other small and appealing life forms. The general climate and environment is designed to resemble Hawaii, and Nectar has already become known for the large flocks of parrots that are occasionally found roosting in the city’s palm trees.
Unlike most Lunar cities, Nectar is completely enclosed. The upper surface of the sphere contains no windows to look out upon the Lunar surface or Earth. Instead, the upper third of the dome is a vast illuminated projection screen where various simulated sky- and starscapes are displayed. For the comfort of the inhabitants, light levels vary from a bright noonday on Earth to the brightest full moons—true darkness is banished from Nectar. Large colonies of bioluminescent fungi also grow upon the walls just below the projection screen, making certain that Nectar never grows dark even in the event of a temporary power failure. As most well-off residents move into Nectar from Old Nectar, the fate of the old settlement is causing a variety of tensions. As the largest Lunar city before the construction of New Nectar, the habitat was badly overcrowded. With New Nectar being populated, housing prices in the old settle-ment have fallen and the cramped conditions have eased, with everyone having a bit more room. This has inspired some Lunars to move here from more crowded habitats. The clanking masses, especially the thousands who worked on New Nectar’s construction, were largely looking forward to moving to Old Nectar with its lower living costs and having it to themselves. This plan is now being challenged, however, by a group of Old Nectar residents who have opted not to leave and who have plans to expand their dwellings to take up more room, now that the population has eased. Joined by many new arrivals also attracted to the idea of more living space, these residents are resolutely opposed to giving up space and turning over the old city to large numbers of synthmorphs. This conflict is currently causing tensions in both the Nectar Council and among the members of the Steel Liberators, who are bitterly divided about the idea of poor Lunars moving into the pressurized sections of Old Nectar, because they worry that many poor Lunars will do so in order to trade their synthmorph bodies for splicers.