The Megacorps of Sol are extremely cautious about how much violence they let their people know about. For instance, it’s been widely propagated that no megacorp has ever gone to extended war with another, and no weapons of mass destruction have ever been employed on a civilian population by post-human Sol. Both statements are true, provided you have liberal control over the definitions of the terms. From a purely logical perspective it’s a load of crap.
Io is one of the most hotly contested pieces of planetary real-estate in Sol, for almost no reason beyond its convenience as an out-of-the-way rock big enough to stand on and fight over. It’s rich with various minerals that are useful for Geomat refinement, but not so much that it’s worth what’s been done with it over the years. Mostly, its value is in its worthlessness. You can make a very big mess on Io, and no one is going to care. Mercury was in a similar position but its proximity to the sun made it too difficult to employ in quite the same manner. It’s primarily used as a research and development platform for powerful, destructive technologies, many of which get tested in real time on Io.
Io serves one extremely important function to the colonies and industries in the Jovian sector and space beyond: it’s a playground for very expensive products that are primarily manufactured on (and as such, provide a lot of business for) Ganymede and other near-Jupiter industries. You can do what you want there, with a carefully considered population of loyal workers, defended with somewhat over-aggressive methods. Io is where you go when you need to do something planetside you don’t really want other people seeing. They’ll know you’re there (plenty of places can view Io with clarity, provided you’re on the side that faces them) but if they come knocking you’re free to pretty much drop hell on their heads to keep them away. You’re not going to risk anyone who wasn’t already at risk just coming there in the first place.
Beyond that, Io is a pressure valve for mega organizations to test their strength against each other without actually risking anything they particularly care about. It’s a zone for dark wars, conflicts that exist between factions to sink money into, test mettle and technology, and remind each other that they have teeth should anyone decide they actually want to stir something up large-scale in a place it would matter.
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