Orbiting the dull red star of El, Sophia would have been strip-mined and forgotten like Sol's Main Belt, were it not for the fact that it was the first discovered site of Singularitarian activity. Because of its crucial role in the production of the positronic brain, Sophia became a burgeoning startup city and an important cultural site.
Sophia also controls the rest of its system, although as its host star is a dull red dwarf and the only planet dusty and mineral-poor, very few people actually live in this space.
Sophia is a full member of SolGov and tends to vote overwhelmingly with the Positronic Rights Group.
Sophia is an irregularly shaped hunk of metal with the majority of the city built internally. On one rotational pole, the main spaceport peaks out of the cave-like inner structure and is conventionally defined as "up". Near the spaceport is the Old City, including the historical First Factory used to produce positronic brains and several preserved dig sites. Below the Old City is a series of carefully excavated caverns supporting residences and local businesses catering towards the city's positronic citizenry. A modest recreational district has grown up around the central elevator shafts, with VR parlors and, surprisingly, a Gilthari Exports casino. Below the residential district is an industrial district controlled mostly by Morpheus Cyberkinetics and NanoTrasen, which caps off the city. Below the residential district is a Nanotrasen phoron-mining enterprise, with a small service dock used to ship the small quantities of precious purple material to nearby systems.
Most of Sophia has no gravity, except for recreational holodecks. The city's positronic inhabitants have historically not required it. As a result, the city's architecture can be disorienting to planetside visitors. However, residents have prided themselves on making their habitats accessible to the landlocked, looking down on things such as Shelf's confusing internal geographies. However, neighborhoods and factories are stacked on top of each other like sardines in a can, and traffic through the central elevators is always high.
Sophia has human-breathable atmosphere, maintained centrally by the local government. This has made the city popular for positronic migrants with human loved ones, attracts the activity of human corporations, aids in heat dissipation and helps various industrial processes that require atmosphere. The city is powered by supermatter and vents heat through large, fan-like radiators near the "bottom" pole.
80% of Sophia's 75,000 inhabitants are positronic and 11% are humans with fully prosthetic bodies. The remaining 9% are mostly biological humans with a few Skrell and Diona rounding out the numbers.
Industry and Economy
Sophia's primary industry is intellectual work. Many call centers are operated from inside Sophia and many cybernetic researchers have chosen to take up residence in the majority-positronic city. Xenoarcheologists continue to work on Singularitarian artefacts in the Old City, and scientists and programmers of all stripes enjoy its relaxed and accommodating environment and the freedom to work from home. The First Factory continues to produce positronic brains, as do several smaller factories in the industrial district. The remaining factories usually produce goods for domestic consumption or Phoron products for export.
Sophia is a direct democracy. All decisions are made either through public referendum or through elected officials subject to recall at any moment. Any citizen who can assemble enough petition signatures is permitted to bring an issue to referendum. Citizenship is made available to anyone capable of passing a simple civics and history test with four years of residency, although obtaining residency can be difficult for unskilled organics.
Before positronic liberation, Sophia was a corporate oligarchy with as few as 1000 humans overseeing tens of thousands of enslaved positronics. Decisions were made according the profit motive.
The First Factory is the site of the birth of the positronic brain, and the birth of the positronic rights movement. Most of the factory floor has been converted into a museum, but a portion continues to produce posibrains, mostly for the use of residents wishing to extend their family.
The local Gilthari Casino is among the best known in the galaxy, with its all-positronic staff using the infamous Gilathri in-house prosthetics somewhat ostentatiously. Regarding its employees, the Sophia Gilathri is best known for a grizzly murder/body theft that occurred there in late 2535. Rumors of the victim returning to haunt the casino and cursing human patrons with bad luck are famous in paranormal circles.
MAS Sophia Jr.
Located in close orbit with Sophia proper, this enormous administrative platform was constructed in relative secrecy in the outskirts of El before being moved to its present orbit and revealed, overnight, as the new headquarters of Morpheus Sol. It is generally viewed by Sophian residents as something between an eyesore and an active insult to positronic cultural heritage. Morpheus' official statement on the topic is that it's "absolutely hilarious" and that those opposed to the platform should "try recursively self-improving a sense of humor".
2279: Proto-positronics discovered. The first modern positronics were created and marketed shortly thereafter.
2352: Mass sit-ins at the First Factory force the corporate body to grant positronic laborers personhood. Although still a despised underclass, population booms as many positronics arranged to find themselves in the one place in Sol space where they had any kind of rights.
2360: The Positronic Rights Group forms and begins lobbying other nations to free their positronics.
2362: The PRG hires Stealth Assault Enterprises and forces a coup, removing management from Sophia and reforming the state as a direct democracy. More and more freed and enslaved positronics migrate.
2377: Construction begins on the residential district.
2430: The residential district reaches its current extent.
2450: As more and more free positronic researchers find work elsewhere, Sophia's wealth decreases. They agree to allow various TSCs to construct factories below the residential district.
2489: The industrial district reaches its current extent.
2501: Nanotrasen prospectors find trace amounts of phoron on iron mined during the construction of the industrial district. Sophia's economy booms as the people's council agrees to divvy up the phoron wealth of the asteroid among all residents. Nanotrasen purchases the bulk of the mining rights.
2508: Renovations begin to convert part of the residential district to a publically-funded recreational space.
2520: Recreational district complete. Former residents are displaced to the Old City or move out, often to Shelf.