Luna is the only natural satellite of the Earth. It is a light gray, dusty and pockmarked with craters and covered in numerous biodomes.
In 2167, the first major colonization effort was made to create an inhabitable city on the Moon. American, Indian, and European moguls rushed to found the city of Selene on the farside of the moon, while Japanese and Chinese moguls founded Yuèliàng on the nearside. They both fared well with support from their Earth-bound sponsors. Due to an economic recession on earth, both colonies were forced to become self-sufficient rapidly. This is when the American corporation Expansive Visions Transportation pushed Selene far ahead of Yuèliàng by introducing a more efficient atmospherics system that allowed Selene to become independent a decade before Yuèliàng. Arthur Greyson, the CEO of Expansive Visions Transportation, used this advantage to buy up holdings on Luna and secure control of most of Selene while he re-branded his company into Aether Atmospherics and Recycling.
Other corporations, now being pushed out of Selene, used this new technology to create their own cities and holdings on Luna. With funding from the growing Hephaestus Industries, New Hamburg was founded in 2241 and became the third major city on Luna. Other smaller cities cropped up, such as New Amsterdam, which would eventually be purchased and expanded by NanoTrasen.
Seeing the growing influence of corporations on Luna, the Free Trade Union, backed by the Sol Central Government, began a campaign to unify Luna into a centralized democratic government in order to limit the control of larger corporations. Several concessions had to be made in order to get many corporations to sign on to the new Constitution, however, including giving the newly formed Prefectures immense power within their own domains as well as making Luna a directorial republic with no single head of State. However, these concessions were eventually made and the Lunar Confederation was formed in 2275.
In order to maintain control, many corporations created proxy political parties to campaign for seats in the Lunar Assembly as well as for Director. Due to their immense funding, these parties became the most powerful parties on Luna, their only rivals being each other, the Free Trade Party, and the Unification Party. To this day, the only political parties on Luna who've won more than three single seats in the Lunar Assembly are funded by a large corporation, the Free Trade Union, or Sol Central.
Luna is a nation that was founded by the collective effort of a large group of very rich people who sought to claim their own piece of the moon, and the modern Lunar political system reflects this history.
It is a federal system with a large number of prefectures based on land ownership. A single prefecture is determined by what land is owned by whom – the largest prefectures are those owned by several corporations, but dozens of other smaller prefectures exist owned by smaller companies or hereditary rulers who have been willed land, though these types of prefectures have been disappearing due to land being purchased by large corporations. Prefects have a large amount of authority within their domains, though they are not entirely autonomous. The federal government has the power to apply laws which apply to all prefectures. Besides this, however, prefects have a significant amount of autonomous power, and some even have police forces equivalent to a standing military. The federal government is intentionally complex to make it harder for outside companies and governments to establish themselves within the system and exert their influence over the Luna. Secondly, the government is designed to allow for exploitation by those who both designed it and have been around long enough to establish a foothold on Luna, leading to a number of inefficiencies and loopholes at the federal level that is abused by those in power. The Lunar government consists of an upper and lower house, with the head of state being the collective board of directors. The parties with the most influence over Lunar politics are the FTU, the SCG, Aether Atmospherics, Gilthari Exports and NanoTrasen.
Luna is not terraformed due to it being too small to hold an atmosphere, so the cities are large domes connected by underground subways and spaceports. Luna's gravity is very small, and Lunarians have adapted (and, originally, been genetically engineered) to live within the low gravity, though many large cities do have gravity generators. There are currently fifty-four Prefectures on Luna, which become increasingly urban as you approach the far side of Luna and increasingly sparse as you get away from Selene. The largest and most powerful prefecture is centered around Selene and is owned by Aether Atmospherics and Recycling. Towards the near side of Luna are smaller prefectures owned by independent companies, entrepreneurs, and researchers who wished to study on Luna without getting involved in the convoluted politics of the Selenites. Closer to the nearside, there is greater support for the Free Trade Union and Solgov, while towards the farside corporations have immense support.
The first city and capital of both Luna and the Aether Prefecture. Selene is the center of Lunar politics and commerce and is also a strong contender to be the center of arts and culture, though many would dispute that title in favor of New Vegas. Selene's architecture is inspired by Greek and Roman architecture but built on a grander scale – massive marble skyscrapers support the biodome above, built to resemble tremendous pillars of the Parthenon while the insides function as shopping centers, offices, and more. Statues of Greek and Roman deities stand in parks, squares, and shopping malls, mixing the trappings of a modern city with relics and recreations of the past. Selene is also the namesake of Selenian, the language of Luna and where it originated from.
The capital of the Gilthari Prefecture. Gilthari Exports sought to recreate the gambling and holiday destination of old Earth. In the mid-23rd century, the then CEO had the ambitious plan to create an entire city set up specifically to make Gilthari Exports a lot of money – and it's been working brilliantly. New Vegas is the number one tourist destination on Luna. It's situated right on the edge of what would be considered the far side, close enough to Selene to appeal to Selenites but far enough to not scare away the people who dislike Selenite politics. New Vegas is, consequently, the most populous prefecture on Luna. It also possesses the greatest wealth gap, with many in new Vegas living close to the poverty line and predominantly employed in lowly casino and service positions.
A city in the Hephaestus Prefecture near Selene in which the Lunar Guard is headquartered as well as the Hephaestus Lunar Branch. As such, the Lunar Guard is equipped with the best weapons in Sol. It is not much younger than Selene and Yuèliàng, and its architecture is built in a style popular in the early 23rd century with modernity, sleekness, and practicality in mind.
Founded soon after Selene on the opposite side of the moon. While never as popular as Selene due to Aether's marketing strategy, it remains one of the oldest and largest cities on the moon and is popular among those who wish to enjoy the luxury of living on Luna without the politics of Selene or having to deal with heavy tourism. It is the only prefecture not associated with a corporation to have three seats in the House of Prefects. The city has a distinct, separate culture from that of Selene, which is something that many Yuèliàngers pride themselves upon. Its architecture is based on that of classical China.
An independent prefecture that had been funded by the collective effort of the Ivy League Universities of Earth to create an academic haven that would be at the forefront of Sol research. Not far from Yuèliàng, it was strategically placed to be distinctly separate from Selenite politics but close enough to a major city to have the benefits which that entails. It has two seats in the House of Prefects. Elysium is also home to the Confucius spaceport, which is the primary landing and takeoff point for craft moving to and from Luna.
Not a particularly noteworthy city in the grand scheme of Luna, however, it is the Capitol of the Nanotrasen Prefecture. Compared to Selene, New Hamburg, and New Vegas, New Amsterdam is small, though the fact that the Nanotrasen Central Office is here ensures that New Amsterdam sees a great deal of traffic from off-world.
Due to the autonomous nature of prefectures, Luna has a very diverse culture that varies widely depending on where you are. As evidenced by the diversity of the architecture of the above cities alone, each city was founded with unique visions – and the money to fulfill them. As a result, each prefecture is highly unique, though they sometimes borrow cultural ideas from each other, they just as frequently make themselves stand out among other prefectures by drawing upon different cultural influences, especially in the cases of Selene and Yuèliàng which have had a long-standing rivalry and strive to differentiate themselves from each other.