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Entanglement Mods ([personal profile] the_measurers) wrote2010-04-08 04:07 am

The Hub Universe

Although connected to all known universal gates, the Hub universe is a tiny universe in and of itself. In absolute terms (which of course mean nothing) it is less than a third the size of the Milky Way. It is also a rather young universe (relative to its own creation), being only a few million years old. Its underlying structur, the universal stuff (this is called ylem in both common and technical parlance) is very malleable, allowing many immigrants to bring the physical laws of their universe with them.

Different universal gates tend to be clustered together by sharing some common characteristic.

Sometimes universes are close enough together that their gates are clustered too. The largest by far is the Terran Cluster, encompasing most of the worlds that are based around some version of Earth. Debris is heavy in this cluster and there are free roaming planetary bodies and stars, making navigation here for large ships difficult. Fay'lian vacuuforming crews are busy clearing as much debris from this cluster as possible, ostensibly for the safety of travellers, but also to deny rebels hiding spaces.

[map of the hub 'verse]


Bohr is a long abandoned (by its original owners) artificial space station, made of some black metal. In the centuries since its abandonment, due to its sitting near a number of pirate gates, it has become a hub for smugglers and other black market merchants. Here, anything can be found for sale, at prices ranging from the exorbitant to the cut rate (the latter usually meaning that the goods are cheap knockoffs or hot). Weapons, bizarre sexual devices, androids designed for every purpose, rare artifacts and relics, mysterious swords and pendants, live specimens of dozens of species of alien wildlife, some of them quite sentient, stolen artwork, holographic narcotics, bootleg blue whale concerts, cyber enhancements, everything, save for the most part Fay'lia magitech. Inside it is mostly dark corridors, a lot like Senburu Trati'salan. Merchants set up in the various rooms, converting them into impromptu shops, or failing that, in the hallways. The layout of shops is rather random, but guides are available for hire almost anywhere, able to find you the goods you need, and for an additional fee, to haggle for you.

There is still power and very minimal temperature control, since there are still solar collectors functioning from whatever previous usage this place had. The power must be paid for though (a vicious syndicate of hyenalike creatures controls the access to it) as must any temperature control besides the very uncomfortably anemic spurts of warm air the still functioning systems provide to all. Eventually this system will probably break down, and seeing as providing public works pays nothing, the whole place will either learn to wear very insulating clothing or freeze to death.

Here the ruthless logic of unrestrained capitalism rules all. Those with sharp wits can make quite a bit. Make mistakes though...well, more than one body has gone out of the airlocks there, with nary an eyelash or other ocular sensor covering body part being batted.

Smugglers from every universe come here to sell, so visitors may encounter species native to their or others' universes. Toydarians and Ferengi are especially common.

There are also a number of runaways and refugees. Pushed onto the margins of multiversal society, these people perform the lowest grunt work for the crime syndicates that fight occasional turf wars here.

Basic public services are provided on a for cash basis only. Even the toilets and elevators need a coin dropped in. There are also regular taxis to Planck, of dubious safety, taking no more than an hour and a half.

Money may be exchanged at specialized shops, located on the third level. The only currency accepted everywhere is Fay'lian Solaris, having a fixed, known value, though most merchants will accept any currency they personally recognize or think they can swindle you out of.

The Fay'lia make occasional sweeps through here. When they do, everyone packs up and flees temporarily before returning when the military has left. Recently, Fay'lia intelligence has been tasked with attempting to infiltrate the smugglers. They also have a secondary mission to track down Resistance members...

Planck is a planetoid that is in a mutual orbit with the artificial planetoid Bohr. Although it is only about a fourth of the size of the earth, it has 81.38% of Earth gravity due to an abundance of the superdense minerals that provide the station with its own gravity.

All multicellular animals are part of a single phylum of long, sinuous creatures with very flexible backbones. Some are furred, some scaled, some winged (producing dragonesque creatures that are truly breathaking to behold), yet none have yet evolved legs (the wings being modifications of the ribs rather than the elongated fingers of Earth flyers). Plant life is very diverse. Pollination has evolved here as well, and plants are visited by swarms of small, symbiotic, snakelike flyers. Mossy "walls" tend to form on the plains, the results of the action of burrowers. Thus much of the planet has natural alcoves and mazes. Due to its close proximity to its sun, Planck has a semitropical climate over most of its surface, save the poles.

There is but one nameless city on Planck. It stretches out lazily on the banks of the Kiel river. The Mountains of Solace lie behind it, huge, looming and fetid. Its economy is based around one thing: pleasure tourism. Whorehouses, opera houses, exhibitions of torture, gladiator pits, gambling houses, masked balls, execution ranges (where the lucky traveler can, for enough solari, murder condemned criminals in inventive ways), fetish pyramids, drug arcades, kaleidoscopic nickelodeons, restaurants serving every taste, laser hunt tours, every conceivable type of entertainment that can be paid for is found in this city.

The city is home to about 50,000 permanent residents. During peak season they may be 15 times that many visitors, of which 1 in 10 are Fay'lia. The existence of this planet is an open secret among Fay'lia nobles, who travel to Planck to satisfy cravings they cannot get back home.

Outside of The City, there are few inhabitants. There are bandit camps on the city's outskirts and in the wild, preying on the tourists, and a large ski resort at the south pole.

Points of Interest:

Spencer Mujek's
The largest gladiator arena in the city. The designers of the place have added very little to an ancient design. Built around a great circular bowl filled with sand, the environment can be altered with machines placed underneath. The highest paying customers are given seats right next to the action in floating bubbles tethered ropes threaded above the colliseum. These bubbles, while luxurious inside, are mostly transparent (though they can be opaqued to all except the bottom part from which the combats are viewed).

Here there are the grandest of combats, in every possible format: duels with laser pistols, bare handed fights to the death, men in teams taking down great beasts, duels in mecha, even an entire war staged between competing species of fast living, six inch long insectoids.

To qualify to compete here, one must be either a slave (and thus probably to die in one's first few combats) or work one's way up from fighting in the other, much ruder and seedier pits throughout the city.

A self consciously tacky hipster whorehouse with a religious theme. It is a small establishment, two floors tall. Malnourished artoids come here to pay dead eyed women to commit blasphemies of every type. The establishment employs a number of exiled religious heretics for the express purpose of finding ways for the girls to violate the tenets of their respective religions.

An establishment where visiting nobles can, for exhorbitant fees, watch the everyday lives of the very poor. The "performers" are taken from the poorest regions of the multiverse and offered a large sum of Fay'lia solari if they remain for two years, with their families, in a state of artificial extreme poverty, being gawked at at all hours of the day and night by bored bouergoise from behind glasstic.

The Hedged Porticul
Tucked away behind a giant alcove of the native wall-moss, and then further tucked away inside the shell of a larger, less interesting building, this is the hotel and ballroom to be at if you are a Fay'lia noble here discreetly. The building itself is done in the classical Fay'lia style: grand glasstic columns and arches, through which runs clear, bubbling water and is adorned with climbing, perpetually flowering vines.
The interior appears to be a normal, upper class hotel in the same style. However the whole building is honeycombed with secret passageways which permit the traveller to enter and leave their rooms and the rooms of others discreetly. It is considered good form to go masked whenever one attends the hallways, waiting rooms and ballrooms. Floaters leave from atop the roof regularly to ferry their rich and bored clients to their destinations.

The Gardens of Lost Desire
A large maze of the native wall-moss. Sculpturey, mysterious books (attached to the tables), dinghies that can be taken on the equally winding little river can all be found here. It is the premier destination for secret rendezvous. There are plenty of discreet alcoves that lovers can duck into...
Obviously there is an entrance fee.

A Certain Unremarkable Section of Land
A sleek spaceship shaped like a somewhat flattened egg, half a kilometer lengthwise. Although capable of very smooth slower than light flight (anyone familiar with a Fay'lia ship would recognize the engine's distinct technomagical hum). Inside is exactly as the ship's name suggests: a completely unremarkable span of plain edging on jungle. Holoprojectors give a complete illusion that one is actually on the surface of Planck. Walk to the edge and you will feel yourself continuing to walk even as the gravity fields beneath you keep you perpetually from touching the walls you can't see anyway. It is a near perfect simulation of a perfectly ordinary stretch of land on Planck.

The crew (besides the actors, paid to provide atmosphere), engines, life support, navigation, etc. are all underneath the "surface".

Voyages alternate between a few hours long and a few days.

Popular with the bored, the boring and the postmodern.