The newly established government of Venus holds a sort of middle ground between the conservatism and old economics of the hypercorps and the autonomism and reputation economies of the outer system. A move for independence began over a dispute about terraforming.
After the Fall, plans quickly began to turn Venus into another Earth. Large amounts of hydrogen and anti-matter explosions were proposed, with timelines ranging from 200 to 400 years. All of the focus was on the surface. In the meantime, however, millions of people had become accustomed to living in the aerostat cities, and a culture and pride began to build around the airborne life. From that came the Aerial Terraforming Initative (ATI), which proposed terraforming in the upper atmosphere, which would take only 80-90 years.
After examining the proposal, the Planetary Consortium rejected the ATI’s plan, as it only accommodated 200 million residents, a tenth of what a surface terraforming would allow. Following the rejection, previously unpopular independence radicals gained support, and after a referendum, the Constellation was born.
Today, the Morningstar Constellation represents 16 of the 20 aerostat cities, along with a collection of orbital habitats.
The basic structure of the Constellation’s government is an umbrella over a series of independent entities. Each aerostat city handles its local affairs almost exclusively, the exceptions being the safety of Venus in general, overarching citizens’ rights, and terraforming efforts. While it follows the representative model of the Consortium, hypercorps have less influence, and government is more transparent.
Constellation policy includes nominal morphological freedom, uncensored mesh networks, open government documents, and open Cornucopia machines for all minor goods. This last item gives Venus a flavor of the new economics usually only found in the outer system, but large purchases are still bought with credit.
This straddling of the economic fence puts the Constellation in a precarious position. On the one hand, they are nominally partners and allies with the Consortium, but many hypercorps executives expect to come back into the fold within a decade. On the other hand, they refuse aggressive overtures from the Autonomist Alliance, who insist on a faster economic transition. Left of the hypercorps, but right of the Titanians, Venus is an interesting new political power.
The Star Council
- The Council is the ruling body of the Constellation, with a two-year term member for every 100,000 citizens, able to vote on all non-local matters. These include diplomacy, mining rights, inter-city disputes, and terraforming.