ENTRY 155: Antiares
In the L3 position on the opposite side of the sun from Mars lies Antiares, a Processor Lotus built on a captured asteroid. A joint venture by Martian hypercorps, the habitat is ostensibly a “thinking retreat,” a reward vacation-spot exclusively designed for infomorphs where they can let their guards down, talk openly about their jobs and interests, collaborate directly with the competition on projects that interest them, as well as network and socialize. By rule of the joint management committee set up by the principles, non-disclosure agreements are null and void within the protected infospace of Antiares, and the free collaboration and open atmosphere has led to some surprising advances and joint ventures between rival corporations.
This degree of open-sharing is made possible by tightly-controlled communications between Antiares and the wider ‘Mesh, strict security clearing for any residents, and mandatory memory edits for any infomorph that leaves the habitat for any reason to protect trade secret data—which, depending on what the individual is working on and who they are working on it with can mean that many contractor morphs return from Antiares with no memories of the past month except the virtual sex and a nice fat account full of credits. Complex legal agreements between the hypercorps govern the split in proceeds from joint technological development and construction of joint ventures on Antiares, with all participants taking responsibility that their “guests” are thoroughly screened; failure to comply or introducing a corporate spy into the Antiares community is grounds for major repercussions.
Residents for their part generally take a few days or weeks to open up to the idea that they don’t need to protect corporate secrets, and are usually matched up with social coordinators that try to find them new projects that meet their skillsets and interests while they adjust to the atmosphere of sharing. A “blue collar” subset of contractor infomorphs handle details like station maintenance, local mining and fabrication, virtual sex work, gamemastering, and security exist alongside the corporate scientists and executives in Antiares proper, though because they interact with the behind-the-scenes running of the station itself and have different levels of security access they also operate under tighter security protocols.
- A key part of the protection for Antiares is its limited accessibility; the nearest habitats are in the Martian Trojans, where automated, unmanned resupply ships come every couple of months. However, a small section of the Antiares habitat does contain a functional atmosphere for emergencies. The PCs are hired to test Antiares’ security by infiltrating that part of the station, uploading and downloading two harmless pieces of code.
- Fa Jing has recently discovered its latest “guest” sent to Antiares may in fact be an industrial spy. Recalling the guest would cause too much attention, so Fa Jing seeks to hire the PCs as contractors with a mission to go to Antiares as infomorphs, and if their suspicions are confirmed then to “escort” the guest away from Antiares without the rest of the habitat finding out.