ENTRY 023: Jovian Moonlets
The leading team in the system for zero-g jai alai, the Jovian Moonlets are currently stationed out of Amalthea. Though the whole team rarely travels outside Jupiter’s moon-system, video and XP broadcasts and recordings of their games travel from one end of transhuman space to the other. The challenge, skill, speed, and potential for damage incumbent in the revitalized ancient sport is a large part of the attraction for many transhumans, as are the various underground and off-the-court matches, gambling, grudges, and general drama, which feeds peripheral merchandising and spin-off industries.
Following the Neuva Euskara Association rules, a zero-g jai alai team consists of up to sixteen members arranged in eight pairs of doubles, though only four doubles will play in any given match, and is played in a three-dimensional uniform polygonal stadium with eighteen three-meter square playing areas and eight triangular foul zones. Play emphasizes spatial awareness and precision over strength, and there are strong tactical and mathematical elements in tracking and playing the ball in zero gravity. Each ball is equipped with a bell or other unique audible characteristic to enable players to better keep track of it. The danger of the game largely comes from the ball itself, which can travel in excess of 300 kph and cause serious injury or death to some morphs on impact; the need to maneuver in zero-g, which given the mass and momentum of professional players often leads to damaging collisions with playing surfaces or other players; and finally the xistera itself, which commonly becomes a deadly melee weapon in less regulated play.
The Moonlets have a wide variety of transhumans on their team, though the majority are biomorphs from the habitats surrounding Jupiter and Neptune, including an extensively augmented uplifted dolphin named Jurgen Joshi that is often considered the team’s most valuable player. The Moonlets franchise is owned by the players themselves as a cooperative, and they split the net profits from playing games, the sale and licensing of their game recordings and likenesses, and merchandizing. New players are elected by the team as a whole, initially as probationary members with non-voting shares. Players may also be forcibly expelled or retired from the team by a two-thirds majority vote, cashed out as their shares are automatically repurchased by the cooperative.
- After a particularly disastrous first match against the Ganymede Skullfuckers, team captain/CEO/manager Allura Makkabee is several morphs short of a full team. Heading into a rematch and given that the Skullies are more brawlers than players, Makkabee has decided to fill out the ranks with some morphs that know their way around a fight—if the player characters are interested, they can get signed up as provisional players, enjoy a crash course in zero-g jai alai, and play one game before getting cashed out.
- Jurgen Joshi has started cutting outside deals—selling his likeness to promote a new brand of transgenic tuna. The Moonlets can’t afford to lose their best player, but Jurgen needs to learn a lesson in abiding by the spirit and wording of his contracts. The player characters are asked to find a way to kill the transgenic tuna campaign, in exchange for which they get a fortune in Moonlets merchandise, season tickets, access to their video and XP vaults, etc.