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© 1996-2010
æthereal FORGE ™

The MUD Slide

Iconoclast -- New Aurora

New Aurora is a bustling metropolis of some 7 million inhabitants located almost equidistantly between Lincoln City, Salem, Corvalis and Newport in the center of the Oregon/Pacific Northwest Territory (in what was once Polk County, in the middle of Oregon's Coast Range. The exact center of the city is located at 123 degrees 36 minutes West Longitude, and 44 degrees, 47 minute, 50 seconds North Latitude.

New Aurora is the current capital of Americorp, its shareholders holding 63 percent of Americorp stock. New Aurora boasts the second largest free-standing dome in the world, the seventh tallest building in the world, and a per capita income larger than 57% of the countries in the world.

Though the city actually encompasses an area of approximately 25 miles in diameter, when people speak of New Aurora they most often are referring to the dome that covers downtown New Aurora. New Aurora's dome is approximately 3 and 1/8 miles in diameter, and extends 1600 feet above ground level as well as 1600 feet down into the ground. [For comparison, Chicago's Sears Tower is 1,454 feet high, and the Shell Oil Co. oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico (the world's tallest structure) is 3,280 feet high].

New Aurora's population hovers at over 7 million inhabitants, with some 40 percent residing in the 11.3 square miles of usable living space inside the dome. There is a "no build" zone of about a half kilometer (1600 feet, or equal to the height of the dome) around the domed portion of New Aurora. Directly around this area of nothing but trees and water is a highway which loops around the dome equidistantly. From this loop issue four highways which serve to link New Aurora with the rest of the area.

As New Aurora's environs officially stretch out about 25 miles in diameter, the habitations of New Valsetz (near the reborn Valsetz Lake), Falls City, Logsden, Nashville, Hoskins, Summit, Pedee and others fall within the boundaries of the city of New Aurora, but they are usually considered separate entities.

Critics of the city's design refer to it as a giant "glass hamburger," which is a quite accurate description. On the top and bottom are the curving surfaces of the city's dome, enclosing everything within. Directly in the middle, where most of the city's population resides and works, is the "meat" of the city, ground level. This is where you will find Nexus Plaza, the dome's four main quarters, etc...

If you peer upwards from Nexus Plaza, you will see many massive skyscrapers rising up through the donut-shaped upper city towards the top of the dome. Though you cannot see belowground, those same skyscrapers also stretch down below the surface for an equal distance. The city's eight largest domescrapers encircle Nexus Plaza, although there is no public access at that level.

If you move out of the downtown area, you enter one of the four "quarters" of the city: Tech, Goth, Savant and Rager, titles given to the quarters by those who live there, not by the corporations. Directly above these neighborhoods, encircling downtown like rings of "steel onions," is the city's Skywalk. The Skywalk was intended as a means of transportation and access, allowing people to move between the middle and upper city easily, but due to the cramped conditions within the dome many inhabitants have taken to living on the catwalks and platforms suspended in midair between the upper and ground levels.

Directly below these same neighborhoods, encircling downtown belowground, is the area of the city scathingly referred to as the "Dirtwalk." Though those who inhabit this network of tunnels, accessways, cavernlike buildings and cavelike homes loathe the living conditions, they continue to live there, enjoying some sense of privacy. The criminal element of the city also revels in the freedom afforded them here, for while city security stretches from the top of the dome to the bottom, the police can't be everywhere at once.

Above the Skywalk, and below the Dirtwalk, are the Upper and Lower City, respectively. The Upper City is a masterpiece of engineering, being a three-tiered platform of concrete and steel built some 800 feet above ground level, supported by cables, buttresses, portions of the Skywalk and the rooftops of many of the city's buildings. As land up there is very, very expensive, it is inhabited by the city's richest citizens.

The very richest citizens purchase space above even the Upper City, living amidst the platforms and supports disdainfully called "Heaven" by those living on the lower levels. These platforms are built between the very highest skyscrapers and the dome itself, and are inaccessible for the most part except to those who live there. Even those who reside in the Upper City look with a sense of disdain on those who live above them.

The Lower City, commonly referred to as the "Asylum," is a series of wide tunnels carved out by the city to create more neighborhoods and homes below ground. Land values are extremely cheap, and living conditions awful, which means that the inhabitants of the "Asylum" are less then rich, and often less than hospitable. If New Aurora has a "slum," this is it. The lower city is inhabited by the worst dregs of society, those unable to afford anything except the worst living conditions available. Whores, thieves, murderers and worse all live here, usually taking up residence elsewhere only when they are arrested and convicted of their crimes.

Directly below and encircling the "Asylum" are the city's more private facilities, including the city prison and penal colonies, sanitarium, military storage facilities, computer banks, industrial and manufacturing facilities, etc. Some casually refer to these high-risk, high-security areas as "Never-neverland," not to be confused with the club known as "Neverland," located in the Tech Quarter of the city.

Two photos of the Dirtwalk, the most densely-
populated section of the city of New Aurora.

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