Major Locations in the SCOW World. Here are some details outlining each location’s purpose, origins, and general use within the story. Watch for further updates.
There are three main sites on the Moon: Lunar Colony, Lunar Mines, and, on the far side, China Mines.
Lunar Colony, is situated on the northeastern edge of Imbrium, Sea of Rains, near the north polar region. It has grown from Lunar Base, a dozen astronauts and scientists living in small modules, to the larger Moonbase Alpha research station, to Lunar City, a large, virtually self-sustaining “city” built partially below the surface and partially under domes. It serves as a scientific base, tourist destination, and as a recreational site for miners, station personnel, and ship crews. Among its newer attractions is the 1000 meter wide low-G flying dome.
LUNAR MINES (SIN)
Owned entirely by Swain Industrie Nationale (SIN), headquartered in Quebec, Lunar Mines is the second largest mining operation on the Moon. They produce the raw materials from which water, aluminum, Helium 3, and oxygen are extracted. Lunar Mines uses standard launch vehicles to move materials to their eventual destinations. They are currently expanding to include manufacturing facilities.
Situated in Aitken Crater, southern polar region, on the far side of the Moon, China Mines extracts the same basic materials as Lunar Mines, but its primary, though “secret,” function is as a penal colony from which there is no chance of escape. Various countries contract with the Chinese Directorate to house their hardened criminals. Where Lunar Mines facilities are primarily above the surface, most of China Mines is below ground. There are no guards and no way out, as the only ships that frequent the mines are unpressurized drone supply and ore ships.
As has always been the case, countries on Earth have come and gone in the previous hundred or so years. Coastlines have changed, wars have been fought, and governments have toppled. In the U.S., coastal cities and low lying areas were inundated by rising oceans. Several inland cities were abandoned due to pollution, and Chicago was destroyed during the short-lived civil war of 2073. Texas seceded, but was forced to rejoin when Mexico decided to take it back. The west coast states also chose to secede, but the effort fell apart when much of southern California was destroyed by a massive earthquake, and the Sacramento Valley became part of the Pacific Ocean. The federal government somehow held together, and the country remained the number one world power. This was probably due to the fact that the rest of the world was in worse condition. The one thing they could all agree on was the need to get some of their eggs into a different basket, and space agencies from across the planet joined forces to get humans off the Earth.
The United Nations Space Command is headquartered in Roswell, New Mexico, with primary assembly and launch facilities just north of Hobbs.
Delta Station, the primary and oldest space station, serves as a tourist destination, and the main transit point for scientists, miners, exploration crews, and other personnel enroute to Lunar Colony, CONSTAT, or the mines. It grew from humble beginnings, starting with the International Space Station (Alpha). More and more sections were launched, doubling and then tripling its size and capabilities. Its current configuration includes a three star hotel, a zero gravity swimming pool, numerous shops and recreation facilities, two bars, and three pretty good restaurants. Sunrises are spectacular, but don’t worry is you miss one — there are fourteen more each day.
The station travels at approximately 17, 500 miles per hour relative to Earth, in geosynchronous orbit, inclination of 23 degrees, altitude 245 miles (plus or minus 20). Most components were constructed by Swain Industrie Nationale (SIN) under contract to the United Nations Space Command.
Its primary power source is a small fusion reactor (SIN-FR223D), with additional power supplied by solar arrays (SIN-SA42J). Station personnel (SIN-SP), with the exception of security, are employed by SIN.
Orbiting on the far side of Earth from Delta, CONSTAT (short for Construction Station) is the massive facility tasked with manufacturing, assembling, testing, and launching space craft. It also provides medical and scientific facilities, and currently employs 1,237 technicians at various levels, along with 28 different types of support robots.
CONSTAT was originally built in the mid-2000s by ROSCOSMOS as the Orbital Piloted Assembly and Experimental Complex (OPSEK), and is now administered by SIN. Like Delta, it is in a geosynchronous orbit, but at an average altitude of 420 miles. Tourists are discouraged.
Lowlifes. Scoundrels. Drifters. It’s hard to say whether Flotsam’s defined the people, or if the people defined the bar. Whatever the case, it became Delta Station’s refuge for many professions: ship’s crew, miners, space station personnel, and an occasional lost tourist. Of course, this would cover pretty much anyone who ventured out from the home world, but who knew their options would be limited in space. This is a place to get away, grab a drink, or find a job – “reputable” being option number two.
In the idealized space station, Flotsam’s might have been a classy, high-end, joint. But Delta isn’t the idealized station. Synthetic wooden tables, paneling, and bar, cheap reproduction neon lights, and a small stage provide a vintage feel, even though the metal bulkheads still find a way to seep through the room. The low lighting helps with that. The small stage in the corner sometimes hosts a band, but with the open girder ceilings and lousy acoustics, music is far from exciting. Outside, a flickering neon sign above the door announces what’s behind the greasy and smudged plexi windows. Still, those who frequent Flotsam’s have somehow managed to claim it as their own, albeit a bit grimy and sometimes blood stained. Flotsam’s is not a big place – just a main room with a few tables, and alcoves for booths. One of these is reserved for Boris Orloff, the owner of the bar, with a privacy curtain so that he can conduct his many business transactions.
Flotsam’s is located one deck above the cargo, engineering, and maintenance decks, and it looks like it. The atmosphere is almost always smoky, even though smoking is illegal everywhere on the station. It shares the level with station personnel and transient workers’ living quarters.