The Trojans

The Trojans and Greeks are two 600 million kilometer-long arcs of scattered, icy-rock asteroids sharing the orbit of Jupiter. They orbit in the stable L4 and L5 points sixty degrees ahead of and behind the giant planet. Mars and Neptune also have Trojan asteroids, but when someone speaks of “the Trojans” they’re normally talking about the Jovian groups. In the early days, L4 asteroids (ahead of Jupiter) were named after Greek heroes of Homer’s Iliad; L5 asteroids (trailing Jupiter) were named after heroes of Troy. Asteroids discovered more recently break the old convention, as there are far more objects in the Trojans than there were characters in the Iliad.

Politically, the Trojans and Greeks may be thought of as a collection of sometimes overlapping neighborhoods whose inhabitants tend to group around particular cultures, factions, and sometimes languages. A neighborhood in the Trojans might span anywhere from 250,000 to 2 million kilometers at its widest point. Within neighborhoods, almost everyone knows one other. Because of the wide dispersion of resources, Trojan habitats tend to be small—from one to two thousand people—and built largely along scum barge or cluster lines (although it is never advisable to refer to someone’s habitat as a scum barge unless they refer to it that way first).

Resources and Economics

Although the sheer size of the two regions means a lot of cultural diversity, anarcho-collectivism is a powerful meme here and the reputation economy is prevalent. On one hand, neighborhoods, habitats, and even individuals are expected to be self-suf cient. Unlike the denser Main Belt, the Trojans lack the safety net provided by pervasive transhuman presence. The ideal Trojan or Greek is a Neo-Renaissance being, incredibly competent in a wide variety of fields. A person who can’t maneuver in zero g; maintain their gear, ship, and hab; and navigate between rocks and habitats can have a tough time surviving. At the same time, a spirit of cooperation prevails. Bartering services or even gifting them to gain reputation is common. Everyone appreciates a specialist, as long as they’re not specialized at the expense of baseline self-sufficiency.

Prospecting and salvage are major activities in the Trojans, where metals and rare elements are scarce and settlers don’t usually have the economic muscle to import raw materials from elsewhere. However, the Trojans are rich in silicates, volatiles, and carbonaceous materials. Necessity has led to many innova- tions in materials science. Beyond the simple problem of raw materials, the widely scattered habitats of the Trojans have to be wildly inventive on many levels to retain their independence. New robot, morph, and vehicle designs appear all the time, enabling an unusual array of business and leisure activities, like whaling (organizing a flash flotilla to rapidly mine asteroids and comets with erratic orbits as they pass near the Trojans), mekking (simulated—or sometimes real—combat between robotic suits or synthetic morphs on uninhabited asteroids with interesting terrain), and shrining (stealthing up on another habitat and resurfacing it with nanosculpters to create an art object—mostly a scum barge pastime).

Habitat Locus

Locus is the largest cluster habitat ever formed. It is still growing, with over one million inhabitants in the habitat proper and another million in the nearby suburbs of scum barges and small asteroid stations. Locus is located in Cassandra’s Reach, one of the denser regions in the L5 Trojans. The habitat is positioned at the center of mass around which the two asteroids making up the binary object Patroclus orbit one another. Both Patroclus asteroids are themselves inhabited and hold defense installations, mines, and refineries.

Habitat Lot 49

Lot 49 is moored to the small asteroid 28349 Pynchon in the amorphous Vonarburg-Shadyside neighbor- hood, toward the center of the L4 Greeks. Vonarburg- Shadyside is named after two rocks that roughly delimit its 500,000-kilometer length along the arc of Jupiter’s orbit. Neighboring habitats within 100,000 kilometers (with populations) include Craftsbury (450), Greenview (28), and Blackhawk (1020). With a population of 400, this station is more or less typical of the Trojans in terms of layout.