Jovian Chronicles: Most Wanted
In the late twenty-first century, a series of social and economic disasters brought the civilization of Earth to its knees. The causes of the Fall are still debated today, with no clear answer in the offing. The fragmentary records of the time signal a worldwide computer network blackout, followed by stock market crashes and mass economic confusion. There is also evidence of a plague that struck down millions in the months of darkness that ensued.
Nothing from that time is certain; all that is known by the other planets is that all contact with Earth was suddenly lost, and none of the shuttles sent to investigate the situation ever returned. In later decades, telescopes showed massive ecological devastation caused by neutron bombs and uncontrolled biological warfare, while intercepted radio transmissions told of terrible atrocities and barbarism. The colonies were struck by the realization that they were now on their own. They adjusted their internal structure and spent the next half-century struggling to become self-sufficient.
When Earth re-established communication in 2184, no one expected to see a powerful, unified government like the Central Earth Government and Administration. Although nearly half the planet was still in a state of civil war, CEGA moved quickly to regain control of the orbital colonies and the Moon, and declared itself as a new superpower in the solar system. Unwilling (or unable) to face down CEGA in its own backyard, the other planets allowed CEGA to do as it wished, much to their current dismay.
Earth, as it has ever been, is a fragmented world, its people a constellation of cultures and traditions. While CEGA is the power that now rules the Earth and its surroundings, nations in the middle-east, Africa and Asia all maintain independence from their imperialist neighbor. Though there is no longer a state of war between CEGA and its Earthbound neighbors, small skirmishes break out on a regular basis between the parties involved. Any who travel on the surface of the planet are advised to stay well within the borders of the particular nation that they are visiting, lest they become entangled in the heated international politics. Travelers should also be on the look out for terrorist or guerrilla activity wherever they are, and steer clear of anyone who would like to get them involved in their disputes. Despite the conflict that raged among the nations of the Earth in the past two centuries (or perhaps because of it) the Earth remains the most culturally diverse human world in the system. The myriad of smaller nations on the surface, the CEGA-affiliated territories, the Orbitals and the moon each have a distinct culture, and there are often subtle cultural differences within these larger groupings.
The space societies of the Earth system are commonly known simply as the Orbitals. The name includes all space settlements, beginning with the transfer stations and workshops of low orbit to the colony and autofactory clusters at the various Lagrange points. They are home to millions of people, many of whom are descendants of refugees from the collapse of Earth. As the global economy slowly disintegrated, many corporations and academic interests fled to the space stations, followed in 2081 by the provisional Terran government. After they lost regular contact with Earth, the colonies were forced to become mostly self-sufficient. The difficulty of this task barred them from paying any attention to the deteriorating planet below for nearly a century.
The Orbitals, well aware of their vulnerability and lack of resources, established good relations with the Moon (which was in the same situation). Together, they survived and even prospered until the Central Earth Government
United Solar Nations
The USN evolved from the old United Nations to provide a neutral meeting ground between the various settlements. In time, it acquired political weight and even founded a private peace-keeping army, the USN Guard, and an interplanetary law enforcement agency, the Solar Police (SolaPol). The USN is now a recognized force in the politics and events that shape the history of the solar system. USN headquarters are located in Earth’s orbit.
The Moon was the first attempt at permanent space colonization. The closeness and material richness of Earth’s satellite made it a logical choice for the large corporations that founded the first colonies. The settlements, all named after nearby craters, were built underground to protect them from radiation and have been steadily expanding for nearly two centuries. Even today, the mines of the Moon provide the Earth and Orbitals with much of their raw materials, mostly oxygen, processed water and silicates.
In addition to a permanent population of about one million, Luna is home to several CEGA military bases. Lunar cities have a martial atmosphere because of the number of soldiers that spend leave there. All inhabitants of the Moon maintain rigorous exercise regimens and take mineral supplements and advanced biocompounds to counter the debilitating effects of prolonged life in low gravity. Natives of the Moon (known as Selenites) tend to be very tall and thin (much like inhabitants of Mars).