The only natural satellite of Earth, Luna is the oldest colony of humanity and has fascinated humanity since long before the dawn of space travel. Luna is humanity’s oldest colony and one of its wealthiest, due to the moon’s significant corporate presence. Cities on Luna are often partially underground due to the planet’s lack of an atmosphere, but many great domed cities exist on Luna as well. The primary language of Luna is either Sol Common or Tradeband, depending on which Lunarian you ask.
While humanity has been obsessed with Earth’s moon for untold millennia before the invention of the most primitive spacecraft, historians generally regard the modern era of Luna as beginning on 16 July, 1969 - when American Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first humans to ever land upon another celestial body. These pioneers were quickly followed in late 1970 by the Soviet N1/L3 Soyuz 7K-LOK “Pervoprohodets” mision, which landed the third group of humans on the Moon. The “Moon Race” would continue for the rest of the 20th century and result in the first permanent settlement on Luna by the early 1980s - the Soviet “Zvezda” moonbase. The Moon Race ended in an arguable draw in the early 21st century, due to increasing economic instability on Earth.
Luna was mostly ignored by a humanity more obsessed with survival at home until 2070, when colonists from United Orbital Enterprise (a unified space agency between the USA, China, France, and Mexico) landed on its light side. Colonists from Cosmonaut Enterprises (a successor to the Soviet space program of the 20th century) landed on the dark side of Luna in 2072. With this the colonization of Earth’s moon had formally begun, and it would see significant use as a waystation for other points in the Sol system over the course of the upcoming decades and centuries. Due to its low gravity, the Soviets and UOE used Luna as a major shipyard and proving ground for deep-space equipment.
Further colonization to Luna took place during the 21st and 22nd century as climate damage gradually worsened, with many wealthy families and companies simply moving off-world to Luna when able to do so. With Earth's economy rapidly deteriorating the rich families of the planet found themselves in need of a new home in a very short order with very few good options: Mars suffered from many of the same problems as Earth, orbital stations were often too impractical, and Luna was -- aside from some way stations built upon it in the late 21st and early 22nd century -- mostly uninhabited. Luna was chosen by most rich refugees fleeing Earth due to its close position to Earth and the perceived ease of development on Earth's only natural satellite compared to the cost of producing dozens of semi-private stations for rich families and businesses.
A great amount of manpower and money was required to create this new home for the Earth's richest and brightest as Luna, unlike Mars, was built without the use of cyborg-based labor. To do this hundreds of thousands of well-trained engineers, technicians, and other personnel were employed by the climate refugees to build their new home in exchange for a place on it when the refuge was completed. As such Luna, despite its original conceptualization as a climate refuge for the richest and most notable of Earth, has had a working class from its first days. As settlement continued and more domed cities were created the "lower class" of Luna expanded to include a variety of miners brought by Einstein Engines in order to exploit Luna's natural Helium-3 and titanium deposits. Though these deposits have since dried up the descendants of these miners can be found on Luna even today, and often still work for Einstein Engines -- though now as engineers and bureaucrats rather than miners.
The booming economy of Luna created an environment in which corporations could easily succeed. In 2155 Einstein Engines, using the foundation provided by Lunan Helium-3 mining, created the first practical mass-market warp engines and became the first modern megacorporation. Luna’s prosperity has continued since then, and it remains one of the wealthiest planets in the Sol Alliance to this very day, despite its small size and small population. The Luna of today is, in many ways, the ideal colony. Rich, prosperous, and unfailing in its loyalty to the Sol Alliance.
Luna is a barren rock with almost no atmosphere to speak of, and its surface is extremely cold. To perform activities outside without a spacesuit is suicide, and much of its population lives underground or in massive “dome cities” on its surface. The moon is tidally locked to Earth and takes 28 days to make a full rotation, leading to it possessing both a light and dark side. The Lunarian surface is also home to heavy amounts of helium-3 and titanium, which have made it an ideal target for mining. Less populated areas often feature huge strip mines where materials for humanity’s expansion into the greater Orion Spur have been retrieved from the Lunar soil, with the resulting strip mines simply left unfilled - particularly on the dark side of Luna.
Life on Luna
The population of Luna is minuscule compared to that of Mars and Venus, with roughly 1.3 billion permanent residents scattered across its surface. However despite its small population the residents of Luna are, on average compared to the rest of the Sol Alliance, wealthier and happier than anywhere else. Despite its immense wealth Luna's population is not entirely made up of the super-wealthy plutocrats that the planet has come to be known for, and many Lunans belong to its small yet ever-present "lower class" of working Lunans made up of everything from physicians to the technicians that keep the planet's domed city states running around the clock. Some menial labor, such as trash collection or the physically-intensive process of digging out new constructions in the Lunar soil, has been taken over by IPCs produced by Einstein Engines, which still dominates the economy and politics of most settlements on Earth’s satellite even in the 2460s.
Unlike elsewhere in the Sol Alliance Lunan culture retains connections to Earth itself despite the separated nature of its settlements. As a result of this many locations on Earth’s satellite proudly boast of their connections to the Blue Planet while striving to maintain a culture similar to their Earthbound origins, though some cultural drift has occurred over the past centuries. Physical drift has occurred as well, with Lunarians typically being taller, thinner, and paler than their Earthbound counterparts as a result of their existence in artificial gravity slightly lighter than that of Earth itself due to the widespread usage of artificial gravity on Luna. Some Lunarians view this as a point of pride, with a tall stature being viewed as desirable amongst its plutocrats.
Most cities on Luna are actually located on its surface, particularly those descended from UOE colonies. The oldest typically use large shielded domes that remain clear due to the materials used in their construction - generally made of super-reinforced glass microthreaded with titanium - centuries ago. More recent domes utilize phoron-reinforced glass for a better view of the outside, and improved durability, and some domes even use solely force fields created by superheated plasma to create miniature atmospheres. The uniquely spectacular views provided by these domes are a point of pride amongst Lunarians, with the best views (particularly those of Earth) being reserved for the most elite of Luna’s elite. Due to the inherently separate nature of cities on Luna, its domes tend to have their own spins on Lunan culture.
The domestic politics of Luna are, by the standards of the Alliance, fairly boring and typical. The governor and lunar administration are closely aligned to Einstein Engines and regarded as loyal to Sol even after the Violet Dawn disaster on Mars. However Luna's political scene has a much more interesting aspect to it: it, due to its heavy corporate presence and relative nearness to Earth, has long been seen as the center of interstellar politics for humanity. Luna is viewed as political neutral ground internationally due to its lofty status as the first colony of humanity, and Harmony City has historically been the go-to location for interstellar diplomacy on the Lunar surface. In harmony City itself a multitude of historic diplomatic agreements between interstellar powers have been signed such as the 2284 Treaty of Olympus, ending the Martian World War, the Lunar Resolution Treaty of 2287, which brought an end to the Interstellar War, and the controversial Cetite Charter of 2452, which formally recognized the independence of the Republic of Biesel by the Solarian Alliance.
As a result of this reputation Lunarians, particularly those from the upper classes, make up a large part of the Solarian Alliance's Diplomatic Service. Lunarian diplomats and their associated bureaucrats can be found representing the Alliance throughout the Orion Spur, and many Lunarians will have relatives involved with the Diplomatic Service or themselves be involved with the Service. Most remaining Solarian diplomatic personnel found in the Republic of Biesel are Lunarians, due to Luna's status as the location where the young Republic first came into existence. While some go into the Alliance Diplomatic Service many Lunarians instead opt to join the Solarian Navy as officers, and it is considered a mark of excellence by many wealthy families to have at least one child join the Navy as an officer to prove the loyalty of the family -- and Luna -- to the greater Alliance.
- 77.8% Lunarians
- 13.2% IPCs (various frames)
- 7.8% Non-Lunarian humans
- 0.2% Skrell
There is no truly unified “Lunarian culture” beyond wealth and pride in their close connection to Earth due to the diversity of its small-yet-rich population due to the structure of Luna's settlements as mostly self-contained city-states of their own, but there are some common traits shared between these biodomes beyond having an average familial wealth greater than entire colonies on the frontier.
One of these is Zhongqiu Jie Festival, an extremely popular holiday on Luna said to date back to the 2070s. The holiday is originally rooted in the Chinese New Year, itself imported by Chinese immigrants to Luna, but has since grown to be a common holiday designed to celebrate the success of humanity’s first interstellar pioneers. The Zhongqiu Jie Festival takes place on the same date as its Earthbound variant: the fifteenth day of the eight month of the traditional Chinese calendar.
Apollo Day is another common holiday, taking place on the sixteenth of July. Similarly to Danza de la Luna, this holiday celebrates the success of humanity’s interstellar pioneers. However, this one celebrates the success of Apollo 11 specifically rather than explorers more generally. A variation on Apollo Day named Pervoprohodets Day is instead celebrated in Soviet-colonized areas, with this holiday instead taking place on the fifteenth of December - the date the USSR’s LK lander touched down on the Lunar surface.
Lunarians are, as a general rule, a tightly-knit people due to the barriers associated with entry into what is considered by some outsiders to be the "ultimate gated community." Loyalty to one's family is seen as a desirable trait, and the standing of a family in the pecking order of Luna can be relatively static due to what prestige is often based upon: how long the family has resided on Luna for. Some of the wealthiest and most prestigious families on Luna are the descendants of rich climate refugees from the late 21st century that have dwelt on Luna for as long as humanity has maintained offworld colonies.
As a result of their typically-esteemed pedigrees Lunarians are known across the Solarian Alliance - and human space more generally - for their immense pride in their home and mind-blowing wealth, with some families rumored to be richer than entire member states of the Coalition of Colonies. Due to this Lunarians are often stereotyped as haughty, arrogant people that look down their noses at others - even other wealthy Solarians such as Cytherean Venusians - and brag incessantly about their origins on humanity's first colony. A common joke in the Coalition of Colonies is that you always know a Lunarian: they'll tell you they're one very quickly after meeting you.
The traditional stereotype of the dignified, often arrogant Lunarian that takes pride in their longstanding service to the Alliance stands in contrast to the party fiend Cytherean who takes pride in how hedonistic they can be while remaining functional. As a result the relationship between Lunarians and Cythereans is not a pleasant one, and many often form intense personal rivalries. Some say that Luna and Venus have a rivalry themselves but, to most Lunarians, Cytherea hardly compares to the grandeur of humanity's oldest colony.
The Lunan lower class is similarly prideful in their origins, though they hold a much less prestigious and influential position than the upper class does. While they remain, on average, significantly richer than their counterparts in other Solarian settlements members of Luna's lower class often find themselves frustrated by their inability to break into the closely-guarded social circles of the upper classes and their close associates. Many members of the Lunan lower class feel increasingly threatened by the growing number of positronics in lower-level engineering positions, which make up a significant number of lower-class jobs on Luna. With Einstein Engines' influence on the planet growing, it seems that the issue of jobs and positronic workers may come to a head sooner rather than later.
The major cities of Luna are quite distinct from one another due to their insular structures, and are some of the wealthiest locations in the Solarian Alliance. Below are some of Luna's largest and most notable settlements.
Harmony City is the official capital of Luna, with a population of roughly forty million, and is situated in the Sea of Tranquility near where Apollo 11 landed centuries ago. Harmony City is an older city on Luna and was founded by American and Canadian climate refugees in the late 2050s. Many of the original refugees that founded Harmony City were engineers and investors involved in the private space industry of the United States and would go on to become involved with the first trans-stellar businesses, which led to the founding of Einstein Engines in the city in the mid-22nd century. Harmony City is often regarded as the birthplace of modern megacorporations as a result of this. Notable locations within the city include the AESCO-L Museum of Aeronautics and Astronautics, which preserves the original Apollo 11 landing site within itself. Harmony City is located on the light side of Luna, and is regarded as one of the Sol Alliance’s wealthiest areas. It is viewed by Lunarians as a highly desirable as a location to live due to its age and reputation.
Nouvelle Caen is a more recent dome and is the direct descendant of an earlier dome with the same name established in the late 21st century, and is located in the Mare Serenitatis on the Moon’s light side. The original Nouvelle Caen was, as the name indicates, originally founded by climate refugees primarily from France. It quickly became known as a center of culture on the moon and attracted a variety of wealthy refugees and skilled personnel through this reputation. The immense wealth, and pride, of Nouvelle Caen led to one of the largest infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the Sol System: the modernization of the Nouvelle Caen dome to be larger and more grandiose. The modern Nouvelle Caen is one of the largest and most modern domes on Luna due to its usage of phoron-reinforced glass in its dome, which has allowed for a larger dome than Harmony City’s. The dome is large enough to feature an artificial “sea” constructed inside of the Mare Serenitatis, which has become the only body of water on Luna itself. As a result Nouvelle Caen is seen by the Lunarians as the peak of luxury on Luna and is regarded as the premier location to live on the moon, despite not being its capital. Many corporate higher-ups have penthouses here, though Einstein Engines officials prefer to reside in Harmony City due to the presence of their corporate headquarters.
Hangzhou is another old dome, though not quite as old as Harmony City, founded in the mid 2060s and located in the Mare Insularum on the near side of Luna. The original colonists of the dome were primarily climate refugees from China involved in the medical research field. Hangzhou rapidly found itself a key medical and research hub on Luna and gained a reputation as the home of the best and brightest medical minds of humanity. The economic and cultural influence of Hangzhou led to the creation of Zhongqiu Jie Festival in the 2070s, which has remained one of the most popular holidays on Luna to the present day. The medical excellence of Hangzhou has been furthered by the creation of institutions such as the Lunar University of Medical Science and the ongoing involvement of Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals in the city. As a result of this the city consistently boasts that it has one of the highest standards of living in the Alliance, with wealthy residents routinely living to be over a hundred and twenty years old thanks to cutting-edge Zeng-Hu medical treatments.
Gagaringrad is the largest and greatest dome founded by Cosmonaut Industries and was originally settled by colonists from the Soviet Union in the early 2100s as a titanium and Helium-3 mining colony. Gagaringrad eventually depleted its titanium and Helium-3 deposits in the late 2100s and was surpassed in importance by Pluto, and has never achieved the same level of influence it had in the early 2100s. It remains one of the less prestigious domes on Luna, with most of its population being from the moon's lower class. Most of the “dome” is constructed underground, which has led to it being seen as very unattractive by Luna’s plutocrats. This lack of plutocrats has been an unexpected boon for the lower class of Luna, which has managed to gain more influence in the city than anywhere else on Luna. Despite its lesser status on Luna Zavodskoi Interstellar - perhaps attracted by the nearby colonial-era weapons testing facility at Shajin Crater - has a significant presence in Gagaringrad, and is the dome’s primary employer. Like Harmony City, Gagaringrad has its own slice of Lunar history - a museum centered around the Zvezda moonbase, one of the first permanent settlements on Luna.
Corporations are just as present amongst the elites of Luna as they are in the rest of the Sol Alliance, but the age and wealth of Earth’s only natural satellite has led to corporations being treated slightly differently here than on New Hai Phong or Silversun.
Despite the creation of the Solarian Corporate Authority and aggressive nationalisation measures undertaken by the Alliance's emergency military government Luna has, through its extreme wealth and influence, managed to retain much of its corporate presence, which primarily consists of upper-end white-collar jobs supported by masses of owned IPC workers to fill less important roles. The one exception to the ongoing presence of megacorporations on Luna is Nanotrasen, which was unable to escape the mass nationalisation of its assets even on Luna.
Einstein Engines is the undisputed hegemon of Luna, with Governor Kristen Anuja thoroughly at the beck-and-call of its CEO and most non-plutocrat Lunarians employed by it. Recently the Luna branch of Einstein has expanded through the absorption of NanoTrasen's limited assets on the moon. Located outside Harmony City, the Einstein Engines Robert H. Goddard Administrative, Commercial, and Research Facility is large enough to be considered a separate municipal area from Harmony City itself. The facility is one of the largest, and one of the most well-guarded, corporate buildings in the Orion Spur, and dates back to the founding of Einstein Engines. Dr. Noella Lopez-Zhang, Einstein's CEO, has her office at the peak of the facility’s tallest spire. The Robert H. Goddard Facility is, additionally, where the now-famous Suzuki-Zhang Hammer Drive was first developed and tested.
The Nanotrasen Corporation previously had a fairly small presence on Luna, with offices in Harmony City and not much else. The local government is extremely hostile towards the megacorp, due to the local dominance of Einstein, and in the aftermath of the events of KING OF THE WORLD the Solarian government has nationalized all NanoTrasen facilities on Luna and elsewhere in Sol. NanoTrasen now has no presence on Luna.
Hephaestus Industries maintains a small presences on Luna, particularly in Harmony City. While Hephaestus often dominates the engineering field in other areas of the Alliance, such as New Hai Phong, on Luna it has always dwelled in the shadow of Einstein Engines. Now, with the Stellar Corporate Authority tightening the belt on many megacorporations, Hephaestus' presence on Luna seems likely to shrink even further.
Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals remains the primary sponsor of the venerable Lunar University of Medical Science, and maintains some research facilities on Luna dating back to its early colonization that are used for low-gravity experiments. Often Zeng-Hu's researchers assigned to Europa are based out of facilities on Luna, to avoid the long-term stress associated with the moon. Zeng-Hu dominates the city of Hangzhou and its universities, and many of the keiretsu's best employees are granted housing (and medical care) in Hangzhou for exceptional service.
Zavodskoi Interstellar maintains a presence on the dark side of Luna, where its weapons testing is less likely to cause a disturbance. Their center of power on Luna is the less prestigious city of Gagaringrad which, much like the megacorporation itself, dwells in the shadow of its larger counterparts.
Idris Incorporated can be found throughout Luna, due to its consistent focus on luxury in all things. Idris is most prominent in Luna's cultural capital, Nouvelle Caen, due to its focus on fashion in addition to banking. Le Soleil Royal, Idris' famous fashion subsidiary, has several famous fashion houses in Nouvelle Caen. Unlike Hephaestus Industries, Idris shows no signs of a shrinking presence on Luna thanks to its decision to pay off the Stellar Corporate Authority.