- Pluto (310,000 pop)
- Charon (50,000 pop)
- Hydra (1,500 pop)
- Nix (1,000 pop)
- Varda (9,000 pop)
- Ilmare (3,000 pop)
- Chaos (4,000 pop)
- Varuna (6,000 pop)
- Ixion (4,000 pop)
- The second largest object in the Kuiper Belt, Pluto was also the location of the first permanent settlement in the Kuiper Belt. Even so, it is significantly smaller even than Earth's own moon.
- Technically, Pluto is with its companion Charon a binary planet, defined as such because the center point of their orbits does not lie within the physical bounds of either.
- Pluto's surface is a melange of nitrogen ice, along with some carbon monoxide ice and methane ice. Beneath this surface layer, however, Pluto possesses a dense, differentiated core with a substantial amount of silicate rock. Due to radioactive decay of the core, the border between the core and the icy mantle has created a subsurface ocean layer of liquid water.
- Planetary engineering of artificial spin to induce pseudo-gravity is common in the solar system on small bodies, but the energy requirements for doing this with larger bodies has remained problematic. Low and microgravity conditions can, of course, be gengineered around, but there remain many advantages to such a system. Pluto is one of the largest subject of such planetary engineering, inducing a pseudo-gravity of 0.34g, or about one-third Earth-normal, similar to the gravity experienced on Mars and Mercury, compared to its original gravity of about 0.07g. Originally possessing of a thin atmosphere, the radical planetary engineering it has undergone has significantly increased this to the point that Pluto now possesses a recognizable, albeit basic weather system, periodically lit by the vast hydrocarbon spin-engines.
- Pluto's habitation is almost entirely contained at the subsurface ocean water barrier some 25km below the world's mantle of ice. Pluto's underground cities are anchored with enormous piers driven into the icy mantle, the towers of the cities reaching ever inward until the icy slush turns into the watery darkness.
- As Pluto's mighty spin-engines are positioned primarily around Pluto's equator, vast docking tunnels have been bored through the ice at both poles where even quite large ships are able to rest in huge cradles along the sides of the polar docking tunnels, with hyperspeed elevators to take goods and people the rest of the way down to the subsurface ocean.
- As the first permanent Kuiper Belt settlement, Pluto came to claim both an economic and a political centrality to the region. Although often resisted by the other polities of the Kuiper Belt, Pluto has continued to press for ever-increasing cooperation and exchange. As the largest economic base of the Kuiper Belt, Pluto has also inevitably served as a cultural center of gravity being a center of commerce, transit, and common cultural and political conventions and events.
- Highly generalized, broad-based economy.
- Robust shipyards capable of building all commercial vessels as well as military-grade frigates and destroyer class battleships.
- Almost exactly one hundred years to the day after Triton's first permanent settlement was established by the Oceanic League, Pluto was formally colonized. The earliest object of colonization of the Kuiper Belt in 2302 from stepping stones on Triton, a minor landrush occurred resulting in myriad tiny settlements sprouting up throughout the region over the next fifty years.
- In 2327, the nascent Plutonian Assembly - itself one of the very few colonies in the solar system not initially a corporate project - began negotiations with Makemake and elements on Xena in the interests of creating a "Kuiper Commerce League". While these efforts fell apart, the Plutonian Assembly five years later in 2332 managed to bind the three polities into the modern-day Kuiper Compact, although the initial structure of the arrangement involved voluntary mutual treaties and no real central organization.
- As the Protean League began to consolidate in the 2380s, the members of the Kuiper Compact became increasingly uneasy, and conscious of their own apparent divisions added a military component to their agreement.
- Within the Kuiper Compact, the Plutonian Assembly is the most expansionist of the Compact's member polities. Though the Plutonian Assembly provides a full half of the Compact's military force, not to mention its own substantial naval forces directly under its own control, the primary mechanism for its expansionism is via diplomatic and commercial pressure. Vast sums of money have been devoted to developing Haumea in an effort to nurture that polity into a potential member of the compact, and more so than any other world in the Kuiper Belt, the Plutonian Assembly has sunk large amounts of resources into building new colonies on other worlds throughout the region.
- The Plutonian Assembly is bound by mutual defense treaties with Makemake, the Sedna All-Thing, and Xena by means of its membership in the Kuiper Compact.
- As a part of the Kuiper Compact, the Plutonian Assembly has been sending aid to the Democratic Republic of Triton against the Protean League.
- The military force of the Plutonian Assembly is substantial, not only by the standards of the Kuiper Belt, but of the outer worlds as well. While it would not be capable of resisting the full force of any of the Galilean polities or of the Alliance, it would be capable of giving even those cause of serious pause in any theoretical advance.
- As a scion of the Oceanic League's "Great Diaspora" project, the Plutonian Assembly is culturally similar to and politically sympathetic with the Democratic Republic of Triton, Xena, and the Quorum, though its sympathies with the Quorum have been strained due to that polity's enthusiastic embrace of questionable research philosophies and practices.
Politics and Culture:
- Culturally, Plutonians see themselves as the natural leaders of the Kuiper Belt, and some even of Neptune as well. While as a rule Plutonians are not terribly arrogant in the promulgation of their vision of themselves and their position in the grander scheme of things, they are nevertheless seen as being somewhat pushy by their neighbors.
- Commercially, politically, culturally, and militarily powerful, the Plutonian Assembly thus sees itself as the natural capital of the region, and indeed, in practice it often serves in this role. Still, the rise in power of Makemake and Xena have begun to challenge this assumption, and it remains to be seen how Plutonians as a whole will react to this shift in power.
- Although Pluto shares a common colonization origin with many of its neighbors, it has drifted somewhat from the original ideals of the Oceanic League. Where the Oceanic League's Diaspora project was never intended to include a concept of political unity, the Plutonian Assembly has grafted just such a concept onto its own aggressive colonization efforts.
- The major cultural groups:
- Pacifica (33% of the population)
- Phillipino (26% of the population)
- Chilean (18% of the population)
- Japanese (11% of the population)
- Indonesian (10% of the population)
- Other (2% of the population)
- Culturally, Pluto displays a much more balanced set of national origins than many of the other Diaspora project worlds. One major result of this has been that Pluto is possessing of a more cosmopolitan, idealistic, even manifest destiny ideal.
- Linguistically, an English heavily influenced by Mexican and South American Spanish is the official language of state.
- Economically, Pluto represents a balance between a more typical corporate structure - something that has grown in power since its founding - and a more state-centered socialistic set of ideals:
- Corporate power is quite noticeable, albeit not nearly as odious or overbearing as within the bounds of, for example, State or the Eastern Federation.
- Centralized government power is idealized and held in high regard. A high level of taxation fuels an idealistic, almost nationalistic policy of subsidized colonization of nearby worlds throughout the bounds of the Kuiper Belt and even beyond in both directions.
- Despite this bent towards a centralized government, the Plutonian Assembly has been very wary of going down the self-destructive path of the Democratic Republic of Triton with its disastrous internal political gridlock and labyrinthine commercial laws.
- Although wealthy in hydrocarbons, much of this wealth has been directed towards the fueling of Pluto's spin-engines, this representing an unusual technical choice, as most other worlds have chosen other energy sources to power their own worlds' spin-engines. Because Pluto also possesses a wide array of other resources including carbonates, silicates, and even metals, this has simply led to these substances being mined for private or export use, and nationalized hydrocarbon mining dominating the hydrocarbon industry.
- Politically, the Plutonian Assembly is a unicameral parliamentary system with heavy government financing in elections. Representation is geographical and by population, although population minimums mean that the outlying colonies possess outsized power compared to their populations, a situation that has simply reinforced the polity's focus on expansion. A role analogous to a prime minister exists in the form of the office of the Prolocutor who is the leader of the dominant political party.
- The Plutonian Assembly is noted for having particularly harsh restrictions on assembly member behavior and elections of such - the only crime for which the death penalty remains is political corruption.