by Martin Tegelj
Saturn’s moon Titan in many respects is a bizarre reflection of our old home Earth, featuring mountains, volcanoes, dunes, lakes, rivers, rain and an atmosphere. Its geography has been described as hell frozen over. The lakes and rivers are not composed of water but methane and ethane, the mountains and volcanoes made of water not stone.
Titan is home to the socialist democracy of the Titanian Commonwealth. The trans-humans who call the moon home comprise mainly of pioneers and expatriates from Finland, Scandinavia and Canada giving it rich cultural background. The Commonwealth’s adage of ‘One Body per Mind’ allowed a great number of other minorities to immigrate to Titan.
Titan is one of the many moons of the ringed planet Saturn. Ever since astronomer Josep Comas i Solà suspected the presence of an atmosphere, moon has held special interest in the space community. It wasn’t till the Cassini-Huygens unmanned that we first saw images of a world that mirrored Earth.
In the 21st century intellectuals from across Scandinavia, Finland and Canada formed the North Atlantic Consortium. The NAC worked to solve the continuing freeze of their nations due to climate change.
Eventually the NAC proposed the Titan Project (not to be confused with Total Information Tactical Awareness Network). Titan was a planet that had the resources to easily sustain colonisation, with access easy access to hydrocarbons, water and other volatiles. The pioneers formed the start of the Titanian Commonwealth a blend of Technosocialism and Cyberdemocracy.
It wasn’t until the Fall that Titan’s population boomed. When the inner systems stopped accepting infugees Titan accepted them all adding diversity to the planets culture.
The Titan Commonwealth is a member of the Autonomist Alliance, and like many of the Outer Rim alliance, much of the populace largely utilises the reputation economy. Before travelling to Titan it would be good to consider improving your @-rep. Of course other sources of reputation may also help on your travels. Though reputation is the main source of currency on Titan, creds are also welcome as they are used by state run microcorps.
Due to a combination of its distance from Sol and the planets orange haze, Titan is a chilly 94 Kelvin on its surface, due to its distance from Sol. Titan experiences a greenhouse effect and would otherwise be cooler.
Titan’s axis is on a 26.73 degree tilt and like Earth experiences differing season due to this tilt. A Titan year lasts 30
Earth years with each season lasting about 7 years. A single massive Hadley cell circulates around Titan’s atmosphere made possible by its slow rotation. In this single Hadley cell the air rises at the summer pole and sinks at the winter pole.
During the summer ethane and methane evaporate at the pole and equator and move towards the summer pole creating masses of clouds. While during the winter the air cools at the pole creating rain and sometimes snow. The low pressure also creates a large vortex system.
During the equinox the process switches making Titans climate akin to Earths tropics. It is thought that this process also contributes to a larger concentration of lakes and seas in the polar region than the equator.
Sights & Activities
Titan is having of a sporting renaissance, with classical sports being adapted to the Titanian environment.
With gravity just over a tenth of that of Earth and a denser atmosphere, it is as if Titan was made for flight. A rival of classical atmospheric flight is being seen. Titan’s capital Nyhavn has begun holding the Solà Air Race. Eight races are held across the calendar with competitors flying high-performance aerobatic single prop aircraft Titan Edge, flying them through an AR course. Bio-conservative dare-devils shun the use of the natural reserves of hydrocarbons in the aircraft and instead race Gliders.
The extreme outdoors person may want to weather the harsh Titanian conditions. Journey across Xanadu from Nyhavn climb the peaks of Mithrim Montes, an ice mountain that overlooks the Xanadu savannah. Or climb of the twin peaks of cryovolcano Doom Mons the largest mountain on Titan tucked away between Fensal and Atzlan regions. Travel to the winter pole and view the hydrocarbon rain and maybe even glimpse a rare infrared rainbow. The hardiest adventurer may even take the Pioneer Pilgrimage, three month trek between the two metropolises Aarhus and Nyhavn.
A new subculture of sport called Parkrowd has picked up momentum in Aarhus. The sport involves navigating a crowded places using whatever acrobatic means (without pushing anyone in the crowd) to make it through each checkpoint to the goal. This game is played in simulspace and mimics conditions from packed souqs to Mardis Gras.
Entertainment & Dining
With Titan being so culturally diverse and socially liberal there will certainly be something for everyone, while keeping you within reach of your comfort zone.
Aarhus’s Nautilus Amfitheter is a marvel of both architecture and acoustics engineering. As its name suggest the Nautilus Amfitheter is shaped like the shell of a nautilus. The stage is located at the centre of spiral and with optimised wall shaping it allows sound to propagate down the ‘shell’ as if inside a classical amphitheatre. Sophisticated nano-speakers and AI are also embedded in the walls to minimise sound losses due to attenuation over distance. The theatre designed by Acoustic Architect and Engineer Dr. Linda Hoepel often hosts bands and musicians from across the system. Be sure to check the venues listings as they have many different genres gracing their stage from Neo Classic Death Metal to Venusian Opera.
On the Nyhavn nightclub circuit there is one particular place you just can’t pass up. Jump through the rabbit hole and enter Elfenmärchen, this nightclub it is an ever changing enchanted forest. Gnarled trees loom through the club as music thumps from luminescent toadstools. Specially designed flower nanofabricators serve alcohol in foxgloves and tulips. Over the course of the year the themes of the nightclub change once being a winter wonderland to creepy hallow. The venue is often frequented by mesh celebrities that are able to enter the VIP area located beneath the roots of the gnarled forest.
Titan is home to a variety of different culinary delights but Looks Like Chicken is transhuman gastronomy taken to another level. Founded by Preston Thornburn food engineer and Marie Bedard a bioengineer, the restaurant has blended narcoalgorithms to give a truly unique experience. At the beginning of the meal patrons are invited to take the narcoalgorithm which mimics the effects of synaesthesia, allowing the patron to ‘see’ the flavour in amazing colours and shapes simultaneously while tasting it. It is advised that you book well in advance to book a table for this experience.
Titan is home to many universities including; Titan Autonomous University and Titan Tech, and where undergrads and postgrads are there are bound to be pubs. Aarhus is home to many but one of my favourites is the Screaming Sylph. The food is decent, the ale is better than most but what really sets the Screaming Sylph apart from the rest is that is home of The Inquizitors. The Inquizators are a collective of students that organise trivia nights for patrons at The Screaming Sylph. Unlike classical trivia nights that predated the invention of the ever pervasive mesh and AI muses that focused on general knowledge of the participants, The Inquizators trivia nights embrace the access mesh and pit teams against each other to solve cryptic questions and puzzles that often require good researching skills, lateral thinking and reasoning. Sometimes these tasks are timed or simply solving the task will award the team points.
Like all environments there are dangers that any visitor should be aware of. Besides some of the more obvious dangers like the frigid and toxic atmosphere there are some other atmospheric dangers that any adventurer should be aware of.
A large vortex appears in the upper atmosphere during the entirety winter season at the winter pole. Upper atmosphere flight should be taken with caution as the high winds and unpredictable wind patterns can be highly dangerous. During this time it is cyclones are not unheard of in the lower atmosphere.
The rains on Titan may be a spectacular sight but one must be wary, the hydrocarbon storms do bring with them lightning. Titan is also a relatively flat, with very little shelter and being the tallest protrusion for kilometres can result in lightning strike.
Crime is not overly prevalent on Titan but one drawback of the ‘One Body per Mind’ policy of Titan was that they accepted all, even members of criminal organisations. Titan is socially liberal; forking, open microfacturing blueprints and most drugs are legal. This means that the crimes committed by active criminal gangs are some of the darkest.
The St. Catherine Tong who are based in New Quebec deal in diverting morphs from Titan’s public resleeving programs for private resale, resleeving kidnapped egos in stolen morphs to work as slaves or sex workers and installing illegal biomods.
Smaller gangs labelled ‘Reboot Gangs’ represent the underclass of infugees who either can’t or won’t integrate into Commonwealth society. These gangs are more of a petty nuisance.
Unless you reside within Saturn orbit the quickest and easiest way to reach Titan is by ego casting. Titan produces more morphs than Mars and Lunar which makes morph rental easier and cheaper. Upon arrival on Titan you will need to fill out some information for customs but this is a quick seamless process.
Central Morph & Ego Services is a small microcorp focused on supplying morphs, ego casting and back-up insurance. Morphs can either be both bought or rented for a reasonable amount of @-rep. They offer a wide variety of morphs from vanilla splicer biomorphs to nova crab pods, anything short of walking arsenals.
Bodies as Suitcases are an egopacking co-op that aims to match candidates across the system to swap morphs with the intention of travelling. The co-op earns impressive rep for safe matches.
For those currently within the orbit of Saturn just hitch a ride on one of the many transports that operate in the region. Titan is accessible from the Commonwealth Hub, a space station in geosynchronous orbit with Titan’s capital Nyhavn. From the hub it is just a matter of hitching a ride on one of the transports entering atmosphere. But be wary, re-entry can be quite bumpy. Construction of the space elevator is nearing completion which will make the journey easier.
Like the rest of the Autonomists Alliance Titan is liberal with their morph availability and a number have been developed especially for the Titanian environment. If you are heading out onto the surface a Standard Vacsuit will keep you alive and a morph with vision enhancements will allow you to view the landscape in the dim light.
The Hazer is a humanoid, lithe, lightly muscled biomorph. With heavy insulation and enhanced vision in the infrared Hazers were developed to cope with the dark frigid Titanian environment. Even with these augmentations the morphs cannot survive sustained exposure to the Titanian atmosphere.
Titan’s low gravity is the perfect environment for flying morphs like Neo-avians and Patagium morphs. Patagium morphs take the extreme sports pre-fall squirrel suits in a literal sense. These morphs have a parachute-like skin that extends between their arms and legs allowing them to easily fly in Titans low gravity.
If you plan on going ice bashing and have the rep to burn then the Hulder morph is the only way to go. Hulder can easily be mistaken for penguin faced synthmorphs but are in fact heavily insulated biomorphs. They heavily rely on nano-technology to recycle wastes. This allows Hulder morphs to survive the frigid Titan atmosphere for months.
Is a science fiction role-playing game with themes of horror and intrigue involving transhumanity who spread across the Sol system.
It is published by Posthuman Studios and is released under the Creative Commons license. For more information on the Titan and transhumanity be sure to check out Eclipse Phace (Core Rulebook) and Rimward.