Living on the Earth, living in the sky and living above the sky are three very different states of being. You have no idea.
They don’t do tours of the Ground Floor, as a lot of city-dwellers call it. They can’t afford the insurance on the necessary gas masks. Even the Guttersnipes don’t walk around the Ground Floor without some kind of air filter or mask. The air smells like oil, grease and damp. The secretions of a couple of centuries of oil abuse now coat what we used to call ‘street level’. Even with modern electronic transport and the space fuel the throw down at us, we still can’t clear the filth that’s already here. And of course there are the industries down below who cannot or will not make that great extraterrestrial leap and who still pump their poison into the world. The Toffs have to have their tennis balls after all.
Of course, some ‘Snipes have their implants to keep them safe. Hell, sometimes you see a Joe on the street and he looks more toaster than man. Don’t know how they manage it myself. I like the pink squishy parts of a person myself. Then again, I don’t smuggle, smash or slide to earn my money. Not usually anyway.
Speaking of which, down here you can buy anything. I know that a lot of people say that, but I mean it. I once sat in a bar while a guy scarfed down a brown paper bag full of what looked like eyeballs. All blue. I stuck around though. Good beer in that place.
My advice? Wear a barker on your hip to save any part of you from ending up in a brown paper bag.
In the Sky
Here in the clouds you’ve got your styles and your fashions and whatnot. Up here with the Toffs, you can buy anything fancy. The architecture ranges from glass and steel from historical. None of the Old Earth landmarks are down where they started. A lot of them have been status-locked or reproduced up on Cloud 9.
The fashions are a little unpredictable. “Future of the Past” was a thing for a while; all silver jumpsuits and skin tints. A lot of the sentient gadgets got a boost for a while too. All pug-ugly if you ask me. Although I shagged a green ‘Martian’ fashionista once. That was fun. Couple of months later it was Victoriana chic. You couldn’t swing your cane without knocking off someone’s topper. I like Cloud 9, but it is a silly place.
I lived on an Outpost for a couple of years back in the ’20s. Just a small solar mine out near Venus. The funny thing about space and the asteroid quarries is that building this stuff is dirt cheap, so everyone lives in this idyllic Mediterranean community with a simulated sky and simulated sea breezes. The European ones, anyway. They’re also really subcultural. Aphro-3 was made up entirely of Italian Cybergoths and their families. Beautiful to behold but damn strange in their little mock-terracotta houses. Still, the pasta was good.
It’s funny the detail the build into these places though. I remember the fishing being excellent. In space. They were real fish, too. Not like the creepy little robots you get in the Earth resorts. I remember eating an Aphro-Salmon that was absolutely delicious. And not a circuit board in site.
As you can imagine, the night life is a bit niche-y, but an awful lot of fun. If you fancy getting off with a girl with a short skirt and plastic hair then I recommend Aphro-3 immensely. I’d skip Metabilis, though. Those chicks are freaks.