A gas giant about 2 1/2 times the mass of all the other planets with no solid surface. Only the outer layers of its atmosphere have been studied; mostly whirling storms of ammonia and hydrogen. Jupiter is host to a small ring system and an extensive system of moons. Its massive gravitational pull also results in tidal action and geothermal activity on its 4 largest moons: Io, Callisto, Ganymede, and Europa.
Ganymede – largest moon in the solar system, it was terraformed by heating its thick ice layer to reveal a great salt water ocean beneath. Ganymede’s large settlements are all artificial islands that float on the ocean. With very little natural land, Ganymede is primarily used to harvest sea flora and commercial fishing, including Ganymedean Rock Lobster and Sea Rat.
Though a Mecca of life-science research, especially through the prestigious University, little patronage funding finds its way there from the Inner Planets who view Ganymede as outskirts of inhabited space.
Cultural Aspect: Marseille, France.
Aspect: Even our criminals are classy and smart.
Europa – Only ever partially terraformed, most of the equatorial region is habitable, containing some towns, roads, and a rail road. It is presumed the birth place of the Europa Crime Syndicate, a union of gangs and crime families throughout the Jovian system that grew powerfully enough to war with the Red Dragons in the long Syndicate War. Since their defeat, it is known that some high ranking Europa Syndicate bosses “retired” to Europa, so despite the sleepy demeanor of the moon, it has a population of killers, mercenary guards and the occasional assassin.
Cultural Aspect: Small town Arizona… like the Wild Bunch.
Aspect: You never know who has Syndicate connections.
Calisto – The company that originally funded Calisto’s terraforming went bankrupt during the process. The stranded workers improvised its completion but they could not improve the moon’s natural cold, desolate climate. While ownership is disputed in the courts, it has mostly been abandoned, stranding the entirely male workforce. With little oversight and no traffic regulation, it has become a refuge for illegal groups and trade, especially unlicensed prostitution. To this day, very few non-“working girls” can be found on Calisto.
Cultural Aspect: Moscow/St. Petersburg.
Aspect: Everyone is as moody as the weather.
Shit Hole Station – An asteroid based way station in extreme orbit with little more than a bar and a repair shop. The remote location was useful for as a rendezvous for spacers of questionable reputation that also could not afford Syndicate protection.
Recently a well armed party attempted blow it and every one on board to smithereens. They were narrowly fended off by a group of station patrons that immediately disappeared afterwords. The ISSP is looking for both the attackers and the patrons for questioning. This has made the tiny station a bit too famous for its normal clientele. But in their place has sprung up conspiracy theorists looking for “what really happened” and young posers looking for an “edgy” hangout.
The station, called Mai’s Lay Over after the original owner, had no sign: it had been taken down (or fallen off) years ago and was never replaced. No one, including patrons, seemed to know its name. So during the initial cortex chatter about the incident they just kept calling it “that shit hole station.” Seeking to milk this fifteen minutes of fame for all it is worth, management has officially renamed it Shit Hole Station. There’s even a new sign.