The center of the world!
Since the changing of planet Earth, London has risen to be the most prominent city on the entire globe. A gargantuan city ringed by thick walls and powerful defenses, many of its inhabitants live their entire lives within its safety and bustle. Changes in London affect the entire super-country of Infraflux, and the most crucial elements of its decentralised systems of governance and citizen welfare exist within it. The Mayor of London is the figurehead ruler of London, but their power extends mostly just to the social climate of the city itself, and they are treated as a celebrity figure more than anything.
The name "London" has to be used with caution, as this sprawling city has so many sub-divisions it's almost like a world of its own. The central area of influence, the Metropolis, is exactly what the name promises; tall buildings, shining glass and metal, bright lights, and expensive food. The rest of London splits up into different districts, like the raybender-bordered, warning symbol covered Clicky Block, the glowing Shining Alley that cuts right across central London, Dimtown where the sunlight disappears early and the buildings are black, the Reptile Quarter with its heat and humidity, and the glittering and practical Digital Quarter. Most of London is neutral or Shine-leaning, and heavily Dim-touched creatures and people are mostly to be found in Dimtown or isolated spots. There is occasional discrimination between the districts, and sometimes gangs form and cause damage.
The public transport system for most of urban London is famously bad, and often called by the coarse "the Pubes". Private vehicles are not to be found within London itself, but there exist a huge variety of native taxi services of all shapes and sizes, and the roads are still nevertheless bustling with vehicle activity. Although the population of London has a large percentage of humanoid inhabitants (colloquially called "noids" or "nerds"), the norm is not the rule and many people of varying shapes and structures live here. The Thames Wharf and Estuary, for example, are home to a substantial population of Phinnies.
The London Metropolis is the core of the vast city, and is the official capital of Infraflux. The Metropolis is exactly what its name promises; tall buildings, shining glass and metal, bright lights, and expensive food. The rich live here in the tall buildings, and it is a very influential place. The Metropolis also contains the massive and mysterious CIAS, the most famous Archilab, and the huge London Metropolis ICNS Building that attaches onto it. The public transport system of the Metropolis is extensive and well-run, uniquely, but the taxi services are expensive and more cushy. The loop of the River Thames that once housed the financial district of Canary Wharf is now the most high security area of the Metropolis and is a complete island surrounded by a wall. Among other things this area is home to the mayor of London, the London Police HQ, and the biggest server stack in the city.
Clicky Block (London Designated Radioactive Area - LDRA)
The city of London's radioactive quarter is a 4 square kilometre area that is completely encircled by a fence regularly spaced with the tall curved spikes of gigantic Raybenders; powerful meldings of technology and wizardry that warp and restrain harmful radiation. The area was not originally contaminated, but was established to serve the dual purpose of providing a comfortable and safe space for radioactive individuals to live (originally, mostly Freed migrants from mainland March Europe's vast Radioactive Zone), and providing a place to store waste from London's fission reactor. The waste is stored-- as safely as such a thing can be-- in a squat building in the center of the Clicky Block, which does not itself emit radiation. The inhabitants, however, are all either radioactive, or unaffected by radioactivity, and their cumulative presence has contaminated the area. Exit from the LDRA is by necessity controlled; both by automated gateways and manned supervision, to make sure that individuals do not enter the rest of the city if they exceed a certain level of emissions or are not wearing a personal Raybender. Entry to the LDRA is much less tightly controlled, and there is even a certain level of tourism present. Inside the Clicky Block is a pleasant and clean-looking residential area, with its own small shops, almost no greenery, and a high number of Freed families.
This corner of London was originally called the Reptile Quarter because in the past, it was a small unpleasant industrial area only populated by those of a cold-blooded nature who enjoyed the muggy heat in temperate March England. The heat itself was originally only caused by a network of naturally generated pipes that connect to planar hotspots deep in London Underground. Eventually the natural heat dispersing nature of the pipes was utilised by the ICNS and the London power grid to bleed off excess heat from London's fission reactor, and the place expanded into a substantial residential chunk of the city.
The Reptile Quarter today retains its industrial flavour, but is a bustling and lively hub of all those who enjoy higher temperatures. Narrow streets dominated by steam vents and huge twisting rust-coloured pipes both on the ground and arcing overhead are its trademarks, as well as citizens who may generate their own heat, adding to a fiery atmosphere. The pipes themselves have a tendency to slowly grow into any warm areas, and a sort of tree-trimmer program is in effect to come round twice a year and cut back any errant pipes. Above the flats and shops and huge chunks of industrial or power-related architecture, many slender spiralled spears poke above the roofs, made mostly of gleaming copper. These both function as mild infrared heat absorbers- like the Clicky Block Raybenders- and as lightning rods, as the quarter tends to build its own Shine-charged microclimate that causes frequent spats of warm rain and daily lightning strikes.
While the majority of London is catered towards organic or semi-organic individuals, the small Digital Quarter is a place for those who are entirely inorganic to live most comfortably. The quarter garners occasional undeserved distrust from some in the rest of London because "the walls have eyes": Not only those with inorganic bodies live comfortably there, but also entirely incorporeal digital entities. Smooth cables run along building to building with glittering status lights on them, and some houses are simply giant servers. Screens, cameras, and interfaces are common throughout London but the Digital Quarter is particularly festooned with these, including some that are exclusively keyed to individual SAIs. The quarter's Synth inhabitants who have bodies often live pretty much the same as any other inhabitant of London, though a whole local subculture of virtual communication exists in the Digital Quarter for those able to access it.
Not being able to find food anywhere in the quarter is a running joke in London, but not entirely true. Shops selling comestibles and other groceries are still around, just rather difficult to locate. Generally the quarter is a little sparse on creature comforts and greenery and heavy on the technology, but the influence of a number of famous Synth architects and engineers has left its mark and the area is full of elegant metal construction and is particularly famous for its beautiful intricate lampposts. The quarter itself is located somewhat near the Metropolis, and is an offshoot of that area's advanced technology. It is also a dense hotspot for The White Church, which has a large building there due to its London HQ and many Synth followers living in the area.
The Shining Alley has existed since before the rebirth of the city, and is quite possibly a relic of the chaotic times during the Cataclysm. A long pedestrian street paved with perfectly square limestone flagstones, surrounded closely by narrow buildings that mostly appear normal but in some cases are folded, merged into each other, strangely flattened, or bent at geometrically improbable angles. This is the result of the alley being completely indelible from the face of the city. Any building or construction that protrudes or attempts to cross the alley is eventually shoved out of its space. Usually this is a gradual process but historically there have been incidents of this spatial reshuffling being quite violent. Today the properties of the alley are well known and no new constructions are attempted. Exactly 32 stones across, the alley's flagstones are in fact cubes of limestone that also extend 32 stones deep underground. The blocks are self-repairing and if removed from the alley entirely will rapidly decay into nothing as their missing slot is regrown. The alley is about 5km long and flawlessly straight. It cuts across London roughly NNW to SSE, and can be used as a vague compass needle when traversing the city without a map. The ends taper abruptly and have the reverse effect of pulling space towards them: both ends of the alley terminate in fused buildings with deep splits in them, within each of which a small fountain has been erected. Even the tapered ends of the alley maintain the 32 block ratio, meaning the very tips of the alley are composed of tiny mosaics and sand.
The alley resists all large installations, but small booths and stalls are a common sight. It's something of a cultural hub, with many buskers and street performers, and the alley is a common place for people to meet up and relax. The entire Shining Alley is, as the name indicates, tainted with Shine. Accidents and coincidences are infrequent there and the ground is perpetually warm. The flagstones themselves give off a soft candlelight-like glow, which becomes apparent once the sun goes down and makes the alley also popular at night. It is a hotspot for people who are themselves Shine-tainted, and a good place to people-watch for some of the more otherworldly of London's denizens.
On the whole, London is a somewhat Shine-inclined location: a huge city requires some level of order and immutability in order to function, after all. In contrast to this, London has a notable pocket of Dim that lies just off center. At the dawn of the city's rebirth this was a residential location the same as any other, but over time a statistical majority of Dim-touched denizens came to inhabit the neighborhood and their presence both encouraged more people with Dim traits to join and expanded and deepened the location's lower plane energy. Now nicknamed "Dimtown", it's a haven for those who are comfortable with both the cold and the chaotic. Encompassing several blocks and a main street, it's visually distinct from the rest of the city thanks to many of the buildings being painted black (more out of tradition than anything else). Aside from the dip in planar energy and ambient temperature, the location is notable for having high chances of coincidence, luck, and freak accidents. As a consequence many sports bars and gambling locations are set up there. The night life isn't gaudy, however, as light is naturally weak in Dimtown and the sun "sets" an hour or two early as if every day were covered in thick cloud. From the air Dimtown's location is marked by a funnel-shaped patch of darkness in the sky as light pours down into the gullet of the lower planes.
The people who live in Dimtown are generally either those who favour the location's naturally quiet and subdued atmosphere, the cold, or those who love its chaotically inclined nature. A strange mix of thrill-seekers and hermits make the place as unpredictable as Dim itself, and give the place a reputation as one of the shadier (literally) districts of the city. People with a strong Dim presence are often shunned and feared in civillised societies, and Dimtown provides a comfortable haven for such people as well. It's said if you wish to find a sorceror in London, Dimtown is the place to go.
- London Underground
- Thames Wharf
- Thames Estuary
- Ring Park
- M25 Underground
- Suburban Areas