Venus was the second planet that humans began to colonize after space travel was made into an affordable commodity. Venus was a much more difficult planet to colonize than The Moon or Mars, but it was much more attractive than trying to overcome the constant storms that make Jupiter so hard to land on.
Because of Venus’s proximity to the sun and atmospheric density the surface has not been colonized by the people that live there. The entirety of the population of Venusians live in the underground cities interconnected by massive tunnels. The cities and tunnels are sealed air tight and machines convert the carbon dioxide of the surface into breathable air.
The most notable quality of the Venusian geography is the stone that lies below the planetary crust. This stone is an anomaly that science has yet to fully figure out, causing strange characteristics to develop in both the biological organisms introduced to it and the non-living materials brought with them. This changes are slow and unpredictable, where a dog might develop the ability to see clearly in pitch black darkness, plants synthesizing alternate gases to grow underground away from sunlight, metals suddenly changing tension strength, or people gaining strange qualities as the generations go on. So far the changes are have not been credited as detrimental, but no one is really sure where things might end up in a thousand years, or even the next 20. The only guess the scientific community is willing to use as an explanation is an old form of radiation that the sun must have given off in an earlier time.
Venusians the “Mole People”
Venusians share many distinct qualities from those humans coming from The Human Empire. The first thing that most people notice when looking at a Venusian is the pale grey tone of their skin. This characteristic is distinctive to those who were born and raised in the underground tunnels of the planet. The lack of sunlight that the natives receive spending nearly their entire lives underground causes this pallet.
There are many other qualities that are common to the natives of Venus but they are less distinctive, and slightly more varied individuals. Large eyes, thin limbs, and small frames make up the most common physical traits shared by the people. These features are prominent and becoming more-so with every generation due to the advantages they yield in cramped and dark quarters that are normally found in the tunnels.
Less noticeable are the biological and psionic changes that are manifesting in the peoples that live below the surface of Venus. Due to the unique qualities of the stone present in the planetary crust evolution is seeming to take the fast track here for people, as well as the animals and plants that have been introduced here. People are able to see better in the dark with their large eyes, able to hold their breath longer, and survive with a smaller amount of oxygen, some stories are even told of people who can go without air for days at a time. These changes are partially due to biology and partially due to the new field of Psionics. On earth the science has only been discovered in the last 50 years, and very few specimens exhibit qualities that are included, but according to some leading scientists researching the phenomenon the attribute is as much as 5 times more common on Venus.
One of the reasons that so few Venusians leave their planet, and that so few outworlders, as all people not from Venus are dubbed here, come here is the severe cultural differences that are practiced by Venusians. First of all are the personality quirks that are exhibited by nearly all Venusians, these are widely varied among individuals and examples include physical ticks, odd uses of words or phrases, even majorly alien mindsets like talking to animals. Living in a tunnel made of unidentifiable stone and rarely, if ever, seeing the sun has profound effects on the human psyche that show up in just about any way imaginable.
Stemming from the individual oddities that are demonstrated by Venusians are a set of cultural rules that outworlders struggle to comprehend. These rules stem from a culture of people who depend on their neighbors for security and survival, it is hard to live in a network of stone tunnels where both food and friends are rare. The culture is even stranger when the natives must consider that they do not know how the evolutionary effects have changed each other.
A cultural study has never been done on the differences between Venusian society and that of the Human Empire making it even harder for those not born here to understand. The lack of a study is partially due to this misunderstanding of alien culture, due to the people of the Human Empire looking down on these “weird” practices as uncivilized and unintelligent, and Venusians not caring what other people think about them. The most common practice that is known outside of Venus, and the most widely mocked, is the practice of shaking hands. On Venus the act of shaking hands with someone is a stronger version of the historical rule of “Guest Right” in that upon completion one is expected to ally with, even defend and aid, the person whose hand was shaken.