In many habitats, hyper-augmented elites rule a mass of humanity that is stuck using low-end morphs and minimal augmentations, or even infomorphs living in rented morphs, but this is not the only option found in the solar system. Transhumanity has splintered into a wide variety of subcultures, some of which are based upon an individual’s choice of morph. Some of this separation is due to the necessity of inhabiting difficult environments. From aquanauts living in Europa’s aquatic environment or rusters on Mars to the fact that zero-g habitats are relatively inexpensive and are best inhabited by microgravity-adapted morphs like bouncers, many unusual environments require those living in them to choose from a very limited range of morphs. Sometimes, though, this separation is ideological in nature, such as the rise of groups like the ultimates or some of the separatist uplift communities that seek to define their own space separate from human cultures.
There are dozens of specialist morphs and an even greater number of habitats or other settlements that are inhabited largely or exclusively by individuals using a single type of morph or a limited number of specialist morphs. In the asteroid belt and in the rings and smaller moons of Saturn, there are more than one hundred habitats that do not rotate, with all portions in zero or near-zero gravity. The inhabitants typically use bouncer or novacrab morphs, along with a small number of synthetic morphs and other pods.
There is also a vast number of other habitats that are segregated in various other ways, including ones where all permanent residents are uplifts inhabiting one of the various transgenic morphs, like the octomorph or neo-avian morphs. Other habitats are only open to residents with various enhanced morphs like exalts or mentons. There are even habitats where all residents must inhabit morphs that are all clones of one another. In almost all of these habitats, residents are free to add whatever augmentations they wish to their morphs, but some habitats forbid residents from changing their morph’s external appearance, and individuals who violate this rule are forced to leave the habitat if they refuse to reverse these changes.
Some habitats do away with the necessity of both life support and gravity. In these locations, all residents are infomorphs who either inhabit their own synth bodies or, in a few very eccentric cases, where all of the inhabitants are infomorphs who spend most of their existence in the habitat’s central computers. When they need to interact with the physical world, these infomorphs are free to use one of the many synthmorphs that the habitat owns and that the residents share among themselves. Although considered quite eccentric to many and horrifying to bioconservatives, habitats inhabited solely by synthmorphs or infomorphs are among the least expensive to build and maintain and are a low-cost way for groups of infomorph refugees from Earth to gain independence. Because individuals who choose this way of life have often spent a decade or more as infomorphs, this option often seems both familiar and in many ways more comfortable than inhabiting a living morph. As Earth becomes more distant in transhumanity’s collective memory, its traditions and social norms hold less sway and people feel more free to create and use new bodies and new ways of life to go along with them.