Cirque Centauri

Description

A station with its star on the rise, Cirque Centauri is the place to go for luxury, entertainment, and leisure. Visitors come to relax and rejuvenate, taste exotic foods, and see the greatest shows in the galaxy.

Cirque Centauri, once a mecca of leisure, hospitality, and entertainment, is once again open for business. At one time a thriving station with high-end hotels, galaxy-class restaurants, a spectacular circus, and the finest of recreational activities, the station fell into disrepair after generations of neglect following the Catastrophe. The streets beneath the golden skyscrapers are empty now, the huge, Catastrophe ravaged buildings being an unstable hazard, in danger of toppling at any moment on those below. Ruins of previously well-groomed neighborhoods, posh hotels, and vibrant offices that were neglected, and in some cases destroyed, are now being slowly reclaimed from the destruction that was caused when the station's power grids all overloaded. A big top, with daily shows, has sprung up once more, and luxury hotels have begun to reopen after repairs and new management under the Guild of Hospitality.

Originally created to supply the local galaxy-class restaurants with exotic foods, an industry around farming has been revived as the hydroponic labs and hanging vineyards have been slowly reclaimed. Much of the food stays local to be served at fine restaurants or sampled at the Night Market. Some of the treats are shipped off-station and are sold around the galaxy at a great profit. Cirque Centauri is the place to come to find rare fruits and vegetables, wines, beers and spirits, and spices. Albeit, at a great cost.

Statistics

System: Alpha Centauri A
Affiliation: Gaule
Level: 9
Legal: Strong
Orwellian: High

Areas

Bank (Wallace Bank and Trust)

Transactions at the Wallace Bank and Trust are swift and efficient; doled out by smiling tellers in identical cobalt blue suits. There's an atmosphere of extreme poshness cradled by the utmost in security.

In order to ensure that wealthy visitors have no fears over the storage of their funds, the Wallace Bank and Trust is a tight-run ship with heavy surveillance. Security cameras perch from every golden pillar, and even the chandeliers have cameras, barely hidden, between their crystal drops. A huge ceiling with stained glass arches high above the heads of those below, and drones made to look like graceful, swooping birds, flit carelessly about, their bellies full of watchful eyes. Transactions are swift, friendly, and efficient, and there is rarely a line to wait in. The bank tellers, each dressed in suits of brilliant cobalt with gold piping, smile openly and are welcoming. Security guards with large guns are stationed inside of and in front of the building. Here their deadly weapons are seen as a detriment to theft and are a comfort to visitors, so the artillery is carried openly. There's a hushed silence about the place, which is disrupted at times by the clattering of heels upon the simulated Lapis Lazuli floors as patrons come and go.

Brig (Cirque Centauri Penitentiary)

The Penitentiary houses those who have broken the strict laws of Cirque Centauri, as well as privileged offenders from around the galaxy. Punishment is swift and unsparing for those who have dared to try and mar the image and harmony of the station, yet comfortable for those who can afford it.

The Penitentiary is divided into two parts: The Reformatory, where rich or influential prisoners are held, and The Correctional, where those of lesser means are kept.

The Reformatory has large rooms with actual doors, access to gym equipment, holovids, and an outdoor area where one can wander and stretch their legs. The inmates come from all over the galaxy, housed here when their influence, power, or assets guarantee them a cushioned place to think about their choices.

The Correctional is a harsher environment, with armed guards and barred cells. Prisoners are given meager rations and water, and let out once per day to walk in a circle with others in a dingy cement ring. The outer walls of The Correctional still bear signs of the Catastrophe, with huge gouges and burn marks scaring the drab gray walls.

NPCs

Clones (The Jadeite Baths)

The Jadeite Baths are monitored closely and watched over by jovial scientists dressed in pristine white lab coats. Dimly lit rooms full of vats stand in neat rows, their emerald liquid bubbling slowly.

The cloning vats of Cirque Centauri were once top-of-the line, to ensure the safest and most hassle-free vacation experience possible for guests to the station. With an influx of new investment, the vats have started to be upgraded with the latest advancements. However, some vats are still around from pre-Catastrophe days. There is row up on row of the clone tanks, bubbling as though at a simmer. Here and there, a body floats next to the glass, giving a glimpse of an arm, a strand of softly billowing hair, or a pale knee. Another section of the facility hosts the stations where 3D printed clones are created. A second level of the Baths is where premium clones are created and stored, always ready for an upgrade to the latest version of oneself.

Available Clones

NPCs

Decommissioned Area (Hippodrome de Centauri)

Standing like a striped gem with the market sprawling all about it, the circus takes place in an enormous tent of blue and gold banded pseudo-canvas. Golden and blue pinions snap in manufactured, localized breezes atop the tent's pointed peaks.

The road to the Hippodrome is lined with tall poles carved with animals and circus scenes. From each pole, a wrought iron arm stretches over the road, from which hangs a huge glass lantern. Between each pole is a string of small white globes of lights, below which, holograms advertising the performers flicker: “Balancing Betty! The marvelous high wire ballerina!” “The side-splitting Funny Clown Brigade! Endless laughs for all ages!” “Witness the amazing strength of the Spectacular Sergio!” “See the astonishing hoverbike antics of the Blackmore sisters!”

The circus runs two shows per day, one during the day at a matinee price, and one in the evening, at the full ticket price. The daytime show is amazing, but nowhere near as spectacular as the evening one. Under the gold and blue peaks, acrobats swing from trapezes or snake about each other on suspended metal rings. Clowns, their faces painted white and with red glowing noses, cavort about, playing pranks on each other and the audience. Feats of strength, balance, and bravery are performed by thickly muscled and lean persons. A mechanical elephant, an extremely lifelike facsimile of the fabled beast, does a balancing act on a huge striped ball, then lifts a small woman into the air on its trunk, her body arching as she balances en pointe. Music swells and voices soar as a first-class orchestra and its singers play out the heartbeat of the show. It's all done with a slow, graceful beauty that makes the entire show feel like a dream.

NPCs

Government Center (Government Services Centre)

Located in a reclaimed section of the Downtown, the center of the station's government is stark and utilitarian in contrast to the extravagance of the tourist areas.

Large, squat buildings with heavy damage from the Catastrophe play host to the current offices of those responsible for the governance and administration of the station. Once a proud edifice, the facade of Station Hall is in disintegrating ruins, barely held up by the few remaining columns that withstood the Catastrophe. There was fighting here, as evidenced by the deep craters in the building's outer walls and in the streets leading up to it. There is a strong military presence in this area, with Gaule soldiers coming and going. Nearby lay the skeletons of skyscrapers, and in their midst, the tall tower belonging to Hospitality Corp stands like a monolith, looking down upon the station from its golden windows.

Emergency Shuttle to Tau Station: 5090 cr

Inn (The Stargaze Hotel)

Set at the edge of the Night Market, the Stargaze caters to those who can't quite (ever in this or any lifetime) afford the bank-breaking suites at the luxury hotels.

The Stargaze is a wide building shaped like a U around a large fountain which sprays arcs of sparkling light. The beds are clean and affordable, and, like all places intended for visitors on Cirque Centauri, incredibly safe.

NPCs

Bar (The Ballyhoo)

A bar who welcomes all (provide you've got the cred), the Ballyhoo is the place to go for refreshments and entertainment if the circus isn't in the cards.

Located next to the Stargaze Inn, the Ballyhoo is an oddly shaped bar and restaurant that caters to a mid-range clientele. Not too fancy, and not too down in the dumps, the bar draws a crowd of tourists and locals alike. Shaped like a figure-8, the main bar is set in the 8's center, with two small oval stages in the round flanking it on either side. Patrons sit at small tables draped in burgundy velvet along the curving floor of the 8, able to see a stage from wherever they are. A large arch over the bar provides access between the two stages, and it's not unusual to have a mini Clown Car drive overhead while one is ordering their drinks. The ceiling of the bar is painted with red and white stripes, and small globes of light dangle like teardrops along their lines. From the ceiling hang hundreds of golden stars, twisting gently and sparkling in the dim light.

Performances happen throughout the evening on each stage. An echo of the larger event, these performances are a tease for what one might see at the Hippodrome, though often there are acts that haven't quite made it yet to the big top. Within the space of a few units, the audience moves from laughter to tears and back again as the various acts perform.

Menu

NPCs

Hotel Rooms (The Stargaze)

Rooms at the Stargaze are comfortable, have locking doors, and the beds are clean of bedbugs. This is the place to come for a good night's sleep.

Each room at The Stargaze has a wrought iron balcony which overlooks the Night Market, and guests enjoy lingering above, watching the crowds flow from booth to booth while the Ferris wheel spins slowly in the distance. Thick glass on the windows shuts out the cries of delight from the amusement rides and the noise of the crowds from both the market and the circus when ready for sleep. The glass can even simulate daylight, to help one wake in the perpetual night of the market.

Prices
  • 1 day: 73.2 cr
  • 5 days: 292.8 cr
  • 10 days: 512.4 cr
  • 30 days: 1317.6 cr

Lounge (The Velvet Den)

The lounge area of the Stargaze hotel is posh and comfortable. This is the place to go to schmooze, gossip, and relax. Thick armchairs surround fireplaces, and guests of The Velvet Den recline on velvety couches, sipping cocktails and laughing.

A side door opens, and an enveloping cloud of smoke pours forth, heavy with the synthetic scents of tobacco, apple, mint, and clove. It is common for the circus performers to come here to unwind, and it's not exceptional for someone to suddenly spring up, juggling a trio of empty glass tumblers, or breaking into operatic song. Drones, made to look like floating waiters from the waist up, slowly float through the room, their one arm holding out a metal tray full of drinks.

Employment (Employment Centre)

Large, digital job boards display a plethora of requests for help and assistance. People crowd around the screens, as they shuffle through the listings, anxious to find something that might suit their talents and bring them cred.

Time was, most who were passing through Cirque Centauri were either so wealthy they wouldn't need to be looking for work or they were on vacation and work was the last thing they wanted to think about. These days, however, there are many who need employment. Some come to the station seeking fortune, while others were born to the few who managed to survive the Catastrophe and are trying to make a life for themselves. Some come to work in the hydroponic labs, while others have skills in construction. There is always employment to be found improving and renovating the station. In addition to job postings, there is also an excessive amount of listings about missing persons, offering substantial rewards for information or their return.

NPCs

Career Advisory

The career advisory center is mostly empty. Few people today have the needed skills to pursue good careers.

NPCs

Side Jobs

This is the right place if you are looking for quick and easy jobs.

Name Description Credits Statistic
Cargo Worker Daily shifts available. Join the docks crew for around the clock cargo work opportunities! 37 Strength
Food Service The Ballyhoo needs walk-in servers. Serve food and earn credits! 37 Agility
Thin the Line Work shifts available! Help seat people at the circus! Talk to Lady Silla at the Hippodrome to sign up. 37 Social

Market (The Night Market)

It is perpetually twilight at the Night Market; a bazaar of food stalls and fine goods, games of chance, and amusement rides sprawl out around the huge striped tent of the circus. Even if you can't afford any of the food or goods, the scent alone is worth wandering through the plaza.

The marketplace's high ceiling is programmed to always display an indigo sky full of twinkling stars. Every few days, visitors may be lucky enough to catch the sky streaking with arcs of green, blue, and pink auroras. The plaza, also called “the Night Market,” is a bazaar where the station's exotic treats and delicacies can be sampled, games of chance can be played, exhilarating amusement rides can be enjoyed, and where one can see the greatest show in the galaxy at the Hippodrome. Once, the shopping district was Downtown, but the orderly shops full of goods were crushed when the skyscrapers came tumbling down. The market sprung up organically around the circus, and has spread outward for generations. There is now a maze of stalls, booths, and kiosks, with strands of small, white lights, strung overhead between them. The enticing scent of spices, grilled meats, and sweets tantalize.

For those that can afford the rare delicacies, there are sticks with speared and grilled fishes, cups of mulled wine and mugs of frothy beer, candied apples, and bags of popped corn, drenched in caramel or the even more scarce: butter. Other merchants sell everything from juggling balls to the finest in throwing knives and high precision rifles. Fine rolls of synthetic silks and heaps of faux furs, cabinets of jewelry set with precious stones, and original artwork from Nouveau Limoges are all on display.

The sounds of delighted shrieks come from the various rides and when the circus is showing, the cries of awe and the thunder of applause wash over the market. A huge Ferris wheel, its spokes glowing blue and yellow, spins slowly, towering above the plaza like a giant eye. Shouts of frustration and cheers of celebration come from booths where visitors toss balls or shoot at holograms of stacked bottles, swing a huge Mall hammer down in a test of strength, and try their hands at other games of chance. Performers wander the market, setting up at busy corners to juggle, balancing on each others' limbs, or playing instruments. Their songs carry through the crowd, weaving between the laughter and the din of the games of chance.

NPCs

Vendors

Here you can find many things sold by different vendors.

Storage

You can find here enough space to store the things you do not want to carry.

  • Small: 183 cr
  • Medium: 439.2 cr
  • Large: 1098 cr

Port (Adventure Origin Harbor)

A huge docking area capable of handling enormous starcruise ships, the Harbor is a busy show of organized chaos. Arriving guests are ushered cheerfully into the station while all around, circus entertainers perform exhilarating feats of balance, daring, and strength.

Cirque Centauri boasts an immense docking area capable of handling large influxes of visitors and huge starcruise ships. A VIP area for private vessels caters to those who can afford this indulgence, while the main deck is laid out in orderly lines, with many lanes for traffic.

Passengers arrive and depart with the consistency of waves lapping against a shore. Cargo vessels make deliveries in a separate area, well away from the tourist traffic. All about the port, upon small stages, suspended from the impossibly high ceiling, or moving among the crowds, are performers from the circus. They juggle glowing balls, spit fire above the heads of guests, spin within spiked wheels, and walk across thin, wavering strands of cable. A hologram cast high above the Harbor's decks of a woman wearing a tall, shiny black hat, calls out a welcome and cries, “Ladies! Gentlemen, and Others! Children of all ages! Welcome to the Greatest Show in the Galaxy!”

The walls of the port were once painted with blue and gold stripes. In some places, this has been repainted, while in others, painters on huge scaffolding scrape off the crumbling or fire scorched paint and work to reapply the stripes.

NPCs

Shipping Bay

Well away from the excited crowds of tourists, cargo ships arrive at and depart from the Shipping Bay in an orderly fashion. Piles of goods and stacks of crates wait their turn to be loaded onto ships. Robots with huge pincers at the ends of their arms, stomp carefully between the stacks, their human operators calling out jokes to one another.

Huge crates full of station-grown delicacies, with the words “Perishable” and “Keep Cool” printed on their sides, wait to be loaded into the yawning holds of waiting ships. Merchants arrive from all over the galaxy as well, bringing high-end commodities to sell to the wealthy clientele of the Night Market.

Local Shuttles (Grande Station)

Small vessels wait to carry guests who don't own their own ships to nearby locations.

Benches are set around the room for the travelers who are waiting for shuttles home. A soft chime is heard now and then, and a melodious voice calls out the incoming shuttles, prompting guests to rise and board them.

Residences (The Heights)

Crumbling houses and condo complexes with brown, dust filled yards play host to the inhabitants of Cirque Centauri. Decades of neglect and conflict have taken their toll on the homes, though recent effort has been made to reclaim some of the houses from the ruins.

The magnificent homes and condo complexes of Haven Heights once sprawled across rolling hills, housing the inhabitants of Cirque Centauri. These days the houses and condos of The Heights are in disrepair and have fallen to neglect. Yards that once sported actual grass now lie barren and empty, save for the lots owned by those who can afford the tech to make them look lush once more. Their yards are full of flowers and grasses, which shimmer slightly as their holograms cycle through projections. Small pockets of The Heights have been reclaimed. The safest of these is Eaglewood, a condo complex closest to the former Downtown area of the station. The most dangerous areas of The Heights are those that abutted the Downtown, which is where old skyscrapers teeter unsteadily and sparks fly from untamed power grids. There are also rumors that somewhere in the ruins are people who were exiled from the reclaimed parts of the station.

NPCs

Ruins (The Downtown)

Crumbling high-rises and sagging skyscrapers are all that remain of what was, at one time, a huge metropolis. Efforts have been made to reclaim the towers, and those that have been are enclosed in a huge wall that delineates the Safe Zone.

Once a gathering of glittering hotels and towering skyscrapers, the Downtown fell into disrepair after the Catastrophe. The explosions that tore through the station toppled many of the buildings, and left many others unsteady and unstable. The streets cracked and caved, falling in huge chunks to the maintenance tunnels that run under the station. It is not uncommon for buildings to randomly crumble, their supports finally giving way, or their walls sliding to crash on the debris ridden and pitted streets below. Streets, too, will split and huge fissures will appear as the station continues to settle. During the Recovery, looters tore through the buildings, taking anything they could find of value and destroying much of the rest . There were turf wars as Catastrophe survivors vied for control of the station, and even more buildings were destroyed in the process. Structures were also eventually demolished to gather materials for the construction of the wall around the Safe Zones and for repairs.

The Downtown is split in two: the ruins of the old city, and the reclaimed area which has been walled off and which is slowly being rebuilt. Some of the poorer residents of the station have carved out homes among the fallen buildings, making dwellings in old conference rooms and offices. Disputes between the residents, who feel that they fought for these places, and the Guild of Hospitality, who seek to reclaim and rebuild the Downtown, are common. Near the wall, a group of protesters has gathered around one of the destroyed buildings, shouting as workers attempt to rise scaffolding around the structure. The protesters hold a banner whose display changes its slogans every few units. Bored looking Gaule soldiers stand at the ready around the protesters, their electrified tonfas ready to stun anyone who gets too out of hand. A gaggle of customer service representatives from the Guild hover near the soldiers, quickly intercepting tourists who get too close or too curious.

NPCs

Security (Station Security Division)

The local offices of the Station Security Division are orderly, well-manned, and well-armed. Large banners bearing the Gaule emblem flank the front door of what seems to be a newly built structure, and military personnel in sharp, crisp uniforms briskly come and go.

The Gaule presence on the station is always seen, if not heard, whether it be from the guards who patrol the streets with mock casualness, the drones that patrol above everyone's heads, or from the small cameras that seem to be every few meters. Within the SSD headquarters, any sense of the relaxed manner the guards adopt when moving among tourists vanishes, and their demeanor is all business and all military.

NPCs

Sick Bay (Tranquility Clinic)

“Peaceful recovery and the best of care,” is the motto of the Tranquility Clinic. Visitors to the station are kept comfortable and treated like royalty during their stays at this ultramodern facility.

A branch of Moemedi Medical, the clinic is an oasis of high quality care. The medical issues of guests to the station are given highest priority, as tourism is the station's top industry. This has led to some whispers that locals aren't receiving treatment as quickly, nor with the same quality of medics. The building is bright and welcoming, its staff clothed in crisp white uniforms and adorned with wide smiles.

A separate wing for local inhabitants is on the side of the well maintained building. A line of people, some wrapped in dirty bandages, others coughing, stretches around the corner. Now and then, clinic workers will try to usher people inside, so they aren't seen.

Gym (Semira's Zurkhaneh)

The gym is full of an assortment of ambitious individuals, some who are performers, aiming to stay at tip top shape, and others working to get or stay fit.

The Zurkhaneh is a state-of-the art gym facility, with modern equipment and tons of space to workout. The main portion of the gym is an open plan of weights, running tracks, and machines, on various levels. Ramps connect each section for easy access of all, and large rooms full of dancers and other movement classes line the room. Though the high-end hotel The Recherché offers its own on-site gym, a special section of the Zurkhaneh is reserved for more affluent patrons. At the end of a hall is a locked door, accessible only via scan for VIP guests and those who have the funds to hire the specialized trainers.

The gym's owner, Semira Shirazi, wanders around, giving words of encouragement, spotting for people lifting heavy weights, and telling bawdy jokes.

You must have minimum combined physical stats of 36 to avoid injury at this gym.

"Galactic Destinations" Introduction

Cirque Centauri, once a mecca of leisure, hospitality, and entertainment, is again open for business. Back in its Golden Era, the station was a luxury destination for travelers wishing to see death-defying acts, go on thrilling rides, bask in opulence, and sample delicacies from all over the star systems. At one time a thriving station with high-end hotels, galaxy-class restaurants, a spectacular circus, and the finest of recreational activities, Cirque Centauri was the gem of the system, with visitors traveling from far and wide to indulge in the station’s wonders and delights. Until it all came crashing down…

When the Catastrophe struck, and explosions ripped through Cirque Centauri as the power grid overloaded. The blasts sent fires ravaging through the station, streets cracked and collapsed, buildings toppled, and tens of thousands of inhabitants and guests were killed in the waves of destruction.

The Struggle for Survival

Incredibly, a lucky few survived. In the aftermath, the survivors mainly tried to get by, salvaging what they could from the destruction. Communications were offline for the entire station, the docked starcruisers and other ships were too damaged to leave, and most of the pilots and travelers had perished. Cut off from the outside world, those left on the station banded together, performers alongside guests, to stay alive. As people recovered and made their way back to the center of the station, various groups vied for power and control, destroying buildings, sections of the station, and each other in the process. Eventually, the Gaule Protectorate rediscovered the station, and a contingent who wished to live together in harmony, with the help of Gaule soldiers, were able to oust those who were trying to simply dominate and control the station. Those disharmonious few fled outside of the walls of the Safe Zone generations ago. It is assumed that the unstable buildings and crumbling infrastructure took care of the uncomfortable problem they were, as nothing has been heard from them since.

The streets beneath the golden skyscrapers are cracked and full of debris now. The huge, Catastrophe ravaged buildings are an unstable hazard, in danger of toppling at any moment on those below. However, the ruins of previously well-groomed neighborhoods, posh hotels, and vibrant offices that were neglected, and in some cases destroyed, are now being slowly reclaimed from the destruction. As the decades passed, the station slowly started back down the path in an attempt to reclaim its former glory. Cirque Centauri is now in a phase some call “the Recovery.” The center of the station became the Safe Zone, which is slowly expanding outwards recovering and reclaiming more and more of what once was. To keep guests and residents safe, a wall has been erected around the perimeter of this zone. It is not recommended that anyone travels outside of it, though there are rumors that there are squatters living among the dangerous ruins.

The Show Must Go On

With the reopening of the jump gates, and the slow improvement in the galaxy-wide economy, Cirque Centauri has opened its docking bays once more for guests. A big top, with two daily shows, has raised its striped tent, and luxury hotels have begun to reopen. Guests come to Cirque Centauri to relax, have adventures, bask in the luxuries offered, and sample delicacies not found anywhere else in the galaxy. Visitors come to shop in Moonlight Square Plaza, also called, “the Night Market,” as the high ceiling is programmed to always display an indigo sky full of twinkling stars. The marketplace sprung up organically around the circus, and has spread outward for generations. There is now a maze of stalls, booths, and kiosks, full of goods from all around the galaxy. One could wander for hours, playing games of chance, sampling delicacies, riding the rides, and being entertained by the wandering performers.

There are sumptuous treats to be had for those that can afford the rare delicacies, but many who live on the station cannot themselves afford to indulge. An outer portrayal of openness, friendliness, and a welcoming demeanor masks the undercurrent of mistrust and resentment on the part of some of the station’s residents. The station locals both hate and love their outside visitors. Love them for the revenue and wealth that guests will bring, but despise them for the dependency the Cirque folk feel on them, and there is a bitter gap between those with means and those without.

As the ancient saying goes, “The show must go on,” and this is the Greatest Show in the Galaxy! Tourists travel from far and wide, and from the spaces in between, to see the sights, taste the exotic foods, be entertained by the galaxy’s greatest performers of death-defying feats, and enjoy luxuries found nowhere else in the known universe.

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