The first planetary body to host permanent human habitation, Earth’s sole moon competes with Titan for the second largest population on a planetary body in the solar system and remains a lynchpin of culture and economic activity. Lunar history has been shaped dramatically by the Fall. Before the need to evacuate Earth arose, it was expected that Luna would remain largely an automated mining concern, never attaining a population of more than a few million. Luna was never seen as an economically viable location for colonization, the focus instead falling on Mars and the outer system.

When the Fall came, every polity that couldn’t hope for a shot at Mars or elsewhere set its sights on Luna. The Indians were the only great power that had invested heavily in Luna. The other three major settlements, Erato, Nectar, and Shackle, were multinational and hypercorp concerns with no strong national affiliations. These three cities swelled overnight into polyglot refugee camps, while the Indian settlement, New Mumbai, was nuked black by the corps when it became apparent that a TITAN infection had taken hold there.

Bereft of nationhood, Lunars developed their own resourceful, tough-minded culture that emerged as a counterbalance to the radicalism of the outer system and the excesses of Mars.

Transportation on Luna is largely by suborbital rocket, although trans-sonic bullet trains also operate along shorter routes. The major space port is at Nectar. There is also a skyhook—a massive orbiting satellite spaceport that drags a massive tether, which acts as a space elevator along a track running across the Lunar surface south of the equator. As a result, many smaller cities lie along the skyhook track.

Habitat Erato

Erato (population 5 million) is a major mining center consisting of a series of heavily shielded surface domes and a vast underground city. Erato is centered around the Eratosthenes crater on the southern edge of the Mare Imbrium (Sea of Showers), in the northern hemisphere of the Earth-facing side of Luna. Erato has access to both the rich titanium deposits of the Mare Imbrium and fields of helium 3-abundant regolith.

Habitat Nectar

Nectar (population 9 million) lies about 100 kilometers due east of Theophilus crater on the Mare Nectaris (Sea of Nectar) in Luna’s southern hemisphere. Nectar is a design powerhouse, home to the great Lunar design houses that set fashion and design trends for much of the solar system. Due to its location relatively close to the Lunar equator, Nectar also hosts Luna’s primary long-haul space port and is on the pickup path for the Lunar skyhook.

Habitat New Mumbai Containment Zone

The incineration of the New Mumbai colony with nuclear weapons during the Fall to prevent the spread of TITAN infection left a scorch mark roughly 100 kilometers in diameter on the face of Luna that is still visible from high orbit. The colony was a heavily automated helium-3 mining station, located in the midst of rich helium-3 fields on the edge of the Mare Moscoviens. It remains a heavily patrolled quarantine zone to this day.

Habitat Shackleton-New Veranasi

Shackle (population 6 million), built in and around the south polar Shackleton crater, is centered on one of two major water extraction operations on Luna. New Varanasi, the city of temples, is the most impressive section of the city. Shackle was the other major site of old Indian influence on Luna, and with the destruction of New Mumbai holds special importance to descendants of the Indian diaspora. New Varanasi is a monumental artifiicial cavern complex with an intricate canal system fed by melted ice from the polar caps above.