Venus is a microcosm of Solarian culture with its glittering cities floating above the clouds and a dirty underbelly below them. The capital of Venus is Binyaria, the largest aerostat and home to the best Sol has to offer in holovids, VR, orchestration, engine parts, and weaponry. Venus is starkly divided between Cythereans, the entertainment class of Venus that work in or adjacent to its entertainment industry, and Jintarians, the working and middle-class residents of the planet that are primarily employed in the planet's mining and engineering sectors. The primary language is Sol Common, and Venus' population stand at approximately ten billion as of the last Solarian census.
Venus is an incredibly hot and miserable planet. The mass of its atmosphere is 93 times that of Earth's, equivalent to the crushing depths of the deep ocean. This atmosphere is extremely thick and toxic, composed primarily of carbon dioxide and nitrogen, and this generates the strongest greenhouse effect in the Solar System, creating an average surface temperature of at least 462 C (864 F). Despite this, there have been genetically-modified organisms introduced to the surface and upper atmosphere that can withstand the extreme conditions, such as the Yudina, otherwise known as the Jintarian Dragon Mole.
A Venusian year lasts 225 Earth days. A normal day on Venus lasts much longer than that of Earth due to the slow rotation, taking 243 Earth days to make one Venusian day. Venus spins backwards when compared to the other planets in the Sol system, causing the sun to rise in the west and set in the east. It rains sulphuric acid on the surface and the atmosphere is so thick that it exerts massive amounts of pressure on the surface. This crushes all but the most structurally reinforced of habitats below the cloud layer, with the rest destroyed by caustic acid rain. The planet hosts massive amounts of volcanic activity, which spew more toxic gases into the atmosphere. Almost no sunlight reaches the surface of the planet, despite the temperature.
Cytherean Culture and Society
Despite their precarious living situation in floating aerostats above the toxic surface of Venus, Cytherea is the primary pop culture center of Sol, with a populace often dressed in bright, dramatic clothing. Many Solarian celebrities either live or were born on one of Venus’s aerostats, growing up in the privileged Cytherean culture. The best actors, comedians, chefs, musicians, and pop stars enjoy almost constant coverage on holo-screens, only occasionally replaced by adverts for startup beauty products, cutting-edge gaming hardware, or the newest diet fad. These celebrities enjoy high class treatment and something akin to worship from the Cythereans. Many come from across the galaxy, human and alien alike, seeking to turn their fortunes around. However, Cythereans are not immune to poverty and hardship in their laissez-faire society. Those looking to become the next big thing sometimes wind up on the opposite end of the spectrum, relying on morally and legally ambiguous means to get by. Aliens, although welcome, are typically sidelined in favor of human actors and models due to most moguls desiring to “play it safe." They are typically seen as understudies, extras, dancers, and occasionally backup singers or instrumentalists.
The Cytherean environment is very cutthroat as both culture and copyright law change rapidly to suit whoever is rich and whatever is popular at the time in any given arcology, given the heavy celebrity-based culture. Law enforcement, while much more strict and present than on the surface, are easily evaded. In the end, one can get away with almost anything as long as one has the right contacts and enough money. The party culture thrives in the aerostats, with the grand cocktail parties and fundraising schmooze-fests toward the top of teardrop slowly fading into the high-energy festivals of the lower sections. Toward the top, one can overhear the latest gossip and glimpse envelopes of credits sliding under tables. Toward the bottom, one can see the most hedonistic displays of luxury.
Though many work in the entertainment industry as stars and producers, there are great opportunities for a Cytherean scientist. The development of pharmaceutical drugs and new medicines is a common field for Cytherean scientists, with celebrities and talent agencies needing a constant stream of narcotics for parties and stimulants to keep shooting sessions going for days at a time. Cytherea additionally has a booming genetic engineering field that is primarily centered around the biomodification of celebrities in order to ensure that they are always at their physical peak, no matter which direction the ever-shifting winds of Cytherea's celebrity scene blow. Stimulants, such as cocaine, are the Cytherean drug of choice and are typically genetically modified by various Cytherean pharmacies to create more desirable effects. When exported these so-called "designer" drugs can fetch an extremely high price on the interstellar market. Cytherea's pharmaceutical industry is estimated to produce upwards of two-thirds of all narcotics consumed in the Republic of Biesel, even after the First and Second Solarian Invasions. Appropriately, Cytherea's pharmacies also produce a vast amount of the Alliance's anti-overdose medications. Many Cytherean pharmacies are associated or owned by Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals.
The celebrity culture of Venus is extraordinarily demanding for those that choose to involve themselves in it. Climbing the rungs of the Cytherean entertainment industry from mere extra to A-list celebrity able to star in the likes of Monkey King is no small feat involving raw acting talent, an incredible amount of social networking, and no small amount of backroom dealing between agents, celebrities, and producers. This process can often take years if one is unlucky, and the top celebrities often undergo extensive biomodifications to ensure that they remain attractive enough to be considered for the greatest entertainment products of the industry. The amount of resources, time, and commitment needed to reach - and stay at - the top of the celebrity culture of Venus is truly astonishing, and the rat race of keeping up with the ever-shifting and constantly changing standards of what makes a celebrity an A-list celebrity results in many hopeful stars simply washing out or leaving the industry.
The process of becoming a celebrity that actually matters on Venus, rather than a simple local celebrity known on Venus itself, is a grueling one that has built up an industry around itself that is commonly referred to as the "red treadmill" by local pundits as a way of mocking the entertainment industry's common red carpets. These red treadmills refer to themselves as celebrity training programs and exist as the primary method through which many young hopefuls attempt to enter the Venusian entertainment industry. These programs, which serve as agents in addition to marketers and trainers, exercise an immense amount of control over their prospective celebrities: trainees will have their daily schedules determined by their trainers, will spend hours a day attempting to achieve an attractive physical form, and have little to no privacy in their lives. Plastic surgery is a fact of life in these programs. Those that are able to endure the red treadmill often find themselves safely positioned in the Cytherean entertainment industry and can be found in almost every Cytherean production, ranging from music to film.
Famous Cytherean Celebrities
Those that are able to survive and thrive as celebrities in the cutthroat and demanding environment of Cytherea's entertainment industry reap a truly massive amount of rewards ranging from accolades to millions of Solarian Credits. But, perhaps more importantly than anything else, they are some of the most famous people in human space and the greater Orion Spur. The individuals listed below are just a handful of Cytherea's most famous residents, and will be known throughout the Orion Spur.
One of the most famous Cytherean is perhaps Chan-mi Jee, the renowned frontwoman and singer of INTERSTELLAR✰GIRLS: a famous all-female pop group based out of the Binyarian aerostat. Chan-mi Jee's famous voice, which has been biologically augmented to have a wider range, can be found on dozens of INTERSTELLAR✰GIRLS albums. The band's most famous album, Interstellar Heart, currently holds the record for most copies ever sold. Despite her successes, which include having been named the Venusian cultural ambassador for four years in a row Chan-mi Jee's personal life has been the subject of some speculation in the Cytherean press, and repeated plastic surgeries have left only a sliver of resemblance to the woman that began her pop career ten years ago. But for the moment, she and her band remain the undisputed queens of the Cytherean musical scene.
In the Cytherean acting scene there is, arguably, nobody that defines the role of leading man better than the dashing and charismatic Caspar Orillian. Born and raised in the "red treadmill" industry of Cytherea Caspar has found extraordinary success playing athletic leading men thanks to extensive biomodifications and plastic surgeries that have shaped and reshaped his face to constantly be in-season and attractive. A large amount of editors hired by his estate retroactively edit his films and publicity photos to resemble whatever Caspar's current appearance is. His constant facial restructurings are seen as a sign of his success due to the immense cost associated with them, and are a clear proof of his dedication to maintaining his celebrity status.
Famous director Samuel Monaghan is another of Cytherea's most famous most famous celebrities, and his name can be found on a variety of movies ranging from action films to long dramas. Monaghan's distinctive style is easily-recognized throughout the Orion Spur's film scene thanks to his focus on single-shot scenes using drones as floating cameras. The fame of Monaghan has also been built by the director's often eccentric and eye-catching behavior off the set. Monaghan is known for his eccentric behavior, unusual rants, and deliberately garnish outfits. The controversy that this has caused him in Cytherea's tabloid scene has only helped his fame grow, but it remains to be seen if his behavior will continue to build fame or ultimately backfire and cause his fall.
Quu'xuu "Kwoo" Vol'rii is something of an oddity in the Cytherean entertainment scene due to her status as a skrell. Having recently flown into the highest ranks of Cytherea due to her highly-rated performance as the main villain of Monkey King VII, Doctor Yana Vashtu, the diminutive doctor of human cultural studies has found a following thanks to both her haughty and evil attitude on-camera and her awkward yet earnest attitude off the set. Kwoo, as she is affectionately known by her fans, has found further fame thanks to her charitable donations to Mars following her success in Monkey King VII. However it remains uncertain how long her fifteen minutes of fame from Monkey King VII will last, if Kwoo will choose to remain in Cytherea at all, or if the unfaltering support for the Jargon Federation will be her eventual social downfall.
Jintarian Culture and Society
While Venus is primarily known for the glitz and glamor of its Cytherean population, the planet's surface and its aerostats are both home to a significant working and middle-class population. These residents are typically referred to as Jintarians by the Cytherean population of Venus, though they will typically simply refer to themselves as Venusians. Many Jintarians resent their Cytherean counterparts for their absurd habits and constant sidelining of Jintarians and their interests in favor of the entertainment industry. As a result of this resentment, Jintarians tend to be much less flamboyant than their fame-seeking counterparts. Jintarians hold different values and many take pride in the hard, often hazardous work they must perform in order to keep Venus' aerostats afloat and its mining sector functional.
In contrast to their Cytherean counterparts work for Jintarians is mostly practical and physical. Engineering jobs, an essential part of both aerostats and surface-bound facilities, are dominated by Jintarians due to many Cythereans viewing physical labor as simply beneath the reputation of any celebrity worth knowing about. The ignorance of this critically important work by the Cytherean population is an enduring point of bitterness for many Jintarians, and has contributed to further fracturing of Venusian society along the line between Jintarians and Cythereans. Industrial work is similarly common amongst Jintarians and many can be found working in facilities upon the Venusian surface as engineers, researchers, or miners. Jintarian equipment designed for use on the surface has a widespread reputation for being extremely reliable and durable due to the intense stress it has to endure on the surface.
While most Jintarians are employed in industrial and engineering jobs, many are employed in the Venusian hydroponics industry. Venus is home to a multitude of massive hydroponics aerostats, such as Rathlin, that produce foodstuffs consumed throughout the Solarian Alliance and beyond. These so-called "donut dwellers" (due to the trademark shape of their aerostats, which allows for the collection of materials from nearby clouds) maintain truly massive hydroponics facilities and take pride in Venus' reputation as the breadbasket of the Sol System alongside Ganymede. Super-freighters bound to Callisto - the main port of the Sol System - often leave Venus laden with the bounty of these aerostats. Cythereans can occasionally be found in these hydroponics facilities due to a trend of buying "country estates" in them to escape the hustle and bustle of Cytherea, but they are hardly integrated into the larger facilities and instead live in their own gated communities. Tensions between these Cythereans and Jintarian hydroponicists have been known to boil over at times, and it is not rare for a Cytherean's estate to be vandalized.
Despite the crushing pressure and the lead-melting nightmare that is the surface of Venus, locally referred to as "Downstairs," many habitats and other facilities exist there. Compared to the many independent aerostats that lurk above the cloud layer there are few individual habitats on the surface, and settlements are typically structured as sprawling industrial complexes. Facilities tend to lack windows due to the immense pressure and the windows that do exist are primarily in the form of thick, expensive borosilicate used solely in expensive scientific observatories. In order to stave off depression green areas aided by artificial means are a common sight in these complexes, and many recreation areas feature large holographic ceilings designed to imitate the sky above the surface. Lighting is tuned to simulate a relatively Earth-like environment.
Those that reside on the Venusian surface tend to be researchers, miners, engineers, those who couldn’t make it in the floating Cytherean palaces, or criminals from the cloud layer. Most that work and reside on the surface will only reside on it for several months to a year before being rotated off due to the stress and wear and tear that immensely hazardous environment of the Venusian surface inflicts on those that reside on it. The economy of the surface is dominated by the mining and chemical industry, and most surface facilities are built for in order to exploit the immense mineral wealth of Venus' intensely volcanically active surface. Mining on the Venusian surface is - even at the best of times - an extremely hazardous venture that pays extremely well: surfacer miners can expect to be paid more than any other miner in the Sol System. The other major industry is processing the retrieved ores and chemicals in the surface's massive industrial facilities before shipping it into orbit in heavy-duty freighters able to endure surface conditions. Conditions in the surface's chemical plants are extremely unpleasant and hazardous in even the best conditions, and these facilities have an extraordinarily high turnover rate. Many are moving towards using IPCs as the majority of their workforce, which has given Hephaestus Industries inroads into some of the surface's larger chemical processing plants.
The desolation of the Venusian surface has lead to a culture focused on escapism amongst its residents. Crafts made using spare mining equipment are commonplace, and are typically referred to as "Surfacer Art" off of Venus. Parkour and freerunning inside the surface facilities are also popular pastimes, with annual and casual competitions often held in holodecks. Runners duck through cramped maintenance shafts, shimmy inside air vents, and slide through industrial complexes. Surfacers additionally consume a great amount of Cytherean media in order to forget their environment, often escaping into holopod studios that house dozens of holopods which let a viewer into and experience their favorite movies and shows in AR.
IPCs enjoy a certain status above even working-class residents of Venus, lofted by the ethereal beauty and flawless movements of a Venusian-made Shell or the ability to make other frames as aesthetically pleasing as possible in the most avant garde ways, to say nothing of how easily they can be manipulated. Under the clouds, robots and IPCs alike are valued for their reliability in an industrial environment, even among potentially shady mining guilds. However, the love of the aesthetic of IPCs does not reach the surface, as those Downstairs consider them more as tools than art. This mentality of IPCs being the ultimate display of artistry or a handy piece of hardware hinders IPCs quite a bit; no free IPCs exist either in the Zone or Downstairs.
The class divided on Venus between Cythereans and Jintarians is evident even in their clothes. Cythereans often wear avant-garde, often nearly-impractical clothing while Jintarians usually prefer comfort and function over style.
Due to the extremely fast-paced nature of Cytherea's fashion industry there are a number of trends entering the public eye, being sold by stores, and falling out of fashion at any time. Anything a non-Cytherean can put together that is appealing to the eye, and sometimes not, has been the height of fashion at some point somewhere in the clouds. However there are a few popular looks and rules Cytherean fashion tends to follow.
The most important rule for an aspiring Cytherean fashionista is that the best part of the body is the skin. A lot of clean, unblemished, hairless skin is shown in Cytherean fashion; whether it be through a high-slit dress, a translucent button-up shirt, a pair of short shorts, a fitted tank top, or a low cut blouse. More masculine figures tend to show off the upper body, especially the arms, while more feminine looks show off the lower body, specifically the legs. But in the Cytherean view showing too much skin is a great faux pas; looks are often balanced so that if a lot of the upper body is shown, the lower body is mostly covered and vice versa. Cytherean business wear, in contrast, tends to be much less skin-showing in order to stay in line with the greater Solarian Alliance, particularly Luna.
While Cythereans consider minor body modifications fine, a more natural appearance is preferred in contrast to gaudy or overly eye-catching augmentations. Body-sculpting plastic surgery procedures are common, especially among celebrities, in order to ensure that one remains within the Cytherean standards of beauty. Some of the most common body-sculpting procedures include improving facial features and structure, removing all body hair “below the eyelashes," tightening the skin, removing excess body fat, dental reconstruction, enhancing or emphasizing musculature, and balancing body proportions (usually in favor of the legs). However extensive piercing, more extreme body-sculpting, heavy tattooing, and other modifications that break the “pure skin” rule are frowned upon and tattooing in particular, even minor forms in some cases, is considered unsightly due to its long-standing connection with criminals.
Many trends originate in Binyaria’s Majestic Mile District, and are locally called “wankukai” trends. Wankukai clothes are either what’s popular in the Mile's clubbing scene or, less popularly, something slightly more appropriate for streetwear. Masculine looks often have plain, solid colored pants in dark colors with slim, usually designer belts, and often have simple dress shoes or sneakers. Translucent button-ups with LED or neon-tubing designs up the arms or across the chest are popular, as well as similarly designed, fitted tank tops to accentuate the arms. Some even elect to go shirtless. Suit jackets matching one’s pants are also common, as well as leather jackets with LED or neon designs on the back. As for more feminine looks, miniskirts, short shorts, and -- for the brave -- microskirts are commonplace, often paired with simple low heels, flats, or sneakers. Colorful dress shirts, qipao blouses, and standard blouses are all common as well, featuring designs similar to masculine looks. Dresses of all lengths usually have a high-slit, reaching all the way up the thigh, and are often intricately decorated with LED and neon-tubing. Though suit jackets and leather jackets with designs are common among feminine looks as well, they are occasionally cropped to just below or at the ribs.
Recently, there has been a rise in traditional and “neo-traditional” clothes. For example, “faying” dresses and suits are based off Victorian Era British and French formalwear, but modified to better fit today’s fast paced society. Faying are less restrictive and faying dresses in particular have a much smaller bell skirt and are occasionally shortened to the mid-calf or knee. Another example are “neo-hanbok”, which are the traditional Korean hanbok similarly updated like faying. Feminine hanbok have a thinner bell and sometimes have a shorter skirt and masculine hanbok often have tighter sleeves and a pair of pants and vest instead of a robe. Another popular look is to add LED lighting, neon graphics, or simply different colors. Standard qipao/cheongsam, changshan, kimono, and yukata are also staples among the traditional fashion movement.
Jintarian fashion is much more practical, and significantly less gaudy, than its Cytherean counterpart. Many Jintarians wear simple, practical clothing well-suited to their typically industrial or engineering-based work such as jumpsuits, jeans, and long-sleeved shirts. Jintarian professionals dress much like their counterparts in the rest of the Alliance. But while their clothing is practical, Jintarians have a trend of decorating their clothing and are known to decorate their clothing with anything from simple pins and badges to more complicated armbands or graphics. This trend originated in the industrial facilities of early Venusian life, where wearing a pin or other form of identification was an easy and simplistic way of identifying which department a given Jintarian worked for.
The increasingly bitter divide between Jintarians and Cythereans is present even in Jintarian fashion trends. Most Jintarians opt to deliberately ignore Cytherea's fashion trends, and many take pride in this willing ignorance of Cytherea's fashion -- intead opting to "buy Jintarian" when it comes to their clothing. As a result most Jintarian clothing is produced using materials sourced from Jintarian "donut" hydroponics aerostats and made in Jintarian-dominated aerostat districts. Very little everyday Jintarian fashion is exported off of Venus, but Jintarian hazardous environment clothing is used throughout the Orion Spur due to its reputation for affordable, durable, and reliable construction. After all, it is extremely difficult to cut corners on equipment meant to endure the surface conditions of Venus.
Major Aerostats and Habitats
Most Venusians dwell in aerostats floating in the habitable layer nicknamed “the Zone” above the sulphuric acid clouds masking the surface. These floating cities are primarily held in place by their natural oxygen content and large bags of hydrogen. Though they vary in size the largest aerostats are no bigger than four miles across and many take the shape of an upside down teardrop. The topmost section hosts a large, open-air park dedicated to help with the claustrophobic feelings in the aerostats and to maintaining a large amount of oxygen to keep the city afloat in the carbon dioxide. Below the park lies a mass of apartments, offices, shops, and other-such buildings arranged in a similar fashion to a shopping mall. There are numerous open spaces built into aerostats that provide both public space for citizens and more air chambers for buoyancy. Aerostats are mobile, possessing both microthrusters and rudders for stability and the occasional docking with surface elevators or tethers. The other less common format of aerostats are donut-shaped and are used for the immensely lucrative farming business. These aerostats are equipped to collect sulphuric acid and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, often taking cloud dives to produce fertilizer and water.
The first and largest aerostat, Binyaria is widely known as the jewel of Venus and houses approximately 19 million people. People from across the galaxy flock to Binyaria to experience Solarian and Cytherean culture, with tourists roaming the famous vineyards and partying into the artificial, neon-lit night. It is widely known that Cytherean Binyarians don’t get the best first; they make the best first. This reputation of being the most beautiful, the most cultured, the most advanced, and the greatest has lead to an extremely aggressive, cutthroat environment for those looking to get ahead. Actors, idols, politicians, and scientists all face heavy scrutiny by their fellow Binyarians and must constantly keep their mask polished and their persona unbreakable in order to become even the most minor celebrity. As such, it should not be a surprise that the "red treadmill" industry endemic to Cytherean entertainment originated in Binyaria's entertainment districts.
Like most aerostats Binyaria is divided into layers, which are further subdivided into districts. The most well known districts on Binyaria are the Wajiu District on layer one, the Majestic Mile District on layer two, the Chiye-Gyo District on layer three, and the Parabing District on layer six. The districts of Binyaria compete with one another in a yearly competition known as the Binyarian Gauntlet to see which district can produce the greatest work of art in the aerostat. The Gauntlet brings out either the best (if you ask a Cytherean) or worst (if you ask a Jintarian) in the aerostat as entire districts feverishly work to complete their project, and keep it secret from other districts, in the months leading up to the competition's end. As is traditional for Cythereans the winner's trophy is garish and conspicuous: a life-sized golden statue of the lead designer holding a replica of the winning piece. The winner's trophy is moved into storage after the next year's competition ends. After all, no Cytherean cares about old news.
Binyaria’s government developed the Wajiu District with the utmost care and foresight, leading to the district’s gardens -- and vinyards -- becoming one of the biggest tourist attractions. Pervasive genetic engineering has helped the plants become beautiful, delicious, potent, or a combination of the three and an aesthetic-based design philosophy has only furthered the plants’ appealing appearance. Among these gardens lie the famed Yuyuan Vineyard where tourists flock to see by far the most attractive and artistic garden in Wajiu District and, of course, try the excellent Yuyuan Wine for a discounted price. The Wajiu District is additionally home to the residences of Cytherea's most famous and wealthiest residents, with châteaux overlooking the district's vinyards seen as highly desirable residences for the wealthiest Cythereans.
The Majestic Mile District, named for the length of its main thoroughfare, is the true heart of the Cytherean fashion industry and the bio-modification that goes hand in hand with it. Tourists flock to the Majestic Mile to partake, or at least gawk, at the majesty of Cytherea's famed fashion houses. The Mile houses several Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals facilities centered around biomodification and beauty techniques that are frequented by both the rich and famous of Cytherea and exceptionally wealthy (or vain) tourists. Outside of its main thoroughfare the Mile is home to a wild variety of production studies for everything from holovids to music, and many of those involved in Cytherea's entertainment industry make their homes in the expensive apartments and estates of the district. While less desirable to live in for the truly famous than Wajiu, many top-level celebrities still reside in the Mile due to the prohibitive cost of living in the Wajiu District.
The Chiye-Gyo District was helped to fame by corporate investment rather than Venus' municipal government. While initially mostly made up lower-middle class Jintarian housing and industrial facilities the government of Binyaria, perhaps embarrassed by the presence of a solidly Jintarian district so close to the Wajiu District, set out to improve the district and announced that in 2397 it would be sold out to corporations for municipal improvement. Despite protests by the mostly Jintarian residents of the district, the sale was authorized and carried out within a year. The Chiye-Gyo District of the 2460s has been thoroughly gentrified, and now primarily serves as the residence of many upper middle class Cytherean artists looking to break into the upper levels of Cytherea's art scene. Many of Jintaria's former residents, by contrast, now reside in the lower levels of the aerostat. Early on in the redesign of the district Idris Incorporated invested heavily into Chiye-Gyo District, recognizing the emerging celebrity culture of Venus and the immense potential the district held for the corporation's interests in fashion and tourism.
The Parabing District is where many of the Jintarians from Chiye-Gyo settled after their district was sold off to corporations. Primarily a residential district with some commercial zoning Parabing is considered by its residents to represent the "real" Venus free of the glitz, glamor, and hedonism of the Cytherean districts above it. While the district itself is not free of entertainment and holds a number of clubs, PC cafes, karaoke joints, laid-back bars, and fast food restaurants complete with glowing neon lights, the residents of Parabing are by and large blue and white-collar Jintarians that hold jobs outside of the Cytherean entertainment industry. Parabing generally does not attract tourists thanks to its less glitzy nature, and those tourists that do wander into the district generally find themselves snubbed by its Jintarian residents. Many of the the wealthier refugees from the Violet Dawn disaster on Mars have settled in this district, which is creating an unusual fusion of middle-class Venusian and upper-class Martian culture.
While hardly as famous as any of its higher counterparts the Central Binyarian Power Complex on level ten is one of the most important levels in the entire aerostat. The Complex provides fission-based power to the entire aerostat using a network of massive fusion generators. The amount of equipment needed to ensure that power flows and the generators continue functioning has turned the Complex into a massive labyrinth of tunnels and industrial machinery that are difficult to navigate through and very easy to become lost in. As a result the Complex is informally known as "The Labyrinth" and has very few legal permanent residents. The tunnels of the Complex are often poorly-lit and filled with stagnant air due to poor ventilation. Due to the construction of the Complex noises are able to easily travel through it, and the groaning of machinery and hissing of coolant pipes can echo through miles of tunnels. The Labyrinth is seen as a very unsettling place by both Cythereans and Jintarians, and the disquieting nature of it and similar power facilities have become fodder for the Cytherean film industry.
The New Miami District is located on level 15: the very bottom of the Binyarian aerostat. New Miami is the main commercial port of Binyaria and processes many of the shipments entering the aerostat from off-world or the Venusian surface. Its population is primarily made up of working-class Jintarians yet unlike its counterpart in the Parabing District New Miami has a small, though profitable, tourism industry thanks to its port. The district's "waterfront" is lit up with the neon signs of bars, casinos, pharmacies, and all kinds of entertainment. Due to the cheap cost of living in New Miami many poorer refugees from Mars settled in this district following the Violet Dawn disaster. Unfortunate the sheer amount of refugees has led to a housing and population crisis in the district that the local government is struggling to solve. With the amount of Martian refugees in the district steadily increasing and Cytherea still, for the moment, unconcerned with the growing crisis, it remains to be seen if -- perhaps when -- the situation in New Miami will turn violent.
As the largest of Venus' "donut" hydroponics aerostats Rathlin is the agricultural center of Venus and helps feed larger, more famous aerostatus such as Binyaria. Rathlin roughly the same size as Binyaria but has a much smaller population as a result of the amount of space its hydroponics facilities take up. As with most donut aerostats the population of Rathlin is primarily Jintarian with a small Cytherean minority dwelling in "vacation homes" built to overlook the "Venusian countryside" from the highest levels of Rathlin's aerostat. Due to its close proximity to Binyaria more Cythereans have homes in Rathlin than any other aerostat, and are known to buy out entire farms and hydroponics bays in order to make their dream homes. This, combined with years of being neglected by Venus' government due to being Jintarians, has made the Jintarians living in Rathlin extremely resentful of their Cytherean counterparts.
This tense situation has only worsened in the aftermath of the Solarian Collapse and Violet Dawn catastrophe. The profits gained by hydroponics aerostats such as Rathlin have sharply declined since the winter months of 2462 due to the collapse of markets on Mars and the collapse of authority in most of the Outer Ring. The resulting lack of demand has driven prices down, which has encouraged growers in Rathlin to sell, which has led to more Cythereans moving into the donut aerostat to built their dream home in the idyllic scenery of the aerostat's fields. While prices are recovering the Cythereans seem all too willing to remain, and tensions in the aerostat are nearly at a breaking point. With the local government's pleas for an intervention by Venus' planetary government being mostly ignored, it is seemingly only a matter of time until the discontent in Rathlin transforms into civil unrest.
Ishtar’s Temple and the Babylon Garden
Only a short shuttle ride from Binyaria, Ishtar’s Temple functions as her perfect, albeit vastly smaller twin Binyaria. Ishtar's Temple serves as an entertainment aerostat; it sates every interest to people who have the time and credits to seek it out. Clubs, amusement parks, lounges and bars, sport centers and everything in between are open to the general public aboard the aerostat.
However, beyond the guarded elevators and hidden checkpoints, on the uppermost levels, elusive to most Venusians and those foreign to the system, sits Babylon Garden. Here, the more elite attractions exist for the rich, influential, or resourceful. With the right amount of credits, connections, knowledge, or influence, lucky patrons can gain one of the illusive key cards that provide access to Babylon Garden. It is rumoured that management will occasionally slip an access card to favored patrons who wouldn’t be able to get access otherwise. Outside of Venus the existence of the Babylon Garden is known to very few, and those that have seen it are fewer.
In Babylon Garden, the Venusian Shells of the Diamond are the aerostat’s most famous draw and specialty. These shells, designed with quality beyond those outside the aerostat, each sport a uniquely designed chassis in addition to carefully vetted personality matrices. As the hosts and hostesses of Babylon Garden, the shells go to great lengths to cater to each and every patron, from providing beverages and lighting cigarettes to flirtatious conversation. The purpose of these shells are to provide a space of respite, pleasant conversation and hospitality.
The Venusian Shells of the Diamond are not only popular, but occupy a highly unique role among synthetics in the Alliance. Contrary to common notions of ownership, the IPCs here can not only set their own prices and tasks, but have nigh equal rights to their employers. The clubs of Babylon Garden rely on the cooperation of their 'employees', and the safety of these synthetics is guaranteed by the funding and high demand of their wealthy consumers. While the Shells of the Diamond and their owners are somewhat at odds in their ability to influence each other; coming to an endpoint with the IPCs' inability to become free synthetics, the status quo has remained and relations are peaceful.
The Binyarian Academy of the Arts and Sciences
Located in Chiye-Gyo is the Binyarian Academy of the Arts and Sciences: a large, interconnected building with several facilities that incorporates studies in both scientific development, and in the arts In this facility "Young Aspiring Performers,' as they are called, are transformed into Cytherean celebrities.. The Academy’s training center for the performing arts has garnered a reputation for strict and overbearing exercises with rumored exploitative methods that are designed to generate quality media celebrities that will keep Venus’ music and movie industry both profitable and at the cutting edge of entertainment. On the other hand the practical departments of study, such as its medical school, are considered lax by the standards of most universities.While notable doctors and researchers have graduated from here, most students and faculty believe that the Academy’s “practical wings,” are of secondary importance to its sponsors. Among students in the practical wings, studies in robotics are enduringly popular among students, and often tie into the arts programs: understanding the engineering of the perfect positronic chassis for use in modeling is often an easy inroad to employment as a roboticist in Venus’ aerostats. The school enrolls many students that live within the well-to-do areas of the aerostat. Jintarians need not apply. Most graduates of the Academy are hired by Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals or Idris Incorporated.
Government and Politics
As with all Solarian member states, Venus has a representative, currently Senator Hendrik Strom, in the SolGov Senate who handles most of the world's interaction with the Sol Alliance as a whole. At the planetary level, Venus is a representative democracy where each aerostat has its own elected governor and district council made up of representatives from each inhabited part of the aerostat. The council size varies from place to place and is based upon on the numbers of districts in the aerostat. The high number of celebrities and other notables mixed with the planet’s culture of celebrity worship has lead to many influential celebrities being elected, often to the detriment of Venusian politics.
Venus' celebrity culture and Cytherea's obsession with life as a popularity contest has created an exceptionally deeply rooted culture of corruption and nepotism in Venusian politics, with many aerostats being dominated by influential political families and their close associates. Widespread Jintarian displeasure with this culture of corruption helped catapult radical populist Hendrik Strom into the position of senator in 2453 with widespread support by the Jintarian population of Venus. Commercial and industrial industries along with political dynasties, rarely targeted before Strom's ascension, have increasingly been targeted by the Senator's vaunted "Crusade Against Corruption" on Venus. The success of Strom has brought a new type of politics to Venus: Jintarian populism. With Strom's continued success, his potential ascension to the position of Solarian Prime Minister looking more likely by the day, and ongoing tensions between Jintarians and Cythereans continuing to build radical political change on Venus seems to be just around the corner.
Compounding the ongoing issues between Jintarians and Cythereans is the infamously poor reputation of the Venusian Planetary Police Force, or VPPF. The VPPF is riddled with corruption and inefficiencies, and officers are known to readily take bribes to ignore crimes -- particularly the crimes of Venus' rich and famous. The VPPF's reputation is so poor that megacorporate facilities and Venusian notables use private military contractors from the Eridani Federation Military to provide security instead. Hendrik Strom and his fellow populists have made a scapegoat out of the VPPF by citing its most public failures such as its inability to contain the now-defunct Tajara Revolutionary Army and its rampant cronyism. In public polling, the Venusian police typically ranks as one of the least popular planetary police agencies in the entire Solarian Alliance.
Most of the early history of Venus has been lost to the ages, with the Cythereans viewing it as unimportant. However, it is generally accepted that the first aerostats were constructed for scientific purposes. The first built, and the largest even today, was Binyaria. The surfacer habitation complexes were built much later on, and all of them originally featured tethers to the aerostats before more efficient stabilization technology was made. The disposal of these planetary tethers allowed for the Jintarians to be gradually forgotten by mainstream Cytherean society.